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Title: The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899
Author: Aitken, George A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899" ***


Edited with Introduction & Notes by #George A. Aitken#

_Author of_ "The Life of Richard Steele," Etc.

Vol. I

New York
Hadley & Mathews
156 Fifth Avenue
London: Duckworth & Co.


_The original numbers of the _Tatler_ were reissued in two forms in
1710-11; one edition, in octavo, being published by subscription, while
the other, in duodecimo, was for the general public. The present edition
has been printed from a copy of the latter issue, which, as recorded on
the title-page, was "revised and corrected by the Author"; but I have
had by my side, for constant reference, a complete set of the folio
sheets, containing the "Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff" in the form
in which they were first presented to the world. Scrupulous accuracy in
the text has been aimed at, but the eccentricities of spelling--which
were the printer's, not the author's--have not been preserved, and the
punctuation has occasionally been corrected.

The first and the most valuable of the annotated editions of the
_Tatler_ was published by John Nichols and others in 1786, with notes by
Dr. Percy, Bishop of Dromore, Dr. John Calder, and Dr. Pearce, Bishop
of Rochester; and though these notes are often irrelevant and out of
date, they contain an immense amount of information, and have been
freely made use of by subsequent editors. I have endeavoured to preserve
what is of value in the older editions, and to supplement it, as
concisely as possible, by such further information as appeared
desirable. The eighteenth-century diaries and letters published of late
years have in many cases enabled me to throw light on passages which
have hitherto been obscure, and sometimes useful illustrations have been
found in the contemporary newspapers and periodicals.

The portraits of Steele, Addison, and Swift, the writers most associated
with the _Tatler_, have been taken from contemporary engravings in the
British Museum; and the imaginary portrait of Isaac Bickerstaff in the
last volume is from a rare picture drawn by Lens in 1710 as a
frontispiece to collections of the original folio numbers._

G. A. A.

_August 1898._


When the first number of the _Tatler_ appeared in 1709, Steele and
Addison were about thirty-seven years of age, while Swift, then still
counted among the Whigs, was more than four years their senior. Addison
and Steele had been friends at the Charterhouse School and at Oxford,
and though they had during the following years had varying experiences,
their friendship had in no way lessened. Addison had been a fellow of
his college, had gained the patronage of Charles Montague and Lord
Somers, had made the grand tour, and published an account of his
travels; had gained popularity by his poem "The Campaign," written in
celebration of the victory at Blenheim; had been made an Under-Secretary
of State, and finally (in December 1708) had been appointed secretary to
Lord Wharton, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Steele, on the other hand,
had enlisted in the Guards, without taking any degree; had obtained an
ensign's commission after dedicating to Lord Cutts a poem on Queen
Mary's death; and had written a little book called "The Christian Hero,"
designed "to fix upon his own mind a strong impression of virtue and
religion, in opposition to a stronger propensity towards unwarrantable
pleasures." At the close of the same year (1701) he brought out a
successful comedy, "The Funeral," which was followed by "The Lying
Lover" and "The Tender Husband," plays which gave strong evidence of the
influence of Jeremy Collier's attack on the immorality of the stage.
"The Tender Husband" owed "many applauded strokes" to Addison, to whom
it was dedicated by Steele, who wished "to show the esteem I have for
you, and that I look upon my intimacy with you as one of the most
valuable enjoyments of my life." In 1705 Steele married a lady with
property in Barbados, and on her death married, in 1707, Mary Scurlock,
the "dear Prue" to whom he addressed his well-known letters. For the
rest, he had been made gentleman-waiter to Prince George of Denmark, and
appointed Gazetteer, with a salary of £300, less a tax of £45 a year. He
was disappointed in his hopes of obtaining the Under-Secretaryship
vacated by Addison.

From 1705 onwards there is evidence of frequent and familiar intercourse
between Swift and Addison and Steele. After Sir William Temple's death,
Swift had become chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley, who gave him the
living of Laracor; and during a visit to England in 1704 he had gained a
position in the front rank of authors by the "Tale of a Tub" and the
"Battle of the Books." At the close of 1707 he was again in England,
charged with a mission to obtain for the Irish clergy the remission of
First Fruits and Tenths already conceded to the English, and throughout
1708 what he calls "the triumvirate of Addison, Steele and me" were in
constant communication. In that year Swift published a pamphlet called
"A Project for the Advancement of Religion and the Reformation of
Manners," which anticipated many of the arguments used in the _Tatler_
and _Spectator_; and he also commenced his attack on John Partridge,
quack doctor and maker of astrological almanacs. On the appearance of
Partridge's "Merlinus Liberatus" for 1708, Swift--borrowing a name from
the signboard of a shoemaker--published "Predictions for the year 1708,
wherein the month and day of the month are set down, the persons named,
and the great actions and events of next year particularly related, as
they will come to pass. Written to prevent the people of England from
being further imposed on by vulgar almanack-makers. By Isaac
Bickerstaff, Esq." Isaac Bickerstaff professed to be a true astrologer,
disgusted at the lies told by impostors, and he said that he was willing
to be hooted at as a cheat if his prophecies were not exactly fulfilled.
His first prediction was that Partridge would die on the 29th of March;
and on the 30th a second pamphlet was published, "The accomplishment of
the first of Mr. Bickerstaff's Predictions ... in a letter to a person
of quality, in which a detailed account is given of Partridge's death,
at five minutes after seven, by which it is clear that Mr. Bickerstaff
was mistaken almost four hours in his calculation.... Whether he had
been the cause of this poor man's death, as well as the predictor, may
be very reasonably disputed." The joke was maintained by Swift and
others in various pieces, and when Partridge, in his almanac for 1709,
protested that he was still living, Swift replied, in "A Vindication of
Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.," which was advertised in the fifth number of
the _Tatler_, that he could prove that Partridge was not alive; for no
one living could have written such rubbish as the new almanac. In
starting his new paper Steele assumed the name of the astrologer Isaac
Bickerstaff, rendered famous by Swift, and made frequent use of Swift's
leading idea. He himself summed up the controversy in the words, "if a
man's art is gone, the man is gone, though his body still appear."

Much has been written on the interesting question of the early history
of the periodical press; but with one exception none of its predecessors
had much effect on the _Tatler_. John Dunton's _Athenian Mercury_ was
the forerunner of our _Notes and Queries_; and it was followed by the
_British Apollo_ (1708-11), the second title of which was "Curious
Amusements for the Ingenious. To which are added the most Material
Occurrences, Foreign and Domestic. Performed by a Society of Gentlemen."
_The Gentleman's Journal_ of 1692-4, a monthly paper of poems and other
miscellaneous matter, was succeeded, in 1707, by Oldmixon's _Muses'
Mercury; or, The Monthly Miscellany_, a periodical which contained also
notices of new plays and books, and numbered Steele among its
contributors. Defoe's _Review_, begun in 1704, aimed at setting the
affairs of Europe in a clearer light, regardless of party; but, added
Defoe, "After our serious matters are over, we shall at the end of every
paper present you with a little diversion, as anything occurs to make
the world merry; and whether friend or foe, one party or another, if
anything happens so scandalous as to require an open reproof, the world
will meet with it there." Accordingly, of the eight pages in the first
number, one and a half pages consist of "Mercure Scandale; or, Advice
from the Scandalous Club, Translated out of French." The censure was to
be of the actions of men, not of parties; and the design was to expose
not persons but things. A monthly supplement, dealing with "the
immediate subject then on the tongues of the town," was begun in
September 1704; and pressure on the space before long pushed the Advices
from the Scandal Club out of the ordinary issue of the _Review_.
Subsequently Defoe wrote more than once in praise of the way in which
his work had been taken up by Isaac Bickerstaff.

Probably the _Tatler_ was started by Steele without any very definite
designs for the future. According to the first number, published on
April 12, 1709, the aim was to instruct the public what to think, after
their reading, and there was to be something for the entertainment of
the fair sex. The numbers were published three times a week, on the
post-days, at the price of one penny. Each paper consisted of a single
folio sheet, and the first four were distributed gratuitously. Steele
probably thought that his position of Gazetteer would enable him to give
the latest news, and he says that these paragraphs brought in a
multitude of readers; but as the position of the _Tatler_ became
established, the need for the support of these items of news grew less,
and after the first eighty numbers they are of rare occurrence. Quite
early in the career of the paper Addison, speaking of the distress which
would be caused among the news-writers by the conclusion of a peace,
said that Bickerstaff was not personally concerned in the matter; "for
as my chief scenes of action are coffee-houses, playhouses, and my own
apartment, I am in no need of camps, fortifications, and fields of
battle to support me.... I shall still be safe as long as there are men
or women, or politicians, or lovers, or poets, or nymphs, or swains, or
cits, or courtiers in being."[1]

The subject of each article was to be indicated by the name of the
coffee-house or other place from which it was supposed to come: "All
accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and entertainment shall be under the
article of White's Chocolate-house; Poetry, under that of Will's
Coffee-house; Learning, under the title of Grecian; Foreign and Domestic
News you will have from Saint James's Coffee-house; and what else I have
to offer on any other subject shall be dated from my own Apartment." For
some time each number contained short papers from all or several of
these places; but gradually it became usual to devote the whole number
to one topic. The motto of the first forty numbers was "Quicquid agunt
homines ... nostri farrago libelli"; but in the following numbers it was
changed to "Celebrare domestica facta"; and afterwards each number
generally had a quotation bearing upon the subject of the day. Writing
some time after the commencement of the fatter, Steele said, in the
Dedication prefixed to the first volume, "The general purpose of this
paper is to expose the false arts of life, to pull off the disguises of
cunning, vanity, and affectation, and to recommend a general simplicity
in our dress, our discourse, and our behaviour." And elsewhere he says:
"As for my labours, which he is pleased to inquire after, if they but
wear one impertinence out of human life, destroy a single vice, or give
a morning's cheerfulness to an honest mind; in short, if the world can
be but one virtue the better, or in any degree less vicious, or receive
from them the smallest addition to their innocent diversions; I shall
not think my pains, or indeed my life, to have been spent in vain."[2]
At the close, speaking in his own name, Steele wrote: "The general
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 manners was absolutely necessary to him who would censure 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."[3]

With his usual generosity, Steele more than once spoke in the warmest
terms of the assistance rendered to him by Addison. In the preface to
the collected edition he said: "I have only one gentleman, who will be
nameless, to thank for any frequent assistance to me, which indeed it
would have been barbarous in him to have denied to one with whom he had
lived in an intimacy from childhood, considering the great ease with
which he is able to despatch the most entertaining pieces of this
nature. This good office he performed with such force of genius, humour,
wit, and learning that I fared like a distressed prince, who calls in a
powerful neighbour to his aid; I was undone by my auxiliary; when I had
called him in I could not subsist without dependence on him." And in
1722, after Addison's death, in a preface to his friend's play, "The
Drummer," Steele wrote of the _Tatler_, "That paper was advanced indeed!
for it was raised to a greater thing than I intended it! For the
elegance, purity, and correctness which appeared in his writings were
not so much my purpose, as (in any intelligible manner, as I could) to
rally all those singularities of human life, through the different
professions and characters in it, which obstruct anything that was truly
good and great."

It is only fair to Steele to point out that the original idea of the
_Tatler_ was entirely his own, and that he alone was responsible for the
regular supply of material. Addison was in Ireland when the paper was
begun, and did not know who was the author until several numbers had
appeared. His occasional contributions were of little importance until
after eighty numbers had been published; and of the whole 271 numbers
Steele wrote about 188 and Addison only 42, while they were jointly
responsible for 36. Swift contributed only to about a dozen numbers; and
the assistance received from other writers was so slight that it does
not call for notice here. Steele, unlike Addison, was probably at his
best in the _Tatler_, where he had a freer hand, and described, in a
perfectly fresh and unaffected style, the impressions of the moment.
Hastily composed in coffee-house or printing-office, as they often were,
and at very short notice, his papers frequently appeal to the reader of
the present day more than the carefully elaborated and highly finished
work of his friend, who wrote only when he found a suitable topic. And
if Addison's art is of a higher standard than Steele's, it is to Steele
that we owe Addison. A minor poet and the author of a book of travels
and of an unsuccessful opera, Addison found no opportunity for his
peculiar genius until his friend provided the means in the _Tatler_. It
is tolerably certain that he would himself never have taken the
necessary step of founding a periodical appealing to the general public;
and Steele himself said with perfect truth, "I claim to myself the merit
of having extorted excellent productions from a person of the greatest
abilities, who would not have let them appear by any other means."[4]

If more is said here of Steele than of Addison, it is because it is
Steele whose name is most intimately connected with the _Tatler_. The
field in which Addison shone brightest was the _Spectator_, where the
whole plan was arranged in the manner best suited to his genius. But his
influence is, nevertheless, visible in the development of the earlier
paper, and some of his individual articles are equal to anything he
afterwards wrote. It is only necessary to mention his papers on the
Distress of the News-Writers[5]; on the poetaster, Ned Softly[6]; on the
pedant and "broker in learning," Tom Folio[7]; on the Political
Upholsterer, who was more inquisitive to know what passed in Poland than
in his own family[8]; and on the Adventures of a Shilling.[9] His, too,
are the Vision of Justice[10]; the story of a dream;[11] and the amusing
account of the visit to London of Sir Harry Quickset, who, with his
old-world breeding, was the forerunner of Sir Roger de Coverley.[12]

Unlike the members of the Spectator's Club, the _dramatis personæ_
introduced in the _Tatler_ do not occupy a very prominent place in
the development of the work. Isaac Bickerstaff himself, an old man of
sixty-four, "a philosopher, an humourist, an astrologer, and a censor,"
is rather vaguely sketched, and his familiar, Pacolet, is made use of
chiefly in the earlier numbers. The occasional references to Bickerstaff's
half-sister, Jenny Distaff,[13] and her husband, Tanquillus, and to his
three nephews and their conduct in the presence of a "beautiful woman of
honour,"[14] gave Steele a framework for some charming sketches of
domestic life. It is not until No. 132 that we have the amusing account
of the members of Bickerstaff's Club, the Trumpet, in Shire Lane. There
were Sir Geoffrey Notch, a gentleman of an ancient family, who had
wasted his estate in his youth, and called every thriving man a pitiful
upstart; Major Matchlock, with his reminiscences of the Civil War; Dick
Reptile, and the Bencher who was always praising the wit of former days,
and telling stories of Jack Ogle, with whom he pretended to have been
intimate in his youth. Very little use was afterwards made of this
promising material.

The poet John Gay has given an excellent account of the work
accomplished by Steele and Addison in a pamphlet called "The Present
State of Wit" (1711). Speaking of the discontinuance of the _Tatler_, he
says: "His disappearing seemed to be bewailed as some general calamity:
every one wanted so agreeable an amusement; and the coffee-houses began
to be sensible that the Esquire's Lucubrations alone had brought them
more customers than all their other newspapers put together. It must,
indeed, be confessed that never man threw up his pen under stronger
temptations to have employed it longer; his reputation was at a greater
height than, I believe, ever any living author's was before him....
There is this noble difference between him and all the rest of our
polite and gallant authors: the latter have endeavoured to please the
age by falling in with them, and encouraging them in their fashionable
vices and false notions of things. It would have been a jest some time
since, for a man to have asserted that anything witty could be said in
praise of a married state; or that devotion and virtue were any way
necessary to the character of a fine gentleman. Bickerstaff ventured to
tell the town that they were a parcel of fops, fools, and vain
coquettes; but in such a manner as even pleased them, and made them more
than half inclined to believe that he spoke truth. Instead of complying
with the false sentiments or vicious tastes of the age, either in
morality, criticism, or good breeding, he has boldly assured them that
they were altogether in the wrong, and commanded them, with an authority
which perfectly well became him, to surrender themselves to his
arguments for virtue and good sense.

"It is incredible to conceive the effect his writings have had on the
town; how many thousand follies they have either quite banished, or
given a very great check to; how much countenance they have added to
virtue and religion; how many people they have rendered happy, by
showing them it was their own fault if they were not so; and, lastly,
how entirely they have convinced our fops and young fellows of the value
and advantages of learning. He has indeed rescued it out of the hands of
pedants and fools, and discovered the true method of making it amiable
and lovely to all mankind. In the dress he gives it, it is a most
welcome guest at tea-tables and assemblies, and is relished and caressed
by the merchants on the 'Change; accordingly, there is not a lady at
Court, nor a banker in Lombard Street, who is not verily persuaded that
Captain Steele is the greatest scholar and best casuist of any man in

"Lastly, his writings have set all our wits and men of letters upon a
new way of thinking, of which they had little or no notion before; and
though we cannot yet say that any of them have come up to the beauties
of the original, I think we may venture to affirm that every one of them
writes and thinks much more justly than they did some time since."

Gay's opinion has been confirmed by the best judges of nearly two
centuries, and there is no need to labour the question of the wit and
wisdom of the _Tatler_. But some examples may be cited in illustration
of the topics on which Steele and his friends wrote, and the manner in
which they dealt with them. The very first numbers contained
illustrations of most of what were to be the characteristics of the
paper. There is the account of the very pretty gentleman at White's
Chocolate-house thrown into a sad condition by a passing vision of a
young lady; the notice of Betterton's benefit performance; the comments
on the war; the campaign against Partridge, with the declaration that
all who were good for nothing would be included among the deceased; the
discussion on the morality of the stage, with praise of Mrs. Bicknell
and reproaches upon a young nobleman who came drunk to the play; the
comparison of the rival beauties, Chloe and Clarissa; the satire on the
Italian opera, and on Pinkethman's company of strollers; and the
allegorical paper on Fælicia, or Britain. All these and other matters
are dealt with in the four numbers which were distributed gratuitously;
as the work progressed the principal change, besides the disappearance
of the paragraphs of news, was the development of the sustained essay on
morals or manners, and the less frequent indulgence in satire upon
individual offenders, and in personal allusions in general. This change
seems to have been the result partly of design, and partly of
circumstances, including Addison's influence on the work. Steele himself
said, as we have seen, that the _Tatler_ was raised to a greater height
than he had designed; but no doubt he realised that he must feel his
way, and be at first a tatler rather than a preacher. After some grave
remarks about duelling in an early paper (No. 26), he makes Pacolet,
Bickerstaff's familiar, say, "It was too soon to give my discourse on
this subject so serious a turn; you have chiefly to do with that part of
mankind which must be led into reflection by degrees, and you must treat
this custom with humour and raillery to get an audience, before you come
to pronounce sentence upon it."

Follies and weaknesses are ridiculed in the _Tatler_ in a genial
spirit, by one who was fully alive to his own imperfections, and point
is usually given to the papers by a sketch of some veiled or imaginary
individual. In this way Bickerstaff treats of fops,[15] of wags,[16] of
coquettes,[17] of the lady who condemned the vice of the age, meaning
the only vice of which she was not guilty;[18] of impudence;[19] and of
pride and vanity.[20] In a graver tone he attacks the practice of
duelling;[21] gamesters and sharpers;[22] drunken "roarers" and
"scowrers";[23] and brutal pastimes at the Bear Garden and
elsewhere.[24] The campaign against swindlers exposed Steele to serious
threats on more than one occasion.[25]

Of what Coleridge called Steele's "pure humanity" there is nowhere
better evidence than in the _Tatler_. It is enough to cite once more the
well-known examples of the account of his father's death and his
mother's grief;[26] the stories of Unnion and Valentine,[27] of the
Cornish lovers,[28] of Clarinda and Chloe,[29] and of Mr. Eustace,[30]
and the charming account of the married happiness of an old friend, with
the pathetic picture of the death of the wife, and the grief of husband
and children.[31] In the last number Steele said, "It has been a most
exquisite pleasure to me to frame characters of domestic life"; and we
know from his letters that when he wrote of children he was only
expressing the deep affection which he felt for his own. Equally in
advance of his time was his respect for women, one of whom--Lady
Elizabeth Hastings--he has immortalised in the words, "To love her is a
liberal education."[32] In the same number he wrote, "As charity is
esteemed a conjunction of the good qualities necessary to a virtuous
man, so love is the happy composition of all the accomplishments that
make a fine gentleman." In a time of much laxity he constantly dwelt on
the happiness of marriage; "wife is the most amiable term in human
life."[33] But good nature must be cultivated if the married life is to
be happy,[34] and all unnecessary provocations avoided. "Dear Jenny,"
says Bickerstaff to his sister, "remember me, and avoid
Snap-Dragon."[35] Women must be rightly educated before they can expect
to be treated by, and to influence men as they should.[36] The make of
the mind greatly contributes to the ornament of the body; "there is so
immediate a relation between our thoughts and gestures that a woman must
think well to look well."[37] The habit of scandal-mongering and other
weaknesses are the result of an improper training of the mind.[38] "All
women especially," says Thackeray, "are bound to be grateful to Steele,
as he was the first of our writers who really seemed to admire and
respect them." His pity extended to the hunted deer: "I have more than
once rode off at the death," he says; "to be apt to shed tears is a sign
of a great as well as a little spirit."[39]

Steele's teaching on morals and right living enters intimately into his
literary criticism. His love for Shakespeare was real and intelligent;
there is no formal discussion of the rules of the drama, but throughout
the _Tatler_ there are references which show the keenest appreciation
of Shakespeare's powers as poet and philosopher. "The vitiated tastes of
the audience at the theatre could only be amended," says Steele, "by
encouraging the representation of the noble characters drawn by
Shakespeare and others, from whence it is impossible to return without
strong impressions of honour and humanity. On these occasions, distress
is laid before us with all its causes and consequences, and our
resentment placed according to the merit of the persons afflicted. Were
dramas of this nature more acceptable to the taste of the town, men who
have genius would bend their studies to excel in them."[40] Still more
remarkable are the allusions to "Paradise Lost," for Milton was then even
less appreciated than Shakespeare. As in so many other things, Addison's
more elaborate criticism in the _Spectator_ was foreshadowed in the
_Tatler_ by Steele; and the comparison of passages by Milton and
Dryden[41] must have been very striking to the reader of that time, who
usually knew Shakespeare or Chaucer only through the adaptations of Dryden
or Tate.

Though it is not true, as some have represented, that the _Tatler_ is
for the most part a mere society journal, concerned chiefly with the
gossip of the day, yet its contributors made use of the scenes and
events familiar to their readers in order to bring home the kindly
lessons they wished to teach; and in so doing they have given us a
picture of the daily life of the town which would alone have given
lasting interest to the paper. The distinctly "moral" papers have had
countless imitators, and sometimes therefore they are apt to pall upon
us, but the social articles are at least as interesting now as when they
were written, and one of the reasons why some excellent judges have
prefered the _Tatler_ to the _Spectator_, is that there is a greater
proportion of these gossiping papers, combining wisdom with satire, and
bringing before us as in a mirror the London of Queen Anne's day.
Bickerstaff takes us from club to coffee-house, from St. James's to the
Exchange; we see the poets and wits at Will's, the politicians at
White's, the merchants at Garraway's, the Templars at the Smyrna; we see
Betterton and the rest on the stage, and the ladies and gentlemen in the
front or side boxes; we see Pinkethman's players at Greenwich, Powell's
puppet-show, Don Saltero's Museum at Chelsea, and the bear-baiting and
prize-fights at Hockley-in-the-Hole. We are taken to the Mall at St.
James's, or the Ring in Hyde Park, and we study the fine ladies and the
beaux, with their red heels and their amber-headed canes suspended from
their waistcoats; or we follow them to Charles Lillie's, the perfumer,
or to Mather's toy-shop, or to Motteux's china warehouse; or to the
shops in the New Exchange, where the men bought trifles and ogled the
attendants. Or yet again we watch the exposure of the sharpers and
bullies, and the denunciation of others who brought even greater ruin on
those who fell into their clutches. We see the worshipping and the
flirtations in the church, with Smalridge and Atterbury, Hoadly and
Blackall among the preachers, and hear something of the controversies
between High and Low Church, Whig and Tory. We hear, too, of the war
with France, and of the hopes of peace. Steele tells us not only of
Marlborough and Prince Eugene, but of privates and non-commissioned
officers, of their lives and tragedies, of their comrades and friends.
All Sergeant Hall knew of the battle was that he wished there had not
been so many killed; he had himself a very bad shot in the head, but
would recover, if it pleased God. "To me," says Steele, recalling his
own service as a trooper, "I take the gallantry of private soldiers to
proceed from the same, if not from a nobler impulse than that of
gentlemen and officers.... Sergeant Hall would die ten thousand deaths
rather than a word should be spoken at the Red Lattice, or any part of
the Butcher Row, in prejudice to his courage or honesty." His letter to
his friend was "the picture of the bravest sort of man, that is to say,
a man of great courage and small hopes."[42]

Something must be said of the events of 1710, which led to the
discontinuance of the _Tatler_. The trial of Dr. Sacheverell in March
was followed by the fall of the Whigs in the autumn; and in October
Steele lost his post of Gazetteer. Swift says it was "for writing a
_Tatler_ some months ago, against Mr. Harley, who gave him the post at
first." There was a growing coldness between Swift and his old friends,
and on the 3rd of November Swift wrote, "We have scurvy _Tatlers_ of
late, so pray do not suspect me." On the preceding day Swift's first
paper in the Tory _Examiner_ had been published. He still met Steele
from time to time, and he says that he interceded for him with Harley,
but was frustrated by Addison. However this may be, it is certain that
Harley saw Steele, and that as the result of their interview Steele
retained his post as Commissioner of the Stamp Office, and brought the
_Tatler_ to a close on January 2, 1711, without consulting Addison. "To
say the truth, it was time," says Swift; "for he grew cruel dull and
dry." It is true that there is a falling off towards the close of the
_Tatler_, but that it was not want of matter that brought about the
abandonment of the paper is proved by the commencement only two months
later of the _Spectator_. Steele himself said that on many accounts it
had become an irksome task to personate Mr. Bickerstaff any longer; he
had in some places touched upon matters concerning Church and State, and
he could not be cold enough to conceal his opinions. Gay tells us, in
"The Present State of Wit," that the town being generally of opinion
that Steele was quite spent as regards matter, was the more surprised
when the _Spectator_ appeared; people were therefore driven to accept
the alternative view that the _Tatler_ was laid down "as a sort of
submission to, or composition with, the Government for some past

Excellent testimony to the immediate popularity of the _Tatler_ is
furnished by the fact that its successive numbers were reprinted in
Dublin and in Edinburgh. At least sixty-nine numbers of the Dublin
issue, in quarto, were printed. The Scottish re-issue was a folio sheet,
commenced about February 1710, and continued until the close of the
paper. The date of each number of the Edinburgh paper--"printed by
James Watson, and sold at his shop next door to the Red Lion, opposite
to the Lucken Booths"--is five or six days later than that of the
original issue; it was evidently worked off as soon as the London post
came in. Other evidence of the popularity of the _Tatler_ in the
provinces is afforded by the foundation of the "Gentleman's Society" at
Spalding. Maurice Johnson, a native of Spalding and a member of the
Inner Temple, gives this account of the matter: "In April 1709, that
great genius Captain Richard Steele ... published the _Tatlers_, which,
as they came out in half-sheets, were taken in by a gentleman, who
communicated them to his acquaintances at the coffee-house then in the
Abbey Yard; and these papers being universally approved as both
instructive and entertaining, they ordered them to be sent down thither,
with the Gazettes and Votes, for which they paid out of charity to the
person who kept the coffee-house, and they were accordingly had and read
there every post-day, generally aloud to the company, who would sit and
talk over the subject afterwards. This insensibly drew the men of sense
and letters into a sociable way of conversing, and continued the next
year, 1710, until the publication of these papers desisted, which was in
December, to their great regret." Afterwards the _Spectator_ was taken
in, and a regular society was started in 1712, by the encouragement of
Addison, Steele, and other members of Button's Club.

