Графични страници
PDF файл

bed. I will not dwell upon the perplexity he was in the whole night, which was augmented, when he observed that it was now broad day, and that the husband did not yet offer to get up and go about his business. All that the Gascon had for it, was to keep his face turned from him, and to feign himself asleep, when, o his utter confusion, the widow at last puts out her arm, and pulls the bell at her bed's head. In came her friend, and two or three companions to whom the Gascon had boasted of her favours. The widow jumped into a wrapping gown, and joined with the rest in laughing at this man of intrigue.

No. 127.] Tuesday, January 31, 1709-10.

Nimirum insanus paucis videatur, eò quòd
Maxima pars hominum morbo Jectatur eodem.
Hor. 2. Sat. iii. 120.

By few, forsooth, a madman he is thought,
For half mankind the same disease have caught.

From my own Apa, tment, January 30. THERE is no affection of the mind so much blended in human nature, and wrought into our very constitution, as pride. It appears under a multitude of disguises, and breaks out in ten thousand different symptoms. Every one feels it in himself, and yet wonders to see it in his neighbour. I must confess, I met with an instance of it the other day, where I should very little have expected it. Who would believe the proud person I am going to speak of is a cobbler upon Ludgate-hill? This artist being naturally a lover of respect, and considering that his circumstances are such that no man living will give it him, has contrived the figure of a beau, in wood; who stands before him in a bending posture, with his hat under his left arm, and his right hand extended in such a manner as to hold a thread, a piece of wax, or an awl, according to the particular service in which his master thinks fit to employ him. When I saw him, he held a candle in this obsequious posture. I was very well pleased with the cobbler's invention, that had so ingeniously contrived an nferior, and stood a little while contemplating this inverted idolatry, wherein the image did omage to the man. When we meet with such a fantastic vanity in one of this order, it is no wonder if we may trace it through all degrees above it, and particularly through all the steps of greatness. We easily see the absurdity of pride when it enters into the heart of a cobbler; though in reality it is altogether as ridiculous and unreasonable, wherever it takes possession of a human creature. There is no temptation to it from the reflection upon our being in general, or upon any comparative perfection, whereby one man may excel another. The greater a man's knowledge is, the greater

motive he may seem to have for pride; but in the same proportion as the one rises, the other sinks, it being the chief office of wisdom to discover to us our weaknesses and imperfections. As folly is the foundation of pride, the natural superstructure of it is madness. It there was an occasion for the experiment, { would not question to make a proud man a lunatic in three weeks' time; provided I had it in my power to ripen his frenzy with proper applications. It is an admirable reflection in Terence, where it is said of a parasite, Hic homines ex stultis facit insanos. This fellow,' says he, has an art of converting fools into madmen.' When I was in France, the region of complaisance and vanity, I have often observed, that a great man who has entered a levee of Ratterers humble and temperate, has grown so insensibly heated by the court which was paid him on all sides, that he has been quite distracted before he could get into his coach.

If we consult the collegiates of Moor-fields, we shall find most of them are beholden to their pride for their introduction into that magnificent palace. I had, some years ago, the curiosity to enquire into the particular circumstances of these whimsical freeholders; and learned from their own mouths the con dition and character of each of them, Indeed, I found that all I spoke to were persons of quality. There were at that time five dutchesses, three earls, two heathen gods, an emperor, and a prophet. There were also a great number of such as were locked up from their estates, and others who concealed their titles. A leatherseller of Taunton whispered me in the ear, that he was the duke of Monmouth;' but begged me not to betray him. At a little distance from him sat a tailor's wife, who asked me, as I went, if I had seen the sword-bearer: upon which I presumed to ask her, who she was? and was answered, my lady mayoress.'

I was very sensibly touched with compassion towards these miserable people; and, indeed, extremely mortified to see human nature capable of being thus disfigured. However, I reaped this benefit from it, that I was resolved to guard myself against a passion which makes such havock in the brain, and produces so much disorder in the imagination. For this reason I have endeavoured to keep down the secret twellings of resentment, and stifle the very first suggestions of self-esteem; to establish my mind in tranquillity, and over-value nothing in my own or in another's possession.

