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MR. BICKERSTAFF OBTAINS THE AID OF PACOLET, A GOOD

GENIUS, IN THE DISCHARGE OF HIS CENSORIAL DUTIES.

UCH hurry and business had to-day perplexed me into a mood too thoughtful for going into company : for which reason, instead of the tavern, I went into Lincoln's Inn walks

; and having taken a round or two, I sat down, according to the allowed familiarity of these places, on a bench, at the other end of which fat a venerable gentleman, who, speaking with a very affable air, “Mr. Bickerstaff,” said he, "I take it for a very great piece of good fortune that you have found me out.” Sir,” ” said I, “I had never, that I know of, the honour of seeing you before.” “That,” replied he, “is what I have often lamented; but I assure you I have for many years done you many good offices without being observed by you; or else, when you had any little glimpse of my being concerned in an affair, you have fled from me, and shunned me like an enemy; but, however, the part I am to act in the world is such, that I am to go on in doing good, though I meet with never so many repulses, even from those I oblige.” This, thought I, shows a great good nature, but little judgment in the persons upon whom he confers his favours. He immediately took notice to me, that he observed by my countenance I thought him indiscreet in his beneficence, and proceeded to tell me his quality in the following manner : “I know thee, Ifaac, to be fo well versed in the occult sciences, that I need not much preface, or make long preparations to

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gain your faith that there are airy beings, who are employed in the care and attendance of men, as nurses are to infants, till they come to an age in which they can act of themselves. These beings are usually called amongst men, guardian angels; and, Mr. Bickerstaff, I am to acquaint you, that I am to be yours for some time to come, it being our orders to vary our stations, and sometimes to have one patient under our protection and sometimes another, with a power of assuming what shape we please, to ensnare our wards into their own good. I have of late been upon such hard duty, and know you have so much work for me, that I think fit to appear to you face to face to desire you will give me as little occasion for vigilance as you can.”

“ Sir," said I, “it will be a great instruction to me in behaviour if you please to give me some account of your late employments, and what hardships or satisfactions you have had in them, that I may govern myself accordingly.” He answered, “ To give you an example of the drudgery we go through, I will entertain you only with my three last stations. I was on the first of April last put to mortify a great beauty, with whom I was a week; from her I went to a common fwearer, and have been last with a gamester. When I first came to my lady, I found my great work was to guard well her eyes and ears ; but her flatterers were so numerous, and the house after the modern way, so full of looking-glasses, that I seldom had her safe but in her Neep. Whenever we went abroad, we were surrounded by an army of enemies—when a well-made man appeared, he was sure to have a side glance of observation—if a disagreeable fellow, he had a full face, out of mere inclination to conquests. But at the close of the evening, on the sixth of the last month, my, ward was sitting on a couch reading Ovid's epistles, and as she came to this line of Helen to Paris,

She half consents who filently denies," entered Philander, who is the most skilful of all men in an address to women. He is arrived at the perfection of that art which gains them, which is, “To talk like a very miserable man, but look like a very happy one. I saw Dictinna blush at his entrance, which gave me the alarm; but he immediately said something so agreeably on her being at study, and the novelty of finding a lady employed in fo grave a manner, that he on a sudden became very familiarly a man of no consequence, and in an instant laid all her suspicions of his skill alleep, as he almost had done mine, till I observed him very dangerously turn his discourse upon the elegance of her dress, and her judgment in the choice of that very pretty mourning. Having had women before under my care, I trembled at the apprehension of a man of fense who could talk upon trifles, and resolved to stick to my post with all the circumspection imaginable. In short, I prepossessed her against all he could say to the advantage of her dress and person; but he turned again the discourse, where I found I had no power over her, on the abusing her friends and acquaintance. He allowed, indeed, that Flora had a little beauty and a great deal of wit; but then she was so ungainly in her behaviour, and such a laughing Hoyden. Pastorella had with him the allowance of being blameless: but what was that towards being praiseworthy ? To be only innocent, is not to be virtuous. He afterwards spoke so much against Mrs. Dipple's forehead, Mrs. Prim's mouth, Mrs. Dentifrice's teeth, and Mrs. Fidget's cheeks, that she grew downright in love with him; for it is always to be understood, that a lady takes all you detract from the rest of her sex to be a gift to her. In a word, things went so far, that I was dismissed. The next, as I faid, I went to, was a common swearer. Never was a creature so puzzled as myself when I came first to view his brain : half of it was worn out and filled up with mere expletives, that had nothing to do with any other parts of the texture, therefore when he called for his clothes in a morning, he would cry, John ?'—John does not answer. What a plague ! Nobody there? What the D—1, and rot me! John, for a lazy dog as you are.' I knew no way to cure him, but by writing down all he said one morning as he was dressing, and laying it before him on the toilet when he came to pick his teeth. The last recital I gave him of what he said for half an hour before was, “What, a rot me! Where is the wash-ball ? Call the chairman. D

