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SIR,

LETTER X.

BREMEN,

HE Gentleman, who, as I told you in my last, had invited me to dine with him, fent his Coach to fetch the Major and me, according to Appointment, at my Lodgings. In our Way to the New Town, which as I faid before, is feparated from the Old City, by the River Wefer, we pafs'd over a Bridge of Boats, which is the only Communication between the two. At that End towards the Old Town, is a large and handfom Mill, belonging, if I miftake not, to the Public, and there are feveral other fmall ones on the River near it. The New Town, which confifts chiefly of Gardens, with fmall Plea fure-houses, belonging to the principal Merchants, and other Inhabitants of the old City, has larger, and much more regular Streets than that, and they are most of them planted with Rows of Limes or Wild Chefnuts, which make it, taken all together, å very agreable Place. The Inhabitants who dwell conftantly there are mostly of the meaner Sort; there are, however, fome handsom stately Houses, which are inhabited Winter and Summer, and of these none more fo, than that' to which I was invited. It is a modern Brick-Building (a Thing not very common here) on the River Side: But what makes it the more agreable is, that it is well furnish'd in the Infide, and does not confift, as is very common here, of a meer Outfide-Shew, with pare white-wafh'd Walls within, and the Furniture

only

This

only a Table and Looking-glafs, with Chairs of feveral Sorts: The whole Houfe, or as far as I faw of it, is genteely furnish'd, and our Entertainment was as handfom, but egregiously fuperfluous. When the first Course, which confifted of feverat Dishes and Affiettes, was fet on the Table, I concluded, by the Variety of it, that, with a Defert, was to be all; and accordingly I made my Dinner, as ufual, with a Difh or two I lik'd; but how was I furprized, as well as mortified, to find the Table continually fupplied with fresh Dishes, for near four Hours together. The good Dame of the House, who was by no Means fo agreable Converfation as her Hufband, but ceremonious even to Impertinence, was every Moment fending me Benjamin's Portions of various Dishes, and feem'd to exprefs an Uneafinefs, that fhew'd fhe thought me guilty of ill Manners, if I did not, at least, take Part of every Plate that came from her Hands. Manner of gorging their Guests, with a Superfluity of Dishes, and preffing them to eat of every one, is, it seems, the Custom of the Country, at all Feasts, and especially for the Entertainment of Strangers; and that even in Families, who cannot fo well afford it, tho' they fhould not have a good Meal in fome Weeks after. Our Hoft was as free with his Wine, as his Lady with her Eatables, but not quite fo importunate: However, their ceremonious Manner of drinking, draws a Man infenfibly, and almoft unavoidably, into taking a large Quantity of Liquor. As I was looked upon to be the principal Gueft, the firft Glafs was a Bumper drank to me, by our Hoft, to bid me welcome, which I could not but pledge in the fame Manner. I expected to fee the fame Ceremony to every one of the Guefts, and began to pity my hofpitable Friend; but found he, foon after, welcomed all the Reft in one Glass, and they having all their Glaffes

fill'd, pledg'd him at one and the fame Time. The third Glafs was by Madam, to my Health, which was followed, immediately after, by a fourth, to the Health of the whole Company, which was all fhe, and a Couple of Ladies more at the Table, drank. Our Landlord then proposed the Health of his Right Hand Man, but was put in Mind, that a Health to the Ladies was first required, and this, being back'd by the whole Company, was complied with,. and each of them remember'd fingly. This done, the Health of every one at Table went round, and were drank by the whole Company together, except the Perfon whofe Health was in Turn, who, with great Ceremony, returned Thanks, afterwards, to the whole Company. Thus every one drank above twenty large Wine-glaffes, full, to the Brim, of Old Hock, during the Time of Dinner!