One indication of the popularity of the _Tatler_ in its own day is the
long subscription list prefixed to the reprint in four octavo volumes.
Some copies were printed on "royal," others on "medium" paper; and the
price of the former was a guinea a volume, while that of the latter was
half a guinea. There was also an authorised cheap edition, in duodecimo,
at half a crown a volume, besides a pirated edition at the same price. A
still more conclusive proof of the success of the _Tatler_ was the
number of papers started in imitation of its methods. Addison mentioned
some of those periodicals in No. 229, where details will be found of the
"Female Tatler," "Tit for Tat," and the like. But besides these, several
spurious continuations of the _Tatler_ appeared directly after the
discontinuance of the genuine paper, including one by William Harrison,
written with Swift's encouragement and assistance. But Harrison, as
Swift said, had "not the true vein for it," and his paper reached only
to fifty-two numbers, which were afterwards reprinted as a fifth volume
to the collected edition of the original _Tatler_. Gay said that
Steele's imitators seemed to think "that what was only the garnish of
the former _Tatlers_ was that which recommended them, and not those
substantial entertainments which they everywhere abound in." The town,
in the absence of anything better, welcomed their occasional and faint
endeavours at humour; "but even those are at present become wholly
invisible, and quite swallowed up in the blaze of the _Spectator_."
Steele himself said that his imitators held the censorship in

[Footnote 1: No. 18.]

[Footnote 2: No. 89.]

[Footnote 3: No. 271.]

[Footnote 4: _Spectator_, No. 532.]

[Footnote 5: _Tatler_, No. 18.]

[Footnote 6: No. 163.]

[Footnote 7: No. 158.]

[Footnote 8: Nos. 155, 160.]

[Footnote 9: No. 249.]

[Footnote 10: Nos. 100, 102.]

[Footnote 11: No. 117.]

[Footnote 12: No. 86.]

[Footnote 13: No. 10.]

[Footnote 14: No. 30.]

[Footnote 15: No. 142.]

[Footnote 16: No. 184.]

[Footnote 17: No. 27.]

[Footnote 18: No. 210.]

[Footnote 19: No. 168.]

[Footnote 20: Nos. 127, 186.]

[Footnote 21: Nos. 25, 26, 29, 31, 38, 39.]

[Footnote 22: Nos. 56, &c.]

[Footnote 23: Nos. 40, 45.]

[Footnote 24: No. 134.]

[Footnote 25: See Nos. 115, 271.]

[Footnote 26: No. 181.]

[Footnote 27: No. 5.]

[Footnote 28: No. 82.]

[Footnote 29: No. 94.]

[Footnote 30: No. 172.]

[Footnote 31: Nos. 95, 114.]

[Footnote 32: No. 49.]

[Footnote 33: No. 33.]

[Footnote 34: No. 149.]

[Footnote 35: No. 85. See, too, No. 104.]

[Footnote 36: Nos. 141, 248.]

[Footnote 37: No. 212.]

[Footnote 38: Nos, 40, 42, 47.]

[Footnote 39: No. 68.]

[Footnote 40: No. 8.]

[Footnote 41: No. 6.]

[Footnote 42: No. 87.]



In the last _Tatler_ I promised some explanation of passages and persons
mentioned in this work, as well as some account of the assistances I
have had in the performance. I shall do this in very few words; for when
a man has no design but to speak plain truth, he may say a great deal in
a very narrow compass. I have in the dedication of the first volume made
my acknowledgments to Dr. Swift, whose pleasant writings, in the name of
Bickerstaff, created an inclination in the town towards anything that
could appear in the same disguise. I must acknowledge also, that at my
first entering upon this work, a certain uncommon way of thinking, and a
turn in conversation peculiar to that agreeable gentleman, rendered his
company very advantageous to one whose imagination was to be continually
employed upon obvious and common subjects, though at the same time
obliged to treat of them in a new and unbeaten method. His verses on the
Shower in Town,[44] and the Description of the Morning,[45] are
instances of the happiness of that genius, which could raise such
pleasing ideas upon occasions so barren to an ordinary invention.

When I am upon the house of Bickerstaff, I must not forget that
genealogy of the family sent to me by the post, and written, as I since
understand, by Mr. Twysden,[46] who died at the battle of Mons, and has
a monument in Westminster Abbey, suitable to the respect which is due to
his wit and his valour. There are through the course of the work very
many incidents which were written by unknown correspondents. Of this
kind is the tale in the second _Tatler_, and the epistle from Mr. Downes
the prompter,[47] with others which were very well received by the
public. But I have only one gentleman,[48] who will be nameless, to
thank for any frequent assistance to me, which indeed it would have been
barbarous in him to have denied to one with whom he has lived in an
intimacy from childhood, considering the great ease with which he is
able to dispatch the most entertaining pieces of this nature. This good
office he performed with such force of genius, humour, wit and learning,
that I fared like a distressed prince who calls in a powerful neighbour
to his aid; I was undone by my auxiliary; when I had once called him in,
I could not subsist without dependence on him.

The same hand writ the distinguishing characters of men and women under
the names of Musical Instruments, the Distress of the News-writers, the
Inventory of the Playhouse, and the Description of the Thermometer,[49]
which I cannot but look upon as the greatest embellishments of this

Thus far I thought necessary to say relating to the great hands which
have been concerned in these volumes, with relation to the spirit and
genius of the work; and am far from pretending to modesty in making this
acknowledgment. What a man obtains from the good opinion and friendship
of worthy men, is a much greater honour than he can possibly reap from
any accomplishments of his own. But all the credit of wit which was
given me by the gentlemen above mentioned (with whom I have now
accounted) has not been able to atone for the exceptions made against me
for some raillery in behalf of that learned advocate for the episcopacy
of the Church, and the liberty of the people, Mr. Hoadly. I mention this
only to defend myself against the imputation of being moved rather by
party than opinion;[50] and I think it is apparent, I have with the
utmost frankness allowed merit wherever I found it, though joined in
interests different from those for which I have declared myself. When my
Favonius[51] is acknowledged to be Dr. Smalridge, and the amiable
character of the dean in the sixty-sixth _Tatler_ drawn for Dr.
Atterbury, I hope I need say no more as to my impartiality.

I really have acted in these cases with honesty, and am concerned it
should be thought otherwise: for wit, if a man had it, unless it be
directed to some useful end, is but a wanton frivolous quality; all that
one should value himself upon in this kind is, that he had some
honourable intention in it.

As for this point, never hero in romance was carried away with a more
furious ambition to conquer giants and tyrants, than I have been in
extirpating gamesters and duellists. And indeed, like one of those
knights too, though I was calm before, I am apt to fly out again, when
the thing that first disturbed me is presented to my imagination. I
shall therefore leave off when I am well, and fight with windmills no
more: only shall be so arrogant as to say of myself, that in spite of
all the force of fashion and prejudice, in the face of all the world, I
alone bewailed the condition of an English gentleman, whose fortune and
life are at this day precarious; while his estate is liable to the
demands of gamesters, through a false sense of justice; and to the
demands of duellists, through a false sense of honour. As to the first
of these orders of men, I have not one word more to say of them: as to
the latter, I shall conclude all I have more to offer against them (with
respect to their being prompted by the fear of shame) by applying to the
duellist what I think Dr. South says somewhere of the liar, "He is a
coward to man, and a brave to God."

_To_ Mr. Maynwaring.[52]


The state of conversation and business in this town having been long
perplexed with pretenders in both kinds, in order to open men's eyes
against such abuses, it appeared no unprofitable undertaking to publish
a paper which should observe upon the manners of the pleasureable, as
well as the busy part of mankind. To make this generally read, it seemed
the most proper method to form it by way of a letter of intelligence,
consisting of such parts as might gratify the curiosity of persons of
all conditions, and of each sex. But a work of this nature requiring
time to grow into the notice of the world, it happened very luckily,
that a little before I had resolved upon this design, a gentleman[53]
had written Predictions, and two or three other pieces in my name, which
had rendered it famous through all parts of Europe; and by an inimitable
spirit and humour, raised it to as high a pitch of reputation as it
could possibly arrive at.

By this good fortune, the name of Isaac Bickerstaff gained an audience
of all who had any taste of wit, and the addition of the ordinary
occurrences of common journals of news brought in a multitude of other
readers. I could not, I confess, long keep up the opinion of the town,
that these lucubrations were written by the same hand with the first
works which were published under my name; but before I lost the
participation of that author's fame, I had already found the advantage
of his authority, to which I owe the sudden acceptance which my labours
met with in the world.

The general purpose of this paper, is to expose the false arts of life,
to pull off the disguises of cunning, vanity, and affectation, and
recommend a general simplicity in our dress, our discourse, and our
behaviour. No man has a better judgment for the discovery, or a nobler
spirit for the contempt of such impostures, than your self; which
qualities render you the most proper patron for the author of these
essays. In the general, the design, however executed, has met with so
great success, that there is hardly a name now eminent among us for
power, wit, beauty, valour, or wisdom, which is not subscribed, for the
encouragement of the two volumes in octavo, on a royal or medium
paper.[54] This is indeed an honour, for which it is impossible to
express a suitable gratitude; and there is nothing could be an addition
to the pleasure I take in it, but the reflection that it gives me the
most conspicuous occasion I can ever have, of subscribing myself,


Your most obliged, most obedient, and most humble Servant,


[Footnote 43: This Preface was originally prefixed to the fourth volume
of the collected edition issued in 1710-11.]

[Footnote 44: No. 238.]

[Footnote 45: No. 9.]

[Footnote 46: See No. 11.]

[Footnote 47: No. 193.]

[Footnote 48: Addison.]

[Footnote 49: Nos. 153, 18, 42, 220.]

[Footnote 50: Benjamin Hoadly, afterwards Bishop of Bangor, Salisbury,
and Winchester, successively, was in 1709 engaged in controversy with
Dr. Francis Atterbury, who represented the high-church party. George
Smalridge, afterwards Bishop of Bristol, was a Jacobite.]

[Footnote 51: See Nos. 72, 114.]

[Footnote 52: Arthur Maynwaring was descended from the ancient family of
the Maynwarings of Over Peover, Cheshire. He was born in 1668, at
Ightfield, Shropshire, and was educated at the Shrewsbury Grammar School
and at Christ Church, Oxford, where Smalridge was his tutor. Filled with
prejudices against the Revolution, he came to London to study law, but a
political satire which he published brought him under Dryden's notice,
and the kind reception given him by several Whig statesmen, to whom he
was introduced, caused him to change his views on politics, and after
his father's death in 1693 he gave up the law and determined to push his
fortunes at the Court. He was made a Commissioner of Customs and
afterwards Auditor of the Imprests. He was admitted to the Kit-Cat Club,
and in 1706 the interest of Godolphin procured him a seat in the House
of Commons. Upon the fall of the Whig ministry in 1710, Maynwaring set
up the _Medley_, a weekly paper in which the attacks of the _Examiner_
were answered, and wrote various political pamphlets. But his health
soon broke down, and he died in November, 1712. Mrs. Oldfield, the
actress, was the sole executrix of his will, by which he divided his
small property of some £3000 between her, a son that he had by her, and
his sister. There appear to have been many good points in his character.
His "Life and Posthumous Works" were published by Oldmixon in 1715.
"Maynwaring, whom we hear nothing of now, was the ruling man in all
conversations, indeed what he wrote had very little merit in it" (Pope,
in Spence's "Anecdotes," 1820, p. 338). Steele says that Harley told him
that he had to thank Maynwaring for his post of Gazetteer.]

[Footnote 53: Swift.]

[Footnote 54: "Encouragement of these volumes," in the octavo edition.
The list of subscribers to the original octavo edition comprised the
names of some four hundred of the most prominent persons of the day.]



No. 1. [STEELE.

_Tuesday, April 12_, 1709.

    Quicquid agunt homines ... nostri farrago libelli.
                                            Juv., Sat. I. 85, 86.[55]

       *       *       *       *       *

Though the other papers which are published for the use of the good
people of England have certainly very wholesome effects, and are
laudable in their particular kinds, yet they do not seem to come up to
the main design of such narrations, which, I humbly presume, should be
principally intended for the use of politic persons, who are so public
spirited as to neglect their own affairs to look into transactions of
State. Now these gentlemen, for the most part, being men of strong zeal
and weak intellects, it is both a charitable and necessary work to offer
something, whereby such worthy and well-affected members of the
commonwealth may be instructed, after their reading, what to think;
which shall be the end and purpose of this my paper: wherein I shall
from time to time report and consider all matters of what kind soever
that shall occur to me, and publish such my advices and reflections
every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in the week for the convenience
of the post.[56] I have also resolved to have something which may be of
entertainment to the fair sex, in honour of whom I have taken the title
of this paper. I therefore earnestly desire all persons, without
distinction, to take it in for the present gratis, and hereafter at the
price of one penny, forbidding all hawkers to take more for it at their
peril. And I desire my readers to consider, that I am at a very great
charge for proper materials for this work, as well as that before I
resolved upon it, I had settled a correspondence in all parts of the
known and knowing world. And forasmuch as this globe is not trodden upon
by mere drudges of business only, but that men of spirit and genius are
justly to be esteemed as considerable agents in it, we shall not, upon a
dearth of news, present you with musty foreign edicts, or dull
proclamations, but shall divide our relation of the passages which occur
in action or discourse throughout this town, as well as elsewhere, under
such dates of places as may prepare you for the matter you are to
expect, in the following manner:

All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and entertainment, shall be under
the article of White's Chocolate-house;[57] poetry, under that of Will's
Coffee-house;[58] learning, under the title of Grecian;[59] foreign and
domestic news, you will have from St. James's Coffee-house;[60] and what
else I shall on any other subject offer, shall be dated from my own

I once more desire my readers to consider that as I cannot keep an
ingenious man to go daily to Will's under twopence each day merely
for his charges,[61] to White's under sixpence, nor to the Grecian
without allowing him some plain Spanish,[62] to be as able as others at
the learned table; and that a good observer cannot speak with even
Kidney[63] at St. James's without clean linen; I say, these
considerations will, I hope, make all persons willing to comply with my
humble request (when my gratis stock is exhausted) of a penny a piece;
especially since they are sure of some proper amusement, and that it is
impossible for me to want means to entertain them, having, besides the
helps of my own parts, the power of divination, and that I can, by
casting a figure, tell you all that will happen before it comes to pass.

But this last faculty I shall use very sparingly, and not speak of
anything until it is passed, for fear of divulging matters which may
offend our superiors.[64]

White's Chocolate-house, April 11.

The deplorable condition of a very pretty gentleman, who walks here at
the hours when men of quality first appear, is what is very much
lamented. His history is, that on the 9th of September, 1705, being in
his one and twentieth year, he was washing his teeth at a tavern window
in Pall Mall, when a fine equipage passed by, and in it a young lady,
who looked up at him; away goes the coach, and the young gentleman
pulled off his nightcap, and instead of rubbing his gums, as he ought to
do out of the window till about four o'clock, he sits him down, and
spoke not a word till twelve at night; after which, he began to inquire,
if anybody knew the lady. The company asked, "What lady?" But he said no
more until they broke up at six in the morning. All the ensuing winter
he went from church to church every Sunday, and from play-house to
play-house all the week, but could never find the original of the
picture which dwelt in his bosom. In a word, his attention to anything
but his passion, was utterly gone. He has lost all the money he ever
played for, and been confuted in every argument he has entered upon
since the moment he first saw her. He is of a noble family, has
naturally a very good air, and is of a frank, honest temper: but this
passion has so extremely mauled him, that his features are set and
uninformed, and his whole visage is deadened by a long absence of
thought. He never appears in any alacrity, but when raised by wine; at
which time he is sure to come hither, and throw away a great deal of wit
on fellows, who have no sense further than just to observe, that our
poor lover has most understanding when he is drunk, and is least in his
senses when he is sober.[65]

Will's Coffee-house, April 8.

On Thursday last[66] was presented, for the benefit of Mr.
Betterton,[67] the celebrated comedy, called "Love for Love."[68] Those
excellent players, Mrs. Barry,[69] Mrs. Bracegirdle,[70] and Mr.
Doggett,[71] though not at present concerned in the house, acted on that
occasion. There has not been known so great a concourse of persons of
distinction as at that time; the stage itself was covered with gentlemen
and ladies, and when the curtain was drawn, it discovered even there a
very splendid audience. This unusual encouragement, which was given to a
play for the advantage of so great an actor, gives an undeniable
instance, that the true relish for manly entertainments and rational
pleasures is not wholly lost. All the parts were acted to perfection;
the actors were careful of their carriage, and no one was guilty of the
affectation to insert witticisms of his own, but a due respect was had
to the audience, for encouraging this accomplished player. It is not now
doubted but plays will revive, and take their usual place in the opinion
of persons of wit and merit, notwithstanding their late apostacy in
favour of dress and sound. This place is very much altered since Mr.
Dryden frequented it; where you used to see songs, epigrams, and satires
in the hands of every man you met, you have now only a pack of cards;
and instead of the cavils about the turn of the expression, the elegance
of the style, and the like, the learned now dispute only about the truth
of the game. But, however the company is altered, all have shown a great
respect for Mr. Betterton: and the very gaming part of this house have
been so much touched with a sense of the uncertainty of human affairs
(which alter with themselves every moment) that in this gentleman, they
pitied Mark Antony of Rome, Hamlet of Denmark, Mithridates of Pontus,
Theodosius of Greece, and Henry the Eighth of England. It is well known
he has been in the condition of each of those illustrious personages for
several hours together, and behaved himself in those high stations, in
all the changes of the scene, with suitable dignity. For these reasons,
we intend to repeat this favour to him on a proper occasion, lest he who
can instruct us so well in personating feigned sorrows, should be lost
to us by suffering under real ones. The town is at present in very great
expectation of seeing a comedy now in rehearsal, which is the
twenty-fifth production of my honoured friend Mr. Thomas D'Urfey;[72]
who, besides his great abilities in the dramatic, has a peculiar talent
in the lyric way of writing, and that with a manner wholly new and
unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans, wherein he is but faintly
imitated in the translations of the modern Italian operas.[73]

St. James's Coffee-house, April 11.

Letters from the Hague of the 16th say, that Major-General Cadogan[74]
was gone to Brussels, with orders to disperse proper instructions for
assembling the whole force of the allies in Flanders in the beginning of
the next month.[75] The late offers concerning peace were made in the
style of persons who think themselves upon equal terms. But the allies
have so just a sense of their present advantages, that they will not
admit of a treaty, except France offers what is more suitable to her
present condition. At the same time we make preparations, as if we were
alarmed by a greater force than that which we are carrying into the
field. Thus this point seems now to be argued sword in hand. This was
what a great general[76] alluded to, when being asked the names of those
who were to be plenipotentiaries for the ensuing peace, answered, with a
serious air, "There are about a hundred thousand of us." Mr. Kidney, who
has the ear of the greatest politicians that come hither, tells me,
there is a mail come in to-day with letters, dated Hague, April 19,
N.S., which say, a design of bringing part of our troops into the field
at the latter end of this month, is now altered to a resolution of
marching towards the camp about the 20th of the next. There happened the
other day, in the road of Scheveling, an engagement between a privateer
of Zealand and one of Dunkirk. The Dunkirker, carrying 33 pieces of
cannon, was taken and brought into the Texel. It is said, the courier of
Monsieur Rouillé[77] is returned to him from the Court of France.
Monsieur Vendôme being reinstated in the favour of the Duchess of
Burgundy, is to command in Flanders.

Mr. Kidney added, that there were letters of the 17th from Ghent, which
give an account, that the enemy had formed a design to surprise two
battalions of the allies which lay at Alost; but those battalions
received advice of their march, and retired to Dendermond.
Lieutenant-General Wood[78] appeared on this occasion at the head of
5000 foot, and 1000 horse, upon which the enemy withdrew, without making
any further attempt.

From my own Apartment.

I am sorry I am obliged to trouble the public with so much discourse
upon a matter which I at the very first mentioned as a trifle--viz. the
death of Mr. Partridge,[79] under whose name there is an almanack come
out for the year 1709, in one page of which it is asserted by the said
John Partridge, that he is still living, and that not only so, but that
he was also living some time before, and even at the instant when I writ
of his death. I have in another place, and in a paper by itself,
sufficiently convinced this man that he is dead, and if he has any
shame, I don't doubt but that by this time he owns it to all his
acquaintance: for though the legs and arms, and whole body of that man
may still appear and perform their animal functions; yet since, as I
have elsewhere observed, his art is gone, the man is gone. I am, as I
said, concerned, that this little matter should make so much noise; but
since I am engaged, I take myself obliged in honour to go on in my
lucubrations, and by the help of these arts of which I am master, as
well as my skill in astrological speculations, I shall, as I see
occasion, proceed to confute other dead men, who pretend to be in being,
that they are actually deceased. I therefore give all men fair warning
to mend their manners, for I shall from time to time print bills of
mortality; and I beg the pardon of all such who shall be named therein,
if they who are good for nothing shall find themselves in the number of
the deceased.[80]

[Footnote 55: This motto was repeated at the head of each of the first
40 numbers in the folio issue.]

[Footnote 56: These were the days on which the post left London for the
different parts of the country.]

[Footnote 57: White's Chocolate-house, five doors from the bottom of the
west side of St. James's Street, was established in 1698. It was burnt
on April 28, 1733, while kept by Mr. Arthur. Plate VI. of Hogarth's
"Rake's Progress" depicts gamblers engrossed in play in a room in this
house during the fire; see also Plate IV. Swift gives it a bad character
in his "Essay on Modern Education;" it had a strong character for
gambling (Timbs's "Clubs and Club Life in London," where, at p. 48,
there is a sketch of White's from an old drawing). The house became a
private club, as we now have it, about 1736.]

[Footnote 58: Will's Coffee-house, named after Will Urwin, its
proprietor, was the corner house on the north side of Russell Street,
Covent Garden, at the end of Bow Street. The present house, 21 Russell
Street, is probably part of the old building. Will's was ceasing to be
the resort of the wits in 1709; it was in its glory at the close of the
seventeenth century. The wits' room, where Dryden presided, was on the
first floor.]

[Footnote 59: The Grecian, in Devereux Court in the Strand, was probably
the most ancient coffee-house in or about London. In 1652 an English
Turkey merchant brought home with him a Greek servant, who first opened
a house for making and selling coffee. This man's name was Constantine,
and his house was much resorted to by lawyers, Greek scholars, and
Members of the Royal Society. (See Thoresby's Diary, i. 111, 117.) Foote
and Goldsmith afterwards frequented it. In Dr. King's "Anecdotes" there
is a story of two gentlemen friends who disputed at the Grecian
Coffee-house about the accent of a Greek word to such a length that they
went out into Devereux Court and drew swords, when one of them was
killed on the spot.]

[Footnote 60: The St. James's Coffee-house was the last house but one on
the S.W. corner of St. James's Street. It was frequented by Whig
statesmen, and was closed about 1806. Swift and Steele were at a supper
given by the keeper on the 19th November, 1710.]

[Footnote 61: Cf. the _Spectator_, No. 31: "Laying down my penny upon
the bar."]

[Footnote 62: Wine.]

[Footnote 63: A waiter. See Nos. 10, 26.]

[Footnote 64: This introduction was repeated in Nos. 2 and 3 of the
original issue.]

[Footnote 65: "The reader is desired to take notice of the article from
this place from time to time, for I design to be very exact in the
progress this unhappy gentleman makes, which may be of great instruction
to all who actually are, or who ever shall be, in love." (Original
folio.) For Viscount Hinchinbroke ("Cynthio"), see No. 5.]

[Footnote 66: April 7, 1709. Cibber acknowledges that Steele did the
stage very considerable service by the papers on the theatre in the

[Footnote 67: For further particulars of Thomas Betterton (1635-1710),
see Nos. 71 and 167. Cibber says: "I never heard a line in tragedy come
from Betterton wherein my judgment, my ear and my imagination were not
fully satisfied.... The person of this excellent actor was suitable to
his voice, more manly than sweet, not exceeding the middle stature,
inclining to be corpulent; of a serious and penetrating aspect; his
limbs nearer the athletic than the delicate proportion; yet, however
formed, there arose from the harmony of the whole a commanding mien of

[Footnote 68: By Congreve, 1695.]

[Footnote 69: Mrs. Elizabeth Barry on this occasion spoke an epilogue,
written by Rowe. She was the daughter of Edward Barry, barrister, whose
fortunes were ruined by his attachment to Charles I. Tony Aston, in his
"Supplement to Cibber's Apology," says she was woman to Lady Shelton, of
Norfolk, his godmother; and Curll tells us that she was early taken
under the protection of Lady Davenant. She was certainly on the stage in
1673. At her first appearance there was so little hope of her success,
that at the end of the season she was discharged [from] the theatre. It
is probable that at this time she became acquainted with Lord Rochester,
who took her under his protection, and gave her instructions in her
theatrical performances. By his interest she seems to have been restored
to the stage, and, improving daily in her profession, she soon eclipsed
all her competitors, and in the part of Monimia in "The Orphan"
established her reputation, which was enhanced by her performance as
Belvidera in "Venice Preserved," and as Isabella in "The Fatal
Marriage." "In characters of greatness," says Cibber, "Mrs. Barry had a
presence of elevated dignity, her mien and motion superb, and gracefully
majestic; her voice full, clear, and strong, so that no violence of
passion could be too much for her, and when distress or tenderness
possessed her she subsided into the most affecting melody and softness.
In the art of exciting pity she had a power beyond all the actresses I
have yet seen, or what your imagination can conceive. In scenes of
anger, defiance, or resentment, while she was impetuous and terrible,
she poured out the sentiment with an enchanting harmony.... In tragedy
she was solemn and august, in comedy alert, easy, and genteel, pleasant
in her face and action, filling the stage with a variety of gesture. She
could neither sing nor dance, no not in a country dance. She adhered to
Betterton in all the revolutions of the theatre, which she quitted about
1707, on account of ill-health." She returned, however, for one night
with Mrs. Bracegirdle, April 7, 1709, and performed Mrs. Frail in "Love
for Love" for Betterton's benefit. She died at Acton in 1713. Mrs.
Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, Mr. Betterton, and Mr. Varbriggen were sworn as
Comedians in Ordinary to her Majesty, 30th Oct., 2 Anne (1703). On the
3rd March, 1692, Mrs. Barry received £25 for acting in "The Orphan"
before their Majesties, and on the 10th June, 1693, £25 for Caius
Marius. (Lord Chamberlain's Records, Warrant Books, No. 20, p. 151; No.
18, pp. 30, 242.)]

