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bear arms. He said in conversation many lively things; and as an infallible proof of the force of his eloquence, in any council of war in which he ever sat, he always drew over the other members to be of his sentiments; so ably did he support them with powerful reasons. If he spoke well, he wrote still better. To his courage nothing was impossible. He possessed perfect coolness in the greatest danger, and found expedients under the heaviest misfortunes. His liberality procured him the love and esteem of his soldiers, and no general knew how to give his orders so well. But so many excellent and rare virtues were effaced by his great vices. Never was there a more determined debauchee. He loved wine and women to excess; and the most seasoned drinkers were afraid of him. He sought their company from all parts, and no one could equal him in this species of vice. He sometimes remained in a state of insensibility for whole days. The disorder that reigned in his private affairs was inconceivable. He gave away whatever he had about him without discrimination; and he always had much money in his pocket, which he was robbed of during his inebriety. Thus, like a cask without a bottom, all the riches of India would not have been sufficient for him; and he found himself compelled to sell all his effects for little or nothing. He often lost his best friends for a bon-mot. Du Maurier, who was Ranzau's great friend, told this extraordinary man one day, that his excesses and irregularities would destroy his health; and that they would prevent his rising to the principal employments in the state. “I would not,' answered he, darting a most ferocious and hagard look upon Du Maurier, “I would not give up my pleasures to become emperor of Germany." His excesses, during the siege of Dunkirk by the Spaniards, are thought to have lost that place. He was, however, confined for some time in the castle of Vincennes for this supposed neglect, and was cleared from any imputation of treachery or cowardice. He died soon after his release. During the siege of Gravelines he one day appointed the duke of Orleans, and some of the principal French nobility, to sup with him. He went, however, in the morning, to pay a visit to the famous Dutch admiral Van Tromp, where he got so drunk with Malaga wine, that he fell under the table as if he was dead, and was obliged to be put to bed. His aid-du-camp made an apology to the duke of Orleans, for his master's not being able to attend him at supper, and put it upon an excessive swell of the sea, which had prevented his leaving the admiral's ship.
To show the dangers of ebriety, the catholic legends tell us of some of their hermits to whom the devil gave his choice of three crimes: two of them of the most atrocious kind; and the other to be drunk. The poor saint chose the last, as the least of the three; but when drunk, committed the other two.
The baneful effects of this pernicious vice upon the body are described by Dr. Darwin, in his “Zoonomia," under an allegory which would not have disgraced the splendid imagination of lord Bacon himself.
“Prometheus,” says the doctor, “ was painted, as stealing fire from heaven, that might well represent the inflammable spirit, produced by fermentation, which may be said to animate or enliven the man of clay; whence the conquests of Bacchus, as well as the temporary mirth and neise of his devotees. But, the after punishment of those who steal this accursed fire, is a vulture gnawing the liver; and well allegorizes the poor inebriate, lingering for years under painful diseases."
And, that the graces and energies of poetry may come in aid of the figure, so strongly depicted in prose; the same great physiologist, in his “ Botanic Garden,” in the most sublime imagery, and with the greatest strength of personification, has composed a picture, which should be painted and hung up in every chamber dedicated to Bacchanalian festivity.
Dr. Darwin personifies the goddess of wine, under the name of Vitis, who thus addresses her votaries,
“Drink deep, sweet youth," seductive Vitis cries,
And silent Frenzy, writhing, bites his chains.
THOUGH it is not my profession to write, but to retail the writings of others, yet I find the spirit move me to hazard some observations, on a very goodhumored, sprightly, elegant paragraph, in your paper of yesterday.
The facetious gentleman is pleased to say, that Yates and his wife have retired from the stage, with thirty-six thousand pound, or forty thousand pound; and that they are remarkable for their comely appearance; though one is, from theatrical dates, seventy, the other above sixty years of age. 'Tis wonderful, so wise a man should be mistaken, but the facts are,
They have not retired with 40,0001.
Theatrical dates do not prove them to be, the one seventy, the other more than sixty years of age.
