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sical husband, who, I find, by one of your last week's papers, was not altogether a stranger to you. When I married this gentleman, he had a very handsome estate; but upon buying a set of microscopes, he was chosen a Fellow of the Royal Society; from which time I do not remember ever to have heard him speak as other people did, or talk in a manner that any of his family could understand him. He used, however, to pass away his time very innocently in conversation with several members of that learned body: for which reason, I never advised him against their company for several years, until at last I found his brain quite turned with their discourses. The first symptom which he discovered of his being a virtuoso, as you call him, poor man! was about fifteen years ago; when he gave me positive orders to turn off an old weeding woman, that had been employed in the family for some years. He told me, at the same time, that there was no such thing in nature as a weed, and that it was his design to let his garden produce what it pleased; so that, you may be sure, it makes a very pleasant show as it now lies. About the same time he took a humour to ramble up and down the country, and would often bring home with him his pockets full of moss and pebbles. This, you may be sure, gave me a beavy heart; though at the same time I must needs say, he had the character of a very honest man, notwithstanding he was reckoned a little weak, until he began to sell his estate, and buy those strange baubles that you have taken notice of. Upon midsummer-day last, as he was walking with me in the fields, he saw a very oddcoloured butterfly just before us. I observed that he immediately changed colour, like a man that is surprised with a piece of good luck; and telling me, that it was what he had looked for above these twelve years, he threw off his coat, and followed it. I lost sight ofceived from another female correspondent by them both in less than a quarter of an hour; the same post. but my husband continued the chace over hedge and ditch until about sunset; at which time, as I was afterwards told, he caught the butterfly as she rested herself upon a cabbage, near five miles from the place where he first put her up. He was here lifted from the ground by some passengers in a very fainting condition, and brought home to me about midnight. His violent exercise threw him into a fever, which grew upon him by degrees, and at last carried him off. In one of the intervals of his distemper he called to me, and, after having excused himself for running out his estate, he told me, that he had always been more industrious to improve his mind than his fortune, and that his family must rather value themselves upon his memory as he was a wise man, than a rich one. He then told me, that it was a custom among the Romans for a man to give his slaves their liberty when he lay upon
his death-bed. I could not imagine what this meant, until, after having a little composed himself, he ordered me to bring him a flea which he had kept for several months in a chain, with a design, as he said, to give it its manumission. This was done accordingly. He then made the will, which I have since seen printed in your works word for word. Only I must take notice, that you have omitted the codicil, in which he left a large Concha Veneis, as it is there called, to a Member of the Royal Society, who was often with him in his sickness, and assisted him in his will. And now, sir, I come to the chief business of my letter, which is to desire your friendship and assistance in the disposal of those many rarities and curiosities which lie upon my hands. If you know any one that has an occasion for a parcel of dried spiders, I will sell them a pennyworth. I could likewise let any one have a bargain of cockle shells. I would also desire your advice, whether I had best sell my beetles in a lump, or by retail. The gentleman above-mentioned, who was my husband's friend, would have me make an auction of all his goods, and is now drawing up a catalogue of every particular for that purpose, with the two following words in great letters over the head of them, Auctio Gimcrackiana. But, upon talking with him. I begin to suspect he is as mad as poor sir Nicholas was. Your advice in all these particulars will be a great piece of charity to,
Your most humble servant,
I shall answer the foregoing letter, and give the widow my best advice, as soon as I can find out chapmen for the wares which she has to put off. In the mean time, I shall give my reader the sight of a letter, which I have re
GOOD MR. BICKERSTAFF
I am convinced by a late paper of yours, that a passionate woman, who among the common people goes under the name of a scold, is one of the most insupportable creatures in the world. But, alas! sir, what can we do? I have made a thousand vows and resolutions every morning, to guard myself against this frailty; but have generally broken them before dinner, and could never in my life hold out until the second course was set upon the table. What most troubles me is, that my husband is as patient and good-natured as your own worship, or any man living, can be. Pray give me some directions, for I would observe the strictest and severest rules you can think of to cure myself of this distemper, which is apt to fall into my tongue every moment. I am, Sir,
Your most humble servant, &c,',
In answer to this most unfortunate lady, I must acquaint her, that there is now in town an ingenious physician of my acquaintance, who undertakes to cure all the vices and defects of the mind by inward medicines or outward applications. I shall give the world an account of his patients and his cures in other papers, when I shall be more at leisure to treat upon this subject, I shall only here inform my correspondent, that, for the benefit of such ladies as are troubled with virulent tongues, he has prepared a cold bath, over which there is fastened, at the end of a long pole, a very convenient chair, curiously gilt and carved. When the patient is seated in this chair, the doctor lifts up the pole, and gives her two or three total immersions in the cold-bath, until suchginal of this impertinent way of making love,
which, according to some authors, is of great antiquity. If we may believe monsieur Dacier and other critics, Horace's tenth Ode of the
time as she has quite lost the use of speech. This operation so effectually chills the tongue, and refrigerates the blood, that a woman, who at her entrance into the chair is extremely pas-third book was originally a serenade. And if sionate and sonorous, will come out as silent and gentle as a lamb. The doctor told me, he would not practise this experiment upon women of fashion, had not he seen it made upon those of meaner condition with very good effect.
