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tious city patient, that came at that time for privacy, shows him into the dining-room. As soon as I could compose myself, I went to him, and was surprised to find my gentleman mounted on a table with a two-foot rule in his hand, measuring my walls, and taking the dimensions of the room. Pray, sir, says I, not to interrupt you, have you any business with me? - Only, sir, replies he, order the girl to bring me a better light, for this is but a very dim one.—Sir, says I, my name is Partridge. -Oh! the doctor's brother, belike, cries he; the staircase, I believe, and these two apartments hung in close mourning, will be sufficient, and only a strip of bays round the other rooms. The doctor must needs die rich, he had great dealings in his way for many years; if he had no family coat, you had as good use the escutcheons of the company, they are as showish, and will look as magnificent as if he was descended from the blood royal. — With that I assumed a greater air of authority, and demanded who employed him, or how he came there ? — Why, I was sent, sir, by the company of undertakers, says he, and they were employed by the honest gentleman who is executor to the good doctor departed; and our rascally porter, I believe, is fallen fast asleep with the black cloth and sconces, or he had been here, and we might have been tacking up by this time. — Sir, says I, pray be advised by a friend, and make the best of your speed out of my doors, for I hear my wife's voice, (which by the by is pretty distinguishable, and in that corner of the room stands a good cudgel, which somebody has felt before now; if that light in her hands, and she know the business you come about, without consulting the stars, I can assure you it will be employed very much to the detriment of your person.— Sir, cries he, bowing with great civility, I perceive extreme grief for the loss of the doctor disorders you a little at present, but early in the morning I will wait on you with all the necessary materials. — Now, I mention no Bickerstaff; nor do I say that a certain star-gazing 'squire has been playing my executor before his time; but I leave the world to judge, and he that puts things and things fairly together, will not be much wide of the mark.

Well, once more I got my doors closed, and prepared for bed, in hopes of a little repose after so many ruffling adventures; just as I was putting out my light in order to do it, another bounces as hard as he can knock; I open the window, and ask who is there, and what he wants? I am Ned the sexton, replies he, and come to know whether the doctor left any orders for a funeral sermon, and where



he is to be laid, and whether his grave is to be plain or bricked ?Why, sirrah, says I, you know me well enough ; you know I am not dead, and how dare you affront me after this manner? — Alack-aday, sir, replies the fellow, why it is in print, and the whole town knows you are dead : why there is Mr. White the joiner is but fitting screws to your coffin, he will be here with it in an instant; he was afraid


would have wanted it before this time. Sirrah, sirrah, says I, you shall know to-morrow, to your cost, that I am alive, and alive like to be ! Why, it is strange, sir, says he, you should make such a secret of your death to us that are your neighbors; it looks as if


had a design to defraud the church of its dues; and, let me tell

you, for one that has lived so long by the heavens, that is un handsomely done. Hist, hist, says another rogue that stood by him; away, doctor, into your flannel gear as fast as you can, for here is a whole pack of dismals coming to you with their black equipage, and how indecent will it look for you to stand frightening folks at your window when you should have been in your coffin these three hours ? - In short, what with undertakers, embalmers, joiners, sextons, and your damned elegy hawkers upon a late practitioner in physic and astrology, I got not one wink of sleep that night, nor scarce a moment's rest ever since. Now, I doubt not but this villanous 'squire has the impudence to assert that these are entirely strangers to him ; he, good man, knows nothing of the matter, and honest Isaac Bickerstaff, I warrant you, is more a man of honor than to be an accomplice with a pack of rascals that walk the streets on nights, and disturb good people in their beds; but he is out if he thinks the whole world is blind; for there is one John Partridge can smell a knave as far as Grub-street, although he lies in the most exalted garret, and writes himself 'squire : - but I will keep my

temper, and proceed in the narration.

I could not stir out of doors for the space of three months after this, but presently one comes up to me in the street, Mr. Partridge, that coffin you was last buried in I have not yet been paid for: Doctor, cries another dog, how do you think people can live by making of graves for nothing? next time you die, you may even toll out the bell yourself for Ned. A third rogue tips me by the elbow, and wonders how I have the conscience to sneak abroad without paying my funeral expenses.—Lord, says one, I durst have swore that was honest Dr. Partridge, my old friend; but, poor man, he is gone.— I beg your pardon, says another, you look so like my old acquaintance, that I used to consult on some private occasions : but, alack, he is gone the way of all flesh. — Look, look, look, cries a third, after a competent space of staring at me, would not one think our neighbor the almanack-maker was crept out of his grave to take the other peep at the stars in this world, and show how much he is improved in fortune-telling by having taken a journey to the other?