[Footnote 70: Mrs. Anne Bracegirdle was the daughter of Justinian
Bracegirdle, of Northamptonshire. By the imprudence of her father, who
ruined himself by becoming surety for some friends, she was early left
to the care of Betterton and his wife, whose attentions to her she
always acknowledged to be truly paternal. By them she was first
introduced to the stage, and, while very young, performed the page in
"The Orphan." Increasing in years, and in ability, she became the
favourite performer of the times. Cibber describes her in these terms:
"Mrs. Bracegirdle was now but just blooming in her maturity; her
reputation, as an actress, gradually rising with that of her person;
never any woman was in such general favour of her spectators, which, to
the last scene of her dramatic life, she maintained by not being
unguarded in her private character. This discretion contributed not a
little to make her the _Cara_, the darling of the theatre: for it will
be no extravagant thing to say scarce an audience saw her that were less
than half of them lovers, without a suspected favourite among them: and
though she might be said to have been the universal passion and under
the highest temptations, her constancy in resisting them served but to
increase the number of her admirers. And this perhaps you will more
easily believe, when I extend not my encomiums on her person beyond a
sincerity that can be suspected; for she had no greater claim to beauty
than what the most desirable brunette might pretend to. But her youth
and lively aspect threw out such a glow of health and cheerfulness,
that, on the stage, few spectators that were not past it, could behold
her without desire. There were two very different characters in which
she acquitted herself with uncommon applause: if anything could excuse
that desperate extravagance of love, that almost frantic passion of
Lee's Alexander the Great, it must have been when Mrs. Bracegirdle was
his Statira: as when she acted Millamant, all the faults, follies, and
affectation of that agreeable tyrant were venially melted down into so
many charms and attractions of a conscious beauty." In the theatrical
disputes of the times, she adhered to her benefactor Betterton, and
continued to perform with applause until 1707, when, on the preference
being given to Mrs. Oldfield in a contention between that actress and
Mrs. Bracegirdle, she left the stage, except for one night, when she
returned with Mrs. Barry to the theatre, and performed Angelica for
Betterton's benefit (the performance described in this number). She died
in 1748.]

[Footnote 71: Thomas Doggett died in 1721. In 1695 he created the
character of Ben in Congreve's "Love for Love." Afterwards he was
associated with Steele in the management of Drury Lane Theatre.]

[Footnote 72: D'Urfey's "Modern Prophets" was produced in 1709. Thomas
D'Urfey died in 1723, aged 70, leaving Steele a watch and chain, which
his friend wore at the funeral. He wrote many plays and songs. See also
Nos. 11, 43.]

[Footnote 73: See No. 4.]

[Footnote 74: William, First Earl Cadogan (1675-1726), was an able
officer who took a very prominent part in Marlborough's campaigns. In
January, 1709, he was made lieutenant-general, and he was dangerously
wounded at the siege of Mons. He was appointed Lieutenant of the Tower
of London in December.]

[Footnote 75: The news-paragraphs in the earlier numbers of the _Tatler_
are here preserved for the sake of completeness, but for the most part
the details recorded are not of permanent interest, and do not call for
comment. The reader may be reminded generally that in the spring of 1709
the French, after the battle of Oudenarde and the fall of Lille,
followed by a very severe winter, were driven to think of terms of
peace. The negotiations, however, fell through for the time, and the
campaign was begun in the Netherlands, where Marlborough and Prince
Eugene had an army of 110,000 men. The French were entrenched under
Villars between Douay and Béthune, and were strengthened by part of the
garrison of Tournay. Marlborough seized the opportunity of attacking the
half-defended town, which was obliged to surrender on July 29, after a
siege of nineteen days. The French then made a great effort, and brought
an army of 100,000 men into the field, with the result that the battle
of Malplaquet (Sept. 11) was a very bloody and hard-earned victory for
the allies. The subsequent fall of Mons brought the campaign to a

[Footnote 76: Marlborough.]

[Footnote 77: A merchant entrusted by Lewis XIV. to negotiate terms of
peace with the Dutch.]

[Footnote 78: General Wood played a distinguished part in the battles of
Donauwerth (1704) and Ramilies (1706).]

[Footnote 79: See the Introduction.]

[Footnote 80: "A Vindication of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., against what is
objected to him by Mr. Partridge in his Almanack for the present year
1709. By the said Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., London, printed in the year
1709." (Advertisement in folio issue.) In a pamphlet called "Predictions
for the Year 1712. By Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; in a Letter to the author
of the Oxford Almanack. Printed in the year 1712," this "Vindication" is
thus noticed: "I can't but express my resentment against a gentleman who
personated me in a paper called 'Mr. Bickerstaff's Vindication.' I'm
grieved to find the times should be so very wicked, that one impostor
should set up to reform another, and that a false Bickerstaff should
write against an imaginary Partridge. And I am heartily concerned that
one who shows so much wit, such extreme civility, and writes such a
gentlemanlike style, should prefix my name to writings in which there
appears so little solidity and no knowledge of the Arabian philosophy.
If this paper should be transmitted to posterity (as, perhaps, it might
have been by the authority of the name it wears in the front) it might
have been a lasting reflection upon me to the end of the world.... Till
seeing four volumes of writings--the collected edition of the
_Tatler_--pretended to be mine, and a serious philosopher's name
prefixed to papers as free from my solidity as they are full of wit, I
thought it high time to vindicate myself, and give the world a taste of
my writings; for I am now persuaded 'twill be more for my reputation to
convince than to despise mankind."]

No. 2. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, April 12_, to _Thursday, April 14_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Will's Coffee-house, April 13.

There has lain all this evening, on the table, the following poem. The
subject of it being matter very useful for families, I thought it
deserved to be considered, and made more public. The turn the poet[81]
gives it is very happy; but the foundation is from a real accident
which happened among my acquaintance.[82] A young gentleman of a great
estate fell desperately in love with a great beauty of very high
quality, but as ill-natured as long flattery and an habitual self-will
could make her. However, my young spark ventures upon her, like a man of
quality, without being acquainted with her, or having ever saluted her,
till it was a crime to kiss any woman else. Beauty is a thing which
palls with possession; and the charms of this lady soon wanted the
support of good humour and complaisancy of manners. Upon this my spark
flies to the bottle for relief from his satiety. She disdains him for
being tired with that for which all men envied him; and he never came
home, but it was: "Was there no sot that would stay longer? Would any
man living but you? Did I leave all the world for this usage?" To which
he: "Madam, split me, you are very impertinent!" In a word, this match
was wedlock in its most terrible appearances. She, at last weary of
railing to no purpose, applies to a good uncle, who gives her a bottle
of water. "The virtue of this powerful liquor," said he, "is such, that
if the woman you marry proves a scold (which, it seems, my dear niece,
is your misfortune, as it was your good mother's before you), let her
hold six spoonfuls in her mouth, for a full half hour after you come
home--" But I find I am not in humour for telling a tale, and nothing in
nature is so ungrateful as story-telling against the grain, therefore
take it as the author has given it you.


#A Tale--for the Ladies.#

    Miss Molly, a famed toast, was fair and young,
    Had wealth and charms, but then she had a tongue
    From morn to night, the eternal larum run,
    Which often lost those hearts her eyes had won.

    Sir John was smitten, and confessed his flame,
    Sighed out the usual time, then wed the dame:
    Possessed he thought of every joy of life,
    But his dear Molly proved a very wife.
    Excess of fondness did in time decline,
    Madam loved money, and the knight loved wine.
    From whence some petty discords would arise,
    As, "You're a fool"; and, "You are mighty wise!"

    Though he and all the world allowed her wit,
    Her voice was shrill, and rather loud than sweet,
    When she began,--for hat and sword he'd call.
    Then, after a faint kiss, cry, "B'y, dear Moll:
    Supper and friends expect me at the Rose."[83]
    And, "What, Sir John, you'll get your usual dose!
    Go, stink of smoke, and guzzle nasty wine,
    Sure, never virtuous love was used like mine!"

    Oft as the watchful bellman marched his round,
    At a fresh bottle gay Sir John he found.
    By four the knight would get his business done,
    And only then reeled off, because alone;
    Full well he knew the dreadful storm to come,
    But armed with bordeaux, he durst venture home.

    My lady with her tongue was still prepared,
    She rattled loud, and he impatient heard:
    "'Tis a fine hour? In a sweet pickle made!
    And this, Sir John, is every day the trade.
    Here I sit moping all the live-long night,
    Devoured with spleen, and stranger to delight;
    'Till morn sends staggering home a drunken beast,
    Resolved to break my heart, as well as rest."

    "Hey! Hoop! d'ye hear my damned obstreperous spouse!
    What, can't you find one bed about the house!
    Will that perpetual clack lie never still!
    That rival to the softness of a mill!
    Some couch and distant room must be my choice,
    Where I may sleep uncursed with wife and noise."

    Long this uncomfortable life they led,
    With snarling meals, and each, a separate bed.
    To an old uncle oft she would complain,
    Beg his advice, and scarce from tears refrain.
    Old Wisewood smoked the matter as it was,
    "Cheer up!" cried he, "and I'll remove the cause.

    "A wonderous spring within my garden flows,
    Of sovereign virtue, chiefly to compose
    Domestic jars, and matrimonial strife,
    The best elixir t' appease man and wife;
    Strange are th' effects, the qualities divine,
    'Tis water called, but worth its weight in wine.
    If in his sullen airs Sir John should come,
    Three spoonfuls take, hold in your mouth--then mum:
    Smile, and look pleased, when he shall rage and scold,
    Still in your mouth the healing cordial hold;
    One month this sympathetic medecine tried,
    He'll grow a lover, you a happy bride.
    But, dearest niece, keep this grand secret close,
    Or every prattling hussy'll beg a dose."

    A water-bottle's brought for her relief,
    Not Nantz could sooner ease the lady's grief:
    Her busy thoughts are on the trial bent,
    And female-like, impatient for th' event:

    The bonny knight reels home exceeding clear,
    Prepared for clamour, and domestic war.
    Entering, he cries, "Hey! where's our thunder fled?
    No hurricane! Betty, 's your lady dead?"
    Madam, aside, an ample mouthful takes,
    Curtsies, looks kind, but not a word she speaks:
    Wondering, he stared, scarcely his eyes believed,
    But found his ears agreeably deceived.
    "Why, how now, Molly, what's the crotchet now?"
    She smiles, and answers only with a bow.
    Then clasping her about,--"Why, let me die!
    These nightclothes, Moll, become thee mightily!"
    With that, he sighed, her hand began to press,
    And Betty calls, her lady to undress;
    "Nay, kiss me, Molly, for I'm much inclined."
    Her lace she cuts, to take him in the mind.
    Thus the fond pair to bed enamoured went,
    The lady pleased, and the good knight content.

    For many days these fond endearments passed,
    The reconciling bottle fails at last;
    'Twas used and gone: Then midnight storms arose,
    And looks and words the union discompose.
    Her coach is ordered, and post-haste she flies,
    To beg her uncle for some fresh supplies;
    Transported does the strange effects relate,
    Her knight's conversion, and her happy state!

    "Why, niece," says he, "I prithee apprehend
    The water's water. Be thyself thy friend;
    Such beauty would the coldest husband warm,
    But your provoking tongue undoes the charm:
    Be silent, and complying; you'll soon find,
    Sir John, without a medecine, will be kind."

St. James's Coffee-house, April 13.

Letters from Venice say, the disappointment of their expectation to see
his Danish Majesty, has very much disquieted the Court of Rome. Our last
advices from Germany inform us, that the minister of Hanover has urged
the council at Ratisbon to exert themselves in behalf of the common
cause, and taken the liberty to say, that the dignity, the virtue, the
prudence of his electoral highness, his master, were called to the head
of their affairs in vain, if they thought fit to leave him naked of the
proper means to make those excellences useful for the honour and safety
of the Empire. They write from Berlin of the 13th, O.S., that the true
design of General Fleming's visit to that Court was, to insinuate, that
it will be for the mutual interest of the King of Prussia and King
Augustus to enter into a new alliance; but that the ministers of Prussia
are not inclined to his sentiments. We hear from Vienna, that his
Imperial Majesty has expressed great satisfaction in their high
mightinesses having communicated to him the whole that has passed in the
affair of a peace. Though there have been practices used by the agents
of France, in all the Courts of Europe, to break the good understanding
of the allies, they have had no other effect, but to make all the
members concerned in the alliance, more doubtful of their safety from
the great offers of the enemy. The Empire is roused by this alarm, and
the frontiers of all the French dominions are in danger of being
insulted the ensuing campaign: advices from all parts confirm, that it
is impossible for France to find a way to obtain so much credit, as to
gain any one potentate of the allies, or make any hope for safety from
other prospects.

From my own Apartment, April 13.

I find it of very great use, now I am setting up for a writer of news,
that I am an adept in astrological speculations; by which means, I avoid
speaking of things which may offend great persons. But at the same time,
I must not prostitute the liberal sciences so far, as not to utter the
truth in cases which do not immediately concern the good of my native
country. I must therefore boldly contradict what has been so assuredly
reported by the news-writers of England, that France is in the most
deplorable condition, and that their people die in great multitudes. I
will therefore let the world know, that my correspondent, by the way of
Brussels, informs me, upon his honour, that the gentleman who writes the
Gazette of Paris, and ought to know as well as any man, has told him,
that ever since the king has been past his 63rd year, or grand
climacteric, there has not one man died of the French nation who was
younger than his Majesty, except a very few, who were taken suddenly
near the village of Hochsted[84] in Germany; and some more, who were
straitened for lodging at a place called Ramilies, and died on the road
to Ghent and Bruges. There are also other things given out by the
allies, which are shifts below a conquering nation to make use of. Among
others, 'tis said, there is a general murmuring among the people of
France, though at the same time all my letters agree, that there is so
good an understanding among them, that there is not one morsel carried
out of any market in the kingdom, but what is delivered upon credit.

[Footnote 81: William Harrison (1685-1713) was a favourite with Swift
and Addison. He wrote verses, and a continuation of the _Tatler_, and
afterwards obtained office in the diplomatic service; but his health
soon broke down, and he died when 28.]

[Footnote 82: There is a similar story in Burton's "Anatomy of

[Footnote 83: The Rose Tavern, in Russell Street, adjoined Drury Lane
Theatre, and was a favourite resort during and after the play.]

[Footnote 84: The Battle of Blenheim.]

No. 3. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, April 14_, to _Saturday, April 16_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Will's Coffee-house, April 14.

This evening, the comedy called "The Country Wife"[85] was acted in
Drury Lane, for the benefit of Mrs. Bignell.[86] The part which gives
name to the play was performed by herself. Through the whole action, she
made a very pretty figure, and exactly entered into the nature of the
part. Her husband in the drama, is represented to be one of those
debauchees who run through the vices of the town, and believe when they
think fit they can marry, and settle at their ease. His own knowledge of
the iniquity of the age, makes him choose a wife wholly ignorant of it,
and place his security in her want of skill how to abuse him. The poet,
on many occasions, where the propriety of the character will admit of
it, insinuates, that there is no defence against vice, but the contempt
of it: and has, in the natural ideas of an untainted innocent, shown the
gradual steps to ruin and destruction, which persons of condition run
into, without the help of a good education how to form their conduct.
The torment of a jealous coxcomb, which arises from his own false
maxims, and the aggravation of his pain, by the very words in which he
sees her innocence, makes a very pleasant and instructive satire. The
character of Horner, and the design of it, is a good representation of
the age in which that comedy was written; at which time love and
wenching were the business of life, and the gallant manner of pursuing
women was the best recommendation at Court. To which only it is to be
imputed, that a gentleman of Mr. Wycherley's character and sense,
condescends to represent the insults done to the honour of the bed,
without just reproof; but to have drawn a man of probity with regard to
such considerations, had been a monster, and a poet had at that time
discovered his want of knowing the manners of the Court he lived in, by
a virtuous character in his fine gentleman, as he would show his
ignorance, by drawing a vicious one to please the present audience. Mrs.
Bignell did her part very happily, and had a certain grace in her
rusticity, which gave us hopes of seeing her a very skilful player, and
in some parts, supply our loss of Mrs. Verbruggen.[87] I cannot be of
the same opinion with my friends and fellow-labourers, the Reformers of
Manners,[88] in their severity towards plays, but must allow that a good
play acted before a well-bred audience, must raise very proper
incitements to good behaviour, and be the most quick and most prevailing
method of giving young people a turn of sense and breeding. But as I
have set up for a weekly historian, I resolve to be a faithful one; and
therefore take this public occasion to admonish a young nobleman, who
came flustered into the box last night, and let him know, how much all
his friends were out of countenance for him. The women sat in terror of
hearing something that should shock their modesty, and all the gentlemen
in as much pain, out of compassion to the ladies, and perhaps resentment
for the indignity which was offered in coming into their presence in so
disrespectful a manner. Wine made him say nothing that was rude,
therefore he is forgiven, upon condition he will never hazard his
offending more in this kind. As I just now hinted, I own myself of the
Society for Reformation of Manners. We have lower instruments than those
of the family of Bickerstaff, for punishing great crimes, and exposing
the abandoned. Therefore, as I design to have notices from all public
assemblies, I shall take upon me only indecorums, improprieties, and
negligences, in such as should give us better examples. After this
declaration, if a fine lady thinks fit to giggle at church, or a great
beau come in drunk to a play, either shall be sure to hear of it in my
ensuing paper: for merely as a well-bred man, I cannot bear these

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 just now has offered to 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."[89]
Here you are to understand, that the author finding the poets would not
take his advice, he troubles himself no more about them; but has met
with one Vanderbank,[90] who works in arras, and makes very good
tapestry hangings. Therefore, in order to celebrate the hero of the age,
he claps me together all that can be said of a man that makes hangings, as:

    _Then, artist, who dost Nature's face express
    In silk and gold, and scenes of action dress;
    Dost figured arras animated leave,
    Spin a bright story, or a passion weave
    By mingling threads; canst mingle shade and light,
    Delineate triumphs, or describe a fight._

Well, what shall this workman do? Why, to show how great an hero the
poet intends, he provides him a very good horse:

    _Champing his foam, and bounding on the plain,
    Arch his high neck, and graceful spread his mane._

Now as to the intrepidity, the calm courage, the constant application of
the hero, it is not necessary to take that upon yourself; you may, in
the lump, bid him you employ raise him as high as he can, and if he does
it not, let him answer for disobeying orders:

    _Let fame and victory in inferior sky,
    Hover with ballanced wings, and smiling fly
    Above his head, &c._

A whole poem of this kind may be ready against an ensuing campaign, as
well as a space left in the canvas of a piece of tapestry for the
principal figure, while the underparts are working: so that in effect,
the adviser copies after the man he pretends to direct. This method
should, methinks, encourage young beginners: for the invention is so
fitted to all capacities, that by the help of it a man may make a
receipt for a poem. A young man may observe, that the jig[91] of the
thing is, as I said, finding out all that can be said of his way [whom]
you employ to set forth your worthy. Waller and Denham had worn out the
expedient of "Advice to a Painter."[92] This author has transferred the
work, and sent his advice to the Poets; that is to say, to the turners
of verse, as he calls them. Well, that thought is worn out also,
therefore he directs his genius to the loom, and will have a new set of
hangings in honour of the last year in Flanders. I must own to you, I
approve extremely this invention, and it might be improved for the
benefit of manufactory: as, suppose an ingenious gentleman should write
a poem of advice to a calico-printer: do you think there is a girl in
England, that would wear anything but the taking of Lille, or the Battle
of Oudenarde? They would certainly be all the fashion, till the heroes
abroad had cut out some more patterns. I should fancy small skirmishes
might do for under-petticoats, provided they had a siege for the upper.
If our adviser were well imitated, many industrious people might be put
to work. Little Mr. Dactile, now in the room, who formerly writ a song
and a half, is a week gone in a very pretty work upon this hint: he is
writing an epigram to a young virgin who knits very well ('tis a
thousand pities he is a Jacobite); but his epigram is by way of advice
to this damsel, to knit all the actions of the Pretender and the Duke of
Burgundy last campaign in the clock of a stocking. It were endless to
enumerate the many hands and trades that may be employed by poets, of so
useful a turn as this adviser's. I shall think of it; and in this time
of taxes, shall consult a great critic employed in the custom-house, in
order to propose what tax may be proper to put upon knives, seals,
rings, hangings, wrought-beds, gowns and petticoats, where any of those
commodities bear mottoes, or are worked upon poetical grounds.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 15.

Letters from Turin of the 3rd 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 20th of the next month. In the meantime, 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 people; which, they find, are no way to be
quieted, but by giving them hopes of a speedy peace. When these letters
were dispatched, the Marshal de Thesse was arrived at Genoa, where he
has taken much pains to keep the correspondents 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 of France.

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,"[93] this evening, which is to be acted for the benefit of
my near kinsman, Mr. John Bickerstaff.[94] I protest to you the
gentleman has not spoken to me to desire this favour; but I have a
respect for him, as well in regard to consanguinity, as that he is an
intimate friend of that famous and heroic actor, Mr. George Powell, who
formerly played Alexander the Great in all places, though he is lately
grown so reserved as to act it only on the stage.[95]

[Footnote 85: By Wycherley, first acted in 1683.]

[Footnote 86: Mrs. Bicknell (or Bignell) was born about 1695. It is not
clear whether she was married, or whether the name Bicknell was taken to
distinguish her from her sister, Mrs. Young, who was also an actress. We
first hear of her acting in 1706; she took parts in which sauciness and
coquetry were the chief features. Her last recorded appearance was on
the 2nd of April, 1723; and she died in May. She signed a petition "M.
Bicknell"; probably her name was Margaret, her mother's name. Steele
alludes to her as "pretty Mrs. Bignell" in No. 11, and as his friend in
the _Guardian_, No. 50. She was Miss Prue in Congreve's "Love for Love,"
and Miss Hoyden in Vanbrugh's "Relapse." In the _Spectator_ (No. 370)
Steele praises her dancing.]

[Footnote 87: Cibber writes thus of this actress: "Mrs. Mountford, whose
second marriage gave her the name of Verbruggen, was mistress of more
variety of humour than I ever knew in any one woman actress. This
variety, too, was attended with an equal vivacity, which made her
excellent in characters extremely different.... She was so fond of
humour, in what low part soever to be found, that she would make no
scruple of defacing her fair form to come heartily into it." She could
act admirably as a Devonshire lass, a pretty fellow, or a fine lady.
Mrs. Verbruggen's first husband, the actor Mountford, was killed by
Captain Hill, with the assistance of Lord Mohun, in 1692, because Hill,
who was making unsuccessful suit to Mrs. Bracegirdle was jealous of her
fellow-actor. Mountford was then in his thirty-third year. Mrs.
Mountford's second husband, John Verbruggen, is described by Tony Aston
as "nature without extravagance." ... "That rough diamond shone more
bright than all the artful polished brilliants that ever sparkled on our
stage." The same writer says of Mrs. Verbruggen: "She was all art, but
dressed so nice, it looked like nature. She was the most easy actress in
the world. Her maiden name was Percival."]

[Footnote 88: Various Societies for the Reformation of Manners were
founded in the reign of William III. An "Account" of these societies was
published in 1699, and Defoe often wrote on the subject. In 1708 the
Society for London and Westminster secured the conviction of 3299 "lewd
and scandalous" persons, guilty of Sunday trading swearing, drunkenness,

[Footnote 89: See Steele's apology to Blackmore, author of this poem, in
No. 14. Sir Richard Blackmore (died 1729) was a Whig physician who wrote
epics on religious and other subjects, and was often at loggerheads with
the actors and wits. Though he was not a poet, Addison and Steele
praised him on account of the religious tone of his work (see
_Spectator_, Nos. 6, 339).]

[Footnote 90: Vanderbank, or as his father sometimes wrote his name,
Vandrebanc, was a son of Peter Vanderbank, a Parisian, who came into
England with Gascar the painter, about 1674, and died at Bradfield, in
Hertfordshire, in 1697. His father was admired for the softness of his
prints, and still more for the size of them, some of his heads being the
largest that had then appeared in England; but the prices he received by
no means compensated for the time employed on his works, and he was
reduced to want, and died at the house of Mr. Forester, his
brother-in-law. After his death, his widow sold his plates to one Brown,
a print-seller, who made a great profit by them. His eldest son had some
share in the theatre at Dublin; the youngest, William, was a poor
labourer, who gave an account of his father and the family to Vertue.
The person mentioned in this paper was probably his father's name-son,
and might be, as Walpole conjectures, an engraver. Whatever concern the
father might have had in any manufacture of tapestry, he could not be
the person meant here, for at this time he had been dead above ten
years. The suite of tapestry, in the Duke of Ancaster's sale, with
Vanderbank's name to it, mentioned by Walpole, must therefore be
supposed to belong to the son, who is said, upon the authority of the
French translator of the _Tatler_, to have represented nature very
happily in works of tapestry, and to have been a man inimitable in this
way. (See Walpole's "Anecdotes of Painting," 1782, vol. v. p. 166.)]

[Footnote 91: Trick (the early editions have "gigg").]

[Footnote 92: Waller wrote "Instructions to a Painter" and "Advice to a
Painter," and Denham "Directions to a Painter."]

[Footnote 93: Farquhar's "Beaux' Stratagem," 1707.]

[Footnote 94: Bickerstaff acted the part of the Captain in Mrs.
Centlivre's farce, "A Bickerstaff's Burying; or, Work for the Upholders"
(1713), which was dedicated to the "magnificent Company of Upholders,
whom the judicious Censor of Great Britain has so often condescended to
mention." In the "British Apollo," vol. ii. No. 107 (Feb. 27 to March 1,
1710), is a "New Prologue to 'Don Quixote' for Mr. Bickerstaff's Benefit
at the Theatre Royal, spoken by himself." The prologue ends:

    "I need not from the ladies fear my doom,
    When it shall thus be said, in my behalf,
    He bears the awful name of BICKERSTAFF."

In the _Daily Courant_ for Feb. 4, 1710, there was advertised a
performance of the "Comical History of Don Quixote" at Drury Lane, "at
the desire of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., for the benefit of his cousin,
John Bickerstaff."]

[Footnote 95: George Powell, actor and dramatist, gave way often to
drink. He died in 1714. Addison praised his acting of tragic parts in
No. 40 of the _Spectator_. See also No. 31. An order to the comedians in
Dorset Gardens forbade them acting till further order, because they had
allowed Powell to play after he was committed for drawing his sword on
Colonel Stanhope and Mr. Davenant. This is dated May 3, 10 Will. III.
(1698); but on May 4 there was another order for the comedians to resume
acting. (Lord Chamberlain's Records, Warrant Book No. 19, p. 80.)
Cibber's remarks on this incident will be found in his "Apology," chap.

No. 4. [STEELE.

From _Saturday April 16_, to _Tuesday, April 19, 1709_.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is usual with persons who mount the stage for the cure or information
of the crowd about them, to make solemn professions of their 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 proposed 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 the weight of my politic news only, but, as my Latin sentence in
the title-page informs you, shall take anything 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 a wit, is first
pronounced such, you shall have the freshest advice of their preferment
from me, with a description of the beauty's manner, and the wit's style;
as also, in whose places they are advanced. For this town is never
good-natured enough to raise one, without depressing another. But it is
my design, to avoid saying anything, of any person, which ought justly
to displease; but shall endeavour, by the variety of the matter and
style, to give entertainment for men of pleasure, without offence to
those of business.

