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marriage differed from one written in courtship. To my surprise, I found the fondness rather augmented than lessened, though the panegyric turned upon a different accomplishment. The words were as follow :
“Before this short absence from you, I did not know that I loved you so much as I really do; though, at the same time, I thought I loved you as much as possible. I am under great apprehensions, lest you should have any uneasiness whilst I am defrauded of my share in it, and cannot think of tasting any pleasure that you do not partake with me. Pray, my dear, be careful of your health, if for no other reason, but because you know I could not outlive you. It is natural in absence to make professions of an inviolable constancy; but towards so much merit, it is scarce a virtue, especially when it is but a bare return to that of which you have given me such continued proofs ever since our first acquaintance. I am, &c."
It happened that the daughter of these two excellent persons was by when I was reading this letter. At the sight of the coilin, in which was the body of her mother, near that of her father, she melted into a flood tears. As I had heard a great character of her virtue, and observed her in this instance of filial piety, I could not resist my natural inclination of giving advice to young people, and therefore addressed myself to her. “Young lady," said I, ‘you see how short is the possession of that beauty, in which nature has been so liberal to you. You find the melancholy sight before you is a contradiction to the first letter that you heard on that subject; whereas, you may observe, the second letter, which celebrates your mother's constancy, is itself, being found in this place, an argument of it. But, madam, I ought to caution you, not to think the bodies that lie before you your father and your mother. Know, their constancy is rewarded by a nobler union than by this mingling of their ashes, in a state where there is no danger or possibility of a second separation.”
lately entangled in so many intricate and unreasonable distresses, as would have made him, had he been a man of too nice honour, the most wretched of all mortals. I came to the knowledge of his affairs by mere accident. Sc. veral of the narrow end of our lane having made an appointment to visit some friends beyond Saint Katharine's, where there was to be a merry-meeting, they would needs take with them the old gentleman, as they are pleased to call me. I, who value my company by their good-will, which naturally has the same effect as good-breeding, was not too stately, or too wise, to accept of the invitation. Our design was to be spectators of a sea-ball; to which I readily consented, provided I might be incognito, being naturally pleased with the survey of human life in all its degrees and circumstances. In order to this merriment, Will Rosin, who is the Corelli of the Wapping side, as Tom Scrape
is the Bononcini,” was immediately sent for;
but to our utter disappointment, poor Will was under an arrest, and desired the assistance of all his kind masters and mistresses, or he must go to jail. The whole company received his message with great humanity, and very generously threw in their halfpence a-piece in a great dish, which purchased his redemption out of the hands of the bailiffs. During the negotiation of his enlargement, I had an opportunity of acquainting myself with his history. Mr. William Rosin, of the parish of Saint Katharine, is somewhat stricken in years, and married to a young widow, who has very much the ascendant over him; this degenerate age being so perverted in all things, that, even in the state of matrimony, the young pretend to govern their elders. The musician is extremely fond of her; but is often obliged to lay by his fiddle, to hear louder notes of hers, when she is pleased to be angry with him : for, you are to know, Will is not of consequence enough to enjoy her conversation but when she chides him, or makes use of him to carry on her amours: for she is a woman of stratagem; and cwen in that part of the world, where one would expect but very little gallantry, by the force of natural genius, she can be sullen, sick, out of humour, splenetic, want new clothes, and more money, as well as if she had been bred in Cheapside, or Cornhill. She was lately under a secret discontent, upon account of a lover she was like to lose by his marriage; for her gallant, Mr. Ezekiel Boniface, had been twice asked in the church, in order to be joined in matrimony with Mirs. Winifred Dimple, spinster, of the same parish. Hereupon Mrs. Rosin was far gone in that distemper which well-governed husbands know by the de
* That Wapping and Rodriss, should be noted as places of musical entertainment, or that any persons inhabiting either should be colobritted as musical performers, may at this day see:n strange : but the roader is to know, that in those suburbs there were formerly places of public resort, called music-houses: one in pur. ticular in Wapping, of which and others of them sir John Hawkins, in his ‘History of Music, has given a curious account. There was another at Shadwell as may be inferred from the prosent name of a spot there, called Music house-court. At these places we must suppose that there were some performers of comparative excellence, and that Will Rosin, whoever he was, was one of them.
