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with the rooks, whose ancestors left them the wide world; I cannot but admire their fraternity, and contemn my own. Is not Jack Heyday much to be preferred to the knight he has bubbled Jack has his equipage, his wenches, and his followers: the knight, so far from a retinue, that he is almost one of Jack's. However, he is gay, you see, still ; a florid outside—His habit speaks the man—And since he must unbutton, he would not be reduced outwardly, but is stripped to his upper coat. But though I have great temptation to it, I will not at this time give the history of the losing side; but speak the effects of my thoughts, since the loss of my money, upon the gaining people. This ill fortune makes most men contemplative and given to reading ; at least it has happened so to me; and the rise and fall of the family of Sharpers in all ages has been my contemplation.’ I find, all times have had of this people: Homer, in his excellent heroic poem, calls them Myrmidons, who were a body that kept among themselves, and had nothing to lose; therefore never spared either Greek or Trojan, when they fell in their way, upon a party. But there is a memorable verse, which gives us an account of what broke that whole body, and made both Greeks and Trojans masters of the secret of their warfare and plunder. There is nothing so pedantic as many quotations; therefore, I shall inform you only, that in this battalion there were two officers called Thersites and Pandarus: they were both less renowned for their beauty than their wit; but each had this particular happiness, that they were plunged over head and ears in the same water which made Achilles invulnerable; and had ever after, certain gifts which the rest of the world were never to enjoy. Among others, they were never to know they were the most dreadful to the sight of all mortals, never to be diffident of their own abilities, never to blush, or ever to be wounded but by each other. Though some historians say, gaming began among the Lydians to divert hunger, I could cite many authorities to prove it had its rise at the siege of Troy; and that Ulysses won the sevenfold shield at hazard. But be that as it may, the ruin of the corps of Myrmidons proceeded from a breach between Thersites and Pandarus. The first of these was leader of a squadron, wherein the latter was but a private man; but having all the good qualities necesary for a partisan, he was the favourite of his officer. But the whole history of the several changes in the order of Sharpers, from those Myrmidons to our modern men of address and plunder, will require that we consult some ancient manuscripts. As we make these inquiries, we shall diurnally communicate them to the public, that the Knights of the Industry may be better understood by the good people of England. These sort of men, in some ages, were sycophants and flatterers only, and were endued with arts of life to capacitate them for the conversation of the rich and great; but now the bubble courts the impostor, and pretends at the utmost to be but his equal. To clear up the reasons and causes in such revolutions, and the different conduct between fools and cheats, shall be one of our labours for the good of this king
dom. How, therefore, pimps, footmen, fiddlers, and lackeys, are elevated into companions in . this present age, shall be accounted for from the influence of the planet Mercury on this island; the ascendency of which Sharper over Sol, who is a patron of the muses and all honest professions, had been noted by the learned Job Gadbury," to be the cause, that ‘ cunning and trick are more esteemed than art and science.” It must be allowed also, to the memory of Mr. Partridge, late of Cecil-street in the Strand, that in his answer to an horary question, at what hour of the night to set a fox-trap in June 1705 ! he has largly discussed, under the character of Reynard, the manner of surprising all Sharpers as well as him. But of these great points, after more mature deliberation.
St. James's Coffee-house, August 17.
“To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire.
‘SIR,-We have nothing at present new, but that we understand by some Owlers,f old people die in France. Letters from Paris of the tenth instant, N. S. say, that monsieur d'Andre, marquis d'Oraison, died at eighty-five: monsieur Brumars, at one hundred and two years, died for love of his wife, who was ninety-two at her death, after seventy years cohabitation. Nicholas de Boutheiller, parish-preacher at Sasseville, being a bachelor, held out to one hundred and sixteen. Dame Claude de Massy, relict of monsieur Peter de Monceaux, grand audiencer of France, died on the seventeenth, aged one hundred and seven. Letters of the seventeenth say, monsieur Chrestien de Lamoignon died on the seventh instant, a person of great piety and virtue; but having died young, his age is concealed for reasons of state. On the fifteenth, his most Christian majesty, attended by the dauphin, the duke of Burgundy, the duke and dutchess of Berry, assisted at the procession which he yearly performs in memory of a vow made by Lewis the Thirteenth, in 1638. For which act of piety, his majesty received absolution of his confe: , for the breach of all inconvenient vows made of himself. I am, sir,
your most humble servant. • HUMPHREY KIDNEY.”