I was disposed to show my learning, I could produce a line of him in another place, which seems to have been the burden of an old heathen serenade.
pensity to languish under them, especially if they have a fiddler behind them to utter their complaints; for, as the custom prevails at present, there is scarce a young man of any fashion in a corporation, who does not make love with the town-music. The waits often help him through his courtship; and my friend Banister* has told me, he was proffered five hundred pounds by a young fellow, to play but one winter under the window of a lady that was a great fortune, but more cruel than ordinary. One would think they hoped to conquer their mistresses hearts as people tame hawks and eagles, by keeping them awake, or breaking their sleep when they are fallen into it.
I have endeavoured to search into the ori
No. 222.] Saturday, September 9, 1710.
R. Wynne. From my own Apartment, September 8. WHEREAS, by letters from Nottingham, we have advice, that the young ladies of that place compiain for want of sleep, by reason of certain riotous lovers, who for this last summer have very much infested the streets of that eminent city, with violins and bass-viols, between the hours of twelve and four in the
morning, to the great disturbance of many of her majesty's peaceable subjects: And whereas I have been importuned to publish some edict
against those midnight alarms, which, under the name of serenades, do greatly annoy many well-disposed persons, not only in the place above-mentioned, but also in most of the polite towns of this island; I have taken that matter into my serious consideration, and do find that this custom is by no means to be indulged in this country and climate.
It is indeed very unaccountable, that most of our British youth should take such great delight in these nocturnal expeditions. Your robust true-born Briton, that has not yet felt the force of flames and darts, has a natural inclination to break windows; while those, whose natural ruggedness has been soothed and tened by gentle passions, bave as strong a pro
--Andis minús, et mínůs jam,
Hor. 1 Od, xxv. 8.
But notwithstanding the opinions of many learned men upon this subject, I rather agree with them who look upon this custom, as now practised, to have been introduced by castrated musicians; who found out this method of aphours, when men of hoarser voices express plying themselves to their mistresses at these their passions in a more vulgar method. It must he confessed, that your Italians eunuchs do practise this manner of courtship to this day.
But whoever were the persons that first thought of the serenade, the authors of all countries are unanimous in ascribing the invention to Italy.
Mr. John Banister was educated rader his father, a
musician, of both the same names, whom Charles 11. sent into France for his improvement on the violin. The father died in 1679. His son, probably the gentleman here mentioned, was likewise a composer, and at the head of the sof-band in Drury-lane, where he continued to play the first violin till about 1720, when he was succeeded by Carbonelli.
when they begin their midnight complaint with,
My lodging upon the cold ground is,
we are not to understand them in the rigour of the letter; since it would be impossible for a British swain to condole himself long in that situation, without really dying for his mistress. A man might as well serenade in Greenland as in our region. Milton seems to have had in his thoughts the absurdity of these northern serenades, in the censure which he passes upon
-Or midnight ball,
Or serenade, which the starv'd lover sings To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain,
The truth of it is, I have often pitied, in a winter night, a vocal musician, and have attributed many of his trills and quavers to the
coldness of the weather.
