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dearth of news, present you with musty foreign edicts, or dull proclamations, but shall divide our relation of the passages which occur in action or discourse throughout this town, as well as elsewhere, under such dates of places as may prepare you for the matter you are to expect, in the following manner.
HOUGH the other papers, which are published for the use of the good people of England, have certainly very wholesome ef- "All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and feets, and are laudable in their particular kinds, entertainment, shall be under the article of they do not seem to come up to the main de-White's Chocolate-house; poetry, under that sign of such narrations; which, I humbly pre-of Will's Coffee-house ;+ learning, under the sume, should be principally intended for the title of Grecian; ‡ foreign and domestic news, use of politic persons, who are so public-spirited you will have from Saint James's Coffee-house; as to neglect their own affairs to look into trans- and what else I have to offer on any other subactions of state. Now these gentlemen, for jeet shall be dated from my own apartment. the most part, being persons of strong zeal and weak intellects, it is both a charitable and nenessary work to offer something whereby such worthy and well-affected members of the commonwealth may be instructed, after their reading, what to think; which shall be the end and purpose of this my paper, wherein I shall from time to time report and consider all matters of what kind soever that shall occur to me, and publish such my advices and reflections every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in the week, for the convenience of the post. I resolve to have something which may be of entertainment to the fair-sex, in honour of whom, I have invented the title of this paper. I therefore earnestly desire all persons, without distinction, to take it in for the present, gratis, and hereafter, at the price of one penny, forbidding all hawkers to take more for it at their peril. And I desire all persons to consider, that I am at a very great charge for proper materials for this work, as well as that, before I resolved upon it, I had settled a correspondence in all parts of the known and knowing world. And forasmuch as this globe is not trodden upon by mere drudges of business only, but that men of spirit home with him a Greek servant, who first opened a house and genius are justly to be esteemed as coniderable agents in it, we shall not, upon a
+"Will's Coffee-nouse was on the north side of Russel street, Covent-garden, where the wits of that time used te
assemble, and where Dryden had, when he lived, been ac customed to preside
Johnson' "Lives," &c. vol. iv. p. 15. 8vo. erlit. 1781. The Grecian was, and still is, in Devereux-court in the Strand; probably the most ancient coffee-house in or about London. In 1652, an English Turkey-merchant brought
for making and selling coffee.
Kidney was one of the waiter's at St. James's Coffeehouse.
Tuesday, April 12, 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 seizes for its theme.'
I once more desire my reader to consider, that as I cannot keep an ingenious man to go daily to Will's under twopence each day, merely for his charges; to White's under sixpence ; nor to the Grecian, without allowing him some plain Spanish, to be as able as others at the learned table; and that a good observer cannot speak with even Kidney | at Saint James's without clean linen; I say, these considerations will, I hope, make all persons willing to comply with my humble request (when my gratis stock is exhausted) of a penny a-piece; especially since they are sure of some proper amusement, and that it is impossible for me to want means to entertain them, having, besides the force of my own parts, the power of divination, and that I
White's Chocolate-honse was then on the west side of
can, by casting a figure, tell you all that will happen before it comes to pass.
64 But this last faculty I shall use very sparingly, and speak but of few things until they are passed, for fear of divulging matters which may offend our superiors."*
White's Chocolate-house, April 7.
The deplorable condition of a very pretty gentleman, who walks here at the hours when men of quality first appear, is what is very much lamented. His history is, that on the ninth of September, 1705, being in his one-and-twentieth year, he was washing his teeth at a tavern window in Pall-Mall, when a fine equipage passed by, and in it a young lady who looked up at him; away goes the coach, and the young gentleman pulled off his night-cap, and instead of rubbing his gums, as he ought to do, out of Che window until about four of the clock, sits him down and spoke not a word until twelve at night; after which, he began to enquire if any body knew the lady?-The company asked what lady? but he said no more, until they broke up at six in the morning. All the ensuing winter he went from church to church every Sunday, and from play-house to play-house every night in the week; but could never find the original of the picture which dwelt in his bosom. In a word, his attention to any thing but his passion was utterly gone. He has lost all the money he ever played for, and been confuted in every argument he has entered upon, since the moment he first saw her. He is of a noble family, has naturally a very good air, and is of a frank, honest temper; but this passion has so extremely mauled him, that his features are set and uninformed, and his whole visage is deadened by a long absence of thought. He never appears in any alacrity but when raised by wine; at which time he is sure to come nither and throw away a great deal of wit on fellows who have no sense farther than just to observe, that our poor lover has most understanding when he is drunk, and is least in his senses when he is sober.+
The reader desired to take notice of the article from this place, from time to time, for I design to be very exact in the progress this unhappy gentleman makes, which may be of great instruction to all who actually are, or who ever shall be in love.
