« ПредишнаНапред »
Will's Coffee house, June 17.
The suspension of the play-house has made me have nothing to send you from hence; but calling here this evening, I found the party I usually sit with, upon the business of writing, and examining what was the handsomest style in which to address women, and write letters of gallantry. Many were the opinions which were immediately declared on this subject. Some were for a certain softness; some for I know not what delicacy; others for something inexpressibly tender. When it came to me, I said there was no rule in the world to be made for writing letters, but that of being as near what you speak face to face as you can ; which is so great a truth, that I am of opinion, writing has lost more mistresses than any one mistake in the whole legend of love; for, when you write to a lady for whom you have a solid and honourable passion, the great idea you have of her, joined to a quick sense of her absence, fills your mind with a sort of tenderness, that gives your language too much the air of complaint, which is seldom successful. For a man may flatter himself as he pleases; but he will find that the women have more understanding in their own affairs than we have, and women of spirit are not to be won by mourners. He that can keep handsomely within rules, and support the carriage of a companion to his mistress, is much more likely to prevail, than he who lets her see the whole relish of his life depends upon her. If possible, therefore, divert your mistress rather than sigh for her. The pleasant man she will desire for her own sake, but the languishing lover has nothing to hope from, but her pity. To show the difference, I produced two letters a lady gave me, which had been writ by two gentlemen who pretended to her, but were both killed the next day after the date, at the battle of Almanza. One of them was a mercurial gay-humoured man; the other a man of a serious, but a great and gallant spirit. Poor Jack Careless! this is his letter: you see how it is folded: the air of it is so negligent, one might have read half of it by peeping into it, without breaking it open. He had no exact
'It is a very pleasant circumstance I am in, that while I should be thinking of the good company we are to meet within a day or two, where we shall go to loggerheads, my thoughts are running upon a fair enemy in England. I was in hopes I had left you there; but you follow the camp, though I have endeavoured to make some of our leaguer ladies* drive you
out of the field. All my comfort is, you are
• Women who accompany the army.
Now for colonel Constant's epistle; you see it is folded and directed with the utmost care.
'I do myself the honour to write to you this evening, because I believe to-morrow will be the day of battle; and something forebodes in my breast that I shall fall in it. If it proves so, I hope you will hear I have done nothing below a man who had the love of his country, quickened by a passion for a woman of honour. If there be any thing noble in going to a certain death; if there be any merit, that I meet it with pleasure, by promising myself a place in your esteem; if your applause, when I am no more, is preferable to the most glorious life without you: I say, madam, if any of these considerations can have weight with you, you will give me a kind place in your memory, which I prefer to the glory of Cæsar. I hope this will be read, as it is writ, with tears.'
The beloved lady is a woman of a sensible mind; but she has confessed to me, that after all her true and solid value for Constant, she had much more concern for the loss of Careless. Those noble and serious spirits have something equal to the adversities they meet with, and consequently lessen the objects of pity.. Great accidents seem not cut out so much for men of familiar characters, which makes them more easily pitied, and soon after beloved. Add to this, that the sort of love which generally succeeds, is a stranger to awe and distance. I asked Romana, whether of the two she should have chosen, had they survived? She said, she knew she ought to have taken Constant: but believed she should have chosen Careless.
St. James's Coffee-house, June 17. Letters from Lisbon of the ninth instant, N. S. say, that the enemy's army, having blocked up Olivenza, was posted on the Guadiana The Portugueze are very apprehensive that the garrison of that place, though it consists of five of the best regiments of their army, will be obliged to surrender, if not timely relieved, they not being supplied with provisions for more than six weeks. Hereupon their genersa
held a council of war on the fourth instant, wherein it was concluded to advance towards Badajos. With this design the army decamped on the fifth from Jerumena, and marched to Cancaon. It is hoped, that if the enemy fol. low their motions, they may have opportunity to put a sufficient quantity of provision and ammunition into Olivenza.
