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“if it were all of a-piece; but, you know, we are continually buying new; and when one article does not suit with another, you must be sensible nothing can have a worse effect. For instance, now; this dismal old tapestry, how preposterous it looks along with the Indian matting and painted rout-chairs ! I wish you would let it come down, it is fit for nothing but for the rats to play at hideand-seek behind it.”-“I would not have it down, my dear,” says she," for the world; it is the story of the Spanish Armada, and was done in the glorious days of Queen Bess." “ Then give it a thorough cleaning, at least,” retạrned I.—"If you offer to draw a nail,” rejoined she, “there are so many private doors and secret passages made in the wall, you will be blinded with dust and mortar; and, for aught I know, pull an old house over your head.” “Let me, at least, give a brushing to the beards of the old Dons,” replied I.—"A stroke of the brush would shake them to pieces,” insisted my wife; "they are as tender as a cobweb, I tell you, and I positively will not have them meddled with. Nobody, who has any regard for his ancestors, would think of pulling down a venerable set of hangings, made in the glorious days of Queen Elizabeth.”. Now I care little when a thing was made; the question is, what is it good for? and I know nothing so much useless lumber is good for, but to oblige us to

keep a great many supernumerary servants, at high wages, to look after it. I have still another grievance, sir. If you are a married man, you may chance to know, that it is often as much as a man can do to manage his wife; but to manage one's wife and mother too is a task too hard for any mortal. Now, my mother, sir, lives with us, and I am sure I have always behaved myself as a dutiful and obedient son; her arm-chair is always set in the best place by the fire; she eats of the best, and drinks of the best; neither do I grudge it her, though the poor children's bellies are often pinched, while she is feasting upon nice bits. But with all this, I have much ado to keep her in good humour. If I stir about a little more briskly than ordinary, my mother has weak nerves, and the noise I make over her head will throw her into fits. If I offer but to dust the books in my study, my mother is afraid some of them should fall upon her head;—indeed, the old lady did get an unlucky blow with one or two of them, which has shaken her not a little. Besides which, she insists, and my wife stands by her in it, that I should consult her in all matters of business; and if I do not, I am cried out against as a graceless atheistical wretch ; and a thousand idle reports are raised, that I am going to strip and turn my poor old mother out of doors. Then, my mother is rather particular in her dress; and the children sometimes will be tittering and

making game, when she is displaying some of her old fallals; upon which my wife always insists I should whip them, which I used to do pretty severely, though of late, I confess, I have only hung therod up over the chimney, in terrorem ;-on such occasions, my wife never fails to observe, “how becoming it is in one of my mother's age to keep the same fashion in her dress.” This, by the way, is not true, for I remember my mother stuck all over with crosses and embroidery, to her very shoes, with strings of beads and such trumpery; yet she says, as well as my wife, that she never changes any thing.

I am, myself, Mr. Editor, an easy, peaceable, plain-spoken man as any that exists; and am a man of little or no expense for my own gratification : yet so it is, that what with the large establishment of servants which we are obliged to keep, and the continual drains upon my purse to supply my extravagant neighbours, I run out every year, and cannot help having many serious thoughts and melancholy forebodings where all this may end. But I apprehend, the first step ought to be for my wife and I to consult together, and make a reform in the family management wherever there may be occasion. If, therefore, you can persuade her to lay aside her groundless jealousies, and talk a little reason, I shall be highly obliged to you, and am your humble servant,

John Bull.


SIR, I AM a country gentleman, and enjoy an estate in Northamptonshire, which formerly enabled its possessors to assume some degree of consequence in the country; but which, for several generations, has been growing less, only because it has not grown bigger. I mean, that though I have not yet been obliged to mortgage my land, or fell my timber, its relative value is every day diminishing by the prodigious influx of wealth, real and artificial, which for some time past has been pouring into this kingdom. Hitherto, however, I have found my income equal to my wants. It has enabled me to inhabit a good house in town for four months of the year, and to reside amongst my tenants and neighbours for the remaining eight with credit and hospitality. I am indeed myself so fond of the country, and so averse in my nature to every thing of hurry and bustle, that, if I consulted only my own taste, I should never feel a wish to leave the shelter of my own oaks in the dreariest season of the year; but I looked upon our annual visit to London as a proper compliance

with the gayer disposition of my wife, and the natural curiosity of the younger part of the family: besides, to say the truth, it had its advantages in avoiding a round of dinners and card-parties, which we must otherwise have engaged in for the winter season, or have been branded with the appellation of unsociable. Our journey gave me. an opportunity of furnishing my study with some new books and prints; and my wife of gratifying her neighbours with some ornamental trifles, before their value was sunk by becoming common, or of producing at her table or in her furniture some new-invented refinement of fashionable elegance. Our hall was the first that was lighted by an Argand lamp; and I still remember how we were gratified by the astonishment of our guests, when my wife with an audible voice called to the footman for the tongs to help to the asparagus with. We found it pleasant too to be enabled to talk of capital artists and favourite actors; and I made the better figure in my political debates from having heard the most popular speakers in the House. Once too, to recruit my wife's spirits after a tedious confinement from a lying-in, we passed a season at Bath. In this manner, therefore, things went on very well in the main, till of late my family have discovered that we lead a very dull kind of life; and that it is impossible to exist with

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