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Saturday, July 23

  1. page 1766 - The Manchester Mercury & The Vicar of Wakefield edited ... Recap of 1766 Current Events According to The Manchester Mercury Weekly British publication T…
    ...
    Recap of 1766 Current Events According to The Manchester Mercury
    Weekly British publication The Manchester Mercury primarily features news updates about the monarchy’s policies, the Royal Family itself, Parliament proceedings, trade developments, and criminal trials. The Mercury also reprints stories featured in the daily London paper since its own last edition, along with a hodgepodge of advertisements for boarding schools, books, and pamphlets.
    ...
    as Ireland.
    These trade policies especially caused dissent in North America, where according to the Mercury colonists increasingly rebelled against British rule. The Mercury edition printed on January 7, 1766 mentions riots in “Charles-Town,” South Carolina regarding the Stamp Act of 1765. A few weeks later, on January 21, the Mercury reports that Parliament approved the king’s commands that “Exertion of all the Powers of Government [be used] in the Suppression of Riots” among the colonists. The paper’s January 28 issue relays the colonists’ offers to back down and refrain from using force against British troops if Great Britain repeals the Stamp Act; however, the Mercury observes that, “All the eminent Lawyers (one excepted) are said to be clearly and strongly of Opinion that the British Parliament has an undoubted Right to lay Taxes in America.” Evidently, dissenting colonists also recently seized merchant ships from Great Britain carrying arms and ammunition to British soldiers. In March, Parliament finally repeals the Stamp Act, and tensions within the colonies seem to abate for the next several weeks. The paper less frequently touches on Ireland’s objections to Great Britain’s trade regulations, though it does note on March 4, “it is intended to be proposed to send an armed Force to Ireland, to prevent the obstinate People of that Country from cultivating Potatoes.”
    Beyond trade issues, the Mercury also often reports on domestic crime. In particular, the paper spotlights the human-interest aspects of crime, reporting on scheduled executions, divulging the names of average citizens set to go to debtors’ prison, and recapping unusual crimes.
    Summary of “The Vicar of Wakefield”
    ...
    the narrative.
    One such foe, the family’s new landlord, initially presents himself as a benevolent comrade, when he is in fact scheming to deflower Olivia, the older of Mr. Primrose’s two beautiful, educated daughters. The family faces a divisive moment when Olivia disappears shortly before the day she is set to wed a local farmer. Rumors inform the Primroses that Olivia ran off with another man (who they later discover is none other than their dastardly landlord, who pretends to marry Olivia, sleeps with the young woman, and thereafter abandons her.) In the ensuing chaos, Mr. Primrose wrongfully ends up in jail alongside his oldest son, but the ever-perseverant and morally upright minister ultimately restores justice, repairs family fractures, and inspires repentance in various wrongdoers. The family even regains its lost fortune — and the three oldest Primrose children get happily married (all with their parents’ blessings).
    Theater in 1766
    ...
    Beggar’s Opera.”
    In regards to more general trends in theater burgeoning during the 1766 to 1767 theater season, “The London Stage” notes that around this time actors increasingly donned costumes imitating current styles of dress instead of sporting historically accurate articles of clothing (1180). Furthermore, the book observes that theater reviews in 1766 frequently remarked upon “the noises and abuses of the upper gallery” (1180).
    Takes on Tradition vs. Innovation in British Literature, Theater, and Newspapers of 1766
    Monarchy vs. Democracy: Like Mr. Primrose in “The Vicar of Wakefield,” the Manchester Mercury seemingly proclaims loyalty to the crown, but also embraces Enlightenment philosophies to some degree. At times, the paper appears quite sympathetic to the crown — for example, when Prince William, the king’s youngest brother dies. In its January 7 issue, the Mercury informs its readers that William has passed away, and accordingly relays the Royal Family’s instructions for how people should dress for the prince’s funeral processions. The paper then interjects that William was “a Prince ever to be regretted by those who had the Honour to approach him” and that he “won the Hearts of everyone” — both entirely subjective statements that, at least by contemporary journalistic standards (which the Mercury usually tends to follow) prove quite out of place in a news report.
