Page images
PDF
EPUB

White's Chocolate-house, June 30.

This day appeared here a figure of a person, whose fervices 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 : But it is not only from the warm cli. mates in which he has served, nor from the disasters

which he has suffered, that he deserves the same appel·lation 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 ftabbed himself, and Hannibal drank poison ; but our Africanus lives in the continual puncture of aching bones and poi. foned juices. The old Heroes fled from torments by death, and this modern lives in death and torments, with an heart wholly bent upon a fupply for remaining in them. An ordinary spirit would sink under his op. pressions, 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 Thomas . told me, it was an entertainment more surprizing 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 fhil. lings a year of him, but that he feared there was some trick in it, and believed him already dead. What, says the 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

What heightened the tragi-comedy of this market for annuities was, that the observation of it provoked Monoculus (who is the most eloquent of all men) to many excellent reflections, which he spoke with the vehemence and language both of a gamefter and an Orator. “ When “ I cailt (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 thew what contradictions Nature is 66 pleased to form in the same species. Here am I, able “ to eat, to drink, to sleep, and to do all' acts of Na

ture, except begetting my like ; and yet by an unin. “ telligible force of spleen and fancy, I every moment “ imagine I am dying. It is utter madness in thee ta “ provide for supper ; for I will bet you ten to one, you s do not live until half an hour after four; and yet I “ am so distracted as to be in fear every moment, though " I will lay ten to three, I drink three pints of burnt " claret at your funeral three nights hence. After all, " I envy thee, thou that hast no sense of death, are hap6 pier than one that 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 conftitution, as much as he mocked that of Africanus and Monoculus.

[ocr errors]

St. James's Coffee-house, June 1. This day arrived three mails from Holland, with advices relating to the posture of affairs in the Low-Coune tries, which say, that the confederate army extends from Luchin, on the causeway between Tournay and Lisle, io Epain near Mortagne on the Scheld. 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 Luxemburg, with orders to form a camp at Crepin on the Haine, between Conde and St. Guillain, where he is to be joined by the electer 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

appre

[ocr errors]

2

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 the Marshal de Bezons are retiring out of Spain.

N° 37.

Tuesday, July 5; 1709.

By Mrs. Jenny Diftaff, Half-Sister to Mr. Bickerfi aff

White's Chocolate-house, July 2. TT may be thought very unaccountable, that I, who I 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 never visit the public haunts, I converse with those that 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 confideration 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 fin of fuperfluous discourse in regard to conversation, without entring into it, as it' respects religion.

I foresee may acquaintance will immediately, upon starting this subject, ask me, how I shall celebrate Mrs. Alle Cop/wood, 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 the were following her dogs? I can easily answer that; for Dhe is as soft as Damon, in comparison of her brother.in.' law, Tom Bellfrey, who is the most accomplished man in this kingdom for all Gentleman-like activities and ac. complifhments. It is allowed, that he is a professed enemy to the Italian performers in mufic. But then

for

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 beo i fore those fellows, though they fing to full theatres. For what is a theatrical voice to that of a fox-hunter ! I have been at a mufical 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 feat in Staffordshire, and the most emninent in all the counties of England were at it. How wonderful was the harmony between mens and dogs! Robin Cartail of Bucks was to answer Jozler ; Mr. Tinbreast of Cornwal 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 occafions, and be in at the death of the fox, hare or ftag; for which both the dog and the man were excellently suited and loved one ano. ther, and were as much together as Banifter and King. When Fowler first alarmed the field, Cartail repeated every note ; Sweetlips's treble succeeded, and shook the wood ; Tinbreaft echoed a quarter of a mile beyond it. We were soon after all at a loss until 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 Beltfrey carriea a rote four furlongs, three rods and fix pacesy further than any other in England. · 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-Square, 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-chafe; Lady Dainty's dog, Mr. Sippet, as the calls him, ftarted 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 fuch confusion as that delicate

L 3

Lady.

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 filent, 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 take 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 cannot walk in your house for trin“ cums.”.

Every county of Great Britain has one hundred or more of this sort of fellows, who roar instead of speak. Therefore if it be true, that we women are also given to a greater fluency of words than is necessary fure, she that difturbs but a room or a family is more to be tolerated, than one who draws together whole parishes and coun. ties, 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. I know it will here be said, that talking of mere country Squires at this rate, is, as it were, to write against Va. 10...ine and Orlon. To prove any thing against the race of men, you mutiaka then as they are adorned with education, as they live in Courts, or have received in. ftructions in Colleges.

But I am so full of my late entertainment by Mr. Bellfrey, that I must defer pursuing this subject to ano. ther day; and wave the proper observations upon the different offenders in this kind, some by profound eloquince on small occafions, 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 croud, which I Mall not forestal, 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,

St.

« PreviousContinue »