Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 all their lamentations. The Hero in this distress was generally in armour, and in a readiness to sight any man he met with, especially if distinguished by any extraordinary qualisications: 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 persections are neglected, fi. 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 inchantment 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, teli the Prince himself, or perhaps his daughter, the birth, parentage, and adventures of his valiant master. This trusty companion was stiled bis Esquire, and was always sit 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 qualisied was the sirst, as the anxients affirm, who was called an Esquire ; and none without these accomplishments ought to assume our order: But, to the utter disgrace and consusion of the heralds, every prefnder is admitted into this fraternity, tven persons the most foreign to this courteous institution. 1 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, sive thoufand. In the Inner, four thoufand. In the Kings-Butch Walks, the whole buildings are inhabited by Esquire's only. The adjacent streets of EJsex, from Morris's Coffee-nouse, and the turning towards the Grecian, you cannot meet one who is not an Esquire, until you take water. Every house in Norfolk and Arundel streets is governed also by an Esquire, or his Lady, Sohosquare, Blocmjbury-fquare, and all Other places where the floors rise above nine seet, 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 sigure.,

end 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 (hall that give title to all that ride mad after foxes, that halloo when they see an hare, or venture their necks sull speed after an hawk, immediately to commence Esquires? No; our Order is temperate, cleanly, sober, and chaste; but these rural Esquires commit immodesties upon hay-cocks, wear shirts half a week, and are drunk twice a day. These men are also, to the last degree, excessive in their sood: An Esquire of Norfolk eats two pounds of dumplin every meal, as if obliged to it by our Order: An Esquire of Hampjhire is as ravenous in devouring hogs-flesh: One of Ejjix 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 shews an Esquire. But, above all, 1 am most ofsended at small quillmen, and transcribing clerks, who are all come into our Order, sor no reason that I know of, but that they can easily flourish it at the end of their name. I will undertake that if you read the subscriptions to all the ossices in the kingdom, you will not sind 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, Esquire;" to which the other replies by a note, " to Nebemiah Dajhwell, Esquire, with "respect;" in a word, it is now Populus Armigerorum, a people of Esquires. And I do not know but, by the late act of naturalization, soreigners will assume that title, as part of the immunity of being Englijhmen. All these improprieties flow from the negligence of the Heralds-Ossice. Those gentlemen in party-coloured habits do not so rightly, as they ought, understand themselves; though they are dressed cap-a-pee in hieroglyphicks, they are inwardly but ignorant men. I asked an acquaintance of mine, who is a man of wit, but of no sortune, and is sorced to appear as a Jack-pudding on the stage to a mountebank: pray thee, Jack, why is your coat of so many colours? He replied, I act a sool, and

this 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< ^ct 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 forther consideration;, and no man shall be received as an Esquire, who cannot bring a certisicate,, that he has conquered some Lady's obdurate heart: that he can lead up a country-dance, or carry a mesfage - 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..

mil's Coffee-house, May 23.

On Saturday last was presented The Busy Boify^ a -Co* medy, written (as I have heretofore remarked^ by a woman. The plot and incidents of the Play are laid with that subtilty of spirit which is peculiar to semales 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 Jubil<e. 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. Wilkes enters into the part with so much skill, that the gallantry, the youth, and gaiety of a young man of a plentisul fortune, is looked upon with as much indulgence on the stage, as in real lise, without any of those intermixtures of wit and hu-. niour, which usually prepossess us in favour of such cha-: rasters in other plays.

St.

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

Letters from the Hague of the twenty-=third instant, N. S. fay, Mr. Walpole (who is since arrived) was going with all expedition to Great-Britain, whither they doubted not but he carried with him the preliminaries to a treaty of peace. The French Minister, Monsieur Terry, 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 fame time ts we are to love our enemies, we are clad to see them, mortisied enough to mix Christianity with their politics. An authentic letter from Madam Maintenon to Monsieur Tercy, 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 shews her genius that has Jo long engrossed the heart of this great monarch.

Sir, '';

T Received yours, and am sensible of the addreft '1 and capacity with which you have hitherto trans"acted the great affair under your management. You, M will observe, that our- wants here are not to be con'-' cealed; and that it is vanity to use artisices with the "knowing men with whom you are to deal. Let me "beg you therefore, in this representation of our cir"cumstances, 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 jealoufy "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 vour distressed master, come home with peace. "Oh heaven 1 do I live to talk of Lewis tbt Great, as "the object of pity? the King .shews a great uneasiness "to be informed of all that passes; hut at the fame "time, is searsul of every one who appears in his pre"sence, lest he should bring an account of some new "calamity. I know not in what terms to represent my '* thoughts to you, when 1 speak of the King, with re"lation to his bodily health. Figure to yourself that "immortal man, who stood in oar public places, re"presented with trophies, armour,-and terrors, on his "p^estal: Consider, the Invincible, the Great, the v "Good, the Pious, the Mighty, which were the usual .-*' epithets we gave him, "both in our language and "thoughts. I fay, consider lim whom you knew the ** most glorious and greatest of Monarchs, and now "*hink you see the fame man an unhappy Lazar, in the "lowest circumstances of human nature itself, without "regard to the state from whence he is fallen. I write "from his bed-side: He is at present in a Cumber. I "have many, ^iany things to add; but my tears flow "too fast, and my sorrow is too big for utterance.

I am, &c.

There is such a veneration due from all men to the persons of Princes, that it were a fort of dishonesty t6 represent surther the condition which the King is in; but it is certain, that soon after the receipt of these edvices, Monsieur Tarty waited upon his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, and the Lord To-vjnjhend; and in that conserence gave up many points, which he had before faid were such, as he must return to Franci before he could answer.

Thursday,

« PreviousContinue »