White's Chocolate-house, April 18.

All hearts at present pant for two ladies only[96], who have for some
time engrossed the dominion of the town. They are indeed both exceeding
charming, but differ very much in their excellences. 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 nothing extraordinary in any one of those particulars, but
the whole woman irresistible. Clarissa looks languishing; Chloe,
killing. Clarissa never fails of gaining admiration; Chloe, of moving
desire. The gazers at Clarissa are at first unconcerned, as if they were
observing a fine picture. They who behold Chloe, at the first glance,
discover transport, as if they met their dearest friend. These different
perfections are suitably represented by the last great painter Italy has
sent us, Mr. Jervas.[97] Clarissa is, by that skilful hand, placed in a
manner that looks artless, and innocent of the torments she gives; Chloe
drawn with a liveliness that shows she is conscious, but not affected,
of her perfections. Clarissa is a shepherdess; Chloe, a country girl. I
must own, the design of Chloe's picture shows, to me, great mastery in
the painter; for nothing could be better imagined than the dress he has
given her, of a straw hat and riband, to represent that sort of beauty
which enters the heart with a certain familiarity, and cheats it into a
belief, that it has received a lover as well as an object of love. The
force of their different beauties is seen also in the effects it makes
on their lovers. The admirers of Chloe are eternally gay and
well-pleased: those of Clarissa, melancholy and thoughtful. And as this
passion always changes the natural man into a quite different creature
from what he was before, the love of Chloe makes coxcombs; that of
Clarissa, madmen. There were of each kind just now here. Here was one
that whistles, laughs, sings, and cuts capers, for love of Chloe.
Another has just now written three lines to Clarissa, then taken a turn
in the garden, then came back again, then tore his fragment, then called
for some chocolate, then went away without it.

Chloe has so many admirers in the room 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 drank 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.

Will's Coffee-house, April 18.

Letters from the Haymarket inform us, that on Saturday night last the
opera of "Pyrrhus and Demetrius"[98] was performed with great applause.
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, than an improvement of our diversions.[99] 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
performance was done in Italian: and a great critic fell into fits in
the gallery, at feeling, not only time and place, but languages and
nations confused in the most incorrigible manner. His spleen is so
extremely moved on this occasion, that he is going to publish a treatise
against operas, which, he thinks, have already inclined us to thoughts
of peace, and if tolerated, must infallibly dispirit us from carrying on
the war. He has communicated his scheme to the whole room, and declared
in what manner things of this kind were first introduced. He has upon
this occasion considered the nature of sounds in general, and made a
very elaborate digression upon the London cries,[100] wherein he has
shown from reason and philosophy why oysters are cried,
card-matches[101] sung, and turnips and all other vegetables neither
cried, sung, nor said, but sold, with an accent and tone neither natural
to man or beast. This piece seems to be taken from the model of that
excellent discourse of Mrs. Manly the schoolmistress, concerning
samplers.[102] Advices from the upper end of Piccadilly say that Mayfair
is utterly abolished;[103] and we hear Mr. Pinkethman[104] has removed
his ingenious company of strollers to Greenwich: but other letters from
Deptford say, the company is only making thither, and not yet settled;
but that several heathen gods and goddesses, which are to descend in
machines, landed at the King's Head Stairs last Saturday. Venus and
Cupid went on foot from thence to Greenwich; Mars got drunk in the town,
and broke his landlord's head; for which he sat in the stocks the whole
evening; but Mr. Pinkethman giving security that he should do nothing
this ensuing summer, he was set at liberty. 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 Grissel next tide from Billingsgate.[105]

St. James's Coffee-house, April 18.

They write from Saxony of the 13th instant, N.S., that the Grand General
of the Crown of Poland was so far from entering into a treaty with King
Stanislaus, that he had written circular letters, wherein he exhorted
the Palatinates to join against him; declaring, that this was the most
favourable conjuncture for asserting their liberty.

Letters from the Hague of the 23rd instant, N.S., say, they have advices
from Vienna, which import, that his Electoral Highness 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 desire an augmentation of their

These letters add, that an express arrived at the Hague on the 20th
instant, with advice, that the enemy having made a detachment from
Tournay of 1500 horse, each trooper carrying a foot-soldier behind him,
in order to surprise the garrison of Alost; the allies, upon notice of
their march, sent out a strong body of troops from Ghent, which engaged
the enemy at Asche, and took 200 of them prisoners, obliging the rest to
retire without making any further attempt. On the 22nd in the morning a
fleet of merchant ships coming from Scotland, were attacked by six
French privateers at the entrance of the Meuse. We have yet no certain
advice of the event: but letters from Rotterdam say, that a Dutch
man-of-war of forty guns, which was convoy to the said fleet, was taken,
as were also eighteen of the merchants. The Swiss troops, in the
service of the States, have completed the augmentation of their
respective companies. Those of Wirtemberg and Prussia are expected on
the frontiers within few days; and the auxiliaries from Saxony, as also
a battalion of Holstein, and another of Wolfembuttel, are advancing
thither with all expedition. On the 21st instant, the deputies of the
States had a conference near Woerden with the President Rouillé, but the
matter which was therein debated is not made public. His Grace the Duke
of Marlborough and Prince Eugene continue at the Hague.

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,[106] 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
valiant king. These letters import, that the chief 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 persons 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,[107] 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. The next member of their society is Horatio,[108] 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[109] has joined himself to this
council; a man of most undaunted resolution and great knowledge in
maritime affairs; famous for destroying the navy of the Franks,[110] and
singularly happy in one particular, that he never preferred a man who
has not proved remarkably serviceable to his country. Philander[111] is
mentioned with particular distinction; a nobleman who has the most
refined taste of the true pleasures and elegance of life, joined to an
indefatigable industry in business; a man eloquent in assemblies,
agreeable in conversation, and dextrous in all manner of public
negotiations. These letters add, that Verono,[112] who is also of this
council, has lately set sail to his government of Patricia, with design
to confirm the affections of the people in the interests of his queen.
This minister is master of great abilities, and is as industrious and
restless for the preservation of the liberties of the people, as the
greatest enemy can be to subvert them. The influence of these
personages, who are men of such distinguished parts and virtues, makes
the people enjoy the utmost tranquillity in the midst of a war, and
gives them undoubted hopes of a secure peace from their vigilance and

[Footnote 96: In a copy of the original edition of the _Tatler_, with
MS. notes written early in the last century, which was sold at Messrs.
Sotheby's, in April, 1887, the ladies here described were said to be
Mrs. Chetwine and Mrs. Hales respectively. Mrs. Hales was a maid of
honour who married Mr. Coke, vice-chamberlain, in July, 1709 (Luttrell's
"Brief Relation," vi. 462); "Mrs. Chetwine" was probably the wife of
William Richard Chetwynd, afterwards third Viscount Chetwynd, who
married Honora, daughter of John Baker, Consul at Algiers; or the wife
of his brother Walter, M.P. for Stafford, and Master of the Buckhounds.
In 1717, Lady M. W. Montagu, describing a week spent by a fashionable
lady, said, 'Friday, Mrs. Chetwynd's, &c.; a perpetual round of hearing
the same scandal' (Pope's Works, ix. 385).]

[Footnote 97: Charles Jervas, portrait painter (died 1739), became
principal painter to George I. and George II. He also made a translation
of "Don Quixote," first published in 1742.]

[Footnote 98: A translation of Owen McSwiney (1709) from the Italian of

[Footnote 99: In the _Spectator_ (Nos. 1, 5, 13, &c.) Addison often
wrote against the Italian opera. In 1706, Dennis published "An Essay on
the Operas after the Italian Manner, which are about to be established
on the English Stage: with some reflections on the damage which they may
bring to the Public." He traces to the recent alterations in the
entertainments of the stage, the fact that familiar conversation among
all classes was confined to two points, news and toasting, neither of
which required much intelligence.]

[Footnote 100: The street cries of 1709 are described in Lauron's
"Habits and Cries of the City of London." They included "Any
card-matches or save-alls" and "Twelve-pence a peck, oysters."]

[Footnote 101: Matches made by dipping pieces of card in melted sulphur.
In the _Spectator_ (No. 251), Addison speaks of vendors of card-matches
as examples of the fact that those made most noise who had least to

[Footnote 102: In vol. ii. of Dr. W. King's Works (1776) is "An Essay on
the Invention of Samplers, by Mrs. Arabella Manly, schoolmistress at

[Footnote 103: May Fair was abolished in 1709, after it had on several
occasions been presented as a nuisance by the Grand Jury at Westminster.
This fair was granted by King James II. under the Great Seal, in the
fourth year of his reign, to Sir John Coell and his heirs for ever, in
trust for Henry Lord Dover and his heirs for ever, to be held in the
field called Brookfield, in the parish of St. Martin's, Westminster, to
commence on the first day of May, and to continue fifteen days yearly.
It soon became the resort of the idle, the dissipated, and the
profligate, insomuch that the peace-officers were frequently opposed in
the performance of their duty; and, in the year 1702, John Cooper, one
of the constables, was killed, for which a fencing-master, named Cook,
was executed. (See also No. 20.) The fair was revived under George I.,
but was finally abolished through the exertions of the sixth Earl of

[Footnote 104: William Pinkethman, the popular actor and droll, was
spoken of by Gildon as "the flower of Bartholomew Fair, and the idol of
the rabble." In June, 1710, he opened a theatre at Greenwich, and in
1711 his "wonderful invention called The Pantheon, or, The Temple of the
Heathen Gods," with over 100 figures, was to be seen in the Little
Piazza, Covent Garden (_Spectator_, No. 46, advertisement).]

[Footnote 105: "It is credibly reported that Mr. D----y has agreed with
Mr. Pinkethman to have his play acted before that audience as soon as it
has had its first sixteen days' run in Drury Lane" (folio). The play was
D'Urfey's "Modern Prophets."]

[Footnote 106: Britain.]

[Footnote 107: John, Lord Somers, President of the Council.]

[Footnote 108: Sidney, Lord Godolphin, the Lord High Treasurer; or
(according to the MS. notes in the copy mentioned above) Lord

[Footnote 109: Edward, Earl of Orford.]

[Footnote 110: At La Hogue, 1692.]

[Footnote 111: Probably Lord Halifax.]

[Footnote 112: Thomas, Earl of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.]

[Footnote 113: "Advertisement.--Upon the humble petition of Running
Stationers, &c., this paper maybe had of them, for the future, at the
price of one penny" (folio). The first four numbers were distributed

No. 5. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, April 19_, to _Thursday, April 21_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, April 20.

    _Who names that lost thing, love, without a tear,
    Since so debauched by ill-bred customs here,
    To an exact perfection they have brought
    The action, love, the passion is forgot._

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, they 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 uprightly 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,[114] 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; and says,

    Only tell her that I love,
      Leave the rest to her, and Fate;
    Some kind planet from above,
    May, perhaps, her passsion move:
      Lovers on their stars must wait.[115]

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 on 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
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 ancients, 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 confidante, 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 him. Nay, the figure 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'll find, when her eyes have made their tour round the
company, she makes no stay on him they say she is to marry, but rests
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 he very perfectly remembers that he spoke to me

Will's Coffee-house, April 20.

This week[116] 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."[117] 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, show 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,[118] alluding to the
knowledge the author seems to have of the world, "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 be forthwith
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, he 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 his Holiness, 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 Commacchio, 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 Geneva were utterly ruined by
the failure of Mr. Bernard. They add, that the deputies of the Swiss
Cantons were returned from Solleure, where they were assembled at the
instance of the French Ambassador; but were very much dissatisfied with
the reception they had from that minister. 'Tis 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
indignation, 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, which lately served in Hungary, had orders to be in Saxony in
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 22nd of
this month say, that Mareschal Harcourt and the Duke of Berwick were
preparing to go into Alsace and Dauphine, but that their troops were in
want of all manner of necessaries. The Court of France had received
advices from Madrid, that on the 7th of this month, the States of Spain
had with much magnificence acknowledged the Prince of Asturias
presumptive heir of the crown. This was performed at Buen Retiro; the
deputies took the oaths on that occasion by the hands of Cardinal
Portocarrero. Those advices add, that it was signified to the Pope's
Nuncio, by order of council, to depart from that Court in twenty-four
hours, and that a guard was accordingly appointed to conduct him to

Letters from the Hague of the 26th instant inform us, that Prince Eugene
was to set out the next day for Brussels, to put all things in a
readiness for opening the campaign. They add, that the Grand Pensioner
having reported to the Duke of Marlborough what passed in the last
conference with Mr. Rouillé,[119] his Grace had taken a resolution
immediately to return to Great Britain, to communicate to her Majesty
all that has been transacted in that important affair.

From my own Apartment, April 20.

The nature of my miscellaneous work is such, that I shall always take
the liberty to tell for news such things (let them have happened never
so much before the time of writing) as have escaped public notice, or
have been misrepresented to the world, provided that I am still within
rules, and trespass not as a Tatler any further than in an incorrectness
of style, and writing in an air of common speech. Thus if anything that
is said, even of old Anchises or Æneas, be set by me in a different
light than has hitherto been hit upon, in order to inspire the love and
admiration of worthy actions, you will, gentle reader, I hope, accept of
it for intelligence you had not before. But I am going upon a narrative,
the matter of which I know to be true: it is not only doing justice to
the deceased merit[120] of such persons, as, had they lived, would not
have had it in their power to thank me, but also an instance of the
greatness of spirit in the lowest of her Majesty's subjects; take it as

At the siege of Namur by the Allies, there were in the ranks of the
company commanded by Captain Pincent, in Colonel Frederick Hamilton's
regiment, one Unnion a corporal, and one Valentine a private sentinel:
there happened between these two men a dispute about a matter of love,
which, upon some aggravations, grew to an irreconcilable hatred. Unnion
being the officer of Valentine, took all opportunities even to strike
his rival, and profess the spite and revenge which moved him to it. The
sentinel bore it without resistance, but frequently said he would die to
be revenged of that tyrant. They had spent whole months thus, one
injuring, the other complaining; when in the midst of this rage towards
each other, they were commanded upon the attack of the castle, where the
corporal received a shot in the thigh, and fell; the French pressing on,
and he expecting to be trampled to death, called out to his enemy, "Ah,
Valentine! Can you leave me here?" Valentine immediately ran back, and
in the midst of a thick fire of the French, took the corporal upon his
back, and brought him through all that danger as far as the Abbey of
Salsine, where a cannon-ball took off his head: his body fell under his
enemy whom he was carrying off Unnion immediately forgot his wound, rose
up, tearing his hair, and then threw himself upon the bleeding carcass,
crying, "Ah, Valentine! Was it for me, who have so barbarously used
thee, that thou hast died? I will not Jive after thee." He was not by
any means to be forced from the body, but was removed with it bleeding
in his arms, and attended with tears by all their comrades, who knew
their enmity. When he was brought to a tent, his wounds were dressed by
force; but the next day, still calling upon Valentine, and lamenting his
cruelties to him, he died in the pangs of remorse and despair.

It may be a question among men of noble sentiments, whether of these
unfortunate persons had the greater soul; he that was so generous as to
venture his life for his enemy, or he who could not survive the man that
died, in laying upon him such an obligation?

When we see spirits like these in a people, to what heights may we not
suppose their glory may arise, but (as it is excellently observed by
Sallust[121]) it is not only to the general bent of a nation that great
revolutions are owing, but to the extraordinary genios[122] that lead
them. On which occasion he proceeds to say that the Roman greatness was
neither to be attributed to their superior policy, for in that the
Carthaginians excelled; nor to their valour, for in that the French were
preferable; but to particular men, who were born for the good of their
country, and formed for great attempts. This he says, to introduce the
characters of Cassar and Cato. It would be entering into too weighty a
discourse for this place, if I attempted to show that our nation has
produced as great and able men for public affairs, as any other. But I
believe the reader outruns me, and fixes his imagination upon the Duke
of Marlborough. It is, methinks, a pleasing reflection, to consider the
dispensations of Providence in the fortune of this illustrious man, who,
in the space of forty years, has passed through all the gradations of
human life, till he has ascended to the character of a prince, and
become the scourge of a tyrant, who sat in one of the greatest thrones
of Europe, before the man who was to have the greatest part in his
downfall had made one step in the world.[123] But such elevations are
the natural consequences of an exact prudence, a calm courage, a
well-governed temper, a patient ambition, and an affable behaviour.
These arts, as they are the steps to his greatness, so they are the
pillars of it now it is raised. To this her glorious son, Great Britain
is indebted for the happy conduct of her arms, in whom she can boast,
she has produced a man formed by nature to lead a nation of heroes.

[Footnote 114: Edward Richard Montagu, styled Viscount Hinchinbroke, who
died before his father, on October 3, 1722, was the only son of Edward,
third Earl of Sandwich. He was born about 1690, and became colonel of
the First Regiment of Foot Guards, and Lord Lieutenant of
Huntingdonshire. In 1707, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander
Popham, of Littlecot, Wilts, and of Anne, daughter of the first Duke of
Montagu. (See Nos. 1, 22, 35, 85, and the _Lover_, No. 38.)]

[Footnote 115: These lines are part of a song by Lord Cutts, under whom
Steele had served as secretary when in the army. The verses will be
found in Nichols' "Select Collection" (1780), ii. 327.]

[Footnote 116: Passion Week.]

[Footnote 117: First published as "By a Person of Quality." "The
gentleman I here intended was Dr. Swift, this kind of man I thought him
at that time. We have not met of late, but I hope he deserves this
character still." (Steele's "Apology," 1714.) This pamphlet is closely
in accord with the _Tatler_ in its condemnation of gaming, drunkenness,
swearing, immorality on the stage, and other evils of the time. Swift
suggests, too, a revival of censors.]

[Footnote 118: Forster suggests that it was Addison.]

[Footnote 119: See No. 1.]

[Footnote 120: This phrase, as well as Unnion's forgetting his wound, is
criticised in a little book called, "Annotations on the _Tatler_, in two
parts," 12mo, said to have been written originally in French by Monsieur
Bournelle, and translated into English by Walter Wagstaff, Esq. London,
Bernard Lintott, 1710. The annotator goes no farther with his
annotations than to _Tatler_ No. 83. See Nos. 78, 191.]

[Footnote 121: "Bell. Catal.," c. 53.]

[Footnote 122: "A man of a particular turn of mind" (Johnson).]

[Footnote 123: In 1705, after the battle of Blenheim, Marlborough was
made Prince of Mildenheim by the Emperor. Lewis XIV. succeeded to the
French throne in 1643; Marlborough was born in 1650.]

No. 6. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, April 21_, to _Saturday, April 23_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Will's Coffee-house, April 22.

I am just come from visiting Sappho,[124] a fine lady, who writes
verses, sings, dances and can say and do whatever she pleases, without
the imputation of anything that can injure her character; for she is so
well known to have no passion but self-love, or folly, but affectation;
that now upon any occasion they only cry, "'Tis her way," and "That's so
like her," without further reflection. As I came into the room, she
cries, "O Mr. Bickerstaff, I am utterly undone! I have broke that pretty
Italian fan I showed you when you were here last, wherein were so
admirably drawn our first parents in Paradise asleep in each other's
arms." But there is such an affinity between painting and poetry, that I
have been improving the images which were raised by that picture, by
reading the same representation in two of our greatest poets. Look you,
here are the passages in Milton and in Dryden. All Milton's thoughts are
wonderfully just and natural, in this inimitable description which Adam
makes of himself in the eighth book of "Paradise Lost." But there is
none of them finer than that contained in the following lines, where he
tells us his thoughts when he was falling asleep a little after his

    _While thus I called, and strayed I know not whither,
    From whence I first drew air, and first beheld
    This happy light; when answer none returned,
    On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers,
    Pensive I sate me down, there gentle sleep
    First found me, and with soft oppression seized
    My drowned sense, untroubled, though I thought
    I then was passing to my former state,
    Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve._[125]

But now I can't forgive this odious thing, this Dryden, who, in his
"State of Innocence," has given my great-grand-mother Eve the same
apprehension of annihilation, on a very different occasion, as Adam
pronounces it of himself, when he was seized with a pleasing kind of
stupor and deadness, Eve fancies herself falling away, and dissolving in
the hurry of a rapture. However, the verses are very good, and I don't
know but it may be natural what she says. I'll read them:

    _When your kind eyes looked languishing on mine,
    And wreathing arms did soft embraces join,
    A doubtful trembling seized me first all o'er,
    Then wishes, and a warmth unknown before;
    What followed was all extasy and trance,
    Immortal pleasures round my swimming eyes did dance,
    And speechless joys, in whose sweet tumults tost,
    I thought my breath and my new being lost._[126]

She went on, and said a thousand good things at random, but so strangely
mixed that you would be apt to say all her wit is mere good luck, and
not the effect of reason and judgment. When I made my escape hither I
found a gentleman playing the critic on two other great poets, even
Virgil and Homer.[127] He was observing, that Virgil is more judicious
than the other in the epithets he gives his hero. "Homer's usual
epithet," said he, "is Πόδας ὠχὺς [Pódas ôchùs], or Ποδάρχης [Podárchês],
and his indiscretion has been often rallied by the critics, for
mentioning the nimbleness of foot in Achilles, though he describes him
standing, sitting, lying down, fighting, eating, drinking, or in any
other circumstance, however foreign or repugnant to speed and activity.
Virgil's common epithet to Æneas, is 'Pius' or 'Pater.' I have therefore
considered," said he, "what passage there is in any of his hero's actions,
where either of these appellations would have been most improper, to see
if I could catch him at the same fault with Homer: and this, I think, is
his meeting with Dido in the cave, where Pius Æneas would have been
absurd, and Pater Æneas a burlesque: the poet has therefore wisely
dropped them both for Dux Trojanus,

    "_Speluncam Dido dux et Trojanus eandem Devenient;_[128]

which he has repeated twice in Juno's speech, and his own narration: for
he very well knew a loose action might be consistent enough with the
usual manners of a soldier, though it became neither the chastity of a
pious man, nor the gravity of the father of a people."

Grecian Coffee-house, April 22.

While other parts of the town are amused with the present actions, we
generally spend the evening at this table in inquiries into antiquity,
and think anything news which gives us new knowledge. Thus we are making
a very pleasant entertainment to ourselves, in putting the actions of
Homer's "Iliad" into an exact journal.

This poem is introduced by Chryses, King of Chryseis, and priest of
Apollo, who comes to re-demand his daughter, who was carried off at the
taking of that city, and given to Agamemnon for his part of the booty.
The refusal he received enrages Apollo, who for nine days showered down
darts upon them, which occasioned the pestilence.

The tenth day Achilles assembles the council, and encourages Chalcas to
speak for the surrender of Chryseis to appease Apollo. Agamemnon and
Achilles storm at one another, notwithstanding which Agamemnon will not
release his prisoner, unless he has Briseis in her stead. After long
contestations, wherein Agamemnon gives a glorious character of Achilles'
valour, he determines to restore Briseis to her father, and sends two
heralds to fetch away Chryseis from Achilles, who abandons himself to
sorrow and despair. His mother Thetis came to comfort him under his
affliction, and promises to represent his sorrowful lamentations to
Jupiter; but he could not attend it; for the evening before, he had
appointed to divert himself for two days beyond the seas with the
harmless Æthiopians.

It was the twenty-first day after Chryseis' arrival to the camp, that
Thetis went very early to demand an audience of Jupiter. The means he
uses to satisfy her were, to persuade the Greeks to attack the Trojans;
that so they might perceive the consequence of condemning Achilles and
the miseries they suffer if he does not head them. The next night he
orders Agamemnon, in a dream, to attack them; who was deceived with the
hopes of obtaining a victory, and also taking the city, without sharing
the honour with Achilles.

On the 22nd, in the morning, he assembles the council, and having made a
feint of raising the siege and retiring, he declares to them his dream;
and, together with Nestor and Ulysses, resolves on an engagement.

This was the twenty-third day, which is full of incidents, and which
continues from almost the beginning of the second canto to the eighth.
The armies being then drawn up in view of one another, Hector brings it
about that Menelaus and Paris, the two persons concerned in the quarrel,
should decide it by a single combat; which tending to the advantage of
Menelaus, was interrupted by a cowardice infused by Minerva: then both
armies engage, where the Trojans have the disadvantage; but being
afterwards animated by Apollo, they repulse the enemy, yet they are once
again forced to give ground; but their affairs were retrieved by Hector,
who has a single combat with Ajax. The gods threw themselves into the
battle, Juno and Minerva took the Grecians' part, and Apollo and Mars
the Trojans': but Mars and Venus are both wounded by Diomedes.

The truce for burying the slain ended the twenty-third day; after which
the Greeks threw up a great entrenchment to secure their navy from
danger. Councils are held on both sides. On the morning of the
twenty-fourth day the battle is renewed, but in a very disadvantageous
manner to the Greeks, who were beaten back to their retrenchments.
Agamemnon being in despair at this ill success, proposes to the council
to quit the enterprise and retire from Troy. But by the advice of
Nestor, he is persuaded to regain Achilles, by returning Chryseis, and
sending him considerable presents. Hereupon, Ulysses and Ajax are sent
to that hero, who continues inflexible in his anger. Ulysses, at his
return, joins himself with Diomedes, and goes in the night to gain
intelligence of the enemy: they enter into their very camp, where,
finding the sentinels asleep, they made a great slaughter. Rhesus, who
was just then arrived with recruits from Thrace for the Trojans, was
killed in that action. Here ends the tenth canto. The sequel of this
journal will be inserted in the next article from this place.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 22.

We hear from Italy, that notwithstanding the Pope has received a letter
from the Duke of Anjou, demanding of him to explain himself upon the
affair of acknowledging King Charles: his Holiness has not yet thought
fit to send any answer to that prince. The Court of Rome appears very
much mortified, that they are not to see his Majesty of Denmark in that
city, having perhaps given themselves vain hopes from a visit made by a
Protestant priest to that see. The Pope has despatched a gentleman to
compliment his Majesty, and sent the king a present of all the
curiosities and antiquities of Rome, represented in seventeen volumes,
very richly bound, which were taken out of the Vatican library. Letters
from Genoa of the 14th instant say, a felucca was arrived there in five
days from Marseilles, with an account, that the people of that city had
made an insurrection, by reason of the scarcity of provisions, and that
the Intendant had ordered some companies of marines, and the men
belonging to the galleys, to stand to their arms to protect him from
violence; but that he began to be in as much apprehension of his guards
as those from whom they were to defend him. When that vessel came away,
the soldiers murmured publicly for want of pay, and it was generally
believed they would pillage the magazines, as the garrison of Grenoble,
and other towns of France, had already done. A vessel which lately came
into Leghorn, brought advice, that the British squadron was arrived at
Port Mahon, where they were taking in more troops, in order to attempt
the relief of Alicante, which still made a very vigorous defence. 'Tis
said, Admiral Byng will be at the head of that expedition. The King of
Denmark was gone from Leghorn towards Lucca.

