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used to it twice a-day, rather than fetch her half-quar tern from that turn-coat Veer's.
Wherever politics are introduced, religion is always drawn into the quarrel. 'The town I have been speaking of, is divided into two parties, who are distinguished by the appellation of Christians and Jews. The Jews, it seems, are those, who are in the interest of a nobleman, who gave his vote for passing the Jew-bill, and are held in abomination by the Christians. The zeal of the latter is still further inflamed by the vicar who every Sunday thunders out his anathemas, and preaches up the pious doctrine of persecution. In this he is seconded by the clerk, who is careful to enforce the arguments from the pulpit, by selecting staves proper for the occasion.
This truly Christian spirit is no where more manifest than at their public feasts. I was at one of their dinners, where I found great variety of pig-meat was provided. The table was covered from one end to the other with hams, legs of pork, sparibs, griskins, haslets, feet and ears, brawn, and the like. In the middle there smoked a large barbicued hog, which was soon devoured to the bone, so desirous was every one to prove his Christianity, by the quantity he could swallow of that Anti-Judaic food. After dinner there was brought in, by way of desert, a dish of hogs puddings; but as I have a dislike to that kind of diet, (though not from any scruple of conscience) I was regarded as little better than a Jew for declining to eat of them.
The great support of this party is an old neighbouring knight; who, ever since the late naturalization-act, has conceived a violent antipathy to the Jews, and takes every opportunity of railing at the abovementioned nobleman. Sir Rowland swears, that his lordship is worse than Judas, that he is actually cir cumcised, and that the chapel in his house is turned into a synagogue. The knight had never been seen
in a church till the late clamour about the Jew-bill; but he now attends it regularly every Sunday, where he devoutly takes his nap all the service: and he lately bestowed the best living in his gift, which he had before promised to his chaplain, on one whom he had never seen, but had read his name in the title-page to a sermon against the Jews. He turned off his butler, who had lived with him many years, (and whose only crime was a swarthy complexion),because the dog looked like a Jew. He feeds hogs in his park and the court-yard, and has guinea-pigs in his parlour. Every Saturday he has an hunt, because it is the Jewish sabbath; and in the evening he is sure to get drunk with the vicar in defence of religion. As he is in the commission, he ordered a poor Jew pedlar, who came to hawk goods at his house, to Bridewell; and he was once going to send a little parish-boy to the same place, for presuming to play in his worship's hearing on that unchristian-like instrument the Jews-harp.
The fair-sex here are no less ambitious of displaying their affection for the same cause; and they manifest their sentiments by the colour and fashion of their dress. Their zeal more particularly shews itself in a variety of poesies for rings, buckles, knots, and garters. I observed the other night at the assembly that the ladies seemed to vie with each other, in hanging out the ensigns of the faith in orthodox ribbards, bearing the inscription of No Jews, Christanity for ever.' They likewise wore little crosses at their breasts; their pompons were formed into crucifixes, their knots disposed in the same angles, and so many parts of their habits moulded in to that shape, that the whole assembly looked like the court on St. Andrew's day. It was remarkable that the vicar's lady, who is a thorough-paced high churchwoman, was more religious in the decorations of her dress than any of the company; and, indeed, she was so stuck over from head to foot with crosses, that a wag just
ly compared her to an old Popish monument in a Gothic cathedral.
I shall conclude my letter with the relation of an adventure, that happened to myself at my first coming into this town. I intended to put up at the Catherine-Wheel, as I had often used the house before, and knew the landlord to be a good civil kind of fellow. I accordingly turned my horse into the yard; when to my great surprize the landlord, as soon as he saw me, gave me an hearty curse, and told me I might go about my business, "for, indeed, he would not entertain any such rascals." Upon this he said something to two or three strapping country-fellows, who immediately came towards me; and if I had not rode away directly, I should have met with a very rough salutation from their horse-whips. I could not imagine what offence I had committed, that could give occasion for such ill usage, until I heard the master of the inn hollowing out after me, "that's the "scoundrel that came here some time ago with Tom "T'other side;" who, I have since learned, is an agent for the other party.
I am, dear cousin, yours, &c.
No. XIV. THURSDAY, MAY 2.
.Tum in lecto quoque videres
Stridere secreta divisos aure sufurros.
Nullos his mallem ludos spectasse. Sed illa
Imparted to each laughter-loving fair,
The whizzing whisper glides from chair to chair:
With titterings they betray the stifled laugh.
Such giggling glee!....what farce so full of mirth!....
TO MR. TOWN.
AS the ladies are naturally become the immedi ate objects of your care, will you permit a complaint to be inserted in your paper, which is founded upon a matter of fact? They will pardon me, if by laying before you particular instance I was lately witness to of their improper behaviour, I endeavour to expose a reigning evil, which subjects them to many shameful imputations.
I received last week a dinner-card from a friend, with an intimation that I should meet some very agreeable ladies. At my arrival, I found that the company consisted chiefly of females, who indeed did me the honour to rise, but quite disconcerted me in paying my respects, by their whispering each other, and appearing to stifle a laugh. When I was seated, the ladies grouped themselves up in a corner, and entered into a private cabal, seemingly to discourse upon points of great secrecy and importance, but of equal merriment and diversion.
The same conduct of keeping close to their ranks was observed at table, where the ladies seated them
selves together. Their conversation was here also confined wholly to themselves, and seemed like the mysteries of the Bona Dea, in which men were forbidden to have any share. It was a continued laugh and whisper from the beginning to the end of dinner. A whole sentence was scarce ever spoken aloud. Single words, indeed, now and then broke forth; such as odious, horrible, detestable, shocking, humbug. This last new-coined expression, which is only to be found in the nonsensical vocabulary, sounds absurd and disagreeable, whenever it is pronounced; but from the mouth of a lady it is "shocking, detestable, horrible, and odious."
My friend seemed to be in an uneasy situation at his own table: but I was far more miserable. I was mute, and seldom dared to lift up my eyes from my plate, or turn my head to call for small beer, lest by some awkward gesture I might draw upon me a whisper or a laugh. Sancho, when he was forbid to eat a delicious banquet set before him, could scarce appear more melancholy. The rueful length of my face might possibly encrease the mirth of my tormenters: at least their joy seemed to rise in exact proportion with my misery. At length, however, the time of my delivery approached. Dinner ended, the ladies made their exit in pairs, and went off hand in hand whispering, like the two kings of Brentford.
Modest men, Mr. Town, are deeply wounded, when they imagine themselves the objects of ridicule or contempt: and the pain is the greater, when it is given by those whom they admire, and from whom they are ambitious of receiving any marks of countenance and favour. Yet we must allow, that affronts are pardonable from ladies, as they are often prognostics of future kindness. If a lady strikes our cheek, we can very willingly follow the precept of the Gospel, and turn the other cheek to be sinitten. Even a blow from a fair hand conveys pleasure. But this