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exemplary carriage of this woman, who could be so virtuously impertinent, as to admonish one she was hardly acquainted with. However, it struck upon the vanity of a girl, that it may possibly be, his thoughts might have been as favourable of me, as mine were amorous of him ; and as unlikely things as that have happened, if he should make me his wife. She never mentioned this more to me; but I still in all public places stole looks at this man, who easily observed my passion for him. It is so hard a thing to check the return of agreeable thoughts, that he became my dream, my vision, my food, my wish, my torment. That ministress of darkness, the lady Sempronia, perceived too well the temper I was in, and would one day after evening service, needs take me to the park. When we were there, my lord passes by : I flushed into a flame. “Mrs. Distaff,' says she, “you may very well remem. ber the concern I was in upon the first notice I took of your regard to that lord; and forgive me, who had a tender friendship for your mother (now in her grave) that I am vigilant of your conduct.” She went on with much severity, and after great solicitation, prevailed on me to go with her into the country, and there spend the ensuing summer out of the way of a man she saw I loved, and one whom she perceived meditated my ruin, by frequently desiring her to introduce him to me; which she absolutely refused, except he would give his honour that he had no other design but to marry me. To her country-house, a week or two after, we went: there was at the further end of her garden, a kind of wilderness, in the middle of which ran a soft rivulet by an arbour of jessamine. In this place I usually passed my retired hours, and read some romantic or poetical tale until the close of evening. It was near that time in the heat of summer, when gentle winds, soft murmurs of water, and notes of nightingales, had given my mind an indolence, which added to that repose of soul twilight and the end of a warm day naturally throws upon the spirits. It was at such an hour, and in such a state of tranquillity I sat, when, to my inexpressible amazement, I saw my lord walking towards me, whom I knew not until that moinent to have been in the country. I could observe in his approach the perplexity which attends a man big with design; and I had, while he was coming forward, time to reflect that I was betrayed; the sense of which gave me a resentment suitable to such a baseness ; but when he entered into the bower where I was, my heart flew towards him, and I confess, a certain joy came into my mind, with a hope that he might then make a declaration of honour and passion. This threw my eyes upon him with such tenderness as gave him power, with a broken accent to begin. ‘Madam—you will wonder—for it is certain, you must have observed—though I fear you will misinterpret the motives—but by heaven, and all that is sacred' if you could'—Here he made a full stand, and I recovered power to say, ‘The consternation I am in, you will not, I hope, believe—a help. less innocent maid—besides that the place"— IHe saw me in as great confusion as himself;
which attributing to the same causes, he had the audaciousness to throw himself at my feet, talk of the stillness of the evening, and then ran into deifications of my person, pure flames, constant love, eternal raptures, and a thousand other phrases drawn from the images we have of heaven, which ill men use for the service of hell, when run over with uncommon vehemence. After which, he seized me in his arms: his design was too evident. In my utmost distress, I fell upon my knees ‘My lord, pity me, on my knees—on my knees in the cause of virtue, as you were lately in that of wickedness. Can you think of destroying the labour of a whole life, the purpose of a long education, for the base service of a sudden appetite; to throw one that loves you, that doats on you, out of the company and the road of all that is virtuous and praiseworthy Have I taken in all the instructions of piety, religion, and reason, for no other end, but to be the sacrifice of lust and abandoned to scorn ? Assume yourself, my lord: and do not attempt to vitiate a temple sacred to innocence, honour, and religion. If I have injured you, stab this bosom, and let me die, but not be ruined by the hand I love." The ardency of my passion made me incapable of uttering more ; and I saw my lover astonished, and reformed by my behaviour; when rushed in Sempronia. “Ha! faithless base man, could you then steal out of town, and lurk like a robber about my house for such brutish purposes o' My lord was by this time recovered, and fell into a violent laughter at the turn which Sempronia designed to give her villany. He bowed to me with the utmost respect: ‘Mrs. Distaff." said he, ‘be careful hereafter of your company;’ and so retired. The fiend Sempronia congratulated my deliverance with a flood of tears. This nobleman has since very frequently made his addresses to me with honour; but I have as often refused them ; as well knowing that familiarity and marriage will make him, on some ill-natured occasion, call all I said in the arbour a theatrical action. Besides that, I glory in contemning a man, who had thoughts to my dishonour. If this method were the imitation of the whole sex, innocence would be the only dress of beauty; and all affectation by any other arts to please the eyes of men would be banished to the stews for ever. The conuest of passion gives ten times more happiness than we can reap from the gratification of it; and she that has got over such a one as mine, will stand among Beaux and Pretty Fellows, with as much safety as in a summer's day among grasshoppers and butterflies. P. S. I have ten millions of things more against men, if I ever get the pen again.
