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warm, but beget. Love in another place cooks pleasure at his fire. Sometimes the poet's heart is frozen in every breast, and sometimes scorched in every eye. Sometimes he is drowned in tears, and burnt in love, like a ship set on fire in the middle of the sea.

The reader may observe in every one of these

and congruity of ideas, false wit chiefly consists in the resemblance and congruity sometimes of single letters, as in anagrams, chronograms, lipograms, and acrostics: sometimes of syllables, as in echoes and doggrel rhymes: sometimes of words, as in puns and quibbles; and sometimes of whole sentences or poems, cast into the figures of eggs, axes, or altars: nay, some carry the notion of wit so far, as to as-instances, that the poet mixes the qualities of fire cribe it even to external mimicry; and to look with those of love; and in the same sentence, upon a man as an ingenious person, that can re- speaking of it both as a passion and as real fire, semble the tone, posture, or face of another. surprises the reader with those seeming resemAs true wit consists in the resemblance of ideas,blances or contradictions, that make up all the wit and false wit in the resemblance of words, accord-in this kind of writing. Mixt wit, therefore, is a ing to the foregoing instances; there is another composition of pun and true wit, and is more or kind of wit, which consists partly in the resem- less perfect, as the resemblance lies in the ideas or blance of ideas, and partly in the resemblance in the words. Its foundations are laid partly in of words, which, for distinction-sake, I shall falsehood and partly in truth; reason puts in her call mixt wit. This kind of wit is that which claim for one half of it, and extravagance for the abounds in Cowley more than in any author that other. The only province, therefore, for this kind of ever wrote. Mr. Walier has likewise a great deal wit is epigram, or those little occasional poems, that of it. Mr. Dryden is very sparing in it. Milton in their own nature are nothing else but a tissue of had a genius much above it. Spenser is in the epigrams. I cannot conclude this head of mixt same class with Milton. The Italians, even in their wit, without owning that the admirable poet, out epic poetry, are full of it. Monsieur Boileau, of whom I have taken the examples of it, had as who formed himself upon the ancient poets, has much true wit as any author that ever writ; and, every where rejected it with scorn. If we look indeed, all other talents of an extraordinary geafter mixt wit among the Greek writers, we shall nius. find it no where but in the epigrammatists. There are, indeed, some strokes of it in the little poem ascribed to Musæus, which by that, as well as many other marks, betrays itself to be a modern composition. If we look into the Latin writers, we find none of this mixt wit in Virgil, Lucretius, or Catullus; very little in Horace, but a great deal of it in Ovid, and scarce any thing else in Martial.

It may be expected, since I am upon this subject. that I should take notice of Mr. Dryden's definition of wit; which, with all the deference that is due to the judgment of so great a man, is not so properly a definition of wit as of good writing in general. Wit, as he defines it, is a propriety of words and thoughts adapted to the subject. It this be a true definition of wit, I am apt to think that Euclid was the greatest wit that ever set pen to paper. It is certain there never was a greater propriety of words and thoughts adapted to the subject, than what that author has made use of in his Elements. I shall only appeal to my reader. if this definition agrees with any notion he has of wit. If it be a true one, I am sure Mr. Dryden was not only a better poet, but a greater wit than Mr. Cowley; and Virgil a much more facetiou man than either Ovid or Martial.

Out of the innumerable branches of mixt wit, I shall choose one instance which may be met with in all the writers of this class. The passion of love in its nature has been thought to resemble fire: for which reason the words fire and flame are made use of to signify love. The witty poets, therefore, have taken an advantage from the double meaning of the word fire, to make an infinite number of witticisms. Cowley observing the cold regard of his mistress's eves, and, at the same time, their power of producing love in him, considers them as burning-glasses made of ice; and finding himself able to live in the greatest extremities of love, concludes the torrid zone to be habitable. When bis mistress has read his letter written in juice of lemon, by holding it to the fire, he desires her to read it over a second time by Love's flames. When she weeps, he wishes it were inward heat, that distilled those drops from the limbec. When she is absent he is beyond eighty, that is, thirty degrees nearer the pole than when she is with him. His ambitious love is a fire that naturally mounts upwards; bis happy love is the beams of heaven, and his unhappy love flames of hell. When it does not let him sleep, it is a flame that sends up no smoke; when it is opposed by counsel and advice, it is a fire that rages the more by the winds blowing upon it. Upon the dying of a tree, in which he had cut his loves, he observed that his written flames had burnt up and withered the tree. When he resolves to give over his passion, he tells us that one burnt like him for ever dreads the fire. His heart is an Etna that, instead of Vulcan's shop, encloses Cupid's forge in it. His endeavour-supply its place with all the extravagancies of an ing to drown his love in wine, is throwing oil upon the fire. He would insinuate to his mistress, that the fire of love, like that of the sun (which produces so many living creatures), should not only

