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state, and sit down by his prince cheek by jole : Confound these states, says he, they are a modern invention: when he spoke to his prince, he always turned his br—ch upon him : if he was advised to fast for his health, he would eat roast beef; if he was allowed a more plentiful diet, then he would be sure that day to live upon watergruel; he would cry at a wedding, laugh and make jests at a funeral. He was no less singular in his opinions; you would have burst your sides to hear him talk of politicks: “All government, says he, is founded upon the “right distribution of punishments; decent execu“tions keep the world in awe; for that reason the “ majority of mankind ought to be hanged every year. “For example, I suppose, the magistrate ought to “pass an irreversible sentence upon all blue-eyed “children from the cradle *; but that there may be “some show of justice in this proceeding, these chil“dren ought to be trained up by masters, appointed “for that purpose, to all sorts of villany f ; that they “may deserve their fate, and the execution of them “may serve as an object of terrour to the rest of man“kind.” As to the giving of pardons, he had this singular method, that when these wretches had the rope about their necks, it should be inquired, who believed they should be hanged, and who not f : the first were to be pardoned, the last hanged outright. Such as were once pardoned, were never to be hanged afterward for any crime whatsoever . He had such skill in physiognomy, that he would pronounce peremptotily upon a man's face, That fellow, says he, do what he will, can't avoid hanging; he has a hanging look. By the same art he would prognosticate a principality to a scoundrel.
*Absolute predestination. + Reprobation.
Vol. XVII. O do * The learning of the presbyterians.
He was no less particular in the choice of his studies; they were generally bent toward exploded chimeras, the perpetuum mobile, the circular shot, philosopher's stone, silent gunpowder, making chains for fleas, nets for flies, and instruments to unravel cobwebs, and split hairs".
Thus, I think, I have given a distinct account of the methods he practised upon Peg. Her brother would now and then ask her, “What a devil do'st “ thou see in that pragmatical coxcomb to make thee “so in love with him ; he is a fit match for a tailor “ or a shoemaker's daughter, but not for you, that are “a gentlewoman.” “Fancy is fee,” quoth Peg: “I’ll take my own way, do you take yours. I do not “ care for your flaunting beaus, that gang with their “breasts open, and their sarks over their waistcoats; “ that accost me with set speeches out of Sidney's “Arcadia, or the Academy of Compliments. Jack “is a sober, grave, young man : though he has none “ of your studied harangues, his meaning is sincere: “he has a great regard to his father's will; and he “ that shows himself a good son, will make a good “ husband; besides, I know he has the original deed “ of conveyance to the Fortunate Islands; the others “ are counterfeits.” There is nothing so obstinate as a young lady in her amours; the more you cross her, the worse she is.
How the relations reconciled John and his sister Peg, and what return Peg made to John's message *.
JoHN BULL, otherwise a good-natured man, was very hardhearted to his sister Peg, chiefly from an aversion he had conceived in his infancy. While he flourished, kept a warm house, and drove a plentiful trade, poor Peg was forced to go hawking and pedling about the streets, selling knives, scissars, and shoebuckles: now and then carried a basket of fish to the market; sewed, spun, and knit for a livelihood, till her fingers-ends were sore, and when she could not get bread for her family, she was forced to hire them out at journeywork to her neighbours. Yet in these her poor circumstances she still preserved the air and mien of a gentlewoman, a certain decent pride, that extorted respect from the haughtiest of her neighbours; when she came into any full assembly she would not yield the pas to the best of them. If one asked her, are not you related to John Bull? “Yes,” says she, “he has the honour to “ be my brother.” So Peg's affairs went, till all the relations cried out shame upon John for his barbarous usage of his own flesh and blood; that it was an easy matter for him to put her in a creditable way of living, not only without hurt, but with advantage to himself, being she was an industrious person, and might be serviceable to him in his way of business.
* The treaty of Union between England and Scotland.
“Hang her, jade, quoth John ; I can't endure her, “ as long as she keeps that rascal Jack's company.” They told him, the way to reclaim her was to take her into his house; that by conversation the childish humours of their younger days might be worn out. These arguments were enforced by a certain incident. It happened that John was at that time about making his will and entailing his estate *, the very same in which Nic. Frog is named executor. Now his sister Peg's name being in the entail, he could not make a thorough settlement without her consent. There was, indeed, a malicious story went about, as if John's last wife had fallen in love with Jack as he was eating custard on horsebackf: that she persuaded John to take his sister into the house, the better to drive on the intrigue with Jack, concluding he would follow his mistress Peg. All I can infer from this story, is, that when one has got a bad character in the world, people will report and believe any thing of one, true or false. But to return to my story; when Peg received John's message, she hussed and stormed like the devil j : “My brother John, quoth she, is grown “wondrous kind-hcarted all of a sudden, but I mei“kle doubt whether it be not mair for their own con“veniency than for my good: he draws up his writs “ and his deeds, forsooth, and I must set my hand to “ them, unlight, unseen. I like the young man he “has settled upon well enough, but I think I ought “to have a valuable consideration for my consent. “He wants my poor little farm, because it makes a “nook in his park-wall: ye may e'en tell him, he “has mair than he makes good use of: he gangs up “ and down drinking, roaring, and quarrelling, through “all the country markets, making foolish bargains in “his cups, which he repents when he is sober; like “a thriftless wretch, spending the goods and gear “ that his forefathers won with the sweat of their “brows ; light come, light go, he cares not a far“thing. But why should I stand surety for his con“ tracts; the little I have is free, and I can call it my “awn; hame's hame, let it be never so hamely. I “ken him well enough, he could never abide me, “ and when he has his ends, he'll e'en use me as he “ did before. I am sure I shall be treated like a poor “ drudge: I shall be set to tend the bairns, dearn “ the hose, and mend the linen. Then there's no “living with that old carine his mother; she rails “ at Jack, and Jack's an honester man than any of “her kin: I shall be plagued with her spells and her “Pater-nosters, and silly old-world ceremonies: I “mun never pair my nails on a Friday, nor begin a “journey on Childermas-day, and I mun stand beck“ing and binging, as I gang out and into the hall. “Tell him he may e'en gang his get; I'll have no“thing to do with him; I'll stay, like the poor coun“try mouse, in my awn habitation.” So Peg talked; but for all that, by the interposition of good friends, and by many a bonny thing that was sent, and many more that were promised Peg, the matter was concluded, and Peg taken into the house upon certain
* The succession to the crown having been settled by act of parliament in England, upon the house of Hanover, and no such act having passed in Scotland, then a separate kingdom, it was thought a proper time to complete the union which had been often attempted, and which was recommended to the Scots by king William III.
+ A presbyterian lord mayor of London.
f The Scots expressed their fears for the presbyterian government, and of being burdened with the English national debts.