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Title: The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899

Author: George A. Aitken

Release Date: October 5, 2004 [EBook #13645]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Jon Ingram and PG Distributed Proofreaders


Edited with Introduction & Notes by George A. Aitken

Author of "The Life of Richard Steele," Etc.

Vol. I

New York
Hadley & Mathews
156 Fifth Avenue
London: Duckworth & Co.



The original numbers of the Tatler were reissued in two forms in 1710-11; one edition, in octavo, being published by subscription, while the other, in duodecimo, was for the general public. The present edition has been printed from a copy of the latter issue, which, as recorded on the title-page, was "revised and corrected by the Author"; but I have had by my side, for constant reference, a complete set of the folio sheets, containing the "Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff" in the form in which they were first presented to the world. Scrupulous accuracy in the text has been aimed at, but the eccentricities of spelling—which were the printer's, not the author's—have not been preserved, and the punctuation has occasionally been corrected.

The first and the most valuable of the annotated editions of the Tatler was published by John Nichols and others in 1786, with notes by Dr. Percy, Bishop of Dromore, Dr. John Calder, and Dr. Pearce, Bishop of Rochester; and though these notes are often irrelevant and out of date, they contain an immense amount of information, and have been freely made use of by subsequent editors. I have endeavoured to preserve what is of value in the older editions, and to supplement it, as concisely as possible, by such further information as appeared desirable. The eighteenth-century diaries and letters published of late years have in many cases enabled me to throw light on passages which have hitherto been obscure, and sometimes useful illustrations have been found in the contemporary newspapers and periodicals.

The portraits of Steele, Addison, and Swift, the writers most associated with the Tatler, have been taken from contemporary engravings in the British Museum; and the imaginary portrait of Isaac Bickerstaff in the last volume is from a rare picture drawn by Lens in 1710 as a frontispiece to collections of the original folio numbers.

G. A. A.

August 1898.


When the first number of the Tatler appeared in 1709, Steele and Addison were about thirty-seven years of age, while Swift, then still counted among the Whigs, was more than four years their senior. Addison and Steele had been friends at the Charterhouse School and at Oxford, and though they had during the following years had varying experiences, their friendship had in no way lessened. Addison had been a fellow of his college, had gained the patronage of Charles Montague and Lord Somers, had made the grand tour, and published an account of his travels; had gained popularity by his poem "The Campaign," written in celebration of the victory at Blenheim; had been made an Under-Secretary of State, and finally (in December 1708) had been appointed secretary to Lord Wharton, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Steele, on the other hand, had enlisted in the Guards, without taking any degree; had obtained an ensign's commission after dedicating to Lord Cutts a poem on Queen Mary's death; and had written a little book called "The Christian Hero," designed "to fix upon his own mind a strong impression of virtue and religion, in opposition to a stronger propensity towards unwarrantable pleasures." At the close of the same year (1701) he brought out a successful comedy, "The Funeral," which was followed by "The Lying Lover" and "The Tender Husband," plays which gave strong evidence of the influence of Jeremy Collier's attack on the immorality of the stage. "The Tender Husband" owed "many applauded strokes" to Addison, to whom it was dedicated by Steele, who wished "to show the esteem I have for you, and that I look upon my intimacy with you as one of the most valuable enjoyments of my life." In 1705 Steele married a lady with property in Barbados, and on her death married, in 1707, Mary Scurlock, the "dear Prue" to whom he addressed his well-known letters. For the rest, he had been made gentleman-waiter to Prince George of Denmark, and appointed Gazetteer, with a salary of £300, less a tax of £45 a year. He was disappointed in his hopes of obtaining the Under-Secretaryship vacated by Addison.

From 1705 onwards there is evidence of frequent and familiar intercourse between Swift and Addison and Steele. After Sir William Temple's death, Swift had become chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley, who gave him the living of Laracor; and during a visit to England in 1704 he had gained a position in the front rank of authors by the "Tale of a Tub" and the "Battle of the Books." At the close of 1707 he was again in England, charged with a mission to obtain for the Irish clergy the remission of First Fruits and Tenths already conceded to the English, and throughout 1708 what he calls "the triumvirate of Addison, Steele and me" were in constant communication. In that year Swift published a pamphlet called "A Project for the Advancement of Religion and the Reformation of Manners," which anticipated many of the arguments used in the Tatler and Spectator; and he also commenced his attack on John Partridge, quack doctor and maker of astrological almanacs. On the appearance of Partridge's "Merlinus Liberatus" for 1708, Swift—borrowing a name from the signboard of a shoemaker—published "Predictions for the year 1708, wherein the month and day of the month are set down, the persons named, and the great actions and events of next year particularly related, as they will come to pass. Written to prevent the people of England from being further imposed on by vulgar almanack-makers. By Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq." Isaac Bickerstaff professed to be a true astrologer, disgusted at the lies told by impostors, and he said that he was willing to be hooted at as a cheat if his prophecies were not exactly fulfilled. His first prediction was that Partridge would die on the 29th of March; and on the 30th a second pamphlet was published, "The accomplishment of the first of Mr. Bickerstaff's Predictions ... in a letter to a person of quality, in which a detailed account is given of Partridge's death, at five minutes after seven, by which it is clear that Mr. Bickerstaff was mistaken almost four hours in his calculation.... Whether he had been the cause of this poor man's death, as well as the predictor, may be very reasonably disputed." The joke was maintained by Swift and others in various pieces, and when Partridge, in his almanac for 1709, protested that he was still living, Swift replied, in "A Vindication of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.," which was advertised in the fifth number of the Tatler, that he could prove that Partridge was not alive; for no one living could have written such rubbish as the new almanac. In starting his new paper Steele assumed the name of the astrologer Isaac Bickerstaff, rendered famous by Swift, and made frequent use of Swift's leading idea. He himself summed up the controversy in the words, "if a man's art is gone, the man is gone, though his body still appear."

Much has been written on the interesting question of the early history of the periodical press; but with one exception none of its predecessors had much effect on the Tatler. John Dunton's Athenian Mercury was the forerunner of our Notes and Queries; and it was followed by the British Apollo (1708-11), the second title of which was "Curious Amusements for the Ingenious. To which are added the most Material Occurrences, Foreign and Domestic. Performed by a Society of Gentlemen." The Gentleman's Journal of 1692-4, a monthly paper of poems and other miscellaneous matter, was succeeded, in 1707, by Oldmixon's Muses' Mercury; or, The Monthly Miscellany, a periodical which contained also notices of new plays and books, and numbered Steele among its contributors. Defoe's Review, begun in 1704, aimed at setting the affairs of Europe in a clearer light, regardless of party; but, added Defoe, "After our serious matters are over, we shall at the end of every paper present you with a little diversion, as anything occurs to make the world merry; and whether friend or foe, one party or another, if anything happens so scandalous as to require an open reproof, the world will meet with it there." Accordingly, of the eight pages in the first number, one and a half pages consist of "Mercure Scandale; or, Advice from the Scandalous Club, Translated out of French." The censure was to be of the actions of men, not of parties; and the design was to expose not persons but things. A monthly supplement, dealing with "the immediate subject then on the tongues of the town," was begun in September 1704; and pressure on the space before long pushed the Advices from the Scandal Club out of the ordinary issue of the Review. Subsequently Defoe wrote more than once in praise of the way in which his work had been taken up by Isaac Bickerstaff.

Probably the Tatler was started by Steele without any very definite designs for the future. According to the first number, published on April 12, 1709, the aim was to instruct the public what to think, after their reading, and there was to be something for the entertainment of the fair sex. The numbers were published three times a week, on the post-days, at the price of one penny. Each paper consisted of a single folio sheet, and the first four were distributed gratuitously. Steele probably thought that his position of Gazetteer would enable him to give the latest news, and he says that these paragraphs brought in a multitude of readers; but as the position of the Tatler became established, the need for the support of these items of news grew less, and after the first eighty numbers they are of rare occurrence. Quite early in the career of the paper Addison, speaking of the distress which would be caused among the news-writers by the conclusion of a peace, said that Bickerstaff was not personally concerned in the matter; "for as my chief scenes of action are coffee-houses, playhouses, and my own apartment, I am in no need of camps, fortifications, and fields of battle to support me.... 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."1

The subject of each article was to be indicated by the name of the coffee-house or other place from which it was supposed to come: "All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and entertainment shall be under the article of White's Chocolate-house; Poetry, under that of Will's Coffee-house; Learning, under the title of Grecian; Foreign and Domestic News you will have from Saint James's Coffee-house; and what else I have to offer on any other subject shall be dated from my own Apartment." For some time each number contained short papers from all or several of these places; but gradually it became usual to devote the whole number to one topic. The motto of the first forty numbers was "Quicquid agunt homines ... nostri farrago libelli"; but in the following numbers it was changed to "Celebrare domestica facta"; and afterwards each number generally had a quotation bearing upon the subject of the day. Writing some time after the commencement of the latter, Steele said, in the Dedication prefixed to the first volume, "The general purpose of this paper is to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and to recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behaviour." And elsewhere he says: "As for my labours, which he is pleased to inquire after, if they but wear one impertinence out of human life, destroy a single vice, or give a morning's cheerfulness to an honest mind; in short, if the world can be but one virtue the better, or in any degree less vicious, or receive from them the smallest addition to their innocent diversions; I shall not think my pains, or indeed my life, to have been spent in vain."2 At the close, speaking in his own name, Steele wrote: "The general purpose of the whole has been to recommend truth, innocence, honour, and virtue, as the chief ornaments of life; but I considered, that severity of manners was absolutely necessary to him who would censure others, and for that reason, and that only, chose to talk in a mask. I shall not carry my humility so far as to call myself a vicious man, but at the same time must confess my life is at best but pardonable."3

With his usual generosity, Steele more than once spoke in the warmest terms of the assistance rendered to him by Addison. In the preface to the collected edition he said: "I have only one gentleman, who will be nameless, to thank for any frequent assistance to me, which indeed it would have been barbarous in him to have denied to one with whom he had lived in an intimacy from childhood, considering the great ease with which he is able to despatch the most entertaining pieces of this nature. This good office he performed with such force of genius, humour, wit, and learning that I fared like a distressed prince, who calls in a powerful neighbour to his aid; I was undone by my auxiliary; when I had called him in I could not subsist without dependence on him." And in 1722, after Addison's death, in a preface to his friend's play, "The Drummer," Steele wrote of the Tatler, "That paper was advanced indeed! for it was raised to a greater thing than I intended it! For the elegance, purity, and correctness which appeared in his writings were not so much my purpose, as (in any intelligible manner, as I could) to rally all those singularities of human life, through the different professions and characters in it, which obstruct anything that was truly good and great."

It is only fair to Steele to point out that the original idea of the Tatler was entirely his own, and that he alone was responsible for the regular supply of material. Addison was in Ireland when the paper was begun, and did not know who was the author until several numbers had appeared. His occasional contributions were of little importance until after eighty numbers had been published; and of the whole 271 numbers Steele wrote about 188 and Addison only 42, while they were jointly responsible for 36. Swift contributed only to about a dozen numbers; and the assistance received from other writers was so slight that it does not call for notice here. Steele, unlike Addison, was probably at his best in the Tatler, where he had a freer hand, and described, in a perfectly fresh and unaffected style, the impressions of the moment. Hastily composed in coffee-house or printing-office, as they often were, and at very short notice, his papers frequently appeal to the reader of the present day more than the carefully elaborated and highly finished work of his friend, who wrote only when he found a suitable topic. And if Addison's art is of a higher standard than Steele's, it is to Steele that we owe Addison. A minor poet and the author of a book of travels and of an unsuccessful opera, Addison found no opportunity for his peculiar genius until his friend provided the means in the Tatler. It is tolerably certain that he would himself never have taken the necessary step of founding a periodical appealing to the general public; and Steele himself said with perfect truth, "I claim to myself the merit of having extorted excellent productions from a person of the greatest abilities, who would not have let them appear by any other means."4

If more is said here of Steele than of Addison, it is because it is Steele whose name is most intimately connected with the Tatler. The field in which Addison shone brightest was the Spectator, where the whole plan was arranged in the manner best suited to his genius. But his influence is, nevertheless, visible in the development of the earlier paper, and some of his individual articles are equal to anything he afterwards wrote. It is only necessary to mention his papers on the Distress of the News-Writers5; on the poetaster, Ned Softly6; on the pedant and "broker in learning," Tom Folio7; on the Political Upholsterer, who was more inquisitive to know what passed in Poland than in his own family8; and on the Adventures of a Shilling.9 His, too, are the Vision of Justice10; the story of a dream;11 and the amusing account of the visit to London of Sir Harry Quickset, who, with his old-world breeding, was the forerunner of Sir Roger de Coverley.12

Unlike the members of the Spectator's Club, the dramatis personæ introduced in the Tatler do not occupy a very prominent place in the development of the work. Isaac Bickerstaff himself, an old man of sixty-four, "a philosopher, an humourist, an astrologer, and a censor," is rather vaguely sketched, and his familiar, Pacolet, is made use of chiefly in the earlier numbers. The occasional references to Bickerstaff's half-sister, Jenny Distaff,13 and her husband, Tanquillus, and to his three nephews and their conduct in the presence of a "beautiful woman of honour,"14 gave Steele a framework for some charming sketches of domestic life. It is not until No. 132 that we have the amusing account of the members of Bickerstaff's Club, the Trumpet, in Shire Lane. There were Sir Geoffrey Notch, a gentleman of an ancient family, who had wasted his estate in his youth, and called every thriving man a pitiful upstart; Major Matchlock, with his reminiscences of the Civil War; Dick Reptile, and the Bencher who was always praising the wit of former days, and telling stories of Jack Ogle, with whom he pretended to have been intimate in his youth. Very little use was afterwards made of this promising material.

The poet John Gay has given an excellent account of the work accomplished by Steele and Addison in a pamphlet called "The Present State of Wit" (1711). Speaking of the discontinuance of the Tatler, he says: "His disappearing seemed to be bewailed as some general calamity: every one wanted so agreeable an amusement; and the coffee-houses began to be sensible that the Esquire's Lucubrations alone had brought them more customers than all their other newspapers put together. It must, indeed, be confessed that never man threw up his pen under stronger temptations to have employed it longer; his reputation was at a greater height than, I believe, ever any living author's was before him.... There is this noble difference between him and all the rest of our polite and gallant authors: the latter have endeavoured to please the age by falling in with them, and encouraging them in their fashionable vices and false notions of things. It would have been a jest some time since, for a man to have asserted that anything witty could be said in praise of a married state; or that devotion and virtue were any way necessary to the character of a fine gentleman. Bickerstaff ventured to tell the town that they were a parcel of fops, fools, and vain coquettes; but in such a manner as even pleased them, and made them more than half inclined to believe that he spoke truth. Instead of complying with the false sentiments or vicious tastes of the age, either in morality, criticism, or good breeding, he has boldly assured them that they were altogether in the wrong, and commanded them, with an authority which perfectly well became him, to surrender themselves to his arguments for virtue and good sense.

"It is incredible to conceive the effect his writings have had on the town; how many thousand follies they have either quite banished, or given a very great check to; how much countenance they have added to virtue and religion; how many people they have rendered happy, by showing them it was their own fault if they were not so; and, lastly, how entirely they have convinced our fops and young fellows of the value and advantages of learning. He has indeed rescued it out of the hands of pedants and fools, and discovered the true method of making it amiable and lovely to all mankind. In the dress he gives it, it is a most welcome guest at tea-tables and assemblies, and is relished and caressed by the merchants on the 'Change; accordingly, there is not a lady at Court, nor a banker in Lombard Street, who is not verily persuaded that Captain Steele is the greatest scholar and best casuist of any man in England.

"Lastly, his writings have set all our wits and men of letters upon a new way of thinking, of which they had little or no notion before; and though we cannot yet say that any of them have come up to the beauties of the original, I think we may venture to affirm that every one of them writes and thinks much more justly than they did some time since."

Gay's opinion has been confirmed by the best judges of nearly two centuries, and there is no need to labour the question of the wit and wisdom of the Tatler. But some examples may be cited in illustration of the topics on which Steele and his friends wrote, and the manner in which they dealt with them. The very first numbers contained illustrations of most of what were to be the characteristics of the paper. There is the account of the very pretty gentleman at White's Chocolate-house thrown into a sad condition by a passing vision of a young lady; the notice of Betterton's benefit performance; the comments on the war; the campaign against Partridge, with the declaration that all who were good for nothing would be included among the deceased; the discussion on the morality of the stage, with praise of Mrs. Bicknell and reproaches upon a young nobleman who came drunk to the play; the comparison of the rival beauties, Chloe and Clarissa; the satire on the Italian opera, and on Pinkethman's company of strollers; and the allegorical paper on Fælicia, or Britain. All these and other matters are dealt with in the four numbers which were distributed gratuitously; as the work progressed the principal change, besides the disappearance of the paragraphs of news, was the development of the sustained essay on morals or manners, and the less frequent indulgence in satire upon individual offenders, and in personal allusions in general. This change seems to have been the result partly of design, and partly of circumstances, including Addison's influence on the work. Steele himself said, as we have seen, that the Tatler was raised to a greater height than he had designed; but no doubt he realised that he must feel his way, and be at first a tatler rather than a preacher. After some grave remarks about duelling in an early paper (No. 26), he makes Pacolet, Bickerstaff's familiar, say, "It was too soon to give my discourse on this subject so serious a turn; you have chiefly to do with that part of mankind which must be led into reflection by degrees, and you must treat this custom with humour and raillery to get an audience, before you come to pronounce sentence upon it."

Follies and weaknesses are ridiculed in the Tatler in a genial spirit, by one who was fully alive to his own imperfections, and point is usually given to the papers by a sketch of some veiled or imaginary individual. In this way Bickerstaff treats of fops,15 of wags,16 of coquettes,17 of the lady who condemned the vice of the age, meaning the only vice of which she was not guilty;18 of impudence;19 and of pride and vanity.20 In a graver tone he attacks the practice of duelling;21 gamesters and sharpers;22 drunken "roarers" and "scowrers";23 and brutal pastimes at the Bear Garden and elsewhere.24 The campaign against swindlers exposed Steele to serious threats on more than one occasion.25

Of what Coleridge called Steele's "pure humanity" there is nowhere better evidence than in the Tatler. It is enough to cite once more the well-known examples of the account of his father's death and his mother's grief;26 the stories of Unnion and Valentine,27 of the Cornish lovers,28 of Clarinda and Chloe,29 and of Mr. Eustace,30 and the charming account of the married happiness of an old friend, with the pathetic picture of the death of the wife, and the grief of husband and children.31 In the last number Steele said, "It has been a most exquisite pleasure to me to frame characters of domestic life"; and we know from his letters that when he wrote of children he was only expressing the deep affection which he felt for his own. Equally in advance of his time was his respect for women, one of whom—Lady Elizabeth Hastings—he has immortalised in the words, "To love her is a liberal education."32 In the same number he wrote, "As charity is esteemed a conjunction of the good qualities necessary to a virtuous man, so love is the happy composition of all the accomplishments that make a fine gentleman." In a time of much laxity he constantly dwelt on the happiness of marriage; "wife is the most amiable term in human life."33 But good nature must be cultivated if the married life is to be happy,34 and all unnecessary provocations avoided. "Dear Jenny," says Bickerstaff to his sister, "remember me, and avoid Snap-Dragon."35 Women must be rightly educated before they can expect to be treated by, and to influence men as they should.36 The make of the mind greatly contributes to the ornament of the body; "there is so immediate a relation between our thoughts and gestures that a woman must think well to look well."37 The habit of scandal-mongering and other weaknesses are the result of an improper training of the mind.38 "All women especially," says Thackeray, "are bound to be grateful to Steele, as he was the first of our writers who really seemed to admire and respect them." His pity extended to the hunted deer: "I have more than once rode off at the death," he says; "to be apt to shed tears is a sign of a great as well as a little spirit."39

Steele's teaching on morals and right living enters intimately into his literary criticism. His love for Shakespeare was real and intelligent; there is no formal discussion of the rules of the drama, but throughout the Tatler there are references which show the keenest appreciation of Shakespeare's powers as poet and philosopher. "The vitiated tastes of the audience at the theatre could only be amended," says Steele, "by encouraging the representation of the noble characters drawn by Shakespeare and others, from whence it is impossible to return without strong impressions of honour and humanity. On these occasions, distress is laid before us with all its causes and consequences, and our resentment placed according to the merit of the persons afflicted. Were dramas of this nature more acceptable to the taste of the town, men who have genius would bend their studies to excel in them."40 Still more remarkable are the allusions to "Paradise Lost," for Milton was then even less appreciated than Shakespeare. As in so many other things, Addison's more elaborate criticism in the Spectator was foreshadowed in the Tatler by Steele; and the comparison of passages by Milton and Dryden41 must have been very striking to the reader of that time, who usually knew Shakespeare or Chaucer only through the adaptations of Dryden or Tate.

Though it is not true, as some have represented, that the Tatler is for the most part a mere society journal, concerned chiefly with the gossip of the day, yet its contributors made use of the scenes and events familiar to their readers in order to bring home the kindly lessons they wished to teach; and in so doing they have given us a picture of the daily life of the town which would alone have given lasting interest to the paper. The distinctly "moral" papers have had countless imitators, and sometimes therefore they are apt to pall upon us, but the social articles are at least as interesting now as when they were written, and one of the reasons why some excellent judges have prefered the Tatler to the Spectator, is that there is a greater proportion of these gossiping papers, combining wisdom with satire, and bringing before us as in a mirror the London of Queen Anne's day. Bickerstaff takes us from club to coffee-house, from St. James's to the Exchange; we see the poets and wits at Will's, the politicians at White's, the merchants at Garraway's, the Templars at the Smyrna; we see Betterton and the rest on the stage, and the ladies and gentlemen in the front or side boxes; we see Pinkethman's players at Greenwich, Powell's puppet-show, Don Saltero's Museum at Chelsea, and the bear-baiting and prize-fights at Hockley-in-the-Hole. We are taken to the Mall at St. James's, or the Ring in Hyde Park, and we study the fine ladies and the beaux, with their red heels and their amber-headed canes suspended from their waistcoats; or we follow them to Charles Lillie's, the perfumer, or to Mather's toy-shop, or to Motteux's china warehouse; or to the shops in the New Exchange, where the men bought trifles and ogled the attendants. Or yet again we watch the exposure of the sharpers and bullies, and the denunciation of others who brought even greater ruin on those who fell into their clutches. We see the worshipping and the flirtations in the church, with Smalridge and Atterbury, Hoadly and Blackall among the preachers, and hear something of the controversies between High and Low Church, Whig and Tory. We hear, too, of the war with France, and of the hopes of peace. Steele tells us not only of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, but of privates and non-commissioned officers, of their lives and tragedies, of their comrades and friends. All Sergeant Hall knew of the battle was that he wished there had not been so many killed; he had himself a very bad shot in the head, but would recover, if it pleased God. "To me," says Steele, recalling his own service as a trooper, "I take the gallantry of private soldiers to proceed from the same, if not from a nobler impulse than that of gentlemen and officers.... Sergeant Hall would die ten thousand deaths rather than a word should be spoken at the Red Lattice, or any part of the Butcher Row, in prejudice to his courage or honesty." His letter to his friend was "the picture of the bravest sort of man, that is to say, a man of great courage and small hopes."42

Something must be said of the events of 1710, which led to the discontinuance of the Tatler. The trial of Dr. Sacheverell in March was followed by the fall of the Whigs in the autumn; and in October Steele lost his post of Gazetteer. Swift says it was "for writing a Tatler some months ago, against Mr. Harley, who gave him the post at first." There was a growing coldness between Swift and his old friends, and on the 3rd of November Swift wrote, "We have scurvy Tatlers of late, so pray do not suspect me." On the preceding day Swift's first paper in the Tory Examiner had been published. He still met Steele from time to time, and he says that he interceded for him with Harley, but was frustrated by Addison. However this may be, it is certain that Harley saw Steele, and that as the result of their interview Steele retained his post as Commissioner of the Stamp Office, and brought the Tatler to a close on January 2, 1711, without consulting Addison. "To say the truth, it was time," says Swift; "for he grew cruel dull and dry." It is true that there is a falling off towards the close of the Tatler, but that it was not want of matter that brought about the abandonment of the paper is proved by the commencement only two months later of the Spectator. Steele himself said that on many accounts it had become an irksome task to personate Mr. Bickerstaff any longer; he had in some places touched upon matters concerning Church and State, and he could not be cold enough to conceal his opinions. Gay tells us, in "The Present State of Wit," that the town being generally of opinion that Steele was quite spent as regards matter, was the more surprised when the Spectator appeared; people were therefore driven to accept the alternative view that the Tatler was laid down "as a sort of submission to, or composition with, the Government for some past offences."

Excellent testimony to the immediate popularity of the Tatler is furnished by the fact that its successive numbers were reprinted in Dublin and in Edinburgh. At least sixty-nine numbers of the Dublin issue, in quarto, were printed. The Scottish re-issue was a folio sheet, commenced about February 1710, and continued until the close of the paper. The date of each number of the Edinburgh paper—"printed by James Watson, and sold at his shop next door to the Red Lion, opposite to the Lucken Booths"—is five or six days later than that of the original issue; it was evidently worked off as soon as the London post came in. Other evidence of the popularity of the Tatler in the provinces is afforded by the foundation of the "Gentleman's Society" at Spalding. Maurice Johnson, a native of Spalding and a member of the Inner Temple, gives this account of the matter: "In April 1709, that great genius Captain Richard Steele ... published the Tatlers, which, as they came out in half-sheets, were taken in by a gentleman, who communicated them to his acquaintances at the coffee-house then in the Abbey Yard; and these papers being universally approved as both instructive and entertaining, they ordered them to be sent down thither, with the Gazettes and Votes, for which they paid out of charity to the person who kept the coffee-house, and they were accordingly had and read there every post-day, generally aloud to the company, who would sit and talk over the subject afterwards. This insensibly drew the men of sense and letters into a sociable way of conversing, and continued the next year, 1710, until the publication of these papers desisted, which was in December, to their great regret." Afterwards the Spectator was taken in, and a regular society was started in 1712, by the encouragement of Addison, Steele, and other members of Button's Club.

One indication of the popularity of the Tatler in its own day is the long subscription list prefixed to the reprint in four octavo volumes. Some copies were printed on "royal," others on "medium" paper; and the price of the former was a guinea a volume, while that of the latter was half a guinea. There was also an authorised cheap edition, in duodecimo, at half a crown a volume, besides a pirated edition at the same price. A still more conclusive proof of the success of the Tatler was the number of papers started in imitation of its methods. Addison mentioned some of those periodicals in No. 229, where details will be found of the "Female Tatler," "Tit for Tat," and the like. But besides these, several spurious continuations of the Tatler appeared directly after the discontinuance of the genuine paper, including one by William Harrison, written with Swift's encouragement and assistance. But Harrison, as Swift said, had "not the true vein for it," and his paper reached only to fifty-two numbers, which were afterwards reprinted as a fifth volume to the collected edition of the original Tatler. Gay said that Steele's imitators seemed to think "that what was only the garnish of the former Tatlers was that which recommended them, and not those substantial entertainments which they everywhere abound in." The town, in the absence of anything better, welcomed their occasional and faint endeavours at humour; "but even those are at present become wholly invisible, and quite swallowed up in the blaze of the Spectator." Steele himself said that his imitators held the censorship in commission.


No. 18.


No. 89.


No. 271.


Spectator, No. 532.


Tatler, No. 18.


No. 163.


No. 158.


Nos. 155, 160.


No. 249.

Nos. 100, 102.

No. 117.

No. 86.

No. 10.

No. 30.

No. 142.

No. 184.

No. 27.

No. 210.

No. 168.

Nos. 127, 186.

Nos. 25, 26, 29, 31, 38, 39.

Nos. 56, &c.

Nos. 40, 45.

No. 134.

See Nos. 115, 271.

No. 181.

No. 5.

No. 82.

No. 94.

No. 172.

Nos. 95, 114.

No. 49.

No. 33.

No. 149.

No. 85. See, too, No. 104.

Nos. 141, 248.

No. 212.

Nos. 40, 42, 47.

No. 68.

No. 8.

No. 6.

No. 87.

The Preface.43

In the last Tatler I promised some explanation of passages and persons mentioned in this work, as well as some account of the assistances I have had in the performance. I shall do this in very few words; for when a man has no design but to speak plain truth, he may say a great deal in a very narrow compass. I have in the dedication of the first volume made my acknowledgments to Dr. Swift, whose pleasant writings, in the name of Bickerstaff, created an inclination in the town towards anything that could appear in the same disguise. I must acknowledge also, that at my first entering upon this work, a certain uncommon way of thinking, and a turn in conversation peculiar to that agreeable gentleman, rendered his company very advantageous to one whose imagination was to be continually employed upon obvious and common subjects, though at the same time obliged to treat of them in a new and unbeaten method. His verses on the Shower in Town,44 and the Description of the Morning,45 are instances of the happiness of that genius, which could raise such pleasing ideas upon occasions so barren to an ordinary invention.

When I am upon the house of Bickerstaff, I must not forget that genealogy of the family sent to me by the post, and written, as I since understand, by Mr. Twysden,46 who died at the battle of Mons, and has a monument in Westminster Abbey, suitable to the respect which is due to his wit and his valour. There are through the course of the work very many incidents which were written by unknown correspondents. Of this kind is the tale in the second Tatler, and the epistle from Mr. Downes the prompter,47 with others which were very well received by the public. But I have only one gentleman,48 who will be nameless, to thank for any frequent assistance to me, which indeed it would have been barbarous in him to have denied to one with whom he has lived in an intimacy from childhood, considering the great ease with which he is able to dispatch the most entertaining pieces of this nature. This good office he performed with such force of genius, humour, wit and learning, that I fared like a distressed prince who calls in a powerful neighbour to his aid; I was undone by my auxiliary; when I had once called him in, I could not subsist without dependence on him.

The same hand writ the distinguishing characters of men and women under the names of Musical Instruments, the Distress of the News-writers, the Inventory of the Playhouse, and the Description of the Thermometer,49 which I cannot but look upon as the greatest embellishments of this work.

Thus far I thought necessary to say relating to the great hands which have been concerned in these volumes, with relation to the spirit and genius of the work; and am far from pretending to modesty in making this acknowledgment. What a man obtains from the good opinion and friendship of worthy men, is a much greater honour than he can possibly reap from any accomplishments of his own. But all the credit of wit which was given me by the gentlemen above mentioned (with whom I have now accounted) has not been able to atone for the exceptions made against me for some raillery in behalf of that learned advocate for the episcopacy of the Church, and the liberty of the people, Mr. Hoadly. I mention this only to defend myself against the imputation of being moved rather by party than opinion;50 and I think it is apparent, I have with the utmost frankness allowed merit wherever I found it, though joined in interests different from those for which I have declared myself. When my Favonius51 is acknowledged to be Dr. Smalridge, and the amiable character of the dean in the sixty-sixth Tatler drawn for Dr. Atterbury, I hope I need say no more as to my impartiality.

I really have acted in these cases with honesty, and am concerned it should be thought otherwise: for wit, if a man had it, unless it be directed to some useful end, is but a wanton frivolous quality; all that one should value himself upon in this kind is, that he had some honourable intention in it.

As for this point, never hero in romance was carried away with a more furious ambition to conquer giants and tyrants, than I have been in extirpating gamesters and duellists. And indeed, like one of those knights too, though I was calm before, I am apt to fly out again, when the thing that first disturbed me is presented to my imagination. I shall therefore leave off when I am well, and fight with windmills no more: only shall be so arrogant as to say of myself, that in spite of all the force of fashion and prejudice, in the face of all the world, I alone bewailed the condition of an English gentleman, whose fortune and life are at this day precarious; while his estate is liable to the demands of gamesters, through a false sense of justice; and to the demands of duellists, through a false sense of honour. As to the first of these orders of men, I have not one word more to say of them: as to the latter, I shall conclude all I have more to offer against them (with respect to their being prompted by the fear of shame) by applying to the duellist what I think Dr. South says somewhere of the liar, "He is a coward to man, and a brave to God."

This Preface was originally prefixed to the fourth volume of the collected edition issued in 1710-11.

No. 238.

No. 9.

See No. 11.

No. 193.


Nos. 153, 18, 42, 220.

Benjamin Hoadly, afterwards Bishop of Bangor, Salisbury, and Winchester, successively, was in 1709 engaged in controversy with Dr. Francis Atterbury, who represented the high-church party. George Smalridge, afterwards Bishop of Bristol, was a Jacobite.

See Nos. 72, 114.

To Mr. Maynwaring.52


The state of conversation and business in this town having been long perplexed with pretenders in both kinds, in order to open men's eyes against such abuses, it appeared no unprofitable undertaking to publish a paper which should observe upon the manners of the pleasureable, as well as the busy part of mankind. To make this generally read, it seemed the most proper method to form it by way of a letter of intelligence, consisting of such parts as might gratify the curiosity of persons of all conditions, and of each sex. But a work of this nature requiring time to grow into the notice of the world, it happened very luckily, that a little before I had resolved upon this design, a gentleman53 had written Predictions, and two or three other pieces in my name, which had rendered it famous through all parts of Europe; and by an inimitable spirit and humour, raised it to as high a pitch of reputation as it could possibly arrive at.

By this good fortune, the name of Isaac Bickerstaff gained an audience of all who had any taste of wit, and the addition of the ordinary occurrences of common journals of news brought in a multitude of other readers. I could not, I confess, long keep up the opinion of the town, that these lucubrations were written by the same hand with the first works which were published under my name; but before I lost the participation of that author's fame, I had already found the advantage of his authority, to which I owe the sudden acceptance which my labours met with in the world.

The general purpose of this paper, is to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our behaviour. No man has a better judgment for the discovery, or a nobler spirit for the contempt of such impostures, than your self; which qualities render you the most proper patron for the author of these essays. In the general, the design, however executed, has met with so great success, that there is hardly a name now eminent among us for power, wit, beauty, valour, or wisdom, which is not subscribed, for the encouragement of the two volumes in octavo, on a royal or medium paper.54 This is indeed an honour, for which it is impossible to express a suitable gratitude; and there is nothing could be an addition to the pleasure I take in it, but the reflection that it gives me the most conspicuous occasion I can ever have, of subscribing myself,


Your most obliged, most obedient, and most humble Servant,


Arthur Maynwaring was descended from the ancient family of the Maynwarings of Over Peover, Cheshire. He was born in 1668, at Ightfield, Shropshire, and was educated at the Shrewsbury Grammar School and at Christ Church, Oxford, where Smalridge was his tutor. Filled with prejudices against the Revolution, he came to London to study law, but a political satire which he published brought him under Dryden's notice, and the kind reception given him by several Whig statesmen, to whom he was introduced, caused him to change his views on politics, and after his father's death in 1693 he gave up the law and determined to push his fortunes at the Court. He was made a Commissioner of Customs and afterwards Auditor of the Imprests. He was admitted to the Kit-Cat Club, and in 1706 the interest of Godolphin procured him a seat in the House of Commons. Upon the fall of the Whig ministry in 1710, Maynwaring set up the Medley, a weekly paper in which the attacks of the Examiner were answered, and wrote various political pamphlets. But his health soon broke down, and he died in November, 1712. Mrs. Oldfield, the actress, was the sole executrix of his will, by which he divided his small property of some £3000 between her, a son that he had by her, and his sister. There appear to have been many good points in his character. His "Life and Posthumous Works" were published by Oldmixon in 1715. "Maynwaring, whom we hear nothing of now, was the ruling man in all conversations, indeed what he wrote had very little merit in it" (Pope, in Spence's "Anecdotes," 1820, p. 338). Steele says that Harley told him that he had to thank Maynwaring for his post of Gazetteer.


"Encouragement of these volumes," in the octavo edition. The list of subscribers to the original octavo edition comprised the names of some four hundred of the most prominent persons of the day.



No. 1.



Tuesday, April 12, 1709.

Quicquid agunt homines ... nostri farrago libelli.
Juv., Sat. I. 85, 86.55

Though the other papers which are published for the use of the good people of England have certainly very wholesome effects, and are laudable in their particular kinds, yet they do not seem to come up to the main design of such narrations, which, I humbly presume, should be principally intended for the use of politic persons, who are so public spirited as to neglect their own affairs to look into transactions of State. Now these gentlemen, for the most part, being men of strong zeal and weak intellects, it is both a charitable and necessary 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.56 I have also resolved to have something which may be of entertainment to the fair sex, in honour of whom I have taken 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 my readers 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 and genius are justly to be esteemed as considerable agents in it, we shall not, upon a 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:

All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and entertainment, shall be under the article of White's Chocolate-house;57 poetry, under that of Will's Coffee-house;58 learning, under the title of Grecian;59 foreign and domestic news, you will have from St. James's Coffee-house;60 and what else I shall on any other subject offer, shall be dated from my own apartment.

I once more desire my readers to consider that as I cannot keep an ingenious man to go daily to Will's under twopence each day merely for his charges,61 to White's under sixpence, nor to the Grecian without allowing him some plain Spanish,62 to be as able as others at the learned table; and that a good observer cannot speak with even Kidney63 at St. 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 helps of my own parts, the power of divination, and that I can, by casting a figure, tell you all that will happen before it comes to pass.

But this last faculty I shall use very sparingly, and not speak of anything until it is passed, for fear of divulging matters which may offend our superiors.64

White's Chocolate-house, April 11.

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 9th 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 nightcap, and instead of rubbing his gums, as he ought to do out of the window till about four o'clock, he sits him down, and spoke not a word till twelve at night; after which, he began to inquire, if anybody 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 all the week, but could never find the original of the picture which dwelt in his bosom. In a word, his attention to anything 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 hither, and throw away a great deal of wit on fellows, who have no sense further 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.65

Will's Coffee-house, April 8.

On Thursday last66 was presented, for the benefit of Mr. Betterton,67 the celebrated comedy, called "Love for Love."68 Those excellent players, Mrs. Barry,69 Mrs. Bracegirdle,70 and Mr. Doggett,71 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 this accomplished player. It is not now doubted but plays will revive, and take their usual place 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 you used to see songs, epigrams, and satires in the hands of every man you met, you have 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 now dispute only about the truth of the game. But, however the company is altered, all have shown a great respect for Mr. Betterton: and the very gaming part of this house have been so much touched with a sense of the uncertainty of human affairs (which alter with themselves every moment) that in this gentleman, they pitied Mark Antony of Rome, Hamlet of Denmark, 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 hours together, and behaved himself in those high stations, in all the changes of the scene, with suitable dignity. For these reasons, we intend to repeat this favour to him on a proper occasion, lest he who can instruct us so well in personating feigned sorrows, should be lost to us by suffering under real ones. The town is at present in very great expectation of seeing a comedy now in rehearsal, which is the twenty-fifth production of my honoured friend Mr. Thomas D'Urfey;72 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 Greeks and Romans, wherein he is but faintly imitated in the translations of the modern Italian operas.73

St. James's Coffee-house, April 11.

Letters from the Hague of the 16th say, that Major-General Cadogan74 was gone to Brussels, with orders to disperse proper instructions for assembling the whole force of the allies in Flanders in the beginning of the next month.75 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 general76 alluded to, when being asked the names of those who were to be plenipotentiaries for the ensuing peace, answered, with a serious air, "There are about a 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 19, 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 20th of the next. There happened the other day, in the road of Scheveling, an engagement between a privateer of Zealand and one of Dunkirk. The Dunkirker, carrying 33 pieces of cannon, was taken and brought into the Texel. It is said, the courier of Monsieur Rouillé77 is returned to him from the Court of France. Monsieur Vendôme being reinstated in the favour of the Duchess of Burgundy, is to command in Flanders.

Mr. Kidney added, that there were letters of the 17th 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 Wood78 appeared on this occasion at the head of 5000 foot, and 1000 horse, upon which the enemy withdrew, without making any further attempt.

From my own Apartment.

I am sorry I am obliged to trouble the public with so much discourse upon a matter which I at the very first mentioned as a trifle—viz. the death of Mr. Partridge,79 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 that 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 don't 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, that 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.80

This motto was repeated at the head of each of the first 40 numbers in the folio issue.

These were the days on which the post left London for the different parts of the country.

White's Chocolate-house, five doors from the bottom of the west side of St. James's Street, was established in 1698. It was burnt on April 28, 1733, while kept by Mr. Arthur. Plate VI. of Hogarth's "Rake's Progress" depicts gamblers engrossed in play in a room in this house during the fire; see also Plate IV. Swift gives it a bad character in his "Essay on Modern Education;" it had a strong character for gambling (Timbs's "Clubs and Club Life in London," where, at p. 48, there is a sketch of White's from an old drawing). The house became a private club, as we now have it, about 1736.

Will's Coffee-house, named after Will Urwin, its proprietor, was the corner house on the north side of Russell Street, Covent Garden, at the end of Bow Street. The present house, 21 Russell Street, is probably part of the old building. Will's was ceasing to be the resort of the wits in 1709; it was in its glory at the close of the seventeenth century. The wits' room, where Dryden presided, was on the first floor.

The Grecian, in Devereux Court in the Strand, was probably the most ancient coffee-house in or about London. In 1652 an English Turkey merchant brought home with him a Greek servant, who first opened a house for making and selling coffee. This man's name was Constantine, and his house was much resorted to by lawyers, Greek scholars, and Members of the Royal Society. (See Thoresby's Diary, i. 111, 117.) Foote and Goldsmith afterwards frequented it. In Dr. King's "Anecdotes" there is a story of two gentlemen friends who disputed at the Grecian Coffee-house about the accent of a Greek word to such a length that they went out into Devereux Court and drew swords, when one of them was killed on the spot.

The St. James's Coffee-house was the last house but one on the S.W. corner of St. James's Street. It was frequented by Whig statesmen, and was closed about 1806. Swift and Steele were at a supper given by the keeper on the 19th November, 1710.

Cf. the Spectator, No. 31: "Laying down my penny upon the bar."


A waiter. See Nos. 10, 26.

This introduction was repeated in Nos. 2 and 3 of the original issue.

"The reader is 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." (Original folio.) For Viscount Hinchinbroke ("Cynthio"), see No. 5.

April 7, 1709. Cibber acknowledges that Steele did the stage very considerable service by the papers on the theatre in the Tatler.

For further particulars of Thomas Betterton (1635-1710), see Nos. 71 and 167. Cibber says: "I never heard a line in tragedy come from Betterton wherein my judgment, my ear and my imagination were not fully satisfied.... The person of this excellent actor was suitable to his voice, more manly than sweet, not exceeding the middle stature, inclining to be corpulent; of a serious and penetrating aspect; his limbs nearer the athletic than the delicate proportion; yet, however formed, there arose from the harmony of the whole a commanding mien of majesty."

By Congreve, 1695.

Mrs. Elizabeth Barry on this occasion spoke an epilogue, written by Rowe. She was the daughter of Edward Barry, barrister, whose fortunes were ruined by his attachment to Charles I. Tony Aston, in his "Supplement to Cibber's Apology," says she was woman to Lady Shelton, of Norfolk, his godmother; and Curll tells us that she was early taken under the protection of Lady Davenant. She was certainly on the stage in 1673. At her first appearance there was so little hope of her success, that at the end of the season she was discharged [from] the theatre. It is probable that at this time she became acquainted with Lord Rochester, who took her under his protection, and gave her instructions in her theatrical performances. By his interest she seems to have been restored to the stage, and, improving daily in her profession, she soon eclipsed all her competitors, and in the part of Monimia in "The Orphan" established her reputation, which was enhanced by her performance as Belvidera in "Venice Preserved," and as Isabella in "The Fatal Marriage." "In characters of greatness," says Cibber, "Mrs. Barry had a presence of elevated dignity, her mien and motion superb, and gracefully majestic; her voice full, clear, and strong, so that no violence of passion could be too much for her, and when distress or tenderness possessed her she subsided into the most affecting melody and softness. In the art of exciting pity she had a power beyond all the actresses I have yet seen, or what your imagination can conceive. In scenes of anger, defiance, or resentment, while she was impetuous and terrible, she poured out the sentiment with an enchanting harmony.... In tragedy she was solemn and august, in comedy alert, easy, and genteel, pleasant in her face and action, filling the stage with a variety of gesture. She could neither sing nor dance, no not in a country dance. She adhered to Betterton in all the revolutions of the theatre, which she quitted about 1707, on account of ill-health." She returned, however, for one night with Mrs. Bracegirdle, April 7, 1709, and performed Mrs. Frail in "Love for Love" for Betterton's benefit. She died at Acton in 1713. Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, Mr. Betterton, and Mr. Varbriggen were sworn as Comedians in Ordinary to her Majesty, 30th Oct., 2 Anne (1703). On the 3rd March, 1692, Mrs. Barry received £25 for acting in "The Orphan" before their Majesties, and on the 10th June, 1693, £25 for Caius Marius. (Lord Chamberlain's Records, Warrant Books, No. 20, p. 151; No. 18, pp. 30, 242.)

Mrs. Anne Bracegirdle was the daughter of Justinian Bracegirdle, of Northamptonshire. By the imprudence of her father, who ruined himself by becoming surety for some friends, she was early left to the care of Betterton and his wife, whose attentions to her she always acknowledged to be truly paternal. By them she was first introduced to the stage, and, while very young, performed the page in "The Orphan." Increasing in years, and in ability, she became the favourite performer of the times. Cibber describes her in these terms: "Mrs. Bracegirdle was now but just blooming in her maturity; her reputation, as an actress, gradually rising with that of her person; never any woman was in such general favour of her spectators, which, to the last scene of her dramatic life, she maintained by not being unguarded in her private character. This discretion contributed not a little to make her the Cara, the darling of the theatre: for it will be no extravagant thing to say scarce an audience saw her that were less than half of them lovers, without a suspected favourite among them: and though she might be said to have been the universal passion and under the highest temptations, her constancy in resisting them served but to increase the number of her admirers. And this perhaps you will more easily believe, when I extend not my encomiums on her person beyond a sincerity that can be suspected; for she had no greater claim to beauty than what the most desirable brunette might pretend to. But her youth and lively aspect threw out such a glow of health and cheerfulness, that, on the stage, few spectators that were not past it, could behold her without desire. There were two very different characters in which she acquitted herself with uncommon applause: if anything could excuse that desperate extravagance of love, that almost frantic passion of Lee's Alexander the Great, it must have been when Mrs. Bracegirdle was his Statira: as when she acted Millamant, all the faults, follies, and affectation of that agreeable tyrant were venially melted down into so many charms and attractions of a conscious beauty." In the theatrical disputes of the times, she adhered to her benefactor Betterton, and continued to perform with applause until 1707, when, on the preference being given to Mrs. Oldfield in a contention between that actress and Mrs. Bracegirdle, she left the stage, except for one night, when she returned with Mrs. Barry to the theatre, and performed Angelica for Betterton's benefit (the performance described in this number). She died in 1748.

Thomas Doggett died in 1721. In 1695 he created the character of Ben in Congreve's "Love for Love." Afterwards he was associated with Steele in the management of Drury Lane Theatre.

D'Urfey's "Modern Prophets" was produced in 1709. Thomas D'Urfey died in 1723, aged 70, leaving Steele a watch and chain, which his friend wore at the funeral. He wrote many plays and songs. See also Nos. 11, 43.

See No. 4.

William, First Earl Cadogan (1675-1726), was an able officer who took a very prominent part in Marlborough's campaigns. In January, 1709, he was made lieutenant-general, and he was dangerously wounded at the siege of Mons. He was appointed Lieutenant of the Tower of London in December.

The news-paragraphs in the earlier numbers of the Tatler are here preserved for the sake of completeness, but for the most part the details recorded are not of permanent interest, and do not call for comment. The reader may be reminded generally that in the spring of 1709 the French, after the battle of Oudenarde and the fall of Lille, followed by a very severe winter, were driven to think of terms of peace. The negotiations, however, fell through for the time, and the campaign was begun in the Netherlands, where Marlborough and Prince Eugene had an army of 110,000 men. The French were entrenched under Villars between Douay and Béthune, and were strengthened by part of the garrison of Tournay. Marlborough seized the opportunity of attacking the half-defended town, which was obliged to surrender on July 29, after a siege of nineteen days. The French then made a great effort, and brought an army of 100,000 men into the field, with the result that the battle of Malplaquet (Sept. 11) was a very bloody and hard-earned victory for the allies. The subsequent fall of Mons brought the campaign to a close.


A merchant entrusted by Lewis XIV. to negotiate terms of peace with the Dutch.

General Wood played a distinguished part in the battles of Donauwerth (1704) and Ramilies (1706).

See the Introduction.

"A Vindication of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., against what is objected to him by Mr. Partridge in his Almanack for the present year 1709. By the said Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., London, printed in the year 1709." (Advertisement in folio issue.) In a pamphlet called "Predictions for the Year 1712. By Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; in a Letter to the author of the Oxford Almanack. Printed in the year 1712," this "Vindication" is thus noticed: "I can't but express my resentment against a gentleman who personated me in a paper called 'Mr. Bickerstaff's Vindication.' I'm grieved to find the times should be so very wicked, that one impostor should set up to reform another, and that a false Bickerstaff should write against an imaginary Partridge. And I am heartily concerned that one who shows so much wit, such extreme civility, and writes such a gentlemanlike style, should prefix my name to writings in which there appears so little solidity and no knowledge of the Arabian philosophy. If this paper should be transmitted to posterity (as, perhaps, it might have been by the authority of the name it wears in the front) it might have been a lasting reflection upon me to the end of the world.... Till seeing four volumes of writings—the collected edition of the Tatler—pretended to be mine, and a serious philosopher's name prefixed to papers as free from my solidity as they are full of wit, I thought it high time to vindicate myself, and give the world a taste of my writings; for I am now persuaded 'twill be more for my reputation to convince than to despise mankind."

No. 2.



From Tuesday, April 12, to Thursday, April 14, 1709.

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 poet81 gives it is very happy; but the foundation is from a real accident which happened among my acquaintance.82 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, till it was a crime 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 complaisancy of manners. Upon this my spark flies to the bottle for relief from his satiety. She disdains him for being tired with that for which all men envied him; and he never came home, but it was: "Was there no sot that would stay longer? Would any man living but you? Did I leave all the world for this usage?" To which he: "Madam, split me, you are very impertinent!" In a word, this match was wedlock in its most terrible appearances. She, at last weary of railing to no purpose, applies to a good uncle, who gives her a bottle of water. "The virtue of this powerful liquor," said he, "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 six 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 ungrateful as story-telling against the grain, therefore take it as the author has given it you.


A Tale—for the Ladies.

Miss Molly, a famed toast, was fair and young,
Had wealth and charms, but then she had a tongue
From morn to night, the eternal larum run,
Which often lost those hearts her eyes had won.
Sir John was smitten, and confessed his flame,
Sighed out the usual time, then wed the dame:
Possessed he thought of every joy of life,
But his dear Molly proved a very wife.
Excess of fondness did in time decline,
Madam loved money, and the knight loved wine.
From whence some petty discords would arise,
As, "You're a fool"; and, "You are mighty wise!"
Though he and all the world allowed her wit,
Her voice was shrill, and rather loud than sweet,
When she began,—for hat and sword he'd call.
Then, after a faint kiss, cry, "B'y, dear Moll:
Supper and friends expect me at the Rose."83
And, "What, Sir John, you'll get your usual dose!
Go, stink of smoke, and guzzle nasty wine,
Sure, never virtuous love was used like mine!"
Oft as the watchful bellman marched his round,
At a fresh bottle gay Sir John he found.
By four the knight would get his business done,
And only then reeled off, because alone;
Full well he knew the dreadful storm to come,
But armed with bordeaux, he durst venture home.
My lady with her tongue was still prepared,
She rattled loud, and he impatient heard:
"'Tis a fine hour? In a sweet pickle made!
And this, Sir John, is every day the trade.
Here I sit moping all the live-long night,
Devoured with spleen, and stranger to delight;
'Till morn sends staggering home a drunken beast,
Resolved to break my heart, as well as rest."
"Hey! Hoop! d'ye hear my damned obstreperous spouse!
What, can't you find one bed about the house!
Will that perpetual clack lie never still!
That rival to the softness of a mill!
Some couch and distant room must be my choice,
Where I may sleep uncursed with wife and noise."
Long this uncomfortable life they led,
With snarling meals, and each, a separate bed.
To an old uncle oft she would complain,
Beg his advice, and scarce from tears refrain.
Old Wisewood smoked the matter as it was,
"Cheer up!" cried he, "and I'll remove the cause.
"A wonderous spring within my garden flows,
Of sovereign virtue, chiefly to compose
Domestic jars, and matrimonial strife,
The best elixir t' appease man and wife;
Strange are th' effects, the qualities divine,
'Tis water called, but worth its weight in wine.
If in his sullen airs Sir John should come,
Three spoonfuls take, hold in your mouth—then mum:
Smile, and look pleased, when he shall rage and scold,
Still in your mouth the healing cordial hold;
One month this sympathetic medecine tried,
He'll grow a lover, you a happy bride.
But, dearest niece, keep this grand secret close,
Or every prattling hussy'll beg a dose."
A water-bottle's brought for her relief,
Not Nantz could sooner ease the lady's grief:
Her busy thoughts are on the trial bent,
And female-like, impatient for th' event:
The bonny knight reels home exceeding clear,
Prepared for clamour, and domestic war.
Entering, he cries, "Hey! where's our thunder fled?
No hurricane! Betty, 's your lady dead?"
Madam, aside, an ample mouthful takes,
Curtsies, looks kind, but not a word she speaks:
Wondering, he stared, scarcely his eyes believed,
But found his ears agreeably deceived.
"Why, how now, Molly, what's the crotchet now?"
She smiles, and answers only with a bow.
Then clasping her about,—"Why, let me die!
These nightclothes, Moll, become thee mightily!"
With that, he sighed, her hand began to press,
And Betty calls, her lady to undress;
"Nay, kiss me, Molly, for I'm much inclined."
Her lace she cuts, to take him in the mind.
Thus the fond pair to bed enamoured went,
The lady pleased, and the good knight content.
For many days these fond endearments passed,
The reconciling bottle fails at last;
'Twas used and gone: Then midnight storms arose,
And looks and words the union discompose.
Her coach is ordered, and post-haste she flies,
To beg her uncle for some fresh supplies;
Transported does the strange effects relate,
Her knight's conversion, and her happy state!
"Why, niece," says he, "I prithee apprehend
The water's water. Be thyself thy friend;
Such beauty would the coldest husband warm,
But your provoking tongue undoes the charm:
Be silent, and complying; you'll soon find,
Sir John, without a medecine, will be kind."

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 Ratisbon 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 excellences useful for the honour and safety of the Empire. They write from Berlin of the 13th, O.S., that the true design of General Fleming's visit to that Court was, to insinuate, that it will be for the mutual 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 communicated 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 Empire 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 make any hope for safety from other prospects.

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 not immediately concern the good of my native country. I must therefore boldly 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 63rd year, or grand climacteric, there has not one man died of the French nation who was younger than his Majesty, except a very few, who were taken suddenly near the village of Hochsted84 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, 'tis 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.

William Harrison (1685-1713) was a favourite with Swift and Addison. He wrote verses, and a continuation of the Tatler, and afterwards obtained office in the diplomatic service; but his health soon broke down, and he died when 28.

There is a similar story in Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy."

The Rose Tavern, in Russell Street, adjoined Drury Lane Theatre, and was a favourite resort during and after the play.

The Battle of Blenheim.

No. 3.



From Thursday, April 14, to Saturday, April 16, 1709.

Will's Coffee-house, April 14.

This evening, the comedy called "The Country Wife"85 was acted in Drury Lane, for the benefit of Mrs. Bignell.86 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 how 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 how 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. The 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 which only it is to be imputed, that a gentleman of Mr. Wycherley'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 his 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.87 I cannot be of the same opinion with my friends and fellow-labourers, the Reformers of Manners,88 in their severity towards plays, but must allow that a good play acted before a well-bred 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 flustered into the box last night, and let him know, how much all his friends were out of countenance for him. The women sat in terror of hearing something that should shock their modesty, and all the gentlemen in as much pain, out of compassion to the ladies, and perhaps resentment for the indignity which was offered in coming into their presence in so disrespectful a manner. Wine made him say nothing that was rude, therefore he is forgiven, upon condition he will never hazard his offending more in this kind. As I just now hinted, I own myself of the Society for Reformation of Manners. We have lower instruments than those of the family of Bickerstaff, for punishing great crimes, and exposing the abandoned. Therefore, as I design to have notices from all public assemblies, I shall take upon me only indecorums, improprieties, and negligences, in such as should give us better examples. After this declaration, if a fine lady thinks fit to giggle at church, or a great beau come in drunk to a play, either shall be sure to hear of it in my ensuing paper: for merely as a well-bred man, I cannot bear these enormities.

After the play, we naturally stroll to this coffee-house, in hopes of meeting some new poem, or other entertainment, among the men of wit and pleasure, where there is a dearth at present. But it is wonderful there should be so few writers, when the art is become merely mechanic, and men may make themselves great that way, by as certain and infallible rules, as you may be a joiner or a mason. There happens a good instance of this, in what the hawker just now has offered to sale; to wit, "Instructions to Vanderbank; a Sequel to the Advice to the Poets: A Poem, occasioned by the Glorious Success of her Majesty's Arms, under the Command of the Duke of Marlborough, the last Year in Flanders."89 Here you are to understand, that the author finding the poets would not take his advice, he troubles himself no more about them; but has met with one Vanderbank,90 who works in arras, and makes very good tapestry hangings. Therefore, in order to celebrate the hero of the age, he claps me together all that can be said of a man that makes hangings, as:

Then, artist, who dost Nature's face express
In silk and gold, and scenes of action dress;
Dost figured arras animated leave,
Spin a bright story, or a passion weave
By mingling threads; canst mingle shade and light,
Delineate triumphs, or describe a fight.

Well, what shall this workman do? Why, to show how great an hero the poet intends, he provides him a very good horse:

Champing his foam, and bounding on the plain,
Arch his high neck, and graceful spread his mane.

Now as to the intrepidity, the calm courage, the constant application of the hero, it is not necessary to take that upon yourself; you may, in the lump, bid him you employ raise him as high as he can, and if he does it not, let him answer for disobeying orders:

Let fame and victory in inferior sky,
Hover with ballanced wings, and smiling fly
Above his head, &c.

A whole poem of this kind may be ready against an ensuing campaign, as well as a space left in the canvas of a piece of tapestry for the principal figure, while the underparts are working: so that in effect, the adviser copies after the man he pretends to direct. This method should, methinks, encourage young beginners: for the invention is so fitted to all capacities, that by the help of it a man may make a receipt for a poem. A young man may observe, that the jig91 of the thing is, as I said, finding out all that can be said of his way [whom] you employ to set forth your worthy. Waller and Denham had worn out the expedient of "Advice to a Painter."92 This author has transferred the work, and sent his advice to the Poets; that is to say, to the turners of verse, as he calls them. Well, that thought is worn out also, therefore he directs his genius to the loom, and will have a new set of hangings in honour of the last year in Flanders. I must own to you, I approve extremely this invention, and it might be improved for the benefit of manufactory: as, suppose an ingenious gentleman should write a poem of advice to a calico-printer: do you think there is a girl in England, that would wear anything but the taking of Lille, or the Battle of Oudenarde? They would certainly be all the fashion, till the heroes abroad had cut out some more patterns. I should fancy small skirmishes might do for under-petticoats, provided they had a siege for the upper. If our adviser were well imitated, many industrious people might be put to work. Little Mr. Dactile, now in the room, who formerly writ a song and a half, is a week gone in a very pretty work upon this hint: he is writing an epigram to a young virgin who knits very well ('tis a thousand pities he is a Jacobite); but his epigram is by way of advice to this damsel, to knit all the actions of the Pretender and the Duke of Burgundy last campaign in the clock of a stocking. It were endless to enumerate the many hands and trades that may be employed by poets, of so useful a turn as this adviser's. I shall think of it; and in this time of taxes, shall consult a great critic employed in the custom-house, in order to propose what tax may be proper to put upon knives, seals, rings, hangings, wrought-beds, gowns and petticoats, where any of those commodities bear mottoes, or are worked upon poetical grounds.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 15.

Letters from Turin of the 3rd instant, N.S., inform us, that his Royal Highness employs all his address in alarming the enemy, and perplexing their speculations concerning his real designs the ensuing campaign. Contracts are entered into with the merchants of Milan, for a great number of mules to transport his provisions and ammunition. His Royal Highness has ordered the train of artillery to be conveyed to Susa before the 20th of the next month. In the meantime, all accounts agree, that the enemy are very backward in their preparations, and almost incapable of defending themselves against an invasion, by reason of the general murmurs of their own people; which, they find, are no way to be quieted, but by giving them hopes of a speedy peace. When these letters were dispatched, the Marshal de Thesse was arrived at Genoa, where he has taken much pains to keep the correspondents of the merchants of France in hopes, that measures will be found out to support the credit and commerce between that state and Lyons. But the late declaration of the agents of Monsieur Bernard, that they cannot discharge the demands made upon them, has quite dispirited all those who are engaged in the remittances of France.

From my own Apartment, April 15.

It is a very natural passion in all good members of the commonwealth, to take what care they can of their families. Therefore I hope the reader will forgive me, that I desire he would go to the play, called the "Stratagem,"93 this evening, which is to be acted for the benefit of my near kinsman, Mr. John Bickerstaff.94 I protest to you the gentleman has not spoken to me to desire this favour; but I have a respect for him, as well in regard to consanguinity, as that he is an intimate friend of that famous and heroic actor, Mr. George Powell, who formerly played Alexander the Great in all places, though he is lately grown so reserved as to act it only on the stage.95

By Wycherley, first acted in 1683.

Mrs. Bicknell (or Bignell) was born about 1695. It is not clear whether she was married, or whether the name Bicknell was taken to distinguish her from her sister, Mrs. Young, who was also an actress. We first hear of her acting in 1706; she took parts in which sauciness and coquetry were the chief features. Her last recorded appearance was on the 2nd of April, 1723; and she died in May. She signed a petition "M. Bicknell"; probably her name was Margaret, her mother's name. Steele alludes to her as "pretty Mrs. Bignell" in No. 11, and as his friend in the Guardian, No. 50. She was Miss Prue in Congreve's "Love for Love," and Miss Hoyden in Vanbrugh's "Relapse." In the Spectator (No. 370) Steele praises her dancing.

Cibber writes thus of this actress: "Mrs. Mountford, whose second marriage gave her the name of Verbruggen, was mistress of more variety of humour than I ever knew in any one woman actress. This variety, too, was attended with an equal vivacity, which made her excellent in characters extremely different.... She was so fond of humour, in what low part soever to be found, that she would make no scruple of defacing her fair form to come heartily into it." She could act admirably as a Devonshire lass, a pretty fellow, or a fine lady. Mrs. Verbruggen's first husband, the actor Mountford, was killed by Captain Hill, with the assistance of Lord Mohun, in 1692, because Hill, who was making unsuccessful suit to Mrs. Bracegirdle was jealous of her fellow-actor. Mountford was then in his thirty-third year. Mrs. Mountford's second husband, John Verbruggen, is described by Tony Aston as "nature without extravagance." ... "That rough diamond shone more bright than all the artful polished brilliants that ever sparkled on our stage." The same writer says of Mrs. Verbruggen: "She was all art, but dressed so nice, it looked like nature. She was the most easy actress in the world. Her maiden name was Percival."

Various Societies for the Reformation of Manners were founded in the reign of William III. An "Account" of these societies was published in 1699, and Defoe often wrote on the subject. In 1708 the Society for London and Westminster secured the conviction of 3299 "lewd and scandalous" persons, guilty of Sunday trading swearing, drunkenness, &c.

See Steele's apology to Blackmore, author of this poem, in No. 14. Sir Richard Blackmore (died 1729) was a Whig physician who wrote epics on religious and other subjects, and was often at loggerheads with the actors and wits. Though he was not a poet, Addison and Steele praised him on account of the religious tone of his work (see Spectator, Nos. 6, 339).

Vanderbank, or as his father sometimes wrote his name, Vandrebanc, was a son of Peter Vanderbank, a Parisian, who came into England with Gascar the painter, about 1674, and died at Bradfield, in Hertfordshire, in 1697. His father was admired for the softness of his prints, and still more for the size of them, some of his heads being the largest that had then appeared in England; but the prices he received by no means compensated for the time employed on his works, and he was reduced to want, and died at the house of Mr. Forester, his brother-in-law. After his death, his widow sold his plates to one Brown, a print-seller, who made a great profit by them. His eldest son had some share in the theatre at Dublin; the youngest, William, was a poor labourer, who gave an account of his father and the family to Vertue. The person mentioned in this paper was probably his father's name-son, and might be, as Walpole conjectures, an engraver. Whatever concern the father might have had in any manufacture of tapestry, he could not be the person meant here, for at this time he had been dead above ten years. The suite of tapestry, in the Duke of Ancaster's sale, with Vanderbank's name to it, mentioned by Walpole, must therefore be supposed to belong to the son, who is said, upon the authority of the French translator of the Tatler, to have represented nature very happily in works of tapestry, and to have been a man inimitable in this way. (See Walpole's "Anecdotes of Painting," 1782, vol. v. p. 166.)

Trick (the early editions have "gigg").

Waller wrote "Instructions to a Painter" and "Advice to a Painter," and Denham "Directions to a Painter."

Farquhar's "Beaux' Stratagem," 1707.

Bickerstaff acted the part of the Captain in Mrs. Centlivre's farce, "A Bickerstaff's Burying; or, Work for the Upholders" (1713), which was dedicated to the "magnificent Company of Upholders, whom the judicious Censor of Great Britain has so often condescended to mention." In the "British Apollo," vol. ii. No. 107 (Feb. 27 to March 1, 1710), is a "New Prologue to 'Don Quixote' for Mr. Bickerstaff's Benefit at the Theatre Royal, spoken by himself." The prologue ends:

"I need not from the ladies fear my doom,
When it shall thus be said, in my behalf,
He bears the awful name of BICKERSTAFF."

In the Daily Courant for Feb. 4, 1710, there was advertised a performance of the "Comical History of Don Quixote" at Drury Lane, "at the desire of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., for the benefit of his cousin, John Bickerstaff."

George Powell, actor and dramatist, gave way often to drink. He died in 1714. Addison praised his acting of tragic parts in No. 40 of the Spectator. See also No. 31. An order to the comedians in Dorset Gardens forbade them acting till further order, because they had allowed Powell to play after he was committed for drawing his sword on Colonel Stanhope and Mr. Davenant. This is dated May 3, 10 Will. III. (1698); but on May 4 there was another order for the comedians to resume acting. (Lord Chamberlain's Records, Warrant Book No. 19, p. 80.) Cibber's remarks on this incident will be found in his "Apology," chap. x.

No. 4.



From Saturday April 16, to Tuesday, April 19, 1709.

It is usual with persons who mount the stage for the cure or information of the crowd about them, to make solemn professions of their being wholly disinterested in the pains they take for the public good. At the same time, those very men, who make harangues in plush doublets, and extol their own abilities and generous inclinations, tear their lungs in vending a drug, and show no act of bounty, except it be, that they lower a demand of a crown, to six, nay, to one penny. We have a contempt for such paltry barterers, and have therefore all along informed the public that we intend to give them our advices for our own sakes, and are labouring to make our lucubrations come to some price in money, for our more convenient support in the service of the public. It is certain, that many other schemes have been proposed to me; as a friend offered to show me a treatise he had writ, which he called "The Whole Art of Life, or the Introduction to Great Men, illustrated in a Pack of Cards." But being a novice at all manner of play I declined the offer. Another advised me, for want of money, to set up my coach and practise physic, but having been bred a scholar, I feared I should not succeed that way neither; therefore resolved to go on in my present project. But you are to understand, that I shall not pretend to raise a credit to this work, upon the weight of my politic news only, but, as my Latin sentence in the title-page informs you, shall take anything that offers for the subject of my discourse. Thus, new persons, as well as new things, are to come under my consideration; as, when a toast, or a wit, is first pronounced such, you shall have the freshest advice of their preferment from me, with a description of the beauty's manner, and the wit's style; as also, in whose places they are advanced. For this town is never good-natured enough to raise one, without depressing another. But it is my design, to avoid saying anything, of any person, which ought justly to displease; but shall endeavour, by the variety of the matter and style, to give entertainment for men of pleasure, without offence to those of business.

White's Chocolate-house, April 18.

