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more vigorous war: For a friend of mine has promised me, he will employ his time in compiling such a tract before the session of the ensuing parliament, as shall lay gaming home to the bosoms of all who love their country or their families; and he doubts not but it will create an Act, that shall make these rogues as scandalous, as those less mischievous ones on the high road.
I have received private intimations to take careofmjr walks, and remember there are such things as stabs and blows: But as there never was any thing in this deliga which ought to displease a man of honour, or which was not designed to offend the rascals, I shall give myself very little concern for finding what I expected, that they would be highly provoked at these Lucubrations. But though 1 utterly despise the pack, I must confess I am at a stand at the receipt of the following letter, which seems to be written, by a man of fense and worth, who has mistaken some passage that I am sure was not levelled, at him. This Gentleman's complaints give me compunction, when I neglect the threats of the rascals. I cannot be in jest with the rogues any longer, since they pretend to threaten. I do not know whether I shall allow them the favour of transportation. .,
Mr. BlCKERSTAFF, Sept. 13.'
*' /"vBscrving you are not content with lashing the "many vices of the age without illustrating each "with particular characters, it is thought nothing would ** more contribute to the impression you design by such, "than always having regard to truth. In your Tatler, "of this day, I observe you allow, that nothing is so "tender as a Lady's reputation; that a stain once got "in their fame, is hardly ever to be warned out. Tliis ** you grant, even when you give yourself leave to trifle.
If so what caution is necessary in handling the repu"tation of a man, whose well-being in this life perhaps *' entirely depends on preserving it from any wound, "which, once there received, too often becomes fatal "and incurable? Suppose some villainous hand, through "personal prejudice, transmits materials for this pur** pose, which you publish to the world, and afterwards
"become "become fully convinced you were imposed on ; at by "this time you may be of a character you have sent into "the world; I fay, supposing this, I would be glad to "know, what reparation you think ought to be made '* the person so injured, admitting you stood in his place. •« It has always been held, that a generous education is "the surest mark of a generous mind. The former it '* indeed perspicuous in all your Papers; and I am per"suaded, though you affect often to (hew the latter, yet "you would not keep any measures, even of Christianity, *' with those who should handle you in the manner you *' do others. The application of all this is from your "having very lately glanced at a man, under a charac*' ter, which were he conscious-to deserve, he would be "the first to rid the world of himself; and would be *' more justifiable in it to all sorts of men, than you in ■** your committing such a violence on his reputation, "which perhaps you may be convinced of in another *' manner than you deserve from him.
** A man of your capacity, Mr. Bicktrstaff, should "have more noble views, and pursue the true spirit of ** satire; but I will conclude, test I grow out of temper,
and will only beg you, for your own preservation, CV "remember the proverb of the pitcher.
I am yours,
.4, * J
The proverb of the pitcher I have no regard to; but it would be an insensibility not to be pardoned, if a man could be untouched at so warm an accusation, and that laid with so much seeming temper. All I can say to it is, that if the Writer, by the fame method whereby he conveyed this Letter, should give me an instance wherein J have injured any good man, or pointed at any thing which is not the true object of raillery, I shall acknowledge the offence in as open a manner as the press can do it, and lay down this Paper for ever.
There is something very terrible in unjustly attacking men in a way that may prejudice their honour or fortune; but when men of too modest a sense of themselves will think they are tcfuched, it is impossible to prevent ill* consequences from the most innocent and general discourses. This I have known happen in circumstance* the most foreign to theirs, who have taken offence at them. An advertisement lately published, relating to ■Omicron, alarmed a Gentleman of good sense, integrity, honour, and industry, who is, in every particular, different from the trifling pretenders pointed at in that advertisement. When the modesty of some is as excessive, its the vanity of others, what defence is there against misinterpretation? However, giving disturbance, though1 not intended, to men of virtuous characters, has To sincerely troubled me, that I will break from this satirical vein; and to Ihew I very little value myself upon it, shall from this month erifui-ng leave the Sharper, the Fop, th* Pedant, the Proud Man, the Insolent; in a word, all the train of Knaves and Fools, to their own devices, and> touch on nothing but panegyric. This way is suitable 'to the true genius of the Stajss, who are much more in>clined to reward thari punish. If therefore the Author of the above-mentioned Letter does not command my silence wholly, as he shall if I do not give him satisfaction, I shall for the above-mentioned space turn my thoughts to raising merit from its obscurity, celcbratinj virtue in its distress, and attacking vice by no other method) but setting innocence in a proper light.
