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No. 559. made such wry Faces, that one might easily perceive
enough to see the several Exchanges that were made,
The Female World were very busie among themselves in bartering for Features; one was trucking a Lock of grey Hairs for a Carbuncle, another was making over a short Waste for a pair of round Shoulders, and a third cheapning a bad Face for a lost Reputation. But on all these Occasions, there was not one of them who did not think the new Blemish, as soon as she had got it into her Possession, much more disagreeable than the old one. I made the same Observation on every other Misfortune or Calamity, which every one in the Assembly brought upon himself
, in lieu of what he had parted with whether it be that all the Evils which befall us are in some Measure suited and proportioned to our Strength, or that every Evil becomes more supportable by our being accustomed to it, I shall not determine.
I could not for my Heart forbear pitying the poor hump-back'd Gentleman mentioned in the former Paper, who went off a very well-shaped Person with a Stone in his Bladder; nor the fine Gentleman who had struck up this Bargain with him, that limped thro' a whole Assembly of Ladies who used to admire him, with a Pair of Shoulders peeping over his Head.
I must not omit my own particular Adventure. My Friend with the long Visage had no sooner taken upon him my short Face, but he made such a grotesque Figure in it, that as I looked upon him I could not forbear laughing at my self, insomuch that I put my own Face out of Countenance. The poor Gentleman was so sensible of the Ridicule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done: On the other Side I found that I my self had no great Reason to triumph, for as I went to touch my Forehead I missed the Place and clapped my Finger upon my upper Lip. Besides, as my Nose was exceeding prominent, I gave it two or three unlucky Knocks as I was playing my Hand about my Face, and aiming at some other Part of it. I saw
two other Gentlemen by me, who were in the same No. 559. ridiculous. Circumstances. These had made a foolish Friday, Swop between a couple of thick bandy Legs, and two June 25, long Trapsticks that had no Calfs to them. One of these looked like a Man walking upon Stilts, and was so lifted up into the Air above his ordinary Height, that his Head turned round with it, while the other made such awkward Circles, as he attempted to walk, that he scarce knew how to move forward upon his new Supporters : Observing him to be a pleasant kind of Fellow, I stuck my Cane in the Ground, and told him I would lay him a Bottle of Wine, that he did not march up to it on a Line, that I drew for him, in a Quarter of an Hour.
The Heap was at last distributed among the two Sexes, who made a most piteous Sight, as they wandered up and down under the Pressure of their several Burthens. The whole Plain was filled with Murmurs and Com plaints, Groans and Lamentations. Jupiter at length, taking Compassion on the poor Mortals, ordered them a second time to lay down their Loads, with a Design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of Pleasure, after which, the Phantome, who had led them into such gross Delusions, was commanded to disappear. There was sent in her stead a Goddess of a quite different Figure : Her Motions were steady and composed, and her Aspect serious but cheerful. She every now and then cast her Eyes towards Heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter : Her Name was PATIENCE. She had no sooner placed herself by the Mount of Sorrows, but, what I thought very remarkable, the whole Heap sunk to such a Degree, that it did not appear a third part so big as it was before.
She afterwards returned every Man his own proper Calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most commodious Manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very well pleased that he had not been left to his own Choice, as to the Kind of Evils which fell to his Lot.
Besides the several Pieces of Morality to be drawn out of this Vision, I learnt from it, never to repine at my own Misfortunes, or to envy the Happiness of
No. 559. another, since it is impossible for any Man to form a Friday right Judgment of his Neighbour's Sufferings; for which June 25, Reason also I have determined never to think too lightly 1714.
of another's Complaints, but to regard the Sorrows of my Fellow-Creatures with Sentiments of Humanity and Compassion
Monday, June 28.
according to the Opinion of the Vulgar, has studied himself dumb; for which Reason, as it is believed, he delivers out all his Oracles in Writing. Be that as it will, the blind Teresias was not more famous in Greece, than this dumb Artist has been for some Years last past, in the Cities of London and Westminster. Thus much for the profound Gentleman who honours me with the following Epistle.
From my Cell, June 24, 1714. Being informed that you have lately got the Use of your Tongue, I have some Thoughts of following your Example, that I may be a Fortunerteller properly speaking. I am grown weary of my Taciturnity, and having served my Country many Years under the Title of the dumb Doctor, I shall now prophesie by Word of Mouth, and (as Mr. Lee says of the Magpie, who you know was a great Fortune teller among the Ancients) chatter Futurity. I have hitherto chosen to receive Questions and return Answers in Writing, that I might avoid the Tediousness and Trouble of Debates ; my Querists being generally of a Humour to think, that they have never Predictions enough for their Mony. In short, Sir, my Case has been something like that of those discreet Animals the Monkeys, who, as the Indians tell us, can speak if they wou'd, but purposely avoid it that they may not be made to work. I have hitherto gained a Livelihood by holding my Tongue, but shall now open my Mouth in order to fill it. If I appear a little Word
bound bound in my first Solutions and Responses, I hope it No. 560. will not be imputed to any want of Foresight, but to Monday the long Disuse of Speech. I doubt not by this Inven, June 28, tion to have all my former Customers over again, for if I have promised any of them Lovers or Husbands, Riches or good Luck, it is my Design to confirm to them viva voce, what I have already given them under my Hand. If you will honour me with a Visit, I will compliment you with the first opening of my Mouth, and if you please you may make an entertaining Dialogue out of the Conversation of two dumb Men. Excuse this Trouble, worthy Sir, from one who has been a long time
Your silent Admirer,
Cornelius Agrippa.' I have received the following Letter, or rather Billet doux, from a pert young Baggage, who congratulates with me upon the same Occasion, • Dear Mr. Praterapace,
June 23, 1714.
I am, Sir,
'P. S. You may find us at my Lady Betty Clack's, who will leave Orders with her Porter, that if an elderly Gentleman, with a short Face, enquires for her, he shall be admitted and no Questions asked.'
As this particular Paper shall consist wholly of what I have received from my Correspondents, I shall fill up the remaining Part of it with other congratulatory Letters of the same Nature,
Oxford, June 25, 1714. We are here wonderfully pleas'd with the Opening of your Mouth, and very frequently open ours in approba tion of your Design; especially since we find you are resolved to preserve your Taciturnity as to all Party Matters. We do not question but you are as great an Orator as Sir Hudibras, of whom the Poet sweetly sings,
He could not ope His Mouth, but out there flew a Trope. If you will send us down the Half-dozen well-turned Periods, that produced such dismal Effects in your Muscles, we will deposite them near an old Manuscript of Tully's Orations, among the Archives of the Univer. sity; for we all agree with you, that there is not a more remarkable Accident recorded in History, since that which happened to the Son of Croesus, nay, I believe you might have gone higher, and have added Balaam's Ass. We are impatient to see more of your
Productions, and expect what Words will next fall from you, with as much Attention as those who were set to watch the speaking Head which Friar Bacon formerly erected in this Place. We are,
B. R. T. D. &c.'
Middle Temple, June 24,
Thy constant Admirer,