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conversation, a sense that every one of us liked each other. I went home, considering the different condia tions of a married life and that of a bachelor ; and I must confess it struck me with a secret concern, to re flect, that whenever I go off I shall leave no traces behind me. In this ponsive mood I returned to my family; that is to say, to my maid, my dog, and my cat, who only can be the better or worse for what happens to me.
MR, BICKERSTAFF HEARING PETITIONS.
There is nothing gives a man greater satisfaction than the sense of having dispatched a great deal of business, especially when it turns to the public emolument. I have much pleasure of this kind upon my spirits at present, occasioned by the fatigue of affairs which I weni through last Saturday. It is some time since I set apart that day for examining the preten. sions of several who had applied to me for canes, perspective-glasses, snuff-boxcs, orange-fower-waters, and the like ornaments of life. In order to adjust this matter, I had before directed Charles Lillie, of Beaufort-buildings, to prepare a grcat bundle of blank lic cences in the foilowing words:
- You are hereby required to permit the bearer of this cane to pass and repass through the streets and suburbs of London, or any place within ten miles of it, without let or molestation; provided that he does not walk with it under his arm, brandish it in the air, or hang it on a bution : in which case it shall be forfeit
ed; and I hereby declare it forfeited to any one who shall think it safe to take it from him.
Isaac Bickerstaff.' The same form, differing only in the provisos, will serve for a perspective, snuff-box, or perfumed handkerchief. I had placed myself in my elbow-chair at the upper end of my great parlour, having ordered Charles Lillie to take his place upon a joint stool, with a writing-desk before him. John Morphew also took his station at the door; I having, for his good and faithful services, appointed him my chamber-keeper upon court days. He let me know that there were a great number attending without. Upon which I ordered him to give notice, that I did not intend to sit upon snuff-boxes that day; but that those who appeared for canes might enter. The first presented me with the following petition, which I ordered Mr. Lillie to read.
• To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. Censor of Great Britain,
- The humble petition of Simon Trippit,
Showeth, • That your petitioner having been bred up to a cane from his youth, it is now become as necessary to him as any other of his limbs.
" That a great part of his behaviour depending upon it, he should be reduced to the utmost necessities if he should lose the use of it.
• That the knocking of it upon his shoe, leaning one leg upon it, or whistling with it on his mouth, are such great reliefs to him in conversation, that he does not know how to be good company without it.
« That he is at present engaged in an amour, and must despair of success if it be taken from bim.
"Your petitioner therefore hopes, that, the premises tenderly considered, your worship will not deprive him of so useful and so necessary a support.
"And your petitioner shall ever, &c.'
Upon the hearing of his case, I was touched with some compassion, and the more so, when, upon observing him nearer, I found he was a prig. I bid bim produce his cane in court, which he had left at the door. He did so; and I finding it to be very curiously clouded, with a transparent amber head, and a blue ribband to hang upon his wrist, I immediately ordered my clerk Lillie to lay it up, and deliver out to him a plain joint, headed with walnut; and then, in order to wean him from it by degrees, permitted him to wear it three days in a week, and to abale proportionably until he found himself able to go alone.
The second who appeared came limping into the court; and sctting forth in his petition many pretences for the use of a cane, I caused them to be exa. mined one by one : but finding him in different stories, and confronting him with several witnesses who had seen him walk upright, I ordered Mr. Lillie to take in bis cane, and rejected his petition as frivolous.
A third made his entry with great difficulty, leaning upon a slight stick, and in danger of falling every step he took. I saw the weakness of his hams; and hear. ing that he had married a young wifs about a fortnight before, I bid him leave his cane, and gave him a new pair of crutches, with which he went off in great vigour and alacrity. This gentleman was succeeded by
, another, another, who seemed very much pleased while his petition was reading, in which he had represented that he was extremely amicted with the gout, and set his foot upon the ground with the caution and dignity which accompany that distemper. I suspected him for an impostor; and having ordered him to be searched, I committed him into the hands of doctor Thomas Smith in King-street, my own corn-cutter, who atlended in an outward room, and wrought so speedy & cure upon him that I thought fit to send him away without his cane.
While I was thus dispensing justice, I heard a noise in my outward room; and inquiring what was the occasion of it, my door-keeper told me, that they had taken ap one in the very fact as he was passing by my door. They immediately brought in a lively fresh. coloured young man, who made great resistance with hand and foot, but did not offer to make use of his cane, which hung upon his fifth button. Upon examination I found him to be an Oxford scholar, who was just entered at the Temple. He at first disputed the jurisdiction of the court; but being driven out of his little law and logic, he told me very pertly, that he looked upon such a perpendicular creature as man to make a very imperfect figure without a cane in his hand. It is well known, says he, we ought, according to the natural situation of our bodies, to walk upon our hands and feet; and that the wisdom of the antients had described man to be an animal of four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three at night; by which they intimated, that a cane might very properly become part of us in some period of life. Upon which I asked him, whether he wore it at his breast to have it in readiness when that period should arrive? My
Pbilander, who fell abcut her neck with a tenderness not to be expressed; and amidst a thousand sobs and sighs told her his love, and his dreadful mistake. The stage was now in flames, and the whole house full of smoke: the entrance was quite barred up with heaps of people, who had fallen upon one another as they endeavoured to get out : swords were drawn, shrieks heard on all sides; and, in short, no possibility of an escape for Puilander himself, had he becn capable of making it without his Chloe. But his mind was above such a thought, and wholly employed in weeping, condoling, and comforting. He catches her in his arms. The fire surrounds them, while I cannot go on
Were I an infidel, misfortunes like this would convince me that there must be an hereafter: for who can believe that so much virtue could meet with so great distress without a following reward * ?
DOMESTIC HAppiness. No. 95.
There are several persons who have many pleasures and entertainments in their possession which they do not enjoy. It is therefore a kind and good office to acquaint them with their own happiness, and turn their attention to such instances of their good fortune which they are apt to overlook. Persons in the married state osten want such a monitor; and pine away their days, by looking upon the same condition in anguish and murmur, which carries with it in the opinion of others
* This catastrophe is said to have really happened in Denmark.