Page images

making a panegyric on pieces of sagathy or Scotch plaid, should entitle a man to a laced hat or sword, a wig tied up with ribbands, or an embroidered coat. The college say, this enormity proceeds from a sort of delirium in the brain, which makes it break out first about the head, and, for want of timely remedies, fall upon the left thigh, and from thence, in little mazes and windings, run over the whole body, as appears by pretty ornaments on the buttons, button-holes, garterings, sides of the breeches, and the like. I beg the favour of you to give us a discourse wholly upon the subject of habits, which will contribute to the better government of conversation among us, and in particular oblige, sir, your affectionate cousin, “FELIX TRANQUILLUS."

“To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, Censor of Great


“The humble Petition of Ralph Nab, Isaber. dasher of Hats, and many other poor Suffer. ers of the same Trade, showeth,

‘That for some years last past the use of gold and silver galoon upon hats has been almost universal; being undistinguishably worn by soldiers, esquires, lords, footmen, beaux, sports. men, traders, clerks, prigs, smarts, cullies, pretty fellows, and sharpers.

“That the said use and custom has been two ways very prejudicial to your petitioners. First, in that it has induced men, to the great damage of your petitioners, to wear their hats upon their heads; by which means the said hats last much longer whole, than they would do if worn under their arms. Secondly, in that very often a new dressing and a new lace supply the place of a new hat, which grievance we are chiefly sensible of in the spring-time, when the company is leaving the town; it so happening commonly, that a hat shall frequent, all winter, the finest and best assemblies without any ornament at all, and in May shall be tricked up with gold or silver, to keep company with rustics, and ride in the rain. All which premises your petitioners humbly pray you to take into your consideration, and either to appoint a day in your Court of Honour when all pretenders to the galoon may enter their claims, and have them approved or rejected, or to give us such other relief as to your great wisdom shall seem meet.

“And your petitioners, &c."

Order my friend near, the author of the hunting-cock, to assist the court when this petition is read, of which Mr. Lillie to give him notice.

“To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, Censor of Great Britain.

• The humble petition of Elizabeth Slender, Spinster, showeth,

• That on the twentieth of this instant Dccember, her friend, Rebecca Hive, and your pe. titioner, walking in the Strand, saw a gentleman before us in a gown, whose periwig was so

long, and so much powdered, that your petitioner took notice of it, and said, “she wondered that lawyer would so spoil a new gown with powder.” To which it was answered, “that he was no lawyer, but a clergyman.” Upon a wager of a pot of eoffee, we overtook him, and your petitioner was soon convinced she had lost. ‘Your petitioner, therefore desires your worship to cite the clergymen before you, and to settle and adjust the length of canonical periwigs, and the quantity of powder to be made use of in them, and to give such other direc-, tions as you shall think fit. “And your petitioner, &c.

Query, whether this gentleman be not chaplain to a regiment, and, in such case, allow powder accordingly.

After all that can be thought on these subjects, I must confess, that the men who dress with a certain ambition to appear more than they are, are much more excusable than those who betray, in the adorning their persons, a secret vanity and inclination to shine in things, wherein, if they did succeed, it would rather lessen than advance their character. For this reason, I am more provoked at the allegations relating to the clergyman, than any other hinted at in these complaints. I have indeed a long time, with much concern, obscrved abundance of pretty fellows in sacred orders, and shall in due time let them know, that I pretend to give ecclesiastical as well as civil censures. A man' well-bred and well-dressed in that habit, adds to the sacredness of his function an agreeableness not to be met with among the laity. I own I have spent some evenings among the men of wit of that profession with an inexpressible delight. Their habitual care of their character gives such a chastisement to their fancy, that all which they utter in company is as much above what you meet with in other conversation, as the charms of a modest, are superior to those of a light, woman. I therefore earnestly desire our young missionaries from the universities, to consider where they are, and not dress, and look, and move like young officers. It is no disadvantage to have a very handsome white hand ; but, were I to preach repentance to a gallery of ladies, I would, methinks, keep my gloves on. I have an unseigned affection to the class of mankind appointed to serve at the altar, therefore am in danger of running out of my way, and growing too serious on this occasion; for which reason I shall end with the following epistle, which, by my interest in Tom Trot, the pennypost, I procured a copy of:

[blocks in formation]

