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Light, and let him know how much all his
After the play, we naturally stroll to this coffee-house, in hopes of meeting some new poem or other entertainment among the men of wit and pleasure, where there is a dearth at present. But it is wonderful there should be so few writers, when the art is become merely mechanic, and men may make themselves great that way by as certain and infallible rules as you may be a joiner or a mason. There happens a good instance of this in what the hawker has just now offered for sale, to wit, "Instructions to Vanderbank: A Sequel to the Advice to the Poets: A Poem, occasioned by the glorious success of her Majesty's arms under the command of the Duke of Marlborough, the last year in Flanders."+ Here you are to understand that the author, finding the poets would not take his advice, troubles himself no more about them; but has met with one Vanderbank, who works in arras, and makes very good tapestry hangings: therefore, in order to celebrate the hero of the age, he claps together all that can be said of a man that makes hangings:
Then artist, who does nature's face express
Dost figur'd arras animated leave.
"This Society began in 1690; an account of the proEss made in suppressing profaneness and debauchery by means was published yearly. The last account is from Dec. 1737 to Dec. 1738. The total number of persons prosecuted by this Society, in or near London, during these forty-four years, is calculated at about 101.683, &c." Such as are curious, may see a fuller account of it, in Stow's Survey of London, edit. 1755, vol. i. p. 144.
Well, what shall this workman do? why, to show how great an hero the poet intends, he provides him a very good horse:
A whole poem of this kind may be ready
+ By Sir Richard Blackmore. See Spect. Nos. 6. 339.
presented nature more happily in works of tapestry.
hands and trades that may be employed by
Champing his foam, and bounding on the plain,
Let fame and victory in inferior sky
nets, of so useful a turn as this adviser. I No. 4.] shail think of it; and, in this time of taxes,
all consult a great critic employed in the custom-house, in order to propose what tax may be proper to be put upon knives, seals, rings, hangings, wrought beds, gowns, and petticoats, where any of these commodities bear mottoes, or are worked upon poetical grounds.
The Beaux Stratagem, by G. Farquhar. Acted at the Hay-market, 4to. 1707. It was begun and finished in the course of six weeks, while the author laboured under the illness of which he died during the run of his play.
Tuesday, April 18, 1709.
↑ A real player of that name.
A.delicate animadversion on the irregularity of Mr. Powel, who, about this time, began to sink in his reputation yabandoning himself to drunkenness.
'IT is usual with persons who mount the stage for the cure or information of the crowd about them, to make solemn professions of theit being wholly disinterested in the pains they take for the public good. At the same time, those very men who make harangues in plush doublets, and extol their own abilities and generous inclinations, tear their lungs in vending a drug, and show no act of bounty, except it be, that they lower a demand of a crown to six, nay, to one penny. We have a contempt for such paltry barterers, and have therefore, all along informed the public, that we intend to give them our advices for our own sakes, and are labouring to make our lucubrations come to some price in money, for our more convenient support in the service of the public. It is certain, that many other schemes have been pro
ple; which, they find, are no way to be quieted but by giving them hopes of a speedy peace. When these letters were despatched the marshal de Thesse was arrived at Genoa, where he has taken much pains to keep the correspond ents of the merchants of France in hopes that measures will be found out to support the credit and commerce between that state and Lyons: but the late declaration of the agents of Monsieur Bernard, that they cannot discharge the demands made upon them, has quite dispirited all those who are engaged in the remittances
St. James's Coffee-house, April 15. Letters from Turiu of the third instant, N. S. inform us, that his royal highness* employs all his address in alarming the enemy, and perplexing their speculations concerning his real designs the ensuing campaign. Contracts are entered into with the merchants of Milan for a great number of mules to transport his provisions and ammunition. His royal highness has ordered the train of artillery to be conveyed to Susa before the twentieth of the next month. In the mean time, all accounts agree, that the enemy are very backward in their preparations, and almost incapable of defending themselves against an invasion, by reason of the general murmurs of their own peo-posed to me; as a friend offered to show me a treatise he had writ, which he called, 'The whole Art of Life; or, The Introduction to great Men, illustrated in a Pack of Cards.' But, being a novice at all manner of play, I declined the offer. Another advised me, for want of money, to set up my coach, and practise physic; but, having been bred a scholar, I feared I should not succeed that way neither, therefore, resolved to go on in my present project. But you are to understand that I shall not pretend to raise a credit to this work upon Latin sentence in the title-page informs you, the weight of my politic news only, but, as my shall take any thing that offers for the subject of my discourse. Thus, new persons, as well as new things, are to come under my consideration; as, when a toast or wit is first pronounced such, you shall have the freshest advice of their preferment, from me, with a description of the
From my own Apartment, April 15. It is a very natural passion in all good members of the commonwealth, to take what care they can of their families. Therefore, I hope the reader will forgive me, that I desire he would go to the play called, the Stratagem,+beauty's manners, and the wit's style; as also, this evening, which is to be acted for the bene-in whose places they are advanced. For this fit of my near kinsman Mr. John Bickerstaff. town is never good-natured enough to raise one I protest to you, the gentleman has not spoken without depressing another. But it is my deto me to desire this favour; but I have a re-sign to avoid saying any thing of any person -spect for him, as well in regard to consan- which ought justly to displease; but shall enguinity, as that he is an intimate friend of that deavour, by the variety of the matter and style, famous and heroic actor, Mr. George Powel; to give entertainment for men of pleasure, withwho formerly played Alexander the Great in all out offence to those of business." places, though he is lately grown so reserved, as to act it only on the stage.||
Quicquid agunt homines-
Dostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.
