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wear shirts half a week, and are drunk twice a day. These men are also, to the last degree, excessive in their food : an Esquire of Norfolk eats two pounds of dumplin every meal, as if obliged to it by our order: an Esquire of Hampshire is as ravenous in devouring hog's flesh : one of Essex has as little mercy on calves. But I must take the liberty to protest against them, and acquaint those persons, that it is not the quantity they eat, but the manner of eating, that shows an Esquire. But, above all, I am most offended at small-quillmen, and transcribing clerks, who are all come into our order, for no reason that I know of, but that they can easily flourish at the end of their name. I will undertake that, if you read the superscriptions to all the offices in the kingdom, you will not find three letters directed to any but Esquires. I have myself a couple of clerks, and the rogues make nothing of leaving messages upon each other's desk: one directs, ‘To Gregory Goosequill, Esquire;’ to which the other replics by a note, “To Nehemiah Dashwell, Esquire, with respect; in a word, it is now Populus Armigerorum, a people of Esquires. And I do not know but, by the late act of naturalization, foreigners will assume that title, as part of the immunity of being Englishmen. All these improprieties flow from the negligence of the Herald's office. Those gentlemen in party-coloured habits do not, so rightly as they ought, understand themselves; though they are dressed cap-a-pee in hieroglyphics, they are inwardly but ignorant men. I asked an acquaintance of mine, who is a man of wit, but of no fortune, and is forced to appear as a jack-pudding on the stage to a mountebank; “Pr’ythee, Jack, why is your coat of so many colours ?" He replied, “I act a fool; and this spotted dress is to signify, that every man living has a weak place about him; for I an knight of the shire, and represent you all.' I wish than heralds would know as well as this man does, in his way, that they are to act for us in the case of our arms and appellations: we should not then be jumbled together in so promiscuous and absurd a manner. I design to take this matter into further consideration; and no man shall be received as an Esquire, who cannot bring a certificate, that he has conquered some lady's obdurate heart; that he can lead up a country dance ; and carry a message between her and her lover, with address, secrecy, and diligence. A Squire is properly born for the service of the sex, and his credentials shall be signed by three toasts and one prude, before his title shall be received in my office.
Will's Coffee-house, May 23.
On Satruday last was presented the Busy Body, a comedy written (as I have heretofore remarked) by a woman. The plot and inci. dents of the play are laid with that subtilty of spirit which is peculiar to females of wit, and is very seldom well performed by those of the other sex, in whom craft in love is an act of invention, and not as with women the effect of nature and instinct.
To-morrow will be acted a play, called, The Trip to the Jubilee." This performance is the greatest instance we can have of the irresistible force of proper action. The dialogue in itself has something too low to bear a criticism upon it: but Mr. Wilks enters into the part with so much skill, that the gallantry, the youth, and gayety of a young man of a plentiful fortune, are looked upon with as much indulgence on the stage, as in real life, without any of those intermixtures of wit and humour, which usually prepossess us in favour of such characters in other plays.
St. James's Coffee-house, May 23
Letters from the Hague of the twenty-third instant, N. S. say, that Mr. Walpole (who is since arrived) was going with all expedition to Great Britain, whither they doubted not but he carried with him the preliminaries to a treaty of peace. The French minister, monsieur Torcy, has been observed in this whole negociation, to turn his discourse upon the calamities sent down by heaven upon France, and imputed the necessities they were under to the immediate hand of Providence, in inflicting a general scarcity of provision, rather than the superior genius of the generals, or the bravery of the armies against them. It would be impious not to acknowledge the indulgence of heaven to us; but, at the same time, as we are to love our enemies, we are glad to see them mortified enough to mix Christianity with their politics. An authentic letter from madam Maintenon to monsieur Torcy has been stolen by a person about him, who has communicated a copy of it to some of the dependents of a minister of the allies. That epistle is writ in the most pathetic manner imaginable, and in a style which shows her genius, that has so long engrossed the heart of this great monarch.
