Page images
PDF

posing he has principalities, while he drinks ruel, and lies in straw, yet you shall see him #. the port of a distressed monarch in all his words and actions. These two persons are equally taken into custody : but what must be done to half this good company, who every hour of their life are knowingly and wittingly both fools and madmen, and yet have capacities both of forming principles and drawing conclusions, with the full use of reason 2

From my own Apartment, July 11.

This evening some ladies came to visit my sister Jenny; and the discourse, after very many frivolous and public matters, turned upon the main point among the women, the passion of love. Sappho, who always leads, on this occa. sion began to show her reading, and told us, that sir John Suckling and Milton had, upon a parallel occasion, said the tenderest things she ever read. ‘'The circumstance,” said she, “is such as gives us a notion of that protecting part, which is the duty of men in their honour. able designs upon, or possession of women. In Suckling's tragedy of Brennoralt he makes the lover steal into his mistress's bed-chamber, and draw the curtains; then, when his heart is full of her charms, as she lies sleeping, instead of be. ing carried away by the violence of his desires into thoughts of a warmer nature, sleep, which is the inage of death, gives this generous lover reflections of a different kind, which regard rather her safety than his own passion. For, beholding her as she lies sleeping, he utters these words:

“So misers look upon their gold,

Which, while they jov to see, they fenr to lose:

The pleasure of the sight scarce equalling

The jealousy of being dispossessed by others.

Her face is like the milky way i' th' sky,

A meeting of gentle lights without name !"

“Heaven' shall this fresh ornament of the world, These precious love-lines, pass with other common things Amongst the wastes of time? what pity 'twere!’ “When Milton makes Adam leaning on his arm, beholding Eve, and lying in the contemplation of her beauty, he describes the utmost tenderness and guardian affection in one word: “Adam, with looks of cordial love, Hung over her enamoured.’ ‘This is that sort of passion which truly deserves the name of love, and has something more generous than friendship itself; for it has a constant care of the object beloved, abstracted from its own interests in the possession of it.' Sappho was proceeding on the subject, when my sister produced a letter sent to her in the time of my absence, in celebration of the marriage state, which is the condition wherein only this sort of passion reigns in full authority. The epistle is as follows:

‘DEAR MADAM, Your brother being absent, I dare take the liberty of writing to you my thoughts of that state, which our whole sex either is, or desires to be in. You will easily guess I mean matrimony, which I hear so much decried, that it was with no small labour I maintained my ground against two opponents;

but as your brother observed of Socrates, I drew them into my conclusion, from their own concessions; thus: in marriage are two happy things allowed, A wise in wedding-sheets, and in a shroud. How can a marriage state then be accursed, Since the last day's as happy as the first “If you think they were too easily confuted, you may conclude them not of the first sense, by their talking against marriage.—Yours, - ‘MARIAN A.”

I observed Sappho began to redden at this epistle; and turning to a lady, who was playing with a dog she was so fond of as to carry him abroad with her; ‘Nay,’ says she, ‘I cannot blame the men if they have mean ideas of our souls and affections, and wonder so many are brought to take us for companions for life, when they see our endearments so triflingly placed ; for, to my knowledge, Mr. Truman would give half his estate for half the affection you have shown to that Shock: nor do I believe you would be ashamed to confess, that I saw you cry, when he had the colic last week with lapping sour milk. What more could you do for your lover himself?” “What more ' re. plied the lady, “There is not a man in England for whom I could lament half so much." Then she stifled the animal with kisses, and called him beau, life, dear, monsieur, pretty fellow, and what not, in the hurry of her impertinence. Sappho rose up; as she always does at anything she observes done which discovers in her own sex a levity of mind that renders them inconsiderable in the opinion of ours.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THERE is no one thing more to be lamented in our nation, than their general affectation of every thing that is foreign; nay, we carry it so far, that we are more anxious for our own countrymen when they have crossed the seas, than when we see them in the same dangerous condition before our eyes at home: else how is it possible, that on the twenty-ninth of the last month there should have been a battle fought in our very streets of London, and nobody at this end of the town have heard of it? I protest, I, who make it my business to inquire after adventures, should never have known this, had not the following account been sent me inclosed in a letter. This, it seems, is the way of giving out orders in the Artillery-company; and they prepare for a day of action with so little concern, as only to call it, “An exercise of arms.'

