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think what a different Behaviour we should one Day be obliged to assume towards some of their illustrious Brethren in this Metropolis.
The common People, my Lord, in this Kingdom of Liberty, are of so combustible a Nature, that the least Point of Dispute blows them up into a Flame: a Conteft about Church-Vardens, the Choice of a select Vestry-Man, or a paltry Lectureship, shall set as many sober Cizizens together by the Ears as a County Election. To say the Truth, there is now-a-days almost as much dirty Work practised in the canvassing for one as for the other, The Parson, as well as the Candidate, must play over, if he hopes for Success, all the little low Tricks of bribing the Indigent, flattering the Proud, cajoling the Rich, abusing and calumniating his Antagonist, buying, making, splitting, hiding Votes ; the whole Catalogue, in fhort, of ministerial Artifices must be practised in the Vestry with as little Conscience as on the Huftings; and a Candidate for St. A 's Church has almost as much Mire to wade through, as a Candidate for St. Ş's Chapel.
But, as I have heard say in Westminster-Hall, there is nothing like a CASE in Point; I will therefore treat your Lordship with one, to illustrate the Subject under Consideration, and that Cafe, to prevent any Mistakes, shall be MY OWN.
Your Lordship I believe may remember the Time when my poor Uncle died, which obliged me to quit the University and seek my Fortune in Town, where I had not been above three Weeks before I strolled on Sunday Afternoon into a Church in the City, and, after Service, heard the Clerk, by Order of the Vestry, declare the Lectureship of the Parish vacant, and invite the Clergy, however dignihed or distinguished, to be Candidates for it, and to give in their Names by the ensuing Sunday. No
Tooner did I hear this Chuch Sergeant thus beating up for Recruits, than I immediately resolved to enlift ; and accordingly, the next Day, waited on the Worshipful Stentor abovementioned, who took down my Name and Place of Abode: on my desiring him at the same Time to acquaint me with the best Method of proceeding, which I was an utter Stranger to, he advised me as a Friend, to apply as speedily as possible, to Mr. --, a Cheesemonger in Lane, who was then first Churchwarden, a leading Man in the Vestry, and a Perfon, he assured me, on whom the Election would in a great Measure depend.' I took honest AMen's Advice, and by nine the next Morning, not I must own without some Reluctance, dressed myself as well as I could, and waited on Mr. Church-warden. As soon as he saw me enter the Shop in my Cano
Caflock behind St. Clement's on the Occasion) he made me a very low Bow, gave me the Title of Doctor, and imagining no Doubt, that I was come to bespeak Cheefes for the Country, begged to known my Honour's Commands; to which I replied in an humble Tone, and looking extremely disconcerted, that I came to wait on him on Account of the Lectureship of the Parish, and begged the Favour of his Vote and Intereft, &C. Your Lordship I am sure would have smiled to see the sudden Alteration of his Features and Behaviour: he dropped all the Tradesman's Obsequiousness, and in a Moment assumed the magisterial Air and Dignity of a Church-warden ; turned aside to a Woman who was just then asking for a Pound of Cheshire, and without addressing himself to me, cried out, " This
is the fourth Parson I have had with me To-day * on the same Errand ;' then, staring me full in the Face ; "Well, young Man,' says he, you 4 intend to be a Candidate for this fame Lecture:
$ you are all to mount the Noftrum, I suppose, and • Merit will carry it : For my Part, I promise noo body; but remember I tell you before-hand, I Ram for Voice and Action; so mind your Hits.' When he had said this, he immediately turned upon his Heel, and went into the Counting-house. I took my Leave in an awkward Manner, as you may suppose, being not a little chagrin'd at his Insolence; and, as I went out of the Shop, overheard his Lady observing, from behind the Counter, that I was a pretty Sprig of Divinity, but looked a little sheepish, and had not half the Courage of the Gentleman that had been recommended to her Husband by Mr. Squintum.