Nay, the very reader of our parish, a good, sober, discreet person, has sent two or three times for me to come and be buried decently, or send him sufficient reasons to the contrary; or, if I have been interred in any other parish, to produce my certificate, as the act 1 requires. My poor wife is run almost distracted with being called widow Partridge, when she knows it is false; and once a term she is cited into the court to take out letters of administration. But the greatest grievance is, a paltry quack, that takes up my calling just under my nose, and in his printed directions, with N. B.-says, he lives in the house of the late ingenious Mr. John Partridge, an eminent practitioner in leather, physic, and astrology.

But to show how far the wicked spirit of envy, malice, and resentment can hurry some men, my nameless old persecutor had provided me a monument at the stone-cutter's, and would have erected it in the parish church; and this piece of notorious and expensive villany had actually succeeded if I had not used my utmost interest with the vestry, where it was carried at last but by two voices, that I am alive. That stratagem failing, out comes a long sable elegy, bedecked with hour-glasses, mattocks, skulls, spades, and skeletons, with an epitaph as confidently written to abuse me and my profession as if I had been under ground these twenty years.

And after such barbarous treatment as this, can the world blame me, when I ask, what is become of the freedom of an Englishman? and where is the liberty and property that my old glorious friend came over to assert? we have drove popery out of the nation, and sent slavery to foreign climes. The arts only remain in bondage, when a man of science and character shall be openly insulted, in the midst of the many useful services he is daily paying the public. Was it ever heard, even in Turkey or Algiers, that a state astrologer was bantered out of his life by an ignorant impostor, or bawled

* The statute of 30 Car. II. for burying in woollen, requires that oath shall be made of the compliance with this act, and a certificate thereof lodged with the minister of the parish, within eight days after interment.


out of the world by a pack of villanous deep-mouthed hawkers ? though I print almanacks and publish advertisements; though I produce certificates under the minister's and churchwarden's hands that I am alive, and attest the same on oath at quarter-sessions, out comes a full and true relation of the death and interment of John Partridge; truth is bore down, attestations neglected, the testimony of sober persons despised, and a man is looked upon by his neighbors as if he had been seven years dead, and is buried alive in the midst of his friends and acquaintance.

Now, can any man of common sense think it consistent with the honor of my profession, and not much beneath the dignity of a philosopher, to stand bawling before his own door - Alive! alive! ho! the famous Dr. Partridge! no counterfeit, but all alive! if I had the twelve celestial monsters of the zodiac to show within, or was forced for a livelihood to turn retailer to May and Bartholomew fairs? Therefore, if her majesty would but graciously be pleased to think a hardship of this nature worthy her royal consideration, and the next parliament, in their great wisdom, cast but an eye toward the deplorable case of their old philomath, that annually bestows his good wishes on them, I am sure there is one Isaac Bickerstaff, esq. would soon be trussed up for his bloody predictions, and putting good subjects in terror of their lives : and that henceforward to murder a man by way of prophecy, and bury him in a printed letter, either to a lord or commoner, shall as legally entitle him to the present possession of Tyburn as if he robbed on the highway or cut your throat in bed.

I shall demonstrate to the judicious that France and Rome are at the bottom of this horrid conspiracy against me; and that culprit aforesaid is a popish emissary, has paid his visits to St. Germain's, and is now in the measures of Louis XIV. That, in attempting my reputation, there is a general massacre of learning designed in these realms: and through my sides there is a wound given to all the Protestant almanack-makers in the universe.


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MR. PARTRIDGE has been lately pleased to treat me after a very rough manner, in that which is called his almanack for the present year : : such usage


indecent from one gentleman to another, and does not at all contribute to the discovery of truth, which ought to be the great end in all disputes of the learned.

To call a man a fool and villain, an impudent fellow, only for differing from him in a point merely speculative, is, in my humble opinion, a very improper style for a person of his education. I appeal to the learned world, whether, in my last year's predictions, I gave him the least provocation for such unworthy treatment. Philosophers have differed in all ages; but the discreetest among them have always differed as became philosophers. Scurrility and passion, in a controversy among scholars, is just so much of nothing to the purpose, and at best a tacit confession of a weak cause : my concern is not so much for my own reputation as that of the republic of letters, which Mr. Partridge has endeavored to wound through my sides. If men of public spirit must be superciliously treated for their ingenious attempts, how will true useful knowledge be ever advanced ? I wish Mr. Partridge knew the thoughts which foreign universities have conceived of his ungenerous proceedings with me; but I am too tender of his reputation to publish them to the world. That spirit of envy and pride, which blasts so many rising geniuses in our nation, is yet unknown among professors abroad: the necessity of justifying myself will excuse my vanity, when I tell the reader that I have near a hundred honorary letters from several parts of Europe (some as far as Muscovy) in praise of my performance; besides several others, which, as I have been credibly informed, were opened in the post-office, and never sent me. It is true, the inquisition in Portugal was pleased to burn my predictions, (this is fact,] and condemn the author and the readers of them; but I hope

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