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measures of the law for revenging myself upon him ; and, as a proof of his readiness to make me all the reparation in his power in an honourable way, he begs leave to inform me, that he shall most respectfully attend upon mè with either sword or pistols, or with both, whenever I shall be pleased to lay my commands upon him for a meeting, and appoint the hour and place.'

After such atonement on the part of the offender, I could no longer harbour any thoughts of a divorce, especially as my younger brother the parson has heirs to continue the family, and seems to think so entirely with me in the business, that I have determined to drop it altogether, and give the parties no further molestation ; for, as my brother very properly observes, it is the part of a Christian to forget and to forgive; and in truth see no reason why I should disturb them in their enjoyments, or return evil for good to an obliging gentleman, who has taken a task of trouble off my hands, and set me at my ease for the rest of my days; in which tranquil and contented state of mind, as becomes a man, whose inheritance is philanthropy, and whose mother's milk hath been the milk of human kindness, I remain in all brotherly charity and good will, Your's and the world's friend,



Quis scit an adjiciant hodiernæ crastina summe

Tempora Dii Superi? To-MORROW is the day, which procrastination always promises to employ and never overtakes: my correspondent Tom Tortoise, whose letter I shall now lay before the public, seems to have made these promises and broken them as often as most



I have been resolving to write to thee every morning for these two months, but something or other has always come athwart my resolution to put it by. In the first place I should have told thee that aunt Gertrude was taken grievously sick, and had a mighty desire to see thee upon affairs of consequence, but as I was in daily hopes she would mend and be able to write to thee herself, (for every body you know understands their own business best). I thought I would wait till she got well enough to tell her own story; but, alas ! she dwindled and dwindled away till she died; so, if she had any secrets they are buried with her, and there's an end of that matter.

Another thing I would fain have written to thee about, was to enquire into the character of a fellow, one John Jenkyns, who had served a friend of thine, Sir Theodore Thimble, as his house-steward, and offered himself to me in the same capacity: but this was only my own affair do you see, so


put it by from day to day, and in the mean time took tho

rascal upon

money, which

his word without a character : but if he ever had one, he would have lost it in my service, for he plundered me without mercy, and at last made off with a pretty round sum of I have never been able to get any wind of, probably because I never took the trouble to make any enquiry.

I now sit down to let you know son Tom is come from Oxford, and a strapping fine fellow he is grown of his age: he has a mighty longing to set out upon his travels to foreign parts, which you must know seems to me a very foolish conceit in a young lad, who has only kept his first term and not completed his nineteenth year; so I opposed his whim manfully, which I think you will approve of, for I recollected the opinion you gave upon this subject when last here, and quoted it against him: to do him justice, he fairly offered to be ruled by your advice, and willed me to write to you on the matter ; but one thing or other always stood in the way,

and in the mean time came Lord Ramble in his


to Dover, and being a great crony of Tom's and very eager for his company, and no letter coming from you (which indeed I acquit you of, not having written to you on the subject) away the youngsters went together, and probably before this are upon French ground. Pray tell me what you think of this trip, which appears to me but a wild-goose kind of chase, and if I live till to-morrow I intend to write Tom a piece of my mind to that purpose, and give him a few wholesome hints, which I had put together for our parting, but had not time just then to communicate to him.

I intend very shortly to brush up your quarters in town, as my solicitor writes me word every thing is at a stand for the want of my appearance: what dilatory doings must we experience, who have to do

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with the law ! putting off from month to month and year to year: I wonder men of business are not ashamed of themselves : as for me, I should have been up and amongst them long enough ago, if it had not been for one thing or another that hampered me about my journey: horses are for ever falling lame, and farriers are such lazy rascals, that before one can be cured, another cries out; and now I am in daily expectation of my favourite brood-mare dropping a foal, which I am in great hopes will prove a colt, and therefore I cannot be absent at the time, for a master's eye you know is every thing in those cases : besides I should be sorry to come up in this dripping season, and as the parson has begun praying for fair weather, I hope it will set in ere long in good earnest, and that it will please God to make it pleasant travelling

You will be pleased to hear that I mean soon to make a job of draining the marsh in front of my house; every body allows that as soon as there is a channel cut to the river, it will be as dry as a bowling-green, and as fine meadow land as any on my estate: it will also add considerably to the health as well as beauty of our situation, for at present 'tis a grievous eye-sore, and fills us with fogs and foul air at such a rate, that I have had my whole family down with the ague all this spring : here is a fellow ready to undertake the job at a very easy expence, and will complete it in a week, so that it will soon be done when once begun; therefore you see I need not hurry myself for setting about it, but wait till leisure and opportunity suit.

I am sorry I can send you no better news of your old friend the vicar; he is sadly out of sorts : you must know the incumbent of Slow-in-the-Wilds died some time ago, and as the living lies so handy to my own parish I had always intended it for our friend, and had promised him again and again : when behold! time slipt away unperceived, and in came my lord bishop of the diocese with a parson of his own, ready cut and dried, and claimed it as a lapsed living, when it has been mine and my ancestors any time these five hundred years for aught I know : if these are not nimble doings I know not what are: egad! a man need have all his eyes about him, that has to do with these bishops. If I had been aware of such a trick being played me, I would have hoisted the honest vicar into the pulpit, before the old parson who is dead and gone had been nailed in his coffin, for no man loves less to be taken napping (as they call it) than I do; and as for the poor vicar 'tis surprising to see how he takes to heart the disappointment : whereas I tell him he has nothing for it but to outlive the young fellow who has jumped into his shoes, and then let us see if bishop shall jockey us with the like jade's trick for the future.

I have now only to request you will send me down a new almanack, for the year wears out apace, and I am terribly puzzled for want of knowing how it goes, and I love to be regular. If there is any thing I can do for you in these parts, pray employ me, for I flatter myself you believe no man living would go further, or more readily fly to do you service than yours to command,



Alas! though the wise men in all ages have been calling out as it were with one voice for us to know ourselves,' it is a voice that has not yet reached the ears or understanding of my correspondent Tom Tortoise. Someboby or other hath left us another good maxim, never to put off till to-morrow what we can do to-day.'_ Whether he was indeed a wise

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