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The chimney-sweeper is confined to no certain pitch; he sometimes utters himself in the deepest base, and sometimes in the sharpest treble; sometimes in the highest, and sometimes in the lowest note of the gamut. The same observation might be made on the retailers of small-coal, not to mention broken glasses or brick-dust. · In these therefore, and the like cases, it should be my care to sweeten and mellow the voices of these itinerant tradesmen, before they make their appearance in our streets, as
also to accommodate their cries to their respective wares: and to 10 take care in particular, that those may not make the most noise
who have the least to sell, which is very observable in the vendors of card matches, to whom I cannot but apply that old proverb of “Much cry, and little wool.”
"Some of these last mentioned musicians are so very loud in the sale of these trifling manufactures, that an honest splenetic gentleman of my acquaintance bargained with one of them never to come into the street where he lived: but what was the effect of this contract ? why, the whole tribe of card-match-makers which
frequent that quarter, passed by his door the very next day, in 20 hopes of being bought off after the same manner.
'It is another great imperfection in our London cries, that there is no just time nor measure observed in them.
Our news should indeed be published in a very quick time, because it is a commodity that will not keep cold. It should not, however, be cried with the same precipitation as fire; yet this is generally the case: a bloody battle alarms the town from one end to another in any instant. Every motion of the French is published in so great a hurry, that one would think the enemy were at our gates.
This likewise I would take upon me to regulate in such a manner, 30 that there should be some distinction made between the spread
ing of a victory, a march, or an encampment, a Dutch, a Portugal, or a Spanish mail. Nor must I omit, under this head, those excessive alarms with which several boisterous rustics infest our streets in turnip-season ; and which are more inexcusable, because these are wares which are in no danger of cooling upon their hands.
There are others who affect a very slow time, and are, in my opinion, much more tuneable than the former; the cooper in
particular swells his last note in an hollow voice, that is not -40 without its harmony: nor can I forbear being inspired with a
most agreeable melancholy when I hear that sad and solemn air with which the public are very often asked, if they have any chairs to mend ? Your own memory may suggest to you many other lamentable ditties of the same nature, in which the music is wonderfully languishing and melodious.
* I am always pleased with that particular time of the year which is proper for the pickling of dill and cucumbers; but alas ! this cry, like the song of the nightingale, is not heard above two
months. It would therefore be worth while to consider whether 10 the same air might not in some cases be adapted to other words.
'It might likewise deserve our most serious consideration how far, in a well regulated city, those humourists are to be tolerated, who, not contented with the traditional cries of their forefathers, have invented particular songs and tunes of their own: such as was, not many years since, the pastry-man, commonly known by the name of colly-molly-puff: and such as is at this day the vender of powder and wash-balls, who, if I am rightly informed, goes under the name of Powder Watt.
'I must not here omit one particular absurdity which runs 20 through this whole vociferous generation, and which renders their
cries very often not only incommodious, but altogether useless to the public : I mean, that idle accomplishment which they all of them aim at, of crying so as not to be understood. Whether or no they have learned this from several of our affected singers, I will not take upon me to say; but most certain it is, that people know the wares they deal in rather by their tunes than by their words; insomuch that I have sometimes seen a country boy run out to buy apples of a bellows-mender, and ginger-bread from
a grinder of knives and scissars. Nay, so strangely infatuated are 30 some very eminent artists of this particular grace in a cry, that
none but their acquaintance are able to guess at their profession; for who else can know, that “Work if I had it,” should be the signification of a corn-cutter.
Forasmuch therefore as persons of this rank are seldom men of genius or capacity, I think it would be very proper, that some man of good sense and sound judgment should preside over these public cries, who should permit none to lift up their voices in our streets that have not tuneable throats, and are not only able
to overcome the noise of the crowd, and the rattling of coaches, 40 but also to vend their respective merchandises in apt phrases, and in the most distinct and agreeable sounds. I do therefore humbly recommend myself as a person rightly qualified for this post ; and, if I meet with fitting encouragement, shall communicate some other projects which I have by me, that may no less conduce to the emolument of the public.
'I am, Sir, &c.
No. 295. On Pin Money; the Spectator condemns it.
Prodiga non sentit pereuntem fæmina censum:
Juv. Sat. vi. 361.
