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with a design to displace them, in case I find their titles defective. The first whose merits I shall enquire intr, are some merry Gentlemen of the French nation, who have written very advantageous histories of their exploits in war, love, and politics, under the title of Memoirs. I am afraid I shall find several of these Gentlemen tardy, because I hear of them in no writings but their own. To read the narrative of one of these authors, you would fancy that there was not an action in a whole campaign, which he did not contrive or execute ; yet if you consult the history, or Gazettes of those times, you do not find him so much as at the head of a party from one end of the summer to the other. But it is the way of these great men, when they lie behind their lines, and are in a time of inaction, as they call it, to pass away their time in writing their exploits. By this means several who are either unknown or despised in the present age, will be famous in the next, unless a sudden stop be put to such pernicious practices. There are others of that gay people, who, as 1 am informed, will live half a year together in a garret, and write an history of their intrigues in the court of France. As for politicians, they do not abound with that species of men so much as we; but as ours are not so famous for writing, as for extemporary dissertations in coffee-houses, they are more annoyed with, memoirs of this nature also than we are. The most immediate remedy that I can apply to prevent this growing evil, is, That I do hereby give notice to ail Booksellers and Translators whatsoever, that the word Memoir is French for a Novel; and to require of them, that they fell and translate it accordingly.
trill's Coffee-house, OSloberzi.
Coming into this place to night, s met an old friend of mine, who a little after the Restoration writ an ^Epigram with some applause, which he has lived upon ever since; and by virtue of it, has been a constant frequenter of this coffee,-house for forty years. He took me aside, and with a great deal of friendship told me, he was glad to see me alive; for, fays he, Mr. Bicker/faff", I am sorry to find you have raised many enemies by your Lucubrations. There are indeed some, fays he, whose enmity is the greatest honour they can (hew a man; but have you lived to these years, and do not know, that the ready way to disoblige, is to give advice? you may endeavour
to guard your children, as you call them; but He
was going on ; but I found the difagreeablcnefs of giving advice without being asked, by my own impatience of what he was about to fay: In a word, I begged him to give me the hearing of a sliort fable.
A Gentleman, fays I, who was one day slumbering in an arbour, was on a sudden awakened by the gentle biting of a lizard, a little animal remarkable for its love to mankind. He threw it from his hand with some indignation, and was rising up to kill it, when he saw an huge venemous serpent sliding towards him on the other side, which he soon destroyed ; reflecting afterwards with gratitude upon his friend that saved him, and with anger against himself, that had shewn so little sense of a good office.
N° 85. Tuesday, October 25, 1709.
From my own Apartment, Oflober 24.
MY Brother Tranquillus, who is a man of business, came to me this morning into my study, and after very many civil expressions in return for what good offices I had done him, told me, he desired to carry his wife my sister that very morning to his own house. I readily told him I would wait upon him, without aiking why he was so impatient to rob us of his good company. He went out of my chamber, and I thought seemed to have a little heaviness upon him, which gave me some disquiet. Soon after my sister came to me with a very matron-like air, and most sedate satisfaction in her looks, which spoke her very much at ease, but the traces of her countenance seemed to discover that slie had been 3 lately lately in a passion, and that air of content to flow from a certain triumph upon some advantage obtained. She no sooner sat down by me, but I perceived slie was one of those Ladies who begin to be managers within the time of their being brides.—Without letting her speak, which I saw (he had a mighty inclination to do, I said, bere has been your husband, who tells me he has a mind to go home this very morning, and I have consented to
it. It is well, said she, for you must know Nay,
j/entiy, said I, I beg your pardon, for it ii you must know—You are to uuderstand, that now is the time to fix or alienate your husband's heart for ever; and I fear you have been a little indiscreet in your expressions or behaviour towards him, even here in my house. There has, fays she, been some words: But I will be judged by you if he was not in the wrong: Nay, J need not be judged by any body, for he gave it up himself, and said not a word when he saw me grow passionate, but, Madam, you are perfectly in the right of it: As you shall j&lge
Nay, Madam, said I, I am judge already, and tell
you, that you are perfectly in the wrong of it; for if it was a matter of importance, I know he has better fense •than you; isa trifle, yoa know what I told you on your wedding-day, that you were to be above little provocations. She knows very well I can be four upon occasion, therefore gave me leave to go on.