Will'% Coffee-haase, September 5.
** T7 Inding your advice and censure to have a gooi "Jl effect, I desire your admonition to our vicar and *' schoolmaster, who, in his preaching to his auditors, "stretches his jaws so wide, that instead of instructing "yoath, it rather frightens them: Likewise in reading *' prayers, he has such a careless loll, that people are "justly offended at his irreverent posture; besides the "extraordinary charge they are put to in- sending .their "children to dance, to bring them off of those ill ges. Vol," II. G "tur-u ** tures. Another evil faculty he has, in making the "iiowling-green his daily residence, instead of his "church, where his curate reads prayers every day. If '* the weather is fair, his time is spent in visiting; if "cold or wet, in bed, or at least at home, though with*' in a hundred yards of trie church. These, out of "many such irregular practices, I write for his recla■* marion: But, two or three things more before I con*' elude; to wit, that generally when his curate preaches *' in the afternoon, he steeps sitting in the defle on a has"sock. With all this he is so extremely proud, that ■* he will go but once to the sick, except they return "hisvifit."
I was going on in reading my Letter, when I was interrupted by Mr. Greenhat, who has been this evening at the Play of Hamlet. Mr. Bkkerjlaff, said he, had you been to-night at the playhouse, you .had seen the force of action in perfection: Your admired Mr. Beltefton behaved himself so well, that, though now about seventy, he acted youth; and by the prevalent power of'proper manner, gesture, and voice, appeared through the whole Drama a young man of great expectation, vivacity, and enterprize. The soliloquy, where he began the celebrated sentence os, "To be, or not to be!" th* expostulation where he explains with his mother in her closet; the noble ardour, after seeing his father's ghost; and his generous distress for the death of Ophelia, are «ach of them circumstances which dwell strongly upon the minds of the audience, and would certainly affect their behaviour on any parallel occasions in their own lives. Pray, Mr. Bickerjlaff, let us have virtue thus represented on the stage with its proper ornaments, or let these ornaments be added to her in places more sacred. As for my part, said he, 1 carried my Cousin Jerry, this Jittle boy, with me; and (hall always love the child for his partiality in all that concerned the fortune of Hamlet. This is entering youth into the affections and passions of Oianhcad before-hand, and, as it were, antedating the effects we hope from a long and liberal education.
[ cannot, in the midst of many other things which press, hide the comfort that this Letter from my ingenious kinsman gives me.
To my honoured kinsman, Isaac Bicterstajs, Esquire.
Dear Cousin, Oxford, Sept. 18L
"T AM sorry, though not surprised, to find that you "*• have rallied the men of dress in vain; that the "amber-headed cane still maintains its unstable post; "that pockets are but few inches shortened; and a beau "is Hill % -beau, from the crown of his night-cap t6 the "heels of his (hoes. For your comfort, I can assure you, "that your endeavours succeed better in this famous seac "of learning. By them, the manners of our young "Gentlemen are in a fair way of amendment, and their "very language is mightily refined. To them it is "owing, that not a Servitor will sing a catch, nor a ". Senior Fellow make a pun, nor a determining Bache"lor drink a bumper; and I believe a Gentleman"Commoner would as soon have the heels of his shoes "red, as his stockings. When a witling stands at a ■*» Coffee-house door, and sneers at those who pass by, ** to the great improvement of his hopeful audience, he *• is no longer surnamed a Slicer, but a Man of Fire is the word. A Beauty, whose health is drank from "Heddington to Hinksey; who has been the theme of theMuses, her cheeks painted with roses, and her bosom. "planted with orange-boughs; has no more the title "of Lady, but reigns an undisputed Toast. When to "the plain garb of gown and band a spark adds an in"consilient long wig, we do not fay now heB ishes, but *' there goes a Smart Fellow. If a virgin blushes, we "no longer cry, (he Blues. He that drinks until he "stares is no more Tow-Row, but Honest. A Youngster "in a Scrape is a word out of date; and what bright •• man fays, I was Joabed by the Dean? Bambouzlmg" M is exploded; a Shat is a Tatler; and if the muscular "motion of a m.111'5 sice be violent, no mortal says, he M raises a korse, but he is a Merry Fellow.
fi! "I con.