Page images
PDF
EPUB

without a fee, has less sense of humanity than a poor ruffian, who kills a rich man to supply his necessities. It is something monstrous, to consider a man of a liberal education tearing out the bowels of a poor family, by taking for a visit what would keep them a week. Hippocrates needs not the comparison of such extortion to set off his generosity ; but I mention his generosity to add shame to such extortion.

*** This is to give notice to all ingenious gentlemen in and about the cities of London and Westminster, who have a mind to be instructed in the noble sciences of music, poetry, and politics, that they repair to the Smyrna coffee-house in Pall-mall, betwixt the hours of eight and ten at night, where they may be instructed gratis, with elaborate essays by word of mouth on all or any of the above-mentioned arts. The disciples are to prepare their bodies with three dishes of bohea, and purge their brains with two pinches of snuff. If any young student gives indications of parts, by listening attentively, or asking a pertinent question, one of the professors shall distinguish him, by taking snuff out of his box in the presence of the whole audience.

N. B.--The seat of learning is now removed from the corner of the chimney on the left hand towards the window, to the round table in the middle of the floor over-against the fire ; a revolution much lamented by the porters and chairmen, who were much edified through a pane of glass that remained broken all the last summer.

+++ I cannot forbear advertising my correspondents, that I think myself treated by some of them after too familiar a manner, and in phrases that neither become them to give, nor me to take. I shall there. fore desire for the future, that if any one returns

me an answer to a letter, he will not tell me he has received the favour of my letter ; but if he does not think fit to say he has received the honour of it, that he tells me in plain English he has received my letter of such a date. I must likewise insist, that he would conclude with, I am with great respect, or plainly, I am, without farther addition ; and not insult me, by an assurance of his being with great truth and esteem my humble servant. There is likewise another mark of superiority which I cannot bear; and therefore must inform my correspondents, that I discard all faithful humble servants, and am resolved to read no letters that are not subscribed, your most obedient, or most humble servant, or both. These may appear niceties to vulgar minds, but they are such as men of honour and distinction must have regard to. And I very well remember a famous duel in France, where four were killed of one side, and three of the other, occasioned by a gentleman's subscribing himself a most affectionate friend.

One in the Morning of the 8th of October, 1709. I was this night looking on the moon, and find by certain signs in that luminary, that a certain person under her dominion, who has been for many years distempered, will within a few hours publish a pamphlet, wherein he will pretend to give my lucubrations to a wrong person; and I require all sober-disposed persons to avoid meeting the said lunatic, or giving him any credence any farther than pity demands; and to lock up the said person wherever they find him, keeping him from pen, ink, and paper. And I hereby prohibit any person to take upon him my writings, on pain of being sent by me into Lethe with the said lunatic and all his works.

No 79. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1709.

Felices ter, & amplius,

Quos irrupta tenet copula ; nec malis
Divulsus querimoniis,
Supremá citius solvet amor die.

HoR. 1 Od. xiii. 17.
Tbrice happy they, in pure delights
Whom love in mutual bonds unites,
Unbroken by complaints or strife
Even to the latest hours of life.

FRANCIS.

From my own Apartment, October 10. My sister Jenny's lover, the honest Tranquillus, for that shall be his name, has been impatient with me to dispatch the necessary directions for his marriage; that while I am taken up with imaginary schemes, as he calls them, he might not burn with real de. sire and the torture of expectation. When I had reprimanded him for the ardour wherein he expressed himself, which I thought had not enough of that veneration with which the marriage-bed is to be ascended, I told him, the day of his nuptials should be on the Saturday following, which was the eighth instant.' On the seventh in the evening, poor Jenny came into my chamber, and, having her heart full of the great change of life from a virgin condition to that of a wife, she long sat silent. I saw she expected me to entertain her on this important subject, which was too delicate a circumstance for herself to touch upon; whereupon I relieved her modesty in the following manner: Sister,' said I, “you are now going from me: and be con

tented, that you leave the company of a talkative old man, for that of a sober young one: but take this along with you, that there is no mean in the state you are entering into, but you are to be exquisitely happy or miserable, and your fortune in this way of life will be wholly of your own making. In all the marriages I have ever seen, most of which have been unhappy ones, the great cause of evil has proceeded from slight occasions; and I take it to be the first maxim in a married condition, that you are to be above trifles. When two persons have so good an opinion of each other as to come together for life, they will not differ in matters of importance, because they think of each other with respect; and in regard to all things of consideration that may affect them, they are prepared for mutual assistance and relief in such occurrences. For less occasions, they form no resolutions, but leave their minds unprepared.

This, dear Jenny, is the reason that the quarrel between Sir Harry Willet and his lady, which began about her squirrel, is irreconcilable. Sir Harry was reading a grave author ; she runs into his study, and, in a playing humour, claps the squirrel upon the folio: he threw the animal in a rage on the floor ; she snatches it up again, calls Sir Harry a sour pedant, without good-nature or good-manners, This cast him into such a rage, that he threw down the table before him, kicked the book round the room, then recollected himself: “ Lord, Madam,” said he, “why did you run into such expressions ? I was,” said he, “ in the highest delight with that author when you clapped your squirrel upon my book ;' and, smiling, added upon recollection, “ I have a great respect for your favourite, and pray let us all be friends.” My lady was so far from ac, cepting this apology, that she immediately conceived yol. II,

C C

á resolution to keep him under for ever ; and, with a serious air, replied, " There is no regard to be had to what a man says, who can fall into so indecent a rage, and such an abject submission in the same moment, for which I absolutely despise you.” Upon which she rushed out of the room. Sir Harry stayed some minutes behind, to think and command himself; after which he followed her into her hedchamber, where she was prostrate upon the bed, tearing her hair, and naming twenty coxcombs who would have used her otherwise. This provoked him to so high a degree, that he forbore nothing but beating her; and all the servants in the family were at their several stations listening, whilst the best man and woman, the best master and mistress, defamed each other in a way that is not to be repeated even at Billingsgate. You know this ended in an immediate separation : she longs to return home, but knows not how to do it: he invites her home every day, and lies with every woman he can get. Her husband requires no submission of her ; but she thinks her very return will argue she is to blame, which she is resolved to be for ever, rather than acknowledge it. Thus, dear Jenny, my great advice to you is, be guarded against giving or receiving little provocations. Great matters of offence I have no reason to fear either from you or your husband.'

After this, we turned our discourse into a more gay style, and parted; but before we did so, I made her resign her snuff-box for ever, and half drown herself with washing away the stench of the musty.

But the wedding morning arrived, and our family being very numerous, there was no avoiding the inconvenience of making the ceremony and festival more public than the modern way of celebrating them makes me approve of. The bride next morn

« PreviousContinue »