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marked, for life, for encouragement or for distrust. But here the continual fluctuation of company takes away all regard to character: the most respectable and ancient families have no influence any further than as they scatter their ready cash; and neither gratitude nor respect are felt where there is no bond of mutual attachment besides the necessities of the present day. I should be happy if we had only to contend with this spirit during our present excursion, but the effect it has upon servants is most pernicious. Our family used to be remarkable for having its domestics grow grey in its service, but this expedition has already corrupted them; two we have this evening parted with, and the rest have learned so much of the tricks of their station, that we shall be obliged to discharge them as soon as we return home. In the country I had been accustomed to do good to the poor: there are charities here too ; we have joined in a subscription for a crazy poetess, a raffle for the support of a sharper, who passes
under the title of a German count, and a benefit-play for a gentleman on board the hulks. Unfortunately, to balance these various expenses, this place, which happens to be a great resort of smugglers, affords daily opportunities of making bargains. We drink spoiled teas, under the idea of their being cheap; and the little room we have is made less by the reception of cargoes of India
taffetas, shawl-muslins, and real chintzes. All my authority here would be exerted in vain; for (I do not know whether you know it or no) the buying of a bargain is a temptation which it is not in the nature of any woman to resist. I am in hopes, however, the business may receive some little check from an incident which happened a little time since : an acquaintance of ours, returning from Margate, had his carriage seized by the Custom-house officers, on account of a piece of silk which one of his female cousins, without his knowledge, had stowed in it; and it was only released by its being proved that what she had bought with so much satisfaction as contraband, was in reality the home-bred manufacture of Spitalfields.
My family used to be remarkable for regularity in their attendance on public worship; but that too here is numbered amongst the amusements of the place. Lady Huntingdon has a chapel, which sometimes attracts us; and when nothing promises us any particular entertainment, a tea-drinking at the Rooms, or a concert of what is called sacred music, is sufficient to draw us from a church where no one will remark either our absence or our presence. Thus we daily become more lax in our conduct, for want of the salutary restraint imposed upon us by the consciousness of being looked up to as an example by others.
In this manner, sir, has the season passed away. I spend a great deal of money, and make no figure; I am in the country, and see nothing of country simplicity or country occupations; I am in an obscure village, and yet cannot stir out without more observers than if I were walking in St. James's Park; I am cooped up in less room than my own dog-kennel, while my spacious halls are injured by standing empty; and I am paying for tasteless unripe fruit, while my own choice wall-fruit is rotting by bushels under the trees.-In recompense for all this, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we occupy the very rooms which
had just quitted ; of picking up anecdotes, true or false, of people in high life; and of seizing the ridicule of every character as they pass by us in the moving show-glass of the place,--a pastime which often affords us a good deal of mirth, but which, I confess, I can never join in without reflecting that what is our amusement is theirs likewise. As to the great ostensible object of our excursion,-health; I am afraid we cannot boast of much improvement. We have had a wet and cold summer; and these houses, which are either old tenements vamped up, or new ones slightly run up for the accommodation of bathers during the season, have more contrivances for letting in the cooling breezes than for keeping them out, a circumstance which I should presume sagacious physicians do not always at
tend to, when they order patients from their own warm, compact, substantial houses, to take the air in country lodgings; of which the best apartments, during the winter, have only been inhabited by the rats, and where the poverty of the landlord prevents him from laying out more in repairs than will serve to give them a showy and attractive appearance. Be that as it may; the rooms we at present inhabit are so pervious to the breeze, that in spite of all the ingenious expedients of listing doors, pasting paper on the inside of cupboards, laying sand-bags, puttying crevices, and condemning closet-doors; it has given me a severe touch of my old rheumatism; and all my family are in one way or other affected with it: my eldest daughter too has got cold with her bathing, though the sea-water never gives any body cold!
In answer to these complaints, I am told by the good company here that I have stayed too long in the same air, and that now I ought to take a trip to the continent, and spend the winter at Nice, which would complete the business. I am entirely of their opinion, that it would complete the business, and have therefore taken the liberty of laying my case before you; and am, sir,
The other day I paid a visit to a gentleman with whom, though greatly my superior in fortune, I have long been in habits of an easy intimacy. He rose in the world by honourable industry; and married, rather late in life, a lady to whom he had been long attached, and in whom centered the wealth of several expiring families. Their earnest wish for children was not immediately gratified. At length they were made happy by a son, who, from the moment he was born, engrossed all their care and attention.-My friend received me in his library, where I found him busied in turning over books of education, of which he had collected all that were worthy notice, from Xenophon to Locke, and from Locke to Catharine Macauley. As he knows I have been engaged in the business of instruction, he did me the honour to consult me on the subject of his researches, hoping, he said, that, out of all the systems before him, we should be able to form a plan equally complete and comprehensive; it being the determination of both himself and his lady to choose the best that could