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No 51. SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
Juv. Sat. i, 85, 86.
White's Chocolate-house, August 5.
CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF
ORLANDO THE FAIR*. FORTUNE being now propitious to the gay Orlando, he dressed, he spoke, he moved as a man might be supposed to do in a nation of pygmies, and had an equal value for our approbation or dislike. It is usual for those who profess a contempt for the world, to fly from it, and live in obscurity ; but Orlando, with a greater magnanimity, contemned it, and appeared in it to tell them so. If, therefore, his exalted mien met with an unwelcome reception, he was sure always to double the cause which gave the distaste. You see our beauties affect a negligence in the ornament of their hair, and adjusting their head-dresses, as conscious that they adorn whatever they wear. Orlando had not only this humour in common with other beauties, but also had a neglect whether things became him, or not, in a world he contemned. For this reason, a noble particularity appeared in all his economy, furniture, and equipage. And to convince the present little race, how unequal all their measures were to
an antediluvian, as he called himself, in respect of the insects which now appear for men, he sometimes rode in an open tumbril, of less size than ordinary, to show the largeness of his limbs, and the grandeur of his personage, to the greater advantage. At other seasons, all his appointments had a magnificence, as if it were formed by the genius of Trimalchio of old, which showed itself in doing ordinary things with an air of pomp and grandeur. Orlando therefore called for tea by beat of drum; his valet got ready to shave him by a trumpet to horse ; and water was brought for his teeth, when the sound was changed to boots and saddle.
In all these glorious excesses from the common practice, did the happy Orlando live and reign in an uninterrupted tranquillity, until an unlucky accident brought to his remembrance, that one evening he was married before he courted the nuptials of Villaria. Several fatal memorandums were produced to revive the memory of this accident; and the unhappy lover was for ever banished her presence, to whom he owed the support of his just renown and gallantry. But distress does not debase noble minds; it only changes the scene, and gives them new glory by that alteration. Orlando therefore now raves in a garret, and calls to his neighbour-skies to pity his dolours, and to find redress for an unhappy lover. All high spirits, in any great agitation of mind, are inclined to relieve themselves by poetry: the renowned porter of Oliver had not more volumes around his cell in his college of Bed. lam, than Orlando in his present apartment. And though inserting poetry in the midst of prose be thought a licence among correct writers not to be indulged, it is hoped the necessity of doing it, to give a just idea of the hero of whom we treat, will plead for the liberty we shall hereafter take, to
print Orlando's soliloquies in verse and prose, after the manner of great wits, and such as those to whom they are nearly allied.
Will's Coffee-house, August 5. A good company of us were this day to see, or rather to hear, an artful person do several feats of activity with his throat and windpipe. The first thing wherewith he presented us, was a ring of bells, which he imitated in a most miraculous manner; after that, he gave us all the different notes of a pack of hounds, to our great delight and astonishment. The company expressed their applause with much noise; and never was heard such a harmony of men and dogs: but a certain plump, merry fellow, from an angle of the room, fell a crowing like a cock so ingeniously, thạt he won our hearts from the other operator in an instant. As soon as I saw him, I recollected I had seen him on the stage, and immediately knew it to be Tom Mirrour *, the comical actor. He immediately addressed himself to me, and told me, he was surprised to see a virtuoso take satisfaction in any representations below that of human life;' and asked me, "whether I thought this acting of bells and dogs was to be considered under the notion of wit, humour, or satire ? Were it not better,' continued he, to have some particular picture of man laid before your eyes, that might incite your laughter ?' He had no sooner spoke the word, but he immediately quitted his natural shape, and talked to me in a very different air and tone from what he had used before: upon which, all that sat near us laughed; but I saw no distortion in his countenance, or any thing that ap
* Mr. Richard Estcourt, commonly called Dick Estcourt, celebrated for his mimic powers, in which he was inimitable.
peared to me disagreeable. I asked Pacolet, what
" He seems to be
himself can be no injury to him; but Bathillus shuns the street where he expects to meet him ; for he, that knows his every step and look is constrained and affected, must be afraid to be rivalled in his action, and of having it discovered to be unnatural, by its being practised by another as well as himself.'
From my own Apartment, August 5. Letters from Coventry and other places have been sent to me, in answer to what I have said in relation to my antagonist Mr. Powell ; and advise me, with warm language, to keep to subjects more proper for me than such high points. But the writers of these epistles mistake the use and service I proposed to the learned world by such observations: for you are to understand, that the title of this paper gives me a right in taking to myself, and inserting in it, all such parts of any book or letter which are foreign to the purpose intended, or professed, by the writer: so that suppose two great divines should argue, and treat each other with warmth, and levity unbecoming their subject or character, all that they say unfit for that place is very proper to be inserted here. Therefore, from time to time, in all writings which shall hereafter be published, you shall have from me extracts of all that shall appear not to the purpose; and for the benefit of the gentle reader, I will show what to turn over unread, and what to peruse. For this end I have a mathematical sieve preparing, in which I will sift every page and paragraph; and all that falls through I shall make bold with for my own use. The same thing will be as beneficial in speech; for all superfluous expressions in talk fall to me also: as when a pleader at the bar designs to be extremely impertinent and troublesome, and cries, • Under favour of the court with sub