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but, Faith, says he, Ned, to tell you the plain truth, I writ them myself.
There goes just such another story of the same paternal tenderness in Bavius, an ingenious contemporary of mine, who had writ several comedies which were rejected by the players. This my friend Bavius took for envy, and therefore prevailed upon a gentleman to go with him to the playhouse, and gave him a new play of his, desiring he would personate the author, and read it, to baffle the spite of the actors. The friend consented, and to reading they went. They had not gone over three similes, before Roscius the player made the acting author stop, and desired to know what he meant by such a rapture; and how it came to pass that, in this condition of the lover, instead of acting according to his circumstances, he spent his time in considering what his present state was like? That is very true, says the mock author; I believe we had as good strike these lines out. By your leave, says Bavius, you-shall not spoil your play, you are too modest; those very lines, for aught I know, are as good as any in your play, and they shall stand. „Well, they go on, and the particle and’ stood unfortunately at the end of a verse, and was made to rhyne to the word “stand.' This Roscius excepted against. The new poet gave up that too, and said he would not dispute for a monosyllable. -For a monosyllable! says the real author, I can assure you, a monosyllable may be of as great force as a word of ten syllables. : . I tell you, sir, Sand' is the connexion of the matter in that place; without that word, you may put all that follows into any other play as well as this. Besides, if you leave it out, it will look as if you had put it in only for the sake of the rhyme. Roscius persisted, assuring the gentleman that it was
impossible impossible to speak it but the ' and 'must be lost, so it might as well be blotted out. Bavius snatched his play out of their hands, said they were both blockheads, and went off; repeating a couplet, because he would not make his exit irregular. A witty man of these days compared this true and feigned poet to the contending mothers before Solomon ; the true one was easily discovered from the pretender, by refusing to see his offspring dissected.
ON DUELS. No. 93.
I HAD several hints and advertisements from unknown hands, that some, who are enemies to my labours, design to demand the fashionable way of satisfaction for the disturbance my Lucubrations have given them. I confess, as things now stand, I do not know how to deny such inviters, and am preparing myself accordingly. I have bought puinps and files;. and am every morning practising in my chamber. My neighbour the dancing-master has demanded of me why I take this liberty, since I would not allow it him? But I answered, his was an act of an indiffesent nature, and mine of necessity. My late treatises against duels have so far disobliged the fraternity of the noble science of defence, that I can get none of them to show me so much as one pass. I am therefore obliged to learn by book; and have accordingly several volumes, wherein all the postures are exactly delineated. I must confess, I am shy of letting people see me at this exercise, because of my flannel waistcoat, and my
spectacles, which I am forced to fix on the better to observe the posture of the enemy.
I have upon my chamber walls drawn at full length the figures of all sorts of men, from eight feet to three feet two inches. Within this height I take it that all the fighting men of Great Britain are comprehended. But as I push, I make allowances for my being of a lank and spare body, and have chalked out in every figure my own dimensions; for I scorn to rob any man of his life by taking advantage of his breadth : therefore I press purely in a line down from his nose, and take no more of him to assault than he has of me: for, to speak impartially, if a lean fellow wounds a fat one in any part to the right or left, whether it be in cart or in terse, beyond the dimensions of the said lean fellow's own breadth, I take it to be murder, and such a murder as is below a gentleman to commit. As I am spare, I am also very tall, and behave myself with relation to that advantage with the same punctilio; and I ain ready to stoop or stand, according to the stature of my adversary. I must confess I have had great success this morning, and have hit every figure round the room in a mortal part, without receiving the least hurt, except a little scratch by falling on my face, in pushing at one at the lower end of my chamber; but I recovered so quick, and jumped so nimbly into my guard, that if he had been alive he could not have hurt me. It is confessed, I have writ against duels with some warmth; but in all my discourses I have not ever said that I knew how a gentleman could avoid a duel if he were provoked to it; and since that custom is now become a law, I know nothing but the legislative power, with new animadversions upon it, can put us in a capacity of denying challenges, though we were afterVOL. I.
wards hanged fur it. But no more of this at present: As things stand, I shall put up no more affronts; and I shall be so far from taking ill words, that I will not take ill looks. I therefore warn all hot young fellows not to look. hereafter more terrible then their neighbours; for, if they stare at me with their hats cocked higher than other people, f' will not bear it. Nay, 1 give warning to all people in general to look kindly at me; for I will bear no frowns, even from ladies; and if any woinan pretends to look scornfully at me, I shall demand satisfaction of the next of kin of the mafculine gender.
ADDISON AND STEELE.
LADY BURNT IN THE PLAYHOUSE AT COPENHAGEN.
CLARINDA and Chlce, two very fine women, were bred up as sisters in the family of Romeo, who was the fatherof Chloe, and the guardian of Clarinda. Philander, x young gentleman of a good person, and charming conversation, being a friend of old Romeo's, frequented his house, and by that means was much in conversation with the young ladies, though still in the presence of the father and the guardian. The ladies both entertained à secret passion for him, and could see well enough, notwithstanding the delight which he really took in Romeo's conversation, that there was something more in his heart which made him so assiduous a visitant. Each of them thought herself the happy woman; but the person beloved was Chloe. It happened that both of them were at a. play in a carnival evening, when it is tħe fashion there, as well as in most countries of Europe, both for men and women to appear in masks
and disguises. It was on that memorable night in the year 1679, when the playhouse by sume unhappy accident was set on fire. Philander, in the first hurry of the disaster, immediately ran where his treasure wass burst open the door of the box, snatched the lady up in his arms, and with unspeakable resolution and good fortune carried her off safe. He was no sooner out of the crowd, but he set her down ; aud grasping her in his arms, with all the raptures of a deserving lover, How happy am I, says he, in an opportunity to tell
you I love you more than all things, and of showing you the sincerity of my passion at the very first declaration of it! My dear, dear Philander, says the lady, pulling off her mask, this is not a time for art; you are much dearer to me than the life you have preserved ; and the joy of my present deliverance does not transport me so much as the passion which occasioned it. Who can tell the grief, the astonishment, the terror, that appeared in the face of Philander, when he saw the person he spoke to was Clarinda ? After a short pause, Madam, says he, with the looks of a dead man, we are both mistaken; and immediately flew away, without hearing the distressed Clarinda, who had just strength enough to cry out, Cruel Philander ! why did you not leave me in the theatre? Crowds of people immediately gathered about her, and, after having brought her to herself, conveyed her to the house of the good old unhappy Romeo. Philander was now pressing against a whole tide of people at the doors of the theatre, and striving to enter with more earnestness than any there endeavoured to get out. He did it at last, and with much difficulty forced his way to the box, where his beloved Chloe stood, expecting her fate amidst this scene of terror and distraction. She revived at the sight of