“sir, I received yours, and am sensible of the address and capacity with which you have hitherto transacted the great affair under your management. You will observe, that our wants here are not to be concealed : and that it is vanity to use artifices with the knowing men with whom you are to deal. Let me beg you, therefore, in this representation of our circumstances, to lay aside art, which ceases to be such when it is seen, and make use of all your skill to gain us what advantages you can from the enemies' jealousy of each other's greatness; which is the place where only you have room for any dexterity. If you have any passion for your unhappy country, or any affection for your distressed master, come home with peace. Oh heaven do I live to talk of Lewis the Great, as the object of pity ? The king shows a great uneasiness to be informed of all that passes: but, at the same time, is fearful of every one who appears in his presence, lest he should bring an account of some new calamity. I know not in what terms to represent my thoughts to you, when I speak of the king, with relation to his bodily health. Figure to yourself that immortal man, who stood in our public places represented with trophies, armour, and terrors, on his pedestal: consider the invincible, the great, the good, the pious, the mighty, which were the usual epithets we gave him, both in our language and thoughts. I say, consider him whom you knew the greatest and most glorious of monarchs, and now think you see the same man an unhappy lazar, in the lowest circumstances of human nature itself, without regard to the state from whence he is fallen. I write from his bed-side : he is at present in a slumber. I have many, many things to add: but my tears flow too fast, and my sorrow is too big for utterance. ‘I am, &c."
* By Mr. George Farquhar.
It is not to be imagined how far preposses. sion will run away with people's understandings, in cases wherein they are under present uneasiness. The following narration is a sus. ficient testimony of the truth of this observatuon. I had the honour the other day of a visit from a gentlewoman (a stranger to me) who seemed to be about thirty. Her complexion is brown; but the air of her face has an agreeableness which surpasses the beauties of the fairest women. There appeared in her look and mein a sprightly health; and her eyes had too much vivacity to become the language of complaint, which she began to enter into. She seemed sensible of it; and therefore, with downcast looks, said she, “Mr. Bickerstaff, you see before you the unhappiest of women ; and therefore, as you are esteemed by all the world both a great civilian, as well as an astrologer, I must desire your advice and assistance, in putting me in a method of obtaining a divorce from a marriage, which I know the law will pronounce void.’ ‘Madam,' said I, ‘your grievance is of such a nature, that you must be very ingenious in representing the causes of your complaint, or I cannot give you the satisfaction you desire.” ‘Sir, she answers, “I believe there would be no need of half your skill in the art of divination, to guess why a woman would part from her husband.” “It is true,' said I; ‘but
suspicions, or guesses at what you mean, nay certainty of it, unless you plainly speak it, are no foundation for a formal suit.” She clapped her fan before her face; “My husband,” said she, “is no more a husband' (here she burst into tears) ‘than one of the Italian singers.” ‘Madam,' said I, ‘the affliction you complain of is to be redressed by law; but at the same time, consider what mortifications you are to go through, in bringing it into open court how will you be able to bear the impertinent whispers of the people present at the trial, the licentious reflections of the pleaders, and the interpretations that will in general be put upon your conduct by all the world 2 “How little (will they say) could that lady command her passions !” Besides, consider, that curbing our desires is the greatest glory we can arrive at in this world, and will be most rewarded in the next.” She answered, like a prudent inatron: “Sir, if you please to remember the office of matrimony, the first cause of its institution is that of having posterity. Therefore, as to the curbing desires, I am willing to undergo any abstinence from food as you please to enjoin me; but I cannot, with any quiet of mind, live in the neglect of a necessary duty, and an express commandment, Increase and multiply.” Observing she was learned, and knew so well the duties of life, I turned my arguments rather to dehort her from this public procedure by examples than precepts. “Do but consider, madam, what crowds of beauteous women live in nunneries, secluded for ever from the sight and conversation of men, with all the alacrity of spirit imaginable; they spend their time in heavenly raptures, in constant and frequent devotions, and at proper hours in agreeable conversations.’ “Sir," said she hastily, “tell not me of Papists, or any of their idolatries.” “Well then, madam, consider how many fine ladies live innocently in the eyes of the world, and this gay town, in the midst of temptation: there is the witty Mrs. W is a virgin of forty-four Mrs. T s is thirty-nine, Mrs. L–ce thirty-three; yet you see they laugh, and are gay, at the park, at the playhouse, at balls, and at visits ; and so much at case, that all this seems hardly a self-denial.’ ‘Mr. Bickerstaff,' said she, with some emotion, “you are an excellent casuist; but the last word destroyed your whole argument; if it is not self-denial it is no virtue. I presented you with a half. guinea, in hopes not only to have my conscience eased, but my fortune told. Yet, ‘Well madam,' said I, ‘pray of what age is your husband " ‘He is,' replied my injured client, “fifty; and I have been his wife fifteen years.” How hap. pened it you never communicated your distress, in all this time to your friends and relations o' She answered, “He has been thus but a fortnight.' I am the most serious man in the world to look at, and yet could not forbear laughing out. “Why, madam, in case of infirmity which proceeds only from age, the law gives no remedy.' 'Sir," said she, “I find you have no more learning than Dr. Case; and I am told of a young man, not five and twenty, just come from Oxford, to whom I will communicate this whole matter, and doubt not but he will appear to have seven times more useful and satisfactory knowledge than you and all }. boasted family.” Thus I have entirely ost my client: but if this tedious narrative prescrves Pastorella from the intended marriage with one twenty years her senior—to save a fine lady, I am contented to have my learning decried, and my predictions bound up with poor Robin's almanacks.”phronious would be as just as he is, if there were no law; and would be as discreet as he is, if there were no such thing as calumny.
Will's Coffee-house, May 25.
This evening was acted the Recruiting Offi. cer,t in which Mr. Eastcourt's proper sense and observation is what supports the play. There is not, in my humble opinion, the hu. mour hit in Sergeant Kite ; but it is admirably supplied by his action. If I have skill to judge, that man is an excellent actor; but the crowd of the audience are fitter for representations at May-fair, than a theatre-royal. Yet that fair is now broke, as well as the theatre is breaking ; but it is allowed still to sell animals there. Therefore, if any lady or gentleman have occasion for a tame elephant, let them inquire of Mr. Pinkethman, who has one to dispose of at a reasonable rate. The downfall of May-fair has quite sunk the price of this noble creature, as well as of many other curiosities of nature. A tiger will sell almost as cheap as an ox; and, I am credibly informed, a man may purchase a cat with three legs, for very near the value of one with four. I hear likewise that there is a great desolation among the gentlemen and ladies who were the ornaments of the town, and used to shine in plumes and diadems; the heroes being most of them pressed, and the queens beating hemp. Mrs. Sarabrand so famous for her ingenious puppet-show, has set up a shop in the Exchange, where she sells her little troop under the term of jointed babies. I could not but be solicitous to know of her, how she had disposed of that rake-hell, Punch, whose lewd life and conversation had given so much scandal, and did not a little contribute to the ruin of the fair. She told me with a sigh, “That, despairing of ever reclaiming him, she would not offer to place him in a civil family, but got him in a post upon a stall in Wapping, where he may be seen from sun-rising to sunset. ting, with a glass in one hand, and a pipe in the other, as centry to a brandy-shop.” The great revolutions of this nature bring to my mind the distresses of the unfortunate Camilla,t who has had the ill luck to break before her voice, and to disappear at a time when her beauty was in the height of its bloom. This lady entered so thoroughly into the great characters she acted, that when she had finished her part, she could not think of retrenching her equipage, but would appear in her own lodgings with the same magnificence that she did upon the stage. This greatness of soul had reduced
that unhappy princess to an involuntary retirement, where she now passes her time among the woods and forests, thinking on the crowns and sceptres she has lost, and often humming over in her solitude,
I was born of royal race,
But for fear of being over-heard, and her quality known, she usually sings it in Italian,
Naqui al regno, naqui al trono,
Since I have touched upon this subject, I shall communicate to my render part of a letter I have received from an ingenious friend at Amsterdam, where there is a very noble theatre; though the Inanner of furnishing it with actors is something peculiar to that place, and gives us occasion to admire both the politcness and frugality of the people.
