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own, that a man may say very reasonably, he would not tell a lie, if he was sure to gain hell by it;' or if you have a mind to soften the expression, that he would not tell a lie to gain any temporal reward by it, when he should run the hazard of losing much more than it was possible for him to gain. O
No. DVIII. MONDAY, OCTOBER 13.
Omnes autem & habentur & dicuntur tyranni, qui potestate sunt perpetua, in ea civitate quæ libertate usa est.
For all those are accounted and denominated tyrants, who
exercise a perpetual power in that state, which was before free.
THE following letters complain of what I have frequently observed with very much indignation ; therefore I shall give them to the public in the words with which my correspondents, who suffer under the hardships mentioned in them, describe them.
• IN former ages all pretensions to dominion have been supported and submitted to, either upon account of inheritance, conquest, or election; and all such persons who have taken upon them any sovereignty over their fellow creatures upon any other account, have been always called tyrants, not so much because they were guilty of any particular barbarities, as because every attempt to such a superiority was in its nature tyrannical. But there is another sort of potentates who may with greater propriety be call
ed tyrants than those last mentioned, both as they assume a despotic dominion over those as free as themselves, and as they support it by acts of notable oppression and injustice ; and these are the rulers in all clubs and meetings. In other governments, the punishments of some have been alleviated by the rewards of others; but what makes the reign of these potentates so particularly grievous, is, that they are exquisite in punishing their subjects, at the same time they have it not in their power to reward them. That the reader may the better comprehend the nature of these monarchs, as well as the miserable state of those that are their vassals, I shall give an account of the king of the company I am fallen into, whom for his particular tyranny I shall call Dionysius ; as also of the seeds that sprung up to this odd sort of empire.
*Upon all meetings at taverns, it is necessary some one of the company should take it upon him to get all ihings in such order and readiness, as may contribute as much as possible to the felicity of the convention ; such as hastening the fire, getting a sufficient number of candles, tasting the wine with a ju. dicious smack, fixing the supper, and being brisk for the dispatch of it. Know then, that Dionysius went through these offices with an air that seemed to express a satisfaction rather in serving the public, than in gratifying any particular inclination of his own. We thought him a person of an exquisite palate, and therefore by consent beseeched him to be always our proveditor, which post, after he had handsomely denied, he could do no otherwise than accept. At first he made no other use of his power, than in recommending such and such things to the company, ever allowing these points to be disputable ; insomuch that I have often carried the debate for partridge, when his majesty has given intimation of the high relish of duck, but at the same time has cheerfully
submitted, and devoured his partridge with most gracious resignation. This submission on his side naturally produced the like on ours; of which he in a little time made such barbarous advantage, as in all those matters, which before seemed indifferent to him, to issue out certain edicts as uncontrolable and unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians. He is by turns outrageous, peevish, froward, and jovial. He thinks it our duty for the little offices, as proveditor, that in return all conversation is to be interrupted or promoted by his inclination for or against the present humour of the company. We feel, at present, in the utmost extremity, the insolence of office; however, I, being naturally warm, ventured to oppose him in a dispute about a haunch of venison. I was altogether for roasting, but Dionysius declared himself for boiling with so much prowess and resolution, that the cook thought it necessary to consult his own safety, rather than the luxury of my proposition. With the same authority that he orders what we shall eat and drink, he also commands us where to do it, and we change our taverns according as he suspects any treasonable practices in the settling the bill by the master, or sees any bold rebellion in point of attendance by the waiters. Another reason for changing the seat of empire, I conceive to be the pride he takes in the promulgation of our slavery, though we pay our club for our entertainments even in these palaces of our grand monarch. When he has a mind to take the air, a party of us are commanded out by way of life guard, and we march under as great restrictions as they do. If we meet a neighbouring king, we give or keep the way according as we are out-numbered or not; and if the train of each is equal in number, rather than give battle, the superiority is soon adjusted by a desertion from one of them.
Now, the expulsion of these unjust rulers out of all societies would gain a man as everlasting a reputation, as either of the Brutus's got from their endeavours to extirpate tyranny from among the Romans. I confess myself to be in a conspiracy against the usurper of our club ; and to shew my reading as well as my merciful disposition, shall allow him until the ides of March, to dethrone himself. If he seems to affect empire until that time, and does not gradually recede from the incursions he has made upon our liberties, he shall find a dinner dressed which he has no hand in, and shall be treated with an order, magnificence and luxury, as shall break his proud heart; at the same time that he shall be convinced in his stomach he was unfit for his post, and a more mild and skilful prince receive the acclamations of the people, and be set up in his room : but, as Milton says,
.... These thoughts
• I am, Sir,
your most obedient humble servant.'
•1 AM a young woman at a gentleman's seat in the country, who is a particular friend of my father's and came hither to pass away a month or two with his daughters. I have been entertained with the utmost civility by the whole family, and nothing has been omitted which can make my stay easy and agrecable on the part of the family : but there is a gentleman here, a visitant as I am, whose behaviour has given me great uneasinesses. When I first arrived here, he used me with the utmost complaisance ; but,
forsooth, that was not with regard to my sex, and since he has no designs upon me, he does not know why he should distinguish me from a man in thing's indifferent. He is, you must know, one of those familiar coxcombs, who have observed some well-bred men with a good grace converse with women, and say no fine things, but yet treat them with that sort of respect which flows from the heart and the understanding, but is exerted in no professions or compliinents. This puppy, to imitate this excellence, or avoid the contrary fault of being troublesome in complaisance, takes upon him to try his talent upon me, insomuch that he contradicts me upon all occasions, and one day told me I lied. If I had stuck him with my bodkin, and behaved myself like a man, since he will not treat me as a woman, I had, I think, served hien rigát. I wish, Sir, you would please to give him some maxims of behaviour in these points, and resolve me if all maids are not in point of conversation to be treated by all bachelors as their mistresses ? if not so, are they not to be used as gently as their sisters? Is it sufferable, that the fop of whom I complain should say, as he would rather have such-a-one without a groat, than me with the Indies ? What right has any man to make suppositions of things not in his power, and then declare his will to the dislike of one that has never offended him ? I assure you these are things worthy your consideration, and I hope we shall have your thoughts upon them. I am, though a woman, justly offended, ready to forgive all this, because I have no remedy but leaving very agreeable company sooner than I desire. This also is an heinous aggravation of his offence, that he is inflicting banishment upon me. Your printing this letter may perhaps be an admonition to reform him :
: as soon as it appears I will write my name at the end of it, and lay it in his way; the making