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ether a numberless collection of dancing atoms into the form of seven rolling globes: and, that nature might be kept from a dull inactivity, each separate particle is endued with a principle of motion, or a power of attraction, whereby all the several parcels of matter draw each other proportionably to their magnitudes and distances, into such a remarkable variety of different forms, as to produce all the wonderful appearances we now observe in empire, philosophy, and religion. But to proceed:
“At the beginning of the game, each of the globes, being struck forward with a vast violence, ran out of sight, and wandered in a straight line through the infinite spaces. The nimble deities pursue, breathless almost, and spent in the eager chace; each of them caught hold of one, and stamped it with his name; as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so of the rest. To prevent this inconvenience for the future, the seven are condemned to a precipitation, which in our inferior style we call gravity. Thus the tangential and centripetal forces, by their counter-struggle, make the celestial bodies describe an exact elipsis.
“There will be added to this an appendix, in defence of the first day of the term according to the Oxford almanack, by a learned knight" of this realm, with an apology for the said knight's manner of dress; proving that his habit, according to this hypothesis, is the true modern and fashionable; and that buckles are not to be worn, by this system, until the tenth of March in the year 1714, which, according to the computation of some of our greatest divines, is to be the first year of the millennium; in which blessed age all habits will be reduced to a primitive simplicity; and whoever shall be found to have persevered in a constancy of dress, in spite of all the allurements of profane and heathen habits, shall be rewarded with a neverfading doublet of a thousand years. All points in the system, which are doubted, shall be attested by the knight's extemporary oath, for the satisfaction of his readers.'
Will's Coffee-house, July 18.
We were upon the heroic strain this evening; and the question was, “What is the true sublime !” Many very good discourses happened thereupon; after which a gentleman at the table, who is, it seems, writing on that subject, assumed the argument; and though he ran through many instances of sublimity from the ancient writers, said, “he had hardly known an occasion wherein the true greatness of soul, which animates a general in action, is so well represented, with regard to the person of whom it was spoken, and the time in which it was writ, as in a few lines in a modern poem. There is, continued he, nothing so forced and constrained, as what we frequently meet with in tragedies; to make a man under the weight of great sorrow, or full of meditation upon what
he is soon to execute, cast about for a simile to what he himself is, or the thing which he is going to act: but there is nothing more proper and natural for a poet, whose business it is to describe, and who is spectator of one in that circumstance, when his mind is working upon a great image, and that the ideas hurry upon his imagination—I say, there is nothing so natural, as for a poet to relieve and clear himself from the burden of thought at that time, by uttering his conception in simile and metaphor. The highest act of the mind of man is to possess itself with tranquillity in imminent danger, and to have its thoughts so free, as to act at that time without perplexity. The ancient authors have compared this sedate courage to a rock that remains immoveable amidst the rage of winds and waves; but that is too stupid and inanimate a similitude, and could do no credit to the hero. At other times they are all of them wonderfully obliged to a Lybian lion which may give indeed very agreeable terrors to a description, but is no compliment to the person to whom it is applied: eagles, tigers, and wolves, are made use of on the same occasion, and very often with much beauty; but this is still an honour done to the brute rather than the hero. Mars, Pallas, Bacchus, and Hercules, have each of them furnished very good similes in their time, and made, doubtless, a greater impression on the mind of a heathen, than they have on that of a modern reader. But the sublime image that I am talking of, and which I really think as great as ever entered into the thought of man, is in the poem called ‘The Campaign;” where the simile of a ministering angel sets forth the most sedate and the most active courage, engaged in an uproar of nature, a confusion of elements, and a scene of divine vengeance. Add to all, that these lines compliment the general and his queen at the same time, and have all the natural horrors heightened by the image that was still fresh in the mind of every reader:t “'Twas then great Marlbro's mighty soul was proved, That, in the shock of charging hosts unmoved, Amidst confusion, horror, and despair, Examined all the dreadful scenes of war; In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed, To sainting squadrons sent the timely aid, Inspired repulsed battalions to engage, And taught the doubtful battle where to rage. So when an angel, by divine command, With rising tempests shakes a guilty land, Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past, Calm and serene he drives the furious blast: And, pleased th' Almighty's orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm."f “The whole poem is so exquisitely noble and poetic, that I think it an honour to our nation and language.” The gentleman concluded his critique on this work, by saying that “he esteemed it wholly new, and a wonderful attempt to keep up the ordinary ideas of a march of an army, just as they happened, in so warm and great a style, and yet be at once familiar and heroic. Such a performance is a chronicle as well as a poem,
* Sir William Whitlocke, knt. member for Oxon, bencher of the Middle Temple, and queen's serjeant. He is also alluded to under the name of I)ear Shoe. strings, which it would seem that he wore instead of buckles, Tuiler, No. 38.
