Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

that I am myself but a great puppet, and can No. 51.]
therefore have but a co-ordinate jurisdiction
with them. I suppose, I have now sufficiently
made it appear, that I have a paternal right
to keep a puppet-show, and this right I will
maintain in my prologues on all occasions.

·

And, therefore, if you write a defence of yourself against this my self-defence, I admonish you to keep within bounds; for every day will not be so propitious to you as the twenty-ninth of April; and perhaps my resentment may get the better of my generosity, and I may no longer scorn to fight one who is not my equal, with unequal weapons: there are such things as scandalums magnatums; therefore, take heed hereafter how you write such things as I cannot easily answer, for that will put me in a passion.

I order you to handle only these two propositions, to which our dispute may be reduced: the first, whether I have not an absolute power, whenever I please, to light a pipe with one of Punch's legs, or warm my fingers with his whole carcass? the second, whether the devil would not be in Punch, should he by word or deed oppose my sovereign will and pleasure? and then, perhaps, I may, if I can find leisure for it, give you the trouble of a second letter.

But if you intend to tell me of the origina! of puppet-shows; and the several changes and revolutions that have happened in them since Thespis, and I do not care who, that is Noli me tangere! I have solemnly engaged to say nothing of what I cannot approve. Or, if you talk of certain contracts with the mayor and burgesses, or fees to the constables, for the privilege of acting, I will not write one single word about any such matters; but shall leave you to be mumbled by the learned and very ingenious author of a late book, who knows very well what is to be said and done in such cases. He is now shuffling the cards, and dealing to Timothy; but if he wins the game, I will send him to play at back-gammon with you; and then he will satisfy you that duce-ace makes five.

And so, submitting myself to be tried by my country, and allowing any jury of twelve good men and true, to be that country; not excepting any, unless Mr. Isaac Bickerstaff to be of the pannel, for you are neither good nor true. I bid you heartily farewell; and am,

Sir,

'Your loving friend,

ADVERTISEMENT.

'POWEL.'

Proper cuts for the historical part of this paper, are now almost finished, by an engraver lately arrived from Paris, and will be sold at all the toy-shops in London and Westminster.

Saturday, August 6, 1709.

Quicquid agunt homines

—nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
Our motley paper scizes for its theme.
White's Chocolate-house, August 5.
CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF
ORLANDO THE FAIR.*

P.

FORTUNE being now propitious to the gay Orlando, he dressed, he spoke, he moved as a man might be supposed to do in a nation of Pygmies, and had an equal value for our approbation or dislike. It is usual for those who profess a contempt for the world, to fly from it and live in obscurity; but Orlando, with a greater magnanimity, contemned it, and appeared in it to tell them so. If, therefore, his exalted mien met with an unwelcome reception, he was sure always to double the cause which gave the distaste. You see our beauties affect a negligence in the ornament of their hair, and adjusting their head-dresses, as conscious that they adorn whatever they wear. Orlando had not only this humour in common with other beauties, but also had a neglect whether things became him or not, in a world he contemned. For this reason, a noble particularity appeared in all his economy, furniture, and equipage. And to convince the present little race, how unequal all their measures were to Antediluvian, as he called himself, in respect of the insects which now appear for men, he sometimes rode in an open tumbril, of less size than ordinary, to show the largeness of his limbs, and the grandeur of his personage, to the greater advantage. At other seasons, all his appointments had a magnificence, as if it were formed by the genius of Trimalchio of old; which showed itself in doing ordinary things with an air of pomp and grandeur. Orlando therefore called for tea by beat of drum; his valet got ready to shave him by a trumpet to horse; and water was brought for his teeth, when the sound was changed to boots and saddle.

See No. 50. p. 114.