    ...
    to be).
    “The Vicar of Wakefield” also takes up the benefits and disadvantages the present style of government poses to average British citizens, but with more specific conclusions than those provided in the Mercury. Oliver Goldsmith appears to use “The Vicar of Wakefield” as a springboard for expressing ideas about politics and traditional family values.
    This becomes apparent when, in the middle of his quest to recover Olivia, Mr. Primrose happens to encounter an inconsequential stranger whose political views prove so objectionable that Mr. Primrose cannot resist arguing with him. After the stranger criticizes the king, Mr. Primrose launches into an indignant tirade in which he wholeheartedly defends Great Britain’s system of government. In response to the stranger’s assertion that democratic systems of government inherently offer more liberty than monarchies, Mr. Primrose insists, “I am for liberty . . . But . . . since then it is entailed upon humanity to submit, and some are born to command, and others to obey, the question is, as there must be tyrants, whether it is better to have them in the same house with us, or in the same village, or still farther off, in the metropolis . . . The generality of mankind . . . have unanimously created one king, whose election at once diminishes the number of tyrants, and puts tyranny at the greatest distance from the greatest number of people” (62). In this debate, some pieces of Mr. Primrose’s commentary are tinged with humor (stemming from Mr. Primrose’s over-the-top patriotism and haughty self-righteousness toward a man who turns out to be a butler posing as a member of the bourgeoisie). Nonetheless, Mr. Primrose’s overall message is still arguably serious. Mr. Primrose, while excessively idealistic, is nonetheless framed as a respectable man, the novel’s preface noting that as a priest, a husband, and a father, its protagonist acts as “the three greatest characters upon earth.” Moreover, one of the final statements Mr. Primrose makes in his argument with the butler crystallizes his broader, semi-comical statements about the value of the monarchy into a logically sound, thoughtful statement positing that while those “besiegers” who argue in favor of democracy, “are in dread of an enemy over them, it is but natural to offer the townsmen the most specious terms, to flatter them with sounds, and amuse them with privileges: but if they once defeat the governor from behind, the walls of the town will be but a small defence to its inhabitants” (64). In this scenario, Mr. Primrose asserts, the prevailing style of government would prove one in which “the laws govern the poor, and the rich govern the law,” and therefore, Mr. Primrose declares, “I am for, and would die for monarchy, sacred monarchy” (64).
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    7:49 pm
  2. page 1766 - The Manchester Mercury & The Vicar of Wakefield edited Recap of 1766 Current Events According to The Manchester Mercury Weekly British publication The…

    Recap of 1766 Current Events According to The Manchester Mercury
    Weekly British publication The Manchester Mercury primarily features news updates about the monarchy’s policies, the Royal Family itself, Parliament proceedings, trade developments, and criminal trials. The Mercury also reprints stories featured in the daily London paper since its own last edition, along with a hodgepodge of advertisements for boarding schools, books, and pamphlets.
    According to Manchester Mercury issues published from January through June 1766, in this particular year Great Britain’s monarchy grappled with discord over its trade policies. At this time in Great Britain’s political history, the monarchy (whose policies largely received support in Parliament) sought to maximize the profits of businesses based in Britain by imposing a series of restrictions, including taxes, on the importation of certain goods. For example, the January 28, 1766 issue of the Mercury notes that because there has been a greater consumption of French brandy than British brandy, an additional duty will be placed on this imported good so that “Encouragement will be given to the Liquor of our own Production.” Many of these tariffs and trade restrictions applied not only to foreign countries, but were also frequently enforced in dealings with the British colonies in America and other countries within the British Empire, such as Ireland.
