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tradesman has bawled ever so loudly in their ears, it has had no effect upon them.

By what means this plague has been introduced among us cannot easily be ascertained ;....whether it was imported in the same band-box with the last new head, or was secretly conveyed in the plaits of an embroided suit:....But that it came over hither from France, plainly appears from the manner in which it affects our people of fashion, (especially the ladies,) who bear about them the most evident marks of the French disease. This is known to affect the whole habit of body, and extends its influence from head to foot.

But its strongest attacks are levelled at the face; and it has such an effect upon the complexion, that it entirely changes the natural colour of the skin. At Paris, the face of every lady you meet is besmeared with unguent, ceruse, and plaister; and I have lately remarked with infinite concern, the native charms of my pretty country-women destroyed by the same In this case I have always proposed calling in the assistance of a surgeon to pare off this unnatural Epidermis or scarf-skin, occasioned by the ignorance of Empirics in the immoderate application of Alteratives.


From what I have been able to collect from observations on my female patients, I have found little variation in the effects of the Plague on that sex. Most of them complain of a lassitude, a listlesress, an uneasiness, pains they do not know where, vapours, hysterics, want of rest, want of spirits, and loss of appetite: Consequently the same regimen may serve for all. I advise them to use a great deal of exercise in driving about the town, to dilute properly with tea, to perspire freely at public places, and in their seasons to go to Bath, Tunbridge, Cheltenham, or Scarborough.

I was indeed surprised with an extraordinary new case the other night, when I was called out of bed to

attend a maid of honour, who is frequently afflicted Iwith fits of the mother. Her abdomen, I found, upon examination, to be preternaturally distended: the tumour has been gradually increasing; but I would not attempt to discuss it, as it was not yet arrived to maturity. I intend soon to remove her into the country for a month, in order to deliver her from the complaint she labours under.

I have been induced, Sir, to write to you on this occasion, as you are pleased to take this city under your immediate care. So alarming an evil calls upon us all to oppose its progress: For my own part, nothing shall deter me from a diligent discharge of the duty of my profession though it has already exposed me to the greatest dangers in the execution of it. An old captain of a man of war, who is grievously troubled with choler and overflowing of the gall, on my only hinting a clyster, swore vehemently that I should take one myself, and applying his foot directly to my fundament kicked me down stairs. This very morning I escaped almost by miracle from the contagion, which raged in the most violent degree through a whole family. The master and mistress were both of them in a very high fever, and quite frantic and delirious: Their tongues were prodigiously inflamed, with the tip very sharp, and perpetually vibrating without the least intermission. I would have prescribed some cooling and lenitive medicines; but the husband in the height of his phrensy flung my tye-wig into the fire, and his wife sluiced me with extravasated urine. As I retired with precipitation, I heard the same wild ravings from the nursery,the kitchen, and every other quarter, which convinced me that the pestilence had seized the whole house. I ran out of doors as fast as possible, reflecting with Terence, "if Health herself would save this family, she could


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Upon the whole, I may conclude with the Aphorism of Hippocrates; "that no people can possibly be afflicted with so many and so terrible disorders, unless the plague is among them."


I am, Sir, yours, &c.

B. G.


..Quid alat formetque poetam.

Practice alone must form the writer's head,
And ev'ry author to the trade be bred.


I REMEMBER to have seen in some old Italian poet, a fable called "the education of the Muses." Apollo is there said to have taken them at their birth under his immediate care, and as they grew up, to have instructed them, according to their different capacities, in the several branches of playing and singing. Thalia, we are told, was of a lively turn, and took delight in the most comic airs; but was at first with difficulty restrained from falling into ridiculous drolleries, and what our author calls 'extravaganzas in her manner'. Melpomene, who was of a serious and grave disposition, indulged herself in strains of melancholy; but when she aimed at the most pathetic strokes, was often harsh, or run into wild divisions. Clio, and the rest of the nine, had not yet learned to temper their voices with sweetness and variety; nor could they tell how to regulate the stops of their flutes, or touch the strings of their


lyres, with judgment and grace. However, by much practice, they improved gradually under the instructions of Apollo, till at last they were able to exert all the powers of music: and they now form a complete concert, which fills all Parnassus with the most enchanting harmony.

The moral to be drawn from this little fable is naturally applied to those servants of the Muses. Authors, who must necessarily rise, by the same slow degrees, from their first lame attempts in cultivating the arts of Apollo. The best of them, without doubt, went through many more stages of writing, than appears from the palpable gradations still remaining in But as it is impossible to trace them from their first setting out, I shall here present the reader with the sum of my own experience, and illustrate, in the life of Mr. Town, the progress of an author.

their works.

Right or wrong, I have ever been addicted to scribbling. I was famous at school for my readiness at crambo and capping verses: I often made themes for other boys, and sold my copy for a tart or a custard: at nine years old I was taken notice of for an English distich; and afterwards immortalized myself by an holiday's task in the same language, which my master, who himself was a poet, pronounced to be scarce inferior to his favorite Blackmore. These were followed by a multitude of little pieces; which like other fruits that come before their season, had nothing to recommend them but their early appear


Filled, however, with great conceptions of my genius and importance, I could not but lament, that such extraordinary parts should be confined within the narrow circle of my relations and acquaintance. Therefore, in order to oblige and amaze the public, I soon became a very large contributor to the monthly magazines. But I had the unspeakable mortification to

see my favours sometimes not inserted, sometimes postponed, often much altered, and you may be sure always for the worse. On all these occasions, I nev

er failed to condemn the arrogance and folly of the compilers of these miscellanies; wondering how they could so grossly mistake their own interest, and neglect the entertainment of their readers.

In the mean time a maiden aunt, with whom I lived, a very pious old lady, turned Methodist, and often took me with her to the Tabernacle, the Foundery, and many private meetings. This made such an impression upon my mind, that I devoted myself. entirely to sacred subjects, and wrote several hymns which were received with infinite applause by all the good women, who visited my aunt; and (the servants being also Methodists) they were often sung by the whole family in the kitchen. I might perhaps in time have rivalled Wesley in these divine compositions, and had even begun an entire new version of the psalms; when my aunt, changing her religion a second time, became a Moravian. But the hymns usually sung by the United Brethren, contain sentiments so sublime and so incomprehensible, that notwithstanding my late success in that kind of poetry, and the great opinion I entertained of my own talents, I durst not venture on their style and manner.

As love and poetry mutually produce each other, it is no wonder, that before I was seventeen I had singled out my particular Sacharissa. This, you may suppose, gave birth to innumerable songs, elegies, and acrostics. In the space of two years I had written more love verses than Waller, or any other poet; when, just as I imagined I had rhymed myself into her good graces, I had the mortification to find that my mistress was married to a cornet of horse, a fellow, who I am sure never wrote a line in his life. This threw me into such a violent rage against the whole sex, that I immediately burnt eve

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