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same body of horse, in three successive charges, with great order and resolution. While this was transacting, the British General commanded the brigade of Pearce, to keep the enemy in diversion by a new attack. This was so well executed, that the Portugueze infantry had time to retire in good order, and repass the river. But that brigade, which rescued them, was itself surrounded by the enemy, and major-general Sarkey, brigadier Pearce, together with both their regiments, and that of the lord Galway, lately raised, were taken pri
From my own Apartment, May 20.
During the engagement, the earl of Barrimore, having advanced too far to give some necessary order, was hemmed in by a squadron of the enemy; but found means to gallop up to the brigade of Pearce, with which he remains also a prisoner. My lord Galway had his horse shot under him in this action; and the Conde de Saint Juan, a Portuguese general, was taken prisoner. The same night the army encamped at Aronches, and on the ninth moved to Elvas, where they lay when these despatches came away. Colonel Stanwix's regiment is also taken. The whole of this affair has given the Portuguese a great idea of the capacity and courage of my lord Galway, against whose advice they entered upon this unfortunate affair, and by whose conduct they were rescued from it. The prodigious constancy and resolution of that great man is hardly to be paralleled, who, under the oppression of a maimed body, and the reflection of repeated ill fortune, goes on with an unspeakable alacrity in the service of the common cause. He has already put things in a very good posture after this ill accident, and made the necessary dispositions for covering the country from any further attempt of the enemy, who still lie in the camp they were in before the battle.
IT is observed too often that men of wit do so much employ their thoughts upon fine speculations, that things useful to mankind are wholly neglected; and they are busy in making emendations upon some enclytics in a Greek author while obvious things, that every man may have use for are wholly overlooked. It would be a happy thing, if such as have real capacities for public service were employed in works of general use; but because a thing is every body's business, it is nobody's business: this is for want of public spirit. As for my part, who an only a student, and a man of no great interest I can only remark things, and recommend the correction of them to higher powers. There is an offence I have a thousand times lamented, but fear I shall never see remedied; which is, that in a nation where learning is so frequent as in Great Britain, there should be so many gross errors as there are in the very directions of things wherein accuracy is necessary for the conduct of life. This is notoriously observed by all men of letters when they first come to town (at which time they are usually curious that way) in the inscriptions on sign-posts. I have cause to know this matter as well as any body; for I have, when I went to MerchantTaylors' school, suffered stripes for spelling after the signs I observed in my way; though at the same time, I must confess, staring at those inscriptions first gave me an idea and curiosity for medals, in which I have since arrived at some knowledge. Many a man has lost his way and his dinner by this general want of skill in orthography; for, considering that the painters are usually so very bad, that you cannot know the animal under whose sign you are to live that day, how must the stranger be misled if it be wrong spelled, as well as ill painted? I have a cousin now in town, who
answered under bachelor at Queen's College, whose name is Humphrey Mopstaff (he is a-kin to us by his mother:) this young man, going to see a relation in Barbican, wandered a
Letters from Brussels, dated the twenty-fifth instant, advise, that notwithstanding the nego-has tiations of a peace seem so far advanced, that some do confidently report the preliminaries of a treaty to be actually agreed on, yet the allies hasten their preparations for opening the cam-whole day by the mistake of one letter, for it paign; and the forces of the empire, the Pruswas written, 'this is the Beer,' instead of 'thi sians, the Danes, the Wirtembergers, the Pa. is the Bear.' He was set right at last, by in latines, and Saxon auxiliaries, are in motion quiring for the house, of a fellow who could towards the general rendezvous, they being alnot read, and knew the place mechanically ready arrived in the neighbourhood of Brussels. only by having been often drunk there. But These advices add, that the deputies of the in the name of goodness, let us make ou States of Holland, having made a general re-learning of use to us, or not. Was not this view of the troops in Flanders, set out for shame, that a philosopher should be thus di Antwerp on the 21st instant from that place. rected by a cobbler? I will be sworn, if it were known how many have suffered in this kind by false spelling since the Union, this matter would not long lie thus. What makes these evils the more insupportable is, that they are so easily amended, and nothing done in it. But it is so far from that, that the evil goes on in other arts as well as orthography; places are
Saturday, May 21, 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.
