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and there being such a thing as low gallantry, as well as low comedy, Colonel Ramble" and myself went early this morning into the fields, which were strewed with shepherds and shepherdesses, but indeed of a different turn from the simplicity of those of Arcadia. Every hedge was conscious of more than what the representations of enamoured swains admit of. While we were surveying the crowd around us, we saw at a distance a company coming towards Pancras Church; but though there was not much disorder, we thought we saw the figure of a man stuck through with a sword, and at every step ready to fall, if a woman by his side had not supported him; the rest followed two and two. When we came nearer this appearance, who should it be but monsieur Guardeloop, mine and Ramble's French tailor, attended by others, leading one of madam Depingle's maids to the church, in order to their espousals. It was his sword tucked so high above his waist, and the circumflex which persons of his profession take in their walking, that made him appear, at a distance, wounded and falling. But the morning being rainy, methought the march to this wedding was but too lively a picture of wedlock itself. They seemed both to have a month's mind to make the best of their way single; yet both tugged arm in arm; sad when they were in a dirty way, he was but deeper in the mire, by endeavouring to pull out his companion, and yet without helping her. The bridegroom's seathers in his hat all drooped; one of his shoes had lost a heel. In short, he was in his whole person and dress so extremely soused, that there did not appear one inch or single thread about him unmarried.t Pardon me that the melancholy object still dwells upon me so far, as to reduce me to punning. However, we attended them to the chapel, where we stayed to hear the irrevocable words pronounced upon our old servant, and made the best of our way to town. I took a resolution to forbear all married persons, or any in danger of being such, for four and twenty hours at least; therefore dressed, and went to visit Florimel, the vainest thing in town, where I knew would drop in colonel Picket, just come from the camp, her professed admirer. He is of that order of men who have much honour and merit, but withal a coxcomb; the other, of that set of females who have innocence and wit, but the first of coquets. It is easy to believe, these must be admirers of each other. She says, the colonel rides the best of any man in England: the colonel says, she talks the best of any woman. At the same time, he understands wit just as she does horsemanship. You are to know, these extraordinary persons see each other daily; and they themselves, as well as the town, think it will be a match : but
it can never happen that they can come to the
point; for, instead of addressing to each other,
they spend their whole time in the reports of
themselves; he is satisfied if he can convince
• Probably colonel Brett, who is said to have been one of the chief companions of Addison and Steele.
1 Alluding to the similarity of sound between the wurd who arred and unmarried. - .
her he is a fine gentleman, and a man of conse. quence; and she in appearing to him an accomplished lady and a wit, without further design. Thus he tells her of his manner of posting his men at such a pass, with the numbers he commanded on that detachment: she tells him, how she was dressed on such a day at court, and what offers were made her the week following. She seems to hear the repetition of his men's names with admiration, and waits only to answer him with as false a muster of lovers. They talk to each other not to be informed, but approved. Thus they are so like, that they are to be ever distant, and the parallel lines may run together for ever, but never meet.
Will's Coffee-house, April 25.
This evening the comedy, called “Epsom Wells,” was acted for the benefit of Mr. Bullock, who, though he is a person of much wit and ingenuity, has a peculiar talent for looking like a fool, and therefore excellently well qualified for the part of Bisket in this play. I cannot indeed sufficiently admire his way of bearing a beating, as he does in this drama, and that with such a natural air and propriety of folly, that one cannot help wishing the whip in one's own hand; so richly does he seem to deserve his chastisement. Skilful actors think it a very peculiar happiness to play in a scene with such as top their parts. Therefore I cannot but say, when the judgment of any good author directs him to write a beating for Mr. Bullock from Mr. William Pinkethman, or for Mr. William Pinkethman from Mr. Bullock, those excellent players seem to be in their most shining circumstances, and please me more, but with a different sort of delight, than that which I receive from those grave scenes of Brutus and Cassius, or Antony and Ventidius. The whole comedy is very just, and the low part of human life represented with much humour and wit.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 25.
