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“Your majesty will observe, I do not bring against you a railing accusation; but, as you are a strict professor of religion, I beseech your majesty to stop the effusion of blood, by receiving the opportunity which presents itself for the preservation of your distressed people. Be no longer so infatuated, as to hope for renown from murder and violence: but consider that the great day y come, in which this world and all its glory shall change in a moment; when nature shall sicken, and the earth and sea give up the bodies committed to them, to appear before the last tribunal. Will it then, O king ! be an answer for the lives of millions, who have fallen by the sword, “They perished for my glory?' That day will come on, and one like it is immediately approaching: injured nations advance towards thy habitation: vengeance has begun its march, which is to be diverted only by the penitence of the oppressor. Awake, O monarch, from thy lethargy disdain the abuses thou hast received: pull down the statue which calls thee immortal: be truly great: tear thy purple, and put on sackcloth. I am, thy generous enemy,
In my paper of the twenty-eighth of the last month, I mentioned several characters which want explanation to the generality of readers: among others I spoke of a Pretty Fellow. I have received a kind admonition in a letter, to take care that I do not omit to show also what is meant by a Very Pretty Fellow, which is to be allowed as a character by itself, and a person exalted above the other by a peculiar sprightli. ness; as one who, by a distinguishing vigour, outstrips his companions, and has thereby deserved and obtained a particular appellation or nick-name of familiarity. Some have this distinction from the fair-sex, who are so generous as to take into their protection such as are laughed at by the men, and place them for that reason in degrees of favour.
The chief of this sort is colonel Brunett, who is a man of fashion, because he will be so; and practises a very janty way of behaviour, because he is too careless to know when he offends, and too sanguine to be mortified if he did know it. Thus the colonel has met with a town ready to receive him, and cannot possibly see why he should not make use of their favour, and set himself in the first degree of conversation. Therefore he is very successfully loud among the wits, and familiar among the ladies, and dis. solute among the rakes. Thus he is admitted in one place because he is so in another; and every man treats Brunett well, not out of his particular esteem for him, but in respect to the opinion of others. It is to me a solid pleasure to see the world thus mistaken on the goodnatured side; for it is ten to one but the colonel
mounts into a general officer, marries a fine lady, and is master of a good estate, before they come to explain upon him. What gives most delight to me in this observation is, that all this arises from pure nature, and the colonel can account for his success no more than those by whom he succeeds. For these causes and considerations, I pronounce him a true woman's man, and in the first degree “A very Pretty Fellow.” The next to a man of this universal genius, is one who is peculiarly formed for the service of the ladies, and his merit chiefly is to be of no consequence. I am indeed a little in doubt, whether he ought not rather to be called a very Happy, than a very Pretty Fellow 2 for he is admitted at all hours: all he says or does, which would offend in another, are passed over in him; and all actions and speeches which please, doubly please if they come from him: no one wonders or takes notice when he is wrong ; but all admire him when he is in the right.—By the way, it is fit to remark, that there are people of better sense than these, who endeavour at this character; but they are out of nature; and though, with some industry, they get the characters of fools, they cannot arrive to be very, seldom to be merely ‘Pretty Fellows.' But, where nature has formed a person for this station amongst men, he is gifted with a peculiar genius for success, and his very errors and absurdities contribute to it; this felicity attending him to his life's end: for it being in a manner necessary that he should be of no consequence, he is as well in old age as youth; and I know a man, whose son has been some years a “Pretty Fellow,' who is himself at this hour a very Pretty Fellow. One must move tenderly in this place, for we are now in the ladies' lodgings, and speaking of such as are supported by their influence and favour; against which there is not, neither ought there to be, any dispute or observation. But when we come into more free air, one may talk a little more at large. Give me leave then to mention three, whom I do not doubt but we shall see make considerable figures; and these are such as for their Bacchanalian performances must be admitted into this order. They are three brothers lately landed from Holland: as yet, indeed, they have not made their public entry, but lodge and