The second circumstance, which inclined the Italians to this custom, was that musical genius which is so universal among them. Nothing is more frequent in that country, than to hear a cobbler working to an opera-tune. You can scarce see a porter that has not one nail much longer than the rest, which you will find, upon enquiry, is cherished for some instrument. In short, there is not a labourer, or handicraft man, that, in the cool of the evening, does not relieve himself with solos and
ably the unmarried part of the world, and taking off those bars to it, jointures and settlements; which are not only the greatest impediments towards entering into that state, but also the frequent causes of distrust and animosity in it after it is consummated. have with very much attention considered this have made through a long course of years, I case; and, among all the observations that I have thought the coldness of wives to their husbands, as well as disrespect from children to parents, to arise from this one source. This trade for minds and bodies in the lump, without regard to either, but as they are accompanied with such sums of money, and such parcels of land, cannot but produce a commerce between the parties concerned, suitable to the mean motives upon which they at first came together. I have heretofore given an account, that this method of making settlements was first invented by a griping lawyer, who made use of the covetous tempers of the parents of each side, to force two young people into these vile measures of diffidence, for no other end but to increase the skins of parchment, by which they were put into each other's possession out of each other's power. The law of our country has given an ample and generous provision for the wife, even the third of her husband's estate, and left to her good-humour and his gratitude the expectation of further provision; but the fantastical method of going further, with relation to their heirs, has a foundation in nothing but pride and folly for as all men wish their children as like themselves, and as much better as they can possibly, it seems monstrous that we should give out of ourselves the opportunities of rewarding and discouraging them according to their deserts. This wise institution has no more sense in it, than if a man should begin a deed with, 'Whereas no man living knows how long he shall continue to be a reasonable creature, or an honest man. And whereas I B. am going to enter into the state of matrimony with Mrs. D. therefore I shall from henceforth make it indifferent to me whether from this time forward I shall be a fool or a knave. And, therefore, in full and perfect health of body, and a sound mind, not knowing which of my children will prove better or worse, I give to my first born, be he perverse, ungrateful, impious, or cruel, the lump and bulk of my estate; and leave one year's purchase only to each of my younger children, whether they shall be brave or beautiful, modest or honourable, from the time of the date hereof, wherein ploy my judgment no further in the distriI resign my senses, and hereby promise to embution of my worldly goods from the day of the date hereof; hereby further confessing and covenanting, that I am from henceforth married, and dead in law.'
There is no man that is conversant in modern | settlements, but knows this is an exact translation of what is inserted in these instruments. Men's passions could only make them submit to such terms; and therefore all unreasonable bargains in marriage ought to be set aside, as well as deeds extorted from men under force, or in prison, who are altogether as much masters of their actions, as he that is possessed with a violent passion.
How strangely men are sometimes partial to themselves appears by the rapine of him that has a daughter's beauty under his direction. He will make no scruple of using it to force from her lover as much of his estate as is worth ten thousand pounds, and at the same time, as a justice on the bench, will spare no pains to get a man hanged that has taken but a horse from him.
It is to be hoped the legislature will in due time take this kind of robbery into consideration, and not suffer men to prey upon each other when they are about making the most solemn league, and entering into the strictest bonds. The only sure remedy is to fix a certain rate on every woman's fortune; one price for that of a maid, and another for that of a widow for it is of infinite advantage, that there should be no frauds or uncertainties in the sale of our women.
I ordain, That no woman ever demand one shilling to be paid after her husband's death, more than the very sum she brings him, or an equivalent for it in land.
That no settlement be made, in which the man settles on his children more than the reversion of the jointure, or the value of it in money; so that at his death, he may in the whole be bound to pay his family but double to what he has received. I would have the eldest, as well as the rest have his provision out of this.
When men are not able to come up to those settlements I have proposed, I would have them receive so much of the portion only as they can come up to, and the rest to go to the woman by way of pin-money, or separate maintenance. In this, I think, I determine equally between the two sexes.
If any lawyer varies from these rules, or is above two days in drawing a marriage-settlement, or uses more words in it than one skin of parchment will contain, or takes above five pounds for drawing it, I would have him thrown over the bar.
Were these rules observed, a woman with a small fortune, and a great deal of worth, would be sure to marry according to her deserts, if the man's estate were to be less incumbered, in proportion as her fortune is less than he might have with others.
A man of a great deal of merit, and not much estate, might be chosen for his worth; because it would not be difficult for him to make a settlement.
If any man should exceed the settled rate, he ought to be at liberty after seven years are over, by which time his love may be supposed to abate a little, if it is not founded upon rea son, to renounce the bargain, and be freed from the settlement upon restoring the portion; as a youth married under fourteen years old may be off, if he pleases, when he comes to age, and as a man is discharged from all bargains but that of marriage, made when he is under twenty-one.
The man that loves a woman best, would not lose her for not being able to bid so much as another, or for not complying with an extravagant demand.
A fine woman would no more be set up to auction as she is now. When a man puts in It grieves me, when I consider that these for her, her friends or herself take care to pubrestraints upon matrimony take away the ad-lish it; and the man that was the first bidder vantage we should otherwise have over other is made no other use of but to raise the price. countries, which are sunk much by those great He that loves her will continue in waiting as checks upon propagation, the convents. It is long as she pleases, if her fortune be thought thought chiefly owing to these, that Italy and equal to his; and, under pretence of some Spain want above half their complement of failure in the rent-roll, or difficulties in drawpeople. Were the price of wives always fixed ing the settlement, he is put off until a better and settled, it would contribute to filling the bargain is made with another. nation more than all the encouragements that can possibly be given to foreigners to transplant themselves hither.
All the rest of the sex, that are not rich or beautiful to the highest degree, are plainly gainers, and would be married so fast, that the least charming of them would soon grow beauties to the bachelors.
I, therefore, as censor of Britain, until a law is made, will lay down rules which shall be observed, with penalty of degrading all that break them, into Pretty Fellows, Smarts, Squibs, Hunting-Horns, Drums, and Bagpipes.