• By Addison, published in 1704.
+ The author alludes here to the terrible tempests which happoned in November, 1703, and made sad havoc in England, and in several other places of Europe.
1 Psalin cylviii. 8.
This day passing through Covent-garden, I was stopped in the piazza by Pacolet, to observe what he called the triumph of love and youth. I turned to the object he pointed at, and there I saw a gay gilt chariot, drawn by fresh prancing horses; the coachman with a new cockade, and the lacqueys with insolence and plenty in their countenances. . I asked immediately, “What young heir or lover owned that glittering equipage " But my companion interrupted: “Do you see there the mourning Æsculapius "" ‘The mourning 7" said I. ‘Yes, Isaac,' said Pacolet, “he is in deep mourning, and is the languishing, hopeless lover of the divine Hebe, t the emblem of youth and beauty. The excel. lent and learned sage you behold in that furniture is the strongest instance imaginable, that love is the most powerful of all things.
‘You are not so ignorant as to be a stranger to the character of Æsculapius, as the patron and most successful of all who profess the art of medicine. But as most of his operations are owing to a natural sagacity or impulse, he has very little troubled himself with the doctrine of drugs, but has always given nature more room to help herself, than any of her learned assistants; and, consequently, has done greater wonders than is in the power of art to perform: for which reason he is half deified by the people; and has ever been justly courted by all the world, as if he were a seventh son.
‘It happened, that the charming Hebe was reduced, by a long and violent fever, to the most extreme danger of death; and when all skill failed, they sent for Æsculapius. The renowned artist was touched with the deepest compassion to see the faded charms and faint bloom of Hebe; and had a generous concern in beholding a struggle, not between life, but rather between youth and death. All his skill and his passion tended to the recovery of Hebe, beautiful even in sickness; but, alas ! the unhappy physician knew not that in all his care he was only sharpening darts for his own destruction. In a word, his fortune was the same with that of the statuary, who fell in love with the image of his own making; and the unfor. tunate AEsculapius is become the patient of her whom he lately recovered. Long before this disaster, Æsculapius was far gone in the unnecessary and superfluous amusements of old age, in increasing unwieldy stores, and providing, in the midst of an incapacity of enjoyment of
what he had, for a supply of more wants than he had calls for in youth itself. But these low considerations are now no more, and love has taken place of avarice, or rather is become an avarice of another kind, which still urges him to pursue what he does not want. But, behold the metamorphosis; the anxious mean cares of a usurer are turned into the languishments and complaints of a lover. “Behold,” says the aged AEsculapius, “I submit; I own, great love, thy empire; pity, Hebe, the fop which you have made. What have I to with gilding but on pills 2 Yet, O fair for thee I sit amidst a crowd of painted deities on my chariot, buttoned in gold, clasped in gold, without having any value for that beloved metal, but as it adorns the person, and laces the hat of thy dying lover. I ask not to live, O Hebe: give me but gentle death: Evāzwaroz, Eviavarz,” that is all I implore.” When Æsculapius had finished his complaint, Pacolet went on in deep morals on the uncertainty of riches, with this remarkable exclamation : ‘O wealth ! how impotent art thou! and how little dost thou supply us with real happiness, when the usurer himself can forget thee for the love of what is as foreign to his felicity as thou arts'
Will's Coffee-house, July 19.