converse at Wapping. They have merited already on the water-side particular titles: the first is called Hogshead; the second, Culverin; and the third, Musquet. This fraternity is preparing for our end of the town by their ability in the exercises of Bacchus, and measure their time and merit by liquid weight, and power of drinking. Hogshead is a prettier Fellow than Culverin, by two quarts; and Culverin than Musquct, by a full pint. It is to be feared Hogshead is so often too full, and Culverin overloaded, that Musquet will be the only lasting Very Pretty Fellow of the three. A third sort of this denomination is such as, by very daring adventures in love, have purchased to themselves renown and new names; as Jo Carry, for his excessive strength and vi. gour; Tom Drybones, for his generous loss of youth and health; and Cancrum, for his meritorious rottenness. These great and leading spirits are proposed to all such of our British youth as would arrive at perfection in these different kinds; and if their parts and accomplishments were well imitated, it is not doubted but that our nation would soon excel all others in wit and arts, as they already do in arms. N. B. The gentleman who stole Betty Pepin' may own it, for he is allowed to be “A very Pretty Fellow.’ But we must proceed to the explanation of other terms in our writings. To know what a toast is in the country, gives as much perplexity as she herself does in town: and indeed the learned differ very much upon the original of this word, and the acceptation of it among the moderns. However, it is by all agreed to have a joyous and cheerful import. A toast in a cold morning, heightened by nutmeg, and sweetened with sugar, has for many ages been given to our rural dispensers of justice, before they entered upon causes, and has been of great and politic use to take off the severity of their sentences; but has indeed been remarkable for one ill effect, that it inclines those who use it immoderately to speak Latin, to the admiration rather than information of an audience. This application of a toast makes it very obvious that the word may, without a metaphor, be understood as an apt name for a thing which raises us in the most sovereign degree. But many of the wits of the last age will assert that the word, in its present sense, was known among them in their youth, and had its rise from an accident at the town of Bath, in the reign of king Charles the Second. It happened that, on a public day, a celebrated beauty of those times was in the Cross Bath, and one of the crowd of her admirers took a glass of the water in which the fair one stood, and drank her health to the company. There was in the place a gay fellow half suddled, who offered to jump in, and swore, though he liked not the liquor, he would have the toast. He was opposed in his resolution; yet this whim gave foundation to the present honour which is done to the lady we mention in our liquors, who has ever since been called a toast. Though this institution had so trivial a beginning, it is now elevated into a formal order; and that happy virgin, who is received and drunk to at their meetings, has no more to do in this life but to judge and accept of the first good offer. The manner of her inauguration is much like that of the choice of a doge in Venice: it is performed by balloting ; and when she is so chosen, she reigns indisputably for that cnsuing year; but must be elected a-new to prolong her empire a moment beyond it. When she is regularly chosen, her name is written with a diamond
on a drinking-glass.T The hieroglyphic of the
diamond is to show her, that her value is imaginary; and that of the glass to acquaint her, that her condition is frail, and depends on the hand which holds, her. This wise design admonishes her, neither to over-rate or depreciate her charms; as well considering and applying, that it is perfectly according to the humour and taste of the company, whether the toast is eaten, or left as an offal.
The foremost of the whole rank of toasts, and the most undisputed in their present empire, are Mrs. Gatty and Mrs. Frontlet: the first an agreeable, the second an awful beauty. These ladies are perfect friends, out of a knowledge, that their perfections are too different to stand in competition. He that likes Gatty can have no relish for so solemn a creature as Frontlet; and an admirer of Frontlet will call Gatty a maypole girl. Gatty for ever smiles upon you; and Frontlet disdains to see you smile. Gatty's love is a shining quick flame; Frontlet's, a slow wasting fire. Gatty likes the man that diverts her; Frontlet, him who adores her. Gatty always improves the soil in which she travels; Frontlet lays waste the country. Gatty does not only smile, but laughs at her lover; Frontlet not only looks serious, but frowns at him. All the men of wit (and coxcombs their followers) are professed servants of Gatty: the politicians and pretenders give solemn worship to Frontlet. Their reign will be best judged of by its duration. Frontlet will never be chosen more ; and Gatty's a toast for life.