“My friends have kept me here a week longer than ordinary, to see one of their plays, which was performed last night with great appRose. The actors are all of them tradesmen; who, after their day's work is over, earn about a guilder a-night by personating kings and generals. The hero of the tragedy I saw was a journeyman tailor, and his first minister of state a coffee-man. The empress made me think of Parthenope in the Rehearsal; for her mother keeps an alehouse in the suburbs of Amsterdam. When the tragedy was over, they entertained us with a short farce, in which the cobbler did his part to a miracle; but, upon inquiry, I sound he had really been working at his own trade, and representing on the stage what he acted every day in his shop. The profits of the theatre maintain a hospital; for, as here they do not think the profession of an actor the only trade that a man ought to exercise; so they will not allow any body to grow rich in a profession that, in their opinion, so little conduces to the good of the commonwealth. If I am not mistaken, your playhouses in England have done the same thing ; for, unless I am misinformed, the hospital at Dulwich was crected and endowed by Mr. Alleyn, a player:* and it is also said, a famous she-tragedian has settled her estate, after her death, for the maintenance of decayed wits, who are to be taken in as soon as they grow dull, at whatever time of their life that shall happen.’
St. James's Coffee-house, May 25.
Letters from the IIague of the thirty-first instant, N. S. say, that the articles preliminary to a general peace were settled, communicated to the States-general, and all the foreign ministers residing there, and transmitted to their respective masters on the twenty-eighth. Monsieur Torcy immediately returned to the court
* Poor Robin began to publish his almanack carly in the reign of Charles II.
f A comedy by Mr. Farquhar.
! Mrs. Tosts, who performed Camilla in the opern of that name, was the Daughter of a person in the family of bishop Burnet. She lived at the introduction of the opera into this kingdom, and sang with Nicoliu i.
* Edward Alleyn, esq. the protodramatist of his time, in 1614, founded, raised, and built an hospital at Dulwich in Surrey, called ‘The College of God's Gift," with a revenue which is reckoned at 700l. per annum.
of France, from whence he is expected again on the fourth of the next month, with those articles ratified by that court. The Hague is agreed upon for the place of treaty, and the fifteenth of the next month the day on which it is to commence. The terms whereon this negotiation is founded are not yet delivered by public authority; but, what is most generally received, is as follows:
Her majesty's right and title, and the Pro
testant succession to these dominions, is forthwith to be acknowledged. King Charles is to be owned the lawful sovereign of Spain. The French King shall not only recall his troops out of that kingdom, and deliver up to the allies the towns of Roses, Fonterabia, and Pampelona, but, in case the duke of Anjou shall not retire out of the Spanish dominions, he shall be obliged to assist the allies to force him from thence. A cessation of arms is agreed upon for two months from the first day of the treaty. The port and fortifications of Dunkirk are to be demolished within four months; but the town itself left in the hands of the French. The pretender is to be obliged to leave France. All Newfoundland
is to be restored to the English. As to the other parts of America, the French are to restore whatever they may have taken from the English, as the English in like manner are to give up what they have taken from the French, before the commencement of the treaty. The trade between Great Britain and France, shall be settled upon the same foundation as in the reign of king Charles the Second.