'Mr. Bickerstaff gives notice to all persous that dress themselves as they please, without regard to decorum (as with blue and red stock-he, the southern and eastern nations never ings in mourning, tucked cravats, and night- knew any thing of it; for though the ancient cap wigs, before people of the first quality,) | Romans would scold and call names filthily, that he has yet received no fine for indulging yet there is not an example of a challenge that them in that liberty, and that he expects their ever passed among them. compliance with this demand, or that they go home immediately and shift themselves. This is further to acquaint the town, that the report of the hosiers, toymen, and milliners, having compounded with Mr. Bickerstaff for tolerating such enormities, is utterly false and scandalous.'
His quoting the eastern nations put another gentleman in mind of an account he had from a boatswain of an East-Indiaman; which was, that a Chinese had tricked and bubbled him, and that when he came to demand satisfaction the next morning, and like a true tar of honour called him a son of a whore, liar, dog, and other rough appellatives used by persons conversant with winds and waves; the Chinese, with great tranquillity, desired him not to come abroad fasting, nor put himself into a heat, for it would prejudice his health.' Thus the east knows nothing of this gallantry.
-nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. 1. 85, 86. Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream, Our motley paper seizes for its theme.
the trial upon the duel. Further he argued, under favour of the court, that when the issue is joined by the duel, in treason or other capital crimes, the parties accused and accuser must fight in their own proper persons: but if the dispute be for lands, you may hire a champion at Hockleo in the Hole, or any where else. This part of the law we had from the Saxons; and they had it, as also the trial by ordeal, from the Laplanders. It is indeed agreed, said
Grecian Coffee-house, June 18.
In my dissertation against the custom of single combat, it has been objected, that there is not learning, or much reading, shown therein, which is the very life and soul of all treatises; for which reason, being always easy to receive admonitions and reform my errors, I thought fit to consult this learned board on the subject. Upon proposing some doubts, and desiring their assistance, a very hopeful young gentleman, my relation, who is to be called to the bar withinquire, of Hockley in the Hole, recorder to the bear-garden, was then writing a discourse on the subject. It appears by the best accounts,' says this gentleman, that the high names which are used among us with so great veneration, were no other than stage-fighters, aud worthies of the ancient bear-garden. The re
There sat at the left of the table a person of a venerable aspect, who asserted, that' half the impositions which are put upon these ages have been transmitted by writers who have given too great pomp and magnificence to the exploits of the ancient bear-garden, and made their gladiators, by fabulous tradition, greater than Gorman and others of Great Britain.' He informed the company, that he had searched authorities for what he said, and that a learned autiquary, Humphrey Scarecrow, es
• There is no such place. It is probable Llanbadern Vawr Cardiganshire is intended.
a year and a half at farthest, told me, that he had ever since I first mentioned duelling turned his head that way; and that he was principally moved thereto, because he designed to follow the circuits in the north of England and south of Scotland, and to reside mostly at his own estate at Landbadernawz* in Cardiganshire.nowned Hercules always carried a quarterstaff, The northern Britons and the southern Scots are a warm people, and the Welsh a nation of gentlemen;' so that it beloved him to understand well the science of quarreling. The young gentleman proceeded admirably well, and gave the board an account that he had read Fitzherbert's + Grand Abridgment,' and had found that duelling is a very ancient part of the law; for when a man is sued, be it for his life or his land, the person that joins the issue, whether plaintiff or defendant, may put
+ A book published under this title in 1516 by Anthony Fitzherbert, one of the judges in the reign of Henry VIII. This author died in 1538.
and was from thence called Claviger.+ A learned chronologist is about proving what wood this staff was made of, whether oak, ash, or crabtree. The first trial of skill he ever performed was with one Cacus, a deer-stealer, the next was with Typhonus, a giant of forty feet four inches. Indeed it was unhappily recorded that meeting at last with a sailor's wife, she made his staff of prowess serve her own use, and dwindle away to a distaff: she clapped him on an old tar jacket of her husband; so that
* Gormon is mentioned in the epilogue to Lansdowne's Jew of Venice,' and is there explained to have been a prize-fighter.
this great hero drooped like a scabbed sheep. | Him his contemporary Theseus succeeded in the bear-garden, which honour he held for many years. This grand duellist went to hell, and was the only one of that sort that ever came back again. As for Achilles and Hector (as the ballads of those times mention,) they were pretty smart fellows; they fought at sword and buckler; but the former had much the better of it; his mother, who was an oysterwoman, having got a blacksmith of Lemnos to make her son's weapons. There is a pair of trusty Trojans in a song of Virgil that were famous for handling their gauntlets, Dares and Entellus; and indeed it does appear, they fought no sham-prize.'
