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ease. His own knowledge of the iniquity of the age, makes him choose a wife wholly ignorant of it, and place his security in her want of skill to abuse him. The poet on many occasions, where the propriety of the character will admit of it, insinuates, that there is no defence against vice, but the contempt of it: and has, in the natural ideas of an untainted innocent, shown the gradual steps to ruin and destruction which persons of condition run into, without the help of a good education to form their conduct. The torment of a jealous coxcomb, which arises from his own false maxims, and the aggravation of his pain, by the very words in which he sees her innocence, makes a very pleasant and instructive satire. The character of Horner, and the design of it, is a good representation of the age in which that comedy was written ; at which time, love and wenching were the business of life, and the gallant manner of pursuing women was the best recommendation at court. To this only, it is to be imputed, that a gentleman of Mr. Wycherly's character and sense, condescends to represent the insults done to the honour of the bed, without just reproof; but to have drawn a man of probity with regard to such considerations had been a monster; and a poet had at that time discovered his want of knowing the manners of the court he lived in, by a virtuous character in his fine gentleman, as he would show his ignorance by drawing a vicious one to please the present audience. Mrs. Bignell did her part very happily, and had a certain grace in her rusticity, which gave us hopes of seeing her a very skilful player, and in some parts, supply our loss of Mrs. Verbruggen. I cannot be of the same opinion with my friends and fellow-labourers, the Reformers of Manners, in their severity towards plays; but must allow, that a good play, acted before a well-bred audience, must raise very proper incitements to good behaviour, and be the most quick and most prevailing method of giving young people a turn of sense and breeding. But as I have set up for a weekly historian, I resolve to be a faithful one ; and therefore take this public occasion to admonish a young nobleman, who came flustering into the box last night, and let him know how much all his friends were out of countenance for him. The women sat in terror of hearing something that should shock their modesty, and all the gentlemen in as much pain, out of compassion to the ladies, and perhaps resentment for the indignity which was offered in coming into their presence in so disrespectful a manner. Wine made him say nothing that was rude, therefore he is forgiven, upon condition he never will hazard his offending more in this kind. As I just now hinted, I own myself of the “Society for Reformation of Manners.”* We have lower instruments than those of the family of Bickerstaff for
punishing great crimes and exposing the abandoned. Therefore, as I design to have notices from all public assemblies, I shall take upon me only indecorums, improprieties, and negligences, in such as should give us better examples. After this declaration, if a fine lady thinks fit to giggle at church, or a great beau come in drunk to a play, either shall be sure to hear of it in my ensuing paper; for, merely as a well-bred man, I cannot bear these enormities. After the play, we naturally stroll to this cof: fee-house, in hopes of meeting some new poem or other entertainment among the men of wit and pleasure, where there is a dearth at present. But it is wonderful there should be so few writers, when the art is become merely mechanic, and men may make themselves great that way by as certain and infallible rules as you may be a joiner or a mason. There happens a good instance of this in what the hawker has just now offered for sale, to wit, “Instructions to Vanderbank: A Sequel to the advice to the Poets: a Poem, occasioned by the glorious success of her Majesty's arms under the command of the Duke of Marlborough, the last year in Flanders.” Here you are to understand that the author, finding the poets would not take his advice, troubles himself no more about them; but has met with one Vanderbank,t who works in arras, and makes very good tapestry hangings: therefore, in order to celebrate the hero of the age, he claps together all that can be said of a man that makes hangings: Then artist, who does nature's face express, ln silk and gold, and scenes of action dress; I}ost figured arras animated leave, Spin a bright story, or a passion weave; By minghing threads canst mingle shade and light, Delineate triumphs, or describe a fight 2 Well, what shall this workman do? why, to show how great an hero the poet intends, he provides him a very good horse: Champing his foam, and bounding on the plain, Arch his high neck, and graceful spread his mane.