The Dutch are to have for their barriers,
Newport, Berg, St. Vinox, Furmes, Ipres, Lisle, Tournay, Douay, Valenciennes, Conde, Maubeuge, Mons, Charleroy, Namur, and Luxemburg; all which places shall be delivered up to the allies before the end of June. The trade between Holland and France shall be on the same foot as in 1664. The cities of Strasburg, Brisac, and Alsatia, shall be restored to the emperor and empire; and the king of France, pursuant to the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, shall only retain the protection of ten imperial cities, tiz. Colmar, Schlestat, Haguenau, Munster, Turkeim, Keisember, Obrenheim, Rosheime Weisemberg, and Landau. Huninguan, FortLouis, Fort-Khiel, and New-Brisac, shall be demolished, and all the fortifications from Basil to Philipsburg. The king of Prussia shall remain in the peaceable possession of Neufchatel. The affair of Orange, as also the pretensions of his Prussian majesty in the Franche Comté, shall be determined at this general negotiation of peace. The duke of Savoy shall have a restitution made of all that has been taken from him by the French, and remain master of Exilles, Chamont, Fenestrelles, and the valley of Pragelas.”
* In the first edition of the Tatler, in folio, there is the following addition to this paper: “It is said that monsieur Torey, when he signed this instrument, broke into this exclamation. “Would Colbert have signed such a treaty for France 7" on which a minister present was pleased to say, “Colbert himself would have been Proud to have saved France in these circumstances on such terus.”
No. 21.] Saturday, May 28, 1709.
White's Chocolate-house, May 26.
A GENTLEMAN has writ to me out of the country a very civil letter, and said things which I suppress with great violence to my vanity. There are many terms in my narratives which he complains want explaining ; and has therefore desired that, for the benefit of my country readers, I would let him know what I mean by a Gentleman, a Pretty Fellow, a Toast, a Coquet, a Critic, a Wit, and all other appellations of those now in the gayer world, who are in possession of these several characters; together with an account of those who unfortunately pretend to them. I shall begin with him we usually call a Gentleman, or man of conversation.
It is generally thought, that warmth of imgination, quick relish of pleasure, and a manner of becoming it, are the most essential qualities for forming this sort of man. But any one that is much in company will observe, that the height of good breeding is shown rather in never giving offence, than in doing obliging things. Thus he that never shocks you, though he is seldom entertaining, is more likely to keep your favour, than he who often entertains, and sometimes displeases you. The most necessary talent therefore in a man of conversation, which is what we ordinarily intend by a fine gentleman, is a good judgment. He that has this in perfection, is master of his companion, without letting him see it; and has the same advantage over men of any other qualifications whatsoever, as one that can see would have over a blind man often times his strength.
This is what makes Sophronius the darling of all who converse with him, and the most powerful with his acquaintance of any man in town. By the light of this faculty he acts with great ease and freedom among the men of pleasure, and acquits himself with skill and despatch among the men of business. All which he performs with such success, that, with as much discretion in life as any man ever had, he neither is, nor appears cunning. But as he does a good office, if ever he does it, with readiness and alacrity, so he denies what he does not care to engage in, in a manner that convinces you that you ought not to have asked it. His judgment is so good and unerring, and accompanied with so cheerful a spirit, that his conversation is a continual feast, at which he helps some, and is helped by others, in such manner, that the equality of society is perfectly kept up, and every man obliges as much as he is obliged; for it is the greatest and justest skill in a men-of superio, onderständing, to know Eow, to be on alercl with his companions. This sweet disposition.runs to
In imitation of this agreeable being, is made that animal we call a Pretty Fellow ; who, being just able to find out, that what makes Sophronius acceptable, is a natural behaviour, in order to the same reputation, makes his own an artificial one. Jack Dimple is his perfect mimic, whereby he is, of course, the most unlike him of all men living. Sophronius just now passed into the inner room directly forward; Jack comes as fast after as he can for the right and left looking-glass, in which he had but just approved himself by a nod at each, and marched on. He will meditate within for half an hour, until he thinks he is not careless enough in his air, and come back to the mirror to recollect his forgetfulness.
Will's Coffee-house, May 27.