St. James's Coffee-house, June 3.
Letters from Hamburg of the seventh instant, N. S. inform us, that no art or cost is omitted to make the stay of his Danish majesty at Dresden agreeable; but there are various speculations upon the interview between king Augustus and that prince, many putting politic constructions upon his Danish majesty's arrival at a time when his troops are marching out of Hungary, with orders to pass through Saxony, where it is given out, that they are to be recruited. It is said also, that several Polish senators have invited king Augustus to return into Poland. His majesty of Sweden, according to the same advices, has passed the Nieper without any opposition from the Muscovites, and advances with all possible expedition towards Volhinia, where he proposes to join king Stanislaus and general Crassau.
We hear from Bern of the first instant, N. S. that there is not a province in France, from whence the court is not apprehensive of receiving accounts of public commotions, occasioned by the want of corn. The general diet of the thirteen cantons is assembled at Baden, but have not yet entered upon business, so that the affair of Tockenburgh is yet at a stand.
Letters from the Hague, dated the eleventh instant, N. S. advise, that monsieur Rouille having acquainted the ministers of the allies, that his master had refused to ratify the preliminaries of a treaty adjusted with monsieur Torcy, set out for Paris on Sunday morning. The same day the foreign ministers met a committee of the states-general, where monsieur Van Hessen opened the business upon which they were assembled, and in a very warm discourse, laid before them the conduct of France in the late negotiations, representing the abject manner in which she had laid open her own distresses, that reduced her to a compliance with the demands of all the allies, and her meanness in receding from those points to which monsieur Torcy had consented. The respective ministers of each potentate of the alliance severally expressed their resentment of the faithless behaviour of the French, and gave each other mutual assurances of the constancy and resolution of their principals, to proceed with the utmost vigour against the common enemy. His grace the duke of Marlborough set out from the Hague on the afternoon of the ninth, and lay that night at Rotterdam, from whence, at four the next morning, he proceeded towards Antwerp, with a design to reach Ghent the next day. All the troops in the Low Countries are in motion towards the general rendezvous between the Scheld and the Lis; the whole army will be formed on the twelfth instant; and it is said, that on the fourteenth, they will advance towards the enemy's country. In the mean time the marshal de Villars has assembled the French forces between Lens, La Bassee, and Douay.
* The kept mistress of a knight of the shire near Prentford. who squandered his estate on wouen, and in contested elections.
t It was the fashion of the time, to inscribe verses thus to the reigning beauties. Several of these sprightly production*, * on the toasting-glasses of the Kit-cat Club, by the Lords Halifax, Wharton, Lansdowne, and Carbury, by Mr. Maynwaring, and other poetical incin
bers of that ingenious society, may be seen in Nichols's ‘Select Collection of Miscellany Poems, vol. v. pp. 108.
Yesterday morning sir John Norris, with the squadron under his cominand, sailed from the Downs for Holland.
From my own Apartment, June 3.
I have the honour of the following letter from a gentleman whom I receive into my family, and order the heralds at arms to enroll him accordingly.
“Mr. Brokerstaff, Though you have excluded me the honour of your family, yet I have ventured to correspond with the same great persons as yourself, and have wrote this post to the king of France; though I am in a manner unknown in his country, and have not been seen there these many months:
To Lewis Le GRANd.
“Though in your country I'm unknown, Yet, sir, I must advise you :
Of late so poor and mean you're grown, That all the world despise you.
Here vermin eat your majesty,
What surer signs of poverty,
Then, sir, the present minute choose,
Those terms you at the Hague refuse, *
Consider this, and Dunkirk raze, And Anna's title own ;
Send one pretender out to graze, And call the other home.