Now as to the intrepidity, the calm courage,
the constant application of the hero, it is not necessary to take that upon yourself: you may, in the lump, bid him you employ raise him as high as he can ; and if he does it not, let him answer for disobeying orders.
Let fame and victory in inferior sky
Hover with balanc'd wings, and siniling fly
Above his head, &c.
A whole poem of this kind may he ready
against an ensuing campaign, as well as a space left in the canvass of a piece of tapestry for the principal figure, while the under-parts are working ; so that in effect, the adviser copies after the man he pretends to direct. This method should, methinks, encourage young beginners; for the invention is so fitted to all capacities, that by the help of it a man may make a receipt for a poem. A young man may observe, that the jig of the thing is, as I said, finding
*This society began in 1660: an account of the progress made in suppressing profaneness and debauchery to its means, was published yearly. The last account is from Doe. 1737 to Dec. 173*. The total number of per. sons prosecuted by this Society, in or near London, during ties forty-four years, is calculated at about 101.0-3, &c.” Such as are curious, may see a failer account of it, in Stow's Survey of London, edit. 1755, vol. i. p. 144.
* By Sir Richard plackmore see spect. Nos. 6. 339. Tat. No. 14. contains a very proper apology for this raillery. f This man was inimitable in his way; no person ever represented nature more happily in works of tapestry. *
out all that can be said in his way whom you employ to set forth your worthy. Waller and Denham had worn out the expedience of “Advice to a Painter:” this author has transferred the work, and sent his Advice to the Poets; that is to say, to the Turners of Verse, as he calls them. Well, that thought is worn out also: therefore he directs his genius to the loom, and will have a new set of hangings in honour of the last year in Flanders. I must own to you, I approve extremely this invention, and it might be improved for the benefit of manufactory: as, suppose an ingenious gentleman should write a poem of advice to a calico printer; do you think there is a girl in England that would wear any thing but the “ Taking of Lisle,” or, “The Battle of Oudenarde?” They would certainly be all the fashion until the heroes abroad had cut out some more patterns. I should fancy small skirmishes might do for under-petticoats, provided they had a siege for the upper. If our adviser were well imitated, many industrious people might be put to work. Little Mr. Dactile, now in the room, who formerly writ a song and a half, is a week gone in a very pretty work, upon this hint: he is writing an epigram to a young virgin who knits very well; (it is a thousand pities he is a jacobite ;) but his epigram is by way of advice to this damsel, to knit all the actions of the pretender and the duke of Burgundy's last campaign in the clock of a stocking. It were endless to enumerate the many hands and trades that may be employed by the poets, of so useful a turn as this adviser. I shall think of it; and, in this time of taxes, shall consult a great critic employed in the custom-house, in order to propose what tax may be proper to be put on knives, seals, rings, hangings, wrought beds, gowns, and petticoats, where any of these commodities bear mottoes, or are worked upon poetical grounds.
son of the general murmurs of their own people ; which, they find, are no way to be quieted but by giving them hopes of a speedy peace. When these letters were despatched the marshal de Thesse was arrived at Genoa, where he has taken much pains to keep the correspondents of the merchants of France in hopes that measures will be found out to support the credit and commerce between that state and Lyons: but the late declaration of the agents of Mon
sieur Bernard, that they cannot discharge the demands made upon them, has quite dispirited all those who are engaged in the remittances of France.
From my own Apartment, April 15.