The company here, who have all a delicate taste for theatrical representations, had made a gathering to purchase the moveables of the neighbouring playhouse, for the encouragement of one which is setting up in the Hay-market. But the proceedings at the auction, by which method the goods have been sold this evening, have been so unfair, that this generous design has been frustrated; for the imperial mantle made for Cyrus was missing, as also the chariot and two dragons: but, upon examination, it was found that a gentleman of Hampshire had clandestinely bought them both, and is gone down to his country seat; and that on Saturday last he passed through Staines, attired in that robe, and drawn by the said dragons, assisted by two only of his own horses. This theatrical traveller has also left orders with Mr. Hallt to send the faded rainbow to the scourer's, and when it comes home, to despatch it after him. At the same time, Christopher Rich, esq. is invited to bring down his setting-sun himself, and be box-keeper to a theatre erected by this gentleman near Southampton. Thus, there has been nothing but artifice in the management of this affair; for which reason, I beg pardon of the town, that I inserted the inventory in my paper; and solemnly protest, I knew nothing of this artful design of vending these rarities: but I meant only the good of the world, in that, and all other things which I divulge.
And now I am upon this subject, I must do myself justice in relation to an article in a former paper,” wherein I made mention of a person who keeps a puppet-show in the town of Bath; I was tender of naming names, and only just hinted, that he makes larger promises when he invites people to his dramatic representations, than he is able to perform : but I am credibly informed, that he makes a profane, lewd jester, whom he calls Punch, speak to the dishonour of Isaac Bickerstaff with great familiarity; and, before all my learned friends in that place, takes upon him to dispute my title to the appellation of esquire. I think I need not say much to convince all the world, that this Mr. Powel, for that is his name, is a pragmatical and vain person, to pretend to argue with me on any subject. Mecum certasse feretur; that is to say, it will be an honour to him to have it said he contended with me: but I would have him to know, that I can look be. yond his wires, and know very well the whole trick of his art; and that it is only by these wires that the eye of the spectator is cheated, and hindered from seeing that there is a thread on one of Punch's chops, which draws it up, and lets it fall at the discretion of the said Powel, who stands behind and plays him, and makes him speak saucily of his betters. He to pretend to make prologues against me !— But a man never behaves himself with decency in his own case; therefore, I shall command myself, and never trouble me further with this little fellow, who is himself but a tall puppet, and has not brains enough to make even wood speak as it ought to do : and I that have heard the groaning board, can despise all that his puppets shall be able to speak as long as they live. But, Er quoris ligno non fit Mercurius. * Every log of wood will not make a Mercury.’ He has pretended to write to me also from the Bath, and says, he thought to have deferred giving me an answer until he came to his books; but that my writings might do well with the waters: which are pert expressions, that become a school-boy better than one that is to teach others; and when I have said a civil thing to him, he cries, “Oh I thank you for that—I am your humble servant for that.' Ah Mr. Powel, these smart civilities will never run down men of learning : I know well enough your design is to have all men automata, like your puppets; but the world is grown too wise, and can look through these thin devices. I know your design to make a reply to this; but be sure you stick close to my words; for if you bring me into discourses concerning the government of your puppets, I must tell you, ‘I neither am, nor have been, nor will be, at leisure to answer you.’ It is really a burning shame this man should be tolerated in abusing the world with such representations of things: but his parts decay, and he is not much more alive than Partridge.
*This paper was written in ridicule of a love-affair which befel Dr. Radcliffe, who was at that time about fixty; he died November 1, 1714, aged sixty-four.
f The lady's real name was Miss Tempest.
* A Greek word that significs “easy death,' which was the common wish of the Emperor Augustus.
f A noted auctioneer of those times.
f The patentee for Drury, lane play-house, which was shut up about this time by an order from the Lord Chamberlain.
* All the papers and passages about Powel, the pup.
t-show-man, relate to the controversy between Hoad. y and Offspring Blackall, bishop of Exeter, on which they were intended as a banter: it is needless to say, that the wit and raillery is employed on the side of Hoadly.
From my own Apartment, July 14.