Sister, said I, I will not e:>ter into the dispute between you, which I find his pr.udence put an end to before it came to extremity, but charge you to have a care of the first quarrel, as you tender your happiness; for then it is, that the mind will reflect hardily upon every circumstance that h is ever passed between you If such an ac•ciJent is ever to happen, which I hope never will, be sure to keep to the circumstance before you; make, np allusions ta what is passed, or conclusions referring tb what is to come: Do not shew an hoard of matter for dissension in your breast; but if it is necerTkrv, lay before him the thing as yoq understand it, candidly, without being ashamed of acknowledging an error, or proud os being in the right. If a young couple be not careful in this point, they will get into an habit of wrangling: .And when to displease is thought of ncco-nse^oence, to
V-oa-. II. ii pka e 1
• please is always of as little moment. There is a play, Jenny, I have formerly been at when I was a student: We got into a dark corner with a porringer of brandy, end threw raisins into it, then set it on fire. _My chamber-fellow and I diverted ourselves with the sport of venturing our singers for the raisins; and the wantonness of the thing was, to fee each other look like a dæmon, as we burnt ourselves, and snatched out the fruit. This
"fantastical mirth was called Sitap-Dragon. You may go into many a family, where you fee the man and wife at this sport: Every word at their table alludes to some passage between themselves; and you fee by the paleness and emotion in their countenances, that it is for your fake, and not their own, that they forbear playing out the whole game in burning each other's fingers. In this cafe, the whole purpose of life is inverted, and the ambition turns upon a certain contention, who (hall contradict best, and not upon an inclination to excel in kindness and good offices. Therefore, dear Jenny; remember me, and avoid Snap-Dragon.
I thank you, brother, said she, but you do not know how he loves me; I find I can do any thing with him. If you can so, why Ihould you desire to do any thing but please him? But I have a word or two more before you go out of the room; for I see you do not like the subject 1 arn upon: Let nothing provoke you to fall upon an imperfection he cannot help; for if he has a resenting lpirit, he will think your aversion as immoveable as the imperfection with which you upbraid him. But above all, dear Jenny, be careful of one thing, and you will be something more than woman; that is, a levity you
'are almost all guilty of, which is, to take a pleasure in your power to give pain. It is even in a mistress an argument of meanness of spirit, but in a wife it is injustice and ingratitude. When a sensible man once observes this in a woman, he must have a very great, or very .little spirit to overlook it. A woman ought therefore to consider very often, 'how few men there are who will regard a naeditated offence as a weakness of temper.
I was going on in my confabulation, when Tranquillus entered. She cast all her eyes upon him with much stiame and confusion, mixed with great complacency and
love, and went up to him. He took her in his arms, and looked so many soft things at one glance, that I conld fee he was glad I had been talking to her, sorry she had been troubled, and angry at himself that he could not disguise the concern he was in an hour before. After which he fays to me, with an air aukward enough, butmethought not unbecoming, 1 have altered my mind, brother; we will live upon you a day or two longer. I replied, that is what I have been persuading "Jenny to aflt of you, but she is resolved never to contradict your inclination,- and refused me.
We were going on in that way which one hardly knows how to express; as when two people mean the fame thing in a nice case, but come at it by talking as distantly from it as they can; when very opportunely came in upon us an honest inconsiderable fellow, Tim Dapper, a Gentleman well known to us both. Tim is one of those who are vwy necessary, by being very inconsiderable. Tim dropped in at an incident, when we knew not how to fall into either a grave or a merry way. My sister took this occasion to make off, and Dapper gave us an account of all the company he had been in to-* day, who was, and who was not at home, where ha visited. This Tim is the head of a species: He is 3 little out of his element in this town; but he is a relation of Tranquillus, and his neighbour in the country, which is the true place of residence for this species. The habit of a Dapper, when he is at home, is a light broad cloth with calamanco or red waistcoat and breeches; and it is remarkable, that their wigs seldom hide the collar of their coats. They have always a peculiar spring in their arms, a wriggle in their bodies, and a trip in their gait. All which motions they express at once in their drinking, bowing, or saluting Ladies; for a distant imitation of a forward fop, and a resolution to overtop him in his way, are the distinguishing marks of a Dapper, These under-characters of men are parts of the sociable world by no means to be neglected: They are like pegs in a building: They make no figure in it, but hold the structure together, and are as absolutely necessary as the pillars and columns. I am sure we found it so this morning ; for Tranquillus and I should perhaps have K~ 2 Ittokid