This night was acted the comedy called ‘The Fox;” but I wonder the modern writers do not use their interest in the house to suppress such representations. A man that has been at this will hardly like any other play during the season: therefore I humbly move, that the writings, as well as dresses, of the last age should give way to the present fashion. We are come into a good method enough (if we were not interrupted in our mirth by such an apparition as a play of Johnson's) to be entertained at more ease, both to the spectator and the writer, than in the days of old. It is no difficulty to get hats and swords, and wigs and shoes, and every thing else from the shops in town; and make a man show himself by his habit, without more ado, to be a counsellor, a sop, a courtier, or a citizen, and not be obliged to make those characters talk in different dialects to be distinguished from each other. This is certainly the surest and best way of writing: but such a play as this makes a man for a month after over-run with criticism, and inquire, ‘What every man on the stage said 7 what had such a one to do to meddle with such a thing 7 how came the other, who was bred after this or that manner, to speak so like a man conversant among a dif: ferent people * These questions robus of all our pleasure; for, at this rate, no sentence in a play should be spoken by any one character which could possibly enter into the head of any other man represented in it; but every sentiment should be peculiar to him only who utters it. Laborious Ben's works will bear this sort of inquisition; but if the present writers were thus examined, and the offences against this rule, cut out, few plays would be long enough for the whole evening's entertainment. .
But I do not know how they did in those old times: this same Ben Johnson has made every one's passion in this play to be towards money; and yet not one of who in expresses that desire, or endeavours to obtain it, any way but what is peculiar to him only: one sacrifices his wife, another his profession, ancther his posterity,
• Ben jonson's Fox: first printed in 1903.
from the same motive; but their characters are kept so skilfully apart, that it seems prodigious their discourses should rise from the invention of the same author.
But the poets are a nest of hornets, and I will drive these thoughts no farther; but must mention some hard treatment I am likely to meet with from my brother-writers. I am credibly informed, that the author of a play, called ‘Love in a Hollow Tree,” has made some remarks upon my late discourse on ‘The Naked Truth.” I cannot blame a gentlemen for writing against any error ; it is for the good of the learned world. But I would have the thing fairly left between us two, and not under the protection of patrons. . But my intelligence is, that he hath dedicated his treatise to the honourable Mr. Ed rd H-rd.[
From my own Apartment, May 27.
TO ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, ESQ.
‘Sin, Being convinced, as the whole world is, how infallible your predictions are, and hav. ing the honour to be your near relation of the Staffian family, I was under great concern at one of your predictions relating to yourself, wherein you foretold your own death would hap. pen on the seventeenth instant, unless it were prevented by the assistance of well disposed people: I have therefore prevailed on my own modesty to send you a piece of news, which may serve instead of Goddard'st drops, to keep you alive for two days, until nature be able to recover itself, or until you meet with some better help from other hands. Therefore, without further ceremony, I will relate a singular adventure just happened in the place where I am writing, where with it may be highly useful for the public to be informed.
nesses against the first deposed upon oath before justice Bindover, that she kept spirits locked up in vessels, which sometimes appeared in fomes of blue fire; that she used magical herbs, with some of which she drew in hundreds of men daily to her, who went out from her presence all inflamed, their mouths parched, and a hot steam issuing from them, attended with a grievous stench : that many of the said men were by the force of that herb, metamorphosed
for twenty-four hours, before they could reas.
sume their shapes or their senses. • ‘It was proved against the second, That she
cut off by night the limbs from dead bodies
* The comedy, called ‘Love in a Hollow Tree,” or 'The Lawyer's Fortune," (see Tatler, No. 17) was pub lished by William lord viscount Grimston, when he was only thirteen years of age, which is some apology for the many absurdities in it.
t Hon. Edward Howard, author of seven plays, and of an epic poem called ‘The British Princess."
| Dr. Jonathan Goddard was the physician and confi. dant of Cromwell, a member of the Royal Society, and medical professor of Gresham College. He was the first
* * * - •] Englishman who made telescopes; and, in the course of
! his accurate chemical experiments, discovered the salmous elixir, called here, his drops.
‘Three young ladies of our town were on Saturday last indicted for witchcraft. The wit...
into swine, and lay wallowing in the kennels .