All hearts at present pant for two ladies only96, who have for some time engrossed the dominion of the town. They are indeed both exceeding charming, but differ very much in their excellences. The beauty of Clarissa is soft, that of Chloe piercing. When you look at Clarissa, you see the most exact harmony of feature, complexion, and shape; you find in Chloe nothing extraordinary in any one of those particulars, but the whole woman irresistible. Clarissa looks languishing; Chloe, killing. Clarissa never fails of gaining admiration; Chloe, of moving desire. The gazers at Clarissa are at first unconcerned, as if they were observing a fine picture. They who behold Chloe, at the first glance, discover transport, as if they met their dearest friend. These different perfections are suitably represented by the last great painter Italy has sent us, Mr. Jervas.97 Clarissa is, by that skilful hand, placed in a manner that looks artless, and innocent of the torments she gives; Chloe drawn with a liveliness that shows she is conscious, but not affected, of her perfections. Clarissa is a shepherdess; Chloe, a country girl. I must own, the design of Chloe's picture shows, to me, great mastery in the painter; for nothing could be better imagined than the dress he has given her, of a straw hat and riband, to represent that sort of beauty which enters the heart with a certain familiarity, and cheats it into a belief, that it has received a lover as well as an object of love. The force of their different beauties is seen also in the effects it makes on their lovers. The admirers of Chloe are eternally gay and well-pleased: those of Clarissa, melancholy and thoughtful. And as this passion always changes the natural man into a quite different creature from what he was before, the love of Chloe makes coxcombs; that of Clarissa, madmen. There were of each kind just now here. Here was one that whistles, laughs, sings, and cuts capers, for love of Chloe. Another has just now written three lines to Clarissa, then taken a turn in the garden, then came back again, then tore his fragment, then called for some chocolate, then went away without it.

Chloe has so many admirers in the room at present, that there is too much noise to proceed in my narration, so that the progress of the loves of Clarissa and Chloe, together with the bottles that are drank each night for the one, and the many sighs which are uttered, and songs written, on the other, must be our subject on future occasions.

Will's Coffee-house, April 18.

Letters from the Haymarket inform us, that on Saturday night last the opera of "Pyrrhus and Demetrius"98 was performed with great applause. This intelligence is not very acceptable to us friends of the theatre; for the stage being an entertainment of the reason and all our faculties, this way of being pleased with the suspense of them for three hours together, and being given up to the shallow satisfaction of the eyes and ears only, seems to arise rather from the degeneracy of our understanding, than an improvement of our diversions.99 That the understanding has no part in the pleasure is evident, from what these letters very positively assert, to wit, that a great part of the performance was done in Italian: and a great critic fell into fits in the gallery, at feeling, not only time and place, but languages and nations confused in the most incorrigible manner. His spleen is so extremely moved on this occasion, that he is going to publish a treatise against operas, which, he thinks, have already inclined us to thoughts of peace, and if tolerated, must infallibly dispirit us from carrying on the war. He has communicated his scheme to the whole room, and declared in what manner things of this kind were first introduced. He has upon this occasion considered the nature of sounds in general, and made a very elaborate digression upon the London cries,100 wherein he has shown from reason and philosophy why oysters are cried, card-matches101 sung, and turnips and all other vegetables neither cried, sung, nor said, but sold, with an accent and tone neither natural to man or beast. This piece seems to be taken from the model of that excellent discourse of Mrs. Manly the schoolmistress, concerning samplers.102 Advices from the upper end of Piccadilly say that Mayfair is utterly abolished;103 and we hear Mr. Pinkethman104 has removed his ingenious company of strollers to Greenwich: but other letters from Deptford say, the company is only making thither, and not yet settled; but that several heathen gods and goddesses, which are to descend in machines, landed at the King's Head Stairs last Saturday. Venus and Cupid went on foot from thence to Greenwich; Mars got drunk in the town, and broke his landlord's head; for which he sat in the stocks the whole evening; but Mr. Pinkethman giving security that he should do nothing this ensuing summer, he was set at liberty. The most melancholy part of all, was, that Diana was taken in the act of fornication with a boatman, and committed by Justice Wrathful, which has, it seems, put a stop to the diversions of the theatre of Blackheath. But there goes down another Diana and a patient Grissel next tide from Billingsgate.105

St. James's Coffee-house, April 18.

They write from Saxony of the 13th instant, N.S., that the Grand General of the Crown of Poland was so far from entering into a treaty with King Stanislaus, that he had written circular letters, wherein he exhorted the Palatinates to join against him; declaring, that this was the most favourable conjuncture for asserting their liberty.

Letters from the Hague of the 23rd instant, N.S., say, they have advices from Vienna, which import, that his Electoral Highness of Hanover had signified to the Imperial Court, that he did not intend to put himself at the head of the troops of the Empire, except more effectual measures were taken for acting vigorously against the enemy the ensuing campaign. Upon this representation, the Emperor has given orders to several regiments to march towards the Rhine, and despatched expresses to the respective princes of the Empire to desire an augmentation of their forces.

These letters add, that an express arrived at the Hague on the 20th instant, with advice, that the enemy having made a detachment from Tournay of 1500 horse, each trooper carrying a foot-soldier behind him, in order to surprise the garrison of Alost; the allies, upon notice of their march, sent out a strong body of troops from Ghent, which engaged the enemy at Asche, and took 200 of them prisoners, obliging the rest to retire without making any further attempt. On the 22nd in the morning a fleet of merchant ships coming from Scotland, were attacked by six French privateers at the entrance of the Meuse. We have yet no certain advice of the event: but letters from Rotterdam say, that a Dutch man-of-war of forty guns, which was convoy to the said fleet, was taken, as were also eighteen of the merchants. The Swiss troops, in the service of the States, have completed the augmentation of their respective companies. Those of Wirtemberg and Prussia are expected on the frontiers within few days; and the auxiliaries from Saxony, as also a battalion of Holstein, and another of Wolfembuttel, are advancing thither with all expedition. On the 21st instant, the deputies of the States had a conference near Woerden with the President Rouillé, but the matter which was therein debated is not made public. His Grace the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene continue at the Hague.

From my own Apartment, April 18.

I have lately been very studious for intelligence, and have just now, by my astrological flying-post, received a packet from Felicia,106 an island in America, with an account that gives me great satisfaction, and lets me understand that the island was never in greater prosperity, or the administration in so good hands, since the death of their late valiant king. These letters import, that the chief minister has entered into a firm league with the ablest and best men of the nation, to carry on the cause of liberty, to the encouragement of religion, virtue, and honour. Those persons at the helm are so useful, and in themselves of such weight, that their strict alliance must needs tend to the universal prosperity of the people. Camillo,107 it seems, presides over the deliberations of state; and is so highly valued by all men, for his singular probity, courage, affability, and love of mankind, that his being placed in that station has dissipated the fears of that people, who of all the world are the most jealous of their liberty and happiness. The next member of their society is Horatio,108 who makes all the public despatches. This minister is master of all the languages in use to great perfection: he is held in the highest veneration imaginable for a severe honesty, and love of his country: he lives in a court, unsullied with any of its artifices, the refuge of the oppressed, and terror of oppressors. Martio109 has joined himself to this council; a man of most undaunted resolution and great knowledge in maritime affairs; famous for destroying the navy of the Franks,110 and singularly happy in one particular, that he never preferred a man who has not proved remarkably serviceable to his country. Philander111 is mentioned with particular distinction; a nobleman who has the most refined taste of the true pleasures and elegance of life, joined to an indefatigable industry in business; a man eloquent in assemblies, agreeable in conversation, and dextrous in all manner of public negotiations. These letters add, that Verono,112 who is also of this council, has lately set sail to his government of Patricia, with design to confirm the affections of the people in the interests of his queen. This minister is master of great abilities, and is as industrious and restless for the preservation of the liberties of the people, as the greatest enemy can be to subvert them. The influence of these personages, who are men of such distinguished parts and virtues, makes the people enjoy the utmost tranquillity in the midst of a war, and gives them undoubted hopes of a secure peace from their vigilance and integrity.113

In a copy of the original edition of the Tatler, with MS. notes written early in the last century, which was sold at Messrs. Sotheby's, in April, 1887, the ladies here described were said to be Mrs. Chetwine and Mrs. Hales respectively. Mrs. Hales was a maid of honour who married Mr. Coke, vice-chamberlain, in July, 1709 (Luttrell's "Brief Relation," vi. 462); "Mrs. Chetwine" was probably the wife of William Richard Chetwynd, afterwards third Viscount Chetwynd, who married Honora, daughter of John Baker, Consul at Algiers; or the wife of his brother Walter, M.P. for Stafford, and Master of the Buckhounds. In 1717, Lady M. W. Montagu, describing a week spent by a fashionable lady, said, 'Friday, Mrs. Chetwynd's, &c.; a perpetual round of hearing the same scandal' (Pope's Works, ix. 385).

Charles Jervas, portrait painter (died 1739), became principal painter to George I. and George II. He also made a translation of "Don Quixote," first published in 1742.

A translation of Owen McSwiney (1709) from the Italian of Scarlatti.

In the Spectator (Nos. 1, 5, 13, &c.) Addison often wrote against the Italian opera. In 1706, Dennis published "An Essay on the Operas after the Italian Manner, which are about to be established on the English Stage: with some reflections on the damage which they may bring to the Public." He traces to the recent alterations in the entertainments of the stage, the fact that familiar conversation among all classes was confined to two points, news and toasting, neither of which required much intelligence.

The street cries of 1709 are described in Lauron's "Habits and Cries of the City of London." They included "Any card-matches or save-alls" and "Twelve-pence a peck, oysters."

Matches made by dipping pieces of card in melted sulphur. In the Spectator (No. 251), Addison speaks of vendors of card-matches as examples of the fact that those made most noise who had least to sell.

In vol. ii. of Dr. W. King's Works (1776) is "An Essay on the Invention of Samplers, by Mrs. Arabella Manly, schoolmistress at Hackney."

May Fair was abolished in 1709, after it had on several occasions been presented as a nuisance by the Grand Jury at Westminster. This fair was granted by King James II. under the Great Seal, in the fourth year of his reign, to Sir John Coell and his heirs for ever, in trust for Henry Lord Dover and his heirs for ever, to be held in the field called Brookfield, in the parish of St. Martin's, Westminster, to commence on the first day of May, and to continue fifteen days yearly. It soon became the resort of the idle, the dissipated, and the profligate, insomuch that the peace-officers were frequently opposed in the performance of their duty; and, in the year 1702, John Cooper, one of the constables, was killed, for which a fencing-master, named Cook, was executed. (See also No. 20.) The fair was revived under George I., but was finally abolished through the exertions of the sixth Earl of Coventry.

William Pinkethman, the popular actor and droll, was spoken of by Gildon as "the flower of Bartholomew Fair, and the idol of the rabble." In June, 1710, he opened a theatre at Greenwich, and in 1711 his "wonderful invention called The Pantheon, or, The Temple of the Heathen Gods," with over 100 figures, was to be seen in the Little Piazza, Covent Garden (Spectator, No. 46, advertisement).

"It is credibly reported that Mr. D——y has agreed with Mr. Pinkethman to have his play acted before that audience as soon as it has had its first sixteen days' run in Drury Lane" (folio). The play was D'Urfey's "Modern Prophets."


John, Lord Somers, President of the Council.

Sidney, Lord Godolphin, the Lord High Treasurer; or (according to the MS. notes in the copy mentioned above) Lord Sunderland.

Edward, Earl of Orford.

At La Hogue, 1692.

Probably Lord Halifax.

Thomas, Earl of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

"Advertisement.—Upon the humble petition of Running Stationers, &c., this paper maybe had of them, for the future, at the price of one penny" (folio). The first four numbers were distributed gratuitously.

No. 5.



From Tuesday, April 19, to Thursday, April 21, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, April 20.

Who names that lost thing, love, without a tear,
Since so debauched by ill-bred customs here,
To an exact perfection they have brought
The action, love, the passion is forgot.

This was long ago a witty author's lamentation, but the evil still continues; and if a man of any delicacy were to attend the discourses of the young fellows of this age, they would believe there were none but prostitutes to make the objects of passion. So true it is what the author of the above verses said, a little before his death, of the modern pretenders to gallantry: "They set up for wits in this age, by saying when they are sober, what they of the last spoke only when they were drunk." But Cupid is not only blind at present, but dead-drunk, he has lost all his faculties: else how should Celia be so long a maid with that agreeable behaviour? Corinna, with that uprightly wit? Lesbia, with that heavenly voice? And Sacharissa, with all those excellences in one person, frequent the park, the play, and murder the poor tits that drag her to public places, and not a man turn pale at her appearance? But such is the fallen state of love, that if it were not for honest Cynthio,114 who is true to the cause, we should hardly have a pattern left of the ancient worthies that way: and indeed he has but very little encouragement to persevere; but he has a devotion, rather than love, for his mistress; and says,

Only tell her that I love,
Leave the rest to her, and Fate;
Some kind planet from above,
May, perhaps, her passsion move:
Lovers on their stars must wait.115

But the stars I am so intimately acquainted with, that I can assure him, he will never have her: for would you believe it, though Cynthio has wit, good sense, fortune, and his very being depends on her, the termagant for whom he sighs, is in love with a fellow, who stares in the glass all the time he is with her, and lets her plainly see, she may possibly be his rival, but never his mistress. Yet Cynthio, the same unhappy man whom I mentioned in my first narrative, pleases himself with a vain imagination, that with the language of his eyes, now he has found who she is, he shall conquer her, though her eyes are intent upon one who looks from her; which is ordinary with the sex. It is certainly a mistake in the ancients, to draw the little gentleman, Love, as a blind boy; for his real character is, a little thief that squints. For ask Mrs. Meddle, who is a confidante, or spy, upon all the passions in town, and she will tell you, that the whole is a game of cross purposes. The lover is generally pursuing one who is in pursuit of another, and running from one that desires to meet him. Nay, the figure of this passion is so justly represented in a squinting little thief (who is always in a double action) that do but observe Clarissa next time you see her, and you'll find, when her eyes have made their tour round the company, she makes no stay on him they say she is to marry, but rests two seconds of a minute on Wildair, who neither looks nor thinks on her, or any woman else. However, Cynthio had a bow from her the other day, upon which he is very much come to himself; and I heard him send his man of an errand yesterday without any manner of hesitation; a quarter of an hour after which he reckoned twenty, remembered he was to sup with a friend, and went exactly to his appointment. I sent to know how he did this morning, and I find he very perfectly remembers that he spoke to me yesterday.

Will's Coffee-house, April 20.

This week116 being sacred to holy things, and no public diversions allowed, there has been taken notice of, even here, a little treatise, called, "A Project for the Advancement of Religion; dedicated to the Countess of Berkeley."117 The title was so uncommon, and promised so peculiar a way of thinking, that every man here has read it, and as many as have done so, have approved it. It is written with the spirit of one, who has seen the world enough to undervalue it with good breeding. The author must certainly be a man of wisdom, as well as piety, and have spent much time in the exercise of both. The real causes of the decay of the interest of religion, are set forth in a clear and lively manner, without unseasonable passions; and the whole air of the book, as to the language, the sentiments, and the reasonings, show it was written by one whose virtue sits easy about him, and to whom vice is thoroughly contemptible. It was said by one of this company,118 alluding to the knowledge the author seems to have of the world, "The man writes much like a gentleman, and goes to heaven with a very good mien."

St. James's Coffee-house, April 20.

Letters from Italy say, that the Marquis de Prie, upon the receipt of an express from the Court of Vienna, went immediately to the palace of Cardinal Paulucci, minister of state to his Holiness, and demanded in the name of his Imperial Majesty, that King Charles should be forthwith acknowledged king of Spain, by a solemn act of the congregation of cardinals appointed for that purpose: he declared at the same time, that if the least hesitation were made in this most important article of the late treaty, he should not only be obliged to leave Rome himself, but also transmit his master's orders to the imperial troops to face about, and return into the ecclesiastical dominions. When the cardinal reported this message to the Pope, he was struck with so sensible an affliction, that he burst into tears. His sorrow was aggravated by letters which immediately after arrived from the Court of Madrid, wherein his Nuncio acquainted his Holiness, that upon the news of his accommodation with the Emperor, he had received a message to forbear coming to Court; and the people were so highly provoked, that they could hardly be restrained from insulting his palace. These letters add, that the King of Denmark was gone from Florence to Pisa, and from Pisa to Leghorn, where the governor paid his Majesty all imaginable honours. The king designed to go from thence to Lucca, where a magnificent tournament was prepared for his diversion. An English man-of-war, which came from Port Mahon to Leghorn in six days, brought advice, that the fleet commanded by Admiral Whitaker, was safely arrived at Barcelona, with the troops and ammunition which he had taken in at Naples.

General Boneval, Governor of Commacchio, had summoned the magistrates of all the towns near that place to appear before him, and take an oath of fidelity to his Imperial Majesty, commanding also the gentry to pay him homage, on pain of death and confiscation of goods. Advices from Switzerland inform us, that the bankers of Geneva were utterly ruined by the failure of Mr. Bernard. They add, that the deputies of the Swiss Cantons were returned from Solleure, where they were assembled at the instance of the French Ambassador; but were very much dissatisfied with the reception they had from that minister. 'Tis true, he omitted no civilities, or expressions of friendship from his master, but he took no notice of their pensions and arrears; what further provoked their indignation, was, that instead of twenty-five pistoles formerly allowed to each member, for their charge in coming to the Diet, he had presented them with six only. They write from Dresden, that King Augustus was still busy in recruiting his cavalry, and that the Danish troops, which lately served in Hungary, had orders to be in Saxony in the middle of May, and that his Majesty of Denmark was expected at Dresden in the beginning of that month. King Augustus makes great preparations for his reception, and has appointed sixty coaches, each drawn by six horses for that purpose: the interview of these princes affords great matter for speculation. Letters from Paris of the 22nd of this month say, that Mareschal Harcourt and the Duke of Berwick were preparing to go into Alsace and Dauphine, but that their troops were in want of all manner of necessaries. The Court of France had received advices from Madrid, that on the 7th of this month, the States of Spain had with much magnificence acknowledged the Prince of Asturias presumptive heir of the crown. This was performed at Buen Retiro; the deputies took the oaths on that occasion by the hands of Cardinal Portocarrero. Those advices add, that it was signified to the Pope's Nuncio, by order of council, to depart from that Court in twenty-four hours, and that a guard was accordingly appointed to conduct him to Bayonne.

Letters from the Hague of the 26th instant inform us, that Prince Eugene was to set out the next day for Brussels, to put all things in a readiness for opening the campaign. They add, that the Grand Pensioner having reported to the Duke of Marlborough what passed in the last conference with Mr. Rouillé,119 his Grace had taken a resolution immediately to return to Great Britain, to communicate to her Majesty all that has been transacted in that important affair.

From my own Apartment, April 20.

The nature of my miscellaneous work is such, that I shall always take the liberty to tell for news such things (let them have happened never so much before the time of writing) as have escaped public notice, or have been misrepresented to the world, provided that I am still within rules, and trespass not as a Tatler any further than in an incorrectness of style, and writing in an air of common speech. Thus if anything that is said, even of old Anchises or Æneas, be set by me in a different light than has hitherto been hit upon, in order to inspire the love and admiration of worthy actions, you will, gentle reader, I hope, accept of it for intelligence you had not before. But I am going upon a narrative, the matter of which I know to be true: it is not only doing justice to the deceased merit120 of such persons, as, had they lived, would not have had it in their power to thank me, but also an instance of the greatness of spirit in the lowest of her Majesty's subjects; take it as follows:

At the siege of Namur by the Allies, there were in the ranks of the company commanded by Captain Pincent, in Colonel Frederick Hamilton's regiment, one Unnion a corporal, and one Valentine a private sentinel: there happened between these two men a dispute about a matter of love, which, upon some aggravations, grew to an irreconcilable hatred. Unnion being the officer of Valentine, took all opportunities even to strike his rival, and profess the spite and revenge which moved him to it. The sentinel bore it without resistance, but frequently said he would die to be revenged of that tyrant. They had spent whole months thus, one injuring, the other complaining; when in the midst of this rage towards each other, they were commanded upon the attack of the castle, where the corporal received a shot in the thigh, and fell; the French pressing on, and he expecting to be trampled to death, called out to his enemy, "Ah, Valentine! Can you leave me here?" Valentine immediately ran back, and in the midst of a thick fire of the French, took the corporal upon his back, and brought him through all that danger as far as the Abbey of Salsine, where a cannon-ball took off his head: his body fell under his enemy whom he was carrying off Unnion immediately forgot his wound, rose up, tearing his hair, and then threw himself upon the bleeding carcass, crying, "Ah, Valentine! Was it for me, who have so barbarously used thee, that thou hast died? I will not Jive after thee." He was not by any means to be forced from the body, but was removed with it bleeding in his arms, and attended with tears by all their comrades, who knew their enmity. When he was brought to a tent, his wounds were dressed by force; but the next day, still calling upon Valentine, and lamenting his cruelties to him, he died in the pangs of remorse and despair.

It may be a question among men of noble sentiments, whether of these unfortunate persons had the greater soul; he that was so generous as to venture his life for his enemy, or he who could not survive the man that died, in laying upon him such an obligation?

When we see spirits like these in a people, to what heights may we not suppose their glory may arise, but (as it is excellently observed by Sallust121) it is not only to the general bent of a nation that great revolutions are owing, but to the extraordinary genios122 that lead them. On which occasion he proceeds to say that the Roman greatness was neither to be attributed to their superior policy, for in that the Carthaginians excelled; nor to their valour, for in that the French were preferable; but to particular men, who were born for the good of their country, and formed for great attempts. This he says, to introduce the characters of Cassar and Cato. It would be entering into too weighty a discourse for this place, if I attempted to show that our nation has produced as great and able men for public affairs, as any other. But I believe the reader outruns me, and fixes his imagination upon the Duke of Marlborough. It is, methinks, a pleasing reflection, to consider the dispensations of Providence in the fortune of this illustrious man, who, in the space of forty years, has passed through all the gradations of human life, till he has ascended to the character of a prince, and become the scourge of a tyrant, who sat in one of the greatest thrones of Europe, before the man who was to have the greatest part in his downfall had made one step in the world.123 But such elevations are the natural consequences of an exact prudence, a calm courage, a well-governed temper, a patient ambition, and an affable behaviour. These arts, as they are the steps to his greatness, so they are the pillars of it now it is raised. To this her glorious son, Great Britain is indebted for the happy conduct of her arms, in whom she can boast, she has produced a man formed by nature to lead a nation of heroes.

Edward Richard Montagu, styled Viscount Hinchinbroke, who died before his father, on October 3, 1722, was the only son of Edward, third Earl of Sandwich. He was born about 1690, and became colonel of the First Regiment of Foot Guards, and Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire. In 1707, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Popham, of Littlecot, Wilts, and of Anne, daughter of the first Duke of Montagu. (See Nos. 1, 22, 35, 85, and the Lover, No. 38.)

These lines are part of a song by Lord Cutts, under whom Steele had served as secretary when in the army. The verses will be found in Nichols' "Select Collection" (1780), ii. 327.

Passion Week.

First published as "By a Person of Quality." "The gentleman I here intended was Dr. Swift, this kind of man I thought him at that time. We have not met of late, but I hope he deserves this character still." (Steele's "Apology," 1714.) This pamphlet is closely in accord with the Tatler in its condemnation of gaming, drunkenness, swearing, immorality on the stage, and other evils of the time. Swift suggests, too, a revival of censors.

Forster suggests that it was Addison.

See No. 1.

This phrase, as well as Unnion's forgetting his wound, is criticised in a little book called, "Annotations on the Tatler, in two parts," 12mo, said to have been written originally in French by Monsieur Bournelle, and translated into English by Walter Wagstaff, Esq. London, Bernard Lintott, 1710. The annotator goes no farther with his annotations than to Tatler No. 83. See Nos. 78, 191.

"Bell. Catal.," c. 53.

"A man of a particular turn of mind" (Johnson).

In 1705, after the battle of Blenheim, Marlborough was made Prince of Mildenheim by the Emperor. Lewis XIV. succeeded to the French throne in 1643; Marlborough was born in 1650.

No. 6.



From Thursday, April 21, to Saturday, April 23, 1709.

Will's Coffee-house, April 22.

I am just come from visiting Sappho,124 a fine lady, who writes verses, sings, dances and can say and do whatever she pleases, without the imputation of anything that can injure her character; for she is so well known to have no passion but self-love, or folly, but affectation; that now upon any occasion they only cry, "'Tis her way," and "That's so like her," without further reflection. As I came into the room, she cries, "O Mr. Bickerstaff, I am utterly undone! I have broke that pretty Italian fan I showed you when you were here last, wherein were so admirably drawn our first parents in Paradise asleep in each other's arms." But there is such an affinity between painting and poetry, that I have been improving the images which were raised by that picture, by reading the same representation in two of our greatest poets. Look you, here are the passages in Milton and in Dryden. All Milton's thoughts are wonderfully just and natural, in this inimitable description which Adam makes of himself in the eighth book of "Paradise Lost." But there is none of them finer than that contained in the following lines, where he tells us his thoughts when he was falling asleep a little after his creation.

While thus I called, and strayed I know not whither,
From whence I first drew air, and first beheld
This happy light; when answer none returned,
On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers,
Pensive I sate me down, there gentle sleep
First found me, and with soft oppression seized
My drowned sense, untroubled, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state,
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve.125

But now I can't forgive this odious thing, this Dryden, who, in his "State of Innocence," has given my great-grand-mother Eve the same apprehension of annihilation, on a very different occasion, as Adam pronounces it of himself, when he was seized with a pleasing kind of stupor and deadness, Eve fancies herself falling away, and dissolving in the hurry of a rapture. However, the verses are very good, and I don't know but it may be natural what she says. I'll read them:

When your kind eyes looked languishing on mine,
And wreathing arms did soft embraces join,
A doubtful trembling seized me first all o'er,
Then wishes, and a warmth unknown before;
What followed was all extasy and trance,
Immortal pleasures round my swimming eyes did dance,
And speechless joys, in whose sweet tumults tost,
I thought my breath and my new being lost.126

She went on, and said a thousand good things at random, but so strangely mixed that you would be apt to say all her wit is mere good luck, and not the effect of reason and judgment. When I made my escape hither I found a gentleman playing the critic on two other great poets, even Virgil and Homer.127 He was observing, that Virgil is more judicious than the other in the epithets he gives his hero. "Homer's usual epithet," said he, "is Πόδας ὠχὺς, or Ποδάρχης, and his indiscretion has been often rallied by the critics, for mentioning the nimbleness of foot in Achilles, though he describes him standing, sitting, lying down, fighting, eating, drinking, or in any other circumstance, however foreign or repugnant to speed and activity. Virgil's common epithet to Æneas, is 'Pius' or 'Pater.' I have therefore considered," said he, "what passage there is in any of his hero's actions, where either of these appellations would have been most improper, to see if I could catch him at the same fault with Homer: and this, I think, is his meeting with Dido in the cave, where Pius Æneas would have been absurd, and Pater Æneas a burlesque: the poet has therefore wisely dropped them both for Dux Trojanus,

"Speluncam Dido dux et Trojanus eandem Devenient;128

which he has repeated twice in Juno's speech, and his own narration: for he very well knew a loose action might be consistent enough with the usual manners of a soldier, though it became neither the chastity of a pious man, nor the gravity of the father of a people."

Grecian Coffee-house, April 22.

While other parts of the town are amused with the present actions, we generally spend the evening at this table in inquiries into antiquity, and think anything news which gives us new knowledge. Thus we are making a very pleasant entertainment to ourselves, in putting the actions of Homer's "Iliad" into an exact journal.

This poem is introduced by Chryses, King of Chryseis, and priest of Apollo, who comes to re-demand his daughter, who was carried off at the taking of that city, and given to Agamemnon for his part of the booty. The refusal he received enrages Apollo, who for nine days showered down darts upon them, which occasioned the pestilence.

The tenth day Achilles assembles the council, and encourages Chalcas to speak for the surrender of Chryseis to appease Apollo. Agamemnon and Achilles storm at one another, notwithstanding which Agamemnon will not release his prisoner, unless he has Briseis in her stead. After long contestations, wherein Agamemnon gives a glorious character of Achilles' valour, he determines to restore Briseis to her father, and sends two heralds to fetch away Chryseis from Achilles, who abandons himself to sorrow and despair. His mother Thetis came to comfort him under his affliction, and promises to represent his sorrowful lamentations to Jupiter; but he could not attend it; for the evening before, he had appointed to divert himself for two days beyond the seas with the harmless Æthiopians.

It was the twenty-first day after Chryseis' arrival to the camp, that Thetis went very early to demand an audience of Jupiter. The means he uses to satisfy her were, to persuade the Greeks to attack the Trojans; that so they might perceive the consequence of condemning Achilles and the miseries they suffer if he does not head them. The next night he orders Agamemnon, in a dream, to attack them; who was deceived with the hopes of obtaining a victory, and also taking the city, without sharing the honour with Achilles.

On the 22nd, in the morning, he assembles the council, and having made a feint of raising the siege and retiring, he declares to them his dream; and, together with Nestor and Ulysses, resolves on an engagement.

This was the twenty-third day, which is full of incidents, and which continues from almost the beginning of the second canto to the eighth. The armies being then drawn up in view of one another, Hector brings it about that Menelaus and Paris, the two persons concerned in the quarrel, should decide it by a single combat; which tending to the advantage of Menelaus, was interrupted by a cowardice infused by Minerva: then both armies engage, where the Trojans have the disadvantage; but being afterwards animated by Apollo, they repulse the enemy, yet they are once again forced to give ground; but their affairs were retrieved by Hector, who has a single combat with Ajax. The gods threw themselves into the battle, Juno and Minerva took the Grecians' part, and Apollo and Mars the Trojans': but Mars and Venus are both wounded by Diomedes.

The truce for burying the slain ended the twenty-third day; after which the Greeks threw up a great entrenchment to secure their navy from danger. Councils are held on both sides. On the morning of the twenty-fourth day the battle is renewed, but in a very disadvantageous manner to the Greeks, who were beaten back to their retrenchments. Agamemnon being in despair at this ill success, proposes to the council to quit the enterprise and retire from Troy. But by the advice of Nestor, he is persuaded to regain Achilles, by returning Chryseis, and sending him considerable presents. Hereupon, Ulysses and Ajax are sent to that hero, who continues inflexible in his anger. Ulysses, at his return, joins himself with Diomedes, and goes in the night to gain intelligence of the enemy: they enter into their very camp, where, finding the sentinels asleep, they made a great slaughter. Rhesus, who was just then arrived with recruits from Thrace for the Trojans, was killed in that action. Here ends the tenth canto. The sequel of this journal will be inserted in the next article from this place.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 22.

We hear from Italy, that notwithstanding the Pope has received a letter from the Duke of Anjou, demanding of him to explain himself upon the affair of acknowledging King Charles: his Holiness has not yet thought fit to send any answer to that prince. The Court of Rome appears very much mortified, that they are not to see his Majesty of Denmark in that city, having perhaps given themselves vain hopes from a visit made by a Protestant priest to that see. The Pope has despatched a gentleman to compliment his Majesty, and sent the king a present of all the curiosities and antiquities of Rome, represented in seventeen volumes, very richly bound, which were taken out of the Vatican library. Letters from Genoa of the 14th instant say, a felucca was arrived there in five days from Marseilles, with an account, that the people of that city had made an insurrection, by reason of the scarcity of provisions, and that the Intendant had ordered some companies of marines, and the men belonging to the galleys, to stand to their arms to protect him from violence; but that he began to be in as much apprehension of his guards as those from whom they were to defend him. When that vessel came away, the soldiers murmured publicly for want of pay, and it was generally believed they would pillage the magazines, as the garrison of Grenoble, and other towns of France, had already done. A vessel which lately came into Leghorn, brought advice, that the British squadron was arrived at Port Mahon, where they were taking in more troops, in order to attempt the relief of Alicante, which still made a very vigorous defence. 'Tis said, Admiral Byng will be at the head of that expedition. The King of Denmark was gone from Leghorn towards Lucca.

They write from Vienna, that in case the Allies should enter into a treaty of peace with France, Count Zinzendorf will be appointed first plenipotentiary, the Count de Goes the second, and Monsieur van Konsbruch a third. Major-General Palmes, Envoy Extraordinary from her Britannic Majesty, has been very urgent with that Court to make their utmost efforts against France the ensuing campaign, in order to oblige it to such a peace, as may establish the tranquillity of Europe for the future.

We are also informed, that the Pope uses all imaginable shifts to elude the treaty concluded with the Emperor, and that he demanded the immediate restitution of Commacchio; insisting also, that his Imperial Majesty should ask pardon, and desire absolution for what has formerly passed, before he would solemnly acknowledge King Charles: but this was utterly refused.

They hear at Vienna, by letters from Constantinople, dated the 22nd of February last, that on the 12th of that month the Grand Signior took occasion, at the celebration of the festivals of the Mussulmen, to set all the Christian slaves which were in the galleys at liberty.

Advices from Switzerland import, that the preachers of the county of Tockenburg continue to create new jealousies of the Protestants, and some disturbances lately happened there on that account. The Protestants and Papists in the town of Hamman go to divine service one after another in the same church, as is usual in many other parts of Switzerland; but on Sunday, the 10th instant, the Popish curate, having ended his service, attempted to hinder the Protestants from entering into the church according to custom; but the Protestants briskly attacked him and his party, and broke into it by force.

Last night between seven and eight, his Grace the Duke of Marlborough arrived at Court.

From my own Apartment, April 22.

The present great captains of the age, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, having been the subject of the discourse of the last company I was in, it has naturally led me into a consideration of Alexander and Cæsar, the two greatest names which ever appeared before this century. In order to enter into their characters, there needs no more but examining their behaviour in parallel circumstances. It must be allowed, that they had an equal greatness of soul; but Cæsar's was more corrected and allayed by a mixture of prudence and circumspection. This is seen conspicuously in one particular in their histories, wherein they seem to have shown exactly the difference of their tempers. When Alexander, after a long course of victories, would still have led his soldiers farther from home, they unanimously refused to follow him. We meet with the like behaviour in Cæsar's army in the midst of his march against Ariovistus. Let us therefore observe the conduct of our two generals in so nice an affair: and here we find Alexander at the head of his army, upbraiding them with their cowardice, and meanness of spirit; and in the end, telling them plainly, he would go forward himself, though not a man followed him. This showed indeed an excessive bravery; but how would the commander have come off, if the speech had not succeeded, and the soldiers had taken him at his word? The project seems of a piece with Mr. Bayes' in "The Rehearsal,"129 who, to gain a clap in his prologue, comes out, with a terrible fellow in a fur cap following him, and tells his audience, if they would not like his play, he would lie down and have his head struck off. If this gained a clap, all was well; but if not, there was nothing left but for the executioner to do his office. But Cæsar would not leave the success of his speech to such uncertain events: he shows his men the unreasonableness of their fears in an obliging manner, and concludes, that if none else would march along with them, he would go himself with the Tenth Legion, for he was assured of their fidelity and valour, though all the rest forsook him; not but that in all probability they were as much against the march as the rest. The result of all was very natural: the Tenth Legion, fired with the praises of their general, send thanks to him for the just opinion he entertains of them; and the rest, ashamed to be outdone, assure him, that they are as ready to follow where he pleases to lead them, as any other part of the army.

It has been suggested, with little or no reason, that Sappho is meant for Mrs. Manley (Author of the "New Atalantis"), or Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas (known as "Corinna"), or Mrs. Elizabeth Heywood. See No. 40.

"Paradise Lost," viii. 283.

Dryden's "State of Innocence and Fall of Man: an Opera," act iii. sc. i. In the Spectator (No. 345), Addison illustrated Milton's chaste treatment of the subject of Eve's nuptials by contrasting what he says with the account in the opera in which Dryden, according to Lee's verses, refined "Milton's golden ore, and new-weaved his hard-spun thought."

Addison, on reading here this remark upon Virgil, which he himself had communicated to Steele, discovered that his friend was the author of the Tatler. He was at this time in Ireland, Secretary to Lord Wharton, and returned to England with the Lord Lieutenant on the 8th of September following. (Tickell's Preface to Addison's Works.)

"Æneid," iv. 124.

"The Rehearsal," act i. sc. 2. This play of the Duke of Buckingham's was produced in 1671, and the poet Bayes, as finally drawn after revision, was a satire on Dryden.

No. 7.



From Saturday, April 23, to Tuesday, April 26, 1709.

It is so just an observation, that mocking is catching, that I am become an unhappy instance of it, and am (in the same manner that I have represented Mr. Partridge) myself a dying man in comparison of the vigour with which I first set out in the world. Had it been otherwise, you may be sure I would not have pretended to have given for news, as I did last Saturday, a diary of the siege of Troy. But man is a creature very inconsistent with himself: the greatest heroes are sometimes fearful, the sprightliest wits at some hours dull; and the greatest politicians on some occasions whimsical. But I shall not pretend to palliate, or excuse the matter; for I find, by a calculation of my own nativity, that I cannot hold out with any tolerable wit longer than two minutes after twelve o'clock at night, between the 18th and 19th of the next month. For which space of time you may still expect to hear from me, but no longer, except you will transmit to me the occurrences you meet with relating to your amours, or any other subject within the rules by which I have proposed to walk. If any gentleman or lady sends to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., at Mr. Morphew's,130 near Stationers' Hall, by the Penny Post, the grief or joy of their soul, what they think fit of the matter shall be related in colours as much to their advantage, as those in which Jervas131 has drawn the agreeable Chloe. But since, without such assistance, I frankly confess, and am sensible, that I have not a month's wit more, I think I ought, while I am in my sound health and senses, to make my will and testament; which I do in manner and form following:

Imprimis, I give to the stockjobbers about the Exchange of London, as a security for the trusts daily reposed in them, all my real estate; which I do hereby vest in the said body of worthy citizens for ever.

Item, Forasmuch as it is very hard to keep land in repair without ready cash, I do, out of my personal estate, bestow the bearskin,132 which I have frequently lent to several societies about this town, to supply their necessities. I say, I give also the said bearskin, as an immediate fund to the said citizens for ever.

Item, I do hereby appoint a certain number of the said citizens to take all the custom-house or customary oaths, concerning all goods imported to the whole city, strictly directing, that some select members, and not the whole number of a body corporate, should be perjured.

Item, I forbid all n——s and persons of q——ty to watch bargains near and about the Exchange, to the diminution and wrong of the said stockjobbers.

Thus far, in as brief and intelligible a manner as any will can appear, till it is explained by the learned, I have disposed of my real and personal estate: but, as I am an adept, I have by birth an equal right to give also an indefeasible title to my endowments and qualifications; which I do in the following manner:

Item, I give my chastity to all virgins who have withstood their market.

Item, I give my courage among all who are ashamed of their distressed friends, all sneakers in assemblies, and men who show valour in common conversation.

Item, I give my wit (as rich men give to the rich) among such as think they have enough already. And in case they shall not accept of the legacy, I give it to Bentivolio,133 to defend his works from time to time, as he shall think fit to publish them.

Item, I bestow my learning upon the honorary members of the Royal Society.134

Now for the disposal of this body.

As these eyes must one day cease to gaze on Teraminta, and this heart shall one day pant no more for her indignation: that is to say, since this body must be earth, I shall commit it to the dust in a manner suitable to my character. Therefore, as there are those who dispute, whether there is any such real person as Isaac Bickerstaff or not, I shall excuse all persons who appear what they really are, from coming to my funeral. But all those who are, in their way of life, persons, as the Latins have it, persons assumed, and who appear what they really are not, are hereby invited to that solemnity.

The body shall be carried by six watchmen, who are never seen in the day.

Item, The pall shall be held up by the six most known pretenders to honesty, wealth and power, who are not possessed of any of them. The two first, an half-lawyer, a complete justice. The two next, a chemist, a projector. The third couple, a Treasury solicitor, and a small courtier.

To make my funeral (what that solemnity, when done to common men, really is in itself) a very farce; and since all mourners are mere actors on these occasions, I shall desire those who are professedly such, to attend me. I humbly therefore beseech Mrs. Barry135 to act once more, and be my widow. When she swoons away at the church-porch, I appoint the merry Sir John Falstaff, and the gay Sir Harry Wildair, to support her. I desire Mr. Pinkethman136 to follow in the habit of a cardinal, and Mr. Bullock137 in that of a privy councillor. To make up the rest of the appearance, I desire all the ladies from the balconies to weep with Mrs. Barry, as they hope to be wives and widows themselves. I invite all, who have nothing else to do, to accept of gloves and scarves.

Thus, with the great Charles V. of Spain, I resign the glories of this transitory world: yet, at the same time, to show you my indifference, and that my desires are not too much fixed upon anything, I own to you, I am as willing to stay as go: therefore leave it in the choice of my gentle readers, whether I shall hear from them, or they hear no more from me.

White's Chocolate-house, April 25.

Easter Day being a time when you can't well meet with any but humble adventures; and there being such a thing as low gallantry, as well as a low comedy, Colonel Ramble138 and myself went early this morning into the fields, which were strewed with shepherds and shepherdesses, but indeed of a different turn from the simplicity of those of Arcadia. Every hedge was conscious of more than what the representations of enamoured swains admit of. While we were surveying the crowd around us, we saw at a distance a company coming towards Pancras Church; but though there was not much disorder, we thought we saw the figure of a man stuck through with a sword, and at every step ready to fall, if a woman by his side had not supported him; the rest followed two and two. When we came nearer this appearance, who should it be but Monsieur Guardeloop, mine and Ramble's French tailor, attended by others, leading one of Madame Depingle's139 maids to the church, in order to their espousals. It was his sword tucked so high above his waist, and the circumflex which persons of his profession take in their walking, that made him appear at a distance wounded and falling. But the morning being rainy, methought the march to this wedding was but too lively a picture of wedlock itself. They seemed both to have a month's mind to make the best of their way single; yet both tugged arm in arm; and when they were in a dirty way, he was but deeper in the mire, by endeavouring to pull out his companion, and yet without helping her. The bridegroom's feathers in his hat all drooped, one of his shoes had lost an heel. In short, he was in his whole person and dress so extremely soused, that there did not appear one inch or single thread about him unmarried.140 Pardon me, that the melancholy object still dwells upon me so far, as to reduce me to punning. However, we attended to the chapel, where we stayed to hear the irrevocable words pronounced upon our old servant, and made the best of our way to town. I took a resolution to forbear all married persons, or any, in danger of being such, for four-and-twenty hours at least; therefore dressed, and went to visit Florimel, the vainest thing in town, where I knew would drop in Colonel Picket, just come from the camp, her professed admirer. He is of that order of men who has much honour and merit, but withal a coxcomb; the other of that set of females, who has innocence and wit, but the first of coquettes. It is easy to believe, these must be admirers of each other. She says, "The Colonel rides the best of any man in England": the Colonel says, "She talks the best of any woman." At the same time, he understands wit just as she does horsemanship. You are to know, these extraordinary persons see each other daily; and they themselves, as well as the town, think it will be a match: but it can never happen that they can come to the point; for instead of addressing to each other, they spend their whole time in reports of themselves. He is satisfied if he can convince her he is a fine gentleman, and a man of consequence; and she, in appearing to him an accomplished lady and a wit, without further design. Thus he tells her of his manner of posting his men at such a pass, with the numbers he commanded on that detachment: she tells him, how she was dressed on such a day at Court, and what offers were made her the week following. She seems to hear the repetition of his men's names with admiration; and waits only to answer him with as false a muster of lovers. They talk to each other not to be informed, but approved. Thus they are so like, that they are to be ever distant, and the parallel lines may run together for ever, but never meet.

Will's Coffee-house, April 25.

This evening, the comedy, called "Epsom Wells,"141 was acted for the benefit of Mr. Bullock,142 who, though he is a person of much wit and ingenuity, has a peculiar talent of looking like a fool, and therefore excellently well qualified for the part of Biskett in this play. I cannot indeed sufficiently admire his way of bearing a beating, as he does in this drama, and that with such a natural air and propriety of folly, that one cannot help wishing the whip in one's own hand; so richly does he seem to deserve his chastisement. Skilful actors think it a very peculiar happiness to play in a scene with such as top their parts. Therefore I cannot but say, when the judgment of any good author directs him to write a beating for Mr. Bullock from Mr. William Pinkethman, or for Mr. William Pinkethman from Mr. Bullock, those excellent players seem to be in their most shining circumstances, and please me more, but with a different sort of delight, than that which I receive from those grave scenes of Brutus and Cassius, or Antony and Ventidius. The whole comedy is very just, and the low part of human life represented with much humour and wit.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 25.

We are advised from Vienna, by letters of the 20th instant, that the Emperor hath lately added twenty new members to his Council of State, but they have not yet taken their places at the board. General Thaun is returned from Baden, his health being so well re-established by the baths of that place, that he designs to set out next week for Turin, to his command of the Imperial troops in the service of the Duke of Savoy. His Imperial Majesty has advanced his brother Count Henry Thaun to be a brigadier, and a Councillor of the Aulic Council of War. These letters import, that King Stanislaus and the Swedish General Crassau are directing their march to the Nieper, to join the King of Sweden's army in Ukrania: that the States of Austria have furnished Marshal Heister with a considerable sum of money, to enable him to push on the war vigorously in Hungary, where all things as yet are in perfect tranquillity: and that General Thungen has been very importunate for a speedy reinforcement of the forces on the Upper Rhine, representing at the same time, what miseries the inhabitants must necessarily undergo, if the designs of France on those parts be not speedily and effectually prevented.

Letters from Rome, dated the 13th instant, say, that on the preceding Sunday his Holiness was carried in an open chair from St. Peter's to St. Mary's, attended by the Sacred College, in cavalcade; and, after Mass, distributed several dowries for the marriage of poor and distressed virgins. The proceedings of that Court are very dilatory concerning the recognition of King Charles, notwithstanding the pressing instances of the Marquis de Prie, who has declared, that if this affair be not wholly concluded by the 15th instant, he will retire from that Court, and order the Imperial troops to return into the ecclesiastical state. On the other hand, the Duke of Anjou's minister has, in the name of his master, demanded of his Holiness to explain himself on that affair; which, it is said, will be finally determined in a consistory to be held on Monday next; the Duke d'Uzeda designing to delay his departure till he sees the issue. These letters also say, that the Court was mightily alarmed at the news which they received by an express from Ferrara, that General Boneval, who commands in Commachio, had sent circular letters to the inhabitants of St. Alberto, Longastrino, Fillo, and other adjacent parts, enjoining them to come and swear fealty to the Emperor, and receive new investitures of their fiefs from his hands. Letters from other parts of Italy say, that the King of Denmark continues at Lucca; that four English and Dutch men-of-war were seen off of Oneglia, bound for Final, in order to transport the troops designed for Barcelona; and that her Majesty's ship the Colchester arrived at Leghorn the 4th instant from Port Mahon, with advice, that Major-General Stanhope designed to part from thence the 1st instant with 6000 or 7000 men to attempt the relief of the Castle of Alicant.

Our last advices from Berlin, bearing date the 27th instant, import, that the King was gone to Linum, and the Queen to Mecklenburg; but that their Majesties designed to return the next week to Oranienburg, where a great chase of wild beasts was prepared for their diversion, and from thence they intend to proceed together to Potsdam; that the Prince Royal was set out for Brabant, but intended to make some short stay at Hanover. These letters also inform us, that they are advised from Obory, that the King of Sweden, being on his march towards Holki, met General Renne with a detachment of Muscovites, who placing some regiments in ambuscade, attacked the Swedes in their rear, and putting them to flight, killed 2000 men, the king himself having his horse shot under him.

We hear from Copenhagen, that, the ice being broke, the Sound is again open for the ships; and that they hoped his Majesty would return sooner than they at first expected.

Letters from the Hague, dated May the 4th, N.S., say that an express arrived there on the 1st from Prince Eugene to his Grace the Duke of Marlborough. The States are advised, that the auxiliaries of Saxony were arrived on the frontiers of the United Provinces; as also, that the two regiments of Wolfembuttel, and 4000 troops from Wirtemberg, which are to serve in Flanders, are in full march thither. Letters from Flanders, say that the great convoy of ammunition and provisions which set out from Ghent for Lille, was safely arrived at Courtray. We hear from Paris, that the King has ordered the militia on the coasts of Normandy and Bretagne to be in a readiness to march; and that the Court was in apprehension of a descent, to animate the people to rise in the midst of their present hardships.

They write from Spain, that the Pope's Nuncio left Madrid the 10th of April, in order to go to Bayonne; that the Marquis de Bay was at Badajos to observe the motions of the Portuguese; and that the Count d'Estain, with a body of 5000 men, was on his march to attack Gironne. The Duke of Anjou has deposed the Bishop of Lerida, as being a favourer of the interest of King Charles; and has summoned a convocation at Madrid, composed of the archbishops, bishops and states of that kingdom, wherein he hopes they will come to a resolution to send for no more bulls to Rome.

John Morphew was the publisher of the Tatler.

See No. 4.

Stockjobbers, who contract for a sale of stock which they do not possess, are called sellers of bearskins; and universally whoever sells what he does not possess was said to sell the bear's skin, while the bear runs in the woods. "You never heard such bellowing about the town of the state of the nation, especially among the sharpers, sellers of bearskins—i.e. stockjobbers, &c." (Swift). See No. 38.

Dr. Richard Bentley, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, took a leading part in the controversy regarding the genuineness of the Epistles of Phalaris. In 1709 he published critical notes on the Tusculan Disputations.

There are several sneers at the members of the Royal Society in the Tatler.

See No. 1.

See No. 4.

William Bullock was a comic actor whose abilities are praised by Gildon and others. He was the original Sir Tunbelly Clumsy in Vanbrugh's "Relapse." Later on in this number (p. 70), Steele says that Bullock had a peculiar talent of looking like a fool, and in No. 188 he compares Bullock and Pinkethman in a satirical vein.

Perhaps Colonel Hunter, afterwards Governor of New York; or Colonel Brett, one of the managers of Drury Lane Theatre.

See No. 34.

The pun is, of course, on the word "unmarred."

By Thomas Shadwell, 1676.

See note on p. 67, above.

No. 8.



From Tuesday, April 26. to Thursday, April 28, 1709.

Wills Coffee-house, April 26.

The play of "The London Cuckolds"143 was acted this evening before a suitable audience, who were extremely well diverted with that heap of vice and absurdity. The indignation which Eugenio, who is a gentleman of a just taste, has, upon occasion of seeing human nature fall so low in their delights, made him, I thought, expatiate upon the mention of this play very agreeably. "Of all men living," said he, "I pity players (who must be men of good understanding to be capable of being such) that they are obliged to repeat and assume proper gestures for representing things, of which their reason must be ashamed, and which they must disdain their audience for approving. The amendment of these low gratifications is only to be made by people of condition, by encouraging the presentation of the noble characters drawn by Shakespeare and others, from whence it is impossible to return without strong impressions of honour and humanity. On these occasions, distress is laid before us with all its causes and consequences, and our resentment placed according to the merit of the persons afflicted. Were dramas of this nature more acceptable to the taste of the town, men who have genius would bend their studies to excel in them. How forcible an effect this would have on our minds, one needs no more than to observe how strongly we are touched by mere pictures. Who can see Le Brun's144 picture of the Battle of Porus, without entering into the character of that fierce gallant man,145 and being accordingly spurred to an emulation of his constancy and courage? When he is falling with his wound, the features are at the same time very terrible and languishing; and there is such a stern faintness diffused through his look, as is apt to move a kind of horror, as well as pity, in the beholder. This, I say, is an effect wrought by mere lights and shades; consider also a representation made by words only, as in an account given by a good writer: Catiline in Sallust makes just such a figure as Porus by Le Brun. It is said of him, 'Catilina vero longe a suis inter hostium cadavera repertus est; paululum etiam spirans, ferocitatemque animi quam vivus habuerat in vultu retinens.'146 ('Catiline was found killed far from his own men among the dead bodies of the enemy: he seemed still to breathe, and still retained in his face the same fierceness he had when he was living.') You have in that one sentence, a lively impression of his whole life and actions. What I would insinuate from all this, is, that if the painter and the historian can do thus much in colours and language, what may not be performed by an excellent poet, when the character he draws is presented by the person, the manner, the look, and the motion, of an accomplished player? If a thing painted or related can irresistibly enter our hearts, what may not be brought to pass by seeing generous things performed before our eyes?" Eugenio ended his discourse, by recommending the apt use of a theatre, as the most agreeable and easy method of making a polite and moral gentry, which would end in rendering the rest of the people regular in their behaviour, and ambitious of laudable undertakings.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 27.

Letters from Naples of the 9th instant, N.S., advise, that Cardinal Grimani had ordered the regiment commanded by General Pate to march towards Final, in order to embark for Catalonia, whither also a thousand horse are to be transported from Sardinia, besides the troops which come from the Milanese. An English man-of-war has taken two prizes, one a vessel of Malta, the other of Genoa, both laden with goods of the enemy. They write from Florence of the 13th, that his Majesty of Denmark had received a courier from the Hague, with an account of some matters relating to the treaty of a peace; upon which he declared, that he thought it necessary to hasten to his own dominions.

Letters from Switzerland inform us, that the effects of the great scarcity of corn in France were felt at Geneva; the magistrates of which city had appointed deputies to treat with the cantons of Berne and Zurich, for leave to buy up such quantities of grain within their territories as should be thought necessary. The Protestants of Tockenburg are still in arms about the convent of St. John, and have declared, that they will not lay them down, till they shall have sufficient security from the Roman Catholics, of living unmolested in the exercise of their religion. In the meantime the deputies of Berne and Tockenburg have frequent conferences at Zurich, with the regency of that canton, to find out methods for the quieting these disorders.

Letters from the Hague of the 3rd of May advise, that the President Rouillé, after his last conference with the deputies of the States, had retired to Bodegrave, five miles distant from Worden, and expected the return of a courier from France on the 4th, with new instructions. It is said, if his answer from the French Court shall not prove satisfactory, he will be desired to withdraw out of these parts. In the meantime it is also reported, that his equipage, as an ambassador on this great occasion, is actually on the march towards him. They write from Flanders, that the great convoy of provisions, which set out from Ghent, is safely arrived at Lille. Those advices add, that the enemy had assembled near Tournay a considerable body of troops drawn out of the neighbouring garrisons. Their high mightinesses having sent orders to their Ministers at Hamburg and Dantzic, to engage the magistrates of those cities to forbid the sale of corn to the French, and to signify to them, that the Dutch merchants will buy up as much of that commodity as they can spare, the Hamburgers have accordingly contracted with the Dutch, and refused any commerce with the French on that occasion.

From my own Apartment.

After the lassitude of a day spent in the strolling manner, which is usual with men of pleasure in this town, and with a head full of a million of impertinences, which had danced round it for ten hours together, I came to my lodging, and hastened to bed. My valet-de-chambre147 knows my University trick of reading there; and he being: a good scholar for a gentleman, ran over the names of Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and others, to know which I would have. "Bring Virgil," said I, "and if I fall asleep, take care of the candle." I read the sixth book over with the most exquisite delight, and had gone half through it a second time, when the pleasing ideas of Elysian Fields, deceased worthies walking in them, sincere lovers enjoying their languishment without pain, compassion for the unhappy spirits who had misspent their short daylight, and were exiled from the seats of bliss for ever; I say, I was deep again in my reading, when this mixture of images had taken place of all others in my imagination before, and lulled me into a dream, from which I am just awake, to my great disadvantage. The happy mansions of Elysium by degrees seemed to be wafted from me, and the very traces of my late waking thoughts began to fade away, when I was cast by a sudden whirlwind upon an island, encompassed with a roaring and troubled sea, which shaked its very centre, and rocked its inhabitants as in a cradle. The islanders lay on their faces, without offering to look up, or hope for preservation; all her harbours were crowded with mariners, and tall vessels of war lay in danger of being driven to pieces on her shores. "Bless me!" said I, "why have I lived in such a manner that the convulsion of nature should be so terrible to me, when I feel in myself, that the better part of me is to survive it? Oh! may that be in happiness." A sudden shriek, in which the whole people on their faces joined, interrupted my soliloquy, and turned my eyes and attention to the object which had given us that sudden start, in the midst of an inconsolable and speechless affliction. Immediately the winds grew calm, the waves subsided, and the people stood up, turning their faces upon a magnificent pile in the midst of the island. There we beheld an hero of a comely and erect aspect, but pale and languid, sitting under a canopy of state. By the faces and dumb sorrow of those who attended we thought him in the article of death. At a distance sat a lady, whose life seemed to hang upon the same thread with his: she kept her eyes fixed upon him, and seemed to smother ten thousand thousand nameless things, which urged her tenderness to clasp him in her arms: but her greatness of spirit overcame those sentiments, and gave her power to forbear disturbing his last moment; which immediately approached. The hero looked up with an air of negligence, and satiety of being, rather than of pain to leave it; and leaning back his head, expired.148

When the heroine, who sat at a distance, saw his last instant come, she threw herself at his feet, and kneeling, pressed his hand to her lips; in which posture she continued under the agony of an unutterable sorrow, till conducted from our sight by her attendants. That commanding awe, which accompanies the grief of great minds, restrained the multitude while in her presence; but as soon as she retired, they gave way to their distraction, and all the islanders called upon their deceased hero. To him, methought, they cried out, as to a guardian being, and I gathered from their broken accents, that it was he who had the empire over the ocean and its powers, by which he had long protected the island from shipwreck and invasion. They now give a loose to their moan, and think themselves exposed without hopes of human or divine assistance. While the people ran wild, and expressed all the different forms of lamentation, methought a sable cloud overshadowed the whole land, and covered its inhabitants with darkness: no glimpse of light appeared, except one ray from heaven upon the place in which the heroine now secluded herself from the world, with her eyes fixed on those abodes to which her consort was ascended.149 Methought, a long period of time had passed away in mourning and in darkness, when a twilight began by degrees to enlighten the hemisphere; and looking round me, I saw a boat rowed towards the shore, in which sat a personage adorned with warlike trophies, bearing on his left arm a shield, on which was engraven the image of Victory, and in his right hand a branch of olive. His visage was at once so winning and so awful, that the shield and the olive seemed equally suitable to his genius.

When this illustrious person150 touched on the shore, he was received by the acclamations of the people, and followed to the palace of the heroine. No pleasure in the glory of her arms, or the acclamations of her applauding subjects, were ever capable to suspend her sorrow for one moment, until she saw the olive branch in the hand of that auspicious messenger. At that sight, as Heaven bestows its blessings on the wants and importunities of mortals, out of its native bounty, and not to increase its own power, or honour, in compassion to the world, the celestial mourner was then first seen to turn her regard to things below; and taking the branch out of the warrior's hand, looked at it with much satisfaction, and spoke of the blessings of peace, with a voice and accent, such as that in which guardian spirits whisper to dying penitents assurances of happiness. The air was hushed, the multitude attentive, and all nature in a pause, while she was speaking. But as soon as the messenger of peace had made some low reply, in which, methought, I heard the word Iberia, the heroine assuming a more severe air, but such as spoke resolution, without rage, returned him the olive, and again veiled her face. Loud cries and clashing of arms immediately followed, which forced me from my charming vision, and drove me back to these mansions of care and sorrow.151

A very coarse play by Edward Ravenscroft, produced in 1682, and often acted on Lord Mayors' days and other holidays.

Charles Le Brun, who was born in 1619, and died in 1690, was the son of a sculptor, of Scotch extraction. Under Colbert's patronage he founded the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, at Paris, and he received many honours from Louis XIV. Le Brun's painting of the Defeat of Porus is 16 feet high and 39 feet 5 inches long.

Porus was an Indian king who was defeated and put to death by Alexander the Great. See Q. Curtius, viii. 12, 14.

"Bell. Catil." cap. 61.

Steele seems to have forgotten that he was Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., and had only an old maid-servant. (Nichols.)

Prince George of Denmark, the consort of Queen Anne, died on October 21, 1708, after a few days' illness. This dream gives a picture of the state of England from his death until the conclusion of the negotiations at the Hague in 1709.

The mourning of Queen Anne was so long that the manufacturers remonstrated, and secured a limit to the duration of public mournings.

About this time the D[uke]. of M[arlborough]. returned from Holland with the preliminaries of a peace.—(Steele.)

"Mr. Bickerstaff thanks Mr. Quarterstaff for his kind and instructive letter dated the 26th instant" (folio).

No. 9.



From Thursday, April 28, to Saturday, April 30, 1709.

Will's Coffee-house, April 28.

This evening we were entertained with "The Old Bachelor,"152 a comedy of deserved reputation. In the character which gives name to the play, there is excellently represented the reluctance of a battered debauchee to come into the trammels of order and decency: he neither languishes nor burns, but frets for love. The gentlemen of more regular behaviour are drawn with much spirit and wit, and the drama introduced by the dialogue of the first scene with uncommon, yet natural conversation. The part of Fondlewife is a lively image of the unseasonable fondness of age and impotence. But instead of such agreeable works as these, the town has this half age been tormented with insects called "easy writers," whose abilities Mr. Wycherley one day described excellently well in one word: "That," said he, "among these fellows is called easy writing, which any one may easily write." Such jaunty scribblers are so justly laughed at for their sonnets on Phillis and Chloris, and fantastical descriptions in them, that an ingenious kinsman of mine,153 of the family of the Staffs, Mr. Humphrey Wagstaff by name, has, to avoid their strain, run into a way perfectly new, and described things exactly as they happen: he never forms fields, or nymphs, or groves, where they are not, but makes the incidents just as they really appear. For an example of it; I stole out of his manuscript the following lines: they are a Description of the Morning, but of the morning in town; nay, of the morning at this end of the town, where my kinsman at present lodges.

Now hardly here and there an hackney coach
Appearing, showed the ruddy morn's approach.
Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
And softly stole to discompose her own.
The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door,
Had pared the street, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirled her mop with dext'rous airs,
Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs.
The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
The kennel edge, where wheels had worn the place.
The smallcoal-man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drowned in shriller notes of chimney-sweep.
Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
And Brickdust Moll had screamed through half a street;
The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
Duly let out at nights to steal for fees.
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands;
And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.

All that I apprehend is, that dear Numps will be angry I have published these lines; not that he has any reason to be ashamed of them, but for fear of those rogues, the bane to all excellent performances, the imitators. Therefore, beforehand, I bar all descriptions of the evenings; as, a medley of verses signifying, grey-peas are now cried warm: that wenches now begin to amble round the passages of the playhouse: or of noon; as, that fine ladies and great beaux are just yawning out of their beds and windows in Pall Mall, and so forth. I forewarn also all persons from encouraging any draughts after my cousin; and foretell any man who shall go about to imitate him, that he will be very insipid. The family stock is embarked in this design, and we will not admit of counterfeits: Dr. Anderson154 and his heirs enjoy his pills, Sir. William Read155 has the cure of eyes, and Monsieur Rozelli156 can only cure the gout. We pretend to none of these things; but to examine who and who are together, to tell any mistaken man he is not what he believes he is, to distinguish merit, and expose false pretences to it, is a liberty our family has by law in them, from an intermarriage with a daughter of Mr. Scoggan,157 the famous droll of the last century. This right I design to make use of; but will not encroach upon the above-mentioned adepts, or any other. At the same time I shall take all the privileges I may, as an Englishman, and will lay hold of the late Act of Naturalisation158 to introduce what I shall think fit from France. The use of that law may, I hope, be extended to people the polite world with new characters, as well as the kingdom itself with new subjects. Therefore an author of that nation, called La Bruyère, I shall make bold with on such occasions. The last person I read of in that writer, was Lord Timon.159 Timon, says my author, is the most generous of all men; but is so hurried away with that strong impulse of bestowing, that he confers benefits without distinction, and is munificent without laying obligations. For all the unworthy, who receive from him, have so little sense of this noble infirmity, that they look upon themselves rather as partners in a spoil, than partakers of a bounty. The other day, coming into Paris, I met Timon going out on horseback, attended only by one servant. It struck me with a sudden damp, to see a man of so excellent a disposition, and that understood making a figure so very well, so much shortened in his retinue. But passing by his house, I saw his great coach break to pieces before his door, and by a strange enchantment, immediately turned into many different vehicles. The first was a very pretty chariot, into which stepped his lordship's secretary. The second was hung a little heavier; into that strutted the fat steward. In an instant followed a chaise, which was entered by the butler. The rest of the body and wheels were forthwith changed into go-carts, and ran away with by the nurses and brats of the rest of the family. What makes these misfortunes in the affairs of Timon the more astonishing, is, that he has a better understanding than those who cheat him; so that a man knows not which more to wonder at, the indifference of the master, or the impudence of the servant.

White's Chocolate-house, April 29.

It is matter of much speculation among the beaux and oglers, what it is that can have made so sudden a change, as has been of late observed, in the whole behaviour of Pastorella, who never sat still a moment till she was eighteen, which she has now exceeded by two months. Her aunt, who has the care of her, has not been always so rigid as she is at this present date; but has so good a sense of the frailty of woman, and falsehood of man, that she resolved on all manner of methods to keep Pastorella, if possible, in safety, against herself, and all her admirers. At the same time the good lady knew by long experience, that a gay inclination, curbed too rashly, would but run to the greater excesses for that restraint: therefore intended to watch her, and take some opportunity of engaging her insensibly in her own interests, without the anguish of an admonition. You are to know then, that miss, with all her flirting and ogling, had also naturally a strong curiosity in her, and was the greatest eavesdropper breathing. Parisatis (for so her prudent aunt is called) observed this humour, and retires one day to her closet, into which she knew Pastorella would peep, and listen to know how she was employed. It happened accordingly, and the young lady saw her good governante on her knees, and after a mental behaviour, break into these words: "As for the dear child committed to my care, let her sobriety of carriage, and severity of behaviour, be such, as may make that noble lord, who is taken with her beauty, turn his designs to such as are honourable." Here Parisatis heard her niece nestle closer to the keyhole: she then goes on; "Make her the joyful mother of a numerous and wealthy offspring, and let her carriage be such, as may make this noble youth expect the blessings of an happy marriage, from the singularity of her life, in this loose and censorious age." Miss having heard enough, sneaks off for fear of discovery, and immediately at her glass, alters the sitting of her head; then pulls up her tucker,160 and forms herself into the exact manner of Lindamira: in a word, becomes a sincere convert to everything that's commendable in a fine young lady; and two or three such matches as her aunt feigned in her devotions, are at this day in her choice. This is the history and original cause of Pastorella's conversion from coquetry. The prudence in the management of this young lady's temper, and good judgment of it, is hardly to be exceeded. I scarce remember a greater instance of forbearance of the usual peevish way with which the aged treat the young, than this, except that of our famous Noye,161 whose good nature went so far, as to make him put off his admonitions to his son, even till after his death; and did not give him his thoughts of him, till he came to read that memorable passage in his will: "All the rest of my estate," says he, "I leave to my son Edward (who is executor to this my will) to be squandered as he shall think fit: I leave it him for that purpose, and hope no better from him." A generous disdain and reflection, upon how little he deserved from so excellent a father, reformed the young man, and made Edward, from an errant rake, become a fine gentleman.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 29.

Letters from Portugal of the 18th instant, dated from Estremos, say, that on the 6th the Earl of Galway arrived at that place, and had the satisfaction to see the quarters well furnished with all manner of provisions, and a quantity of bread sufficient for subsisting the troops for sixty days, besides biscuits for twenty-five days. The enemy give out, that they shall bring into the field 14 regiments of horse, and 24 battalions. The troops in the service of Portugal will make up 14,000 foot, and 4000 horse. On the day these letters were despatched, the Earl of Galway received advice, that the Marquis de Bay was preparing for some enterprise, by gathering his troops together on the frontiers. Whereupon his Excellency resolved to go that same night to Villa-Vicosa, to assemble the troops in that neighbourhood, in order to disappoint his designs.

Yesterday in the evening Captain Foxon, aide-de-camp to Major-General Cadogan, arrived here express from the Duke of Marlborough. And this day a mail is come in, with letters dated from Brussels of the 6th of May, N.S., which advise, that the enemy had drawn together a body, consisting of 20,000 men, with a design, as was supposed, to intercept the great convoy on the march towards Lille, which was safely arrived at Menin and Courtray, in its way to that place, the French having retired without making any attempt.

We hear from the Hague, that a person of the first quality is arrived in the Low Countries from France, in order to be a plenipotentiary in an ensuing treaty of peace.

Letters from France acknowledge, that Monsieur Bernard has made no higher offers of satisfaction to his creditors than of £35 per cent.

These advices add, that the Marshal Boufflers, Monsieur Torcy (who distinguished himself formerly, by advising the Court of France to adhere to the treaty of partition), and Monsieur d'Harcourt (who negotiated with Cardinal Portocarrero for the succession of the crown of Spain in the House of Bourbon), are all three joined in a commission for a treaty of peace. The Marshal is come to Ghent: the other two are arrived at the Hague.

It is confidently reported here that the Right Honourable the Lord Townshend is to go with his Grace the Duke of Marlborough into Holland.162

Congreve's first play, produced in 1693. See also No. 193. This piece is attacked in Jeremy Collier's "Short View of the Profaneness and Immorality of the English Stage," 1698.


A Scotch physician in the reigns of Charles I. and Charles II. An advertisement of his "famous Scots Pills" requested the public to beware of counterfeits, especially an ignorant pretender, one Muffen, who kept a china-shop.