For the benefit of such whose heads are a little turned, though not to so great a degree as to qualify them for the place of which I have been now speaking, I shall assign one of the sides of the college which I am erecting, for the cure of this dangerous distemper.

The most remarkable of the persons, whose

disturbance arises from pride, and whom I shall | than that which glows in the cheeks of Belinda use all possible diligence to cure, are such as and sets half the town on fire.

are hidden in the appearance of quite contrary habits and dispositions. Among such, I shall, in the first place, take care of one who is under the most subtle species of pride that I have observed in my whole experience.

This patient is a person for whom I have a great respect, as being an old courtier, and a friend of mine in my youth. The man has but a bare subsistence, just enough to pay his reckoning with us at the Trumpet: but, by having spent the beginning of his life in the hearing of great men and persons of power, he is always promising to do good offices to introduce every man he converses with into the world; will desire one of ten times his substance to let him see him sometimes, and hints to him, that he does not forget him. He answers to matters of no consequence with great circumspection; but, however, maintains a general civility in his words and actions, and an insolent benevolence to all whom he has to do with. This be practises with a grave tone and air and though I am his senior by twelve years, and richer by forty pounds per annum, he had yesterday the impudence to commend me to my face, and tell me,' he should be always ready to encourage me.' In a word, he is a very insignificant fellow, but exceeding gracious. The best return I can make him for his favours is, to carry him myself to Bedlam, and see him well taken care of.

The next person I shall provide for is of a quite contrary character, that has in him all the stiffness and insolence of quality, without a grain of sense or good-nature, to make it either respected or beloved. His pride has infected every muscle of his face; and yet, after all his endeavours to show mankind that he contemns them, he is only neglected by all that see him, as not of consequence enough to be hated.

Juv. Sat. vi. 138.

No. 128.] Thursday, February 2, 1709-10.
Veniunt à dote sagittæ.
-The Dowery shot the darts.
Now artful Cupid takes his stand
Upon a window's jointure-land,
For he in all his am'rous battles
No 'dvantage finds like goods and chattels.

Hudibras, Part 1. Canto III. I. 311.

From my own Apartment, February 1. This morning I received a letter from a fortune-hunter, which, being better in its kind than men of that character usually write, I have thought fit to communicate to the public. 'To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire.


'I take the boldness to recommend to your care the inclosed letter, not knowing how to communicate it, but by your means, to the agreeable country-maid you mention with so much honour in your discourse concerning the lottery.

'I should be ashamed to give you this trouble without offering at some small requital: I shall therefore direct a new pair of globes, and a telescope of the best maker, to be left for you at Mr. Morphew's, as a testimony of the great respect with which I am

Your most humble servant, &c.

[blocks in formation]

For the cure of this particular sort of mad-ceived a most extraordinary passion for you; ness, it will be necessary to break through all forms with him, and familiarize his carriage by the use of a good cudgel. It may likewise be of great benefit to make him jump over a stick half a dozen times every morning.

A third, whom I have in my eye, is a young fellow, whose lunacy is such that he boasts of nothing but what he ought to be ashamed of. He is vain of being rotten, and talks publickly of having committed crimes which he ought to be hanged for by the laws of his country.

and that for several days I have been perpetually haunted with the vision of a person I have never yet seen. To satisfy you that I am in my senses, and that I do not mistake you for any one of higher rank, I assure you, that in your daily employment you appear to my imagination more agreeable in a short scanty petticoat, than the finest woman of quality in her spreading fardingal; and that the dexterous twirl of your mop has more native charms, than the studied airs of a lady's ran. In a word, There are several others whose brains are I am captivated with your menial qualificahurt with pride, and whom I may hereafter at- tions: the domestic virtues adorn you like attempt to recover; but shall conclude my pre-tendant cupids; cleanliness and healthful insent list with an old woman, who is just drop-dustry wait on all your motions; and dust and ping into her grave, that talks of nothing but her birth. Though she has not a tooth in her head, she expects to be valued for the blood in her veins; which she fancies is much better

cobwebs fly your approach.

