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Still in compassion to our race,
NO. VI.-FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 1807.
FROM MY ELBOW-CHAIR.
The Cockloft family, of which I have made such frequent mention, is of great antiquity if there be any truth in the genealogical tree which hangs up in my cousin's library. They trace their descent from a celebrated roman knight, cousin to the progenitor of his majesty of Britain, who left his native country on occasion of some disgust; and coming into Wales became a great favorite of prince Madoc, and accompanied that famous argonaut in the voyage which ended in the discovery of this continent. Though a member of the family I have sometimes ventured to doubt the authenticity of this portion of their annals, to the great vexation of cousin Christopher ; who is looked up to as the head of our house ; and who, though as orthodox as a bishop, would sooner give up the whole decalogue than lop off a single limb of the family tree. From time immemorial, it has been the
rule for the Cocklofts to marry one of their own name; and, as they always bred like rabbits, the family has increased and multiplied like that of Adam and Eve. In truth their number is almost incredible ; and you can hardly go into any part of the country without starting a warren of genuine Cocklofts. Every person of the least observation, or experience, must have observed that where this practice of marrying cousins, and second cousins, prevails in a family, every member, in the course of a few generations, becomes queer, humorous and original; as much distinguished from the common race of mongrels as if he was of a difierent species. This has happened in our family, and particularly in that branch of it of which mr. Christopher Cockloft, or, to do him justice, mr. Christopher Cockloft, esq. is the head.-Christopher is, in fact, the only married man of the name who resides in town; his family is small, having lost most of his children, when young, by the excessive care he took to bring them up like vegetables. This was one of his first whim-whams and a confounded one it was; as his children might have told, had they not fallen victims to his experiment before they could talk. He had got, from some quack philosopher or other, a notion that there was a complete analogy between children and plants, and that they
ought to be both reared alike. Accordingly he sprinkled them every morning with water, laid them out in the sun, as he did his geraniums; and, it the season was remarkably dry, repeated this wise experiment three or four times of a morning, The consequence was the poor little souls died one after the other, except Jeremy and his two sis, ters; who, to be sure, are a trio of as odd, runty, mummy-looking originals as ever Hogarth fancied in his most happy moments. Mrs. Cockloft, the larger if not the better half of my cousin, often remonstrated against this vegetable theory ; and even brought the parson of the parish, in which my cousin's country house is situated, to her aid ; but in vain : Christopher persisted, and attributed the failure of his plan to its not having been exactly conformed to. As I have mentioned mrs. Cockloft, I may as well say a little more about her while I am in the humor. She is a lady of won. derful notability, a warm admirer of shining mahogany, clean hearths, and her husband; who she considers the wisest man in the world, bating Will Wizard and the parson of our parish ; the last of whom is her oracle on all occasions. She goes constantly to church cvery Sunday and Saints-day ; and insists upon it that no man is entitled to ascend a pulpit unless he has been ordained by a bishop :