I must beg pardon of my readers, that for this time, I have, I fear, huddled up my discourse, having been very busy in helping an old friend of mine out of town. He has a very good estate, and is a man of wit; but he has been three years absent from town, and cannot bear a jest, for which reason, I have, with some pains, convinced him that he can no more live here than if he were a downright bankrupt. He was so fond of dear London, that he began to fret, only inwardly; but being unable to laugh and be laughed at, I took a place in the northern coach for him and his family; and hope he is got to-night safe from all sneerers, in his own parlour.
St. James's Coffee-house, July 20.
This morning we received by express the agreeable news of the surrender of the town of Tournay on the twenty-eighth instant, N. S. The place was assaulted by the attacks of general Schuylemberg, and that of general Lottum, at the same time. The action at both those parts of the town was very obstinate, and the allies lost a considerable number in the beginning of the dispute; but the fight was continued with so great bravery, that the enemy, observing our men to be masters of all the posts which were necessary for a general attack, beat the chamade, and hostages were received from the town, and others sent from the besiegers, in order to come to a formal capitulation for the surrender of the place. We have also this day received advice, that sir John Leake, who lies off Dunkirk, had intercepted several ships laden with corn from the Baltic ; and that the Dutch privateers had fallen in with others, and carried them into Holland. The French letters advise, that the young son to the duke of Anjou lived but eight days.
No. 45.] Saturday, July 23, 1709.
Credo pudicitiam Saturno rege moratam -
In Saturn's reign, at nature's early birth,
White's Chocolate-house, July 22.
The other day I took a walk a mile or two out of town, and strolling wherever chance led me, I was insensibly carried into a by-road, along which was a very agreeable quickset of an extraordinary height, which surrounded a very delicious seat and garden. From one angle of the hedge, I heard a voice cry, 'Sir, sir!"— This raised my curiosity, and I heard the same voice say, but in a gentle tone, ‘Come forward, come forward ' I did so, and one through the hedge called me by my name, and bid me go on to the left, and I should be admitted to visit an old acquaintance in distress. The laws of knight-errantry made me obey the summons
without hesitation; and I was let in at the back gate of a lovely house by a maid-servant, who carried me from room to room until I came into a gallery; at the end of which, I saw a fine lady dressed in the most sumptuous habit, as if she were going to a ball, but with the most abject and disconsolate sorrow in her face that I ever beheld. As I came near, she burst into tears, and cried, 'Sir, do not you know the unhappy Teraminta ?' I soon recollected her whole person: “But,” said I, ‘madam, the simplicity of dress, in which I have ever seen you at your good father's house, and the cheerfulness of countenance with which you always appeared, are so unlike the fashion and temper you are now in, that I did not easily recover the memory of you. Your habit was then decent and modest, your looks serene and beautiful: whence then this unaccountable change 2 Nothing can speak so decp a sorrow as your present aspect; yet your dress is made for jollity and revelling !” —‘It is," said she, “an unspeakable pleasure to meet with one I know, and to bewail myself to any that is not an utter stranger to humanity. * When your friend my father died, he left me to a wide world with no defence against the insults of fortune; but rather, a thousand snares to entrap me in the dangers to which youth and innocence are exposed, in an age wherein honour and virtue are become mere words, and used only as they serve to betray those who understand them in their native sense, and obey them as the guides and motives of their being. The wickedest of all men living, the abandoned Decius, who has no knowledge of any good art or purpose of human life, but as it tends to the satisfaction of his appetites, had opportunities of frequently seeing and entertaining me at a house where mixed company boarded, and where he placed himself for the base intention which he has since brought to pass. Decius saw enough in me to raise his brutal desires, and my circumstances gave him hopes of accomplishing them. But all the glittering expectations he could lay before me, joined by my private terrors of poverty itself, could not for some months prevail upon me; yet, however I hated his intention, I still had a secret satisfaction in his courtship, and always exposed myself to his solicitations. See here the bane of our sex : Let the flattery be never so apparent, the flatterer never so ill thought of his praises are still agreeable, and we contribute to our own deceit. I was, therefore, ever fond of all opportunities and pretences of being in his company. In a word, I was at last ruined by him, and brought to this place, where I have been ever since immured; and from the fatal day after my fall from innocence, my worshipper became my master and my tyrant. Thus, you see me habited in the most gorgeous manner, not in honour of me as a woman he loves, but as this attire charms his own eye, and urges him to repeat the gratification he takes in me, as the servant of his brutish lusts and appetites. I know not where to fly for redress; but am here pining away life in the solitude and severity of a nun, but the conscience and guilt of a harlot. I live in this lewd practice with a religious awe of my minis
ter of darkness, upbraided with the support I receive from him, for the inestimable possession of youth, of innocence, of honour, and of conscience. I see, sir, my discourse grows painful to you; all I beg of you is, to paint it in so strong colours, as to let Decius see I am discovered to be in his possession, that I may be turned out of this detestable scene of regular iniquity, and either think no more, or sin no more. If your writings have the good effect of gaining my enlargement, I promise you I will atone for this unhappy step, by preferring an innocent laborious poverty, to all the guilty affluence the world can offer me.'