THE Table being clear'd, and the Ladies retir'd, our Hoft, in Complaifance to me, began the King of Great Britain's Health, in a CrownGlafs (as they call it) or a Glafs with a Cover; holding near a Pint, which went round, every Man delivering the Cover of his Glafs to his next Neighbour, as a Token that he was to pledge him. Several other public Healths, relating to Great Britain, went round in the fame Manner, which oblig'd me to return the Civility, by propofing the Emperor, the Senat, and feveral other Healths, which more immediately regarded them. Our Hoft was, ndeed, fo Complaifant to tell me, he had that Value for the English Freedom of Converfation, that I was entirely at my Liberty. However, as I had before tried both their Strength and my own, and found I was a Match for any of them; and, befides, believed it would be the only ceremonious Entertainment I fhould be prefent at, I refolv'd to ke them out. By this Time, you may imagine,

a good

a good Part of the Company were fomething more than merry, and were in a fair Way to be cut off from the Society, had not a Reprieve, in Form of an Invitation from Madam, to drink a Difh of Tea or Coffee, in her Apartment, come timely to' their Relief.

WE all immediately adjourned thither, and found our Hostess had been fo Complaifant to invite a good Number of her Female Acquaintance, to make a mix'd Affembly. The Room, which was pretty fpacious, was handfomly illuminated, and in the Middle of it was placed a large Table, cover'd in a beautiful Manner, with all Sorts of wet and dry Sweet-Meats, Oranges, and dried Fruits. The Tea and Coffee was prepar'd at a large fquare Table, in one of the lower Corners of the Room, where three Servant-Maids, in decent and becoming Habits, ftood ready to ferve the Company. The firft Ceremony, which confifted of taking each of the Ladies by the Hand, inftead of faluting them, being over, every one fat down, as Inclination or Chance led them, empty Chairs having been, as I imagin'd defignedly, left between the Ladies for that Purpose. And now began the moft diverting Scene I had been present at, fince my Arrival in this Country. The Gentlemen being most of them pretty warm, and of Course amorous, began to make their Addreffes, each to the Lady nearest to him: but it was on their Side in a forced and affected Strain of Courtship, an odd Compofition, between innocent Freedom, and bridled Affurance, and was received, on the other Side, with a fhy Refervedness, and, at the fame Time, forward Compliance, a Motly of Sanctity and Libertinifm, like thofe Dames whimfically defcribed by Hudibras,

Who, with one Hand, thruft Woer from,
And with the other pull him bome;

all

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all which together, made the Converfation a perfect Comedy. Amidst this Diverfion, I had, however, the Mortification to find, I was gaz'd upon as the only Fool in the Company, for being a Stranger not only to the ceremonious Part of their Converfation, but, in a great Measure, to their Language. I imagine I behaved like a CountryKnight, among a Parcel of Goffips at a Chriftening, or a young Squire, just removed by his Mamma, from the Nursery to the Vifiting-Room; not knowing whither or how to direct my Difcourfe. At Length, an agreable young Lady, in whom I had obferv'd an Air degagé, which the Ladies in this Country are perfectly unacquainted with, made an Excufe to go out of the Room, and when fhe return'd, her Place being taken, fat herself down by me, and afk'd me, in French, how I liked the Company. I foon perceived fhe was a French Woman, and that he was ready to burft for want of an Opportunity of unbridling her Tongue, and giving Vent to the Obfervations I found the was brim-full of; I foon gave her Eafe, by begining with fome I had made, after which the difembogued with all the Freedom I could wifh, and I was as open on my Side. You may eafily imagine, hardly any of the Company efcaped our Cenfure, either for their Perfons, Drels, or Behavior. Among other Singularities, I could not but obferve one that to me appear'd very whimfical, which was, that as well the Ladies as the Gentlemen not only rank to one another's Health in Tea and Coffee, but wifh'd it to one another, at the Cuting of an Orange, or eating a preferved Pear or Plum. As our Converfation was pretty free, I imagin'd my Behavior might, without Offence, be the fame, and once offer'd to falute my fhe Friend; but met with a civil Rebuke, and was told, that however, eady fhe might be to allow of that Liberty, and

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