They write from Vienna, that in case the Allies should enter into a
treaty of peace with France, Count Zinzendorf will be appointed first
plenipotentiary, the Count de Goes the second, and Monsieur van
Konsbruch a third. Major-General Palmes, Envoy Extraordinary from her
Britannic Majesty, has been very urgent with that Court to make their
utmost efforts against France the ensuing campaign, in order to oblige
it to such a peace, as may establish the tranquillity of Europe for the

We are also informed, that the Pope uses all imaginable shifts to elude
the treaty concluded with the Emperor, and that he demanded the
immediate restitution of Commacchio; insisting also, that his Imperial
Majesty should ask pardon, and desire absolution for what has formerly
passed, before he would solemnly acknowledge King Charles: but this was
utterly refused.

They hear at Vienna, by letters from Constantinople, dated the 22nd of
February last, that on the 12th of that month the Grand Signior took
occasion, at the celebration of the festivals of the Mussulmen, to set
all the Christian slaves which were in the galleys at liberty.

Advices from Switzerland import, that the preachers of the county of
Tockenburg continue to create new jealousies of the Protestants, and
some disturbances lately happened there on that account. The Protestants
and Papists in the town of Hamman go to divine service one after another
in the same church, as is usual in many other parts of Switzerland; but
on Sunday, the 10th instant, the Popish curate, having ended his
service, attempted to hinder the Protestants from entering into the
church according to custom; but the Protestants briskly attacked him and
his party, and broke into it by force.

Last night between seven and eight, his Grace the Duke of Marlborough
arrived at Court.

From my own Apartment, April 22.

The present great captains of the age, the Duke of Marlborough and
Prince Eugene, having been the subject of the discourse of the last
company I was in, it has naturally led me into a consideration of
Alexander and Cæsar, the two greatest names which ever appeared before
this century. In order to enter into their characters, there needs no
more but examining their behaviour in parallel circumstances. It must be
allowed, that they had an equal greatness of soul; but Cæsar's was more
corrected and allayed by a mixture of prudence and circumspection. This
is seen conspicuously in one particular in their histories, wherein they
seem to have shown exactly the difference of their tempers. When
Alexander, after a long course of victories, would still have led his
soldiers farther from home, they unanimously refused to follow him. We
meet with the like behaviour in Cæsar's army in the midst of his march
against Ariovistus. Let us therefore observe the conduct of our two
generals in so nice an affair: and here we find Alexander at the head of
his army, upbraiding them with their cowardice, and meanness of spirit;
and in the end, telling them plainly, he would go forward himself,
though not a man followed him. This showed indeed an excessive bravery;
but how would the commander have come off, if the speech had not
succeeded, and the soldiers had taken him at his word? The project seems
of a piece with Mr. Bayes' in "The Rehearsal,"[129] who, to gain a clap
in his prologue, comes out, with a terrible fellow in a fur cap
following him, and tells his audience, if they would not like his play,
he would lie down and have his head struck off. If this gained a clap,
all was well; but if not, there was nothing left but for the executioner
to do his office. But Cæsar would not leave the success of his speech
to such uncertain events: he shows his men the unreasonableness of their
fears in an obliging manner, and concludes, that if none else would
march along with them, he would go himself with the Tenth Legion, for he
was assured of their fidelity and valour, though all the rest forsook
him; not but that in all probability they were as much against the march
as the rest. The result of all was very natural: the Tenth Legion, fired
with the praises of their general, send thanks to him for the just
opinion he entertains of them; and the rest, ashamed to be outdone,
assure him, that they are as ready to follow where he pleases to lead
them, as any other part of the army.

[Footnote 124: It has been suggested, with little or no reason, that
Sappho is meant for Mrs. Manley (Author of the "New Atalantis"), or Mrs.
Elizabeth Thomas (known as "Corinna"), or Mrs. Elizabeth Heywood. See
No. 40.]

[Footnote 125: "Paradise Lost," viii. 283.]

[Footnote 126: Dryden's "State of Innocence and Fall of Man: an Opera,"
act iii. sc. i. In the _Spectator_ (No. 345), Addison illustrated
Milton's chaste treatment of the subject of Eve's nuptials by
contrasting what he says with the account in the opera in which Dryden,
according to Lee's verses, refined "Milton's golden ore, and new-weaved
his hard-spun thought."]

[Footnote 127: Addison, on reading here this remark upon Virgil, which
he himself had communicated to Steele, discovered that his friend was
the author of the _Tatler_. He was at this time in Ireland, Secretary to
Lord Wharton, and returned to England with the Lord Lieutenant on the
8th of September following. (Tickell's Preface to Addison's Works.)]

[Footnote 128: "Æneid," iv. 124.]

[Footnote 129: "The Rehearsal," act i. sc. 2. This play of the Duke of
Buckingham's was produced in 1671, and the poet Bayes, as finally drawn
after revision, was a satire on Dryden.]

No. 7. [STEELE

From _Saturday, April 23_, to _Tuesday, April 26_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is so just an observation, that mocking is catching, that I am become
an unhappy instance of it, and am (in the same manner that I have
represented Mr. Partridge) myself a dying man in comparison of the
vigour with which I first set out in the world. Had it been otherwise,
you may be sure I would not have pretended to have given for news, as I
did last Saturday, a diary of the siege of Troy. But man is a creature
very inconsistent with himself: the greatest heroes are sometimes
fearful, the sprightliest wits at some hours dull; and the greatest
politicians on some occasions whimsical. But I shall not pretend to
palliate, or excuse the matter; for I find, by a calculation of my own
nativity, that I cannot hold out with any tolerable wit longer than two
minutes after twelve o'clock at night, between the 18th and 19th of the
next month. For which space of time you may still expect to hear from
me, but no longer, except you will transmit to me the occurrences you
meet with relating to your amours, or any other subject within the rules
by which I have proposed to walk. If any gentleman or lady sends to
Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., at Mr. Morphew's,[130] near Stationers' Hall,
by the Penny Post, the grief or joy of their soul, what they think fit
of the matter shall be related in colours as much to their advantage, as
those in which Jervas[131] has drawn the agreeable Chloe. But since,
without such assistance, I frankly confess, and am sensible, that I
have not a month's wit more, I think I ought, while I am in my sound
health and senses, to make my will and testament; which I do in manner
and form following:

Imprimis, I give to the stockjobbers about the Exchange of London, as a
security for the trusts daily reposed in them, all my real estate; which
I do hereby vest in the said body of worthy citizens for ever.

Item, Forasmuch as it is very hard to keep land in repair without ready
cash, I do, out of my personal estate, bestow the bearskin,[132] which I
have frequently lent to several societies about this town, to supply
their necessities. I say, I give also the said bearskin, as an immediate
fund to the said citizens for ever.

Item, I do hereby appoint a certain number of the said citizens to take
all the custom-house or customary oaths, concerning all goods imported
to the whole city, strictly directing, that some select members, and not
the whole number of a body corporate, should be perjured.

Item, I forbid all n----s and persons of q----ty to watch bargains near
and about the Exchange, to the diminution and wrong of the said

Thus far, in as brief and intelligible a manner as any will can appear,
till it is explained by the learned, I have disposed of my real and
personal estate: but, as I am an adept, I have by birth an equal right
to give also an indefeasible title to my endowments and qualifications;
which I do in the following manner:

Item, I give my chastity to all virgins who have withstood their

Item, I give my courage among all who are ashamed of their distressed
friends, all sneakers in assemblies, and men who show valour in common

Item, I give my wit (as rich men give to the rich) among such as think
they have enough already. And in case they shall not accept of the
legacy, I give it to Bentivolio,[133] to defend his works from time to
time, as he shall think fit to publish them.

Item, I bestow my learning upon the honorary members of the Royal

Now for the disposal of this body.

As these eyes must one day cease to gaze on Teraminta, and this heart
shall one day pant no more for her indignation: that is to say, since
this body must be earth, I shall commit it to the dust in a manner
suitable to my character. Therefore, as there are those who dispute,
whether there is any such real person as Isaac Bickerstaff or not, I
shall excuse all persons who appear what they really are, from coming to
my funeral. But all those who are, in their way of life, persons, as the
Latins have it, persons assumed, and who appear what they really are
not, are hereby invited to that solemnity.

The body shall be carried by six watchmen, who are never seen in the

Item, The pall shall be held up by the six most known pretenders to
honesty, wealth and power, who are not possessed of any of them. The
two first, an half-lawyer, a complete justice. The two next, a chemist,
a projector. The third couple, a Treasury solicitor, and a small

To make my funeral (what that solemnity, when done to common men, really
is in itself) a very farce; and since all mourners are mere actors on
these occasions, I shall desire those who are professedly such, to
attend me. I humbly therefore beseech Mrs. Barry[135] to act once more,
and be my widow. When she swoons away at the church-porch, I appoint the
merry Sir John Falstaff, and the gay Sir Harry Wildair, to support her.
I desire Mr. Pinkethman[136] to follow in the habit of a cardinal, and
Mr. Bullock[137] in that of a privy councillor. To make up the rest of
the appearance, I desire all the ladies from the balconies to weep with
Mrs. Barry, as they hope to be wives and widows themselves. I invite
all, who have nothing else to do, to accept of gloves and scarves.

Thus, with the great Charles V. of Spain, I resign the glories of this
transitory world: yet, at the same time, to show you my indifference,
and that my desires are not too much fixed upon anything, I own to you,
I am as willing to stay as go: therefore leave it in the choice of my
gentle readers, whether I shall hear from them, or they hear no more
from me.

White's Chocolate-house, April 25.

Easter Day being a time when you can't well meet with any but humble
adventures; and there being such a thing as low gallantry, as well as a
low comedy, Colonel Ramble[138] and myself went early this morning into
the fields, which were strewed with shepherds and shepherdesses, but
indeed of a different turn from the simplicity of those of Arcadia.
Every hedge was conscious of more than what the representations of
enamoured swains admit of. While we were surveying the crowd around us,
we saw at a distance a company coming towards Pancras Church; but though
there was not much disorder, we thought we saw the figure of a man stuck
through with a sword, and at every step ready to fall, if a woman by his
side had not supported him; the rest followed two and two. When we came
nearer this appearance, who should it be but Monsieur Guardeloop, mine
and Ramble's French tailor, attended by others, leading one of Madame
Depingle's[139] maids to the church, in order to their espousals. It was
his sword tucked so high above his waist, and the circumflex which
persons of his profession take in their walking, that made him appear at
a distance wounded and falling. But the morning being rainy, methought
the march to this wedding was but too lively a picture of wedlock
itself. They seemed both to have a month's mind to make the best of
their way single; yet both tugged arm in arm; and when they were in a
dirty way, he was but deeper in the mire, by endeavouring to pull out
his companion, and yet without helping her. The bridegroom's feathers in
his hat all drooped, one of his shoes had lost an heel. In short, he was
in his whole person and dress so extremely soused, that there did not
appear one inch or single thread about him unmarried.[140] Pardon me,
that the melancholy object still dwells upon me so far, as to reduce me
to punning. However, we attended to the chapel, where we stayed to hear
the irrevocable words pronounced upon our old servant, and made the best
of our way to town. I took a resolution to forbear all married persons,
or any, in danger of being such, for four-and-twenty hours at least;
therefore dressed, and went to visit Florimel, the vainest thing in
town, where I knew would drop in Colonel Picket, just come from the
camp, her professed admirer. He is of that order of men who has much
honour and merit, but withal a coxcomb; the other of that set of
females, who has innocence and wit, but the first of coquettes. It is
easy to believe, these must be admirers of each other. She says, "The
Colonel rides the best of any man in England": the Colonel says, "She
talks the best of any woman." At the same time, he understands wit just
as she does horsemanship. You are to know, these extraordinary persons
see each other daily; and they themselves, as well as the town, think it
will be a match: but it can never happen that they can come to the
point; for instead of addressing to each other, they spend their whole
time in reports of themselves. He is satisfied if he can convince her he
is a fine gentleman, and a man of consequence; and she, in appearing to
him an accomplished lady and a wit, without further design. Thus he
tells her of his manner of posting his men at such a pass, with the
numbers he commanded on that detachment: she tells him, how she was
dressed on such a day at Court, and what offers were made her the week
following. She seems to hear the repetition of his men's names with
admiration; and waits only to answer him with as false a muster of
lovers. They talk to each other not to be informed, but approved. Thus
they are so like, that they are to be ever distant, and the parallel
lines may run together for ever, but never meet.

Will's Coffee-house, April 25.

This evening, the comedy, called "Epsom Wells,"[141] was acted for the
benefit of Mr. Bullock,[142] who, though he is a person of much wit and
ingenuity, has a peculiar talent of looking like a fool, and therefore
excellently well qualified for the part of Biskett in this play. I
cannot indeed sufficiently admire his way of bearing a beating, as he
does in this drama, and that with such a natural air and propriety of
folly, that one cannot help wishing the whip in one's own hand; so
richly does he seem to deserve his chastisement. Skilful actors think it
a very peculiar happiness to play in a scene with such as top their
parts. Therefore I cannot but say, when the judgment of any good author
directs him to write a beating for Mr. Bullock from Mr. William
Pinkethman, or for Mr. William Pinkethman from Mr. Bullock, those
excellent players seem to be in their most shining circumstances, and
please me more, but with a different sort of delight, than that which I
receive from those grave scenes of Brutus and Cassius, or Antony and
Ventidius. The whole comedy is very just, and the low part of human life
represented with much humour and wit.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 25.

We are advised from Vienna, by letters of the 20th instant, that the
Emperor hath lately added twenty new members to his Council of State,
but they have not yet taken their places at the board. General Thaun is
returned from Baden, his health being so well re-established by the
baths of that place, that he designs to set out next week for Turin, to
his command of the Imperial troops in the service of the Duke of Savoy.
His Imperial Majesty has advanced his brother Count Henry Thaun to be a
brigadier, and a Councillor of the Aulic Council of War. These letters
import, that King Stanislaus and the Swedish General Crassau are
directing their march to the Nieper, to join the King of Sweden's army
in Ukrania: that the States of Austria have furnished Marshal Heister
with a considerable sum of money, to enable him to push on the war
vigorously in Hungary, where all things as yet are in perfect
tranquillity: and that General Thungen has been very importunate for a
speedy reinforcement of the forces on the Upper Rhine, representing at
the same time, what miseries the inhabitants must necessarily undergo,
if the designs of France on those parts be not speedily and effectually

Letters from Rome, dated the 13th instant, say, that on the preceding
Sunday his Holiness was carried in an open chair from St. Peter's to St.
Mary's, attended by the Sacred College, in cavalcade; and, after Mass,
distributed several dowries for the marriage of poor and distressed
virgins. The proceedings of that Court are very dilatory concerning the
recognition of King Charles, notwithstanding the pressing instances of
the Marquis de Prie, who has declared, that if this affair be not wholly
concluded by the 15th instant, he will retire from that Court, and order
the Imperial troops to return into the ecclesiastical state. On the
other hand, the Duke of Anjou's minister has, in the name of his master,
demanded of his Holiness to explain himself on that affair; which, it is
said, will be finally determined in a consistory to be held on Monday
next; the Duke d'Uzeda designing to delay his departure till he sees the
issue. These letters also say, that the Court was mightily alarmed at
the news which they received by an express from Ferrara, that General
Boneval, who commands in Commachio, had sent circular letters to the
inhabitants of St. Alberto, Longastrino, Fillo, and other adjacent
parts, enjoining them to come and swear fealty to the Emperor, and
receive new investitures of their fiefs from his hands. Letters from
other parts of Italy say, that the King of Denmark continues at Lucca;
that four English and Dutch men-of-war were seen off of Oneglia, bound
for Final, in order to transport the troops designed for Barcelona; and
that her Majesty's ship the _Colchester_ arrived at Leghorn the 4th
instant from Port Mahon, with advice, that Major-General Stanhope
designed to part from thence the 1st instant with 6000 or 7000 men to
attempt the relief of the Castle of Alicant.

Our last advices from Berlin, bearing date the 27th instant, import,
that the King was gone to Linum, and the Queen to Mecklenburg; but that
their Majesties designed to return the next week to Oranienburg, where a
great chase of wild beasts was prepared for their diversion, and from
thence they intend to proceed together to Potsdam; that the Prince Royal
was set out for Brabant, but intended to make some short stay at
Hanover. These letters also inform us, that they are advised from Obory,
that the King of Sweden, being on his march towards Holki, met General
Renne with a detachment of Muscovites, who placing some regiments in
ambuscade, attacked the Swedes in their rear, and putting them to
flight, killed 2000 men, the king himself having his horse shot under

We hear from Copenhagen, that, the ice being broke, the Sound is again
open for the ships; and that they hoped his Majesty would return sooner
than they at first expected.

Letters from the Hague, dated May the 4th, N.S., say that an express
arrived there on the 1st from Prince Eugene to his Grace the Duke of
Marlborough. The States are advised, that the auxiliaries of Saxony
were arrived on the frontiers of the United Provinces; as also, that the
two regiments of Wolfembuttel, and 4000 troops from Wirtemberg, which
are to serve in Flanders, are in full march thither. Letters from
Flanders, say that the great convoy of ammunition and provisions which
set out from Ghent for Lille, was safely arrived at Courtray. We hear
from Paris, that the King has ordered the militia on the coasts of
Normandy and Bretagne to be in a readiness to march; and that the Court
was in apprehension of a descent, to animate the people to rise in the
midst of their present hardships.

They write from Spain, that the Pope's Nuncio left Madrid the 10th of
April, in order to go to Bayonne; that the Marquis de Bay was at Badajos
to observe the motions of the Portuguese; and that the Count d'Estain,
with a body of 5000 men, was on his march to attack Gironne. The Duke
of Anjou has deposed the Bishop of Lerida, as being a favourer of the
interest of King Charles; and has summoned a convocation at Madrid,
composed of the archbishops, bishops and states of that kingdom,
wherein he hopes they will come to a resolution to send for no more
bulls to Rome.

[Footnote 130: John Morphew was the publisher of the _Tatler_.]

[Footnote 131: See No. 4.]

[Footnote 132: Stockjobbers, who contract for a sale of stock which they
do not possess, are called sellers of bearskins; and universally whoever
sells what he does not possess was said to sell the bear's skin, while
the bear runs in the woods. "You never heard such bellowing about the
town of the state of the nation, especially among the sharpers, sellers
of bearskins--_i.e._ stockjobbers, &c." (Swift). See No. 38.]

[Footnote 133: Dr. Richard Bentley, Master of Trinity College,
Cambridge, took a leading part in the controversy regarding the
genuineness of the Epistles of Phalaris. In 1709 he published critical
notes on the Tusculan Disputations.]

[Footnote 134: There are several sneers at the members of the Royal
Society in the _Tatler_.]

[Footnote 135: See No. 1.]

[Footnote 136: See No. 4.]

[Footnote 137: William Bullock was a comic actor whose abilities are
praised by Gildon and others. He was the original Sir Tunbelly Clumsy in
Vanbrugh's "Relapse." Later on in this number (p. 70), Steele says that
Bullock had a peculiar talent of looking like a fool, and in No. 188 he
compares Bullock and Pinkethman in a satirical vein.]

[Footnote 138: Perhaps Colonel Hunter, afterwards Governor of New York;
or Colonel Brett, one of the managers of Drury Lane Theatre.]

[Footnote 139: See No. 34.]

[Footnote 140: The pun is, of course, on the word "unmarred."]

[Footnote 141: By Thomas Shadwell, 1676.]

[Footnote 142: See note on p. 67, above.]

No. 8. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, April 26._ to _Thursday, April 28_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Wills Coffee-house, April 26.

The play of "The London Cuckolds"[143] was acted this evening before a
suitable audience, who were extremely well diverted with that heap of
vice and absurdity. The indignation which Eugenio, who is a gentleman
of a just taste, has, upon occasion of seeing human nature fall so low
in their delights, made him, I thought, expatiate upon the mention of
this play very agreeably. "Of all men living," said he, "I pity players
(who must be men of good understanding to be capable of being such) that
they are obliged to repeat and assume proper gestures for representing
things, of which their reason must be ashamed, and which they must
disdain their audience for approving. The amendment of these low
gratifications is only to be made by people of condition, by encouraging
the presentation of the noble characters drawn by Shakespeare and
others, from whence it is impossible to return without strong
impressions of honour and humanity. On these occasions, distress is laid
before us with all its causes and consequences, and our resentment
placed according to the merit of the persons afflicted. Were dramas of
this nature more acceptable to the taste of the town, men who have
genius would bend their studies to excel in them. How forcible an effect
this would have on our minds, one needs no more than to observe how
strongly we are touched by mere pictures. Who can see Le Brun's[144]
picture of the Battle of Porus, without entering into the character of
that fierce gallant man,[145] and being accordingly spurred to an
emulation of his constancy and courage? When he is falling with his
wound, the features are at the same time very terrible and languishing;
and there is such a stern faintness diffused through his look, as is
apt to move a kind of horror, as well as pity, in the beholder. This, I
say, is an effect wrought by mere lights and shades; consider also a
representation made by words only, as in an account given by a good
writer: Catiline in Sallust makes just such a figure as Porus by Le
Brun. It is said of him, 'Catilina vero longe a suis inter hostium
cadavera repertus est; paululum etiam spirans, ferocitatemque animi quam
vivus habuerat in vultu retinens.'[146] ('Catiline was found killed far
from his own men among the dead bodies of the enemy: he seemed still to
breathe, and still retained in his face the same fierceness he had when
he was living.') You have in that one sentence, a lively impression of
his whole life and actions. What I would insinuate from all this, is,
that if the painter and the historian can do thus much in colours and
language, what may not be performed by an excellent poet, when the
character he draws is presented by the person, the manner, the look, and
the motion, of an accomplished player? If a thing painted or related can
irresistibly enter our hearts, what may not be brought to pass by seeing
generous things performed before our eyes?" Eugenio ended his discourse,
by recommending the apt use of a theatre, as the most agreeable and easy
method of making a polite and moral gentry, which would end in rendering
the rest of the people regular in their behaviour, and ambitious of
laudable undertakings.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 27.

Letters from Naples of the 9th instant, N.S., advise, that Cardinal
Grimani had ordered the regiment commanded by General Pate to march
towards Final, in order to embark for Catalonia, whither also a
thousand horse are to be transported from Sardinia, besides the troops
which come from the Milanese. An English man-of-war has taken two
prizes, one a vessel of Malta, the other of Genoa, both laden with goods
of the enemy. They write from Florence of the 13th, that his Majesty of
Denmark had received a courier from the Hague, with an account of some
matters relating to the treaty of a peace; upon which he declared, that
he thought it necessary to hasten to his own dominions.

Letters from Switzerland inform us, that the effects of the great
scarcity of corn in France were felt at Geneva; the magistrates of which
city had appointed deputies to treat with the cantons of Berne and
Zurich, for leave to buy up such quantities of grain within their
territories as should be thought necessary. The Protestants of
Tockenburg are still in arms about the convent of St. John, and have
declared, that they will not lay them down, till they shall have
sufficient security from the Roman Catholics, of living unmolested in
the exercise of their religion. In the meantime the deputies of Berne
and Tockenburg have frequent conferences at Zurich, with the regency of
that canton, to find out methods for the quieting these disorders.

Letters from the Hague of the 3rd of May advise, that the President
Rouillé, after his last conference with the deputies of the States, had
retired to Bodegrave, five miles distant from Worden, and expected the
return of a courier from France on the 4th, with new instructions. It is
said, if his answer from the French Court shall not prove satisfactory,
he will be desired to withdraw out of these parts. In the meantime it is
also reported, that his equipage, as an ambassador on this great
occasion, is actually on the march towards him. They write from
Flanders, that the great convoy of provisions, which set out from Ghent,
is safely arrived at Lille. Those advices add, that the enemy had
assembled near Tournay a considerable body of troops drawn out of the
neighbouring garrisons. Their high mightinesses having sent orders to
their Ministers at Hamburg and Dantzic, to engage the magistrates of
those cities to forbid the sale of corn to the French, and to signify to
them, that the Dutch merchants will buy up as much of that commodity as
they can spare, the Hamburgers have accordingly contracted with the
Dutch, and refused any commerce with the French on that occasion.

From my own Apartment.

After the lassitude of a day spent in the strolling manner, which is
usual with men of pleasure in this town, and with a head full of a
million of impertinences, which had danced round it for ten hours
together, I came to my lodging, and hastened to bed. My
_valet-de-chambre_[147] knows my University trick of reading there; and
he being: a good scholar for a gentleman, ran over the names of Horace,
Tibullus, Ovid, and others, to know which I would have. "Bring Virgil,"
said I, "and if I fall asleep, take care of the candle." I read the
sixth book over with the most exquisite delight, and had gone half
through it a second time, when the pleasing ideas of Elysian Fields,
deceased worthies walking in them, sincere lovers enjoying their
languishment without pain, compassion for the unhappy spirits who had
misspent their short daylight, and were exiled from the seats of bliss
for ever; I say, I was deep again in my reading, when this mixture of
images had taken place of all others in my imagination before, and
lulled me into a dream, from which I am just awake, to my great
disadvantage. The happy mansions of Elysium by degrees seemed to be
wafted from me, and the very traces of my late waking thoughts began to
fade away, when I was cast by a sudden whirlwind upon an island,
encompassed with a roaring and troubled sea, which shaked its very
centre, and rocked its inhabitants as in a cradle. The islanders lay on
their faces, without offering to look up, or hope for preservation; all
her harbours were crowded with mariners, and tall vessels of war lay in
danger of being driven to pieces on her shores. "Bless me!" said I, "why
have I lived in such a manner that the convulsion of nature should be so
terrible to me, when I feel in myself, that the better part of me is to
survive it? Oh! may that be in happiness." A sudden shriek, in which the
whole people on their faces joined, interrupted my soliloquy, and turned
my eyes and attention to the object which had given us that sudden
start, in the midst of an inconsolable and speechless affliction.
Immediately the winds grew calm, the waves subsided, and the people
stood up, turning their faces upon a magnificent pile in the midst of
the island. There we beheld an hero of a comely and erect aspect, but
pale and languid, sitting under a canopy of state. By the faces and dumb
sorrow of those who attended we thought him in the article of death. At
a distance sat a lady, whose life seemed to hang upon the same thread
with his: she kept her eyes fixed upon him, and seemed to smother ten
thousand thousand nameless things, which urged her tenderness to clasp
him in her arms: but her greatness of spirit overcame those sentiments,
and gave her power to forbear disturbing his last moment; which
immediately approached. The hero looked up with an air of negligence,
and satiety of being, rather than of pain to leave it; and leaning back
his head, expired.[148]

When the heroine, who sat at a distance, saw his last instant come, she
threw herself at his feet, and kneeling, pressed his hand to her lips;
in which posture she continued under the agony of an unutterable sorrow,
till conducted from our sight by her attendants. That commanding awe,
which accompanies the grief of great minds, restrained the multitude
while in her presence; but as soon as she retired, they gave way to
their distraction, and all the islanders called upon their deceased
hero. To him, methought, they cried out, as to a guardian being, and I
gathered from their broken accents, that it was he who had the empire
over the ocean and its powers, by which he had long protected the island
from shipwreck and invasion. They now give a loose to their moan, and
think themselves exposed without hopes of human or divine assistance.
While the people ran wild, and expressed all the different forms of
lamentation, methought a sable cloud overshadowed the whole land, and
covered its inhabitants with darkness: no glimpse of light appeared,
except one ray from heaven upon the place in which the heroine now
secluded herself from the world, with her eyes fixed on those abodes to
which her consort was ascended.[149] Methought, a long period of time
had passed away in mourning and in darkness, when a twilight began by
degrees to enlighten the hemisphere; and looking round me, I saw a boat
rowed towards the shore, in which sat a personage adorned with warlike
trophies, bearing on his left arm a shield, on which was engraven the
image of Victory, and in his right hand a branch of olive. His visage
was at once so winning and so awful, that the shield and the olive
seemed equally suitable to his genius.