"Henley would fain have me to go with Steele and Rowe, &c., to an invitation at Sir William Read's. Surely you have heard of him. He has been a mountebank, and is the Queen's oculist; he makes admirable punch, and treats you in gold vessels. But I am engaged, and won't go; neither indeed am I fond of the jaunt" (Swift's "Journal," April 11, 1711). Read was knighted in 1705, for services done in curing soldiers and sailors of blindness gratis. Beginning life as a tailor, he became Queen Anne's oculist in ordinary, and died in 1715. See Spectator, No. 547.

Rozelli, the inventor of a specific for the gout, died at the Hague. In No. 33 was an advertisement of the "Memoirs of the Life and Adventures of Signior Rozelli, at the Hague, giving a particular account of his birth, education, slavery, monastic state, imprisonment in the Inquisition at Rome, and the different figures he has since made, as well in Italy, as in France and Holland.... Done into English from the second edition of the French." This work, like the continuation of 1724, has been wrongly attributed to Defoe. Rozelli advertised in the London Gazette, for July 19, 1709, that the book was entirely fictitious, and a libel upon his character.

We learn from Ben Jonson, that Scoggan, or Skogan, was M.A., and lived in the time of Henry IV. "He made disguises for the King's sons, writ in ballad-royal daintily well, and was regarded and rewarded." Jonson calls him the moral Skogan; and introduces him with Skelton, the poet laureate of Henry VIII., into his Masque, entitled "The Fortunate Isles," where he keeps them in character, and makes them rhyme in their own manner.

7 Anne, cap. 5, was an "Act for naturalising Foreign Protestants." After the preamble, "Whereas many strangers of the Protestant or reformed religion would be induced to transport themselves and their estates into this kingdom, if they might be made partakers of the advantages and privileges which the natural-born subjects thereof do enjoy," it was enacted that all persons taking the oaths, and making and subscribing the declaration appointed by 6 Anne, cap. 23, should be deemed natural-born subjects; but no person was to have the benefit of this Act unless he received the sacrament. The Act was repealed by 10 Anne, c. 5, because "divers mischiefs and inconveniences have been found by experience to follow from the same, to the discouragement of the natural-born subjects of this kingdom, and to the detriment of the trade and wealth thereof."

It has been alleged that there is here an allusion to the Duke of Ormond, whose servants enriched themselves at their master's expense (see Examiner, vol. iii. p. 48). But in the Guardian, No. 53, Steele, writing in his own name, declared that the character of Timon was not disgraceful, and that when he drew it he thought it resembled himself more than any one else.

The tucker, an edging round the top of a low dress, began to be discontinued about 1713, as appears from complaints in the Guardian, passim.

"William Noye, of St. Burian in Cornwall, gentleman, was made Attorney-General in 1631; his will is dated June 3, 1634, about a month or six weeks before his death. The expedient did not operate an alteration in his son so altogether favourable; for within two years Edward was slain in a duel by one Captain Byron, who was pardoned for it" (Wood's "Athen. Oxon." 1691, i. 506). Noye's character is drawn in the first book of Clarendon's "History of the Civil War."

"Mr. Bickerstaff has received the epistles of Mrs. Rebecca Wagstaff, Timothy Pikestaff and Wagstaff, which he will acknowledge farther as occasion shall serve" (folio).

No. 10.



By Mrs.163 JENNY DISTAFF, half-sister to Mr. BICKERSTAFF.

From Saturday, April 30, to Tuesday, May 3, 1709.

From my own Apartment, May 1.

My brother Isaac having a sudden occasion to go out of town, ordered me to take upon me the despatch of the next advices from home, with liberty to speak it my own way; not doubting the allowances which would be given to a writer of my sex. You may be sure I undertook it with much satisfaction, and I confess, I am not a little pleased with the opportunity of running over all the papers in his closet, which he has left open for my use on this occasion. The first that I lay my hands on, is, a treatise concerning "The Empire of Beauty," and the effects it has had in all nations of the world, upon the public and private actions of men; with an appendix, which he calls, "The Bachelor's Scheme for Governing his Wife." The first thing he makes this gentleman propose, is, that she shall be no woman; for she is to have an aversion to balls, to operas, to visits: she is to think his company sufficient to fill up all the hours of life with great satisfaction: she is never to believe any other man wise, learned, or valiant; or at least but in a second degree. In the next place, he intends she shall be a cuckold; but expects, that he himself must live in perfect security from that terror. He dwells a great while on instructions for her discreet behaviour, in case of his falsehood. I have not patience with these unreasonable expectations, therefore turn back to the treatise itself. Here, indeed, my brother deduces all the revolutions among men from the passion of love; and in his preface, answers that usual observation against us, that there is no quarrel without a woman in it, with a gallant assertion, that there is nothing else worth quarrelling for. My brother is of a complexion truly amorous; all his thoughts and actions carry in them a tincture of that obliging inclination; and this turn has opened his eyes to see, we are not the inconsiderable creatures which unlucky pretenders to our favour would insinuate. He observes that no man begins to make any tolerable figure, till he sets out with the hopes of pleasing some one of us. No sooner he takes that in hand, but he pleases every one else by-the-bye. It has an immediate effect upon his behaviour. There is Colonel Ranter, who never spoke without an oath, till he saw the Lady Betty Modish;164 now never gives his man an order, but it is, "Pray, Tom, do it." The drawers where he drinks live in perfect happiness. He asked Will at the "George" the other day how he did? Where he used to say, "Damn it, it is so," he now believes there is some mistake: he must confess, he is of another opinion; but however he won't insist.

Every temper, except downright insipid, is to be animated and softened by the influence of beauty: but of this untractable sort is a lifeless handsome fellow that visits us, whom I have dressed at this twelvemonth; but he is as insensible of all the arts I use, as if he conversed all that time with his nurse. He outdoes our whole sex in all the faults our enemies impute to us; he has brought laziness into an opinion, and makes his indolence his philosophy: insomuch, that no longer ago than yesterday in the evening he gave me this account of himself: "I am, madam, perfectly unmoved at all that passes among men, and seldom give myself the fatigue of going among them; but when I do, I always appear the same thing to those whom I converse with. My hours of existence, or being awake, are from eleven in the morning to eleven at night; half of which I live to myself, in picking my teeth, washing my hands, paring my nails, and looking in the glass. The insignificancy of my manners to the rest of the world makes the laughers call me a quidnunc, a phrase I shall never inquire what they mean by it. The last of me each night is at St. James's Coffee-house, where I converse, yet never fall into a dispute on any occasion, but leave the understanding I have, passive of all that goes through it, without entering into the business of life. And thus, madam, have I arrived by laziness, to what others pretend to by devotion, a perfect neglect of the world." Sure, if our sex had the liberty of frequenting public-houses and conversations, we should put these rivals of our faults and follies out of countenance. However, we shall soon have the pleasure of being acquainted with them one way or other, for my brother Isaac designs, for the use of our sex, to give the exact characters of all the chief politicians who frequent any of the coffee-houses from St. James's to the Change; but designs to begin with that cluster of wise heads, as they are found sitting every evening, from the left side of the fire, at the Smyrna,165 to the door. This will be of great service for us, and I have authority to promise an exact journal of their deliberations; the publication of which I am to be allowed for pin-money. In the meantime, I cast my eye upon a new book, which gave me a more pleasing entertainment, being a sixth part of "Miscellany Poems," published by Jacob Tonson,166 which I find, by my brother's notes upon it, no way inferior to the other volumes. There are, it seems, in this, a collection of the best pastorals that have hitherto appeared in England; but among them, none superior to that dialogue between Sylvia and Dorinda, written by one of my own sex,167 where all our little weaknesses are laid open in a manner more just, and with, truer raillery than ever man yet hit upon.

Only this I now discern.
From the things thou'st have me learn;
That womankind's peculiar joys
From past or present beauties rise.

But to reassume my first design, there cannot be a greater instance of the command of females, than in the prevailing charms of the heroine in the play which was acted this night, called "All for Love; or, The World Well Lost."168 The enamoured Antony resigns glory and power to the force of the attractive Cleopatra, whose charms were the defence of her diadem, against a people otherwise invincible. It is so natural for women to talk of themselves, that it is to be hoped all my own sex, at least, will pardon me, that I could fall into no other discourse. If we have their favour, we give ourselves very little anxiety for the rest of our readers. I believe I see a sentence of Latin in my brother's day-book of wit, which seems applicable on this occasion, and in contempt of the critics.

—Tristitiam et metus
Tradam protectis in mare Criticum
Portare ventis.169

But I am interrupted by a packet from Mr. Kidney,170 from the St. James's Coffee-house, which I am obliged to insert in the very style and words which Mr. Kidney uses in his letter.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 2.

We are advised by letters from Berne, dated the 1st instant, N.S., that the Duke of Berwick arrived at Lyons the 25th of the last month, and continued his journey the next day to visit the passes of the mountains, and other posts in Dauphine and Provence. These letters also informed us, that the miseries of the people in France are heightened to that degree, that unless a peace be speedily concluded, half of that kingdom would perish for want of bread. On the 24th, the Marshal de Thesse passed through Lyons, in his way to Versailles; and two battalions, which were marching from Alsace to reinforce the army of the Duke of Berwick, passed also through that place. Those troops were to be followed by six Battalions more.

Letters from Naples of the 16th of April say, that the Marquis de Prie's son was arrived there, with instructions from his father, to signify to the viceroy the necessity his Imperial Majesty was under, of desiring an aid from that kingdom, for carrying on the extraordinary expenses of the war. On the 14th of the same month, they made a review of the Spanish troops in that garrison, and afterwards of the marines; one part of whom will embark with those designed for Barcelona, and the rest are to be sent on board the galleys appointed to convoy provisions to that place.

We hear from Rome, by letters dated the 20th of April, that the Count de Mellos, envoy from the King of Portugal, had made his public entry into that city with much state and magnificence. The Pope has lately held two other consistories, wherein he made a promotion of two cardinals; but the acknowledgment of King Charles is still deferred.

Letters from other parts of Italy advise us, that the Doge of Venice continues dangerously ill: that the Prince de Carignan, having relapsed into a violent fever, died the 23rd of April, in his 80th year.

Advices from Vienna of the 27th of April import, that the Archbishop of Saltzburg is dead, who is succeeded by Count Harrach, formerly Bishop of Vienna, and for these last three years coadjutor to the said Archbishop; and that Prince Maximilian of Lichtenstein has likewise departed this life, at his country seat called Cromaw in Moravia. These advices add, that the Emperor has named Count Zinzendorf, Count Goes, and Monsieur Consbruck, for his plenipotentiaries in an ensuing treaty of peace; and they hear from Hungary, that the Imperialists have had several successful skirmishes with the malcontents.

Letters from Paris, dated May the 6th, say, that the Marshal de Thesse arrived there on the 29th of the last month; and that the Chevalier de Beuil was sent thither by Don Pedro Ronquillo with advice, that the confederate squadron appeared before Alicante the 17th, and having for some time cannonaded the city, endeavoured to land some troops for the relief of the castle; but General Stanhope finding the passes well guarded, and the enterprise dangerous, demanded to capitulate for the castle; which being granted him, the garrison, consisting of 600 regular troops, marched out with their arms and baggage the day following; and being received on board, they immediately set sail for Barcelona. These letters add, that the march of the French and Swiss regiments is further deferred for a few days; and that the Duke of Noailles was just ready to set out for Roussillon, as well as the Count de Bezons for Catalonia.

The same advices say, bread was sold at Paris for 6d. per pound; and that there was not half enough, even at that rate, to supply the necessities of the people, which reduced them to the utmost despair; that 300 men had taken up arms, and having plundered the market of the suburb St. Germain, pressed down by their multitude the King's Guards who opposed them. Two of those mutineers were afterwards seized, and condemned to death; but four others went to the magistrate who pronounced that sentence, and told him, he must expect to answer with his own life for those of their comrades. All order and sense of government being thus lost among the enraged people, to keep up a show of authority, the captain of the Guards, who saw all their insolence, pretended, that he had represented to the King their deplorable condition, and had obtained their pardon. It is further reported, that the Dauphin and Duchess of Burgundy, as they went to the Opera, were surrounded by crowds of people, who upbraided them with their neglect of the general calamity, in going to diversions, when the whole people were ready to perish for want of bread. Edicts are daily published to suppress these riots, and papers, with menaces against the Government, are publicly thrown about. Among others, these words were dropped in a court of justice: "France wants a Ravilliac or a Jesuit to deliver her." Besides this universal distress, there is a contagious sickness, which, it is feared, will end in a pestilence. Letters from Bordeaux bring accounts no less lamentable: the peasants are driven by hunger from their abodes into that city, and make lamentations in the streets without redress.

We are advised by letters from the Hague, dated the 10th instant, N.S., that on the 6th, the Marquis de Torcy arrived there from Paris; but the passport, by which he came, having been sent blank by Monsieur Rouillé, he was there two days before his quality was known. That Minister offered to communicate to Monsieur Heinsius the proposals which he had to make; but the pensionary refused to see them, and said, he would signify it to the States, who deputed some of their own body to acquaint him, That they would enter into no negotiation till the arrival of his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, and the other Ministers of the Alliance. Prince Eugene was expected there the 12th instant from Brussels. It is said, that besides Monsieur de Torcy and Monsieur Pajot, Director-general of the Posts, there are two or three persons at the Hague whose names are not known; but it is supposed that the Duke d'Alba, ambassador from the Duke of Anjou, was one of them. The States have sent letters to all the cities of the Provinces, desiring them to send their deputies to receive the propositions of peace made by the Court of France.171

The word "Miss" was still confined, in Steele's day, to very young girls or to young women of giddy or doubtful character. Thus Pastorella in No. 9 is called "Miss," and similarly we find "Miss Gruel" in No. 33. In the "Original Letters to the Tatler and Spectator," printed by Charles Lillie (i. 223) there is a "Table of the Titles and Distinctions of Women," from which what follows is extracted. "Let all country-gentlewomen, without regard to more or less fortune, content themselves with being addressed by the style of 'Mrs.' Let 'Madam' govern independently in the city, &c. Let no women after the known age of 21 presume to admit of her being called 'Miss,' unless she can fairly prove she is not out of her sampler. Let every common maid-servant be plain 'Jane,' 'Doll,' or 'Sue,' and let the better-born and higher-placed be distinguished by 'Mrs. Patience,' 'Mrs. Prue,' or 'Mrs. Abigail.'"

Perhaps there is here an illusion to Mrs. Anne Oldfield (died 1730), and Brigadier-General Charles Churchill, brother of the Duke of Marlborough. Mrs. Oldfield acted as Lady Betty Modish in Cibber's "Careless Husband," a part which was not only written for, but copied from her. Her son by Churchill married Lady Mary Walpole.

A coffee-house in Pall Mall. Swift and Prior frequented it: "Prior and I came away at nine, and sat at the Smyrna till eleven receiving acquaintance." "I walked a little in the Park till Prior made me go with him to the Smyrna Coffee-house."—("Journal to Stella," Oct. 15, 1710; Feb. 19, 1711.)

The sixth and last volume of the "Dryden" Miscellany Poems was published by Tonson in 1709. The elder Tonson, who was founder and secretary of the Kit Cat Club, died in 1736.

By Elizabeth Singer, who became Mrs. Rowe in 1710, and died in 1737. Besides poems which gained for her the friendship of Prior, Dr. Watts, and Bishop Ken, she published "Friendship in Death, in twenty letters from the Dead to the Living," and "Letters Moral and Entertaining."

Dryden's version of "Antony and Cleopatra" was produced in 1673.

Horace, 1 Od. xxvi. 2. The joke consists in Mrs. Jenny Distaff mistaking Horace's "Creticum" for "Criticum," and so misapplying the passage.

See No. 1.

"In the absence of Mr. Bickerstaff, Mrs. Distaff has received Mr. Nathaniel Broomstick's letter" (folio).

No. 11.




From Tuesday May 3, to Thursday, May 5, 1709.

Will's Coffee-house, May 3.

A kinsman172 has sent me a letter, wherein he informs me, he had lately resolved to write an heroic poem, but by business had been interrupted, and has only made one similitude, which he should be afflicted to have wholly lost, and begs of me to apply it to something, being very desirous to see it well placed in the world. I am so willing to help the distressed, that I have taken it in; but though his greater genius might very well distinguish his verses from mine, I have marked where his begin. His lines are a description of the sun in eclipse, which I know nothing more like than a brave man in sorrow, who bears it as he should, without imploring the pity of his friends, or being dejected with the contempt of his enemies. As in the case of Cato:

When all the globe to Cæsar's fortune bowed,
Cato alone his empire disallowed;
With inborn strength alone opposed mankind,
With heaven in view, to all below it blind:
Regardless of his friend's applause, or moan,
Alone triumphant, since he falls alone.
"Thus when the Ruler of the genial day,
Behind some darkening planet forms his way,
Desponding mortals, with officious care,
The concave drum, and magic brass prepare;
Implore him to sustain the important fight,
And save depending worlds from endless night.
Fondly they hope their labour may avail,
To ease his conflict, and assist his toil.
Whilst he in beams of native splendour bright, }
(Though dark his orb appear to human sight) }
Shines to the gods with more diffusive light. }
To distant stars with equal glory burns,
Inflames their lamps, and feeds their golden urns.
Sure to retain his known superior tract,
And proves the more illustrious by defect."

This is a very lively image; but I must take the liberty to say, my kinsman drives the sun a little like Phaëton: he has all the warmth of Phœbus, but won't stay for his direction of it. Avail and toil, defect and tract, will never do for rhymes. But, however, he has the true spirit in him; for which reason I was willing to entertain anything he pleased to send me. The subject which he writes upon, naturally raises great reflections in the soul, and puts us in mind of the mixed condition which we mortals are to support; which, as it varies to good or bad, adorns or defaces our actions to the beholders: All which glory and shame must end in what we so much repine at, death. But doctrines on this occasion, any other than that of living well, are the most insignificant and most empty of all the labours of men. None but a tragedian can die by rule, and wait till he discovers a plot, or says a fine thing upon his exit. In real life, this is a chimera; and by noble spirits, it will be done decently, without the ostentation of it. We see men of all conditions and characters go through it with equal resolution: and if we consider the speeches of the mighty philosophers, heroes, law-givers, and great captains, they can produce no more in a discerning spirit, than rules to make a man a fop on his death-bed. Commend me to that natural greatness of soul, expressed by an innocent, and consequently resolute, country fellow, who said in the pains of the colic, "If I once get this breath out of my body, you shall hang me before you put it in again." Honest Ned! and so he died.173

But it is to be supposed, from this place you may expect an account of such a thing as a new play is not to be omitted. That acted this night is the newest that ever was writ. The author is my ingenious friend Mr. Thomas D——y. The drama is called, "The Modern Prophets,"174 and is a most unanswerable satire against the late spirit of enthusiasm. The writer had by long experience observed, that in company, very grave discourses have been followed by bawdry; and therefore has turned the humour that way with great success, and taken from his audience all manner of superstition, by the agitations of pretty Mrs. Bignell,175 whom he has, with great subtlety, made a lay-sister, as well as a prophetess; by which means, she carries on the affairs of both worlds with great success. My friend designs to go on with another work against winter, which he intends to call, "The Modern Poets"; a people no less mistaken in their opinions of being inspired than the other. In order to this, he has by him seven songs, besides many ambiguities, which cannot be mistaken for anything but what he means them. Mr. D——y generally writes state-plays, and is wonderfully useful to the world in such representations. This method is the same that was used by old Athenians, to laugh out of countenance, or promote opinions among the people. My friend has therefore, against this play is acted for his own benefit, made two dances, which may be also of an universal benefit. In the first he has represenced absolute power, in the person of a tall man with a hat and feather, who gives his first minister, that stands just before him, a huge kick: the minister gives the kick to the next before; and so to the end of the stage. In this moral and practical jest, you are made to understand, that there is, in an absolute government, no gratification, but giving the kick you receive from one above you to one below you. This is performed to a grave and melancholy air; but on a sudden the tune moves quicker, and the whole company fall into a circle and take hands; then, at a certain sharp note, they move round, and kick as kick can. This latter performance he makes to be the representation of a free state; where, if you all mind your steps, you may go round and round very jollily, with a motion pleasant to yourselves and those you dance with: nay, if you put yourselves out, at the worst you only kick, and are kicked, like friends and equals.

From my own Apartment, May 4.

Of all the vanities under the sun, I confess, that of being proud of one's birth is the greatest. At the same time, since in this unreasonable age, by the force of prevailing custom, things in which men have no hand are imputed to them; and that I am used by some people, as if Isaac Bickerstaff, though I write myself "Esquire," was nobody: to set the world right in that particular, I shall give you my genealogy, as a kinsman of ours has sent it me from the Heralds' Office. It is certain, and observed by the wisest writers, that there are women who are not nicely chaste, and men not severely honest in all families; therefore let those who may be apt to raise aspersions upon ours, please to give us as impartial an account of their own, and we shall be satisfied. The business of heralds is a matter of so great nicety, that to avoid mistakes, I shall give you my cousin's letter verbatim, without altering a syllable.176


"Since you have been pleased to make yourself so famous of late, by your ingenious writings, and some time ago by your learned Predictions: since Partridge, of immortal memory, is dead and gone, who, poetical as he was, could not understand his own poetry; and philomathical as he was, could not read his own destiny: since the Pope, the King of France, and great part of his Court, are either literally or metaphorically defunct: since, I say, these things (not foretold by any one but yourself) have come to pass after so surprising a manner; it is with no small concern I see the original of the Staffian race so little known in the world as it is at this time; for which reason, as you have employed your studies in astronomy and the occult sciences, so I, my mother being a Welsh woman, dedicated mine to genealogy, particularly that of our own family, which, for its antiquity and number, may challenge any in Great Britain. The Staffs are originally of Staffordshire, which took its name from them: the first that I find of the Staffs was one Jacobstaff, a famous and renowned astronomer, who by Dorothy his wife, had issue seven sons; viz., Bickerstaff, Longstaff, Wagstaff, Quarterstaff, Whitestaff, Falstaff, and Tipstaff. He also had a younger brother who was twice married, and had five sons; viz., Distaff, Pikestaff, Mopstaff, Broomstaff, and Raggedstaff. As for the branch from whence you spring, I shall say very little of it, only that it is the chief of the Staffs, and called Bickerstaff, quasi Biggerstaff; as much as to say, the great staff, or staff of staffs; and that it has applied itself to astronomy with great success, after the example of our aforesaid forefather. The descendants from Longstaff, the second son, were a rakish disorderly sort of people, and rambled from one place to another, till in Harry II.'s time they settled in Kent, and were called Long-tails, from the long tails which were sent them as a punishment for the murder of Thomas-à-Becket, as the legends say; they have been always sought after by the ladies; but whether it be to show their aversion to popery, or their love to miracles, I can't say. The Wagstaffs are a merry thoughtless sort of people, who have always been opinionated of their own wit; they have turned themselves mostly to poetry. This is the most numerous branch of our family, and the poorest. The Quarterstaffs are most of them prize-fighters or deer-stealers. There have been so many of them hanged lately, that there are very few of that branch of our family left. The Whitestaffs177 are all courtiers, and have had very considerable places: there have been some of them of that strength and dexterity, that five hundred of the ablest men in the kingdom178 have often tugged in vain to pull a staff out of their hands. The Falstaffs are strangely given to whoring and drinking: there are abundance of them in and about London. And one thing is very remarkable of this branch, and that is, there are just as many women as men in it. There was a wicked stick of wood of this name in Harry IV.'s time, one Sir John Falstaff. As for Tipstaff, the youngest son, he was an honest fellow; but his sons, and his sons' sons, have all of them been the veriest rogues living: it is this unlucky branch has stocked the nation with that swarm of lawyers, attorneys, serjeants, and bailiffs, with which the nation is overrun. Tipstaff, being a seventh son, used to cure the king's evil; but his rascally descendants are so far from having that healing quality, that by a touch upon the shoulder, they give a man such an ill habit of body, that he can never come abroad afterwards. This is all I know of the line of Jacobstaff: his younger brother Isaacstaff, as I told you before, had five sons, and was married twice; his first wife was a Staff (for they did not stand upon false heraldry in those days), by whom he had one son, who in process of time, being a schoolmaster, and well read in the Greek, called himself Distaff or Twicestaff: he was not very rich, so he put his children out to trades; and the Distaffs have ever since been employed in the woollen and linen manufactures, except myself, who am a genealogist. Pikestaff, the eldest son by the second venter, was a man of business, a downright plodding fellow, and withal so plain, that he became a proverb. Most of this family are at present in the army. Raggedstaff was an unlucky boy, and used to tear his clothes getting birds' nests, and was always playing with a tame bear his father kept. Mopstaff fell in love with one of his father's maids, and used to help her to clean the house. Broomstaff was a chimney-sweeper. The Mopstaffs and Broomstaffs are naturally as civil people as ever went out of doors; but alas! if they once get into ill hands, they knock down all before them. Pilgrimstaff run away from his friends, and went strolling about the country: and Pipestaff was a wine-cooper. These two were the unlawful issue of Longstaff.

"N.B. The Canes, the Clubs, the Cudgels, the Wands, the Devil upon two Sticks, and one Bread, that goes by the name of Staff of Life, are none of our relations.

"I am, dear Cousin,

"Your humble Servant,


"From the Heralds' Office, May 1."

St. James's Coffee-house, May 4.

As politic news is not the principal subject on which we treat, we are so happy as to have no occasion for that art of cookery, which our brother-newsmongers so much excel in; as appears by their excellent and inimitable manner of dressing up a second time for your taste the same dish which they gave you the day before, in case there come over no new pickles from Holland. Therefore, when we have nothing to say to you from courts and camps, we hope still to give you somewhat new and curious from ourselves: the women of our house, upon occasion, being capable of carrying on the business, according to the laudable custom of the wives in Holland; but, without further preface, take what we have not mentioned in our former relations.

Letters from Hanover of the 30th of the last month say, that the Prince Royal of Prussia arrived there on the 15th, and left that Court on the 2nd of this month, in pursuit of his journey to Flanders, where he makes the ensuing campaign. Those advices add, that the young Prince Nassau, hereditary governor of Friesland, consummated on the 26th of the last month his marriage with the beauteous princess of Hesse-Cassel, with a pomp and magnificence suitable to their age and quality.

Letters from Paris say, his most Christian Majesty retired to Marli on the 1st instant, N.S., and our last advices from Spain inform us, that the Prince of Asturias had made his public entry into Madrid in great splendour. The Duke of Anjou has given Don Joseph Hartado de Amaraga the government of Terra-Firma de Veragua, and the presidency of Panama in America. They add, That the forces commanded by the Marquis de Bay had been reinforced by six battalions of Spanish and Walloon guards. Letters from Lisbon advise, That the army of the King of Portugal was at Elvas on the 22nd of the last month, and would decamp on the 24th, in order to march upon the enemy, who lay at Badajos.

Yesterday, at four in the morning, his Grace the Duke of Marlborough set out for Margate, and embarked for Holland at eight this morning.

Yesterday also, Sir George Thorold was declared Alderman of Cordwainers' Ward, in the room of his brother Sir Charles Thorold, deceased.179

Jabez Hughes (died 1731), the author of these verses, was the younger brother of John Hughes. He published several translations, and his "Miscellanies in Verse and Prose" appeared in 1737.

"Honest Ned" was a farmer on the estate of Anthony Henley, who mentions this saying in a letter to Swift.

D'Urfey's "Modern Prophets" attacked the enthusiasts known as "French Prophets," who were in the habit of assembling in Moorfields to exert their alleged gifts. Lord Chesterfield says that the Government took no steps, except to direct Powell, the puppet-show man, to make Punch turn prophet, which he did so well, that it put an end to the fanatics.

See No. 3.

The letter is by Heneage Twysden. (See Steele's Preface.) Heneage Twysden was the seventh son of Sir William Twysden, Bart., of Roydon Hall, East Peckham, Kent. At the time of his death (1709, aged 29) he was a captain of foot in Sir Richard Temple's Regiment, and aide-de-camp to John, Duke of Argyle. Near his monument in the north aisle of the Abbey are two other small ones to the memory of his brothers Josiah and John. Josiah, a captain of foot, was killed in Flanders in 1708, in his 23rd year; John was a lieutenant in the admiral's ship, under Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and perished with him in 1707, in his 24th year. [Chalmers.]—Heneage Twysden was killed at the battle of Blarequies.

The allusion is to the staff carried by the First Lord of the Treasury.

The House of Commons.

"Any ladies who have any particular stories of their acquaintance, which they are willing privately to make public, may send them by the penny-post to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., enclosed to Mr. John Morphew, near Stationers' Hall" (folio).

No. 12.



From Thursday, May 5, to Saturday, May 7, 1709.

May 5.

When a man has engaged to keep a stage-coach, he is obliged, whether he has passengers or not, to set out: thus it fares with us weekly historians; but indeed, for my particular, I hope I shall soon have little more to do in this work, than to publish what is sent me from such as have leisure and capacity for giving delight, and being pleased in an elegant manner. The present grandeur of the British nation might make us expect, that we should rise in our public diversions, and manner of enjoying life, in proportion to our advancement in glory and power. Instead of that, take and survey this town, and you'll find, rakes and debauchees are your men of pleasure; thoughtless atheists, and illiterate drunkards, call themselves free thinkers; and gamesters, banterers, biters,180 swearers, and twenty new-born insects more, are, in their several species, the modern men of wit. Hence it is, that a man who has been out of town but one half-year, has lost the language, and must have some friend to stand by him, and keep him in countenance for talking common sense. To-day I saw a short interlude at White's of this nature, which I took notes of, and put together as well as I could in a public place. The persons of the drama are, Pip, the last gentleman that has been made so at cards; Trimmer, a person half undone at them, and is now between a cheat and a gentleman; Acorn, an honest Englishman, of good plain sense and meaning; and Mr. Friendly, a reasonable man of the town.

White's Chocolate-house, May 5.

[Enter PIP, TRIM, and ACORN.

AC. What's the matter, gentlemen? What! Take no notice of an old friend?

PIP. Pox on it! don't talk to me, I am voweled by the Count, and cursedly out of humour.

AC. Voweled! Prithee, Trimmer, what does he mean by that?

TRIM. Have a care, Harry, speak softly; don't show your ignorance:—If you do, they'll bite you where-e'er they meet you; they are such cursed curs,—the present wits.

AC. Bite me! What do you mean?

PIP. Why! Don't you know what biting is? Nay, you are in the right on it. However, one would learn it only to defend oneself against men of wit, as one would know the tricks of play, to be secure against the cheats. But don't you hear, Acorn, that report, that some potentates of the Alliance have taken care of themselves, exclusive of us?

AC. How! Heaven forbid! After all our glorious victories; all this expense of blood and treasure!

PIP. Bite—

AC. Bite! How?

TRIM. Nay, he has bit you fairly enough; that's certain.

AC. Pox! I don't feel it—how? Where?

[Exit PIP and TRIMMER, laughing.

AC. Ho! Mr. Friendly, your most humble servant; you heard what passed between those fine gentlemen and me. Pip complained to me, that he has been voweled; and they tell me, I am bit.

FRIEND. You are to understand, sir, that simplicity of behaviour, which is the perfection of good breeding and good sense, is utterly lost in the world; and in the room of it, there are started a thousand little inventions, which men, barren of better things, take up in the place of it. Thus, for every character in conversation that used to please, there is an impostor put upon you. Him whom we allowed formerly for a certain pleasant subtilty, and natural way of giving you an unexpected hit, called a droll, is now mimicked by a biter, who is a dull fellow, that tells you a lie with a grave face, and laughs at you for knowing him no better than to believe him. Instead of that sort of companion, who could rally you, and keep his countenance, till he made you fall into some little inconsistency of behaviour, at which you yourself could laugh with him, you have the sneerer, who will keep you company from morning to night, to gather your follies of the day (which perhaps you commit out of confidence in him), and expose you in the evening to all the scorners in town. For your man of sense and free spirit, whose set of thoughts were built upon learning, reason, and experience, you have now an impudent creature made up of vice only, who supports his ignorance by his courage, and want of learning by contempt of it.

AC. Dear sir, hold: what you have told me already of this change in conversation, is too miserable to be heard with any delight; but, methinks, as these new creatures appear in the world, it might give an excellent field to writers for the stage, to divert us with the representation of them there.

FRIEND. No, no: as you say, there might be some hopes of redress of these grievances, if there were proper care taken of the theatre; but the history of that is yet more lamentable than that of the decay of conversation I gave you.

AC. Pray, sir, a little: I haven't been in town these six years, till within this fortnight.

FRIEND. It is now some years since several revolutions in the gay world had made the empire of the stage subject to very fatal convulsions, which were too dangerous to be cured by the skill of little King Oberon,181 who then sat in the throne of it. The laziness of this prince threw him upon the choice of a person who was fit to spend his life in contentions, an able and profound attorney, to whom he mortgaged his whole empire. This Divito182 is the most skilful of all politicians: he has a perfect art in being unintelligible in discourse, and uncomeatable in business. But he having no understanding in this polite way, brought in upon us, to get in his money, ladder-dancers,183 rope-dancers, jugglers, and mountebanks, to strut in the place of Shakespeare's heroes, and Jonson's humorists. When the seat of wit was thus mortgaged, without equity of redemption, an architect184 arose, who has built the muse a new palace, but secured her no retinue; so that instead of action there, we have been put off by song and dance. This latter help of sound has also begun to fail for want of voices; therefore the palace has since been put into the hands of a surgeon,185 who cuts any foreign fellow into an eunuch, and passes him upon us for a singer of Italy.

AC. I'll go out of town to-morrow.

FRIEND.186 Things are come to this pass; and yet the world will not understand, that the theatre has much the same effect on the manners of the age, as the bank on the credit of the nation. Wit and spirit, humour and good sense, can never be revived, but under the government of those who are judges of such talents, who know, that whatever is put up in their stead, is but a short and trifling expedient, to support the appearance of them for a season. It is possible, a peace will give leisure to put these matters under new regulations; but at present, all the assistance we can see towards our recovery, is as far from giving us help, as a poultice is from performing what can be done only by the Grand Elixir.

Will's Coffee-house, May 6.

According to our late design in the applauded verses on the Morning,187 which you lately had from hence, we proceed to improve that just intention, and present you with other labours, made proper to the place in which they were written. The following poem comes from Copenhagen, and is as fine a winter-piece as we have ever had from any of the schools of the most learned painters. Such images as these give us a new pleasure in our sight, and fix upon our minds traces of reflection, which accompany us whenever the like objects occur. In short, excellent poetry and description dwell upon us so agreeably, that all the readers of them are made to think, if not write, like men of wit. But it would be injury to detain you longer from this excellent performance, which is addressed to the Earl of Dorset by Mr. Philips,188 the author of several choice poems in Mr. Tonson's new Miscellany.189

Copenhagen, March 9, 1709.
From frozen climes, and endless tracks of snow,
From streams that northern winds forbid to flow;
What present shall the muse to Dorset bring;
Or how, so near the Pole, attempt to sing?
The hoary winter here conceals from sight
All pleasing objects that to verse invite.
The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
The flowery plains, and silver streaming floods,
By snow disguised, in bright confusion lie,
And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.
No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring,
No birds within the desert region sing.
The ships unmoved the boisterous winds defy,
While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly.
The vast leviathan wants room to play,
And spout his waters in the face of day.
The starving wolves along the main sea prowl,
And to the moon in icy valleys howl.
For many a shining league the level main
Here spreads itself into a glassy plain:
There solid billows of enormous size,
Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
And yet but lately have I seen e'en here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear;
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasured snow,
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow.
At evening a keen eastern breeze arose;
And the descending rain unsullied froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclosed at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brightened every object to my eyes.
For every shrub, and every blade of grass,
And every pointed thorn, seemed wrought in glass,
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow.
The thick-sprung reeds the watery marshes yield,
Seem polished lances in a hostile field.
The stag in limpid currents with surprise,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine,
Glazed over, in the freezing ether shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
That wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies:
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled shower the prospect ends.
Or if a southern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wintry charm;
The traveller a miry country sees,
And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees.
Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads
Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious meads;
While here enchanted gardens to him rise,
And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
His wandering feet the magic paths pursue;
And while he thinks the fair illusion true,
The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air,
And woods and wilds, and thorny ways appear:
A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.

From my own Apartment, May 6.

There has a mail this day arrived from Holland; but the matter of the advices importing rather what gives us great expectations, than any positive assurances, I shall, for this time, decline giving you what I know, and apply the following verses of Mr. Dryden, in the second part of "Almanzor," to the present circumstances of things, without discovering what my knowledge in astronomy suggests to me.

When empire in its childhood first appears,
A watchful fate o'er sees its tender years:
Till grown more strong, it thrusts and stretches out,
And elbows all the kingdoms round about.
The place thus made for its first breathing free,
It moves again for ease and luxury;
Till swelling by degrees it has possest
The greater space, and now crowds up the rest.
When from behind there starts some petty state,
And pushes on its now unwieldy fate.
Then down the precipice of time it goes,
And sinks in minutes, which in ages rose.190

"I'll teach you a way to outwit Mrs. Johnson; it is a new-fashioned way of being witty, and they call it a bite. You must ask a bantering question, or tell some damned lie in a serious manner, then she will answer, or speak as if you were in earnest, and then cry you, 'Madam, there's a bite.' I would not have you undervalue this, for it is the constant amusement in Court, and everywhere else among the great people; and I let you know it, in order to have it obtain among you, and to teach you a new refinement" (Swift's "Journal"). See the Spectator, Nos. 47, 504: "A Biter is one who tells you a thing you have no reason to disbelieve in itself; and perhaps has given you, before he bit you, no reason to disbelieve it for his saying it; and if you give him credit, laughs in your face, and triumphs that he has deceived you. In a word, a Biter is one who thinks you a fool, because you do not think him a knave."

Owen McSwiney, a manager of Drury Lane Theatre, and afterwards of the Haymarket Theatre. After living in Italy for some years, he obtained a place in the Custom-house, and was keeper of the King's Mews. On his death in 1754 he left his fortune to Mrs. Woffington.

Christopher Rich, manager of Drury Lane Theatre, who died in 1714, was at this time involved in a quarrel with the principal actors about the profits of their benefits.

Cibber ("Apology," chap. x.) complains that Rich paid extraordinary prices to singers, dancers, and other exotic performers, which were as constantly deducted out of the sinking salaries of his actors. In December, 1709, the Lord Chamberlain ordered that no new representations were to be brought upon the stage which were not necessary to the better performance of comedy or opera, "such as ladder-dancing, antic postures," &c., without his leave.—(Lord Chamberlain's Records, Warrant Book, No. 22.)

Sir John Vanbrugh built the Haymarket Theatre in 1705. The new house was opened with a translation of an Italian opera, "The Triumph of Love", which met with little success. This was followed by Vanbrugh's "Confederacy."

John James Heidegger, who died in 1749, aged 90, was the son of a Swiss clergyman. When over 40 he came to England, and became the chief director of the opera-house and masquerades. His face was remarkably ugly.

"Trim", in original editions.

See No. 9.

"Philips writeth verses in a sledge upon the frozen sea," wrote Swift, "and transmits them hither to thrive in our warm climate under the shelter of my Lord Dorset." Addison refers to this poem by Ambrose Philips in No. 223 of the Spectator, and Pope commends it.

The sixth and last volume of Tonson's "Miscellany" opens with Philips' Pastorals, and closes with those of Pope.

"Almanzor and Almahide; or, The Conquest of Granada. The Second Part," act i. sc. I.

No. 13.



From Saturday, May 7, to Tuesday, May 10, 1709.

From my own Apartment, May 8.

Much hurry and business had to-day perplexed me into a mood too thoughtful for going into company; for which reason, instead of the tavern, I went into Lincoln's Inn Walks; and having taken a round or two, I sat down, according to the allowed familiarity of these places, on a bench; at the other end of which sat a venerable gentleman, who speaking with a very affable air, "Mr. Bickerstaff," said he, "I take it for a very great piece of good fortune, that you have found me out." "Sir," said I, "I had never, that I know of, the honour of seeing you before." "That," replied he, "is what I have often lamented; but I assure you, I have for many years done you good offices, without being observed by you; or else, when you had any little glimpse of my being concerned in an affair, you have fled from me, and shunned me like an enemy; but however, the part I am to act in the world is such, that I am to go on in doing good, though I meet with never so many repulses, even from those I oblige." This, thought I, shows a great good nature, but little judgment in the persons upon whom he confers his favours. He immediately took notice to me, that he observed by my countenance I thought him indiscreet in his beneficence, and proceeded to tell me his quality in the following manner: "I know thee, Isaac, to be so well versed in the occult sciences, that I need not much preface, or make long preparations to gain your faith that there are airy beings, who are employed in the care and attendance of men, as nurses are to infants, till they come to an age in which they can act of themselves. These beings are usually called amongst men, guardian angels; and, Mr. Bickerstaff, I am to acquaint you, that I am to be yours for some time to come; it being our orders to vary our stations, and sometimes to have one patient under our protection, and sometimes another, with a power of assuming what shape we please, to ensnare our wards into their own good. I have of late been upon such hard duty, and know you have so much work for me, that I think fit to appear to you face to face, to desire you would give me as little occasion for vigilance as you can." "Sir," said I, "it will be a great instruction to me in my behaviour, if you please to give me some account of your late employments, and what hardships or satisfactions you have had in them, that I may govern myself accordingly." He answered: "To give you an example of the drudgery we go through, I will entertain you only with my three last stations: I was on the 1st of April last, put to mortify a great beauty, with whom I was a week; from her I went to a common swearer, and have been last with a gamester. When I first came to my lady, I found my great work was to guard well her eyes and ears; but her flatterers were so numerous, and the house, after the modern way, so full of looking-glasses, that I seldom had her safe but in her sleep. Whenever we went abroad, we were surrounded by an army of enemies: when a well-made man appeared, he was sure to have a side-glance of observation: if a disagreeable fellow, he had a full face, out of mere inclination to conquests. But at the close of the evening, on the sixth of the last month, my ward was sitting on a couch, reading Ovid's 'Epistles'; and as she came to this line of Helen to Paris,

She half consents who silently denies;191

entered Philander,192 who is the most skilful of all men in an address to women. He is arrived at the perfection of that art which gains them, which is, to talk like a very miserable man, but look like a very happy one. I saw Dictinna blush at his entrance, which gave me the alarm; but he immediately said something so agreeable on her being at study, and the novelty of finding a lady employed in so grave a manner, that he on a sudden became very familiarly a man of no consequence; and in an instant laid all her suspicions of his skill asleep, as he almost had done mine, till I observed him very dangerously turn his discourse upon the elegance of her dress, and her judgment in the choice of that very pretty mourning. Having had women before under my care, I trembled at the apprehension of a man of sense, who could talk upon trifles, and resolved to stick to my post with all the circumspection imaginable. In short, I prepossessed her against all he could say to the advantage of her dress and person; but he turned again the discourse, where I found I had no power over her, on the abusing her friends and acquaintance. He allowed indeed, that Flora had a little beauty, and a great deal of wit; but then she was so ungainly in her behaviour, and such a laughing hoyden—Pastorella had with him the allowance of being blameless: but what was that towards being praiseworthy? To be only innocent, is not to be virtuous. He afterwards spoke so much against Mrs. Dipple's forehead, Mrs. Prim's mouth, Mrs. Dentifrice's teeth, and Mrs. Fidget's cheeks, that she grew downright in love with him: for it is always to be understood, that a lady takes all you detract from the rest of her sex to be a gift to her. In a word, things went so far, that I was dismissed, and she will remember that evening nine months, from the 6th of April, by a very remarkable token. The next, as I said, I went to was a common swearer: never was creature so puzzled as myself when I came first to view his brain; half of it was worn out, and filled up with mere expletives, that had nothing to do with any other parts of the texture; therefore, when he called for his clothes in a morning, he would cry, 'John—?' John does not answer. 'What a plague! Nobody there? What the devil, and rot me! John, for a lazy dog as you are.' I knew no way to cure him, but by writing down all he said one morning as he was dressing, and laying it before him on the toilet when he came to pick his teeth. The last recital I gave him of what he said for half an hour before, was, 'What, a pox rot me! Where is the washball? Call the chairmen: damn them, I warrant they are at the ale-house already! Zounds, and confound them.' When he came to the glass, he takes up my note—'Ha! this fellow is worse than me: what, does he swear with pen and ink?' But reading on, he found them to be his own words. The stratagem had so good an effect upon him, that he grew immediately a new man, and is learning to speak without an oath, which makes him extremely short in his phrases; for, as I observed before, a common swearer has a brain without any idea on the swearing side; therefore my ward has yet mighty little to say, and is forced to substitute some other vehicle of nonsense to supply the defect of his usual expletives. When I left him, he made use of, 'Oddsbodikins!' 'Oh me!' and, 'Never stir alive!' and so forth; which gave me hopes of his recovery. So I went to the next I told you of, the gamester. When we first take our place about a man, the receptacles of the pericranium are immediately searched. In his, I found no one ordinary trace of thinking; but strong passion, violent desires, and a continued series of different changes, had torn it to pieces. There appeared no middle condition; the triumph of a prince, or the misery of a beggar, were his alternate states. I was with him no longer than one day, which was yesterday. In the morning at twelve, we were worth four thousand pounds; at three, we were arrived at six thousand; half an hour after, we were reduced to one thousand; at four of the clock, we were down to two hundred; at five, to fifty; at six, to five; at seven, to one guinea; the next bet, to nothing: this morning, he borrowed half a crown of the maid who cleans his shoes; and is now gaming in Lincoln's Inn Fields among the boys for farthings and oranges, till he has made up three pieces, and then he returns to White's into the best company in town." This ended our first discourse; and it is hoped, you will forgive me, that I have picked so little out of my companion at our first interview. In the next, it is possible he may tell me more pleasing incidents; for though he is a familiar, he is not an evil spirit.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 9.

We hear from the Hague of the 14th instant, N.S., that Monsieur de Torcy hath had frequent conferences with the Grand Pensioner, and the other Ministers who were heretofore commissioned to treat with Monsieur Rouillé. The preliminaries of a peace are almost settled, and the proceedings wait only for the arrival of the Duke of Marlborough; after whose approbation of the articles proposed, it is not doubted but the methods of the treaty will be publicly known. In the meantime, the States have declared an abhorrence of making any step in this great affair, but in concert with the Court of Great Britain, and other princes of the Alliance. The posture of affairs in France does necessarily oblige that nation to be very much in earnest in their offers; and Monsieur de Torcy hath professed to the Grand Pensioner, that he will avoid all occasions of giving him the least jealousy of his using any address in private conversations for accomplishing the ends of his embassy. It is said, that as soon as the preliminaries are adjusted, that Minister is to return to the French Court. The States of Holland have resolved to make it an instruction to all their men-of-war and privateers, to bring into their ports whatever neutral ships they shall meet with laden with corn, and bound for France; and to avoid all cause of complaint from the potentates to whom these ships shall belong, their full demand for their freight shall be paid them there. The French Protestants residing in that country have applied themselves to their respective magistrates, desiring that there may be an article in the treaty of peace, which may give liberty of conscience to the Protestants in France. Monsieur Bosnage, minister of the Walloon church at Rotterdam, has been at the Hague and hath had some conferences with the deputies of the States on that subject. It is reported there, that all the French refugees in those dominions are to be naturalised, that they may enjoy the same good effects of the treaty with the Hollanders themselves, in respect of France.

Letters from Paris say, the people conceive great hopes of a sudden peace, from Monsieur Torcy's being employed in the negotiation, he being a Minister of too great weight in that Court, to be sent on any employment in which his master would not act in a manner wherein he might justly promise himself success. The French advices add, that there is an insurrection in Poictou; 3000 men having taken up arms, and beaten the troops which were appointed to disperse them: three of the mutineers being taken, were immediately executed; and as many of the king's party were used after the same manner.

Our late Act of Naturalisation193 hath had so great an effect in foreign parts, that some princes have prohibited the French refugees in their dominions to sell or transfer their estates to any other of their subjects; and at the same time have granted them greater immunities than they hitherto enjoyed. It has been also thought necessary to restrain their own subjects from leaving their native country, on pain of death.

Ovid's "Epistles," 1709; translation of "Helen's Epistle to Paris," by the Earl of Mulgrave and Dryden.

An original for Philander has been found in Lord Halifax. See No. 49.

See No. 9. "If the Whigs were now restored to power, the bill [for a general naturalisation] now to be repealed, would then be re-enacted, and the birthright of an Englishman reduced again to the value of twelve pence."—(Examiner, vol. i. No. 26.)

No. 14.



From Tuesday May 10, to Thursday, May 12, 1709.

From my own Apartment, May 10.

Had it not been that my familiar had appeared to me, as I told you in my last, in person, I had certainly been unable to have found even words, without meaning, to keep up my intelligence with the town: but he has checked me severely for my despondence, and ordered me to go on in my design of observing upon things, and forbearing persons; "for," said he, "the age you live in is such, that a good picture of any vice or virtue will infallibly be misrepresented; and though none will take the kind descriptions you make so much to themselves, as to wish well to the author, yet all will resent the ill characters you produce, out of fear of their own turn in the licence you must be obliged to take, if you point at particular persons." I took his admonition kindly, and immediately promised him to beg pardon of the author of the "Advice to the Poets,"194 for my raillery upon his work; though I aimed at no more in that examination, but to convince him, and all men of genius, of the folly of laying themselves out on such plans as are below their characters. I hope too it was done without ill-breeding, and nothing spoken below what a civilian (as it is allowed I am) may utter to a physician. After this preface, all the world may be safe from my writings; for if I can find nothing to commend, I am silent, and will forbear the subject: for, though I am a reformer, I scorn to be an inquisitor.

It would become all men, as well as me, to lay before them the noble character of Verus the magistrate,195 who always sat in triumph over, and contempt of, vice; he never searched after it, or spared it when it came before him: at the same time, he could see through the hypocrisy and disguise of those, who have no pretence to virtue themselves, but by their severity to the vicious. This same Verus was, in times long past, chief justice (as we call it amongst us) in Fælicia.196 He was a man of profound knowledge of the laws of his country, and as just an observer of them in his own person. He considered justice as a cardinal virtue, not as a trade for maintenance. Wherever he was judge, he never forgot that he was also counsel. The criminal before him was always sure he stood before his country, and, in a sort, a parent of it. The prisoner knew, that though his spirit was broken with guilt, and incapable of language to defend itself, all would be gathered from him which could conduce to his safety; and that his judge would wrest no law to destroy him, nor conceal any that could save him. In his time, there were a nest of pretenders to justice, who happened to be employed to put things in a method for being examined before him at his usual sessions: these animals were to Verus, as monkeys are to men, so like, that you can hardly disown them; but so base, that you are ashamed of their fraternity. It grew a phrase, "Who would do justice on the justices?" That certainly would Verus. I have seen an old trial where he sat judge on two of them; one was called Trick-Track, the other Tearshift;197 one was a learned judge of sharpers, the other the quickest of all men at finding out a wench. Trick-Track never spared a pickpocket, but was a companion to cheats: Tearshift would make compliments to wenches of quality, but certainly commit poor ones. If a poor rogue wanted a lodging, Trick-Track sent him to gaol for a thief: if a poor whore went only with one thin petticoat, Tearshift would imprison her for being loose in her dress. These patriots infested the days of Verus, while they alternately committed and released each other's prisoners. But Verus regarded them as criminals, and always looked upon men as they stood in the eye of justice, without respecting whether they sat on the bench, or stood at the bar.

Will's Coffee-house, May 11

Yesterday we were entertained with the tragedy of "The Earl of Essex,"198 in which there is not one good line, and yet a play which was never seen without drawing tears from some part of the audience: a remarkable instance, that the soul is not to be moved by words, but things; for the incidents in this drama are laid together so happily, that the spectator makes the play for himself, by the force which the circumstance has upon his imagination. Thus, in spite of the most dry discourses, and expressions almost ridiculous with respect to propriety, it is impossible for one unprejudiced to see it untouched with pity. I must confess, this effect is not wrought on such as examine why they are pleased; but it never fails to appear on those who are not too learned in nature, to be moved by her first suggestions. It is certain, the person and behaviour of Mr. Wilks199 has no small share in conducing to the popularity of the play; and when a handsome fellow is going to a more coarse exit than beheading, his shape and countenance make every tender one reprieve him with all her heart, without waiting till she hears his dying words.

This evening "The Alchemist"200 was played. This comedy is an example of Ben's extensive genius and penetration into the passions and follies of mankind. The scene in the fourth act, where all the cheated people oppose the man that would open their eyes, has something in it so inimitably excellent, that it is certainly as great a masterpiece as has ever appeared by any hand. The author's great address in showing covetousness the motive of the actions of the Puritan, the epicure, the gamester, and the trader; and that all their endeavours, how differently soever they seem to tend, centre only in that one point of gain, shows he had to a great perfection, that discernment of spirit, which constitutes a genius for comedy.

White's Chocolate-house, May 11.

It is not to be imagined how far the violence of our desires will carry us towards our own deceit in the pursuit of what we wish for. A gentleman here this evening was giving me an account of a dumb fortune-teller,201 who outdoes Mr. Partridge, myself, or the unborn-doctor,202 for predictions. All his visitants come to him full of expectations, and pay his own rate for the interpretations they put upon his shrugs and nods. There is a fine rich City widow stole thither the other day (though it is not six weeks since her husband's departure from her company to rest), and, with her trusty maid, demanded of him, whether she should marry again, by holding up two fingers, like horns on her forehead. The wizard held up both his hands forked. The relict desired to know, whether he meant by his holding up both hands, to represent that she had one husband before, and that she should have another? Or that he intimated, she should have two more? The cunning-man looked a little sour; upon which Betty jogged her mistress, who gave the other guinea; and he made her understand, she should positively have two more; but shaked his head, and hinted, that they should not live long with her. The widow sighed, and gave him the other half-guinea. After this prepossession, all that she had next to do, was to make sallies to our end of the town, and find out who it is her fate to have. There are two who frequent this place, whom she takes for men of vogue, and of whom her imagination has given her the choice. They are both the appearances of fine gentlemen, to such as do not know when they see persons of that turn; and indeed, they are industrious enough to come at that character, to deserve the reputation of being such: but this town will not allow us to be the things we seem to aim at, and are too discerning to be fobbed off with pretences. One of these pretty fellows fails by his laborious exactness; the other, by his as much studied negligence. Frank Careless, as soon as his valet has helped on and adjusted his clothes, goes to his glass, sets his wig awry, tumbles his cravat; and in short, undresses himself to go into company. Will Nice is so little satisfied with his dress, that all the time he is at a visit, he is still mending it, and is for that reason the more insufferable; for he who studies carelessness, has, at least, his work the sooner done of the two. The widow is distracted whom to take for her first man; for Nice is every way so careful, that she fears his length of days; and Frank is so loose, that she has apprehensions for her own health with him. I am puzzled how to give a just idea of them; but in a word, Careless is a coxcomb, and Nice a fop: both, you'll say, very hopeful candidates for a gay woman just set at liberty. But there is a whisper, her maid will give her to Tom Terrour the gamester. This fellow has undone so many women, that he'll certainly succeed if he is introduced; for nothing so much prevails with the vain part of that sex, as the glory of deceiving them who have deceived others.

Desunt multa.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 11.

Letters from Berlin, bearing date May 11, N.S., inform us, that the birthday of her Prussian Majesty has been celebrated there with all possible magnificence; and the king made her on that occasion a present of jewels to the value of thirty thousand crowns. The Marquis de Quesne, who has distinguished himself by his great zeal for the Protestant interest, was, at the time of the despatch of these letters, at that Court, soliciting the king to take care, that an article in behalf of the refugees, admitting their return to France, should be inserted in the treaty of peace. They write from Hanover of the 14th, that his electoral highness had received an express from Count Merci, representing how necessary it was to the common cause, that he would please to hasten to the Rhine; for that nothing but his presence could quicken the measures towards bringing the imperial army into the field. There are very many speculations upon the intended interview of the King of Denmark and King Augustus. The latter has made such preparations for the reception of the other, that it is said his Danish Majesty will be entertained in Saxony with much more elegance than he met with in Italy itself.

Letters from the Hague of the 18th instant, N.S., say, that his Grace the Duke of Marlborough landed the night before at the Brill, after having been kept out at sea by adverse winds two days longer than is usual in that passage. His Excellency the Lord Townshend, her Majesty's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the States-General, was driven into the Veere in Zealand on Thursday last, from whence he came to the Hague within few hours after the arrival of his grace. The duke, soon after his coming to the Hague, had a visit from the Pensioner of Holland. All things relating to the peace were in suspense till this interview; nor is it yet known what resolutions will be taken on that subject; for the troops of the Allies have fresh orders despatched to them to move from their respective quarters, and march with all expedition to the frontiers, where the enemy are making their utmost efforts for the defence of their country. These advices further inform us, that the Marquis de Torcy had received an answer from the Court of France to his letters which he had sent thither by an express on the Friday before.

Mr. Bickerstaff has received letters from Mr. Coltstaff, Mr. Whipstaff, and Mrs. Rebecca Wagstaff; all which relate chiefly to their being left out in the genealogy of the family lately published;203 but my cousin being a clerk in the Heralds' Office who writ that draught, and being at present under the displeasure of the chapter, it is feared, if that matter should be touched upon at this time, the young gentleman would lose his place for treason against the Kings at Arms.204

Sir Richard Blackmore. See No. 3.

Sir John Holt (see Examiner, vol. iv. No. 14) was born in 1642, made Recorder of London and knighted in 1686, and appointed Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1689, a position which he filled very ably and impartially for twenty-one years. He died March 5, 1710.


According to a MS. note in the copy of the Tatler referred to in a note to No. 4, these justices were "Sir H. C—— and Mr. C——r." Who the latter was I do not know; the former appears to be meant for Sir Henry Colt, of whom Luttrell gives some particulars. In April 1694, a Bill was found against Sir Henry Colt and Mr. Lake, son to the late Bishop of Chichester, for fighting a duel in St. James's Park; the trial was to be on May 31. Sir Henry Colt, a Justice of the Peace, had a duel with Beau Feilding on the 11th January, 1696, and Colt was run through the body. A reward of £200 was offered for Feilding's arrest, and he was captured in March; but in the following month he was set at liberty upon Colt promising not to prosecute. In July 1698, Colt unsuccessfully contested Westminster, and in December the Committee of Privileges decided that his petition against the return of Mr. Chancellor Montague and Mr. Secretary Vernon was vexatious, frivolous and scandalous; and Colt was put out of the commission of the peace for Westminster and Middlesex. In 1701, he became M.P. for Westminster, for one Parliament only. In August 1702, he was again displaced from being a Justice for Westminster. In July 1708, he was defeated at Westminster, and the petition which he lodged against Mr. Medlicot's election was dismissed, after Huggins, the head bailiff, had been examined.

By John Banks, 1685.

Robert Wilks died in 1732, age 62. See No. 182, and the Spectator, Nos. 268, 370: "When I am commending Wilks for representing the tenderness of a husband and a father in 'Macbeth', the contrition of a reformed prodigal in 'Harry the Fourth', the winning emptiness of a young man of good-nature and wealth in 'The Trip to the Jubilee', the officiousness of an artful servant in 'The Fox', when thus I celebrate Wilks, I talk to all the world who are engaged in any of those circumstances."

Ben Jonson's "Alchemist" was published in 1610.

Duncan Campbell, who is best known through Defoe's "History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan Campbell, a gentleman, who, though deaf and dumb, writes down any strange name at first sight, with their future contingencies of fortune," 1720. Several other books about Campbell appeared, and some said that he only pretended to be deaf and dumb. Campbell had a very large number of clients (Spectator, No. 560). He died in 1730.

The name of this quack was Kirleus. He pretended to extraordinary endowments, on the score of his having been introduced into the world by means of the Cesarean operation. In the Examiner, vol. i. No. 49, original edition in folio, there is among the advertisements subjoined, July 5, 1711, notice given that some of his nostrums, which had been tested for fifty years, were to be had of "Mary Kirleus, widow of John Kirleus, son of Dr. Tho. Kirleus, a sworn physician in ordinary to K. Charles II." Nichols says that there were two male and two female quacks of the name of Kirleus; Thomas the father, and his son John, Susannah the widow of Thomas, and Mary the relict of John; but it does not appear that any of them all were rich. The women, after the decease of their husbands, engaged in a paper war, which was carried on about this time in polemical advertisements. Dr. Kirleus and Dr. Case (see No. 20) are said to have been sent for to prescribe to Partridge in his last illness. Garth ("Dispensary," canto iii.) wrote:

"Whole troops of quacks shall join us on the place,
From great Kirleus down to Doctor Case."

"In Grays-Inn-lane in Plow-yard, the third door, lives Dr. Thomas Kirleus, a Collegiate Physician and sworn Physician in Ordinary to King Charles the Second until his death; who with a drink and pill (hindring no business) undertakes to cure any ulcers," &c. &c. "Take heed whom you trust in physick, for it's become a common cheat to profess it. He gives his opinion to all that writes or comes for nothing" (Athenian Mercury, February 13, 1694). See also Tatler, Nos. 41, 226, 240.

See No. 11.

"Castabella's complaint is come to hand" (folio). See No. 16.

No. 15.



From Thursday, May 12, to Saturday, May 14, 1709.

From my own Apartment, May 12.

I have taken a resolution hereafter, on any want of intelligence, to carry my familiar abroad with me, who has promised to give me very proper and just notices of persons and things, to make up the history of the passing day. He is wonderfully skilful in the knowledge of men and manners, which has made me more than ordinary curious to know how he came to that perfection, and I communicated to him that doubt. "Mr. Pacolet," said I, "I am mightily surprised to see you so good a judge of our nature and circumstances, since you are a mere spirit, and have no knowledge of the bodily part of us." He answered, smiling, "You are mistaken, I have been one of you, and lived a month amongst you, which gives me an exact sense of your condition. You are to know, that all who enter into human life, have a certain date or stamen given to their being, which they only who die of age may be said to have arrived at; but it is ordered sometimes by fate, that such as die infants, are after death to attend mankind to the end of that stamen of being in themselves, which was broke off by sickness or any other disaster. These are proper guardians to men, as being sensible of the infirmity of their state. You are philosopher enough to know, that the difference of men's understanding proceeds only from the various dispositions of their organs; so that he who dies at a month old, is in the next life as knowing (though more innocent) as they who live to fifty; and after death, they have as perfect a memory and judgment of all that passed in their lifetime, as I have of all the revolutions in that uneasy, turbulent condition of yours; and, you'd say, I had enough of it in a month, were I to tell you all my misfortunes." "A life of a month, can't have, one would think, much variety; but pray," said I, "let us have your story."

Then he proceeds in the following manner:

"It was one of the most wealthy families in Great Britain into which I was born, and it was a very great happiness to me that it so happened, otherwise I had still, in all probability, been living: but I shall recount to you all the occurrences of my short and miserable existence, just as, by examining into the traces made in my brain, they appeared to me at that time. The first thing that ever struck my senses, was a noise over my head of one shrieking; after which, methought I took a full jump, and found myself in the hands of a sorceress, who seemed as if she had been long waking and employed in some incantation: I was thoroughly frightened, and cried out, but she immediately seemed to go on in some magical operation, and anointed me from head to foot. What they meant I could not imagine; for there gathered a great crowd about me, crying, 'An heir, an heir'; upon which I grew a little still, and believed this was a ceremony to be used only to great persons, and such as made them, what they called, Heirs. I lay very quiet; but the witch, for no manner of reason or provocation in the world, takes me and binds my head as hard as possibly she could, then ties up both my legs, and makes me swallow down a horrid mixture; I thought it a harsh entrance into life to begin with taking physic; but I was forced to it, or else must have taken down a great instrument in which she gave it me. When I was thus dressed, I was carried to a bedside, where a fine young lady (my mother I wot) had like to have hugged me to death. From her, they faced me about, and there was a thing with quite another look from the rest of the room, to whom they talked about my nose. He seemed wonderfully pleased to see me; but I knew since, my nose belonged to another family. That into which I was born, is one of the most numerous amongst you; therefore crowds of relations came every day to congratulate my arrival; among others, my cousin Betty, the greatest romp in nature; she whisks me such a height over her head, that I cried out for fear of falling. She pinched me, and called me squealing chit, and threw me into a girl's arms that was taken in to tend me. The girl was very proud of the womanly employment of a nurse, and took upon her to strip and dress me anew, because I made a noise, to see what ailed me: she did so, and stuck a pin in every joint about me. I still cried: upon which, she lays me on my face in her lap; and to quiet me, fell a nailing in all the pins, by clapping me on the back, and screaming a lullaby. But my pain made me exalt my voice above hers, which brought up the nurse, the witch I first saw, and my grandmother. The girl is turned down stairs, and I stripped again, as well to find out what ailed me, as to satisfy my granam's further curiosity. This good old woman's visit was the cause of all my troubles. You are to understand, that I was hitherto bred by hand, and anybody that stood next, gave me pap, if I did but open my lips; insomuch, that I was grown so cunning, as to pretend myself asleep when I was not, to prevent my being crammed. But my grandmother began a loud lecture upon the idleness of the wives of this age, who, for fear of their shape, forbear suckling their own offspring; and ten nurses were immediately sent for; one was whispered to have a wanton eye, and would soon spoil her milk; another was in a consumption; the third had an ill voice, and would frighten me, instead of lulling me to sleep. Such exceptions were made against all but one country milch-wench, to whom I was committed, and put to the breast. This careless jade was eternally romping with the footmen, and downright starved me; insomuch that I daily pined away, and should never have been relieved, had it not been, that on the thirtieth day of my life, a fellow of the Royal Society,205 who had writ upon Cold Baths, came to visit me, and solemnly protested, I was utterly lost for want of that method: upon which he soused me head and ears into a pail of water, where I had the good fortune to be drowned, and so escaped being lashed into a linguist till sixteen, running after wenches till twenty-five, and being married to an ill-natured wife till sixty: which had certainly been my fate, had not the enchantment between body and soul been broke by this philosopher. Thus, till the age I should have otherwise lived, I am obliged to watch the steps of men; and if you please, shall accompany you in your present walks, and get you intelligence from the aërial lackey, who is in waiting, what are the thoughts and purposes of any whom you inquire for." I accepted his kind offer, and immediately took him with me in a hack to White's.

White's Chocolate-house, May 13.

We got in hither, and my companion threw a powder round us, that made me as invisible as himself; so that we could see and hear all others; ourselves unseen and unheard.

The first thing we took notice of, was a nobleman of a goodly and frank aspect, with his generous birth and temper visible in it, playing at cards with a creature of a black and horrid countenance, wherein were plainly delineated the arts of his mind, cozenage and falsehood. They were marking their game with counters, on which we could see inscriptions, imperceptible to any but us. My lord had scored with pieces of ivory, on which were writ, Good Fame, Glory, Riches, Honour, and Posterity. The spectre over against him had on his counters the inscriptions of, Dishonour, Impudence, Poverty, Ignorance, and Want of Shame. "Bless me!" said I, "sure my lord does not see what he plays for!" "As well as I do," says Pacolet. "He despises that fellow he plays with, and scorns himself for making him his companion." At the very instant he was speaking, I saw the fellow who played with my lord, hide two cards in the roll of his stocking: Pacolet immediately stole them from thence; upon which the nobleman soon after won the game. The little triumph he appeared in, when he got such a trifling stock of ready money, though he had ventured so great sums with indifference, increased my admiration. But Pacolet began to talk to me. "Mr. Isaac, this to you looks wonderful, but not at all to us higher beings: that noble has as many good qualities as any man of his order, and seems to have no faults but what, as I may say, are excrescences from virtues: he is generous to a prodigality, more affable than is consistent with his quality, and courageous to a rashness. Yet, after all this, the source of his whole conduct is (though he would hate himself if he knew it) mere avarice. The ready cash laid before the gamester's counters makes him venture, as you see, and lay distinction against infamy, abundance against want; in a word, all that's desirable against all that's to be avoided." "However," said I, "be sure you disappoint the sharpers to-night, and steal from them all the cards they hide." Pacolet obeyed me, and my lord went home with their whole bank in his pocket.

Will's Coffee-house, May 13.