In all these glorious excesses from the common practice, did the happy Orlando live and reign in an uninterrupted tranquillity, until an unlucky accident brought to his remembrance, that one evening he was married before he courted the nuptials of Villaria. Several fatal memorandums were produced to revive the memory of this accident; and the unhappy lover was for ever banished her presence, to whom he owed the support of his just renown and gallantry. But distress does not debase noble minds; it only changes the scene, and gives them new glory by that alOrlando therefore now raves in a teration. garret, and calls to his neighbour-skies to pity

And

his dolours, and to find redress for an unhappy lover. All high spirits, in any great agitation of mind, are inclined to relieve themselves by poetry: the renowned porter of Oliver had not more volumes around his cell in his college of Bedlam, than Orlando in his present apartment. though inserting poetry in the midst of prose be thought a licence among correct writers not to be indulged, it is hoped the necessity of doing it, to give a just idea of the hero of whom we treat, will plead for the liberty we shall hereafter take, to print Orlando's solilo-formities, of the man he acted. What Mr. quies in verse and prose, after the manner of Dryden said of a very great man, may be well great wits, and such as those to whom they applied to him: are nearly allied.

Will's Coffee-house, August 5.

::

A good company of us were this day to see, or rather to hear, an artful person do several feats of activity with his throat and windpipe. The first thing wherewith he presented us, was a ring of bells, which he imitated in a most miraculous manner; after that, he gave us all the different notes of a pack of hounds, to our great delight and astonishment. The company expressed their applause with much noise; and never was heard such a harmony of men and dogs but a certain plump, merry fellow, from an angle of the room, fell a crowing like a cock so ingeniously, that he won our hearts from the other operator in an instant. As soon as I saw him, I recollected I had seen him on the stage, and immediately knew it to be Tom Mirrour,† the comical actor. He immediately addressed himself to me, and told, me, he was surprised to see a virtuoso take satisfaction in any representations below that of human life;' and asked me, whether I thought this acting bells and dogs was to be considered under the notion of wit, humour, or satire? Were it not better,' continued, he 'to have some particular picture of man laid before your eyes, that might incite your laughter?' He had no sooner spoke the word, but he immediately quitted his natural shape, and talked to me in a very different air and tone from what he had used before: upon which, all that sat near us laughed; but I saw no distortion in his countenance, or any thing that appeared to me disagreeable. I asked Pacolet, what meant that sudden whisper about us?' for I could not take the jest. He answered,

The gentleman you were talking to assumed your air and countenance so exactly, that all fell a-laughing to see how little you knew yourself, and how much you were enamoured with your own image. But that per

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

son,' continued my monitor, if men would make the right use of him, might be as instrumental to their reforming errors in gesture, language, and speech, as a dancing-master, linguist, or orator. You see he laid yourself before you with so much address, that you saw nothing particular in his behaviour: he has so happy a knack of representing errors and imperfections, that you can bear your faults in him as well as in yourself: he is the first mimic that ever gave the beauties, as well as the de

He seems to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome.'

You are to know, that this pantomime may be said to be a species of himself: he has no commerce with the rest of mankind, but as they are the objects of imitation; like the Indian fowl, called the Mock-bird, who has no note of his own, but hits every sound in the wood as soon as he hears it; so that Mirrour is at once a copy and an original. Poor Mirrour's fate, as well as talent, is like that of the bird we just now spoke of; the nightingale, the linnet, the lark, are delighted with his company; but the buzzard, the crow, and the owl, are observed to be his mortal enemies. Whenever Sophronius meets Mirrour, he receives him with civility and respect, and well knows a good copy of himself can be no injury to him; but Bathillus shuns the street where he expects to meet him; for he that knows his every step and look is constrained and affected, must be afraid to be rivalled in his action, and of having it discovered to be unnatural by its being practised by another as well as himself.

From my own Apartment, August 5. Letters from Coventry and other places have been sent to me, in answer to what I have said in relation to my antagonist Mr. Powel; and advise me with warm language to keep to subjects more proper for me than such high points. But the writers of these epistles mistake the use and service I proposed to the learned world by such observations: for you are to understand, that the title of this paper gives me a right in taking to myself, and inserting in it, all such parts of any book or letter which are foreign to the purpose intended, or professed by the writer: so that, suppose two great divines should argue, and treat each other with warmth and levity unbecoming their subject or character, all that they say unfit for that place is very proper to be inserted here. Therefore, from time to time, in all writings which shall hereafter be published, you shall have from me extracts of all that shall appear not to the purpose; and for the benefit of the gentle reader, I will show what to turn over unread, and what

to peruse. For this end I have a mathematical sieve preparing, in which I will sift every page and paragraph; and all that falls through I shall make bold with for my own use. The same thing will be as beneficial in speech; for all superfluous expressions in talk fall to me also: as when a pleader at the bar designs to be extremely impertinent and trouolesome, and cries, Under favour of the court --with submission, my lord-I humbly offer'———and, ‘ I think I have well considered this matter; for I would be very far from trifling with your lordship's time, or trespassing upon your patience-however, thus I will ven

