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To the Author of the Lounger.
THE HUMBLE Petition of NIGHT.
SHEWETH, That from the remotest antiquity your Petitioner was acknowledged and understood to have right to the undisturbed possession of silence and quiet, and, in company with her relation Darkness, was invested with the power of staying the works and labours of men, and of consigning them to the dominion of your Petitioner's ancient and approved ally Sleep. Sleep in his turn yielded them to the renewed power of Day, to whom was committed the charge of their active employments. That this regular distribution of Time was agreeable to the laws of Nature, and highly conducive to the interests of society and the welfare of individuals.
That, this notwithstanding, your Petitioner has to complain, that for a considerable time past, in civilized and polite nations, there have been many violent and unjust inroads made into that province, which, in the order of nature, has been assigned her. That in the metropolis of the British empire, in particular, the distinguishing privileges above set forth, to which the Petitioner conceives herself well entitled, have been violently infringed, insomuch that the hours over which she and her associates above named ought to have had command and control, have been almost entirely appropriated to action, bustle, and disquiet, to the great disturbance of your said Petitioner and her friends before mentioned.
That certain persons, assuming to themselves the style and title of Men of Pleasure, had long since a
licence of acting in their several occupations in des. pite of your Petitioner's exclusive privileges, herein before recited ; and being confederated with the powers of Wine, Play, and other disorderly associates, had made forcible entries into the territories of your Petitioner, and subjected her faithful vassals to much vexation and annoyance. But as those men of pleasure were in some sort acknowledged to be independent of Reason and Nature, from whom your Petitioner holds in fief, she was contented to pass over their enormities for the present ; being assured, from very great and respectable authority, that most of those persons would, at a future period, be particularly consigned to her power and dominion.
But of late your Petitioner has observed, with the greatest alarm, that persons of business, and even those from whose high sanction such irregular proceedings will be most apt to come into example and precedent, have made very unwarrantable encroachments on her most acknowledged and determinate boundaries. Such persons, in order to conceal the injuries done by them to your Petitioner, have added the crime of falsehood and forgery to their other offences ; and have marked their proceedings, as if carried on under the sanction of Day, with the Latin words, · Die Martis,'— Die Jovis,'-and so forth; though it is an undoubted fact, and can be proved by the most indisputable authority, that these were transacted within the jurisdiction and precincts of your Petitioner. Some of the persons, indeed, chiefly and principally concerned in such transactions, were frequently observed to have in some sort allowed the authority of your Petitioner, by submitting to the control and dominion of Sleep, her well-known and faithful associate above mentioned.
That your Petitioner, amidst all those injuries which she suffered, had yet the consolation of thinking that they were chiefly confined to the city of London and liberties of Westminster; but that in the country, and the metropolis of this ancient kingdom of Scotland, her proper and just rights were more acknowledged and attended to; and that there, associations both of business and amusement generally preserved a certain degree of respect for her domi. nion, and did not wantonly and violently encroach upon her boundaries. But within these few years she has seen, with equal surprise and regret, a remarkable alteration in this matter; and that in particular the last mentioned persons, the partisans and followers of amusement in this city, never begin their course of action till that period arrives, which, by the original charter of your Petitioner, was granted to her and her fellow proprietors herein before
That your Petitioner is not hardy enough to imagine, that she can prevail on those persons to relinquish the encroachments herein complained of. She is willing, therefore, for the sake of peace, to which she has always had a strong propensity, to give up such a portion of her territory and domain, as to accommodate them in their avocations and employments, provided she shall be ascertained in certain limits, to be henceforward observed without infringement; and she submits to you, on behalf of herself and her sister Day, the under-written propositions on the subject. They contain a new Table of Time, to be observed by the polite and fashionable classes only, reserving to the good folks in the country, and the lower orders of mankind, their ancient and accustomed reckoning.
It is proposed then,
Ist. That the year in Edinburgh shall commence from the 18th day of January, and shall end and determine the 18th of April. The lesser divisions of time, called months and weeks, to be nowise affected or affectable by such abridged computation of the year or season ; except that, among the higher ranks and orders of the people, for whom this new computation is intended, the space commonly known by the title of Honey-Moon, shall be shortened in proportion to the comparative durations of this newlycomputed year, and of that formerly established and observed.
2d, That the day shall begin at the hour of two in what is now called the Afternoon, and end at six in what is vulgarly called the Morning ; the space between the latter hour and the former to appertain and belong to your Petitioner.
3d, Day agrees to cede to your Petitioner the Sun, and its various appendages; your Petitioner, on her part, guarantees to her sister Day the Moon, with all its properties and appurtenances whatsoever.
4ih, Day agrees, that notwithstanding the cession contained in the immediately preceding article, your Petitioner
continue her amnesty to all those little irregularities which were formerly covered by her shade, and which she may in this period now settled happen to witness ; because the fashionable circle, to which only this new kalendar applies, is above being ashamed of such practices, and can let the Sun look on them without blushing:
5th, During the period of this newly-settled year, which is too short to allow any interruption in its course, your
Petitioner's ally Rest gives up her ancient claim to every seventh day : on which seventh day, therefore, every fashionable employment, business, or diversion may be carried on as usual ; any such ancient claim, law, or commandment, in any wise notwithstanding : Proviso, That such concession shall not bar people from sleeping in church on that day,
Your Petitioner humbly requests, That you will
be pleased to take the premises into your consideration; and, on behalf of her and her sis. ter Day, accede to the proposals above set forth, as well as publish them for the con. sent and concurrence of the polite world in this part of the kingdom
To the Author of the LOUNGER,
SIR, Though I hate writing, yet I am so very unhappy, that I am at last resolved to apply to you. Indeed I have no other means of relief; for telling my distresses to any body that knows me, would be worse than death itself. "I must give you all my history, or you can have no idea of my misfortunes. "I was eldest daughter to a gentleman of 700l. a year, who had four sons and two daughters. My sister and I were remarkably well educated; besides being three years at a boarding-school, we had a governess at home who had once been in France, and who understood thorough-bass perfectly. We had an excellent drawing-master, and were nine years at the dancingscool. Though nobody of taste thought the youngest near so handsome as her sister, yet, good hea. vens ! only think how lucky she was !--married to a Baronet with a fine fortune and a charming place.To be sure he is old and very ill-tempered, and she cries sometimes, and wishes she had never seen him
; but I know that must be all affectation ; for she has the loveliest carriage and the smartest liveries ever you saw! But why should I think of her? for it is just thinking of her that vexes me often ;-yet I once