It is a very natural passion in all good members of the commonwealth, to take what care they can of their families. Therefore, I hope the reader will forgive me, that I desire he would go to the play called, the Stratagem,” this evening, which is to be acted for the benefit of my near kinsman Mr. John Bickerstaff: I protest to you, the gentleman has not spoken to me to desire this favour : but I have a respect for him, as well in regard to consanguinity, as that he is an intimate friend of that famous and heroic actor, Mr. George Powel; who formerl played Alexander the Great in all places, o he is lately grown so reserved, as to act it only on the stage.f
‘It is usual with persons who mount the stage for the cure or information of the crowd about them, to make solemn professions of their being wholly disinterested in the pains they take for the public good. At the same time, those very men who make harangues in plush doublets, and extol their own abilities and generous inclinations, tear their lungs in vending a drug, and show no act of bounty, except it be, that they lower a demand of a crown to six, nay, to one penny. We have a contempt for such paltry barterers, and have therefore all along informed the public, that we intend to give them our advices for our own sakes, and are labouring to make our lucubrations come to some price in money, for our more convenient support in the service of the public. It is certain, that many other schemes have been proposed to me; as a friend offered to show me a treatise he had writ, which he called, “The whole Art of Life ; or, The Introduction to great Men, illustrated in a Pack of Cards.' But, being a novice at all manner of play, I declined the offer. -Another advised me, for want of money, to set up my coach, and practise physic; but, having been bred a scholar, I feared I should not succeed that way neither, therefore, resolved to go on in my present project. But you are to understand that I shall not pretend to raise a credit to this work upon the weight of my politic news only ; but, as my Latin sentence in the title-page informs you, shall take any thing that offers for the subject of my discourse. Thus, new persons,
* Prince Eugene.
* The Beaux Stratagem, by G. Farquhar. Acted at the Hay market, 4to. 1707. It was begun and finished in the course of six weeks, while the author laboured under the illness of which he died during the run of his law. PA real player of that name. t A delicate animadversion on the irregularity of Mr. Powel, who, about this time, began to sink in his reputation by abandoning himself to drunkenness.
as well as new things, are to come under my consideration; as, when a toast or wit is first pronounced such, you shall have the freshest advice of their preferment, from me, with a description of the beauty's manners, and the wit's style; as also, in whose places they are advanced. For this town is never good-natured enough to raise one without depressing another. But it is my design to avoid saying any thing of any person which ought justly to displease; but shall endeavour, by the variety of the matter and style, to give entertainment for men of pleasure, without offence to those of business.”
White's Chocolate-house, April 18.
All hearts at present pant for two ladies only, who have for some time engrossed the dominion of the town. They are, indeed, both exceeding charming, but differ very much in their excellences. The beauty of Clarissa is soft, that of Chloe piercing. When you look at Clarissa, you see the most exact harmony of feature, complexion, and shape : you find in Chloe nothing extraordinary in any one of those particulars, but the whole woman irresistible: Clarissa looks languishing; Chloe killing : Clarissa never fails of gaining admiration; Chloe of moving desire. The gazers at Clarissa are at first unconcerned, as if they were observing a fine picture. They who behold Chloe, at the first glance discover transport, as if they met their dearest friend. These different perfections are suitably represented by the last great painter Italy has sent us, Mr. Jervas. Clarissa is by that skilful hand placed in a manner that looks artless, and innocent of the torments she gives; Chloe is drawn with a liveliness that shows she is conscious of, but not affected with, her perfections. Clarissa is a shepherdess, Chloe a country girl. I must own, the design of Chloe's picture shows, to me, great mastery in the painter; for nothing could be better imagined than the dress he has given her of a straw-hat and a ribbon, to represent that sort of beauty which enters the heart with a certain familiarity, and cheats it into a belief that it has received a lover as well as an object of love. The force of their different beauties is seen also in the effects it makes on their lovers. The admirers of Chloe are eternally gay and wellpleased: those of Clarissa, melancholy and thoughtful. And as this passion always changes the natural man into a quite different nature from what he was before, the love of Chloe makes coxcombs; that of Clarissa madmen. There were of each kind just now in this room. Here was one that whistles, laughs, sings, and cuts capers, for love of Chloe. Another has just now writ three lines to Clarissa, then taken a turn in the garden, then came back again, then tore his fragment, then called for some chocolate, then went away without it. Chloe has so many admirers in the house at present, that there is too much noise to proceed in my narration; so that the progress cf the loves of Clarissa and Chloe, together with the bottles that are drunk each night for the one, and the many sighs which are uttered, and songs written on the other, must be our subject on future occasions.