scription of, ‘I am I know not how ; and Will soon understood, that it was his part to inquire into the occasion of her melancholy, or suffer as the cause of it himself. After much importunity, all he could get out of her was, ‘that she was the most unhappy and the most wicked of all women, and had no friend in the world to tell her grief to." Upon this, Will doubled his importunities; but she said, ‘that she should break her poor heart, if he did not take a solemn oath upon a book, that he would not be angry; and that he would expose the person who had wronged her to all the world, for the case of her mind, which was no way else to be quieted.’ The fiddler was so melted, that he immediately kissed her, and afterwards the book. When his oath was taken, she began to lament herself, and revealed to him, ‘that miserable woman as she was, she had been false to his bed.” Will was glad to hear it was no worse; but, before he could reply, “nay," said she, ‘I will make you all the atonement I can, and take shame upon me by proclaiming it to all the world, which is the only thing that can remove my present terrors of mind.” This was, indeed, too true ; for her design was to prevent Mr. Boniface's marriage, which was all she apprehended. Will was thoroughly angry, and began to curse and swear, the ordinary expressions of passion in persons of his condition. Upon which his wife—“Ah, William how well you mind the oath you have taken, and the distresses of your poor wife, who can keep nothing from you! I hope you will not be such a perjured wretch as to forswear yourself.” The fiddler answered, ‘that his oath obliged him only not to be angry at what was passed; but I find you intend to make me laughed at all over Wapping.’ ‘No, no,' replied Mrs. Rosin, ‘I see well enough what you would be at, you poor-spirited cuckold! You are afraid to expose Boniface, who has abused your poor wife, and would fain persuade me still to suffer the stings of conscience; but I assure you sirrah, I will not go to the devil for you." Poor Will was not made for contention, and, beseeching her to be pacificq, desired she would consult the good of her soul her own way, for he would not say her may in anything.’ Mrs. Rosin was so very loud and public in her invectives against Boniface, that the parents of his mistress forbade the banns, and his match was prevented; which was the whole design of this deep stratagem. The father of Boniface brought his action of defamation, arrested the fiddler, and recovered damages. This was the distress from which he was relieved by the company: and the good husband's air, history, and jollity upon his enlargement, gave occasion to very much mirth; especially when Will, finding he had friends to stand by him, proclaimed himself a cuckold, by way of insult over the family of the Bonifaces. Here is a man of tranquillity without reading Seneca : What work had such an incident made among persons of distinction' The brothers and kindred of each side must have been drawn out, and hereditary hatred entailed on the families as long as their very names remained in the world. Who would believe that Herod, Othello, and Will Rosin, were of the same species 7
There are quite different sentiments which reign in the parlour and the kitchen; and it is by the point of honour, when justly regulated, and inviolably observed, that some men are superior to others, as much as mankind in general are to brutes. This puts me in mind of a passage in the admirable poem called ‘The Dispensary,’ where the nature of true honour is artfully described in an ironical dispraise of it:
“But cre we once engage in honour's cause,
A very odd fellow visited me to-day at my lodgings, and desired encouragement and recommendation fron me for a new invention of knockers to doors, which he told me he had made and professed to teach rustic servants the use of them. I desired him to show me an experiment of this invention; upon which he fixed one of his knockers to my parlour-door. He then gave me a complete set of knocks, from the solitary rap of the dun and beggar, to the thunderings of the saucy footman of quality with several flonrishes and rattlings never yet performed. He likewise played over some private notes, distinguishing the familiar friend or relation from the most modish visitor; and directing when the reserve candles are to be lighted. He has several other curiosities in this art. He wnits only to receive my approbation of the main design. He is now ready to practise to such as shall apply themselves to him ; but I have put off his public licence until next courtday.
* Dr. Garth's Dispensary.
+ perhaps the poison here alluded to was Peter Anthony Motteux, a Frenchman, who translato! !), on Quixote, and was a writer of songs, prologites, epilottes, &c. who about this time became a seller of china, fans, &c.