To-night was acted a second time a comedy, called "The Busy Body:"206 this play is written by a lady. In old times, we used to sit upon a play here after it was acted; but now the entertainment is turned another way; not but there are considerable men appear in all ages, who, for some eminent quality or invention, deserve the esteem and thanks of the public. Such a benefactor is a gentleman of this house, who is observed by the surgeons with much envy; for he has invented an engine for the prevention of harms by love adventures, and by great care and application, hath made it an immodesty to name his name. This act of self-denial has gained this worthy member of the commonwealth a great reputation. Some lawgivers have departed from their abodes for ever, and commanded the observation of their laws till their return; others have used other artifices to fly the applause of their merit; but this person shuns glory with greater address, and has, by giving his engine his own name, made it obscene to speak of him more. However, he is ranked among, and received by the modern wits, as a great promoter of gallantry and pleasure. But I fear, pleasure is less understood in this age, which so much pretends to it, than in any since the creation. It was admirably said of him who first took notice, that (res est severa voluptas) there is a certain severity in pleasure. Without that, all decency is banished; and if reason is not to be present at our greatest satisfactions, of all the races of creatures, the human is the most miserable. It was not so of old; when Virgil describes a wit, he always means a virtuous man; and all his sentiments of men of genius are such as show persons distinguished from the common level of mankind; such as placed happiness in the contempt of low fears, and mean gratifications: fears, which we are subject to with the vulgar; and pleasures, which we have in common with beasts. With these illustrious personages, the wisest man was the greatest wit; and none was thought worthy of that character, unless he answered this excellent description of the poet:

Qui—metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.207

St. James's Coffee-house, May 13.

We had this morning advice, that some English merchant-ships, convoyed by the Bristol of fifty-four guns, were met with by a part of Mons. du Guy Trouin's squadron, who engaged the convoy. That ship defended itself till the English merchants got clear of the enemy, but being disabled was herself taken. Within few hours after, my Lord Dursley208 came up with part of his squadron and engaging the French, retook the Bristol (which being very much shattered, sunk), and took the Glorieux, a ship of forty-four guns, as also a privateer of fourteen. Before this action, his lordship had taken two French merchant-men; and had, at the despatch of these advices, brought the whole safe into Plymouth.

Probably William Oliver, M.D., F.R.S., who published a Dissertation on Bath waters, and cold baths, in 1709 (Flying Post, Feb. 10 to 12, 1709). Sir John Floyer's "Inquiry into the right Use and Abuses of the Hot, Cold, and Temperate Baths in England, &c.," appeared in 1697.

By Mrs. Susannah Centlivre, a lady of Whig views, who was possessed of considerable beauty. (See also No. 19.) Isaac Bickerstaff had promised a prologue to "The Busy Body" before it was to be first played, as appears from a poetical epistle of Mrs. Centlivre, claiming the performance of such a promise, printed by Charles Lillie ("Orig. Letters to Tatler and Spectator" vol. ii. pp. 33, 34). Leigh Hunt ("The Town") suggests that Pope put Mrs. Centlivre in the "Dunciad" (ii. 410—"At last Centlivre felt her voice to fail") on account of her intimacy with Steele and other friends of Addison. Mrs. Centlivre (1667-1723) married, as her second husband, Mr. Carrol, a gentleman of the army, and afterwards Mr. Joseph Centlivre, principal cook to Queen Anne, 1706.

Virgil, "Georgics," ii. 492.

In November 1709, James Viscount Dursley was raised to the rank of Vice-Admiral of the Blue. Next year he succeeded his father in the title of Earl of Berkeley.

No. 16.



From Saturday, May 14, to Tuesday, May 17, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, May 15.

Sir Thomas,209 of this house, has shown me some letters from the Bath, which give accounts of what passes among the good company of that place; and allowed me to transcribe one of them, that seems to be writ by some of Sir Thomas' particular acquaintances, and is as follows:


"I desire you would give my humble service to all our friends, which I speak of to you (out of method) in the very beginning of my epistle, lest the present disorders, by which this seat of gallantry and pleasure is torn to pieces, should make me forget it. You keep so good company, that you know Bath is stocked with such as come hither to be relieved from luxuriant health, or imaginary sickness, and consequently is always as well stowed with gallants as invalids, who live together in a very good understanding. But the season is so early, that our fine company is not yet arrived: and the warm Bath, which in heathen times was dedicated to Venus, is now used only by such as really want it for health's sake. There are however a good many strangers, among whom are two ambitious ladies, who being both in the autumn of their life, take the opportunity of placing themselves at the head of such as we are, before the Chloes, Clarissas, and Pastorellas come down. One of these two is excessively in pain, that the ugly being called Time will make wrinkles in spite of the lead forehead-cloth; and therefore hides, with the gaiety of her air, the volubility of her tongue, and quickness of her motion, the injuries which it has done her. The other lady is but two years behind her in life, and dreads as much being laid aside as the former, and consequently has taken the necessary precautions to prevent her reign over us. But she is very discreet, and wonderfully turned for ambition, being never apparently transported either with affection or malice. Thus, while Florimel is talking in public, and spreading her graces in assemblies, to gain a popular dominion over our diversions, Prudentia visits very cunningly all the lame, the splenetic, and the superannuated, who have their distinct classes of followers and friends. Among these, she has found that some body has sent down printed certificates of Florimel's age, which she has read and distributed to this unjoyful set of people, who are always enemies to those in possession of the good opinion of the company. This unprovoked injury done by Prudentia, was the first occasion of our fatal divisions here, and a declaration of war between these rivals. Florimel has abundance of wit, which she has lavished in decrying Prudentia, and giving defiance to her little arts. For an instance of her superior power, she bespoke the play of 'Alexander the Great,'210 to be acted by the company of strollers, and desired us all to be there on Thursday last. When she spoke to me to come, 'As you are,' said she, 'a lover, you will not fail the death of Alexander: the passion of love is wonderfully hit—Statira! Oh that happy woman—to have a conqueror at her feet—but you will be sure to be there.' I, and several others, resolved to be of her party. But see the irresistible strength of that unsuspected creature, a silent woman. Prudentia had counterplotted us, and had bespoke on the same evening the puppet-show of 'The Creation of the World.'211 She had engaged everybody to be there, and, to turn our leader into ridicule, had secretly let them know, that the puppet Eve was made the most like Florimel that ever was seen. On Thursday morning the puppet-drummer, Adam and Eve, and several others who lived before the Flood, passed through the streets on horseback, to invite us all to the pastime, and the representation of such things as we all knew to be true; and Mr. Mayor was so wise as to prefer these innocent people the puppets, who, he said, were to represent Christians, before the wicked players, who were to show Alexander, a heathen philosopher. To be short, this Prudentia had so laid it, that at ten of the clock footmen were sent to take places at the puppet-show, and all we of Florimel's party were to be out of fashion, or desert her. We chose the latter. All the world crowded to Prudentia's house, because it was given out, nobody could get in. When we came to Noah's flood in the show, Punch and his wife were introduced dancing in the Ark. An honest plain friend of Florimel's, but a critic withal, rose up in the midst of the representation, and made many very good exceptions to the drama itself, and told us, that it was against all morality, as well as rules of the stage, that Punch should be in jest in the Deluge, or indeed that he should appear at all. This was certainly a just remark, and I thought to second him; but he was hissed by Prudentia's party; upon which, really, Sir Thomas, we who were his friends, hissed him too. Old Mrs. Petulant desired both her daughters to mind the moral; then whispered Mrs. Mayoress, 'This is very proper for young people to see.' Punch at the end of the play made Madam Prudentia a compliment, and was very civil to the whole company, making bows till his buttons touched the ground. All was carried triumphantly against our party. In the meantime Florimel went to the tragedy, dressed as fine as hands could make her, in hopes to see Prudentia pine away with envy. Instead of that, she sat a full hour alone, and at last was entertained with this whole relation from Statira, who wiped her eyes with her tragical-cut handkerchief, and lamented the ignorance of the quality. Florimel was stung with this affront, and the next day bespoke the puppet-show. Prudentia, insolent with power, bespoke 'Alexander.' The whole company came then to 'Alexander.' Madam Petulant desired her daughters to mind the moral, and believe no man's fair words; 'For you'll see, children,' said she, 'these soldiers are never to be depended upon; they are sometimes here, sometimes there—don't you see, daughter Betty, Colonel Clod, our next neighbour in the country, pulls off his hat to you? Courtesy, good child, his estate is just by us.' Florimel was now mortified down to Prudentia's humour; and Prudentia exalted into hers. This was observed: Florimel invites us to the play a second time, Prudentia to the show. See the uncertainty of human affairs! The beaux, the wits, the gamesters, the prues,212 the coquettes, the valetudinarians, and gallants, all now wait upon Florimel. Such is the state of things at this present date; and if there happens any new commotions, you shall have immediate advice from,


"Your affectionate Friend

"and Servant.

"Bath, May 11, 1709."

"To Castabella.


I have the honour of a letter from a friend of yours, relating to an incivility done to you at the opera, by one of your own sex; but I, who was an eye-witness of the accident, can testify to you, that though she pressed before you, she lost her ends in that design; for she was taken notice of for no other reason, but her endeavours to hide a finer woman than herself. But indeed, I dare not go farther in this matter, than just this bare mention; for though it was taking your place of right, rather than place of precedence, yet it is so tender a point, and on which the very life of female ambition depends, that it is of the last consequence to meddle in it: all my hopes are from your beautiful sex; and those bright eyes, which are the bane of others, are my only sunshine. My writings are sacred to you; and I hope I shall always have the good fortune to live under your protection; therefore take this public opportunity to signify to all the world, that I design to forbear anything that may in the least tend to the diminution of your interest, reputation, or power. You will therefore forgive me, that I strive to conceal every wrong step made by any who have the honour to wear petticoats; and shall at all times do what is in my power, to make all mankind as much their slaves as myself. If they would consider things as they ought, there needs not much argument to convince them, that it is their fate to be obedient to you, and that your greatest rebels do only serve with a worse grace.

"I am, Madam,

"Your most obedient, and

"most humble Servant,


"May 16."

St. James's Coffee-house, May 16.

Letters from the Hague, bearing date the 21st instant, N.S., advise, that his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, immediately after his arrival, sent his secretary to the President and the Pensionary, to acquaint them therewith. Soon after, these Ministers visited the duke, and made him compliments in the name of the States-General; after which they entered into a conference with him on the present posture of affairs, and gave his grace assurances of the firm adherence of the States to the alliance: at the same time acquainting him, that all overtures of peace were rejected, till they had an opportunity of acting in concert with their allies on that subject. After this interview, the Pensionary and the President returned to the assembly of the States. Monsieur Torcy has had a conference at the Pensioner's house with his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, Prince Eugene, and his Excellency the Lord Townshend. The result of what was debated at that time is kept secret; but there appears an air of satisfaction and good understanding between these Ministers. We are apt also to give ourselves very hopeful prospects from Monsieur Torcy's being employed in this negotiation, who has been always remarkable for a particular way of thinking, in his sense of the greatness of France; which he has always said, was to be promoted rather by the arts of peace, than those of war. His delivering himself freely on this subject, has formerly appeared an unsuccessful way to power in that Court; but in its present circumstances, those maxims are better received; and it is thought a certain argument of the sincerity of the French king's intentions, that this Minister is at present made use of. The marquis is to return to Paris within few days, who has sent a courier thither to give notice of the reasons of his return, that the Court may be the sooner able to despatch commissions for a formal treaty.

The expectations of peace are increased by advices from Paris of the 17th instant, which say, the Dauphin hath altered his resolution of commanding in Flanders the ensuing campaign. The Saxon and Prussian reinforcements, together with Count Merci's regiment of Imperial horse, are encamped in the neighbourhood of Brussels; and sufficient stores of corn and forage are transported to that place and Ghent for the service of the confederate army.

They write from Mons, that the Elector of Bavaria had advice, that an advanced party of the Portuguese army had been defeated by the Spaniards.

We hear from Languedoc, that their corn, olives and figs, were wholly destroyed; but that they have a hopeful prospect of a plentiful vintage.

The nickname of a waiter at White's (see No. 1).

"The Rival Queens; or, Alexander the Great," by Nathaniel Lee, 1677.

The following advertisement is among the Harleian MSS. (Bayford's Coll. 5931): "At Crawley's show at the Golden Lion, near St. George's Church, during the time of Southwark Fair, will be presented the whole story of the old 'Creation of the World, or Paradise Lost,' yet newly revived with the addition of 'Noah's Flood'; &c. The best known puppet-show man was Martin Powell. (See No. 236.)

So in the folio and original collected editions. "Prue" was Steele's favourite name for his wife; here it means "prude," and no doubt Steele sometimes thought "dear Prue" was unnecessarily and unreasonably particular.

No. 17.



From Tuesday, May 17, to Thursday, May 19, 1709.

Will's Coffee-house, May 18.

The discourse has happened to turn this evening upon the true nature of panegyric, the perfection of which was asserted to consist in a certain artful way of conveying the applause in an indirect manner. There was a gentleman gave us several instances of it: among others, he quoted, from Sir Francis Bacon, in his "Advancement of Learning," a very great compliment made to Tiberius, as follows: In a full debate upon public affairs in the Senate, one of the assembly rose up, and with a very grave air said, he thought it for the honour and dignity of the commonwealth, that Tiberius should be declared a god, and have divine worship paid him. The Emperor was surprised at the proposal, and demanded of him to declare whether he had made any application to incline him to that overture? The senator answered, with a bold and haughty tone, "Sir, in matters that concern the commonwealth, I will be governed by no man."213 Another gentleman mentioned something of the same kind spoken by the late Duke of B——m,214 to the late Earl of O——y:215 "My lord," says the duke, after his libertine way, "you will certainly be damned." "How, my lord!" says the earl with some warmth. "Nay," said the duke, "there's no help for it, for it is positively said, 'Cursed is he of whom all men speak well.'"216 This is taking a man by surprise, and being welcome when you have so surprised him. The person flattered receives you into his closet at once; and the sudden change in his heart, from the expectation of an ill-wisher, to find you his friend, makes you in his full favour in a moment. The spirits that were raised so suddenly against you, are as suddenly for you. There was another instance given of this kind at the table: a gentleman who had a very great favour done him, and an employment bestowed upon him, without so much as being known to his benefactor, waited upon the great man who was so generous, and was beginning to say, he was infinitely obliged. "Not at all," says the patron, turning from him to another, "had I known a more deserving man in England, he should not have had it."

We should certainly have had more examples, had not a gentleman produced a book which he thought an instance of this kind: it was a pamphlet, called, "The Naked Truth."217 The idea any one would have of that work from the title, was, that there would be much plain dealing with people in power, and that we should see things in their proper light, stripped of the ornaments which are usually given to the actions of the great: but the skill of this author is such, that he has, under that rugged appearance, approved himself the finest gentleman and courtier that ever writ. The language is extremely sublime, and not at all to be understood by the vulgar: the sentiments are such as would make no figure in ordinary words; but such is the art of the expression, and the thoughts are elevated to so high a degree, that I question whether the discourse will sell much. There was an ill-natured fellow present, who hates all panegyric mortally. "P—— take him!" said he, "what the devil means his 'Naked Truth,' in speaking nothing but to the advantage of all whom he mentions? This is just such a great action as that of the champion's on a coronation day, who challenges all mankind to dispute with him the right of the sovereign, surrounded with his guards." The gentleman who produced the treatise, desired him to be cautious, and said, it was writ by an excellent soldier, which made the company observe it more narrowly: and, as critics are the greatest conjurers at finding out a known truth, one said, he was sure it was writ by the hand of his sword-arm. I could not perceive much wit in that expression: but it raised a laugh, and I suppose, was meant as a sneer upon valiant men. The same man pretended to see in the style, that it was a horse officer; but sure that's being too nice: for though you may know officers of the cavalry by the turn of their feet, I can't imagine how you should discern their hands from those of other men. But it is always thus with pedants, they will ever be carping; if a gentleman or a man of honour puts pen to paper, I don't doubt, but this author will find this assertion too true, and that obloquy is not repulsed by the force of arms. I will therefore set this excellent piece in a light too glaring for weak eyes, and, in imitation of the critic Longinus, shall, as well as I can, make my observations in a style like the author's, of whom I treat; which perhaps I am as capable of as another, having an unbounded force of thinking, as well as a most exquisite address, extensively and wisely indulged to me by the supreme powers. My author, I will dare to assert, shows the most universal knowledge of any writer who has appeared this century. He is a poet, and merchant, which is seen in two master-words, Credit Blossoms. He is a grammarian, and a politician; for he says, the uniting the two kingdoms is the emphasis of the security to the Protestant Succession. Some would be apt to say he is a conjurer; for he has found that a republic is not made up of every body of animals, but is composed of men only, and not of horses. Liberty and property have chosen their retreat within the emulating circle of a human commonwealth. He is a physician; for he says, "I observe a constant equality in its pulse, and a just quickness of its vigorous circulation." And again: "I view the strength of our Constitution plainly appear in the sanguine and ruddy complexion of a well-contented city." He is a divine; for he says, "I cannot but bless myself." And indeed, this excellent treatise has had that good effect upon me, who am far from being superstitious, that I, also, can't but bless myself.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 18.

This day arrived a mail from Lisbon, with letters of the 13th instant, N.S., containing a particular account of the late action in Portugal. On the 7th instant, the army of Portugal, under the command of the Marquis de Frontera, lay on the side of the Caya, and the army of the Duke of Anjou, commanded by the Marquis de Bay, on the other. The latter commander having an ambition to ravage the country, in a manner in sight of the Portuguese, made a motion with the whole body of his horse toward Fort St. Christopher, near the town of Badajos. The generals of the Portuguese, disdaining that such an insult should be offered to their arms, took a resolution to pass the river, and oppose the designs of the enemy. The Earl of Galway represented to them, that the present posture of affairs was such on the side of the Allies, that there needed no more to be done at present in that country, but to carry on a defensive part. But his arguments could not avail in the council of war. Upon which, a great detachment of foot, and the whole of the horse of the King of Portugal's army, passed the river, and with some pieces of cannon did good execution on the enemy. Upon observing this, the Marquis de Bay advanced with his horse, and attacked the right wing of the Portuguese cavalry, who faced about, and fled, without standing the first encounter. But their foot repulsed the 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 Portuguese 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 prisoners.

During the engagement, the Earl of Barrymore 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 St. Juan, a Portuguese general, was taken prisoner. The same night the army encamped at Aronches, and on the 9th 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 lie still in the camp they were in before the battle.

Letters from Brussels, dated the 25th instant, advise, that notwithstanding the negotiations 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 campaign; and the forces of the Empire, the Prussians, the Danes, the Wirtembergers, the Palatines, and Saxon auxiliaries, are in motion towards the general rendezvous, they being already arrived in the neighbourhood of Brussels. These advices add, that the deputies of the States of Holland having made a general review of the troops in Flanders, set out for Antwerp on the 21st instant from that place. On the same day the Prince Royal of Prussia came thither incognito, with a design to make the ensuing campaign under his Grace the Duke of Marlborough.

This day is published a treatise called, "The Difference between Scandal and Admonition." By Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; and on the 1st of July next, you may expect, "A Prophecy of Things Past; wherein the Art of Fortune-telling is laid open to the meanest capacity." And on the Monday following, "Choice Sentences for the Company of Masons and Bricklayers, to be put upon new Houses, with a translation of all the Latin sentences that have been built of late years, together with a comment upon stone walls," by the same hand.

See Tacitus, "Annals," i. 8.

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.

Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery.

Luke vi. 26.

Like Nichols, I have not been able to see a copy of this pamphlet, or the defence of it, mentioned in No. 21; but a letter from Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, dated 20 May, 1709, throws some light on the matter: "Dear Brother, ... Brigadeer Crowder of late has made some talk in the Coffee Houses upon a peice he has lately been pleased to print, he did me the favour to show it me some time agoe in manuscript, and I complymented him with desiring a coppy of it, that I might have the pleasure of reading it more than once, and that I might communicate the like sattisfaction to you by sending it to Berlin. He told me it had the approbation of very ingenious men and good scholars, and his very good friends who had persuaded him to print it, and then you, as he always esteem'd to be such, shou'd be sure to have one. The day before yesterday he perform'd his promise but desir'd I wou'd not tell you directly who was the author, but recommend it to you with his most humble service, as from a friend of his. Yesterday came out this Tatler, and tho' I reckon myself a little base after all the fine complyments he made me upon my great judgment, I can't forbear sending it you as a fine peice of rallery upon his elaborate work, which I can assure you he has not been a little proud of. I han't seen him since to know if this Tatler has given him any mortification. I know before he was prepar'd for the censorious, for he said lett people say what they wou'd, he was sure the intention was good, and his meaning for the service of the public. I am sorry he has printed, for he's very civill to me, and always profess a great respect for you, and I wou'd have none that does so exposed" ("Wentworth Papers," pp. 86-7). See No. 46. A writer in "Notes and Queries" (7 S. iii. 526), in reply to a question of mine, stated that there is a copy of "Naked Truth," 4to, 1709, in the Bamburgh Castle Library. The pamphlet is anonymous, but is ascribed in the catalogue to Colonel Crowder. In May 1710, Thomas Crowther was made a Major-General (Pointer's "Chron. History," ii. 679).

No. 18.



From Thursday, May 19, to Saturday, May 21, 1709.

From my own Apartment, May 20.

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 enclitics 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 everybody's business, it is nobody's business: this is for want of public spirit. As for my part, who am 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 anybody; for I have (when I went to Merchant Taylors' 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.219 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 has answered under Bachelor at Queen's College, whose name is Humphrey Mopstaff (he is akin to us by his mother). This young man going to see a relation in Barbican, wandered a whole day by the mistake of one letter; for it was written, "This is the BEER," instead of "This is the BEAR." He was set right at last, by inquiring for the house, of a fellow who could not read, and knew the place mechanically, only by having been often drunk there. But, in the name of goodness, let us make our learning of use to us, or not. Was not this a shame, that a philosopher should be thus directed by a cobbler? I'll 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 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,220 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 Marylebone, 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; if you are safe at the place, it is no matter if you do not distinctly know where to say 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 sixpence a quarter for keeping their signs in repair, as to the grammatical part; and I will take into my house a Swiss Count221 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 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 meantime, 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 show 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 24th 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 Torcy talks daily of going, but still continues here. The army of the Allies is to assemble on the 7th of the next month at Helchin; though it is generally believed, that the preliminaries to a treaty are fully adjusted.

The approach of a peace222 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 shown 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 hath been ever looked upon as a provision for life. For my part, I can't see how his grace can answer it to the world, for the great eagerness he hath shown to send a hundred thousand of the bravest fellows in Europe a begging. But the private gentlemen 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 progenitor, Sir John Falstaff, "in my whole company; but as for that," says this worthy knight, "I am in no great pain, we shall find shirts on every hedge."223 There is another sort of gentlemen whom I am much more concerned for, and that is, the ingenious fraternity of which I have the honour to be an unworthy member; I mean the news-writers of Great Britain, whether Postmen or Postboys,224 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, Boyer225 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, 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. Buckley226 has shed as much blood as the former; but I cannot forbear saying (and I hope it will not look like envy) that we regard our brother Buckley as a Drawcansir,227 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 shifts they were driven to in the reign of King Charles II., 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,228 who is justly looked upon by all the fox-hunters in the nation as the greatest statesman our country has produced, was particularly famous for dealing in whales; insomuch that in five months' time (for I had the curiosity to examine his letters on that occasion) he brought three into the mouth of the river Thames, besides two porpoises and a sturgeon. The judicious and wary Mr. I. Dawks229 hath all along been the rival of this great writer, and got himself a reputation from plagues and famines, by which, in those days, he destroyed as great multitudes as he has lately done by the sword. In every dearth of news, Grand Cairo was sure to be unpeopled.

It being therefore visible, that our society will be greater sufferers by the peace than the soldiery itself; insomuch that the Daily Courant230 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 anything 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 necessaries of life should be added to the Hospital of Chelsea,231 for the relief of such decayed news-writers 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.

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 don't call out for heroes and generals 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.

It is very possible that the first article in this number (see the allusion to medals) is by Addison, as well as the account of the Distress of the News-writers.

There is much about medals in Addison's "Remarks on several Parts of Italy," 1705. His "Dialogues on Medals" was published posthumously by Tickell.

Stocks Market was so named from a pair of stocks which were erected there as early as the 13th century. The two statues referred to were really very unlike. The one was of white marble; the other, of brass, was originally intended for John Sobieski, King of Poland, but being bought by Sir Robert Viner in 1672, it was altered and erected in honour of King Charles II. The Turk underneath the horse was metamorphosed into Oliver Cromwell; but his turban escaped unnoticed or unaltered, to testify the truth. The statue in Stocks Market, with the conduit and all its ornaments, was removed to make way for the Mansion House in 1739. Marvell refers to these statues in his "Satires."

Heidegger. See No. 12.

The remainder of this paper is by Addison. See Steele's Preface, and his Dedication of "The Drummer" to Congreve.

"There's but a shirt and a half in all my company; and the half-shirt is two napkins, tacked together, and thrown over the shoulders like a herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say the truth, stolen from my host of St. Alban, or the red-nosed innkeeper of Daintry. But that's all one, they'll find linen enough on every hedge." (1 Henry IV., act iii. sc. 2).

The Tory Postboy was published by Abel Roper; and the Whig Flying Post by George Ridpath:

"There Ridpath, Roper, cudgelled might ye view,
The very worsted still looked black and blue."

("Dunciad," ii. 149.) It is remarkable that both Roper and Ridpath died on the same day, Feb. 5, 1726. Swift and others sometimes contributed to Roper's paper for party purposes.

Abel Boyer (1667-1729), author of "The Political State of Great Britain," was a Whig journalist towards whom Swift felt bitterly. "The Secretary promises me to swinge him," he wrote in 1711; "I must make that rogue an example for a warning to others." Boyer compiled a valuable French and English dictionary.

Samuel Buckley was printer of the London Gazette, Daily Courant, and Spectator. He died in 1741.

Drawcansir, in "The Rehearsal," is described by another character as "a great hero, who frights his mistress, snubs up kings, baffles armies, and does what he will, without regard to number, good sense, or justice."

John Dyer was a Jacobite journalist who issued a news-letter to country subscribers, among whom was Sir Roger de Coverley (Spectator, No. 127), by whom he was held in high esteem. Defoe (Review, vi. 132) says that Dyer "did not so much write what his readers should believe, as what they would believe." Vellum, in Addison's "The Drummer" (act ii. sc. i), cannot but believe his master is living, "because the news of his death was first published in Dyer's Letter." See also Spectator, Nos. 43 and 457. At the trial of John Tutchin for seditious libel (Howell's "State Trials," xiv. 1150), on complaint being made by counsel that Dyer had charged him with broaching seditious principles, Lord Chief Justice Holt said, "Dyer is very familiar with me too sometimes; but you need not fear such a little scandalous paper of such a scandalous author."

Ichabod Dawks was another "epistolary historian" (see Spectator, No. 457, and Tatler, No. 178). Dawks and Dyer are both introduced by Edmund Smith, author of "Phædra and Hippolitus," in his poem, "Charlettus Percivallo suo":

"Scribe securus, quid agit Senatus,
Quid caput stertit grave Lambethanum,
Quid comes Guilford, quid habent novorum.
"Dawksque Dyerque."

The Daily Courant, our first daily newspaper, was begun in 1702.

Chelsea Hospital, for old soldiers, was founded in 1682.

No. 19.



From Saturday, May 21, to Tuesday, May 24, 1709.

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 a member) is intruded upon by such as have no pretence to that honour. The appellation of Esquire is the most notoriously abused in this kind of any class amongst men, insomuch that it is become almost the subject of derision: 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 this subject.

In the first ages of the world, before the invention of jointures and settlements, when the noble passion of love had possession of the hearts of men, and the fair sex were not yet cultivated into the merciful disposition which they have showed in latter centuries, it was natural for great and heroic spirits to retire to rivulets, woods, and caves, to lament their destiny, and the cruelty of the fair persons who were deaf to their lamentations. The hero in this distress was generally in armour, and in a readiness to fight any man he met with, especially if distinguished by any extraordinary qualifications, it being the nature of heroic love to hate all merit, lest it should come within the observation of the cruel one, by whom its own perfections are neglected. A lover of this kind had always about him a person of a second value, and subordinate to him, who could hear his afflictions, carry an enchantment for his wounds, hold his helmet when he was eating (if ever he did eat); or in his absence, when he was retired to his apartment in any king's palace, tell the prince himself, or perhaps his daughter, the birth, parentage, and adventures, of his valiant master. This trusty companion was styled his esquire, and was always fit for any offices about him; was as gentle and chaste as a gentleman usher, quick and active as an equerry, smooth and eloquent as a master of the ceremonies. A man thus qualified was the first, as the ancients affirm, who was called an esquire; and none without these accomplishments ought to assume our order: but, to the utter disgrace and confusion of the heralds, every pretender is admitted into this fraternity, even persons the most foreign to this courteous institution. I have taken an inventory of all within this city, and looked over every letter in the post-office for my better information. There are of the Middle Temple, including all in the buttery books, and in the lists of the house, 5000. In the Inner, 4000. In the King's Bench Walks, the whole buildings are inhabited by esquires only. The adjacent street of Essex, from Morris' Coffee-house, and the turning towards the Grecian, you cannot meet one who is not an esquire, till you take water. Every house in Norfolk and Arundel Streets is governed also by a squire, or his lady. Soho Square, Bloomsbury Square, and all other places where the floors rise above nine feet, are so many universities, where you enter yourselves, and become of our order. However, if this were the worst of the evil, it were to be supported, because they are generally men of some figure and use; though I know no pretence they have to an honour which had its rise from chivalry. But if you travel into the counties of Great Britain, we are still more imposed upon by innovation. We are indeed derived from the field: but shall that give title to all that ride mad after foxes, that halloo when they see a hare, or venture their necks full speed after a hawk, immediately to commence esquires? No, our order is temperate, cleanly, sober, and chaste; but these rural esquires commit immodesties upon haycocks, wear shirts half a week, and are drunk twice a day. These men are also to the last degree excessive in their food: an esquire of Norfolk eats two pounds of dumpling every meal, as if obliged to it by our order: an esquire of Hampshire is as ravenous in devouring hogs' flesh: one of Essex has as little mercy on calves. But I must take the liberty to protest against them, and acquaint those persons, that it is not the quantity they eat, but the manner of eating, that shows a squire. But above all, I am most offended at small quillmen, and transcribing clerks, who are all come into our order, for no reason that I know of, but that they can easily flourish it at the end of their name. I'll undertake, that if you read the superscriptions to all the offices in the kingdom, you will not find three letters directed to any but esquires. I have myself a couple of clerks, and the rogues make nothing of leaving messages upon each other's desk: one directs, to "Degory Goosequill, Esq."; to which the other replies by a note, to "Nehemiah Dashwell, Esq.; with respect." In a word, it is now, populus armigerorum, a people of esquires. And I don't know, but, by the late Act of Naturalisation,232 foreigners will assume that title, as part of the immunity of being Englishmen. All these improprieties flow from the negligence of the Heralds' Office. Those gentlemen in parti-coloured habits do not so rightly, as they ought, understand themselves; though they are dressed cap-a-pié in hieroglyphics, they are inwardly but ignorant men. I asked an acquaintance of mine, who is a man of wit, but of no fortune, and is forced to appear as Jack Pudding on the stage to a mountebank: "Prithee, Jack, why is your coat of so many colours?" He replied, "I act a fool, and this spotted dress is to signify, that every man living has a weak place about him; for I am knight of the shire, and represent you all." I wish the heralds would know as well as this man does, in his way, that they are to act for us in the case of our arms and appellations: we should not then be jumbled together in so promiscuous and absurd a manner. I design to take this matter into further consideration, and no 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, or carry a message between her and her lover, with address, secrecy and diligence. A squire is properly born for the service of the sex, and his credentials shall be signed by three toasts, and one prude, before his title shall be received in my office.

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.233 The plot and incidents of the play are laid with that subtlety 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."234 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 gaiety of a young man of a plentiful fortune, is 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 23rd instant, N.S., say, Mr. Walpole235 (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 Madame Maintenon to Monsieur Torcy has been stolen by a person about him, who has communicated a copy of it to some of the dependants of a Minister of the Allies. 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.236


"I received yours, and am sensible of the address and capacity with which you have hitherto transacted the great affair under your management. You well observe, that our wants here are not to be concealed; and that 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. O 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 most glorious and great 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 bedside: 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, etc."

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.

See No. 13.

Mrs. Centlivre. See No. 15.

Wilks took the part of Sir Harry Wildair in Farquhar's "The Constant Couple; or, A Trip to the Jubilee," 1699.

Horatio Walpole, Secretary to the Embassy at the Hague, and brother of Sir Robert Walpole.

This letter is a pure invention.

No. 20.



From Tuesday, May 24, to Thursday, May 26, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, May 24.

It is not to be imagined how far prepossession will run away with people's understandings, in cases wherein they are under present uneasiness. The following narration is a sufficient testimony of the truth of this observation.

I had the honour the other day of a visit from a gentlewoman (a stranger to me) who seemed to be about thirty. Her complexion is brown; but the air of her face has an agreeableness, which surpasses the beauties of the fairest women. There appeared in her look and mien a sprightly health; and her eyes had too much vivacity to become the language of complaint, which she began to enter into. She seemed sensible of it; and therefore, with downcast looks, said she, "Mr. Bickerstaff, you see before you the unhappiest of women; and therefore, as you are esteemed by all the world both a great civilian, as well as an astrologer, I must desire your advice and assistance, in putting me in a method of obtaining a divorce from a marriage, which I know the law will pronounce void." "Madam," said I, "your grievance is of such a nature, that you must be very ingenuous in representing the causes of your complaint, or I cannot give you the satisfaction you desire." "Sir," she answers, "I believed there would be no need of half your skill in the art of divination, to guess why a woman would part from her husband." "It is true," said I; "but suspicions, or guesses at what you mean, nay certainty of it, except you plainly speak it, are no foundation for a formal suit." She clapped her fan before her face; "My husband," said she, "is no more a husband" (here she burst into tears) "than one of the Italian singers."

"Madam," said I, "the affliction you complain of, is to be redressed by law; but at the same time, consider what mortifications you are to go through in bringing it into open court; how you will be able to bear the impertinent whispers of the people present at the trial, the licentious reflections of the pleaders, and the interpretations that will in general be put upon your conduct by all the world: 'How little,' will they say, 'could that lady command her passions.' Besides, consider, that curbing our desires is the greatest glory we can arrive at in this world, and will be most rewarded in the next." She answered, like a prudent matron, "Sir, if you please to remember the office of matrimony, the first cause of its institution is that of having posterity: therefore, as to the curbing desires, I am willing to undergo any abstinence from food as you please to enjoin me; but I cannot, with any quiet of mind, live in the neglect of a necessary duty, and an express commandment, Increase and multiply." Observing she was learned, and knew so well the duties of life, I turned my arguments rather to dehort her from this public procedure by examples, than precepts. "Do but consider, madam, what crowds of beauteous women live in nunneries, secluded for ever from the sight and conversation of men, with all the alacrity of spirit imaginable; they spend their time in heavenly raptures, in constant and frequent devotions, and at proper hours in agreeable conversations." "Sir," said she hastily, "tell not me of Papists, or any of their idolatries." "Well then, madam, consider how many fine ladies live innocently in the eye of the world, and this gay town, in the midst of temptation: there's the witty Mrs. W—— is a virgin of 44, Mrs. T——s is 39, Mrs. L——ce, 33; yet you see, they laugh and are gay, at the park, at the playhouse, at balls, and at visits; and so much at ease, that all this seems hardly a self-denial." "Mr. Bickerstaff," said she, with some emotion, "you are an excellent casuist; but the last word destroyed your whole argument; if it is not self-denial, it is no virtue. I presented you with a half-guinea, in hopes not only to have my conscience eased, but my fortune told. Yet—" "Well, madam," said I, "pray of what age is your husband?" "He is," replied my injured client, "fifty, and I have been his wife fifteen years." "How happened it, you never communicated your distress in all this time to your friends and relations?" She answered, "He has been thus but a fortnight." I am the most serious man in the world to look at, and yet could not forbear laughing out. "Why, madam, in case of infirmity, which proceeds only from age, the law gives no remedy." "Sir," said she, "I find you have no more learning than Dr. Case;237 and I am told of a young man, not five and twenty, just come from Oxford, to whom I will communicate this whole matter, and doubt not but he will appear to have seven times more useful and satisfactory knowledge than you and all your boasted family." Thus I have entirely lost my client: but if this tedious narrative preserves Pastorella from the intended marriage with one twenty years her senior—To save a fine lady, I am contented to have my learning decried, and my predictions bound up with Poor Robin's Almanacks.

Will's Coffee-house, May 25.

This evening was acted, "The Recruiting Officer,"238 in which Mr. Estcourt's239 proper sense and observation is what supports the play. There is not, in my humble opinion, the humour hit in Sergeant Kite; but it is admirably supplied by his action. If I have skill to judge, that man is an excellent actor; but the crowd of the audience are fitter for representations at Mayfair, than a theatre royal. Yet that fair is now broke,240 as well as the theatre is breaking: but it is allowed still to sell animals there. Therefore, if any lady or gentleman have occasion for a tame elephant, let them inquire of Mr. Pinkethman, who has one to dispose of at a reasonable rate.241 The downfall of Mayfair has quite sunk the price of this noble creature, as well as of many other curiosities of nature. A tiger will sell almost as cheap as an ox; and I am credibly informed, a man may purchase a cat with three legs, for very near the value of one with four. I hear likewise, that there is a great desolation among the gentlemen and ladies who were the ornaments of the town, and used to shine in plumes and diadems; the heroes being most of them pressed, and the queens beating hemp. Mrs. Sarabrand, so famous for her ingenious puppet-show, has set up a shop in the Exchange,242 where she sells her little troop under the term of jointed babies.243 I could not but be solicitous to know of her, how she had disposed of that rake-hell Punch, whose lewd life and conversation had given so much scandal, and did not a little contribute to the ruin of the fair. She told me, with a sigh, that despairing of ever reclaiming him, she would not offer to place him in a civil family, but got him in a post upon a stall in Wapping, where he may be seen from sun-rising to sun-setting, with a glass in one hand, and a pipe in the other, as sentry to a brandy-shop. The great revolutions of this nature bring to my mind the distresses of the unfortunate Camilla244, who has had the ill-luck to break before her voice, and to disappear at a time when her beauty was in the height of its bloom. This lady entered so thoroughly into the great characters she acted, that when she had finished her part, she could not think of retrenching her equipage, but would appear in her own lodgings with the same magnificence that she did upon the stage. This greatness of soul has reduced that unhappy princess to an involuntary retirement, where she now passes her time among the woods and forests, thinking on the crowns and sceptres she has lost, and often humming over in her solitude,

"I was born of royal race,
Yet must wander in disgrace," &c.

But for fear of being overheard, and her quality known, she usually sings it in Italian:

"Naqui al regno, naqui al trono
E pur sono
Inventurata Pastorella—"

Since I have touched upon this subject, I shall communicate to my reader part of a letter I have received from an ingenious friend at Amsterdam, where there is a very noble theatre; though the manner of furnishing it with actors is something peculiar to that place, and gives us occasion to admire both the politeness and frugality of the people.

My friends have kept me here a week longer than ordinary to see one of their plays, which was performed last night with great applause. The actors are all of them tradesmen, who, after their day's work is over, earn about a guilder a night by personating kings and generals. The hero of the tragedy I saw, was a journeyman tailor, and his first minister of state a coffee-man. The empress made me think of Parthenope245 in "The Rehearsal"; for her mother keeps an ale-house in the suburbs of Amsterdam. When the tragedy was over, they entertained us with a short farce, in which the cobbler did his part to a miracle; but upon inquiry, I found he had really been working at his own trade, and representing on the stage what he acted every day in his shop. The profits of the theatre maintain a hospital: for as here they do not think the profession of an actor the only trade that a man ought to exercise, so they will not allow anybody to grow rich on a profession that in their opinion so little conduces to the good of the commonwealth. If I am not mistaken, your playhouses in England have done the same thing; for, unless I am misinformed, the hospital at Dulwich was erected and endowed by Mr. Alleyn,246 a player: and it is also said, a famous she-tragedian247 has settled her estate, after her death, for the maintenance of decayed wits, who are to be taken in as soon as they grow dull, at whatever time of their life that shall happen.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 25.

Letters from the Hague of the 31st instant, N.S., say, that the articles preliminary to a general peace were settled, communicated to the States-General and all the foreign Ministers residing there, and transmitted to their respective masters on the 28th. Monsieur Torcy immediately returned to the Court of France, from whence he is expected again on the 4th of the next month, with those articles ratified by that Court. The Hague is agreed upon for the place of treaty, and the 15th of the next month the day on which it is to commence. The terms on which this negotiation is founded, are not yet declared by public authority; but what is most generally received, is as follows:

Her Majesty's right and title, and the Protestant succession to those dominions, is forthwith to be acknowledged. King Charles is also to be owned the lawful sovereign of Spain; and the French king shall not only recall his troops out of that kingdom, and deliver up to the Allies the towns of Roses, Fontarabia, and Pampeluna; but in case the Duke of Anjou shall not retire out of the Spanish dominions, he shall be obliged to assist the Allies to force him from thence. A cessation of arms is agreed upon for two months from the first day of the treaty. The port and fortifications of Dunkirk are to be demolished within four months; but the town itself left in the hands of the French. The Pretender is to be obliged to leave France. All Newfoundland is to be restored to the English. As to the other parts of America, the French are to restore whatever they may have taken from the English, as the English in like manner to give up what they may have taken from the French before the commencement of the treaty. The trade between Great Britain and France shall be settled upon the same foundation as in the reign of King Charles II.

The Dutch are to have for their barriers, Nieuport, Berg, St. Vinox, Furnes, Ipres, Lille, Tournay, Douay, Valenciennes, Condé, Maubeuge, Mons, Charleroy, Namur, and Luxemburg; all which places shall be delivered up to the Allies before the end of June. The trade between Holland and France shall be on the same foot as in 1664. The cities of Strasburg, Brisac, and Alsatia, shall be restored to the Emperor and Empire; and the King of France, pursuant to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, shall only retain the protection of ten imperial cities, viz., Colmar, Schlestat, Haguenau, Munster, Turkeim, Keisemberg, Obrenheim, Rosheim, Weisemburg, and Landau. Huninguen, Fort Louis, Fort Kiel, and New Brisac shall be demolished, and all the fortifications from Basle to Philipsburg. The King of Prussia shall remain in the peaceable possession of Neufchatel. The affair of Orange, as also the pretensions of his Prussian Majesty in the French Comté, shall be determined at this general negotiation of peace. The Duke of Savoy shall have a restitution made of all that has been taken from him by the French, and remain master of Exilles, Chamont, Fenestrelles, and the Valley of Pragelas.248

John Case, astrologer and friend of John Partridge, succeeded to Saffold's habitation in Blackfriars gateway, opposite to Ludgate Church, whence he issued many advertisements. "Their old physician begged they would not forget him—he gives his advice for nothing—his cures are private. At Lilly's Head, &c., is the only place to obtain health, long life, and happiness, by your old friend Dr. Case, who extirpates the foundation of all diseases":

"At the Golden Ball and Lillie's Head
John Case lives though Saffold's dead."

His handbills were commonly adorned with a variety of emblematic devices and poetry. See note on Kirleus, in No. 14; and Nos. 216, 240. Case's most important book was his "Compendium Anatomicum nova methodo institutum," 1695.

By Farquhar; first acted in 1706.

Richard Estcourt (1668-1712), whom Farquhar specially selected to act the part of Sergeant Kite, is celebrated by Steele in a well-known paper in the Spectator (No. 468; see also No. 390). Estcourt was providore of the Beefsteak Club, and wrote two or three dramatic pieces. See No. 51.

See No. 4. This article was printed by Tickell among Addison's works.

In 1704, Pinkethman advertised that at his booth he would speak an epilogue upon an elephant between nine and ten feet high, arrived from Guinea, led upon the stage by six blacks.

This may be either the Royal Exchange or the New Exchange, in the Strand. There were shops for the sale of trinkets and toys at both places.

"Baby" was a term often applied to dolls.

Mrs. Katherine Tofts sang in English to Nicolini's Italian, in Buononcini's opera of "Camilla," but this absurdity was forgiven on account of the charm of their voices. In 1709, in the height of her beauty, Mrs. Tofts left the stage, owing to her intellect becoming disordered; but afterwards she married Mr. Joseph Smith, a gentleman who lived in great state; but his wife's mind again gave way, and she spent hours walking and singing in a garden attached to a remote part of the house. She died in 1760. See Spectator, Nos. 18, 22 and 443, where there is a letter purporting to be from Mrs. Tofts, at Venice.

In act iii. sc. 2 of "The Rehearsal," Prince Volscius falls in love at first sight with Parthenope, who says:

"My mother, sir, sells ale by the town-walls,
And me her dear Parthenope she calls;"

whereupon Volscius (repeating words from Davenant's "Siege of Rhodes") replies:

"Can vulgar vestments high-born beauty shroud?
Thou bring'st the morning pictured in a cloud."

Edward Alleyn, the actor, who died in 1626, aged 61, founded Dulwich Hospital.

Mrs. Bracegirdle; see No. 1.

"It is said that Monsieur Torcy, when he signed this instrument broke into this exclamation: 'Would Colbert have signed such a treaty for France?' On which a Minister present was pleased to say, 'Colbert himself would have been proud to have saved France in these circumstances on such terms'" (folio).

No. 21.



From Thursday, May 26, to Saturday, May 28, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, May 26.

A gentleman has writ to me out of the country a very civil letter, and said things which I suppress with great violence to my vanity. There are many terms in my narratives which he complains want explaining, and has therefore desired, that, for the benefit of my country readers, I would let him know what I mean by a Gentleman, a Pretty Fellow, a Toast, a Coquette, a Critic, a Wit, and all other appellations in the gayer world, who are in present possession of these several characters; together with an account of those who unfortunately pretend to them. I shall begin with him we usually call a Gentleman, or man of conversation. It is generally thought, that warmth of imagination, quick relish of pleasure, and a manner of becoming it, are the most essential qualities for forming this sort of man. But any one that is much in company will observe, that the height of good breeding is shown rather in never giving offence, than in doing obliging things. Thus, he that never shocks you, though he is seldom entertaining, is more likely to keep your favour, than he who often entertains, and sometimes displeases you. The most necessary talent therefore in a man of conversation, which is what we ordinarily intend by a fine gentleman, is a good judgment. He that has this in perfection, is master of his companion, without letting him see it; and has the same advantage over men of any other qualifications whatsoever, as one that can see would have over a blind man of ten times his strength. This is what makes Sophronius the darling of all who converse with him, and the most powerful with his acquaintance of any man in town. By the light of this faculty, he acts with great ease and freedom among the men of pleasure, and acquits himself with skill and despatch among the men of business. This he performs with so much success, that, with as much discretion in life as any man ever had, he neither is, nor appears, cunning. But as he does a good office, if he ever does it, with readiness and alacrity; so he denies what he does not care to engage in, in a manner that convinces you, that you ought not to have asked it. His judgment is so good and unerring, and accompanied with so cheerful a spirit, that his conversation is a continual feast, at which he helps some, and is helped by others, in such a manner, that the equality of society is perfectly kept up, and every man obliges as much as he is obliged: for it is the greatest and justest skill in a man of superior understanding, to know how to be on a level with his companions. This sweet disposition runs through all the actions of Sophronius, and makes his company desired by women, without being envied by men. Sophronius would be as just as he is, if there were no law; and would be as discreet as he is, if there were no such thing as calumny.

In imitation of this agreeable being, is made that animal we call a Pretty Fellow; who being just able to find out, that what makes Sophronius acceptable, is a natural behaviour; in order to the same reputation, makes his own an artificial one. Jack Dimple is his perfect mimic, whereby he is of course the most unlike him of all men living. Sophronius just now passed into the inner room directly forward: Jack comes as fast after as he can for the right and left looking-glass, in which he had but just approved himself by a nod at each, and marched on. He will meditate within for half an hour, till he thinks he is not careless enough in his air, and come back to the mirror to recollect his forgetfulness.

Will's Coffee-house, May 27.

This night was acted the comedy, called, "The Fox";249 but I wonder the modern writers do not use their interest in the house to suppress such representations. A man that has been at this, will hardly like any other play during the season: therefore I humbly move, that the writings, as well as dresses, of the last age, should give way to the present fashion. We are come into a good method enough (if we were not interrupted in our mirth by such an apparition as a play of Jonson's) to be entertained at more ease, both to the spectator and the writer, than in the days of old. It is no difficulty to get hats, and swords, and wigs, and shoes, and everything else, from the shops in town, and make a man show himself by his habit, without more ado, to be a counsellor, a fop, a courtier, or a citizen, and not be obliged to make those characters talk in different dialects to be distinguished from each other. This is certainly the surest and best way of writing: but such a play as this makes a man for a month after overrun with criticism, and inquire, what every man on the stage said? What had such a one to do to meddle with such a thing? How came the other, who was bred after such a manner, to speak so like a man conversant among a different people? These questions rob us of all our pleasure; for at this rate, no one sentence in a play should be spoken by any one character, which could possibly enter into the head of any other man represented in it; but every sentiment should be peculiar to him only who utters it. Laborious Ben's works will bear this sort of inquisition; but if the present writers were thus examined, and the offences against this rule cut out, few plays would be long enough for the whole evening's entertainment. But I don't know how they did in those old times: this same Ben Jonson has made every one's passion in this play be towards money, and yet not one of them expresses that desire, or endeavours to obtain it any way but what is peculiar to him only: one sacrifices his wife, another his profession, another his posterity from the same motive; but their characters are kept so skilfully apart, that it seems prodigious their discourses should rise from the invention of the same author. But the poets are a nest of hornets, and I'll drive these thoughts no farther, but must mention some hard treatment I am like to meet with from my brother-writers. I am credibly informed, that the author of a play, called, "Love in a Hollow Tree,"250 has made some remarks upon my late discourse on "The Naked Truth."251 I cannot blame a gentleman for writing against any error; it is for the good of the learned world. But I would have the thing fairly left between us two, and not under the protection of patrons. But my intelligence is, that he has dedicated his treatise to the Honourable Mr. Ed——d H——rd.252

From my own Apartment, May 27.

"To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.

"York, May 16, 1709.


"Being convinced as the whole world is, how infallible your predictions are, and having the honour to be your near relation, of the Staffian family, I was under great concern at one of your predictions relating to yourself, wherein you foretold your own death would happen on the 17th instant, unless it were prevented by the assistance of well-disposed people:253 I have therefore prevailed on my own modesty to send you a piece of news, which may serve instead of Goddard's Drops,254 to keep you alive for two days, till nature be able to recover itself, or till you meet with some better help from other hands. Therefore, without further ceremony, I will go on to relate a singular adventure just happened in the place where I am writing, wherein it may be highly useful for the public to be informed.255

"Three young ladies of our town were on Saturday last indicted for witchcraft. The witnesses against the first deposed upon oath before Justice Bindover, that she kept spirits locked up in velvets, which sometimes appeared in flames of blue fire; that she used magical herbs, with some of which she drew in hundreds of men daily to her, who went out from her presence all inflamed, their mouths parched, and a hot steam issuing from them, attended with a grievous stench; that many of the said men were by the force of that herb metamorphosed into swine, and lay wallowing in the kennels for twenty-four hours, before they could reassume their shapes or their senses.

"It was proved against the second, that she cut off by night the limbs from dead bodies that were hanged, and was seen to dig holes in the ground, to mutter some conjuring words, and bury pieces of the flesh, after the usual manner of witches.

"The third was accused for a notorious piece of sorcery, long practised by hags, of moulding up pieces of dough into the shapes of men, women, and children; then heating them at a gentle fire, which had a sympathetic power to torment the bowels of those in the neighbourhood.

"This was the sum of what was objected against the three ladies, who indeed had nothing to say in their own defence, but downright denying the facts, which is like to avail very little when they come upon their trials.

"But the parson of our parish, a strange refractory man, will believe nothing of all this; so that the whole town cries out, 'Shame! that one of his coat should be such an atheist;' and design to complain of him to the bishop. He goes about very oddly to solve the matter. He supposes, that the first of these ladies keeping a brandy and tobacco shop, the fellows went out smoking, and got drunk towards evening, and made themselves beasts. He says, the second is a butcher's daughter, and sometimes brings a quarter of mutton from the slaughter-house overnight against a market-day, and once buried a bit of beef in the ground, as a known receipt to cure warts on her hands. The parson affirms, that the third sells gingerbread, which, to please the children, she is forced to stamp with images before it is baked; and if it burns their guts, it is because they eat too much, or do not drink after it.

"These are the answers he gives to solve this wonderful phenomenon; upon which I shall not animadvert, but leave it among the philosophers: and so wishing you all success in your undertakings for the amendment of the world, I remain,

"Dear Cousin,

"Your most affectionate Kinsman,

"and humble Servant,


"P.S.—Those who were condemned to death among the Athenians, were obliged to take a dose of poison, which made them die upwards, seizing first upon their feet, making them cold and insensible, and so ascending gradually, till it reached the vital parts. I believe your death, which you foretold would happen on the 17th instant, will fall out the same way, and that your distemper hath already seized on you, and makes progress daily. The lower part of you, that is, the advertisements,256 is dead; and these have risen for these ten days last past, so that they now take up almost a whole paragraph. Pray, sir, do your endeavour to drive this distemper as much as possible to the extreme parts, and keep it there, as wise folks do the gout; for if it once gets into your stomach, it will soon fly up into your head, and you are a dead man."

St. James's Coffee-house, May 27.

We hear from Leghorn, that Sir Edward Whitaker, with five men-of-war, four transports, and two fire-ships, was arrived at that port, and Admiral Byng was suddenly expected. Their squadrons being joined, they design to sail directly for Final, to transport the reinforcements, lodged in those parts, to Barcelona.

They write from Milan, that Count Thaun arrived there on the 16th instant, N.S., and proceeded on his journey to Turin on the 21st, in order to concert such measures with his royal highness, as shall appear necessary for the operations of the ensuing campaign.

Advices from Dauphiny say, that the troops of the Duke of Savoy began already to appear in those valleys, whereof he made himself master the last year; and that the Duke of Berwick applied himself with all imaginable diligence to secure the passes of the mountains by ordering entrenchments to be made towards Briançon, Tourneau, and the Valley of Queiras. That general has also been at Marseilles and Toulon, to hasten the transportation of the corn and provisions designed for his army.

Letters from Vienna, bearing date May 23, N.S., import, that the Cardinal of Saxe-Zeits and the Prince of Lichtenstein were preparing to set out for Presburg, to assist at the Diet of the States of Hungary, which is to be assembled at that place on the 25th of this month. General Heister would shortly appear at the head of his army at Trentschin, which place is appointed for the general rendezvous of the Imperial forces in Hungary; from whence he will advance to lay siege to Neuhausel: in the meantime, reinforcements, with a great train of artillery, are marching the same way. The King of Denmark arrived on the both instant at Innspruck, and on the 26th at Dresden, under a triple discharge of the artillery of that place; but his Majesty refused the ceremonies of a public entry.

Our letters from the Upper Rhine say, that the Imperial army began to form itself at Etlingen; where the respective deputies of the Elector Palatine, the Prince of Baden Durlach, the Bishopric of Spires, &c. were assembled, and had taken the necessary measures for the provision of forage, the security of the country against the incursions of the enemy, and laying a bridge over the Rhine. Several vessels laden with corn are daily passing before Frankfort for the Lower Rhine.

Letters from Poland inform us, that a detachment of Muscovite cavalry, under the command of General Infland, had joined the confederate army; and the infantry commanded by General Goltz, was expected to come up within few days. These succours will amount to 20,000 men.

Our last advices from the Hague, dated June the 4th, N.S., say, that they expected a courier from the French Court with the ratification of the preliminaries that night or the day following. His Grace the Duke of Marlborough will set out for Brussels on Wednesday or Thursday next, if the despatches which are expected from Paris don't alter his resolutions. Letters from Majorca confirm the honourable capitulation of the castle of Alicante, and also the death of the governor, Major-General Richards, Colonel Sibourg, and Major Vignolles, who were all buried in the ruins of that place, by the springing of their great mine, which did, it seems, more execution than was reported. Monsieur Torcy passed through Mons in his return, and had there a long conference with the Elector of Bavaria; after which, that prince spoke publicly of the treatment he had from France with the utmost indignation.

Any person that shall come publicly abroad in a fantastical habit, contrary to the present mode and fashion, except Don Diego Dismallo,257 or any other out of poverty, shall have his name and dress inserted in our next.

N.B.—Mr. How'd'call is desired to leave off those buttons.

Ben Jonson's "Volpone; or, The Fox."

The comedy, "Love in a Hollow Tree; or, The Lawyer's Fortune," was published by William, Lord Viscount Grimston (1683-1756), when he was twenty-two years of age. On the occasion of a contested election for the borough of St. Albans (1736), it was reprinted—by the Duchess of Marlborough, it is said—with notes attacking the author, and adorned with the frontispiece of an elephant dancing on a rope. The viscount bought up as nearly as he could the whole edition. "This worthy notleman was a good husband to one of the best of wives, an indulgent father of a numerous offspring, a kind master to his servants, a generous friend, and an affable, hospitable neighbour." (Biog. Dram.)

See No. 17

Probably the Hon. Edward Howard, second son of Henry, fifth Earl of Suffolk. On the death of his nephew without issue in 1722, he became eighth Earl of Suffolk, but he died unmarried in 1731.

See No. 7.

Dr. Jonathan Goddard, the physician and confidant of Cromwell, a member of the Royal Society, and medical professor of Gresham College, discovered in the course of his chemical experiments, the famous elixir, called here his "drops." Dr. Goddard died of an apoplexy in 1675. "March 24, 1674-5. About 10 o'clock that night, my very good friend, Dr. Jonathan Goddard, reader of the physic lectures at Gresham College, suddenly fell down dead in the street, as he was entering into a coach. He was a pretty corpulent and tall man, a bachelor between 45 and 50 years of age; he was melancholy, inclined to be cynical, and used now and then to complain of giddiness in his head. He was an excellent mathematician, and some time physician to Oliver the Protector" (John Coniers, apothecary, in Shoe Lane. MSS. Sloan. 958). The "drops" were a preparation of spirit of hartshorn, with other things; they were used in fainting, apoplexies, &c.

With this satire on the vulgar prejudices concerning witches, may be compared what Addison says in the Spectator (No. 117): "I believe in general that there is and has been such a thing as witchcraft; but at the same time can give no credit to any particular instance of it."

The number of advertisements in the Tatler gradually increased; but as a compensation the "news" paragraph was dropped.

This name was afterwards applied by the Tory writers to the Earl of Nottingham; and the author of the 'Examiner' (vol. iii. No 48) says that it was Steele who first used the name for this nobleman, "and upon no less an important affair, than the oddness of his buttons." In the 'Guardian (No. 53), however, Steele disavowed any reference to Lord Nottingham: "I do not remember the mention of Don Diego; nor do I remember tht ever I thought of Lord Nottingham in any character drawn in any one paper of Bickerstaff." See also No. 31, below.

No. 22.



From Saturday, May 28, to Tuesday, May 31, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, May 28.

I came hither this evening to see fashions, and who should I first encounter but my old friend Cynthio258 (encompassed by a crowd of young fellows) dictating on the passion of love with the gayest air imaginable. "Well," says he, "as to what I know of the matter, there is nothing but ogling with skill carries a woman; but indeed it is not every fool that is capable of this art: you will find twenty can speak eloquently, fifty can fight manfully, and a thousand that can dress genteelly at a mistress, where there is one that can gaze skilfully. This requires an exquisite judgment, to take the language of her eyes to yours exactly, and not let yours talk too fast for hers; as at a play between the acts, when Beau Frisk stands upon a bench full in Lindamira's face, and her dear eyes are searching round to avoid that flaring open fool; she meets the watchful glance of her true lover, and sees his heart attentive on her charms, and waiting for a second twinkle of her eye for its next motion." Here the good company sneered; but he goes on. "Nor is this attendance a slavery, when a man meets encouragement, and her eye comes often in his way: for, after an evening so spent, and the repetition of four or five significant looks at him, the happy man goes home to his lodging, full of ten thousand pleasing images: his brain is dilated, and gives him all the ideas and prospects which it ever lets in to its seat of pleasure. Thus a kind look from Lindamira revives in his imagination all the beauteous lawns, green fields, woods, forests, rivers and solitudes, which he had ever before seen in picture, description, or real life: and all with this addition, that he now sees them with the eyes of a happy lover, as before only with those of a common man. You laugh, gentlemen: but consider yourselves (you common people that were never in love) and compare yourselves in good humour with yourselves out of humour, and you will then acknowledge, that all external objects affect you according to the disposition you are in to receive their impressions, and not as those objects are in their own nature. How much more shall all that passes within his view and observation, touch with delight a man who is prepossessed with successful love, which is an assemblage of soft affections, gay desires, and hopeful resolutions?" Poor Cynthio went on at this rate to the crowd about him, without any purpose in his talk, but to vent a heart overflowing with sense of success. I wondered what could exalt him from the distress in which he had long appeared, to so much alacrity. But my familiar has given me the state of his affairs. It seems then, that lately coming out of the play-house, his mistress, who knows he is in her livery (as the manner of insolent beauties is), resolved to keep him still so, and gave him so much wages, as to complain to him of the crowd she was to pass through. He had his wits and resolution enough about him to take her hand, and say, he would attend her to her coach. All the way thither, my good young man stammered at every word, and stumbled at every step. His mistress, wonderfully pleased with her triumph, put him to a thousand questions, to make a man of his natural wit speak with hesitation, and let drop her fan, to see him recover it awkwardly. This is the whole foundation of Cynthio's recovery to the sprightly air he appears with at present. I grew mighty curious to know something more of that lady's affairs, as being amazed how she could dally with an offer of one of his merit and fortune. I sent Pacolet to her lodgings; he immediately brought me back the following letter to her friend and confidante Amanda in the country, wherein she has opened her heart and all its folds.


The town grows so empty, that you must expect my letter so too, except you will allow me to talk of myself instead of others: you cannot imagine what pain it is, after a whole day spent in public, to want your company, and the ease which friendship allows in being vain to each other, and speaking all our minds. An account of the slaughter which these unhappy eyes have made within ten days last past, would make me appear too great a tyrant to be allowed in a Christian country. I shall therefore confine myself to my principal conquests, which are the hearts of Beau Frisk, and Jack Freeland, besides Cynthio, who, you know, wore my fetters before you went out of town. Shall I tell you my weakness? I begin to love Frisk: it is the best-humoured impertinent thing in the world: he is always too in waiting, and will certainly carry me off one time or other. Freeland's father and mine have been upon treaty without consulting me; and Cynthio has been eternally watching my eyes, without approaching me, my friends, my maid, or any one about me: he hopes to get me, I believe, as they say the rattlesnake does the squirrel, by staring at me till I drop into his mouth. Freeland demands me for a jointure which he thinks deserves me; Cynthio thinks nothing high enough to be my value: Freeland therefore will take it for no obligation to have me; and Cynthio's idea of me, is what will vanish by knowing me better. Familiarity will equally turn the veneration of the one, and the indifference of the other, into contempt. I will stick therefore to my old maxim, to have that sort of man, who can have no greater views than what are in my power to give him possession of. The utmost of my dear Frisk's ambition is, to be thought a man of fashion; and therefore has been so much in mode, as to resolve upon me, because the whole town likes me. Thus I choose rather a man who loves me because others do, than one who approves me on his own judgment. He that judges for himself in love, will often change his opinion; but he that follows the sense of others, must be constant, as long as a woman can make advances. The visits I make, the entertainments I give, and the addresses I receive, will be all arguments for me with a man of Frisk's second-hand genius; but would be so many bars to my happiness with any other man. However, since Frisk can wait, I shall enjoy a summer or two longer, and remain a single woman, in the sublime pleasure of being followed and admired; which nothing can equal, except that of being beloved by you.

"I am, &c."

Will's Coffee-house, May 30.

My chief business here this evening was to speak to my friends in behalf of honest Cave Underhill,259 who has been a comic for three generations: my father260 admired him extremely when he was a boy. There is certainly nature excellently represented in his manner of action; in which he ever avoided that general fault in players, of doing too much. It must be confessed, he has not the merit of some ingenious persons now on the stage, of adding to his authors; for the actors were so dull in the last age, that many of them have gone out of the world, without having ever spoke one word of their own in the theatre. Poor Cave is so mortified, that he quibbles, and tells you, he pretends only to act a part fit for a man who has one foot in the grave; viz., a gravedigger. All admirers of true comedy, it is hoped, will have the gratitude to be present on the last day of his acting, who, if he does not happen to please them, will have it even then to say, that it is his first offence.

But there is a gentleman here, who says he has it from good hands, that there is actually a subscription made by many persons of wit and quality, for the encouragement of new comedies. This design will very much contribute to the improvement and diversion of the town: but as every man is most concerned for himself, I, who am of a saturnine and melancholy complexion, cannot but murmur, that there is not an equal invitation to write tragedies, having by me, in my book of commonplaces, enough to enable me to finish a very sad one by the 5th of next month. I have the farewell of a general, with a truncheon in his hand, dying for love, in six lines. I have the principles of a politician (who does all the mischief in the play) together with his declaration on the vanity of ambition in his last moments, expressed in a page and a half. I have all my oaths ready, and my similes want nothing but application. I won't pretend to give you an account of the plot, it being the same design upon which all tragedies have been writ for several years last past; and from the beginning of the first scene, the frequenters of the house may know, as well as the author, when the battle is to be fought, the lady to yield, and the hero to proceed to his wedding and coronation. Besides these advantages which I have in readiness, I have an eminent tragedian very much my friend, who shall come in, and go through the whole five acts, without troubling me for one sentence, whether he is to kill or be killed, love or be loved, win battles or lose them, or whatever other tragical performance I shall please to assign him.

From my own Apartment, May 30.

I have this day received a letter subscribed "Fidelia," that gives me an account of an enchantment under which a young lady suffers, and desires my help to exorcise her from the power of the sorcerer. Her lover is a rake of sixty; the lady a virtuous woman of twenty-five: her relations are to the last degree afflicted, and amazed at this irregular passion: their sorrow I know not how to remove, but can their astonishment; for there is no spirit in woman half so prevalent as that of contradiction, which is the sole cause of her perseverance. Let the whole family go dressed in a body, and call the bride to-morrow morning to her nuptials, and I'll undertake, the inconstant will forget her lover in the midst of all his aches. But if this expedient does not succeed, I must be so just to the young lady's distinguishing sense, as to applaud her choice. A fine young woman, at last, is but what is due from fate to an honest fellow, who has suffered so unmercifully by the sex; and I think we cannot enough celebrate her heroic virtue, who (like the patriot that ended a pestilence by plunging himself into a gulf) gives herself up to gorge that dragon which has devoured so many virgins before her.

A letter directed to "Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; astrologer and physician in ordinary to her Majesty's subjects of Great Britain, with respect," is come to hand.

See Nos. 1, 5, 35, 85.

The following advertisement appeared in Nos. 20 and 22: "Mr. Cave Underhill, the famous comedian in the reigns of Charles II., King James II., King William and Queen Mary, and her present Majesty Queen Anne; but now not able to perform so often as heretofore in the playhouse, and having had losses to the value of near £2500, is to have the tragedy of 'Hamlet' acted for his benefit, on Friday, the 3rd of June next, at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, in which he is to perform his original part, the Grave-maker. Tickets may be had at the Mitre Tavern in Fleet Street." Colley Cibber says that Underhill was particularly admired in the character of the Grave-digger; and he adds: "Underhill was a correct and natural comedian; his particular excellence was in characters that may be called still-life; I mean the stiff, the heavy, and the stupid; to these he gave the exactest and most expressive colours, and in some of them looked as if it were not in the power of human passions to alter a feature of him. A countenance of wood could not be more fixed than his, when the blockhead of a character required it; his face was full and long; from his crown to the end of his nose was the shorter half of it, so that the disproportion of his lower features, when soberly composed, threw him into the most lumpish, moping mortal, that ever made beholders merry; not but, at other times, he could be wakened into spirit equally ridiculous." Genest says that Underhill acted again as the Grave-digger on Feb. 23, 1710, at Drury Lane.

"Grandfather" (folio).

No. 23.



From Tuesday, May 31, to Thursday, June 2, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, May 31.