From my own Apartment, August 17.
I am to acknowledge several letters which I have lately received; among others, one subscribed Philanthropos, another Emilia, both which shall be honoured. I have a third from an officer in the army, wherein he desires I would do justice to the many gallant actions which have been done by men of private characters, or officers of lower stations, during this long war; that their families may have the pleasure of seeing we lived in an age, wherein men of all orders had their proper share in fame and glory. There is nothing I should undertake
* Gadbury was an almanack-maker and astrologer. “
f Ourler signifies one who carries contraband goods; the word is perhaps derived from the necessity of carrying on an illicit trade by night.
with greater pleasure than matters of this kind; if therefore, they who are acquainted with such facts would please to communicate them by letters, directed to me at Mr. Morphew's, no pains should be spared to put them in a proper and distinguishing light. This is to admonish Stentor, that it was not admiration of his voice, but my publication of it, which has lately increased the number of his hearers.
No. 57.] Saturday, August 6, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines— — nostriest farrago libelli. Jur. Sat. i. 85, 86.
Whatever good is done, orhaterrr ill— By human kind, shall this collection fill.
Will's Coffee-house, August 19.
I was this evening representing a complaint sent me out of the country from Emilia. She says, her neighbours there have so little sense of what a refined lady of the town is, that she, who was a celebrated wit in London, is in that dull part of the world in so little esteem, that they call her in their base style a Tongue-Pad. Old True Penny bid me advise her to keep her wit until she comes to town again, and admonish her, that both wit and breeding are local; for a fine court-lady is as awkward among country housewives, as one of them would appear in a drawing-room. It is therefore the most useful knowledge one can attain at, to understand among what sort of men we make the best figure; for if there be a place where the beauteous and accomplished Emilia is unacceptable, it is certainly a vain endeavour to attempt pleasing in all conversations. Here is Will Ubi, who is so thirsty after the reputation of a companion, that his company is for any body that will accept of it; and for want of knowing whom to choose for himself, is never chosen by others. There is a certain chastity of behaviour which makes a man desirable; and which if he transgresses, his wit will have the same fate with Delia's beauty, which no one regards, because all know it is within their power. The best course Emilia can take is, to have less humility; for if she could have as good an opinion of herself for having every quality, as some of her neighbours have of themselves with one, she would inspire even them with a sense of her merit, and make that carriage, which is now the subject of their derision, the sole object of their imitation. Until she has arrived at this value of herself, she must be contented with the fate of that uncommon creature, a woman too humble.
White's Chocolate-house, August 19.
Since my last, I have received a letter from Tom Trump, to desire that I would do the fraternity of gamesters the justice to own, that there are notorious Sharpers, who are not of their class. Among others, he presented me with the picture of Harry Coppersmith, in little, who, he says, is at this day worth half a plumb,”
* A Pluimb is a term in the city for £100,000.
