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• That he is at prevnt engaged in an amout, and mult despair of success if it be taken from bim.

'Your petitioner therefore hopes, that, the premises tenderly considered, your worship will not deprive him of so u-eful and so necessary a support.

. And your petitioner shall ever, &c.' l'pon the hearing of his case, I was touched with some compassion, and the more so, when, upon obgerving bir nearer, I found he way a prig. I bid hiin produce his canc in court, which he had left at the door. He did so; and I finding it to be very curiously clouded, with a transparent amber head, and a blue ribband to hang upon his wrist, I immediately ordered my clark Lillie to lay it up, and deliver out to him a plain joint, hraded with walnut; and then, in order to wean him from it by degrecs, permitted him to wear it three days in a week, and to abate proportionably until he found himself able to go alone.

The second who appeared came limping into the court; and scoring forth in his petition many pretences for the u-e of a cane, I caused them to be exa. mined one by one: but finding him in different stories, and confronting him with several witnesses who had seen him walk upright, I ordered Mr. Lillie to take in his cane, and rejected his petition as frivolous.

A third made his entry with great difficulty, leaning upon a slight stick, and in danger of falling every step he took. I saw the weakness of his hams; and hear. ing that he had married a young wif: about a forinight Lefore, I bid him leave his cane, and gave him a new pair of cruiches, with which he went off in great vigour and alacrity. This gentleman was succeeded by another, who seemed very much pleased while his petition was reading, in which he had represented that he was extremely a Micted with the gout, and set bis foot upon the ground with the caution and dignity which accompany that distemper. I suspected him for an impostor; and having ordered him to be searched, I committed him into the hands of doctor Thomas Smith in King-street, my own corn-cutter, who atlended in an outward room, and wrought so speedy a cure upon him that I thought fit to send him away without his cane.

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While I was thus dispensing justice, I heard a noise in my outward room; and inquiring what was the occasion of it, my door-keeper told me, that they had taken up one in the very fact as he was passing by my door. They immediately brought in a lively fresh. coloured young man, who made great resistance with hand and foot, but did not offer to make use of his cane, which hung upon his fifth button. Upon examination I found him to be an Oxford scholar, who was just entered at the Temple. He at first disputed the jurisdiction of the court; but being driven out of his little law and logic, he told me very pertly, that he looked upon such a perpendicular creature as man to make a very imperfect figure without a cane in his hand. It is well known, says he, we ought, according to the natural situation of our bodies, to walk upon our hands and feet; and that the wisdom of the antients had described man to be an animal of four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three at night; by which they intimated, that a cane might very properly become part of us in some period of life. Upon which I asked him, whether he wore it at his breast to have it in readiness when that period should arrive? My Philander, who fell about her neck with a tenderness not to be expressed; and amidst a thousand sols and sighs told her his love, and his dreadful mistake. The stage was now in flames, and the whole house full of smoke: the entrance was quite barred up with heaps of people, who had fallen upon one another as they endeavoured to get out: swords were drawn, shrieks heard on all sides; and, in short, no possibility of an escape for Puilander himself, had he been capable of making it without his Chloe. But his mind was above such a thought, and wholly employed in weeping, condoling, and comforting. He catches her in his arms. The fire surrounds them, while I cannot go on

young * This catastrophe is said to have rcally happened in Dennark.

Were I an infidel, misfortunes like this would convince me that there must be an hereaftcr: for who can believe that so much virtue could meet with so great distress without a following reward ?

STEILE

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There are several persons who have many pleasures and entertainments in their possession which they do not enjoy. It is therefore a kind and good office to acquaint them with their own happiness, and turn their attention to such instances of their good fortune which they are apt to overlook. Persons in the married state osten want such a monitor; and pine away their days, by looking upon the same condition in anguish and murmur, which carries with it in the opinion of others 2 complication of all the pleasures of life, and a retreat from its inquietudes.

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I am led into this thought by a visit I maie an old friend who was formerly my schoolfellow. He came to town last week with his family for the winter, and yesterday morning sent me word his wife expected me to dinner. I am as it were at home at that house, and every member of it knows me for their well-wisher. I cannot indeed express the pleasure it is to be met by the children with so much joy as I am when I go thither: the boys and girls strive who shall come first when they think it is 1 that am knocking at the door; and that child which loses the race to me runs back again to tell the father it is Mr. Bickerstaff. This day I was led in by a pretty girl that we all thought must have forgot me; for the family has been out of town these two years. Her knowing me again was a mighty subject with us, and took up our discourse at the first entrance. After which, they began to rally me upon a thousand little stories they heard in the country, about my marriage to one of my neighbour's daughters: upon which the gentleman, my friend, said,

Nay, if Mr. Bickerstaff marries a child of any of his old companions, I hope mine shall have the preference; there is Mrs. Mary is now sixteen, and would make him as fine a widow as the best of them : but I know him too well; he is so enamoured with the very memory of those who flourished in our youth, that he will not so much as look upon the modern beauties. I remember, old gentleman, how often you went home in a day to refresh your countenance and dress, when Teraminta reigned in your heart.

heart. As we came up in the coach, I repeated to my wife some of your verses on her.' With such reflections on litile passages D 3

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which happened long ago, we passed our time during a cheerful and elegant meal. After dinner, his my Jeft the room, as did also the children. As soon as we were alone, he took me by the hand; Well, my good friend, says he, I am heartily glad 10 me thee; I was afraid

you

would never have seen all the company that dined with you to-day again. Do not you think the grood woman of the house a little altered since

you

fol. lowed her from the playhouse, to find out who she was for me? I perceived a tear fall down be check as he spoke, which moved me not a little. But to turn the discourse, said I, She is not indeed quite that creature she was when she returned me the letter I carried from you; and told me, she hopel, as I was a gentlenian, I would be employed no more to trouble her, who had rever offended me, but would be so much the gentle. man's friend as to dissuade him from a pursuit which he could never succeed in. You may remember I thought her in carnent; and you were forced to employ your cousin Will, who made his sister get acquainted with her for you. You cannot expect her to be for ever lifteeni. Hifteen! replied my good friend: ah ! you little understand, you that have lived a bachelor, bow great, how exquisite a pleasure there is in being really beloved ! It is impossible that the most beauteous face in nature should raise in me such pleasing ideas as when I look upon that excellent woman. That fading in her countenance in chirlly caused by her watching with me in my fever. This was followed by a fit of sickness, which had like to have carried her off last winter. I tell you sincerely, I have so many ob. Jigations to her, that I cannot with any sort of moderation think of her present state of health.

But as to what you say of fineen, she gives inc every day plea

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