Bouhours, whom I look upon to be the most penetrating of all the French critics, has taken pain to show, that it is impossible for any thought to be beautiful which is not just, and has not its foundation in the nature of things; that the basis of all wit is truth; and that no thought can be valuable. of which good sense is not the ground-work. Boileau has endeavoured to inculcate the same notion in several parts of his writings, both in prose and verse. This is that natural way of writing, that beautiful simplicity, which we so much admire in the compositions of the ancients; and which nobody deviates from, but those who want strength of genius to make a thought shine in its own natural beauties. Poets who want this strength of genius to give that majestic simplicity to nature. which we so much adinire in the works of the ancients, are forced to hunt after foreign ornaments. and not to let any piece of wit of what kind soever escape them. I look upon these writers as Goths in poetry, who, like those in architecture, not be ing able to come up to the beautiful simplicity of the old Greeks and Romans, have endeavoured to

irregular fancy. Mr. Dryden makes a very hand some observation on Ovid's writing a letter from Dido to Eneas, in the following words: Ovid (says he, speaking of Virgil's fiction of Dido and

er him, even in the same age, heroine of Virgil's new-creletter for her just before her al fugitive, and very unluck

measuring a sword with a in force to him on the same ay be judge of this, because The famous author of the ing of his own; he borrows aster in his own profession, improves nothing which he im, and, being forced to his se to witticism. This passes, admirers, and gives him the a their esteem.'

ted by so great an authority , I should not venture to obof most of our English poets, xtremely Gothic. He quotes a threefold distinction of the the first of which he comf readers, whom he does not gard to their quality, but to he coarseness of their taste. w: 'Segrais has distinguished , according to their capacity e classes. [He might have ters too, if he had pleased.] he places those whom he calls

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IT is very hard for the mind to disengage itself from a subject on which it has been long employed. The thoughts will be rising of themselves from time to time, though we give them no encouragement; as the tossings and fluctuations of the sea continue several hours after the winds are laid.

It is to this that I impute my last night's dream or vision, which formed into one continued allegory the several schemes of wit, whether false, uch things as are our upper-mixed, or true, that have been the subject of my playhouse; who like nothing late papers. of wit, and prefer a quibble, Methought I was transported into a country that , before solid sense and ele- was filled with prodigies and enchantments, goese are mob readers. If Vir-verned by the goddess of Falsehood, and entitled for parliament-men, we know the Region of False Wit. There was nothing in carry it. But though they the fields, the woods, and the rivers, that appeared ppearance in the field, and natural. Several of the trees blossomed in leafbest on it is, they are but a gold, some of them produced bone-lace, and some nots, or Dutch Boors, brought of them precious stones. The fountains bubbled t naturalized; who have not in an opera tune, and were filled with stags, wild per annum in Parnassus, and boars, and mermaids, that lived among the waters; rivileged to poll. Their au- at the same time that dolphins and several kinds of e level, fit to represent them fish played upon the banks, or took their pastime tage, or to be master of the in the meadows. The birds had many of them ar-garden: yet these are they golden beaks, and human voices. The flowers perImirers. But it often happens, fumed the air with smells of incense, ambergrease, n, that as their readers im- and pulvillios; and were so interwoven with one sense (as they may by reading another, that they grew up in pieces of embroiy conversation with men of dery. The winds were filled with sighs and mesforsake them.' sages of distant lovers, As I was walking to and this subject without observ-fro in this enchanted wilderness, I could not forke in the passage above men- bear breaking out into soliloquies upon the several d the most fruitful source of wonders which lay before me, when, to my great her of a quite contrary nature surprise, I found there were artificial echoes in kewise branch itself out into every walk, that, by repetitions of certain words not only the resemblance, but which I spoke, agreed with me, or contradicted eas, does very often produce me, in every thing I said. In the midst of my vin several little points, turns, conversation with these invisible companions, I I may possibly enlarge upon, discovered in the centre of a very dark grove a lation, monstrous fabric, built after the Gothic manner, and covered with innumerable devices in that barbarous kind of sculpture. I immediately went up to it, and found it to be a kind of heathen temple consecrated to the god of Dulness. Upon my entrance I saw the deity of the place dressed in the habit of a monk, with a book in one hand, and a rattle in the other. Upon his right hand was Industry, with a lamp burning before her; and on his left Caprice, with a monkey sitting on her shoulder. Before his feet there stood an altar of a very odd make, which, as I afterwards found, was shaped in that manner to comply with the inscription that surrounded it. Upon the altar there