St. James's Coffee-house, June 24.
Our last advices from the Hague, dated the twenty-eighth instant, N. S. say, that on the twenty-fifth, a squadron of Dutch men-of-war sailed out of the Texel to join admiral Baker at Spithead. The twenty-sixth was observed as a day of fasting and humiliation, to implore a blessing on the arms of the allies this ensuing campaign. Letters from Dresden are very
particular in the account of the gallantry and magnificence, in which that court has appeared since the arrival of the king of Denmark. No day has passed in which public shows have not been exhibited for his entertainment and diversion; the last of that kind which is mentioned is a carousal, wherein many of the youth of the first quality, dressed in the most splendid manner, ran for the prize. His Danish majesty condescended to the same ; but having observed that there was a design laid to throw it in his way, passed by without attempting to gain it. The court of Dresden was preparing to accompany his Danish majesty to Potsdam, where the expectation of an interview of three kings, had drawn together such multitudes of people, that many persons of distinction will be obliged to lie in tents, as long as those courts continue in that place.
Having taken upon me to cure all the dis. tempers which proceed from affections of the mind, I have laboured, since I first kept this public stage, to do all the good I could, and have perfected many cures at my own lodgings; carefully avoiding the common methods of mountebanks, to do their most eminent operations in sight of the people; but must be so just to my patients as to declare, they have testified under their hands, their sense of my poor abilities, and the good I have done them, which I publish for the benefit of the world, and not out of any thoughts of private advan
"five cured fine Mrs. Spy of a great impersection in her eyes, which made her eternally rolling them from one coxcomb to another in public places, in so languishing a manner, that it at once lessened her own power, and her beholders' vanity. Twenty drops of my ink, placed in certain letters on which she attentively looked for half an hour, have restored her to the true use of her sight; which is, to guide and not mislead us. Ever since she took the liquor, which I call Bickerstaff's circumspection-water, she looks right forward, and can bear being looked at for half a day without returning one glance. This water has a peculiar virtue in it, which makes it the only true cosmetic or beautywash in the world: the nature of it is such, that if you go to a glass with a design to admire your face, it immediately changes it into downright deformity. If you consult it only to look with a better countenance upon your friends, it immediately gives an alacrity to the visage, and new grace to the whole person. There is, indeed, a great deal owing to the constitution of the person to whom; is applied: it is in vain
to give it when the patient is in the rage of the distemper; a bride in her first month, a lady soon after her husband's being knighted, or any person of either sex, who has lately obtained any new good fortune or preferment, must be prepared some time before they use it. It has |an effect upon others, as well as the patient, when it is taken in due form. Lady Petulant has by the use of it cured her husband of jealousy, and lady Gad her whole neighbourhood of detraction. The fame of these things, added to my being an old fellow, makes me extremely acceptable to the fair sex. You would hardly believe me, when I tell you there is not a man in town so much their delight as myself. They make no more of visiting me, than going to madam Depingle's; there were two of them, namely, Damia and Clidamira, (I assure you women of distinction) who came to see me this morning in their way to prayers; and being in a very diverting humour (as innocence always makes people cheerful,) they would needs have me, according to the distinction of Pretty and Very Pretty Fellows, inform them if I thought either of them had a title to the Very Pretty among those of their own sex; and if I did, which was the more deserving of the two To put them to the trial, ‘Look ye,’ said I, “I must not rashly give my judgment in matters of this importance; pray let me see you dance, I play upon the kit.' They immediately fell back to the lower end of the room (you may be sure they courtesied low enough to me) and