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Mercury. Do not be discouraged, friend Addison. Apollo perhaps would have given a different judg. ment. I am a wit, and a rogue, and a foe to all dig. nity. Swift and I naturally like one another : he worships me more than Jupiter, and I honour him more than Homer : but yet I assure you, I have a great value for you..Sir Roger de Coverly, Will Honeycomb, Will Wimble, the country gentleman in the Freeholder, and twenty more characters, drawn with the finest strokes of natural wit and humour in your excellent writings, seat you very high in the class of my authors, though not quite so high as the dean of St. Patrick. Perhaps you might have come. nearer to him, if the decency of your nature and cau. tiousness of your judgment would have given you leave. But if in the spirit of his wit he has the advantage, how much does he yield to you in all the polite and elegant graces; in the fine touches of delicate sentiment; in unfolding the secret springs of the soul; in shewing all the mild lights and shades of a character; in marking distinctly every line, and every soft gradation of tints which would escape the common eye! who ever painted like you the beautiful parts of human nature, and brought them out from under the shade even of the greatest simplicity, or the most ridiculous weaknesses ; so that we are forced to admire, and feel that we venerate, even while we are laughing? Swift could do nothing that approaches to this. He could draw an ill face very well, or caricature a good one with a masterly hand: but there was all his power; and, if I am to speak as a god, a worthless power it is. Yours is divine : it tends to improve and exalt human nature.
Swift. Pray, good Mercury, (if I may have leave to say a word for myself) do you think that my talent was of no use to correct human nature? Is whipping of no use to mend naughty boys ?
Mercury. Men are not so patient of whipping as boys, and I seldom have known a rough 'satirist mend them. But I will allow that you have elone some
good in that way, though not half so much as Addison did in his. And now you are here, if Pluto and Proserpine would take my advice, they should dispose of you both in this manner :-When any hero comes hither from earth, who wants to be humbled, (as most heroes do they should set Swift upon him to bring him down. The same good office he may frequently do to a saint swoln too much with the wind of spiritual pride, or to a philosopher, vain of his wisdom and virtue. He will soon shew the first that he cannot be holy without being humble; and the
last, that, with all his boasted morality, he is but a · better kind of Yahoo. I would have him also apply his anticosmetic wash to the painted face of female vanity, and his rod, which draws blood at every stroke, to the hard back of indolent folly or petulent wit. But you Mr. Addison, should be employed to comfort and raise the spirits of those whose good and noble souls are dejected with a sense of some infirmities in their nature. To them you should hold your fair and charitable mirror, which would bring to their sight all their hidden perfections, cast over the rest a softening shade, and put them in a temper fit for ElysiumAdieu : I must now return to my business above.
Enter Joa THORNBERRY (in a night gown) and Bur.
Bur. Don't take on so don't you, now pray, listen to reason. Fob. I won't.
Bur. Pray, do. Yob. I won't. Reason bid me love my child, and help my friend :-what's the consequence? my friend has run one way, and broke up my trade; my daughter has run another, and broke my . No she shall
never have it to say she broke my heart. If I hang myself for grief, she sha'nt know she made me.
Bur. Well, but, master
Yob. And reason told me to take you into my shop when the fat church-wardens starved you at the workhouse-hang their want of feeling for it ;--and you were thumped about, a poor unoffending, ragged rumped boy, as you were I wonder you hav’n't run away from me, too.
Bur. That's the first real unkind word you ever said to me. I've sprinkled your shop two-and-twenty years, and never miss'd a morning.
Job. The bailiffs are below, clearing the goods ; you won't have the trouble any longer.
Bur. Trouble ! look ye, old Job Thornberry
Fob. Well! What, are you going to be saucy to me, now I am ruined ?
Bur. Don't say one cutting thing after another. You have been as noted, all round our town, for being a kind man, as being a blunt one.
Job. Blunt or sharp, I've been honest. Let them look at my ledger--they'll find it right. I began upon a little : I made that little great, by industry ; I never cringed to a customer, to get him into my books, that I might hamper him with an overcharged bill, for long credit; I earned my fair profits; I paid my way; I break by the treachery of a friend, and my first divi." dend will be seventeen shillings in the pound. I wish every tradesmau may clap his hand on his heart, and say as much, when he asks a creditor to sign his certificate.
Bur. 'Twas I kept your ledger all the time.
Bur. From the time you took me out of the work. house. Fob. Psha! rot the work-house!
Bur. You never mentioned it to me, yourself, till to-day. Yob. I said it in a hurry.
Bur. And I've always remembered it at leisure. I don't want to brag, but I hope I've been found faithful. It's rather hard to tell poor John Bur, the work-house
boy, after clothing, feeding, and making him your man of trust, for two-and-twenty years, that you wonder he don't run away from you, now you are in trouble.
Fab. (Affected) John, I beg your pardon. (Stretches out his hand.)
Bur. (Taking his hand.) Don't say a word more about it.
... Fob. I Bur. Pray, now, master, don't say any more! come, be a man! get on your things; and face the bailiffs, that are rummaging the goods.
Fob. I can't, John: I can't. My heart's heavier than all the iron, and brass, in my shop.
Bur. Nay, consider what confusion !pluck up courage ; do, now! Yob. Well, I'll try.
Bur. Aye, that's right : here's your clothes. (Taking them from the back of a chair.) They'll play the deuce with all the pots and pans, if you aren't by.
Why, I warrant you'll do ! bless you, what should ail you? : Fob. Ail me? When you have a daughter, John Bur, and she runs away from you, you'll know what ails me.
Bur. Come here's your coat and waistcoat. (Going to help him on with his clothes,) This is the waistcoat young mistress worked, with her own hands, for your birth day, five years ago. Come, get into it as quick as you can.
Fob. (Throwing it on the floor violently.) I'd as lieve get into my coffin. She'll have me there soon. Psha! rot it! I'm going to snivel. Bur, go, and get me another.
Bur. Are you sure you won't put it on!
i [Exit Bur.] How proud I was of that waistcoat, five years ago ! I little thought what would happen, now, when I sat in it, at the top of my table, with all my neighbours, to celebrate the day :--there was Collop, on on: side of me, and his wife on the other; and my daughter, Mary, sat at the further end-smiling so sweetly like an artful, good-for-nothing-- I shou'dn't like to throw away a waistcoat neither : I may as well put it on.--Yes—it would be poor spite not to put it on (Putting his arms into it.j-She's breaking my heart: but, I'll wear it, I'll wear it. (Buttoning it, and crying involuntarily.) It's my child's
She's undutiful-ungrateful barbarous—but she's my child-and she'll never work me another.
Duke. Put up you weapon, Sira
Balth. Lawful Ghis lawful wife!
Duke. What I have done I'll answer to the law.-
Are you not
Duke. True! I am somewhat dwindled from the state
Balth. How, Juliana ?
'Tis indeed most true.