When this illustrious person[150] touched on the shore, he was received
by the acclamations of the people, and followed to the palace of the
heroine. No pleasure in the glory of her arms, or the acclamations
of her applauding subjects, were ever capable to suspend her sorrow for
one moment, until she saw the olive branch in the hand of that
auspicious messenger. At that sight, as Heaven bestows its blessings on
the wants and importunities of mortals, out of its native bounty, and
not to increase its own power, or honour, in compassion to the world,
the celestial mourner was then first seen to turn her regard to things
below; and taking the branch out of the warrior's hand, looked at it
with much satisfaction, and spoke of the blessings of peace, with a
voice and accent, such as that in which guardian spirits whisper to
dying penitents assurances of happiness. The air was hushed, the
multitude attentive, and all nature in a pause, while she was speaking.
But as soon as the messenger of peace had made some low reply, in
which, methought, I heard the word Iberia, the heroine assuming a more
severe air, but such as spoke resolution, without rage, returned him
the olive, and again veiled her face. Loud cries and clashing of arms
immediately followed, which forced me from my charming vision, and
drove me back to these mansions of care and sorrow.[151]

[Footnote 143: A very coarse play by Edward Ravenscroft, produced in
1682, and often acted on Lord Mayors' days and other holidays.]

[Footnote 144: Charles Le Brun, who was born in 1619, and died in 1690,
was the son of a sculptor, of Scotch extraction. Under Colbert's
patronage he founded the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, at Paris,
and he received many honours from Louis XIV. Le Brun's painting of the
Defeat of Porus is 16 feet high and 39 feet 5 inches long.]

[Footnote 145: Porus was an Indian king who was defeated and put to
death by Alexander the Great. See Q. Curtius, viii. 12, 14.]

[Footnote 146: "Bell. Catil." cap. 61.]

[Footnote 147: Steele seems to have forgotten that he was Isaac
Bickerstaff, Esq., and had only an old maid-servant. (Nichols.)]

[Footnote 148: Prince George of Denmark, the consort of Queen Anne, died
on October 21, 1708, after a few days' illness. This dream gives a
picture of the state of England from his death until the conclusion of
the negotiations at the Hague in 1709.]

[Footnote 149: The mourning of Queen Anne was so long that the
manufacturers remonstrated, and secured a limit to the duration of
public mournings.]

[Footnote 150: About this time the D[uke]. of M[arlborough]. returned
from Holland with the preliminaries of a peace.--(Steele.)]

[Footnote 151: "Mr. Bickerstaff thanks Mr. Quarterstaff for his kind and
instructive letter dated the 26th instant" (folio).]

No. 9. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, April 28_, to _Saturday, April 30_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Will's Coffee-house, April 28.

This evening we were entertained with "The Old Bachelor,"[152] a comedy
of deserved reputation. In the character which gives name to the play,
there is excellently represented the reluctance of a battered debauchee
to come into the trammels of order and decency: he neither languishes
nor burns, but frets for love. The gentlemen of more regular behaviour
are drawn with much spirit and wit, and the drama introduced by the
dialogue of the first scene with uncommon, yet natural conversation. The
part of Fondlewife is a lively image of the unseasonable fondness of age
and impotence. But instead of such agreeable works as these, the town
has this half age been tormented with insects called "easy writers,"
whose abilities Mr. Wycherley one day described excellently well in one
word: "That," said he, "among these fellows is called easy writing,
which any one may easily write." Such jaunty scribblers are so justly
laughed at for their sonnets on Phillis and Chloris, and fantastical
descriptions in them, that an ingenious kinsman of mine,[153] of the
family of the Staffs, Mr. Humphrey Wagstaff by name, has, to avoid their
strain, run into a way perfectly new, and described things exactly as
they happen: he never forms fields, or nymphs, or groves, where they are
not, but makes the incidents just as they really appear. For an example
of it; I stole out of his manuscript the following lines: they are a
Description of the Morning, but of the morning in town; nay, of the
morning at this end of the town, where my kinsman at present lodges.

    Now hardly here and there an hackney coach
    Appearing, showed the ruddy morn's approach.
    Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
    And softly stole to discompose her own.
    The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door,
    Had pared the street, and sprinkled round the floor.
    Now Moll had whirled her mop with dext'rous airs,
    Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs.
    The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
    The kennel edge, where wheels had worn the place.
    The smallcoal-man was heard with cadence deep,
    Till drowned in shriller notes of chimney-sweep.
    Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
    And Brickdust Moll had screamed through half a street;
    The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
    Duly let out at nights to steal for fees.
    The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands;
    And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.

All that I apprehend is, that dear Numps will be angry I have published
these lines; not that he has any reason to be ashamed of them, but for
fear of those rogues, the bane to all excellent performances, the
imitators. Therefore, beforehand, I bar all descriptions of the
evenings; as, a medley of verses signifying, grey-peas are now cried
warm: that wenches now begin to amble round the passages of the
playhouse: or of noon; as, that fine ladies and great beaux are just
yawning out of their beds and windows in Pall Mall, and so forth. I
forewarn also all persons from encouraging any draughts after my
cousin; and foretell any man who shall go about to imitate him, that he
will be very insipid. The family stock is embarked in this design, and
we will not admit of counterfeits: Dr. Anderson[154] and his heirs enjoy
his pills, Sir. William Read[155] has the cure of eyes, and Monsieur
Rozelli[156] can only cure the gout. We pretend to none of these things;
but to examine who and who are together, to tell any mistaken man he is
not what he believes he is, to distinguish merit, and expose false
pretences to it, is a liberty our family has by law in them, from an
intermarriage with a daughter of Mr. Scoggan,[157] the famous droll of
the last century. This right I design to make use of; but will not
encroach upon the above-mentioned adepts, or any other. At the same
time I shall take all the privileges I may, as an Englishman, and will
lay hold of the late Act of Naturalisation[158] to introduce what I
shall think fit from France. The use of that law may, I hope, be
extended to people the polite world with new characters, as well as the
kingdom itself with new subjects. Therefore an author of that nation,
called La Bruyère, I shall make bold with on such occasions. The last
person I read of in that writer, was Lord Timon.[159] Timon, says my
author, is the most generous of all men; but is so hurried away with
that strong impulse of bestowing, that he confers benefits without
distinction, and is munificent without laying obligations. For all the
unworthy, who receive from him, have so little sense of this noble
infirmity, that they look upon themselves rather as partners in a spoil,
than partakers of a bounty. The other day, coming into Paris, I met
Timon going out on horseback, attended only by one servant. It struck me
with a sudden damp, to see a man of so excellent a disposition, and that
understood making a figure so very well, so much shortened in his
retinue. But passing by his house, I saw his great coach break to pieces
before his door, and by a strange enchantment, immediately turned into
many different vehicles. The first was a very pretty chariot, into which
stepped his lordship's secretary. The second was hung a little heavier;
into that strutted the fat steward. In an instant followed a chaise,
which was entered by the butler. The rest of the body and wheels were
forthwith changed into go-carts, and ran away with by the nurses and
brats of the rest of the family. What makes these misfortunes in the
affairs of Timon the more astonishing, is, that he has a better
understanding than those who cheat him; so that a man knows not which
more to wonder at, the indifference of the master, or the impudence of
the servant.

White's Chocolate-house, April 29.

It is matter of much speculation among the beaux and oglers, what it is
that can have made so sudden a change, as has been of late observed, in
the whole behaviour of Pastorella, who never sat still a moment till she
was eighteen, which she has now exceeded by two months. Her aunt, who
has the care of her, has not been always so rigid as she is at this
present date; but has so good a sense of the frailty of woman, and
falsehood of man, that she resolved on all manner of methods to keep
Pastorella, if possible, in safety, against herself, and all her
admirers. At the same time the good lady knew by long experience, that
a gay inclination, curbed too rashly, would but run to the greater
excesses for that restraint: therefore intended to watch her, and take
some opportunity of engaging her insensibly in her own interests,
without the anguish of an admonition. You are to know then, that miss,
with all her flirting and ogling, had also naturally a strong curiosity
in her, and was the greatest eavesdropper breathing. Parisatis (for so
her prudent aunt is called) observed this humour, and retires one day to
her closet, into which she knew Pastorella would peep, and listen to
know how she was employed. It happened accordingly, and the young lady
saw her good governante on her knees, and after a mental behaviour,
break into these words: "As for the dear child committed to my care, let
her sobriety of carriage, and severity of behaviour, be such, as may
make that noble lord, who is taken with her beauty, turn his designs to
such as are honourable." Here Parisatis heard her niece nestle closer to
the keyhole: she then goes on; "Make her the joyful mother of a numerous
and wealthy offspring, and let her carriage be such, as may make this
noble youth expect the blessings of an happy marriage, from the
singularity of her life, in this loose and censorious age." Miss having
heard enough, sneaks off for fear of discovery, and immediately at her
glass, alters the sitting of her head; then pulls up her tucker,[160]
and forms herself into the exact manner of Lindamira: in a word, becomes
a sincere convert to everything that's commendable in a fine young lady;
and two or three such matches as her aunt feigned in her devotions, are
at this day in her choice. This is the history and original cause of
Pastorella's conversion from coquetry. The prudence in the management
of this young lady's temper, and good judgment of it, is hardly to be
exceeded. I scarce remember a greater instance of forbearance of the
usual peevish way with which the aged treat the young, than this, except
that of our famous Noye,[161] whose good nature went so far, as to make
him put off his admonitions to his son, even till after his death; and
did not give him his thoughts of him, till he came to read that
memorable passage in his will: "All the rest of my estate," says he, "I
leave to my son Edward (who is executor to this my will) to be
squandered as he shall think fit: I leave it him for that purpose, and
hope no better from him." A generous disdain and reflection, upon how
little he deserved from so excellent a father, reformed the young man,
and made Edward, from an errant rake, become a fine gentleman.

St. James's Coffee-house, April 29.

Letters from Portugal of the 18th instant, dated from Estremos, say,
that on the 6th the Earl of Galway arrived at that place, and had the
satisfaction to see the quarters well furnished with all manner of
provisions, and a quantity of bread sufficient for subsisting the troops
for sixty days, besides biscuits for twenty-five days. The enemy give
out, that they shall bring into the field 14 regiments of horse, and 24
battalions. The troops in the service of Portugal will make up 14,000
foot, and 4000 horse. On the day these letters were despatched, the
Earl of Galway received advice, that the Marquis de Bay was preparing
for some enterprise, by gathering his troops together on the frontiers.
Whereupon his Excellency resolved to go that same night to Villa-Vicosa,
to assemble the troops in that neighbourhood, in order to disappoint his

Yesterday in the evening Captain Foxon, aide-de-camp to Major-General
Cadogan, arrived here express from the Duke of Marlborough. And this day
a mail is come in, with letters dated from Brussels of the 6th of May,
N.S., which advise, that the enemy had drawn together a body, consisting
of 20,000 men, with a design, as was supposed, to intercept the great
convoy on the march towards Lille, which was safely arrived at Menin and
Courtray, in its way to that place, the French having retired without
making any attempt.

We hear from the Hague, that a person of the first quality is arrived in
the Low Countries from France, in order to be a plenipotentiary in an
ensuing treaty of peace.

Letters from France acknowledge, that Monsieur Bernard has made no
higher offers of satisfaction to his creditors than of £35 per cent.

These advices add, that the Marshal Boufflers, Monsieur Torcy (who
distinguished himself formerly, by advising the Court of France to
adhere to the treaty of partition), and Monsieur d'Harcourt (who
negotiated with Cardinal Portocarrero for the succession of the crown of
Spain in the House of Bourbon), are all three joined in a commission for
a treaty of peace. The Marshal is come to Ghent: the other two are
arrived at the Hague.

It is confidently reported here that the Right Honourable the Lord
Townshend is to go with his Grace the Duke of Marlborough into

[Footnote 152: Congreve's first play, produced in 1693. See also No.
193. This piece is attacked in Jeremy Collier's "Short View of the
Profaneness and Immorality of the English Stage," 1698.]

[Footnote 153: Swift.]

[Footnote 154: A Scotch physician in the reigns of Charles I. and
Charles II. An advertisement of his "famous Scots Pills" requested the
public to beware of counterfeits, especially an ignorant pretender, one
Muffen, who kept a china-shop.]

[Footnote 155: "Henley would fain have me to go with Steele and Rowe,
&c., to an invitation at Sir William Read's. Surely you have heard of
him. He has been a mountebank, and is the Queen's oculist; he makes
admirable punch, and treats you in gold vessels. But I am engaged, and
won't go; neither indeed am I fond of the jaunt" (Swift's "Journal,"
April 11, 1711). Read was knighted in 1705, for services done in curing
soldiers and sailors of blindness gratis. Beginning life as a tailor, he
became Queen Anne's oculist in ordinary, and died in 1715. See
_Spectator_, No. 547.]

[Footnote 156: Rozelli, the inventor of a specific for the gout, died at
the Hague. In No. 33 was an advertisement of the "Memoirs of the Life
and Adventures of Signior Rozelli, at the Hague, giving a particular
account of his birth, education, slavery, monastic state, imprisonment
in the Inquisition at Rome, and the different figures he has since made,
as well in Italy, as in France and Holland.... Done into English from
the second edition of the French." This work, like the continuation of
1724, has been wrongly attributed to Defoe. Rozelli advertised in the
_London Gazette_, for July 19, 1709, that the book was entirely
fictitious, and a libel upon his character.]

[Footnote 157: We learn from Ben Jonson, that Scoggan, or Skogan, was
M.A., and lived in the time of Henry IV. "He made disguises for the
King's sons, writ in ballad-royal daintily well, and was regarded and
rewarded." Jonson calls him the moral Skogan; and introduces him with
Skelton, the poet laureate of Henry VIII., into his Masque, entitled
"The Fortunate Isles," where he keeps them in character, and makes them
rhyme in their own manner.]

[Footnote 158: 7 Anne, cap. 5, was an "Act for naturalising Foreign
Protestants." After the preamble, "Whereas many strangers of the
Protestant or reformed religion would be induced to transport themselves
and their estates into this kingdom, if they might be made partakers of
the advantages and privileges which the natural-born subjects thereof do
enjoy," it was enacted that all persons taking the oaths, and making and
subscribing the declaration appointed by 6 Anne, cap. 23, should be
deemed natural-born subjects; but no person was to have the benefit of
this Act unless he received the sacrament. The Act was repealed by 10
Anne, c. 5, because "divers mischiefs and inconveniences have been found
by experience to follow from the same, to the discouragement of the
natural-born subjects of this kingdom, and to the detriment of the trade
and wealth thereof."]

[Footnote 159: It has been alleged that there is here an allusion to the
Duke of Ormond, whose servants enriched themselves at their master's
expense (see _Examiner_, vol. iii. p. 48). But in the _Guardian_, No.
53, Steele, writing in his own name, declared that the character of
Timon was not disgraceful, and that when he drew it he thought it
resembled himself more than any one else.]

[Footnote 160: The tucker, an edging round the top of a low dress, began
to be discontinued about 1713, as appears from complaints in the
_Guardian_, _passim_.]

[Footnote 161: "William Noye, of St. Burian in Cornwall, gentleman, was
made Attorney-General in 1631; his will is dated June 3, 1634, about a
month or six weeks before his death. The expedient did not operate an
alteration in his son so altogether favourable; for within two years
Edward was slain in a duel by one Captain Byron, who was pardoned for
it" (Wood's "Athen. Oxon." 1691, i. 506). Noye's character is drawn in
the first book of Clarendon's "History of the Civil War."]

[Footnote 162: "Mr. Bickerstaff has received the epistles of Mrs.
Rebecca Wagstaff, Timothy Pikestaff and Wagstaff, which he will
acknowledge farther as occasion shall serve" (folio).]

No. 10. [STEELE.

By Mrs.[163] JENNY DISTAFF, half-sister to Mr. BICKERSTAFF.

From _Saturday, April 30_, to _Tuesday, May 3_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, May 1.

My brother Isaac having a sudden occasion to go out of town, ordered me
to take upon me the despatch of the next advices from home, with liberty
to speak it my own way; not doubting the allowances which would be given
to a writer of my sex. You may be sure I undertook it with much
satisfaction, and I confess, I am not a little pleased with the
opportunity of running over all the papers in his closet, which he has
left open for my use on this occasion. The first that I lay my hands on,
is, a treatise concerning "The Empire of Beauty," and the effects it
has had in all nations of the world, upon the public and private actions
of men; with an appendix, which he calls, "The Bachelor's Scheme for
Governing his Wife." The first thing he makes this gentleman propose,
is, that she shall be no woman; for she is to have an aversion to balls,
to operas, to visits: she is to think his company sufficient to fill up
all the hours of life with great satisfaction: she is never to believe
any other man wise, learned, or valiant; or at least but in a second
degree. In the next place, he intends she shall be a cuckold; but
expects, that he himself must live in perfect security from that terror.
He dwells a great while on instructions for her discreet behaviour, in
case of his falsehood. I have not patience with these unreasonable
expectations, therefore turn back to the treatise itself. Here, indeed,
my brother deduces all the revolutions among men from the passion of
love; and in his preface, answers that usual observation against us,
that there is no quarrel without a woman in it, with a gallant
assertion, that there is nothing else worth quarrelling for. My brother
is of a complexion truly amorous; all his thoughts and actions carry in
them a tincture of that obliging inclination; and this turn has opened
his eyes to see, we are not the inconsiderable creatures which unlucky
pretenders to our favour would insinuate. He observes that no man begins
to make any tolerable figure, till he sets out with the hopes of
pleasing some one of us. No sooner he takes that in hand, but he pleases
every one else by-the-bye. It has an immediate effect upon his
behaviour. There is Colonel Ranter, who never spoke without an oath,
till he saw the Lady Betty Modish;[164] now never gives his man an
order, but it is, "Pray, Tom, do it." The drawers where he drinks live
in perfect happiness. He asked Will at the "George" the other day how he
did? Where he used to say, "Damn it, it is so," he now believes there is
some mistake: he must confess, he is of another opinion; but however he
won't insist.

Every temper, except downright insipid, is to be animated and softened
by the influence of beauty: but of this untractable sort is a lifeless
handsome fellow that visits us, whom I have dressed at this twelvemonth;
but he is as insensible of all the arts I use, as if he conversed all
that time with his nurse. He outdoes our whole sex in all the faults our
enemies impute to us; he has brought laziness into an opinion, and makes
his indolence his philosophy: insomuch, that no longer ago than
yesterday in the evening he gave me this account of himself: "I am,
madam, perfectly unmoved at all that passes among men, and seldom give
myself the fatigue of going among them; but when I do, I always appear
the same thing to those whom I converse with. My hours of existence, or
being awake, are from eleven in the morning to eleven at night; half of
which I live to myself, in picking my teeth, washing my hands, paring my
nails, and looking in the glass. The insignificancy of my manners to the
rest of the world makes the laughers call me a _quidnunc_, a phrase I
shall never inquire what they mean by it. The last of me each night is
at St. James's Coffee-house, where I converse, yet never fall into a
dispute on any occasion, but leave the understanding I have, passive of
all that goes through it, without entering into the business of life.
And thus, madam, have I arrived by laziness, to what others pretend to
by devotion, a perfect neglect of the world." Sure, if our sex had the
liberty of frequenting public-houses and conversations, we should put
these rivals of our faults and follies out of countenance. However, we
shall soon have the pleasure of being acquainted with them one way or
other, for my brother Isaac designs, for the use of our sex, to give the
exact characters of all the chief politicians who frequent any of the
coffee-houses from St. James's to the Change; but designs to begin with
that cluster of wise heads, as they are found sitting every evening,
from the left side of the fire, at the Smyrna,[165] to the door. This
will be of great service for us, and I have authority to promise an
exact journal of their deliberations; the publication of which I am to
be allowed for pin-money. In the meantime, I cast my eye upon a new
book, which gave me a more pleasing entertainment, being a sixth part of
"Miscellany Poems," published by Jacob Tonson,[166] which I find, by my
brother's notes upon it, no way inferior to the other volumes. There
are, it seems, in this, a collection of the best pastorals that have
hitherto appeared in England; but among them, none superior to that
dialogue between Sylvia and Dorinda, written by one of my own sex,[167]
where all our little weaknesses are laid open in a manner more just,
and with, truer raillery than ever man yet hit upon.

    _Only this I now discern.
    From the things thou'st have me learn;
    That womankind's peculiar joys
    From past or present beauties rise._

But to reassume my first design, there cannot be a greater instance of
the command of females, than in the prevailing charms of the heroine in
the play which was acted this night, called "All for Love; or, The World
Well Lost."[168] The enamoured Antony resigns glory and power to the
force of the attractive Cleopatra, whose charms were the defence of her
diadem, against a people otherwise invincible. It is so natural for
women to talk of themselves, that it is to be hoped all my own sex, at
least, will pardon me, that I could fall into no other discourse. If we
have their favour, we give ourselves very little anxiety for the rest of
our readers. I believe I see a sentence of Latin in my brother's
day-book of wit, which seems applicable on this occasion, and in
contempt of the critics.

      --_Tristitiam et metus
    Tradam protectis in mare Criticum
    Portare ventis._[169]

But I am interrupted by a packet from Mr. Kidney,[170] from the St.
James's Coffee-house, which I am obliged to insert in the very style and
words which Mr. Kidney uses in his letter.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 2.

We are advised by letters from Berne, dated the 1st instant, N.S., that
the Duke of Berwick arrived at Lyons the 25th of the last month, and
continued his journey the next day to visit the passes of the mountains,
and other posts in Dauphine and Provence. These letters also informed
us, that the miseries of the people in France are heightened to that
degree, that unless a peace be speedily concluded, half of that kingdom
would perish for want of bread. On the 24th, the Marshal de Thesse
passed through Lyons, in his way to Versailles; and two battalions,
which were marching from Alsace to reinforce the army of the Duke of
Berwick, passed also through that place. Those troops were to be
followed by six Battalions more.

Letters from Naples of the 16th of April say, that the Marquis de Prie's
son was arrived there, with instructions from his father, to signify to
the viceroy the necessity his Imperial Majesty was under, of desiring an
aid from that kingdom, for carrying on the extraordinary expenses of the
war. On the 14th of the same month, they made a review of the Spanish
troops in that garrison, and afterwards of the marines; one part of whom
will embark with those designed for Barcelona, and the rest are to be
sent on board the galleys appointed to convoy provisions to that place.

We hear from Rome, by letters dated the 20th of April, that the Count de
Mellos, envoy from the King of Portugal, had made his public entry into
that city with much state and magnificence. The Pope has lately held two
other consistories, wherein he made a promotion of two cardinals; but
the acknowledgment of King Charles is still deferred.

Letters from other parts of Italy advise us, that the Doge of Venice
continues dangerously ill: that the Prince de Carignan, having relapsed
into a violent fever, died the 23rd of April, in his 80th year.

Advices from Vienna of the 27th of April import, that the Archbishop of
Saltzburg is dead, who is succeeded by Count Harrach, formerly Bishop of
Vienna, and for these last three years coadjutor to the said Archbishop;
and that Prince Maximilian of Lichtenstein has likewise departed this
life, at his country seat called Cromaw in Moravia. These advices add,
that the Emperor has named Count Zinzendorf, Count Goes, and Monsieur
Consbruck, for his plenipotentiaries in an ensuing treaty of peace; and
they hear from Hungary, that the Imperialists have had several
successful skirmishes with the malcontents.

Letters from Paris, dated May the 6th, say, that the Marshal de Thesse
arrived there on the 29th of the last month; and that the Chevalier de
Beuil was sent thither by Don Pedro Ronquillo with advice, that the
confederate squadron appeared before Alicante the 17th, and having for
some time cannonaded the city, endeavoured to land some troops for the
relief of the castle; but General Stanhope finding the passes well
guarded, and the enterprise dangerous, demanded to capitulate for the
castle; which being granted him, the garrison, consisting of 600 regular
troops, marched out with their arms and baggage the day following; and
being received on board, they immediately set sail for Barcelona. These
letters add, that the march of the French and Swiss regiments is further
deferred for a few days; and that the Duke of Noailles was just ready to
set out for Roussillon, as well as the Count de Bezons for Catalonia.

The same advices say, bread was sold at Paris for 6d. per pound; and
that there was not half enough, even at that rate, to supply the
necessities of the people, which reduced them to the utmost despair;
that 300 men had taken up arms, and having plundered the market of the
suburb St. Germain, pressed down by their multitude the King's Guards
who opposed them. Two of those mutineers were afterwards seized, and
condemned to death; but four others went to the magistrate who
pronounced that sentence, and told him, he must expect to answer with
his own life for those of their comrades. All order and sense of
government being thus lost among the enraged people, to keep up a show
of authority, the captain of the Guards, who saw all their insolence,
pretended, that he had represented to the King their deplorable
condition, and had obtained their pardon. It is further reported, that
the Dauphin and Duchess of Burgundy, as they went to the Opera, were
surrounded by crowds of people, who upbraided them with their neglect of
the general calamity, in going to diversions, when the whole people were
ready to perish for want of bread. Edicts are daily published to
suppress these riots, and papers, with menaces against the Government,
are publicly thrown about. Among others, these words were dropped in a
court of justice: "France wants a Ravilliac or a Jesuit to deliver her."
Besides this universal distress, there is a contagious sickness, which,
it is feared, will end in a pestilence. Letters from Bordeaux bring
accounts no less lamentable: the peasants are driven by hunger from
their abodes into that city, and make lamentations in the streets
without redress.