lay several offerings of axes, wings, and eggs, cut in paper, and inscribed with verses. The temple was filled with votaries, who applied themselves to different diversions, as their fancies directed them. In one part of it I saw a regiment of anagrams, who were continually in motion, turning to the right or to the left, facing about, doubling their ranks, shifting their stations, and throwing themselves into all the figures and countermarches of the most changeable and perplexed exercise.

Not far from these was the body of Acrostics, made up of very disproportioned persons. It was disposed into three columns, the officers planting themselves in a line on the left hand of each column. The officers were all of them at least six feet high, and made three rows of very proper men; but the common soldiers, who filled up the spaces between the officers, were such dwarfs, cripples, and scarecrows, that one could hardly look upon them without laughing. There were behind the Acrostics two or three files of Chronograms, which differed only from the former, as their officers were equipped (like the figure of Time) with an hour-glass in one hand, and a scythe in the other, and took their posts promiscuously among the private men whom they commanded.

In the body of the temple, and before the very face of the deity, methought I saw the phantom of Tryphiodorus, the Lipogrammatist, engaged in a ball with four-and-twenty persons, who pursued him by turns through all the intricacies and labyrinths of a country-dance, without being able to overtake him.

Observing several to be very busy at the western end of the temple, I inquired into what they were doing, and found there was in that quarter the great magazine of Rebusses These were several things of the most different natures tied up in bundles, and thrown upon one another in heaps like faggots. You might behold an anchor, a nightrail, and a hobby-horse bound up together. One of the workmen seeing me very much surprised, told me, there was an infinite deal of wit in several of those bundles, and that he would explain them to me if I pleased; I thanked him for his civility, but told him I was in very great haste at that time. As I was going out of the temple, I observed in one corner of it a cluster of men and women laughing very heartily, and diverting themselves at a game of Crambo. I heard several Double Rhymes as I passed by them, which raised a great deal of mirth.

Not far from these was another set of merry people engaged at a diversion, in which the whole jest was to mistake one person for another. To give occasion for these ludicrous mistakes, they were divided into pairs, every pair being covered from head to foot with the same kind of dress, though perhaps there was not the least resemblance in their faces. By this means an old man was sometimes mistaken for a boy, a woman for a man, and a black-a-moor for an European, which very often produced great peals of laughter. These I guessed to be a party of Puns. But being very desirous to get out of this world of magic, which had almost turned my brain, I left the temple, and crossed over the fields that lay about it with all the speed I could make. I was not gone far, before I heard the sound of trumpets and alarms, which seemed to proclaim the march of an enemy; and, as I afterwards found, was in reality what I apprehended it. There appeared at a great distance a very shining light, and in the midst of it, a person of a most beautiful aspect; her name was Truth.

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On her right hand there marched a male deity, who bore several quivers on his shoulders, and grasped several arrows in his hand. His name was Wit. The approach of these two enemies filled all the territories of False Wit with an unspeakable consternation, insomuch that the goddess of those regions appeared in person upon her frontiers, with the several inferior deities, and the different bodies of forces which I had before seen in the temple, who were now drawn up in array, and prepared to give their foes a warm reception. As the march of the enemy was very slow, it gave time to the several inhabitants who bordered upon the Regions of Falsehood to draw their forces into a body, with a design to stand upon their guard as neuters, and attend the issue of the combat.

