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whose throats are open sepulchres. I assure you, sir, unless he gapes wider, he will sooner be felt than heard. Witness
“ JACKALL.” To Nestor Ironside, Esq. “SAGE NESTOR,
Lions being esteemed by naturalists the most generous of beasts, the noble and majestic appearance they make in poetry, wherein they so often represent the hero himself, made me always think that name very ill applied to a profligate set of men, at present going about seeking whom to devour; and though I cannot but acquiesce in your account of the derivation of that title to them, it is with great satisfaction I hear you are about to restore them to their former dignity, by producing one of that species so publicspirited, as to roar for reformation of manners.
I will roar (says the clown in Shakspeare) that it will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him roar again, let him roar again. Such success and such applause I do not question but your lion will meet with, whilst, like that of Samson, his strength shall bring forth sweetness, and his entrails abound with honey.
“ At the same time that I congratulate with the republic of beasts upon this honour done to their king, I must condole with us poor mortals, who, by distance of place, are rendered incapable of paying our respects to him, with the same assiduity as those who are ushered into his presence by the discreet Nr. Button. Upon this account, Mr. Ironside, I am become a suitor to you, to constitute an out-riding lion; or if you please, a jackall or two, to receive and remit our homage in a more particular manner than is hitherto provided. As it is, our tenders of duty every now and then miscarry by the way, at least the natural self-love that makes us unwilling to think anything that comes from us worthy of contempt, inclines us to believe so. Methinks it were likewise necessary to specify, by what means a present from a fair hand may reach bis brindled majesty, the place of his residence being very unfit for a lady's personal appearance. “I am your most constant reader and admirer,
It is a well-known proverb, in a certain part of this kingdom, Love me, love my dog ;' and I hope you will take '
, it as a mark of my respect for
that I here bring a bit for
lion.” What follows being secret history, it will be printed in other papers; wherein the lion will publish his private intelligence.
* * *
No. 120. WEDNESDAY, JULY 29.
- Nothing lovelier can be found
A Bit for the Lion.
As soon as you have set up your unicorn, there is no question but the ladies will make him push very furiously at the men; for which reason I think it is good to be beforehand with them, and make the lion roar aloud at female irregularities. Among these, I wonder how their Gaming has so long escaped your notice. You who converse with the sober family of the Lizards, are, perhaps, a stranger to these viragos; but what would you say, should you see a Sparkler shaking her elbow for a whole night together, and thumping the table with a dice-box? Or, how would you like to hear the good widow-lady herself returning to her house at midnight, and alarming the whole street with a most enormous rap, after having sat up until that time at crimp or ombre ? Sir, I am the husband of one of the female gamesters, and a great loser by it, both in my rest and my pocket. As my wife reads your papers, one upon this subject might be of use both to her, and
" Your humble servant." I should ill deserve the name of GUARDIAN, did I not caution all my fair wards against a practice, which, when it runs to excess, is the most shameful but one that the female world can fall into. The ill consequences of it are more than can be contained in this paper. However, that I may proceed in method, I shall consider them, first as they relate to the mind; secondly, as they relate to the body.
Could we look into the mind of a female gamester, we should see it full of nothing but trumps and mattadores. Her slumbers are haunted with kings, queens, and knaves. The day lies heavy upon her, until the play-season returns, when, for half a dozen hours together, all her faculties aro employed in shuffling, cutting, dealing, and sorting out a pack of cards, and no ideas to be discovered, in a soul which calls itself rational, excepting little square figures of painted and spotted paper. Was the understanding, that divine part in our composition, given for such an use ? Is it thus we improve the greatest talent human nature is endowed with ? What would a superior being think, were he shown this intellectual faculty in a female gamester, and, at the same time, told that it was by this she was distinguished from brutes, and allied to angels ?
When our women thus fill their imaginations with pips and counters, I cannot wonder at the story I have lately heard of a new-born child that was marked with the five of clubs.
Their passions suffer no less by this practice than their understandings and imaginations. What hope and fear, joy and anger, sorrow and discontent, break out all at once in a fair assembly, upon so noble an occasion as that of turning up'a card! Who can consider, without a secret indignation, that all those affections of the mind which should be consecrated to their children, husbands, and parents, are thus vilely prostituted and thrown away upon a hand at loo? For my own part, I cannot but be grieved, when I see a fine woman fretting and bleeding inwardly from such trivial motives; when I behold the face of an angel agitated and discomposed by the heart of a fury.