The Instant I quitted the Sign of the CheshireCheese, I laid aside all thoughts of further Solicitation, and refolved to return to College, and live on making Fellow-Commoners Exercises, rather than subject myself any more to such mortifying Indignities. Good God! thought I to myself, is this the Fruit of my Studies ; this the Reward, of all my Toil and Labour in the University ; to have the important Point, whether I shall eat or starve, at last determined by a Cheesemonger, who declares for Voice and Action ?
In spite notwithstanding of this Resolution (for Resolutions, your Lordship knows, are much eafier made than kept) I was obliged in less than fix Months, having during that Time taken it into my Head to fall in Love and marry, to repair once more to the great City, and put into the ecclesiastical Lottery; where, by the bye, as in most other Lotteries, you buy so dear, meet with fo few Prizes, and run so much Hazard, that none but Desperadoes ought to venture in them : There, my Lord, I renewed my Solicitations, and experienced all the Miseries and Misfortunes, all the Insults and Indignities, which the Pride and Insolence of the Rich,
þoth both Laity and Clergy, inflict on their dependent Brethren: 1 he Difficulties which I met with in Search of a Lectureship (for that was my Summum' Bonum) are inconceivable ; and I can assure your Lordship, that, trifling as the Emoluments are of this Preferment, all the Perfections of human Nature united are scarce fufficient to a Man, without personal Interest, to infure his Success. The Variety of Distresses which I encountered from the different Tempers and Dispofitions of the Gentlemen and Ladies (for so I was obliged to call them, who had Votes in the Parish) the mean and abject Flattery which I was forced to make Use of, with the many frequent Affronts and Difappointments I underwent, would swell half a melancholy Volume. Without enumerating the necessary Accomplishments generally expected on these Occasions, of drinking hard with the Husbands, and saying soft things to their Wives ; in more Parishes than one, my Lord, where I have been a Candidate, to smoke your Half-dozen of Pipes, and drink two Bottles at a Sitting, are infinitely more neceffary Perfections than any which you could bring with you from the University; and it is a Maxim · with many good Citizens, that unless you are what they call a do---d honest Fellow, you can never be a good Preacher, or an orthodox Divine; in short, my Lord, and to be serious, unless a poor Clergy, man is every Thing that he ought not to be, he can never be what is every Man's Wish, independent.
I must not, in this Place, forget to mention one Rock which young Divines are perpetually splitting on in this Voyage ; and that is, Party: A Candidate muit take great Care how he repeats his political Creed ; as, if he declares himself on one side, he will inevitably be opposed, slandered and insulted by the other ; it behoves him, therefore, always to join with the strongest : But, what is worst of all, if he is of no Side (which your Lordship knows is the
most prudent Way) it is a million to one if he is suffered to continue so.
I remember, my Lord, when I set up for the Lectureship of Saint , the political Thermometer of the Parish was very high : I had at that Time, and retain to this Moment, the utmost Contempt for all Parties ; being satisfied, as every Man of common Understanding must be, that there is nothing but Self-interest at the Bottom of them : It was very difficult, however, I found, to persuade other Men that I was not as foolish as themselves.
Mr. Alderman Grub and Mr. Deputy Clove, the two leading Men in the Parish, were at that Time, or at least professed to be, of opposite Principles ; the Alderman a staunch Whig, the Deputy a reputed Tory: I waited on them both for their Votes and Interest, the Consequence of which was, that I fucceeded with neither, both reproaching me with being of a different Way of thinking from themselves. The Alderman was extremely sorry he could not ferve me: He had a Regard, he had heard, he admired, &c. but, to be plain with me, he was assured I had drank Tea at the Deputy's. And when I went to the Deputy: « For my Part (I shall never forget it, my Lord, to my dying Day) · For my • Part' (said he) · I am of no Side; I despise all • Parties whatsomdever ; but there are People whom • fume People can't like like other People: In short,
I shall always be glad to see you whilst you are ( what you are ; but remember, Mr. Parson, if ? ever you dine with Alderman Grub again - you understand me - Your humble Servant.'
There, my Lord, are but an inconsiderable Part of the Miseries and Indignities which a poor Parson is sure to encounter with on this Occasion, but half
the Spurns Which patient Merit from th’Unworthy takes.