We are advised by letters from the Hague, dated the 10th instant, N.S.,
that on the 6th, the Marquis de Torcy arrived there from Paris; but the
passport, by which he came, having been sent blank by Monsieur Rouillé,
he was there two days before his quality was known. That Minister
offered to communicate to Monsieur Heinsius the proposals which he had
to make; but the pensionary refused to see them, and said, he would
signify it to the States, who deputed some of their own body to acquaint
him, That they would enter into no negotiation till the arrival of his
Grace the Duke of Marlborough, and the other Ministers of the Alliance.
Prince Eugene was expected there the 12th instant from Brussels. It is
said, that besides Monsieur de Torcy and Monsieur Pajot,
Director-general of the Posts, there are two or three persons at the
Hague whose names are not known; but it is supposed that the Duke
d'Alba, ambassador from the Duke of Anjou, was one of them. The States
have sent letters to all the cities of the Provinces, desiring them to
send their deputies to receive the propositions of peace made by the
Court of France.[171]

[Footnote 163: The word "Miss" was still confined, in Steele's day, to
very young girls or to young women of giddy or doubtful character. Thus
Pastorella in No. 9 is called "Miss," and similarly we find "Miss Gruel"
in No. 33. In the "Original Letters to the _Tatler_ and _Spectator_,"
printed by Charles Lillie (i. 223) there is a "Table of the Titles and
Distinctions of Women," from which what follows is extracted. "Let all
country-gentlewomen, without regard to more or less fortune, content
themselves with being addressed by the style of 'Mrs.' Let 'Madam'
govern independently in the city, &c. Let no women after the known age
of 21 presume to admit of her being called 'Miss,' unless she can fairly
prove she is not out of her sampler. Let every common maid-servant be
plain 'Jane,' 'Doll,' or 'Sue,' and let the better-born and
higher-placed be distinguished by 'Mrs. Patience,' 'Mrs. Prue,' or 'Mrs.

[Footnote 164: Perhaps there is here an illusion to Mrs. Anne Oldfield
(died 1730), and Brigadier-General Charles Churchill, brother of the
Duke of Marlborough. Mrs. Oldfield acted as Lady Betty Modish in
Cibber's "Careless Husband," a part which was not only written for, but
copied from her. Her son by Churchill married Lady Mary Walpole.]

[Footnote 165: A coffee-house in Pall Mall. Swift and Prior frequented
it: "Prior and I came away at nine, and sat at the Smyrna till eleven
receiving acquaintance." "I walked a little in the Park till Prior made
me go with him to the Smyrna Coffee-house."--("Journal to Stella," Oct.
15, 1710; Feb. 19, 1711.)]

[Footnote 166: The sixth and last volume of the "Dryden" Miscellany
Poems was published by Tonson in 1709. The elder Tonson, who was founder
and secretary of the Kit Cat Club, died in 1736.]

[Footnote 167: By Elizabeth Singer, who became Mrs. Rowe in 1710, and
died in 1737. Besides poems which gained for her the friendship of
Prior, Dr. Watts, and Bishop Ken, she published "Friendship in Death, in
twenty letters from the Dead to the Living," and "Letters Moral and

[Footnote 168: Dryden's version of "Antony and Cleopatra" was produced
in 1673.]

[Footnote 169: Horace, 1 Od. xxvi. 2. The joke consists in Mrs. Jenny
Distaff mistaking Horace's "Creticum" for "Criticum," and so misapplying
the passage.]

[Footnote 170: See No. 1.]

[Footnote 171: "In the absence of Mr. Bickerstaff, Mrs. Distaff has
received Mr. Nathaniel Broomstick's letter" (folio).]

No. 11. [STEELE.


From _Tuesday May 3,_ to _Thursday, May 5_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Will's Coffee-house, May 3.

A kinsman[172] has sent me a letter, wherein he informs me, he had
lately resolved to write an heroic poem, but by business had been
interrupted, and has only made one similitude, which he should be
afflicted to have wholly lost, and begs of me to apply it to something,
being very desirous to see it well placed in the world. I am so willing
to help the distressed, that I have taken it in; but though his greater
genius might very well distinguish his verses from mine, I have marked
where his begin. His lines are a description of the sun in eclipse,
which I know nothing more like than a brave man in sorrow, who bears it
as he should, without imploring the pity of his friends, or being
dejected with the contempt of his enemies. As in the case of Cato:

    When all the globe to Cæsar's fortune bowed,
    Cato alone his empire disallowed;
    With inborn strength alone opposed mankind,
    With heaven in view, to all below it blind:
    Regardless of his friend's applause, or moan,
    Alone triumphant, since he falls alone.

    "Thus when the Ruler of the genial day,
    Behind some darkening planet forms his way,
    Desponding mortals, with officious care,
    The concave drum, and magic brass prepare;
    Implore him to sustain the important fight,
    And save depending worlds from endless night.
    Fondly they hope their labour may avail,
    To ease his conflict, and assist his toil.
    Whilst he in beams of native splendour bright, }
    (Though dark his orb appear to human sight)    }
    Shines to the gods with more diffusive light.  }
    To distant stars with equal glory burns,
    Inflames their lamps, and feeds their golden urns.
    Sure to retain his known superior tract,
    And proves the more illustrious by defect."

This is a very lively image; but I must take the liberty to say, my
kinsman drives the sun a little like Phaëton: he has all the warmth of
Phœbus, but won't stay for his direction of it. Avail and toil, defect
and tract, will never do for rhymes. But, however, he has the true
spirit in him; for which reason I was willing to entertain anything he
pleased to send me. The subject which he writes upon, naturally raises
great reflections in the soul, and puts us in mind of the mixed
condition which we mortals are to support; which, as it varies to good
or bad, adorns or defaces our actions to the beholders: All which glory
and shame must end in what we so much repine at, death. But doctrines on
this occasion, any other than that of living well, are the most
insignificant and most empty of all the labours of men. None but a
tragedian can die by rule, and wait till he discovers a plot, or says a
fine thing upon his exit. In real life, this is a chimera; and by noble
spirits, it will be done decently, without the ostentation of it. We see
men of all conditions and characters go through it with equal
resolution: and if we consider the speeches of the mighty philosophers,
heroes, law-givers, and great captains, they can produce no more in a
discerning spirit, than rules to make a man a fop on his death-bed.
Commend me to that natural greatness of soul, expressed by an innocent,
and consequently resolute, country fellow, who said in the pains of the
colic, "If I once get this breath out of my body, you shall hang me
before you put it in again." Honest Ned! and so he died.[173]

But it is to be supposed, from this place you may expect an account of
such a thing as a new play is not to be omitted. That acted this night
is the newest that ever was writ. The author is my ingenious friend Mr.
Thomas D----y. The drama is called, "The Modern Prophets,"[174] and is a
most unanswerable satire against the late spirit of enthusiasm. The
writer had by long experience observed, that in company, very grave
discourses have been followed by bawdry; and therefore has turned the
humour that way with great success, and taken from his audience all
manner of superstition, by the agitations of pretty Mrs. Bignell,[175]
whom he has, with great subtlety, made a lay-sister, as well as a
prophetess; by which means, she carries on the affairs of both worlds
with great success. My friend designs to go on with another work against
winter, which he intends to call, "The Modern Poets"; a people no less
mistaken in their opinions of being inspired than the other. In order to
this, he has by him seven songs, besides many ambiguities, which cannot
be mistaken for anything but what he means them. Mr. D----y generally
writes state-plays, and is wonderfully useful to the world in such
representations. This method is the same that was used by old Athenians,
to laugh out of countenance, or promote opinions among the people. My
friend has therefore, against this play is acted for his own benefit,
made two dances, which may be also of an universal benefit. In the first
he has represenced absolute power, in the person of a tall man with a
hat and feather, who gives his first minister, that stands just before
him, a huge kick: the minister gives the kick to the next before; and so
to the end of the stage. In this moral and practical jest, you are made
to understand, that there is, in an absolute government, no
gratification, but giving the kick you receive from one above you to one
below you. This is performed to a grave and melancholy air; but on a
sudden the tune moves quicker, and the whole company fall into a circle
and take hands; then, at a certain sharp note, they move round, and kick
as kick can. This latter performance he makes to be the representation
of a free state; where, if you all mind your steps, you may go round and
round very jollily, with a motion pleasant to yourselves and those you
dance with: nay, if you put yourselves out, at the worst you only kick,
and are kicked, like friends and equals.

From my own Apartment, May 4.

Of all the vanities under the sun, I confess, that of being proud of
one's birth is the greatest. At the same time, since in this
unreasonable age, by the force of prevailing custom, things in which men
have no hand are imputed to them; and that I am used by some people, as
if Isaac Bickerstaff, though I write myself "Esquire," was nobody: to
set the world right in that particular, I shall give you my genealogy,
as a kinsman of ours has sent it me from the Heralds' Office. It is
certain, and observed by the wisest writers, that there are women who
are not nicely chaste, and men not severely honest in all families;
therefore let those who may be apt to raise aspersions upon ours, please
to give us as impartial an account of their own, and we shall be
satisfied. The business of heralds is a matter of so great nicety, that
to avoid mistakes, I shall give you my cousin's letter verbatim, without
altering a syllable.[176]


"Since you have been pleased to make yourself so famous of late, by your
ingenious writings, and some time ago by your learned Predictions: since
Partridge, of immortal memory, is dead and gone, who, poetical as he
was, could not understand his own poetry; and philomathical as he was,
could not read his own destiny: since the Pope, the King of France, and
great part of his Court, are either literally or metaphorically defunct:
since, I say, these things (not foretold by any one but yourself) have
come to pass after so surprising a manner; it is with no small concern I
see the original of the Staffian race so little known in the world as it
is at this time; for which reason, as you have employed your studies in
astronomy and the occult sciences, so I, my mother being a Welsh woman,
dedicated mine to genealogy, particularly that of our own family, which,
for its antiquity and number, may challenge any in Great Britain. The
Staffs are originally of Staffordshire, which took its name from them:
the first that I find of the Staffs was one Jacobstaff, a famous and
renowned astronomer, who by Dorothy his wife, had issue seven sons;
viz., Bickerstaff, Longstaff, Wagstaff, Quarterstaff, Whitestaff,
Falstaff, and Tipstaff. He also had a younger brother who was twice
married, and had five sons; viz., Distaff, Pikestaff, Mopstaff,
Broomstaff, and Raggedstaff. As for the branch from whence you spring,
I shall say very little of it, only that it is the chief of the Staffs,
and called Bickerstaff, _quasi_ Biggerstaff; as much as to say, the
great staff, or staff of staffs; and that it has applied itself to
astronomy with great success, after the example of our aforesaid
forefather. The descendants from Longstaff, the second son, were a
rakish disorderly sort of people, and rambled from one place to another,
till in Harry II.'s time they settled in Kent, and were called
Long-tails, from the long tails which were sent them as a punishment for
the murder of Thomas-à-Becket, as the legends say; they have been always
sought after by the ladies; but whether it be to show their aversion to
popery, or their love to miracles, I can't say. The Wagstaffs are a
merry thoughtless sort of people, who have always been opinionated of
their own wit; they have turned themselves mostly to poetry. This is the
most numerous branch of our family, and the poorest. The Quarterstaffs
are most of them prize-fighters or deer-stealers. There have been so
many of them hanged lately, that there are very few of that branch of
our family left. The Whitestaffs[177] are all courtiers, and have had
very considerable places: there have been some of them of that strength
and dexterity, that five hundred of the ablest men in the kingdom[178]
have often tugged in vain to pull a staff out of their hands. The
Falstaffs are strangely given to whoring and drinking: there are
abundance of them in and about London. And one thing is very remarkable
of this branch, and that is, there are just as many women as men in it.
There was a wicked stick of wood of this name in Harry IV.'s time, one
Sir John Falstaff. As for Tipstaff, the youngest son, he was an honest
fellow; but his sons, and his sons' sons, have all of them been the
veriest rogues living: it is this unlucky branch has stocked the nation
with that swarm of lawyers, attorneys, serjeants, and bailiffs, with
which the nation is overrun. Tipstaff, being a seventh son, used to cure
the king's evil; but his rascally descendants are so far from having
that healing quality, that by a touch upon the shoulder, they give a man
such an ill habit of body, that he can never come abroad afterwards.
This is all I know of the line of Jacobstaff: his younger brother
Isaacstaff, as I told you before, had five sons, and was married twice;
his first wife was a Staff (for they did not stand upon false heraldry
in those days), by whom he had one son, who in process of time, being a
schoolmaster, and well read in the Greek, called himself Distaff or
Twicestaff: he was not very rich, so he put his children out to trades;
and the Distaffs have ever since been employed in the woollen and linen
manufactures, except myself, who am a genealogist. Pikestaff, the eldest
son by the second venter, was a man of business, a downright plodding
fellow, and withal so plain, that he became a proverb. Most of this
family are at present in the army. Raggedstaff was an unlucky boy, and
used to tear his clothes getting birds' nests, and was always playing
with a tame bear his father kept. Mopstaff fell in love with one of his
father's maids, and used to help her to clean the house. Broomstaff was
a chimney-sweeper. The Mopstaffs and Broomstaffs are naturally as civil
people as ever went out of doors; but alas! if they once get into ill
hands, they knock down all before them. Pilgrimstaff run away from his
friends, and went strolling about the country: and Pipestaff was a
wine-cooper. These two were the unlawful issue of Longstaff.

"N.B. The Canes, the Clubs, the Cudgels, the Wands, the Devil upon two
Sticks, and one Bread, that goes by the name of Staff of Life, are none
of our relations.

"I am, dear Cousin,

"Your humble Servant,

                                        "D. DISTAFF.

"From the Heralds' Office, _May 1_."

St. James's Coffee-house, May 4.

As politic news is not the principal subject on which we treat, we are
so happy as to have no occasion for that art of cookery, which our
brother-newsmongers so much excel in; as appears by their excellent and
inimitable manner of dressing up a second time for your taste the same
dish which they gave you the day before, in case there come over no new
pickles from Holland. Therefore, when we have nothing to say to you from
courts and camps, we hope still to give you somewhat new and curious
from ourselves: the women of our house, upon occasion, being capable of
carrying on the business, according to the laudable custom of the wives
in Holland; but, without further preface, take what we have not
mentioned in our former relations.

Letters from Hanover of the 30th of the last month say, that the Prince
Royal of Prussia arrived there on the 15th, and left that Court on the
2nd of this month, in pursuit of his journey to Flanders, where he makes
the ensuing campaign. Those advices add, that the young Prince Nassau,
hereditary governor of Friesland, consummated on the 26th of the last
month his marriage with the beauteous princess of Hesse-Cassel, with a
pomp and magnificence suitable to their age and quality.

Letters from Paris say, his most Christian Majesty retired to Marli on
the 1st instant, N.S., and our last advices from Spain inform us, that
the Prince of Asturias had made his public entry into Madrid in great
splendour. The Duke of Anjou has given Don Joseph Hartado de Amaraga the
government of Terra-Firma de Veragua, and the presidency of Panama in
America. They add, That the forces commanded by the Marquis de Bay had
been reinforced by six battalions of Spanish and Walloon guards. Letters
from Lisbon advise, That the army of the King of Portugal was at Elvas
on the 22nd of the last month, and would decamp on the 24th, in order to
march upon the enemy, who lay at Badajos.

Yesterday, at four in the morning, his Grace the Duke of Marlborough set
out for Margate, and embarked for Holland at eight this morning.

Yesterday also, Sir George Thorold was declared Alderman of Cordwainers'
Ward, in the room of his brother Sir Charles Thorold, deceased.[179]

[Footnote 172: Jabez Hughes (died 1731), the author of these verses, was
the younger brother of John Hughes. He published several translations,
and his "Miscellanies in Verse and Prose" appeared in 1737.]

[Footnote 173: "Honest Ned" was a farmer on the estate of Anthony
Henley, who mentions this saying in a letter to Swift.]

[Footnote 174: D'Urfey's "Modern Prophets" attacked the enthusiasts
known as "French Prophets," who were in the habit of assembling in
Moorfields to exert their alleged gifts. Lord Chesterfield says that the
Government took no steps, except to direct Powell, the puppet-show man,
to make Punch turn prophet, which he did so well, that it put an end to
the fanatics.]

[Footnote 175: See No. 3.]

[Footnote 176: The letter is by Heneage Twysden. (See Steele's Preface.)
Heneage Twysden was the seventh son of Sir William Twysden, Bart., of
Roydon Hall, East Peckham, Kent. At the time of his death (1709, aged
29) he was a captain of foot in Sir Richard Temple's Regiment, and
aide-de-camp to John, Duke of Argyle. Near his monument in the north
aisle of the Abbey are two other small ones to the memory of his
brothers Josiah and John. Josiah, a captain of foot, was killed in
Flanders in 1708, in his 23rd year; John was a lieutenant in the
admiral's ship, under Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and perished with him in
1707, in his 24th year. [Chalmers.]--Heneage Twysden was killed at the
battle of Blarequies.]

[Footnote 177: The allusion is to the staff carried by the First Lord of
the Treasury.]

[Footnote 178: The House of Commons.]

[Footnote 179: "Any ladies who have any particular stories of their
acquaintance, which they are willing privately to make public, may send
them by the penny-post to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., enclosed to Mr. John
Morphew, near Stationers' Hall" (folio).]

No. 12. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, May 5_, to _Saturday, May 7_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

May 5.

When a man has engaged to keep a stage-coach, he is obliged, whether he
has passengers or not, to set out: thus it fares with us weekly
historians; but indeed, for my particular, I hope I shall soon have
little more to do in this work, than to publish what is sent me from
such as have leisure and capacity for giving delight, and being pleased
in an elegant manner. The present grandeur of the British nation might
make us expect, that we should rise in our public diversions, and manner
of enjoying life, in proportion to our advancement in glory and power.
Instead of that, take and survey this town, and you'll find, rakes and
debauchees are your men of pleasure; thoughtless atheists, and
illiterate drunkards, call themselves free thinkers; and gamesters,
banterers, biters,[180] swearers, and twenty new-born insects more, are,
in their several species, the modern men of wit. Hence it is, that a man
who has been out of town but one half-year, has lost the language, and
must have some friend to stand by him, and keep him in countenance for
talking common sense. To-day I saw a short interlude at White's of this
nature, which I took notes of, and put together as well as I could in a
public place. The persons of the drama are, Pip, the last gentleman that
has been made so at cards; Trimmer, a person half undone at them, and is
now between a cheat and a gentleman; Acorn, an honest Englishman, of
good plain sense and meaning; and Mr. Friendly, a reasonable man of the

White's Chocolate-house, May 5.

[_Enter_ PIP, TRIM, _and_ ACORN.

AC. What's the matter, gentlemen? What! Take no notice of an old friend?

PIP. Pox on it! don't talk to me, I am voweled by the Count, and
cursedly out of humour.

AC. Voweled! Prithee, Trimmer, what does he mean by that?

TRIM. Have a care, Harry, speak softly; don't show your ignorance:--If
you do, they'll bite you where-e'er they meet you; they are such cursed
curs,--the present wits.

AC. Bite me! What do you mean?

PIP. Why! Don't you know what biting is? Nay, you are in the right on
it. However, one would learn it only to defend oneself against men of
wit, as one would know the tricks of play, to be secure against the
cheats. But don't you hear, Acorn, that report, that some potentates of
the Alliance have taken care of themselves, exclusive of us?

AC. How! Heaven forbid! After all our glorious victories; all this
expense of blood and treasure!

PIP. Bite--

AC. Bite! How?

TRIM. Nay, he has bit you fairly enough; that's certain.

AC. Pox! I don't feel it--how? Where?

[_Exit_ PIP _and_ TRIMMER, _laughing._

AC. Ho! Mr. Friendly, your most humble servant; you heard what passed
between those fine gentlemen and me. Pip complained to me, that he has
been voweled; and they tell me, I am bit.

FRIEND. You are to understand, sir, that simplicity of behaviour, which
is the perfection of good breeding and good sense, is utterly lost in
the world; and in the room of it, there are started a thousand little
inventions, which men, barren of better things, take up in the place of
it. Thus, for every character in conversation that used to please, there
is an impostor put upon you. Him whom we allowed formerly for a certain
pleasant subtilty, and natural way of giving you an unexpected hit,
called a droll, is now mimicked by a biter, who is a dull fellow, that
tells you a lie with a grave face, and laughs at you for knowing him no
better than to believe him. Instead of that sort of companion, who could
rally you, and keep his countenance, till he made you fall into some
little inconsistency of behaviour, at which you yourself could laugh
with him, you have the sneerer, who will keep you company from morning
to night, to gather your follies of the day (which perhaps you commit
out of confidence in him), and expose you in the evening to all the
scorners in town. For your man of sense and free spirit, whose set of
thoughts were built upon learning, reason, and experience, you have now
an impudent creature made up of vice only, who supports his ignorance by
his courage, and want of learning by contempt of it.

AC. Dear sir, hold: what you have told me already of this change in
conversation, is too miserable to be heard with any delight; but,
methinks, as these new creatures appear in the world, it might give an
excellent field to writers for the stage, to divert us with the
representation of them there.

FRIEND. No, no: as you say, there might be some hopes of redress of
these grievances, if there were proper care taken of the theatre; but
the history of that is yet more lamentable than that of the decay of
conversation I gave you.

AC. Pray, sir, a little: I haven't been in town these six years, till
within this fortnight.

FRIEND. It is now some years since several revolutions in the gay world
had made the empire of the stage subject to very fatal convulsions,
which were too dangerous to be cured by the skill of little King
Oberon,[181] who then sat in the throne of it. The laziness of this
prince threw him upon the choice of a person who was fit to spend his
life in contentions, an able and profound attorney, to whom he mortgaged
his whole empire. This Divito[182] is the most skilful of all
politicians: he has a perfect art in being unintelligible in discourse,
and uncomeatable in business. But he having no understanding in this
polite way, brought in upon us, to get in his money,
ladder-dancers,[183] rope-dancers, jugglers, and mountebanks, to strut
in the place of Shakespeare's heroes, and Jonson's humorists. When the
seat of wit was thus mortgaged, without equity of redemption, an
architect[184] arose, who has built the muse a new palace, but secured
her no retinue; so that instead of action there, we have been put off
by song and dance. This latter help of sound has also begun to fail for
want of voices; therefore the palace has since been put into the hands
of a surgeon,[185] who cuts any foreign fellow into an eunuch, and
passes him upon us for a singer of Italy.

AC. I'll go out of town to-morrow.

FRIEND.[186] Things are come to this pass; and yet the world will not
understand, that the theatre has much the same effect on the manners of
the age, as the bank on the credit of the nation. Wit and spirit, humour
and good sense, can never be revived, but under the government of those
who are judges of such talents, who know, that whatever is put up in
their stead, is but a short and trifling expedient, to support the
appearance of them for a season. It is possible, a peace will give
leisure to put these matters under new regulations; but at present, all
the assistance we can see towards our recovery, is as far from giving us
help, as a poultice is from performing what can be done only by the
Grand Elixir.

Will's Coffee-house, May 6.

According to our late design in the applauded verses on the
Morning,[187] which you lately had from hence, we proceed to improve
that just intention, and present you with other labours, made proper to
the place in which they were written. The following poem comes from
Copenhagen, and is as fine a winter-piece as we have ever had from any
of the schools of the most learned painters. Such images as these give
us a new pleasure in our sight, and fix upon our minds traces of
reflection, which accompany us whenever the like objects occur. In
short, excellent poetry and description dwell upon us so agreeably, that
all the readers of them are made to think, if not write, like men of
wit. But it would be injury to detain you longer from this excellent
performance, which is addressed to the Earl of Dorset by Mr.
Philips,[188] the author of several choice poems in Mr. Tonson's new

                                            _Copenhagen, March 9_, 1709.
    From frozen climes, and endless tracks of snow,
    From streams that northern winds forbid to flow;
    What present shall the muse to Dorset bring;
    Or how, so near the Pole, attempt to sing?
    The hoary winter here conceals from sight
    All pleasing objects that to verse invite.
    The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
    The flowery plains, and silver streaming floods,
    By snow disguised, in bright confusion lie,
    And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.

    No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring,
    No birds within the desert region sing.
    The ships unmoved the boisterous winds defy,
    While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly.
    The vast leviathan wants room to play,
    And spout his waters in the face of day.
    The starving wolves along the main sea prowl,
    And to the moon in icy valleys howl.
    For many a shining league the level main
    Here spreads itself into a glassy plain:
    There solid billows of enormous size,
    Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.

    And yet but lately have I seen e'en here,
    The winter in a lovely dress appear;
    Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasured snow,
    Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow.
    At evening a keen eastern breeze arose;
    And the descending rain unsullied froze.
    Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
    The ruddy morn disclosed at once to view
    The face of nature in a rich disguise,
    And brightened every object to my eyes.
    For every shrub, and every blade of grass,
    And every pointed thorn, seemed wrought in glass,
    In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
    While through the ice the crimson berries glow.
    The thick-sprung reeds the watery marshes yield,
    Seem polished lances in a hostile field.
    The stag in limpid currents with surprise,
    Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
    The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine,
    Glazed over, in the freezing ether shine.
    The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
    That wave and glitter in the distant sun.

    When if a sudden gust of wind arise,
    The brittle forest into atoms flies:
    The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
    And in a spangled shower the prospect ends.
    Or if a southern gale the region warm,
    And by degrees unbind the wintry charm;
    The traveller a miry country sees,
    And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees.

    Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads
    Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious meads;
    While here enchanted gardens to him rise,
    And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
    His wandering feet the magic paths pursue;
    And while he thinks the fair illusion true,
    The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air,
    And woods and wilds, and thorny ways appear:
    A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
    And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.

From my own Apartment, May 6.

There has a mail this day arrived from Holland; but the matter of the
advices importing rather what gives us great expectations, than any
positive assurances, I shall, for this time, decline giving you what I
know, and apply the following verses of Mr. Dryden, in the second part
of "Almanzor," to the present circumstances of things, without
discovering what my knowledge in astronomy suggests to me.

    _When empire in its childhood first appears,
    A watchful fate o'er sees its tender years:
    Till grown more strong, it thrusts and stretches out,
    And elbows all the kingdoms round about.
    The place thus made for its first breathing free,
    It moves again for ease and luxury;
    Till swelling by degrees it has possest
    The greater space, and now crowds up the rest.
    When from behind there starts some petty state,
    And pushes on its now unwieldy fate.
    Then down the precipice of time it goes,
    And sinks in minutes, which in ages rose._[190]

[Footnote 180: "I'll teach you a way to outwit Mrs. Johnson; it is a
new-fashioned way of being witty, and they call it a _bite_. You must
ask a bantering question, or tell some damned lie in a serious manner,
then she will answer, or speak as if you were in earnest, and then cry
you, 'Madam, there's a _bite_.' I would not have you undervalue this,
for it is the constant amusement in Court, and everywhere else among the
great people; and I let you know it, in order to have it obtain among
you, and to teach you a new refinement" (Swift's "Journal"). See the
_Spectator_, Nos. 47, 504: "_A Biter_ is one who tells you a thing you
have no reason to disbelieve in itself; and perhaps has given you,
before he bit you, no reason to disbelieve it for his saying it; and if
you give him credit, laughs in your face, and triumphs that he has
deceived you. In a word, a _Biter_ is one who thinks you a fool, because
you do not think him a knave."]

[Footnote 181: Owen McSwiney, a manager of Drury Lane Theatre, and
afterwards of the Haymarket Theatre. After living in Italy for some
years, he obtained a place in the Custom-house, and was keeper of the
King's Mews. On his death in 1754 he left his fortune to Mrs.

[Footnote 182: Christopher Rich, manager of Drury Lane Theatre, who died
in 1714, was at this time involved in a quarrel with the principal
actors about the profits of their benefits.]

