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6:L. Gift Louis I. Bredvold 7129:57

Hibernicus's Letters.

N° 55:

Saturday, April 16, 1726.


Ne fi fortè fuas repetitum venerit olim
Grex avium plumas, moveat cornicula risum
Furtivis nudata coloribus.



S I look upon your Paper to be

written with a View of correctA ing the Vices of Mankind, and

reforming their Manners; I hope you will not think it imperti

nent in me, tho an illiterate Man, to address you in behalf of myself, and the generality of Traders within this City, who suffer very much by a Maxim fupported no where so much as here, · That it is

beneath a Man of Quality to pay his Debes as soon as he receives Money, and to anVOL. II.


• fwer


swer submissively the Call of every inferior « scoundrel Dun, as they are pleased to ex• press it.

I AM, indeed, one of a low Rank, and therefore think it no way derogating from my Quality to attend the Service of the Church on Sundays and Holidays, and to read every Evening a Chapter in the Bible, from which I might pick out a great number of Passages, to arraign that fashionable Practice of neglecting to pay just Debts : But the Persons whom I mention being generally professed Enemies to, or utterly ignorant of the Contents of those facred Oracles ; I should think it to as little purpose to argue from thence against them, as to dispute with them out of the Acts of some Popish Council, the very Name of which they abhor, or the Laws of the Empire of China, which they are unacquainted with. Therefore, all that I propose by this Paper (if you will vouchsafe it a Place in yours) is to represent to them, how contrary their Behaviour is to Honour, to common Justice and Charity, and to the Welfare of that Nation, wherein they endeavour to make a Figure, and in which some of them have even the assurance to set

up Patriots ! First then, I beg leave to observe, tho the Remark is of antient date, That a great part of Mankind err very much in their Notions of HONOUR; as you may be convinc'd from the Character and Behaviour of Lord Modish: His Lordship has fo much


for mighty

Mettle, that he would cut any Man's throat, who should but prelume to look him in the face, with a Cock of Defiance in his Hat ; and would make the Sun shine thro' any one's Body, who durst deny him the Title of Right Honourable : He is so generous, that he feldom suffers

any of his Company to club with him for a Reckoning; and he has to much good Nature, that I dare fay he would run the risque of his Life, to steal away a young Heiress for any one to whom he professeth himself a Friend : All which Qualifications make him fansy that he has the Reputation of a gallant Peer, and a Man of stricteft Honour. But I believe he would be very much surprized and bumbled, if he heard the Discourses of the trading Part of the City, concerning bis Lordship, most of them making it serve as an Excuse to their respective Creditors, that they cannot pay them for want of large Sums due to them from Lord Modish. Thus he is proclaimed a bad Paymaster at all ends of the Town, even sometimes without truth, by Persons who fhelter themselves from paying, under his Illustrious Fame ; and he makes himfelf the common Topick of Discourse over every Counter, and at the publick Exchange.

SQUIRE Fopling is next to him in that vitious Folly, in proportion to his Quality and Fortune: He dresses elegantly, attacks a Mask at the Play with a good deal of Wit, moves a Minuet with great Applause at the


B 2

Castle, and has had two or three Rencounters in which he behaved like a Man of Spirit : From this he infers that he passes for an ac. complished Gentleman, and a Person of un. tainted Honour. But whenever he walks thro' Castle-street, the Shoemaker comes out; of his Shop to gaze after him, and curses his Feet for being so well fitted with Shoes which are not paid for :

When he goes along Dame's-street, the Woollen-Draper shakes his Head, and tells all who are in his Shop, that the Squire ought at least to have made him a Bow, considering how spruce he is at his Expence: And by the time he comes to College-Green, the Wigmaker points at him, and assures his Hair-Merchant that the Beair who struts by his Window, is the Person who hinders him from clearing his Accounts. So that after all his Dreams of Reputation and Honour, he is looked upon as a publick Nufance, not to say a publick Robber; and the poor Journeyman or Labourer who punctually pays the Åle-wife every Saturday Evening, when his little Salary comes into his hands, is esteemed the better Customer, and the more honourable Person of the two.

As great as my Resentment is against such false Pretenders to Honour, I would not be so severe as to give my Voice for introducing among us an old Roman Law, which I once heard


Son read in one of his Schoolbooks ; which put it in the power of Creditors, after a certain prefixed time, to sell their


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