6

ture to say and so forth. Or else, when a sufficient self-conceited coxcomb is bringing out something in his owu praise, and begins, Without vanity, I must take this upon me to assert.' There is also a trick which the fair sex have, that will greatly contribute to swell my volumes: as, when a woman is going to abuse her best friend, Pray,' says she, have you heard what is said of Mrs. such-a-one? I am heartily sorry to hear any thing of that kind of one I have so great a value for; but they make no scruple of telling it; and it was not spoken of to me as a secret, for now all the town rings of it.' All such flowers in rhetoric, and little refuges for malice, are to be noted, and naturally belong only to Tatlers. By this method, you will immediately find folios contract themselves into octavos, and the labour of a fortnight got over in half a day.

St. James's Coffee-house, August 5. Last night arrived a mail from Lisbon, which gives a very pleasing account of the posture of affairs in that part of the world, the enemy having been necessitated wholly to abandon the blockade of Olivenza. These advices say, that sir John Jennings is arrived at Lisbon. When that gentleman left Barcelona, his catholic majesty was taking all possible methods for carrying on an offensive war. It is observed with great satisfaction in the court of Spain, that there is a very good intelligence between the general officers: count Staremberg and Mr. Stanhope acting in all things with such manimity, that the public affairs receive great advantages from their personal friendship and esteem to each other, and mutual assistance in promoting the service of the common cause.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

DFLAMIRA RESIGNS HER FAN.

LONG had the crowd of the gay and young stood in suspense, as to their fate, in their passion to the beauteous Delamira; but all their hopes are lately vanished, by the declaration that she has made of her choice, to take the happy Archibald for her companion for life. Upon her making this known, the expeuse of sweet powder and jessamine are considerably abated; and the mercers and milliners com

plain of her want of public spirit, in not concealing longer a secret which was so much the benefit of trade. But so it has happened; and no one was in confidence with her in carrying on this treaty, but the matchless Virgulta, whose despair of ever entering the matrimonial state made her, some nights before Delamira's resolution was published to the world, address herself to her in the following manner:

state of life wherein the use of your charms is 'Delamira! you are now going into that wholly to be applied to the pleasing only one

man.

That swimming air of your body, that anty bearing of your head over one shoulder, and that inexpressible beauty in your manner of playing your fan, must be lowered into a more confined behaviour; to show that you would rather shun than receive addresses for the future. Therefore, dear Delamira, give me those excellences you leave off, and acquaint me with your manner of charming: for I take the liberty of our friendship to say, that when I consider my own statue, motion, complexion, wit, or breeding, I cannot think myself any way your inferior; yet do I go through crowds without wounding a man, and all my acquaintance marry round me, while I live a virgin unasked, and I think unregarded,'

[ocr errors]

Delamira heard her with great attention, and, with that dexterity which is natural to her, told her, that all she had above the rest of her sex and contemporary beauties was wholly owing to a fan, (that was left her by her mother, and had been long in the family) which, whoever had in possession, and used with skill, should command the hearts of all her beholders; and since,' said she smiling, I have no more to do with extending my conquests or triumphs, I will make you a present of this inestimable rarity." Virgulta made her expressions of the highest gratitude for so uncommon a confidence in her, and desired she would show her what was peculiar in the management of that utensil, which rendered it of such general force while she was mistress of it.' Delamira replied' 'You see, madam, Cupid is the principal figure painted on it; and the skill in playing this fan is in your