by means much more indirect than by false dice. I must confess there appeared some reason in what he asserted; and he met me since, and accosted me in the following manner: “It is wonderful to me, Mr. Bickerstaff, that you can pretend to be a man of penetration, and fall upon us Knights of the Industry as the wickedest of mortals, when there are so many who live in the constant practice of baser methods, unobserved. You cannot, though you know the story of myself and the North Briton, but allow I am an honester man than Will Coppersmith, for all his great credit among the Lombards. I get my money by men's follies, and he gets his by their distresses. The declining merchant communicates his griefs to him, and he augments them by extortion. If therefore, regard is to be had to the merit of the persons we injure, who is the more blameable, he that oppresses an unhappy man, or he that cheats a foolish one All mankind are indifferently liable to adverse strokes of fortune ; and he who adds to them, when he might relieve them, is certainly a worse subject, than he who unburdens a man whose prosperity is unwieldy to him. Besides all which, he that borrows of Coppersmith does it out of necessity; he that plays with me does it out of choice.' I allowed Trump there are men as bad as himself, which is the height of his pretensions; and must confess, that Coppersmith is the most wicked and impudent of all Sharpers; a creature that cheats with credit, and is a robber in the habit of a friend. The contemplation of this worthy person made me reflect on the wonderfull successes I have observed men of the meanest capacities meet with in the world, and recollect an obscrvation I once heard a sage man make; which was, “That he had observed, that in some professions, the lower the understanding, the greater the capacity.' I remember, he instanced that of a banker, and said, that “the fewer appetites, passions, and ideas a man had, he was the better for his business.' There is little sir Tristram, without connexion in his speech, or so much as common sense, has arrived by his own natural parts at one of the greatest estates amongst us. But honest sir Tristram knows himself to be but a repository for cash : he is just such a utensil as his iron chest, and may rather be said to hold money, than possess it. There is nothing so pleasant as to be in the conversation of these wealthy proficients. I had lately the honour to drink half-a-pint with sir Tristram, Harry Coppersmith, and Giles Twoshoes. These wags gave one another credit in discourse, according to their purses; they jest by the pound, and make answers as they honour bills. Without vanity, I thought myself the prettiest fellow of the coinpany; but I had no manner of power over one muscle in their faces, though they smirked at every word spoken by each other. Sir Tristram called for a pipe of tobacco; and telling us ‘tobacco was a pot-herb, bid the drawer bring him the other half-pint. Twoshoes laughed at the knight's wit without moderation; I took the liberty to say ‘it was but a pun.” “A pun o' said Coppersmith ; “you would be a better man by ten thousand pounds if you could pun like sir Tristrain.” With that they all burst out together. The queer curs maintained this style of dialogue until we had drunk our quart a-piece, by half-pints. All I could bring away with me is, that Twoshoes is not worth twenty thousand pounds: for his mirth, though he was as insipid as either of the others, had no more ef. sect upon the company than if he had been a bankrupt.
From my own Apartment, August 19.
I have heard it has been advised by a diocesan to his inferior clergy, that instead of broaching opinions of their own, and uttering doctrines which may lead themselves and hearers into error, they would read some of the most celebrated sermons, printed by others for the instruction of their congregations. In imitation of such preachers at second-hand, I shall transcribe from Bruyere one of the most elegant pieces of raillery and satire which I have ever read. He describes the French as if speaking of a people not yet discovered, in the air and style of a traveller. ‘I have heard talk of a country, where the old men are gallant, polite, and civil : the young men, on the contrary, stubborn, wild, without either manners or civility. They are free from passion for women, at the age when in other countries they begin to feel it; and prefer beasts, victuals, and ridiculous amours before them. Amongst these people, he is sober who is never drunk with any thing but wine; the too frequent use of it having rendered it flat and insipid to them. They endeavoured by brandy, and other strong liquors, to quicken their taste, already extinguished, and want nothing to complete their debauches, but to drink aquafortis. The women of that country hasten the decay of their beauty, by their artifices to preserve it : they paint their cheeks, eye-brows, and shoulders, which they lay open, together with their breasts, arms, and ears, as if they were afraid to hide those places which they think will please, and never think they show enough of them. The physiognomies of the people of that country are not at all neat, but confused and embarrassed with a bundle of strange hair, which they prefer before their natural: with this they weave something to cover their heads, which descends down half way their bodies, hides their features, and hinders you from knowing men by their faces. This nation has, besides this, their God and their king. The grandees go every day at a certain hour, to a temple they call a church: at the upper end of that temple there stands an altar consecrated to their God, where the priest celebrates some mysteries which they call holy, sacred, and tremendous. The great men make a vast circle at the foot of the altar, standing with their backs to the priest and the holy mysteries, and their faces erected towards their king, who is seen on his knees upon a throne, and to whom they seem to direct the desires of their hearts, and all their devotion. However, in this custom, there is to be remarked a sort of subordination; for the people appear adoring their prince, and their prince adoring God. The inhabitants of this region call it It is from forty-eight degrees of latitude, and
more than eleven hundred leagues by sea, from the Iroquois and Hurons.”