apply myself to business. I shall therefore beg you will stand my friend, and recommend a customer to me for several goods that I have now upon my hands.”— I desired him to let me have a particular, and I would do my utmost to serve him.”—“I have first of all,” says he, ‘the progress of an amour, digested into sonnets, beginning with a poem to the unknown fair, and ending with an epithalanium. I have celebrated in it her cruelty, her pity, her face, her shape, her wit, her good humour, her dancing, her singing"—I could not sorbear interrupting him; “This is a most accomplished lady," said I; “but has she really, with all these perfections, a fine voice "— Pugh,” says he, “you do not believe there is such a person in nature. This was only my employment in solitude last summer, when I had neither friends nor books to divert me."—“I was going,' said I, ‘to ask her name, but I find it is only an imaginary mistress.’— ‘That's true,' replied my friend, “but her name is Flavia. I have, continued he, “in the second place, a collection of lampoons, calculated cither for the Bath, Tunbridge, or any place where they drink waters, with blank spaces for the names of such person or persons as may be inserted in them on occasion. Thus much I have told only of what I have by me, proceeding from love and malice. I have also at this time the sketch of a heroic poem upon the next peace: several, indeed, of the verses are either too long or too short, it being a rough draught of my thoughts upon that subject.’ I thereupon told him, ‘That, as it was, it might probably pass for a very good Pindaric, and I believe I knew one who would be willing to deal with him for it upon that foot.” “I must tell you also,” said he, “I have made a dedication to it, which is about four sides close written, that may serve any one that is tall and understands Latin. I have further about fifty similes, that were never yet applied, besides three-and-twenty descriptions of the sun rising, that might be of great use to an epic poet. These are my more bulky commodities; besides which, I have several small wares that I would part with at easy rates; as, observations upon life, and moral sentences, reduced into several couplets, very proper to close up acts of plays, and may be easily introduced by two or three lines of prose, either in tragedy or comedy. If I could find a purchaser curious in Latin poetry, I could accommodate him with two dozen of epigrams, which, by reason of a few false quantities, should come for little, or nothing.’ I heard the gentleman with much attention, and asked him, “Whether he would break bulk, and sell his goods by retail, or designed they should all go in a lump o' He told me, “That he should be very loath to part them, unless it was to oblige a man of quality, or any person for whom I had a particular friendship.”—“My reason for asking,” said I, ‘is, only because I know a young gentleman who intends to appear next spring in a new jingling chariot, with the
* The author probably alludes here to Mr. Thomas tickell, who seems to have been the person mentioned under the name of Tom Spindle, in Tutler, No. 27.
figures of the nine muses on each side of it; and, I believe, would be glad to come into the world in verse.' We could not go on in our treaty, by reason of two or three critics that joined us. They had been talking, it seems, of the two letters which were found in the coffin, and mentioned in one of my late lucubrations, and came with a request to me, that I would communicate any others of them that were legible. One of the gentlemen was pleased to say, ‘that it was a very proper instance of a widow's constancy; and said, “he wished I had subjoined, as a foil to it, the following passage in Hamlet.” The young prince was not yet acquainted with all the guilt of his mother, but turns his thoughts on her sudden forgetfulness of his father, and the indecency of her hasty marriage: —That it should come to this! But two months dead nay, not so much, not two? So excellent a king ! that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother: That he might not let even the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth Must I remember 2 Why she would hang on him, As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on ; and yet, within a month' Let me not think on t—Frailty, thy name is Woman: A little mouth' or ere those shoes were old, With which she followed my poor father's body, Like Niobe, all tears, why she, even she— O heaven' a brute, that wants discourse of reason. Would have mourned longer—iuarried with mine uncle ! My father's brother! but no more like my father, Than I to Hercules. Within a month Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her gauled eyes, She married—O most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not, nor it cannot come to good. But, break, my heart; sor I must hold my tongue!
The several emotions of mind, and breaks of passion, in this speech, are admirable. He has touched every circumstance that aggravated the fact, and seemed capable of hurrying the thoughts of a son into distraction. His father's tenderness for his mother, expressed in so delicate a particular: his mother's fondness for his father, no less exquisitely described: the great and amiable figure of his dead parent drawn by a true filial piety: his disdain of so unworthy a successor to his bed; but, above all, the shortness of the time between his father's death and his mother's second marriage, brought together with so much disorder, make up as noble a part as any in that celebrated tragedy. The circumstance of time, I never could enough admire. The widowhood had lasted two months. This is his first reflection; but, as his indignation rises, he sinks to scarce two months: afterwards, into a month ; and at last into a little month: but all this so naturally, that the reader accompanies him in the violence of his passion, and finds the time lessen insensibly, according to the different workings of his disdain. I have not mentioned the incest of her marriage, which is so obvious a provocation; but cannot forbear taking notice, that when his fury is at its height, he cries, ‘Frailty, thy name is Woman o' as railing at the sex in general, rather than giving himself leave to think his mother worse than others—Desiderantur multa.
Whereas, Mr. Jeffery Groggram has surrendered himself, by o bearing date December 7th, and has sent an acknowledgment that he is dead, praying an order to the company of upholders for interment at such a reasonable rate as may not impoverish his heirs: the said Groggram having been dead ever since he was born, and added nothing to his small patrimony; Mr. Bickerstaff has taken the premises into consideration ; and, being sensible of the ingenuous and singular behaviour of this petitioner, pronounces the said Jeffery Groggram a live man, and will not suffer that he should bury himself out of modesty; but requires him to remain among the living, as an example to those obstinate dead men, who will neither labour for life, nor go to their grave.
