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No 5. TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 1709.
Quicquid agunt bomines
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 excellences in one person, frequent the park, the play, and murder the poor Tits that drag her to public places, and not a man turn 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 antient 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." 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 stąres 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 antients 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 confident, 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 generally pursuing one who is in pursuit of another, and running from one that desires to meet hini. Nay, the nature of this passion is so justly represented in a squinting little thief (who is always in a double action), that do but observe Clarissa next time you see her, and you will find, when her eyes have made their soft tour round the company, she
makes no stay on him they say she is to marry, but reşts two seconds of a minute on Wildair, who neither looks nor thinks on her, or any woman else. However, Cynthio had a bow from her the other day, upon which he is very much come to himself ; and I heard him send his man of an errand yesterday without any manner of hesitation ; a quarter of an hour after which he reckoned twenty, remembered he was to sup with a friend, and went exactly to his appointment. I sent to know how he did this morning; and I find that he hath not forgot that he spoke to me yesterday.
Will's Coffee-house, April 20. This week being sacred to holy things, and no. public diversions allowed, there has been taken notice of even here a little Treatise called, “ A Project for the Advancement of Religion : dedicated to. the Countess of Berkeley *.” The title was so uncommon, and promised so peculiar a way of thinking, that every man here has read it;
and as many as have done so have approved it. It is written with the spirit of one who has seen the world enough to undervalue it with good-breeding. The author must certainly be a man of wisdom as well as piety, and have spent much time in the exercise of both. The real causes of the decay of the interest of religion are set forth in a clear and lively manner, without unseasonable passions; and the whole air of the book, as to the language, the sentiments, and the reasonings, shews it was written by one whose virtue sits easy about him, and to whom vice is thoroughly contemptible. It was said by one of this company, alluding to that knowledge
* First published by Swift in 1709.
of the world the author seems to have, “ The man writes much like a gentleman, and goes to Heaven with a very good mien."
St. James's Coffee-house, April 20. Letters from Italy say, that the Marquis de Prie, upon the receipt of an express from the Court of Vienna, went immediately to the palace of Cardinal Paulucci, Minister of State to his Holiness, and demanded, in the name of his Imperial Majesty, that King Charles should forthwithi be acknowledged King of Spain, by a solemn act of the congregation of Cardinals appointed for that purpose. He declared at the same time, that if the least hesitation were made in this most important article of the late treaty, he should not only be obliged to leave Rome himself, but also transmit his master's orders to the Imperial troops to face about, and return into the ecclesiastical dominions. When the Cardinal reported this message to the Pope, his Holiness was struck with so sensible an affliction, that he burst into tears. His sorrow was aggravated by letters which immediately after arrived from the Court of Madrid, wherein his Nuncio acquainted him, that, upon the news of his accommodation with the Emperor, he had received a message to forbear coming to Court, and the people were so highly provoked, that they could hardly be restrained from insulting his palace. These letters add, that the King of Denmark was gone from Florence to Pisa, and from Pisa to Leghorn, where the Governor paid his Majesty all imaginable honours. The King designed to go from thence to Lucca, where a magnificent tournament was prepared for his diversion. An English man of war, which came from Port-Mahon to Leghorn in six days, brought advice, that the fleet, commanded by Admiral Whitaker, was safely arrived at Barcelona, with the troops and ammunition which he had taken in at Naples.
General Boneval, Governor of Comachio, had summoned the magistrates of all the towns near that place to appear before him, and take an oath of fidelity to his Imperial Majesty ; commanding also the gentry to pay him homage, on pain of death and confiscation of goods. Advices from Switzerland inform us, that the bankers of Geneve were utterly ruined by the failure of Mr. Bernard. They add, that the Deputies of the Swiss Cantons were returned from Soleure, where they were assembled at the instance of the French Ambassador, but were very much dissatisfied with the reception they had from that Minister. It is true he omitted no civilities or expressions of friendship from his master, but he took no notice of their pensions and arrears: what further provoked their indignatio was, that, instead of twenty-five pistoles, formerly allowed to each member for their charge in coming to the Diet, he had presented them with six only. They write from Dresden, that King Augustus was still busy in recruiting his cavalry, and that the Danish troops that lately served in Hungary had orders to be in Saxony by the middle of May; and that his Majesty of Denmark was expected at Dresden in the beginning of that month. King Augustus makes great preparations for his reception, and has appointed sixty coaches, each drawn by six horses, for that purpose: the interview of these Princes affords great matter for speculation. Letters from Paris, of the twenty-second of this month, say, that Marshal Harcourt and the Duke of Berwick were preparing to go into Alsace and Dauphiné, but that their troops were in want of all manner of necessaries. The Court of France hadi