confounded, as well for want of proper distinctions, as things for want of true characters. Had I not come by the other day very early in the morning, there might have been mischief done for a worthy North Briton was swearing at Stocks Market, that they would not let him in at his lodgings; but I, knowing the gentleman, and observing him look often at the king on horseback, and then double his oaths that he was sure he was right, found he mistook that for Charing Cross, by the erection of the like statue in each place. I grant, private men may distinguish their abodes as they please: as one of my acquaintance, who lives at Marybone,+ has put a good sentence of his own invention upon his dwelling-place, to find out where he lives: he is so near London, that his conceit is this, the country in town ;' or, 'the town in the country; for, you know, if they are both in one, they are all one. Besides that, the ambiguity is not of great consequence; you are safe at the place, it is no matter if you do not distinctly know where the place is. But to return to the orthography of public places; I propose, that every tradesman in the cities of London and Westminster shall give me six pence a quarter for keeping their signs in re. pair as to the grammatical part; and I will take into my house a Swiss count § of my acquaintance, who can remember all their names without book, for despatch sake, setting up the head of the said foreigner for my sign; the features being strong, and fit for hanging high.
St. James's Coffee-house, May 20. This day a mail arrived from Holland, by which there are advices from Paris, that the kingdom of France is in the utmost misery and distraction. The merchants of Lyons have been
• Wit has its prerogative, and about it, there is not, and
there onght not, to be here, either dispute or observation.' Truth, nevertheless, claims the privilege to remark, that these two equestrian statues were very unlike. The one was made by the famous La Seur, for King Charles I.; the other was originally intended for John Sobieski, king of Poland, and, mutatis mutandis, erected in honour of King Charles II. The Turk underneath the horse was cleverly metamorphosed into Oliver Cromwell; but his turban escaped unnoticed, or unaltered, to testify the truth. The one is of brass blackened, the other was of white marble, &c. The statue in Stocks Market, with the conduit and all its ornaments, were all removed to make way for the Mansionhouse, the first stone of which was laid by Micajah Perry, Esq. then lord mayor, Oct. 25, 1739. See Spect. No. 462.
+ The Duke of Buckingham is humourously said to have lived at Marybone, as he was almost every day on the bowling-green there, and seldom left it until he could see no longer.
↑ On Buckingham-house, now the Queen's palace, were originally these inscriptions. On the front, Sic siti lætantur Lares.' On the back front, Rus in urbe.' On the side next the road, 'Spectator fastidiosus sibi molestus.' Ou the north side, Lentè incæpit, citò perfecit.'
Probably John James Heidegger, esq.
at court, to remonstrate their great sufferings by the failure of their public credit; but have received no other satisfaction, than promises of a sudden peace; and that their debts will be made good by funds out of the revenue, which will not answer, but in case of the peace which is promised. In the mean time, the cries of the common people are loud for want of bread, the gentry have lost all spirit and zeal for their country, and the king himself seems to languish under the anxiety of the pressing calamities of the nation, and retires from hearing those grievances which he hath not power to redress. Instead of preparations for war, and the defence of their country, there is nothing to be seen but evident marks of a general despair; processions, fastings, public mournings and humiliations, are become the sole employments of a people, who were lately the most vain and gay of any in the universe.
The pope has written to the French king on the subject of a peace; and his majesty has answered in the lowliest terms, that he entirely submits his affairs to divine providence, and shall soon shew the world, that he prefers the tranquillity of his people to the glory of his arms, and extent of his conquests.
Letters from the Hague of the twenty-fourth say, that his excellency the lord Townshend delivered his credentials on that day to the States General, as plenipotentiary from the queen of Great Britain; as did also count Zinzendorf, who bears the same character from the emperor.
Prince Eugene intended to set out the next day for Brussels, and his grace the duke of Marlborough on the Tuesday following. The marquis de Torey talks daily of going, but stil. continues there. The army of the allies is to assemble on the seventh of next month at Helchin; though it is generally believed that the preliminaries to a treaty are fully adjusted.
