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caps of saple. The women now found themselves no longer shut up in separate apartments, but saw company, visited each other, and were present at every entertainment.
But as the laws to this effect were directed to a savage people, it is amusing enough to see the manner in which the ordinances ran. Assemblies were quite unknown among them; the Czarina was satisfied with introducing them, for she found it impossible to render them polite. An ordinance was therefore published, according to their notions of breeding, which, as it is a curiosity, and has never before been printed, that we know of, we shall give our readers :
“ I. The person at whose house the assembly is to be kept, shall signify the same by hanging out a bill
, or by giving some other public notice, by way of advertisement, to persons of both sexes.
" II. The assembly shall not be open sooner than four or five o'clock in the afternoon, nor continue longer than ten at night.
“ III. The master of the house shall not be obliged to meet his guests, or conduct them out, or keep them company ; but, though he is exempt from all this, he is to find them chairs, candles, liquors, and all other necessaries that company may ask for : he is likewise to provide them with cards, dice, and every necessary for gaming,
“ IV. There shall be no fixed hour for coming or going away ; it is enough for a person to appear in the assembly.
V. Every one shall be free to sit, walk, or game, as he pleases ; nor shall any one go about to hinder him, or take exceptions at what he does, upon pain of emptying the great eagle, (a pint bowl full of brandy ;) it shall likewise be sufficient, at entering or retiring, to salute the company.
“ VI. Persons of distinction, noblemen, superior officers, merchants, and tradesmen of note, head workmen, especially carpenters,* and persons employed in chancery, are to have liberty to enter the assemblies ; as likewise their wives and children.
“ VII. A particular place shall be assigned the footmen, except those of the house, that there may be room enough in the apartments designed for the assembly.
* It was the policy of Peter the Great and his successors, to give every encouragement to carpenters, for the sake of the Navy.-B.
“ VIII. No ladies are to get drunk upon any pretence whatsoever ; nor shall gentlemen be drunk before nine.
IX. Ladies who play at forfeitures, questions and commands, &e. shall not be riotous : no gentleman shall attempt to force a kiss, and no person shall offer to strike a woman in the assembly, under pain of future exclusion.”
Such are the statutes upon this occasion, which, in their very appearance, carry an air of ridicule and satire. But politeness must enter every country by degrees ; and these rules resemble the breeding of a clown, awkward but sincere.
BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR, SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY THE
ORDINARY OF NEWGATE.*
Man is a most frail being, incapable of directing his steps, unacquainted with what is to happen in this life ; and perhaps no man is a more manifest instance of the truth of this maxim, than Mr The. Cibber, just now gone out of the world. Such a variety of turns of fortune, yet such a persevering uniformity of conduct, appears in all that happened in his short span, that the whole may be looked upon as one regular confusion : every action of his life was matter of wonder and surprise, and his death was an astonishment.
This gentleman was born of creditable parents, who gave him a very good education, and a great deal of good learning, so that he could read and write before he was sixteen.
* Theophilus Cibber, the subject of this ludicrous memoir, was the son of Colley Cibber, and possessed all his father's shameless effrontery, without his talents. His merit as an actor was not great, and he is entitled to still less praise as an author ; yet he received twenty guineas for lending his name to the Lives of the Poets, written by Shiels. His profligate and extravagant habits gave him a notoriety to which be had no other pretension.
He was the husband of the celebrated tragic actress Maria Cibber, whom he inveigled into an illicit intercourse with a nobleman, with the intention, as it afterwards appeared, of obtaining heavy damages. In this his principal object was defeated, and a separation took place between himself and his wife. He was drowned on his passage to Ireland, where he had a theatrical engagement, in 1757. - B.
However, he early discovered an inclination to follow lewd courses : he refused to take the advice of his parents, and pursued the bent of his inclination ; he played at cards on Sundays ; called himself a gentleman ; fell out with his mother and laundress ; and, even in these early days, his father was frequently heard to observe, that young The. would be hanged.
As he advanced in years, he grew more fond of pleasure ; would eat an ortolan for dinner, though he begged the guinea that bought it ; and was once known to give three pounds for a plate of green pease, which he had collected over-night as charity for a friend in distress : he ran into debt with every body that would trust him, and none could build a sconce better than he ; so that at last his creditors swore, with one accord, that The. would be hanged.
But as getting into debt by a man who had no visible ineans but impudence for a subsistence, is a thing that every reader is not acquainted with, I must explain that point a little, and that to his satisfaction.
