« PreviousContinue »
and his lady, very sullen and out of humour, though at first I did not know the reason of it. At length, when I happened to help myself to a jelly, the lady of the house, otherwise a devout woman, told me, that it did not become a man of my cloth to delight in such frivolous food; but as I still continued to sit out the last course, I was yesterday informed by the butler that his lordship had no further occasion for my service. All which is humbly submitted to your consideration by, sir, your most humble servant, &c.’
The case of this gentleman deserves pity; especially if he loves sweetmeats, to which, if I may guess by his letter, he is no enemy. In the mean time, I have often wondered at the indecency of discharging the holiest man from the table as soon as the most delicious parts of the entertainment are served up, and could never conceive a reason for so absurd a custom. Is it because a liquorish palate, or a sweet tooth, as they call it, is not consistent with the sanctity of his character This is but a trifling pretence. No man, of the most rigid virtue, gives offence by any excesses in plum-pudding or plum-porridge, and that because they are the first parts of the dinner. Is there any thing that tends to incitation in sweetmeats more than in ordinary dishes? Certainly not. Sugarplums are a very innocent diet, and conserves of a much colder nature than your common pickles. I have sometimes thought that the ceremony of the chaplain's flying away from the desert, was typical and figurative, to mark out to the company how they ought to retire from all the luscious baits of temptation, and deny their appetites the gratifications that are most pleasing to them; or, at least, to signify that we ought to stint ourselves in our most lawful satisfactions, and not make our pleasure, but our support, the end of eating. But most certainly, if such a lesson of temperance had been necessary at a table, our clergy would have recommended it to all the lay-masters of families, and not have disturbed other men's tables with such unseasonable examples of abstinence. The original, therefore, of this barbarous custom, I take to have been merely accidental. The chaplain retired, out of pure complaisance, to make room for the removal of the dishes, or possibly for the ranging of the desert. This by degrees grew into a duty, until at length, as the fashion improved, the good man found himself cut off from the third part of the entertainment; and, if the arrogance of the patron goes on, it is not impossible, but in the next generation, he may see himself reduced to the tythe, or tenth dish of the table; a sufficient caution not to part with any privilege we are once possessed of. It was usual for the priest, in old times, to feast upon the sacrifice, nay, the honey-cake, while the hungry laity looked upon him with great devotion; or, as the late lord Rochester describes it, in a very lively manner,
upon making great ravages on all the dishes that stand near him; and distinguishing himself by voraciousness of appetite, as knowing that his time is short. I would fain ask these stiff-necked patrons, whether they would not take it ill of a chaplain, that in his grace after meat, should return thanks for the whole entainment, with an exception to the desert? And yet I cannot but think that, in such a proceeding, he would but deal with them as they deserved. What would a Roman Catholic priest think, who is always helped first, and placed next the ladies, should he see a clergyman giving his company the slip at the first appearance of the tarts or sweetmeats 7 Would not he believe that he had the same antipathy to a candied orange, or a piece of puff paste, as some have to a Cheshire cheese, or a breast of mutton 2 Yet, to so ridiculous a height is this foolish custom grown, that even the Christmas pye, which, in its very nature is a kind of consecrated cake, and a badge of distinction, is often forbidden to the druid of the family.— Strange that a surloin of beef, whether boiled or roasted, when entire, is exposed to his utmost depredations and incisions; but, if minced into small pieces, and tossed up with plums and sugar, changes its property, and forsooth, is meat for his master. In this case I know not which to censure, the patron or the chaplain ; the insolence of power or the abjectness of dependence. For my own part, I have often blushed to see a gentleman, whom I knew to have much more wit and learning than myself, and who was bred up with me at the university, upon the same foot of a liberal education, treated in such an ignominious manner, and sunk beneath those of his own rank, by reason of that character which ought to bring him honour. This deters men of generous minds from placing themselves in such a station of life, and by that means, frequently excludes persons of quality from the improving and agreeable conversation of a learned and obsequious friend. Mr. Oldham" lets us know, that he was af. frighted from the thought of such an employment, by the scandalous sort of treatment which often accompanies it: Some think themselves exalted to the sky, If they light in some noble family: Diet, a horse, and thirty pounds a-year, Besides th' advantage of his lordship's ear, . The credit of the business, and the state, Are things that in a youngster's sens, sound great. Little the unexperienc'd wretch does know What slavery he of must undergo. Who, though in silken scarf, and cassock drest, Wears but a gayer livery at best. When dinner calls, the implement must wait With holy words to consecrate the meal, But hold it for a favour seldom known, If he be deign'd the honour to sit down. Soon as the tarts appear; Sir Crape, withdraw, Those dainties are not for a spiritual inaw, Observe your distance, and be sure to stand Hard by the cistern with your cap in hand : There for diversion you Inay pick your teeth, Till the kind voider comes for your relief.' Let others, who such meaninesses can brook, Strike countenance to every great man's look; I rate my freedom higher.
