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riage of this fantastical girl, until I was informed by her eldest sister that she had a pair of striped garters on. This odd turn of mind often makes the sex unhappy, and disposes them to be struck with every thing that makes a show, however trifling and superficial.
Many a lady has fetched a sigh at the toss of a wig, and been ruined by the tapping of a snuff-box. It is impossible to describe all the execution that was done by the shoulder-knot, while that fashion prevailed, or to reckon up all the virgins that have fallen a sacrifice to a pair of fringed gloves. A sincere heart has not made half so many conquests as an open waistcoat; and I should be glad to see an able head make so good a figure in a woman's company as a pair of red heels. A Grecian hero, when he was asked whether he could play upon the lute, thought he had made a very good reply, when he answered, No; but I can make a great city of a little one. Notwithstanding his boasted wisdom, I appeal to the heart of any toast in town, whether she would not think the lutenist preferable to the statesman? I do not speak this out of any aversion that I have to the sex: on the contrary, I have always had a tenderness for them; but I must confess it troubles me very much, to see the generality of them place their affections on improper objects, and give up all the pleasures of life for gewgaws and trifles.
Mrs. Margery Bickerstaff, my great aunt, had a thousand pounds to her portion, which our family was desirous of keeping among themselves, and therefore used all possible means to turn off her thoughts from marriage. The method they took was, in any time of danger, to throw a new gown or petticoat in her way. When she was about twenty-five years of age, she fell in love with a man of an agreeable temper, and equal
equal fortune, and would certainly have married him, had not my grandfather, sir Jacob, dressed her up in a suit of flowered satin; upon which she set so immoderate a value upon herself, that the lover was contemned and discarded. In the fortieth year of her age she was again smitten; but very luckily transferred her passion to a tippet, which was presented to her by another relation who was in the plot. This, with a white sarsenet hood, kept her safe in the family until fifty. About sixty, which generally produces a kind of latter spring in amorous constitutions, my aunt Margery had again a colt's tooth in her head; and would certainly have eloped from the mansion-house, had not her brother Simon, who was a wise man and a scholar, advised to dress her in cherry-coloured ribbands; which was the only expedient that could have been found out by the wit of man to preserve the thousand pounds in our family, part of which I enjoy at this time.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. No. 153.
I HAVE heard of a very valuable picture, wherein all the painters of the age in which it was drawn are. represented sitting together in a circle, and joining in a concert of music. Each of them plays upon such a particular instrument as is the most suitable to his character, and expresses that style and manner of painting which is peculiar to him. The famous cupola painter of those times, to show the grandeur and boldness of his figures, hath a horn in his mouth. which he seems to wind with great strength and force. On the contrary, an eminent artist, who wrought up
his pictures with the greatest accuracy, and gave them
all those delicate touches which are apt to please the nicest eye, is represented as tuning a theorbo. The same kind of humour runs through the whole piece.
I have often, from this hint, imagined to myself, that different talents in discourse might be shadowed out after the same manner by different kinds of music; and that the several conversable parts of mankind in this great city might be cast into proper characters and divisions, as they resemble several instruments that are in use among the masters of harmony. Of these therefore in their order; and first of the drum.
Your Drums are the blusterers in conversation, that, with a loud laugh, unnatural mirth, and a torrent of noise, domineer in public assemblies, overbear men of sense, stun their companions, and fill the place they are in with a rattling sound, that hath seldom any wit, humour, or good-breeding in it. The Drum, notwithstanding, by this boisterous vivacity, is very proper to impose upon the ignorant; and, in conversation with ladies who are not of the finest taste, often passes for a man of mirth and wit, and for wonderful pleasant company. I need not observe, that the emptiness of the Drum very much contributes to its noise.
The Lute is a character directly opposite to the Drum, that sounds very finely by itself, or in a very small concert.. Its notes are exquisitely sweet, and very low, easily drowned in a multitude of instruments, and even lost among a few, unless you give a particular attention to it. A Lute is seldom heard in a company of more than five, whereas a Drum will show itself to advantage in an assembly of five hundred. The Lutenists, therefore, are men of fine genius, uncom
allow them to be Harpsichords, a kind of music which every one knows is a concert by itself.
As for your Passing-bells, who look upon mirth as criminal, and talk of nothing but what is melancholy in itself, and mortifying to human nature, I shall not mention them.
I shall likewise pass over in silence all the rabble of mankind, that crowd our streets, coffee-houses, feasts, and public tables. I cannot call their discourse conversation, but rather something that is practised in imitation of it. For which reason, if I would describe them by any musical instrument, it should be by those modern inventions of the Bladder and String, Tongs and Key, Marrow-bone and Cleaver.
My reader will doubtless observe that I have only touched here upon male instruments, having reserved my female concert to another occasion. If he has a mind to know where these several characters are to be met with, I could direct him to a whole club of Drums; not to mention another of Bag-pipes, which I have before given some account of in my defcription of our nightly meetings in Sheer-lane. The Lutes may often be met with in couples upon the banks of a crystal stream, or in the retreats of shady woods and flowery meadows; which, for different reasons, are likewise the great resort of your Hunting-horns. Bass-viols are frequently to be found over a glass of stale beer and a pipe of tobacco; whereas those who set up for Violins seldom fail to make their appearance at Will's once every evening. You may meet with a Trumpet any where on the other side of Charing-cross.
That we may draw something for our advantage in life out of the foregoing discourse, I must entreat my reader to make a narrow search into his life and con
versation, and, upon his leaving any company, to examine himself seriously, whether he has behaved himself in it like a Drum or a Trumpet, a Violin or a Bass-viol; and accordingly endeavour to mend his music for the future. For my own part, I must confess, I was a Drum for many years; nay, and a very noisy one, until, having polished myself a little in good company, I threw as much of the Trumpet into my conversation as was possible for a man of an impetuous temper: by which mixture of different musics, I look upon myself, during the course of many years, to have resembled a Tabor and Pipe. I have since very much endeavoured at the sweetness of the Lute; but, in spite of all my resolutions, I must confess, with great confusion, that I find myself daily degenerating into a Bag-pipe: whether it be the effect of my old age, or of the company I keep, I know not. All that I can do is to keep a watch over my conversation, and to silence the Drone as soon as I find it begin to hum in my discourse; being determined rather to hear the notes of others, than to play out of time, and incroach upon their parts in the concert by a noise of so tiresome an instrument.
THE POLITICAL UPHOLSTERER. No. 155.
THERE lived some years since, within my neighbourhood, a very grave person, an upholsterer, who seemed a man of more than ordinary application tò business. He was a very early riser, and was often abroad two or three hours before any of his neigh