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

"

several motions of it, to let him appear as little as possible; for honourable lovers fly all endeavours to ensnare them; and your Cupid must hide his bow and arrow, or he will never be sure of his game. You may observe,' continued she, that in all public assemblies, the sexes seem to separate themselves, and draw up to attack each other with eye-shot: that is the time when the fan, which is all the armour of a woman, is of most use in our defence; for our minds are construed by the waving of that little instrument, and our thoughts appear in composure or agitation, according to the motion of it. You may observe, when Willis consistent with his reputation for that end.' Modesty, therefore, in a woman, has a certain agreeable fear in all she enters upon; and, in men, it is composed of a right judgment of what is proper for them to attempt. From hence it is, that a discreet man is always a modest one. It is to be noted that modesty

could not be said, it was as successful in life; for as it was the only recommendation in them, so it was the greatest obstacle to us, both in love and business.' A gentleman present was of my mind, and said, that we must describe the difference between the modesty of women and that of men, or we should be confounded in our reasonings upon it; for this virtue is to be regarded with respect to our different ways of life. The woman's province is, to be careful in her economy, and chaste in her affections: the man's, to be active in the improvement of his fortune, and ready to undertake whatever

Peregrine comes into the side-box, miss Gatty flutters her fan as a fly does its wings round a candle; while her elder sister, who is as much in love with him as she is, is as grave as a vestal at his entrance; and the consequence is accordingly. He watches half the play for a glance from her sister, while Gatty is over-in a man is never to be allowed as a good qualooked and neglected. I wish you heartily as lity, but a weakness, if it suppresses his virtue, much success in the management of it as I have and hides it from the world, when he has at had: If you think fit to go on where I left off, the same time a mind to exert himself. A I will give you a short account of the execution French author says, very justly, that modesty I have made with it. is to the other virtues in a man, what shade in a picture is to the parts of the thing represented. It makes all the other beauties conspicuous, which would otherwise be but a wild heap of colours. This shade in our actions must, therefore, be very justly applied; for, if there be too much, it hides our good qualities, instead of showing them to advantage.

6

Nestor in Athens was an unhappy instance of this truth; for he was not only in his profession the greatest man of that age, but had given more proofs of it than any other man ever did; yet, for want of that natural freedom and audacity which is necessary in commerce with men, his personal modesty overthrew all his public actions. Nestor was in those days a skilful architect, and in a manner the inventor of the use of mechanic powers; which he brought to so great perfection, that he knew to an atom what foundation would bear such a superstructure; and they record of him, that he was so prodigiously exact, that, for the experiment's sake, he built an edifice of great beauty, and seeming strength; but contrived so as to bear only its own weight, and not to

Cymon, who is the dullest of mortals, and though a wonderful great scholar, does not only pause, but seems to take a nap with his eyes open between every other sentence in his discourse: him have I made a leader in assemblies; and one blow on the shoulder as I passed by him has raised him to a downright impertinent in all conversations. The airy Will Sampler is become as lethargic by this my wand, as Cymon is sprightly. Take it, good girl, and use it without mercy; for the reign of beauty never lasted full three years, but it ended in marriage or condemnation to virginity. As you fear, therefore, the one, and hope for the other, I expect an hourly journal of your triumphs; for I have it by certain tradition, that it was given to the first who wore it, by an enchantress, with this remarkable power, that it bestows a husband in half-a-year on her who does not overlook her proper minute; but assigns to a long despair the woman who is well offered, and neglects that proposal. May occasion attend your charms, and your charms slip no occasion! Give me, I say, an account of the progress of your forces at our next meet-admit the addition of the least particle. This building was beheld with much admiration by all the virtuosi of that time; but fell down with no other pressure, but the settling of a Wren upon the top of it. Yet Nestor's modesty was such, that his art and skill were soon disregarded, for want of that manner with which men of the world support and assert the

ing; and you shall hear what I think of my new condition. I should meet my future spouse this moment. Farewell. Live in just terror of the dreadful words, She was.'

From my own Apartment, August 8.