N. B. Mr. Groggram is the first person that has come in upon Mr. Bickerstaff's dead warrant.
Florinda demands, by her letter of this day, to be allowed to pass for a living woman, haying danced the Derbyshire hornpipe in the presence of several friends on Saturday last.
Granted; provided she can bring proof, that she can make a pudding on the twenty-fourth instant.
No. 107.] . Thursday, December 15, 1709.
Unhappy youth' doth she surprise 7
Sheer-lane, December 14.
About four this afternoon, which is the hour I usually put myself in a readiness to receive company, there entered a gentleman, who I believed at first came upon some ordinary question: but, as he approached nearer to me, I saw in his countenance a deep sorrow, mixed with a certain ingenuous complacency, that gave me sudden good-will towards him. He stared, and betrayed an absence of thought, as he was going to communicate his business to me. But at last, recovering himself, he said with an air of great respect, ‘Sir, it would be an injury to your knowledge in the occult sciences, to tell you what is my distress; I dare say you read it in my countenance: I therefore beg your advice to the most unhappy of all men.” Much cxperience has made me particularly sagacious in the discovery of distempers, and I soon saw that his was love. I then turned to my commonplace-book, and found his case under the word Coquette; and reading over the catalogue which I have collected out of this great city, of all under that character, I saw, at the name of Cynthia, his fit came upon him. I repeated the name thrice after a musing manner, and immediately perceived his pulse quicken two thirds; when his eyes, instead of the wildness with which they appeared at his entrance,
looked with all the gentleness imaginable upon me, not without tears. “Oh sir,’ said he, “you know not the unworthy usage I have met with from the woman my soul doats on. I could gaze at her to the end of my being ; yet when I have done so, for some time past, I have found her eyes fixed on another. She is now two-and-twenty, in the full tyranny of her charms, which she once acknowledged she rejoiced in, only as they made her choice of me, out of a crowd of admirers, the more obliging. “But, in the midst of this happiness, so it is, Mr. Bickerstaff, that young Quickset, who is just come to town, without any other recommendation than that of being tolerably handsome, and excessively rich, has won her heart in so shameless a manner, that she dies for him. In a word, I would consult you, how to cure myself of this passion for an ungrateful woman, who triumphs in her falsehood, and can make no man happy, because her own satisfaction consists chiefly in being capable of giving distress. I know Quickset is at present considerable with her, for no other reason but that he can be without her, and feel no pain in the loss. Let me therefore desire you, sir, to fortify my reason against the levity of an inconstant, who ought only to be treated with neglect.” All this time I was looking over my receipts, and asked him, ‘if he had any good winter boots.”—“Boots, sir!" said my patient.—I went on ; “You may easily reach Harwich in a day, so as to be there when the packet goes off.”— ‘Sir," said the lover, “I find you design me for travelling; but, alas! I have no language; it will be the same thing to me as solitude, to be in a strange country. I have, continued he, sighing, been many years in love with this creature, and have almost lost even my English, at least to speak such as any body else does. I asked a tenant of ours, who came up to town the other day with rent, whether the flowery mead near my father's house in the country had any shepherd in it ! I have called a cave a grotto these three years, and must keep ordinary company, and frequent busy people for some time, before I can recover my common words.” I smiled at his raillery upon himself, though I well saw it came from a heavy heart. “You are,' said I, “acquainted, to be sure, with some of the general officers: suppose you made a campaign '-' If I did," said he, “I should venture more than any man there, for I should be in danger of starving ; my father is such an untoward old gentleman, that he would tell me he found it hard enough to pay his taxes towards the war, without making it more expensive by an allowance to me. With all this, he is as fond as he is rugged, and I am his only son.” I looked upon the young gentleman with much tenderness, and not like a physician, but a friend; for, I talked to him so largely, that if I had parcelled my discourse into distinct prescriptions, I am confident, I gave him two hundred pounds worth of advice. He heard me with great attention, bowing, smiling, and showing all other instances of that natural good breeding which ingenuous tempers pay to those
