ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Squeak. The answers to my questions respecting Pittarchy were ridiculous enough. One said, " I have a flice of the loan;" another, « my brother is promised the lottery;” and a third, “my uncle has a contract.” Expressions, which will not bear translating, there being no English idioms which correspond with them.

Notwithstanding the inability of the Albionites to explain Pittarchy, they are so remarkably attached to it, that they never fail to punish any man who endeavours to speak against it. Their punishments are chiefly calling opprobrious names, burning houses, or threatening with the gallows; nay, if a man were to go so far as to say that it is not perfect, he would undoubtedly be accused of an intention to dethrone the king, murder all the lords and bishops, burn towns and villages, ravish virgins, and rip up women with child. During our stay in the island, therefore, we found it necessary to be guarded in our communications with the i atives; yet in spite of all precaution, my servant had like to have got into a very ugly scrape. The poor fellow had been drinking, and the drink getting up into his head, he began to fancy himself in a. christian country, and drank peace on earth and good will towards men. This created no little confusion, as they maintained that he was a spy, but I had hopes the worst was over. Next night, however, when he went to see a play, some of his pot companions recognized him, and calling out Boo dammee boo, (which means, God save the King) they turned him neck and heels out of the house. Not that he fared worse than some cf themselves, for we were told, that a poor clergyman who had made a discourse on these very words was served in the same manner by about twenty or shirty of the rabble, who had disguised themselves in the military uniform for the purpole. .

But let it not be thought that the blind attachment of the Albionites to their Pittarchy is fingular. We observed them equally enthusiastic in other matters. A neighbouring nation, or at least some of the peoplo of

it, had amused themselves for fome time in throwing loose papers at such of the Albionites as they met with, upon which were written-“ Neither God or devil,

" Equality,” and some other strange words. The Albionites immediately took it in their heads that pite tarchy, religion, and property were in danger. They immediately declared war, shut up their shops one day for three years, and eat nothing but fish and foups. But it so happened that they were defeated in all their undertakings, and from the origin of the war, got the name of paper-skulls. This story appeared to me so incredible that I made many enquiries respecting it, and although I found that it was literally true, I could not get any man to tell me what religion they were fighting for; and they expressed an indignation approaching to abhorrence, when I put such questions as, “ Whether any religion could be supported by fighting? Whether a good religion did not forbid all wars that were not purely defensive? Whether the author of the only good relgion was not in an especial manner termed the Prince of Peace, &c. &c. ?

In England, it is notorious, that in the choice of persons to fill the highest stations either in the state, the church, or the army, no regard is paid to any recommendations of intereft. Ability, integrity, and industry are the only qualifications by which a man can rise in these great departments. But the case is the very reverse with the people whose history I have attempted to sketch. Their statesmen are the most corrupt, weak, and idle, that can be supposed. For months together the public hear no more of them than that on such a day they dined together, or on such a day they went on a party of pleasure. Nay, if any of them, upon entering an office, happen to be polsessed of any good qualities, he must get rid of them as fast as poflible, which is said to be no difficult matter, otherwise he is not deemed fit for his place. The more corrupt a statesman is, that is, the more persons he can corrupt, the more popular be is; and so very

popular, popular does he become, that he may plunge the nation into the most dangerous of all possible wars, and reduce the kingdom to the greatest distress, by carrying on that war in a manner the most weak and wicked imaginable, and yet retain his situation. Very lately, one of their statesmen, who was appointed to the government of a particular district, bargained with his colleagues that he thould grant the people certain privileges which they thought themselves entitled to; but no sooner did he thew an inclination to gratify them, than his colleagues came, and, as their custom is, ftuck his seat full of pins and needles, so that he was obliged to leave it. They seldom turn any man out, as is done in other countries, but they render his seat so uneasy, that he cannot fit upon it with safety; and sometimes they besmear it so with filth, that he must leave it, or be defiled.