    These trade policies especially caused dissent in North America, where according to the Mercury colonists increasingly rebelled against British rule. The Mercury edition printed on January 7, 1766 mentions riots in “Charles-Town,” South Carolina regarding the Stamp Act of 1765. A few weeks later, on January 21, the Mercury reports that Parliament approved the king’s commands that “Exertion of all the Powers of Government [be used] in the Suppression of Riots” among the colonists. The paper’s January 28 issue relays the colonists’ offers to back down and refrain from using force against British troops if Great Britain repeals the Stamp Act; however, the Mercury observes that, “All the eminent Lawyers (one excepted) are said to be clearly and strongly of Opinion that the British Parliament has an undoubted Right to lay Taxes in America.” Evidently, dissenting colonists also recently seized merchant ships from Great Britain carrying arms and ammunition to British soldiers. In March, Parliament finally repeals the Stamp Act, and tensions within the colonies seem to abate for the next several weeks. The paper less frequently touches on Ireland’s objections to Great Britain’s trade regulations, though it does note on March 4, “it is intended to be proposed to send an armed Force to Ireland, to prevent the obstinate People of that Country from cultivating Potatoes.”
    Beyond trade issues, the Mercury also often reports on domestic crime. In particular, the paper spotlights the human-interest aspects of crime, reporting on scheduled executions, divulging the names of average citizens set to go to debtors’ prison, and recapping unusual crimes.
    Summary of “The Vicar of Wakefield”
    Oliver Goldsmith’s “The Vicar of Wakefield,” published in 1766, chronicles a mildly wealthy family’s economic downfall and eventual return to social grace. The novel’s narrator and protagonist, Mr. Primrose, is a minister and family patriarch who cherishes his wife and children above all else — including money and material goods. When the Primroses unexpectedly lose their savings, forcing them to sacrifice their beloved family home, Mr. Primrose un-begrudgingly accepts their turn in fortune, promptly leaving his post at their community’s church and relocating his family to a more affordable rental property a distance away. In spite of their changed circumstances, Mr. Primrose continues to prioritize teaching his children to act with humility, grace, and dignity, which he achieves through leading by example. Otherwise, Mr. Primrose conceives a series of plans for improving his family’s fortune, refusing to give up hope though his well-meaning plans are repeatedly deterred by various foes who crop up throughout the narrative.
    One such foe, the family’s new landlord, initially presents himself as a benevolent comrade, when he is in fact scheming to deflower Olivia, the older of Mr. Primrose’s two beautiful, educated daughters. The family faces a divisive moment when Olivia disappears shortly before the day she is set to wed a local farmer. Rumors inform the Primroses that Olivia ran off with another man (who they later discover is none other than their dastardly landlord, who pretends to marry Olivia, sleeps with the young woman, and thereafter abandons her.) In the ensuing chaos, Mr. Primrose wrongfully ends up in jail alongside his oldest son, but the ever-perseverant and morally upright minister ultimately restores justice, repairs family fractures, and inspires repentance in various wrongdoers. The family even regains its lost fortune — and the three oldest Primrose children get happily married (all with their parents’ blessings).
    Theater in 1766
    According to “The London Stage,” England’s 1766-1767 theater season saw more than 521 performances at the city’s theaters and opera houses (1180). One of the major players in the London theater scene at this time was David Garrick, an actor, playwright, and producer. Garrick’s playhouse put on a total of 191 shows in the 1766-67 theater season, including four new original plays (1181). Another playhouse manager, John Beard, ran 76 shows in the same season, including three new original “mainpieces” (1181). Ten plays were also performed at the Haymarket, Marylebone, Sadler’s Wells, and the Chapel at Lock Hospital (1181). The season notably featured numerous productions of Shakespearean plays, including renditions of “Hamlet, “King Henry V,” King Richard III,” and “Romeo and Juliet,” among others. The season also saw multiple runs of “The Beggar’s Opera.”