who are elder and wiser than themselves. I entertained him to the following purpose: “I am sorry, sir, that your passion is of so long a date, for evils are much more curable in their beginnings; but, at the same time, must allow, that you are not to be blamed, since your youth and merit has been abused by one of the most charming, but the most unworthy sort of women, the Coquettes. A Coquette is a chaste jilt, and differs only from a common one, as a soldier, who is perfect in exercise, does from one that is actually in service. This grief, like all others, is to be cured only by time; and although you are convinced this moment, as much as you will be ten years hence, that she ought to be scorned and neglected, you see you must not expect your remedy from the force of reason. The cure, then, is only in time, and the hastening of the cure, only in the manner of employing that time. You have answered me as to travel and a campaign, so that we have only Great Britain to avoid her in. Be then yourself, and listen to the following rules, which only can be of use to you in this unaccountable distemper, wherein the patient is often averse even to his recovery. It has been of benefit to some to apply themselves to business; but as that may not lie in your way, go down to your estate, mind your fox-hounds, and venture the life you are weary of over every hedge and ditch in the country. These are wholesome remedies; but if you can have resolution enough, rather stay in town, and recover yourself even in the town where she inhabits. Take particular care to avoid all places where you may possibly meet her, and shun the sight of every thing which may bring her to your remembrance; there is an infection in all that relates to her : you will find her house, her chariot, her domestics, and her very lap-dog, are so many instruments of torment. Tell me, seriously, do you think you could bear the sight of her fan o' He shook his head at the question, and said, ‘Ah! Mr. Bickerstaff, you must have been a patient, or you could not have been so good a physician.”—“To tell you truly," said I, ‘about the thirtieth year of my age, I received a wound that has still left a scar in my mind, never to be quite worn out by time or philosophy. * The Incans which I found most effectual for my cure, were, reflections upon the ill usage I had received from the woman I loved, and the pleasure I saw her take in my sufferings. “I considered the distress she brought upon me the greatest that could befall a human creature, at the same time that she did not inflict this upon one who was her enemy, one that had done her an injury, one that had wished her ill; but on the man who loved her more than any else loved her, and more than it was possible for him to love any other person. “In the next place, I took pains to consider her in all her imperfections; and, that I might be sure to hear of them constantly, kept company with those, her female friends, who were her dearest and most intimate acquaintance. “Amongst her highest imperfections, I still dwelt upon her baseness of mind and ingratitude, that made her triumph in the pain and
anguish of the man who loved her, and of one who, in those days, without vanity be it spoken, was thought to deserve her love. “To shorten my story, she was married to another, which would have distracted me, had he proved a good husband; but, to my great pleasure, he used her at first with coldness, and afterwards with contempt. I hear he still treats her very ill; and am informed, that she often says to her women, this is a just revenge for my falsehood to my first love : what a wretch am I, that might have been married to the famous Mr. Bickerstaff '' My patient looked upon me with a kind of melancholy pleasure, and told me, ‘He did not
think it was possible for a man to live to the age
I am now of, who, in his thirtieth year, had been tortured with that passion in its violence. For my part,” said he, ‘I can neither eat, drink, nor sleep in it; nor keep company with any body but two or three friends who are in the same condition.” “There,' answered I, ‘you are to blame; for as you ought to avoid nothing more than keeping company with yourself, so you ought to be particularly cautious of keeping company with men like yourself. As long as you do this, you do but indulge your distemper. “I must not dismiss you without further instructions. If possible, transfer your passion from the woman you are now in love with to another; or, if you cannot do that, change the passion itself into some other passion, that is, to speak more plainly, find out some other agreeable woman: or, if you cannot do this, grow covetous, ambitious, litigious ; turn your love of women into that of profit, preferment, reputation; and for a time give up yourself entirely to the pursuit. ‘This is a method we sometimes take in physic, when we turn a desperate disease into one we can more easily cure.” He made little answer to all this, but crying out, “Ah, sir!” for his passion reduced his discourse to interjections. “There is one thing,” added I, ‘which is present death to a man in your condition, and, therefore, to be avoided with the greatest care and caution: that is, in a word, to think of your mistress and rival together, whether walking, discoursing, dallying"—" The devils' he cried out, ‘who can bear it !” To compose him, for I pitied him very much ; ‘The time will come,' said I, ‘when you shall not only bear it, but laugh at it. As a preparation to it, ride every morning, an hour at least, with the wind full in your face. Upon your return, recollect the several precepts which I have now given you, and drink upon them a bottle of Spa-water. Repeat this every day for a month successively, and let me see you at the cnd of it.' He was taking his leave, with many thanks, and some appearance of consolation in his countenance, when I called him back to acquaint him, ‘that I had private information of a design of the coquettes to buy up all the true Spa-water in town:' upon which he took his leave in haste, with a resolution to get all things ready for entering upon his regimen the next morning.