We are advised from Vienna, by letters of the twentieth instant, that the emperor hath lately added twenty new members to his council of state; but they have not yet taken their places at the board. General Thaun is returned from Baden, his health being so well re-established by the baths of that place, that he designs to set out next week for Turin, to his command of the imperial troops in the service of the duke of Savoy. His imperial majesty has advanced his brother, count Henry Thaun, to be a brigadier, and a counsellor of the Aulic council of war. These letters import, that king Stanislaus and the Swedish general Crassau, are directing their march to the Nieper to join the king of Sweden's army in Ukrania; that
* By Thomas Shadwell, asterwards poet-laureat to king William Ill. It was first printed in quarto, 1676, but it was acted, it should seem, from 1673. He stripped the laurel from the brows of Dryden, who thereupon wrote the bitterest satire that ever was penned, entitled ‘M’ Flecknoe." He died suddenly in 1692, aged 52 ; and his friend Dr. N. Brady, preached his funeral sermon.
the states of Austria have furnished marshal Hiester with a considerable sum of money to enable him to push on the war vigorously in Hungary, where all things as yet are in perfect tranquillity; and that general Thungen has been very importunate for a speedy reinforcement of the forces on the Upper Rhine, representing, at the same time, what miseries the inhabitants must necessarily undergo, if the designs of France on those parts be not speedily and effectually prevented.
Letters from Rome, dated the thirteenth instant, say, that on the preceding Sunday, his holiness was carried in an open chair from St. Peter's to St. Mary's, attended by the sacred college, in cavalcade; and, after mass, distributed several dowries for the marriage of poor and distressed virgins. The proceedings of that court are very dilatory concerning the recognition of king Charles, notwithstanding the pressing instances of the marquis de Prie, who has declared, that if this affair be not wholly concluded by the fifteenth instant, he will retire from that court, and order the imperial troops to return into the ecclesiastical state. On the other hand, the duke of Anjou's minister has, in the name of his master, demanded of his holiness to explain himself on that affair; which, it is said, will be finally determined in a consistory to be held on Monday next; the duke d'Uzeda designing to delay his departure until he sees the issue. These letters also say, that the court was mightily alarmed at the news which they received by an express from Ferrara, that general Boneval, who commands in Comachio, had sent circular letters to the inhabitants of St. Alberto, Longastrino, Fillo, and other adjacent parts, enjoining them to come and swear fealty to the emperor, and receive new investitures of their fiefs from his hands. Letters from other parts of Italy say, that the king of Denmark continues at Lucca; that four English and Dutch men-of-war were seen off Onglia, bound for Final, in order to transport the troops designed for Barcelona; and that her majesty's ship the Colchester arrived at Leghorn the fourth instant from PortMahon, with advice that major-general Stanhope designed to depart from thence the first instant with six or seven thousand men, to attempt the relief of the castle of Alicant.
Our last advices from Berlin, bearing date the twenty-seventh instant, import that the king was gone to Linum, and the queen to Mecklenburg; but that their majesties designed to return the next week to Oranienburg, where a great chase of wild beasts was prepared for their diversion, and from thence they intend to proceed together to Potsdam ; that the prince royal was set out for Brabant, but intended to make some short stay at Hanover. These letters also inform us, that they are advised from Obory, that the king of Sweden, being on his march towards Holki, met general Renne with a detachment of Muscovites, who, placing some regiments in ambuscade, attacked the Swedes in their rear, and putting them to flight, killed two thousand men, the king himself having his horse shot under him.
We hear from Copenhagen, that the ice being broke, the Sound is again open for the ships; and that they hoped his majesty would return sooner than they at first expected.
Letters from the Hague, dated May the fourth, N. S. say, that an express arrived there on the first, from prince Eugene to his grace the duke of Marlborough. The States are advised that the auxiliaries of Saxony were arrived on the frontiers of the United Provinces; as also, that the two regiments of Wolfenbuttel, and four thousand troops from Wirtemberg, who are to serve in Flanders, are in full march thither. Letters from Flanders say, that the great convoy of ammunition and provisions, which set out from Ghent for Lisle, was safely arrived at Courtray. We hear from Paris that the king has ordered the militia on the coast of Normandy and Bretagne to be in readiness to march; and that the court was in apprehension of a descent to animate the people to rise in the midst of their present hardships.
