« ПредишнаНапред »
been at a considerable charge in white gloves, periwigs, and snuff-boxes, in order to qualify himself for that employment, and in hopes of making his fortune by it. The counsel for the defendant replied, that the plaintiff had given out that he was within a month of wedding their client, and that she had refused her hand to him in ceremony, lest he should interpret it as a promise that she would give it him in marriage. As soon as their pleadings on both sides were finished, the Censor ordered the plaintiff to be cashiered from his office of gentleman usher to the playhouse, since it was too plain that he had undertaken it with an ill design; and at the same time ordered the defendant either to marry the said plaintiff, or to pay him half a crown for the new pair of gloves and coach-bire that he was at the expense of in her service.
The lady Townly brought an action of debt against Mrs. Flambeau, for that the said Mrs. Flambeau had not been to see the lady Townly and wish her joy since her inarriage with sir Ralph, notwithstanding she the said lady Townly had paid Mrs. Flambeau a visit upon her first coming to town. It was urged in the behalf of the defendant, that the plaintiff had never given her any regular notice of her being in town: that the visit she alleged had been made on a Monday, which she knew was a day on which Mrs. Flainbeau was always abroad, having set aside that only day in the week to mind the affairs of her family'; that the servant who inquired whether she was at home did not give the visiting knock; that it was not between the hours of five and eight in the evening ; that there were no candles lighted up; that it was not on Mrs. Flambeau's day; and, in short, that there was not one of the essential points observed that constitute a visit. She further proved by her porter's book, which was produced in court, that she had paid the lady Townly a visit on the twenty-fourth day of March, just before her leaving the town), in the year seventeen hundred and nine-ten, for which she was still creditor to the said lady Townly. To this the plaintiff only replied, that she was now under covert, and not liable to any debts contracted when she was a single woman. Mir, Bickerstaff finding the cause to be very intricate, and that several points of honour were likely to arise in it, he deferred giving judgment upon it until the next session day, at which time he ordered the ladies on his left hand to present to the court a table of all the laws relating to visits.
Winifred Leer brought her action against Richard Sly, for having broken a inarriage contract, and wedded another woman after he had engaged himself to marry the said Winifred Leer. She alleged that he had ogled her twice at an opera, thrice in St. James's church, and once at Powel's puppet-show, at which time he promised her marriage by a side-glance, as her friend could testify that sat by her. Mr. Bickerstaff, finding that the defendant had made no further overture of love or marriage but by looks and ocular engagement; yet at the same time considering how very apt such impudent seducers are to lead the ladies' hearts astray, ordered the criminal to stand upon the stage in the Haymarket, between each act of the next opera, there to be exposed to public view as a false ogler.
Upon the rising of the court, Mr. Bickerstaff having taken one of the counterfeits in the very fact as he was ogling a lady of the grand jury, ordered bim to be seized, and prosecuted upon the statute of Ogling. He likewise directed the clerk of the court to draw up an edict against these common cheats, that make women believe they are distracted for them by staring them out of countenance, and often blast a lady's reputation, whom they never spoke to, by saucy looks and distanı familiarities,
ADDISON AND STEELE.
ON LATE HOURS.
Ax old friend of mine being lately come to town, I went to see him on Tuesday last about eight o'clock in the evening, with a design to sit with bim an hour or two and talk over old stories ; but, upon inquiring after him, bis servant told me he was just gone to bed. The next morning, as soon as I was up and dressed, and had dispatched a little business, I came again to my friend's house about eleven o'clock, with a design to renew my visit; but, upon asking for him, his servant told me he was just sat down to dinner. In short, I found that my old-fashioned friend religiously adhered to the example of his forefathers, and observed the same hours that had been kept in the family ever since the conquest.
It is very plain that the night was much longer formerly in this island than it is at present. By the night I mean that portion of time which nature has thrown into darkness, and which the wisdom of mankind had formerly dedicated to rest and silence. This used to begin at eight o'clock in the evening, and conclude at six in the morning. The curfew, or eight o'clock bell, was the signal throughout the nation for putting out their candles and going to bed.
Our grandmothers, though they were wont to sit up the last in the family, were all of them fast asleep at the same hours that their daughters are busy at crimp and basset. Modern statesmen are concerting schemes, and engaged in the depth of politics, at the time when their forefathers were laid down quietly to rest, and had nothing in their heads but dreams. As we have thus thrown business and pleasure into the hours of rest, and by that means made the natural night but half as long as it should be, we are forced to piece it out with a great part of the mòrning ; so that near two thirds of the nation lie fast asleep for several hours in broadl day-light. This irregularity is grown so very fashionable at present, that there is scarce a lády of quality in Great Britain that ever saw the sun rise. And if the humour increases in proportion to what it has done of late years, it is not impossible but our children may hear the bellman going about the streets at nine o'clock in the morning, and the watch making their rounds until eleven. This unaccountable disposition in mankind to continue awake in the night, and sleep in the sunshine, has made me inquire whether the same change of inclination has happened to any other animals ? For this reason I desired a friend of mine in the country to let me know whether the lark rises as early as he did formerly? and whether the cock begins to crow at his usual hour? My friend has answered me, that his poultry are as regular as ever, and that all the birds and the beasts of his neighbourhood keep the same hours that they have observed in the memory of man; and the same which, in all probability, they have kept for these five thousand If you
would see the innovations that have been made among us in this particular, you may only look VOL. I.
into the hours of colleges, where they still dine at eles
sup at six, which were doubtless the hours of the whole nation at the time when those places were founded. But at present the courts of justice are scarce opened in Westminster-hall at the time when William Rufus used to go to dinner in it. All business is driven forward. The land-marks of our fathers, if I may so call them, are removed, and planted further up into the day; insomuch that I am afraid our clergy will be obliged, if they expect full congregations, not: to look any more upon ten o'clock in the morning as a cancnical hour. In my own memory the dinner has crept by degrees froin twelve o'clock to three, and where it will fix nobody knows *.
I have sometimes thought to draw up a memorial in the behalf of Supper against Dinner, setting forth, that the said Dinner has made several encroachments upon the said Sapper, and entered very far upon his fron- .
* Ten o'clock continued to be the dining-hour in the University of Cambridge in the reign of Edward the VIth. About the middle of queen Elizabeth's reign, William Harrison, in his Description prefixed to Holingshed's Chronicle, thus describes the hours : " With us the nobility and gentry and students do ordinarilie go to dinner at eleven before noone, and to supper at five, or between five and six at afternoone. The merchants dine and sup seldom before twelve at noone, and six at night, especiallie in London. The husbandmen also dine at high noone, as they call it, and sup at seven or eight. Froissart called on the duke of Lancaster after supper, at five in the evening. Lady Margaret countess of Richmond, in 1500, dined at ten, except on fast-days, when she refrained till eleven.” It appears from this that the mercantile world, and not the gentry, have been the cause from the beginning, as they certainly are now, of the recession of the dinner hour.