“An Exercise at Arms of the Artillery.com. pany, to be performed on Wednesday, June the twenty-ninth, 1709, under the command of Sir Joseph Woolfe, Knight and Alderman, General ; Charles Hopson, Es

[graphic]

quire, present Sheriff, Lieutenant-general; Captain Richard Synge, Major; Major John Shorey, Captain of Grenadiers; Captain William Grayhurst, Captain John Butler, Captain Robert Carellis, Captains.

“The body marched from the Artilleryround, through Moorgate, Coleman-street, othbury, Broad-street, Finch-lane, Cornhill, Cheapside, St. Martin's, St. Anne's-lane, halt the pikes under the wall in Noble-street, draw up the firclocks facing the Goldsmiths'-hall, make ready and face to the left, and fire, and so ditto three times. Beat to arms, and march round the hall, as up Lad-lane, Gutter-lane, Honeylane, and so wheel to the right, and make your salute to my lord, and so down St. Anne's-lane, up Aldersgate-street, Barbican, and draw up in Red-cross-street, the right of St. Paul’s-alley in the rear. March off lieutenant-general with half the body up Beech-lane : he sends a subdivision up King's-head-court, and takes post in it, and marches two divisions round into Red-lion-market, to defend that pass, and succour the division in King's-head-court; but keeps in White-cross-street, facing Beech-lane, the rest of the body ready drawn up. Then the general marches up Beech-lane, is attacked, but forces the division in the court into the market, and enters with three divisions while he presses the lieutenant-general's main body; and at the same time the three divisions force those of the revolters out of the market, and so all the lieutenant-general's body retreats into Chiswell-street, and lodges two divisions in Grub-street; and as the general marches on, they fall on his flank, but soon made to give way: but having a retreating place in Red-lioncourt but could not hold it, being put to flight through Paul’s-alley, and pursued by the gene. ral's grenadiers, while he marches up and at. tacks their main body, but are opposed again - by a party of men as lay in Black-raven-court; but they are forced also to retire soon in the utmost confusion, and at the same time those brave divisions in Paul’s-alley ply their rear with grenadoes, that with precipitation they take to the route along Bunhill-row : so the general marches into the Artillery-ground, and being drawn up, finds the revolting party to have found entrance, and makes a show as if for a battle, and both armies soon engage in form, and fire by platoons.” Much might be said for the improvement of this system ; which, for its style and invention, may instruct generals and their historians, both in fighting a battle, and describing it when it is over. These elegant expressions, “ditto— and so—but soon—but having—but could not.— but are—but they—finds the party to have found,’ &c. do certainly give great life and spirit to the relation. Indeed I am extremely concerned for the lieutenant-general, who, by his overthrow and defeat, is made a deplorable instance of the fortune of war, and vicissitudes of human affairs. He, alas ! has lost, in Beech-lane and Chiswell. street, all the glory he lately gained in and about Holborn and St. Giles's. The art of subdividing first, and dividing afterwards, is new

and surprising ; and, according to this method, the troops are disposed in King's-head-court and Red-lion-market: nor is the conduct of these leaders less conspicuous in their choice of the ground or field of battle. Happy was it, that the greatest part of the achievements of this day, was to be performed near Grub-street, that there might not be wanting a sufficient number of faithful historians, who, being eye-witnesses of these wonders, should impartially transmit them to posterity . But then it can never be enough regretted, that we are left in the dark as to the name and title of that extraordinary hero, who commanded the divisions in Paul's alley; especially because those divisions are justly styled brave, and accordingly were to push the enemy along Bunhill-row, and thereby occasion a general battle. But Pallas appeared in the form of a shower of rain, and prevented the slaughter and desolation, which were threatened by these extraordinary preparations. Hi motus animorum, atque hoc certamina tanta Pluveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt Pirg, Georg. iv. 86. Yet all those dreadful deeds, this doubtful fray. A cast of scattered dust will soon allay. Dryden.