Will's Coffee-house, July 21.
To show that I do not bear an irreconcilcable hatred to my mortal enemy, Mr. Powel, at Bath, I do his function" the honour to publish to the world, that plays represented by puppets are permitted in our universities, and that sort of drama is not wholly thought unworthy the critique of learned heads; but, as I have been conversant rather with the greater ode, as I think the critics call it, I must be so humble as to make a request to Mr. Powel, and desire him to apply his thoughts to answering the difficulties with which my kinsman, the author of the following letter, seems to be embarrassed.
“To My HoNour Ed KINs MAN, Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire. From Mother Gourdon's at Hedington,f near Oxon, June 16. “DEAR Cousix,-Had the family of the Beadlestaffs, whereof I, though unworthy, am one, known of your being lately at Oxon, we had in our own name, and in the university's, as it is our office, made you a compliment: but your short stay here robbed us of an opportunity of aying our due respects, and you of receiving an ingenious entertainment, with which we at present divert ourselves and strangers. A puppet-show at this time supplies the want of an act. And since the nymphs of this city are disappointed of a luscious music-speech, and the country ladies of hearing their sons or brothers speak verses; yet the vocal machines, like them, by the help of a prompter, say things as much to the benefit of the audience, and almost as properly their own. The licence of a TerræFilius is refined to the well-bred satire of Punchenello. Now, cousin Bickerstaff, though Punch has neither a French nightcap, nor long pockets, yet you must own him to be a Pretty Fellow, a very Pretty Fellow; nay, since he seldom leaves the company without calling son of a whore, demanding satisfaction, and duelling, he must be owned a Smart Fellow, too. Yet, by some indecencies towards the ladies, he seems to be of a third character, distinct from any you have yet touched upon. A young gentleman who sat next me (for I had the curiosity of seeing this entertain
* An allusion to Offspring Blackall's being a bishop. The university of Oxford declared publicly in favour of his lordship, and his doctrine of passive, obediolo: A village near Oxford; where. Dr. King takes the scene of his droll tragi-comedy, called ‘Joan of Hedington."
ment) in a tufted gown, red stockings, and long wig (which I pronounce to be tantamount to red heels, and a dangling cane) was enraged when Punchenello disturbed a soft love-scene with his ribaldry. You would oblige us mightily by laying down some rules for adjusting the extravagant behaviour of this Almanzor of the play, and by writing a treatise on this sort of dramatic poetry, so much favoured, and so little understood, by the learned world. “From its being conveyed in a cart, after the Thespian manner, all the parts being recited by one person, as the custom was before Æs. chylus, and from the behaviour of Punch, as if he had won the goat, you may possibly deduce its antiquity, and settle the chronology, as well as some of our modern critics. In its natural transitions from mournful to merry; as from the hanging of a lover to dancing upon the rope; from the stalking of a ghost to a lady's presenting you with a jig, you may discover such a decorum, as is not to be found elsewhere than in our tragi-comedies. But I forgot myself; it is not for me to dictate: I thought fit, dear cóusin, to give you these hints, to show you that the Beadlestaffs do not walk before men of letters to no purpose; and that though we do but hold up the train of arts and sciences, yet, like other pages, we are now and then let into our ladies' secrets. I am your affectionate
kinsman, “BENJAMIN BEADLESTAFF.” From my own Apartment, July 22.