The Roman bear-garden was abundantly more magnificent than any thing Greece could boast of it flourished most under those delights of mankind, Nero and Domitian. At one time it is recorded, four hundred senators entered the list, and thought it an honour to be cudgelled and quarterstaffed. I observe the Lanista were the people chiefly employed, which makes me imagine our bear-garden copied much after this, the butchers being the greatest men in it.
Thus far the glory and honour of the beargarden stood secure, until fate, that irresistible ruler of sublunary things, in that universal ruin of arts, and politer learning, by those savage people the Goths and Vandals, destroyed and levelled it to the ground. Then fell the grandeur and bravery of the Roman state, until at last the warlike genius (but accompanied with more courtesy) revived in the Christian world under those puissant champions, Saint George, Saint Dennis, and other dignified heroes: one killed bis dragon, another his lion, and were all afterwards canonized for it, having red letters before them to illustrate their martial temper. The Spanish nation, it must be owned, were devoted to gallantry and chivalry above the rest of the world. What a great figure does that great name, Don Quixote, make in history! How shines this glorious star in the western world! O renowned hero! O mirror of knighthood!
Thy brandish'd whinyard all the world defies, And kills as sure as del Tobosa's eyes.
I am forced to break off abruptly, being sent for in haste with my rule, to measure the degree of an affront, before the two gentlemen (who are now in their breeches and pumps ready to engage behind Montague-house) have made a pass.
From my own Apartment, June 18. It is an unreasonable objection, I find, against my labours, that my stock is not all
An allusion to the rubricks in the Roman missals.
my own, and, therefore, the kind reception I have met with, is not so deserved as it ought to be. But I hope, though it be never so true that I am obliged to my friends for laying their cash in my hands, since I give it them again when they please, and leave them at their liberty to call it home, it will not hurt me with my gentle readers. Ask all the merchants who act upon consignments, where is the necessity (if they answer readily what their correspondents draw) of their being wealthy themselves? Ask the greatest bankers, if all the men they deal with were to draw at once, what would be the consequence? But indeed a country friend has writ me a letter which gives me great mortification; wherein I find I am so far from expecting a supply from thence, that some have not heard of me, and the rest do not understand me: his epistle is as follows.
'I thought, when I left the town, to have raised your fame here, and helped you to support it by intelligence from hence; but, alas! they had never heard of the Tatler until I brought down a set. I lent them from house to house, but they asked me what they meant. I began to enlighten them, by telling who and who were supposed to be intended by the characters drawn, I said, for instance, Chloe and Clarissa are two eminent toasts. A gentleman, who keeps his greyhound and gun, and one would think might know better, told me, he supposed they were Papishes, for their names were not English. Then,' said he, 'why do you call live people toasts?' I answered, 'That was a new name found out by the wits, to make a lady have the same effect, as burridge in the glass when a man is drinking. But says I, Sir, I perceive this is to you all bamboozling; why, you look as if you were Don Diego'd to the tune of a thousand pounds. All this good language was lost upon him: he only stared, though he is as good a scholar as any layman in the town, except the barber. Thus, cousin, you must be content with London for the centre of your wealth and fame; we have no relish for you. Wit must describe its proper circumference, and not go beyond it, lest, like little boys when they straggle out of their own known, and be lost. Since it is so, you must parish, it may wander to places where it is not
excuse me, that I am forced at a visit to sit
silent, and only lay up what excellent things pass at such conversations.