The generality of mankind are so very fond of this world, and of staying in it, that a man cannot have eminent skill in any one art, but they will, in spite of his teeth, make him a physician also, that being the science the worldlings have most need of. I pretended, when I first set up, to astrology only; but I am told, I have deep skill also in medicine. I am applied to now by a gentleman for my advice in behalf of his wife, who, upon the least matrimonial difficulty, is excessively troubled with fits, and can bear no manner of passion without falling into immediate convulsions. I must confess, it is a case I have known before, and remember the party was recovered by certain words pronounced in the midst of the fit by the learned doctor who performed the cure. These ails have usually their beginning from the affections of the mind: therefore you must have patience to let me give you an instance, whereby you may discern the cause of the distemper, and then proceed in the cure as follows:

A fine town lady was married to a gentleman of ancient descent in one of the counties of Great Britain, who had good humour to a weakness, and was that sort of person, of whom it is usually said, he is no man's enemy but his own: one who had too much tenderness of soul to have any authority with his wife; and she too little sense to give him authority for that reason. His kind wife observed this temper in him, and made proper use of it. But knowing it was below a gentlewoman to wrangle, she resolved upon an expedient to save decorum, and wear her dear to her point at the same time. She therefore took upon her to govern him, by falling into fits whenever she was repulsed in a request, or contradicted in a discourse. It was a fish-day, when in the midst of her husband's good humour at table, she bethought herself to try her project. She made signs that she had swallowed a bone. The man grew pale as ashes, and ran to her assistance, calling for drink. "No, my dear," said she, recovering, "it is down; don't be frightened." This accident betrayed his softness enough. The next day she complained, a lady's chariot, whose husband had not half his estate, had a crane-neck, and hung with twice the air that hers did. He answered, "Madam, you know my income; you know I have lost two coach-horses this spring."—Down she fell.—"Hartshorn! Betty, Susan, Alice, throw water in her face." With much care and pains she was at last brought to herself, and the vehicle in which she visited was amended in the nicest manner, to prevent relapses; but they frequently happened during that husband's whole life, which he had the good fortune to end in few years after. The disconsolate soon pitched upon a very agreeable successor, whom she very prudently designed to govern by the same method. This man knew her little arts, and resolved to break through all tenderness, and be absolute master, as soon as occasion offered. One day it happened, that a discourse arose about furniture: he was very glad of the occasion, and fell into an invective against china,261 protesting, he would never let five pounds more of his money be laid out that way as long as he breathed. She immediately fainted—he starts up as amazed, and calls for help—the maids ran to the closet—he chafes her face, bends her forwards, and beats the palms of her hands: her convulsions increase, and down she tumbles on the floor, where she lies quite dead, in spite of what the whole family, from the nursery to the kitchen, could do for her relief.

While every servant was thus helping or lamenting their mistress, he, fixing his cheek to hers, seemed to be following her in a trance of sorrow; but secretly whispers her, "My dear, this will never do: what is within my power and fortune, you may always command, but none of your artifices: you are quite in other hands than those you passed these pretty passions upon." This made her almost in the condition she pretended; her convulsions now came thicker, nor was she to be held down. The kind man doubles his care, helps the servants to throw water in her face by full quarts; and when the sinking part of the fit came again, "Well, my dear," said he, "I applaud your action; but I must take my leave of you till you are more sincere with me. Farewell for ever: you shall always know where to hear of me, and want for nothing." With that, he ordered the maids to keep plying her with hartshorn, while he went for a physician: he was scarce at the stairhead when she followed; and pulling him into a closet, thanked him for her cure; which was so absolute, that she gave me this relation herself, to be communicated for the benefit of all the voluntary invalids of her sex.

From my own Apartment, May 31.

The public is not so little my concern, though I am but a student, as that I should not interest myself in the present great things in agitation. I am still of opinion, the French king will sign the preliminaries. With that view, I have sent him by my familiar the following epistle, and admonished him, on pain of what I shall say of him to future generations, to act with sincerity on this occasion.

"London, May 31.

"Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., of Great Britain, to Lewis XIV. of France.

"The surprising news which arrived this day, of your Majesty's having refused to sign the treaty your Ministers have in a manner sued for, is what gives ground to this application to your Majesty, from one whose name, perhaps, is too obscure to have ever reached your territories; but one who, with all the European world, is affected with your determinations. Therefore, as it is mine and the common cause of mankind, I presume to expostulate with you on this occasion. It will, I doubt not, appear to the vulgar extravagant, that the actions of a mighty prince should be balanced by the censure of a private man, whose approbation or dislike are equally contemptible in their eyes, when they regard the thrones of sovereigns. But your Majesty has shown, through the whole course of your reign, too great a value for liberal arts to be insensible, that true fame lies only in the hands of learned men, by whom it is to be transmitted to futurity, with marks of honour or reproach to the end of time. The date of human life is too short to recompense the cares which attend the most private condition: therefore it is, that our souls are made as it were too big for it, and extend themselves in the prospect of a longer existence, in a good fame and memory of worthy actions after our decease. The whole race of men have this passion in some degree implanted in their bosoms, which is the strongest and noblest incitation to honest attempts: but the base use of the arts of peace, eloquence, poetry, and all the parts of learning, have been possessed by souls so unworthy those faculties, that the names and appellations of things have been confounded by the labours and writings of prostituted men, who have stamped a reputation upon such actions as are in themselves the objects of contempt and disgrace. This is that which has misled your Majesty in the conduct of your reign, and made that life, which might have been the most imitable, the most to be avoided. To this it is, that the great and excellent qualities of which your Majesty is master, are lost in their application; and your Majesty has been carrying on for many years the most cruel tyranny, with all the noble methods which are used to support a just reign. Thus it is, that it avails nothing that you are a bountiful master; that you are so generous as to reward even the unsuccessful with honour and riches; that no laudable action passes unrewarded in your kingdoms; that you have searched all nations for obscure merit; in a word, that you are in your private character endowed with every princely quality, when all this is subjected to unjust and ill-taught ambition, which to the injury of the world, is gilded by those endowments. However, if your Majesty will condescend to look into your own soul, and consider all its faculties and weaknesses with impartiality; if you will but be convinced, that life is supported in you by the ordinary methods of food, rest, and sleep; you would think it impossible that you could ever be so much imposed on, as to have been wrought into a belief, that so many thousands of the same make with yourself, were formed by Providence for no other end, but by the hazard of their very being to extend the conquests and glory of an individual of their own species. A very little reflection will convince your Majesty, that such cannot be the intent of the Creator; and if not, what horror must it give your Majesty to think of the vast devastations your ambition has made among your fellow creatures? While the warmth of youth, the flattery of crowds, and a continual series of success and triumph, indulged your Majesty in this allusion of mind, it was less to be wondered at, that you proceeded in this mistaken pursuit of grandeur; but when age, disappointments, public calamities, personal distempers, and the reverse of all that makes men forget their true being, are fallen upon you: heavens! is it possible you can live without remorse? Can the wretched man be a tyrant? Can grief study torments? Can sorrow be cruel?—

"Your Majesty will observe, I do not bring against you a railing accusation; but as you are a strict professor of religion, I beseech your Majesty to stop the effusion of blood, by receiving the opportunity which presents itself, for the preservation of your distressed people. Be no longer so infatuated, as to hope for renown from murder and violence: but consider, that the great day will come, in which this world and all its glory shall change in a moment: when nature shall sicken, and the earth and sea give up the bodies committed to them, to appear before the last tribunal. Will it then, O king! be an answer for the lives of millions who have fallen by the sword, 'They perished for my glory'? That day will come on, and one like it is immediately approaching: injured nations advance towards thy habitation: vengeance has begun its march, which is to be diverted only by the penitence of the oppressor. Awake, O monarch, from thy lethargy! Disdain the abuses thou hast received: pull down the statue which calls thee immortal: be truly great: tear thy purple, and put on sackcloth.

"I am,

"Thy generous Enemy,


St. James's Coffee-house, June 1.

Advices from Brussels of the 6th instant, N.S., say, his Highness Prince Eugene had received a letter from Monsieur Torcy, wherein that Minister, after many expressions of great respect, acquaints him, that his master had absolutely refused to sign the preliminaries to the treaty which he had, in his Majesty's behalf, consented to at the Hague. Upon the receipt of this intelligence, the face of things at that place were immediately altered, and the necessary orders were transmitted to the troops (which lay most remote from thence) to move towards the place of rendezvous with all expedition. The enemy seem also to prepare for the field, and have at present drawn together twenty-five thousand men in the plains of Lenz. Marshal Villars is at the head of those troops; and has given the generals under his command all possible assurances, that he will turn the fate of the war to the advantage of his master.

They write from the Hague of the 7th, that Monsieur Rouillé had received orders from the Court of France, to signify to the States-General and the Ministers of the High Allies, that the king could not consent to the preliminaries of a treaty of peace, as it was offered to him by Monsieur Torcy. The great difficulty is the business of Spain, on which particular his Ministers seemed only to say, during the treaty, that it was not so immediately under their master's direction, as that he could answer for its being relinquished by the Duke of Anjou: but now he positively answers, that he cannot comply with what his Minister has promised in his behalf, even in such points as are wholly in himself to act in or not. This has had no other effect, than to give the Alliance fresh arguments for being diffident of engagements entered into by France. The Pensioner made a report of all which this Minister had declared to the Deputies of the States-General, and all things turn towards a vigorous war. The Duke of Marlborough designed to leave the Hague within two days, in order to put himself at the head of the army, which is to assemble on the 17th instant between the Scheldt and the Lis. A fleet of eighty sail, laden with corn from the Baltic, is arrived in the Texel. The States have sent circular letters to all the provinces, to notify this change of affairs, and animate their subjects to new resolutions in defence of their country.

Addison ridiculed the prevalent craze for collecting china in No. 10 of the Lover; and Swift wrote to Steele, "What do I know whether china is dear or not; I once took a fancy of resolving to go mad for it, but now it is off."

No. 24.



From Thursday, June 2, to Saturday, June 4, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, June 2.

In my paper of the 28th of the last month,262 I mentioned several characters which want explanation to the generality of readers: among others, I spoke of a Pretty Fellow; but I have received a kind admonition in a letter, to take care that I do not omit to show also what is meant by a Very Pretty Fellow, which is to be allowed as a character by itself, and a person exalted above the other by a peculiar sprightliness, as one who, by a distinguishing vigour, outstrips his companions, and has thereby deserved and obtained a particular appellation, or nickname of familiarity. Some have this distinction from the fair sex, who are so generous as to take into their protection those who are laughed at by the men, and place them for that reason in degrees of favour. The chief of this sort is Colonel Brunett, who is a man of fashion, because he will be so; and practises a very jaunty way of behaviour, because he is too careless to know when he offends, and too sanguine to be mortified if he did know it. Thus the colonel has met with a town ready to receive him, and cannot possibly see why he should not make use of their favour, and set himself in the first degree of conversation. Therefore he is very successfully loud among the wits, familiar among the ladies, and dissolute among the rakes. Thus he is admitted in one place, because he is so in another; and every man treats Brunett well, not out of his particular esteem for him, but in respect to the opinion of others. It is to me a solid pleasure to see the world thus mistaken on the good-natured side; for it is ten to one but the colonel mounts into a general officer, marries a fine lady, and is master of a good estate, before they come to explain upon him. What gives most delight to me in this observation, is, that all this arises from pure nature, and the colonel can account for his success no more than those by whom he succeeds. For these causes and considerations, I pronounce him a true woman's man, and in the first degree, "a very pretty fellow." The next to a man of this universal genius, is one who is peculiarly formed for the service of the ladies, and his merit chiefly is to be of no consequence. I am indeed a little in doubt, whether he ought not rather to be called a "very happy," than a "very pretty" fellow? For he is admitted at all hours: all he says or does, which would offend in another, are passed over in him; and all actions and speeches which please, doubly please if they come from him: no one wonders or takes notice when he is wrong; but all admire him when he is in the right. By the way it is fit to remark, that there are people of better sense than these, who endeavour at this character; but they are out of nature; and though, with some industry, they get the characters of fools, they cannot arrive to be "very," seldom to be merely "pretty fellows." But where nature has formed a person for this station amongst men, he is gifted with a peculiar genius for success, and his very errors and absurdities contribute to it; this felicity attending him to his life's end. For it being in a manner necessary that he should be of no consequence, he is as well in old age as youth; and I know a man, whose son has been some years a pretty fellow, who is himself at this hour a "very" pretty fellow. One must move tenderly in this place, for we are now in the ladies' lodgings, and speaking of such as are supported by their influence and favour; against which there is not, neither ought there to be, any dispute or observation. But when we come into more free air, one may talk a little more at large. Give me leave then to mention three, whom I do not doubt but we shall see make considerable figures; and these are such as, for their Bacchanalian performances, must be admitted into this order. They are three brothers lately landed from Holland: as yet, indeed, they have not made their public entry, but lodge and converse at Wapping. They have merited already on the waterside particular titles: the first is called Hogshead; the second Culverin; and the third Musket. This fraternity is preparing for our end of the town by their ability in the exercises of Bacchus, and measure their time and merit by liquid weight, and power of drinking. Hogshead is a prettier fellow than Culverin by two quarts, and Culverin than Musket by a full pint. It is to be feared, Hogshead is so often too full, and Culverin overloaded, that Musket will be the only lasting "very" pretty fellow of the three.263 A third sort of this denomination are such as, by very daring adventures in love, have purchased to themselves renown and new names; as, Joe Carry, for his excessive strength and vigour; Tom Drybones, for his generous loss of youth and health; and Cancrum, for his meritorious rottenness. These great and leading spirits are proposed to all such of our British youth as would arrive at perfection in these different kinds; and if their parts and accomplishments were well imitated, it is not doubted but that our nation would soon excel all others in wit and arts, as they already do in arms.

N.B.—The gentleman who stole Betty Pepin,264 may own it, for he is allowed to be a "very" pretty fellow.

But we must proceed to the explanation of other terms in our writings.

To know what a Toast is in the country, gives as much perplexity as she herself does in town: and, indeed, the learned differ very much upon the original of this word, and the acceptation of it among the moderns. However, it is by all agreed to have a joyous and cheerful import. A toast in a cold morning, heightened by nutmeg, and sweetened with sugar, has for many ages been given to our rural dissenters of justice, before they entered upon causes, and has been of great and politic use to take off the severity of their sentences; but has indeed been remarkable for one ill effect, that it inclines those who use it immoderately, to speak Latin, to the admiration, rather than information, of an audience. This application of "a toast" makes it very obvious, that the word may, without a metaphor, be understood as an apt name for a thing which raises us in the most sovereign degree. But many of the wits of the last age will assert, that the word, in its present sense, was known among them in their youth, and had its rise from an accident at the town of Bath, in the reign of King Charles II. It happened, that on a public day a celebrated beauty of those times was in the Cross Bath, and one of the crowd of her admirers took a glass of the water in which the fair one stood, and drank her health to the company. There was in the place a gay fellow, half fuddled, who offered to jump in, and swore, though he liked not the liquor, he would have the toast. He was opposed in his resolution; yet this whim gave foundation to the present honour which is done to the lady we mention in our liquors, who has ever since been called a "toast." Though this institution had so trivial a beginning, it is now elevated into a formal order; and that happy virgin who is received and drank to at their meetings, has no more to do in this life, but to judge and accept of the first good offer. The manner of her inauguration is much like that of the choice of a Doge in Venice: it is performed by balloting; and when she is so chosen, she reigns indisputably for that ensuing year; but must be elected anew to prolong her empire a moment beyond it. When she is regularly chosen, her name is written with a diamond on a drinking-glass.265 The hieroglyphic of the diamond is to show her, that her value is imaginary; and that of the glass to acquaint her, that her condition is frail, and depends on the hand which holds her. This wise design admonishes her, neither to overrate nor depreciate her charms; as well considering and applying, that it is perfectly according to the humour and taste of the company, whether the toast is eaten, or left as an offal.

The foremost of the whole rank of toasts, and the most undisputed in their present empire, are Mrs. Gatty and Mrs. Frontlet: the first, an agreeable; the second, an awful beauty. These ladies are perfect friends, out of a knowledge that their perfections are too different to stand in competition. He that likes Gatty can have no relish for so solemn a creature as Frontlet; and an admirer of Frontlet will call Gatty a maypole-girl. Gatty for ever smiles upon you; and Frontlet disdains to see you smile. Gatty's love is a shining quick flame; Frontlet's a slow wasting fire. Gatty likes the man that diverts her; Frontlet him who adores her. Gatty always improves the soil in which she travels; Frontlet lays waste the country. Gatty does not only smile, but laughs at her lover; Frontlet not only looks serious, but frowns at him. All the men of wit (and coxcombs their followers) are professed servants of Gatty: the politicians and pretenders give solemn worship to Frontlet. Their reign will be best judged of by its duration. Frontlet will never be chosen more; and Gatty is a toast for life.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 3.

Letters from Hamburg of the 7th instant, N.S., inform us, that no art or cost is omitted to make the stay of his Danish Majesty at Dresden agreeable; but there are various speculations upon the interview between King Augustus and that prince, many putting politic constructions upon his Danish Majesty's arrival, at a time when his troops are marching out of Hungary, with orders to pass through Saxony, where it is given out, that they are to be recruited. It is said also, that several Polish senators have invited King Augustus to return into Poland. His Majesty of Sweden, according to the same advices, has passed the Dnieper without any opposition from the Muscovites, and advances with all possible expedition towards Voldinia, where he proposes to join King Stanislaus and General Cressau.

We hear from Berne of the 1st instant, N.S., that there is not a province in France, from whence the Court is not apprehensive of receiving accounts of public emotions, occasioned by the want of corn. The General Diet of the thirteen cantons is assembled at Baden, but have not yet entered upon business, so that the affair of Tockenburg is yet at a stand.

Letters from the Hague, dated the 11th instant, N.S., advise that Monsieur Rouillé having acquainted the Ministers of the Allies, that his master had refused to ratify the preliminaries of a treaty adjusted with Monsieur Torcy, set out for Paris on Sunday morning. The same day the foreign Ministers met a committee of the States-General, where Monsieur van Hessen opened the business upon which they were assembled, and in a very warm discourse laid before them the conduct of France in the late negotiations, representing the abject manner in which she had laid open her own distresses, which reduced her to a compliance with the demands of all the Allies, and the mean manner in receding from those points to which her Minister had consented. The respective Ministers of each potentate of the Alliance severally expressed their resentment of the faithless behaviour of the French, and gave each other mutual assurances of the constancy and resolution of their principles to proceed with the utmost vigour against the common enemy. His Grace the Duke of Marlborough set out from the Hague on the 9th, in the afternoon, and lay that night at Rotterdam, from whence at four the next morning he proceeded towards Antwerp, with design to reach Ghent as on this day. All the troops in the Low Countries are in motion towards the general rendezvous between the Scheldt and Lis, and the whole army will be formed on the 12th instant; and it is said that on the 14th they will advance towards the enemy's country. In the meantime the Marshal de Villars has assembled the French army between Lens, la Bassée, and Douay.

Yesterday morning Sir John Norris266 with the squadron under his command, sailed from the Downs for Holland.

From my own Apartment, June 3.

I have the honour of the following letter from a gentleman whom I receive into my family, and order the heralds at arms to enroll him accordingly.


"Though you have excluded me the honour of your family, yet I have ventured to correspond with the same great persons as yourself, and have wrote this post to the King of France; though I'm in a manner unknown in his country, and have not been seen there these many months.

"'To Lewis le Grand.

"'Though in your country I'm unknown,
Yet, sir, I must advise you;
Of late so poor and mean you're grown,
That all the world despise you.
Here vermin eat your majesty,
There meagre subjects stand unfed;
What surer signs of poverty,
Than many lice, and little bread?
Then, sir, the present minute choose,
Our armies are advanced;
Those terms you at the Hague refuse,
At Paris won't be granted.
Consider this, and Dunkirk raze,
And Anna's title own;
Send one Pretender out to graze,
And call the other home.'

"Your humble Servant,


No. 21.

It would seem from the passage in the Examiner (vol. iii. No. 48), that three men of distinction at that time, probably noblemen, were supposed to be denoted under the names of Hogshead, Culverin, and Musket, from Wapping; or, as they are named by the Examiner, "Tun, Gun, and Pistol, from Wapping." They are there mentioned among others, said to have been, "with at least fifty more, sufferers of figure under this author's satire, in the days of his mirth," &c. In the Guardian (No. 53) Steele says, "Tun, Gun, and Pistol from Wapping, laughed at the representation which was made of them, and were observed to be more regular in their conduct afterwards."

The kept mistress of a knight of the shire near Brentford, who squandered his estate on women, and in contested elections. He has long since gone into the land of oblivion. See No. 51.—(Nichols.)

Several such verses, inscribed on the glasses of the Kit Cat Club, are given in Nichols' "Select Collection of Poems," v. 168-178.

Admiral Sir John Norris (died 1749) was sent in June 1709, with a small squadron, to stop the French supply of corn from the Baltic.

No. 25.



From Saturday, June 4, to Tuesday, June 7, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, June 6.

A letter from a young lady, written in the most passionate terms (wherein she laments the misfortune of a gentleman, her lover, who was lately wounded in a duel), has turned my thoughts to that subject, and inclined me to examine into the causes which precipitate men into so fatal a folly.267 And as it has been proposed to treat of subjects of gallantry in the article from hence, and no one point of nature is more proper to be considered by the company who frequent this place, than that of duels, it is worth our consideration to examine into this chimerical groundless humour, and to lay every other thought aside, till we have stripped it of all its false pretences to credit and reputation amongst men. But I must confess, when I consider what I am going about, and run over in my imagination all the endless crowd of men of honour who will be offended at such a discourse, I am undertaking, methinks, a work worthy an invulnerable hero in romance, rather than a private gentleman with a single rapier; but as I am pretty well acquainted by great opportunities with the nature of man, and know of a truth, that all men fight against their will, the danger vanishes, and resolution rises upon this subject. For this reason I shall talk very freely on a custom which all men wish exploded, though no man has courage enough to resist it. But there is one unintelligible word which I fear will extremely perplex my dissertation, and I confess to you I find very hard to explain, which is, the term "satisfaction." An honest country gentleman had the misfortune to fall into company with two or three modern men of honour, where he happened to be very ill-treated; and one of the company being conscious of his offence, sends a note to him in the morning, and tells him, he was ready to give him satisfaction. "This is fine doing," says the plain fellow: "last night he sent me away cursedly out of humour, and this morning he fancies it would be a satisfaction to be run through the body." As the matter at present stands, it is not to do handsome actions denominates a man of honour; it is enough if he dares to defend ill ones. Thus you often see a common sharper in competition with a gentleman of the first rank; though all mankind is convinced, that a fighting gamester is only a pickpocket with the courage of a highwayman. One cannot with any patience reflect on the unaccountable jumble of persons and things in this town and nation, which occasions very frequently, that a brave man falls by a hand below that of the common hangman, and yet his executioner escapes the clutches of the hangman for doing it. I shall therefore hereafter consider, how the bravest men in other ages and nations have behaved themselves upon such incidents as we decide by combat; and show, from their practice, that this resentment neither has its foundation from true reason, nor solid fame; but is an imposture,268 made up of cowardice, falsehood, and want of understanding. For this work, a good history of quarrels would be very edifying to the public, and I apply myself to the town for particulars and circumstances within their knowledge, which may serve to embellish the dissertation with proper cuts. Most of the quarrels I have ever known, have proceeded from some valiant coxcomb's persisting in the wrong, to defend some prevailing folly, and preserve himself from the ingenuity of owning a mistake.269

By this means it is called, "giving a man satisfaction," to urge your offence against him with your sword; which puts me in mind of Peter's order to the keeper, in the "Tale of a Tub": "If you neglect to do all this, damn you and your generation for ever; and so we bid you heartily farewell."270 If the contradiction in the very terms of one of our challenges were as well explained, and turned into plain English, would it not run after this manner?


"Your extraordinary behaviour last night, and the liberty you were pleased to take with me, makes me this morning give you this, to tell you, because you are an ill-bred puppy, I will meet you in Hyde Park an hour hence; and because you want both breeding and humanity, I desire you would come with a pistol in your hand, on horseback, and endeavour to shoot me through the head; to teach you more manners. If you fail of doing me this pleasure, I shall say, you are a rascal on every post in town: and so, sir, if you will not injure me more, I shall never forgive what you have done already. Pray sir, do not fail of getting everything ready, and you will infinitely oblige,


"Your most obedient,

"humble Servant, &c."

From my own Apartment, June 6.

Among the many employments I am necessarily put upon by my friends, that of giving advice is the most unwelcome to me; and indeed, I am forced to use a little art in the matter; for some people will ask counsel of you, when they have already acted what they tell you is still under deliberation. I had almost lost a very good friend the other day, who came to know how I liked his design to marry such a lady. I answered, "By no means; and I must be positive against it, for very solid reasons, which are not proper to communicate." "Not proper to communicate!" said he with a grave air, "I will know the bottom of this." I saw him moved, and knew from thence he was already determined; therefore evaded it by saying, "To tell you the truth, dear Frank, of all women living, I would have her myself." "Isaac," said he, "thou art too late, for we have been both one these two months." I learned this caution by a gentleman's consulting me formerly about his son. He railed at his damned extravagance, and told me, in a very little time, he would beggar him by the exorbitant bills which came from Oxford every quarter. "Make the rogue bite upon the bridle,"271 said I, "pay none of his bills, it will but encourage him to further trespasses." He looked plaguy sour at me. His son soon after sent up a paper of verses, forsooth, in print, on the last public occasion; upon which, he is convinced the boy has parts, and a lad of spirit is not to be too much cramped in his maintenance, lest he take ill courses. Neither father nor son can ever since endure the sight of me. These sort of people ask opinions, only out of the fulness of their heart on the subject of their perplexity, and not from a desire of information. There is nothing so easy as to find out which opinion the person in doubt has a mind to; therefore the sure way is to tell him, that is certainly to be chosen. Then you are to be very clear and positive; leave no handle for scruple. "Bless me! sir, there is no room for a question." This rivets you into his heart; for you at once applaud his wisdom, and gratify his inclination. However, I had too much bowels to be insincere to a man who came yesterday to know of me, with which of two eminent men in the City he should place his son? Their names are Paulo and Avaro.272 This gave me much debate with myself, because not only the fortune of the youth, but his virtue also depended upon this choice. The men are equally wealthy; but they differ in the use and application of their riches, which you immediately see upon entering their doors.

The habitation of Paulo has at once the air of a nobleman and a merchant. You see the servants act with affection to their master, and satisfaction in themselves: the master meets you with an open countenance, full of benevolence and integrity: your business is despatched with that confidence and welcome which always accompanies honest minds: his table is the image of plenty and generosity, supported by justice and frugality. After we had dined here, our affair was to visit Avaro: out comes an awkward fellow with a careful countenance; "Sir, would you speak with my master? May I crave your name?" After the first preambles, he leads us into a noble solitude, a great house that seemed uninhabited; but from the end of the spacious hall moves towards us Avaro, with a suspicious aspect, as if he believed us thieves; and as for my part, I approached him as if I knew him a cut-purse. We fell into discourse of his noble dwelling, and the great estate all the world knew he had to enjoy in it: and I, to plague him, fell a commending Paulo's way of living. "Paulo," answered Avaro, "is a very good man; but we who have smaller estates, must cut our coat according to our cloth." "Nay," says I, "every man knows his own circumstance best; you are in the right, if you haven't wherewithal." He looked very sour (for it is, you must know, the utmost vanity of a mean-spirited rich man to be contradicted, when he calls himself poor). But I was resolved to vex him, by consenting to all he said; the main design of which was, that he would have us find out, he was one of the wealthiest men in London, and lived like a beggar. We left him, and took a turn on the 'Change. My friend was ravished with Avaro. "This," said he, "is certainly a sure man." I contradicted him with much warmth, and summed up their different characters as well as I could. "This Paulo," said I, "grows wealthy by being a common good; Avaro, by being a general evil: Paulo has the art, Avaro the craft of trade. When Paulo gains, all men he deals with are the better: whenever Avaro profits, another certainly loses. In a word, Paulo is a citizen, and Avaro a cit." I convinced my friend, and carried the young gentleman the next day to Paulo, where he will learn the way both to gain, and enjoy a good fortune. And though I cannot say, I have, by keeping him from Avaro, saved him from the gallows, I have prevented his deserving it every day he lives: for with Paulo he will be an honest man, without being so for fear of the law; as with Avaro, he would have been a villain within the protection of it.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 6.

We hear from Vienna of the 1st instant, that Baron Imoff, who attended her Catholic Majesty with the character of Envoy from the Duke of Wolfembuttel, was returned thither. That Minister brought an account, that Major-general Stanhope, with the troops which embarked at Naples, was returned to Barcelona. We hear from Berlin, by advices of the 8th instant, that his Prussian Majesty had received intelligence from his Minister at Dresden, that the King of Denmark desired to meet his Majesty at Magdeburg. The King of Prussia has sent answer, that his present indisposition will not admit of so great a journey; but has sent the king a very pressing invitation to come to Berlin or Potsdam. These advices say, that the Minister of the King of Sweden has produced a letter from his master to the King of Poland, dated from Batitzau the 30th of March, O.S., wherein he acquaints him, that he has been successful against the Muscovites in all the occasions which have happened since his march into their country. Great numbers have revolted to the Swedes since General Mazeppa went over to that side; and as many as have done so, have taken solemn oaths to adhere to the interests of his Swedish Majesty.

Advices from the Hague of the 14th instant, N.S., say, that all things tended to a vigorous and active campaign; the Allies having strong resentments against the late behaviour of the Court of France; and the French using all possible endeavours to animate their men to defend their country against a victorious and exasperated enemy. Monsieur Rouillé had passed through Brussels without visiting either the Duke of Marlborough or Prince Eugene, who were both there at that time. The States have met, and publicly declared their satisfaction in the conduct of their deputies during the whole treaty. Letters from France say, that the Court is resolved to put all to the issue of the ensuing campaign. In the meantime, they have ordered the preliminary treaty to be published, with observation upon each article, in order to quiet the minds of the people, and persuade them, that it has not been in the power of the king to procure a peace, but to the diminution of his Majesty's glory, and the hazard of his dominions. His Grace the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene arrived at Ghent on Wednesday last, where, at an assembly of all the general officers, it was thought proper, by reason of the great rains which have lately fallen, to defer forming a camp, or bringing the troops together; but as soon as the weather would permit, to march upon the enemy with all expedition.273

For Steele's other papers on duelling, see Nos. 26, 28, 29, 31, 38, 39.

Something imposed upon us.

"While this barbarous custom of duelling is tolerated, we shall never be rid of coxcombs, who will defend their understandings by the sword, and force us to bear nonsense on pain of death."—(Steele, Theatre, No. 26.)

Swift's "Tale of a Tub," sect. 4.

I.e., hold him in.

Said to be Bateman and Heathcote, both eminent citizens—(Gentleman's Magazine, lx. 679.)

"Mr. Bickerstaff has received a letter, dated June 6, with the just exceptions against the pretence of persons therein mentioned, to the name of Pretty Fellows, which shall be taken notice of accordingly: as likewise, the letter from Anthony Longtail of Canterbury, concerning the death of Thomas à Becket" (folio). See Nos. 24, 26.

No. 26.



From Tuesday, June 7, to Thursday, June 9, 1709.

From my own Apartment, June 8.

I have read the following letter with delight and approbation, and I hereby order Mr. Kidney at St. James's, and Sir Thomas at White's274 (who are my clerks for enrolling all men in their distant classes, before they presume to drink tea or chocolate in those places), to take care, that the persons within the descriptions in the letter be admitted, and excluded according to my friend's remonstrance.275

"To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; at Mr. Morphew's near Stationers' Hall.

"June 6, 1709.


"Your paper of Saturday276 has raised up in me a noble emulation, to be recorded in the foremost rank of worthies therein mentioned; and if any regard be had to merit or industry, I may hope to succeed in the promotion, for I have omitted no toil or expense to be a proficient; and if my friends do not flatter, they assure me, I have not lost my time since I came to town. To enumerate but a few particulars; there's hardly a coachman I meet with, but desires to be excused taking me, because he has had me before. I have compounded two or three rapes; and let out to hire as many bastards to beggars. I never saw above the first act of a play: and as to my courage, it is well known, I have more than once had sufficient witnesses of my drawing my sword both in tavern and playhouse. Dr. Wall277 is my particular friend; and if it were any service to the public to compose the difference between Marten and Sintilaer278 the pearl-driller, I don't know a judge of more experience than myself: for in that I may say with the poet,

"'Quæ regio in villa nostri non plena laboris?'279

"I omit other less particulars, the necessary consequences of greater actions. But my reason for troubling you at this present is, to put a stop, if it may be, to an insinuating, increasing set of people, who sticking to the letter of your treatise, and not to the spirit of it, do assume the name of 'pretty fellows'; nay, and even get new names, as you very well hint. Some of them I have heard calling to one another, as I have sat at White's and St. James's, by the names of Betty, Nelly, and so forth. You see them accost each other with effeminate airs: they have their signs and tokens like freemasons: they rail at women-kind; receive visits on their beds in gowns, and do a thousand other unintelligible prettinesses that I cannot tell what to make of. I therefore heartily desire you would exclude all this sort of animals.

"There is another matter I am foreseeing an ill consequence from, but may be timely prevented by prudence; which is, that for the last fortnight, prodigious shoals of volunteers have gone over to bully the French, upon hearing the peace was just signing; and this is so true, that I can assure you, all engrossing work about the Temple is risen above 3s. in the pound for want of hands. Now as it is possible some little alteration of affairs may have broken their measures, and that they will post back again, I am under the last apprehension, that these will, at their return, all set up for 'pretty fellows,' and thereby confound all merit and service, and impose on us some new alteration in our nightcap-wigs280 and pockets, unless you can provide a particular class for them. I cannot apply myself better than to you, and I am sure I speak the mind of a very great number as deserving as myself."

The pretensions of this correspondent are worthy a particular distinction: he cannot indeed be admitted as a "pretty," but is, what we more justly call, a "smart fellow." Never to pay at the playhouse, is an act of frugality, that lets you into his character. And his expedient in sending his children a-begging before they can go, are characteristical instances that he belongs to this class. I never saw the gentleman; but I know by his letter, he hangs his cane on his button;281 and by some lines of it, he should wear red-heeled shoes;282 which are essential parts of the habit belonging to the order of "smart fellows."

My familiar is returned with the following letter from the French king:

"Versailles, June 13, 1709.

"Louis XIV. to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.283


"I have your epistle, and must take the liberty to say, that there has been a time, when there were generous spirits in Great Britain, who would not have suffered my name to be treated with the familiarity you think fit to use. I thought liberal men would not be such time-servers, as to fall upon a man because his friends are not in power. But having some concern for what you may transmit to posterity concerning me, I am willing to keep terms with you, and make a request to you, which is, that you would give my service to the nineteenth century (if ever you or yours reach to them), and tell them, that I have settled all matters between them and me by Monsieur Boileau. I should be glad to see you here."

It is very odd this prince should offer to invite me into his dominions, or believe I should accept the invitation. No, no, I remember too well how he served an ingenious gentleman, a friend of mine,284 whom he locked up in the Bastille for no reason in the world, but because he was a wit, and feared he might mention him with justice in some of his writings. His way is, that all men of sense are preferred, banished, or imprisoned. He has indeed a sort of justice in him, like that of the gamesters; if a stander-by sees one at play cheat, he has a right to come in for snares, for knowing the mysteries of the game. This is a very wise and just maxim; and if I have not left at Mr. Morphew's, directed to me, bank bills for £200 on or before this day sevennight, I shall tell how Tom Cash got his estate. I expect three hundred pounds of Mr. Soilett, for concealing all the money he has lent to himself, and his landed friend bound with him, at thirty per cent. at his scrivener's. Absolute princes make people pay what they please in deference to their power: I do not know why I should not do the same, out of fear or respect to my knowledge. I always preserve decorums and civilities to the fair sex: therefore if a certain lady, who left her coach at the New Exchange285 door in the Strand, and whipped down Durham Yard into a boat with a young gentleman for Fox Hall;286 I say, if she will send me word, that I may give the fan which she dropped, and I found, to my sister Jenny, there shall be no more said of it. I expect hush-money to be regularly sent for every folly or vice any one commits in this whole town; and hope I may pretend to deserve it better than a chamber-maid, or valet-de-chambre: they only whisper it to the little set of their companions; but I can tell it to all men living, or who are to live. Therefore I desire all my readers to pay their fines, or mend their lives.

White's Chocolate-house, June 8.

My familiar being come from France, with an answer to my letter to Lewis of that kingdom, instead of going on in a discourse of what he had seen in that Court, he put on the immediate concern of a guardian, and fell to inquiring into my thoughts and adventures since his journey. As short as his stay had been, I confessed I had had many occasions for his assistance in my conduct; but communicated to him my thoughts of putting all my force against the horrid and senseless custom of duels. "If it were possible," said he, "to laugh at things in themselves so deeply tragical as the impertinent profusion of human life, I think I could divert you with a figure I saw just after my death, when the philosopher threw me, as I told you some days ago, into the pail of water.287 You are to know, that when men leave the body, there are receptacles for them as soon as they depart, according to the manner in which they lived and died. At the very instant that I was killed, there came away with me a spirit which had lost its body in a duel. We were both examined. Me, the whole assembly looked at with kindness and pity, but at the same time with an air of welcome, and consolation: they pronounced me very happy, who had died in innocence; and told me, a quite different place was allotted to me, than that which was appointed for my companion; there being a great distance from the mansions of fools and innocents: 'though at the same time,' said one of the ghosts, there is a great affinity between an idiot who has been so for long life, and a child who departs before maturity. But this gentleman who has arrived with you is a fool of his own making, is ignorant out of choice, and will fare accordingly.' The assembly began to flock about him, and one said to him, 'Sir, I observed you came into the gate of persons murdered, and I desire to know what brought you to your untimely end?' He said, he had been a second. Socrates (who may be said to have been murdered by the commonwealth of Athens) stood by, and began to draw near him, in order, after his manner, to lead him into a sense of his error by concessions in his own discourse. 'Sir,' said that divine and amicable spirit, 'what was the quarrel?' He answered, 'We shall know very suddenly, when the principal in the business comes, for he was desperately wounded before I fell.' 'Sir,' said the sage, 'had you an estate?' 'Yes, sir,' the new guest answered, 'I have left it in a very good condition; I made my will the night before this occasion.' 'Did you read it before you signed it?' 'Yes sure, sir,' said the newcomer. Socrates replies, could a man that would not give his estate without reading the instrument, dispose of his life without asking a question? That illustrious shade turned from him, and a crowd of impertinent goblins, who had been drolls and parasites in their lifetime, and were knocked on the head for their sauciness, came about my fellow-traveller, and made themselves very merry with questions about the words 'carte' and 'terce' and other terms of fencers. But his thoughts began to settle into reflection upon the adventure which had robbed him of his late being; and with a wretched sigh, said he, 'How terrible are conviction and guilt when they come too late for penitence!'" Pacolet was going on in this strain, but he recovered from it, and told me, it was too soon to give my discourse on this subject so serious a turn; you have chiefly to do with that part of mankind which must be led into reflection by degrees, and you must treat this custom with humour and raillery to get an audience, before you come to pronounce sentence upon it. There is foundation enough for raising such entertainments from the practice on this occasion. Don't you know, that often a man is called out of bed to follow implicitly a coxcomb (with whom he would not keep company on any other occasion) to ruin and death? Then a good list of such as are qualified by the laws of these uncourteous men of chivalry to enter into combat (who are often persons of honour without common honesty): these, I say, ranged and drawn up in their proper order, would give an aversion to doing anything in common with such as men laugh at and contemn. But to go through this work, you must not let your thoughts vary, or make excursions from your theme: consider at the same time, that the matter has been often treated by the ablest and greatest writers; yet that must not discourage you; for the properest person to handle it, is one who has roved into mixed conversations, and must have opportunities (which I shall give you) of seeing these sort of men in their pleasures and gratifications; among which, they pretend to reckon fighting. It was pleasantly enough said of a bully in France, when duels first began to be punished: "The king has taken away gaming, and stage-playing, and now fighting too; how does he expect gentlemen shall divert themselves?"288

See Nos. 1, 10, 16.

This letter is probably by Anthony Henley; see advertisement at end of No. 25. At this time Henley was M.P. for Weymouth, and a friend of the wits belonging to the Whig party. He died in 1711. See Nos. 11, 193.

No. 21.

Wall and the others named were quack doctors.

Sintelaer, who lived in High Holborn, published in Feb. 1709, "The Scourge of Venus and Mercury. With an appendix in answer to Mr. John Marten's reflections thereupon" (Postman, Feb. 24 to 26, 1709).

"Æneid," i. 460. Steele alters Virgil's "terriss" to "villa."

A sort of periwig, with a short tie and small round head. See No. 30, end. In the Spectator (No. 319), Dorinda describes a humble servant of hers who "appeared to me in one of those wigs that I think you call a 'night-cap,' which had altered him more effectually than before. He afterwards played a couple of black riding wigs upon me, with the same success."

The elaborate canes used by the beaux commonly had a ribbon to enable them to be hung on the button of the waistcoat. Thus we find among the advertisements for lost canes, "A cane with a silver head and a black ribbon in it, the top of it amber, part of the head to turn round, and in it a perspective glass."

Men of fashion wore very high-heeled shoes, and their red heels are often satirised by Steele and Addison (cf. Spectator, No. 311). In No. 16 of the Spectator Addison said, "It is not my intention to sink the dignity of this my paper with reflections upon red-heels or topknots."

See Nos. 19, 23.

Probably Sir John Vanbrugh.

A bazaar on the south side of the Strand, between George Court and Durham Street, and opposite Bedford Street. There were two long and double galleries, one above the other, containing shops, with pretty attendants. The New Exchange was a favourite lounge, and is frequently mentioned in the Restoration literature; it was pulled down in 1737. See Spectator, Nos. 96, 155, and Steele's "Lying Lover," act ii. sc. 2, where Young Bookwit says, "My choice was so distracted among the pretty merchants and their dealers, that I knew not where to run first." On the other hand, we find complaints that young fops hindered business by lolling on the counter an hour longer than was necessary, and annoyed the young women who served them with ingenious ribaldry.

Vauxhall, or Fox-hall, Gardens were formed about 1661, on the Surrey side of the Thames, and were at first called the New Spring Gardens, to distinguish them from the Old Spring Gardens at Charing Cross. At the end of the seventeenth century Vauxhall was a favourite place for assignations, and Pepys was scandalised at scenes he there witnessed. The gardens were reopened in 1732, after being closed, it would seem, for some years, and they continued to be a place of fashionable resort until the end of the reign of George III.

See No. 15.

"Whereas several gentlemen have desired this paper with a blank leaf to write business on, and for the convenience of the post; this is to give notice, that this day, and for the future, it may be had of Mr. Morphew, near Stationers' Hall" (folio, advertisement).

No. 27.



From Thursday, June 9, to Saturday, June 11, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, June 9.

Pacolet being gone a strolling among the men of the sword, in order to find out the secret causes of the frequent disputes we meet with, and furnish me with material for my treatise on duelling; I have room left to go on in my information to my country readers, whereby they may understand the bright people whose memoirs I have taken upon me to write. But in my discourse of the 28th of the last month,289 I omitted to mention the most agreeable of all bad characters; and that is, a Rake.

A Rake is a man always to be pitied; and if he lives, is one day certainly reclaimed; for his faults proceed not from choice or inclination, but from strong passions and appetites, which are in youth too violent for the curb of reason, good sense, good manners, and good nature: all which he must have by nature and education, before he can be allowed to be, or have been of this order. He is a poor unwieldy wretch, that commits faults out of the redundance of his good qualities. His pity and compassion make him sometimes a bubble to all his fellows, let them be never so much below him in understanding. His desires run away with him through the strength and force of a lively imagination, which hurries him on to unlawful pleasures, before reason has power to come in to his rescue. Thus, with all the good intentions in the world to amendment, this creature sins on against heaven, himself, his friends, and his country, who all call for a better use of his talents. There is not a being under the sun so miserable as this: he goes on in a pursuit he himself disapproves, and has no enjoyment but what is followed by remorse; no relief from remorse, but the repetition of his crime. It is possible I may talk of this person with too much indulgence; but I must repeat it, that I think this a character which is the most the object of pity of any in the world. The man in the pangs of the stone, gout, or any acute distempers, is not in so deplorable a condition in the eye of right sense, as he that errs and repents, and repents and errs on. The fellow with broken limbs justly deserves your alms for his impotent condition; but he that cannot use his own reason, is in a much worse state; for you see him in miserable circumstances, with his remedy at the same time in his own possession, if he would or could use it. This is the cause, that of all ill characters, the rake has the best quarter in the world; for when he is himself, and unruffled with intemperance, you see his natural faculties exert themselves, and attract an eye of favour towards his infirmities. But if we look round us here, how many dull rogues are there, that would fain be what this poor man hates himself for? All the noise towards six in the evening,290 is caused by his mimics and imitators. How ought men of sense to be careful of their actions, if it were merely from the indignation of feeling themselves ill drawn by such little pretenders? not to say, he that leads, is guilty of all the actions of his followers: and a rake has imitators whom you would never expect should prove so. Second-hand vice sure of all is the most nauseous. There is hardly a folly more absurd, or which seems less to be accounted for (though it is what we see every day) than that grave and honest natures give into this way, and at the same time have good sense, if they thought fit to use it: but the fatality (under which most men labour) of desiring to be what they are not, makes them go out of a method, in which they might be received with applause, and would certainly excel, into one, wherein they will all their life have the air of strangers to what they aim at. For this reason, I have not lamented the metamorphosis of any one I know so much as of Nobilis, who was born with sweetness of temper, just apprehension, and everything else that might make him a man fit for his order. But instead of the pursuit of sober studies and applications, in which he would certainly be capable of making a considerable figure in the noblest assembly of men in the world; I say, in spite of that good nature, which is his proper bent, he will say ill-natured things aloud, put such as he was, and still should be, out of countenance, and drown all the natural good in him, to receive an artificial ill character, in which he will never succeed: for Nobilis is no rake. He may guzzle as much wine as he pleases, talk bawdy if he thinks fit; but he may as well drink water-gruel, and go twice a day to church, for it will never do. I pronounce it again, Nobilis is no rake. To be of that order, he must be vicious against his will, and not so by study or application. All Pretty Fellows are also excluded to a man, as well as all Inamaratos, or persons of the epicene gender, who gaze at one another in the presence of ladies. This class, of which I am giving you an account, is pretended to also by men of strong abilities in drinking; though they are such whom the liquor, not the conversation, keeps together. But blockheads may roar, fight, and stab, and be never the nearer; their labour is also lost; they want sense: they are no rakes.

As a rake among men is the man who lives in the constant abuse of his reason, so a coquette among women is one who lives in continual misapplication of her beauty. The chief of all whom I have the honour to be acquainted with, is pretty Mrs. Toss: she is ever in practice of something which disfigures her, and takes from her charms; though all she does, tends to a contrary effect. She has naturally a very agreeable voice and utterance, which she has changed for the prettiest lisp imaginable. She sees what she has a mind to see, at half a mile distance; but poring with her eyes half shut at every one she passes by, she believes much more becoming. The Cupid on her fan and she have their eyes full on each other, all the time in which they are not both in motion. Whenever her eye is turned from that dear object, you may have a glance, and your bow, if she is in humour, returned as civilly as you make it; but that must not be in the presence of a man of greater quality: for Mrs. Toss is so thoroughly well bred, that the chief person present has all her regards. And she, who giggles at divine service, and laughs at her very mother, can compose herself at the approach of a man of a good estate.

Will's Coffee-house, June 9.

A fine lady showed a gentleman of this company, for an eternal answer to all his addresses, a paper of verses, with which she is so captivated, that she professed, the author should be the happy man in spite of all other pretenders. It is ordinary for love to make men poetical, and it had that effect on this enamoured man: but he was resolved to try his vein upon some of her confidantes or retinue, before he ventured upon so high a theme as herself. To do otherwise than so, would be like making an heroic poem a man's first attempt. Among the favourites to the fair one, he found her parrot not to be in the last degree: he saw Poll had her ear, when his sighs were neglected. To write against him, had been a fruitless labour; therefore he resolved to flatter him into his interests, in the following manner:

"To a Lady on her Parrot.

"When nymphs were coy, and love could not prevail,
The gods disguised were seldom known to fail,
Leda was chaste, but yet a feathered Jove
Surprised the fair, and taught her how to love.
There's no celestial but his heaven would quit,
For any form which might to thee admit.
See how the wanton bird, at every glance,
Swells his glad plumes, and feels an amorous trance.
The queen of beauty has forsook the dove,
Henceforth the parrot be the bird of love."

It is indeed a very just proposition, to give that honour rather to the parrot than the other volatile. The parrot represents us in the state of making love: the dove in the possession of the object beloved. But instead of turning the dove off, I fancy it would be better if the chaise of Venus had hereafter a parrot added (as we see sometimes a third horse to a coach) which might intimate, that to be a parrot, is the only way to succeed; and to be a dove, to preserve your conquests. If the swain would go on successfully, he must imitate the bird he writes upon. For he who would be loved by women, must never be silent before the favour, or open his lips after it.

From my own Apartment, June 10.

I have so many messages from young gentlemen who expect preferment and distinction, that I am wholly at a loss in what manner to acquit myself. The writer of the following letter tells me in a postscript, he cannot go out of town till I have taken some notice of him, and is very urgent to be somebody, in town before he leaves it, and returns to his commons at the university. But take it from himself.

"To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., Monitor-General of Great Britain.

"Shire Lane, June 8.

I have been above six months from the university, of age these three months, and so long in town. I was recommended to one Charles Bubbleboy291 near the Temple, who has supplied me with all the furniture he says a gentleman ought to have. I desired a certificate thereof from him, which he said would require some time to consider of; and when I went yesterday morning for it, he tells me, upon due consideration, I still want some few odd things more, to the value of threescore or fourscore pounds, to make me complete. I have bespoke them; and the favour I beg of you is, to know, when I am equipped, in what part or class of men in this town you will place me. Pray send me word what I am, and you shall find me,


"Your most humble Servant,


I am very willing to encourage young beginners; but am extremely in the dark how to dispose of this gentleman. I cannot see either his person or habit in this letter; but I'll call at Charles', and know the shape of his snuff-box, by which I can settle his character. Though indeed, to know his full capacity, I ought to be informed, whether he takes Spanish or musty.292

St. James's Coffee-house, June 10.

Letters from the Low Countries of the 17th instant say, that the Duke of Marlborough and the Prince of Savoy intended to leave Ghent on that day, and join the army, which lies between Pont d'Espiere and Courtray, their headquarters being at Helchin. The same day the Palatine foot was expected at Brussels. Lieutenant-General Dompre, with a body of eight thousand men, is posted at Alost, in order to cover Ghent and Brussels. The Marshal de Villars was still on the plains of Lens; and it is said, the Duke of Vendôme is appointed to command in conjunction with that general. Advices from Paris say, Monsieur Voisin is made Secretary of State, upon Monsieur Chamillard's resignation of that employment. The want of money in that kingdom is so great, that the Court has thought fit to command all the plate of private families to be brought into the Mint. They write from the Hague of the 18th, that the States of Holland continue their session; and that they have approved the resolution of the States-General, to publish a second edict to prohibit the sale of corn to the enemy. Many eminent persons in that assembly have declared, that they are of opinion, that all commerce whatsoever with France should be wholly forbidden: which point is under present deliberation; but it is feared it will meet with powerful opposition.

No. 21.

People of fashion dined at about four o'clock in Queen Anne's time, and by six the men, who had often drunk a good deal of wine, would be finding their way to the clubs and coffee-houses.

Charles Mather, a toyman in Fleet Street, next door to Nandoe's Coffee-house, over against Chancery Lane. Swift wrote ("Sid Hamet's Rod," 1710):

"No hobby horse with gorgeous top,
The dearest in Charles Mather's shop;
Or glittering tinsel of Mayfair
Could with the rod of Sid compare."

See Nos. 113, 142, and Spectator, Nos. 328, 503 ("One of Charles Mather's fine tablets"), and 570 ("The famous Charles Mather was bred up under him").

Charles Lillie, the perfumer, tells us how snuff came into use. A great quantity of musty snuff was captured in the Spanish fleet taken at Vigo in 1702, and snuff with this special musty flavour became the fashion. In No. 138 of the Spectator, Steele humorously announced that "the exercise of the snuff-box, according to the most fashionable airs and motions, in opposition to the exercise of the fair, will be taught with the best plain or perfumed snuff at Charles Lillie's, perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand."

No. 28.



From Saturday, June 11, to Tuesday, June 14, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, June 13.

I had suspended the business of duelling to a distant time, but that I am called upon to declare myself on a point proposed in the following letter.

"June 9, at night.


"I desire the favour of you to decide this question, whether calling a gentleman a 'smart fellow' is an affront or not? A youth entering a certain coffee-house, with his cane tied at his button, wearing red-heeled shoes, I thought of your description,293 and could not forbear telling a friend of mine next to me, 'There enters a smart fellow.' The gentleman hearing it, had immediately a mind to pick a quarrel with me, and desired satisfaction: at which I was more puzzled than at the other, remembering what mention your familiar makes of those that had lost their lives on such occasions. The thing is referred to your judgment, and I expect you to be my second, since you have been the cause of our quarrel. I am,


"Your Friend and humble Servant."

I absolutely pronounce, that there is no occasion of offence given in this expression; for a "smart fellow" is always an appellation of praise, and is a man of double capacity. The true cast or mould in which you may be sure to know him is, when his livelihood or education is in the Civil List, and you see him express a vivacity or mettle above the way he is in by a little jerk in his motion, short trip in his steps, well-fancied lining of his coat, or any other indications which may be given in a vigorous dress. Now, what possible insinuation can there be, that it is a cause of quarrel for a man to say, he allows a gentleman really to be, what he, his tailor, his hosier, and his milliner, have conspired to make him? I confess, if this person who appeals to me had said, he was not a "smart fellow," there had been cause for resentment; but if he stands to it that he is one, he leaves no manner of ground for a misunderstanding. Indeed, it is a most lamentable thing, that there should be a dispute raised upon a man's saying another is, what he plainly takes pains to be thought. But this point cannot be so well adjusted, as by inquiring what are the sentiments of wise nations and communities of the use of the sword, and from thence conclude, whether it is honourable to draw it so frequently or not? An illustrious commonwealth of Italy294 has preserved itself for many ages, without letting one of their subjects handle this destructive instrument, always leaving that work to such of mankind as understand the use of a whole skin so little, as to make a profession of exposing it to cuts and scars. But what need we run to such foreign instances: our own ancient and well-governed cities are conspicuous examples to all mankind in their regulation of military achievements. The chief citizens, like the noble Italians, hire mercenaries to carry arms in their stead; and you shall have a fellow of a desperate fortune, for the gain of one half-crown, go through all the dangers of Tothill Fields, or the Artillery Ground,295 clap his right jaw within two inches of the touch-hole of a musket, fire it off, and huzza, with as little concern as he tears a pullet. Thus you see to what scorn of danger these mercenaries arrive, out of a mere love of sordid gain: but methinks it should take off the strong prepossession men have in favour of bold actions, when they see upon what low motives men aspire to them. Do but observe the common practice in the government of those heroic bodies, our militia and lieutenancies, the most ancient corps of soldiers, perhaps, in the universe. I question whether there is one instance of an animosity between any two of these illustrious sons of Mars since their institution, which was decided by combat? I remember indeed to have read the chronicle of an accident which had like to have occasioned bloodshed in the very field before all the general officers, though most of them were justices of the peace: Captain Crabtree of Birching Lane, haberdasher, had drawn a bill upon Major-General Maggot, cheesemonger in Thames Street. Crabtree draws this upon Mr. William Maggot and Company. A country lad received this bill, and not understanding the word "company," used in drawing bills on men in partnership, carried it to Mr. Jeffry Stick of Crooked Lane (lieutenant of the major-general's company) whom he had the day before seen march by the door in all the pomp of his commission. The lieutenant accepts it, for the honour of the company, since it had come to him. But repayment being asked from the major-general, he absolutely refuses. Upon this, the lieutenant thinks of nothing less than to bring this to a rupture, and takes for his second, Tobias Armstrong of the Counter,296 and sends him with a challenge in a script of parchment, wherein was written, "Stitch contra Maggot," and all the fury vanished in a moment. The major-general gives satisfaction to the second, and all was well. Hence it is, that the bold spirits of our city are kept in such subjection to the civil power. Otherwise, where would our liberties soon be? If wealth and valour were suffered to exert themselves with their utmost force: if such officers as are employed in the terrible bands above-mentioned, were to draw bills as well as swords: these dangerous captains, who could victual an army as well as lead it, would be too powerful for the State. But the point of honour justly gives way to that of gain; and by long and wise regulation, the richest is the bravest man. I have known a captain rise to a colonel in two days by the fall of stocks; and a major, my good friend, near the Monument, ascended to that honour by the fall of the price of spirits, and the rising of right Nantz. By this true sense of honour, that body of warriors are ever in good order and discipline, with their colours and coats all whole: as in other battalions (where their principles of action are less solid) you see the men of service look like spectres, with long sides, and lank cheeks. In this army, you may measure a man's services by his waist, and the most prominent belly is certainly the man who has been most upon action. Besides all this, there is another excellent remark to be made in the discipline of these troops. It being of absolute necessity that the people of England should see what they have for their money, and be eye-witnesses of the advantages they gain by it, all battles which are fought abroad are represented here. But since one side must be beaten, and the other conquer, which might create disputes, the eldest company is always to make the other run, and the younger retreats, according to the last news and best intelligence. I have myself seen Prince Eugene make Catinat fly from the back-side of Gray's Inn Lane to Hockley-in-the-Hole,297 and not give over the pursuit, till obliged to leave the Bear Garden on the right, to avoid being borne down by fencers, wild bulls and monsters, too terrible for the encounter of any heroes, but such whose lives are their livelihood.

We have here seen, that wise nations do not admit of fighting, even in the defence of their country, as a laudable action; and they live within the walls of our own city in great honour and reputation without it. It would be very necessary to understand, by what force of the climate, food, education, or employment, one man's sense is brought to differ so essentially from that of another; that one is ridiculous and contemptible for forbearing a thing which makes for his safety; and another applauded for consulting his ruin and destruction.

It will therefore be necessary for us (to show our travelling) to examine this subject fully, and tell you how it comes to pass, that a man of honour in Spain, though you offend him never so gallantly, stabs you basely; in England, though you offend never so basely, challenges fairly: the former kills you out of revenge; the latter out of good breeding. But to probe the heart of a man in this particular to its utmost thoughts and recesses, I must wait for the return of Pacolet, who is now attending a gentleman lately in a duel, and sometimes visits the person by whose hand he received his wounds.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 13.

Letters from Vienna of the 8th instant say, there has been a journal of the marches and actions of the King of Sweden, from the beginning of January to the 11th of April, N.S., communicated by the Swedish Ministers to that Court. These advices inform, that his Swedish Majesty entered the territories of Muscovy in February last with the main body of his army, in order to oblige the enemy to a general engagement; but that the Muscovites declining a battle, and a universal thaw having rendered the rivers unpassable, the king returned into Ukrania. There are mentioned several rencounters between considerable detachments of the Swedish and Russian armies. Marshal Heister intended to take his leave of the Court on the day after the date of these letters, and put himself at the head of the army in Hungary. The malcontents had attempted to send in a supply of provisions into Neuheusel; but their design was disappointed by the Germans.

Advices from Berlin of the 15th instant, N.S., say, that his Danish Majesty having received an invitation from the King of Prussia to an interview, designed to come to Potsdam within few days; and that King Augustus resolved to accompany him thither. To avoid all difficulties in ceremony, the three kings, and all the company who shall have the honour to sit with them at table, are to draw lots, and take precedence accordingly.

They write from Hamburg of the 18th instant, N.S., that some particular letters from Dantzic speak of a late action between the Swedes and Muscovites near Jaroslaw; but that engagement being mentioned from no other place, there is not much credit given to this intelligence.

We hear from Brussels, by letters, dated the 20th, that on the 14th in the evening the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene arrived at Courtray, with a design to proceed the day following to Lille, in the neighbourhood of which city the confederate army was to rendezvous the same day. Advices from Paris inform us, that the Marshal de Bezons is appointed to command in Dauphiné; and that the Duke of Berwick is set out for Spain, with a design to follow the fortunes of the Duke of Anjou, in case the French king should comply with the late demands of the Allies.

The Court of France has sent a circular letter to all the governors of the provinces, to recommend to their consideration his Majesty's late conduct in the affair of peace. It is thought fit in that epistle, to condescend to a certain appeal to the people, whether it is consistent with the dignity of the crown, or the French name, to submit to the preliminaries demanded by the confederates? The letter dwells upon the unreasonableness of the Allies, in requiring, that his Majesty should assist in dethroning his grandson, and treats this particular in language more suitable to it, as it is a topic of oratory, than a real circumstance, on which the interests of nations, and reasons of State, which affect all Europe, are concerned.

The close of this memorial seems to prepare the people to expect all events, attributing the confidence of the enemy to the goodness of their troops; but acknowledging, that his sole dependence is upon the intervention of Providence.

See No. 26.

Venice, where mercenaries were employed for fighting purposes.

The City train-bands were often the subject of ridicule by the wits. See "Harleian Misc." i. 206, Cowper's "John Gilpin," and Nos. 38, 41. Tothill Fields, Westminster, and the Artillery Ground, Finsbury, were the usual exercising-grounds for the train-bands.

The Compter was a prison for the city of London, where debtors and others were confined.

Steele wrote at length in the Spectator (No. 436) of a trial of skill in the noble art of self-defence at Hockley-in-the-Hole; and in No. 630 there is an allusion to the gladiators of Hockley-in-the-Hole. In the "Beggar's Opera," Mrs. Peachum says: "You should to Hockley-in-the-Hole and to Marybone, child, to learn valour; there are the schools that have bred so many brave men." As to the other sports at the Bear Garden, see No. 134, and Gay's "Trivia," ii. 407-12:

"When thro' the town, with slow and solemn air,
Led by the nostril, walks the muzzled bear;
Behind him moves, majestically dull,
The pride of Hockley-hole, the surly bull;
Learn hence the periods of the week to name:
Mondays and Thursdays are the days of game."

There were seats, at half a crown and upwards, for the quality; the neighbourhood of the Bear Garden was infested by thieves. The following are specimens of the advertisements common about 1709: "At the Bear-garden, in Hockley in the Hole. A trial of skill, to be performed between two profound masters of the noble science of defence, on Wednesday next, the 13th of July, 1702, at two o'clock precisely. I George Gray, born in the city of Norwich, who has fought in most parts of the West Indies, viz., Jamaica, Barbadoes, and several other parts of the world, in all twenty-five times upon the stage, and was never yet worsted; and am now lately come to London, do invite James Harris to meet, and exercise at the following weapons, back-sword, sword and dagger, sword and buckler, single falchon, and case of falchons. I James Harris, master of the said noble science of defence, who formerly rid in the Horse-guards, and hath fought 110 prizes, and never left a stage to any man, will not fail (God willing) to meet this brave and bold inviter, at the time and place appointed, desiring sharp swords, and from him no favour. No person to be upon the stage, but the seconds. Vivat Regina."

"At the Bear-garden in Hockley in the Hole, near Clerkenwell Green, 1710. This is to give notice to all gentlemen, gamesters, and others, that on this present Monday is a match to be fought by two dogs, one from Newgate-market, against one from Honey-lane market, at a bull, for a guinea to be spent, five let-goes out of hand, which goes fairest and fastest in, wins all. Likewise, a green bull to be baited, which was never baited before; and a bull to be turned loose with fireworks all over him. Also a mad ass to be baited. With a variety of bull-baiting and bear-baiting, and a dog to be drawn up with fireworks. To begin exactly at three of the clock."

No. 29.



From Tuesday, June 14, to Thursday, June 16, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, June 14.

Having a very solid respect for human nature, however it is distorted from its natural make, by affectation, humour, custom, misfortune, or vice, I do apply myself to my friends to help me in raising arguments for preserving it in all its individuals, as long as it is permitted. To one of my letters on this subject, I have received the following answer:298


"In answer to your question, why men of sense, virtue, and experience, are seen still to comply with that ridiculous custom of duelling, I must desire you to reflect, that custom has dished up in ruffs the wisest heads of our ancestors, and put the best of the present age into huge falbala periwigs.299 Men of sense would not impose such encumbrances on themselves; but be glad they might show their faces decently in public upon easier terms. If then such men appear reasonably slaves to the fashion, in what regards the figure of their persons, we ought not to wonder, that they are at least so in what seems to touch their reputations. Besides, you can't be ignorant, that dress and chivalry have been always encouraged by the ladies, as the two principal branches of gallantry. It is to avoid being sneered at for his singularity, and from a desire to appear more agreeable to his mistress, that a wise, experienced, and polite man, complies with the dress commonly received, and is prevailed upon to violate his reason and principles, in hazarding his life and estate by a tilt, as well as suffering his pleasures to be constrained and soured by the constant apprehension of a quarrel. This is the more surprising, because men of the most delicate sense and principles have naturally in other cases a particular repugnance in accommodating themselves to the maxims of the world: but one may easily distinguish the man that is affected with beauty, and the reputation of a tilt, from him who complies with both, merely as they are imposed upon him by custom; for in the former you will remark an air of vanity and triumph; whereas when the latter appears in a long Duvillier full of powder, or has decided a quarrel by the sword, you may perceive in his face, that he appeals to custom for an excuse. I think it may not be improper to inquire into the genealogy of this chimerical monster, called a 'duel', which I take to be an illegitimate species of the ancient knight-errantry. By the laws of this whim, your heroic person, or man of gallantry, was indispensably obliged to starve in armour a certain number of years in the chase of monsters, encounter them at the peril of his life, and suffer great hardships, in order to gain the affection of the fair lady, and qualify himself for assuming the belair, that is, of a pretty fellow, or man of honour according to the fashion: but since the publishing of 'Don Quixote' and extinction of the race of dragons, which Suetonius says happened in that of Wantley,300 the gallant and heroic spirits of these latter times have been under the necessity of creating new chimerical monsters to entertain themselves with, by way of single combats, as the only proofs they are able to give their own sex, and the ladies, that they are in all points men of nice honour. But to do justice to the ancient and real monsters, I must observe, that they never molested those who were not of a humour to hunt for them in the woods and deserts; whereas on the contrary, our modern monsters are so familiarly admitted and entertained in all the Courts and cities of Europe (except France) that one can scarce be in the most humanised society without risking one's life; the people of the best sort, and the fine gentlemen of the age, being so fond of them, that they seldom appear in any public place without one. I have some further considerations upon this subject, which, as you encourage me, shall be communicated to you, by, sir, a cousin but once removed from the best family of the Staffs, namely, "Sir,

"Your humble Servant,

"Kinsman and Friend,


It is certain, Mr. Switch has hit upon the true source of this evil; and that it proceeds only from the force of custom that we contradict ourselves in half the particulars and occurrences of life. But such a tyranny in love, which the fair impose upon us, is a little too severe, that we must demonstrate our affection for them by no certain proof but hatred to one another, or come at them (only as one does to an estate) by survivorship. This way of application to gain a lady's heart, is taking her as we do towns and castles, by distressing the place, and letting none come near them without our pass. Were such a lover once to write the truth of his heart, and let her know his whole thoughts, he would appear indeed to have a passion for her; but it would hardly be called love. The billet-doux would run to this purpose:


"I have so tender a regard for you and your interests, that I'll knock any man in the head whom I observe to be of my mind, and like you. Mr. Truman the other day looked at you in so languishing a manner, that I am resolved to run him through to-morrow morning: this, I think, he deserves for his guilt in admiring you; than which I cannot have a greater reason for murdering him, except it be that you also approve him. Whoever says he dies for you, I will make his words good, for I will kill him. I am,


"Your most obedient,

"Most humble Servant."

From my own Apartment, June 14.

I am just come hither at ten at night, and have ever since six been in the most celebrated, though most nauseous, company in town: the two leaders of the society were a critic and a wit. These two gentlemen are great opponents upon all occasions, not discerning that they are the nearest each other in temper and talents of any two classes of men in the world; for to profess judgment, and to profess wit, both arise from the same failure, which is want of judgment. The poverty of the critic this way proceeds from the abuse of his faculty; that of the wit from the neglect of it. It is a particular observation I have always made, that of all mortals, a critic is the silliest; for by inuring himself to examine all things, whether they are of consequence or not, be never looks upon anything but with a design of passing sentence upon it; by which means, he is never a companion, but always a censor. This makes him earnest upon trifles; and dispute on the most indifferent occasions with vehemence. If he offers to speak or write, that talent which should approve the work of the other faculties, prevents their operation. He comes upon action in armour; but without weapons: he stands in safety; but can gain no glory. The wit on the other hand has been hurried so long away by imagination only, that judgment seems not to have ever been one of his natural faculties. This gentleman takes himself to be as much obliged to be merry, as the other to be grave. A thorough critic is a sort of Puritan in the polite world. As an enthusiast in religion stumbles at the ordinary occurrences of life, if he cannot quote scripture examples on the occasion; so the critic is never safe in his speech or writing, without he has among the celebrated writers an authority for the truth of his sentence. You will believe we had a very good time with these brethren, who were so far out of the dress of their native country, and so lost to its dialect, that they were as much strangers to themselves, as to their relation to each other. They took up the whole discourse; sometimes the critic grew passionate, and when reprimanded by the wit for any trip or hesitation in his voice, he would answer, Mr. Dryden makes such a character on such an occasion break off in the same manner; so that the stop was according to nature, and as a man in a passion should do. The wit, who is as far gone in letters as himself, seems to be at a loss to answer such an apology; and concludes only, that though his anger is justly vented, it wants fire in the utterance. If wit is to be measured by the circumstances of time and place, there is no man has generally so little of that talent, as he who is a wit by profession. What he says, instead of arising from the occasion, has an occasion invented to bring it in. Thus he is new for no other reason, but that he talks like nobody else; but has taken up a method of his own, without commerce of dialogue with other people. The lively Jasper Dactyle301 is one of this character. He seems to have made a vow to be witty to his life's end. When you meet him, "What do you think," says he, "I have been entertaining myself with?" Then out comes a premeditated turn, to which it is to no purpose to answer; for he goes on in the same strain of thought he designed without your speaking. Therefore I have a general answer to all he can say; as, "Sure there never was any creature had so much fire!" Spondee, who is a critic, is seldom out of this fine man's company. They have no manner of affection for each other, but keep together, like Novel and Oldfox in "The Plain Dealer,"302 because they show each other. I know several of sense who can be diverted with this couple; but I see no curiosity in the thing, except it be, that Spondee is dull, and seems dull; but Dactyle is heavy with a brisk face. It must be owned also, that Dactyle has almost vigour enough to be a coxcomb; but Spondee, by the lowness of his constitution, is only a blockhead.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 15.