They write from Spain, that the pope's nuncio left Madrid the tenth of April, in order to go to Bayonne; that the marquis de Bay was at Badajos, to observe the motions of the Portuguese; and that the count d'Estain, with a body of five thousand men, was on his march to attack Gironne. The duke of Anjou has deposed the bishop of Lerida, as being a favourer of the interest of king Charles, and has summoned a convocation at Madrid, composed of the archbishops, bishops, and states of that kingdom, wherein he hopes they will come to a resolution to send for no more bulls to Rome.
The play of the London Cuckolds* was acted this evening before a suitable audience, who were extremely well diverted with that heap of vice and absurdity. The indignation which Eugenio, who is a gentleman of a just taste, has upon occasion of seeing human nature fall so low in its delights, made him, I thought, expatiate upon the mention of this play very agreeably. Of all men living, said he, I pity players (who must be men of good understanding, to be capable of being such,) that they are obliged to repeat and assume proper gestures for representing things of which their reason must be ashamed, and which they must disdain their audience for approving. The amendment of these low gratifications is only to be made by people of condition, by encouraging the representation of the noble characters drawn by Shakspeare and others, from whence it is im
Thursday, April 28, 1709.
* A very immoral, as well as a very ill-written comedy, by Edward Ravenscroft. It used to be acted frequently, especially upon Lord Mayor's days, in contempt, and to the disgrace of the city.
possible to return without strong impressions of honour and humanity. On these occasions, distress is laid before us with all its causes and consequences, and our resentment placed according to the merit of the persons afflicted. Were dramas of this nature more acceptable to the taste of the town, men who have genius would bend their studies to excel in them. How forcible an effect this would have on our minds, one needs no more than to observe how strongly we are touched by mere pictures. Who can see Le Brun's picture of the battle of Porus, without entering into the character of that fierce gallant man, and being accordingly spurred to an emulation of his constancy and courage 7 When he is falling with his wound, the features are at the same time very terrible and languishing; and there is such a stern faintness diffused through all his look, as is apt to move a kind of horror, as well as pity, in the beholder. This, I say, is an effect wrought by mere lights and shades; consider also a representation made by words only, as in an account given by a good writer: Catiline, in Sallust, makes just such a figure as Porus by Le Brun. It is said of him, Catilina cero longe a suis inter hostium cadarera repertus est; paululum etiam spirans, ferocitatemque animi, quam virus habuerat, in vultu retinens. “Catiline was found killed far from his own men, among the dead bodies of the enemy: he seemed still to breathe, and still retained in his face the same fierceness he had when he was living.' You have in that one sentence a lively impression of his whole life and actions. What I would insinuate from all this is, that if the painter and the historian can do thus much in colours and language, what may not be performed by an excellent poet, when the character he draws is presented by the person, the manner, the look, and the motion, of an accomplished player? If a thing painted or related can irresistibly enter our hearts, what may not be brought to pass by seeing generous things performed before our eyes? Eugenio ended his discourse, by recommending the apt use of a theatre, as the most agreeable and easy method of making a polite and moral gentry; which would end in rendering the rest of the people regular in their behaviour, and ambitious of laudable undertakings.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 27.
Letters from Naples of the ninth instant, N. S. advise, that cardinal Grimani had ordered the regiment commanded by general Pate to march towards Final, in order to embark for Catalonia; whither also a thousand horse are to be transported from Sardinia, besides the troops which come from the Milanese. An English man-of. war has taken two prizes, one a vessel of Malta, the other of Genoa, both laden with goods of the enemy. They write from Florence of the thirteenth, that his majesty of Denmark had received a courier from the Hague, with an account of some matters relating to the treaty of a peace, upon which he declared, that he thought it necessary to hasten to his own dominions.
