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ficient testimony of the truth of this observa. [ of spirit imaginable; they spend their time in
heavenly raptures, in constant and frequent
I had the honour the other day of a visit from a gentlewoman (a stranger to me) who seemed to be about thirty. Her complexion is brown; but the air of her face has an agreeableness which surpasses the beauties of the fairest women. There appeared in her look and mein a sprightly health; and her eyes had too much vivacity to become the language of complaint, which she began to enter into. She seemed sensible of it; and therefore, with downcast looks, said she, Mr. Bickerstaff, you see before you the unhappiest of women; and therefore, as you are esteemed by all the world both a great civilian, as well as an astrologer, I must desire your advice and assistance, in putting me in a method of obtaining a divorce from a marriage, which I know the law will pronounce void.' 'Madam,' said I, 'your grievance is of such a nature, that you must be very ingenious in representing the causes of your complaint, or I cannot give you the satisfaction you desire.' 'Sir,' she answers, I believe there would be no need of half your skill the art of divination, to guess why a woman would part from her husband.' 'It is true,' said I; but suspicions, or guesses at what you mean, nay certainty of it, unless you plainly speak it, are no foundation for a formal suit.' She clapped her fan before her face; 'My husband,' said she, is no more an husband' (here she burst into tears) than one of the Italian singers.'
'Madam,' said I, 'the affliction you complain of is to be redressed by law; but, at the same time, consider what mortifications you are to go through, in bringing it into open court: how will you be able to bear the impertinent whispers of the people present at the trial, the licentious reflections of the pleaders, and the interpretations that will in general be put upon your conduct by all the world? "How little (will they say) could that lady command her passions!" Besides, consider, that curbing our desires is the greatest glory we can arrive at in this world, and will be most rewarded in the next.' She answered, like a prudent matron: 'Sir, if you please to remember the office of matrimony, the first cause of its institution is that of having posterity. Therefore, as to the curbing desires, I am willing to undergo any abstinence from food as you please to enjoin me; but I cannot, with any quiet of mind, live in the neglect of a necessary duty, and an express commandment, Increase and multiply Observing she was learned, and knew so well the duties of life, I turned my arguments rather to dehort her from this public procedure by examples than precepts. 'Do but consider, madam, what crowds of beauteous women live in nunneries, secluded for ever from the sight reign of Charles II. and conversation of men, with all the alacrity
Will's Coffee-house, May 25.
This evening was acted the Recruiting Officer, in which Mr. Eastcourt's proper sense and observation is what supports the play. There is not, in my humble opinion, the humour bit in Sergeant Kite; but it is admirably supplied by his action. If I have skill to judge, that man is an excellent actor; but the crowd of the audience are fitter for representations at May-fair, than a theatre-royal. Yet that fair is now broke, as well as the theatre is breaking; but it is allowed still to sell animals there. Therefore, if any lady or gentleman have occasion for a tame elephant, let them enquire
Poor Robin began to publish his almanack early in the
† A comedy by Mr. Farouhar.
of Mr. Pinkethman, who has one to dispose of at a reasonable rate. The downfall of May-fair has quite sunk the price of this noble creature, as well as of many other curiosities of nature. A tiger will sell almost as cheap as an ox; and, I am credibly informed, a man may purchase a cat with three legs, for very near the value of one with four. I hear likewise that there is a great desolation among the gentlemen and ladies who were the ornaments of the town, and used to shine in plumes and diadems; the heroes being most of them pressed, and the queens beating hemp. Mrs. Sarabrand so famous for her ingenious puppet-show, has set up a shop in the Exchange, where she sells her little troop under the term of jointed babies. I could not but be solicitous to know of her, how she had disposed of that rake-hell, Punch, whose lewd life and conversation had given so much scandal, and did not a little contribute to the ruin of the fair. She told me with a sigh, "That, despairing of ever reclaiming him, she would not offer to place him in a civil family, but got him in a post upon a stall in Wapping, where he may be seen from sun-rising to sunsetting, with a glass in one hand, and a pipe in the other, as centry to a brandy-shop.' The great revolutions of this nature bring to my mind the distresses of the unfortunate Camilla, who has had the ill luck to break before her voice, and to disappear at a time when her beauty was in the height of its bloom. This lady entered so thoroughly into the great characters she acted, that when she had finished her part, she could not think of retrenching her equipage, but would appear in her own lodgings with the same magnificence that she did upon the stage. This greatness of soul had reduced that unhappy princess to an involuntary retirement, where she now passes her time among the woods and forests, thinking on the crowns and sceptres she has lost, and often humming over in her solitude, I was born of royal race, Ye most wander in disgrace, &c.