In respect to myself; that I am remarkable for my comely appearance; that I can, though not worth quite forty thousand pound, eat my mutton without an engagement, and yet owe no man any thing; are offences to which I am ready to plead guilty: if comeliness is a sin, heaven help me, I say! and as to owing no man any thing, in these days, when it is the genteelest thing in the world, to pay no man any thing, I must e'en stand trial before a jury of honest tradesmen, who I dare say will acquit me, from the singularity of the case.
In respect to theatrical dates, I have, to be sure, told the chimes at midnight, some five and thirty years ago, which as I find myself just as healthy and alert, as in those delightful days, I do not think at all disqualifies me for my general cast of characters, in which I have pleased as good judges as your correspondent; nor is it absolutely necessary that the Miser, Fondlewife, Gomez, Don Manuel, Sir Wilful Witwou'd, &c. &c. should have the first down of a beard on their chins; but I will whisper something in the gentleman's ear, that whilst such writers as he are allowed to assassinate honest people in the dark, by abusive anonymous paragraphs, nobody that has mutton to eat will look out for theatrical engagements, but quietly let the stage fall into that happy state,
“ When one Egyptian darkness covers all." So much for myself, and now for Mrs. Yates.
That she is a pretty enough actress, as times go, and by no means uncomely, I willingly allow; but that she is more than sixty, or will be these dozen years at least, may bear something of a doubt.
As her first appearance was on Drury Lane stage, and in the full meredian of its glory, the date is easily ascertained; but to save the gentleman trouble, as he seems to be a bad calculator, I will inform him, it was in Mr. Crisp's Virginia, in the year 1754, (twenty-nine years ago), and that she was then as pretty a plump rosy Hebe, as one shall see on a summer's day.
She had the honour (an honour never conserred on any other person), of being introduced, as a young beginner by a prologue written, and spoken, by that great master, Mr. Garrick, in which the following lines are to the present purpose:
“ If novelties can please, to night we've two-
She hopes some merit, to deserve such friends." And now give me leave, Sir, to tell your correspondent a story: On the first coming to England of Signor Trebbi, a worthy gentleman, the editor of a newspaper paid him a morning visit, and informed him, he was a public writer, and had characters of all prices. “I understand you, Sir," said Trebbi, “ and have heard of you: I have no guineas to throw away so ill; but I am a writer too; Et voila ma plume!” “ This is my pen," showing him a good English oaken towel. Signor Trebbi was so good as to leave me his pen, the only one I shall make use of against malevolence in future, where the writer does me the honour of making himself known to me. I am, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
CHARACTER OF FOOTE, BY MR. GAHAGAN. FOOTE was a very extraordinary man, and had talents which he abused. He abounded in wit, humor and sense; but he was so fond of detraction and mimicking, that he might properly be called a buffoon; and they were a great blemish in his conversation, though he entertained you. He was generally civil to your face, and seldom put you out of humor with yourself; but you paid for his civility the moment you turned your back, and were sure of being made ridiculous. He was not so malignant as some I have known, but his excessive vanity led him into satire and ridicule. He was vain of his classical knowledge (which was but superficial) and of his family, and used to boast of his numerous relations in the west of England. He was most extravagant and baubling, but not generous. He delighted in buying rings, snuff boxes, and toys, which were a great expense to him; and he lost money at play, and was a dupe, with all his parts. He loved wine, and good living, and was a mighty pretender to skill in cookery, though he did not understand a table as well as he thought; he affected to like distinguished dishes and ragouts, and could not bear to eat plain beef or mutton, which showed he had a depraved appetite; he spared no expense
in his dinners, and his wine was good. He was very disgusting in his manner of eating, and not clean in his person; but he was so pleasant, and had such a flow of spirits, that his faults and foibles were overlooked. He always took the lead in company, and was the chief or sole performer. He had such a rage for shining, and such an itch for applause, that he'often brought to my mind Pope's lines on the duke of Wharton:
“Though senates hung on all he spoke
The mub must hail him master of the joke." He loved lords' company, though he gave himself airs of despising them, and treating them cavalierly. He was licentious and sensual, made a jest of religion and morality, and of all worthy men. He told a story pleasantly, and added many circumstances of his own invention, to heighten it. He had a good choice of words, and apt expressions, and could speak very well upon grave subjects; but he soon grew tired of serious conversation, and returned naturally to his favourite amusement, mimicry, in which he did not excel; for he drew caricatures by which he made you