Letters from Switzerland inform us, that the effects of the great scarcity of corn in France
were felt at Geneva; the magistrates of which city had appointed deputies to treat with the cantons of Bern and Zurich, for leave to buy up such quantities of grain, within their territories, as should be thought necessary. The protestants of Tockenburg are still in arms about the convent of St. John, and have declared, that they will not lay them down, until they shall have sufficient security from the Roman Catholics, of living unmolested in the exercise of their religion. In the mean time, the deputies of Bern and Tockenburg have frequent conferences at Zurich with the regency of that canton, to find out methods for quieting these disorders.
Letters from the Hague, of the third of May, advise, that the president Rouille, after his last conference with the deputies of the States, had retired to Bodegrave, five miles distant from Worden, and expected the return of a courier from France on the fourth, with new instructions. It is said, if his answer from the French court shall not prove satisfactory, he will be desired to withdraw out of these parts. In the mean time it is also reported, that his equipage, as an ambassador on this great occasion, is actually on the march towards him. They write from Flanders, that the great convoy of provisions, which set out from Ghent, is safely arrived at Lisle. Those advices add, that the enemy had assembled near Tournay a consid. erable body of troops, drawn out of the neighbouring garrisons. Their high mightinesses having sent orders to their ministers at Hamburgh and Dantzic, to engage the magistrates of those cities to forbid the sale of corn to the French, and to signify to them, that the Dutch merchants will buy up as much of that commodity as they can spare ; the Hamburghers have accordingly contracted with the Dutch, and refused any commerce with the French on that occasion.
From my own Apartment.
After the lassitude of a day, spent in the strolling manner which is usual with men of pleasure in this town, and with a head full of a million of impertinences, which had danced round it for ten hours together, I came to my lodging, and hastened to bed. My valet de chambre knows my university-trick of reading there; and he, being a good scholar for a gentleman, ran over the names of Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and others, to know which I would have.’ ‘Bring Virgil,' said I; “and if I fall asleep, take care of the candle.' I read the
sixth book over with the most exquisite delight,
and had gone half through it a second time, when the pleasing ideas of Elysian fields, deceased worthies walking in them, true lovers enjoying their languishment without pain, compassion for the unhappy spirits who had misspent their short day-light, and were exiled from the seats of bliss for ever; I say, I was deep again in my reading, when this mixture of images had taken place of all others in my imagination before, and lulled me into a dream, from which I am just awake, to my §." disadvantage. The happy mansions of Elysium, by degrees, seemed to be wafted from me, and the very traces of my late waking thoughts began to fade away, when I was cast by a sudden whirlwind upon an island, encompassed with a roaring and troubled sea, which shaked its very centre, and rocked its inhabitants as in a cradle. The islanders lay on their faces, without offering to look up or hope for preservation; all her harbours were crowded with mariners, and tall vessels of war lay in danger of being driven to pieces on her shores. ‘Bless me !" said I, ‘why have I lived in such a manner, that the convulsion of nature should be so terrible to me, when I feel in myself that the better part of me is to survive it ! Oh! may that be in happiness '' A sudden shriek, in which the whole people on their faces joined, interrupted my soliloquy, and turned my eyes and attention to the object that had given us that sudden start, in the midst of an inconsolable and speechless affliction. Immediately the winds grew calm, the waves subsided, and the people stood up, turning their faces upon a magnificent pile in the midst of the island. There we beheld a hero of a comely and erect aspect, but pale and languid, sitting under a canopy of state. By the faces and dumb sorrow of those who attended, we thought him in the article of death. At a distance sat a lady whose life seemed to hang upon the same thread with his; she kept her eyes fixed upon him, and seemed to smother ten thousand thousand nameless things, which urged her tenderness to clasp him in her arms; but her greatness of spirit overcame those sentiments, and gave her power to forbear disturbing his last moment; which immediately approached. The hero looked up with an air of negligence, and satiety of being, rather than of pain to leave it; and, leaning back his head, expired. When the heroine, who sat at a distance, saw his last instant come, she threw herself at his feet, and, kneeling, pressed his hand to her lips, in which posture she continued, under the agony of an unutterable sorrow, until conducted from our sight by her attendants. That commanding awe, which accompanies the grief of great minds, restrained the multitude while in her presence; but as soon as she retired, they gave way to their distraction, and all the islanders called upon their deceased hero. To him, me. thought, they cried out, as to a guardian being ; and I gathered from their broken accents, that it was he who had the empire over the ocean and its powers, by which he had long protected the island from shipwreck and invasion. They now give a loose to their moan, and think themselves exposed without hopes of human or divine assistance. While the people ran wild, and expressed all the different forms of lamentation, methought a sable cloud overshadowed the whole land, and covered its inhabitants with darkness; no glimpse of light appeared, except one ray from heaven upon the place in which the heroine now secluded herself from the world, with her eyes fixed on those abodes to which her consort was ascended. Methought a long period of time had passed away in mourning and in darkness, when a twilight began by degrees to enlighten the hemisphere; and, looking round me, I saw a boat rowed towards the shore, in which sat a personage adorned, with warlike trophies,
bearing on his left arm a shield, on which was engraven the image of victory, and in his right hand a branch of olive. His visage was at once so winning and so awful, that the shield and the olive seemed equally suitable to his genius.