Now, to give you an honest account of myself, and that you may see my designs are honourable, I am an esquire of an ancient

The most constant of Lovers.'

family, born to about fifteen hundred pounds | for these two long years, but the happy life we a-year; half of which I have spent in discover- should lead together, and the means I should ing myself to be a fool, and with the rest I am use to make myself still dearer to him. My resolved to retire with some plain honest part- fortune was indeed much beyond his; and as ner, and study to be wiser. I had my education I was always in the company of my relations, in a laced coat, and a French dancing-school; he was forced to discover his inclinations, and and, by my travel into foreign parts, have just declare himself to me by stories of other per as much breeding to spare, as you may think sons, kind looks, and many ways, which he you want, which I intend to exchange as fast knew too well that I understood. Oh! Mr as I can for old English honesty and good sense. Bickerstaff, it is impossible to tell you, how I will not impose on you by a false recommenindustrious I have been to make him appear dation of my person, which, to show you my lovely in my thoughts. I made it a point of sincerity, is none of the handsomest, being of conscience to think well of him, and of no man a figure somewhat short; but what I want in else: but he has since had an estate fallen to length, I make out in breadth. But, in amends him, and makes love to another of a greater for that and all other defects, if you can like me fortune than mine. I could not believe the when you see me, I shall continue to you, report of this at first; but, about a fortnight whether I find you fair, black, or brown, ago, I was convinced of the truth of it by his own behaviour. He came to make our family a formal visit, when, as there were several in company, and many things talked of, the discourse fell upon some unhappy woman, who was in my own circumstances. It was said by one in the room, that they could not believe the story could be true, because they did not believe any man could be so false. Upon which, I stole a look upon him with an anguish not to be expressed. He saw my eyes full of tears, yet had the cruelty to say, that he could see no falsehood in alterations of this nature, where there had been no contracts or vows interchanged. Pray, do not make a jest of misery, but tell me seriously your opinion of his behaviour; and if you can have any pity for my condition, publish this in your next paper; that being the only way I have of complaining of his unkindness, and showing him the injustice he

This letter seems to be written by a wag, and for that reason I am not much concerned for what reception Mopsa shall think fit to give it; but the following certainly proceeds from a poor heart, that languishes under the most deplorable misfortune that possibly can befall a woman. A man that is treacherously dealt with in love, may have recourse to many consolations. He may gracefully break through all opposition to his mistress, or explain with his rival; urge his own constancy, or aggravate the falsehood by which it is repaid. But a woman that is ill-treated, has no refuge in her griefs but in silence and secrecy. The world is so unjust, that a female heart which has been once touched, is thought for ever blemished. The very grief in this case is looked upon as a reproach, and a complaint, almost a breach of chastity. For these reasons we see treachery and falsehood are become, as it were, male vices, and are seldom found, never acknowledged, in the other sex. This may serve to introduce Statira's letter; which, without any turn of art, has something so pathetical and moving in it, that I verily believe it to be true, and therefore heartily pity the injured

creature that writ it.

'To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire.

• SIR,

'You seem in many of your writings to be a man of a very compassionate temper, and well acquainted with the passion of love. This encourages me to apply myself to you in my present distress, which I believe you will look upon to be very great, and treat with tenderness, notwithstanding it wholly arises from love, and that it is a woman that makes this confession. I am now in the twenty-third year of my age, and have for a great while entertained the addresses of a man who, I thought, loved me more than life. I am sure I did him; and must own to you, not without some confusion, that I have thought on nothing else

has done me.

'I am,

'Your humble servant, the unfortunate

The name my correspondent gives herself, puts me in mind of my old reading in romauces, and brings into my thoughts a speech of the renowned Don Bellianis, who, upon a complaint made to him of a discourteous knight, that had left his injured paramour in the same manner, dries up her tears with a promise of relief. Disconsolate damsel,' quoth he, a foul disgrace it were to all right-worthy pro fessors of chivalry, if such a blot to knighthood should pass unchastised. Give me to know the abode of this recreant lover, and I will give him as a feast to the fowls of the air, or drag him bound before you at my horse's tail.'

