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myself. When my Favonius is acknowledged to be Dr. Smalridge, and the amiable character of the Dean in the sixty-sixth Tatler, drawn for Dr. Atterbury; I hope I need say no more as to my impartiality
I really have acted in these cases with honesty, and am concerned it should be thought otherwise : For wit, if a man had it, unless it be directed to some useful end, is but a wanton frivolous quality; all that one should value himself upon in this kind is, that he had some honourable intention in it.
As for this point, never hero in romance was carried away with a more furious ambition to conquer giants and tyrants, than I have been in extirpating gamesters and duellists. And indeed, like one of those knights too, though I was calm before, I am apt to fly out again, when the thing that first disturbed me is presented to my imagination. I shall therefore leave off when I am well; and fight with windmills no more: only shall be so arrogant as to say of myself, that, in spite of all the force of fashion and prejudice, in the face of all the world, I alone bewailed the condition of an English gentlemen, whose fortune and life are at this day precarious : while his estate is liable to the demands of gamesters, through a false sense of justice; and to the demands of duellists, through a false sense of honour. As to the first of these orders of men, I have not one more word to say of them : as to the latter, I shall conclude all I have more to offer against them, with respect to their being prompted by the fear of shame, by applying to the duellist what I think Dr. South says somewhere of the liar, “ He is a coward to man, and a bravo to God."
No 1. TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.
P. “ Though the other papers, which are published for the use of the good people of England, have certainly very wholesome effects, and are laudable in their particular kinds, they do not seem to come up to the main design of such narrations, which, I humbly presume, should be principally intended for the use of politic persons, who are so public spirited as to neglect their own affairs to look into transactions of state. Now these gentlemen, for the most part being persons of strong zeal, and weak intellects, it is both a charitable and necessary work to offer something, whereby such worthy and well-affected members of the commonwealth may be instructed, after their reading, what to think : which shall be the end and purpose of this my paper, wherein I shall, from time to time, report and consider all matters of what kind soever that shall occur to me, and publish such my advices and reflections every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in the week, for the convenience of the post. I resolve to have something which may be of entertainment to the fair sex, in honour of whom I have invented* the title of this paper. I therefore earnestly desire all persons, without distinction, to take it in for the present gratis, and hereafter at the price of one penny, forbidding all Hawkers to take more for it at their peril. And I desire all persons to consider, that I am at a very great charge for proper materials for this work, as well as that, before I resolved upon it, I had settled a correspondence in all parts of the known and knowing world. And forasmuch as this globe is not trodden upon by mere drudges of business only, but that men of spirit and genius are justly to be esteemed as considerable agents in it, we shall not, upon a dearth of news, present you with musty foreign edicts, or dull proclamations, but shall divide our relation of the passages which occur in action or discourse throughout this town, as well as elsewhere, under such dates of places as may prepare you for the matter you are to expect, in the following manner.
“ All accounts of gallantry, pleasure and entertainment, shall be under the article of White's Chocolate-house'st poetry, under that of Will's Coffee-house;f learning, under the title of Grecian ;ş foreign and domestic news, you will have from Saint James's Coffee-house; and what else I have to offer on any other subject shall be dated from my own apartment.
“ I once more desire my reader to consider, that as I cannot keep an ingenious man to go daily to Will's under two-pence each day, merely for his
taken. Original T. + White's Chocolate-house was then lower down in St. James's-Street than it is at present, and on the other side.
# Will's Coffee-house was on the North side of Russel Street in Covent Garden, now the house, No. 23, Great Russel Street,
The Grecian was, and still is, in Devereux Court, in the Strand.
charges; to White's under six-pence; nor to the Grecian, without allowing him some plain Spanish, to be as able as others at the learned table; and that a good observer cannot speak with even Kidney,* at St. Jmaes's without clean linen; I
these considerations will, I hope, make all persons willing to comply with my humble request (when my gratis stock is exhausted) of a penny a-piece; especially since they are sure of some proper amusement, and that it is impossible for me to want means to entertain them, having, besides the force of my own parts, the power of divination, and that I can, by casting a figure, tell you all that will happen before it comes to pass.
“ But this last faculty I shall use very sparingly, and speak but of few things until they are passed, for fear of divulging matters which may
offend our superiors."
White's Chocolate-house, April 7. The deplorable condition of a very pretty gentleman, who walks here at the hours when men of quality first appear, is what is very much lamented. His history is, That on the ninth of September, 1705, being in his one-and-twentieth year, he was washing his teeth at a tavern window in Pall Mall, when a fine equipage passed by, and in it a young lady who looked up at him; away goes the coach, and the young gentleman pulled off his night-cap, and instead of rubbing his gums, as he ought to do, out of the window until about four of the clock, sits him down and spoke not a word until twelve at night; after which he began to inquire if any body knew the lady!—The company asked, what lady? but he said no more, until they broke up at six in
Kidney was one of the waiters at St. James's Coffee-house. + Not speak of any thing till it is passed. Original T. VOL. I.
the morning. All the ensuing winter he went from church to church every Sunday, and from playhouse to play-house every night in the week; but could never find the original of the picture which dwelt in his bosom. In a word his attention to any thing but his passion was utterly gone. He has lost all the money he ever played for, and been confuted in every argument he has entered
since the moment he first saw her. He is of a noble family, has naturally a very good air, and is of a frank honest temper : but this passion has so extremely mauled him, that his features are set and uninformed, and his whole visage is deadened, by a long absence of thought. He never appears in any alacrity, but when raised by wine; at which time he is sure to come hither, and throw away a great deal of wit on fellows who have no sense farther than just to observe, that our poor Lover has most understanding when he is drunk, and is least in his senses when he is sober.*
The reader is desired to take notice of the article from this place from time to time, for I design to be very exact in the progress this unhappy gentleman makes, which may be of great instruction to all who actually are, or who ever shall be in love.
Will's Coffee-house, April 8. On Thursday last was acted, for the benefit of 'Mr. Betterton, the celebrated comedy called Love for Love. Those excellent players, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, and Mr. Dogget, though not at present concerned in the house, acted on that occasion. There has not been known so great a concourse of
persons of distinction as at that time; the * Edward Lord Viscount Hinchinbroke, mentioned afterwards under the name of Cynthio. He died in the lifetime of his father, Oct. 3, 1722.