The approach of the peace strikes a panic through our armies, though that of a battle could never do it, and they almost repent of their bravery, that made such haste to humble themselves and the French king. The duke of Marlborough, though otherwise the greatest general of the age, has plainly shewn himself unacquainted with the arts of husbanding a war. He might have grown as old as the duke of Alva, or prince Waldeck in the Low Countries, and yet have got reputation enough every year for any reasonable man: for the command of general in Flanders bath been ever looked upon as a provision for life. For my part, I cannot see how his grace can answer it to the world, for the great eagerness he hath shewn to send a hundred thousand of the bravest fellows in Europe a-begging. But the private gentle. men of the infantry will be able to shift for themselves; a brave man can never starve in a country stocked with hen-roosts There is
not a yard of linen,' says my honoured pro- | river Thames, besides two porpoises and a sturgenitor sir John Falstaff, ‘in my whole com-geon. The judicious and wary Mr. Ichabod pany: but as for that,' says this worthy knight, Dawks hath all along been the rival of this I am in no great pain; we shall find shirts great writer, and got himself a reputation from on every hedge.' There is another sort of plagues and famines; by which, in those days, gentlemen whom I am much more concerned he destroyed as great multitudes as he has for, and that is the ingenious fraternity of which lately done by the sword. In every dearth of I have the honour to be an unworthy member; news, Grand Cairo was sure to be unpeopled. I mean the news-writers of Great-Britain, whether post-men or post-boys,* or by what other name or title soever dignified or distinguished. The case of these gentlemen is, I think, more hard than that of the soldiers, considering that they have taken more towns, and fought more battles. They have been upon parties and skirmishes, when our armies have lain still; and given the general assault to many a place, when the besiegers were quiet in their trenches. They have made us masters of several strong towns many weeks before our generals could do it; and completed victories, when our greatest captains have been glad to come off with a drawn battle. Where prince Eugene has slain his thousands, Boyer has slain his ten thousands. This gentleman can indeed be never enough commended for his courage and intrepidity during this whole war: he has laid about him with an inexpressible fury; and, like the offended Marius of ancient Rome, has made such havoc among his countrymen, as must be the work of two or three ages to repair. It must be confessed, the redoubted Mr. Buckley‡ has shed as much blood as the former; but cannot forbear saying (and I hope it will not look like envy) that we regard our brother Buckley as a kind of Drawcansir, who spares neither friend nor foe; but generally kills as many of his own side as the enemy's. It is impossible for this ingenious sort of men to subsist after a peace: every one remembers the No. 19.] Tuesday, May 24, 1709.
It being therefore visible, that our society will be greater sufferers by the peace than the soldiery itself, insomuch that the Daily Courant is in danger of being broken, my friend Dyer of being reformed, and the very best of the whole band of being reduced to half-pay; might I presume, to offer any thing in the behalf of my distressed brethren, I would humbly move, that an appendix of proper apartments, furnished with pen, ink, and paper, and other nocessaries of life, should be added to the hospital of Chelsea, for the relief of such decayed newswriters as have served their country in the wars; and that, for their exercise, they should compile the annals of their brother veterans, who have been engaged in the same service, and are still obliged to do duty after the same manner.
shifts they were driven to in the reign of king Charles the Second, when they could not furnish out a single paper of news, without lighting up a comet in Germany, or a fire in Moscow. There scarce appeared a letter without a paragraph on an earthquake. Prodigies were grown so familiar, that they had lost their name, as a great poet of that age has it. I remember Mr. Dyer, § who is justly looked upon by all the fox-hunters in the nation as the greatest statesman our country has produced, was par-pretence to that honour. The appellation of ticularly famous for dealing in whales; inso- Esquire is the most notoriously abused in this much, that in five months time (for I had the kind, of any class amongst men; insomuch, curiosity to examine his letters on that occa- that it is become almost the subject of derision) he brought three into the mouth of the sion: but I will be bold to say, this behaviour towards it proceeds from the ignorance of the people in its true origin. I shall therefore as briefly as possible, do myself and all true Esquires the justice to look into antiquity upon
From my own Apartment, May 23. THERE is nothing can give a man of any consideration greater pain, than to see order and distinction laid aside amongst men, especially when the rank (of which he himself is member) is intruded upon by such as have no
I cannot be thought to speak this out of an eye to any private interest; for, as my chief scenes of action are coffee-houses, play-houses, and my own apartment, I am in no need of camps, fortifications, and fields of battle, to support me; I do not call for heroes and geneIrals to my assistance. Though the officers are broken, and the armies disbanded I shall still be safe, as long as there are men, or women, or politicians, or lovers, or poets, or nymphs, or swains, or cits, or courtiers, in being.
'Dyer's Letter a newspaper of that time, which, according to Mr. Addison, was entitled to little credit.
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 it's theme.