We have no particulars of moment since our last, except it be, that the copy of the following original letter came by the way of Ostend. It is said to have been found in the closet of Monsieur Chamillard, the late Secretary of State of France, since his disgrace. It was signed by two brothers of the famous Cavallier,303 who led the Cevennois, and had a personal interview with the king, as well as a capitulation to lay down his arms, and leave the dominions of France. There are many other names to it; among whom, is the chief of the family of the Marquis Guiscard.304 It is not yet known, whether Monsieur Chamillard had any real design to favour the Protestant interest, or only thought to place himself at the head of that people, to make himself considerable enough to oppose his enemies at Court, and reinstate himself in power there.


"We have read your Majesty's305 letter to the governors of your provinces, with instructions what sentiments to insinuate into the minds of your people: but as you have always acted upon the maxim, that we were made for you, and not you for us, we must take leave to assure your Majesty, that we are exactly of the contrary opinion, and must desire you to send for your grandson home, and acquaint him, that you now know by experience, absolute power is only a vertigo in the brain of princes, which for a time may quicken their motion, and double in their diseased sight the instances of power above them; but must end in their fall and destruction. Your memorial speaks a good father of your family, but a very ill one of your people. Your Majesty is reduced to hear truth when you are obliged to speak it: there is no governing any but savages by any methods but their own consent, which you seem to acknowledge, in appealing to us for our opinion of your conduct in treating of peace. Had your people been always of your council, the King of France had never been reduced so low, as to acknowledge his arms were fallen into contempt. But since it is thus, we must ask, 'How is any man of France, but they of the House of Bourbon, the better that Philip is King of Spain?' We have outgrown that folly of placing our happiness in your Majesty's being called, The Great; therefore as you and we are all alike bankrupts,306 and undone, let us not deceive ourselves, but compound with our adversaries, and not talk like their equals. Your Majesty must forgive us that we cannot wish you success, or lend you help; for if you lose one battle more, we may have a hand in the peace you make; and doubt not but your Majesty's faith in treaties will require the ratification of the states of your kingdoms. So we bid you heartily farewell, till we have the honour to meet you assembled in Parliament. This happy expectation makes us willing to wait the event of another campaign, from whence we hope to be raised from the misery of slaves, to the privileges of subjects. We are,

"Your Majesty's

"Truly faithful, and

"Loyal Subjects, &c."

See Nos. 25, 26, 28.

The full-bottomed dress wigs. Another name was "Duvillier," used below.

See Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry," ed. Wheatley, iii. 279. "The Dragon of Wantley" is a satire on the old ballads of chivalry.

See Nos. 3, 63.

In the list of characters, Wycherley defines Novel as "a pert railing coxcomb, and an admirer of novelties," and Major Oldfox as "an old impertinent fop, given to scribbling."

James Cavallier was the celebrated leader of the French Protestants in the Cevennes, when these warlike but enthusiastic mountaineers opposed the tyranny of Lewis XIV. and made a vigorous stand against the whole power of France, which for a long time laboured in vain to subdue them. It was in the heat of this gallant struggle to preserve themselves from religious slavery, that the first seeds of that wild fanaticism were sown, which afterwards grew up to such an amazing extravagance, and distinguished them, by the name of French Prophets, among the most extraordinary enthusiasts that are to be found in the history of human folly. Cavallier, who found in his latter days an hospitable asylum in Ireland, published, in 1726, "Memoirs of the Wars of the Cevennes, under Col. Cavallier, in defence of the Protestants persecuted in that country, and of the peace concluded between him and the Mareschal Duke of Villars; of his conference with the King of France, after the conclusion of the peace; with letters relating thereto, from Mareschal Villars, and Chamillard, secretary of state." (Percy.)

It was a younger brother, an abbé, who used his pen and sword against Lewis XIV. He was employed in England, had preferment in the army, and a pension; but, being found a useless villain, he was soon discarded. He then endeavoured to make his peace with France, by acting here as a spy; but being detected, he was brought before the Cabinet Council, to be examined, March 8, 1711. In the course of his examination he took an opportunity to stab Mr. Harley. Of the wounds given to this assassin on that occasion, he died in Newgate soon after. See the "Narrative of Guiscard's Examination," by Mrs. Manley, from facts communicated to her by Dr. Swift. See also Examiner, No. 32. (Nichols.)

Soon after the conclusion of the late treaty of peace, the French king dispersed a letter through his dominions, wherein he shows the reasons why he could not ratify the preliminaries. Vide the public newspapers of this date. (Steele.)

N.B.—Mons. Bernard and the chief bankers of France became bankrupts about this time (Steele).—See news paragraph in Nos. 3, 5, 9.

No. 30.



From Thursday, June 16, to Saturday, June 18, 1709.

From my own Apartment, June 16.

The vigilance, the anxiety, the tenderness, which I have for the good people of England, I am persuaded will in time be much commended; but I doubt whether they will ever be rewarded. However, I must go on cheerfully in my work of reformation: that being my great design, I am studious to prevent my labours increasing upon me; therefore am particularly observant of the temper and inclinations of childhood and youth, that we may not give vice and folly supplies from the growing generation. It is hardly to be imagined how useful this study is, and what great evils or benefits arise from putting us in our tender years to what we are fit, or unfit: therefore on Tuesday last (with a design to sound their inclinations) I took three lads who are under my guardianship a rambling, in a hackney-coach, to show them the town, as the lions,307 the tombs,308 Bedlam,309 and the other places which are entertainments to raw minds, because they strike forcibly on the fancy. The boys are brothers, one of sixteen, the other of fourteen, the other of twelve. The first was his father's darling, the second his mother's, and the third is mine, who am their uncle. Mr. William is a lad of true genius; but being at the upper end of a great school, and having all the lads below him, his arrogance is insupportable. If I begin to show a little of my Latin, he immediately interrupts: "Uncle, under favour, that which you say is not understood in that manner." "Brother," says my boy Jack, "you do not show your manners much in contradicting my Uncle Isaac." "You queer cur," says Mr. William, "do you think my uncle takes any notice of such a dull rogue as you are?" Mr. William goes on; "He is the most stupid of all my mother's children: he knows nothing of his book: when he should mind that, he is hiding or hoarding his taws and marbles, or laying up farthings. His way of thinking is, four and twenty farthings make sixpence, and two sixpences a shilling, two shillings and sixpence half a crown, and two half-crowns five shillings. So within these two months, the close hunks has scraped up twenty shillings, and we'll make him spend it all before he comes home." Jack immediately claps his hands into both pockets, and turns as pale as ashes. There is nothing touches a parent (and such I am to Jack) so nearly, as a provident temper. This lad has in him the true temper for a good husband, a kind father, and an honest executor. All the great people you see make considerable figures on the 'Change, in Court, and sometimes in Senates, are such as in reality have no greater faculty than what may be called human instinct, which is a natural tendency to their own preservation, and that of their friends, without being capable of striking out of the road for adventures. There is Sir William Scrip was of this sort of capacity from his childhood: he has bought the country round him, and makes a bargain better than Sir Harry Wildfire with all his wit and humour. Sir Harry never wants money but he comes to Scrip, laughs at him half an hour, and then gives bond for the other thousand. The close men are incapable of placing merit anywhere but in their pence, and therefore gain it; while others, who have larger capacities, are diverted from the pursuit by enjoyments, which can be supported only by that cash which they despise; and therefore are in the end, slaves to their inferiors both in fortune and understanding. I once heard a man of excellent sense observe, that more affairs in the world failed by being in the hands of men of too large capacities for their business, than by being in the conduct of such as wanted abilities to execute them. Jack therefore being of a plodding make, shall be a citizen; and I design him to be the refuge of the family in their distress, as well as their jest in prosperity. His brother Will, shall go to Oxford with all speed, where, if he does not arrive at being a man of sense, he will soon be informed wherein he is a coxcomb. There is in that place such a true spirit of raillery and humour, that if they can't make you a wise man, they will certainly let you know you are a fool, which is all my cousin wants to cease to be so. Thus having taken these two out of the way, I have leisure to look at my third lad. I observe in the young rogue a natural subtilty of mind, which discovers itself rather in forbearing to declare his thoughts on any occasion, than in any visible way of exerting himself in discourse. For which reason I will place him where, if he commits no faults, he may go farther than those in other stations, though they excel in virtues. The boy is well fashioned, and will easily fall into a graceful manner; wherefore, I have a design to make him a page to a great lady of my acquaintance; by which means he will be well skilled in the common modes of life, and make a greater progress in the world by that knowledge, than with the greatest qualities without it. A good mien in a Court will carry a man greater lengths than a good understanding in any other place. We see a world of pains taken, and the best years of life spent, in collecting a set of thoughts in a college for the conduct of life; and after all, the man so qualified shall hesitate in his speech to a good suit of clothes, and want common sense before an agreeable woman. Hence it is, that wisdom, valour, justice, and learning, can't keep a man in countenance that is possessed with these excellences, if he wants that less art of life and behaviour, called "good breeding." A man endowed with great perfections without this, is like one who has his pockets full of gold, but always wants change for his ordinary occasions. Will. Courtly is a living instance of this truth, and has had the same education which I am giving my nephew. He never spoke a thing but what was said before; and yet can converse with the wittiest men without being ridiculous. Among the learned, he does not appear ignorant; nor with the wise, indiscreet. Living in conversation from his infancy, makes him nowhere at a loss; and a long familiarity with the persons of men, is in a manner of the same service to him, as if he knew their arts. As ceremony is the invention of wise men to keep fools at a distance, so good breeding is an expedient to make fools and wise men equals.

Will's Coffee-house, June 17.

The suspension of the playhouse310 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 love, 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. Therefore 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 to 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 to her 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 exactness.


"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 more troublesome to my colonel than myself: I permit you to visit me only now and then; but he downright keeps you. I laugh at his Honour as far as his gravity will allow me; but I know him to be a man of too much merit to succeed with a woman. Therefore defend your heart as well as you can, I shall come home this winter irresistibly dressed, and with quite a new foreign air. And so I had like to say, I rest, but alas! I remain,


"Your most obedient,

"Most humble Servant,


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 a 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 a love of his country, quickened by a passion for a woman of honour. If there be anything 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 great 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 9th instant, N.S., say, that the enemy's army, having blocked up Olivenza, was posted on the Guadiana. The Portuguese 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 generals held a council of war on the 4th instant, wherein it was concluded to advance towards Badajos. With this design the army decamped on the 5th from Jerumena, and marched to Cancaon. It is hoped, that if the enemy follow their motions, they may have opportunity to put a sufficient quantity of provision and ammunition into Olivenza.

Mr. Bickerstaff gives notice to all persons that dress themselves as they please, without regard to decorum (as with blue and red stockings in mourning; tucked cravats, and nightcap wigs, before people of the first quality) that he has yet received no fine for indulging them in that liberty, and that he expects their compliance with this demand, or that they go home immediately and shift themselves. This is further to acquaint the town, that the report that the hosiers, toymen, and milliners, have compounded with Mr. Bickerstaff for tolerating such enormities, is utterly false and scandalous.

At the Tower of London. The Tower menagerie was one of the sights of London until its removal in 1834. See Addison's Freeholder; No. 47.

In Westminster Abbey.

The Priory of Bethlem, in St. Botolph Without, Bishopsgate, was given by Henry VIII. to the Corporation of London, and was from thenceforth used as a hospital for lunatics. In 1675 a new hospital was built near London Wall, in Moorfields, at a cost of £17,000. See Hogarth's "Rake's Progress," Plate 8. In No. 127, Steele calls Bedlam "that magnificent palace."

Drury Lane Theatre was closed on June 6, 1709, by order of the Lord Chamberlain, in consequence of Rich's ill-treatment of the actors.

No. 31.



From Saturday, June 18, to Tuesday, June 21, 1709.

Grecian Coffee-house, June 18.

In my dissertation against the custom of single combat,311 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 within 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, by reason that he thought to follow the circuits in the North of England and South of Scotland, and to reside mostly at his own estate at Landbadernawz312 in Cardiganshire. The northern Britons and southern Scots are a warm people, and the Welsh a nation of gentlemen; so that it behoved him to understand well the science of quarrelling. The young gentleman proceeded admirably well, and gave the board an account, that he had read Fitzherbert's "Grand Abridgment,"313 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 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 Hockley-in-the-Hole,314 for anywhere else. This part of the law we had from the Saxons; and they had it, as also the trial by ordeal, from the Laplanders.315 "It is indeed agreed," said he, "the Southern and Eastern nations never knew anything of it; for though the ancient Romans would scold, and call names filthily, yet there is not an example of a challenge that ever passed amongst them." 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 "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 aboard fasting, nor put himself in a heat, for it would prejudice his health. Thus the East knows nothing of this gallantry. 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 Gorman316 and others of Great Britain. He informed the company, that he had searched authorities for what he said, and that a learned antiquary, Humphrey Scarecrow, Esq., 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, and worthies of the ancient Bear Garden. The renowned Hercules always carried a quarterstaff, and was from thence called Claviger. A learned chronologist is about proving what wood this staff was made of, whether oak, ash, or crab-tree. 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's; so that 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 oyster-woman, having got a blacksmith of Lemnos to make her son's weapons. There is a pair of trusty Trojans in a song of Virgil's, that were famous for handling their gauntlets, Dares, and Entellus;317 and indeed it does appear, they fought [for] no sham prize. What arms the great Alexander used, is uncertain; however, the historian mentions, when he attacked Thalestris, it was only at single rapier; but the weapon soon failed; for it was always observed, that the Amazons had a sort of enchantment about them, which made the blade of the weapon, though of never so good metal, at every home push, lose its edge and grow feeble. The Roman Bear Garden was abundantly more magnificent than anything 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.318 I observe, the Lanistaé 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 Bear Garden stood secure, till 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. Thus fell the grandeur and bravery of the Roman state, till at last the warlike genius (but accompanied with more courtesy) revived in the Christian world under those puissant champions, St. George, St. Denis, and other dignified heroes: one killed his dragon, another his lion, and were all afterwards canonised for it, having red letters before them to illustrate their martial temper.319 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 brandished 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 House320) 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 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:321


"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, Chloe322 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 burridge323 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'd324 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 parish), it may wander to places where it is not known, and be lost. Since it is so, you must 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 but silly; the other, who talked a great deal less, I observed to have understanding. The lady who is reckoned such a companion among her acquaintance, has only, with a very brisk air, a knack of saying the commonest things: the other, with a sly serious one, says home things enough. The first (Mistress Giddy) is very quick; but the second (Mrs. 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'll have a better office.' Upon which Slim immediately repartees, and sits in her lap, and cries, 'Are you not sorry for my heaviness?' This sly wench pleased me to see how she hit her height of understanding so well. We sat down to supper. 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 I,

"'He that will not when he may,
When he will he shall have nay;'

and so helped myself. Giddy turns about, 'What, have you found your tongue?' 'Yes,' says I, 'it is manners to speak when I am spoken to; but your greatest talkers are little doers, and the still sow eats up all the broth.' 'Ha! ha!' says Giddy, 'one would think he had nothing in him, and do you hear how he talks when he pleases.' I grew immediately roguish and pleasant to a degree in the same strain. Slim, who knew how good company we had been, cries, 'You'll certainly print this bright conversation.'"

It is so; and hereby you may see how small an appearance the prettiest things said in company, make when in print.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 20.

A mail from Lisbon has brought advices of June the 12th, from the King of Portugal's army encamped at Torre Allegada, which inform us, that the general of the army called a court-martial on the 4th at the camp of Gerumhena, where it was resolved to march with a design to attempt the succour of Olivenza. Accordingly the army moved on the 5th, and marched towards Badajos. Upon their approach, the Marquis de Bay detached so great a party from the blockade of Olivenza, that the Marquis des 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 the main army, without molestation from the Spaniards. They add, that each army must necessarily march into quarters within twenty days.

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, sir,"—and other terms of provocation, taken up at the door of Young Man's Coffee-house,325 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.

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.326

See Nos. 25, 26, 28, 29.

Probably meant for Llanbadern Vawr, if not a name coined for the occasion.

Sir Anthony Fitzherbert's book was published in 1514.

See Nos. 28, 134.

See Selden, "De Duello" (1610), p. 19.

A prize-fighter mentioned in Lansdowne's epilogue to "The Jew of Venice."

"Æneid," v. 437 seq.

Suetonius, "Life of Nero," chap. 12.

An allusion to the rubrics in Roman missals.

The fields at the back of Montague House, Bloomsbury, were a favourite place for duels in the first half of the eighteenth century. Cf. Spectator, No. 91: "I shall be glad to meet you immediately in Hyde Park or behind Montague House, or attend you to Barn Elms, or any other fashionable place that's fit for a gentleman to die in."

It has been suggested, with some probability, that this letter is by Swift.

See No. 4.

Borago was a plant formerly used as a cordial.

See No. 21.

Young Man's Coffee-house at Charing Cross, had a back door into Spring Garden. It seems to have been specially frequented by officers.

"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" (folio).

No. 32.



From Tuesday, June 21, to Thursday, June 23, 1709.

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 ante-chamber, to give the gentlemen my opinion.

"To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.

"June 18, 1709.


"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 unaccountable creature of her sex. To hear her talk seraphics, and run over Norris,327 and More,328 and Milton,329 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 hand or lip, she shrinks from the touch like a sensitive plant, and would contract herself into mere spirit. She calls her chariot, 'vehicle'; her furbelowed scarf, 'pinions': her blue mant and petticoat is her 'azure dress'; and her footman goes by the name of Oberon. It is my misfortune to be six foot 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 her aversion. What shall I do? Impudence itself cannot reclaim her. If I write miserable, she reckons me among the children of perdition, and discards me her region: if I assume the gross and substantial, she plays the real ghost with me, and vanishes in a moment. I had hopes in the hypocrisy of her sex; but perseverance makes it as bad as fixed aversion. I desire your opinion, whether I may not lawfully play the Inquisition upon her, make use of a little force, and put her to the rack and the torture, only to convince her she has really fine limbs, without spoiling or distorting them. I expect your directions, ere I proceed to dwindle and fall away with despair; which at present I don't think advisable; because, if she should recant, she may then hate me perhaps in the other extreme for my tenuity. I am (with impatience) "Your most humble Servant,


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 peculiar manner 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 woman in general; but a Platonne 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. 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 those 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 into foreign parts, where some of us have already been." Here he bows in the most humble manner, and kissed the girl, who knew not how to behave to such a sort of carriage. He goes on: "Now you must know we have an ambition to have it to say, that we have a Protestant nunnery in England: but pray Mrs. Betty—" "Sir," she replied, "my name is Susan, at your service." "Then I heartily beg your pardon—" "No offence in the least," says she, "for I have a cousin-german whose name is Betty." "Indeed," said he, "I protest to you that was more than I knew, I spoke at random: but since it happens that I was near in the right, give me leave to present this gentleman to the favour of a civil salute." His friend advances, and so on, till that they had all saluted her. By this means, the poor girl was in the middle of the crowd of these fellows, at 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 Suky in chat with questions concerning their way of life; when appeared at last Madonella,330 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 curiosity to see, in its first rudiments, this 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 answers, "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 lady? If I may approach lips which have uttered things so sacred—" He salutes her. His friends follow his example. The devoted within stood in amazement where this would end, to see Madonella receive their address and their company. But Rake goes on, "We would not transgress rules; but if we may take the liberty to see the place you have thought fit to choose for ever, we would go into such parts of the gardens as is consistent with the severities you have imposed on yourselves." To be short, Madonella permitted Rake to lead her into the assembly of nuns, followed by his friends, and each took his fair one by the hand, after due explanation, to walk round the gardens. The conversation turned upon the lilies, the flowers, the arbors, and the growing vegetables; and Rake had the solemn impudence, when the whole company stood round him, to say, "That he sincerely wished that men might rise out of the earth like plants; and that our minds were not of necessity to be sullied with carnivorous appetites for the generation, as well as support of our species."331 This was spoke with so easy and fixed an assurance, that Madonella answered, "Sir, under the notion of a pious thought, you deceive yourself in wishing an institution foreign to that of Providence: these desires were implanted in us for reverent purposes, in preserving the race of men, and giving opportunities for making our chastity more heroic." The conference was continued in this celestial strain, and carried on so well by the managers on both sides, that it created a second and a third332 interview; and, without entering into further particulars, there was hardly one of them but was a mother or father that day twelve-month.

Any unnatural part is long taking up, and as long laying aside; therefore Mr. Sturdy may assure himself, Platonica will fly for ever from a forward behaviour; but if he approaches her according to this model, she will fall in with the necessities of mortal life, and condescend to look with pity upon an unhappy man, imprisoned in so much body, and urged by such violent desires.

From my own Apartment, June 22.

The evils of this town increase upon me to so great a degree, that I am half afraid I shall not leave the world much better than I found it. Several worthy gentlemen and critics have applied to me, to give my censure of an enormity which has been revived (after being long oppressed) and is called Punning.333 I have several arguments ready to prove, that he cannot be a man of honour who is guilty of this abuse of human society. But the way to expose it, is like the expedient of curing drunkenness, showing a man in that condition: therefore I must give my reader warning, to expect a collection of these offences; without which preparation, I thought it too adventurous to introduce the very mention of it in good company; and hope I shall be understood to do it, as a divine mentions oaths and curses, only for their condemnation. I shall dedicate this discourse to a gentleman my very good friend, who is the Janus334 of our times, and whom by his years and wit, you would take to be of the last age; but by his dress and morals, of this.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 22.

Last night arrived two mails from Holland, which brings letters from the Hague of the 28th instant, N.S., with advice, that the enemy lay encamped behind a strong retrenchment, with the marsh of Remières on their right and left, extending itself as far as Bethune: La Bassée is in their front, Lens in their rear, and their camp is strengthened by another line from Lens to Douay. The Duke of Marlborough caused an exact observation to be made of their ground, and the works by which they were covered, which appeared so strong, that it was not thought proper to attack them in their present posture. However, the Duke thought fit to make a feint as if he designed it; and accordingly marching from the abbey at Looze, as did Prince Eugene from Lampret, advanced with all possible diligence towards the enemy. To favour the appearance of an intended assault, the ways were made, and orders distributed in such a manner, that none in either camp could have thoughts of anything but charging the enemy by break of day the next morning: but soon after the fall of the night of the 26th, the whole army faced towards Tournay, which place they invested early in the morning of the 27th. The Marshal Villars was so confident that we designed to attack him, that he had drawn great part of the garrison of the place, which is now invested, into the field: for which reason, it is presumed it must submit within a small time; which the enemy cannot prevent, but by coming out of their present camp, and hazarding a general engagement. These advices add, that the garrison of Mons had marched out under the command of Marshal d'Arco; which, with the Bavarians, Walloons, and the troops of Cologne, have joined the grand army of the enemy.

John Norris (1657-1711), the divine, published, in 1688, "The Theory and Regulation of Love, a Moral Essay; to which are added Letters Philosophical and Moral between the author and Doctor Henry More."

Henry More, the platonist (1614-87), published "Divine Dialogues," "Conjectura Cabalistica," and many other works.

It is not clear why Milton is bracketed with Norris and More; perhaps Swift had in mind such passages about heavenly love as that in "Paradise Lost," viii. 588-614.

Swift seems to have been the author of this first portion of No. 32, which contains a scandalous attack on Mary Astell. Nichols thought that Addison also had a share in it. See Nos. 59, 63. Mrs. Astell, a friend of Lady Elizabeth Hastings and John Norris, published, in 1694, her "Serious Proposal to the Ladies," advocating a Church of England monastery, without any irrevocable vows. Provision was made for mental as well as moral training; in fact, the institution was to have been "rather academical than monastic." But Bishop Burnet advised Lady Elizabeth Hastings not to subscribe to the proposed building, and the scheme fell through. In 1709, Miss Astell published a book called "Bart'lemy Fair; or, An Enquiry after Wit.... By Mr. Wotton, in answer to Lord Shaftesbury's Letter concerning Enthusiasm, and other profane writers." In the advertisement to the Second Edition ("An Enquiry after Wit," &c., 1722), Mary Astell says that, although her book was at first published under a borrowed name, it was ascribed to her, and drew upon her the resentment of that sort of men of wit who were exposed, and was the true cause of the fable published in the Tatler a little after the "Enquiry" appeared. But she notes that, although the Tatler showed its teeth against the "Proposal to the Ladies," the compilator made amends to the author (if not to the bookseller), by transcribing above a hundred pages into his Ladies' Library verbatim, except in a few places, which would not be found to be improved. The "Enquiry after Wit" is dedicated "To the most Illustrious Society of the Kit-Cats," with many sarcastic allusions to their luxury, oaths, &c. True, their names had not been heard of from Hochsted or Ramillies, but then their heroism found in every place an ample theatre for their merits. "The Bath, the Wells, and every Fair, each Chocolate, Gaming House and Tavern resounds with your noble exploits."

This is borrowed from Sir Thomas Browne's "Religio Medici," part ii. sect. 9.

"Second," in original editions.

There is an apology for punning in No. 36 of the Guardian.


No. 33.



By Mrs. JENNY DISTAFF, half-sister to Mr. BICKERSTAFF.

From Thursday, June 23, to Saturday, June 25, 1709.

From my own Apartment, June 23.

My brother has made an excursion into the country, and the work against Saturday lies upon me. I am very glad I have got pen and ink in my hand; for I have for some time longed for his absence, to give a right idea of things, which I thought he put in a very odd light, and some of them to the disadvantage of my own sex. It is much to be lamented, that it is necessary to make discourses, and publish treatises, to keep the horrid creatures, the men, within the rules of common decency. Turning over the papers of memorials or hints for the ensuing discourses, I find a letter subscribed by Mr. Truman.


"I am lately come to town, and have read your works with much pleasure. You make wit subservient to good principles and good manners. Yet, because I design to buy the Tatlers for my daughters to read, I take the freedom to desire you, for the future, to say nothing about any combat between Alexander and Thalestris."335

This offence gives me occasion to express myself with the resentment I ought, on people who take liberties of speech before that sex of whom the honoured names of mother, daughter, and sister, are a part: I had liked to have named wife in the number; but the senseless world are so mistaken in their sentiments of pleasure, that the most amiable term in human life is become the derision of fools and scorners. My brother and I have at least fifty times quarrelled upon this topic. I ever argue, that the frailties of women are to be imputed to the false ornaments which men of wit put upon our folly and coquetry. He lays all the vices of men upon women's secret approbation of libertine characters in them. I did not care to give up a point; but now he is out of the way, I cannot but own I believe there is very much in what he asserted: for if you will believe your eyes, and own, that the wickedest and the wittiest of them all marry one day or other, is it possible to believe, that if a man thought he should be for ever incapable of being received by a woman of merit and honour, he would persist in an abandoned way, and deny himself the possibility of enjoying the happiness of well-governed desires, orderly satisfactions, and honourable methods of life? If our sex were wise, a lover should have a certificate from the last woman he served, how he was turned away, before he was received into the service of another: but at present any vagabond is welcome, provided he promises to enter into our livery. It is wonderful, that we will not take a footman without credentials from his last master; and in the greatest concern of life, we make no scruple of falling into a treaty with the most notorious offender in his behaviour against others. But this breach of commerce between the sexes, proceeds from an unaccountable prevalence of custom, by which a woman is to the last degree reproachable for being deceived, and a man suffers no loss of credit for being a deceiver. Since this tyrant humour has gained place, why are we represented in the writings of men in ill figures for artifice in our carriage, when we have to do with a professed impostor? When oaths, imprecations, vows, and adorations, are made use of as words of course, what arts are not necessary to defend us from such as glory in the breach of them? As for my part, I am resolved to hear all, and believe none of them; and therefore solemnly declare, no vow shall deceive me, but that of marriage: for I am turned of twenty, and being of a small fortune, some wit, and (if I can believe my lovers and my glass) handsome, I have heard all that can be said towards my undoing, and shall therefore, for warning sake, give an account of the offers that have been made me, my manner of rejecting them, and my assistances to keep my resolution. In the sixteenth year of my life, I fell into the acquaintance of a lady, extremely well known in this town for the quick advancement of her husband, and the honours and distinctions which her industry has procured him, and all who belong to her. This excellent body sat next to me for some months at church, and took the liberty (which she said her years and the zeal she had for my welfare gave her claim to) to assure me, that she observed some parts of my behaviour which would lead me into errors, and give encouragement to some to entertain hopes I did not think of. "What made you," said she, "look through your fan at that lord, when your eyes should have been turned upward, or closed in attention upon better objects?" I blushed, and pretended fifty odd excuses;—but confounded myself the more. She wanted nothing but to see that confusion, and goes on: "Nay, child, do not be troubled that I take notice of it, my value for you made me speak it; for though he is my kinsman, I have a nearer regard to virtue than any other consideration." She had hardly done speaking, when this noble lord came up to us, and took her hand to lead her to her coach. My head ran all that day and night on the exemplary carriage of this woman who could be so virtuously impertinent, as to admonish one she was hardly acquainted with. However, it struck upon the vanity of a girl that it may possibly be, his thoughts might have been as favourable of me, as mine were amorous of him, and as unlikely things as that have happened, if he should make me his wife. She never mentioned this more to me; but I still in all public places stole looks at this man, who easily observed my passion for him. It is so hard a thing to check the return of agreeable thoughts, that he became my dream, my vision, my food, my wish, my torment. That minister of darkness, the Lady Sempronia,336 perceived too well the temper I was in, and would one day after evening service needs take me to the Park. When we were there, my lord passes by; I flushed into a flame. "Mrs. Distaff," said she, "you may very well remember the concern I was in upon the first notice I took of your regard to that lord, and forgive me, who had a tender friendship for your mother (now in her grave) that I am vigilant of your conduct." She went on with much severity, and after great solicitation, prevailed on me to go with her into the country, and there spend the ensuing summer out of the way of a man she saw I loved, and one whom she perceived meditated my ruin, by frequently desiring her to introduce him to me; which she absolutely refused, except he would give his honour that he had no other design but to marry me. To her country house a week or two after we went: there was at the farther end of her garden a kind of wilderness, in the middle of which ran a soft rivulet by an arbour of jessamine. In this place I usually passed my retired hours, and read some romantic or poetical tale till the close of the evening. It was near that time in the heat of summer, when gentle winds, soft murmurs of water, and notes of nightingales had given my mind an indolence, which added to that repose of soul, which twilight and the end of a warm day naturally throws upon the spirits. It was at such an hour, and in such a state of tranquillity I sat, when, to my unexpressible amazement, I saw my lord walking towards me, whom I knew not till that moment to have been in the country. I could observe in his approach the perplexity which attends a man big with design; and I had, while he was coming forward, time to reflect that I was betrayed; the sense of which gave me a resentment suitable to such a baseness: but when he entered into the bower where I was, my heart flew towards him, and, I confess, a certain joy came into my mind, with a hope that he might then make a declaration of honour and passion. This threw my eye upon him with such tenderness, as gave him power, with a broken accent, to begin. "Madam,—You will wonder—For it is certain, you must have observed—though I fear you will misinterpret the motives—But by Heaven, and all that's sacred! If you could—" Here he made a full stand. And I recovered power to say, "The consternation I am in you will not, I hope, believe—A helpless innocent maid—Besides that, the place—" He saw me in as great confusion as himself; which attributing to the same causes, he had the audaciousness to throw himself at my feet, and talk of the stillness of the evening; then ran into deifications of my person, pure flames, constant love, eternal raptures, and a thousand other phrases drawn from the images we have of heaven, which ill men use for the service of hell, were run over with uncommon vehemence. After which, he seized me in his arms: his design was too evident. In my utmost distress, I fell upon my knees—"My lord, pity me, on my knees—On my knees in the cause of virtue, as you were lately in that of wickedness. Can you think of destroying the labour of a whole life, the purpose of a long education, for the base service of a sudden appetite, to throw one that loves you, that dotes on you, out of the company and road of all that is virtuous and praiseworthy? Have I taken in all the instructions of piety, religion, and reason, for no other end, but to be the sacrifice of lust, and abandoned to scorn? Assume yourself, my lord, and do not attempt to vitiate a temple sacred to innocence, honour, and religion. If I have injured you, stab this bosom, and let me die, but not be ruined by the hand I love." The ardency of my passion made me incapable of uttering more; and I saw my lover astonished and reformed by my behaviour: when rushed in Sempronia. "Ha! Faithless, base man, could you then steal out of town, and lurk like a robber about my house for such brutish purposes?" My lord was by this time recovered, and fell into a violent laughter at the turn which Sempronia designed to give her villany. He bowed to me with the utmost respect: "Mrs. Distaff," said he, "be careful hereafter of your company"; and so retired. The fiend Sempronia congratulated my deliverance with a flood of tears. This nobleman has since very frequently made his addresses to me with honour, but I have as often refused them; as well knowing, that familiarity and marriage will make him, on some ill-natured occasion, call all I said in the arbour a theatrical action. Besides that, I glory in contemning a man who had thoughts to my dishonour. And if this method were the imitation of the whole sex, innocence would be the only dress of beauty; and all affectation by any other arts to please the eyes of men, would be banished to the stews for ever. The conquest of passion gives ten times more happiness than we can reap from the gratification of it; and she that has got over such a one as mine, will stand among beaux and pretty fellows, with as much safety as in a summer's day among grasshoppers and butterflies.

P.S.—I have ten millions of things more against men, if I ever get the pen again.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 24.

Our last advices from the Hague, dated the 28th instant, say, that on the 25th a squadron of Dutch men-of-war sailed out of the Texel to join Admiral Baker at Spithead. The 26th was observed as a day of fasting and humiliation, to implore a blessing on the arms of the Allies this ensuing campaign. Letters from Dresden are very particular in the account of the gallantry and magnificence in which that Court has appeared since the arrival of the King of Denmark. No day has passed in which public shows have not been exhibited for his entertainment and diversion: the last of that kind which is mentioned is a carousal, wherein many of the youth of the first quality, dressed in the most splendid manner, ran for the prize. His Danish Majesty condescended to the same; but having observed that there was a design laid to throw it in his way, passed by without attempting to gain it. The Court of Dresden was preparing to accompany his Danish Majesty to Potsdam, where the expectation of an interview of three kings had drawn together such multitudes of people, that many persons of distinction will be obliged to lie in tents as long as those Courts continue in that place.

See No. 31.

See Sallust, "Bell. Catal." chap. 21. The person here referred to as Sempronia is said to be the same as the Madam d'Epingle elsewhere alluded to.

No. 34.




From Saturday, June 25, to Tuesday, June 28, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, June 25.

Having taken upon me to cure all the distempers which proceed from affections of the mind, I have laboured since I first kept this public stage, to do all the good I could possibly, and have perfected many cures at my own lodging; carefully avoiding the common method of mountebanks, to do their most eminent operations in sight of the people; but must be so just to my patients as to declare, they have testified under their hands their sense of my poor abilities, and the good I have done them, which I publish for the benefit of the world, and not out of any thoughts of private advantage. I have cured fine Mrs. Spy of a great imperfection in her eyes, which made her eternally rolling them from one coxcomb to another in public places, in so languishing a manner, that it at once lessened her own power, and her beholder's vanity. Twenty drops of my ink, placed in certain letters on which she attentively looked for half an hour, have restored her to the true use of her sight; which is, to guide, and not mislead us. Ever since she took this liquor, which I call Bickerstaff's Circumspection Water, she looks right forward, and can bear being looked at for half a day without returning one glance. This water has a peculiar virtue in it, which makes it the only true cosmetic or beauty wash in the world: the nature of it is such, that if you go to a glass, with design to admire your face, it immediately changes it into downright deformity. If you consult it only to look with a better countenance upon your friends, it immediately gives an alacrity to the visage, and new grace to the whole person. There is indeed a great deal owing to the constitution of the person to whom it is applied: it is in vain to give it when the patient is in the rage of the distemper; a bride in her first month, a lady soon after her husband's being knighted, or any person of either sex who has lately obtained any new good fortune or preferment, must be prepared some time before they use it. It has an effect upon others, as well as the patient, when it is taken in due form. Lady Petulant has by the use of it cured her husband of jealousy, and Lady Gad her whole neighbourhood of detraction. The fame of these things, added to my being an old fellow, makes me extremely acceptable to the fair sex. You would hardly believe me, when I tell you there is not a man in town so much their delight as myself. They make no more of visiting me, than going to Madam d'Epingle's.337 There were two of them, namely, Damia and Clidamira (I assure you women of distinction) who came to see me this morning in their way to prayers, and being in a very diverting humour as (innocence always makes people cheerful) they would needs have me, according to the distinction of "pretty" and "very pretty" fellows, inform them if I thought either of them had a title to the "very pretty" among those of their own sex; and if I did, which was the more deserving of the two. To put them to the trial, "Look ye," said I, "I must not rashly give my judgment in matters of this importance; pray let me see you dance: I play upon the kit."338 They immediately fell back to the lower end of the room (you may be sure they curtsied low enough to me): and began. Never were two in the world so equally matched, and both scholars to my namesake Isaac.339 Never was man in so dangerous a condition as myself, when they began to expand their charms. "O! ladies, ladies," cried I, "not half that air, you'll fire the house." Both smiled; for by-the bye, there's no carrying a metaphor too far, when a lady's charms are spoken of. Somebody, I think, has called a fine woman dancing, a brandished torch of beauty.340 These rivals moved with such an agreeable freedom, that you would believe their gesture was the necessary effect of the music, and not the product of skill and practice. Now Clidamira came on with a crowd of graces, and demanded my judgment with so sweet an air—and she had no sooner carried it, but Damia made her utterly forgot by a gentle sinking, and a rigadoon step.341 The contest held a full half-hour; and I protest, I saw no manner of difference in their perfections, till they came up together, and expected my sentence. "Look ye, ladies," said I, "I see no difference in the least in your performance; but you Clidamira seem to be so well satisfied that I shall determine for you, that I must give it to Damia, who stands with so much diffidence and fear, after showing an equal merit to what she pretends to. Therefore, Clidamira, you are a 'pretty'; but, Damia, you are a 'very pretty' lady. For," said I, "beauty loses its force, if not accompanied with modesty. She that has a humble opinion of herself, will have everybody's applause, because she does not expect it; while the vain creature loses approbation through too great a sense of deserving it."

From my own Apartment, June 27.

Being of a very spare and hective constitution, I am forced to make frequent journeys of a mile or two for fresh air; and indeed by this last, which was no further than the village of Chelsea, I am farther convinced of the necessity of travelling to know the world. For as it is usual with young voyagers, as soon as they land upon a shore, to begin their accounts of the nature of the people, their soil, their government, their inclinations, and their passions, so really I fancied I could give you an immediate description of this village, from the Five Fields,342 where the robbers lie in wait, to the coffee-house where the literati sit in council. A great ancestor of ours by the mother's side, Mr. Justice Overdo (whose history is written by Ben Jonson),343 met with more enormities by walking incog. than he was capable of correcting; and found great mortifications in observing also persons of eminence, whom he before knew nothing of. Thus it fared with me, even in a place so near the town as this. When I came into the coffee-house,344 I had not time to salute the company, before my eye was diverted by ten thousand gimcracks round the room and on the ceiling. When my first astonishment was over, comes to me a sage of a thin and meagre countenance; which aspect made me doubt, whether reading or fretting had made it so philosophic: but I very soon perceived him to be of that sect which the ancients call Gingivistæ,345 in our language, tooth-drawers. I immediately had a respect for the man; for these practical philosophers go upon a very rational hypothesis, not to cure, but take away the part affected. My love of mankind made me very benevolent to Mr. Salter, for such is the name of this eminent barber and antiquary. Men are usually, but unjustly, distinguished rather by their fortunes, than their talents, otherwise this personage would make a great figure in that class of men which I distinguish under the title of Odd Fellows. But it is the misfortune of persons of great genius, to have their faculties dissipated by attention to too many things at once. Mr. Salter is an instance of this: if he would wholly give himself up to the string,346 instead of playing twenty beginnings to tunes, he might before he dies play "Roger de Caubly"347 quite out. I heard him go through his whole round, and indeed I think he does play the "Merry Christ-Church Bells"348 pretty justly; but he confessed to me, he did that rather to show he was orthodox, than that he valued himself upon the music itself. Or if he did proceed in his anatomy, why might not he hope in time to cut off legs, as well as draw teeth? The particularity of this man put me into a deep thought, whence it should proceed, that of all the lower order barbers should go farther in hitting the ridiculous, than any other set of men. Watermen brawl, cobblers sing; but why must a barber be for ever a politician, a musician, an anatomist, a poet, and a physician? The learned Vossus says,349 his barber used to comb his head in iambics. And indeed in all ages, one of this useful profession, this order of cosmetic philosophers, has been celebrated by the most eminent hands. You see the barber in "Don Quixote,"350 is one of the principal characters in the history, which gave me satisfaction in the doubt, why Don Saltero writ his name with a Spanish termination: for he is descended in a right line, not from John Tradescant,351 as he himself asserts, but from that memorable companion of the Knight of Mancha. And I hereby certify all the worthy citizens who travel to see his rarities, that his double-barrelled pistols, targets, coats of mail, his sclopeta,352 and sword of Toledo,353 were left to his ancestor by the said Don Quixote, and by the said ancestor to all his progeny down to Don Saltero. Though I go thus far in favour of Don Saltero's great merit, I cannot allow a liberty he takes of imposing several names (without my licence) on the collections he has made, to the abuse of the good people of England; one of which is particularly calculated to deceive religious persons, to the great scandal of the well disposed, and may introduce heterodox opinions. He shows you a straw hat, which I know to be made by Madge Peskad, within three miles of Bedford; and tells you, it is Pontius Pilate's wife's chamber-maid's sister's hat. To my knowledge of this very hat, it may be added, that the covering of straw was never used among the Jews, since it was demanded of them to make bricks without it. Therefore this is really nothing, but under the specious pretence of learning and antiquity, to impose upon the world. There are other things which I cannot tolerate among his rarities; as, the china figure of a lady in the glass case; the Italian engine for the imprisonment of those who go abroad with it: both which I hereby order to be taken down, or else he may expect to have his letters patents for making punch superseded, be debarred wearing his muff next winter, or ever coming to London without his wife.354 It may perhaps be thought I have dwelt too long upon the affairs of this operator; but I desire the reader to remember, that it is my way to consider men as they stand in merit, and not according to their fortune or figure; and if he is in a coffee-house at the reading hereof, let him look round, and he will find there may be more characters drawn in this account than that of Don Saltero; for half the politicians about him, he may observe, are, by their place in nature, of the class of tooth-drawers.

See p. 273, note.

A small violin or fiddle. See No. 160.

A dancing-master, who either was French, or pretended to be so. See No. 109.

A song of Waller's begins:

"Behold the brand of beauty tost!
See, how the motion doth dilate the flame!"

The rigadoon was a dance for two persons. Cf. Guardian, No. 154: "We danced a rigadoon together."

On the site of Eaton and Belgrave Squares. See Spectator, No. 137: "The Five Fields towards Chelsea."

In "Bartholomew Fair," act ii. sc. i. Overdo went to the Fair in disguise, and being mistaken for a cutpurse, was well beaten.

Salter, a barber, opened a coffee-house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, in 1695. Sir Harry Sloane, whose servant he had been, gave him some curiosities to start a museum. Others, including Admiral Munden and his fellow-officers, added to the collection, and the first catalogue appeared in 1729. The more startling curiosities were, of course, not genuine. The remains of the collection were sold in 1799 for about £50. A view of Salter's house will be found in Timbs' "Clubs and Club Life in London." Verses of a more or less coarse nature by Don Saltero appeared not unfrequently in the "British Apollo," in 1709.

From "gingiva," the gum.

Salter played very badly on the fiddle.

"Sir Roger de Coverley," the famous country-dance tune.

By Dr. Henry Aldrich, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, where Steele matriculated.

"De Poematum cantu, et viribus Rythmi," 1673.

Master Nicholas. See "Don Quixote," chap. v.

There were two John Tradescants (father and son) who collected objects of natural history. Their collection formed the foundation of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. The "Museum Tradescantianum: or, A Collection of Rarities preserved at South Lambeth, near London, by John Tradescant," contains interesting portraits of both John Tradescant, senior, and John Tradescant, junior, as well as a plate of the Tradescant arms.

A sclopeta or sclopetta was a hand-gun used by Spaniards.

Toledo was famous for its sword-blades.

Salter had an old grey muff, which he clapped constantly to his nose, and by which he was distinguishable at the distance of a quarter of a mile. His wife was none of the best, being much addicted to scolding.-(Nichols.)

No. 35.



From Tuesday, June 28, to Thursday, June 30, 1709.

Grecian Coffee-house, June 28.

There is a habit or custom which I have put my patience to the utmost stretch to have suffered so long, because several of my intimate friends are in the guilt; and that is, the humour of taking snuff, and looking dirty about the mouth by way of ornament. My method is to dive to the bottom of a sore before I pretend to apply a remedy. For this reason, I sat by an eminent story-teller and politician who takes half an ounce in five seconds, and has mortgaged a pretty tenement near the town, merely to improve and dung his brains with this prolific powder. I observed this gentleman the other day in the midst of a story diverted from it by looking at something at a distance, and I softly hid his box. But he returns to his tale, and looking for his box, he cries, "And so, sir—" Then when he should have taken a pinch, "As I was saying," says he—"Has nobody seen my box?" His friend beseeches him to finish his narration. Then he proceeds, "And so, sir—Where can my box be?" Then, turning to me, "Pray, sir, did you see my box?" "Yes, sir," said I, "I took it to see how long you could live without it." He resumes his tale; and I took notice, that his dulness was much more regular and fluent than before. A pinch supplied the place of, "As I was saying," "And so, sir"; and he went on currently enough in that style which the learned call the insipid. This observation easily led me into a philosophic reason for taking snuff, which is done only to supply with sensations the want of reflection. This I take to be an Ἕυρηκα, a nostrum; upon which I hope to receive the thanks of this board. For as it is natural to lift a man's hand to a sore, when you fear anything coming at you; so when a person feels his thoughts are run out, and has no more to say, it is as natural to supply his weak brain with powder at the nearest place of access, viz., the nostrils. This is so evident, that nature suggests the use according to the indigence of the persons who use this medicine, without being prepossessed with the force of fashion or custom. For example; the native Hibernians, who are reckoned not much unlike the ancient Bœotians, take this specific for emptiness in the head, in greater abundance than any other nation under the sun. The learned Sotus, as sparing as he is in his words, would be still more silent if it were not for this powder. But however low and poor the taking snuff argues a man to be in his own stock of thought, or means to employ his brains and his fingers, yet there is a poorer creature in the world than he, and this is a borrower of snuff; a fellow that keeps no box of his own, but is always asking others for a pinch. Such poor rogues put me always in mind of a common phrase among schoolboys when they are composing their exercise, who run to an upper scholar, and cry, "Pray give me a little sense." But of all things, commend me to the ladies who are got into this pretty help to discourse.355 I have been this three years persuading Sagissa356 to leave it off; but she talks so much, and is so learned, that she is above contradiction. However, an accident the other day brought that about, which my eloquence never could accomplish: she had a very pretty fellow in her closet, who ran thither to avoid some company that came to visit her. She made an excuse to go in to him for some implement they were talking of. Her eager gallant snatched a kiss; but being unused to snuff, some grains from off her upper lip made him sneeze aloud, which alarmed the visitants, and has made a discovery, that profound reading, very much intelligence, and a general knowledge of who and who's together, cannot fill up her vacant hours so much, but that she is sometimes obliged to descend to entertainments less intellectual.

White's Chocolate-house, June 29.

I know no manner of news for this place, but that Cynthio, having been long in despair for the inexorable Clarissa, lately resolved to fall in love the good old way of bargain and sale, and has pitched upon a very agreeable young woman.357 He will undoubtedly succeed; for he accosts her in a strain of familiarity, without breaking through the deference that is due to woman whom a man would choose for his life. I have hardly ever heard rough truth spoken with a better grace than in this his letter.358


"I writ to you on Saturday by Mrs. Lucy, and give you this trouble to urge the same request I made then, which was, that I may be admitted to wait upon you. I should be very far from desiring this, if it were a transgression of the most severe rules to allow it: I know you are very much above the little arts which are frequent in your sex, of giving unnecessary torments to their admirers; therefore hope, you'll do so much justice to the generous passion I have for you, as to let me have an opportunity of acquainting you upon what motives I pretend to your good opinion. I shall not trouble you with my sentiments, till I know how they will be received; and as I know no reason why difference of sex should make our language to each other differ from the ordinary rules of right reason, I shall affect plainness and sincerity in my discourse to you, as much as other lovers do perplexity and rapture. Instead of saying, 'I shall die for you,' I profess I should be glad to lead my life with you: you are as beautiful, as witty, as prudent, and as good-humoured, as any woman breathing; but I must confess to you, I regard all these excellences as you will please to direct them, for my happiness or misery. With me, madam, the only lasting motive to love is the hope of its becoming mutual. I beg of you to let Mrs. Lucy send me word when I may attend you. I promise you, I'll talk of nothing but indifferent things; though at the same time I know not how I shall approach you in the tender moment of first seeing you, after this declaration, of,


"Your most obedient,

"And most faithful

"Humble Servant, &c."

Will's Coffee-house, June 29.

Having taken a resolution when plays are acted next winter by an entire good company, to publish observations from time to time on the performance of the actors, I think it but just to give an abstract of the law of action, for the help of the less learned part of the audience, that they may rationally enjoy so refined and instructive a pleasure as a just representation of human life. The great errors in playing are admirably well exposed in Hamlet's direction to the actors359 who are to play in his supposed tragedy; by which we shall form our future judgments on their behaviour, and for that reason you have the discourse as follows:

"Speak the speech as I pronounce it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lieve the town-crier had spoke my lines: nor do not saw the air too much with your hand thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh! it offends me to the soul, to see a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who (for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I could have such a fellow whipped for overdoing termagant: it out-Herods Herod. Be not too tame neither; but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you overstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone, is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was, and is, to hold as it were the mirror up to Nature; to show Virtue her own feature; scorn her own image; and the very age and body of the time its form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve. The censures of which one, must, in your allowance, oversway a whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speak it profanely), that neither having the accent of Christian, Pagan, or Norman, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. This should be reformed altogether; and let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them: for there be of them that will of themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though in the meantime, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered; that is villanous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it."

From my own Apartment, June 29.

It would be a very great obligation, and an assistance to my treatise upon Punning,360 if any one would please to inform in what class, among the learned who play with words, to place the author of the following letter.361


"Not long since you were pleased to give us a chimerical account of the famous family of Staffs,362 from whence I suppose you would insinuate, that it is the most ancient and numerous house in all Europe. But I positively deny that it is either; and wonder much at your audacious proceedings in this matter, since it is well known, that our most illustrious, most renowned, and most celebrated Roman family of Ix, has enjoyed the precedency to all others from the reign of good old Saturn. I could say much to the defamation and disgrace of your family; as, that your relations Distaff and Broomstaff were both inconsiderate mean persons, one spinning, the other sweeping the streets, for their daily bread. But I forbear to vent my spleen on objects so much beneath my indignation. I shall only give the world a catalogue of my ancestors, and leave them to determine which hath hitherto had, and which for the future ought to have, the preference.

"First then comes the most famous and popular Lady Meretrix, parent of the fertile family of Bellatrix, Lotrix, Netrix, Nutrix, Obstetrix, Famulatrix, Coctrix, Ornatrix, Sarcinatrix, Fextrix, Balneatrix, Portatrix, Saltatrix, Divinatrix, Conjectrix, Comtrix, Debitrix, Creditrix, Donatrix, Ambulatrix, Mercatrix, Adsectrix, Assectatrix, Palpatrix, Præceptrix, Pistrix.

"I am yours,


St. James's Coffee-house, June 29.

Letters from Brussels of the 2nd of July, N.S., say, that the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene having received advice, that the Marshal Villars had drawn a considerable body out of the garrison of Tournay to reinforce his army, marched towards that place, and came before it early in the morning of the 27th. As soon as they came into that ground, the Prince of Nassau was sent with a strong detachment to take post at St. Amand; and at the same time my Lord Orkney received orders to possess himself of Mortagne; both which were successfully executed; whereby we are masters of the Scheldt and the Scarp. Eight men were drawn out of each troop of dragoons and company of foot in the garrison of Tournay, to make up the reinforcement which was ordered to join Marshal Villars; but upon advice that the Allies were marching towards Tournay, they endeavoured to return into the town; but were intercepted by the Earl of Orkney, by whom that whole body was killed or taken. These letters add, that 1200 dragoons (each horseman carrying a foot-soldier behind him) were detached from Mons to throw themselves into Tournay; but upon appearance of a great body of horse of the Allies, retired towards Condé. We hear, that the garrison does not consist of more than 3500 men. Of the sixty battalions designed to be employed in this siege, seven [sic] are English, viz., two of Guards, and the regiments of Argyle, Temple, Evans and Meredith.

See Nos. 79, 140; and Swift's "Journal to Stella," Nov. 3, 1711. A correspondent begged the Spectator (No. 344) to "take notice of an impertinent custom the women, the fine women, have lately fallen into, of taking snuff."

It has been suggested that Steele here alludes to Mrs. De la Rivière Manley.

Lord Hinchinbroke married Elizabeth, only daughter of Alexander Popham, Esq. See Nos. 1, 5, 22.

This was one of Steele's own letters to Miss Scurlock. (See "Correspondence," 1809, vol. i. p. 93.) "Mrs. Lucy" is "Mrs. Warren" in the original.

"Hamlet," act iii. sc. 2.

See No. 32.

This letter is printed in Scott's edition of Swift's works.

See No. II.

No. 36.



By Mrs. JENNY DISTAFF, half-sister to Mr. BICKERSTAFF.

From Thursday, June 30, to Saturday, July 2, 1709.

From our own Apartment, June 30.

Many affairs calling my brother into the country, the care of our intelligence with the town is left to me for some time; therefore you must expect the advices you meet with in this paper to be such as more immediately and naturally fall under the consideration of our sex: history therefore written by a woman, you will easily imagine to consist of love in all its forms, both in the abuse of, and obedience to that passion. As to the faculty of writing itself, it will not, it is hoped, be demanded, that style and ornament shall be so much consulted, as truth and simplicity; which latter qualities we may more justly pretend to beyond the other sex. While therefore the administration of our affairs is in my hands, you shall from time to time have an exact account of all false lovers, and their shallow pretences for breaking off; of all termagant wives who make wedlock a yoke; of men who affect the entertainments and manners suitable only to our sex, and women who pretend to the conduct of such affairs as are only within the province of men. It is necessary further to advertise the reader, that the usual places of resort being utterly out of my province or observation, I shall be obliged frequently to change the dates of places, as occurrences come into my way. The following letter I lately received from Epsom.364

Epsom, June 28.

"It is now almost three weeks since what you writ about happened in this place: the quarrel between my friends did not run so high as I find your accounts have made it. The truth of the fact you shall have very faithfully. You are to understand, that the persons concerned in this scene were, Lady Autumn, and Lady Springly:365 Autumn is a person of good breeding, formality, and a singular way practised in the last age; and Lady Springly, a modern impertinent of our sex, who affects as improper familiarity, as the other does distance. Lady Autumn knows to a hair's-breadth where her place is in all assemblies and conversations; but Springly neither gives nor takes place of anybody, but understands the place to signify no more, than to have room enough to be at ease wherever she comes. Thus while Autumn takes the whole of this life to consist in understanding punctilio and decorum, Springly takes everything to be becoming which contributes to her ease and satisfaction. These heroines have married two brothers, both knights. Springly is the spouse of the elder, who is a baronet; and Autumn, being a rich widow, has taken the younger, and her purse endowed him with an equal fortune and knighthood of the same order. This jumble of titles, you need not doubt, has been an aching torment to Autumn, who took place of the other on no pretence, but her carelessness and disregard of distinction. This secret occasion of envy broiled long in the breast of Autumn; but no opportunity of contention on that subject happening, kept all things quiet till the accident, of which you demand an account.

"It was given out among all the gay people of this place, that on the 9th instant several damsels, swift of foot, were to run for a suit of head-clothes at the Old Wells. Lady Autumn on this occasion invited Springly to go with her in her coach to see the race. When they came to the place where the governor of Epsom and all his court of citizens were assembled, as well as a crowd of people of all orders, a brisk young fellow addresses himself to the younger of the ladies, viz., Springly, and offers her his service to conduct her into the music-room. Springly accepts the compliment, and is led triumphantly through the bowing crowd, while Autumn is left among the rabble, and has much ado to get back into her coach; but she did it at last: and as it is usual to see by the horses my lady's present disposition, she orders John to whip furiously home to her husband; where, when she enters, down she sits, began to unpin her hood, and lament her foolish fond heart to marry into a family where she was so little regarded, she that might—Here she stops; then rises up and stamps, and sits down again. Her gentle knight made his approaches with a supple beseeching gesture. 'My dear,' said he—'Tell me no dears,' replied Autumn; in the presence of the governor and all the merchants; 'What will the world say of a woman that has thrown herself away at this rate?' Sir Thomas withdrew, and knew it would not be long a secret to him; as well as that experience told him, he that marries a fortune, is of course guilty of all faults against his wife, let them be committed by whom they will. But Springly, an hour or two after, returns from the Wells, and finds the whole company together. Down she sat, and a profound silence ensued. You know a premeditated quarrel usually begins and works up with the words, 'Some people.' The silence was broken by Lady Autumn, who began to say, 'There are some people who fancy, that if some people—' Springly immediately takes her up; 'There are some people who fancy, if other people—' Autumn repartees, 'People may give themselves airs; but other people, perhaps, who make less ado, may be, perhaps, as agreeable as people who set themselves out more.' All the other people at the table sat mute, while these two people, who were quarrelling, went on with the use of the word 'people,' instancing the very accidents between them, as if they kept only in distant hints. 'Therefore,' says Autumn, reddening, 'there are some people who will go abroad in other people's coaches, and leave those, with whom they went, to shift for themselves; and if, perhaps, those people have married the younger brother, yet, perhaps, he may be beholden to those people for what he is.' Springly smartly answers, 'People may bring so much ill humour into a family, as people may repent their receiving their money'; and goes on—'Everybody is not considerable enough to give her uneasiness.' Upon this, Autumn comes up to her, and desired her to kiss her, and never to see her again; which her sister refusing, my lady gave her a box on the ear. Springly returns; 'Ay, ay,' said she, 'I knew well enough you meant me by your "some people,"' and gives her another on the other side. To it they went with most masculine fury: each husband ran in. The wives immediately fell upon their husbands, and tore periwigs and cravats. The company interposed; when (according to the slip-knot of matrimony, which makes them return to one another when any put in between) the ladies and their husbands fell upon all the rest of the company; and having beat all their friends and relations out of the house, came to themselves time enough to know, there was no bearing the jest of the place after these adventures, and therefore marched off the next day. It is said, the governor has sent several joints of mutton, and has proposed divers dishes very exquisitely dressed, to bring them down again. From his address and knowledge in roast and boiled, all our hopes of the return of this good company depend. I am,

"Dear Jenny,

"Your ready Friend

"And Servant,


White's Chocolate-house, June 30.

This day appeared here a figure of a person, whose services to the fair sex have reduced him to a kind of existence, for which there is no name. If there be a condition between life and death, without being absolutely dead or living, his state is that. His aspect and complexion in his robust days gave him the illustrious title of Africanus:366 but it is not only from the warm climates in which he has served, nor from the disasters which he has suffered, that he deserves the same appellation with that renowned Roman; but the magnanimity with which he appears in his last moments, is what gives him the undoubted character of Hero. Cato stabbed himself, and Hannibal drank poison; but our Africanus lives in the continual puncture of aching bones and poisoned juices. The old heroes fled from torments by death, and this modern lives in death and torments, with a heart wholly bent upon a supply for remaining in them. An ordinary spirit would sink under his oppressions; but he makes an advantage of his very sorrow, and raises an income from his diseases. Long has this worthy been conversant in bartering, and knows, that when stocks are lowest, it is the time to buy. Therefore, with much prudence and tranquillity, he thinks, that now he has not a bone sound, but a thousand nodous parts for which the anatomists have not words, and more diseases than the College ever heard of, it is the only time to purchase an annuity for life. Sir Thomas367 told me, it was an entertainment more surprising and pleasant than can be imagined, to see an inhabitant of neither world without hand to lift, or leg to move, scarce tongue to utter his meaning, so keen upon biting the whole world, and making bubbles at his exit. Sir Thomas added, that he would have bought twelve shillings a year of him, but that he feared there was some trick in it, and believed him already dead: "What!" says that knight, "is Mr. Partridge, whom I met just now going on both his legs firmer than I can, allowed to be quite dead; and shall Africanus, without one limb that can do its office, be pronounced alive?" What heightened the tragi-comedy of this market for annuities was, that the observation of it provoked Monoculus368 (who is the most eloquent of all men) to many excellent reflections, which he spoke with the vehemence and language both of a gamester and an orator. "When I cast," said that delightful speaker, "my eye upon thee, thou unaccountable Africanus, I cannot but call myself as unaccountable as thou art; for certainly we were born to show what contradictions nature is pleased to form in the same species. Here am I, able to eat, to drink, to sleep, and do all acts of nature, except begetting my like; and yet by an unintelligible force of spleen and fancy, I every moment imagine I am dying. It is utter madness in thee to provide for supper; for I'll bet you ten to one, you don't live till half an hour after four; and yet I am so distracted as to be in fear every moment, though I'll lay ten to three, I drink three pints of burnt claret at your funeral three nights hence. After all, I envy thee; thou who dying hast no sense of death, art happier than one in health that369 always fears it." The knight had gone on, but that a third man ended the scene by applauding the knight's eloquence and philosophy, in a laughter too violent for his own constitution, as much as he mocked that of Africanus and Monoculus.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 1.

This day arrived three mails from Holland, with advices relating to the posture of affairs in the Low Countries, which say, that the Confederate army extends from Luchin, on the causeway between Tournay and Lisle, to Epain near Mortagne on the Scheldt. The Marshal Villars remains in his camp at Lens; but it is said, he detached ten thousand men under the command of the Chevalier de Luxembourg, with orders to form a camp at Crepin on the Haine, between Condé and St. Guillain, where he is to be joined by the Elector of Bavaria with a body of troops, and after their conjunction, to attempt to march into Brabant. But they write from Brussels, that the Duke of Marlborough having it equally in his power to make detachments to the same parts, they are under no apprehensions from these reports for the safety of their country. They further add from Brussels, that they have good authority for believing that the French troops under the conduct of Marshal de Bezons are retiring out of Spain.370

Nichols argued that this and the two following numbers were by Addison. (1) At the end of No. 37 there is a list of errata for the preceding number. It was Addison's frequent practice to make verbal alterations in a preceding paper, and this Steele never did, except in rare cases, or where there was a positive mistake. (2) All the three papers are superscribed, as Addison's often were, and appear upon the face of them, to be of the nature, and in the number of those, for which Steele stood sponsor, and was very patiently traduced and calumniated, as he acknowledges to Congreve, in the Dedication prefixed to "The Drummer." There is nothing in the style or manner of any of the three that appears incongruous with such a supposition; and the nature of their principal contents seems to support it. They consist chiefly of pleasantries and oblique strokes, apparently on persons of fashion, in that age, of both sexes. It appears from the Dedication to "The Drummer," that Steele had Addison's direct injunctions to hide papers which he never did declare to be Addison's. The case, in short, seems to be, that as, as Steele says, there are communications in the course of this work, which Addison's modesty, so there are likewise others, which Addison's prudence, "would never have admitted to come into daylight, but under such a shelter." According to the usual rule where there is uncertainty, Steele's name is placed at the head of the papers in this edition. Probably he was responsible in any case for part of the contents of each of these numbers.

Epsom was frequented for its mineral waters, and was also a favourite holiday resort. "At the Crown Coffee-house, behind the Royal Exchange, fresh Epsom water, with the rest of the purging waters, at 2d. per quart, and sold both winter and summer, and Epsom salt." (See "British Apollo," vol. iii. No. 15, 1710, and "Post Man," June 11, 1700.) "The New Wells at Epsom, with variety of raffling-shops, a billiard-table, and a bowling-green, and attended with a new set of music, are now open," &c. (Flying Post, Aug. 4-6, 1709.) The new Wells were opened on Easter Monday, 1709 (Daily Courant, April 23, 1709). We can form some idea of Epsom some years before, with its wells and bowling-green, from Shadwell's play, "Epsom Wells," 1673. See also No. 7.

On July 8, 1709, Peter Wentworth wrote to Lord Raby: "I have not sent you the Tatler of last Saturday, because I was told 'twas dull, but that persons judgement I shall take no more; for having since read it I think it diverting enough, the news from Epsom is almost matter of fact, wch makes the jest the better; the Ladys are city ladys, named Turners" ("Wentworth Papers," p. 93). This is confirmed by the MS. annotator mentioned in No. 4.

"I like the description of Africanus, wch is Sir Scipio Hill ... Sir Scipio Hill with his new project of getting money occasions some diversion and talk at White's. You may have heard for this long while he was dieing of the ——; he now come abroad and look a divel, or at least a sad memento mori. He gives forescore guineas to receive ten guineas a quarter for his life, Sir James of the Peak is his agent, and runs about offering it all that will take. Boscowen has took it, and two or three more, who are of opinion he will not live a month. Those he had made his heirs does not approve of this whim, for he's resolved to dispose of all his ready money this way if he can find substantial fools enough to take it; but the crack begins to run as if he may live a great while for all he looks so ill, for he has recovered his voice to a miracle" (Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, July 1 and 8, 1709; "Wentworth Papers," pp. 92-3).

The waiter. See No. 16.

Said to be Sir Humphrey Monoux, Bart., who was elected M.P. for Tavistock in 1728, and for Stockbridge in 1734. He succeeded to the baronetage in 1707, and died without issue in 1757.

"Thou that hast no sense of death, art happier than one that" (folio; altered in Errata in No. 37).

"This paper, with a blank leaf to write business on, may be had of J. Morphew, near Stationers'-hall" (folio).

No. 37.



From Saturday, July 2, to Tuesday, July 5, 1709.

White's Chocolate-house, July 2.