[ocr errors]

I am not ashamed to own myself a champion of distressed damsels, and would venture as far to relieve them as Don Bellianis; for which reason, I do invite this lady to let me know the name of the traitor who has deceived her and do promise, not only her, but all the fair ones of Great Britain, who lie under the same calamity, to employ my right hand for their redress, and serve t'em to my last drop of ink

No. 129.] Saturday, February 4, 1709-10.

Ingenio manus est et cervix casa.

Juv. Sat. x. 120.
His wit's rewarded with the fatal loss
Of hand and head-

But, however that is, all agree, that there are several persons, who, if they durst attack you, would endeavour to leave you no more limbs than I have. I need not tell you that my adversaries have joined in a confederacy with time to demolish me, and that, if I were not a very great wit, I should make the worst figure in Europe, being abridged of my legs, arms, nose, and ears. If you think fit to accept of the correspondence of so facetious a cripple, [ shall from time to time send you an account of what happens at Rome. You have only heard of it from Latin and Greek authors; nay, perhaps, have read no accounts from hence, but of a triumph, ovation, or apotheosis, and will, doubtless, be surprised to see the description of a procession, jubilee, or canonization. I shall, however, send you what the place affords, in return to what I shall receive from you. If you will acquaint me with your next promotion of general officers, I will send you an account of our next advancement of saints. If you will let me know who is reckoned the bravest warrior in Great Britain, I will tell you who is the best fiddler in Rome. If you will favour me with an inventory of the riches that were brought into your nation by admiral Wager, I will not fail giving you an account of a pot of medals that has been lately dug up here, and are now under the examination of our ministers of state.

R. Wynne. From my own Apartment, February 3. WHEN my paper for to-morrow was prepared for the press, there came in this morning a mail from Holland, which brought me several advices from foreign parts, and took my thoughts off domestic affairs. Among others, I have a letter from a burgher of Amsterdam, who makes me his compliments, and tells me he has sent me several draughts of humorous and satirical pictures by the best hands of the Dutch nation. They are a trading people, and in their very minds mechanics. They express their wit in manufacture, as we do in manuscript. He informs me, that a very witty hand has lately represented the present posture of public affairs in a landscape, or rather a seapiece, wherein the potentates of the alliance are figured as their interests correspond with, or affect each other, under the appearance of commanders of ships. These vessels carry the colours of the respective nations concerned in the present war. The whole design seems to tend to one point, which is, that several squadrons of British and Dutch ships are battering a French man-of-war, in order to make her deliver up a long-boat with Spanish colours. My correspondent informs me, that a man must understand the compass perfectly well, to be able to comprehend the beauty and invention of this piece; which is so skilfully drawn, that the particular views of every prince in Europe are seen according as the ships lie to the main figure in the picture, and as that figure may help or retard their sailing. It seems this curiosity is now on board a ship bound for England, and, with other rarities, made a present to me. As soon as it arrives, I design to expose it to public view at my secretary, Mr. Lillie's, who shall have an explication of all the terms of art; and I doubt not but it will give as good content as the moving picture in Fleet-mortifications, and good works, by which they


But, above all the honours I have received from the learned world abroad, I am most delighted with the following epistle from Rome.

'Pasquin of Rome to Isaac Bickerstaff of Great Britain, Greeting.


'Your reputation has passed the Alps, and would have come to my ears by this time, if I had any. In short, sir, you are looked upon here as a northern droll, and the greatest virtuoso among the Tramontanes. Some, indeed, say, that Mr. Bickerstaff and Pasquin are only names invented to father compositions which the natural parent does not care for owning.

'There is one thing, in which I desire you would be very particular. What I mean is an exact list of all the religions in Great Britain, as likewise the habits, which are said here to be the great points of conscience in England; whether they are made of serge or broad-cloth, of silk or linen. I should be glad to see a model of the most conscientious dress among you, and desire you will send me a hat of each religion; as likewise, if it be not too much trouble, a cravat. It would also be very acceptable here to receive an account of those two religious orders, which are lately sprung up amongst you, the Whigs and the Tories, with the points of doctrine, severities in discipline, penances,

differ one from another. It would be no less kind, if you would explain to us a word, which they do not understand even at our English monastery, Toasts, and let us know whether the ladies so called are nuns or lay-sisters. In return, I will send you the secret history of several cardinals, which I have by me in manuscript, with the gallantries, amours, politics, and intrigues, by which they made their way to the holy purple.

