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done mine, until I observed him very dangerously turn his discourse upon the elegance of her dress, and her judgment in the choice of that very pretty mourning. Having had women before under my care, I trembled at the apprehension of a man of sense who could talk upon trifles, and resolved to stick to my post with all the circumspection imaginable. In short, I prepossessed her against all he could say to the advantage of her dress and person ; but he turned again the discourse, where I found I had no power over her, on the abusing her friends and acquaintance. He allowed indeed that Flora had a little beauty, and a great deal of wit; but that she was so ungainly in her behaviour, and such a laughing hoyden !-Pastorella - had with him the allowance of being blameless: but what was that towards being praiseworthy? To be only innocent, is not to be virtuous 3! He afterwards spoke so much against Mrs. Dipple's forehead, Mrs. Prim's mouth, Mrs. Dentifrice's teeth, and Mrs. Fidget's + cheeks, that she grew downright 2 N° 9.
3 See N° 10. 4 In the Original Letters to the Tat, and Spec. printed by Charles Lillie, there is a Table of the titles and distinctions of women, from which we select what follows:
• Let all country-gentlewomen, without regard to more or less fortune, content themselves with being addressed by the style of Mrs.
• Let Madam govern independently in the city, &c.
• Let no woman assume the title of Lady, without adding her name, to prove her right to it. Titles flowing from real honour support themselves. Let no woman after the known age of 21, presume to admit of her being called Miss, unless she can fairly prove she is not out of her sampler. Let every common maid-servant be plain Jane, Doll or Sue, and let the better-born and higher-placed be distinguished by Mrs. Patience, Mrs. Prue, or Mrs. Abigail.'
in love with him: for it is always to be understood, that a lady takes all you detract from the rest of her sex to be a gift to her. In a word, things went so far, that I was dismissed, and she will remember that evening nine montlis, from the sixth of April, by a very remarkable token. The next, as I said, I went to, was a common Swearer : never was a creature so puzzled as myself, when I came first to view his brain: half of it was worn out, and filled up with mere expletives, that had nothing to do with any other parts of the texture; therefore, when he called for his clothes in a morning, he would cry, “ John!”—John does not answer, “What a plague ! nobody there? What the devil, and rot me, John, for a lazy dog as you are !" I knew no way to cure him, but by writing down all he said one morning as he was dressing, and laying it before him on the toilet when he came to pick his teeth. The last recital I gave him of what he said for half an hour before was, “ What, a pox rot me! where is the wash-ball? call the chairmen : damn them, I warrant they are at the ale-house already! zounds, and confound them !" When he came to the glass, he takes up my note“ Ha! this fellow is worse than I: what, does he swear with pen and ink!" But reading on, he found them to be his own words. The stratagem had so good an effect upon him, that he grew immediately a new man, and is learning to speak without an oath, which makes him extremely short in his phrases : for, as I observed before, a common swearer has a brain without any idea on the swearing side; therefore my ward has yet mighty little to say, and is forced to substitute some other vehicle of nonsense, to supply the defect of his usual expletives. When I left him, he made use of • Odsbodikins! Oh me! and Never stir alive!” and
so forth ; which gave me hopes of his recovery. So I went to the next I told you of, the Gamester. When we first take our place about a man, the receptacles of the pericranium are immediately searched. In his, I found no one ordinary trace of thinking ; but strong passion, violent desires, and a continued series of different changes, had torn it to pieces. There appeared no middle condition ; the triumph of a prince, or the misery of a beggar, were his alternate states. I was with him no longer than one day, which was yesterday. In the morning at twelve we were worth four thousand pounds; at three, we were arrived at six thousand ; half an hour after, we were reduced to one thousand ; at four of the clock, we were down to two hundred ; at five, to fifty ; at six, to five; at seven, to one guinea ; the next bet, to nothing. This morning he borrowed half a crown of the maid who cleans his shoes ; and is now gaming in Lincoln’s-inn fields among the boys for farthings and oranges, until he has made up three pieces, and then he returns to White's into the best company in town.'
Thus ended our first discourse ; and it is hoped, you will forgive me that I have picked so little out of my companion at our first interview. In the next, it is possible, he may tell me more pleasing incidents; for though he is a familiar, he is not an evil spirits.
St. James's Coffee-house, May 9. We hear from the Hague of the fourteenth instant, N. S. that Monsieur de Torcy hath had frequent conferences with the Grand Pensioner, and the
S See N° 15.
other ministers who were heretofore commissioned to treat with Monsieur Rouille. The preliminaries of a peace are almost settled, and the proceedings wait only for the arrival of the duke of Marlborough ; after whose approbation of the articles proposed, it is not doubted but the methods of the treaty will be publicly known. In the mean time the States have declared an abhorrence of taking any step in this great affair, but in concert with the court of Great Britain, and other princes of the alliance. The posture of affairs in France does necessarily oblige that nation to be very much in earnest in their offers; and Monsieur de Torcy hath professed to the Grand Pensioner, that he will avoid all occasions of giving him the least jealousy of his using any address in private conversation for accomplishing the ends of his embassy. It is said, that as soon as the preliminaries are adjusted, that minister is to return to the French court. The states of Holland have resolved to make it an instruction to all their men of war and privateers, to bring into their ports whatever neutral ships they shall meet with, laden with corn, and bound for France; and, to avoid all cause of complaint from the potentates to whom these ships shall belong, their full demand for their freight shall be paid them there. The French protestants residing in that country have applied themselves to their respective magistrates, desiring that there may be an article in the treaty of peace, which may give liberty of conscience to the protestants in France. Monsieur Bosnage", minister of the Walloon church at Rotterdam, has been at the Hague, and hath had some conferences with the deputies of the states on that
6 James Basnage, author of“ L'Historie des Juifs,” &c. subject. It is reported there, that all the French refugees in those dominions are to be naturalized, that they may enjoy the same good effects of the treaty with the Hollanders themselves, in respect of France,
N° 14. THURSDAY, MAY 12, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. Sat. i. 85, 86.
From my own Apartment, May 10. Had it not been that my familiar had appeared to me, as I told you in my last, in person, I had certainly been unable to have found even words without meaning, to keep up my intelligence with the town; but he has checked me severely for my despondence, and ordered me to go on in my design of observing upon things, and forbearing persons; for, said he, the age you live in is such, that a good picture of any vice or virtue will infallibly be misrepresented ; and though none will take the kind descriptions you make so much to themselves, as to wish well to the author, yet all will resent the ill characters you produce, out of fear of their own turn in the licence you must be obliged to take, if you point at particular persons. I took his admonition kindly, and immediately promised him to beg pardon of the author of the Advice to the Poets, for my raillery upon his work; though