    In regards to more general trends in theater burgeoning during the 1766 to 1767 theater season, “The London Stage” notes that around this time actors increasingly donned costumes imitating current styles of dress instead of sporting historically accurate articles of clothing (1180). Furthermore, the book observes that theater reviews in 1766 frequently remarked upon “the noises and abuses of the upper gallery” (1180).
    Takes on Tradition vs. Innovation in British Literature, Theater, and Newspapers of 1766
    Monarchy vs. Democracy: Like Mr. Primrose in “The Vicar of Wakefield,” the Manchester Mercury seemingly proclaims loyalty to the crown, but also embraces Enlightenment philosophies to some degree. At times, the paper appears quite sympathetic to the crown — for example, when Prince William, the king’s youngest brother dies. In its January 7 issue, the Mercury informs its readers that William has passed away, and accordingly relays the Royal Family’s instructions for how people should dress for the prince’s funeral processions. The paper then interjects that William was “a Prince ever to be regretted by those who had the Honour to approach him” and that he “won the Hearts of everyone” — both entirely subjective statements that, at least by contemporary journalistic standards (which the Mercury usually tends to follow) prove quite out of place in a news report.
    On the other hand, the paper also occasionally publishes material opposing monarchic principles. For instance, the same issue reporting the prince’s death also includes an excerpt from a speech by French Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In this speech, Rousseau proclaims, “The English imagine they are a free People’s but they are mistaken [as] they are only free during the short Time of Chusing their Representatives in Parliament; and as that choice is determined, they almost always become slaves again” (416). In short, the passage printed in the Mercury critiques the British government’s current setup, informing citizens that under the monarchy and Parliament, they are more or less “slaves” to the system (rather than the free agents they may imagine themselves to be).
    “The Vicar of Wakefield” also takes up the benefits and disadvantages the present style of government poses to average British citizens, but with more specific conclusions than those provided in the Mercury. Oliver Goldsmith appears to use “The Vicar of Wakefield” as a springboard for expressing ideas about politics and traditional family values.
    This becomes apparent when, in the middle of his quest to recover Olivia, Mr. Primrose happens to encounter an inconsequential stranger whose political views prove so objectionable that Mr. Primrose cannot resist arguing with him. After the stranger criticizes the king, Mr. Primrose launches into an indignant tirade in which he wholeheartedly defends Great Britain’s system of government. In response to the stranger’s assertion that democratic systems of government inherently offer more liberty than monarchies, Mr. Primrose insists, “I am for liberty . . . But . . . since then it is entailed upon humanity to submit, and some are born to command, and others to obey, the question is, as there must be tyrants, whether it is better to have them in the same house with us, or in the same village, or still farther off, in the metropolis . . . The generality of mankind . . . have unanimously created one king, whose election at once diminishes the number of tyrants, and puts tyranny at the greatest distance from the greatest number of people” (62). In this debate, some pieces of Mr. Primrose’s commentary are tinged with humor (stemming from Mr. Primrose’s over-the-top patriotism and haughty self-righteousness toward a man who turns out to be a butler posing as a member of the bourgeoisie). Nonetheless, Mr. Primrose’s overall message is still arguably serious. Mr. Primrose, while excessively idealistic, is nonetheless framed as a respectable man, the novel’s preface noting that as a priest, a husband, and a father, its protagonist acts as “the three greatest characters upon earth.” Moreover, one of the final statements Mr. Primrose makes in his argument with the butler crystallizes his broader, semi-comical statements about the value of the monarchy into a logically sound, thoughtful statement positing that while those “besiegers” who argue in favor of democracy, “are in dread of an enemy over them, it is but natural to offer the townsmen the most specious terms, to flatter them with sounds, and amuse them with privileges: but if they once defeat the governor from behind, the walls of the town will be but a small defence to its inhabitants” (64). In this scenario, Mr. Primrose asserts, the prevailing style of government would prove one in which “the laws govern the poor, and the rich govern the law,” and therefore, Mr. Primrose declares, “I am for, and would die for monarchy, sacred monarchy” (64).