began. Never were two in the world so equally matched, and both scholars to my name-sake Isaac." Never was man in so dangerous a condition as myself, when they began to expand their charms. “Oh ladies, ladies, cried I, “not half that air, you will fire the house.” Both smiled; for, by the bye, there is no carrying a metaphor too far, when a lady's charms are spoken of Somebody, I think, has called a fine woman dancing, “a brandished torch of beauty.' These rivals moved with such an agreeable freedom, that you would believe their gesture was the necessary effect of the music, and not the product of skill and practice. Now Clidamira came on with a crowd of graces, and demanded my judgment with so sweet an air—and she had no sooner carried it, but Damia made her utterly forgot, by a gentle sinking, and a rigadoon step. The contest held a full half-hour; and, I protest, I saw no manner of difference in their perfections, until they came up together, and expected sentence. ‘Look ye, ladies,’ said I, ‘I see no difference in the least in your performance; but you, Clidamira, seem to be so well satisfied, that I shall determine for you, that I must give it to Damia, who stands with so much diffidence and fear, after showing an equal merit to what she pretends to. Therefore, Clidamira, you are a pretty; but, Damia, you are a very pretty lady : for, said I, ‘beauty loses its force, if not accompanied with modesty. She that has an humble opinion of herself will have every body's ap
* Mr. Isaac, a famous dancing-master at that time was a Frenchman, and a Roman Catholic.
plause, because she does not expect it; while the vain creature loses approbation through too great a sense of deserving it.'
From my own Apartment, June 27.
Being of a very spare and hective constitution, I am forced to make frequent journeys of a mile or two for fresh air; and indeed by this last, which was no farther than the village of Chelsea, I am farther convinced of the necessity of travelling to know the world; for, as it is usual with young voyagers, as soon as they land upon a shore, to begin their accounts of the nature of the people, their soil, their government, their inclinations, and their passions; so really I fancied I could give you an immediate description of this village, from the five fields where the robbers lie in wait, to the coffee-house where the Literati sit in council. A great ancestor of ours by the mother's side, Mr. Justice Overdo" (whose history is written by Ben Johnson,) met with more enormities by walking incognito than he was capable of correcting ; and found great mortifications in observing also persons of eminence, whom he before knew nothing of Thus it fared with me, even in a lace so near the town as this. When I came into the coffee-house, I had not time to salute the company, before my eye was diverted by ten thousand gimcracks round the room, and on the ceiling. When my first astonishment was over, comes to me a sage of a thin and meagre countenance; which aspect made me doubt, whether reading or fretting had made it so philosophic; but I very soon perceived him to be of that sect which the ancients call Gingivista ; in our language, tooth-drawers. I immediately had a respect for the man; for these practical philosophers go upon a very rational hypothesis, not to cure, but take away the part affected. My love of mankind made me very benevolent to Mr. Salter; for such is the name of this eminent barber and antiquary. Men are usually, but unjustly distinguished rather by their fortunes than by their talents, otherwise this personage would make a great figure in that class of men which I distinguish under the title of Odd Fellows. But it is the misfortune of persons of great genius to have their faculties dissipated by attention to too many things at once. Mr. Salter is an instance of this : if he would wholly give himself up to the string,t instead of playing twenty beginnings to tunes, he might, before he dies, play Roge de Gaubly quite out. I heard him go through his whole round, and indeed I think he does play the * Merry Christ Church bells' pretty justly; but he confessed to me, he did that rather to show he was orthodox, than that he valued himself upon the music itself. Or, if he did proceed in