Letters from Hampstead say, there is a coxcomb arrived there, of a kind which is utterly new. The fellow has courage, which he takes himself to be obliged to give proofs of every hour he lives. He is ever fighting with the men, and contradicting the women. A lady, who sent to me, superscribed him with this description out of Suckling : ‘I am a man of war and might, And know thus much that I can fight Whether I am i tu wrong or right, Devoutly. No woman under heaven I fear, New oaths l can exactly swear: - And forty healths my brain will bear, Most stoutly.
No. 58.] Tuesday, August 23, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines nostriest farrago libelli. Jur. Sat. i. 85,86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
White's Chocolate-house, August 22.
Poor Cynthio, who does me the honour to talk to me now and then very freely of his most secret thoughts, and tells me his most private frailtics, owned to me, that though he is in his very prime of life, love had killed all his desires, and he was now as much to be trusted with a fine lady as if he were eighty. “That one passion for Clarissa has taken up,' said he, “my whole soul; and all my idle flames are extinguished, as you may observe ordinary fires are often put out by the sunshine.'
This was a declaration not to be made but upon the highest opinion of a man's sincerity; yet as much a subject of raillery as such a speech would be, it is certain, that chastity is a nobler quality, and as much to be valued in men as in women. The mighty Scipio, “who,' as Bluffe says in the comedy, “was a pretty fellow in his time,” was of this mind, and is celebrated for it by an author of good sense. When he lived, wit, and humour, and raillery, and public success, were at as high a pitch at Rome, as at present in England; yet, I believe, there was no man in those days thought that general at all ridiculous in his behaviour in the following account of him.
Scipio, at four-and-twenty years of age, had obtained a great victory; and a multitude of prisoners, of each sex and all conditions, fell into his possession : among others, an agreeable virgin in her early bloom and beauty. IIe had too sensible a spirit to see the most lovely of all objects without being moved with passion: besides which, there was no obligation of honour or virtue to restrain his desires towards one who was his by the fortune of war. But a noble indignation, and a sudden sorrow which appeared in her countenance, when the conqueror cast his eyes upon her, raised his curiosity to know her story. He was informed, that she was a lady of the highest condition in that country, and contracted to Indibilis, a man of merit and quality. The generous Roman soon placed him. self in the condition of that unhappy man, who was to lose so charming a bride; and, though a youth, a bachelor, a lover, and a conqueror, immediately resolved to resign all the invitations of his passion, and the rights of his power, to restore her to her destined husband. With this purpose he commanded her parents, and relations, as well as her husband, to attend him at an appointed time. When they met, and were waiting for the general, my author frames to himself the different concern of an unhappy father, a despairing lover, and a tender mother, in the several persons who were so related to the captive. But, for fear of injuring the delicate circumstances with an old translation, I shall proceed to tell you, that Scipio appears to them, and leads in his prisoner into their presence. The Romans, as noble as they were, seemed to allow themselves a little too much triumph over the conquered; therefore, as Scipio approached, they all threw themselves on their knees, except the lover of the lady: but Scipio observing in him a manly sullenness, was the more inclined to favour him, and spoke to him in these words: “It is not the manner of the Romans to use all the power they justly may : we fight not to ravage countries, or break through the ties of humanity. I am acquainted with your worth, and your interest in this lady: fortune has made me your master; but I desire to be your friend. This is your wife; take her, and may the gods bless you with her . But far be it from Scipio to purchase a loose and momentary pleasure at the rate of making an honest man unhappy.' Indibilis's heart was too full to make him any answer; but he threw himself at the feet of the