    Family Values Vs. Economic Prosperity: Mr. Primrose’s political ideals arguably feed into the novel’s greater dedication to what it construes as traditional British values. Mr. Primrose spends a bulk of the novel endeavoring to teach his children the value of a simple, honest, and humble life. Sometimes Mr. Primrose’s life lessons are delivered by way of a preposterous series of events. One such example occurs when Mrs. Primrose, Olivia, and Sophia, ignoring Mr. Primrose’s warnings against excessive vanity, insist on riding in a carriage instead of walking to church like their parishioners do — only to have their shoddily-assembled carriage break down repeatedly the very first time they take it.
    However, much like in his political argument with the butler, Mr. Primrose still manages to deliver serious moral messages in between humorous events like this one. Mr. Primrose demonstrates a stanch dedication to the notions that one should favor simplicity over extravagance, and consequently that family unity inevitably offers greater pleasure than monetary or material wealth. When the family’s banker without warning flees town to avoid bankruptcy, taking the Primroses’ fortune with him, Mr. Primrose quickly accepts his changed circumstances, declaring that if the family sticks together, it will have no want for happiness. He cheerfully encourages his children to, “without repining, give up those splendours with which numbers are wretched, and seek in humbler circumstances that peace with which all may be happy” (7). Similarly, when the family’s new abode burns down a few years later, Mr. Primrose does not appear bitter (though the family has faced misfortune after misfortune at this point); he merely expresses gratitude that he managed to save his two youngest sons (the only family members unable to escape the fire on their own) at the last minute. He rejoices, “Here they are, I have saved my treasure . . . here are our treasures, and we shall yet be happy” (83) Mr. Primrose’s gracious attitude in response to grave situations encapsulates the novel’s apparent overarching view that Britons should look to traditional values, grounded in the institutions of marriage and the nuclear family, in the midst of Enlightenment-era philosophical queries about the relationship between the self and society. Mr. Primrose preaches that with his simple, family-oriented lifestyle, he is at the peak of happiness, observing, ““We had no revolutions to fear, nor fatigues to undergo; all our adventures were by the fire-side” (1).
    Capital Punishment Vs. Reformation: The only vaguely radical idea in “The Vicar of Wakefield” emerges during Mr. Primrose’s brief stint in jail. The Manchester Mercury’s regular reports outlining convicted criminals’ prison sentences — or, in some cases, death sentences — suggest that Great Britain’s justice system in 1766 revolved around jail time and capital punishment. Mr. Primrose laments the state of his beloved Britain’s justice system, surprisingly diverging from what seems to be the traditional British school of thought on this topic. Shortly after his arrival to the prison, Mr. Primrose manages to reform most of his fellow prisoners’ unseemly, self-serving behaviors by instituting a behavior-based system of rewards and punishments. In regards to his fellow prisoners, Mr. Primrose remarks that, “It had ever been my opinion, that no man was past the hour of amendment, every heart lying open to the shafts of reproof” (96). After his system of rewards and punishments proves effective, Mr. Primrose reflects that, “It were highly to be wished, that legislative power would thus direct the law rather to reformation than severity . . . this, but not the increasing punishments, is the way to mend a state” (99).