The Post-boy' was a scandalous weekly paper, by Abel Roper; and 'The Flying Post, by George Ridpath, was jast snch another.
↑ Abel Boyer, author of The Political State.' Samuel Buckley, printer of The Gazette,' and also of this subject. 'The Daily Courant.'
* Ichabod Dawks, another poor epistolary historian.
In the first ages of the world, before the in- | But if you travel into the counties of Great vention of jointures and settlements, when the Britain, we are still more imposed upon by innoble passion of love had possession of the novation. We are indeed derived from the hearts of men, and the fair sex were not yet field: but shall that give title to all that ride cultivated into the merciful disposition which mad after foxes; that halloo when they see a they have showed in latter centuries, it was bare, or venture their necks full speed after natural for great and heroic spirits to retire to an hawk, immediately to commence Esquires? rivulets, woods, and caves, to lament their des- No; our order is temperate, cleanly, sober, and tiny, and the cruelty of the fair persons who chaste; but these rural Esquires commit imare deaf to their lamentations. The hero in modesties upon haycocks, wear shirts half a this distress was generally in armour, and in a week, and are drunk twice a day. These men leadiness to fight any man he met with, espe- are also, to the last degree, excessive in their cially if distinguished by any extraordinary food: an Esquire of Norfolk eats two pounds qualifications: it being the nature of heroic love of dumplin every meal, as if obliged to it by to hate all merit, lest it should come within our order: an Esquire of Hampshire is as rathe observation of the cruel one by whom its venous in devouring hog's flesh: one of Essex own perfections are neglected. A lover of this has as little mercy on calves. But I must kind had always about him a person of a se- take the liberty to protest against them, and cond value, and subordinate to him, who could acquaint those persons, that it is not the quanhear his afflictions, carry an enchantment for tity they eat, but the manner of eating, that his wounds, hold his helmet when he was eat-shows an Esquire. But, above all, I am most ing (if ever he did eat,) or in his absence, when offended at small-quillmen, and transcribing he was retired to his apartment in any king's clerks, who are all come into our order, for palace, tell the prince himself, or perhaps his no reason that I know of, but that they can daughter, the birth, parentage, and adventures easily flourish at the end of their name. I of his valiant master. This trusty companion will undertake that, if you read the superwas styled his Esquire, and was always fit for scriptions to all the offices in the kingdom, any offices about him; was as gentle and you will not find three letters directed to any chaste as a gentleman-usher, quick and active but Esquires. I have myself a couple of clerks, As an equerry, smooth and eloquent as the and the rogues make nothing of leaving mesmaster of the ceremonies. A man thus qua- sages upon each other's desk: one directs, 'To lified was the first, as the ancients affirm, who Gregory Goosequill, Esquire;' to which the was called an Esquire; and none without these other replies by a note, 'To Nehemiah Dashaccomplishments ought to assume our order: well, Esquire, with respect;' in a word, it is but, to the utter disgrace and confusion of the now Populus Armigerorum, a people of Esheralds, every pretender is admitted into this quires. And I do not know but, by the late fraternity, even persons the most foreign to act of naturalization, foreigners will assume this courteous institution. I have taken an that title, as part of the immunity of being Enginventory of all within this city, and looked lishmen. All these improprieties flow from the over every letter in the Post-office, for my negligence of the Heralds office. Those gentlebetter information. There are of the middle men in party-coloured habits do not so rightly, Temple, including all in the buttery-books, as they ought, understand themselves; though and in the lists of the house, five thousand.* they are dressed cop-a-pee in hieroglyphics, In the Inner, four thousand. In the King's- they are inwardly but ignorant men. I asked Bench Walks, the whole buildings are inhabited an acquaintance of mine, who is a man of wit, by Esquires only. The adjacent street of Essex, but of no fortune, and is forced to appear as a from Morris's Coffee-house, and the turning jack-pudding on the stage to a mountebank : towards the Grecian, you cannot meet one Pr'thee, Jack, why is your coat of so many who is not an Esquire, until you take water. colours?' He replied, 'I act a fool; and this Every house in Norfolk and Arundel streets is spotted dress is to signify, that every man living also governed by an Esquire, or his Lady: Soho- has a weak place about him; for I am knight of square, Bloomsbury-square, and all other places the shire, and represent you all.' I wish the where the floors rise above nine feet, are so heralds would know as well as this man does, many universities, where you enter yourselves, in his way, that they are to act for us in the and become of our order. However, if this were case of our arms and appellations: we should the worst of the evil, it were to be supported, not then be jumbled together in so promis-. because they are generally men of some figure cuous and absurd a manner. I design to take and use; though I know no pretence they have this matter into further consideration; and no to an honour which had its rise from chivalry. man shall be received as an Esquire, who cannot bring a certificate, that he has conquered some lady's obdurate heart; that he can lead up a country-dance; and carry a message between her and her lover, with address, secrecy,
• In Original Tatler, 4000,
+ In Original Tatler, 5000.
