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vagabonds, many of them earn more than a thoufand a-year. You are amazed. There is cause for amazement. A vagabond with a thousand a-year is indeed a curiosity in nature; a wonder far furpaffing the flying fifh, petrified crab, or travelling lobfter. However, from my great love to the profeffion, I would willingly have them divested of part of their contempt, and part of their finery; the law fhould kindly take them under the wing of protection, fix them into a corporation like that of the barbers, and abridge their ignominy and their penfions. As to their abilities in other refpects, I would leave that entirely to the public, who are certainly in this cafe the propereft judges-whether they defpise

them or no.

Yes, my Fum, I would abridge their pensions. A theatrical warrior who conducts the battles of the stage, fhould be cooped up with the fame caution as a Bantam cock that is kept for fighting. When one of those animals is taken from its native dung hill, we retrench it both in the quantity of its food, and the number of its feraglio: players should in the fame manner be fed, not fattened; they should be permitted to get their bread, but not eat the people's bread into the bargain; and inftead of being permitted to keep four miftreffes, in confcience, they should be contented only with two.

Were ftage-players thus brought into bounds, perhaps we fhould find their admirers lefs fanguine, and consequently less ridiculous in patronizing them. We should be no longer ftruck with the abfurdity of feeing the fame people, whofe valour makes fuch a figure abroad, apostrophizing in the praise of a bouncing block

head, and wrangling in the defence of a copper-tailed actress at home.

I fhall conclude my letter with the fenfible admonition of Me, the philofopher. "You love harmony, fays he, and are charmed with mufic, I do not blame you for hearing a fine voice, when you are in your closet with a lovely parterre under your eye, or in the night time, while perhaps the moon diffuses her filver rays. But is a man to carry this paffion fo far as to let a company of comedians, musicians, and fingers grow rich upon his exhaufted fortune? If fo, he resembles one of those dead bodies whose brains the embalmers have picked out through its ears." Adieu.

LETTER LXXXVI.

FROM THE SAME.

Of all the places of amufement where gentlemen and

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ladies are entertained, I have not been yet to visit Newmarket. This, I am told, is a large field, where, upon certain occafions, three or four horfes are brought together then fet a running, and that horfe which runs fwiftest wins the wager.

This is reckoned a very polite and fashionable amusement here, much more followed by the nobility than partridge fighting at Java, or paper kites at Madagscar. Several of the great here, I am told, understand as much of farriery as their grooms; and a horse, with any share of merit, can never want a patron among the nobility. VOL II. H

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We have a defcription of this entertainment almost every day in fome of the gazettes, as for inftance: "On fuch a day the Give-and-Take plate was run for between his Grace's Crab, his Lordship's Periwinkle, and 'Squire Smackem's Slamerkin. All rode their own horfes. There was the greatest concourse of nobility that has been known here for feveral feafons. The odds were in favour of Crab in the beginning; but Slamerkin, after the firft heat, feemed to have the match hollow; however, it was foon feen that Periwinkle improved in wind, which at last turned out accordingly; Crab was run to a stand still, Slamerkin was knocked up, and Periwinkle was brought in with universal applaufe." Thus you fee Periwinkle received univerfal applause, and no doubt his lordship came in for some share of that praise which was fo liberally bestowed upon Periwinkle. Sun of China! how glorious must the fenator appear in his cap and leather breeches, his whip crossed in his mouth, and thus coming to the goal amongst the shouts of grooms, jockies, pimps, ftable-bred dukes, and degraded generals!

From the defcription of this princely amusement now tranfcribed, and from the great veneration I have for the characters of its principal promoters, I make no doubt but I fhall look upon an horse-race with becoming reverence, predisposed as I am by a fimilar amusement, of which I have lately been a spectator: for just now I happened to have an opportunity of being prefent at a cart

race.

Whether this contention between three carts of diffe. rent parishes was promoted by a fubfcription among the nobility, or whether the grand jury in council affembled had gloriously combined to encourage plausible merit, I

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cannot take upon me to determine; but certain it is the
whole was conducted with the utmost regularity and de-
corum; and the company, which made a brilliant ap-
pearance, were universally of opinion, that the sport
was high, the running fine, and the riders influenced by
no bribe.

It was run on the road from London to a village called Brentford, between a turnip cart, a dust cart, and a dung cart, each of the owners condefcending to mount and be his own driver. The odds at starting were Duft against Dung, five to four; but after half a mile going, the knowing ones found themselves all on the wrong fide, and it was turnip against the field, brafs to filver.

Soon, however, the conteft became more doubtful; Turnip, indeed, kept the way, but it was perceived, that Dung had better bottom. The road re-echoed with the fhouts of the fpectators; Dung against Turnip, Turnip against Dung, was now the univerfal cry: neck and neck, one rode lighter, but the other had more judgment. I could not but particularly observe the ardour, with which the fair fex efpoufed the cause of the different riders on this occasion: one was charmed with the unwashed beauties of Dung; another was captivated with the patibulary aspect of Turnip; while, in the mean time, unfortunate, gloomy Duft, who came whipping behind, was cheered by the encouragement of fome, and pity of all.

The contention now continued for fome time without a poffibility of determining to whom victory defigned the prize. The winning-post appeared in view, and he who drove the turnip cart affured himself of fuccefs; and fuccefsful he might have been, had his horfe been as

£ 7817 ed

ambitious as he; but upon approaching a turn from the road, which led homewards, the horse fairly ftood still, and refused to move a foot farther. The dung cart had fcarce time to enjoy this temporary triumph, when it was pitched headlong into a ditch by the way fide, and the rider left to wallow in congenial mud. Duft in the mean time foon came up, and not being far from the poft, came in amidst the fhouts and acclamations of all the spectators, and greatly careffed by all the quality of Brentford. Fortune was kind only to one, who ought to have been favourable to all; each had peculiar merit, each laboured hard to earn the prize, and each richly deferved the cart he drove.

I do not know whether this defcription may not have anticipated that which I intended giving of Newmarket. I am told there is little elfe to be feen even there. There may be fome minute differences in the dress of the fpectators, but none at all in their understandings; the quality of Brentford are as remarkable for politeness and delicacy as the breeders of Newmarket. The quality of Brentford drive their own carts, and the honourable fraternity of Newmarket ride their own horses. In short, the matches in one place are as rational as those in the other; and it is more than probable, that turnips, dust, and dung, are all that can be found to furnish out description in either.

Forgive me, my friend, but a person like me, bred up in a philofophic feclusion, is apt to regard, perhaps with much asperity, those occurrences which fink man below his station in nature, and diminish the intrinsic value of humanity.

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