    Theater Classics Vs. Contemporary Works: Though “The London Theater” states that playhouses paid certain newspapers to plug “puff” pieces about their productions, The Manchester Mercury infrequently mentions theatrical performances; presumably, Manchester’s theater scene was smaller than London’s, accounting for this discrepancy — especially since each issue of the Mercury features numerous advertisements, including ones for novels and pamphlets (suggesting that the Mercury’s readership is indeed interested in the arts, and would consider attending theater performances if they had the opportunity). By contrast, “The Vicar of Wakefield” does briefly broach the realm of theater. When Mr. Primrose is searching for the missing Olivia, he runs into a theater troupe. In passing, he asks one of the actors whose plays are popular at present. Intriguingly, the actor’s response mirrors “The London Theater”’s accounts of the 1766-1767 theater season. The actor replies that, “Our [society’s] taste [in theater] has gone back a whole century, Fletcher, Ben Johnson, and all the plays of Shakespear, are the only things that go down” (60). As previously noted, London’s 1766-1767 theater season saw numerous productions of various Shakespearean works. Mr. Primrose indignantly wonders, “How . . . is it possible the present age can be pleased with that antiquated dialect, that obsolete humour, those overcharged characters, which abound in the works you mention?” (60). The actor comically returns, “The public think nothing about dialect, or humour, or character . . . they only go to be amused, and find themselves happy when they can enjoy a pantomime, under the sanction of Johnson’s or Shakespear’s name” (60). Therefore, per its usual pattern, “The Vicar of Wakefield” uses Mr. Primrose’s character as a channel for expressing controversial opinions, in this case about current theater trends.
    Conclusions
    In short, whereas The Manchester Mercury simply reports the state of the affairs in England sans much critical analysis, “The Vicar of Wakefield” directly weighs in on various aspects of British culture, including politics, crime, and theater. This disparity is arguably attributable to the distinct nature of these two mediums; whereas journalists risk persecution for stating unpopular or controversial opinions about the current political system or various other British traditions, a novelist has the capability of delivering messages through a character (whose perspectives may or may not align with those of the author himself).

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Friday, April 15

  1. page 1749 B edited The Monthly Review Ralph Griffiths May 1749- September 1749 {http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/i…
    The Monthly Review
    Ralph Griffiths
    May 1749- September 1749
    {http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/88/8837/H21S300Z/posters/nathaniel-buck-london-bridge-london-1749.jpg}
    May 17, 1749
    DearestMother,
    I can never thank you and Father enough for the opportunity of being able to spend a year in London, and I wanted to inform you that I have arrived and am thriving in this new environment. I am quickly learning about London culture and in exactly the way I’d hoped to, by completely emerging myself into it and discovering new ways to learn about it. As I have been exploring, I have come across many interesting people who have been eager to help me adjust and find enjoyment while being here. In fact, one of them suggested that I take a look at reading a journal, The Monthly Report, as a simple way to get current updates and news on what may be interesting around here—you know how ever since I have been a child I have loved reading and the arts. I have only read one issue of it, yet I have already learned so much about what the people here are interested in reading about. I wish you and the rest of the family could be here, experiencing London with me, as just from reading this I have read about things that would interest all of you.
    The writing that I thought would most interest you and sister, as it had intrigued me the most, was interesting and discussed topics such as morality, ethics, and the nature of happiness. There was a review done on the work of a late researcher of the subject Moral Philosophy by the name of Mr. Grove who wrote A System of Moral Philosophy that was quite interesting; he outlined ways in which one can remain in good moral standing and was passionate about maintaining a simplicity on a life surrounding personal happiness. I immediately thought of brother as I read the article on a prejudiced lyric poet by the name of Pindar, as he devoted his writing to creating a dissertation on the Olympic Games in order to convey the type of people the players are and the true nature of the games from the beginning of the Greek tradition. I think he would really love reading the “Pindarick Odes” and some of the other written work done containing similar content such as Pierre du Raur’s “Agonisticon” and the volumes of Memoirs de l’Academie Royale—let him know I’m thinking of him! And then for Father, he would thoroughly enjoy the interesting letter called “On the Sport of Patriotism,” and from what I can tell from the review, the epic poem, Gideon. Both of them were written anonymously, and contained similar issues of historical, political, and critical approaches to the issues mankind faces. I’ll keep you updated on more that I learn in the future, but must go for now!