Will's Coffee-house, July 13.

Some part of the company keep up the old way of conversation in this place, which usually turned upon the examination of nature, and an inquiry into the manners of men. There is one in the room so very judicious, that he manages impertinents with the utmost dexterity. It was diverting this evening to hear a discourse between him and one of these gentlemen. He told me, before that person joined us, that he was a questioner, who, according to his description, is one who asks questions, not with a design to receive information, but an affectation to show his uneasiness for want of it. He went

on in asserting, that there are crowds of that

modest ambition, as to aim no farther than to demonstrate that they are in doubt. By this time Will Why not was sat down by us. “So, gentlemen, says he, “in how many days, think you, will we be masters of Tournay / Is the account of the action of the Vivarois to be depended upon 2 Could vou have imagined England had so much money in it as you see it has produced Pray, sirs, what do you think? Will the duke of Savoy make an irruption into France 2 But,' says he, ‘time will clear all these mysteries. His answer to himself gave me the altitude of his head, and to all his questions, I thus answered very satisfactorily. k Sir, have you heard that this Slaughterford” never owned the fact for which he died : Have the newspapers mentioned that matter 2 But, pray, can you tell me what method will be taken to provide for these Palatines? But this, as you say, time will clear.’ ‘Ay, ay,’ says he, and whispers me, “they will never let us into these things beforehand.' I whispered him again, “We shall know it as soon as there is a proclamation.”—He tells me in the other car, ‘You are in the right of it.' Then he whispered my friend to know what my name was ; and made an obliging bow, and went to examine another table. This led my friend and me to weigh this wandering manner in many other incidents, and he took out of his pocket several little notes or tickets to solicit for votes to employments: as, ‘Mr. John Toplash having served all offices, and being reduced to great poverty, desires your vote for singing-clerk of this parish.” Another has had ten children, all whom his wife has suckled herself; therefore humbly desires to be a schoolmaster.

* A man hanged for the murder of his sweetheart.

[graphic]

There is nothing so frequent as this way of application for offices. It is not that you are fit for the place, but because the place would be convenient for you, that you claim a merit to it. But commend me to the great Kirlieus who has lately set up for midwifery, and to help childbirth, for no other reason, but that he is himself the Unborn Doctor.” The way is, to hit upon something that puts the vulgar upon the stare, or touches their compassion, which is often the weakest part about us. I know a good lady, who has taken her daughters from their old dancing-master to place them with another, for no other reason but because the new man has broke his leg, which is so ill set, that he can never dance more.

From my own Apartment, July 13.

As it is a frequent mortification to me to receive letters, wherein people tell me, without a name, they know I meant them in such and such a passage; so that very accusation is an argument, that there are such beings in human life, as fall under our description, and that our discourse is not altogether fantastical and groundless. But in this case I am treated as I saw a boy was the other day, who gave out pocky bills: every plain fellow took it that passed by, and went on his way without further notice: and at last came one with his nose a little abridged, who knocks the lad down, with a “Why, you son of a w-e, do you think I am p—d " But Shakspeare has made the best apo. logy for this way of talking against the public errors: he makes Jacques, in the play called “As you like it,' express himself thus: ‘Why, who cries out on pride, That can therein tax any private party What woman in the city do I name, When that I say, the city woman bears The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders Who can coine in and say that I mean her, When such a one as she, such is her neighbour? Or, what is he of basest function, That says his bravery is not on my cost 7 Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits Hi- folly to the mettle of inv speech. There then How then Then let me see wherein My tongue hath wrong'd him : If it do him right, Then he hath wrong'd himself: if he be free, Why then, my taxing, like a wild goose, flies Unclaim'd of any man.'

