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0 Master Prim, Master Prim! had not you bet, ter now have given us a Guinea for the Doctor and his four Children, and reserved your Half Crown for the Lady, who, if I may judge from her (arb and Equipage, does not want it half so much as the poor Parson ; but you will be in the Fashion, fo give us your Mite ; fet down Mr. Prim Two and Sixpence-Sir, Good Morrow to you-Gentlemen, your Servant
Such, my Lord, you fee, is the Force of Fa, shion, and such the Influence of Example, that a constant Church-goer, and one perhaps who fancies himself a very good Christian, ihall throw away one Pound one with all the Pleasure imaginable for an Evening's Entertainment at the Theatre, and at the fame Time grudge Half a Crown for two and fifty Discourses from the Pulpit, which, if he turns to his Arithmetic Book, he will see amounts to about --three Farthings a Sermon--and a fober Citizen too, as Lady Town'y says, Fye! fye!
These, my Lord, are melancholy Truths, and, though you and I who are Philosophers may laugh at them, have made many an honelt Man's Heart ake.
I will leave your Lordfhip to imagine, without entering any further into this Subject, what the great and desirable Emoluments must be arismg from a Town Ledureship; hardly equal at the best to the Wages of a Journeyman Staymaker, and by no Means upon a Level with the
Profits of Drawers, Coffee-house Waiters, or the Footmen of oår No. bility. This very lucrative Employment, notwithstanding, as being too considerable for one Man, is frequently split in two and divided, like the Places of Poft Master General, Secretary, &c. amongst the Great. I have myself the Honour, my Lord, of being what is called a Joint-Lecturer, not having Intereft enough in the Parish, where I had been Cue VOL. IL
rate for twenty Years, to secure the Whole. I cannot indeed fo 'far agree with our old Friend Hefiod as to think * the Half better than the Whoic, but, embracing the + Eng!i/h instead of the Greek Proverb, fit myself down contentedly, and eat my half Loaf in Quiet. But, to confess the Truth, I find the Profits of both Preferments (for your Lordfhip lees I am a Pluraliji) rather too small, to provide, in these hard Times, for the Necessities of a growing Family, and have lately been obliged to eke out Mitters by entering myself on my Friend H.--w's Liit. As there is something curious in this Mr. H----, both with Regard to himself, and the Bu. finess he is engaged in, I shall beg Leave to introduce bim to your Lordship's Acquaintance, as I believe, during what I may call your Minority in the Church, no tich Character or Occupation was ' in being
You must know then, my Lord, that the inge. nious Mr. Ilm has found out à néw Method of being serviceable to the Cergy and himself, by keeping a Kind of Ecclefiafticat Regisler Office, or, more properly peaking, Diviniiy-Shop, in the City, where Parlons are bired by the Day, Week, Month, c. as Occasion requires. For this Purpose he keeps a régular alphabetical List of unemployed Divines, from the Age of threescore and ten, to two and twenty, ready to be lat crit for certain ftipulated Suns, deducling a proper Premium for the Agent from every one of them. If any labouring Curate, Letturer, Vior::ing Preccher, &c. is too busy or too idle to perforin his own Duty, he may immediately repair io the faill Ollice, and be supplied with as much found and orthodox Divinity as he is able or willing to pay for. To this very uteful Gentleman, ' I'lad myfuf, not long since, Occasion to apply,
που ήμιν παντο».
being obliged to leave my Church for a Fortnight ; when the following Conversation, as near as I can remember, passed between us : if it does not make you smile, I can only say, your Lordship’s risible Muscles are not so pliant as they used to be.
Curate. I suppose, Mr. H>, you can guess my Er. rand I am going out of Town To-morrow, and shåll want a Supply, and withal, Master HI
come to inform you, I shall commence from this Day both Agent and patient, and intend to hire and to be hired fo, as I am likely to be a pretty constant Dealer, and am besides an old Acquaintance, hope you will give me the Turn of the Scale: so put me down in your Lift immediately.
Mr. H- (pulling out the Lift. It shall be done, Sir: and a most respectable Lif it is, I assure you ; I have just got a fresh Cargo of Scotch Divines, piping hot from Edinburgh ; besides the old Corps-my Collection ends with--let me fee.--fourteen School-Masters, five Doctors of Divinity, (pray, my Lord mind the Climax) two Reviewers, three political Writers, two Bible-makers, and a K-CM-n.
Mr. Han Excellent Scholars, charming Preachers, I assure you: but, entre nous, not one of them worth Sixpence in the World---but to your Business.
Curate, Aye, Mr. H-, I must have good Voice for Wednesdags and Fridays, and one of your best Ora
tors for Sunday next: you know, my Congregation is a little delicate.
Mr, H Aye; more nice than wise perhaps...but let us look' sharp---here's Parfon Raubones, one of my Athletic, able-bodied Divines, it is not long since he knock'd down a Clerk in the Desk for interrupt ing him in the Middle of a Prayer this, you know, shew'd a good Spirit, and keeps yp the Dignity of the Cloth: but I doubt whether he'll do for you ; for he's a North country Man, and has got the Burr in his Throat ; he'll never pass at your End of the Town : I shall sport him, however, at a Dayoleca ture, or an early Sacrament.
find me out somebody, for I am in Haste.
Mr. H If you had wanted a Brawler for a Charity Ser. mon, I could have help'd you to the best Beggar in England, an Errant Pick-pocket for the Middle Ise; beats your Des and W-'s out of the Pit, a Doctor of Divinity 100, and a Justice of Peace ; but he won't do for you, for the Dog's oves Head and Ears in Debt, and durft not ftir out on 2 Week-day for Fear of the Bum-bailiffs ; but--here I have him for you.--the quickest Reader in England : I'll bet my Stackhouse's Bible to a CommonPrayer Book, he gives Dr. Drawl to the Te Deum, and overtakes him before he comes to the Thankl. giving ! O, he's a rare Hand at a Collect; but, remember, if he preaches, you must furnish him with the Paraphernalia , for he's but just got upon the List, and has not Money enough yet to pur. chase Canonicals.
Curate. O, we can equip him with them, but what's his Price?
Mr.H [whispers. Why, you would not offer him less than for the sake of your Brethren, for your own Sake. Let me tell you,, Sir, I am one of the best Friends to the inferior Clergy, and
have done more for them, (and that's a bold Word) than the whole Bench of Bps. "I believe I may fafely say, I have raised the Price of Lungs at least Cent. per Cent : I knew the Time, and so did you, when a well caffock'd Divine was glad to read Prayers, and on a Holiday too, for Twelve-pence; old never had more in his Life ; now, Sir, I never let a Tit of my Stable, (you'll pardon my Jocularity) under five Shillings.--
My Friend H- was running on in this un. merciful Manner; and would, for aught I know, have talked to this Time, if I had not stopp'd him short, pretended immediate Business, paid my Earnest, and took my Léave: not a little chagrin'd, you may imagine, at the contemptuous Kindness he expressed for the Cloth, and the degrading Familiarity with which he treated that Function to which your Lordlhip, equally with myself, has the Honour to belong;
To say the Truth - But this must be deferred, with many other Considerations, to another Letter; my Wife having just now broke into my Study to remind me, that I have a Sermon to finish before Ten, To-morrow, which will scarce give me Time to subscribe myself,