* In “A Satyr, addressed to a Friend that is about to leave the University,’ &c.
This author's raillery is the raillery of a friend, and does not turn the sacred order into ridicule; but is a just censure on such persons as take advantage, from the necessities of a man of merit, to impose on him hardships that are by no means suitable to the dignity of his profession.
No. 256.] Tuesday, November 28, 1710.
—Nostrum est tantas componere lites. ...
The Proceedings of the Court of Honour, held in Sheer-lane, on Monday, the twentieth of November, 1710, before Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, Censor of Great Britain.
Peter PLUMB, of London, merchant, was indicted by the honourable Mr. Thomas Gules, of Gule-hall, in the county of Salop, for that the said Peter Plumb did, in Lombard-street, London, between the hours of two and three in the afternoon, meet the said Mr. Thomas Gules, and, after a short salutation, put on his hat, value five-pence, while the honourable Mr. Gules stood bare-headed for the space of two seconds. It was further urged against the criminal, that, during his discourse with the prosecutor, he feloniously stole the wall of him, having clapped his back against it in such a manner, that it was impossible for Mr. Gules to recover it again at his taking leave of him. The prosecutor alleged, that he was the cadet of a very ancient family; and that, according to the principles of all the younger brothers of the said family, he had never sullied himself with business, but had chosen rather to starve, like a man of honour, than do any thing beneath his quality. He produced several witnesses, that he had never employed himself beyond the twisting of a whip, or the making a pair of nut. crackers, in which be only worked for his diversion, in order to make a present now and then to his friends. The prisoner being asked, “what he could say for himself.’ cast several reflections upon the honourable Mr. Gules; as, ‘that he was not worth a groat; that nobody in the city would trust him for a halfpenny; that he owed him money, which he had promised to pay him several times, but never kept his word: and, in short that he was an idle, beggarly fellow, and of no use to the public.’ This sort of language was very severely reprimanded by the Censor, who told the criminal, ‘that he spoke in contempt of the court, and that he should be proceeded against for contu. macy, if he did not change his style.” The prisoner, therefore, desired to be heard by his counsel, who urged in his defence, ‘that he put on his hat through ignorance, and took the wall by accident.' They likewise produced several witnesses, that he made several motions with his hat in his hand, which are generally understood as an invitation to the person we talk with to be covered; and that, the gentleman not taking the hint, he was forced to put on his hat, as being troubled with a cold. There was
likewise an Irishman, who deposed," that he had heard him cough three-and-twenty times that morning.' And as for the wall, it was alleged, that he had taken it inadvertently, to save him. self from a shower of rain which was then falling. The Censor having consulted the men of honour, who sat at his right hand on the bench, found they were all of opinion, that the defence made by the prisoner's counsel, did rather aggravate than extenuate his crime; that the motions and intimations of the hat were a token of superiority in conversation, and therefore not to be used by the criminal to a man of the prosecutor's quality, who was likewise vested with a double title to the wall at the time of their conversation, both as it was the upper hand, and as it was a shelter from the weather. The evidence being very full and clear, the jury, without going out of court, declared their opinion unanimously, by the mouth of their foreman, “that the prosecutor was bound in honour to make the sun shine through the criminal,' or, as they afterwards explained themselves, “to whip him through the lungs.' The Censor knitting his brows into a frown, and looking very sternly upon the jury, after a little pause, gave them to know, “that this court was erected for the finding out of penalties suitable to offences, and to restrain the outrages of private justice; and that he expected they should moderate their verdict.’ The jury therefore retired, and being willing to comply with the advices of the Censor, after an hour's conversation, delivered their opinion as follows: “That, in consideration this was Peter Plumb's first offence, and that there did not appear any malice prepense in it, as also that he lived in good reputation among his neighbours, and that his taking the wall was cnly se defendendo, the prosecutor should let him escape with life, and content himself with the slitting of his nose and the cutting off both his ears." Mr. Bickerstaff, similing upon the court, told them, ‘that he thought the punishment, even under its present mitigation, too severe; and that such penalties might be of ili consequence in a trading nation.” He therefore pronounced sentence against the criminal in the following manner: “that his hat, which was the instrument of offence, should be forfeited to the court; that the criminal should go to the warehouse, from whence he came, and thence, as occasion should require, proceed to the Exchange, or Garraway's coffee-house, in what manner he pleased; but that neither he, nor any of the family of the Plumbs, should hereafter appear in the streets of London, out of their coaches, that so the foot-way might be left open and undisturbed for their betters.” Dathan, a pedling Jew, and T. R , a. Welshman, were indicted by the keeper of an alehouse in Westminster, for breaking the peace and two earthen mtgs, in a dispute about the antiquity of their families, to the great detriment of the house, and disturbance of the whole neighbourhood. Dathan said for himself, “that he was provoked to it by the Welshman, who pretended that the Welsh were an ancienter people than the Jews; whereas,’ says he, ‘I can show by this genealogy in my hand, that I am the son of Meshech, that was the son of Naboth,
that was the son of Shalem, that was the son of
—." The Welshman here interrupted him, and told him, ‘that he could produce shennalogy as well as himself; for ‘that he was John ap Rice, ap Shenken, ap Shones.' He then turned himself to the Censor, and told him in the same broken accent, and with much warmth, ‘that the Jew would needs uphold, that king Cadwallader was younger than Issachar.” Mr. Bickerstaff seemed very much inclined to give sentence against Dathan, as being a Jew; but find. ing reasons, by some expressions which the Welshman let fall in asserting the antiquity of his family, to suspect that the said Welshman was a Prae-Adamite, he suffered the jury to go out, without any previous admonition. After some time they returned, and gave their verdict ‘that it appearing the persons at the bar did neither of them wear a sword, and that consequently they had no right to quarrel upon a point of honour; to prevent such frivolous appeals for the future, they should both of them be tossed in the same blanket, and there adjust the superiority as they could agree on it between themselves.” The Censor confirmed the verdict. Richard Newman was indicted by major Punto, for having used the words, “perhaps it may be so,' in a dispute with the said major. The major urged, “that the word perhaps was questioning his veracity, and that it was an indirect manner of giving him the lie.” Richard Newman had nothing more to say for himself, than that “he intended no such thing ;' and threw himself upon the mercy of the court. The jury brought in their verdict special. Mr. Bickerstaff stood up, and, after having cast his eyes over the whole assembly, hemmed thrice. He then acquainted them, ‘that he had laid down a rule to himself, which he was resolved never to depart from, and which, as he conceived, would very much conduce to the shortening the business of the court: I mean, says he, “never to allow of the lie being given by construction, implication, or induction, but by the sole use of the word itself.” He then proceeded to show the great mischiefs that had arisen to the English nation from that pernicious monosyllable; that it had bred the most fatal quarrels between the dearest friends; that it had frequently thinned the guards, and made great havock in the army; that it had sometimes weakened the city trained-bands; and, in a word, had destroyed many of the bravest men in the isle of Great Britain. For the provention of which evils for the future, he instructed the jury to present the word itself as a nuisance in the English tongue; and further promised them, that he would, upon such their preferment, publish an edict of the court, for the entire banishment and exclusion of it out of the discourses and conversation of all civil societies. CHARLES LILLIE. This is a true copy.
Monday next is set apart for the trial of several female causes.