+ Morris's Coffee-house was in the Strand.
and diligence. A Squire is properly borh for | hitherto transacted the great affair the service of the sex, and his credentials shall management. You well observe be signed by three toasts and one prude, before wants here are not to be concealed his title shall be received in my office. it is vanity to use artifices with the knowing men with whom you are to deal. Let me beg you, therefore, in this representation of our circumstances, to lay aside art, which ceases to be such when it is seen, and make use of all your skill to gain us what advantages you can from the enemy's jealousy of each other's greatness; which is the place where only you have room for any dexterity. If you have any passion for your unhappy country, or any affection for your distressed master, come home with peace. Oh heaven! do I live to talk of Lewis the Great, as the object of pity? The king shows a great uneasiness to be informed of all that passes: but, at the same time, is fearful of every one who appears in his presence, lest he should bring an account of some new calamity. I know not in what terms to represent my thoughts to you, when I speak of the king, with relation to his bodily health. Figure to yourself that immortal man, who stood in our public places represented with trophies, armour, and terrors, on his pedestal : consider, the invincible, the great, the good, the pious, the mighty, which were the usual epithets we gave him, both in our language and thoughts. I say, consider him whom you knew the greatest and most glorious of monarchs, and now think you see the same man an unhappy lazar, in the lowest circumstances of human nature itself, without regard to the state from whence he is fallen. I write from his bed-side: he is at present in a slumber. I have many, many things to add; but my tears flow too fast, and my sorrow is too big for utterance. 'I am, &c.' There is such a veneration due from all men to the persons of princes, that it were a sort of dishonesty to represent further the condition which the king is in; but it is certain, that, soon after the receipt of these advices, monsieur Torcy waited upon his grace the duke of Marlborough and the lord Townshend; and in that conference gave up many points, which he had before said were such as he must return to France before he could answer.
Will's Coffee-house, May 23.
On Saturday last was presented the Busy Body, a comedy, written (as I have heretofore remarked) by a woman. The plot and incidents of the play are laid with that subtilty of spirit which is peculiar to females of wit, and is very seldom well performed by those of the other sex, in whom craft in love is an act of invention, and not, as with women, the effect of nature and instinct.
To-morrow will be acted a play, called, The Trip to the Jubilee. This performance is the greatest instance that we can have of the irresistible force of proper action. The dialogue in itself has something too low to bear a criticism upon it: but Mr. Wilks enters into the part with so much skill, that the gallantry, the youth, and gayety of a young man of a plentiful fortune, are looked upon with as much indulgence on the stage, as in real life, without any of those intermixtures of wit and humour, which usually prepossess us in favour of such characters in other plays.
St. James's Coffee-house, May 23.
Letters from the Hague of the twenty-third instant, N. S. say, that Mr. Walpole (who is since arrived) was going with all expedition to Great Britain, whither they doubted not but he carried with him the preliminaries to a treaty of peace. The French minister, monsieur Torcy, has been observed, in this whole negotiation, to turn his discourse upon the calamities sent down by heaven upon France, and imputed the necessities they were under to the immediate hand of Providence, in inflicting a general scarcity of provision, rather than the superior genius of the generals, or the bravery of the armies against them. It would be impious not to acknowledge the indulgence of heaven to us; but, at the same time, as we are to love our enemies, we are glad to see them mortified enough to mix Christianity with their politics. An authentic letter from madam Maintenon to monsieur Torcy has been stolen by a person about him, who has communicated a copy of it to some
of the dependents of a minister of the allies. No. 20.] Thursday, May 26, 1709.
That epistle is writ in the most pathetic manner imaginable, and in a style which shows her genius, that has so long engrossed the heart of this great monarch.
'I received yours, and am sensible of the address and capacity with which you have
By Mr. George Farquhar.