When this illustrious person* touched on the shore, he was received by the acclamations of the people, and followed to the palace of the heroine. No pleasure in the glory of her arms, or the acclamations of her applauding subjects, were ever capable to suspend her sorrow for one moment, till she saw the olive-branch in the hand of that auspicious messenger. At that sight, as heaven bestows its blessings on the wants and importunities of mortals, out of its native bounty, and not to increase its own power or honour, in compassion to the world, the celestial mourner was then first seen to turn her regard to things below; and, taking the branch out of the warrior's hand, looked at it with much satisfaction, and spoke of the blessings of peace, with a voice and accent, such as that in which guardian spirits whisper to dying penitents assurances of happiness. The air was hushed, the multitude attentive, and all nature in a pause while she was speaking. But as soon as the messenger of peace had made some low reply, in which, methought, I heard the word Iberia, the heroine, assuming a more severe air, but such as spoke resolution without rage, returned him the olive, and again veiled her face. Loud cries and clashing of arms immediately followed, which forced me from my charming vision, and drove me back to these mansions of care and sorrow.
*** Mr. Bickerstaff thanks Mr. Quarterstaff for his kind and instructive letter dated the twenty-sixth instant.
This evening we were entertained with The Old Bachelor, f a comedy of deserved reputation. In the character which gives name to the play, there is excellently represented the reluctance of a battered debauchee to come into the trammels of order and decency; he neither languishes nor burns, but frots for love. The gentlemen of more regular behaviour are drawn with much spirit and wit, and the drama introduced, by the dialogue of the first scene, with uncommon, yet natural conversation. The part of Fondlewife is a lively image of the unseasonable fondness of age and impotence. But, instead of such agreeable works as these, the town has for half an age been tormented with insects called Easy Writers, whose abilities Mr. Wycherly one day described excellently well in one word: ‘That,’ says he, “among these fellows is called Easy Writing, which any one
* About this time the duke of Marlborough returned from Holland, with the preliminaries of a peace. f By Congreve. His first play, and first acted in 1693.
