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of a bow. The censor observing several glances [old with a much worse grace than the other of the prosecutor's eye, and perceiving that when does; and bave ever been of opinion, that there he talked to the court he looked upon the are more well-pleased old women, than old jury, found reason to suspect there was a wrong men. I thought it a good reason for this, that cast in his sight, which, upon examination, the ambition of the fair sex being confined to proved true. The censor therefore ordered advantageous marriages, or shining in the eyes the prisoner, that he might not produce any of men, their parts were over sooner, and conmore confusions in public assemblies, never sequently the errors in the performances of to bow to any body whom he did not at the them. The conversation of this evening has time call to by name.' not convinced me of the contrary; for one or two fop-women shall not make a balance for the crowds of coxcombs among ourselves, diver


Oliver Bluff and Benjamin Browbeat were indicted for going to fight a duel since the erection of the The Court of Honour.' It ap-sified according to the different pursuits of peared, that they were both taken up in the pleasure and business. street as they passed by the court in their way to the fields behind Montague-house. The criminals would answer nothing for themselves, but that they were going to execute a challenge which had been made a week before the Court of Honour' was erected. The censor finding some reason to suspect by the sturdiness of their behaviour, that they were not so very brave as they would have the court believe them, ordered them both to be searched by the grand jury, who found a breast-plate upon the one, and two quires of paper upon the other. The breast plate was immediately ordered to be hung upon a peg over Mr. Bickerstaff's tribunal, and the paper to be laid upon the table for the use of his clerk. He then ordered the criminals to button up their bosoms, and, if they pleased, proceed to their duel. Upon which they both went very quietly out of the court, and retired to their respective lodgings.The court then adjourned until after the holidays.

Copia vera.


No. 266.] Thursday, December 21, 1710.

Rideat et pulset lasciva decentins ætas.
Har. 2 Ep. ii, ult.
Let youth, more decent in their follies, scoff
The nauseous scene, and hiss thee reeling off.

From my own Apartment, December 20. It would be a good appendix to 'The art of living and dying,' if any one would write The art of growing old,' and teach men to resign their pretensions to the pleasures and gallantries of youth, in proportion to the alteration they find in themselves by the approach of age and infirmities. The infirmities of this stage of life would be much fewer, if we did not affect those which attend the more vigorous and active part of our days; but instead of studying to be wiser, or being contented with our present follies, the ambition of many of us is also to be the same sort of fools we formerly have been. I have often argued, as I am a professed lover of women, that our sex grows


Returning home this evening a little before my usual hour, I scarce had seated myself in my easy chair, stirred the fire, and stroked my cat, but I heard somebody come rumbling up stairs. I saw my door opened, and a human figure advancing towards me, so fantastically put together, that it was some minutes before I discovered it to be my old and intimate friend, Sam Trusty. Immediately I rose up, and placed him in my own seat; a compli ment I pay to few. The first thing he uttered was,Isaac, fetch me a cup of your cherrybrandy before you offer to ask any question.' He drank a lusty draught, sat silent for some time, and at last broke out; I am come,' quoth he, to insult thee for an old fantastic dotard, as thou art, in ever defending the women. I have this evening visited two widows, who are now in that state I have often heard you call an after-life; I suppose you mean by it, an existence which grows out of past entertainments, and is an untimely delight in the satisfactions which they once set their hearts upon too much to be ever able to relinquish. Have but patience,' continued he, until I give you a succinct account of my ladies, and of this night's adventure. They are much of an age, but very different in their characters. The one of them, with all the advances which years have made upon her, goes on in a certain romantic road of love and friendship which she fell into in her teens; the other has transferred the amorous passions of her first years to the love of cronies, petts, and favourites, with which she is always surrounded; but the genius of each of them will best appear by the account of what happened to me at their houses. About five this afternoon, being tired with study, the weather inviting, and time lying a little upon my hands, I resolved, at the instigation of my evil genius, to visit them; their husbands having been our contemporaries. This I thought I could do without much trouble; for both live in the very next street. I went first to my lady Camomile; and the butler, who had lived long in the family, and seen me often in his master's time, ushered me very civilly into the parlour, and told me though my lady had given strict orders to be denied, he was sure.