general, and wept aloud. The captive lady sell into the same posture, and they both remained so, until the father burst into the following words: ‘O divine Scipio ! the gods have given you more than human virtue. O glorious leader: O wondrous youth does not that obliged virgin give you, while she prays to the gods for your prosperity, and thinks you sent down from them, raptures, above all the transports which you could have reaped from the possession of her injured person " The temperate Scipio answered him without much emotion, and saying, “Father, be a friend to Rome,’ retired. An immense sum was offered as her ransom; but he sent it to her husband, and, smiling, said, “This is a trifle after what I have given him already; but let Indibilis know, that chastity at my age is a much more difficult virtue to practise than generosity.” I observed Cynthio was very much taken with my narrative ; but told me, “this was a virtue that would bear but a very inconsiderable figure in our days." However I took the liberty to say, that “we ought not to lose our ideas of things, though we had debauched our true relish in our practice; for, after we have done laughing, solid virtue will keep its place in men's opinions; and though custom made it not so scandalous as it ought to be, to ensnare innocent women, and triumph in the falsehood; such actions, as we have here related, must be
accounted true gallantry, and rise the higher in our esteem, the farther they are removed from our imitation.
Will's Coffee-house, August 22.
A man would be apt to think, in this laughing town, that it were impossible a thing so exploded as speaking hard words should be practised by any one that had ever seen good company; but, as if there were a standard in our minds as well as our bodies, you see very many just where they were twenty years ago, and more they cannot, will not arrive at. Were it not thus, the noble Martius would not be the only man in England whom nobody can understand, though he talks more than any man else.
Will Dactyle the epigrammatist, Jack Comma the grammarian, Nick Crosse-grain who writes anagrams, and myself, made a pretty company at a corner of this room; and entered very peaceably upon a subject fit enough for us, which was, the examination of the force of the particle For, when Martius joined us. He, being well known to us all, asked ‘what we were upon for he had a mind to consummate the happiness of the day, which had been spent among the stars of the first magnitude among the men of letters; and, therefore, to put a period to it as he had commenced it, he should be glad to be allowed to participate of the pleasure of our society.' "I told him the subject. ‘Faith, gentlemen,' said Martius, ‘your subject is humble; and if you will give me leave to elevate the conversation, I should humbly offer, that you would enlarge your inquiries to the word For-as-much; for though I take it,” said he, “to be but one word, yet the particle Much implying quantity, the particle As similitude, it will be greater, and more like ourselves, to treat of For-as-much.” Jack Comma is always serious, and answered : " Martius, I must take the liberty to say, that you have fallen into all this error and profuse manner of speech by a certain hurry in your imagination, for want of being more exact in the knowledge of the parts of speech; and it is so with all men who have not well studied the particle For. You have spoken For without making inference, which is the great use of that particle. There is no manner of force in your observation of quantity and similitude in the syllables As and Much. But it is ever the fault of men of great wit to be incorrect; which evil they run into by an indiscreet use of the word For. Consider all the books of controversy which have been written, and I will engage you will observe, that all the debate lies in this point, Whether they brought in For in a just manner; or forced it in for their own use, rather than as understanding the use of the word itself? There is nothing like familiar instances: you have heard the story of the Irishman who reading, Money for lire hair, took a lodging, and expected to be paid for living at that house. If this man had known, For was in that place of a quite different signification from the particle To, he could not have fallen into the mistake of taking Lire for what the Latins call Vicere, or rather Habitare.”