I must here inform my reader, that the frontiers of the enchanted region, which I have before described, were inhabited by the species of Mixt Wit, who made a very odd appearance when they were mustered together in an army. There were men whose bodies were stuck full of darts, and women whose eyes were burning-glasses men that had hearts of fire, and women that had breasts of snow. It would be endless to describe several monsters of the like nature, that composed this great army; which immediately fell asunder, and divided itself into two parts, the one half throwing themselves behind the banners of Truth, and the other behind those of Falsehood.

The goddess of Falsehood was of a gigantic stature, and advanced some paces before the front of her army; but as the dazzling light which flowed from Truth began to shine upon her, she faded insensibly; insomuch that in a little space, she looked rather like an huge phantom, than a real substance. At length, as the goddess of Truth approached still nearer to her, she fell away entirely, and vanished amidst the brightness of her presence; so that there did not remain the least trace or impres sion of her figure in the place where she had been seen.

As at the rising of the sun the constellations grow thin, and the stars go out one after another, till the whole hemisphere is extinguished; such was the vanishing of the goddess: and not only of the goddess herself, but of the whole army that attended her, which sympathized with their leader, and shrunk into nothing, in proportion as the goddess disappeared. At the same time the whole temple sunk, the fish betook themselves to the streams, and the wild beasts to the woods, the fountains recovered their murmurs, the birds their voices, the trees their leaves, the flowers their scents, and the whole face of nature its true and genuine appearance. Though I still continued asleep, I fancied myself as it were awakened out of a dream, when I saw this region of prodigies restored to woods and rivers, fields and meadows.

Upon the removal of that wild scene of wonders, which had very much disturbed my imagination, I took a full survey of the persons of Wit and Truth; for, indeed, it was impossible to look upon the first, without seeing the other at the same time. There was behind them a strong compact body of figures. The genius of Heroic Poetry appeared with a sword in her hand, and a laurel on her head. Tragedy was crowned with cypress, and covered with robes dipped in blood. Satire had smiles in her look, and a dagger under her garment. Rhetoric was known by her thunderbolt; and Comedy by her mask. After several other figures, Epigram marched up in the rear, who had been posted there at the beginning of the expedition, that he

might not revolt to the enemy, whom he was sus pected to favour in his heart. I was very much awed and delighted with the appearance of the god of Wit; there was something so amiable, and yet so piercing in his looks, as inspired me at once with love and terror. As I was gazing on him, to By unspeakable joy he took a quiver of arrows from his shoulder, in order to make me a present of it; but as I was reaching out my hand to receive it of him, I knocked it against a chair, and by that means awaked,

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The face of wealth in poverty we wear. THE most improper things we commit in the conduct of our lives, we are led into by the force of fashion. Instances might be given, in which a prevailing custom makes us act against the rules of nature, law, and common-sense; but at present I all confine my consideration to the effect it has pon men's minds, by looking into our behaviour when it is the fashion to go into mourning. The custom of representing the grief we have for the of the dead by our habits, certainly had its rise from the real sorrow of such as were too much distressed to take the proper care they ought of their dress. By degrees it prevailed, that such as ad this inward oppression upon their minds, made an apology for not joining with the rest of the world in their ordinary diversions by a dress suited to their condition. This, therefore, was at first asased by such only as were under real distress; to whom it was a relief that they had nothing about them so light and gay as to be irksome to the gloom and melancholy of their inward reflections, or that might misrepresent them to others. In process of time this laudable distinction of the sorrowful was lost, and mourning is now worn by heirs and Wdows. You see nothing but magnificence and lently in the equipage of the relict, and an air of release from servitude in the pomp of a son who has lost a wealthy father. This fashion of arrow is now become a generous part of the ceremonial between princes and sovereigns, who, in the language of all nations, are styled brothers to each other, and put on the purple upon the death of any potentate with whom they live in amity. Courtiers, and all who wish themselves such, are mediately seized with grief from head to foot pon this disaster to their prince; so that one may know by the very buckles of a gentleman-usher, what degree of friendship any deceased monarch pantated with the court to which he belongs. A good courtier's habit and behaviour is hieroglypacal on these occasions. He deals much in whisand you may see he dresses according to the best intelligence.