This evening I was with a couple of young ladies; one of them has the character of the prettiest company, yet really I thought her less, I observed to have understanding. The but silly; the other, who talked a great deal lady, who is reckoned such a companion among her acquaintance, has only, with a very brisk air, a knack of saying the commonest things K
up at the door of Young man's Coffee-house, shall receive satisfaction from Mr. Morphew, besides a set of arguments to be spoken to any man in a passion, which, if the said enraged man listens to, will prevent quarrelling.
the other, with a sly serious one, says home | sir,'-and other terms of provocation, taken things enough. The first, mistress Giddy, is very quick; but the second, mistress Slim, fell into Giddy's own style, and was as good company as she. Giddy happens to drop her glove; Slim reaches it to her. Madam,' says Giddy, 'I hope you will have a better office.' Upon which Slim immediately repartees, and sits in her lap, and cries, Are you not sorry for my heaviness?' The sly wench pleased me, to see how she hit her height of understanding so well. We sat down to dinner. Says Giddy, mighty prettily, Two hands in a dish, and one in a purse.' Says Slim, Ay, madam, the more the merrier; but the fewer the better cheer.' I quickly took the hint, and was as witty and talkative as they. Says 1,
IIe that will not when he may,
Mr Bickerstaff does hereby give notice that he has taken the two famous Universities of this land under his immediate care, and does hereby promise all tutors and pupils, that he will hear what can be said of each side between them, and to correct them impartially, by placing them in orders and classes in the learned world, according to their merit.'
Mr. Bickerstaff has received the advices from Clay-hill, which, with all intelligence from honest Mr. Sturdy and others, shall have their place in our future story.
and so helped myself. Giddy turns about No. 32.] Thursday June 23, 1709.
It is so; and hereby you may see how small an appearance the prettiest things said in company make, when in print.
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.
White's Chocolate-house, June 22. AN answer to the following letter being absolutely necessary to be despatched with all expedition, I must trespass upon all that come with horary questions into my antichamber, to give the gentleman my opinion.
To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire.
'I know not whether you ought to pity or laugh at me; for I am fallen desperately in love with a professed Platonne, the most unTo hear her accountable creature of her sex. in-talk seraphics, and run over Norris, and More, and Milton, and the whole set of intellectual triflers, torments me heartily; for, to a lover who understands metaphors, all this pretty prattle of ideas gives very fine views of pleasure, which only the dear declaimer prevents, by understanding them literally: why should she wish to be a cherubim, when it is flesh and blood that makes her adorable? If I speak to her, that is a high breach of the idea of intuition. If I offer at her haud or lip, she shrinks from the touch like a sensitive plant, and would
St. James's Coffee-house, June 20.
A mail from Lisbon has brought advices, of June the twelfth, from the king of Portugal's army encamped at Torre Allegada, which forms us, that the general of the army called a court-martial on the fourth at the camp of Jerumena, where it was resolved to march with a design to attempt the succour of Olivenza. Accordingly the army moved on the fifth, and marched towards Badajos. Upon their approach, the marquis de Bay detached so great a party from the blockade of Olivenza, that the marquis das Minas, at the head of a large detachment, covered a great convoy of provisions towards Olivenza, which threw in their stores, and marched back to their army, with-contract herself into mere spirit. She calls out molestation from the Spaniards. They ber chariot, vehicle; her furbelowed scarf, add, that each army must necessarily marcb pinions; her blue mantua and petticoat is into quarters within twenty days. her azure dress; and her footman goes by the name of Oberon. It is my misfortune to be six feet and a half high, two full spans between the shoulders, thirteen inches diameter in the calves; and, before I was in love, I had a noble stomach, and usually went to bed sober with two bottles. I am not quite six-and-twenty, and my nose is marked truly aquiline. For these reasons, I am in a very particular manner
Whosoever can discover a surgeon's apprentice who fell upon Mr. Bickerstaff's messenger or (as the printers call him) Devil, going to the press, and tore out of his hand part of his essay against duels, in the fragments of which were the words' you lie,' and 'man of honour,' taken up at the Temple-gate, and the words, perhaps, may be not, by your leave,