Will's Coffee-house, April 18.
Letters from the Hay-market inform us, that on Saturday night last, the Opera of Pyrrhus and Demetrius was performed with great applause. This intelligence is not very acceptable to us friends of the theatre; for the stage being an entertainment of the reason and all our faculties, this way of being pleased with the suspense of them for three hours together, and being given up to the shallow satisfaction of the eyes and ears only, seems to arise rather from the degeneracy of our understanding, than an improvement of our divisions. That the understanding has no part in the pleasure is evident, from what these letters very positively assert, to wit, that a great part of the performance was done in Italian; and a great critic” fell into fits in the gallery, at seeing, not only time and place, but languages and nations confused in the most incorrigible manner. His spleen is so extremely moved on this occasion that he is going to publish a treatise against operas, which, he thinks, have already inclined us to thoughts of peace; and, if tolerated, must infallibly dispirit us from carrying on the war. He has communicated his scheme to the whole room, and declared in what manner things of this kind were first introduced. He has upon this occasion considered the nature of sound in general, and made a very elaborate digression upon the London Cries, wherein he has shown from reason and philosophy, why oysters are cried, card-matches sung, and turnips and all other vegetables neither cried, sung, nor said, but sold, with an accent and tone neither natural to man nor beast. This piece seems to be taken from the model of that excellent discourse of Mrs. Manlyf the school-mistress, concerning samplers. Advices from the upper end of Piccadilly say, that May-shirt is utterly abolished; and we hear Mr. Penkethman has removed his ingenious company of strollers to Greenwich. But other letters from Deptford say, the company is only making thither, and not yet settled; but that several heathen gods and goddesses, which are to descend in machines, landed at the King's-head Stairs last Saturday. Venus and Cupid went on foot from thence to Greenwich; Mars got drunk in the town, and broke his landlord's head, for which he sat in the stocks the whole evening ; but Mr. Penkethman giving security that he should do nothing this ensuing summer, he was set at liberty. The most melan "oly part of all was, that Diana was taken in he act of fornication with a boatman, and con mitted by justice Wrathful; which has, it seems, put a stop to the diversions of the theatre of BA ickheath. But there goes down another Diana, and a Patient Grizzle, next tide, from Billingsgate.
* John Dennis, who criticised the tragedy of Cato, &c.
f See in Dr. King's Works, vol. ii. 8vo. edit. 1776, “An Essay on the invention of Samplers, by Mrs. Arabella Manly, school mistress at Hackney."
1 see the presentment of May Fair by the Grand Jury of Westminster, an. 1708, in Stow's Survey, &c. edit to. 1755; vol. ii. p. 178. It was entirely abolished in the year 1700; Shepherd's market, near Curzon-street, was built on the spot where it was held, and the surrounding district is styled May-fair.
It is credibly reported, that Mr. D–y” has agreed with Mr. Penkethman to have his play acted before that audience as soon as it has had its first sixteen days run in Drury-lane.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 18.
They write from Saxony, of the thirteenth instant, N. S. that the grand general of the crown of Poland, was so far from entering into a treaty with king Stanislaus, that he had written circular letters, wherein he exhorted the Palatines to join against him; declaring that this was the most favourable conjuncture for asserting their liberty.
Letters from the Hague of the twenty-third instant, N. S. say, they have advices from Vienna which import that his electoral highness of Hanover had signified to the imperial court, that he did not intend to put himself at the head of the troops of the empire, except more effectual measures were taken for acting vigorously against the enemy the ensuing campaign. Upon this representation, the emperor has given orders to several regiments to march towards the Rhine; and despatched expresses to the respective princes of the empire to desire an augmentation of their forces.