on such also who have just enough to clothe them. An old acquaintance of mine, of ninety pounds a year, who has naturally the vanity of being a man of fashion deep at his heart, is very much put to it to bear the mortality of princes. He made a new black suit upon the death of the King of Spain, he turned it for the King of Portugal, and he now keeps his chamber while it is scowering for the Emperor. He is a good economist in his extravagance, and makes only a fresh black button upon his iron-grey suit for any potentate of small territories; he, indeed, adds his crape hat-band for a prince whose exploits he has admired in the Gazette; but whatever compliments may be made on these occasions, the true mourners are the mercers, silkmen, lacemen, and milliners. A prince of a merciful and royal disposition would reflect with great anxiety upon the prospect of his death, if he considered what numbers would be reduced to misery by that accident only. He would think it of moment enough to direct, that in the notification of his departure, the honour done to him might be restrained to those of the household of the prince to whom it should be signified. He would think a general mourning to be in a less degree the same ceremony which is practised in barbarous nations, of killing their slaves to attend the obsequies of their kings.

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I had been wonderfully at a loss for many months together, to guess at the character of a man who came now and then to our coffee-house. He ever ended a newspaper with this reflection, Well, I see all the foreign princes are in good health.' If you asked, Pray, sir, what says the Postman from Vienna?' He answered, ' Make us thankful, the German princes are all well.'- What does he say from Barcelona?'- He does not speak but that the country agrees very well with the new queen.' After very much inquiry, I found this man of universal loyalty was a wholesale dealer in silks and ribbons. His way is, it seems, if he hires a weaver or workman, to have it inserted in his articles, that all this shall be well and truly performed, provided no foreign potentate shall depart this life within the time above mentioned.' It happens in all public mournings, that the many trades which depend upon our habits, are during that folly either pinched with present want, or terrified with the apparent approach of it. All the atonement which men can make for wanton expenses (which is a sort of insulting the scarcity under which others labour) is, that the superfluities of the wealthy give supplies to the necessities of the poor; but instead of any other good arising from the affectation of being in courtly habits of mourning, all order seems to be destroyed by it; and the true honour which one court does to another on that occasion, loses its force and efficacy. When a foreign minister beholds the court of a nation (which flourishes in riches and plenty) lay aside upon the loss of his master, all marks of splendour and magnificence, though the head of such a joyful people he will conceive a greater idea of the honour done to his master, than when he sees the generality of the people in the same habit. When The general affectation among men, of appear-one is afraid to ask the wife of a tradesman whom greater than they are, makes the whole world rea into the habit of the court. You see the lady, who the day before was as various as a rainbow, pon the time appointed for beginning to mourn, e dark as a cloud. This humour does not prevail only on those whose fortunes can support any change in their equipage, nor on those only whose incomes demand the wantonness of new appearances; but

she has lost of her family, and after some preparation endeavours to know whom she mourns for; how ridiculous is it to hear her explain herself, 'That we have lost one of the house of Austria!' Princes are elevated so highly above the rest of mankind, that it is a presumptuous distinction to take a part in honours done to their memories, except we have authority for it, by being related

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lutes her with a pretty phrase of, How now, Double Tripe? Upon the mention of a countrygentlewoman, whom he knows nothing of, (no one can imagine why) he will lay his life she is some awkward ill-fashioned country toad, who, not hav ing above four dozen of hairs on her head, has adorned her baldness with a large white fruz, that she may look sparkishly in the fore-front of the king's box at an old play. Unnatural mixture of senseless common-place!

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As to the generosity of his temper, he tells his poor footman, If he did not wait better," he would turn him away, in the insolent phrase of, 'I'll uncase you.'