No. 271.] Tuesday, January 2, 1710.* THE printer having informed me, that there are as many of these papers printed as will make four volumes, I am now come to the end of my ambition in this matter, and have nothing further to say to the world under the character of Isaac Bickerstaff. This work has, indeed, for some time been disagreeable to me, and the purpose of it wholly lost by my being so long understood as the author. I never designed in it to give any man any secret wound by my concealment, but spoke in the character of an old man, a philosopher, a humorist, an astrologer, and a censor, to allure my reader with the variety of my subjects, and insinuate, if I could, the weight of reason with the agreeableness of wit. The general purpose of the whole has been to recommend truth, innocence, honour. and virtue, as the chief ornaments of life; but I considered, that severity of manners was absolutely necessary to him who would censure others, and for that reason, and that only, chose to talk in a mask. I shall not carry my humi

lity so far as to call myself a vicious man, but ||

at the same time must confess, my life is at best but pardonable. And, with no greater character than this, a man would make but an indifferent progress in attacking prevailing and fashionable vices, which Mr. Bickerstaff has done with a freedom of spirit, that would have lost both its beauty and efficacy, had it been pretended to by Mr. Steele. As to the work itself, the acceptance it has met with is the best proof of its value; but I should err against that candour, which an honest man should always carry about him, if I did not own, that the most approved pieces in it were written by others, and those which have been most excepted against, by myself. The hand that has assisted me in those noble discourses upon the immortality of the soul, the glorious prospects of another life, and the most sublime ideas of religion and virtue, is a person who is too fondly my friend ever to own them ;t but I should little deserve to be his, if I usurped the glory of them. I must acknowledge at the same time, that I think the finest strokes of wit and humour in all Mr. Bickerstaff's lucubra; are those for which he also is beholden to lin. As for the satirical part of these writings, those against the gentlemen who profess gaming are the most licentious; but the main of them I take to come from losing gamesters, as invectives against the fortunate; for in very many

of them I was very little else but the transcriber. If any have been more particularly marked at, such persons may impute it to their own behaviour, before they were touched upon in publicly speaking their resentment against the author, and professing they would support any man who should insult him. When I mention this subject, I hope major-general Davenport, brigadier Bisset, and my lord Forbes, will accept of my thanks for their frequent good offices, in professing their readiness to partake any danger that should befall me in so just an undertaking, as the endeavour to banish fraud and cozenage from the presence and conversation of gentleincin. But what I find the least excusable part of all this work is, that I have, in some places in it, touched upon matters which concern both church and state. All I shall say for this is, that the points I alluded to, are such as concerned every Christian and freeholder in England; and I could not be cold enough to conceal my opinion on subjects which related to either of those characters. But politics apart. I must confess it has been a most exquisite pleasure to me to frame characters of domestic life, and put those parts of it which are least observed into an agreeable view ; to inquire into the seeds of vanity and affectation, to lay before the readers the emptiness of ambition: in a word, to trace human life through all its mazes and recesses, and show much shorter methods than men ordinarily practise, to be happy, agreeable, and great. But to inquire into men's faults and weaknesses has something in it so unwelcome, that I have often seen people in pain to act before me, whose modesty only makes them think themselves liable to censure. This, and a thousand other nameless things, have made it an irksome task to me to personate Mr. Bickerstaff any longer; and I believe it does not often happen, that the reader is delighted where the author is displeased. All I can do now for the further gratification of the town, is to give them a faithful explication of passages and allusions, and sometimes of persons intended in the several scattered parts of the work. At the same time, I shall discover which of the whole have been written by me, and which by others, and by whom, as far as I am able, or permitted.” Thus, I have voluntarily done what I think all authors should do when called upon. I have published my name to my writings and given myself up to the mercy of the town, as Shakspeare expresses it, “with all my impersections on my head.” The indulgent reader's most obliged, most obedient, humble servant, RICHARD STEELE,

* Steele's last Tatler came out to-day. You will see it before this comes to you, and how he takes leave of the world. He never told so much as Addison of it, who was surprised as much as I; but, to say the truth, it was time, for he grew cruel dull and dry. To my knowledge, he had several good hints to go upon ; but he was so lazy, and weary of the work, that he would not improve them.—Strift's Works, vol. xxii.

t Addison was the assistant here alluded to.

* This is done in the original preface to the fourth vo. lume of the Tatler, printed at the beginning of the present edition.