Will's Coffee-house, April 8.
On Thursday last was acted, for the benefit of Mr. Betterton, the celebrated comedy called
The same Introduction was prefixed to No. 2, and No. 3.
Love for Love.* Those excellent players, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, and Mr. Dogget, though not at present concerned in the house, acted on that occasion. There has not been known so great a concourse of persons of distinction as at that time; the stage itself was covered with gentlemen and ladies, and when the curtain was drawn, it discovered even there, a very splendid audience. This unusual encouragement, which was given to a play for the advantage of so great an actor, gives an undeniable instance, that the true relish for manly entertainments and rational pleasures is not wholly lost. All the parts were acted to perfection: the actors were careful of their carriage, and no one was guilty of the affectation to insert witticisms of his own; but a due respect was had to the audience for encouraging but plays will revive, and take their usual place this accomplished player. It is not now doubted in the opinion of persons of wit and merit, notwithstanding their late apostacy in favour of dress and sound. This place is very much altered since Mr. Dryden frequented it; where in the hands of every man you met, you have you used to see songs, epigrams, and satires, now only a pack of cards; and instead of the cavils about the turn of the expression, the elegance of the style, and the like, the learned But however the company is altered, all have now dispute only about the truth of the game. shewn a great respect for Mr. Betterton; and the very gaming part of this house have been so touched with a sense of the uncertainty of human affairs (which alter with themselves pitied Mark Authony of Rome, Hamlet of Denevery moment) that in this gentleman, they mark, Mithridates of Pontus, Theodosius of Greece, and Henry the Eighth of England. It is well known, he has been in the condition of each of those illustrious personages for several high stations, in all the changes of the scene, hours together, and behaved himself in those intend to repeat this late favour to him on a with suitable dignity. For these reasons, we proper occasion, lest he, who can instruct us be lost to us by suffering under real ones. The so well in personating feigned sorrows, should seeing a comedy now in rehearsal, which is the town is at present in very great expectation of twenty-fifth production of my honoured friend Mr. Thomas D'Urfey; who, besides his great abilities in the dramatic, has a peculiar talent in the lyric way of writing, and that with a manner wholly new and unknown to the ancient
1 Edward Lord Viscount Hinchinbroke, mentioned after. wards under the name of Cyuthio. He died in the lifetime of his father, Oct. 3, 1722 Sce No. 5, and No. 29.
By Congreve. Published in quarto, 1695.
+ Thomas Betterton, justly esteemed the Roscins of his age, was born in 1635, came upon the stage in 1656, and continued on it with great reputation more than fifty years. He died April 28, 1710.
"The Modern Prophets," c. quarto, 1709, his twenty. seventh production, according to the list of his plays in Blog. Dram. See Tat. No. 11, and note; and No. 43.
"reeks and Romans, wherein he is but faintly imitated in the translations of the modern Italian operas.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 11. Letters from the Hague of the sixteenth say, that Major-general Cadogan was gone to Brusels, with orders to disperse proper instructions for assembling the whole force of the allies in Flanders, in the beginning of the next month. The late offers concerning peace were made in the style of persons who think themselves upon equal terms; but the allies have so just a sense of their present advantages, that they will not admit of a treaty, except France offers what is more suitable to her present condition. At the same time, we make preparations as if we were alarmed by a greater force than that which we are carrying into the field. Thus this point seems now to be argued sword in hand. This was what a great general* alluded to, when being asked the names of those who were to be plenipotentiaries for the ensuing peace, he answered with a serious air, There are about an hundred thousand of us." Mr. Kidney, who has the ear of the greatest politicians that come hither, tells me, there is a mail come in to-day with letters, dated Hague, April the nineteenth, N. S. which say, a design of bringing part of our troops into the field, at the latter end of this month, is now altered to a resolution of marching towards the camp about the twentieth of the next. Prince Eugene was then returned thither from Amsterdam. He No. 2.] sets out from Brussels on Tuesday: the greater number of the general officers at the Hague, have orders to go at the same time. squadron at Dunkirk consists of seven vessels. There happened the other day, in the road of Scheveling, an engagement between a priva teer of Zeeland and one of Dunkirk. The Dunkirker, carrying thirty-three pieces of cannon was taken and brought into the Texel. It is said, the courier of Monsieur Rouille is returned to him from the court of France. Monsieur Vendosme, being re-instated in the favour of the dutchess of Burgundy, is to command in Flanders.