N. B. The case of the hassock will come on etween the hours of nine and ten.
No. 257.] Thursday, November 30, 1710.
From my own Apartment, Norember 29.
Every nation is distinguished by productions that are peculiar to it. Great Britain is particularly fruitful in religions, that shoot up and flourish in this climate inore than in any other. We are so famous abroad for our great variety of sects and opinions, that an ingenious friend of mine, who is lately returned from his travels, assures me, there is a show at this time carried up and down in Germany, which represents all the religions of Great Britain in wax-work. Notwithstanding that the pliancy of the matter, in which the images are wrought, makes it capable of being moulded into all shapes and figures; my friend tells me, that he did not think it possible for it to be twisted and tortured into so many screwed faces, and wry features, as appeared in several of the figures that composed the show. I was indeed so pleased with the design of the German artist, that I begged my friend to give me an account of it in all its particulars, which he did after the following in anner :
‘I have often,’ says he, ‘been present at a show of elephants, camels, dromedaries, and other strange creatures, but I never saw so great an assembly of spectators as were met together at the opening of this great piece of waxwork. We were all placed in a large hall, according to the price that we had paid for our seats. The curtain that hung before the show, was made by a master of tapestry, who had woven it in the figure of a monstrous hydra that had several heads, which brandished out their tongues, and seemed to hiss at each other. Some of these heads were large and entire: and where any of them had been lopped away, there sprouted up several in the room of them ; insomuch, that for one head cut off, a man might see ten, twenty, or a hundred, of a smaller size, creeping through the wound. In short, the whole picture was nothing but confusion and bloodshed. ‘ On a sudden,’ says my friend, ‘I was startled with a flourish of many musical instruments that I had never heard before, which was followed hy a short tune, if it might be so called, wholly made up of jars and discords. Among the rest, there was an organ, a bag-pipe, a groaning board,” a stentorophonic trumpet, with several wind instruments of a most disagreeable sound, which I do not so much as know the names of. After a short flourish, the curtain was drawn up, and we were presented with the most extraor
* At the sign of the Woolsack in Newgate market, is to be seen a strange and wonderful thing, which is, an clim-board; being touched with a hot iron, it sloth express itself as if it were a man dying with granns and trembling, to the great admiration of all hearers. It hath been presented before the king and his noblos, and hath given great satisfaction. An advertisement in 16-2, at the top of troith are the king's arms and C. R. Sloan. .MSS. 4to, Jo, Brit. . Museum.
dinary assembly of figures that ever entered into a man's imagination. The design of the workman was so well expressed in the dumb show before us, that it was not hard for an Englishman to comprehend the meaning of it. “The principal figures were placed in a row, consisting of seven persons. The middle figure, which immediately attracted the eyes of the
whole company, and was much bigger than the
rest, was formed like a matron, dressed in the habit of an elderly woman of quality in queen Elizabeth's days. The most remarkable parts of her dress were, the beaver with the steeple crown, the scarf that was darker than sable, and the lawn apron that was whiter than ermine. Her gown was of the richest black velvet; and, just upon her heart, studded with large diamonds of an inestimable value, disposed in the form of a cross. She bore an inexpressible cheerfulness and dignity in her aspect; and, though she
seemed in years, appeared with so much spirit
and vivacity, as gave her at the same time an air of old age and immortality. I found my heart touched with so much love and reverence at the sight of her, that the tears ran down my face as I looked upon her; and still the more I looked upon her, the more my heart was melted with the sentiments offilial tenderness and duty. I discovered every moment something so charming in this figure, that I could scarce take my eyes off it. On its right hand there sat the figure of a woman so covered with ornaments, that her face, her body, and her hands, were al. most entirely hid under them. The little you could see of her face was painted: and, what I thought very odd, had something in it like artificial wrinkles; but I was the less surprised at it, when I saw upon her forehead an old-fashioned tower of gray hairs. Her head-dress rose very high by three several stories or degrees; her garments had a thousand colours in them, and were embroidered with crosses in gold, silver, and silk. She had nothing on so much as a glove or a slipper, which was not marked with this figure; nay, so superstitiously fond did she appear of it, that she sat cross-legged. I was quickly sick of this tawdry composition of ribbands, silks, and jewels, and therefore cast my eye on a daine which was just the reverse of it. I need not tell my reader, that the lady before described was Popcry, or that she I am going to describe is Presbytery. She sat on the left hand of the venerable matron, and so much resembled her in the features of her countenance, that she seemed her sister; but at the same time that one observed a likeness in her beauty, one could not but take notice, that there was something in it sickly and splenetic. Her face had enough to discover the relation; but it was drawn up into a peevish figure, soured with discontent, and overcast with melancholy. She seemed offend. ed at the matron for the shape of her hat, as too much resembling the triple coronet of the person who sat by her. One might see likewise, that she dissented from the white apron and the cross; for which reasons she had made herself a plain homely dowdy, and turned her face to. wards the sectaries that sat on her left hand, as being afraid of looking upon the matron, lest she should see the harlot by her.