[ocr errors]


No. No
Ansolute power represented in a dance . . 11 | A tragical instance of surprise in . . 7.
Abstinence, advantages of . - - . 240 Animals, cruelty towards them condemned . 133
Absurdity, remarks on . - - . 168 Anne, (queen) eulogiums on her government 90, 130
Acteon, his manner of life . - - . . 59 Annihilation described by Milton and Dryden 6
Action, a necessary qualification of an orator . 66 Annuities, how purchased by Africanus . 36
Neglected o |...}. clergymen . - 66 Anticyra, an island assigned by the Romans to
Actors, their chief perfection . - - . 167 madmen . - - - - - . 125
Adversity, an alleviation of - . . 233 Its product - - - - - 125
Advertisements, a collection of them a good Anticyra compared to Montpelier . . 125
miscellany - - - - . 224 Apollo, god of verse and physic . - . 240
Specimens of them . 228, 245, 257 | Apology for great men in bestowing savours 168
Advice to young people . - - - . 104 || Apothecaries, great orators - - - 240
Not asked for information, but out of fullness Appetites, how to be governed . - . 205
and perplexity of heart . - - - Argyle, (duke of) his character - - . 46
AEneas's descent into, and adventures in, the Aristicus, the character of a man who has the
empire of death - - - - . 15 mastery of himself. - - - . 167
Æsculapius falls in love with the divine Hebe 44 Arms, an exercise of them at London - . 41
Metaphorically defunct . . . . 46 Arria, wife of Paetus, manner of her death . 72
His receipt for love - - - - 47 || Arthur, (king) the first who sat down to a whole
His unseasonable amour 47 roasted ox .

AEsop, a fable of his applied on the receipt of a
letter . - • . . - - -*
Association of vice and imperfection censured 7
Affection distinguished from esteem . -
Paternal, described - - - -

Affections, how governed . . . . 54
Affliction, imaginary, often most insupportable 146
Africanus, his magnanimity, and manner of pur-
chasing annuities - - - - . 36
Afterwit. (Solomon) his observations on the town 83
Agamemnon's invectives against women . 152
Age, what renders it most agreeable 45
Indecent when not spent in virtue . - 46
The glory of the present, in regard to England 130
Albemarle, (earl) appointed governor of Tournay 49
Album Græcum prescribed to a sick dog. . 121
Alchymist, remarks on that comedy . - 14
Aldobrandini, picture in the palace of . 184

Alexander the Great, his character, and irregu-

larity of temper . . . . 191, 200
Compared with Caesar . . . . . 6
A memorable saying of his - - - 92
A remarkable incident between him and his

physician . - - - - - . 209
Account of the tragedy of . 191

foreman of the male
. .252

Alexander Truncheon,
jury in the court of honour - -
Alicant capitulated for . . . - - - 10
Taken . - - - - - - • 21
* Allegories, as profitable to the mind, as hunting

[blocks in formation]

His legacy to his countrymen and foreigners 133
Badajoz, account of a battle there . - . 17
Marshal Bouffler's letter to the French king
after the battle of Badajoz -

to the bod - - - - - - - -
Allegory of V * and Pleasure making court Bag-pipe, to what sort of persons applicable in
to Hercules - - - - - . 97 conversation . . . . . . 1.
Application of, in Homer . - - 146 A club of . - - - - - . 153
Allen, (Mr.) founder of Dulwich college . 20 | Balance, (merchant) the treatment of one who
Almanack, Oxford, considered . - - 39 attempted to debauch his wife - -
Alost, attempt to surprise the garrison of . . 1, 4 Banbury, famous for cakes and zeal - . 220
Amanda, the happy wife of Florio 49 Bankers, why they should take poems sor bills 43
Ambition, the foundation and end of - 185 Barbarity, an attendant on tyranny - . 161
Middle age of man most addicted to . 120 Barnes, (Mr. Joshua) his edition of Homer re-
Becomes true honour in the good . . 120 commended - - - - - . 143
. No true happiness in the success of . 202 Barrymore, (earl) made prisoner in Portugal . 17
Its refuge when disappointed . . . 202 | Barry, (Mrs.) an excellent player . . . . . . 1
The true object of laudable . 251 | Requested to act the widow at Mr. Bicker-
Aminadah, the quaker's, admonition - . 190 stafs’s funeral . - - - - -
Angelo, (Michael) his picture of the Last Judg- Bass viols applied to conversation . . . 153
ment censured - - - - - - Where most likely to be found . . - . 153
Anger, the ill consequences of . - . 172 . With what instrument * - . 157
- 3 I 433 3