Martius seemed at a loss; and, admiring his profound learning, wished he had been bred a scholar, for he did not take the scope of his discourse. This wise debate, of which we had much more, made me reflect upon the difference of their capacities, and wonder that there could be, as it were, a diversity in men's genius for nonsense; that one should bluster, while another crept, in absurdities. Martius moves like a blind man, lifting his legs higher than the ordinary way of stepping ; and Comma, like one who is only short-sighted, picking his way when ne should be marching on. Want of learning makes Martius a brisk entertaining fool, and gives him a full scope; but that which Comma has and calls learning, makes him diffident, and curbs his natural misunderstanding, to the great loss of the men of raillery. This conversation confirmed me in the opinion, that learning usually does but improve in us what nature endowed us with. He that wants good sense is unhappy in having learning, for he has thereby only more ways of exposing himself; and he that has sense knows that learning is not knowledge, but rather the art of using it.
St. James's Coffee-house, August 22.
We have undoubted intelligence of the defeat of the king of Sweden; and that prince, who for some years had hovered like an approaching tempest, and was looked up at by all the nations of Europe, which seemed to expect their fate according to the course he should take, is now, in all probability, an unhappy exile, without the common necessaries of life. His czarish majesty treats his prisoners with great gallantry and distinction. Count Rhensfeildt has had particular marks of his majesty's esteem, for his merit and service to his master; but count Piper, whom his majesty believes author of the most violent counsels into which his prince entered, is disarmed, and entertained accordingly. That decisive battle was ended at nine in the morning; and all the Swedish generals dined with the czar that very day, and received assurances, that they should find Muscovy was not unacquainted with the laws of honour and humanity.
search for prey, others pursue, others take it; and if it be worth it, they all come in at the death, and worry the carcass. It would require a most exact knowledge of the field and the harbours where the deer lie, to recount all the revolutions in the chase.
But I am diverted from the train of my dis. course of the fraternity about this town, by letters from Hampstead, which give me an account, there is a late institution there, under the name of a Raffling-shop; which is, it seems, secretly supported by a person who is a deep practi. tioner in the law, and out of tenderness of conscience has, under the name of his maid Sisly, set up this easier way of conveyancing and alienating estates from one family to another. He is so far from having an intelligence with the rest of the fraternity, that all the humbler cheats, who appear there, are outfaced by the partners in the bank, and driven off by the reflection of superior brass. This notice is given to all the silly faces that pass that way, that they may not be decoyed in by the soft allure. ment of a fine lady, who is the sign to the pageantry. At the same time, signior Hawksly, who is the patron of the household, is desired to leave off this interloping trade, or admit, as he ought to do, the Knights of the Industry to their share in the spoil. But this little matter is only by way of digression. Therefore, to return to our worthies.
The present race of terriers and hounds would starve, were it not for the enchanted Actaeon, who has kept the whole pack for many successions of hunting seasons. Actaeon has long tracts of rich soil; but had the misfortune in his youth to fall under the power of sorcery, and has been ever since, some part of the year, a deer, and in some parts a man. While he is a man, such is the force of magic, he no sooner grows to such a bulk and fatness, but he is again turned into a deer, and hunted until he is lean; upon which he returns to his human shape. Many arts have been tried, and many resolutions taken by Actaeon himself, to follow such methods as would break the enchantment; but all have hitherto proved ineffectual. I have therefore, by midnight watchings, and much care, found out, that there is no way to save him from the jaws of his hounds, but to destroy the pack, which, by astrological prescience, I find I am destined to perform. For which end, I have sent out my familiar, to bring me a list of all the places where they are harboured, that I may know where to sound my horn, and bring them together, and take an account of their haunts and their marks, against another opportunity.
Will's Coffee-house, August 24.
The author of the ensuing letter, by his name, and the quotations he makes from the ancients, seems a sort of spy from the old world, whom we moderns ought to be careful of of. sending; therefore, I must be free, and own it a fair hit where he takes me, rather than disoblige him.
‘Sin.—Having a peculiar humour of desiring to be somewhat the better or wiser for what I