These letters add, that an express arrived at the Hague on the twentieth instant, with advice that the enemy having made a detachment from Tournay of fifteen hundred horse, each trooper carrying a foot soldier behind him, in order to surprise the garrison of Alost; the allies, upon
notice of their march, sent out a strong body of
troops from Ghent, which engaged the enemy at Asche, and took two hundred of them prison. ers, obliging the rest to retire without making any further attempt. On the twenty-second in the morning, a fleet of merchant ships, coming from Scotland, were attacked by six French privateers, at the entrance of the Meuse. We have yet no certain advice of the event; but letters from Rotterdam say, that a Dutch manof-war of forty guns, which was convoy to the said fleet, was taken, as were also eighteen of the merchants. The Swiss troops in the service of the States have completed the augmentation of their respective companies. Those of Wirtemberg and Prussia are expected on the frontiers within a few days; and the auxiliaries from Saxony, as also a battalion of Holstein, and another of Wolfenbuttle, are advancing thither with all expedition. On the twenty-first instant the deputies of the states had a conference near Woerden, with the president Rouille; but the matter which was therein debated is not made public. His grace the duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene continue at the Hague.
island in America, with an account that gives me great satisfaction, and lets me understand, that the island was never in greater prosperity, or the administration in so good hands, since the death of their late glorious king. These letters import, that the chief minister has entered into a firm league with the ablest and best men of the nation, to carry on the cause of liberty, to the encouragement of religion, virtue, and honour. Those persons at the helm are so useful, and in themselves, of such a weight, that their strict alliance must needs tend to the universal prosperity of the people. Camillo," it seems, presides over the deliberations of state; and is so highly valued by all men for his singular probity, courage, affability, and love of mankind, that his being placed in that station has dissipated the fears of that people, who of all the world are the most jealous of their liberty and happiness, and the least provident for their security. The next member of their society is Horatio,t who makes all the public dispatches. This minister is master of all the languages in use, to great perfection. He is held in the highest veneration imaginable for a severe honesty, and love of his country: he lives in a court, unsullied with any of its artifices, the refuge of the oppressed, and terror of oppressors. Martiot has joined himself to this council; a man of most undaunted resolution, and great knowledge in maritime affairs; famous for destroying the navy of the Franks,' and singularly happy in one particular, that he never preferred a man who has not proved remarkably serviceable to his country. Philanders is mentioned with particular distinction; a nobleman who has the most refined taste of the true pleasures and elegance of life, joined to an indefatigable industry in business; a man eloquent in assemblies, agreeable in conversation, and dexterous in all manner of public negotiations. These letters add, that Verono," who is also of this council, has lately set sail to his government of Patricia, with design to confirm the affections of the people in the interests of his queen. This minister is master of great abilities, and is as industrious and restless for the preservation of the liberties of the people, as the greatest enemy can be to subvert them. The influence of these personages, who are men of such distinguished parts and virtues, makes the people enjoy the utmost tranquillity in the midst of a war, and gives them undoubted hopes of a secure peace from their vigilance and integrity.
* Lord John Somers, President of the Council. f Sidney, Earl of Godolphin, Lord High Treasurer. , Edward Russel, Earl of Orford. At La Hogue, in 1692. William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, Lord Stew. ard of the Household. Thomas, Earl of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Ire. land. ** The preceding papers had been given gratis,
No. 5.] Thursday, April 21, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines — nostriest farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85,86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
White's Chocolate-house, April 20.