‘On the right hand of Popery sat Judaism, represented by an old man embroidered with phylacteries, and distinguished by many typical figures, which I had not skill enough to unriddle. He was placed among the rubbish of a temple; but, instead of weeping over it, which I should have expected from him, he was count. ing out a bag of money upon the ruins of it. ‘On his right hand was Deism, or Natural Religion. This was a figure of a half-naked awkward country wench, who, with proper ornaments and education, would have made an agreeable and beautiful appearance; but, for want of those advantages, was such a spectacle as a man would blush to look upon. ‘I have now,' continued my friend, “given you an account of those who were placed on the right hand of the matron, and who, according to the order in which they sat, were Deism, Judaism, and Popery. On the left hand, as I told you, appeared Presbytery. The next to her was a figure which somewhat puzzled me : it was that of a man looking, with horror in his eyes, upon a silver bason filled with water. Observing something in his countenance that looked like lunacy, I sancied at first, that he was to express that kind of distraction which the physicians call the Hydrophobia ; but considering what the intention of the show was, I immediately recollected myself, and concluded it to be Anabaptism. “The next figure was a man that sat under a most profound composure of mind. He wore a hat whose brims were exactly parallel with the horizon. His garment had neither sleeve nor skirt, nor so much as a superfluous button. What they called his cravat, was a little piece of white linen quilled with great exactness, and hanging below his chin about two inches. Seeing a book in his hand, I asked our artist what it was ; who told me it was “The Quaker's religion;” upon which I desired a sight of it. Upon perusal, I found it to be nothing but a new-fashioned grammar, or an art of abridging ordinary discourse. The nonns were reduced to a very small number, as the Light, Friend, Babylon. The principal of his pronouns was thou : and as for you, ye, and yours, I found they were not looked upon as parts of speech in this grammar. All the verbs wanted the second person plural; the participles ended all in ing or ed, which were marked with a particular accent. There were no adverbs besides yea and may. The same thrift was observed in the prepositions. The conjunctions were only hem " and ha and the interjections brought under the three heads of sighing, solhing, and groaning. “There was at the end of the grammar a little nomenclature, called, “The Christian Man's Vocabulary,” which gave new appellations, or, if you will, Christian names, to almost every thing in life. I replaced the book in the hand of the figure, not without admiring the simplicity of its garb, speech, and behaviour. “Just opposite to this row of religions, there was a statue dressed in a fool's coat with a cap of bells upon his head, laughing and pointing at the figures that stood before him. This idiot is supposed to say in his heart what David's | fool did some thousands of years ago, awd was 3.5°
therefore designed as a proper representative of those among us who are called Atheists and Infidels by others, and Free-thinkers by themselves. “There were many other groups of figures which I did not know the meaning of'; but seeing a collection of both sexes turning their backs upon the company, and laying their heads very close together, I inquired after their religion, and found that they called themselves the Philadelphians, or the family of love. “In the opposite corner there sat another little congregation of strange figures, opening their mouths as wide as they could gape, and distinguished by the title of the sweet singers of Israel. “I must not omit, that in this assembly of wax there were several pieces that moved by clock-work, and gave great satisfaction to the spectators. Behind the matron there stood one of these figures, and behind Popery another, which, as the artist told us, were each of them the genius of the person they attended. That behind Popery represented persecution, and the other moderation. The first of these moved by secret springs towards a great heap of dead bodies, that lay piled upon one another at a considerable distance behind the principal figures. There were written on the foreheads of these dead men, several hard words, as, Prae-Adamites, Sabbatarians, Cameronians, Muggletonians, Brownists, Independants, Masonites, Camisars, and the like. At the approach of persecution, it was so contrived, that, as she held up her bloody flag, the whole assembly of dead men, like those in the “Rehearsal,” started up and drew their swords. This was followed by
great clashings and noise, when, in the midst ||
of the tumult, the figure of moderation moved gently towards this new army, which, upon her holding up a paper in her hand, inscribed “Liberty of conscience,” immediately fell into a heap of carcasses, remaining in the same quiet posture, in which they lay at first.’
