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of his teeth, make him a physician also, that being the science the worldlings have most need of. I pretended, when I first set up, to astrology only; but, I am told, I have deep skill also in medicine. I am applied to now by a gentleman for my advice in behalf of his wife, who, upon the last matrimonial difficulty, is excessively troubled with fits, and can bear no manner of passion without falling into immediate convulsions. I must confess it is a case I have known before, and remember the party was recovered by certain words pronounced in the midst of the fit, by the learned doctor who performed the
These ails have usually their beginning from the affections of the mind : therefore you must have patience to let me give you an instance, whereby you may discern the cause of the distemper, and then proceed in the cure as follows:
A fine town-lady was married to a gentleman of antient descent in one of the counties of Great Britain, who had good-humour to a weakness, and was that sort of person of whom it is usually said, he is man's enemy
but his own: one who had too much tenderness of soul to have any authority with his wife ; and she too little sense to give him any authority, for that reason : his kind wife observed this temper in him, and made proper use of it; but, knowing it was below a gentlewoman to wrangle, she resolved upon an expedient to save decorum, and wear her dear to the point at the same time. She therefore took upon her to govern him, by falling into fits whenever she was repulsed in a request, or contradicted in a discourse. It was a fish-day, when, in the midst of her husband's good-humour at table, she bethought herself to try her project; she made signs that she had swallowed a bone. The man grew pale as ashes, and ran to her assistance, calling for drink. “No, my dear,” said she, recovering, “it is down; do not be frightened.” This
accident betrayed his softness enough. The next day she complained, a lady's chariot, whose husband had not half his estate, had a crane-neck, and hung with twice the air that hers did. He answered, “ Madam, you know my income; you know I have lost two coach-horses this spring.”—Down she fell“Hartshorn! Betty, Susan, Alice, throw water in her face.” With much care and pains she was at last brought to herself, and the vehicle in which she visited was amended in the nicest manner, to prevent relapses; but they frequently happened during that husband's whole life, which he had the good fortune to end in a few years after. The disconsolate soon pitched upon a very agreeable successor, whom she very prudently designed to govern by the same method. This man knew her little arts, and resolved to break through all tenderness, and be absolute master as soon as occasion offered. One day it happened, that a discourse arose about furniture; he was very glad of the occasion, and fell into an invective against china, protesting he would never let five pounds more of his money be laid out that way as long as he breathed. She immediately fainted-he starts up as amazed, and calls for help-the maids run to the closet. He chafes her face, bends her forward, and beats the palms of her hands: her convulsions increase, and down she tumbles on the floor, where she lies quite dead, in spite of what the whole family, from the nursery to the kitchen, could do for her relief.
While every servant was thus helping or lamenting their mistress, he, fixing his cheek to hers, seemed to be following in a trance of sorrow; but secretly whispers her, “ My dear, this will never do; what is within my power and fortune, you may always command; but none of your artifices : you are quite in other hands than those you passed these pretty passions upon.” This made her almost in the condition she pretended: her convulsions now came thicker, nor was she to be held down. The kind man doubles his care, helps the servants to throw water in her face by full quarts; and when the sinking part of the fit came again, “Well, my dear,” said he, “I applaud your action, but I must take my leave of you until you are more sincere with me: farewell for ever; you shall always know where to hear of me, and want for nothing.' With that he ordered the maids to keep plying her with hartshorn, while he went for a physician : he was scarce at the stair-head when she followed, and, pulling him into a closet, thanked him for her cure: which was so absolute, that she gave me this relation herself, to be communicated for the benefit of all the voluntary invalids of her sex.
St. James's Coffee-house, June 1. Advices from Brussels of the sixth instant, N. S. say, his Highness Prince Eugene had received a letter from Monsieur Torcy, wherein that minister, after many expressions of great respect, acquaints him, that his master had absolutely refused to sign the preliminaries to the treaty which he had, in his Majesty's behalf, consented to at the Hague. Upon the receipt of this intelligence, the face of things at that place was immediately altered, and the necessary orders were transmitted to the troops (which lay most remote from thence) to move towards the place of rendezvous with all expedition. The enemy seem also to prepare for the field, and have at present drawn together twenty-five thousand men in the plains of Lenz. Marshal Villars is at the head of those troops; and has given the generals under his command all possible assurances, that he will turn the fate of the war to the advantage of his master. They write from the Hague, of the seventh, that
Monsieur Rouille had received orders from the Court of France, to signify to the States-General, and the Ministers of the High Allies, that the King could not consent to the preliminaries of a treaty of peace, as it was offered him by Monsieur Torcy. The great difficulty is the business of Spain, on which particular his Ministers seemed only to say, during the treaty, that it was not so immediately under their master's direction, as that he could engage for its being relinquished by the Duke of Anjou : but now he positively answers, that he cannot comply with what his Minister has promised in his behalf; even in such points as. are wholly in himself to act in, or not. This has had no other effect than to give the alliance fresh arguments for being diffident of engagements entered into by France. The Pensioner made a report of all which this Minister had declared to the Deputies of the States-General, and all things turn towards a vigorous war. The Duke of Marlborough designed to leave the Hague within two days, in order to put himself at the head of the army, which is to assemble on the seventeenth instant between the Scheld and the Lis. A fleet of eighty sail, laden with corn from the Baltic, is arrived in the Texel. The States have sent circular letters to all the provinces, to notify this change of affairs, and animate their subjects to new resolutions in defence of their country.
From my own Apartment, May 31. The publick is not so little my concern, though I am but a student, as that I should not interest myself in the present great things in agitation. I am still of opinion the French King will sign the preliminaries. With that view, I have sent him, by my familiar, the following epistle, and admonished him, on pain of what I shall say of him to future generations, to act with sincerity on this occasion.
London, May 31. “ ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire of Great Britain,
to LEWIS XIV. of France. “ The surprising news which arrived this day, of your Majesty's having refused to sign the treaty your Ministers have in a manner sued for, is what gives ground to this application to your Majesty, from one, whose name, perhaps, is too obscure to have ever reached your territories ; but one who, with all the European world, is affected with your determinations : therefore, as it is mine and the common cause of mankind, I presume to expostulate with you on this occasion. It will, I doubt not, appear to the vulgar extravagant, that the actions of a mighty Prince should be balanced by the censure of a private man, whose approbation or dislike are equally contemptible in their eyes, when they regard the thrones of sovereigns. But your Majesty has shewn, through the whole course of your reign, too great a value for liberal arts, to be insensible that true fame lies only in the hands of learned men, by whom it is to be transmitted to futurity, with marks of honour or reproach to the end of time. The date of human life is too short to recompense
the which attend the most private condition : therefore it is, that our souls are made, as it were, too big for it; and extend themselves in the prospect of a longer existence, in good fame, and memory of worthy actions, after our decease. The whole race of men have this passion in some degree implanted in their bosoms; which is the strongest and noblest incitation to honest attempts : but the base use of the arts of peace, eloquence, poetry, and all the parts of learning, have been possessed by souls so unworthy of those faculties, that the names and appellations of things have been confounded by the labours and writings of prostituted men, who have stamped a re