Mr. Kidney added, that there were letters of the seventeenth from Ghent, which give an account that the enemy had formed a design to surprise two battalions of the allies which lay at Alost; but those battalions received advice of their march, and retired to Dendermond. Lieutenant-general Wood appeared on this occasion at the head of five thousand foot, and one thousand horse; upon which, the enemy withdrew without making any farther attempt.
with so much discourse upon a matter which I at the very first mentioned as a trifle, viz. the death of Mr. Partridge, under whose name there is an almanack come out for the year 1709; in one page of which, it is asserted by the said John Partridge, that he is still living; and not only so, but that he was also living some time before, and even at the instant when I writ of his death. I have in another place, and in a paper by itself, sufficiently convinced this man that he is dead, and, if he has any shame, I do not doubt but that by this time he owns it to all his acquaintance; for though the legs and arms and whole body of that man may still appear, and perform their animal functions; yet since, as I have elsewhere observed, his art is gone, the man is gone. I am, as I said, concerned that this little matter should make so much noise; but since I am engaged, I take myself obliged in honour to go on in my lucubrations, and by the help of these arts, of which I am master, as well as my skill in astrological speculations, I shall as I see occasion, proceed to confute other dead men who pretend to be in being, although they are actually deceased. I therefore give all men fair warning to mend their manners; for I shall, from time to time, print bills of mortality; and I beg the pardon of all such who shall be named therein, if they who are good for nothing shall find themselves in the number of the deceased.
The duke of Marlborough.
Quicquid agunt homines-
Juv. Sat. 1. 85, ε6.
Will's Coffee-house, April 13.
THERE has lain all this evening on the table, the following poem. The subject of it being matter very useful for families, I thought it deserved to be considered, and made more public. The turn the poet gives it, is very happy; but the foundation is from a real accident which happened among my acquaintance. A young gentleman of a great estate fell desperately in love with a great beauty of very high quality, but as ill-natured as long flattery and an habitual self-will could make her. However, my young spark ventures upon her like a man of quality, without being acquainted with her, or having ever saluted her until it was a crine to kiss any woman else. Beauty is a thing which palls with possession; and the charms of this lady soon wanted the support of good-humour and complacency of manners. Upon this, my
From my own Apartment.
* Dr. Swift, in his " Predictions for 1708," foretold, that 1 am sorry I am obliged to trouble the public Partridge the almanack-maker, would infallibly die on the
twenty-ninth of March, about eleven at night, of a raging fever. The wits resolved to support this prediction, and uniformly insisted that Partridge actually died at that time
spark flies to the bottle for relief from satiety. She disdains him for being tired with that for which all men envied him; and he never came home, but it wass-"Was there no sot that would stay longer? would any man living but vou? did I leave all the world for this usage?" to which, he-" Madam, split me, you are very mpertinent!" In a word, this match, was wedock in its most terrible appearances. She, at .ast, weary of railing to no purpose, applies to a good uncle, who gives her a bottle he pretended he had bought of Mr. Partridge the conjurer. "This," said he, I gave ten guineas for. The virtue of the enchanted liquor (said he that sold it) is such, that if the woman you marry proves a scold (which it seems my dear niece is your misfortune; as it was your good mother's before you) let her hold three spoonfuls in her mouth for a full half hour after you come home-" But I find I am not in humour for telling a tale, and nothing in nature is so ungraceful as story-telling against the grain, therefore take it as the author has given it you.
Oft as the watchful bell-man march'd his round,
My lady with her tongue was still prepar'd,
"Hey! hoop! d'ye hear my damn'd obstreperous
What, can't you find one bed about the house?
Some couch and distant room must be my choice,
"A wond'rous spring within my garden flows, Of sovereign virtue, chiefly to compose
Domestic Jars, and matrimonial strife,
But, dearest niece, keep this grand secret close,
A water-bottle's brought for her relief;
The bonny knight reels home exceeding clear,
For many days these fond endearments past,
'Twas us'd and gone.-Then midnight storms arose,
St. James's Coffee-house, April 13.
