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shaded with hair, and she renews her teeth ; her cheeks glow with youth, and her forehead is fair and smooth. And now she begins to recollect her youthful airs and virgin coyness, and sets her person out to the best advantage. But, she is troubled to find herself but meanly appareled; her coats short and scanty; and her waistcoat of a coarse woollen stuff: she was not used to be thus poorly equipped ; and one of her own guards, who took her for some rude creature, went to turn her out of the palace.

Then said Mopsy to her, “I perceive you are not a little uneasy in my condition, and I am much more weary of yours; crown again, and give me back my russet garment. The exchange was soon made : as soon the queen withered, and the virginpeasant bloomed afresh. The restitution was hardly completed on both sides, when each began to repent; but it was too late, for the Fairy had now condemned them both to remaine in their proper condition.

The queen bewailed herself daily upon the smallest indisposition: “Alas! (would she say) if I was Mopsy at this time, I should sleep indeed in' a cottage, and feed upon chesnuts ; but then, by day, I should dance in the shade with the shepherds, to the sweet music of the

pipe. What am I happier for lying in an embroidered bed, where I am never free from pain? or, for my numerous attendants, who have not the power to relieve me?"

Her grief for having forfeited her choice increased her indispositions; and the physicians (who were twelve in number) constantly attending her, soon brought her distempers to a height. Briefly, she died at the end of two months. Mopsy was in the midst of a dance with her companions, on the bank of a running stream, when tidings came of the Queen's death : then she blessed herself that she had escaped from royalty, more through good-fortune and impatience, than through forecast and resolution.

FREE-THINKER, No. 92, Feb. 6, 1718.

No. XX.

We've cheated the parson, we'll cheat him ageng
For why should a blockhead have one in ten ?


The following treatise, occasioned by a report that the Tithe-bill would be revived this sessions, was sent from an unknown person, by the post, to our bookseller.

“His Worship holding the Parson's Tithe-pig by the tail ; or, Five Arguments, most humbly offered to the public, and more particularly addressed to many members of the honourable House of Commons; setting forth and shewing the great reason there is for passing the Tithebill (as it is commonly called), which was brought before the Parliament the last sessions, though unfortunately not ordered a secoad reading.

“Courteous Reader,

“ I look upon it as one of the chief causes of the decay of primitive christianity, that there is any set of men particularly appointed to attend upon the affairs of religion. We should certainly do much better without them than with them, and be able to find a way

to make their revenues more serviceable to the good of the nation, and turn to a much better account, than they do at present. If religion is a personal thing between God and a man's own conscience (as without all doubt it must be), it then follows from the reason and nature of things, and is demonstratively proved by the Independent Whig, that there cannot be the least occasion for a parson, and that every man ought to be a spiritual guide unto himself; for which the countrymen and day-labourers of England seem at present to be extremely well qualified; they being most of them able, as I have been credibly informed, to read English.

“As for the clergy, it must be acknowledged that they have hitherto tolerably well maintained their ground. But how have they maintained it? or why have they been able to maintain it? why, not by their own great learning and abilities; not by the exemplariness of their lives, or the prudence of their behaviour ; but by a constant fatal mismanagement in the worthy gentlemen who have opposed them ; who, by laying their arguments in too loose, indigested, and incoherent a way; and by being more intent upon exposing the follies, weaknesses, or wickednesses of particular persons, than upon the grand point of shewing the use

lessness of the order itself; have ever given the soberer and more rational part of the clergy some room for acclamation and triumph. I must say for my present performance (and I hope that it will not be thought to have the least tendency towards vanity), that I have carefully avoided this method. I argue close; I keep to the point; and do not let my reader lose sight of the subject, as is commonly done by most writers : and though I have purposely insisted only upon five arguments, when I could very well have produced treble the number; yet, I hope, these five are so well managed, and set in so clear a light, that the Reverends and the Right Reverends will find themselves held to hard diet, and have a very troublesome and difficult bone to pick.

“Fare thee well, live and grow wiser.

“ Before I proceed to lay my arguments for passing the Tithe-bill before my reader, I must beg leave, by way of introduction, to premise, and very solemnly to assure him, that I have set myself with the utmost impartiality, and without the least bias on my mind of interest, prejudice, or passion, to examine the subject. I can safely say that I have not, nay, that I never had, any private quarrel or misunder

VOL. 1.


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