White's Chocolate-house, April 18. All hearts at present pant for two ladies only, who have for some time engrossed the dominion of the town. They are, indeed, both exceeding charming, but differ very much in their excellencies. The beauty of Clarissa is soft, that of Chloe piercing. When you look at Clarissa, you see the most exact harmony of feature complexion, and shape; you find in Chloe no thing extraordinary in any one of those par
ticulars, but the whole woman irresistible: Cla- | formance was done in Italian ; and a great critic rissa looks languishing; Chloe killing: Clarissa fell into fits in the gallery, at seeing, not only never fails of gaining admiration; Chloe of time and place, but languages and nations conmoving desire. The gazers at Clarissa are at fused in the most incorrigible manner. Hi first unconcerned, as if they were observing a spleen is so extremely moved on this occasio fine picture. They who behold Chloe, at the that he is going to publish a treatise agains first glance discover transport, as if they met operas, which, he thinks, have already inclined their dearest friend. These different perfec- us to thoughts of peace, and, if tolerated, must tions are suitably represented by the last great infallibly dispirit us from carrying on the war. painter Italy has sent us, Mr. Jervas. Clarissa He has communicated his scheme to the whole is by that skilful hand placed in a manner that room, and declared in what manner things a looks artless, and innocent of the torments she this kind were first introduced. He has upon gives; Chloe is drawn with a liveliness that this occasion considered the nature of sound shows she is conscious of, but not affected with, in general, and made a very elaborate digresher perfections. Clarissa is a shepherdess, Chloe sion upon the London Cries, wherein he has a country girl. I must own, the design of Chloe's shown from reason and philosophy, why oysters picture shows, to me, great mastery in the are cried, card-matches sung, and turnips an painter; for nothing could be better imagined all other vegetables neither cried, sung, nor than the dress he has given her of a straw-hat said, but sold, with an accent and tone neither and a ribbon, to represent that sort of beauty natural to man nor beast. This piece seems to which enters the heart with a certain fami- be taken from the model of that excellent disliarity, and cheats it into a belief that it has course of Mrs. Manly+ the school-mistress, conreceived a lover as well as an object of love. ceruing samplers. Advices from the upper end The force of their different beauties is seen also of Piccadilly say, that May-fair is utterly in the effects it makes on their lovers. The abolished; and we hear Mr. Penkethman has admirers of Chloe are eternally gay and well- removed his ingenious company of strollers to pleased: those of Clarissa, melancholy and Greenwich. But other letters from Deptford thoughtful. And as this passion always changes say, the company is only making thither, and the natural man into a quite different creature not yet settled; but that several heathen gods from what he was before, the love of Chloe and goddesses, which are to descend in machines, makes coxcombs; that of Clarissa, madmen. landed at the King's-head Stairs last Saturday. There were of each kind just now in this room. Venus and Cupid went on foot from thence to Here was one that whistles, laughs, sings, and Greenwich; Mars got drunk in the town, and cuts capers, for love of Chloe. Another has broke his landlord's head, for which he sat in just now writ three lines to Clarissa, then the stocks the whole evening; but Mr. Pentaken a turn in the garden, then came back kethman giving security that he should do noagain, then tore his fragment, then called for thing this ensuing summer, he was set at lisome chocolate, then went away without it. berty. The most melancholy part of all was, that Diana was taken in the act of fornication with a boatman, and committed by justice Wrathful; which has, it seems, put a stop to the diversions of the theatre of Blackheath. But there goes down another Diana and a Patient Grizzel next tide from Billingsgate.
