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N° 27. Saturday, June it, 1709.
White's Chocolate-house, June g;.
PA COL ET being gone a strolling amorg the men of the sword, in order to sind out the secret causes of the frequent disputes we meet with, and surnish me with materials 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 twenty-eighth of the last month, 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 unwieldly wretch, that commits faults out of the redundance of his good qualities. His pity and compassion make him sometimes a bubble to all his sellows, 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 unlawfol 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 difapproves, 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 most the object of pity of any in the world. The man in the pangs of the stone, gout, or any acute distemper, 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 sellow with broken limbs justly deserves your alms sor his impotent condition; but he that cannot use his own reason is in a much worse state; sor you see him in miserable circumstances, withhis remedy at the fame 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 worlds sor when he is himself, and unruffled with intemperance^ you see his natural faculties exert themselves, and attract an eye of favour towards his insirmities.
But if we look round us here, how many dull rogues are there, that would fain be what this poor man hates himself sor? All the noise towards six in the evening js caused by his mimics and imitators. How ought men of sense to be caresul of their actions, if it were merely from the indignation of seeing themselves ill drawn by such little pretenders? Not to fay, he that leads is guilty of all the actions of his sollowers; 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 solly more absurd, or which seems less to be accounted sor, (though it is what we see every day) than that grave and honest Natures give into this way, and at the fame time have good sense, if they thought sit 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 lise 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, whowas born with sweetness of temper, just apprehension, and every thing else that might make him a man sit sor his order. But instead of the pursuit of sober studies and; applications, in which he would certainly be capable of » making making a considerable sigure in the noblest assembly of melt in the world: I fay, in spight of that good nature, which is his proper bent, he will fay 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 artisicial 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 sit; but he may as well drink water-gruel, and go twice aday to church, for it will never do. I pronounce it again, Nobilii 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 Inamoratoes, 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, it pretended to also by men of strong abilities in drinking; though they are such whom the liquor, not the converfation, keeps together. But blockheads may roar, sight, and stab, and be never the nearer; their labour U 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 mifapplication of her beauty. The chief of all whom I have the honour to be acquainted with, is pretty Miss Toss: She is ever in practice of something which dissigures her, and takes from; her charms, though all she does tends to a contrary efsect. She has naturally a very agreeable voice and utterance, which she has changed for the prettiest lispima* ginahle. 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 (he have their eyes sull on each other, all the time in which they are not both in motion. Whenever her eye is turned from that deaf object, you may have a glance, and your bow, if she is in humour, returned as civilly as you make it; but that mull not be in the presence of a man of greater Quality: For Miss Toss is so thoroughly well-bred, that the chief person present has all her regards. And soe who giggles at Divine service, and laughs at her very mother,
cau can compose herself at the approach of a man of a good estate. *
Will's Cofsee-house, June 9.
A sine Lady shewed 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 prosessed, the Author should be the happy man in spight 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 considents 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 sirst attempt. Among the Favourites to the Fair one, he found her perrot not to be in the last degree : He faw 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 interest in the following manner:
To a Lady on her Parrot. ,
When nymphs were coy, and Love could not prevail,
The gods disguis'd were never known to fail;
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 Penm 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. ke a dove, to preserve your conquests. If the swain would go on successsully, he must imitate the bird he writes upon. For he who would be loved by women, must never be silent besore the favour, or open his lips after it.
From my own Apartment, June 10.
I have so many messages from young Gentlemen who expect preserment and distinction, that I am wholly at a loss in what manner to acquit myself. The writer of the sollowing letter tells me in a postscript, he cannot go out of town until I have taken some notice of him, and is very urgent to be somebody in it, besore he returns to his commons at the university. But take it from himself.
L To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, Monitor-General of Great-Britain.
Sir, Sheer-Lane, June 8.
"T Have been above six months from the University* "x or' age these three months, and so long in town'* I was recommended to one Charles Bubbleboy near the "Temple, who has supplied- me with all the surniture he "fays a Gentleman ought to have I desired a certisi"cate thereof from him, which he faid would require "some time to consider of; and when I went yesterday "morning sor it, he tells me upon due consideration, I "still want some sew odd things mote, to the value of "threescore or sourscore 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 lhall sind me,
Your most humble servant,