* Your humble servant,
BREAD THE STAFF OF LIFE."
A letter from a young lady, written in the most passionate terms, wherein she laments the misfortune of a gentleman, her lover, who was lately wounded in a duel, has turned my thoughts to that subject, and inclined me to examine into the causes which precipitate men into so fatal a folly. And as it has been proposed to treat of subjects of gallantry in the article from hence, and no one point in nature is more proper to be considered by the company who frequent this place than that of duels, it is worth our consideration to examine into this chimerical groundless humour, and to lay every other thought aside, until we have stripped it of all its false pretences to credit and reputation amongst men. But I must confess, when I consider what I am going about, and run over in my imagination all the endless crowd of men of honour who will be offended at such a discourse; I am undertaking, methinks, a work worthy an invulnerable hero in romance, rather than a private gentleman with a single rapier: but as I am pretty well acquainted by great opportunities with the nature of man, and know of a truth that all men fight against their will, the danger vanishes, and resolution rises upon this subject. For this reason, I shall talk very freely on a custom which all men wish exploded, though no man has courage enough to resist it. But there is one unintelligible word, which I fear will extremely perplex my dissertation, and I confess to you I find very hard to explain, which is the term ‘satisfaction.” An honest country gentleman had the misfortune to fall into company with two or three modern men of honour, where he happened to be very ill-treated; and one of the company, being conscious of his offence, sends a note to him in the morning, and tells him, he was ready to give him satisfaction. ‘This is fine doing,” says the plain fellow; last night he sent me away cursedly out of humour, and this morning he fancies it would be a satisfaction to be run through the body.” As the matter at present stands, it is not to do handsome actions denominates a man of honour; it is enough if he dares to defend ill ones. Thus you often see a common sharper in competition with a gentleman of the first rank; though all mankind is convinced, that a fighting gamester is only a pick-pocket with the courage of a highwayman. One cannot with any patience reflect on the unaccountable jumble of persons and things in this town and nation, which occasions very frequently, that a brave man falls by a hand below that of a common hangman, and yet his executioner escapes the clutches of the hangman for doing it. I shall therefore hereafter consider, how the bravest men in other ages and nations have behaved themselves upon such incidents as we decide by combat; and show, from their practice, that this resentment neither has its foundation from true reason or solid fame; but is an imposture, made of cowardice, falsehood, and want of understanding. For this work, a good history of quarrels would be very edifying to the public, and I apply myself to the town for particulars and circumstances within their knowledge, which may serve to embellish the dissertation with proper cuts. Most of the quarrels I have ever known, have proceeded from some valiant coxcomb's persisting in the wrong, to defend some prevailing folly, and preserve himself from the ingenuousness of owning a mistake. By this means it is called ‘giving a man satisfaction,” to urge your offence against him with your sword; which puts me in mind of Peter's order to the keeper, in ‘The Tale of a Tub : if you neglect to do all this, damn you and your generation for ever: and so we bid you heartily farewell.' If the contradiction in the very terms of one of our challenges were as well explained and turned into downright English, would it not run after this manner }
‘SIR:—Your extraordinary behaviour last night, and the liberty you were pleased to take with me, makes me this morning give you this, to tell you, because you are an ill-bred puppy, I will meet you in Hyde-park an hour hence; and because you want both breeding and humanity, I desire you would come with a pistol in your hand, on horseback, and endeavour to shoot me through the head, to teach you more manners. If you fail of doing me this pleasure, I shall say, you are a rascal, on every post in town : and so, sir, if you will not injure me more, I shall never forgive what you have done already. Pray, sir, do not fail of getting every thing ready ; and you will infinitely oblige, sir, your most obedient humble servant, &c.’
From my own Apartment, June 6.