DRYDEN. MR. SPECTATOR, "I am turned of my great climacteric n, and am naturally a man of a meek temper. About a dozen years ago I was married for
my sins, to a young woman of a good family, and of an high 10 spirit; but could not bring her to close with me, before I had
entered into a treaty with her longer than that of the Grand Alliancen. Among other articles, it was therein stipulated that she should have 400l. a year for pin money, which I obliged myself to pay quarterly into the hands of one who acted as her plenipotentiary in that affair. I have ever since religiously observed my part in this solemn agreement. Now, Sir, so it is, that the lady has had several children since I married her; to which, if I should credit our malicious neighbours, her pin money
has not a little contributed. The education of these my children 20 who, contrary to my expectation, are born to me every year,
straitens me so much that I have begged their mother to free me from the obligation of the above-mentioned pin money, that it may go towards making a provision for her family. This proposal makes her noble blood swell in her veins, insomuch that finding me a little tardy in her last quarter's payment, she threatens me every day to arrest me; and proceeds so far as to
tell me, that if I do not do her justice, I shall die in a jail. To this she adds, when her passion would let her argue calmly, that she has several play-debts on her hand, which must be discharged very suddenly, and that she cannot lose her money as becomes a woman of her fashion, if she makes me any abatement in this article. I hope, Sir, you will take an occasion from hence to give your opinion upon a subject which you have not yet touched, and inform us if there are any precedents for this usage among
our ancestors; or whether you find any mention of pin money in 10 Grotius, Puffendorf", or any other of the civilians. ! I am ever the humblest of your admirers,
JOSIAH FRIBBLE, Esq.'
As there is no man living who is a more professed advocate for the fair sex than myself, so there is none that would be more unwilling to invade any of their ancient rights and privileges ; but as the doctrine of pin money is of a very late date, unknown to our great grandmothers, and not yet received by many of our modern ladies, I think it is for the interest of both sexes to keep it from spreading.
Mr. Fribble may not, perhaps, be much mistaken where he intimates, that the supplying a man's wife with pin money is furnishing her with arms against himself, and in a manner becoming accessary to his own dishonour. We may indeed generally observe, that in proportion as a woman is more or less beautiful, and her husband advanced in years, she stands in need of a greater or less number of pins, and, upon a treaty of marriage, rises or falls in her demands accordingly. It must likewise be owned, that high quality in a mistress does very
much inflame this article in the marriage reckoning. 30 But where the age and circumstances of both parties are pretty
much upon a level, I cannot but think the insisting upon pin money is very extraordinary; and yet we find several matches broken off by this very head. What would a foreigner, or one who is a stranger to this practice, think of a lover that forsakes his mistress because he is not willing to keep her in pins ? but what would he think of the mistress, should he be informed that she asks five or six hundred pounds a year for this use? Should a man unacquainted with our customs be told the sums which are allowed in Great Britain under the title of pin money, what a prodigious consumption of pins would he think there was in this island ? A pin a day, says our frugal proverb, is a groat a year ; so that according to this calculation, my friend Fribble's wife must every year make use of eight millions six hundred and forty thousand new pins!
I am not ignorant that our British ladies allege they comprehend under this general term several other conveniences of life; I could therefore wish, for the honour of my country women,
that they had rather called it Needle money, which might have 10 implied something of good housewifery, and not have given the
malicious world occasion to think that dress and trifle have always the uppermost place in a woman's thoughts.
I know several of my fair readers urge, in defence of this practice, that it is but a necessary provision they make for themselves, in case their husband proves a churl or a miser; so that they consider this allowance as a kind of alimony, which they may lay their claim to without actually separating from their husbands. But with submission I think a woman who will give
up herself to a man in marriage, where there is the least room 20 for such an apprehension, and trust her person to one whom she
will not rely on for the common necessaries of life, may very properly be accused in the phrase of a homely proverb) of being penny wise and pound foolish.
It is observed of over-cautious generals, that they never engage in a battle without securing a retreat, in case the event should not answer their expectations; on the other hand, the greatest conquerors have burnt their ships, or broke down the bridges behind them, as being determined either to suceeed or die in the
engagement. In the same manner, I should very much suspect 30 a woman who takes such precautions for her retreat, and con
trives methods how she may live happily, without the affection of one to whom she joins herself for life. Separate purses between man and wife are in my opinion as unnatural as separate beds. A marriage cannot be happy where the pleasures, inclinations, and interest of both parties are not the same. There is no greater enticement to love in the mind of man, than the sense of a person's depending upon him for her ease and happiness; a woman uses all her endeavours to please the person
whom she looks upon as her honour, her comfort, and her 40 support.