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might be admitted, and bid the black boy ac-
quaint his lady that I was come to wait upon
ner. In the window lay two letters, one broke
open, the other fresh sealed with a wafer: the
first directed to the divine Cosmelia, the second
to the charming Lucinda; but both, by the
indented characters, appeared to have been
writ by very unsteady hands. Such uncom-
mon addresses increased my curiosity, and put
me upon asking my old friend the butler, if he
knew who those persons were? 'Very well,'
says he, this is from Mrs. Furbish to my lady,
an old school-fellow and great crony of her
ladyships; and this the answer.' I enquired
in what county she lived. Oh dear!' says
be, but just by, in the neighbourhood. Why,
she was here all this morning, and that letter
came and was answered within these two hours.
They have taken an odd fancy, you must know,
to call one another hard names; but, for all
that, they love one another hugely.' By this
time the boy returned with his lady's humble
service to me, desiring I would excuse her; for
she could not possibly see me, nor any body else,
for it was opera-night.'

what I suffered from the hideous din of these
discordant sounds. At length all was appeased,
and quiet restored: a chair was drawn for me;
where I was no sooner seated, but the parrot
fixed his horny beak, as sharp as a pair of
sheers, in one of my heels, just above the shoe,
I sprung from the place with an unusual agility
aud so, being within the monkey's reach, he
snatches off my new bob-wig, and throws it
upon two apples that were roasting by a sullen
sea-coal fire. I was nimble enough to save it
from any further damage than singing the fore-
top. I put it on; and composing myself as
well as I could, I drew my chair towards the
other side of the chimney. The good lady, as
soon as she had recovered breath, employed it
in making a thousand apologies, and, with
great eloquence, and a numerous train of words,
lamented my misfortune. In the middle of
her harangue, I felt something scratching near
my knee, and feeling what it should be, found
the squirrel had got into my coat pocket. As
I endeavoured to remove him from his burrow,
he made his teeth meet through the fleshy part
of my fore finger. This gave me an inexpres
sible pain. The Hungary water was immediately
brought to bathe it, and gold-beaters' skin ap-
plied to stop the blood. The lady renewed her
excuses; but being now out of all patience, I
abruptly took my leave, and hobbling down
stairs with heedless haste, I set my foot full in
a pail of water, and down we came to the bot-
tom together.' Here my friend concluded bis
narrative, and, with a composed countenance,


Methinks,' says I, such innocent folly as two old women's courtship to each other, should rather make you merry than put you out of humour.' "Peace, good Isaac," says he, no interruption, I beseech you. I got soon to Mrs. Feeble's; she that was formerly Betty Frisk; you must needs remember her; Tom Feeble of Brazen Nose fell in love with her for her fine dancing. Well, Mrs. Ursula, without further ceremony, carries me directly up to I began to make him compliments of condoher mistress's chamber, where I found her en-lence; but he started from his chair, and said, vironed by four of the most mischievous ani-Isaac, you may spare your speeches, I expect mals that can ever infest a family; an old no reply. When I told you this, I knew you shock dog with one eye, a monkey chained to would laugh at me; but the next woman that one side of the chimney, a great grey squirrel makes me ridiculous shall be a young one.' to the other, and a parrot waddling in the middle of the room. However, for a while, all was in a profound tranquillity. Upon the mantle-tree, for I am a pretty curious observer, stood a pot of lambetive electuary, with a stick of liquorice, and near it a phial of rose-water, and powder of tutty. Upon the table lay a pipe filled with betony and cult's-foot, a roll of wax-candle, a silver spitting-pot, and a Seville orange. The lady was placed in a large wicker chair, and her feet wrapped up in flannel, supported by cushions; and in this attitude, would you believe it, Isaac, was she reading a romance with spectacles on. The first compliments over, as she was industriously endea vouring to enter upon conversation, a violent fit of coughing seized her. This awaked Shock, and in a trice the whole room was in an uproar; for the dog barked, the squirrel squealed, the monkey chattered, the parrot screamed, and Ursula, to appease them, was more clamorous

than all the rest.

any harsh noise

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No. 267.]

Saturday, December 23, 1710.

Qui genus humanum ingenio superavit, et omnes
Restinxit stellas, exortus uti aerius sol. Lucr. iii. 1056.
His genius quite obscar'd the brightest ray
Of human thought, as Sol's effulgent beams
At morn's approach, extinguish all the stars.
R. Wynne.