his anatomy, why might he not hope in time to cut off legs, as well as draw teeth The particularity of this man put me into a deep thought, whence it should proceed, that of all the lower order, barbers should go further in hitting the ridiculous than any other set of men. Watermen brawl, cobblers sing: but why must a barber be for ever a politician, a musican, an anatomist, a poet, and a physician 2 The learned Vossius says, his barber used to comb his head in Iambics. And indeed, in all ages, one of this useful profession, this order of cosmetic philosophers, has been celebrated by the most eminent hands. You see the barber in Don Quixote is one of the principal characters in the history; which gave me satisfaction in the doubt, why Don Saltero writ his name with a Spanish ter. mination : for he is descended in a right line, not from John Tradescant,” as he himself asserts, but from that memorable companion of the knight of Mancha. And I hereby certify all the worthy citizens who travel to see his rarities, that his double-barrelled pistols, targets, coats of mail, his Sclopeta and sword of Toledo, were left to his ancestor by the said Don Quixote, and by the said ancestor to all his progeny down to Don Saltero. Though I go thus far in favour of Don Saltero's great merit, I cannot allow a liberty he takes of imposing several names (without my license) on the collections he has made,t to the abuse of the good people of England; one of which is particularly calculated to deceive religious persons, to the great scandal of the well-disposed, and may introduce heterodox opinions. He shows you a straw-hat, which I know to be made by Madge Peskad, within three miles of Bedford; and tells you, ‘It is Pontius Pilate's wife's chambermaid’s sister's hat. To my knowledge of this very hat it may be added, that the covering of straw was never used among the Jews, since it was demanded of them to make bricks without it. Therefore this is really nothing but, under the specious pretence of learning and antiquities, to impose upon the world. There are other things which I cannot tolerate among his rarities; as, the china figure of a lady in the glasscase; the Italian engine for the imprisonment of those who go abroad with it: both which I hereby order to be taken down, or else he may expect to have his letters patent for making punch superseded, be debarred wearing his muff next winter, or ever coming to London without his wife. It may perhaps be thought, I have dwelt too long upon the affairs of this operator; but I desire the reader to remember, that it is iny way to consider men as they stand in merit, and not according to their fortune or figure; and if he is in a coffee-house at the reading hereof, let him look round, and he will find,
* Adam Overdo a name given to a justice of peace, whose character is drawn in Bartholomew Fair, a comedy so called, by Bon Johnson. t Mr. Salter was a noted barber, who hegan to make a collection of natural curiosities. He kept a coffee. house at Chelsea, which still bears his name. His curiosities were sold a few years ago by auction. f There was no passing his house, if he was at home, without having one's ears grated with the sound of his fiddle, on which he scraped most execrably. § A well known and still celebrated catch, composed by Dr. Henry Aldrich, dean of Christ Church.
* Tradescant was the person who collected the curiosities which Elias Ashmole left to the University of Oxford.
t Vice admiral Munden, and some other sea-officers, who had been much upon the coasts of Spain, and in the Mediterranean, frequented this house, and gave this Spanish termination to the name of the landlord, which soon came into general use. They likewise gave him the most of his curiosities, among which was the relics of a Spanish saint, that had some how or other fallen into their hands, who was said to have wrought miracles.
there may be more characters drawn in this account than that of Don Saltero; for half the politicians about him, he may observe, are, by their place in nature, of the class of toothdrawers.
No. 35.] Thursday, June 30, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines— —nostri est farrago libelli. Jur. Sat. i. 85, 86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream, Our motley paper seizes for its theme. P.
Grecian Coffee-house, June 28.
THERE is a habit or custom which I have put my patience to the utmost stretch to have suf. fered so long, because several of my intimate friends are in the guilt; and that is, the humour of taking snuff, and looking dirty about the mouth by way of ornament.