Among the many employments I am neces. sarily put upon by my friends, that of giving advice is the most unwelcome to me; and, indeed I am forced to use a little art in the manner; for some people will ask counsel of you, when they have already acted what they tell you is still under deliberation. I had almost lost a very good friend the other day, who came to know how I liked his design to marry such a lady ?" I answered, “By no means; and I must be positive against it, for very solid reasons, which are not proper to be communicated.’ “Not proper to be communicated so said he, with a grave air, “I will know the bottom of this.' I saw him moved, and knew from thence he was already determined; therefore evaded it by saying, ‘To tell you the truth, dear Frank, of all the women living I would have her myself." * Isaac,’ said he ‘thou art too late, for we have been both one these two months.”
I learned this caution by a gentleman's consulting me formerly about his son. He railed at his damned extravagance, and told me, ‘in a very little time he would beggar him by the exorbitant bills which came from Oxford every quarter.’ ‘Make the rogue bite upon the bridle,' said I; ‘pay none of his bills; it will but encou
rage him to further trespasses.” He looked plaguy sour at me. His son soon after sent up a paper of verses, forsooth, in print, on the last public occasion; upon which, he is convinced the boy has parts, and a lad of spirit is not to be too much cramped in his maintenance, lest he take ill courses. Neither father nor son can ever since endure the sight of me. These sort of people ask opinions only out of the fulness of their heart on the subject of their perplexity, and not from a desire of information. . There is nothing so easy as to find out which opinion the man in doubt has a mind to ; therefore the sure way is, to tell him that is certainly to be chosen. Then you are to be very clear and positive; leave no handle for scruple. ‘Bless me! sir, there is no room for a question " This rivets you into his heart; for you at once applaud his wisdom, and gratify his inclination. However, I had too much bowels to be insincere to a man who came yesterday to know of me, with which of two eminent men in the city he should place his son 2 their names are Paulo and Avaro. This gave me much debate with myself, because not only the fortune of the youth, but his virtue also dependeth upon this choice. The men are equally wealthy; but they differ in the use and application of their riches, which you immediately see upon entering their doors. The habitation of Paulo has at once the air of a nobleman and a merchant. You see the servants act with affection to their master, and satisfaction in themselves: the master meets you with an open countenance, full of benevolence and integrity: your business is despatched with that confidence and welcome which always accompany honest minds: his table is the image of plenty and generosity, supported by justice and frugality. After we had dined here, our affair was to visit Avaro : out comes an awkward fellow, with a careful countenance; “Sir, would you speak with my master 2 may I crave your name " After the first preamble, he leads us into a noble solitude, a great house that seemed uninhabited; but from the end of the spacious hall moves towards us Avaro, with a suspicious aspect, as if he had believed us thieves; and, as for my part, I approached him as if I knew him a cut-purse. We fell into discourse of his noble dwelling, and the great estate all the world knew he had to enjoy in it: and I, to plague him, began to commend Paulo's way of living. ‘Paulo,' answered Avaro, “is a very good man; but we, who have smaller estates, must cut our coat according to our cloth.”. ‘Nay,’ says I, “every man knows his own circumstances best; you are in the right, if you have not where withal.' He looked very sour; for it is, you must know, the utmost vanity of a mean-spirited rich man to be contradicted when he calls himself poor. But I resolved to vex him, by consenting to all he said; the main design of which was, that he would have us find out, he was one of the wealthiest men in London, and lived like a beggar. We left him, and took a turn on the Exchange. My friend was ravished with Avaro : ‘this,' said he, ‘is certainly a sure man.' I contradicted him with much warmth, and summed up their different characters as well as I could. ‘This Paulo,' said I,
“grows wealthy by being a common good; Avaro, by being a general evil: Paulo has the art, Avaro the craft of trade. When Paulo gains, all men he deals with are the better: whenever Avaro profits, another certainly loses. In a word, Paulo is a citizen, and Avaro a cit.' I convinced my friend, and carried the young gentleman the next day to Paulo, where he will learn the way both to gain and enjoy a good fortune. And though I cannot say I have, by keeping him from Avaro, saved him from the gallows, I have prevented his deserving it every day he lives; for with Paulo he will be an honest man, without being so for fear of the law; as with Avaro he would have been a villain within the protection of it.