I am got hither safe, but never spent time with so little satisfaction as this evening; for you must know, I was five hours with three merry, and two honest, follows. The former, sang catches; and the latter even died with laughing at the noise they made. ‘Well,” says 'om Bellfrey, “you scholars, Mr. Bickerstaff, are the worst company in the world.”—“Ay,' says his opposite, ‘you are dull to-night; prlythee be merry.' With that I huzzaed, and took a jump cross the table, then came clever upon my legs, and sell a-laughing. ‘Let Mr. Bickerstaff alone,’ says one of the honest sellows; “when he is in a good humour, he is as fo company as any man in England.’ He ad no sooner spoke, but I snatched his hat off his head, and clapped it upon my own, and burst out a-laughing again; upon which we all fell a-laughing for half an hour. One of the honest fellows got behind me in the interim, and hit me a sound slap on the back; upon which he got the laugh out of my hands; and it was such a twang on my shoulders, that I confess he was much merrier than I. I was half angry ; but resolved to keep up the good humour of the company; and after hollowing as loud as I could possibly, I drank off a bumper of claret, that made me stare again. “Nay,’ says one of the honest fellows, ‘Mr. Isaac is in the right; there is no conversation in this; what signifies jumping, or hitting one another on the back 7 let us drink about.' We did so from seven of the clock until eleven; and now I am come hither, and, after the manner of the wise Pythagoras, begin to reflect upon the passages
of the day. I remember nothing but that I am bruised to death; and as it is my way to write down all the good things I have heard in the last conversation, to furnish my paper, I can from this only tell you uny sufferings and my bangs. I named Pythagoras just now; and I protest to you, as he believed men after death entered into other species, I am now and then tempted to think other animals enter into men, and could name several on two legs, that never discover any sentiments above what is common with the species of a lower kind; as we see in these bodily wits with whom I was to-night, whose parts consist in strength and activity; but their boisterous mirth gives me great impatience for the return of such happiness as I enjoyed in a conversation last week. Among others in that company we had Florio, who never interrupted any man living when he was speaking ; or ever ceased to speak, but others lamented that he had done. His discourse ever rises from the fulness of the matter before him, and not from ostentatation or triumph of his understanding; for though he seldom delivers what he need fear being repeated, he speaks without having that end in view; and his forbearance of calumny or bitterness is owing rather to his good-nature than his discretion; for which reason he is esteemed a gentleman perfectly qualified for conversation, in whom a general good-will to mankind takes off the necessity of caution and circumspection. We had at the same time that evening, the best sort of companion that can be; a good-natured old man. This person, in the company of young men, meets with veneration for his benevolence; and is not only valued for the good qualities of which he is master, but reaps an acceptance from the pardon he gives to other men's faults: and the ingenious sort of men with whom he converses, have so just a regard for him, that he rather is an example, than a check, to their behaviour. For this reason, as Senecio never pretends to be a man of pleasure before youth, so young men never set up for wisdom before Senecio; so that you never meet, where he is, those monsters of conversation, who are grave or gay above their years. He never converses but with followers of nature and good sense, where all that is uttered is only the effect of a communicable temper, and not of emulation to excel their companions; all desire of superiority being a contradiction to that spirit which makes a just conversation, the very essence of which is mutual good-will. Hence it is, that I take it for a rule, that the natural, and not the acquired man, is the companion. Learning, wit, gallantry, and good breeding, are all but subordinate qualities in society, and are of no value, but as they are subservient to benevolence, and tend to a certain manner of being or appearing equal to the rest of the company; for conversation is composed of an assembly of men, as they are men, and not as they are distinguished by fortune: therefore he who brings his quality with him into conversation, should always pay the reckoning; for he came to receive homage, and not to meet his friends. But the din about my ears from the clamour of the people I was