'em, I warrant they are at the alehouse already! Zounds, and confound 'em.' When he came to the glass, he takes up my note- - Ha! This fellow is worse than me. What, does he swear with pen and ink?' But reading on, he found them to be his own words. The stratagem had so good an effect upon him, that he grew immediately a new man, and is learning to speak without an oath, which makes him extremely short in his phrases ; for as I observed before, a common swearer has a brain without any idea on the swearing side; therefore my ward has yet a mighty little to say, and is forced to substitute some other vehicle of nonsense to supply the defect of his usual expletives. When I left him, he made use of Odlbodikins !" ‘Oh me!' and 'never stir alive!' and so forth, which gave me hopes of his recovery. So I went to the next I told you of, the gamester. When we first take our place about a man, the receptacles of the Pericranium are immediately searched. In his, I found no one ordinary trace of thinking; but strong passion, violent desires, and a continued series of different changes had torn it to pieces. There appeared no middle condition ; the triumph of a prince, or the misery of a beggar were his alternate states. I was with him no longer than one day, which was yesterday. In the morning at twelve we were worth four thousand pounds; at three, we were arrived at six thousand; half an hour after, we were reduced to one thousand ; at four of the clock, we were down to two hundred; at five, to fifty, at fix, to five; at seven, to one guinea; the next bet, to nothing. This morning he borrowed half-a-crown of the maid who cleans his shoes, and is now gaming in Lincoln'sInn-Fields among the boys for farthings and oranges, till he has made up three pieces, and then he returns to White's into the best company in town." This ended our first discourse; and it is hoped you will forgive me that I have picked so little out of my companion at our first interview. In the next, it is possible he may tell me more pleasing incidents ; for though he is a familiar, he is not an evil, spirit.

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PACOLET GIVES AN ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF AND HIS

ADVENTURES GAMESTERS.

TRAD it not been that my familiar had appeared to

me, as I told you in my last, in person, I had certainly been unable to have found even words, without meaning, to keep up my intelligence with

the town; but he has checked me severely for my despondence, and ordered me to go on in my design of observing upon things and forbearing persons ; “ for,” said he, “the age you live in is such, that a good picture of any vice or virtue will infallibly be misrepresented; and though none will take the kind descriptions you make so much to themselves, as to wish well to the author, yet all will resent the ill characters you produce, out of fear of their own turn in the license you must be obliged to take, if you point at particular persons." I took this admonition kindly, and immediately promised him to beg pardon of the author of the “Advice to the Poets," for my raillery upon his work, though I aimed at no more in that examination, but to convince him, and all men of genius, of the folly of laying themselves out on such plans as are below their characters. I hope too, it was done without ill-breeding, and nothing spoken below what a civilian (as it is allowed I am) may utter to a physician. After this preface, all the world may be safe from my writings ; for if I can find nothing to commend, I am silent, and will forbear the subject, for though I am a reformer, I scorn to be an inquisitor. ...

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