No. 42.] Saturday, July 16, 1709.

—Celebrare domestica facta.

To celebrate domestic deeds. JW". From my own Apartment, July 15.

Lookixg over some old papers, I found a little treatise, written by my great-grandfather, conN

cerning bribery, and thought his manner of treating that subject not unworthy my remark. He there has a digression concerning a possibility, that in some circumstances a man may receive an injury, and yet be conscious to him. self that he deserves it. There are abundance of fine things said on the subject; but the whole wrapped up in so much jingle and pun, which was the wit of those times, that it is scarce intelligible; but I thought the design was well enough in the following sketch of an old gentleman's poetry: for in this case, where two are rivals for the same thing, and propose to obtain it by presents, he that attempts the judge's honesty, by making him offers of reward, ought not to complain when he loses his cause by a better bidder. The good old doggrel runs thus:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The discourse happened this evening to fall upon characters drawn in plays; and a gentleman remarked, that there was no method in the world of knowing the taste of an age, or period of time, so good, as by the observations of the persons represented in their comedies. There were several instances produced, as Ben Jonson's bringing in a fellow smoking, as a piece of soppery: ‘but,” said the gentleman who entertained us on this subject, ‘this matter is no where so observable as in the difference of the characters of women on the stage in the last age and in this. It is not to be supposed that it was a poverty of genius in Shakspeare, that his women made so small a figure in his dialogues; but it certainly is, that he drew women as they then were in life; for that sex had not in those days that freedom in conversation; and their characters were only, that they were mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. There were not then among the ladies, shining wits, politicians, virtuosae, free-thinkers, and disputants; nay, there was then hardly such a creature even as a coquette: but vanity had quite another turn, and the most conspicuous woman at that time of day was only the best housewife. Were it possible to bring into life an assembly of matrons of that age, and introduce the learned lady Woodby into their company, they would not believe the same nation could produce a creature so unlike any thing they ever saw in it.

[graphic]
[graphic]

“But these ancients would be as much asto. nished to see, in the same age, so illustrious a pattern to all who love things praise-worthy as the divine Aspasia.” Methinks I now see her walking in her garden like our first parent, with unaffected charms, before beauty had spectators, and bearing celestial conscious virtue in her aspect. Her countenance is the lively picture of her mind, which is the seat of honour, truth, compassion, knowledge, and innocence.

“There dwells the scorn of vice, and pity too."

“In the midst of the most ample fortune, and veneration of all that behold and know her, without the least affectation, she consults retirement, the contemplation of her own being, and that supreme Power, which bestowed it. Without the learning of schools, or knowledge of a long course of arguments, she goes on in a steady course of uninterrupted piety and virtue, and adds to the severity and privacy of the last age, all the freedom and ease of this. The lanuage and mien of a court she is possessed of in the highest degree; but the simplicity and humble thoughts of a cottage are her more welcome entertainments. Aspasia is a female philosopher, who does not only live up to the resignation of the most retired lives of the ancient sages, but also to the schemes and plans which they thought beautiful, though inimitable. This 1ady is the most exact economist, without appearing busy; the most strictly virtuous, without tasting the praise of it; and shuns applause with as much industry as others do reproach. This character is so particular, that it will very easily be fixed on her only, by all that know her; but I dare say, she will be the last that finds it out. “But, alas ! if we have one or two such ladies, how many dozens are there like the restless Poluglossa, who is acquainted with all the world but herself; who has the appearance of all, and possession of no one virtue: she has, indeed, in her practice, the absence of vice, but her discourse is the continual history of it; and it is apparent, when she speaks of the criminal gratification of others, that her innocence is only a restraint, with a certain mixture of envy. She is so perfectly opposite to the character of Aspasia, that as vice is terrible to her only as it is the object of reproach, so virtue is agreeable only as it is attended with applause.’

St. James's Coffee-house, July 15.