Letters from Venice say, the disappointment of their expectation to see his Danish majesty has very much disquieted the court of Rome. Our last advices from Germany inform us that the minister of Hanover has urged the council at Ratisbonne to exert themselves in behalf of the common cause, and taken the liberty to say, that the dignity, the virtue, the prudence of his electoral highness, his master, were called to the head of their affairs in vain, if they thought fit to leave him naked of the proper means to make those excellencies useful for the honour and safety of the empire. They write from Berlin of the thirteenth, O. S. that the true design of general Fleming's visit to that court was to insinuate, that it will be for the mutua interest of the king of Prussia and king Augustus to enter into a new alliance; but that the ministers of Prussia are not inclined to his sentiments. We hear from Vienna, that his imperial majesty has expressed great satisfaction in their high mightinesses having commu nicated to him the whole that has passed in the affair of a peace. Though there have been
practices used by the agents of France, in all the courts of Europe, to break the good understanding of the allies, they have had no other effect, but to make all the members concerned in the alliance more doubtful of their safety, from the great offers of the enemy. The emperor is roused by this alarm, and the frontiers of all the French dominions are in danger of being insulted the ensuing campaign. Advices from all parts confirm, that it is impossible for France to find a way to obtain so much credit as to gain any one potentate of the allies, or conceive any hope for safety from other pros
From my own Apartment, April 13.
I find it of very great use, now I am setting up for a writer of news, that I am an adept in astrological speculations; by which means, I avoid speaking of things which may offend great persons. But, at the same time, I must not prostitute the liberal sciences so far, as not to utter the truth in cases which do immediately concern the good of my native country. I must, therefore, contradict what has been so assuredly reported by the news writers of England, that France is in the most deplorable condition, and that their people die in great multitudes. I will therefore let the world know, that my correspondent by the way of Brussels, informs me upon his honour, that the gentleman who writes the gazette of Paris, and ought to know as well as any man, has told him, that ever since the king has been past his sixty-third year, or grand climacteric, there has not died one man of the French nation who was younger than his majesty, except a very few who were taken suddenly near the village of Hockstet in Germany; and some more who were straitened for lodging at a place called Ramilies, and died on the road to Ghent and Bruges." There are also other things given out by the allies, which are shifts below a conquering nation to make use of. Among others, it is said there is a general murmuring among the people of France, though at the same time, all my letters agree, that there is so good an understanding among them, that there is not one morsel carried out of any market in the kingdom but what is delivered upon credit.
Will's Coffee-house, April 14.
THIS evening the comedy called the Country Wife, was acted in Drury-lane, for the benefit of Mrs. Bignell. The part which gives name to the play was performed by herself. Through the whole action she made a very pretty figure, and exactly entered into the nature of the part. Her husband, in the drama, is represented to be one of those debauchees who run through the vices of the town, and believe when they think fit, they can marry and settle at their ease. His own knowledge of the iniquity of the age, makes him choose a wife wholly ignorant of it, and place his security in her want of skill to abuse him. The poet on many occasions, where the propriety of the character will admit of it, insinuates, that there is no defence against vice, but the contempt of it: and has, in the natural ideas of an untainted innocent, shown the gradual steps to ruin and destruction which persons of condition run into, without the help of a good education to form their conduct. The torment of a jealous coxcomb, which arises from his own false maxims, and the aggravation of his pain, by the very words in which he sees her innocence, makes a very pleasant and instructive satire. character of Horner, and the design of it, is a good representation of the age in which that comedy was written; at which time, love and wenching were the business of life, and the gallant manner of pursuing women was the best recommendation at court. To this only, it is to be imputed, that a gentleman of Mr. Wycherly's character and sense, condescends to represent the insults done to the honour of the bed, without just reproof; but to have drawn a man of probity with regard to such considerations had been a monster, and a poet had at that time discovered bis want of knowing the manners of the court he lived in, by a virtuous character in his fine gentleman, as he would show his ignorance by drawing a vicious one to please the present audience. Mrs. Bignell did her part very happily, and had a certain grace in her rusticity, which gave us hopes of seeing her a very skilful player, and in some parts, supply our loss of Mrs. Verbruggen. I cannot be of the same opinion with my friend3 and fellow-labourers, the Reformers of Manners, in their severity towards plays; but must allow, that a good play, acted before a wellbred audience, must raise very proper incitements to good behaviour, and be the most quick and most prevailing method of giving young people a turn of sense and breeding. But as I have set up for a weekly historian, I resolve to be a faithful one; and therefore take this public occasion to admonish a young nobleman, who came flustering into the box last
* An humonrous compliment to the Duke of Marlborough, who, as Mr. Steele insinuates, so reduced the French, that they had now, neither more young men to go to war, nor more ready money to carry to market.
By Wycherly. It was first acted in 1633.