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CHA P. II.

A GOOD - NATURED PAGE OR TWO, WHICH MAY PERHAPS MEND THE

READER'S TEMPER.

A

BOUT fix years ago I had re

tired into one of the most romantick parts of Cumberland, and was one day so tenderly inclined men have their fits of benevolence that every thing within contact was the better for me. It happened to be a day too, wherein many opportunities of being gracious presented themselves. Destiny seemed to take advantage of it by a care to supply me with objects. It is worth your while to mark how my feelings were exercised. The old cat brought into the world nine young; and I saw

eight

B 3

eight of them basketted for death. Savage, cried I, to the servant, carry back the poor things to their mother! and instead of straw let them be wrapped up in cotton. Scarce was this reprieve given to the offspring, of one party, before that of another rose to view. I was one of his majesty's justices, and, it seems, the

which it was my office to guard, had been broken by a wench who had been fo improvident to follow the impulses of nature before they were fanctified by law. Wretch, (said the constable who . was dragging her before me) how dare you bring your burthens on this parish ? Wrerch, (said I to the constable) what is that to thee? So I gently chid the mother, and kissed the child, for she had concealed her3

peace,

felf

felf till that time, and was taken in the wicked act of giving it suck. This fired the feelings of the constable and softened mine. Let a chamber and a cradle be provided for this child, and give something comfortable to the mother, and pray carry some new milk to the cat with nine kittens: Shall I save a cat, and have no charity for a fellowcreature? These strokes so smoothed me, and prepared for future events, that I was almost afraid to breathe out my joy, left with that breath I should destroy the animalcula which naturalists say are thereby murthered. I set my foot on the ground with caution, left I should crush some honest infect that might be as well disposed as myself. My very legs ached when I perceived I was within an hair's B. 4

breadth

breadth of extirminating an ant who was laden with food, which I could not but fancy was designed to a fick friend in the neighbouring hillock. As I pursued my walk along my garden, wishing the universe a thousand good lucks, I cast my eye aflant a quick-set, and saw a Linnet extending the maternal wing over her nest. Looking behind me, I beheld the gardener whetting his sheers. Hark ye friend, said I, in that hedge there is a family which I take upon me to protect, and therefore so far from your clipping off a twigBut, fir, it spoils the look of the whole garden, interrupted the gardener. I was so shocked at the fellow's inhumanity, that my hand had, insensibly, got into my pocket to feel for the price of his discharge. Not

choosing

choosing to be whimsical, I thought it best to go another way to work. I put half a crown into his hand, and told him I preferred the luxuriant branches of the natural hedge to the smuggest alteration he and his sheers could possibly make. This did not quite satisfy him. The man had got a habit of spoiling Nature, and loved lopping away a beauty in his foul. My Linnet seemed to suspect him. She had shifted about in her nest so as to command his whole person. I trembled for her. How is thy wife to-day, John ? said I. As well as can be expected, fir, replied he, for a woman who looks to be brought to bed every hour; she has the head-ach too, and I am obliged to take off my shoes to go into her chamber. John, said I, you

are

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