The fame system prevails in their appointment in the church and army. Hence their regiments are commanded by boys; but the lieutenants and inferior officers, it must be confessed, are men of years, and might be useful, only that it is presumption in them to offer their experience. In the church, they have a very curious plan. The man who does the most duty, or business, rarely has more than from thirty to fifty quids a year. A quid is a coin nearly equal to our guinea. He who does somewhat less has an hundred; and he who does yet less has two or three, and so on progrefsively till we come to those who have thoufands, and who are not expected to do any duty. Living, as we are accustomed to do, in a land of wise men and philosophers, we do not grudge the opulence of the episcopal order; but leaving them out of the question, surely, miserable and contemptible inust be the state of religion in that kingdom where profit is in the inverse ratio of merit and industry; and where immense livings are frequently given to the most notorious scoun [There is part of this leaf fo much torn as to be illegible.]

CRIM. CON. MR. BALDWIN*, TN most of the late trials for crim. con. alias adulI tery, alias an affair of gallantry, alias a slip, alias a faux pas, I observe that the defence set up is, “ that the husband exposed his wife to temptation, by not being sufficiently attentive to her; or by not guarding her fufficiently; or by being absent from her for a time, &c.” In some cases the juries appear to have Listened to such a mode of defence ; in others it has been rejected.

Now, Mr. Baldwin, what are we married men to think of all this? Is the fair sex become so very frail, and difficult to keep, that a husband must guard his wife, like a state prisoner, allow none of his friends to see her, and forbid her the use of pen and ink? Must the Spanish fystem of duennas and padlocks be received in this country? Or is my wife justified in committing crim. con. because I frequently invite an officer of the guards, a colonel, and some other dangerous friends, to my table. Nay more, cannot I take a journey into the country, upon the most urgent bufiness, without being accused of being off my guard, and exposing my wife to temptation?

Really, Sir, these are serious matters. I think a general meeting of husbands ought to be called to conlider what is proper to be done in such an alarming emergency. For my own part, I know not what to propose. 'I am often obliged to go journies of a week, and sometimes ten days at a time. To the best of my knowledge and belief, I have hitherto escaped, but how long I shall be able to escape, if such a mode of defence is supported in the courts of law, I know not: and if my situation be perilous, what are we to think of the officers of the land and sea service, and of captains of East-Indiamen? With great piety do 1.

* Printer of the St. James's Chronicle.

repe: I

repeat the prayer « for all travellers by sea or land,” who have handsome wives. There is a necessity for this prayer, which I never before was sensible of; and which you may perceive has no connection with storms and shipwreck. · In my humble opinion, we pay no very great compliment to the ladies, when we suppose that they want to be more closely watched and guarded after marriage than before it. Instances of crim. con. it is true, are abominably frequent, but it is a poor defence to infift that a husband ought to be his wife's jailor, and in his absence employ turnkeys to prevent her escape. That which requires so much watching is seldom worth the care and trouble of it; and small, indeed, is our fecurity, if bolts and bars are all we have to depend on. I am, Sir, in much trepidation, Your very much frightened, humble servant,

ANTICORNU.

SIR, TN spite of Anticornu's assertion, that he has a firm

I reliance on the virtue of his wife, I am convinced he is some cuckold, whose connivance at the levity of his spouse, has disappointed him in his expectations of enormous damages. - According to your correspondent's doctrine, Cato, in a modern crim. con, action, would recover heavy damages against his friend Hortensius, though Cato had obligingly lent him his wife. Cuckoldom is so lucrative a state, that the virtue of the censor could hardly have withstood the temptation of exposing himself in a Court of Justice.

The times, Sir, are much altered since my dancing days. I was then an Officer in the Guards, and though an acknowledged favourite of the ladies, un homme á bonnes fortunes, I was never insulted with law for my Tgle gallantries. If a husband conceived himself agte:eved by his wife's conduct, he reproached her with

« 前へ次へ »