St. James's coffeehouse, June 6.
We hear from Vienna of the first instant, that baron Imhoff, who attended her Catholic majesty with the character of envoy from the duke of Wolfenbuttel, was returned thither. That minister brought an account, that major-general Stanhope, with the troops which embarked at Naples, was returned to Barcelona. We hear from Berlin, by advices of the eighth instant, that his Prussian majesty had received an account from his minister at Dresden, that the king of Denmark desired to meet his majesty at Magdeburg. The king of Prussia has sent for answer, that his present indisposition will not admit of so great a journey; but has sent the king a very pressing invitation to come to Berlin or Potsdam. These advices say, that the minister of the king of Sweden has produced a letter from his master to the king of Poland, dated from Botizau the thirtieth of March, O.S. wherein he acquaints him, that he has been successful against the Muscovites in all the actions which have happened since his march into their country. Great numbers have revolted to the Swedes since general Mazeppa went over to that side; and as many as have done so have taken solemn oaths to adhere to the interests of his Swedish majesty.
Advices from the IIague of the fourteenth instant, N. S. say, that all things tended to a vigorous and active campaign ; the allies having strong resentments against the late behaviour of the court of France; and the French using all possible endeavours to animate their men to defend their country against a victorious and exasperated encmy. Monsieur Rouille had passed through Brussels without visiting either the duke of Marlborough or prince Eugene, who were both there at that time. The States have met, and publicly declared their satisfaction in the conduct of their deputies during the whole treaty. Letters from France say, that the court is resolved to put all to the issue of the ensuing campaign. In the mean time, they have ordered the preliminary treaty to be published, with obscrvations upon each article, in order to quiet the minds of the people, and persuade them that it has not been in the power of the king to procure a peace, but to the diminution of his majesty's glory, and the hazard of his dominions. His grace the duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene arrived at Ghent on Wednesday last,
I have read the following letter with delight and approbation ; and I hereby order Mr. Ridney at St. James's, and sir Thomas at White's, (who are my clerks for enrolling all men in their different classes, before they presume to drink tea or chocolate in those places,) to take care that the persons within the descriptions in the letter be admitted and excluded, according to my friend's remonstrance.
June 6, 1709.
‘SIR,-Your paper of Saturday has raised up in me a noble emulation to be recorded in the foremost rank of worthies therein mentioned ; if any regard be had to merit or industry, I may hope to succeed in the promotion, for I have omitted no toil or expense to be a proficient; and if my friends do not flatter, they assure me, I have not lost my time since I came to town. To enumerate but a few particulars; there is hardly a coachman I nect with, but desires to be excused taking me, because he has had me before. I have compounded two or three rapes; and let out to hire as many bastards to beggars. I never saw above the first act of a play :" and as to my courage, it is well known I have more than once had sufficient witnesses of my drawing my sword both in tavern and play-house. Dr. Walli is my particular friend; and if it were any service to the public to compose the difference between Martint and Sintilaert the pearl-driller, I do not know a judge of more experience than myself: for in that I may say with the poet:
* Quae regio in vella nostri non plena laboris.” What street resounds not with my great exploits 7
‘I omit other less particulars, the necessary consequence of greater actions. But my reason for troubling you at this present is, to put a stop, if it may be, to an insinuating increasing set of people, who, sticking to the letter of your treatise, and not to the spirit of it, do assume the name of “Pretty Fellows; nay, and even get new names, as you very well hint. Some of them I have heard calling to one another as I have sat at White's and St. James's, by the names of Betty, Nelly, and so forth. You see them accost each other with eifeminate airs; they
* At that time, it seems as if the money was returned to such as withdrew at the end of the first act.
t Three practitioners in physic or surgery, of some note at that time for curing diseases contracted by debauchery.
1 A verm now become unintelligible.