“Who names that lost thing, love, without a tear,
This was long ago a witty author's lamentation, but the evil still continues; and if a man of any delicacy were to attend the discourses of the young fellows of this age, he would believe there were none but prostitutes to make the ob. jects of passion. So true it is what the author of the above verses said, a little before his death, of the modern pretenders to gallantry : “they set up for wits in this age, by saying when they are sober, what they of the last, spoke only when they were drunk.” But Cupid is not only blind at present, but dead drunk; he has lost all his faculties: else how should Celia be so long a maid with that agreeable behaviour 7 Corinna with that sprightly wit? Lesbia with that heavenly voice and Sacharissa, with all those excellences in one person, frequent the park, the play, and murder the poor tits that drag her to public places, and not a man turn pale at her appearance 2 But such is the fallen state of love, that if it were not for honest Cynthio, who is true to the cause, we should hardly have a pattern left of the ancient worthies that way; and indeed, he has but very little encouragement to persevere; but he has a devotion, rather than love, for his mistress, and says,
“Only tell her that I love,
But the stars I am so intimately acquainted with, that I can assure him he will never have her; for, would you believe it 7 though Cynthio has wit, good sense, fortune, and his very being depends upon her, the termagant for whom he sighs, is in love with a fellow who stares in the glass all the time he is with her, and lets her plainly see, she may possibly be his rival, but never his mistress. Yet Cynthio, the same unhappy man, whom I mentioned in my first narrative, pleases himself with a vain imagination, that with the language of his eyes, now he has found who she is, he shall conquer her, though her eyes are intent upon one who looks from her; which is ordinary with the sex. It is certainly a mistake in the ancients, to draw the little gentleman LovE, as a blind boy; for his real character is, a little thief that squints; for ask Mrs. Meddle, who is a confidant or spy upon all the passions in town, and she will tell you that the whole is a game of cross purposes. The lover is generally pursuing one who is in pursuit of another, and running from
*These verzes are part of a song by Lord Cutts, Steele's early patron. See them entire in Nichols's “Select Colliction, 1780," vol. ii. p. 327.
one that desires to meet him. Nay, the nature of this passion is so justly represented in a squinting little thief (who is always in a double action,) that do but observe Clarissa next time you see her, and you will find, when her eyes have made their soft tour round the company, she makes no stay on him they say she is to marry, but rests two seconds of a minute on Wildair, who neither looks nor thinks on her or any woman else. However, Cynthio had a bow from her the other day, upon which he is very much come to himself; and I heard him send his man of an errand yesterday, without any manner of hesitation; a quarter of an hour after which he reckoned twenty, remembered he was to sup with a friend, and went exactly to his appointment. I sent to know how he did this morning; and I find that he hath not forgot that he spoke to me yesterday.
Will's Coffee-house, April 20.
This week being sacred to holy things, and no public diversions allowed, there has been taken notice of, even here, a little treatise, called, “A project for the Advancement of Religion : dedicated to the countess of Berkeley :” the title was so uncommon, and promised so peculiar a way of thinking, that every man has read it, and as many as have done so, have approved it. It is written with the spirit of one who has seen the world enough to undervalue it with good-breeding. The author must certainly be a man of wisdom as well as piety, and have spent much time in the exercise of both. The real causes of the decay of the interest of religion are set forth in a clear and lively manner without unseasonable passions; and the whole air of the book, as to the language, the sentiments, and the reasonings, shows it was written by one whose virtue sits easy about him, and to whom vice is thoroughly contemptible. It was said by one of the company, alluding to that knowledge of the world the author seems to have, “The man writes much like a gentleman, and goes to heaven with a very good mien.”
St. James's Coffee-house, April 20.
Letters from Italy say, that the marquis de Prie, upon the receipt of an express from the court of Vienna, went immediately to the palace of cardinal Paulucci, minister of state to his holiness, and demanded, in the name of his imperial majesty, that king Charles should forthwith be acknowledged king of Spain, by a solemn act of the congregation of cardinals, appointed for that purpose : he declared, at the same time, that if the least hesitation were made in this most important article of the late treaty, he should not only be obliged to leave Rome himself, but also transmit his master's orders to the imperial troops to face about, and return into the ecclesiastical dominions. When the cardinal reported this message to the pope, his holines was struck with so sensible an affliction, that he burst into tears: his sorrow was aggravated by letters which, immediately after,
* First published by Swift, 1709.