It is now twelve of the clock at noon, and no mail come in ; therefore, I am not without hopes that the town will allow me the liberty which my brother news-writers take, in giving them what may be for their information in another kind, and indulge me in doing an act of friendship, by publishing the following account of goods and moveables.

This is to give notice, that a magnificent palace, with great variety of gardens, statues, and water-works, may be bought cheap in Drurylane, where there are likewise several castles to be disposed of, very delightfully situated; as also groves, woods, forests, fountains, and country seats, with very pleasant prospects on all sides of them; being the moveables of Christopher Rich,” esquire, who is breaking up housekeeping, and has many curious pieces of furniture to dispose of, which may be seen between the hours of six and ten in the evening.

THE INVENTORY.

Spirits of right Nantz brandy, for lamben flames and apparitions. Three bottles and a half of lightning. One shower of snow in the whitest French paper. Two showers of a browner sort. A sea consisting of a dozen large waves; the tentht bigger than ordinary, and a little damaged. A dozen and a half of clouds, trimmed with black, and well-conditioned. A rainbow, a little faded. A set of clouds after the French mode, streaked with lightning, and furbelowed. A new moon, something decayed. A pint of the finest Spanish wash, being all that is left of two hogsheads sent over last winter. A coach very finely gilt and little used, with a pair of dragons, to be sold cheap. A setting sun, a penny-worth. An imperial mantle, made for Cyrus the great, and worn by Julius Caesar, Bajazet, king Harry the Eighth, and signor Valentini. A basket-hilted sword, very convenient to carry milk in. Roxana's night-gown. Othello's handkerchief. The imperial robes of Xerxes, never worn but once. . A wild boar killed by Mrs. Tosts and Diocle. sian. A serpent to sting Cleopatra. A mustard-bowl to make thunder with. Another of a bigger sort, by Mr. D—s's: directions, little used. Six elbow chairs, very expert in countrydances, with six flower-pots for their partners. The whiskers of a Turkish bassa. The complexion of a murderer in a band.box; consisting of a large piece of burnt cork, and a coal-black peruke. A suit of clothes for a ghost, viz. a bloody shirt, a doublet curiously pinked, and a coat with three great eyelet-holes upon the breast. A bale of red Spanish wool. Modern plots, commonly known by the name of trap-doors, ladders of ropes, vizard-masques, and tables with broad carpets over them.

* The character of Aspasia was written by Mr. Conso and the person ineant, was lady Elizabeth Hastngs. See the authority for this, with an edifying account of this extraordinary lady, and her benefactions, in a book in solio, intituled “Memorials and Characters, &c." London, 1741, printed for John Welford, p. 780.

* Drury-lane playhouse was about this time shut up

by an order from the lord Chamberlain. See an account of this affair in C. Cibber's ‘Apology for his Life," vol. i. p. 296.

f The Latin poets pretend that the tenth wave is the largest and most dangerous,

1 Mr. John Dennis, the celebrated critic, had just then invented his new mode of making thunder.

Three oak-cudgels, with one of crab-tree; all bought for the use of Mr. Pinkethman. Materials for dancing; as masques, castanets, and a ladder of ten rounds. Aurengzebe's scymitar, made by Will Brown in Piccadilly, A plume of feathers, never used but by Oedipus and the earl of Essex. There are also swords, halberds, sheep-hooks, cardinals' hats, turbans, drums, gallipots, a gibbet, a cradle, a rack, a cart-wheel, an altar, a helinet, a back-piece, a breast-plate, a bell, a tub, and a jointed-baby.

These are the hard shifts we intelligencers are forced to; therefore our readers ought to excuse us, if a westerly wind, blowing for a fortnight together, generally fills every paper with an order of battle; when we show our martial skill in every line, and according to the space we have to fill, we range our men in squadrons and battalions, or draw out company by company, and troop by troop; ever observing that no muster is to be made but when the wind is in a cross-point, which often happens at the end of a campaign, when half the men are deserted or killed. The Courant is sometimes ten deep, his ranks close: the Postboy is generally in files, for greater exactness; and the Postman comes down upon you rather after the Turkish way, sword in hand, pell-mell, without form or discipline; but sure to bring men enough into the field; and wherever they are raised, never to lose a battle for want of numbers.