It may be thought very unaccountable, that I,372 who can never be supposed to go to White's, should pretend to talk to you of matters proper for, or in the style of, that place. But though I do not go to these public haunts, I receive visits from those who do; and for all they pretend so much to the contrary, they are as talkative as our sex, and as much at a loss to entertain the present company, without sacrificing the last, as we ourselves. This reflection has led me into the consideration of the use of speech; and made me look over in my memory all my acquaintance of both sexes, to know to which I may more justly impute the sin of superfluous discourse, with regard to conversation, and not entering into it as it respects religion. I foresee my acquaintance will immediately, upon starting this subject, ask me, how I shall celebrate Mrs. Alse Copswood,373 the Yorkshire huntress, who is come to town lately, and moves as if she were on her nag, and going to take a five-bar gate; and is as loud as if she were following her dogs. I can easily answer that; for she is as soft as Damon, in comparison of her brother-in-law Tom Bellfrey,374 who is the most accomplished man in this kingdom for all gentlemanlike activities and accomplishments. It is allowed, that he is a professed enemy to the Italian performers in music. But then for our own native manner, according to the customs and known usages of our island, he is to be preferred, for the generality of the pleasure he bestows, much above those fellows,375 though they sing to full theatres. For what is a theatrical voice to that of a fox-hunter? I have been at a musical entertainment in an open field, where it amazed me to hear to what pitches the chief masters would reach. There was a meeting near our seat in Staffordshire, and the most eminent of all the counties of England were at it. How wonderful was the harmony between men and dogs! Robin Cartail of Bucks was to answer to Jowler; Mr. Tinbreast of Cornwall was appointed to open with Sweetlips, and Beau Slimber, a Londoner, undertook to keep up with Trips, a whelp just set in: Tom Bellfrey and Ringwood were coupled together, to fill the cry on all occasions, and be in at the death of the fox, hare, or stag; for which both the dog and the man were excellently suited, and loved one another, and were as much together as Banister and King. When Jowler first alarmed the field, Cartail repeated every note; Sweetlips' treble succeeded, and shook the wood; Tinbreast echoed a quarter of a mile beyond it. We were soon after all at a loss, till we rid up, and found Trips and Slimber at a default in half-notes: but the day and the tune was recovered by Tom Bellfrey and Ringwood, to the great joy of us all, though they drowned every other voice: for Bellfrey carries a note four furlongs, three rood, and six paces, farther than any other in England. But I fear the mention of this will be thought a digression from my purpose about speech: but I answer, No. Since this is used where speech rather should be employed, it may come into consideration in the same chapter: for Mr. Bellfrey being at a visit where I was, viz., his cousin's (Lady Dainty's) in Soho, was asked, what entertainments they had in the country? Now Bellfrey is very ignorant, and much a clown; but confident withal. In a word, he struck up a fox-chase: Lady Dainty's dog, Mr. Sippet, as she calls him, started and jumped out of his lady's lap, and fell a barking. Bellfrey went on, and called all the neighbouring parishes into the square. Never was woman in such confusion as that delicate lady. But there was no stopping her kinsman. A room full of ladies fell into the most violent laughter: my lady looked as if she was shrieking; Mr. Sippet in the middle of the room, breaking his heart with barking, but all of us unheard. As soon as Bellfrey became silent, up gets my lady, and takes him by the arm to lead him off: Bellfrey was in his boots. As she was hurrying him away, his spurs takes hold of her petticoat; his whip throws down a cabinet of china: he cries, "What! are your crocks rotten? Are your petticoats ragged? A man can't walk in your house for trincums." Every county of Great Britain has one hundred or more of this sort of fellows, who roar instead of speaking. Therefore if it be true, that we women are also given to greater fluency of words than is necessary, sure one that disturbs but a room or a family is more to be tolerated, than one who draws together parishes and counties, and sometimes (with an estate that might make him the blessing and ornament of the world around him) has no other view and ambition, but to be an animal above dogs and horses, without the relish of any one enjoyment, which is peculiar to the faculties of human nature. But I know it will here be said, that talking of mere country squires at this rate, is, as it were, to write against Valentine or Orson. To prove anything against the race of men, you must take them as they are adorned with education, as they live in Courts, or have received instructions in colleges.

But I was so full of my late entertainment by Mr. Bellfrey, that I must defer pursuing this subject to another day; and waive the proper observations upon the different offenders in this kind, some by profound eloquence, on small occasions, others by degrading speech upon great circumstances. Expect therefore to hear of the whisperer without business, the laugher without wit, the complainer without receiving injuries, and a very large crowd, which I shall not forestall, who are common (though not commonly observed) impertinents, whose tongues are too voluble for their brains, and are the general despisers of us women, though we have their superiors, the men of sense, for our servants.376

St. James's Coffee-house, July 4.

There has arrived no mail since our last; so that we have no manner of foreign news, except we were to give you, for such, the many speculations which are on foot concerning what was imported by the last advices. There are, it seems, sixty battalions and seventeen squadrons appointed to serve in the siege of Tournay; the garrison of which place consists but of eleven battalions and four squadrons. Letters of the 29th of the last month from Berlin have brought advice, that the Kings of Denmark, Prussia, and his Majesty Augustus, were within few days to come to an interview at Potsdam. These letters mention, that two Polish princes of the family of the Sapicha and Lubermirsky, lately arrived from Paris, confirm the reports of the misery in France for want of provisions, and give a particular instance of it, which is, that on the day Monsieur Rouillé returned to Court, the common people gathered in crowds about the Dauphin's coach, crying, "Peace and bread, bread and peace."

Mrs. Distaff has taken upon her, while she writes this paper, to turn her thoughts wholly to the service of her own sex, and to propose remedies against the greatest vexations attending female life. She has for this end written a small treatise concerning the second word, with an appendix on the use of a reply, very useful to all such as are married to persons either ill-bred or ill-natured. There is in this tract a digression for the use of virgins concerning the words, "I will."

A gentlewoman who has a very delicate ear, wants a maid who can whisper, and help her in the government of her family. If the said servant can clear-starch, lisp, and tread softly, she shall have suitable encouragement in her wages.

See note to No. 36.

Jenny Distaff.

The Jacobite Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sharpe, who died in 1713. See Examiner, vol. iv. No. 22.

Dr. Blackall (1654-1716), who was made Bishop of Exeter in 1708.

The French Prophets, from the Cevennes. Dr. Blackall's sermon against them was printed by order of the Queen.

The following article appeared only in the folio issue:—

Will's Coffee-house, July 3.

A very ingenious gentleman was complaining this evening, that the players are grown so severe critics, that they would not take in his play, though it has as many fine things in it as any play that has been writ since the days of Dryden. He began his discourse about his play with a preface.

"There is," said he, "somewhat (however we palliate it) in the very frame and make of us, that subjects our minds to chagrin and irresolution on any emergency of time or place. The difficulty grows on our sickened imagination, under all the killing circumstances of danger and disappointment. This we see, not only in the men of retirement and fancy, but in the characters of the men of action; with this only difference, the coward sees the danger, and sickens under it; the hero, warmed by the difficulty, dilates, and rises in proportion to that, and in some sort makes use of his very fears to disarm it. A remarkable instance of this we have in the great Cæsar, when he came to the Rubicon, and was entering upon a part, perhaps, the most hazardous he ever bore (certainly the most ungrateful), a war with his countrymen. When his mind brooded over personal affronts, perhaps his anger burned with a desire of revenge. But when more serious reflections laid before him the hazard of the enterprise, with the dismal consequences which were likely to attend it, aggravated by a special circumstance, What figure it would bear in the world, or how be excused to posterity. What shall he do?—His honour, which was his religion, bids him arm; and he sounds the inclinations of his party, by this set speech:

CÆSAR to his Party at the Rubicon.

Great Jove, attend, and thou my native soil,
Safe in my triumphs, glutted in my spoil;
Witness with what reluctance I oppose
My arms to thine, secure of other foes.
What passive breast can bear disgrace like mine?
Traitor!—For this I conquered on the Rhine,
Endured their ten years' drudgery in Gaul,
Adjourned their fate, and saved the Capitol.
I grew by every guilty triumph less;
The crowd, when drunk with joy, their souls express,
Impatient of the war, yet fear success.
Brave actions dazzle with too bright a ray,
Like birds obscene they chatter at the day;
Giddy with rule, and valiant in debate,
They throw the die of war, to save the state;
And gods! to gild ingratitude with fame,
Assume the patriot's, we the rebel's name.
Farewell, my friends, your general forlorn,
To your bare pity, and the public scorn,
Must lay that honour and his laurel down,
To serve the vain caprices of the gown;
Exposed to all indignities, the brave
Deserve of those they gloried but to save,
To rods and axes!—No, the slaves can't dare
Play with my grief, and tempt my last despair.
This shall the honours which it won maintain,
Or do me justice, ere I hug my chain."

The reason for cancelling this article when these papers were republished in octavo, is obvious; for, being printed by Steele, it would naturally be applied to the circumstances in which the Duke of Marlborough was at that time: "The Duke having his commission under the Great Seal, the order of the Queen was not sufficient to dissolve his power. His friends advised him to assemble, by his authority as general, all the troops in London, in the different squares, and to take possession of St. James's, and the person of the Queen. Oxford, apprised of this design, suddenly called together the Cabinet Council. Though he probably concealed his intelligence to prevent their fears, he told them of the necessity of superseding Marlborough under the Great Seal. This business was soon despatched. His dismission in form was sent to the Duke. The Earl of Oxford, no stranger to the character of Marlborough, knew that he would not act against law, by assembling the troops. The natural diffidence of his disposition had made him unfit for enterprises of danger, in a degree that furnished his enemies with insinuations against his personal courage."—(Macpherson's "State Papers," quoted by Nichols.)

No. 38.



From Tuesday, July 5, to Thursday, July 7, 1709.

From my own Apartment, July 6.

I find among my brother's papers the following letter verbatim, which I wonder how he could suppress so long as he has, since it was sent him for no other end, but to show the good effect his writings have already had upon the ill customs of the age.

"London, June 23.


"The end of all public papers ought to be the benefit and instruction, as well as the diversion of the readers: to which I see none so truly conducive as your late performances; especially those tending to the rooting out from amongst us that unchristianlike and bloody custom of duelling; which, that you have already in some measure performed, will appear to the public in the following no less true than heroic story.

"A noble gentleman of this city, who has the honour of serving his country as major in the train-bands, being at that general mart of stockjobbers called Jonathan's,378 endeavouring to raise himself (as all men of honour ought) to the degree of colonel at least; it happened that he bought the 'bear'379 of another officer, who, though not commissioned in the army, yet no less eminently serves the public than the other, in raising the credit of the kingdom, by raising that of the stocks. However, having sold the 'bear,' and words arising about the delivery, the most noble major, no less scorning to be outwitted in the coffee-house, than to run into the field, according to method, abused the other with the titles of, 'rogue,' 'villain,' 'bearskin-man,' and the like. Whereupon satisfaction was demanded, and accepted: so, forth the major marched, commanding his adversary to follow. To a most spacious room in the sheriff's house, near the place of quarrel, they come; where, having due regard to what you have lately published, they resolved not to shed one another's blood in that barbarous manner you prohibited; yet, not willing to put up affronts without satisfaction, they stripped, and in decent manner fought full fairly with their wrathful hands. The combat lasted a quarter of an hour; in which time victory was often doubtful, and many a dry blow was strenuously laid on by each side, till the major finding his adversary obstinate, unwilling to give him further chastisement, with most shrill voice cried out, 'I am satisfied, enough.' Whereupon the combat ceased, and both were friends immediately.

"Thus the world may see, how necessary it is to encourage those men who make it their business to instruct the people in everything necessary for their preservation. I am informed, a body of worthy citizens have agreed on an address of thanks to you for what you have writ on the foregoing subject, whereby they acknowledge one of their highly esteemed officers preserved from death.

"Your humble Servant,

"A. B."

I fear the word "bear" is hardly to be understood among the polite people; but I take the meaning to be, that one who ensures a real value upon an imaginary thing, is said to sell a "bear," and is the same thing as a promise among courtiers, or a vow between lovers. I have writ to my brother to hasten to town; and hope, that printing the letters directed to him, which I knew not how to answer, will bring him speedily; and therefore I add also the following:

"July 5, 1709.


You having hinted a generous intention of taking under your consideration the whisperers without business, and laughers without occasion; as you tender the welfare of your country, I entreat you not to forget or delay so public-spirited a work. Now or never is the time. Many other calamities may cease with the war; but I dismally dread the multiplication of these mortals under the ease and luxuriousness of a settled peace, half the blessing of which may be destroyed by them. Their mistake lies certainly here, in a wretched belief, that their mimicry passes for real business, or true wit. Dear sir, convince them, that it never was, is, or ever will be, either of them; nor ever did, does, or to all futurity ever can, look like either of them; but that it is the most cursed disturbance in nature, which is possible to be inflicted on mankind, under the noble definition of a sociable creature. In doing this, sir, you will oblige more humble servants than can find room to subscribe their names."

White's Chocolate-house, July 6.

In pursuance of my last date from hence, I am to proceed on the accounts I promised of several personages among the men, whose conspicuous fortunes, or ambition in showing their follies, have exalted them above their fellows: the levity of their minds is visible in their every word and gesture, and there is not a day passes but puts me in mind of Mr. Wycherley's character of a coxcomb: "He is ugly all over with the affectation of the fine gentleman." Now though the women may put on softness in their looks, or affected severity, or impertinent gaiety, or pert smartness, their self-love and admiration cannot, under any of these disguises, appear so invincible as that of the men. You may easily take notice, that in all their actions there is a secret approbation, either in the tone of their voice, the turn of their body, or cast of their eye, which shows that they are extremely in their own favour. Take one of your men of business, he shall keep you half an hour with your hat off, entertaining you with his consideration of that affair you spoke of to him last, till he has drawn a crowd that observes you in this grimace. Then when he is public enough, he immediately runs into secrets, and falls a whispering. You and he make breaks with adverbs; as, "But however, thus far"; and then you whisper again, and so on, till they who are about you are dispersed, and your busy man's vanity is no longer gratified by the notice taken of what importance he is, and how inconsiderable you are; for your pretender to business is never in secret, but in public. There is my dear Lord Nowhere, of all men the most gracious and most obliging, the terror of all valets-de-chambre, whom he oppresses with good breeding, in inquiring for my good lord, and for my good lady's health. This inimitable courtier will whisper a privy councillor's lackey with the utmost goodness and condescension, to know when they next sit; and is thoroughly taken up, and thinks he has a part in a secret, if he knows that there is a secret. "What it is," he will whisper you, "that time will discover"; then he shrugs, and calls you back again—"Sir, I need not say to you, that these things are not to be spoken of—and hark you, no names, I would not be quoted." What adds to the jest is, that his emptiness has its moods and seasons, and he will not condescend to let you into these his discoveries, except he is in very good humour, or has seen somebody in fashion talk to you. He will keep his nothing to himself, and pass by and overlook as well as the best of them; not observing that he is insolent when he is gracious, and obliging when he is haughty. Show me a woman so inconsiderable as this frequent character. But my mind (now I am in) turns to many no less observable: thou dear Will Shoestring!380 I profess myself in love with thee: how shall I speak thee? How shall I address thee? How shall I draw thee? Thou dear outside! Will you be combing your wig,381 playing with your box, or picking your teeth? Or choosest thou rather to be speaking; to be speaking for thy only purpose in speaking, to show your teeth? Rub them no longer, dear Shoestring: do not premeditate murder: do not for ever whiten: Oh! that for my quiet and his own they were rotten. But I will forget him, and give my hand to the courteous Umbra; he is a fine man indeed, but the soft creature bows below my apron-string before he takes it; but after the first ceremonies, he is as familiar as my physician, and his insignificancy makes me half ready to complain to him of all I would to my doctor. But he is so courteous, that he carries half the messages of ladies' ails in town to their midwives and nurses. He understands too the art of medicine as far as to the cure of a pimple or a rash. On occasions of the like importance, he is the most assiduous of all men living, in consulting and searching precedents from family to family; and then he speaks of his obsequiousness and diligence in the style of real services. If you sneer at him, and thank him for his great friendship, he bows, and says, "Madam, all the good offices in my power, while I have any knowledge or credit, shall be at your service." The consideration of so shallow a being, and the intent application with which he pursues trifles, has made me carefully reflect upon that sort of men we usually call an Impertinent: and I am, upon mature deliberation, so far from being offended with him, that I am really obliged to him; for though he will take you aside, and talk half an hour to you upon matters wholly insignificant with the most solemn air, yet I consider, that these things are of weight in his imagination, and he thinks he is communicating what is for my service. If therefore it be a just rule to judge of a man by his intention, according to the equity of good breeding, he that is impertinently kind or wise, to do you service, ought in return to have a proportionable place both in your affection and esteem; so that the courteous Umbra deserves the favour of all his acquaintance; for though he never served them, he is ever willing to do it, and believes he does it. But as impotent kindness is to be returned with all our abilities to oblige, so impotent malice is to be treated with all our force to depress it. For this reason Flyblow (who is received in all the families in town through the degeneracy and iniquity of their manners) is to be treated like a knave, though he is one of the weakest of fools: he has by rote, and at second-hand, all that can be said of any man of figure, wit, and virtue in town. Name a man of worth, and this creature tells you the worst passage of his life. Speak of a beautiful woman, and this puppy will whisper the next man to him, though he has nothing to say of her. He is a Fly that feeds on the sore part, and would have nothing to live on, if the whole body were in health. You may know him by the frequency of pronouncing the particle "but"; for which reason I never hear him spoke of with common charity, without using my "but" against him: for a friend of mine saying the other day, Mrs. Distaff has wit, good humour, virtue, and friendship, this oaf added, "'But' she is not handsome." Coxcomb! The gentleman was saying what I was, not what I was not.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 6.

The approaches before Tournay have been carried on with great success; and our advices from the camp before that place of the 11th instant say, that they had already made a lodgment on the glacis. Two hundred boats were come up the Scheldt with a heavy artillery and ammunition, which would be employed in dismounting the enemy's defences, and raised on the batteries the 15th. A great body of miners are summoned to the camp to countermine the works of the enemy. We are convinced of the weakness of the garrison, by a certain account, that they called a council of war, to consult whether it was not advisable to march into the citadel, and leave the town defenceless. We are assured, that when the Confederate army was advancing towards the camp of Marshal Villars, that general despatched a courier to his master with a letter, giving an account of their approach, which concluded with the following words: "The day begins to break, and your Majesty's army is already in order of battle. Before noon, I hope to have the honour of congratulating your Majesty on the success of a great action; and you shall be very well satisfied with the Marshal Villars."

It is to be noted, that when any part of this paper appears dull, there is a design in it.382

See note to No. 36.

A coffee-house in Change Alley. See Spectator, No. 1, and Mrs. Centlivre's "Bold Stroke for a Wife."

See No. 7.

Sir William Whitlocke, Knt., Member for Oxon, Bencher of the Middle Temple. He is the learned knight mentioned in No. 43 (Percy). This is confirmed by the MS. annotator mentioned in a note to No. 4. Nichols explains that Whitlocke is called Will Shoestring, for his singularity in using shoe-strings, so long after the era of shoe-buckles, which commenced in the reign of Charles II., although ordinary people, and such as affected plainness in their garb, wore strings in their shoes after that time.

"Combing the peruke, at the time when men of fashion wore large wigs, was even at public places an act of gallantry. The combs, for this purpose, were of a very large size, of ivory or tortoise-shell, curiously chased and ornamented, and were carried in the pocket as constantly as the snuff-box. At Court, on the Mall, and in the boxes, gentlemen conversed and combed their perukes "(Sir John Hawkins' "Hist, of Music," vol. iv. p. 447, note). Cf. Dryden's prologue to "Almanzor and Almahide":—

"But as when vizard mask appears in pit,
Straight every man who thinks himself a wit,
Perks up; and managing his comb with grace,
With his white wig sets off his nut-brown face."

And "The Fortune Hunters," act i. sc. 2 (1689): "He looked, indeed, and sighed, and set his cravat-string, and sighed again, and combed his periwig: sighed a third time, and then took snuff, I guess to show the whiteness of his hand." See, too, Wycherley's "Love in a Wood," act iii. sc. 1:—

"DAPPERWIT. Let me prune and flounce my perruque a little for her; there's ne'er a young fellow in the town but will do as much for a mere stranger in the play-house.

"RANGER. A wit's wig has the privilege of being uncombed in the very play-house, or in the presence—

"DAPPERWIT. But not in the presence of his mistress; 'tis a greater neglect of her than himself; pray lend me your comb.... She comes, she comes; pray, your comb. (Snatches RANGER'S comb.)"

"Mrs. Distaff hath received the Dialogue dated Monday evening, which she has sent forward to Mr. Bickerstaff at Maidenhead: and in the meantime gives her service to the parties" (folio).

No. 39.




From Thursday, July 7, to Saturday, July 9, 1709.

Grecian Coffee-house, July 7.

As I am called forth by the immense love I bear to my fellow creatures, and the warm inclination I feel within me, to stem, as far as I can, the prevailing torrent of vice and ignorance; so I cannot more properly pursue that noble impulse, than by setting forth the excellence of virtue and knowledge in their native and beautiful colours. For this reason I made my late excursion to Oxford, where those qualities appear in their highest lustre, and are the only pretences to honour and distinction: superiority is there given in proportion to men's advancement in wisdom and learning; and that just rule of life is so universally received among those happy people, that you shall see an earl walk bareheaded to the son of the meanest artificer, in respect to seven years more worth and knowledge than the nobleman is possessed of. In other places they bow to men's fortunes, but here to their understandings. It is not to be expressed, how pleasing the order, the discipline, the regularity of their lives, is to a philosopher, who has, by many years' experience in the world, learned to contemn everything but what is revered in this mansion of select and well-taught spirits. The magnificence of their palaces, the greatness of their revenues, the sweetness of their groves and retirements, seem equally adapted for the residence of princes and philosophers; and a familiarity with objects of splendour, as well as places of recess, prepares the inhabitants with an equanimity for their future fortunes, whether humble or illustrious. How was I pleased when I looked round at St. Mary's, and could, in the faces of the ingenious youth, see ministers of state, chancellors, bishops, and judges. Here only is human life! Here only the life of man is a rational being! Here men understand and are employed in works worthy their noble nature. This transitory being passes away in an employment not unworthy a future state, the contemplation of the great decrees of Providence. Each man lives as if he were to answer the questions made to Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?... Who shut up the sea with doors, ... and said, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further?"383 Such speculations make life agreeable, make death welcome, But alas! I was torn from this noble society by the business of this dirty mean world, and the cares of fortune: for I was obliged to be in town against the 7th day of the term, and accordingly governed myself by my Oxford Almanack, and came last night; but find, to my great astonishment, that this ignorant town began the term on the 24th of the last month, in opposition to all the learning and astronomy of the famous university of which I have been speaking; according to which, the term certainly was to commence on the 1st instant.384 You may be sure, a man who has turned his studies as I have, could not be mistaken in point of time; for knowing I was to come to town in term, I examined the passing moments very narrowly, and called an eminent astronomer to my assistance. Upon very strict observation we found, that the cold has been so severe this last winter (which is allowed to have a benumbing quality), that it retarded the earth in moving round from Christmas to this season full seven days and two seconds. My learned friend assured me further, that the earth had lately received a shog from a comet that crossed its vortex, which, if it had come ten degrees nearer us, had made us lose this whole term. I was indeed once of opinion, that the Gregorian computation was the most regular, as being eleven days before the Julian; but am now fully convinced, that we ought to be seven days after the chancellor and judges, and eighteen before the Pope of Rome; and that the Oxonian computation is the best of the three. These are the reasons which I have gathered from philosophy and nature; to which I can add other circumstances in vindication of the account of this learned body who published this almanack. It is notorious to philosophers, that joy and grief can hasten and delay time. Mr. Locke is of opinion, that a man in great misery may so far lose his measure, as to think a minute an hour; or in joy, make an hour a minute. Let us examine the present case by this rule, and we shall find, that the cause of this general mistake in the British nation, has been the great success of the last campaign, and the following hopes of peace. Stocks ran so high at the 'Change, that the citizens had gained three days of the courtiers; and we have indeed been so happy this reign, that if the University did not rectify our mistakes, we should think ourselves but in the second year of her present Majesty. It would be endless to enumerate the many damages that have happened by this ignorance of the vulgar. All the recognisances within the Diocese of Oxford have been forfeited, for not appearing on the first day of this fictitious term. The University has been nonsuited in their action against the booksellers for printing Clarendon in quarto. But indeed what gives me the most quick concern, is the case of a poor gentleman my friend, who was the other day taken in execution by a set of ignorant bailiffs. He should, it seems, have pleaded in the first week of term; but being a Master of Arts of Oxford, he would not recede from the Oxonian computation. He showed Mr. Broad the almanack, and the very day when the term began; but the merciless ignorant fellow, against all sense and learning, would hurry him away. He went indeed quietly enough; but he has taken exact notes of the time of arrest, and sufficient witnesses of his being carried into gaol; and has, by advice of the Recorder of Oxford, brought his action; and we doubt not but we shall pay them off with damages, and blemish the reputation of Mr. Broad. We have one convincing proof, which all that frequent the Courts of Justice are witnesses of: the dog that comes constantly to Westminster on the first day of the term, did not appear till the first day according to the Oxford Almanack; whose instinct I take to be a better guide than men's erroneous opinions, which are usually biased by interest. I judge in this case, as King Charles II. victualled his navy, with the bread which one of his dogs chose of several pieces thrown before him, rather than trust to the asseverations of the victuallers. Mr. Cowper,385 and other learned counsel, have already urged the authority of this almanack, in behalf of their clients. We shall therefore go on with all speed in our cause; and doubt not, but Chancery will give at the end what we lost in the beginning, by protracting the term for us till Wednesday come se'nnight: and the University orator shall for ever pray, &c.

From my own Apartment, July 7.

The subject of duels386 has, I find, been started with so good success, that it has been the frequent subject of conversation among polite men; and a dialogue of that kind has been transmitted to me verbatim, as follows. The persons concerned in it are men of honour, and experience in the manners of men, and have fallen upon the truest foundation, as well as searched the bottom, of this evil.

Mr. SAGE. If it were in my power, every man that drew his sword, unless in the Service, or purely to defend his life, person, or goods, from violence (I mean abstracted from all punctos or whims of honour) should ride the wooden horse in the Tilt Yard387 for such first offence, for the second stand in the pillory, and for the third be prisoner in Bedlam for life.

Col. PLUME. I remember, that a rencounter or duel was so far from being in fashion among the officers that served in the Parliament army, that on the contrary, it was as disreputable, and as great an impediment to advancement in the Service, as being bashful in time of action.

Sir MARK. Yet I have been informed by some old Cavaliers, of famous reputation for brave and gallant men, that they were much more in mode among their party, than they have been during this last war.

Col. PLUME. That is true too, sir. Mr. SAGE. By what you say, gentlemen, one should think that our present military officers are compounded of an equal proportion of both those tempers; since duels are neither quite discountenanced, nor much in vogue.

Sir MARK. That difference of temper, in regard to duels, which appears to have been between the Court and Parliament-men of the sword, was not (I conceive) for want of courage in the latter, nor of a liberal education; because there were some of the best families in England engaged in that party; but gallantry and mode, which glitter agreeably to the imagination, were encouraged by the Court, as promoting its splendour; and it was as natural that the contrary party (who were to recommend themselves to the public for men of serious and solid parts) should deviate from everything chimerical.

Mr. SAGE. I have never read of a duel among the Romans; and yet their nobility used more liberty with their tongues than one may do now without being challenged.

Sir MARK. Perhaps the Romans were of opinion, that ill language, and brutal manners, reflected only on those who were guilty of them; and that a man's reputation was not at all cleared by cutting the person's throat who had reflected upon it: but the custom of those times had fixed the scandal in the action; whereas now it lies in the reproach.

Mr. SAGE. And yet the only sort of duel that one can conceive to have been fought upon motives truly honourable and allowable, was that between the Horatii and Curiatii.

Sir MARK. Colonel Plume, pray what was the method of single combat in your time among the Cavaliers? I suppose, that as the use of clothes continues, though the fashion of them has been mutable; so duels, though still in use, have had in all times their particular modes of performance.

Col. PLUME. We had no constant rule, but generally conducted our dispute and tilt according to the last that had happened between persons of reputation among the very top fellows for bravery and gallantry.

Sir MARK. If the fashion of quarrelling and tilting was so often changed in your time, Colonel Plume, a man might fight, yet lose his credit for want of understanding the fashion.

Col. PLUME. Why, Sir Mark, in the beginning of July, a man would have been censured for want of courage, or been thought indigent of the true notions of honour, if he had put up [with] words, which in the end of September following, one could not resent without passing for a brutal and quarrelsome fellow.

Sir MARK. But, Colonel, were duels or rencounters most in fashion in those days?

Col. PLUME. Your men of nice honour, sir, were for avoiding all censure of advantage which they supposed might be taken in a rencounter; therefore they used seconds, who were to see that all was upon the square, and make a faithful report of the whole combat; but in a little time it became a fashion for the seconds to fight, and I'll tell you how it happened.

Mr. SAGE. Pray do, Colonel Plume, and the method of a duel at that time, and give us some notion of the punctos upon which your nice men quarrelled in those days.

Col. PLUME. I was going to tell you, Mr. Sage, that one Cornet Modish had desired his friend, Captain Smart's, opinion in some affair, but did not follow it; upon which Captain Smart sent Major Adroit (a very topping fellow of those times) to the person that had slighted his advice. The Major never inquired into the quarrel, because it was not the manner then among the very topping fellows; but got two swords of an equal length, and then waited upon Cornet Modish, desiring him to choose his sword, and meet his friend Captain Smart. Cornet Modish came with his friend to the place of combat; there the principals put on their pumps, and stripped to their shirts, to show they had nothing but what men of honour carry about them, and then engaged.

Sir MARK. And did the seconds stand by, sir?

Col. PLUME. It was a received custom till that time; but the swords of those days being pretty long, and the principals acting on both sides upon the defensive, and the morning being frosty, Major Adroit desired that the other second, who was also a very topping fellow, would try a thrust or two only to keep them warm, till the principals had decided the matter, which was agreed to by Modish's second, who presently whipped Adroit through the body, disarmed him, and then parted the principals, who had received no harm at all.

Mr. SAGE. But was not Adroit laughed at?

Col. PLUME. On the contrary, the very topping fellows were ever after of opinion, that no man who deserved that character, could serve as a second, without fighting; and the Smarts and Modishes finding their account in it, the humour took without opposition.

Mr. SAGE. Pray, Colonel, how long did that fashion continue?

Col. PLUME, Not long neither, Mr. Sage; for as soon as it became a fashion, the very topping fellows thought their honour reflected upon, if they did not proffer themselves as seconds when any of their friends had a quarrel; so that sometimes there were a dozen of a side.

Sir MARK. Bless me! If that custom had continued, we should have been at a loss now for our very pretty fellows; for they seem to be the proper men to officer, animate, and keep up an army: but, pray, sir, how did that sociable manner of tilting grow out of mode?

Col. PLUME. Why, sir, I'll tell you; it was a law among the combatants, that the party which happened to have the first man disarmed or killed, should yield as vanquished; which some people thought might encourage the Modishes and Smarts in quarrelling, to the destruction of only the very topping fellows; and as soon as this reflection was started, the very topping fellows thought it an incumbrance upon their honour to fight at all themselves. Since that time, the Modishes and the Smarts, throughout all Europe, have extolled the French king's edict.

Sir MARK. Our very pretty fellows, whom I take to be the successors of the very topping fellows, think a quarrel so little fashionable, that they will not be exposed to it by another man's vanity, or want of sense.

Mr. SAGE. But, Colonel, I have observed in your account of duels, that there was a great exactness in avoiding all advantage that might possibly be between the combatants.

Col. PLUME. That's true, sir; for the weapons were always equal.

Mr. SAGE. Yes, sir; but suppose an active, adroit, strong man, had insulted an awkward, or a feeble, or an unpractised swordsman.

Col. PLUME. Then, sir, they fought with pistols.

Mr. SAGE. But, sir, there might be a certain advantage that way; for a good marksman will be sure to hit his man at twenty yards distance; and a man whose hand shakes (which is common to men that debauch in pleasures, or have not used pistols out of their holsters) won't venture to fire, unless he touches the person he shoots at. Now, sir, I am of opinion, that one can get no honour in killing a man (if one has it all rug,388 as the gamesters say), when they have a trick to make the game secure, though they seem to play upon the square.

Sir MARK. In truth, Mr. Sage, I think such a fact must be murder in a man's own private conscience, whatever it may appear to the world.

Col. PLUME. I have known some men so nice, that they would not fight but upon a cloak without pistols.

Mr. SAGE. I believe a custom, well established, would outdo the Grand Monarch's edict.389

Sir MARK. And bullies would then leave off their long swords; but I don't find that a very pretty fellow can stay to change his sword, when he is insulted by a bully with a long diego,390 though his own at the same time be no longer than a penknife; which will certainly be the case, if such little swords are in mode. Pray, Colonel, how was it between the hectors of your time and the very topping fellows?

Col. PLUME. Sir, long swords happened to be generally worn in those times.

Mr. SAGE. In answer to what you were saying, Sir Mark, give me leave to inform you, that your knights-errant (who were the very pretty fellows of those ancient times) thought they could not honourably yield, though they had fought their own trusty weapons to the stumps; but would venture as boldly with the page's leaden sword, as if it had been of enchanted metal. Whence I conceive, there must be a spice of romantic gallantry in the composition of that very pretty fellow.

Sir MARK. I am of opinion, Mr. Sage, that fashion governs a very pretty fellow; nature, or common sense, your ordinary persons, and sometimes men of fine parts.

Mr. SAGE. But what is the reason, that men of the most excellent sense and morals (in other points) associate their understandings with the very pretty fellows in that chimæra of a duel?

Sir MARK. There's no disputing against so great a majority.

Mr. SAGE. But there is one scruple (Colonel Plume) and I have done: don't you believe there may be some advantage even upon a cloak with pistols, which a man of nice honour would scruple to take?

Col. PLUME. Faith, I can't tell, sir; but since one may reasonably suppose, that (in such a case) there can be but one so far in the wrong as to occasion matters to come to that extremity, I think the chance of being killed should fall but on one; whereas by their close and desperate manner of fighting, it may very probably happen to both.

Sir MARK. Why, gentlemen, if they are men of such nice honour (and must fight), there will be no fear of foul play, if they threw up cross or pile391 who should be shot.

Job xxxviii. 4, 8, 11.

There was a difference between the University terms and the Law terms.

Spencer Cowper (1669-1727), brother of Earl Cowper, and afterwards a judge of the Common Pleas. He was one of the managers of the impeachment of Sacheverell in 1710.

See Nos. 25, 26, 29, 31, 38, 205.

At Whitehall.

Cf. "Wentworth Papers," p. 394: "June 29, 1714. The changes at Court does not go so rug as some people expected and gave out, that 'twas to be all intire Tory with the least seeming mixture of Whigs."

See Spectator, No. 97.

A sword. Don Diego was a familiar name for a Spaniard with both English and French writers in the seventeenth century. San Diego is a corruption of Santiago (St. James), the patron saint of Spain.

A pillar, the design on one side of a coin, bearing on the other a cross. Swift says, "This I humbly conceive to be perfect boys' play; cross, I win, and pile, you lose."

No. 40.



From Saturday, July 9, to Tuesday, July 12, 1709.

Will's Coffee-house, July 11.

Letters from the city of London give an account of a very great consternation that place is in at present, by reason of a late inquiry made at Guildhall, whether a noble person392 has parts enough to deserve the enjoyment of the great estate of which he is possessed. The city is apprehensive that this precedent may go further than was at first imagined. The person against whom this inquisition is set up by his relations, is a peer of a neighbouring kingdom, and has in his youth made some few bulls, by which it is insinuated, that he has forfeited his goods and chattels. This is the more astonishing, in that there are many persons in the said city who are still more guilty than his lordship, and who, though they are idiots, do not only possess, but have also themselves acquired great estates, contrary to the known laws of this realm, which vests their possessions in the Crown. There is a gentleman of this coffee-house at this time exhibiting a bill in Chancery against his father's younger brother, who by some strange magic has arrived at the value of half a plum, as the citizens call a hundred thousand pounds; and in all the time of growing up to that wealth, was never known in any of his ordinary words or actions to discover any proof of reason. Upon this foundation my friend has set forth, that he is illegally master of his coffers, and has writ two epigrams to signify his own pretensions and sufficiency for spending that estate. He has inserted in his plea some things which I fear will give offence; for he pretends to argue, that though a man has a little of the knave mixed with the fool, he is nevertheless liable to the loss of goods; and makes the abuse of reason as just an avoidance of an estate as the total absence of it. This is what can never pass; but witty men are so full of themselves, that there is no persuading them; and my friend will not be convinced, but that upon quoting Solomon, who always used the word "fool" as a term of the same signification with "unjust," and makes all deviation from goodness and virtue to come under the notion of folly—I say, he doubts not, but by the force of this authority, let his idiot uncle appear never so great a knave, he shall prove him a fool at the same time. This affair led the company here into an examination of these points; and none coming here but wits, what was asserted by a young lawyer, that a lunatic is in the care of the Chancery, but a fool in that of the Crown, was received with general indignation. "Why that?" says old Renault. "Why that? Why must a fool be a courtier more than a madman? This is the iniquity of this dull age: I remember the time when it went on the mad side; all your top wits were scowrers,393 rakes, roarers, and demolishers of windows. I remember a mad lord who was drunk five years together, and was the envy of that age, and is faintly imitated by the dull pretenders to vice and madness in this. Had he lived to this day, there had not been a fool in fashion in the whole kingdom." When Renault had done speaking, a very worthy man assumed the discourse: "This is," said he, "Mr. Bickerstaff, a proper argument for you to treat in your article from this place; and if you would send your Pacolet into all our brains, you would find, that a little fibre or valve, scarce discernible, makes the distinction between a politician and an idiot. We should therefore throw a veil upon those unhappy instances of human nature, who seem to breathe without the direction of reason and understanding, as we should avert our eyes with abhorrence from such as live in perpetual abuse and contradiction to these noble faculties. Shall this unfortunate man be divested of his estate, because he is tractable and indolent, runs in no man's debt, invades no man's bed, nor spends the estate he owes his children and his character; when one who shows no sense above him, but in such practices, shall be esteemed in his senses, and possibly may pretend to the guardianship of him who is no ways his inferior, but in being less wicked? We see old age brings us indifferently into the same impotence of soul, wherein nature has placed this lord. There is something very fantastical in the distribution of civil power and capacity among men. The law certainly gives these persons into the ward and care of the Crown, because that is best able to protect them from injuries, and the impositions of craft and knavery; that the life of an idiot may not ruin the entail of a noble house, and his weakness may not frustrate the industry or capacity of the founder of his family. But when one of bright parts, as we say, with his eyes open, and all men's eyes upon him, destroys those purposes, there is no remedy. Folly and ignorance are punished! Folly and guilt are tolerated! Mr. Locke has somewhere made a distinction between a madman and a fool:394 a fool is he that from right principles makes a wrong conclusion; but a madman is one who draws a just inference from false principles. Thus the fool who cut off the fellow's head that lay asleep, and hid it, and then waited to see what he would say when he awakened and missed his headpiece, was in the right in the first thought, that a man would be surprised to find such an alteration in things since he fell asleep; but he was a little mistaken to imagine he could awake at all after his head was off. A madman fancies himself a prince; but upon his mistake, he acts suitably to that character; and though he is out in supposing he has principalities, while he drinks gruel, and lies in straw, yet you shall see him keep the port of a distressed monarch in all his words and actions. These two persons are equally taken into custody: but what must be done to half this good company, who every hour of their life are knowingly and wittingly both fools and madmen, and yet have capacities both of forming principles, and drawing conclusions, with the full use of reason?"

From my own Apartment, July 11.

This evening some ladies came to visit my sister Jenny; and the discourse, after very many frivolous and public matters, turned upon the main point among the women, the passion of love.395 Sappho, who always leads on this occasion, began to show her reading, and told us, that Sir John Suckling and Milton had, upon a parallel occasion, said the tenderest things she had ever read. "The circumstance," said she, "is such as gives us a notion of that protecting part which is the duty of men in their honourable designs upon, or possession of, women. In Suckling's tragedy of 'Brennoralt' he makes the lover steal into his mistress's bedchamber, and draw the curtains; then, when his heart is full of her charms, as she lies sleeping, instead of being carried away by the violence of his desires into thoughts of a warmer nature, sleep, which is the image of death, gives this generous lover reflections of a different kind, which regard rather her safety than his own passion. For, beholding her as she lies sleeping, he utters these words:

"So misers look upon their gold,
Which, while they joy to see, they fear to lose:
The pleasure of the sight scarce equalling
The jealousy of being dispossessed by others.
Her face is like the Milky Way i' th' sky,
A meeting of gentle lights without name!
"Heavens I shall this fresh ornament of the world,
These precious love-lines, pass with other common things
Amongst the wastes of time? what pity 'twere!396

"When Milton makes Adam leaning on his arm, beholding Eve, and lying in the contemplation of her beauty, he describes the utmost tenderness and guardian affection in one word:

"Adam with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamoured.397

"This is that sort of passion which truly deserves the name of 'love,' and has something more generous than friendship itself; for it has a constant care of the object beloved, abstracted from its own interests in the possession of it." Sappho was proceeding on the subject, when my sister produced a letter sent to her in the time of my absence, in celebration of the marriage state, which is the condition wherein only this sort of passion reigns in full authority. The epistle is as follows:


"Your brother being absent, I dare take the liberty of writing to you my thoughts of that state, which our whole sex either is or desires to be in: you'll easily guess I mean matrimony, which I hear so much decried, that it was with no small labour I maintained my ground against two opponents; but, as your brother observed of Socrates, I drew them into my conclusion from their own concessions; thus:

"In marriage are two happy things allowed,
A wife in wedding-sheets, and in a shroud.
How can a marriage state then be accursed,
Since the last day's as happy as the first?

"If you think they were too easily confuted, you may conclude them not of the first sense, by their talking against marriage.



I observed Sappho began to redden at this epistle; and turning to a lady, who was playing with a dog she was so fond of as to carry him abroad with her; "Nay," says she, "I cannot blame the men if they have mean ideas of our souls and affections, and wonder so many are brought to take us for companions for life, when they see our endearments so triflingly placed: for, to my knowledge, Mr. Truman would give half his estate for half the affection you have shown to that Shock: nor do I believe you would be ashamed to confess, that I saw you cry, when he had the colic last week with lapping sour milk. What more could you do for your lover himself?" "What more!" replied the lady, "there is not a man in England for whom I could lament half so much." Then she stifled the animal with kisses, and called him, Beau, Life, Dear, Monsieur, Pretty Fellow, and what not, in the hurry of her impertinence. Sappho rose up; as she always does at anything she observes done, which discovers in her own sex a levity of mind, which renders them inconsiderable in the opinion of others.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 11.

Letters from the Hague of the 16th instant, N.S., say, that the siege of Tournay went on with all imaginable success; and that there has been no manner of stop given to the attempts of the Confederates since they undertook it, except that by an accident of firing a piece of ordnance, it burst, and killed fifteen or sixteen men. The French army is still in the camp of Lens, and goes on in improving their entrenchments. When the last advices came away, it was believed the town of Tournay would be in the hands of the Confederates by the end of this month. Advices from Brussels inform us, that they have an account of a great action between the malcontents in the Vivarez, and the French king's forces under the command of the Duke of Roquelaure, in which engagement there were eighteen hundred men killed on the spot. They add, that all sorts of people who are under any oppression or discontent do daily join the Vivarois; and that their present body of men in arms consisted of six thousand. This sudden insurrection has put the Court of France under great difficulties; and the king has given orders, that the main body of his troops in Spain shall withdraw into his own dominions, where they are to be quartered in such countries as have of late discovered an inclination to take up arms: the calamities of that kingdom being such, that the people are not by any means to be kept in obedience, except by the terror of military execution. What makes the distresses still greater, is, that the Court begins to be doubtful of their troops, some regiments in the action in the Cevennes having faced about against their officers; and after the battle was over, joined the malcontents. Upon receiving advice of this battle, the Duke of Berwick detached twelve battalions into those parts, and began to add new works to his entrenchments near Briançon, in order to defend his camp, after being weakened by sending so great a reinforcement into the Cevennes. Letters from Spain say, that the Duchess of Anjou was lately delivered of a second son. They write from Madrid of the 25th of June, that the blockade of Olivenza was continued; but acknowledge, that the late provisions which were thrown into the place, make them doubt whether they shall be masters of it this campaign; though it is at present so closely blocked up, that it appears impracticable to send in any more stores or succours. They are preparing with all expedition to repair the fortifications of Alicante, for the security of the kingdom of Valencia.

It appears from Luttrell's "Brief Relation," that in Feb. 1707, Commissioners sat in the Exchequer Room at Westminster to try whether Viscount Wenman, "aged 19, of £5000 per annum estate in Oxfordshire," were an idiot or not. On the 14th February the Commission was superseded. In June 1709, a new Commission passed the Great Seal for inquiring into the Viscount's idiocy, and on July 29 they found that he was no idiot. On July 12, Peter Wentworth wrote thus to Lord Raby: "The prosecution of Lord Wainman is now order'd again, upon wch the Tatler is to day; the accation I am told is this, that last year when there was a stopt put to't 'twas upon the intercession lady Wainman the mother made to the Queen, and that she designed to marry her son, the fool, to Sir John Packington's daughter, 'twas then said that my Lady her self had married her Butler, wch the Queen desired her to tell the truth, and she did assure the Queen upon her word and honour,'twas false, and she never intended any such thing, but of late she has own her marriage to that same Butler, and put off the match with Sir John P——daughter, and married him to her husband's sister, wch they say the Queen is angry at and therefore this fresh prosecution is order'd" ("Wentworth Papers," p. 93). Lord Wenman, the fifth Viscount, was born in 1687, married Susannah, daughter of Seymour Wroughton, Esq., in 1709, and died in 1729. Lord Wenman's brother-in-law, Francis Wroughton, was also his father-in-law, for he had married, in 1699, as her third husband, the Viscount's mother, the Countess of Abingdon.

The Scowrers and Roarers were the forerunners of the Mohocks of 1712. Shadwell wrote a play called "The Scowrers," and often alludes to the window-breakers of his time. See Gay's "Trivia," iii. 325:

"Who has not heard the Scowrer's midnight fame?
Who has not trembled at the Mohock's name?"

"Essay concerning Human Understanding," chap. xii. sect. 14.

See Nos. 6, 35.

"Brennoralt," act iii.

"Paradise Lost," iv. 12, 13.

No. 41.



From Tuesday, July 12, to Thursday, July 14, 1709.

Celebrare domestica facta.

White's Chocolate-house, July 12.

There is no one thing more to be lamented in our nation, than their general affectation of everything that is foreign; nay, we carry it so far, that we are more anxious for our own countrymen when they have crossed the seas, than when we see them in the same dangerous condition before our eyes at home: else how is it possible, that on the 29th of the last month, there should have been a battle fought in our very streets of London, and nobody at this end of the town have heard of it? I protest, I, who make it my business to inquire after adventures, should never have known this, had not the following account been sent me enclosed in a letter. This, it seems, is the way of giving out of orders in the Artillery Company;398 and they prepare for a day of action with so little concern, as only to call it, "An Exercise of Arms."

"An Exercise at Arms of the Artillery Company, to be performed on Wednesday, June 29, 1709, under the command of Sir Joseph Woolfe, Knight and Alderman, General; Charles Hopson, Esquire, present Sheriff, Lieutenant-General; Captain Richard Synge, Major; Major John Shorey, Captain of Grenadiers; Captain William Grayhurst, Captain John Buttler, Captain Robert Carellis, Captains.

"The body march from the Artillery Ground through Moorgate, Coleman Street, Lothbury, Broad Street, Finch Lane, Cornhill, Cheapside, St. Martin's, St. Anne's Lane, halt the pikes under the wall in Noble Street, draw up the firelocks facing the Goldsmiths' Hall, make ready and face to the left, and fire, and so ditto three times. Beat to arms, and march round the hall, as up Lad Lane, Gutter Lane, Honey Lane, and so wheel to the right, and make your salute to my lord, and so down St. Anne's Lane, up Aldersgate Street, Barbican, and draw up in Red Cross Street, the right at St. Paul's Alley in the rear. March off Lieutenant-General with half the body up Beech Lane: he sends a subdivision up King's Head Court, and takes post in it, and marches two divisions round into Red Lion Market, to defend that pass, and succour the division in King's Head Court, but keeps in White Cross Street, facing Beech Lane, the rest of the body ready drawn up. Then the General marches up Beech Lane, is attacked, but forces the division in the court into the market, and enters with three divisions while he presses the Lieutenant-General's main body; and at the same time, the three divisions force those of the revolters out of the market, and so all the Lieutenant-General's body retreats into Chiswell Street, and lodges two divisions in Grub Street; and as the General marches on, they fall on his flank, but soon made to give way; but having a retreating place in Red Lion Court, but could not hold it, being put to flight through Paul's Alley, and pursued by the General's grenadiers, while he marches up and attacks their main body, but are opposed again by a party of men as lay in Black Raven Court; but they are forced also to retire soon in the utmost confusion; and at the same time those brave divisions in Paul's Alley ply their rear with grenadiers, that with precipitation they take to the rout along Bunhill Row: so the General marches into the Artillery Ground, and being drawn up, finds the revolting party to have found entrance, and makes a show as if for a battle, and both armies soon engage in form, and fire by platoons."

Much might be said for the improvement of this system; which, for its style and invention, may instruct generals and their historians, both in fighting a battle, and describing it when it is over. These elegant expressions, "Ditto," "And so," "But soon," "But having," "But could not," "But are," "But they," "Finds the party to have found," &c., do certainly give great life and spirit to the relation. Indeed I am extremely concerned for the Lieutenant-General, who, by his overthrow and defeat, is made a deplorable instance of the fortune of war, and vicissitudes of human affairs. He, alas! has lost in Beech Lane and Chiswell Street, all the glory he lately gained in and about Holborn and St. Giles's. The art of subdividing first, and dividing afterwards, is new and surprising; and according to this method, the troops are disposed in King's Head Court and Red Lion Market: nor is the conduct of these leaders less conspicuous in their choice of the ground or field of battle. Happy was it, that the greatest part of the achievements of this day was to be performed near Grub Street,399 that there might not be wanting a sufficient number of faithful historians, who being eye-witnesses of these wonders, should impartially transmit them to posterity: but then it can never be enough regretted, that we are left in the dark as to the name and title of that extraordinary hero who commanded the divisions in Paul's Alley; especially because those divisions are justly styled brave, and accordingly were to push the enemy along Bunhill Row, and thereby occasion a general battle. But Pallas appeared in the form of a shower of rain, and prevented the slaughter and desolation which were threatened by these extraordinary preparations.

Hi motus animorum atque hæc certamina tanta
Pulveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt.400

Will's Coffee-house, July 13.

Some part of the company keep up the old way of conversation in this place, which usually turned upon the examination of nature, and an inquiry into the manners of men. There is one in the room so very judicious, that he manages impertinents with the utmost dexterity. It was diverting this evening to hear a discourse between him and one of these gentlemen. He told me before that person joined us, that he was a questioner, who, according to his description, is one who asks questions, not with a design to receive information, but an affectation to show his uneasiness for want of it. He went on in asserting, that there are crowds of that modest ambition, as to aim no farther than to demonstrate that they are in doubt. But by this time Will Why-not was sat down by us. "So, gentlemen," says he, "in how many days, think you, shall we be masters of Tournay? Is the account of the action of the Vivarois to be depended upon? Could you have imagined England had so much money in it, as you see it has produced? Pray, sirs, what do you think? Will the Duke of Savoy make an eruption into France? But," says he, "time will clear all these mysteries." His answer to himself gave me the altitude of his head, and to all his questions I thus answered very satisfactorily: "Sir, have you heard that this Slaughterford401 never owned the fact for which he died? Have the newspapers mentioned that matter? But, pray, can you tell me what method will be taken to provide for these Palatines?402 But this, as you say, time will clear." "Ay, ay," says he, and whispers me, "they will never let us into these things beforehand." I whispered him again, "We shall know it as soon as there is a proclamation." He tells me in the other ear, "You are in the right of it." Then he whispered my friend to know what my name was; then made an obliging bow, and went to examine another table. This led my friend and me to weigh this wandering manner in many other incidents, and he took out of his pockets several little notes or tickets to solicit for votes to employments: as, "Mr. John Taplash having served all offices, and being reduced to great poverty, desires your vote for singing clerk of this parish." Another "has had ten children, all whom his wife has suckled herself; therefore humbly desires to be a schoolmaster." There is nothing so frequent as this way of application for offices. It is not that you are fit for the place, but because the place would be convenient for you, that you claim a merit to it. But commend me to the great Kirleus,403 who has lately set up for midwifery, and to help childbirth, for no other reason, but that he is himself the Unborn Doctor. The way is to hit upon something that puts the vulgar upon the stare, or that touches their compassion, which is often the weakest part about us. I know a good lady, who has taken her daughters from their old dancing-master, to place them with another, for no other reason, but because the new man has broke his leg, which is so ill set, that he can never dance more.

From my own Apartment, July 13.

As it is a frequent mortification to me to receive letters, wherein people tell me, without a name, they know I meant them in such and such a passage; so that very accusation is an argument, that there are such beings in human life, as fall under our description and our discourse, is not altogether fantastical and groundless. But in this case I am treated as I saw a boy was the other day, who gave out poxy bills: every plain fellow took it that passed by, and went on his way without further notice: at last came one with his nose a little abridged; who knocks the lad down, with a, "Why, you son of a w——e, do you think I am p——d?" But Shakespeare has made the best apology for this way of talking against the public errors: he makes Jaques, in the play called "As You Like It," express himself thus:

Why, who cries out on pride,
That can therein tax any private party?
What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say the city woman bears
The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
Who can come in and say that I mean her,
When such a one as she, such is her neighbour?
Or, what is he of basest function,
That says his bravery is not on my cost?
Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits
His folly to the mettle of my speech.
There then! How then? Then let me see wherein
My tongue hath wronged him: if it do him right,
Then he hath wronged himself: if he be free,
Why then my taxing like a wild goose flies,
Unclaimed of any man.404

St. James's Coffee-house, July 13.

We have received, by letters of the 18th instant from the camp before Tournay, an account, that we were in a fair prospect of being masters of the town within seven days after that date. Our batteries had utterly overthrown those of the enemy. On the 16th instant, N.S., General Schuylemburg had made a lodgment on the counterscarp of the Tenaille; which post was so weakly defended, that we lost but six men in gaining it. So that there seems reason to hope, that the citadel will also be in the hands of the Confederates about the 6th of August, O.S. These advices inform us further, that Marshal Villars had ordered large detachments to make motions towards Douay and Condé. The swift progress of this siege has so much alarmed the other frontier towns of France, that they were throwing down some houses in the suburbs of Valenciennes, which they think may stand commodiously for the enemy in case that place should be invested. The Elector of Cologne is making all imaginable haste to remove from thence to Rheims.

See Nos. 28, 38.

Grub Street, Cripplegate (now Milton Street), became, towards the end of the seventeenth century, the abode of what Johnson calls "writers of small histories, dictionaries and temporary poems; whence any mean production is called Grub Street."

Virgil, "Georgics," iv. 86.

The Flying Post records that one Slaughterford was sentenced to death on July 2, 1709, for murdering his sweetheart.

See Nos. 24, 51.

See No. 14.

"As You Like It," act ii. sc. 7.

No. 42.



From Thursday, July 14, to Saturday, July 16, 1709.

Celebrare domestica facta.

From my own Apartment, July 15.

Looking over some old papers, I found a little treatise, written by my great-grandfather, concerning bribery, and thought his manner of treating that subject not unworthy my remark. He there has a digression concerning a possibility, that in some circumstances a man may receive an injury, and yet be conscious to himself that he deserves it. There are abundance of fine things said on the subject; but the whole wrapped up in so much jingle and pun (which was the wit of those times) that it is scarce intelligible; but I thought the design was well enough in the following sketch of the old gentleman's poetry: for in this case, where two are rivals for the same thing, and propose to attain it by presents, he that attempts the judge's honesty, by making him offers of reward, ought not to complain when he loses his cause for a better bidder. But the good old doggerel runs thus:405

A poor man once a judge besought,
To judge aright his cause,
And with a pot of oil salutes
This judger of the laws.
"My friend" quoth he, "thy cause is good":
He glad away did trudge;
Anon his wealthy foe did come
Before this partial judge.
An hog well fed this churl presents,
And craves a strain of law;
The hog received, the poor man's right
Was judged not worth a straw.
Therewith he cried, "O! partial judge,
Thy doom has me undone;
When oil I gave, my cause was good,
But now to ruin run."
"Poor man" quoth he, "I thee forgot,
And see thy cause of foil;
An hog came since into my house,
And broke thy pot of oil."

Will's Coffee-house, July 15.

The discourse happened this evening to fall upon characters drawn in plays, and a gentleman remarked, that there was no method in the world of knowing the taste of an age, or period of time so good, as by the observations of the persons represented in their comedies. There were several instances produced, as Ben Jonson's bringing in a fellow smoking as a piece of foppery;406 "But," said the gentleman who entertained us on this subject, "this matter is nowhere so observable as in the difference of the characters of women on the stage in the last age, and in this. It is not to be supposed that it was a poverty of genius in Shakespeare, that his women made so small a figure in his dialogues; but it certainly is, that he drew women as they then were in life; for that sex had not in those days that freedom in conversation; and their characters were only, that they were mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. There were not then among the ladies, shining wits, politicians, virtuosas, free-thinkers, and disputants; nay, there was then hardly such a creature even as a coquette: but vanity had quite another turn, and the most conspicuous woman at that time of day was only the best housewife. Were it possible to bring into life an assembly of matrons of that age, and introduce the learned Lady Woodby into their company, they would not believe the same nation could produce a creature so unlike anything they ever saw in it. But these ancients would be as much astonished to see in the same age so illustrious a pattern to all who love things praiseworthy, as the divine Aspasia.407 Methinks, I now see her walking in her garden like our first parent, with unaffected charms, before beauty had spectators, and bearing celestial conscious virtue in her aspect. Her countenance is the lively picture of her mind, which is the seat of honour, truth, compassion, knowledge, and innocence.

There dwells the scorn of vice and pity too.

In the midst of the most ample fortune, and veneration of all that behold and know her, without the least affectation, she consults retirement, the contemplation of her own being, and that supreme power which bestowed it. Without the learning of schools, or knowledge of a long course of arguments, she goes on in a steady course of uninterrupted piety and virtue, and adds to the severity and privacy of the last age all the freedom and ease of this. The language and mien of a Court she is possessed of in the highest degree; but the simplicity and humble thoughts of a cottage, are her more welcome entertainments. Aspasia is a female philosopher, who does not only live up to the resignation of the most retired lives of the ancient sages, but also to the schemes and plans which they thought beautiful, though inimitable. This lady is the most exact economist, without appearing busy; the most strictly virtuous, without tasting the praise of it; and shuns applause with as much industry, as others do reproach. This character is so particular, that it will very easily be fixed on her only, by all that know her: but I daresay, she will be the last that finds it out. But, alas! if we have one or two such ladies, how many dozens are there like the restless Poluglossa, who is acquainted with all the world but herself; who has the appearance of all, and possession of no one virtue: she has indeed in her practice the absence of vice; but her discourse is the continual history of it; and it is apparent, when she speaks of the criminal gratifications of others, that her innocence is only a restraint, with a certain mixture of envy. She is so perfectly opposite to the character of Aspasia, that as vice is terrible to her only as it is the object of reproach, so virtue is agreeable only as it is attended with applause.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 15.

It is now twelve o'clock at noon, and no mail come in; therefore I am not without hopes, that the town will allow me the liberty which my brother news-writers take, in giving them what may be for their information in another kind, and indulge me in doing an act of friendship, by publishing the following account of goods and movables.408

This is to give notice, that a magnificent palace, with great variety of gardens, statues, and waterworks, may be bought cheap in Drury Lane; where there are likewise several castles to be disposed of, very delightfully situated; as also groves, woods, forests, fountains, and country seats, with very pleasant prospects on all sides of them; being the movables of Ch——r R——ch,409 Esq.; who is breaking up housekeeping, and has many curious pieces of furniture to dispose of, which may be seen between the hours of six and ten in the evening.


There are also swords, halberts, sheep-hooks, cardinals' hats, turbans, drums, gallipots, a gibbet, a cradle, a rack, a cart-wheel, an altar, a helmet, a back-piece, a breast-plate, a bell, a tub, and a jointed baby.414

These are the hard shifts we intelligencers are forced to; therefore our readers ought to excuse us, if a westerly wind blowing for a fortnight together, generally fills every paper with an order of battle; when we show our martial skill in each line, and, according to the space we have to fill, we range our men in squadrons and battalions, or draw out company by company, and troop by troop; ever observing, that no muster is to be made, but when the wind is in a cross point, which often happens at the end of a campaign, when half the men are deserted or killed. The Courant is sometimes ten deep, his ranks close: the Postboy415 is generally in files, for greater exactness; and the Postman comes down upon you rather after the Turkish way, sword in hand, pell-mell, without form or discipline; but sure to bring men enough into the field; and wherever they are raised, never to lose a battle for want of numbers.

From George Whetstone's "English Mirror," 1586.

See "Every Man out of his Humour," act ii. sc. 1.

Lady Elizabeth Hastings, unquestionably one of the most accomplished and virtuous characters of the age in which she lived, was the daughter of Theophilus Hastings, the 7th Earl of Huntingdon, and of Elizabeth, eldest daughter and co-heiress to John Lewes, of Ledstone, in Yorkshire, Knt. and Bart. Her father succeeded to the honours and estate of the family, Feb. 13, 1655, and was in 1687 Lord Chief Justice, and Justice in Eyre of all the King's forests, &c., beyond Trent; Lord Lieutenant of the counties of Leicester and Derby; Captain of the Band of Gentlemen Pensioners, and of the Privy Council to King James II. He died suddenly at his lodgings in Charles Street, St. James's, May 13, 1701, and was succeeded in his honours and estate by his son, and her brother, Charles, who died unmarried, Feb. 22, 1704. Lady Elizabeth Hastings was born April 19, 1682, and died Dec. 22, 1739. It is said, with great probability, that since the commencement of the Christian era, scarce any age has produced a lady of such high birth and superior accomplishments, that was a greater blessing to many, or a brighter pattern to all. There is an admirable sketch of this illustrious lady's character, drawn soon after her death, in the tenth volume of the Gentleman's Magazine, p. 36, probably by Samuel Johnson. See also "An historical Character relating to the holy and exemplary Life of the Right Honourable the Lady Elisabeth Hastings, &c. By Thomas Barnard, A.M. Printed at Leeds, in 1742, 12mo" (Nichols).—Lady Elizabeth Hastings, who came into a fortune upon the death of her brother George, Earl of Huntingdon, settled at Ledstone House, where she was the Lady Bountiful of the neighbourhood. Her whole estate, however, is said to have been less than £3000 a year. The best of the clergy of the day were among her friends. She helped Berkeley in his Bermuda Mission scheme, and she befriended Miss Mary Astell. Ralph Thoresby, who visited her, was "extremely pleased with the most agreeable conversation of the pious and excellent Lady Elizabeth Hastings." ("Diary," ii. 82). She was one of the numerous eligible ladies that the friends of Lord Raby, afterwards Earl of Strafford, suggested to him as a suitable wife ("Wentworth Papers," pp. 29, 56). The character of Aspasia in this paper has been attributed to Congreve, on the ground, apparently, that he knew Lady Elizabeth Hastings' half-brother, Theophilus, afterwards Earl of Huntingdon. See No. 49, note.

The remainder of this paper is by Addison; see Steele's Preface. Drury Lane Theatre was closed by an order of the Lord Chamberlain, as mentioned in No. 30.

Christopher Rich.

A bargain.

Valentini Urbani sang in Italian in the opera of "Camilla," in 1707. His acting seems to have been better than his voice (Burney's "History of Music," iv. 208).

See No. 20.

John Dennis's unsuccessful tragedy of "Appius and Virginia" was produced in 1709. On that occasion he introduced a new method of making thunder (see "Dunciad," ii. 226), which was found useful by managers. Afterwards, when Dennis found his invention being used in "Macbeth," he exclaimed, "'Sdeath! that's my thunder. See how the fellows use me, they have silenced my tragedy, and they roar out my thunder" (Oldys, MS. notes on Langbaine).

"Baby" was often used for "doll."

See No. 18.

No. 43.



From Saturday, July 16, to Tuesday, July 19, 1709.

Bene nummatum decorat suadela Venusque,
Hor. 1 Ep. vi. 38.

White's Chocolate-house, July 18.

I write from hence at present to complain, that wit and merit are so little encouraged by people of rank and quality, that the wits of the age are obliged to run within Temple Bar for patronage. There is a deplorable instance of this in the case of Mr. D——y,416 who has dedicated his inimitable comedy, called, "The Modern Prophets," to a worthy knight,417 to whom, it seems, he had before communicated his plan, which was, to ridicule the ridiculous of our established doctrine. I have elsewhere celebrated the contrivance of this excellent drama; but was not, till I read the dedication, wholly let into the religious design of it. I am afraid it has suffered discontinuance at this gay end of the town, for no other reason but the piety of the purpose. There is however in this epistle the true life of panegyrical performance; and I do not doubt but, if the patron would part with it, I can help him to others with good pretensions to it; viz., of uncommon understanding, who would give him as much as he gave for it. I know perfectly well a noble person to whom these words (which are the body of the panegyric) would fit to a hair.

"Your easiness of humour, or rather your harmonious disposition, is so admirably mixed with your composure, that the rugged cares and disturbance that public affairs brings with it, which does so vexatiously affect the heads of other great men of business, &c. does scarce ever ruffle your unclouded brow so much as with a frown. And what above all is praiseworthy, you are so far from thinking yourself better than others, that a flourishing and opulent fortune, which by a certain natural corruption in its quality, seldom fails to infect other possessors with pride, seems in this case as if only providentially disposed to enlarge your humility.

"But I find, sir, I am now got into a very large field, where though I could with great ease raise a number of plants in relation to your merit of this plauditory nature; yet for fear of an author's general vice, and that the plain justice I have done you should, by my proceeding and others' mistaken judgment, be imagined flattery, a thing the bluntness of my nature does not care to be concerned with, and which I also know you abominate."

It is wonderful to see how many judges of these fine things spring up every day by the rise of stocks, and other elegant methods of abridging the way to learning and criticism. But I do hereby forbid all dedications to any persons within the city of London, except Sir Francis, Sir Stephen,418 and the Bank, will take epigrams and epistles as value received for their notes; and the East India Companies accept of heroic poems for their sealed bonds. Upon which bottom, our publishers have full power to treat with the city in behalf of us authors, to enable traders to become patrons and Fellows of the Royal Society, as well as receive certain degrees of skill in the Latin and Greek tongues, according to the quantity of the commodities which they take off our hands.

Grecian Coffee-house, July 18.

The learned have so long laboured under the imputation of dryness and dulness in their accounts of their phenomena, that an ingenious gentleman of our society has resolved to write a system of philosophy in a more lively method, both as to the matter and language, than has been hitherto attempted. He read to us the plan upon which he intends to proceed. I thought his account, by way of fable of the worlds about us, had so much vivacity in it, that I could not forbear transcribing his hypothesis, to give the reader a taste of my friend's treatise, which is now in the press.419

"The inferior deities having designed on a day to play a game at football, knead together a numberless collection of dancing atoms into the form of seven rolling globes: and that nature might be kept from a dull inactivity, each separate particle is endued with a principle of motion, or a power of attraction, whereby all the several parcels of matter draw each other proportionately to their magnitudes and distances, into such a remarkable variety of different forms, as to produce all the wonderful appearances we now observe in empire, philosophy, and religion. To proceed; at the beginning of the game, each of the globes being struck forward with a vast violence, ran out of sight, and wandered in a straight line through the infinite spaces. The nimble deities pursue, breathless almost, and spent in the eager chase; each of them caught hold of one, and stamped it with his name; as, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so of the rest. To prevent this inconvenience for the future, the seven are condemned to a precipitation, which in our inferior style we call 'gravity.' Thus the tangential and centripetal forces, by their counter-struggle, make the celestial bodies describe an exact ellipsis."

There will be added to this an appendix, in defence of the first day of the term according to the Oxford Almanac,420 by a learned knight of this realm, with an apology for the said knight's manner of dress; proving, that his habit, according to this hypothesis, is the true modern and fashionable; and that buckles are not to be worn, by this system, till the 10th of March, in the year 1714, which, according to the computation of some of our greatest divines, is to be the first year of the Millennium421; in which blessed age, all habits will be reduced to a primitive simplicity; and whoever shall be found to have persevered in a constancy of dress, in spite of all the allurements of profane and heathen habits, shall be rewarded with a never-fading doublet of a thousand years. All points in the system which are doubted, shall be attested by the knight's extemporary oath, for the satisfaction of his readers.

Will's Coffee-house, July 18.

We were upon the heroic strain this evening, and the question was, What is the True Sublime? Many very good discourses happened thereupon; after which a gentleman at the table, who is, it seems, writing on that subject, assumed the argument; and though he ran through many instances of sublimity from the ancient writers, said, he had hardly known an occasion wherein the true greatness of soul, which animates a general in action, is so well represented, with regard to the person of whom it was spoken, and the time in which it was writ, as in a few lines in a modern poem: "there is," continued he, "nothing so forced and constrained, as what we frequently meet with in tragedies; to make a man under the weight of a great sorrow, or full of meditation upon what he is soon to execute, cast about for a simile to what he himself is, or the thing which he is going to act: but there is nothing more proper and natural than for a poet, whose business is to describe, and who is spectator of one in that circumstance when his mind is working upon a great image, and that the ideas hurry upon his imagination—I say, there is nothing so natural, as for a poet to relieve and clear himself from the burthen of thought at that time, by uttering his conception in simile and metaphor. The highest act of the mind of man, is to possess itself with tranquillity in imminent danger, and to have its thoughts so free, as to act at that time without perplexity. The ancient poets have compared this sedate courage to a rock that remains immovable amidst the rage of winds and waves; but that is too stupid and inanimate a similitude, and could do no credit to the hero. At other times they are all of them wonderfully obliged to a Lybian lion, which may give indeed very agreeable terrors to a description; but is no compliment to the person to whom it is applied: eagles, tigers, and wolves, are made use of on the same occasion, and very often with much beauty; but this is still an honour done to the brute, rather than the hero. Mars, Pallas, Bacchus, and Hercules, have each of them furnished very good similes in their time, and made, doubtless, a greater impression on the mind of a heathen, than they have on that of a modern reader. But the sublime image that I am talking of, and which I really think as great as ever entered into the thought of man, is in the poem called, 'The Campaign';422 where the simile of a ministering angel sets forth the most sedate and the most active courage, engaged in an uproar of nature, a confusion of elements, and a scene of divine vengeance. Add to all, that these lines compliment the General and his Queen at the same time, and have all the natural horrors, heightened by the image that was still fresh in the mind of every reader.423

"'Twas then great Marlborough's mighty soul was proved,
That, in the shock of charging hosts unmoved,
Amidst confusion, horror, and despair,
Examined all the dreadful scenes of war;
In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed,
To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid,
Inspired repulsed battalions to engage,
And taught the doubtful battle where to rage.
So when an angel by divine command,
With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past,
Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
And, pleased the Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.

