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horse, each trooper carrying a foot soldier behind him, in order to surprise the garrison of Alost; the allies, upon notice of their march, sent out a strong body of troops from Ghent, which engaged the enemy at Asche, and took two hundred of them prisoners, obliging the rest to retire without making any farther attempt. On the twenty-second in the morning a fleet of merchant ships coming from Scotland were attacked by six French privateers at the entrance of the Meuse. We have yet no certain advice of the event: but letters from Rotterdam say, that a Dutch man of war of forty guns, which was convoy to the said fleet, was taken, as were also eighteen of the merchants. The Swiss troops in the service of the States have completed the augmentation of their respective companies. Those of Wirtemberg and Prussia are expected on the frontiers within a few days; and the auxiliaries from Saxony, as also a battalion of Holstein, and another of Wolfenbuttle, are advancing thither with all expedition. His grace the duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene continue at the Hague.
From my own Apartment, April 18. I have lately been very studious for intelligence, and have just now, by my astrological flying post received a packet from Felicia ®, an island in America, with an account that gives me great satisfaction, and lets me understand that the island was never in greater prosperity, or the administration in so good hands, since the death of their late glorious king. These letters import, that the chief minister has entered into a
8 By Felicia is meant Britain.
firm league with the ablest and best men of the nation, to carry on the cause of liberty, to the encouragement of religion, virtue, and honour. Those persons at the helm are so useful, and in themselves of such weight, that their strict alliance must needs tend to the universal prosperity of the people.. Camillo, it seems, presides over the deliberations of state; and is so highly valued by all men, for his singular probity, courage, affability, and love of mankind, that his being placed in that station has dissipated the fears of that people, who of all the world are the most jealous of their liberty and happiness, and the least provident for their security. The next member of their society is Horatio "o, who makes all the public dispatches. This minister is master of all the languages in use to great perfection. He is held in the highest veneration imaginable for a severe honesty, and love of his country: he lives in a court unsullied with any of its artifices, the refuge of the oppressed, and terror of oppressors. Martio " has joined himself to this council; a man of most undaunted resolution and great knowledge in maritime affairs; famous for destroying the navy of the Franks", and singularly happy in one particular, that he never preferred a man who has not proved remarkably serviceable to his country. Philander 13 is mentioned with particular distinction; a nobleman who has the most refined taste of the true pleasures and elegance of life, joined
9 John Lord Somers, president of the council.
13 William Cavendish duke of Devonshire, lord steward of the household.
to an indefatigable industry in business; a man eloquent in assemblies, agreeable in conversation, and dexterous in all manner of public negotiations. These letters add, that Verono', who is also of this council, has lately set sail to his government of Patricia, with design to confirm the affections of the people in the interests of his queen. This minister is master of great abilities, and is as industrious and restless for the preservation of the liberties of the people, as the greatest enemy can be to subvert them. The influence of these personages, who are men of such distinguished parts and virtues, makes the people enjoy the utmost tranquillity in the midst of a war, and gives them undoubted hopes of a secure peace from their vigilance and integrity.
THE FOLLOWING ADVERTISEMENT WAS AFFIXED TO THE
ORIGINAL PAPER IN FOLIO.
Upon the humble petition of running stationers, &c. this paper may be had of them, for the future, at the price of one penny "5.
14 Thomas earl of Wharton, lord lieutenant of Ireland. 15 The preceding papers had been given gratis.
No.5. THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. Sat. i. 85, 86.
White's Chocolate-house, April 20.
This was long ago a witty author's lamentation, but the evil still continues; and if a man of any delicacy were to attend the discourses of the young fellows of this age, he would believe there were none but prostitutes to make the objects of passion. So true it is what the author of the above verses said, a little before his death, of the modern pretenders to gallantry: • they set up for wits in this age, by saying, when they are sober, what they of the last spoke only when they were drunk.' But Cupid is not only blind at present, but dead drunk; he has lost all his faculties : else how should Celia be so long a maid, with that agreeable behaviour ? Corinna with that sprightly wit? Lesbia with that heavenly voice? and Sacharissa, with all those excellencies in one person, frequent the park, the play, and murder the poor tits that drag her to public places, and not a man turn
* See N° 49.
pale at her appearance? But such is the fallen state of love, that if it were not for honest Cynthio?, who is true to the cause, we should hardly have a pattern left of the ancient worthies that way: and indeed he has but very little encouragement to persevere; but he has a devotion, rather than love, for his mistress, and says,
Only tell her that I love,
Leave the rest to her and fate;
Lovers on their stars must wait 3.'
But the stars I am so intimately acquainted with, that I can assure him he will never have her: for would you believe it? though Cynthio has wit, good sense, fortune, and his very being depends upon her, the termagant for whom he sighs is in love with a fellow who stares in the glass all the time he is with her, and lets her plainly see she may possibly be his rival, but never his mistress. Yet Cynthio, the same unhappy man whom I mentioned in my first narrative, pleases himself with a vain imagination, that with the language of his eyes, now he has found who she is, he shall conquer her, though her eyes are intent upon one who looks from her; which is ordinary with the sex. It is certainly a mistake in the ancients to draw the little gentleman, Love, as a blind boy ; for his real character is a little thief that squints. For ask Mrs. Meddle, who is a confidant, or spy, upon all the passions in town, and she will tell you that the whole is a game of cross purposes. The lover is ge
2 Lord Hinchinbroke. See N° 1, 22, 35, and 85. 3 Part of a song by Lord Cutts, the early patron of Steele.