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ordinary meetings of the senate, they were fixed to the day of the calends, and the day of the ides, in every month; and consequently did not require to be notified. Now, if the Senators and men of note passed a great part of their time in the country, what may we judge of the inferior citizens? Above three parts in four of them (probably) saw the city but once in every nine days, in the time of peace. They came thither only to buy necessaries for their farms, and to examine whether they should approve or reject any new regulations; which the magistrates fixed upon the Capitol, and up in the Forum, three market-days successively before they were offered to be confirmed. It was on these market-days that (in time) the tribunes of the people entertained them with the affairs of the government, and the changes that were to be made; and by their harangues fomented the jealousies which agitated the different orders of the community, under the republic.

Lastly, the practice of husbandry must have been universally esteemed amongst the Romans for a considerable time, when Cicero (towards the declension of the commonwealth) speaks honourably of it; and does not scruple to affirm, that, even then, the persons of probity and distinction gloried more in being enrolled amongst

the country tribes, than in being numbered amongst the wealthiest of the city families.

I shall pursue this subject in the next halfsheet, that I may here have room to make a few remarks on what has been said.

This account of the Romans is not peculiar to them; but may be applied as justly to most nations, if we look back into their ancient manners and customs. There was a time, when tillage, pasturage, breeding of cattle, and planting, were not ignoble occupations in this island: neither is it yet half a century, since most of our country gentlemen have been bred in a complete ignorance of husbandry, to learn the idleness of the town. We can likewise, even to this day, shew perhaps a more ample catalogue of rural surnames, than the Romans could ever boast of: several of which are taken from animals; as Lamb, Kid, Colt, Bullock, Gosling, Cock, Dove, Partridge, Pheasant: others from country occupations; as Shepherd, Cowherd, Farmer, Plowman, Gardener: many from grain, trees, plants, and flowers; as Wheat, Oats, Ash, Birch, Broom, Ivy, Violet, Lilly, Primrose: some from fruits; as Cherry, Strawberry, Nut, Haws, Sweetapple, Crab: others from the water; as Lake, Pool, Ford, Rivers, Brooks: and several from the nature or distribution of

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the ground; as Hill, Dale, Heath, Wood, Greenwood, Lane, Hedges, Acres, Meadows.

Thus did our ancient families distinguish themselves by appellations which betokened industry, innocence, and independency; and which bore some relation to either their lands, their seats, or their business. If most of the flourishing modern families, who haunt the town, were to copy after our predecessors in this respect; many, who might be ambitious of being dignified by their places of abode, would have a right to assume the surnames of White's, Tom's, Will's,Button's, the Grecian, Jonathan's, Changealley, Groom-Porter's, &c. Others, who might be more desirous to be known by the particular arts of life they cultivated, or might be proud of signifying to posterity by what industry they happened to thrive in the world, would not be thought to arrogate by appropriating to themselves the genteel names of Hazard, Piquet, Ombre, Basset, Punter, Masker; Gamester, likewise, and Sharper, are no disreputable nor improper titles, with a handsome equipage; and, if any gentleman of the industrious tribe should have a particular fondness to a rural denomination, he may borrow, from a country animal, the surname of Setter.

FREE-THINKER, No. 120, May 15, 1719.


Ubi pro labore desidia, pro continentia et æquitate lubido atque superbia invasere, fortuna simul cum moribus immutatur.


Where sloth prevails instead of industry, where sensuality and pride have banished temperance and equity; the prosperity together with the morals of a country must necessarily undergo a change.

To carry on the essay, which was begun in my last.About the five hundred and seventieth year of the city (after the second Punic war), the Romans were invited into Greece, by the Ætolians and the Athenians: and when they had subdued Philip, King of Macedon, and his son Perses; flushed with success, they extended their conquests into the Lesser Asia, and into Syria. Hence, their own writers date the visible declension of their former simplicity. Their victories turned to their prejudice; for, with the arts, they adopted the vices, of the people they had subjected to their empire.

There was a sudden change in Rome: new arts and sciences were studied; the houses were new modeled and enlarged; sumptuous furniture and costly apparel were coveted; and their



diet was poisoned with the wantonness of cookery; the mounds of their ancient discipline overborne by the inundation of foreign luxuries, they refined their manners into excesses of every kind. In vain did the Censor now remind his fellowcitizens of the severity of their ancestors: example was grown too powerful for his authority: pleasure and idleness became liberal, labour and industry servile distinctions. The corruption, which began among the quality, insensibly infected the people to such a degree, that at last the most useless citizen was accounted the most honourable. In this polite state of degeneracy, their time (which before was usually employed to some laudable purpose) was now wholly divided between amusements, ceremonies, the tasks of ambition, feasting, and immoderate sleep: which brings me to what I proposed in the beginning of my preceding paper.

During the first four hundred and sixty years, the Romans knew no other divisions of the day, but into the morning, the noon, and the evening; and, in the law of the Twelve Tables, there is no mention made but of the rising and setting of the sun; neither was it till some years after, that the common crier proclaimed the noon with a loud voice.

Pliny says, that the first instrument which

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