No. 43.] Tuesday, July 19, 1709.

—Bene nummatum decorat suadela, Venusque.
Fior.
The goddess of persuasion forms his train,
And Venus decks the well-beinoneyed swain.
Francis,

White's Chocolate-house, July 18.

I write from hence at present to complain, that wit and merit are so little encouraged by people of rank and quality, that the wits of the age are obliged to run within Temple-bar for patronage. There is a deplorable instance of this kind in the case of Mr. D'Urfey, who has dedicated his inimitable comedy, called ‘The Modern Prophets,’ to a worthy knight, to whom, it seems, he had before communicated his plan, which was, ‘To ridicule the ridiculers of our established doctrine.' I have elsewhere celebrated the contrivance of this excellent drama; but was not, until I read the dedication, wholly let into the religious design of it. I am afraid it has suffered discontinuance at this gay end of the town, for no other reason but the piety of the purpose. There is, however, in this epistle, the true life of panegyrical performance; and I do not doubt but if the patron would part with it, I can help him to others with good pretensions to it, viz; of “uncommon understanding,' who will give him as much as he gave for it. I know perfectly well a noble person, whom these words (which are the body of the panegyric) would fit to a hair.

‘Your” easiness of humour, or rather your harmonious disposition, is so admirably mixed with your composure, that the rugged cares and disturbance that public affairs bring with it, which does so vexatiously affect the heads of other great men of business, &c. does scarce ever rufile your unclouded brow so much as with a frown. And what above all is praise-worthy, you are so far from thinking yourself better than others, that a flourishing and opulent fortune, which, by a certain natural corruption in its quality, seldom fails to infect other possessors with pride, seems in this case as if only providentially disposed to enlarge your humility.

“But I find, sir, I am now got into a very large field, where, though I could with great ease raise a number of plants in relation to your merit of this plauditory nature; yet for fear of an author's general vice, and that the plain justice I have done you should, by my proceeding, and others' mistaken judgment, be imagined flattery, a thing the bluntness of my nature does not care to be concerned with, and which I also know you abominate.’

It is wonderful to see how many judges of these fine things spring up every day by the rise of stocks and other elegant methods of abridging the way to learning and criticism. But I do hereby forbid all dedications to any persons within the city of London; except sir Francis, sir Stephen, and the Bank, will take epigrams and epistles as value received for their notes; and the East-India company accept of heroic poems for their sealed bonds. Upon which bottom our publishers have full power to treat with the city in behalf of us authors, to enable traders to become patrons and fellows of the Royal Society,f as well as to receive certain degrees of skill in the Latin and Greek tongues, according to the quantity of the commodities which they take off our hands.

Grecian Coffee-house, July 18.

The learned have so long laboured under the imputation of dryness and dullness in their accounts of the phenomena, that an ingenious gentleman of our society has resolved to write a system of philosophy in a more lively method, both as to the matter and language, than has been hitherto attempted. He read to us the plan upon which he intends to proceed. I thought his account, by way of fable, of the worlds about us, had so much vivacity in it, that I could not forbear transcribing his hypothesis, to give the reader a taste of my friend's treatise, which is now in the press.

“The inferior deities, having designed on a day to play a game at foot-ball, kneaded to

* An extract from D'Urfey's dedication.

+ Sir Francis and sir Stephen were evidently bankers of the times; and, of those the two most eminent were sir Francis Child and sir Stephen Evance. The latter was ruined, it is thought, in the South-sea year.

1 Mr. Whiston, alluded to in the following part of this paper, was at this time proposed as a member of the Roval Society, and rejected. The pretended account of his hypothesis that follows is mere pleasantry, and not a quotation from his book, or any true account of his Theory."

« PreviousContinue »