No. 258.] Saturday, December 2, 1710.
Occidit miseros crambe repetita- Jur. Sat. vii. 154.
The same stale viands, serv'd up o'er and o'er, The stomach nauseates R. Wynne.
From my own Apartment, December 1.
Wires a man keeps a constant table, he may be allowed sometimes to serve up a cold dish of meat, or toss up the fragments of a feast in a ragout. I have sometimes, in a scarcity of provisions, been obliged to take the same kind of liberty, and to entertain Iny reader with the leavings of a former treat. I must this day have recourse to the same method, and bag my guests to sit down to a kind of Saturday's din. ner. To let the metaphor rest; I intend to fill up this paper with a bundle of letters, relating to subjects on which I have formerly treated ; and have ordered my bookseller to print, at the end of each letter, the minutes with which I
ndorsed it, after the first pcrusal of it.
“To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire.
‘Sir, Dining yesterday with Mr. SouthBritish and Mr. William North-Briton, two gentlemen, who, before you ordered it otherwise, were known by the names of Mr. English, and Mr. William Scot: among other things, the maid of the house, who, in her time I believe may have been a North British warming-pan, brought us up a dish of North-British collops. We liked our entertainment very well; only we observed the table-cloth, being not so fine as we could have wished, was North-British cloth. But the worst of it was, we were disturbed all dinnertime by the noise of the children, who were playing in the paved court at North-British hoppers; so we paid our North-Briton sooner than we designed, and took coach to NorthBriton Yard, about which place most of us live. We had indeed gone a-foot, only we were under some apprehensions lest a North-British mist should wet a South-British man to the skin.
‘We think this matter properly expressed, according to the accuracy of the new style, settled by you in one of your late papers. You will please to give your opinion upon it to, sir, your most humble servants,
* J. S.
. . M. P. - • N. R.” See if this letter be conformable to the directions given in the Tatler above-mentioned.
“To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire. • Kent, Nov. 22, 1710. ‘SIR,--A gentleman in my neighbourhood, who happens to be brother to a lord, though neither his father nor grandfather were so, is perpetually making use of this phrase, “a person of my quality.” He has it in his mouth fifty times a-day, to his labourers, his servants, his children, his tenants, and his neighbours. Wet or dry, at home or abroad, drunk or sober. angry or pleased, it is the constant burden of his style. Sir, as you are Censor of Great 3ritain, as you value the repose of a loyal county, and the reputation of my neighbour, I beg you will take this cruel grievance into your consideration ; else, for my own particular, I am resolved to give up my farms, sell my stock, and remove with my wife and seven children next spring to Falmouth or Berwick, if my strength will permit me, being brought into a a very weak, condition. I at , with great respect, sir, your most obedient and languishing servant, &c."
Let this be referred to the Court J. Honour.
“Mr. Bickrest Aff,-I am a young lady of a good fortune, and at present invested by several lovers, who lay close siege to me, and carry on their attacks with all possible diligence. I know which of them has the first place in my own heart, but would freely cross my private inclinations to make choice of the man who loves me best; which it is impossible for me to know, all of them pretending to an equal passion for me. Let me therefore beg of you, dear Mr. Bicker