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Silence Dogood essay 13
"Sir, In Persons of a contemplative Disposition, the most indifferent Things provoke the Excercise of the Imagination ..."

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To the Author of the New-England Courant.

["[No XIII" appears along right side of column. This number signifies this is the twelveth Silence Dogood letter.]

Sir

IN Persons of a contem-
plative Disposition, the
most indifferent Things
provoke the Exercise of
the Imagination; and
the Satisfactions which
often arise to them
thereby, are a certain
Relief to the Labour of
the Mind (when it has
been intensely fix'd on
more substantial Sub-
jects) as well as to that
of the Body.

IN one of the late pleasant Moon-light Evenings,
I so far indulg'd in my self the Humour of the Town
in walking abroad, as to continue from my Lodgings
two or three Hours later than usual, & was pleas'd be-
yond Expectation before my Return. Here I found
various Company to observe, and various Discourse
to attend to. I met indeed with the common Fate of
Listeners, (who hear no good of themselves,) but from
a Consciousness of my Innocence, receiv'd it with a
Satisfaction beyond what the Love of Flattery and
the Daubings of a Parasite could produce. The Com-
pany who rally'd me were about Twenty in Number,
of both Sexes; and tho' the Confusion of Tongues
(like that of Babel) which always happens among
so many impetuous Talkers, render'd their Discourse
not so intelligible as I could wish, I learnt thus
much, That one of the Females pretended to know
me, from some Discourse she had heard at a certain
House before the Publication of one of my Letters;
adding, That I was a Person of an ill Character, and
kept a criminal Correspondence with a Gentleman who
assisted me in Writing
. One of the Gallants clear'd
me of this random Charge, by saying, That tho' I wrote
in the Character of a Woman, he knew me to be a Man;
But
, continu'd he, he has more need of endeavouring
a Reformation in himself, than spending his Wit in sa-
tyrizing others
.

I HAD no sooner left this Set of Ramblers, but I
met a Crowd of Tarpolins and their Doxies, link'd
to each other by the Arms, who ran (by their own
Account) after the Rate of Six Knots an Hour, and
bent their Course towards the Common. Their eager
and amorous Emotions of Body, occasion'd by taking
their Mistresses in Tow, they call'd wild Steerage:
And as a Pair of them happen'd to trip and come to
the Ground, the Company were call'd upon to bring
to
, for that Jack and Betty were founder'd. But
this Fleet were not less comical or irregular in their
Progress than a Company of Females I soon after
came up with, who, by throwing their Heads to the
Right and Left, at every one who pass'd by them, I
concluded came out with no other Design than to
revive the Spirit of Love in Disappointed Batchelors,
and expose themselves to Sale to the first Bidder.

BUT it would take up too much Room in your
Paper to mention all the Occasions of Diversion I
met with in this Night's Ramble. As it grew later,
I observed, that many pensive Youths with down
Looks and a slow Pace, would be ever now and then
crying out on the Cruelty of their Mistresses; others
with a more rapid Pace and chearful Air, would be

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swinging their Canes, and clapping their Cheeks, and
whispering at certain Intervals, I'm certain I shall
have her! This is more than I expected! How charm-
ingly she talks!
&c.

UPON the whole I conclude, That our Night-
Walkers
are a Set of People, who contribute very
much to the Health and Satisfaction of those who
have been fatigu'd with Business or Study, and
occasionally observe their pretty Gestures and Im-
pertinencies. But among Men of Business, the Shoe-
makers
, and other Dealers in Leather, are doubly
oblig'd to them, inasmuch as they exceedingly pro-
mote the Consumption of their Ware: And I have
heard of a Shoemaker, who being ask'd by a noted Ram-
bler, Whether he could tell how long her Shoes would
last
; very prettily answer'd, That he knew how many
Days she might wear them, but not how many Nights;
because they were then put to a more violent and irregu-
lar Service than when she employ'd her self in the com-
mon Affairs of the House
.

I am, SIR,
Your Humble Servant
,
SILENCE DOGOOD.

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