    With all my love, M-------
    June 9, 1749
    Dear Mother,
    It was so nice to hear back from you, and thank you for being a messenger from me to the rest of the family; I wish I had time to write to everyone about my endless adventures, however they are keeping me rather busy. In my exploration of London, I feel as though I am only growing fonder of the people and land, while I have an overwhelming appreciation for their ideals and valued cultural aspects. Of these ideals, I am most interested and somewhat surrounded by the love of arts the English people have. I have never experienced this natural affection that people here tend to have for the arts, and I had not only observed it in person, but I continued to read about it in that literary journal I had previously mentioned to you.
    I learned from this month’s issue of The Monthly Review, that the English ideal of art being the basis of the most desirable and honorable reputation stems from Italian roots; in Italy, the name for the revival of liberal arts and sciences is “virtue,” which is where the word “virtuous” stems from. The valued arts seem universally accepted, and in order to spread art to a larger population, a man by the name of Mr. Gwin wrote “An Essay on Design” in which he proposed a public Academy to be built for the sole purpose of teaching the Arts. Let me tell you, from the artistic elements that I have observed over the past two months, I am shocked that this public Academy is even worth being up for debate, as I expected this institution to already have been available. Clearly, I am a strong supporter of this proposal, and I hope you are equally in agreement.
    On another note, if brother is not too busy with his sports at home and wants more of an update on the topic of the Olympic games, he should consider reading Mr. Weft’s book, as it offers a different approach to learning about the games. He discusses the aspect of religion in the games, as seen in the ceremonies that celebrate the Olympics, and he may enjoy learning about this. It is lovely to see the range of material this journal offers, as brother’s interests are different from mine, yet I see in each issue things that we are both interested in. He can learn of the athletic games, and I will stay put and enjoy learning about the concepts of art, religion, and moral components that I thoroughly enjoy.
    Now, if you do not mind, I was hoping to look up these sermons about morality and the worth of faith that a review raved about and I had wanted to look over them in greater detail, so I must go for now. Continue to keep me updated, as will I when I learn and discover more about the great influences of religion and faith on the English people.
    Lovingly, M---------
    July 23, 1749
    Dearest Mother,
    I was pleased to receive your letter, as I always am, and truly appreciated you informing me on what all of you have been up to; I am saddened to miss out on these exciting times, but I will be back soon enough to hear directly from my brother and sister. I am glad to hear that everyone is happy and healthy; I do wish someone would come visit at some point while I am here, as I would love to show you around England.
    I am still growing accustomed to living here and am discovering a lot more about myself in this experience. As you know, I have always enjoyed art, but being here seems to allow me to open up to several forms of art. I am fairly good at informing you about the reading I enjoy in my free time, and I continue to read every day. However, the reading has opened my eyes to larger opportunities. The reviews I overlook allude to art forms such as poetry, music, and plays, and then subjects like religion and philosophy.
    Growing up, our family was not very religious, so coming to London and it being a place with many observant Christians, I have been exposed to a lot of talk and thought about religion. The other day, my neighbor recommended me to read a disquisition that she read that she was referred to. In good faith, I took her word and read the essay in its entirety, and really got a chance to experience Christianity in more detail. The essay went over responses to bible verses and passages, and, overall, intended to advance religion to the best that it can be. The person who took the time to write this all out was motivated by the concern for the interests of Christianity, because he believed that the religion could reach out to more people had their been amendments to the translation of the bible. Mother, have you ever had any strong feelings of religion? And, why is it not discussed much in our household at home? I came to be so curious about this topic, possibly because it seems so engraved into the everyday lives of people in London.
    I’m looking forward to hearing from you again soon, and please enjoy the nice weather that you have been having.
    Farewell, M---------
    August 3, 1749
    Dear Mother,
    I have just received the package you have sent me for my birthday, thank you very much!! This is my first birthday away from the family so it is a little strange that we cannot celebrate it traditionally together. Thank Father, brother, and sister for me, as well. I cannot believe that as a birthday present, sister will be visiting for a short while next month. We will have a fantastic time, and I am sure that she will enjoy being here as much as I have over the past three and a half months.