Now for Mrs. Harriot. She laughs at obedience to an absent mother, whose tenderness Busy describes to be very exquisite, for that she is so pleased with finding Harriot again, that she cannot


AFTER having at large explained what wit is, and described the false appearances of it, all that la-chide her for being out of the way. This witty bour seems but an useless inquiry, without some time be spent in considering the application of it. The seat of wit, when one speaks as a man of the town and the world, is the playhouse: I shall therefore fill this paper with reflections upon the use of it in that place. The application of wit in the theatre has as strong an effect upon the manners of our gentlemen, as the taste of it has upon the writings of our authors. It may, perhaps, look like a very presumptuous work, though not foreign from the duty of a Spectator, to tax the writings of such as have long had the general applause of a nation; but I shall always make reason, truth, and nature the measures of praise and dispraise; if those are for me, the generality of opinion is of no consequence against me; if they are against me, the general opinion cannot long support me.

daughter, and fine lady, has so little respect for
this good woman, that she ridicules her air in tak-
ing leave, and cries, In what struggle is my poor
mother yonder! See, see, her head tottering, her
eyes staring, and her under-lip trembling.
all this is atoned for, because she has more wit
than is usual in her sex, and as much malice, thon_à
she is as wild as you could wish her, and has a de
mureness in her looks that makes it so surprising!
Then to recommend her as a fit spouse for bis
hero, the poet makes her speak her sense of mar-
riage very ingenuously: I think,' says she,
might be brought to endure him, and that is all a
reasonable woman should expect in an husband.'
It is methinks unnatural, that we are not made to
understand how, she that was bred under a silly
pious old mother, that would never trust her out of
her sight, came to be so polite.

Without further preface, I am going to look in- It cannot be denied, but that the negligence of to some of our most applauded plays, and see whe-every thing which engages the attention of the sother they deserve the figure they at present bear in the imaginations of men, or not.

In reflecting upon those works, I shall chiefly dwell upon that for which each respective play is most celebrated. The present paper shall be employed upon Sir Fopling Flutter*. The received character of this play is, that it is the pattern of genteel comedy. Dorimant and Harriot are the characters of greatest consequence; and if these are low and mean, the reputation of the play is very unjust.

I will take for granted, that a fine gentleman should be honest in his actions, and refined in his language. Instead of this, our hero in this piece is a direct knave in his designs, and a clown in his language. Bellair is his admirer and friend; in return for which, because he is forsooth a greater wit than his said friend, he thinks it reasonable to persuade him to marry a young lady, whose virtue, he thinks, will last no longer than till she is a wife, and then she cannot but fall to his share, as he is an irresistible fine gentleman. The falsehood to Mrs. Loveit, and the barbarity of triumphing over her anguish for losing him, is another instance of his honesty, as well as his good-nature. As to his fine language; he calls the orange-woman, who, it seems, is inclined to grow fat,An overgrown jade, with a flasket of guts before her;' and sa

In the Man of Mode. Sir Fopling was Beau Hewit, son of Sir Thomas Hewit, of Pishiobery in Hertfordshire, bart. the author's own character was represented in that of Bellair; or, as some think, in Medley. Dorimant (as Davies tells us, Dram. Misc. Vol. III. 178.) was formed from two originals; the witty Earl of Dorset, and the licentious Wilmot Earl of Rochester.

ber and valuable part of mankind, appears very well drawn in this piece. But it is denied, that it is necessary to the character of a fine gentleman, that he should in that manner trample upon all order and decency. As for the character of Dorimant, it is more of a coxcomb than that of Fopling. He says of one of his companions, that a good correspondence between them is their mutual interest. Speaking of that friend, he declares, their being much together 'makes the women think the better of his understanding, and judge more favourably of my reputation. It makes him pass upon some for a man of a very good sense, and me upon others for a very civil person.'

This whole celebrated piece is a perfect contradiction to good manners, good sense, and common honesty; and as there is nothing in it but what is built upon the ruin of virtue and innocence, according to the notion of merit in this comedy, I take the Shoemaker to be, in reality, the fine gentleman of the play: for it seems he is an atheist, if we may depend upon his character, as given by the orange-woman, who is herself far from being the lowest in the play. She says of a fine man, who is Dorimant's companion, there is not such another heathen in the town, except the Shoemaker.' His pretension to be the hero of the Drama appears still more in his own description of his way of living with his lady. There is,' says he, 'never a man in town lives more like a gentleman with his wife than I do; I never mind her motions; she never inquires into mine. We speak to one another civilly, hate one another heartily; and because it is vulgar to lie and soak together, we have each of us our several settle-bed.' That

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