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

Beauty, how long it ought to be the care of the

fair sex - - - - - . 61 The town overstocked with it . - . 19.5 Bedřam, project for erecting a new one, . 125, 174 For whom design d - - . 127, 174 Distribution of the apartments there . . 175 Beef, the food of our robust ancestors - . 118 The breakfast of queen Elizabeth's maids of honour - - - - - - 148 Beefeaters, the order of . . . . . 148 Bellsrey, (Mr.) an ignorant clown, his behaviour at lady Dainty's - - - - . 37 Belvidere, a woman of good sense without as: fectation - - - - - . 126 Bennet, (madam) her maxim for the ladies 84

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

Black-horse ordinary in Holborn, an adventure

there - - - - - - ... 135 Bladder and string, modern music applied . 15 Blaregnies, victory of - - - . 65 Blindness cured by Mr. Grant, story of 55 Blockheads apt to admire one another . 196 Blunder, (major) buys muskets without touchholes - - - - - - . 61 Boatswain, (Tampier's) contrivance to prevent !oing eaten - - - - - . 62 Bodily wits - - - - . . . 45 Bon:bardiers, who to be accounted such . 88 Books, how to be valued - - - . 80 Booksellers, their coin plaint against parson Plagius - - - - - - - . 269 Boufflers, (marshal) a letter from him to the French king asler a battle . . . 77 Bourignon, (madam de) soundress of the pietists, her extraordinary gifts and talents . 126 Bracegirdle, (Mrs.) an excellent player . l Bruins, spirit of, in orange-flower water . . 94 Breeding, (fine) often mistaken - - . 215 Bribery, reflections on, with coals . - . 73 A notable expedient to prevent it at elections 73 An essay and poem on it - - . 42 A solicitor in the temple of avarice . . 123 Bridget How d'ye, her lady's advertisement concerning her - - - - - 245 Brisk, (sir Liberal) saved from sharpers . 7 Britain, particularly fruitful in religions 2:19 Brunette, (colonel) a very pretty follow . 24 Brussels Postscript, remarks on that poem 46 Brutes, cruelty towards them condemned 134 Bruyere, (nions.) his satire on the French . 57 Bublenia, angry about the tucker - ... 109 Buckley, (Mr.) a draw.cansir . . . - . 18 Bullock and Penkethman, parallel between thern - - - - - ..188 To attend Mr. Bickerstaff's suneral . 7 Busy Body, character of that comedy - . 19 Busy, (lady) described . . . . - . 248 But, the particle, used too frequently - . 38 CADARoot'E, meaning of that word * . 171 To whom applied by the Indian kings . . 171 Cadogan, (major-general) at Brussels - ... 1 Wounded before Mons - - - ... 7 Colia, her unhappy marriage with Palamede . 198 Why so long a maid . • * . - . 5 Caelicola, wherein of the same use to his friends as an angel - - - - - . 211 Cesar, (Julius) compared with Alexander ... 6 Callicoat acquitted in the court of honour 259 Cambray, (archbishop of) account of his Telemachus . . . . . . . 156 Cambrick, the linen-draper indicted in the court of honour - - - - - 259 Camilla, exit of the person who performed that character in the opera • . . - . 20 Campaign, character of that poem . . . 43 Cancrum, his merit - - - ... :4 Cane, worn out of affectation . . . . 77 Petition to wear one . - - - . 80 Different in their kinds and value . . 142 Cant, of modern men of wit . - - 2 Cards take the place of poet - . . 1 Careless, (Frank) opposed op Nice . . 14 Careless Husband, a comedy born within the theatre - - - - - - . 1S2 Case, (Dr.) got more by a short distich than Mr. Dryden gained by all his writings . 240 Castabella, an eminent prude - 126 Cato, a beauty in his character - - , 112 Cato Junior, his advice to Mr. Bickerstaff . 195 Cebes, a table of a beautiful allegory . 164 Celamico, his will . - - - . 261 Celibacy, a great evil to a nation . . 261 Censor, necessity of the office - - 144 Roman and British censors compared - . 162

« PreviousContinue »