But, for fear of being over-heard, and her quality known, she usually sings it in Italian,
Naqui al regno, naoui al trono,
'My friends have kept me here a week longer than ordinary, to see one of their plays, which was performed last night with great applause. The actors are all of them tradesmen; who, after their day's work is over, earn about a guilder a-night by personating kings and generals. The hero of the tragedy I saw was a journeyman tailor, and his first minister of state a coffee-man. The empress made me think of Parthenope in the Rehearsal; for her mother keeps an alehouse in the suburbs of Amsterdam. When the tragedy was over, they entertained us with a short farce, in which the cobbler did his part to a miracle; but, upon enquiry, I found he had really been working at his own trade, and representing on the stage what he acted every day in his shop. The profits of the theatre maintain an hospital; for, as here they do not think the profession of an actor the only trade that a man ought to exercise; so they will not allow any body to grow rich in a profession that, in their opinion, so little conduces to the good of the commonwealth. If I am not mistaken, your playhouses in England have done the same thing; for, unless I am misinformed, the hospital at Dulwich was erected and endowed by Mr. Alleyn, a player: and it is also said, a famous shetragedian has settled her estate, after her death, for the maintenance of decayed wits, who are to be taken in as soon as they grow dull, at whatever time of their life that shall happen.'
Since I have touched upon this subject, I shall communicate to my reader part of a letter I have received from an ingenious friend at Amsterdam, where there is a very noble theatre; though the manner of furnishing it with actors is something peculiar to that place, and gives us occasion to admire both the politeness and frugality of the people.
* Mrs. Tofts, who performed Camilla in the opera of that name, was the daughter of a person in the family of bishop Barnet. She lived at the introduction of the opera into this kingdom, and sang with Nicolini,
St. James's Coffee-house, May 25. Letters from the Hague of the thirty-first instant, N. S. say, that the articles preliminary to a general peace were settled, communicated to the States-general, and all the foreign ministers residing there, and transmitted to their respective masters on the twenty-eighth. Monsieur Torcy immediately returned to the court of France, from whence he is expected again on the fourth of the next month with those articles ratified by that court. The Hague is agreed upon for the place of treaty, and the fifteenth of the next month the day on which
to commence. The terms whereon this negotiation is founded are not yet delivered by public authority; but, what is most generally received, is as follows:
Her majesty's right and title, and the Pro testant succession to these dominions, is forth with to be acknowledged. King Charles is t be owned the lawful sovereign of Spain. The French king shall not only recall his troops out of that kingdom, and deliver up to the allies the towns of Roses, Fonterabia, and Pampelona but, in case the duke of Anjou shall not retire
Edward Alleyn, esq. the protodramatist of his time, in 1614, founded, raised, and built an hospital at Dulwich in Surrey, called The Colledge of God's Gift,' with a revenue which is reckoned 7001. per annum.
out of the Spanish dominions, he shall be which I suppress with great violence to my vaobliged to assist the allies to force him from nity. There are many terms in my narratives thence. A cessation of arms is agreed upon for which he complains want explaining; and has two months from the first day of the treaty. therefore desired that, for the benefit of my The port and fortifications of Dunkirk are to be country readers, I would let him know what demolished within four months; but the town I mean by a Gentleman, a Pretty Fellow, a itself left in the hands of the French. The pre-Toast, a Coquet, a Critic, a Wit, and all other appellations of those now in the gayer world, who are in possession of these several characters; together with an account of those who unfortunately pretend to them. I shall begin with him we usually call a Gentleman, or man of conversation.
tender is to be obliged to leave France. All Newfoundland is to be restored to the English. As to the other parts of America, the French are to restore whatever they may have taken from the English, as the English in like manner are to give up what they may have taken from the French, before the commencement of the treaty. The trade between Great Britain and France shall be settled upon the same foundation as in the reign of king Charles the Second.
The Dutch are to have for their barriers, Newport, Berg, St. Vinox, Furnes, Ipres, Lisle, Tournay, Douay, Valenciennes, Conde, Maubeuge, Mons, Charleroy, Namur, and Luxemburg; all which places shall be delivered up to the allies before the end of June. The trade between Holland and France shall be on the same foot as in 1664. The cities of Strasburg, Brisac, and Alsatia, shall be restored to the emperor and empire; and the king of France, pursuant to the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, shall only retain the protection of ten imperial cities, viz. Colmar, Schlestat, Haguenau, Munster, Turkeim, Keisember, Obrenheim, Rosheim, Weisemberg, and Landau. Huninguan, Fort-Louis, Fort-Khiel, and New-Brisac, shall be demolished, and all the fortifications from Basil to Philipsburg. The king of Prussia shall remain in the peaceable possession of Neufchatel. The affair of Orange, as also the pretensions of his Prussian majesty in the Franche Comté, shall be determined at this general negotiation of peace. The duke of Savoy shall have a restitution made of all that has been taken from him by the French, and remain master of Exilles, Chamont, Fenestrelles, and the valley of Pragelas.*
It is generally thought, that warmth of imagination, quick relish of pleasure, and a manner of becoming it, are the most essential qualities for forming this sort of man. But any one that is much in company will observe, that the height of good breeding is shown rather in never giving offence, than in doing obliging things. Thus he that never shocks you, though he is seldom entertaining, is more likely to keep your favour, than he who often entertains, and sometimes displeases you. The most necessary talent therefore in a man of conversation, which is what we ordinarily intend by a fine gentleman, is a good judgment. He that has this in perfection, is master of his companion, without letting him see it; and has the same advantage over men of any other qualifications whatsoever, as one that can see would have over a blind man of ten times his strength.