may easily write.” Such janty scribblers are so justly laughed at for their sonnets on Phillis and Chloris, and fantastical descriptions in them, that an ingenious kinsman of mine, of the family of the Staffs, Mr. Humphrey.Wagstaff by name, has, to avoid their strain, run into a way perfectly new, and described things exactly as they happen;” he never forms fields, or nymphs, or groves, where they are not; but makes the incidents just as they really appear. For an example of it: I stole out of his manuscript the following lines; they are a description of the morning, but of the morning in town; nay, of the morning at this end of the town, where my kinsman at present lodges:
Now hardly here and there an hackney coach
All that I apprehend is, that dear Numps will be angry I have published these lines; not that he has any reason to be ashamed of them, but for fear of those rogues, the bane to all excellent performances, the imi rs. Therefore, beforehand, I bar all descriptions of the evening; as a medley of verses signifying grey peas are now cried warm ; that wenches now begin to amble round the passages of the play-house: or of noon; as, that fine ladies and great beaux are just yawning out of their beds, and windows in Pallmall, and so forth. I forewarn also all persons from cncouraging any draughts after my cousin; and foretel any man who shall go about to imitate him, that he will be very insipid. The family-stock is embarked in this design, and we will not atimit of counterfeits. Dr. Anderson+ and his heirs enjoy his pills; Sir William Readt has the cure of eyes, and monsieur Rosselliš only can cure the gout. We pretend to none of these things; but to examine who and who are together, to tell any mistaken man he is not what he believes he is, to distinguish merit, and expose false pretences to it, is a liberty our family has by law in them, from an intermarriage with the daughter of Mr. Scoggin, the famous droll of the last century. This right I design to
* dr. swift. * Anderson was a Scotch physician in the reigns of Charlo-a I. and Charles II. :- Henley would fain have me to go with Steele and Rowe. &c. to an invitation at Sir William Read's. Surely you have heard of hirn. He has been a mountebank, and is the queen's oculist; he makes admirable punch, and treats you in gold vessels. But I am engaged, and won 1 go; neither indeed am I fond of the jaunt.” April 11, 1711–Swift's Works, vol. xxii. p. 20. It is said that the queen's oculist, though he was wonderfully successful, could neither read nor write. ; Rosselli, sufficiently known from the Romance of his life, which was written by himself. | Scoggin was a bussoon in the reign of king James I.
make use of; but will not encroach upon the above-mentioned adepts, or any other. At the same time, I shall take all the privileges I may, as an Englishman, and will lay hold of the late act of naturalization to introduce what I shall think fit from France. The use of that law may, I hope, be extended to people the polite world with new characters, as well as the kingdom itself with new subjects. Therefore an author of that nation, called La Bruyere, I shall make bold with on such occasions. The last person I read of in that writer was lord Timon. Timon, says my author, is the most generous of all men; but is so hurried away with that strong impulse of bestowing, that he confers benefits without distinction, and is munificent without laying obligations. For all the unworthy, who receive from him, have so little sense of this noble infirmity, that they look upon themselves rather as partners in a spoil, than partakers of a bounty. The other day, coming into Paris, I met Timon going out on horseback, attended only by one servant. It struck me with a sudden damp, to sce a man of so excellent a disposition, and who understood making a figure so well, so much shortened in his retinue. But, passing by his house, I saw his great coach break to pieces before his door, and, by a strange enchantment, immediately turned into many different vehicles. The first was a very pretty chariot, into which stepped his lordship's secretary. The second was hung a little heavier; into that strutted the fat steward. In an instant followed a chaise, which was entered by the butler. The rest of the body and wheels were forthwith changed into go-carts, and run away with by the nurses and brats of the rest of the family. wo makes these misfortunes in the affairs of Timon the more astonishing is, that he has better understanding than those who cheat him ; so that a man knows not which more to wonder at, the indifference of the master, or the impudence of the servant.
White's Chocolate-house, April 29.
It is a matter of much speculation among the beaux and oglers, what it is that can have made so sudden a change, as has been of late observed, in the whole behaviour of Pastorella, who never sat still a moment until she was eighteen, which she has now exceeded by two months. Her aunt, who has the care of her, has not been hl. ways so rigid as she is at this present date; but has so good a sense of the frailty of woman, and falsehood of man, that she resolved on all manner of methods to keep Pastorella, if possible, in safety, against herself and all her admirers. At the same time the good lady knew by long experience, that a gay inclination, curbed too rashly, would but run to the greater excesses for that restraint; she therefore intended to watch her, and take some opportunity of engaging her insensibly in her own interests, without the anguish of an admonition. You are to know, then, that miss, with all her flirting and ogling, had also naturally a strong curiosity in her, and was the greatest eaves-dropper breathing. Parisatis (for so her prudent aunt is called) observed this humour, and retires one day to her closet, into which she knew Pastorella