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relations came every day to congratulate my arrival ; amongst others, my cousin Betty, the greatest romp in nature: she whisks me such a height over her head, that I cried out for fear of falling. She pinched me, and called me “ squealing chit,” and threw me into a girl's arms that was taken in to tend me. The girl was very proud of the womanly employment of a nurse, and took upon her to strip and dress me a-new, because I made a noise, to see what ailed me: she did so, and stuck a pin in every joint about me. I still cried : upon which, she lays me on my face in her lap; and, to quiet me, fell a-nailing in all the pins, by clapping me on the back, and screaming a lullaby. But my pain made me exalt my voice above hers, which brought up the nurse, the witch I first saw, and my grandmother. The girl is turned down stairs, and I stripped again, as well to find what ailed me, as to satisfy my granam's farther curiosity. This good old woman's visit was the cause of all my troubles. You are to understand, that I was hitherto bred by hand, and any body that stood next me gave me pap, if I did but open my lips; insomuch, that I was grown so cunning, as to pretend myself asleep when I was not, to prevent my being crammed. But my grandmother began a loud lecture upon the idleness of the wives of this age, who, for fear of their shapes, forbear suckling their own offspring: and ten nurses were immediately sent for ; one was whispered to have a wanton eye, and would soon spoil her milk; another was in a consumption; the third had an ill voice, and would frighten me instead of lulling me to sleep. Such exceptions were made against all but one country milch-wench, to whom I was committed, and put to the breast. This careless jade was eternally romping with the footman, and downright starved me; insomuch that I daily pined away, and should never have been relieved had it not been that, on the thirtieth day of my life, a fellow of the royal society, who had writ upon cold baths, came to visit me, and solemnly protested, I was utterly lost for want of that method ?: upon which he soused me head and ears into a pail of water, where I had the good fortune to be drowned ; and so escaped being lashed into a linguist until sixteen, running after wenches until twenty-five, and being married to an ill-natured wife until sixty: which had certainly been my fate, had not the enchantment between body and soul been broke by this philosopher. Thus, till the age I should have otherwise lived, I am obliged to watch the steps of men ; and, if you please, shall accompany you in your present walk, and get you intelligence from the aërial lacquey who is in waiting, what are the thoughts and purposes of any whom you enquire for.'
I accepted his kind offer, and immediately took him with me in a hack to White's.
White's Chocolate-house, May 13. We got in hither, and my companion threw a powder round us, that made me as invisible as himself; so that we could see and hear all others, ourselves unseen and unheard.
The first thing we took notice of was a nobleman of a goodly and frank aspect, with his generous birth
2 Probably Sir John Floyer, knt. M. D. of Litchfield, who published “An Enquiry into the right use and abuses of the hot, cold, and temperate baths in England,” &c. in the year 1697.
and temper visible in it, playing at cards with a creature of a black and horrid countenance, wherein were plainly delineated the arts of his mind, cozenage and falsehood. They were marking their game with counters, on which we could see inscriptions, imperceptible to any but us. My lord had scored with pieces of ivory, on which were writ ‘Good Fame, Glory, Riches, Honour, and Posterity. The spectre over against him had on his counters the inscriptions of Dishonour, Impudence, Poverty, Ignorance, and Want of Shame.'--*Bless me!' said I; "syre, my lord does not see what he plays for?'_ As well as I do,' says Pacolet. He despises that fellow he plays with, and scorns himself for making him his companion.' At the very instant he was speaking, I saw the fellow, who played with my lord, hide two cards in the roll of his stocking: Pacolet immediately stole them from thence; upon which the nobleman soon after won the game. The little triumph he appeared in, when he got such a trifting stock of ready money, though he had ventured so great sums with indifference, increased iny admiration. But Pacolet began to talk to me. • Mr. Isaac, this to you looks wonderful, but not at all to us higher beings: that nobleman has as many good qualities as any man of his order, and seems to have no faults but what, as I may say, are excrescences from virtues. He is generous to a prodigality, more affable than is consistent with his quality, and courageous to a rashness. Yet, after all this, the source of his whole conduct is (though he would hate himself if he knew it) mere avarice. The ready cash laid before the gamester's counters makes him venture, as you see, and lay distinction against infamy, abundance against want; in a word, all that is desirable against all that is to be avoided.'
~ However,' said I, be sure you disappoint the sharpers to-night, and steal from them all the cards they hide.' Pacolet obeyed me, and my lord went home with their whole bank in his pocket.
Wills Coffee-house, May 13. TO-NIGHT was acted a second time a comedy, called The Busy Body: this play is written by a lady 3. In old times, we used to sit upon a play here after it was acted; but now the entertainment is turned another way; not but there are considerable men in all ages, who, for some eminent quality or invention, deserve the esteem and thanks of the public. Such a benefactor is a gentleman of this house; who is observed by the surgeons with much envy ******* ****** [We omit a few lines of the original in this part, as having an allusion offensive to decency], and is ranked among and received by the modern wits, as a great promoter of gallantry and pleasure. But, I fear, pleasure is less understood in this age, which so much pretends to it, than in any since the creation. It was admirably said of him, who first took notice that (res est severa voluptas) there is a certain severity in pleasure.' Without that, all decency is banished: and if reason is not to be present at our greatest satisfactions, of all the race of creatures, the human is the most miserable. It was not so of old; when Virgil describes a wit, he always means a virtuous man; and all his sentinients of men of genius, are such as shew persons distinguished from the common level of mankind; such as placed happiness in the contempt of low fears and mean gratifications: fears which we
3 Mrs. Susannah Centlivre, 4to. 1709. See N° 19.
are subject to with the vulgar; and pleasures which we have in common with beasts. With these illustrious personages, the wisest man was the greatest wit; and none' was thought worthy of that character, unless he answered this excellent description of the poet:
« 2ui- metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
VIRG. Georg. II. 492.
N° 16. TUESDAY, MAY 17, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. Sat, i. 85, 86.
White's Chocolate-house, May 15. Sir THOMAS', of this house, has shewed me some letters from the Bath, which give accounts of what passes among the good company of that place; and allowed me to transcribe one of them, that seems to be writ by some of Sir Thomas's particular acquaintance, and is as follows:
1 The nick-name of the waiter. See N° 26, and 36.