I had the honour this evening to visit some ladies, where the subject of the conversation was Modesty; which they commended as a quality quite as becoming in men as in women. I took the liberty to say, it might be as beautiful in our behaviour as in theirs, yet it

"

Sir Christopher Wren, the real person here alluded to, very properly ander the name of Nestor, both in respect of his great wisdom and his great age, was born at Ea Knoyle in Wiltshire, Oct. 5. 1632, and died at Hampton Court, Feb, 25, 1723, in his ninety-first year.

merit of their own performances. Soon after this instance of his art, Athens was, by the treachery of its enemies, burned to the ground. This gave Nestor the greatest occasion that ever builder had to render his name immortal, and his person venerable for all the new city rose according to his disposition, and all the monuments of the glories and distresses of that people were erected by that sole artist: nay, all their temples as well as houses, were the effects of his study and labour; insomuch, that it was said by an old sage, ‘Sure Nestor will now be famous, for the habitations of gods, as well as men, are built by his contrivance.' But this bashful quality still put a damp upon his great knowledge, which has as fatal an effect upon men's reputations as poverty; for as it was said, the poor man saved the city, and the poor man's labour was forgot;' so here we find, the modest man built the city, and the modest man's skill was unknown.'

<

Thus we see, every mau is the maker of his own fortune; and what is very odd to consider, he must in some measure be the trumpeter of his own fame; not that men are to be tolerated who directly praise themselves; but they are to be endued with a sort of defensive eloquence, by which they shall be always capable of expressing the rules and arts whereby they govern themselves.

Varillus was the man, of all I have read of, the happiest in the true possession of this quality of modesty. My author says of him, modesty in Varillus is really a virtue, for it is a voluntary quality, and the effect of good sense. He is naturally bold and enterprising; but so justly discreet, that he never acts or speaks any thing, but those who behold him know he has forbore much more than he has performed or uttered, out of deference to the persons before whom he is. This makes Varillus truly amiable, and all his attempts successful; for, as bad as the world is thought to be by those who are perhaps unskilled in it, want of success in our actions is genera owing to want of judgment in what we ought to attempt, or a rustic modesty, which will not give us leave to undertake what we ought. But how unfortunate this diffident temper is to those who are possessed with it, may be best seen in the success of such as are wholly unacquainted with it.

·

We have one peculiar elegance in our language above all others, which is conspicuous in the term Fellow.' This word, added to any of our adjectives, extremely varies, or quite alters, the sense of that with which it is joined. Thus though a modest man' is the most unfortunate of all men, yet a modest fellow' is as superlatively happy. A modest fellow' is a ready creature, who, with great humility, and as great forwardness, visits his patrons at all hours, and meets them in all places, and

<

has so moderate an opinion of himself, that he makes his court at large. If you will not give him a great employment, he will be glad of a little one. He has so great a deference for his benefactor's judgment, that as he thinks himself fit for any thing he can get, so he is above nothing which is offered. He is like the young bachelor of arts, who came to town recommended to a chaplain's place; but none being vacant, modestly accepted that of a postilion.

We have very many conspicuous persons of this undertaking yet modest turn; I have a grandson who is very happy in this quality: I sent him in the time of the last peace into France. As soon as he landed at Calais, he sent me an exact account of the nature of the people, and the policies of the king of France. I got him since chosen a member of a corporation; the modest creature, as soon as he came into the common-council, told a senior burgess, he was perfectly out of the orders of their house. In other circumstances, he is so thoroughly modest a fellow,' that he seems to pretend only to things he understands. He is a citizen only at court, and in the city a courtier. In a word, to speak the characteristical difference between 'a modest man' and

[ocr errors]

(

a modest fellow ;' the modest man is in doubt in all his actions; a modest fellow never has a doubt from his cradle to his grave.

[blocks in formation]

THE CIVIL HUSBAND. THE fate and character of the inconstant Osmyn is a just excuse for the little notice taken by his widow of his departure out of this life, which was equally troublesome to Elmira, his faithful spouse, and to himself. That life passed between them after this manner, is the reason the town has just now received a lady with all that gayety, after having been a relict but three months, which other women hardly assume under fifteen, after such a disaster. Elmira is the daughter of a rich and worthy citizen, who gave her to Osmyn with a portion which might have obtained her an alliance with our noblest houses, and fixed her in the eye of the world, where her story had not been now to be related: for her good qualities had made her the object of universal esteem among the polite part of mankind, from whom she has been banished and immured until the death of her jailor. It is now full fifteen years sinc that beauteous lady was given into the hand, of the happy Osmyn, who, in the sense of all

« ПредишнаНапред »