My method is, to dive to the bottom of a sore before I pretend to apply a remedy. For this reason, I sat by an eminent story-teller and politician, who takes half an ounce in five seconds, and has mortgaged a pretty tenement near the town, merely to improve and dung his brains with this prolific powder. I observed this gentleman, the other day, in the midst of a story, diverted from it by looking at some. thing at a distance, and I softly hid his box. But he returns to his tale, and, looking for his box, he cries, “And so, sir—' Then, when he should have taken a pinch, “As I was saying—" says he, “ has nobody seen my box 7” His friend beseeches him to finish his narration : then he proceeds; “And so, sir—where can my box be." Then turning to me, ‘Pray, sir, did you see my box 7” “Yes, sir," said I, ‘I took it to see how long you could live without it.' He resumes his tale, and I took notice that his dulness was much more regular and fluent than before. A pinch supplies the place of ‘As I was saying,' and “So, sir;' and he went on currently enough in that style which the learned call the insipid. This observation easily led me into a philosophic reason for taking snuff, which is done only to supply with sensations the want of reflection. This I take to be an ****, a nostrum; upon which I hope to receive the thanks of this board: for as it is natural to lift a man's hand to a sore, when you fear any thing coming at you; so when a person feels his thoughts are run out, and he has no more to say, it is as natural to supply his weak brain with powder at the nearest place of access, viz. the nostrils. This is so evident, that nature suggests the use according to the indigence of the persons who take this medicine, without being prepossessed with the force of fashicn, or custom. For example; the native Hibernians, who are reckoned not much unlike the ancient Boeotians, take this specific for emptiness in the head, in greater abundance than any other nation under the sun. The learned Sotus, as sparing as he is in his words, would be still more silent if it were not for this powder.
However low and poor the taking of snuff
argues a man to be in his own stock of thoughts, or means to employ his brains and his fingers; yet there is a poorer creature in the world than he, and this is a borrower of snuff; a fellow that keeps no box of his own, but is always asking others for a pinch. Such poor rogues put me always in mind of a common phrase among school-boys, when they are composing their ex. ercise, who run to an upper scholar, and cry, ‘Pray give me a little sense.' But of all things commend me to the ladies who are got into this pretty help to discourse. I have been these three years persuading Sagissa" to leave it off; but she talks so much, and is so learned, that she is above contradiction. However, an accident the other day brought that about, which my eloquence could never accomplish. She had a very Pretty Fellow in her closet, who ran thither to avoid some company that came to visit her: she made an excuse to go in to him for some implement they were talking of Her eager gallant snatched a kiss; but, being unused to snuff, some grains from off her upper lip made him sneeze aloud, which alarmed the visit. ants, and has made a discovery, that profound reading, very much intelligence, and a general knowledge of who and who are together, cannot fill her vacant hours so much, but she is some. times obliged to descend to entertainments less intellectual.
White's Chocolate-house, June 29.
I know no manner of news from this place, .
but that Cynthio, having been long in despair for the inexorable Clarissa, lately resolved to fall in love with the good old way of bargain and sale, and has pitched upon a very agreeable young woman. He will undoubtedly succeed; for he accosts her in a strain of familiarity, without breaking through the deference that is due to a woman whom a man would choose for his life.t I have hardly ever heard rough truth spoken with a better grace than in this his letter.
