« PreviousContinue »
Sippet in the middle of the room, breaking his heart with barking, but all of us unheard. As soon as Bellfrey became silent, up gets my lady, and takes him by the arm, to lead him off; Bellfrey was in his boots. As she was hurrying him away, bis spurs take hold of her petticoat; his whip throws down a cabinet of china: he cries, 'What ! are your crocks rotten? are your petticoats ragged ? a man cannot walk in your house for trincums.'
Every county of Great Britain has one hundred or more of this sort of fellows, who roar instead of speaking. Therefore, if it be true, that we women are also given to a greater fluency of words than is necessary, sure, she that disturbs but a room or a family, is more to be tolerated, than one who draws together whole parishes and counties, and sometimes (with an estate that might make him the blessing and ornament of the world around him) has no other view and ambition, but to be an animal above dogs and horses, without the relish of any one enjoyment which is peculiar to the faculties of human nature. I know it will here be said, that talking of mere country squires at this rate is, as it were, to write against Valentine and Orson'. To prove any thing against the race of men, you must take them as they are adorned with education; as they live in courts, or have received instructions in colleges.
But I am so full of my late entertainment by Mr. Bellfrey, that I must defer pursuing this subject to another day; and wave the proper observations upon the different offenders in this kind, soine by profound eloquence on small occasions, others by degrading
" See Percy's Reliques of ancient English Poetry, vol. iii. p. 180.
speech upon great circumstances. Expect, therefore, to hear of the whisperer without business, the laugher without wit, the complainer without receive ing injuries, and a very large crowd, which I shall not forestal, who are common (though not commonly observed) impertinents, whose tongues are too voluble for their brains, and are the general despisers of us women, though we have their superiors, the men of sense, for our servants.
* * *
Will's Coffee-house, July 3 ?. A very ingenious gentleman was complaining this evening, that the players are grown so severe critics, that they would not take in his play, though it has as many fine things in it as any play that has been writ since the days of Dryden. He began his discourse about his play with a preface.
• There is,' said he, somewhat (however we palliate it) in the very frame and make of us, that subjects our minds to chagrin and irresolution on any emergency of time or place. The difficulty grows on our sickened imagination, under all the killing circumstances of danger and disappointment. This we see, not only in the men of retirement and fancy, but in the characters of the men of action ; with this only difference, the coward sees the danger, and sickens under it; the hero, warmed by the difficulty, dilates, and rises in proportion to that, and in some sort makes use of his very fears to disarm it. A re
* This article, to the end of Cæsar's speech, was printed in the original folio, but omitted in the first 8vo. for what reason cannot now be ascertained.
markable instance of this we have in the great Cæsar, when he came to the Rubicon, and was entering upon a part, perhaps, the most hazardous he ever bore (certainly the most ungrateful), a war with his countrymen. When his mind brooded o'er personal affronts, perhaps his anger burned with a desire of revenge. But when more serious reflections laid before him the hazard of the enterprize, with the dismal consequences which were likely to attend it, aggravated by a special circumstance, What figure it would bear in the world, or how be excused to posterity! What shall he do? - His honour, which was his religion, bids him arm'; and he sounds the inclinations of his party, by this set speech:
CÆSAR TO HIS PARTY AT THE RUBICON.
Expos'd to all indignities, the brave . . .
Mrs. Distaff has taken upon her, while she writes this paper, to turn her thoughts wholly to the service of her own sex, and to propose remedies against the greatest vexations attending female life. She has for this end written a small treatise concerning the “ second word,” with an appendix on the use of a “ reply," very proper for all such as are married to persons either ill-bred or ill-natured. There is in this tract a digression for the use of virgins, concerning the words, “ I will."
“A gentlewoman, who has a very delicate ear, wants a maid who can whisper, and help her in the government of her family. If the said servant can clear-starch, lisp, and tread softly, she shall have suitable encouragement in her wages.'
STEELE AND ADDISON.
N° 38. THURSDAY, JULY 7, 1709..
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli...
JUV. Sat. I. 85, 86.
BY MRS. JENNY DISTAFF, HALF SISTER TO MR.
From my oron Apartment, July 6. I FIND among my brother's papers the following let. ter verbatim, which I wonder how he could suppress so long as he has, since it was sent him for no other end, but to shew the good effect his writings have already had upon the ill customs of the age.
London, June 23. • The end of all public papers ought to be the benefit and instruction, as well as the diversion of the readers : to which I see none so truly conducive as your late performances; especially those tending to the rooting out from among us that unchristian-like and bloody custom of duelling; which, that you have already in some measure performed, will appear to the public in the following no less true than heroic story.
A noble gentleman of this city, who has the honour of serving his country as niajor of the trainbands, being at the general mart of stock-jobbers, called Jonathan's, endeavouring to raise himself (as all men of