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tress a very polite woman, it began to have more business than ever, and sometimes took not less than four shillings a day.

But perhaps you are desirous of knowing what were the peculiar qualifications of women of fashion at that period; and in a description of the present landlady, you will have a tolerable idea of all the rest. This lady was the daughter of a nobleman, and received such an education in the country as became her quality, beauty, and great expectations. She could make shifts and hose for herself and all the sarvants of the family, when she was twelve years old. She knew the names of four-and twenty letters, so that it was impossible to bewitch her; and this was a greater piece of learning than any lady in the whole country could pretend to. She was always up early, and saw breakfast served in the great hall by six o'clock. At this scene of festivity she generally improved good humour, by telling her dreams, relating stories of spirits, several of wbich she herself had seen, and one of which she was reported to have killed with a black-hafted knife. From hence she usually went to make pastry in the larder, and here she was followed by her sweethearts, who were much helped on in conversation by struggling with her for kisses. About tea miss generally went to play at hotcockles and blindman's-buff in the parlour; and when the young folks (for they seldom played at hotcockles when grown old) were tired of such amusements, the gentlemen entertained miss with the history of their greyhounds, bear-baitings, and victories

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at cudgel playing. If the weather was fine, they ran at the ring, or shot at butts, while miss held in her hand a riband, with which she adorned the conqueror. Her mental qualifications were exactly fitted to her external accomplishments. Before she was fifteen, she could tell the story of Jack the Giant-Killer; could name every mountain that was inhabited by fairies; knew a witch at first sight; and could repeat four Latin prayers without a prompter. Her dress was perfectly fashionable ; her arms and her hair were completely covered; a monstrous muff was put round her neck, so that her head seemed like that of John the Baptist placed in a charger. In short, when completely equipped, her appearance was so very modest that she discovered little more than her

These were the times, Mr. Rigmarole, when every lady that had a good nose might set up for a beauty; when every woman that could tell stories might be cried up for a wit.'-'I am as much displeased at those dresses which conceal too much, as those which discover too much: I am equally an enemy to a female dunce, or a female pedant.'

You may be sure that miss chose a husband with qualifications resembling her own; she pitched upon a courtier equally remarkable for hunting and drinking, who had given several proofs of his great virility among the daughters of his tenants and domestics. They fell in love at first sight (for such was the gallantry of the times,) were married, came to court, and madam appeared with superior qualifications. The king was struck with her beauty. All property was

at the king's command; the husband was obliged to resign all pretensions in his wife to the sovereign whom God anointed, to commit adultery where he thought proper. The king loved her for some time; but, at length, repenting of his misdeeds, and instigated by his father confessor, from a principle of conscience, removed her from his levee to the bar of this tavern, and took a new inistress in her stead. Let it not surprise you to behold the mistress of a king degraded to so humble an office. As the ladies had no mental accomplishments, a good face was enough to raise them to the royal couch ; and she who was this day a royal mistress, might the next, when her beauty palled upon enjoyment, be doomed to infamy and want.

Under the care of this lady, the tavern grew into great reputation; the courtiers had not yet learned to game, but they paid it off by drinking; drunkenness is ever the vice of a barbarous, and gaming of a luxurious age. They had not such frequent entertainments as the moderns have, but were more expensive and more luxurious in those they had. All their fooleries were more elaborate, and more admired by the great and the vulgar, than now. A courtier has been known to spend his whole fortune at a single combat; a king, to mortgage his dominions to furnish out the frippery of a tournament. There were certain days appointed for riot and debauchery, and to be sober at such times was reputed a crime. Kings themselves set the example ; and I have seen monarchs in this room drunk before the entertainment was half concluded. These were the times, sir, when kings kept mistresses, and got drunk in public; they were too plain and simple in those happy times to hide their vices, and act the hypocrite, as' now.'-Lord, Mrs. Quickly!' interrupting her, “I expected to hear a story, and here you are going to tell me I know not what of times and vices ; pr’ythee let me entreat thee once more to wave reflections, and give thy history without deviation.'

No lady upon earth,' continued my visionary correspondent, 'knew how to put off her damaged wine or women with more art than she. When these grew flat, or those paltry, it was but changing the names; the wine became excellent, and the girls agreeable. She was also possessed of the engaging leer, the chuck under the chin, winked at a double-entendre, could nick the opportunity of calling for something comfortable, and perfectly understood the distinct moments when to withdraw. The gallants of those times pretty much resembled the bloods of ours; they were fond of pleasure, but quite ignorant of the art of refining upon it: thus a court-bawd of those times resembled the common low.lived harridan of a modern bagnio.-Witness, ye powers of debauchery! how often I have been present at the various appearances of drunkenness, riot, guilt, and brutality. A tavern is a true picture of human infirmity; in history we find only one side of the age exhibited to our view; but in the accounts of a tavern we see every age equally absurd and equally vicious.

Upon this lady's decease, the tavern was successively occupied by adventurers, bullies, pimps, and gamesters. Towards the conclusion of the reign of Henry VII., gaming was more universally practised in England than even now. Kings themselves have been known to play off, at primero, not only all the money and jewels they could part with, but the very images in churches. The last Henry played away in this very room, not only the four great bells of St. Paul's cathedral, but the fine image of St. Paul, which stood upon the top of the spire, to sir Miles Partridge, who took them down the next day, and sold them by auction. Have

you then any cause to regret being born in the times you now live in, or do you still believe that human nature continues to run on declining every age? If we observe the actions of the busy part of mankind, your ancestors will be found infinitely more gross, servile, and even dishonest, than you. If, forsaking history, we only trace them in their hours of amusement and dissipation, we shall find them more sensual, more entirely devoted to pleasure, and infinitely more selfish.

The last hostess of note I find upon record was Jane Rouse. She was born among the lower ranks of the people, and, by frugality and extreme complaisance, contrived to acquire a moderate fortune : this she might have enjoyed for many years, had she not unfortunately quarrelled with one of her neighbours, a woman who was in high repute for sanctity through the whole parish. In the times of which !

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