Chloe has so many admirers in the house at present that there is too much noise to proceed in my narration; so that the progress of the loves of Clarissa and Chloe, together with the bottles that are drunk each night for the one, and the many sighs which are uttered, and songs written on the other, must be our subject on future occasions.
It is credibly reported, that Mr. D―yş nas agreed with Mr. Penkethman to have his play acted before that audience as soon as it has had its first sixteen days run in Drury-lane.
Will's Coffee-house, April 18.
Letters from the Hay-market inform us, that on Saturday night last the Opera of Pyrrhus and Demetrius was performed with great ap. plause. This intelligence is not very acceptable to us friends of the theatre; for the stage being an entertainment of the reason and all our faculties, this way of being pleased with the suspense of them for three hours together, and being given up to the shallow satisfaction of the eyes and ears only, seems to arise rather from the degeneracy of our understanding, thau an improvement of our divisions. That the understanding has no part in the pleasure is evident, from what these letters very positively assert, to wit, that a great part of the per
ten circular letters, wherein he exhorted the Palatines to join against him; declaring that this was the most favourable conjuncture for asserting their liberty.
Letters from the Hague of the twentyhird instant, N. S. say, they have advices from Vienna which import that his electoral high Bess of Hanover had signified to the imperial court, that he did not intend to put himself at the head of the troops of the empire, except more effectual measures were taken for acting vigorously against the enemy the ensuing campaign. Upon this representation, the emperor has given orders to several regiments to march towards the Rhine; and despatched expresses to the respective princes of the empire to de're an augmentation of their forces.
These letters add, that an express arrived at the Hague on the twentieth instant with adrice that the enemy having made a detachment from Tournay of fifteen hundred horse, tach trooper carrying a foot soldier behind him, n order to surprise the garrison of Alost; the allies, upon notice of their march, sent out a trong body of troops from Ghent, which engaged the enemy at Asche, and took two hun-ledge in maritime affairs; famous for destroydred of them prisoners, obliging the rest to ing the navy of the Franks, and singularly retire without making any further attempt. happy in one particular, that he never preferred On the twenty-second in the morning, a fleet a man who has not proved remarkably serviceof merchant ships, coming from Scotland, were able to his country. Philander § is mentioned attacked by six French privateers, at the en- with particular distinction; a nobleman who trance of the Meuse. We have yet no certain has the most refined taste of the true pleasures advice the event; but letters from Rot- and elegance life, joined to an indefatigable terdam say, that a Dutch man-of-war of forty industry in business; a man eloquent in assemguns, which was convoy to the said fleet, was blies, agreeable in conversation, and dexterous taken, as were also eighteen of the merchants. in all manner of public negotiations. These The Swiss troops in the service of the States letters add, that Verono,¶ who is also of this have completed the augmentation of their re- council, has lately set sail to his government of spective companies. Those of Wirtemberg and Patricia, with design to confirm the affections of Prussia are expected on the frontiers within a the people in the interests of his queen. This few days; and the auxiliaries from Saxony, as minister is master of great abilities, and is as also a battalion of Holstein, and another of industrious and restless for the preservation of Wolfenbuttle, are advancing thither with all the liberties of the people, as the greatest eneexpedition. On the twenty-first instant the my can be to subvert them. The influence of deputies of the States had a conference near these personages, who are men of such distinWoerden, with the president Rouille; but guished parts and virtues, makes the people the matter which was therein debated is not enjoy the utmost tranquillity in the midst of made public. His grace the duke of Mari- a war, and gives them undoubted hopes of borough and prince Eugene continue at the a secure peace from their vigilance and inteHague. grity.
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
In this allegorical paper, by Felicia is meant Britain.
minister has entered into a 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 person 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,+ who makes all the public despatches. 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 know
tioners, &c. this Paper may be had of them, Upon the humble petition of running stafor the future, at the price of one penny.**
* Lord John Somers, President of the Council.
At La Hogue, in 1692.
§ William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, Lord Steward of the Household.
Thomas, Earl of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Irelan
This was long ago a witty author's lamenta-you tion, 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
'Only tell her that I love,
Leave the rest to her and fate;
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 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,
his real character is, a little thief that squints.
see her, and you will find, when her eyes
have made their soft tour round the company,
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 unnappy 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
• These verses are part of a song by Lord Cutts, Steele's early patron. See them entire in Nichols's "Select Collecson, 1780," vol. ii, p. 327
Will's Coffec-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 exer cise 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, shows it was written by one whose virtue sits easy about him, and to whom vice is thoroughly contemptible. It was said by one of the company, alluding to that knowledge 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 bis imperial majesty, that king Charles should forth
* First published by Swift, 1709.