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community. On this account I am of opinion, that private vices (according to the favourite tenet of Mandeville) may in some measure be converted into public benefits, by laying a certain tax or duty on the fashionable amusements of the gay and polite world. For this purpose I have, with great pains and labour, contrived a plan, a few heads of which, without farther preface, I shall (with your leave) submit to the consideration of those whom it may

concern:

6

First, then, I would propose, that no persons of quality, or others, should be allowed to keep any rout, drum, assembly, visiting-day (or whatever other name it may hereafter be called by), at which more than one hundred persons shall be found assembled, without paying a certain rate for every such rout, drum, &c. The number of these meetings, which are held in this town (including the city of London and the suburbs thereof), I have computed, upon an exact calculation, to amount annually to eight thousand three hundred and upwards; so that if a duty, at only sixpence per head, were to be levied upon the company, it would bring in a prodigious income to the government; deducting for the decrease consequent on this tax, as also for those which we may expect will be smuggled, or carried on clandestinely. And, as gaming is an essential diversion at all these meetings, I would farther advise, that every card-table be entered, in the same manner as all wheel-carriages, and a proportionable rate fixed on them, according to the degree and quality of the owners. Be it enacted, moreover, that extraordinary licences shall be taken out for playing at cards on the sabbath-day; but that these be granted only to persons of the highest

rank and fashion.

'At the present juncture of affairs every one will

agree with me, that if an absolute prohibition be impracticable, a heavy duty should be laid on the importation of French fashions and fopperies into this kingdom. It is therefore but reasonable, that all French cooks, valets de chambre, milliners, mantuamakers, hair-cutters, &c. should be at least doubly taxed, as it is notorious that they exact from the dupes, who employ them, more than double the wages or price for their labours, than our own modest countrymen would require. This tax, I make no doubt, would produce no inconsiderable sum for the public use and as our ladies, though I would not suspect that they have French hearts, are ambitious of wearing French complexions, a further sum might also be raised by fixing a high duty upon rouge and

carmine.

There are many other particulars in the fashionable world which might be turned in the same manner to the public good. A tax on kept mistresses, for example, who are now become so very numerous, that I question not but a duty, properly levied on them, would be sufficient to maintain all the widows of our soldiers and sailors who shall happen to be killed in the service. A heavy duty might also be laid on all Bagnios, French-wine-houses, Coventgarden coffee-houses, &c. and since, in spite of laws and decency, these places are suffered to be kept open, it is surely equitable that they should pay round taxes for the relief of the nation, as well as an annual tribute for the connivance of the neighbouring justices. To add to this scheme, and to make vice and folly farther contribute to the public necessity, I would also propose, that Messieurs Harris, Derry, and the rest of the fraternity of pimps, retained as caterers to the voluptuous at any tavern or bagnio, should enter all the hacks in their service at an excise office appropriated to this pur

pose; and that, to prevent frauds, as well as to point out the means of application to the office for redress in case of complaint, these hacks should all be marked and numbered, like the hackneycoaches.

'As it is incumbent on every Englishman to expose his life in defence of his country against the common enemy, I must particularly recommend, that some means may be devised, that the gallant feats of those men of honour, who rather choose to risk their lives in the modish way of duelling, may be attended with some advantage to their countrymen. I would therefore advise, that swords and pistols, of a settled length and bore, with the Tower stamp, be provided by the government for the use of duellists, and that they shall not presume to make use of any other, under pain of incurring the guilt of murder. These weapons may be let out at a certain price; and if one of the parties happen to kill the other, the survivor shall be subject to a fine according to his rank and station, and a jury shall be directed to bring in a verdict-self-defence. In like manner, persons of quality may have leave granted them to put an end to their own lives, after an ill run at cards, or the like emergent occasions; when, on paying a certain rate, they may be indulged in a private execution from the hands of Jack Ketch, and the coroner's inquest shall be directed to bring in their verdict-lunacy.

SIR,

I am, Sir, your humble servant, &c.'

To MR. TOWN.

'As you are a Connoisseur, I shall make no apology for desiring you to give the following advertisement (which has already appeared in the Daily Advertiser) a place in some corner of your paper. By

doing this you will greatly oblige the virtuosi in flowers, as well as

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Your humble servant, &c.'

TO BE SOLD BY SUBSCRIPTION,

At Half-a-Guinea each Plant,

'An Auricula, raised by Mr. William Redmond, at Islington, named the Triumph; having fine grass, a strong stem, a certain blower, a large trusser, the fingers a just length, a good pip for size and shape, the eye extremely white, the thrum full, the margin a beautiful purple black, finely variegated with silver and green, continues long in bloom, and dies in colour. No plant to be sold for less than one guinea after the subscription is closed, until the bloom is over.'

N° 111. THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1756.

Tandem desine matrem.--HOR.

With dear mamma O make not such a pother!
But strive to be a man before your mother.

THE generality of the young unmarried ladies of the present age dislike no company so much as the elderly persons of their own sex, whether married or unmarried. Going with an old maiden aunt, a mamma, or grand-mamma to the play, or to Ranelagh, is so insipid an amusement, that it robs their entertainment of the very name of a party of pleasure. To be handed into a box, walk in the public gardens, or make one at a card-table at a rout, with a sprightly young nobleman, or gallant colonel of

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the guards, has some life in it: but to be kept perpetually under the wing of an old lady, can have no charms for a woman of spirit. The presence of these antiquated females imposes a constraint on their behaviour: they are, indeed, like the Duennas in Spain, spies on the conduct of the gay and young; and a good old gentlewoman, with a blooming beauty by her side, watches her every motion, and is as much frighted, if the pretty creature makes any advances to a man, as a hen, who has been fostermother to a brood of ducklings, is alarmed at their taking to the water.

This loose coquet behaviour so much in vogue, and consequently so genteel, has, I must own, no charms in my eye, as a modest deportment appears to me most natural and becoming in the fair sex; and I am always glad to see a young lady of suffi. cient sense and discretion, to behave with an innocent cheerfulness, instead of apparent uneasiness and constraint, before her more aged female friends and relations. But though a daughter should prefer no company to her mother, a son, who always dangled at the side of his mamma, would appear as ridiculous as if he wore his sister's petticoats; and however amiable this maidenly demeanour might seem in a young girl, I cannot view it with equal approbation in the character of a male-virgin;-a character, with which I shall here present the reader, as drawn by one of my correspondents.

'SIR,

"To MR. TOWN.

"You have already given us several instances of those ambiguous creatures among the men, who are both male and female: permit me to add to them an account of those lady-like gentlemen, whom we may distinguish by the title of "their mother's own

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