This is what makes Sophronius the darling of all who converse with him, and the most powerful with his acquaintance of any man in town. By the light of this faculty he acts with great ease and freedom among the men of pleasure, and acquits himself with skill and de. spatch among the men of business. All which he performs with such success, that, with as much discretion in life as any man ever had, he neither is, nor appears cunning. But as he does a good office, if ever he does it, with readiness and alacrity, so he denies what he does not care to engage in, in a manner that convinces you that you ought not to have asked it. His judgment is so good and unerring, and accompanied with so cheerful a spirit, that his conversation is a continual feast, at which he helps some, and is helped by others, in such that the equality of society is perfectl kept up, and every man obliges as much as he is obliged: for it is the greatest and justest skil. in a man of superior understanding, to know how to be on a level with his companions. This sweet disposition runs through all the actions of Sophronius, and makes his company desired by women, without being envied by men. Sophronius would be as just as he is, if there were no law; and would be as discreet as he is, if there were no such thing as calumny.
In imitation of this agrecable being, is made
that animal we call a Pretty Fellow; who, being just able to find out, that what makes Sophroaius acceptable is a natural behaviour, in order to the same reputation, makes his own an artificial one. Jack Dimple is his perfect mimic, whereby he is, of course, the most like him of all men living. Sophronius just now passed into the inner room directly forward; Jack comes as fast after as he can for the right and left looking-glass, in which he had but just approved himself by a nod at each, and marched on. He will meditate within for half an hour until he thinks he is not careless enough in his air, and come back to the mirror to recollect his forgetfulness.
or endeavours to obtain (t, any way but what is peculiar to him only one sacrifices his wife, another his profession, another his posterity, from the same motive; but their characters are kept so skilfully apart, that it seems prodiun-gious their discourses should rise from the invention of the same author,
But the poets are a nest of hornets, and I will drive these thoughts no farther; but must mention some hard treatment I am likely to I am meet with from my brother-writers. credibly informed, that the author of a play, called Love in a Hollow Tree,'* has made some remarks upon my late discourse on The Naked Truth.' I cannot blame a gentleman for writing against any error; it is for the good of the learned world. But I would have the thing fairly left between us two, and not under the protection of patrons. But my intelligence is, that he hath dedicated his treatise to the honorable Mr. Ed-d Hrd.†
Will's Coffee-house, May 27.
This night was acted the comedy called 'The Fox; but I wonder the modern writers do not use their interest in the house to suppress such representations. A man that has been at this will hardly like any other play during the season: therefore I humbly move, that the writings, as well as dresses, of the last age should give way to the present fashion. We are come into a good method enough (if we were not interrupted in our mirth by such an apparition as a play of Jonson's) to be entertained at more ease, both to the spectator and the writer, than in the days of old. It is no difficulty to get hats and swords, and wigs and shoes, and every thing else from the shops in town; and make a man show himself by his habit, without more ado, to be a counsellor, a fop, a courtier, or a citizen, and not be obliged to make those characters talk in different dialects to be distinguished from each other. This is certainly the surest and best way of writing: but such a play as this makes a man for a month after over-run with criticism, and enquire, What every man on the stage said? what had such a one to do to meddle with such a thing? how came the other, who was bred after this or that manner, to speak so like a man conversant among a different people?' These questions rob us of all our pleasure; for, at this rate, no sentence in a play should be spoken by any one character which could possibly enter into the head of any other man represented in it; but every sentiment should be peculiar to him only who utters it. Laborious Ben's works will bear this sort of inquisition; but if the present writers were thus examined, and the offences against this rule cut out, few plays would be long enough for the whole evening's entertainment.
But I do not know how they did in those old times: his same Ben Jonson has made every one's passion in this play to be towards money; and yet not one of them expresses that desire,
Ben Jonson's Fox'; first printed in 1605.
From my own Apartment, May 27.