    I must tell you of the scandals of our time here in London, as they are intriguing to hear about and not one person can help but talk about them. A patient has died from disease under the care of several prestigious doctors, and one of the patient’s doctors has revealed to the public accusing another doctor of malpractice. Dr. Richard Ruffel wrote a letter addressing this issue and, in the most gentlemanly-like manner, states his belief about a Dr. Addington; Dr. Addington was never able to consult with the diseased patient in time to figure out treatment, due to a questionable excuse, according to Dr. Ruffel. I hope that word gets out in the future about the absolute truth in this situation, because of the scandalous behavior these doctors have, if they are not stating the truth.
    If the coffee shops are not being filled with chatter about the feuding doctors, one can hear discussion of the articles featured in the Magazin de Londres, a very popular read for the people here. What is found in the magazine are the discussion and writing on popular subjects the people of London tend to be most interested in at the time. Even I have read several of the materials that the magazine ends up discussing in the issues, and I have not even been here for long! I am really feeling as though I get what it means to live here, and I can’t wait to show sister around my temporary home in the next month!
    All my love, M---------
    {https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/6/64/20150416180102!William_Hogarth_016.jpg} {https://archive.org/services/img/unhappyfavourite00bank} September 29, 1749
    Dearest Mother,
    I could not have been happier with my visit from sister this month! I miss all of you terribly, but it was so pleasant to have at least one of my loved ones be with me for any time at all. I was able to show her around some of my favorite places in London, such as the Louvre, and I introduced her to several of the people who I have become fond of since my time being here. I knew sister would want to go to the theatre while here in London, so, on top of all of the traveling and exploring we accomplished, we planned on seeing two of the theatre performances.
    On Friday the 22nd, we saw “The Unhappy Favorite,” due to a recommendation from a local in the area. It was done well, but apparently the theatre is not how it usually has been in the past. The amount of people going to the plays, and the amount of people starring in the plays has decreased at this time period for some reason. Hopefully, the theatre production and casts will increase in quality quickly, so that the quantity of plays available can increase.
    The fact that the first show was not as great as we expected did not stop us from our plan of seeing the other show we were interested in. We saw the play “the Beggar’s Opera” on the 26th, and it was a great show that was extremely entertaining. Sister and I, along with the rest of the audience, left very satisfied and amused—no wonder we have heard such rave reviews about the show.
    I had sister leave here without empty hands, as I encouraged her to take some of the readings that I have enjoyed the most home with her, so that she and the rest of the family can enjoy them as much as I have. Be sure to have her show you them when you see her, so that you can decide what you want to read. I have included readings that I enjoyed in the past letters, so if you were interested in particular ones that I mentioned and described to you, you have the opportunity to read it for yourself. Do not worry; most of the material sent home with sister only cost about 3 or 6s each, so it was not like I have been overspending on the literature and reviews.
    I cannot wait to be able to have the opportunity to share even more of my experiences with you soon, and thank you for continuing to be able to respond and communicate with me while on this unique journey I am on. I am sure you will hear a lot from sister about the trip, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say about what you will discuss with her.
    Love always, M---------
    Resources:
    The London Stage, 1660-1800: a Calendar of Plays, Entertainments & Afterpieces, Together With Casts, Box-receipts And Contemporary Comment. [1st ed.] Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1960196811965.
    Griffiths, Ralph, ‘The Monthly Review’, British Periodicals (ProQuest MXL), ProQuest Information and Learning Company, Hurst, Robinson, and Co. [http://search.proquest.com/britishperiodicals/publication/publications_3079?accountid=14696, May 1749-Sept. 1749]
    http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/88/8837/H21S300Z/posters/nathaniel-buck-london-bridge-london-1749.jpg
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/6/64/20150416180102!William_Hogarth_016.jpg
    https://archive.org/services/img/unhappyfavourite00bank

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