There are three ways of getting into debt ; first, by pushing a face; as thus: “ You, Mr Lutestring, send me home six yards of that paduasoy, damme; but, harkee, don't think I ever intend to pay you for it, damme.” At this the mercer laughs heartily ; cuts off the paduasoy, and sends it home ; nor is he, till too late, surprised to find the gentleman had said nothing but the truth, and kept his word.
The second method of running into debt is called fineering ; which is getting goods made in such a fashion as to be unfit for every other purchaser ; and if the tradesman refuses to give them on credit, then threaten to leave them upon his hands.
But the third and best method is called, “ being the good customer.” The gentleman first buys some trifle, and pays for it in ready money ; he comes a few days after with nothing about him but bank bills, and buys, we will suppose, a sixpenny tweezer-case ; the bills are too great to be changed, so he promises to return punctually the day after and pay for what he has bought. In this promise he is punctual, and this is repeated for eight or ten times, till his face is well known, and he has got at last the character of a good customer : by this means he gets credit for something considerable, and then never pays for it.
In all this, the young man who is the unhappy subject of our present reflections was very expert; and could face, fineer, and bring custom to a shop with any man in England : none of his companions could exceed him in this ; and his very companions at last said, that The. would be hanged.
As he grew old, he grew never the better : he loved ortolans and green pease as before : he drank gravy soup when he could get it, and always thought his oysters tasted best when he got them for nothing, or, which was just the same, when he bought them upon tick : thus the old man kept up the vices of the youth, and what he wanted in power, he made up by inclination ; so that all the world thought that old The. would be hanged.
And now, reader, I have brought him to his last scenea scene where, perhaps, my duty should have obliged me to assist. You expect, perhaps, his dying words, and the tender farewell he took of his wife and children ; you expect an account of his coffin and white gloves, his pious ejaculations, and the papers he left behind him. In this I cannot indulge your curiosity ; for, oh! the mysteries of Fate, The. drowned!
“ Reader,” as Hervey saith, “ pause and ponder, and ponder and pause ; who knows what thy own end may be!”
I TAKE the liberty to communicate to the public a few loose thoughts upon a subject which, though often handled, has not yet in my opinion been fully discussed, - I mean national concord, or unanimity, which in this kingdom has been generally considered as a bare possibility, that existed nowhere but in speculation. Such a union is perhaps neither to be expected nor wished for in a country whose liberty depends rather upon the genius of the people than upon any precautions which they have taken in a constitutional way for the guard and preservatiou of this inestimable blessing.
There is a very honest gentleman, with whom I have been acquainted these thirty years, during which there has not been one speech uttered against the ministry in parliament, nor struggle at an election for a burgess to serve in the House of Commons, nor a pamphlet published in opposition to any measure of the administration, nor even a private censure passed in his hearing upon the misconduct of any person concerned in public affairs, but he is immediately alarmed, and loudly exclaims against such factious doings, in order to set the people by the ears together at such a delicate juncture. “ At any other time,” says he, “such opposition might not be improper, and I don't question the facts that are alleged ; but at this crisis, sir, to inflame the nation—the man deserves to be punished as a traitor to his country.” In a word, according to this gentleman's opinion, the nation has been in a violent crisis at any time these thirty years ; and were it possible for him to live another century, he would never find any period at which a man might with safety impugn the infallibility of a minister.
The case is no more than this: my honest friend has invested his whole fortune in the stocks, on Government security, and trembles at every whiff of popular discontent. Were every British subject of the same tame and timid disposition, Magna Charta (to use the coarse phrase of Oliver Cromwell) would be no more regarded by an ambitious prince than Magna F-ta, and the liberties of England expire without a groan. Opposition, when restrained within due bounds, is the salubrious gale that ventilates the opinions of the people, which might otherwise stagnate into the most abject submission. It may be said to purify the atmosphere of politics ; to dispel the gross vapours raised by the influence of ministerial artifice and corruption, until the constitution, like a mighty rock, stands full disclosed to the view of every individual who dwells within the shade of its protection. Even when this gale blows with augmented violence, it generally tends to the advantage of the commonwealth : it awakes the apprehension, and consequently arouses all the faculties of the pilot at the helm, who redoubles his vigilance and caution, exerts his utmost skill, and, becoming acquainted with the nature of the navigation, in a little time learns to suit his canvass to the ronghness of the sea, and the trim of the vessel. Without these intervening storms of opposition to exercise his faculties, he would become enervated, negligent, and presumptuous; and, in the wantonness of his power, trsting to some ceceitful calm, perhaps hazard a step that would wreck the constitution.Yet there is a