The females that are guilty of breaking my orders, I shall respectively prenounce to be Kits, Hornpipes, Dulcimers, and Kettle-drums. Such widows as wear the spoils of one husband, I will bury, if they attempt to rob another. ¦
Widows might be easily married, if they would not, as they do now, set up for discreet, only by being mercenary.
The making matrimony cheap and easy would be the greatest discouragement to vice : the limiting the expense of children would not make men ill inclined, or afraid of having them in a regular way; and the men of merit would
Bot live unmarried, as they often do now, be- | Dr. Anderson's pills; nor take notice of the cause the goodness of a wife cannot be ensured to them; but the loss of an estate is certain, and a man would never have the affliction of a worthless heir added to that of a bad wife.
many satirical works of this nature so frequently published by Dr. Clark, who bas had the confidence to advertise upon that learned knight, my very worthy friend, sir William Read: but I shall not interpose in their quarrel: sir William can give him his own in advertisements, that, in the judgment of the impartial, are as well penned as the doctor's.
The third and last use of these writings is to inform the world, where they may be furnished with almost every thing that is necessary for life. If a man has pains in his head, colics in his bowels, or spots in his clothes, he may here meet with proper cures and remedies. If a man would recover a wife or a horse that is stolen or strayed; if he wants new sermons, electuaries, asses milk, or any thing else, either for his body or his mind; this is the place to look for them in.
I am the more serious, large, and particular on this subject, because my lucubrations, designed for the encouragement of virtue, cannot have the desired success as long as this incumbrance of settlements continues upon matrimony.
No. 224.] Thursday, September 14, 1710.
Ovid. Met. ii. 5. The matter equall'd not the artist's skill. R. Wynne. From my own Apartment, September 13. IT is my custom, in a dearth of news, to entertain myself with those collections of advertisements that appear at the end of all our public prints. These I consider as accounts of news from the little world, in the same manner that the foregoing parts of the paper are from the great. If in one we hear that a sovereign rince is fled from his capital city, in the other we hear of a tradesman who hath shut up his shop, and run away. If in one we find the victory of a general, in the other we see the desertion of a private soldier. I must confess I have a certain weakness in my temper, that is often very much affected by these little domestic occurrences, and have frequently been caught with tears in my eyes over a melancholy advertisement.
But the great skill in an advertiser is chiefly seen in the style which he makes use of. He is to mention the universal esteem, or general reputation,' of things that were never beard
If he is a physician or astrologer, he must change his lodgings frequently; and, though he never saw any body in them besides his own family, give public notice of it, for the information of the nobility and gentry.' Since
But to consider this subject in its most ridiculous lights, advertisements are of great use to the vulgar. First of all, as they are instruments of ambition. A man that is by no means big enough for the Gazette, may easily creep into the advertisements; by which means we often see an apothecary in the same paper of news with a plenipotentiary, or a running-I am thus usefully employed in writing critifootman with an ambassador. An advertise- cisms on the works of these diminutive authors, ment from Piccadilly goes down to posterity I must not pass over in silence an advertisewith an article from Madrid, and John Bartlett ment, which has lately made its appearance, of Goodman's-fields is celebrated in the same and is written altogether in a Ciceronian man paper with the emperor of Germany. Thus ner. It was sent to me, with five shillings, to the fable tells us, that the wren mounted as be inserted among my advertisements; but as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back. it is a pattern of good writing in this way, I shall give it a place in the body of my paper.
A second use which this sort of writings hath been turned to of late years, has been the management of controversy; insomuch that above
half the advertisements one meets with now-a
days are purely polemical. The inventors of strops for razors' have written against one another this way for several years, and that with great bitterness; as the whole argument pro and con in the case of the morning-gown' is still carried on after the same manner. need not mention the several proprietors of
The great art in writing advertisements, is the finding out a proper method to catch the reader's eye, without which a good thing may pass over unobserved, or be lost among com missions of bankrupts. Asterisks and hands were formerly of great use for this purpose. of late years the N. B. has been much in fashion, as also little cuts and figures, the invention of which we must ascribe to the author of spring-trusses. I must not here omit the blind Italian character, which, being scarce legible, always fixes and detains the eye, and gives the curious reader something like the satisfaction of prying into a secret.
6 The highest compounded spirit of lavender, the most glorious, if the expression may be used, enlivening scent and flavour that can possibly be, which so raptures the spirits, delights the gust, and gives such airs to the countenance, as are not to be imagined but by those that have tried it. The meanest sort of the thing is admired by most gentlemen and ladies; but this far more, as by far it exceeds it, to the gaining among all a more than common esteem. It is sold, in neat flint bottles fit for the