her aversion. What shall I do? Impudence into foreign parts, where some of us have alitself cannot reclaim her. If I write miserably, ready been.' Here he bows in the most humshe reckons me among the children of perdi- ble manner, and kissed the girl, who knew not tion, and discards me her region: if I assume how to behave to such a sort of carriage. He the gross and substantial, she plays the real goes on: Now, you must know, we have an ghost with me, and vanishes in a moment. I ambition to have it to say, that we have a prohad hopes in the hypocrisy of her sex; but testant nunnery in England: but pray Mrs. perseverance makes it as bad as fixed aversion. Betty'-'Sir,' she replied, my name is Susan, I desire your opinion, whether I may not law- at your service.' Then I heartily beg your fully play the inquisition upon her, make use pardon'-' No offence in the least,' said she, of a little force, and put her to the rack and for I have a cousin-german, whose name is the torture, only to convince her, she has really Betty.' Indeed,' said he 'I protest to you, fine limbs, without spoiling or distorting them. that was more than I knew; I spoke at ranI expect your directions, before I proceed to dom: but since it happens that I was near in dwindle and fall away with despair; which at the right, give me leave to present this genpresent I do not think adviseable, because, if tleman to the favour of a civil salute.' His she should recant, she may then hate me per- friend advances, and so on, until they had all haps, in the other extreme, for my tenuity. saluted her. By this means the poor girl was I am (with impatience) your most humble in the middle of the crowd of these fellows, at servant, a loss what to do, without courage to pass through them; and the Platonics, at several peep-holes, pale, trembling, and fretting. Rake perceived they were observed, and therefore took care to keep Sukey in chat with questions concerning their way of life; when appeared at last Madonella,* a lady who had writ a fine book concerning the recluse life, and was the projectrix of the foundation. She approaches into the hall; and Rake, knowing the dignity of his own mien and aspect, goes deputy from his company. She begins, Sir, I am obliged to follow the servant, who was sent out to know what affair could make strangers press upon a solitude which we, who are to inhabit this place, have devoted to heaven and our own thoughts?' 'Madam,' replies Rake, with an air of great distance, mixed with a certain indifference, by which he could dissemble dissimulation, your great intention has made more noise in the world than you design it should; and we travellers, who have seen many foreign institutions of this kind, have a curio
My patient has put his case with very much warmth, and represented it in so lively a manner, that I see both his torment and tormentor with great perspicuity. This order of Platonic ladies are to be dealt with in a manner peculiar from all the rest of the sex. Flattery is the general way, and the way in this case; but it is not to be done grossly. Every man that has wit, and humour, and raillery, can make a good flatterer for women in general: but a Platoune is not to be touched with panegyric: she will tell you, it is a sensuality in the soul to be delighted that way. You are not therefore to commend, but silently consent to all she does and says. You are to consider, in her the scorn of you is not humour, but opinion.
There were, some years since, a set of these ladies who were of quality, and gave out, that virginity was to be their state of life during this mortal condition, and therefore resolved to join their fortunes, and erect a nunnery.sity The place of residence was pitched upon; and a pretty situation, full of natural falls and risings of waters, with shady coverts, and flowery arbours, was approved by seven of the founders. There were as many of our sex who took the liberty to visit their mansions of intended severity; among others,* a famous rake of that time, who had the grave way to an excellence. He came in first; but, upon seeing a servant coming towards him, with a design to tell him this was no place for him or his companions, up goes my grave impudence to the maid; 'Young woman,' said he, if any of the ladies are in the way on this side of the house, pray carry us on the other side towards the gardens: we are, you must know, gentlemen that are travelling England; after which we shall go
to see, in its first rudiments, the seat of primitive piety; for such it must be called by future ages, to the eternal honour of the founders: I have read Madonella's excellent and seraphic discourse on this subject.' The lady immediately answered, If what I have said could have contributed to raise any thoughts in you that may make for the advancement of intellectual and divine conversation, I should think myself extremely happy.' He immediately fell back with the profoundest veneration; then advancing,' Are you then that admired
* It is said, that Mr. Repington, a Warwickshire wag, was the famous rake here alluded to.
The person here represented, or rather grossly misre
presented, under the name of Madonella, a dimutive from Madona, which signifies the Virgin Mary, was Mrs. Mary Astell, a lady of superior understanding, of considerable learning, and singular piety. She was the daughter of a merchant in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where she was born about 1668, and lived about twenty years. The remainder of her inoffensive, irreproachable, and exemplary life she spent at Londou and Chelsea, where she died in 1731.