« PreviousContinue »
tleman of the last age, who lying violently afflicted with the gout, a person came and offered his service to cure him, by a method which he assured him was infallible; the servant who received the mefiage carried it up to his master, who enquiring whether the perfon came on foot or in a chariot; and being informed that he was on foot : Go, says he, send the krave about his business ; was his method as infallible as he pretends, he would long before now have 'been in his coach and fix. In like manner I concluded, that had all thefe advertisers arrived to that skill they pretend to, they would have had no need for so many years successively to publish to the world the place of their abode, and the virtues of their medicines. One of these gentlemen indeed pretends to an effectual cure for leanness : what effects it may have upon those who have tried it, I cannot tell ; but I am credibly informed, that the call for it has been fo great, that it has effectually cured the doctor bimfelf of that distemper. Could each of them produce so good an instance of the success of his medicines, they might soon persuade the world into an opinion of them.
I observe that most of the bills agree in one expression, viz. that (with God's blefing) they perform fuch and such cures : this expreflion is certainly very proper and emphatical, for that is all they have for it. And if ever a cure is performed on a patient where they are concerned, they can claim no greater share in it than Virgil's lapis in the curing Æneas; he tried his skill, was very affiduous about the wound, and indeed was the only visible means that relieved the hero; but the poet assures us it was the particular afliitance of a Deity that speeded the operation. An English reader may see the whole story in Mr. Dryden's translation.
Prop'd on his lance the penfive hero stood, And heard, and saw unmou'd, the mourning crowd.
The fam'd physician tucks his robes around,
But now the Goddess-mother, mov'd with grief,
Which aids the cure, with this foments the part; to And in a moment ceas'd the raging smart. 30 Stanch'd is the blood, and in the bottom flands
The fleel, but scarcely touch'd with tender hands,
Juv. Sat. ii. ver. 35.
club of Widows has me in feveral letters; and, among the rest, a long one from Mrs. President, as follows:
call me, my
i Smart SIR,
You are pleased to be very merry, as you imaa gine, with us widows: and you seem to ground • your farire on our receiving consolation fo foon af
ter the death of our dears, and the number we are
pleased to admit for our companions ; but you ne( ver reflect what husbands we have buried, and < how short a forrow the loss of them was capable of occafioning. For my own part, Mrs. President,
first husband I was married to • at fourteen, by my uncle and guardian, (as I af
terwards discovered), by way of sale, for the third part
of fortune. This fellow looked upon me as a mere child, he might breed up after his own « fancy; if he kiffed my chamber-maid before my • face, I was supposed fo ignorant, how could I think
there was any hurt in it? When he came home (roaring drunk at five in the morning, it was the ( custom of all men that live in the world. I was
not to see a penny of money, for, poor thing, how (could I manage it? He took a handsome cousin of • his into the house (as he said) to be my house
keeper, and to govern my fervants; for how should I • know how to rule a family? And while she had what
money fhe pleafed, which was but reasonable for
the trouble she was at for my good, I was not to ' be so cenforious as to dislike familiarity and kind
nefs between near relations. I was too great a coward to contend, but not so ignorant a child to be thus imposed upon.
I refented his contempt a9 ! I ought to do, and as molt poor pasliye blinded (wives do, till it pleased heaven to take away my
tyrant, who left me free poffeffion of my own land, " and a large jointure. My youth and money
brought me many lovers, and several endeavoured to establish an interest in
my heart while my hus. band was in his last fickness; the honourable Edu ward Waitfort was one of the first who addrefied to me, advised to it by a cousin of his that was my
intimate friend, and knew to a penny what I was worth. Mr. Waitfort is a very agreeable mail, ' and every body would like him as well as he does
himself, if they did not plainly see that his efteen 6 and love is all taken up, and by such an object, as • it is impossible to get the better of; I mean him
self. He made no doubt of marrying me within
four or five months, and began to proceed with < such an assured easy air, that piqued my pride not « to banith him; quite contrary, but out of pure ma
lice, I heard his first declaration with so much inno. <cent turprite, and blushed fo prectily, I perceived
it touched his very heart, and he thought me the • best-natured silly poor thing on earth. When a
man has such a notion of a woman, he loves her o better than he thinks he does. I was overjoyed to • be thus revenged on him, for deligning on my « fortune; and finding it was in my power to make o his heart ache, I resolved to complete my con.
quests, and entertained several other pretenders. • The first impression of my undeligning innocence
(was so strong in his head, he attributed all my fol. « lowers to the inevitable force of my charms; and • from several blushes and fide-glances, concluded • himself the favourite; and when I used him like a • dog for my diversion, he thought it was all pru• dence and fear, and pitied the violence I did my • own inclinations to comply with my friends, when . I married Sir Nicholas Fribble of fixty years of age. • You know, Sir, the case of Mrs. Medlar, I hope you
would not have had me cry out my eyes for r such a husband. I shed tears enough for my wi• dowhood a week after my marriage, and when he
was put in his grave, reckoning he had been two
years dead, and myself a widow of that standing, I « married three weeks afterwards John Sturdy, Efq; « his next heir. I had indeed some thoughts of tak• ing Mr. Waitfort, but I found he could stay, and • belides he thought it indecent to ask me to marry
again, till my year was out; so privately resolving • him for my fourth, I took Mr. Sturdy for the pre« fent. Would you believe it, Sir, Mr. Sturdy was
just five and twenty, about six feet high, and the • ftouteft fox-hunter in the country, and I believe I « wished ten thousand times for my old Fribble a.
gain; he was following his dogs all the day, and
all the night keeping them up at table with him 6 and his companions; however, I think myself ob
liged to them for leading him a chace in which he « broke his neck. Mr. Waitfort began his addrefles
anew, and I verily believe I had married him now, « but there was a young officer in the guards that • had debauched two or three of my acquaintance, " and I could not forbear being a little vain of his
courtship. Mr. Waitfort heard of it, and read me • such an insolent lecture upon the conduct of women,
I married the officer that very day, out < of pure spite to him. Half an hour after I was • married I received a penitential letter from the