Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

heads; by which means the said hats last much longer whole, than they would do if worn under their arnis.

Secondly, in that very often a new dressing and a new lace supply the place of a new hat, which grievance we are chiefly sensible of in the spring-time, when the company is leaving the town ; it so happening commonly, that a hat shall frequent, all winter, the finest and best assemblies without any ornament at all, and in May shall be tricked up with gold or silver, to keep company with rustics, and ride in the rain. All which premises your petitioners humbly pray you to take into your consideration, and either to appoint a day in your Court of Honour, when all pretenders to the galloon may enter their clains, and have them approved or rejected, or to give us such other relief as to your great wisdom shall seem meet.

And your petitioners, &c." Order my friend near Temple-bar, the author of the hunting-cock, to assist the court when the petition is read, of which Mr. Lillie to give him notice.

To ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire, Censor of

GREAT BRITAIN. “ The humble Petition of ELIZABETH SLENDER,

Petiti

Spinster, “ Sheweth, “ That on the twentieth of this instant December, her friend, Rebecca Hive, and your petitioner, walking in the Strand, saw a gentleman before us in a gown, whose periwig was so long, and so much powdered, that your petitioner took notice of it, and said, she wondered that lawyer would so spoil a new gown with powder.' To which it was answered, that he was no lawyer, but a clergyman.' Upon a wager of a pot of coffee we overtook him, and your petitioner was soon convinced she had lost.

“ Your petitioner, therefore, desires your wor. ship to cite the clergyman before you, and to settle and adjust the length of canonical periwigs, and the: quantity of powder to be made use of in them, and to give such other directions

as you shall think fit.

And your petitioner, &c."

Query, Whether this gentleman be not chaplain to a regiment, and, in such case, allow powder accordingly?

After all that can be thought on these subjects, I must confess that the men who dress with a certain ambition to appear more than they are, are much more excusable than those who betray, in the adorning their persons, a secret vanity and inclination to shine in things, wherein, if they did succeed, it would rather lessen than advance their character. For this reason I am more provoked at the allegations relating to the clergyman than any other hinted at in these complaints. I have indeed a long time, with much concem, observed abundance of pretty fellows in sacred orders, and shall in due time let them know, that I pretend to give ecclesiastical as well as civil censures. A man well-bred and well-dressed in that habit, adds to the sacredness of his function an agreeableness not to be met with among the laity. I own I have spent some evenings among the men of wit of that profession with an inexpressible delight. Their habitual care of their character give such a chastisement to their fancy, that all which they utter

in

company is as much above what you meet with in other conversation, as the charms of a modest, are superior to those of a light, woman. I therefore earnestly desire our young missionaries from the universities to consider where they are, and not dress, and look, and move like young officers. It is no disadvantage to have a very handsome white hand; but, were I to preach repentance to a gallery of ladies, I would, methinks, keep my gloves on. I have an unfeigned affection to the class of mankind appointed to serve at the altar, therefore am in danger of running out of my way, and growing too serious on this occasion; for which reason I shall end with the following epistle, which, by my interest in Tom Trot, the penny-post, I pro

of. of To the Rev. Mr. RALPH INCENSE, Chaplain

to the Countess Dowager of BRUMPTON.

cured a copy

“ SIR,

** I heard and saw you preach last Sunday.

I am an ignorant young woman, and understood got half you said:

: but ah! your manner, when you held up both your hands towards our pew! Did you design to win me to Heaven or yourself?

Your humble servant,

PENITENCE GENTLE."

ADVERTISEMENT. Mr. Procterstaff, of Clare-hall, in Cambrige, is received as a kinsman, according to his request, bearing date the 20th instant.

The distressed son of Æsculapius is desired to be more particular.

[ocr errors]

N° 271. TUESDAY, JANUARY 2, 1710-11.

now

The printer having informed me, that there are as many of these Papers printed as will make four volumes, I am come to the end of my ambition in this matter, and have nothing further to say to the world under the character of Isaac Bickerstaff. This work has indeed for some time been disagreeable to me, and the purpose of it wholly lost by my being so long understood as the author. I never designed in it to give any man any secret wound by my concealment, but spoke in the character of an old man, a philosopher, an humourist, an astrologer, and a Censor, to allure my reader with the variety of my subjects, and insinuate, if I could, the weight of reason with the agreeableness of wit. The genera! purpose

of the whole has been to recommend truth, innocence, honour, and virtue, as

the chief ornaments of life; but I considered, that severity of

was absolutely necessary to him who would ceasure others, and for that reason, and that only, chose to talk in a mask. I shall not carry my humility so far as to call myself a vicious man, but at the same time must confess, my life is at best but pardonable. And, with no greater character than this, a man would make but an indifferent progress in attacking prevailing and fashionable vices, which Mr. Bickerstaff has done with a freedom of spirit, that would have lost both its beauty and efficacy, had it been pretended to by Mr. Steele.

manners

As to the work itself, the acceptance it has met with is the best proof of its value; but I should err against that candour, which an honest man should always carry about him, if I did not own, Chat the most approved pieces in it were writteu by others, and those which have been most ex-, cepted against, by myself. The hand that has assisted me in those noble discourses upon the immortality of the soul, the glorious prospects of another life, and the most sublime ideas of religion and virtue, is a person who is too fondly my friend ever to own them; but I should little deserve to be his, if I usurped the glory of them*. I must acknowledge at the same time, that I think the finest strokes of wit and humour in all Mr. Bickerstaff's Lucubrations, are those for which he also is beholden to him.

As for the satirical part of these writings, those against the gentlemen who profess gaming are the most licentious; but the main of them I take to come from losing gamesters, as invectives against the fortunate: for in very many of them I was very little else but the transcriber. If

any

have been more particularly marked at, such persons may impute it to their own behaviour, before they were touched upon, in publicly speaking their resentment against the author, and professing they would support any man who should insult him. When I mention this subject, I hope major-general Davenport, brigadier Bisset, and my lord Forbes, will accept of my thanks for their frequent good offices, in professing their readiness to partake any danger that should befal me in so just

* Addison was the assistant here alluded to.

« ForrigeFortsæt »