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Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
By Mrs. JENNY DISTAFF, Half-sister to
From my own Apartment, July 6.
I FIND among my brother's papers the following letter verbatim, which I wonder how he could suppress so long as he has, since it was sent him for no other end, but to shew the good effect his writings have already had upon the ill customs of the age.
London, June 25.
The end of all public papers ought to be the benefit and instruction, as well as the diversion, of the readers; to which I see none so truly conducive as your late performances; especially those tending to the rooting out from among us that unchristianlike and bloody custom of duelling; which that you have already in some measure performed, will appear to the public in the following no less true than heroic story.
'A noble gentleman of this city, who has the ho
nour of serving his country as Major of the Trainbands, being at the general mart of stock-jobbers, called Jonathan's, endeavouring to raise himself (as all men of honour ought) to the degree of colonel at least; it happened that he bought the bear of another officer, who, though not commissioned in the army, yet no less eminently serves the public than the other in raising the credit of the kingdom by raising that of the stocks. However, having sold the bear, and words arising about the delivery, the most noble Major, no less scorning to be out-witted in the coffee-house, than to run into the field, according to method, abused the other with the titles of rogue, villain, bear-skin man, and the like. Whereupon satisfaction was demanded, and accepted; so, forth the Major marched, commanding his adversary to follow. To a most spacious room in a sheriff's house, near the place of quarrel, they come; where, having due regard to what you have lately published, they resolved not to shed one another's blood in that barbarous manner you prohibited; yet, not willing to put up affronts without satisfaction, they stripped, and in decent manner fought full fairly with their wrathful hands. The combat lasted a quarter of an hour; in which time victory was often doubtful, and many a dry blow was strenuously laid on by each side, until the Major, finding his adversary obstinate, unwilling to give him farther chastisement, with most shrill voice cried out, satisfied enough!" Whereupon the combat ceased, and both were friends immediately.
Thus the world may see, how necessary it is to encourage those men, who make it their business to instruct the people in every thing necessary for their preservation. I am informed a body of worthy citizens have agreed on an address of thanks to you for what you have writ on the foregoing subject,