‘MADAM,-I writ to you on Saturday by Mrs. Lucy, and give you this trouble to urge the same request I made then, which was, that I may be permitted to wait upon you. I should be very far from desiring this, if it was a transgression of the most severe rules to allow it: I know you are very much above the little arts which are frequent in your sex, of giving unnecessary torment to their admirers; therefore hope you will do so much justice to the generous passion I have for you, as to let me have an opportunity of acquainting you upon what motives I pretend to your good opinion. I shall not
* The ingenious lady here alluded to. under the name of Sagissa, a diminutive from the word Sage, was proIrs. De la Riviere Manley, who provoked Steel by the liberties she had taken with his character in her Secret Memoirs from the New Atlantis.” &c. She indiscreetly renewed similar provocations in her after writings, and in return was treated most uninercifully.
f Lord finchinbroke married Indy Elizabeth Popham, only daughter of Alexander Pophain, esquire, of Littlecote, in Wiltshire.
trouble you with my sentiments until I know how they will be received; and as I know no reason why difference of sex should make our language to each other differ from the ordinary rules of right reason, I shall affect plainness and sincerity in my discourses to you, as much as other lovers do perplexity and rapture. Instead of saying, I shall die for you, I profess, I should be glad to lead my life with you; you are as beautiful, as witty, as prudent, and as goodhumoured as any woman breathing ; but I must confess to you, I regard all these excellences as you will please to direct them for my happiness or misery. With me, madam, the only lasting motive to love, is the hope of its becoming mutual. I beg of you to let Mrs. Lucy send me word when I may attend you. I promise you I will talk of nothing but indifferent things; though, at the same time, I know not how I shall approach you in the tender moment of first seeing you, after this declaration of madam, your most obedient, and most faithful humble servant, &c."
Will's Coffee-house, June 29.
Having taken a resolution, when plays are acted next winter by an entire good company, to publish observations from time to time on the performance of the actors, I think it but just to i. an abstract of the laws of action, # the elp of the less learned part of the audience, that they may rationally enjoy so refined and instructive a pleasure as a just representation of human life. The great errors in playing are admirably well exposed in Hamlet's directions to the actors who are to play in his supposed tragedy; by which we shall form our future judgments on their behaviour, and for that reason you have the discourse as follows:
“Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lieve the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious perriwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows, and noise; I would have such a fellow whipp'd for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action ; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own inage, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which, one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh
a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly—not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellow'd, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. This should be reformed altogether. And let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them: for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered; that's villanous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.’
From my own Apartment, June 29.
It would be a very great obligation, and an assistance to my treatise upon punning, if any one would please to inform me in what class among the learned, who play with words, to place the author of the following letter.
‘SIR,-Not long since you were pleased to give us a chimerical account of the famous family of the Staffs, from whence I suppose you would insinuate, that it is the most ancient and numerous house in all Europe. But I positively deny that it is either, and wonder much at your audacious proceedings in this matter, since it is well known, that our most illustrious, most renowned, and most celebrated Roman family of Ix has enjoyed the precedency to all others, from the reign of good old Saturn. I could say much to the defamation and disgrace of your family; as, that your relations Distaff and Broomstaff were both inconsiderable mean persons, one spinning, the other sweeping the streets, for their daily bread. But I forbear to vent my spleen on objects so much beneath my indignation. I shall only give the world a catalogue of my ancestors, and leave them to determine which hath hitherto had, and which for the future ought to have, the preference.
First then, comes the most famous and popular lady Meretrix, parent of the fertile family of Bellatrix, Famulatrix, Nutrix, Obstetrix, Lotrix, Netrix, Coctrix, Ornatrix, Sarcinatrix, Fextrix, Balneatrix, Portatrix, Saltatrix, Divinatrix, Conjectrix, Comtrix, Debitrix, Creditrix, Donatrix, Ambulatrix, Mercatrix, Adsectrix, Assectatrix, Palpatrix, Praeceptrix, Pistrix—I am yours,
• ELIZ. POTATI, IX."
St. James's Coffee-house, June 17.
Letters from Brussels of the second of July, N. S. say, that the duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene, having received advice that the marshal Villars had drawn a considerable body out of the garrison of Tournay, to reinforce his army, marched towards that place, and came before it early in the morning of the twentyseventh. As soon as they came into that ground, the prince of Nassau was sent with a strong detachment to take post at St. Amand; and at the same time my lord Orkney received orders to possess himself of Mortagne; both which were