From my own Apartment, December 22. I HAVE beard that it is a rule among the conventuals of several orders in the Romish church to shut themselves up at a certain time of the year, not only from the world in general, but from the members of their own fraternity; and to pass away several days by themselves in settling accounts between their Maker and their own souls, in canceling unrepented crimes, and renewing their contracts of obedience for the future. Such stated times for particular You, Isaac, who know how acts of devotion, or the exercise of certain re

all civil

governments, whatever deity they worshipped, or whatever religion they professed. That which may be done at all times, is often totally neglected and forgotten, unless fixed and determined to some time more than another; and therefore, though several duties may be suitable to every day of our lives, they are most likely to be performed, if some days are more particularly set apart for the practice of them. Our church has accordingly instituted several seasons of devotion, when time, custom, prescription, and, if I may so say, the fashion itself, call upon a man to be serious, and attentive to the great end of his being.

I have hinted in some former papers, that the greatest and wisest of men in all ages and countries, particularly in Rome and Greece, were renowned for their piety and virtue. It is now my intention to show, how those in our own nation, that have been unquestionably the most eminent for learning and knowledge, were likewise the most eminent for their adherence to the religion of their country.

I might produce very shining examples from among the clergy; but because priest-craft is the common cry of every cavilling, empty scribbler, I shall show that all the laymen who have exerted a more than ordinary genius in their writings, and were the glory of their times, were men whose hopes were filled with mmortality, and the prospect of future rewards, and men who lived in a dutiful submission to all the doctrines of revealed religion.

I shall, in this paper, only instance sir Francis Bacon, a man who, for greatness of genius, and compass of knowledge, did honour to his age and country; I could almost say to human | nature itself. He possessed at once all those extraordinary talents, which were divided amongst the greatest authors of antiquity. He had the sound, distinct, comprehensive knowledge of Aristotle, with all the beautiful lights, graces, and embellishments of Cicero. One does not know which to admire most in his writings, the strength of reason, force of style, or brightness of imagination.

This author has remarked in several parts of his works, that a thorough insight into philosophy makes a good believer, and that a smattering in it naturally produces such a race of despicable infidels as the little profligate writers of the present age, whom, I must confess, I have always accused to myself, not so much for their want of faith as their want of learning.

I was infinitely pleased to find, among the works of this extraordinary man, a prayer of his own composing, which for the elevation of thought, and greatness of expression, seems rather the devotion of an angel than a man. His principal fault seems to have been the excess of that virtue which covers a multitude of faults. This betrayed him to so great an indul

gence towards his servants,, who made a corrupt use of it, that it stripped him of all those riches and honours which a long series of merits had heaped upon him. But in this prayer, at the same time that we find him prostrating himself before the great mercy-seat, and hum bled under afflictions, which at that time lay heavy upon him, we see him supported by the sense of his integrity, his zeal, his devotion, and his love to mankind; which give him a much higher figure in the minds of thinking men, than that greatness had done from whic he was fallen. I shall beg leave to write down the prayer itself, with the title with it, as it was found amongst his lordship's papers, written in his own hand; not being able to furnish my readers with an entertainment more suitable to this solemn time.

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Most gracious Lord God, my merciful Father; from my youth up my Creator, my Redeemer, my Comforter. Thou, O Lord, soundest and searchest the depths and secrets of all hearts; thou acknowledgest the upright of heart; thou judgest the hypocrite; thou ponderest men's thoughts and doings as in a balance; thou measurest their intentions as with a line; vanity and crooked ways cannot be hid from thee.


Remember, O Lord! how thy servant hath walked before thee; remember what I have first sought, and what hath been principal in my intentions. I have loved thy assemblies, I have mourned for the divisions of thy church, I have delighted in the brightness of thy sanctuary. This vine, which thy right hand bath planted in this nation, I have ever prayed unto thee that it might have the first and the latter rain, and that it might stretch her branches to the seas, and to the floods. The state and bread of the poor and oppressed have been precious in mine eyes; I have hated all cruelty and hardness of heart; I have, though in a despised weed, procured the good of all men. If any have been my enemies, I thought not of them, neither hath the sun almost set upon my displeasure; but I have been, as a dove, free from superfluity of maliciousness. Thy creatures have been my books, but thy scriptures much more. I have sought thee in the courts, fields, and gardens; but I have found thee in thy temples.

'Thousands have been my sins, and ten thousands my transgressions, but thy sanctifications have remained with me, and my heart, through thy grace, hath been an unquenched coal upon thine altar.