To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. 'SIR, York, May 16, 1709. 'Being convinced, as the whole world is, how infallible your predictions are, and having the honour to be your near relation of the Staffian family, I was under great concern at one of your predictions relating to yourself, wherein you foretold your own death would happen on the seventeenth instant, unless it were prevented by the assistance of well-disposed people: I have therefore prevailed on my own modesty to send you a piece of news, which may serve instead of Goddard's ‡ drops, to keep you alive for two days, until nature be able to recover itself, or until you meet with some better help from other hands. Therefore, without further ceremony, I wil. relate a singular adventure just happened in the place where I am writing, wherewith it may be highly useful for the public to be informed.
'Three young ladies of our town were on Saturday last indicted for witchcraft. The witnesses against the first deposed upon oath before justice Bindover, that she kept spirits locked up in vessels, which sometimes appeared in flames of blue fire; that she used magical herbs, with some of which she drew in hundreds
The comedy, called Love in a Hollow Tree,' or 'The Lawyer's Fortune,' (see Tatler, No. 17,) was published by William lord viscount Grimston, when he was only thir teen years of age, which is some apology for the many ab surdities in it.
Hon. Edward Howard, author of seven plays, and of an epic poem called 'The British Princess.'
1 Dr. Jonathan Goddard was the physician and confidant of Cromwell, a member of the Royal Society, and medical
professor of Gresham college. He was the first Englishman
who made telescopes; and, in the course of his accurate chemical experiments, discovered the famous elixir, called here, his drops.
of men daily to her, who went out from her [ and that your distemper hath already seize
on you, and makes progress daily. The lower
'It was proved against the second, That she cut off by night the limbs from dead bodies that were hanged, and was seen to dig holes in the ground, to mutter some conjuring words, and bury pieces of the flesh after the usual manner of witches.
St. James's Coffee-house, May 27.
'The third was accused for a notorious piece of sorcery, long practised by hags, of moulding up pieces of dough into the shapes of men, women, and children; then heating them at a gentle fire, which had a sympathetic power to torment the bowels of those in the neigh-forcements lodged in those parts to Barcelona. bourhood.
We hear from Leghorn, that sir Edward Whitaker, with five men-of-war, four transports, and two fire-ships, were arrived at that port; and admiral Byng was suddenly expected. Their squadrons being joined, they designed to sail directly for Final, to transport the rein
They write from Milan, that count Thaun 'This was the sum of what was objected arrived there on the sixteenth instant, N. S. against the three ladies, who indeed had no- and proceeded on his journey to Turin on the thing to say in their own defence but down-twenty-first, in order to concert such measures right deny the facts, which is like to avail very with his royal highness, as shall appear neceslittle when they come upon their trials.
sary for the operations of the ensuing campaign.
'But the parson of our parish, a strange refractory man, will believe nothing of all this so that the whole town cries out Shame that one of his coat should be such an atheist ;"' and design to complain of him to the bishop. He goes about very oddly to solve the matter. He supposes, that the first of these ladies keeping a brandy and tobacco shop, the fellows went out smoaking; and got drunk towards evening, and made themselves beasts. He says, the second is a butcher's daughter, and some-provisions designed for his army. times brings a quarter of mutton from the slaughter-house over-night against a marketday, and once buried a bit of beef in the ground, as a known receipt to cure warts on her hands. The parson affirms, that the third sells gingerbread, which, to please the children, she is forced to stamp with images before it is baked; and if it burns their guts, it is because they eat too much, or do not drink after it.
'These are the auswers she gives to solve those wonderful phenomena; upon which I shall not animadvert, but leave it among philosophers: and so, wishing you all success in your undertakings for the amendment of the world, I remain, dear cousin,
'Your most affectionate kinsman
6 and humble servant,
'P. S. Those who were condemned to death among the Athenians were obliged to take a dose of poison, which made them die upwards; seizing first upon their feet, making them cold and insensible, and so ascending gradually, until it reached the vital parts. I believe your death, which you foretold would happen on the seventeenth instant, will fall out the same way,
Letters from Vienna bearing date May the twenty-third, N. S. import, that the cardinal of Saxe Zeits and the prince of Lichtenstein were preparing to set out for Presburg, to assist at the diet of the States of Hungary, which is to be assembled at that place on the twenty-fifth of this month. General Heister will shortly appear at the head of his army at Trenchin, which place is appointed for the general rendezvous of the imperial forces in Hungary; from whence he will advance to lay siege to Newhausel. In the mean time reinforcements, with a great train of artillery, are marching the same way. The king of Denmark arrived on the tenth instant at Inspruck, and on the twenty-fifth at Dresden, under a triple discharge of the artillery of that place; but his majesty refused the ceremonies of a public entry.
Our letters from the Upper Rhine say, that the imperial army began to form itself at Etlingen; where the respective deputies of the elector Palatine, the prince of Baden Durlach, the bishoprick of Spires, &c. were assembled, and had taken the necessary measures for the provision of forage, the security of the country