"The whole poem is so exquisitely noble and poetic, that I think it an honour to our nation and language." The gentleman concluded his critique on this work, by saying, that he esteemed it wholly new, and a wonderful attempt to keep up the ordinary ideas of a march of an army, just as they happened in so warm and great a style, and yet be at once familiar and heroic. Such a performance is a chronicle as well as a poem, and will preserve the memory of our hero, when all the edifices and statues erected to his honour are blended with common dust.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 18.

Letters from the Hague of the 23rd instant, N.S., say, that the Allies were so forward in the siege of Tournay, that they were preparing for a general assault, which, it was supposed, would be made within a few days. Deserters from the town gave an account, that the garrison was carrying their ammunition and provisions into the citadel, which occasioned a tumult among the inhabitants of the town. The French army had laid bridges over the Scarp, and made a motion as if they intended to pass that river; but though they are joined by the reinforcement expected from Germany, it was not believed they should make any attempt towards relieving Tournay. Letters from Brabant say, there has been a discovery made of a design to deliver up Antwerp to the enemy. The States of Holland have agreed to a general naturalisation of all Protestants who shall fly into their dominions; to which purpose, a proclamation was to be issued within few days.

They write from France, that the great misery and want under which that nation has so long laboured, has ended in a pestilence, which began to appear in Burgundy and Dauphiné. They add, that in the town of Mazon, three hundred persons had died in the space of ten days. Letters from Lille of the 24th instant advise, that great numbers of deserters came daily into that city, the most part of whom are dragoons. We are advised from France, that the Loire having overflowed its banks, hath laid the country under water for three hundred miles together.

See Nos. 1 and 11. In No. 29 of the Guardian Steele accused the world of ingratitude in not properly "rewarding the jocose labours of my friend, Mr. Durfey"; and in No. 67 Addison urged the town to go to a performance at the theatre given for Durfey's benefit. "He has made the town merry, and I hope they will make him easy, so long as he stays among us."

Sir William Scawen, a merchant who was knighted in 1692.

Probably Sir Francis Child and Sir Stephen Evance, the bankers. The latter was ruined at the time of the South Sea mania. The following advertisement appeared in the Postman for Jan. 1, 1709: "Lost or mislaid, some time the last summer, at Winchester House, in Chelsea, a gold snuff-box, a cypher graved on the cover, with trophies round it, and over the cypher these words, 'DD. Illust. Princ. Jac. Duci Ormond.' Whoever brings it to Sir Stephen Evance, at the Black Boy in Lombard Street, shall have ten guineas reward, and be asked no questions."

This seems to be a banter upon Mr. Whiston's book intituled, "Prælectiones Physicæ Mathematicæ; sive Philosophia clarissimi Newtoni Mathematica illustrata, 1710"; wherein he explained the Newtonian philosophy, which now began to grow into vogue. Both Addison and Steele, however, very much befriended Whiston; and after his banishment from Cambridge, promoted a subscription for his astronomical lectures at Button's Coffee-house (Nichols).—See No. 251.

See No. 39.

Whiston had fixed that day for the destruction of Anti-Christ and the beginning of the Millennium.

Written by Addison in 1705, in celebration of the victory at Blenheim.

The great storm of November 1703 formed the subject of a volume published by Defoe in 1704.

No. 44.



From Tuesday, July 19, to Thursday, July 21, 1709.

—Nullis amor est medicabilis herbis.
Ovid, Met. i. 523.

White's Chocolate-house, July 19.

This day, passing through Covent Garden, I was stopped in the Piazza by Pacolet, to observe what he called the "triumph of love and youth." I turned to the object he pointed at; and there I saw a gay gilt chariot drawn by fresh prancing horses; the coachman with a new cockade, and the lackeys with insolence and plenty in their countenances. I asked immediately, what young heir or lover owned that glittering equipage? But my companion interrupted: "Do not you see there the mourning Æsculapius?"424 "The mourning!" said I. "Yes, Isaac," said Pacolet, "he is in deep mourning, and is the languishing hopeless lover of the divine Hebe, the emblem of youth and beauty. The excellent and learned sage you behold in that furniture, is the strongest instance imaginable, that love is the most powerful of all things. You are not so ignorant as to be a stranger to the character of Æsculapius, as the patron and most successful of all who profess the art of medicine. But as most of his operations are owing to a natural sagacity or impulse, he has very little troubled himself with the doctrine of drugs; but has always given Nature more room to help herself, than any of her learned assistants; and consequently has done greater wonders than is in the power of art to perform;425 for which reason, he is half deified by the people; and has ever been justly courted by all the world, as if he were a seventh son. It happened, that the charming Hebe was reduced, by a long and violent fever, to the most extreme danger of death; and when all skill failed, they sent for Æsculapius. The renowned artist was touched with the deepest compassion to see the faded charms and faint bloom of Hebe; and had a generous concern in beholding a struggle, not between life, but rather between youth, and death. All his skill and his passion tended to the recovery of Hebe, beautiful even in sickness: but, alas! the unhappy physician knew not, that in all his care he was only sharpening darts for his own destruction. In a word, his fortune was the same with that of the statuary, who fell in love with the image of his own making; and the unfortunate Æsculapius is become the patient of her whom he lately recovered. Long before this disaster, Æsculapius was far gone in the unnecessary and superfluous amusements of old age, in increasing unwieldy stores, and providing, in the midst of an incapacity of enjoyment of what he had, for a supply of more wants than he had calls for in youth itself. But these low considerations are now no more, and love has taken place of avarice, or rather has become an avarice of another kind, which still urges him to pursue what he does not want. But behold the metamorphosis; the anxious mean cares of an usurer are turned into the languishments and complaints of a lover. 'Behold,' says the aged Æsculapius, 'I submit, I own, great Love, thy empire: pity, Hebe, the fop you have made: what have I to do with gilding but on pills? Yet, O fair! For thee I sit amidst a crowd of painted deities on my chariot, buttoned in gold, clasped in gold, without having any value for that beloved metal, but as it adorns the person, and laces the hat of thy dying lover. I ask not to live, O Hebe! Give me but gentle death: euthanasia, euthanasia, that is all I implore.'" When Æsculapius had finished his complaint, Pacolet went on in deep morals on the uncertainty of riches, with this remarkable exclamation; "O wealth! How impotent art thou! And how little dost thou supply us with real happiness, when the usurer himself can forget thee for the love of what is as foreign to his felicity as thou art?"

Will's Coffee-house, July 19.

The company here, who have all a delicate taste of theatrical representations, had made a gathering to purchase the movables of the neighbouring playhouse,426 for the encouragement of one which is setting up in the Haymarket. But the proceedings at the auction (by which method the goods have been sold this evening) have been so unfair, that this generous design has been frustrated; for the Imperial Mantle made for Cyrus was missing, as also the Chariot and Two Dragons: but upon examination it was found, that a gentleman of Hampshire427 had clandestinely bought them both, and is gone down to his country seat; and that on Saturday last he passed through Staines attired in that robe, and drawn by the said Dragons, assisted by two only of his own horses. This theatrical traveller has also left orders with Mr. Hall428 to send the faded rainbow to the scourers, and when it comes home, to despatch it after him. At the same time C—— R——429 Esq. is invited to bring down himself his Setting Sun, and be box-keeper to a theatre erected by this gentleman near Southampton. Thus there has been nothing but artifice in the management of this affair; for which reason I beg pardon of the town, that I inserted the inventory in my paper and solemnly protest, I knew nothing of this artful design of vending these rarities: but I meant only the good of the world in that and all other things which I divulge. And now I am upon this subject, I must do myself justice in relation to an article in a former paper, wherein I made mention of a person who keeps a puppet-show in the town of Bath;430 I was tender of naming names, and only just hinted, that he makes larger promises, when he invites people to his dramatic representations, than he is able to perform: but I am credibly informed, that he makes a profane lewd jester, which he calls Punch, speak to the dishonour of Isaac Bickerstaff with great familiarity; and before all my learned friends in that place, takes upon him to dispute my title to the appellation of Esquire. I think I need not say much to convince all the world, that this Mr. Powell (for that is his name) is a pragmatical and vain person to pretend to argue with me on any subject. Mecum certasse feretur431; that is to say, it will be an honour to him to have it said he contended with me; but I would have him to know, that I can look beyond his wires, and know very well the whole trick of his art, and that it is only by these wires that the eye of the spectator is cheated, and hindered from seeing that there is a thread on one of Punch's chops, which draws it up, and lets it fall at the discretion of the said Powell, who stands behind and plays him, and makes him speak saucily of his betters. He! to pretend to make prologues against me! But a man never behaves himself with decency in his own case; therefore I shall command myself, and never trouble me further with this little fellow, who is himself but a tall puppet, and has not brains enough to make even wood speak as it ought to do: and I, that have heard the groaning board,432 can despise all that his puppets shall be able to speak as long as they live. But, Ex quovis ligno non fit Mercurius433. He has pretended to write to me also from the Bath, and says, he thought to have deferred giving me an answer till he came to his books434; but that my writings might do well with the waters: which are pert expressions that become a schoolboy, better than one that is to teach others: and when I have said a civil thing to him, he cries, "Oh! I thank you for that—I am your humble servant for that."435 Ah! Mr. Powell, these smart civilities will never run down men of learning: I know well enough your design is to have all men automata, like your puppets; but the world is grown too wise, and can look through these thin devices. I know you design to make a reply to this; but be sure you stick close to my words; for if you bring me into discourses concerning the government of your puppets, I must tell you, I neither am, nor have been, nor will be, at leisure to answer you. It is really a burning shame this man should be tolerated in abusing the world with such representations of things: but his parts decay, and he is not much more alive than Partridge.

From my own Apartment, July 14.

I must beg pardon of my readers that for this time I have, I fear, huddled up my discourse, having been very busy in helping an old friend of mine out of town. He has a very good estate, is a man of wit; but he had been three years absent from town, and cannot bear a jest; for which reason I have, with some pains, convinced him, that he can no more live here than if he were a downright bankrupt. He was so fond of dear London, that he began to fret only inwardly; but being unable to laugh and be laughed at, I took a place in the northern coach for him and his family; and hope he is got to-night safe from all sneerers in his own parlour.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 20.

This morning we received by express, the agreeable news of the surrender of the town of Tournay on the 28th instant, N.S. The place was assaulted at the attacks of General Schuylemburg, and that of General Lottum, at the same time. The action at both those parts of the town was very obstinate, and the Allies lost a considerable number at the beginning of the dispute; but the fight was continued with so great bravery, that the enemy observing that we were masters of all the posts which were necessary for a general attack, beat the chamade,436 and hostages were received from the town, and others sent from the besiegers, in order to come to a formal capitulation for the surrender of the place. We have also this day received advice, that Sir John Leake, who lies off of Dunkirk, had intercepted several ships laden with corn from the Baltic; and that the Dutch privateers had fallen in with others, and carried them into Holland. The French letters advise, that the young son to the Duke of Anjou lived but eight days.

Dr. John Radcliffe, the physician (1650-1714), was disappointed in love when about sixty. The matter is referred to again in Nos. 46, 47, 50 and 67. Radcliffe became rich, but was considered to be a quack by many other doctors. "The last Tatler is upon Dr. Ratclif who they say is desparately in love with Dutchess of Bolton, his passion runs so high as to declare he'll make her eldest son his heir, upon wch account they say the Duke of B—— is not at all alarm'd, but gives the Old amorist opportunity to make his Court, the Dr. lately gave the Dutchess and some other Ladys an entertainm' of musick upon the water, and a fine supper in the Barge" ("Wentworth Papers," p. 97). This identification of Hebe with the Duchess of Bolton is corroborated by the MS. annotator mentioned in a note to No. 4. According to another account she was a Miss Tempest, a maid of honour to the Queen. The writer of the article on Radcliffe in the "Biog. Britannica" says: "The lady, who made the doctor, at this advanced age, stand in need of a physician himself, was of great beauty, wealth, and quality; and too attractive not to inspire the coldest heart with the warmest sentiments. After he had made a cure of her, he could not but imagine, as naturally he might, that her ladyship would entertain a favourable opinion of him. But the lady, however grateful she might be for the care he had taken of her health, divulged the secret, and one of her confidants revealed it to Steele, who, on account of party, was so ill-natured as to write the ridicule of it in the Tatler" Radcliffe never married.

I have a pamphlet called "The Tatler's Character (July 21) of Æsculapius guessing diseases, without the knowledge of drugs; applied to the British Physicians and Surgeons: or, The difficult diseases of the Royal Family, Nobility and Gentry will never be understood and recover'd, when the populace are oppress'd and destroy'd by the Practising-Apothecaries and Empiricks confess'd by the College and Mr. Bernard the Surgeon. By a Consultation of Gentlemen of Quality." London, 8vo, 1709. The pamphlet contains some interesting remarks on the physicians, apothecaries and hospitals of the time. Mr. Bickerstaff is called "the most ingenious physician of our vices and follies."

See No. 42.

A friend of Nichols said, "I have seen somewhere, but cannot immediately refer to the book, an account of a theatre built at Southwick, in the county of Hants, by a Mr. Richard Norton, whose will is in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1733, p. 57. He is the person, I believe, who wrote a play called 'Pausanias' (1696). Cibber dedicated his first play to him." The MS. annotator mentioned in No. 4 also identifies the gentleman of Hampshire with "Mr. N——n."

An auctioneer.

Christopher Rich, the manager.

Under the name of Powell, the puppet-show man, Steele attacked Dr. Blackall, Bishop of Exeter (see No. 37), who was engaged in a controversy with Benjamin Hoadly. In March 1709, Blackall preached before the Queen a sermon laying down the doctrine of passive obedience in its most extreme form, but in 1704 he had preached obedience limited by the laws of the State. Hoadly wrote against the sermon of 1709, and brought against the Bishop the sermon of 1704. The Bishop, angry at this mode of refutation, answered haughtily, and dwelt on the superiority of his rank as compared with that of Hoadly, then simply rector of a London parish. Bickerstaff here reproaches Blackall for the pride and rudeness of his answer, and then, under the guise of Powell, proprietor of the puppet-show, satirises the extreme doctrine of divine right taught by the Bishop, a doctrine which would make the subjects mere automata, to be moved only at the will of the prince.

Ovid, "Met." xiii. 20.

The following printed advertisement appeared in 1682: "At the sign of the wool-sack, in Newgate-market, is to be seen, a strange and wonderful thing, which is an elm-board, being touched with a hot iron, doth express itself, as if it were a man dying with groans, and trembling, to the great admiration of all the hearers. It hath been presented before the King and his nobles, and hath given great satisfaction. Vivat Rex."—(MSS. Sloan. 958.)

"Ne e quovis ligno Mercurius fiat" is one of the proverbs in the "Adagia" of Erasmus. But its history, as originally from the Greek, is thus given in a note of Andr. Schottus, quoted by Gaisford in his "Parcemiographia Græci," p. 39, Ox. 1836:—"Illiud adagium ὀυκ ἐκ παντὸς ξύλου Ἕρμης ἂν γένοιτο, quod a Pythagora primum profectum auctor est Apuleius 'Apol.'" [t. ii. p. 499] (Ed. Marshall, "Notes and Queries," March 26, 1887). See Apuleius, "Apologia," 476: "Non enim ex omni ligno, ut Pythagoras dicebat, debet Mercurius exsculpi."

In the Bishop's answer to Hoadly's letter, 1709, there is this passage: "I have no books here; and being under these circumstances, I hope I may be excused, if, in citing Scripture, I should not always name chapter and verse, nor hit exactly upon the very words of the translation" (Lord Bishop of Exeter's Answer, &c., pp. 2 and 3).—"As to the Tatlers relating to Powell's puppets, and the doctrines of passive obedience and absolute non-resistance, and to Bishop Blackall, I know it gave my father some uneasiness, that there is a reference to a fact, which, as he resolved himself never to take notice of, thinking it ungenerous, so he was sorry to see any friend of the cause had; which is, that the Bishop had said inadvertently, he was at Bath, and had not a Bible in his family. It is worth remarking, that all the arguments used by Powell about his power over Punch, 'lighting his pipe with one of his legs,' &c., are a good burlesque of those used by the advocates of non-resistance."—(Dr. John Hoadly.)

The Bishop, after quoting a respectful expression of Hoadly's, says, "Your servant, sir, for that."

A beat of the drum or sound of a trumpet, which summons the enemy to a parley. In Spectator, No. 165, Addison ridiculed the use of this and other French war terms by English writers.

No. 45.



From Thursday, July 21, to Saturday, July 23, 1709.

Credo pudicitiam Saturno rege moratam
In terris.
Juv., Sat. vi. I.

White's Chocolate-house, July 22.

The other day I took a walk a mile or two out of town and strolling wherever chance led me, I was insensibly carried into a by-road, along which was a very agreeable quickset, of an extraordinary height, which surrounded a very delicious seat and garden. From one angle of the hedge, I heard a voice cry, "Sir, sir—" This raised my curiosity, and I heard the same voice say, but in a gentle tone, "Come forward, come forward." I did so, and one through the hedge called me by my name, and bade me go on to the left, and I should be admitted to visit an old acquaintance in distress. The laws of knight-errantry made me obey the summons without hesitation; and I was let in at the back gate of a lovely house by a maid-servant, who carried me from room to room, until I came into a gallery; at the end of which, I saw a fine lady dressed in the most sumptuous habit, as if she were going to a ball, but with the most abject and disconsolate sorrow in her face that I ever beheld. As I came near, she burst into tears, and cried, "Sir, do not you know the unhappy Teraminta?" I soon recollected her whole person: "But," said I, "madam, the simplicity of dress, in which I have ever seen you at your good father's house, and the cheerfulness of countenance with which you always appeared, are so unlike the fashion and temper you are now in, that I did not easily recover the memory of you. Your habit was then decent and modest, your looks serene and beautiful: whence then this unaccountable change? Nothing can speak so deep a sorrow as your present aspect; yet your dress is made for jollity and revelling." "It is," said she, "an unspeakable pleasure to meet with one I know, and to bewail myself to any that is not an utter stranger to humanity. When your friend my father died, he left me to a wide world, with no defence against the insults of fortune, but rather, a thousand snares to entrap me in the dangers to which youth and innocence are exposed, in an age wherein honour and virtue are become mere words, and used only as they serve to betray those who understand them in their native sense, and obey them as the guides and motives of their being. The wickedest of all men living, the abandoned Decius, who has no knowledge of any good art or purpose of human life, but as it tends to the satisfaction of his appetites, had opportunities of frequently seeing and entertaining me at a house where mixed company boarded, and where he placed himself for the base intention which he has since brought to pass. Decius saw enough in me to raise his brutal desires, and my circumstances gave him hopes of accomplishing them. But all the glittering expectations he could lay before me, joined by my private terrors of poverty itself, could not for some months prevail upon me; yet, however I hated his intention, I still had a secret satisfaction in his courtship, and always exposed myself to his solicitations. See here the bane of our sex! Let the flattery be never so apparent, the flatterer never so ill thought of, his praises are still agreeable and we contribute to our own deceit. I was therefore ever fond of all opportunities and pretences of being in his company. In a word, I was at last ruined by him, and brought to this place, where I have been ever since immured; and from the fatal day after my fall from innocence, my worshipper became my master and my tyrant. Thus you see me habited in the most gorgeous manner, not in honour of me as a woman he loves, but as this attire charms his own eye, and urges him to repeat the gratification he takes in me, as the servant of his brutish lusts and appetites. I know not where to fly for redress; but am here pining away life in the solitude and severity of a nun, but the conscience and guilt of a harlot. I live in this lewd practice with a religious awe of my minister of darkness, upbraided with the support I receive from him, for the inestimable possession of youth, of innocence, of honour, and of conscience. I see, sir, my discourse grows painful to you; all I beg of you is, to paint in so strong colours, as to let Decius see I am discovered to be in his possession, that I may be turned out of this detestable scene of regular iniquity, and either think no more, or sin no more. If your writings have the good effect of gaining my enlargement, I promise you I will atone for this unhappy step, by preferring an innocent laborious poverty, to all the guilty affluence the world can offer me."

Will's Coffee-house, July 21.

To show that I do not bear an irreconcilable hatred to my mortal enemy, Mr. Powell at Bath, I do his function the honour to publish to the world, that plays represented by puppets are permitted in our universities,437 and that sort of drama is not wholly thought unworthy the critic of learned heads: but as I have been conversant rather with the greater Ode, as I think the critics call it, I must be so humble as to make a request to Mr. Powell, and desire him to apply his thoughts to answering the difficulties with which my kinsman, the author of the following letter, seems to be embarrassed.

"To my Honoured Kinsman, Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.


"Had the family of the Beadlestaffs,438 whereof I, though unworthy, am one, known of your being lately at Oxon, we had in our own name, and in the Universities' (as it is our office), made you a compliment: but your short stay here robbed us of an opportunity of paying our due respects, and you of receiving an ingenious entertainment, with which we at present divert ourselves and strangers. A puppet-show at this time supplies the want of an Act.439 And since the nymphs of this city are disappointed of a luscious music-speech, and the country ladies of hearing their sons or brothers speak verses; yet the vocal machines, like them, by the help of a prompter, say things as much to the benefit of the audience, and almost as properly their own. The licence of a Terræ-Filius440 is refined to the well-bred satire of Punchinello. Now, Cousin Bickerstaff, though Punch has neither a French nightcap, nor long pockets, yet you must own him to be a pretty fellow, a 'very' pretty fellow: nay, since he seldom leaves the company, without calling, 'Son of a whore,' demanding satisfaction, and duelling, he must be owned a smart fellow too. Yet, by some indecencies towards the ladies, he seems to be of a third character, distinct from any you have yet touched upon. A young gentleman who sat next me (for I had the curiosity of seeing this entertainment), in a tufted gown, red stockings, and long wig (which I pronounce to be tantamount to red heels and a dangling cane441) was enraged when Punchinello disturbed a soft love-scene with his ribaldry. You would oblige us mightily by laying down some rules for adjusting the extravagant behaviour of this Almanzor442 of the play, and by writing a treatise on this sort of dramatic poetry, so much favoured, and so little understood, by the learned world. From its being conveyed in a cart after the Thespian manner, all the parts being recited by one person, as the custom was before Æschylus, and the behaviour of Punch as if he had won the goal, you may possibly deduce its antiquity, and settle the chronology, as well as some of our modern critics. In its natural transitions, from mournful to merry; as, from the hanging of a lover, to dancing upon the rope; from the stalking of a ghost, to a lady's presenting you with a jig; you may discover such a decorum, as is not to be found elsewhere than in our tragi-comedies. But I forget myself; it is not for me to dictate: I thought fit, dear cousin, to give you these hints, to show you that the Beadlestaffs don't walk before men of letters to no purpose; and that though we do but hold up the train of arts and sciences, yet like other pages, we are now and then let into our ladies' secrets. I am,

"Your most

"Affectionate Kinsman,


"From Mother Gourdon's, at Hedington,443 near Oxon, June 18."

From my own Apartment, July 22.

I am got hither safe, but never spent time with so little satisfaction as this evening; for you must know, I was five hours with three Merry, and two Honest Fellows. The former sang catches; and the latter even died with laughing at the noise they made. "Well," says Tom Belfrey, "you scholars, Mr. Bickerstaff, are the worst company in the world." "Ay," says his opposite, "you are dull to-night; prithee be merry." With that I huzzaed, and took a jump across the table, then came clever upon my legs, and fell a-laughing. "Let Mr. Bickerstaff alone," says one of the Honest Fellows, "when he's in a good humour, he's as good company as any man in England." He had no sooner spoke, but I snatched his hat off his head, and clapped his upon my own, and burst out a-laughing again; upon which we all fell a-laughing for half an hour. One of the Honest Fellows got behind me in the interim, and hit me a sound slap on the back; upon which he got the laugh out of my hands, and it was such a twang on my shoulders, that I confess he was much merrier than I. I was half angry; but resolved to keep up the good humour of the company; and after holloing as loud as I could possibly, I drank off a bumper of claret, that made me stare again. "Nay," says one of the Honest Fellows, "Mr. Isaac is in the right, there is no conversation in this; what signifies jumping, or hitting one another on the back? Let's drink about." We did so from seven o'clock till eleven; and now I am come hither, and, after the manner of the wise Pythagoras, begin to reflect upon the passages of the day. I remember nothing, but that I am bruised to death; and as it is my way to write down all the good things I have heard in the last conversation to furnish my paper, I can from this only tell you my sufferings and my bangs. I named Pythagoras just now, and I protest to you, as he believed men after death entered into other species, I am now and then tempted to think other animals enter into men, and could name several on two legs, that never discover any sentiment above what is common with the species of a lower kind; as we see in these bodily wits whom I was with to-night, whose parts consist in strength and activity; but their boisterous mirth gives me great impatience for the return of such happiness as I enjoyed in a conversation last week. Among others in that company, we had Florio, who never interrupted any man living when he was speaking, or ever ceased to speak, but others lamented that he had done. His discourse ever arises from a fulness of the matter before him, and not from ostentation or triumph of his understanding; for though he seldom delivers what he need fear being repeated, he speaks without having that end in view; and his forbearance of calumny or bitterness, is owing rather to his good nature than his discretion; for which reason, he is esteemed a gentleman perfectly qualified for conversation, in whom a general goodwill to mankind takes off the necessity of caution and circumspection. We had at the same time that evening the best sort of companion that can be, a good-natured old man. This person meets in the company of young men, veneration for his benevolence, and is not only valued for the good qualities of which he is master, but reaps an acceptance from the pardon he gives to other men's faults: and the ingenuous sort of men with whom he converses, have so just a regard for him, that he rather is an example, than a check to their behaviour. For this reason, as Senecio never pretends to be a man of pleasure before youth, so young men never set up for wisdom before Senecio; so that you never meet, where he is, those monsters of conversation, who are grave or gay above their years. He never converses but with followers of nature and good sense, where all that is uttered is only the effect of a communicable temper, and not of emulation to excel their companions; all desire of superiority being a contradiction to that spirit which makes a just conversation, the very essence of which is mutual goodwill. Hence it is, that I take it for a rule, that the natural, and not the acquired man, is the companion. Learning, wit, gallantry, and good breeding, are all but subordinate qualities in society, and are of no value, but as they are subservient to benevolence, and tend to a certain manner of being or appearing equal to the rest of the company; for conversation is composed of an assembly of men, as they are men, and not as they are distinguished by fortune: therefore he that brings his quality with him into conversation, should always pay the reckoning; for he came to receive homage, and not to meet his friends—But the din about my ears from the clamour of the people I was with this evening, has carried me beyond my intended purpose, which was to explain upon the Order of Merry Fellows; but I think I may pronounce of them, as I heard good Senecio, with a spice of wit of the last age, say, viz. that a Merry Fellow is the Saddest Fellow in the world.

See No. 44. Blackall was a bishop; and the University of Oxford had declared publicly in his favour.

See No. 11.

A meeting for conferring degrees, when speeches, &c., are delivered.

An undergraduate who made extempore speeches at the Act, often of a very satirical kind. Sometimes there were two terræ filii, who carried on a dialogue. In 1721, Amberst published a periodical with the title "Terræ-Filius: or, The Secret History of the University of Oxford," and these papers were reprinted in two volumes in 1726, with a curious engraving of the Theatre at Oxford, by Hogarth, as frontispiece.

See No. 26.

In an Essay "Of Heroic Plays," prefixed to his play, "Almanzor and Almahide; or, The Conquest of Granada," Dryden defended at length the character of Almanzor.

This village is the scene of Dr. William King's play, "Joan of Hedington" ("Works," 1776, vol. iii. p. 16).

No. 46.



From Saturday, July 23, to Tuesday, July 26, 1709.

Non bene conveniunt, nec in una sede morantur,
Majestas et amor.
Ovid, Met. ii. 846.

White's Chocolate-house, July 25.

We see every day volumes written against that tyrant of human life called Love, and yet there is no help found against his cruelties, or barrier against the inroads he is pleased to make into the mind of man. After this preface, you will expect I am going to give particular instances of what I have asserted. That expectation cannot be raised too high for the novelty of the history, and manner of life, of the Emperor Aurengezebe,444 who has resided for some years in the cities of London and Westminster, with the air and mien indeed of his imperial quality, but the equipage and appointment only of a private gentleman. This potentate, for a long series of time, appeared from the hour of twelve till that of two at a coffee-house near the 'Change, and had a seat (though without a canopy) sacred to himself, where he gave diurnal audiences concerning commerce, politics, tare and tret, usury and abatement, with all things necessary for helping the distressed, who were willing to give one limb for the better maintenance of the rest; or such joyous youths, whose philosophy is confined to the present hour, and were desirous to call in the revenue of next half-year to double the enjoyment of this. Long did this growing monarch employ himself after this manner: and as alliances are necessary to all great kingdoms, he took particularly the interests of Lewis XIV. into his care and protection. When all mankind were attacking that unhappy monarch, and those who had neither valour nor wit to oppose against him would be still showing their impotent malice by laying wagers in opposition to his interests, Aurengezebe ever took the part of his contemporary, and laid immense treasures on his side in defence of his important magazine of Toulon. Aurengezebe also had all this while a constant intelligence with India, and his letters were answered in jewels, which he soon made brilliant, and caused to be affixed to his imperial castor, which he always wears cocked in front, to show his defiance; with a heap of imperial snuff in the middle of his ample visage, to show his sagacity. The zealots for this little spot called Great Britain fell universally into this emperor's policies, and paid homage to his superior genius, in forfeiting their coffers to his treasury: but wealth and wisdom are possessions too solemn not to give weariness to active minds, without the relief (in vacant hours) of wit and love, which are the proper amusements of the powerful and the wise: this emperor therefore, with great regularity, every day at five in the afternoon, leaves his money-changers, his publicans, and little hoarders of wealth, to their low pursuits, and ascends his chariot to drive to Will's; where the taste is refined, and a relish given to men's possessions, by a polite skill in gratifying their passions and appetites. There it is that the emperor has learned to live and to love, and not, like a miser, to gaze only on his ingots or his treasures; but with a nobler satisfaction, to live the admiration of others, for his splendour and happiness in being master of them. But a prince is no more to be his own caterer in his love, than in his food; therefore Aurengezebe has ever in waiting two purveyors for his dishes, and his wenches for his retired hours, by whom the scene of his diversion is prepared in the following manner:

There is near Covent Garden a street known by the name of Drury, which, before the days of Christianity, was purchased by the Queen of Paphos, and is the only part of Great Britain where the tenure of vassalage is still in being. All that long course of building is under particular districts or ladyships, after the manner of lordships in other parts, over which matrons of known abilities preside, and have, for the support of their age and infirmities, certain taxes paid out of the rewards for the amorous labours of the young. This seraglio of Great Britain is disposed into convenient alleys and apartments, and every house, from the cellar to the garret, inhabited by nymphs of different orders, that persons of every rank may be accommodated with an immediate consort, to allay their flames, and partake of their cares. Here it is, that when Aurengezebe thinks fit to give a loose to dalliance, the purveyors prepare the entertainments; and what makes it more august is, that every person concerned in the interlude has his set part, and the prince sends beforehand word what he designs to say, and directs also the very answer which shall be made to him.

It has been before hinted, that this emperor has a continual commerce with India; and it is to be noted, that the largest stone that rich earth has produced, is in our Aurengezebe's possession.

But all things are now disposed for his reception. At his entrance into the seraglio, a servant delivers him his bever of state and love, on which is fixed this inestimable jewel as his diadem. When he is seated, the purveyors, Pandarus and Nuncio, marching on each side of the matron of the house, introduce her into his presence. In the midst of the room, they bow altogether to the diadem.

When the matron:

"Whoever thou art (as thy awful aspect speaks thee a man of power), be propitious to this mansion of love, and let not the severity of thy wisdom disdain, that by the representation of naked innocence, or pastoral figures, we revive in thee the memory at least of that power of Venus, to which all the wise and the brave are some part of their lives devoted." Aurengezebe consents by a nod, and they go out backward.

After this, an unhappy nymph, who is to be supposed just escaped from the hands of a ravisher, with her tresses dishevelled, runs into the room with a dagger in her hand, and falls before the emperor.

"Pity, oh! pity! whoever thou art, an unhappy virgin, whom one of thy train has robbed of her innocence; her innocence, which was all her portion—Or rather, let me die like the memorable Lucretia—" Upon which she stabs herself. The body is immediately examined after the manner of our coroners. Lucretia recovers by a cup of right Nantes; and the matron, who is her next relation, stops all process at law.

This unhappy affair is no sooner over, but a naked mad woman breaks into the room, calls for her duke, her lord, her emperor. As soon as she spies Aurengezebe, the object of all her fury and love, she calls for petticoats, is ready to sink with shame, and is dressed in all haste in new attire at his charge. This unexpected accident of the mad woman makes Aurengezebe curious to know, whether others who are in their senses can guess at his quality. For which reason the whole convent is examined one by one. The matron marches in with a tawdry country girl: "Pray, Winifred," says she, "who do you think that fine man with those jewels and pearls is?" "I believe," says Winifred, "it is our landlord. It must be the squire himself." The emperor laughs at her simplicity. "Go, fool," says the matron: then turning to the emperor, "Your greatness will pardon her ignorance!" After her, several others of different characters are instructed to mistake who he is in the same manner: then the whole sisterhood are called together, and the emperor rises, and cocking his hat, declares, he is the Great Mogul, and they his concubines. A general murmur goes through the assembly, and Aurengezebe certifying, that he keeps them for state rather than use, tells them, they are permitted to receive all men into their apartments; then proceeds through the crowd, among whom he throws medals shaped like half-crowns, and returns to his chariot.

This being all that passed the last day in which Aurengezebe visited the women's apartments, I consulted Pacolet concerning the foundation of such strange amusements in old age: to which he answered; "You may remember, when I gave you an account of my good fortune in being drowned on the thirtieth day of my human life, I told you of the disasters I should otherwise have met with before I arrived at the end of my stamen, which was sixty years. I may now add an observation to you, that all who exceed that period, except the latter part of it is spent in the exercise of virtue and contemplation of futurity, must necessarily fall into an indecent old age, because, with regard to all the enjoyments of the years of vigour and manhood, childhood returns upon them: and as infants ride on sticks, build houses in dirt, and make ships in gutters, by a faint idea of things they are to act hereafter; so old men play the lovers, potentates, and emperors, from the decaying image of the more perfect performances of their stronger years: therefore be sure to insert Æsculapius and Aurengezebe in your next bill of mortality of the metaphorically defunct."

Will's Coffee-house, July 24.

As soon as I came hither this evening, no less than ten people produced the following poem, which they all reported was sent to each of them by the penny post from an unknown hand. All the battle-writers in the room were in debate, who could be the author of a piece so martially written; and everybody applauded the address and skill of the author, in calling it a Postscript: it being the nature of a postscript to contain something very material which was forgotten, or not clearly expressed in the letter itself. Thus, the verses being occasioned by a march without beat of drum, and that circumstance being no ways taken notice of in any of the stanzas, the author calls it a postscript; not that it is a postscript, but figuratively, because it wants a postscript. Common writers, when what they mean is not expressed in the book itself, supply it by a preface; but a postscript seems to me the more just way of apology; because otherwise a man makes an excuse before the offence is committed. All the heroic poets were guessed at for its author; but though we could not find out his name, yet one repeated a couplet in "Hudibras" which spoke his qualifications:

"I' th' midst of all this warlike rabble,
Crowdero marched, expert and able"445

The poem is admirably suited to the occasion: for to write without discovering your meaning, bears a just resemblance to marching without beat of drum.

On the March to Tournay without Beat of Drum.

The Brussels POSTSCRIPT.446

Could I with plainest words express
That great man's wonderful address,
His penetration, and his towering thought;
It would the gazing world surprise,
To see one man at all times wise,
To view the wonders he with ease has wrought.
Refining schemes approach his mind,
Like breezes of a southern wind,
To temperate a sultry glorious day;
Whose fannings, with an useful pride,
Its mighty heat doth softly guide,
And having cleared the air, glide silently away.
Thus his immensity of thought
Is deeply formed, and gently wrought,
His temper always softening life's disease;
That Fortune, when she does intend
To rudely frown, she turns his friend,
Admires his judgment, and applauds his ease.
His great address in this design,
Does now, and will for ever shine,
And wants a Waller but to do him right:
The whole amusement was so strong,
Like fate he doomed them to be wrong,
And Tournay's took by a peculiar sleight.
Thus, madam, all mankind behold
Your vast ascendant, not by gold,
But by your wisdom, and your pious life;
Your aim no more than to destroy
That which does Europe's ease annoy,
And supersede a reign of shame and strife.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 24.

My brethren of the quill, the ingenious society of news-writers, having with great spirit and elegance already informed the world, that the town of Tournay capitulated on the 28th instant, there is nothing left for me to say, but to congratulate the good company here, that we have reason to hope for an opportunity of thanking Mr. Withers447 next winter in this place, for the service he has done his country. No man deserves better of his friends than that gentleman, whose distinguishing character it is, that he gives his orders with the familiarity, and enjoys his fortune with the generosity, of a fellow-soldier. His Grace the Duke of Argyle had also an eminent part in the reduction of this important place. That illustrious youth448 discovers the peculiar turn of spirit and greatness of soul which only make men of high birth and quality useful to their country; and considers nobility as an imaginary distinction, unless accompanied with the practice of those generous virtues by which it ought to be obtained. But449 that our military glory is arrived at its present height, and that men of all ranks so passionately affect their share in it, is certainly owing to the merit and conduct of our glorious general; for as the great secret in chemistry, though not in nature, has occasioned many useful discoveries; and the fantastic notion of being wholly disinterested in friendship, has made men do a thousand generous actions above themselves; so, though the present grandeur and fame of the Duke of Marlborough is a station of glory to which no one hopes to arrive, yet all carry their actions to a higher pitch, by having that great example laid before them.

"Aurenzeb is Tom Colson, who never had any friendship with anybody but S'r Edward Seymour, who brought him into Parliament" (Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, 29 July 1709; "Wentworth Papers," p. 97). Thomas Coulson was elected M.P. for Totnes, with Sir Edward Seymour, Bart., in 1698. He was re-elected in 1701, 1702, and in 1705. At the election of 1708, Sir Edward Seymour, previously member for Exeter, was elected for Totnes; but in 1710, Sir Edward having transferred himself to Great Bedwyn, Coulson again became member for Totnes. In 1715, Coulson's arrest was sought in the neighbourhood of Bristol for joining in the rising on behalf of the Pretender; see a letter of Addison's in Hist. MSS. Comm., Second Report, p. 250.

"Hudibras," part i. canto ii. 105-6. Butler wrote, "I' the head," &c.

"I should have given you a key to the two Tatlers I sent you last, the Brussels Postscript are verses of Crowders. He show'd them me in manuscript" (Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, 29 July 1709; "Wentworth Papers," p. 97). See No. 17 note on Brigadier Crowther.

General Henry Withers commanded at the capitulation of Tournay. On his death in 1729, he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Pope wrote an epitaph beginning:

"Here, Withers, rest! thou bravest, gentlest mind,
Thy country's friend, but more of human-kind."

John, second Duke of Argyle (1678-1743), took an active part in the battles of Ramilies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet, and at the siege of Tournay.

There was a long-standing hostility between the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Argyle.

No. 47.



From Tuesday, July 26, to Thursday, July 28, 1709.

Quicquid agunt homines ... nostri farrago libelli.
Juv., Sat. i. 85, 86.

White's Chocolate-house, July 27.

My friend Sir Thomas450 has communicated to me his letters from Epsom of the 25th instant, which give, in general, a very good account of the posture of affairs at present in that place; but that the tranquillity and correspondence451 of the company begins to be interrupted by the arrival of Sir Taffety Trippet,452 a fortune-hunter, whose follies are too gross to give diversion; and whose vanity is too stupid to let him be sensible that he is a public offence. But if people will indulge a splenetic humour, it is impossible to be at ease, when such creatures as are the scandal of our species, set up for gallantry and adventures. It will be much more easy therefore to laugh him into reason, than convert him from his foppery by any serious contempt. I knew a gentleman that made it a maxim to open his doors, and ever run into the way of bullies, to avoid their insolence. The rule will hold as well with coxcombs: they are never mortified, but when they see you receive, and despise them; otherwise they rest assured, that it is your ignorance makes them out of your good graces; or, that it is only want of admittance prevents their being amiable where they are shunned and avoided. But Sir Taffety is a fop of so sanguine complexion, that I fear it will be very hard for the fair one he at present pursues to get rid of the chase, without being so tired, as for her own ease to fall into the mouth of the mongrel she runs from. But the history of Sir Taffety is as pleasant as his character. It happened, that when he first set up for a fortune-hunter, he chose Tunbridge for the scene of action; where were at that time two sisters upon the same design. The knight believed of course the elder must be the better prize; and consequently makes all his sail that way. People that want sense, do always in an egregious manner want modesty, which made our hero triumph in making his amour as public as was possible. The adored lady was no less vain of his public addresses. An attorney with one cause is not half so restless as a woman with one lover. Wherever they met, they talked to each other aloud, chose each other partner at balls, saluted at the most conspicuous parts of the service at church, and practised in honour of each other all the remarkable particularities which are usual for persons who admire one another, and are contemptible to the rest of the world. These two lovers seemed as much made for each other as Adam and Eve, and all pronounced it a match of Nature's own making; but the night before the nuptials (so universally approved), the younger sister, envious of the good fortune even of her sister, who had been present at most of their interviews, and had an equal taste for the charms of a fop (as there are a set of women made for that order of men); the younger, I say, unable to see so rich a prize pass by her, discovered to Sir Taffety, that a coquette air, much tongue, and three suits, was all the portion of his mistress. His love vanished that moment, himself and equipage the next morning. It is uncertain where the lover has been ever since engaged; but certain it is, he has not appeared in his character as a follower of love and fortune till he arrived at Epsom, where there is at present a young lady of youth, beauty, and fortune, who has alarmed453 all the vain and the impertinent to infest that quarter. At the head of this assembly, Sir Taffety shines in the brightest manner, with all the accomplishments which usually ensnare the heart of woman; with this particular merit (which often is of great service), that he is laughed at for her sake. The friends of the fair one are in much pain for the sufferings she goes through from the perseverance of this hero; but they may be much more so from the danger of his succeeding, toward which they give him a helping hand, if they dissuade her with bitterness; for there is a fantastical generosity in the sex, to approve creatures of the least merit imaginable, when they see the imperfections of their admirers are become the marks of derision for their sakes; and there is nothing so frequent, as that he who was contemptible to a woman in her own judgment, has won her by being too violently opposed by others.

Grecian Coffee-house, July 27.

In the several capacities I bear, of astrologer, civilian, and physician, I have with great application studied the public emolument: to this end serve all my lucubrations, speculations, and whatever other labours I undertake, whether nocturnal or diurnal. On this motive am I induced to publish a never-failing medicine for the spleen: my experience in this distemper came from a very remarkable cure on my ever worthy friend Tom Spindle,454 who, through excessive gaiety, had exhausted that natural stock of wit and spirits he had long been blessed with: he was sunk and flattened to the lowest degree imaginable, sitting whole hours over the "Book of Martyrs," and "Pilgrim's Progress"; his other contemplations never rising higher than the colour of his urine, or regularity of his pulse. In this condition I found him, accompanied by the learned Dr. Drachm, and a good old nurse. Drachm had prescribed magazines of herbs, and mines of steel. I soon discovered the malady, and descanted on the nature of it, till I convinced both the patient and his nurse, that the spleen is not to be cured by medicine, but by poetry. Apollo, the author of physic, shone with diffusive rays the best of poets as well as of physicians; and it is in this double capacity that I have made my way, and have found, sweet, easy, flowering numbers, are oft superior to our noblest medicines. When the spirits are low, and nature sunk, the muse, with sprightly and harmonious notes, gives an unexpected turn with a grain of poetry, which I prepare without the use of mercury. I have done wonders in this kind; for the spleen is like the tarantula,455 the effects of whose malignant poison are to be prevented by no other remedy but the charms of music: for you are to understand, that as some noxious animals carry antidotes for their own poisons; so there is something equally unaccountable in poetry: for though it is sometimes a disease, it is to be cured only by itself. Now I knowing Tom Spindle's constitution, and that he is not only a pretty gentleman, but also a pretty poet, found the true cause of his distemper was a violent grief that moved his affections too strongly: for during the late Treaty of Peace, he had written a most excellent poem on that subject; and when he wanted but two lines in the last stanza for finishing the whole piece, there comes news that the French tyrant would not sign. Spindle in few days took his bed, and had lain there still, had not I been sent for. I immediately told him, there was great probability the French would now sue to us for peace. I saw immediately a new life in his eyes; and knew, that nothing could help him forward so well, as hearing verses which he would believe worse than his own; I read him therefore the "Brussels Postscript";456 after which I recited some heroic lines of my own, which operated so strongly on the tympanum of his ear, that I doubt not but I have kept out all other sounds for a fortnight; and have reason to hope, we shall see him abroad the day before his poem. This you see, is a particular secret I have found out, viz., that you are not to choose your physician for his knowledge in your distemper, but for having it himself. Therefore I am at hand for all maladies arising from poetical vapours, beyond which I never pretend. For being called the other day to one in love, I took indeed their three guineas, and gave them my advice; which was, to send for Æsculapius.457 Æsculapius, as soon as he saw the patient, cries out, "'Tis love! 'tis love! Oh! the unequal pulse! these are the symptoms a lover feels; such sighs, such pangs, attend the uneasy mind; nor can our art, or all our boasted skill, avail—Yet O fair! for thee—" Thus the sage ran on, and owned the passion which he pitied, as well as that he felt a greater pain than ever he cured. After which he concluded, "All I can advise, is marriage: charms and beauty will give new life and vigour, and turn the course of nature to its better prospect." This is the new way; and thus Æsculapius has left his beloved powders, and writes a recipe for a wife at sixty. In short, my friend followed the prescription, and married youth and beauty in its perfect bloom.

Supine in Silvia's snowy arms he lies,
And all the busy care of life defies:
Each happy hour is filled with fresh delight,
While peace the day, and pleasure crowns the night.

From my own Apartment, July 27.

Tragical passion was the subject of the discourse where I last visited this evening; and a gentleman who knows that I am at present writing a very deep tragedy, directed his discourse in a particular manner to me. "It is the common fault," said he, "of you, gentlemen, who write in the buskin style, that you give us rather the sentiments of such who behold tragical events, than of such who bear a part in them themselves. I would advise all who pretend this way, to read Shakespeare with care, and they will soon be deterred from putting forth what is usually called 'tragedy.' The way of common writers in this kind, is rather the description, than the expression of sorrow. There is no medium in these attempts; and you must go to the very bottom of the heart, or it is all mere language; and the writer of such lines is no more a poet, than a man is a physician for knowing the names of distempers, without the causes of them. Men of sense are professed enemies to all such empty labours: for he who pretends to be sorrowful, and is not, is a wretch yet more contemptible than he who pretends to be merry, and is not. Such a tragedian is only maudlin drunk." The gentleman went on with much warmth; but all he could say had little effect upon me: but when I came hither, I so far observed his counsel, that I looked into Shakespeare. The tragedy I dipped into was, "Harry the Fourth." In the scene where Morton is preparing to tell Northumberland of his son's death, the old man does not give him time to speak, but says,

"The whiteness of thy cheeks
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand;
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
So dull, so dead in look, so woebegone,
Drew Priam's curtain at the dead of night,
And would have told him half his Troy was burnt:
But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue,
And I my Percy's death ere thou reportest it"458

The image in this place is wonderfully noble and great; yet this man in all this is but rising towards his great affliction, and is still enough himself, as you see, to make a simile: but when he is certain of his son's death, he is lost to all patience, and gives up all the regards of this life; and since the last of evils is fallen upon him, he calls for it upon all the world.

"Now let not Nature's hand
Keep the wild flood confined; let Order die,
And let the world no longer be a stage,
To feed contention in a lingering act;
But let one spirit of the firstborn Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that each heart being set
On bloody courses, the wide scene may end,
And darkness be the burier of the dead."

Reading but this one scene has convinced me, that he who describes the concern of great men, must have a soul as noble, and as susceptible of high thoughts, as they whom he represents: I shall therefore lay by my drama for some time, and turn my thoughts to cares and griefs, somewhat below that of heroes, but no less moving. A misfortune proper for me to take notice of, has too lately happened: the disconsolate Maria459 has three days kept her chamber for the loss of the beauteous Fidelia, her lap-dog. Lesbia herself460 did not shed more tears for her sparrow. What makes her the more concerned, is, that we know not whether Fidelia was killed or stolen; but she was seen in the parlour window when the train-bands went by, and never since. Whoever gives notice of her, dead or alive, shall be rewarded with a kiss of her lady.

See No. 16.


Henry Cromwell (died 1728) was a correspondent of Pope's, and a friend of Wycherley's. "I cannot choose," wrote Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, "but be pleased with the conquest of a person whose fame our incomparable Tatler has rendered immortal, by the three distinguishing titles of 'Squire Easy the amorous bard'; 'Sir Timothy the critic'; and 'Sir Taffety Trippet the fortune-hunter'" ("Pylades and Corinna," i. 96, 194). See also Nos. 49, 165. Cromwell was a man about town, of private means, with property in Lincolnshire, who had contributed verses to Tonson's "Miscellany." Gay ("Mr. Pope's Welcome from Greece," st. xvii.) speaks of "Honest, hatless Cromwell, with red breeches."

Called forth, drawn as with an alarum.

Henry Cromwell; see note on p. 380. According to another suggestion, Spindle is intended for Thomas Tickell, who published a poem, "The Prospect of Peace," in 1713; but it is not probable that in 1709 either Addison or Steele would have satirised him; and Cromwell may very likely have written verses on the same subject.

A spider named from Tarentum, in Apulia. Strange stories were told of the effects of its bite, and of their cure by music and dancing.

See No. 46.

Dr. Radcliffe. See No. 44.

2 Henry IV., act i. sc. I.

"This Tatler I know nothing of, only they say the Dutchess of Montague has lately lost a bitch she call'd fidel, and has had it cry'd."—(Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby; "Wentworth Papers," p. 97.)

See Catullus, passim.

No. 48.



From Thursday, July 28, to Saturday, July 30, 1709.

—Virtutem verba putant, et
Lucum ligna.
Hor., 1 Ep. vi. 31.

From my own Apartment, July 29.

This day I obliged Pacolet to entertain me with matters which regarded persons of his own character and occupation. We chose to take our walk on Tower Hill; and as we were coming from thence in order to stroll as far as Garraway's,461 I observed two men, who had but just landed, coming from the waterside. I thought there was something uncommon in their mien and aspect; but though they seemed by their visage to be related, yet was there a warmth in their manner, as if they differed very much in their sentiments of the subject on which they were talking. One of them seemed to have a natural confidence, mixed with an ingenious freedom in his gesture, his dress very plain, but very graceful and becoming: the other, in the midst of an overbearing carriage, betrayed (by frequently looking round him) a suspicion that he was not enough regarded by those he met, or that he feared they would make some attack upon him. This person was much taller than his companion, and added to that height the advantage of a feather in his hat, and heels to his shoes so monstrously high, that he had three or four times fallen down, had he not been supported by his friend. They made a full stop as they came within a few yards of the place where we stood. The plain gentleman bowed to Pacolet; the other looked on him with some displeasure: upon which I asked him, who they both were, when he thus informed me of their persons and circumstances.

"You may remember, Mr. Isaac, that I have often told you, there are beings of a superior rank to mankind, who frequently visit the habitations of men, in order to call them from some wrong pursuits in which they are actually engaged, or divert them from methods which will lead them into errors for the future. He that will carefully reflect upon the occurrences of his life, will find he has been sometimes extricated out of difficulties, and received favours where he could never have expected such benefits; as well as met with cross events from some unseen hand, which have disappointed his best laid designs. Such accidents arrive from the interventions of aërial beings, as they are benevolent or hurtful to the nature of man, and attend his steps in the tracts of ambition, of business, and of pleasure. Before I ever appeared to you in the manner I do now, I have frequently followed you in your evening walks, and have often, by throwing some accident in your way, as the passing by of a funeral, or the appearance of some other solemn object, given your imagination a new turn, and changed a night you had destined to mirth and jollity, into an exercise of study and contemplation. I was the old soldier who met you last summer in Chelsea Fields, and pretended that I had broken my wooden leg, and could not get home; but I snapped it short off on purpose, that you might fall into the reflections you did on that subject, and take me into your hack. If you remember, you made yourself very merry on that fracture, and asked me, whether I thought I should next winter feel cold in the toes of that leg? As is usually observed, that those who lose limbs, are sensible of pains in the extreme parts, even after those limbs are cut off. However, my keeping you then in the story of the battle of the Boyne, prevented an assignation, which would have led you into more disasters than I then related.

"To be short; those two persons you see yonder, are such as I am; they are not real men, but are mere shades and figures: one is named Alethes; the other, Verisimilis. Their office is to be the guardians and representatives of Conscience and Honour. They are now going to visit the several parts of the town, to see how their interests in the world decay or flourish, and to purge themselves from the many false imputations they daily meet with in the commerce and conversation of men. You observed Verisimilis frowned when he first saw me. What he is provoked at, is, that I told him one day, though he strutted and dressed with so much ostentation, if he kept himself within his own bounds, he was but a lackey, and wore only that gentleman's livery whom he is now with. This frets him to the heart; for you must know, he has pretended a long time to set up for himself, and gets among a crowd of the more unthinking part of mankind, who take him for a person of the first quality; though his introduction into the world was wholly owing to his present companion."

This encounter was very agreeable to me, and I was resolved to dog them, and desired Pacolet to accompany me. I soon perceived what he told me in the gesture of the persons: for when they looked at each other in discourse, the well-dressed man suddenly cast down his eyes, and discovered that the other had a painful superiority over him. After some further discourse, they took leave. The plain gentleman went down towards Thames Street, in order to be present, at least, at the oaths taken at the Custom-house; and the other made directly for the heart of the city. It is incredible how great a change there immediately appeared in the man of honour when he got rid of his uneasy companion: he adjusted the cock of his hat anew, settled his sword-knot, and had an appearance that attracted a sudden inclination for him and his interests in all who beheld him. "For my part," said I to Pacolet, "I cannot but think you are mistaken in calling this person, of the lower quality; for he looks much more like a gentleman than the other. Don't you observe all eyes are upon him as he advances: how each sex gazes at his stature, aspect, address, and motion?" Pacolet only smiled, and shaked his head; as leaving me to be convinced by my own further observation. We kept on our way after him till we came to Exchange Alley, where the plain gentleman again came up to the other; and they stood together after the manner of eminent merchants, as if ready to receive application; but I could observe no man talk to either of them. The one was laughed at as a fop; and I heard many whispers against the other, as a whimsical sort of fellow, and a great enemy to trade. They crossed Cornhill together, and came into the full 'Change, where some bowed, and gave themselves airs in being known to so fine a man as Verisimilis, who, they said, had great interests in all princes' courts; and the other was taken notice of by several as one they had seen somewhere long before. One more particularly said, he had formerly been a man of consideration in the world; but was so unlucky, that they who dealt with him, by some strange infatuation or other, had a way of cutting off their own bills, and were prodigiously slow in improving their stock. But as much as I was curious to observe the reception these gentlemen met with upon 'Change, I could not help being interrupted by one that came up towards us, to whom everybody made their compliments. He was of the common height, and in his dress there seemed to be great care to appear no way particular, except in a certain exact and feat462 manner of behaviour and circumspection. He was wonderfully careful that his shoes and clothes should be without the least speck upon them; and seemed to think, that on such an accident depended his very life and fortune. There was hardly a man on 'Change who had not a note upon him; and each seemed very well satisfied that their money lay in his hands, without demanding payment. I asked Pacolet, what great merchant that was, who was so universally addressed to, yet made too familiar an appearance to command that extraordinary deference? Pacolet answered, "This person is the demon or genius of credit: his name is Umbra. If you observe, he follows Alethes and Verisimilis at a distance; and indeed has no foundation for the figure he makes in the world, but that he is thought to keep their cash; though at the same time, none who trust him would trust the others for a groat." As the company rolled about, the three spectres were jumbled into one place: when they were so, and all thought there was an alliance between them, they immediately drew upon them the business of the whole 'Change. But their affairs soon increased to such an unwieldy bulk, that Alethes took his leave, and said, he would not engage further than he had an immediate fund to answer. Verisimilis pretended that though he had revenues large enough to go on his own bottom, yet it was below one of his family to condescend to trade in his own name; therefore he also retired. I was extremely troubled to see the glorious mart of London left with no other guardian, but him of credit. But Pacolet told me, that traders had nothing to do with the honour or conscience of their correspondents, provided they supported a general behaviour in the world, which could not hurt their credit or their purses: "for," said he, "you may in this one tract of building of London and Westminster see the imaginary motives on which the greatest affairs move, as well as in rambling over the face of the earth. For though Alethes is the real governor, as well as legislator of mankind, he has very little business but to make up quarrels, and is only a general referee, to whom every man pretends to appeal; but is satisfied with his determinations no further than they promote his own interest. Hence it is, that the soldier and the courtier model their actions according to Verisimilis' manner, and the merchant according to that of Umbra. Among these men, honour and credit are not valuable possessions in themselves, or pursued out of a principle of justice; but merely as they are serviceable to ambition and to commerce. But the world will never be in any manner of order or tranquillity, till men are firmly convinced, that conscience, honour, and credit, are all in one interest; and that without the concurrence of the former, the latter are but impositions upon ourselves and others. The force these delusive words have, is not seen in the transactions of the busy world only, but also have their tyranny over the fair sex. Were you to ask the unhappy Lais, what pangs of reflection, preferring the consideration of her honour to her conscience, has given her? She could tell you, that it has forced her to drink up half a gallon this winter of Tom Dassapas' potions; that she still pines away for fear of being a mother; and knows not, but the moment she is such, she shall be a murderess: but if conscience had as strong a force upon the mind, as honour, the first step to her unhappy condition had never been made; she had still been innocent, as she's beautiful. Were men so enlightened and studious of their own good, as to act by the dictates of their reason and reflection, and not the opinion of others, Conscience would be the steady ruler of human life; and the words, Truth, Law, Reason, Equity, and Religion, would be but synonymous terms for that only guide which makes us pass our days in our own favour and approbation."

A coffee-house in Exchange Alley, Cornhill, with an auction-room on the first floor, where wine and other things were sold (see No, 147). Thomas Garway was originally a tobacconist and coffee-man. Defoe ("Journey through England") says that this coffee-house was frequented by "the people of quality who have business in the City, and the most considerable and wealthy citizens."


No. 49.



From Saturday, July 30, to Tuesday, August 2, 1709.

Quicquid agunt homines ... nostri farrago libelli.
Juv., Sat. i. 85, 86.

White's Chocolate-house, August 1.

The imposition of honest names and words upon improper subjects, has made so regular a confusion amongst us, that we are apt to sit down with our errors, well enough satisfied with the methods we are fallen into, without attempting to deliver ourselves from the tyranny under which we are reduced by such innovations. Of all the laudable motives of human life, none has suffered so much in this kind as love; under which revered name, a brutal desire called lust is frequently concealed and admitted; though they differ as much as a matron from a prostitute, or a companion from a buffoon. Philander463 the other day was bewailing this misfortune with much indignation, and upbraided me for having some time since quoted those excellent lines of the satirist:

To an exact perfection they have brought
The action love, the passion is forgot.464

"How could you," said he, "leave such a hint so coldly? How could Aspasia465 and Sempronia466 enter into your imagination at the same time, and you never declare to us the different reception you gave them? The figures which the ancient mythologists and poets put upon love and lust in their writings, are very instructive. Love is a beauteous blind child, adorned with a quiver and a bow, which he plays with, and shoots around him, without design or direction; to intimate to us, that the person beloved has no intention to give us the anxieties we meet with; but that the beauties of a worthy object are like the charms of a lovely infant: they cannot but attract your concern and fondness, though the child so regarded is as insensible of the value you put upon it, as it is that it deserves your benevolence. On the other side, the sages figured Lust in the form of a satyr; of shape, part human, part bestial; to signify, that the followers of it prostitute the reason of a man to pursue the appetites of a beast. This satyr is made to haunt the paths and coverts of the wood-nymphs and shepherdesses, to lurk on the banks of rivulets, and watch the purling streams (as the resorts of retired virgins), to show, that lawless desire tends chiefly to prey upon innocence, and has something so unnatural in it, that it hates its own make, and shuns the object it loved, as soon as it has made it like itself. Love therefore is a child that complains and bewails its inability to help itself, and weeps for assistance, without an immediate reflection of knowledge of the food it wants: Lust, a watchful thief which seizes its prey, and lays snares for its own relief; and its principal object being innocence, it never robs, but it murders at the same time. From this idea of a Cupid and a Satyr, we may settle our notion of these different desires, and accordingly rank their followers. Aspasia must therefore be allowed to be the first of the beauteous Order of Love, whose unaffected freedom, and conscious innocence, give her the attendance of the graces in all her actions. That awful distance which we bear towards her in all our thoughts of her, and that cheerful familiarity with which we approach her, are certain instances of her being the truest object of love of any of her sex. In this accomplished lady, love is the constant effect, because it is never the design. Yet, though her mien carries much more invitation than command, to behold her is an immediate check to loose behaviour; and to love her is a liberal education:467 for, it being the nature of all love to create an imitation of the beloved person in the lover, a regard for Aspasia naturally produces decency of manners, and good conduct of life in her admirers. If therefore the giggling Lucippe could but see her train of fops assembled, and Aspasia move by them, she would be mortified at the veneration with which she is beheld, even by Lucippe's own unthinking equipage, whose passions have long taken leave of their understandings. But as charity is esteemed a conjunction of the good qualities necessary to a virtuous man, so love is the happy composition of all the accomplishments that make a fine gentleman. The motive of a man's life is seen in all his actions; and such as have the beauteous boy for their inspirer have a simplicity of behaviour, and a certain evenness of desire, which burns like the lamp of life in their bosoms; while they who are instigated by the satyr are ever tortured by jealousies of the object of their wishes; often desire what they scorn, and as often consciously and knowingly embrace where they are mutually indifferent.

Florio, the generous husband, and Limberham, the "kind keeper,"468 are noted examples of the different effects which these desires produce in the mind. Amanda, who is the wife of Florio, lives in the continual enjoyment of new instances of her husband's friendship, and sees it the end of all his ambition to make her life one series of pleasure and satisfaction; and Amanda's relish of the goods of life, is all that makes them pleasing to Florio: they behave themselves to each other when present with a certain apparent benevolence, which transports above rapture; and they think of each other in absence with a confidence unknown to the highest friendship: their satisfactions are doubled, their sorrows lessened by participation. On the other hand, Corinna, who is the mistress of Limberham,469 lives in constant torment: her equipage is, an old woman, who was what Corinna is now; an antiquated footman, who was pimp to Limberham's father; and a chambermaid, who is Limberham's wench by fits, out of a principle of politics to make her jealous and watchful of Corinna. Under this guard, and in this conversation, Corinna lives in state: the furniture of her habitation, and her own gorgeous dress, make her the envy of all the strolling ladies in the town; but Corinna knows she herself is but part of Limberham's household stuff, and is as capable of being disposed of elsewhere, as any other movable. But while her keeper is persuaded by his spies, that no enemy has been within his doors since his last visit, no Persian prince was ever so magnificently bountiful: a kind look or falling tear is worth a piece of brocade, a sigh is a jewel, and a smile is a cupboard of plate. All this is shared between Corinna and her guard in his absence. With this great economy and industry does the unhappy Limberham purchase the constant tortures of jealousy, the favour of spending his estate, and the opportunity of enriching one by whom he knows he is hated and despised. These are the ordinary and common evils which attend keepers, and Corinna is a wench but of common size of wickedness. Were you to know what passes under the roof where the fair Messalina reigns with her humble adorer! Messalina is the professed mistress of mankind; she has left the bed of her husband and her beauteous offspring, to give a loose to want of shame and fulness of desire. Wretched Nocturnus, her feeble keeper! How the poor creature fribbles in his gait, and scuttles from place to place to despatch his necessary affairs in painful daylight, that he may return to the constant twilight preserved in that scene of wantonness, Messalina's bedchamber. How does he, while he is absent from thence, consider in his imagination the breadth of his porter's shoulders, the spruce nightcap of his valet, the ready attendance of his butler! Any of all whom he knows she admits, and professes to approve of. This, alas! is the gallantry; this the freedom of our fine gentlemen: for this they preserve their liberty, and keep clear of that bugbear, marriage. But he does not understand either vice or virtue, who will not allow, that life without the rules of morality is a wayward uneasy being, with snatches only of pleasure; but under the regulation of virtue, a reasonable and uniform habit of enjoyment. I have seen in a play of old Heywood's, a speech at the end of an act, which touched this point with much spirit. He makes a married man in the play, upon some endearing occasion, look at his spouse with an air of fondness, and fall into the following reflection on his condition:

"O Marriage! happiest, easiest, safest state;
Let debauchees and drunkards scorn thy rights,
Who, in their nauseous draughts and lusts, profane
Both thee and Heaven by whom thou wert ordained.
How can the savage call it loss of freedom,
Thus to converse with, thus to gaze at
A faithful, beauteous friend?
Blush not, my fair one, that thy love applauds thee,
Nor be it painful to my wedded wife,
That my full heart overflows in praise of thee.
Thou art by law, by interest, passion, mine:
Passion and reason join in love of thee.
Thus, through a world of calumny and fraud,
We pass both unreproached, both undeceived;
While in each other's interest and happiness,
We without art all faculties employ,
And all our senses without guilt enjoy."

St. James's Coffee-house August 1.

Letters from the Hague of the 6th instant, N.S., say, that there daily arrive at our camp deserters in considerable numbers; and that several of the enemy concealed themselves in the town of Tournay when the garrison marched into the citadel; after which, they presented themselves to the Duke of Marlborough; some of whom were commissioned officers. The Earl of Albemarle is appointed governor of the town. Soon after the surrender, there arose a dispute about a considerable work, which was asserted by the Allies to be part of the town, and by the French to belong to the citadel. It is said, Monsieur de Surville was so ingenious as to declare, he thought it to be comprehended within the limits of the town; but Monsieur de Mesgrigny, governor of the citadel, was of a contrary opinion. It is reported, that this affair occasioned great difficulties, which ended in a capitulation for the citadel itself; the principal article of which is, that it shall be surrendered on the 5th of September next, in case they are not in the meantime relieved. This circumstance gives foundation to believe, that the enemy have acted in this manner, rather from some hopes they conceive of a treaty of peace before that time, than any expectation from their army, which has retired towards their former works between Lens and La Bassée. These advices add, that his Excellency the Czarish Ambassador has communicated to the States-General, and the foreign Ministers residing at the Hague, a copy of a letter from his master's camp, which gives an account of the entire defeat of the Swedish army. They further say, that Count Piper is taken prisoner, and that it is doubted whether the King of Sweden himself was not killed in the action. We hear from Savoy, that Count Thaun having amused the enemy by a march as far as the Tarantaise, had suddenly repassed Mount Cenis, and moved towards Briançon. This unexpected disposition is apprehended by the enemy as a piece of the Duke of Savoy's dexterity; and the French adding this circumstance to that of the Confederate squadron's lying before Toulon, convince themselves, that his royal highness has his thoughts upon the execution of some great design in those parts.

See No. 13.

See No. 5.

Lady Elizabeth Hastings (see No. 42).

See No. 33.

In the Spectator for March 29, 1884, Mr. Swinburne published a letter saying that Steele was not the author of these famous words,—"the most exquisite tribute ever paid to the memory of a noble woman"; for the article in No. 42 was by Congreve. But Mr. Justin McCarthy afterwards pointed out that these words occur in No. 49, not No. 42; and whether or no Congreve wrote the paper in No. 42 which is at least doubtful—the article in No. 49 is certainly Steele's.

The title of one of Dryden's plays.

Henry Cromwell and Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas. See No. 47.


Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co. London & Edinburgh.

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