O Lord, my strength! I have since my youth met with thee in all my ways, by thy fatherly compassions, by thy comfortable chastisements, and by thy most visible providence,

As thy favours have increased upon me, so have thy corrections; so as thou hast been always near me, O Lord! and ever as my worldly blessings were exalted, so secret darts from thee have pierced me; and when I have ascended before men, I have descended in humiliation before thee. And now, when I thought most of peace and honour, thy hand is heavy upon me, and hath humbled me according to thy former loving-kindness, keeping me still in thy fatherly school, not as a bastard, but as a child. Just are thy judgments upon me for my sins, which are more in number than the sands of the sea, but have no proportion to thy mercies; for what are the sands of the sea? Earth, heavens, and all these, are nothing to thy mercies. Besides my innumerable sins, I confess before thee, that I am debtor to thee for the gracious talent of thy gifts and graces, which I have neither put into a napkin, nor put it, as I ought, to exchangers, where it might have made best profit, but misspent it in things for which I was least fit; so I may truly say, my soul hath been a stranger in the course of my pilgrimage. Be merciful unto me, O Lord, for my Saviour's sake, and receive me unto thy bosom, or guide me in thy ways.'


No. 268.] Tuesday, December 26, 1710. -O te, Bolane, cerebri

Felicem aiebam tacitus, cum quidlibet ille
Hor. 1 Sat. ix. 11.

waiters of the coffee-house be nominated as reader to the said pulpit; that after the news of the day has been published by the said lecturer, some politician of good note do ascend into the said pulpit; and, after having chosen for his text any article of the said news, that he do establish the authority of such article, clear the doubts that may arise thereupon, compare it with parallel texts in other papers, advance upon it wholesome points of doctrine, and draw from it salutary conclusions for the benefit and edification of all that hear him. We do likewise humbly propose, that upon any such politician's quitting the pulpit, he shall be succeeded by any other orator that finds himself moved by the same public spirit, who shall be at full liberty either to enforce or overthrow what the other has said before him, and may, in the same manner, be succeeded by any other politician, who shall, with the same liberty, confirm or impugn his reasons, strengthen or invalidate his conjectures, enlarge upon his schemes, or erect new ones of his own. We do likewise further propose, that if any person, of what age and rank soever, do presume to cavil at any paper that has been read, or to hold forth upon it longer than the space of one minute, that he be immediately ordered up into the pulpit, there to make good any thing that he has suggested upon the floor. We do likewise further propose, that if any one plays the orator in the ordinary coffee-house conversation, whether it be upon peace or war, on plays or sermons, business or poetry, that he be forthwith desired to take his place in the pulpit. This, sir, we humbly presume, may in a great measure put a stop to those superficial statesmen, who would not dare to stand up in this manner before a whole congregation of politicians, notwithstanding the long and tedious harangues and dissertations which they daily utter in private circles, to the breaking of many honest tradesmen, the seducing of several eminent citizens, the making of numberless malecontents, and to the great detriment and disquiet of her majesty's subjects."

I thus in muttering silence fretted;
Bolanns, happy in a scull



Of proof, impenetrably dull, O for a portion of thy brains l' From my own Apartment, December 25. AT my coming home last night, I found upon my table the following petition or project, sent me from Lloyd's coffee-house in the city, with a present of port wine, which had been bought at a late auction held in that place. 'To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, Censor of Great Britain. Lloyd's Coffee-house, Lombard-street, Dec. 23. We, the customers of this coffee-house, observing that you have taken into your consideration the great mischiefs daily done in this city by coffee-house orators, do humbly beg leave to represent to you, that this coffee-house being provided with a pulpit for the benefit of such auctions that are frequently made in this place, it is our custom, upon the first coming in of the news, to order a youth, who officiates as the Kidney of the coffee-house, to get into the pulpit, and read every paper with a loud and distinct voice, while the whole audience are sipping their respective liquors. We do therefore, sir, humbly propose, that there be a pulpit erected within every coffee-house of this city and the adjacent parts; that one of the

I do heartily concur with my ingenious friends of the above-mentioned coffee-house in these their'proposals: and, because I apprehend there may be reasons to put an immediate stop to the grievance complained of, it is my intention, that, until such time as the aforesaid pulpits can be erected, every orator do place himself within the bar, and from thence dictate whatsoever he shall think necessary for the public good.

And further, because I am very desirous that proper ways and means should be found out for the suppressing of story-tellers and fine talkers in all ordinary conversations whatsoever, I do insist, that in every private club, company, or

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