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2 Lady. Why, Sir, methinks you are a new Kind of a satirical Preacher; your Shop is your Chapel, and erery Piece of Goods a different Text, from which you expose the Vices and Follies of Mankind in a very fine allegorical Sermon.
Mast. Right, Madam, right; I thank you for the Simile
. I may be called a Preacher, indeed, and am a Tery good one in my Way. I take Delight in my Callting, and am never better pleased than to see a full Con. gregation. Yet it happens to me, as it does to most of my Brethren, People sometimes vouchsafe to take home the Text, perhaps, but mind the Sermon no more than if they had not heard one.*
1 Lady. Why, Sir, when a short Text has more in it than a long Sermon, it's no wonder if they do.
" The misfortune is, that, in viewing these objects, we hold the glass and turn the perspective; the joys of another world are driven off to a distance, and diminished ; the evils of this are brought
Dear aod magnified, How much otherwise do things appear in the "sight of God! To us one day may seem a thousand years: to him
a thousand years are but as one day.” A little more, or a little " lesa, of pain or pleasure; a life longer or shorter, by a few years
-are differences which disappear at once in the presence of eter"nity.” Bp. Horne’s Sermon on The Duty of taking up the Cross, near the end.
See also Boyle's Occasional Reflections. Sect. I. Reflect. VII. p. 12, of Mr. Weyland's beautiful edition of thai work published in 1808.
* Dr. Franklin, in that excellent little work his Poor Richard, has a very happy and severe stroke upon the too common neglect of Sermons :
"Thus the old gentleman ended his harangve. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately went
and practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon: " for the auction opened, and they began to buy extravagantly, " potwithstanding all his cautions, and their own fear of taxes." Near the end. I bave, in the Preface to this piece, p. 100, mentioned The ToyShop being performed as a Mono-drama. It strikes me that where one or two persons entertain an audience for an evening with what is called An Attic Evening's Entertainment, or by some such title, Poor RICHARD, called also The Way to Wealth, would make ab excellent piece to come in the early part of the evening. It is full of point and dry humour. On the stage might be the Auctioneer's pul. pit, and the goods to be sold ; the andience would be supposed to be the persons met at the Auction, and, after a short Introduction, the peaker would assume the character of The Sage Adviser.
Enter a Third LADY. 3 Lady. Pray Sir, let me look at some of your little
2 Lady. [Aside.] Little Dogs! How cheaply some People are entertained! Well, it is a Sign human Conversation is grown low and insipid, whilst that of Dogs and Monkies is preferr'd to it.
Mast. Here are very beautiful Dogs, Madam. These Dogs, when they were alive, were some of them the greatest Dogs of their Age. I don't mean the largest, but Dogs of the greatest Quality and Merit.
1 Lady. I love a Dog of Merit dearly; Has not he a Dog of Ilonour too, I wonder?
Aside. · Mast. Here is a Dog now that never eat but upon Plate
or China, nor set his Foot but upon a Carpet or a Cushion. Here is one, too--this Dog belonged to a Lady of as great Beauty and Fortune as any in England; he was her most intimate Friend and particular Favourite; and upon that Account has received more Compliments, more Respect, and more Addresses, than a First Minister of State. Here is another, which was, doubtless, a Dog of singular Worth and great Importance, since, at his Death, one. of the greatest Families in the Kingdom were all in Tears, received no Visits for the Space of a Week, but shut them. selves up and mourn'd their Loss with inconsolable Sorrow. This Dog, while he lived, either for Contempt of his Person, Neglect of his Business, or saucy and impertinent Behaviours in their Attendance on him, had the Honour of turning away upwards of thirty Servants. He died at last of a Cold caught by following one of the Maids into a damp Room, for which she lost her Place, her Wages, and her. Character.
3 Lady. O the careless, wicked Wretch! I would have had her tried for Murder, at least. That, that is just my Case! The sad Relation revives my grief so strongly, I cannot contain. Lucy, bring in the Box. [Her Maid enters and delivers a Box, from which the Lady pulls oạt a dead Dog, kissing it, and weeping. Lucy too pretends great Sorrow; but, turning asitle, bursts out a Laughing and says, Now, I hope, the Servants at our
House will have some Peace.] See! see the charming Creature, here lies dead! Its precious Life is gone! Oh, my dear Chloe, no more wilt thou lie hugg'd in my warm Bosom! no more will that sweet tongue lick o'er my Face, nor that dear Mouth eat dainty Bits from Mine. Oh, Death, what hast.thou robbed me of?
Gent. [ Aside.] A proper Object to display your Folly!
Mast. Pray, Madam, moderate your Grief; you ought i to thank Heaven it is not your Husband.
3 Lady. Oh, what is Husband, Father, Mother, Son, to my dear precious Chloe- No, no, I cannot livé without the Sight of his dear Image; and if you cannot make me the exact Effigies of this poor dead Creature, I must never hope to see one happy day in Life.