Our minds are of such a make, that they naturally give themselves
every diversion which they are much accustomed to, and we always find that play, when followed with assiduity, engrosses the whole woman. She quickly grows uneasy in her own family, takes but little pleasure in all the domestic innocent endearments of life, and grows more fond of Pam than of her husband. My friend Theer phrastus, the best of husbands and of fathers, has often complained to me, with tears in his eyes, of the late hours he is
forced to keep if he would enjoy his wife's conversation. When she returns to me with joy in her face, it does not arise, says he, from the sight of her husband, but from the good luck she has had at cards. On the contrary, says he, if she has been a loser, I am doubly a sufferer by it. She comes home out of humour, is angry with everybody, displeased with all I can do or say, and in reality for no other reason, but because she has been throwing away my estate. What charming bedfellows and companions for life are men likely to meet with, that choose their wives out of such women of
and fashion! What a race of worthies, what patriots, what heroes, must we expect from mothers of this make!
I come, in the next place, to consider the ill consequences which gaming has on the bodies of our female adventurers. It is so ordered, that almost everything which corrupts the soul, decays the body. The beauties of the face and mind are generally destroyed by the same means. This consideration should have a particular weight with the female world, who were designed to please the eye, and attract the regards of the other half of the species. Now there is nothing that wears out a fine face like the vigils of the card-table, and those cutting passions which naturally attend them. Hollow eyes, haggard looks, and pale complexions, are the natural indications of a female gamester. Her morning sleeps are not able to repair her midnight watchings. I have known a woman carried off half dead from bassette, and have many a time grieved to see a person of quality gliding by me in her chair at two o'clock in the morning, and looking like a spectre amidst a glare of flambeaux. In short, I never knew a thorough-paced female gamester hold her beauty two winters together.
But there is still another case in which the body is more endangered than in the former. All play-debts must be paid in specie, or by an equivalent. The man that plays beyond his income pawns his estate; the woman must find out something else to mortgage when her pin-money is gone: the husband has his lands to dispose of, the wife her person. Now, when the female body is once dipped, if the creditor
Decays the body.] Decay is a verb neuter, and cannot be used transitively. He should have said—“ makes the body decay."
Dipped.] A cant term, to express the demands which one has on the
be very importunate, I leave my reader to consider the consequences.
No. 121. THURSDAY, JULY 30.
Hinc exaudiri gemitus, iræque leonum. Virg.
Roarings of the Lion. « OLD NESTOR,
Ever since the first notice you gave of the erection of that useful monument of yours in Button's Coffee-house, I have had a restless ambition to imitate the renowned London 'prentice, and boldly venture my hand down the throat of your lion. The subject of this letter is a relation of a club whereof I am a member, and which has made a considerable noise of late, I mean the Silent Club. The year of our institution is 1694, the number of members twelve, and the place of our meeting is Dumb's Alley in Holborn. We look upon ourselves as the relics of the old Pythagoreans, and have this maxim in common with them, which is the foundation of our design, that Talking spoils company. The president of our society is one who was born deaf and dumb, and owes that blessing to nature, which, in the rest of us, is owing to industry alone. I find, upon inquiry, that the greater part of us are married men, and such whose wives are remarkably loud at home : hither we fly for refuge, and enjoy at once the two greatest and most valuable blessings, company and retirement. When that eminent relation of yours, the Spectator, published his weekly papers, and gave us that remarkable account of his silence, (for you must know, though we do not read, yet we inspect all such useful essays,) we seemed unanimous to invite him to partake of our secrecy, but it was unluckily objected, that he had just then published a discourse of his at his own club, and had not arrived to that happy inactivity of the tongue, which we expected from a man of his understanding. You will wonder, perhaps, how we managed this debate, but it will be easily accounted for, when I tell you effects of another; as when we say, such an one's estate is dipped, that is, in part mortgaged, or made over to his creditor: humorously applied, in this place, to the body or person of a female gamester.