[ocr errors]

But, when I propose a correspondence, I

Charles Wager, Esq; a man of great skill in his profes

ion, was first made a captain at the battle of La Hogue by

admiral Russel, who recommended him on the most im. portant services.

glory, speak with a certain noble vanity of the brightness and splendour of the age in which they lived. Pliny often compliments his emperor Trajan upon this head; and when he would animate him to any thing great, or dissuade him from any thing that was improper, he insinuates that it is befitting or unbecoming the claritas et nitor seculi, that period of time which was made illustrious by his reign. When we cast our eyes back on the history of mankind, and trace them through their several successions to their first original, we sometimes see them breaking out in great and memorable actions, and towering up to the utmost heights of virtue and knowledge; when, per

must not tell you what I intend to advise you of aereafter, and neglect to give you what I have at present. The pope has been sick for this fortnight of a violent tooth-ach, which has very much raised the French faction, and put the conclave into a great ferment. Every one of the pretenders to the succession is grown twenty years older than he was a fortnight ago. Each candidate tries who shall cough and stoop most; for these are at present the great gifts that recommend to the apostolical seat; which he stands the fairest for, who is likely to resign it the soonest. I have known the time when it used to rain Louis d'ors on such occasions; but, whatever is the matter, there are very few of them to be seen at present at Rome, in-haps, if we carry our observations to a little somuch, that it is thought a man might purchase infallibility at a very reasonable rate. It is nevertheless hoped, that his holiness may recover, and bury these his imaginary suc


'There has lately been found a human tooth in a catacomb, which has engaged a couple of convents in a law-suit; each of them pretending, that it belonged to the jaw-bone of a saint, who was of their order. The college have sat upon it thrice; and I find there is a disposition among them to take it out of the possession of both the contending parties, by Reason of a speech, which was made by one of the cardinals, who, by reason of its being found out of the company of any other bones, asserted that it might be one of the teeth which was coughed out by Ælia, an old woman, whose loss is recorded in Martial.*

'I have nothing remarkable to communicate to you of state affairs, excepting only, that the pope has lately received a horse fromt he German ambassador, as an acknowledgement for the kingdom of Naples, which is a fief of the church. His holiness refused this horse from the Germans ever since the duke of Anjou has been possessed of Spain; but, as they lately took care to accompany it with a body of ten thousand more, they have at last overcome his holiness's modesty, and prevailed upon him to accept the present, I am, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

[blocks in formation]

distance, we see them sunk into sloth and ignorance, and altogether lost in darkness and obscurity. Sometimes the whole species is asleep for two or three generations, and then again awakens into action; flourishes in heroes, philosophers, and poets; who do honour to human nature, and leave such tracks of glory behind them, as distinguish the years, in which they acted their part, from the ordinary course of time.

Methinks a man cannot, without a secret satisfaction, consider the glory of the present age, which will shine as bright as any other in the history of mankind. It is still big with great events, and has already produced changes and revolutions, which will be as much admired by posterity, as any that have happened in 'the days of our fathers, or in the old times before them.' We have seen kingdoms divided and united, monarchs erected and deposed, nations transferred from one sovereign to another; conquerors raised to such a greatness, as has given a terror to Europe, and thrown down by such a fall as has moved their pity.

But it is still a more pleasing view to an Englishman, to see his own country give the chief influence to so illustrious an age, and stand in the strongest point of light amidst the diffused glory that surrounds it.

If we begin with learned men, we may observe, to the honour of our country, that those who make the greatest figure in most arts and sciences, are universally allowed to be of the British nation; and, what is more remarkable, that men of the greatest learning, are among the men of the greatest quality.

A nation may indeed abound with person; of such uncommon parts and worth, as may make them rather a misfortune than a blessing to the public. Those, who singly might have been of infinite advantage to the age they live in, may, by rising up together in the same crisis of time, and by interfering in their pursuits of honour, rather interrupt, than promote the service of their country. Of this we have a famous instance in the republic of Rome, when Cæsar, Pompey, Cato, Cicero, and Bru

« ПредишнаНапред »