Mast. Well, Madam, be comforted, I will do it to your Satisfaction.
Taking the Box. 3 Lady. Let me have one Look more. Poor Creature! O cruel Fate, that Dogs are born to die! [Exit Weeping.
Gent. What a Scene is here! Are not the real and unavoidable Evils of Life sufficient, that People thus create themselves imaginary Woes?
Mast. These, Sir, are the Griefs of those who have no other. Did they once truly feel the real Miseries of Life, these diminutive ones might pass without that dispropora tionate grief which exposes to ridicule.
Enter a Second GENTLEMAN. § 2 Gent. I want an Ivory POCKET-BOOK.
Mast. Do you please to have it with Directions or without?
2 Gent. Directions! what, how to use it?
2 Gent. I should think every Man's own Business his best Direction.
Mast. It may be so. Yet there are some general Rules which it equally behoves every Man to be acquainted with. As for Instance: Always to make a Memorandum of the Benefits you receive from others; always to set down the Faults or Failings which from Time to 'Time you discover in yourself. And, if you remark any thing that is ridi
culous or faulty in others, let it not be with an ill-natured Design to hurt or expose them, at any time, but with a Nota bene, that it is only for a Caution to yourself, not to be guilty of the like. With a great many other Rules of such a Nature as makes one of my Pocket-books both a useful Monitor, and a very entertaining Companion.
2 Gent. And pray, what is the Price of one of them? Mast. The Price is a Guinea, Sir. 2 Gent. That's very dear. But, as it is a Curiosity
[Pays for it, and Exit.
Enter a BEAU. Beau. Pray, Sir, let me see some of your handsomest SNUFF-Boxes.
Mast. Here's a plain Gold one, Sir, a very neat Box; here's a Gold enamelled; here's a Silver one neatly carv'd and gilt; here a curious Shell, Sir, set in Gold.
Beuu. Psha! away with your Shells; there's not one of them fit for a Gentleman to put his Fingers into. I want one with some pretty Device on the Inside of the Lid; something that may serve to joke upon, or help one to an Occasion to be witty, that is, smutty, now and then.
Mast. And are witty and smutty then synonimous Terms?
Beau. O dear, Sir, yes; a little decent Smut is the very Life of all Conversation; 'tis the Wit of Drawing-rooms, Assemblies, and Tea-tables; 'tis the smart Raillery of fine Gentlemen, and the innocent Freedom of fine Ladies; 'tis a Double Entendre, at which the Coquet laughs, the Prude looks grave, the Modest blush, but all are pleased with,
Mast. That it is the Wit and Entertainment of all Conversation, I believe, Sir, may possibly be a mistake, 'Tis true, those who are so rude as to use it in all conversations, may possibly be so depraved themselves, as to fancy every body else as agreeably entertained in hearing it, as they are in uttering it : But I dare say, any Man or Woman of real Virtue and Modesty, has as little Taste for such Ribaldry, as those Coxcombs have for what is good Sense, or true Politeness,
Beau. Good Sense, Sir! Sir, what do you mean?
I would have you think, I know good Sense as well as any Man. Good Sense is a true- -a right
-Pho! I scorn to þe so pedantick as to make Definitions; but I can invent a cramp Oath, Sir; utter a neat Double Entendre as I drink my glass, Sir; ridicule Priests, laugh at all Religion, and make such a grave Prig as you look just like a Fool, Sir. Now, let me tell you, Sir, I take that to be good Sense.
Mast. And I, unmov’d, can hear such senseless Ridi. çule, and look upon its Author with an Eye of Pity and Contempt. And I take this to be good Sense.
Beau. Psha! Psha! all Hypocrisy and Affectation; pothing else, nothing else.
[Exit. Mast. An unprincipled Coxcomb is my Aversion. They are a Ridicule upon human Nature, and make one almost asham'd to be of the same Species. And, for that Reason, I cannot forbear affronting them, whenever they fall in my Way. I hope the Ladies will excuse such Be haviour in their presence.
2 Lady. Indeed, Sir, I wish we had always somebody to treat them with such Behaviourin our Presence. It would be much more agreeable than their Impertinence.
Enter a You'NG GENTLEMAN.
Mast. Then 'tis not for yourself, Sir?
Y. Gent. No, Sir; I thank you kindly; that's a Toy I pever design to play with. 'Tis the most dangerous Piece of Goods in your whole Shop. People are perpetually doing themselves a Mischief with it. They hang themselves fast together first, and afterwards are ready to hang themselves separately, to get loose again. 1 Lady. This is but a fashionable Cant,
I greatly suspect this pretended Railer at Matrimony is just upon the Point of making some poor Woman miserable. [Aside.
Y. Gent. Well happy are we whilst we are Chile dren; we can then lay down one Toy and take up another, VOL. III.