[Footnote 183: Cibber ("Apology," chap. x.) complains that Rich paid
extraordinary prices to singers, dancers, and other exotic performers,
which were as constantly deducted out of the sinking salaries of his
actors. In December, 1709, the Lord Chamberlain ordered that no new
representations were to be brought upon the stage which were not
necessary to the better performance of comedy or opera, "such as
ladder-dancing, antic postures," &c., without his leave.--(Lord
Chamberlain's Records, Warrant Book, No. 22.)]

[Footnote 184: Sir John Vanbrugh built the Haymarket Theatre in 1705.
The new house was opened with a translation of an Italian opera, "The
Triumph of Love", which met with little success. This was followed by
Vanbrugh's "Confederacy."]

[Footnote 185: John James Heidegger, who died in 1749, aged 90, was the
son of a Swiss clergyman. When over 40 he came to England, and became
the chief director of the opera-house and masquerades. His face was
remarkably ugly.]

[Footnote 186: "Trim", in original editions.]

[Footnote 187: See No. 9.]

[Footnote 188: "Philips writeth verses in a sledge upon the frozen sea,"
wrote Swift, "and transmits them hither to thrive in our warm climate
under the shelter of my Lord Dorset." Addison refers to this poem by
Ambrose Philips in No. 223 of the _Spectator_, and Pope commends it.]

[Footnote 189: The sixth and last volume of Tonson's "Miscellany" opens
with Philips' Pastorals, and closes with those of Pope.]

[Footnote 190: "Almanzor and Almahide; or, The Conquest of Granada. The
Second Part," act i. sc. I.]

No. 13. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, May 7_, to _Tuesday, May 10_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, May 8.

Much hurry and business had to-day perplexed me into a mood too
thoughtful for going into company; for which reason, instead of the
tavern, I went into Lincoln's Inn Walks; and having taken a round or
two, I sat down, according to the allowed familiarity of these places,
on a bench; at the other end of which sat a venerable gentleman, who
speaking with a very affable air, "Mr. Bickerstaff," said he, "I take it
for a very great piece of good fortune, that you have found me out."
"Sir," said I, "I had never, that I know of, the honour of seeing you
before." "That," replied he, "is what I have often lamented; but I
assure you, I have for many years done you good offices, without being
observed by you; or else, when you had any little glimpse of my being
concerned in an affair, you have fled from me, and shunned me like an
enemy; but however, the part I am to act in the world is such, that I am
to go on in doing good, though I meet with never so many repulses, even
from those I oblige." This, thought I, shows a great good nature, but
little judgment in the persons upon whom he confers his favours. He
immediately took notice to me, that he observed by my countenance I
thought him indiscreet in his beneficence, and proceeded to tell me his
quality in the following manner: "I know thee, Isaac, to be so well
versed in the occult sciences, that I need not much preface, or make
long preparations to gain your faith that there are airy beings, who are
employed in the care and attendance of men, as nurses are to infants,
till they come to an age in which they can act of themselves. These
beings are usually called amongst men, guardian angels; and, Mr.
Bickerstaff, I am to acquaint you, that I am to be yours for some time
to come; it being our orders to vary our stations, and sometimes to have
one patient under our protection, and sometimes another, with a power of
assuming what shape we please, to ensnare our wards into their own good.
I have of late been upon such hard duty, and know you have so much work
for me, that I think fit to appear to you face to face, to desire you
would give me as little occasion for vigilance as you can." "Sir," said
I, "it will be a great instruction to me in my behaviour, if you please
to give me some account of your late employments, and what hardships or
satisfactions you have had in them, that I may govern myself
accordingly." He answered: "To give you an example of the drudgery we go
through, I will entertain you only with my three last stations: I was on
the 1st of April last, put to mortify a great beauty, with whom I was a
week; from her I went to a common swearer, and have been last with a
gamester. When I first came to my lady, I found my great work was to
guard well her eyes and ears; but her flatterers were so numerous, and
the house, after the modern way, so full of looking-glasses, that I
seldom had her safe but in her sleep. Whenever we went abroad, we were
surrounded by an army of enemies: when a well-made man appeared, he was
sure to have a side-glance of observation: if a disagreeable fellow, he
had a full face, out of mere inclination to conquests. But at the close
of the evening, on the sixth of the last month, my ward was sitting on a
couch, reading Ovid's 'Epistles'; and as she came to this line of Helen
to Paris,

    _She half consents who silently denies;_[191]

entered Philander,[192] who is the most skilful of all men in an address
to women. He is arrived at the perfection of that art which gains them,
which is, to talk like a very miserable man, but look like a very happy
one. I saw Dictinna blush at his entrance, which gave me the alarm; but
he immediately said something so agreeable on her being at study, and
the novelty of finding a lady employed in so grave a manner, that he on
a sudden became very familiarly a man of no consequence; and in an
instant laid all her suspicions of his skill asleep, as he almost had
done mine, till I observed him very dangerously turn his discourse upon
the elegance of her dress, and her judgment in the choice of that very
pretty mourning. Having had women before under my care, I trembled at
the apprehension of a man of sense, who could talk upon trifles, and
resolved to stick to my post with all the circumspection imaginable. In
short, I prepossessed her against all he could say to the advantage of
her dress and person; but he turned again the discourse, where I found I
had no power over her, on the abusing her friends and acquaintance. He
allowed indeed, that Flora had a little beauty, and a great deal of wit;
but then she was so ungainly in her behaviour, and such a laughing
hoyden--Pastorella had with him the allowance of being blameless: but
what was that towards being praiseworthy? To be only innocent, is not to
be virtuous. He afterwards spoke so much against Mrs. Dipple's forehead,
Mrs. Prim's mouth, Mrs. Dentifrice's teeth, and Mrs. Fidget's cheeks,
that she grew downright in love with him: for it is always to be
understood, that a lady takes all you detract from the rest of her sex
to be a gift to her. In a word, things went so far, that I was
dismissed, and she will remember that evening nine months, from the 6th
of April, by a very remarkable token. The next, as I said, I went to was
a common swearer: never was creature so puzzled as myself when I came
first to view his brain; half of it was worn out, and filled up with
mere expletives, that had nothing to do with any other parts of the
texture; therefore, when he called for his clothes in a morning, he
would cry, 'John--?' John does not answer. 'What a plague! Nobody there?
What the devil, and rot me! John, for a lazy dog as you are.' I knew no
way to cure him, but by writing down all he said one morning as he was
dressing, and laying it before him on the toilet when he came to pick
his teeth. The last recital I gave him of what he said for half an hour
before, was, 'What, a pox rot me! Where is the washball? Call the
chairmen: damn them, I warrant they are at the ale-house already!
Zounds, and confound them.' When he came to the glass, he takes up my
note--'Ha! this fellow is worse than me: what, does he swear with pen
and ink?' But reading on, he found them to be his own words. The
stratagem had so good an effect upon him, that he grew immediately a new
man, and is learning to speak without an oath, which makes him extremely
short in his phrases; for, as I observed before, a common swearer has a
brain without any idea on the swearing side; therefore my ward has yet
mighty little to say, and is forced to substitute some other vehicle of
nonsense to supply the defect of his usual expletives. When I left him,
he made use of, 'Oddsbodikins!' 'Oh me!' and, 'Never stir alive!' and so
forth; which gave me hopes of his recovery. So I went to the next I told
you of, the gamester. When we first take our place about a man, the
receptacles of the pericranium are immediately searched. In his, I found
no one ordinary trace of thinking; but strong passion, violent desires,
and a continued series of different changes, had torn it to pieces.
There appeared no middle condition; the triumph of a prince, or the
misery of a beggar, were his alternate states. I was with him no longer
than one day, which was yesterday. In the morning at twelve, we were
worth four thousand pounds; at three, we were arrived at six thousand;
half an hour after, we were reduced to one thousand; at four of the
clock, we were down to two hundred; at five, to fifty; at six, to five;
at seven, to one guinea; the next bet, to nothing: this morning, he
borrowed half a crown of the maid who cleans his shoes; and is now
gaming in Lincoln's Inn Fields among the boys for farthings and oranges,
till he has made up three pieces, and then he returns to White's into
the best company in town." This ended our first discourse; and it is
hoped, you will forgive me, that I have picked so little out of my
companion at our first interview. In the next, it is possible he may
tell me more pleasing incidents; for though he is a familiar, he is not
an evil spirit.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 9.

We hear from the Hague of the 14th instant, N.S., that Monsieur de Torcy
hath had frequent conferences with the Grand Pensioner, and the other
Ministers who were heretofore commissioned to treat with Monsieur
Rouillé. The preliminaries of a peace are almost settled, and the
proceedings wait only for the arrival of the Duke of Marlborough; after
whose approbation of the articles proposed, it is not doubted but the
methods of the treaty will be publicly known. In the meantime, the
States have declared an abhorrence of making any step in this great
affair, but in concert with the Court of Great Britain, and other
princes of the Alliance. The posture of affairs in France does
necessarily oblige that nation to be very much in earnest in their
offers; and Monsieur de Torcy hath professed to the Grand Pensioner,
that he will avoid all occasions of giving him the least jealousy of his
using any address in private conversations for accomplishing the ends of
his embassy. It is said, that as soon as the preliminaries are adjusted,
that Minister is to return to the French Court. The States of Holland
have resolved to make it an instruction to all their men-of-war and
privateers, to bring into their ports whatever neutral ships they shall
meet with laden with corn, and bound for France; and to avoid all cause
of complaint from the potentates to whom these ships shall belong, their
full demand for their freight shall be paid them there. The French
Protestants residing in that country have applied themselves to their
respective magistrates, desiring that there may be an article in the
treaty of peace, which may give liberty of conscience to the Protestants
in France. Monsieur Bosnage, minister of the Walloon church at
Rotterdam, has been at the Hague and hath had some conferences with the
deputies of the States on that subject. It is reported there, that all
the French refugees in those dominions are to be naturalised, that they
may enjoy the same good effects of the treaty with the Hollanders
themselves, in respect of France.

Letters from Paris say, the people conceive great hopes of a sudden
peace, from Monsieur Torcy's being employed in the negotiation, he being
a Minister of too great weight in that Court, to be sent on any
employment in which his master would not act in a manner wherein he
might justly promise himself success. The French advices add, that there
is an insurrection in Poictou; 3000 men having taken up arms, and beaten
the troops which were appointed to disperse them: three of the mutineers
being taken, were immediately executed; and as many of the king's party
were used after the same manner.

Our late Act of Naturalisation[193] hath had so great an effect in
foreign parts, that some princes have prohibited the French refugees in
their dominions to sell or transfer their estates to any other of their
subjects; and at the same time have granted them greater immunities than
they hitherto enjoyed. It has been also thought necessary to restrain
their own subjects from leaving their native country, on pain of death.

[Footnote 191: Ovid's "Epistles," 1709; translation of "Helen's Epistle
to Paris," by the Earl of Mulgrave and Dryden.]

[Footnote 192: An original for Philander has been found in Lord Halifax.
See No. 49.]

[Footnote 193: See No. 9. "If the Whigs were now restored to power, the
bill [for a general naturalisation] now to be repealed, would then be
re-enacted, and the birthright of an Englishman reduced again to the
value of twelve pence."--(_Examiner_, vol. i. No. 26.)]

No. 14. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday May 10_, to _Thursday, May 12_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, May 10.

Had it not been that my familiar had appeared to me, as I told you in my
last, in person, I had certainly been unable to have found even words,
without meaning, to keep up my intelligence with the town: but he has
checked me severely for my despondence, and ordered me to go on in my
design of observing upon things, and forbearing persons; "for," said he,
"the age you live in is such, that a good picture of any vice or virtue
will infallibly be misrepresented; and though none will take the kind
descriptions you make so much to themselves, as to wish well to the
author, yet all will resent the ill characters you produce, out of fear
of their own turn in the licence you must be obliged to take, if you
point at particular persons." I took his admonition kindly, and
immediately promised him to beg pardon of the author of the "Advice to
the Poets,"[194] for my raillery upon his work; though I aimed at no
more in that examination, but to convince him, and all men of genius, of
the folly of laying themselves out on such plans as are below their
characters. I hope too it was done without ill-breeding, and nothing
spoken below what a civilian (as it is allowed I am) may utter to a
physician. After this preface, all the world may be safe from my
writings; for if I can find nothing to commend, I am silent, and will
forbear the subject: for, though I am a reformer, I scorn to be an

It would become all men, as well as me, to lay before them the noble
character of Verus the magistrate,[195] who always sat in triumph over,
and contempt of, vice; he never searched after it, or spared it when it
came before him: at the same time, he could see through the hypocrisy
and disguise of those, who have no pretence to virtue themselves, but by
their severity to the vicious. This same Verus was, in times long past,
chief justice (as we call it amongst us) in Fælicia.[196] He was a man
of profound knowledge of the laws of his country, and as just an
observer of them in his own person. He considered justice as a cardinal
virtue, not as a trade for maintenance. Wherever he was judge, he never
forgot that he was also counsel. The criminal before him was always sure
he stood before his country, and, in a sort, a parent of it. The
prisoner knew, that though his spirit was broken with guilt, and
incapable of language to defend itself, all would be gathered from him
which could conduce to his safety; and that his judge would wrest no law
to destroy him, nor conceal any that could save him. In his time, there
were a nest of pretenders to justice, who happened to be employed to put
things in a method for being examined before him at his usual sessions:
these animals were to Verus, as monkeys are to men, so like, that you
can hardly disown them; but so base, that you are ashamed of their
fraternity. It grew a phrase, "Who would do justice on the justices?"
That certainly would Verus. I have seen an old trial where he sat judge
on two of them; one was called Trick-Track, the other Tearshift;[197]
one was a learned judge of sharpers, the other the quickest of all men
at finding out a wench. Trick-Track never spared a pickpocket, but was a
companion to cheats: Tearshift would make compliments to wenches of
quality, but certainly commit poor ones. If a poor rogue wanted a
lodging, Trick-Track sent him to gaol for a thief: if a poor whore went
only with one thin petticoat, Tearshift would imprison her for being
loose in her dress. These patriots infested the days of Verus, while
they alternately committed and released each other's prisoners. But
Verus regarded them as criminals, and always looked upon men as they
stood in the eye of justice, without respecting whether they sat on the
bench, or stood at the bar.

Will's Coffee-house, May 11

Yesterday we were entertained with the tragedy of "The Earl of
Essex,"[198] in which there is not one good line, and yet a play which
was never seen without drawing tears from some part of the audience: a
remarkable instance, that the soul is not to be moved by words, but
things; for the incidents in this drama are laid together so happily,
that the spectator makes the play for himself, by the force which the
circumstance has upon his imagination. Thus, in spite of the most dry
discourses, and expressions almost ridiculous with respect to propriety,
it is impossible for one unprejudiced to see it untouched with pity. I
must confess, this effect is not wrought on such as examine why they are
pleased; but it never fails to appear on those who are not too learned
in nature, to be moved by her first suggestions. It is certain, the
person and behaviour of Mr. Wilks[199] has no small share in conducing
to the popularity of the play; and when a handsome fellow is going to a
more coarse exit than beheading, his shape and countenance make every
tender one reprieve him with all her heart, without waiting till she
hears his dying words.

This evening "The Alchemist"[200] was played. This comedy is an example
of Ben's extensive genius and penetration into the passions and follies
of mankind. The scene in the fourth act, where all the cheated people
oppose the man that would open their eyes, has something in it so
inimitably excellent, that it is certainly as great a masterpiece as has
ever appeared by any hand. The author's great address in showing
covetousness the motive of the actions of the Puritan, the epicure, the
gamester, and the trader; and that all their endeavours, how differently
soever they seem to tend, centre only in that one point of gain, shows
he had to a great perfection, that discernment of spirit, which
constitutes a genius for comedy.

White's Chocolate-house, May 11.

It is not to be imagined how far the violence of our desires will carry
us towards our own deceit in the pursuit of what we wish for. A
gentleman here this evening was giving me an account of a dumb
fortune-teller,[201] who outdoes Mr. Partridge, myself, or the
unborn-doctor,[202] for predictions. All his visitants come to him full
of expectations, and pay his own rate for the interpretations they put
upon his shrugs and nods. There is a fine rich City widow stole thither
the other day (though it is not six weeks since her husband's departure
from her company to rest), and, with her trusty maid, demanded of him,
whether she should marry again, by holding up two fingers, like horns on
her forehead. The wizard held up both his hands forked. The relict
desired to know, whether he meant by his holding up both hands, to
represent that she had one husband before, and that she should have
another? Or that he intimated, she should have two more? The cunning-man
looked a little sour; upon which Betty jogged her mistress, who gave the
other guinea; and he made her understand, she should positively have two
more; but shaked his head, and hinted, that they should not live long
with her. The widow sighed, and gave him the other half-guinea. After
this prepossession, all that she had next to do, was to make sallies to
our end of the town, and find out who it is her fate to have. There are
two who frequent this place, whom she takes for men of vogue, and of
whom her imagination has given her the choice. They are both the
appearances of fine gentlemen, to such as do not know when they see
persons of that turn; and indeed, they are industrious enough to come at
that character, to deserve the reputation of being such: but this town
will not allow us to be the things we seem to aim at, and are too
discerning to be fobbed off with pretences. One of these pretty fellows
fails by his laborious exactness; the other, by his as much studied
negligence. Frank Careless, as soon as his valet has helped on and
adjusted his clothes, goes to his glass, sets his wig awry, tumbles his
cravat; and in short, undresses himself to go into company. Will Nice is
so little satisfied with his dress, that all the time he is at a visit,
he is still mending it, and is for that reason the more insufferable;
for he who studies carelessness, has, at least, his work the sooner done
of the two. The widow is distracted whom to take for her first man; for
Nice is every way so careful, that she fears his length of days; and
Frank is so loose, that she has apprehensions for her own health with
him. I am puzzled how to give a just idea of them; but in a word,
Careless is a coxcomb, and Nice a fop: both, you'll say, very hopeful
candidates for a gay woman just set at liberty. But there is a whisper,
her maid will give her to Tom Terrour the gamester. This fellow has
undone so many women, that he'll certainly succeed if he is introduced;
for nothing so much prevails with the vain part of that sex, as the
glory of deceiving them who have deceived others.

    _Desunt multa_.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 11.

Letters from Berlin, bearing date May 11, N.S., inform us, that the
birthday of her Prussian Majesty has been celebrated there with all
possible magnificence; and the king made her on that occasion a present
of jewels to the value of thirty thousand crowns. The Marquis de Quesne,
who has distinguished himself by his great zeal for the Protestant
interest, was, at the time of the despatch of these letters, at that
Court, soliciting the king to take care, that an article in behalf of
the refugees, admitting their return to France, should be inserted in
the treaty of peace. They write from Hanover of the 14th, that his
electoral highness had received an express from Count Merci,
representing how necessary it was to the common cause, that he would
please to hasten to the Rhine; for that nothing but his presence could
quicken the measures towards bringing the imperial army into the field.
There are very many speculations upon the intended interview of the King
of Denmark and King Augustus. The latter has made such preparations for
the reception of the other, that it is said his Danish Majesty will be
entertained in Saxony with much more elegance than he met with in Italy

Letters from the Hague of the 18th instant, N.S., say, that his Grace
the Duke of Marlborough landed the night before at the Brill, after
having been kept out at sea by adverse winds two days longer than is
usual in that passage. His Excellency the Lord Townshend, her Majesty's
ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the States-General, was
driven into the Veere in Zealand on Thursday last, from whence he came
to the Hague within few hours after the arrival of his grace. The duke,
soon after his coming to the Hague, had a visit from the Pensioner of
Holland. All things relating to the peace were in suspense till this
interview; nor is it yet known what resolutions will be taken on that
subject; for the troops of the Allies have fresh orders despatched to
them to move from their respective quarters, and march with all
expedition to the frontiers, where the enemy are making their utmost
efforts for the defence of their country. These advices further inform
us, that the Marquis de Torcy had received an answer from the Court of
France to his letters which he had sent thither by an express on the
Friday before.

Mr. Bickerstaff has received letters from Mr. Coltstaff, Mr. Whipstaff,
and Mrs. Rebecca Wagstaff; all which relate chiefly to their being left
out in the genealogy of the family lately published;[203] but my cousin
being a clerk in the Heralds' Office who writ that draught, and being at
present under the displeasure of the chapter, it is feared, if that
matter should be touched upon at this time, the young gentleman would
lose his place for treason against the Kings at Arms.[204]

[Footnote 194: Sir Richard Blackmore. See No. 3.]

[Footnote 195: Sir John Holt (see _Examiner_, vol. iv. No. 14) was born
in 1642, made Recorder of London and knighted in 1686, and appointed
Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1689, a position which he filled
very ably and impartially for twenty-one years. He died March 5, 1710.]

[Footnote 196: Britain.]

[Footnote 197: According to a MS. note in the copy of the Tatler
referred to in a note to No. 4, these justices were "Sir H. C---- and
Mr. C----r." Who the latter was I do not know; the former appears to be
meant for Sir Henry Colt, of whom Luttrell gives some particulars. In
April 1694, a Bill was found against Sir Henry Colt and Mr. Lake, son to
the late Bishop of Chichester, for fighting a duel in St. James's Park;
the trial was to be on May 31. Sir Henry Colt, a Justice of the Peace,
had a duel with Beau Feilding on the 11th January, 1696, and Colt was
run through the body. A reward of £200 was offered for Feilding's
arrest, and he was captured in March; but in the following month he was
set at liberty upon Colt promising not to prosecute. In July 1698, Colt
unsuccessfully contested Westminster, and in December the Committee of
Privileges decided that his petition against the return of Mr.
Chancellor Montague and Mr. Secretary Vernon was vexatious, frivolous
and scandalous; and Colt was put out of the commission of the peace for
Westminster and Middlesex. In 1701, he became M.P. for Westminster, for
one Parliament only. In August 1702, he was again displaced from being a
Justice for Westminster. In July 1708, he was defeated at Westminster,
and the petition which he lodged against Mr. Medlicot's election was
dismissed, after Huggins, the head bailiff, had been examined.]

[Footnote 198: By John Banks, 1685.]

[Footnote 199: Robert Wilks died in 1732, age 62. See No. 182, and the
_Spectator_, Nos. 268, 370: "When I am commending Wilks for representing
the tenderness of a husband and a father in 'Macbeth', the contrition of
a reformed prodigal in 'Harry the Fourth', the winning emptiness of a
young man of good-nature and wealth in 'The Trip to the Jubilee', the
officiousness of an artful servant in 'The Fox', when thus I celebrate
Wilks, I talk to all the world who are engaged in any of those

[Footnote 200: Ben Jonson's "Alchemist" was published in 1610.]

[Footnote 201: Duncan Campbell, who is best known through Defoe's
"History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan Campbell, a gentleman,
who, though deaf and dumb, writes down any strange name at first sight,
with their future contingencies of fortune," 1720. Several other books
about Campbell appeared, and some said that he only pretended to be deaf
and dumb. Campbell had a very large number of clients (_Spectator_, No.
560). He died in 1730.]

[Footnote 202: The name of this quack was Kirleus. He pretended to
extraordinary endowments, on the score of his having been introduced
into the world by means of the Cesarean operation. In the _Examiner_,
vol. i. No. 49, original edition in folio, there is among the
advertisements subjoined, July 5, 1711, notice given that some of his
nostrums, which had been tested for fifty years, were to be had of "Mary
Kirleus, widow of John Kirleus, son of Dr. Tho. Kirleus, a sworn
physician in ordinary to K. Charles II." Nichols says that there were
two male and two female quacks of the name of Kirleus; Thomas the
father, and his son John, Susannah the widow of Thomas, and Mary the
relict of John; but it does not appear that any of them all were rich.
The women, after the decease of their husbands, engaged in a paper war,
which was carried on about this time in polemical advertisements. Dr.
Kirleus and Dr. Case (see No. 20) are said to have been sent for to
prescribe to Partridge in his last illness. Garth ("Dispensary," canto
iii.) wrote:

    "Whole troops of quacks shall join us on the place,
    From great Kirleus down to Doctor Case."

"In Grays-Inn-lane in Plow-yard, the third door, lives Dr. Thomas
Kirleus, a Collegiate Physician and sworn Physician in Ordinary to King
Charles the Second until his death; who with a drink and pill (hindring
no business) undertakes to cure any ulcers," &c. &c. "Take heed whom you
trust in physick, for it's become a common cheat to profess it. He gives
his opinion to all that writes or comes for nothing" (_Athenian
Mercury_, February 13, 1694). See also _Tatler_, Nos. 41, 226, 240.]

[Footnote 203: See No. 11.]

[Footnote 204: "Castabella's complaint is come to hand" (folio). See No.

No. 15. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, May 12_, to _Saturday, May 14_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, May 12.

I have taken a resolution hereafter, on any want of intelligence, to
carry my familiar abroad with me, who has promised to give me very
proper and just notices of persons and things, to make up the history of
the passing day. He is wonderfully skilful in the knowledge of men and
manners, which has made me more than ordinary curious to know how he
came to that perfection, and I communicated to him that doubt. "Mr.
Pacolet," said I, "I am mightily surprised to see you so good a judge of
our nature and circumstances, since you are a mere spirit, and have no
knowledge of the bodily part of us." He answered, smiling, "You are
mistaken, I have been one of you, and lived a month amongst you, which
gives me an exact sense of your condition. You are to know, that all who
enter into human life, have a certain date or stamen given to their
being, which they only who die of age may be said to have arrived at;
but it is ordered sometimes by fate, that such as die infants, are after
death to attend mankind to the end of that stamen of being in
themselves, which was broke off by sickness or any other disaster. These
are proper guardians to men, as being sensible of the infirmity of their
state. You are philosopher enough to know, that the difference of men's
understanding proceeds only from the various dispositions of their
organs; so that he who dies at a month old, is in the next life as
knowing (though more innocent) as they who live to fifty; and after
death, they have as perfect a memory and judgment of all that passed in
their lifetime, as I have of all the revolutions in that uneasy,
turbulent condition of yours; and, you'd say, I had enough of it in a
month, were I to tell you all my misfortunes." "A life of a month, can't
have, one would think, much variety; but pray," said I, "let us have
your story."

Then he proceeds in the following manner:

"It was one of the most wealthy families in Great Britain into which I
was born, and it was a very great happiness to me that it so happened,
otherwise I had still, in all probability, been living: but I shall
recount to you all the occurrences of my short and miserable existence,
just as, by examining into the traces made in my brain, they appeared
to me at that time. The first thing that ever struck my senses, was a
noise over my head of one shrieking; after which, methought I took a
full jump, and found myself in the hands of a sorceress, who seemed as
if she had been long waking and employed in some incantation: I was
thoroughly frightened, and cried out, but she immediately seemed to go
on in some magical operation, and anointed me from head to foot. What
they meant I could not imagine; for there gathered a great crowd about
me, crying, 'An heir, an heir'; upon which I grew a little still, and
believed this was a ceremony to be used only to great persons, and such
as made them, what they called, Heirs. I lay very quiet; but the witch,
for no manner of reason or provocation in the world, takes me and binds
my head as hard as possibly she could, then ties up both my legs, and
makes me swallow down a horrid mixture; I thought it a harsh entrance
into life to begin with taking physic; but I was forced to it, or else
must have taken down a great instrument in which she gave it me. When I
was thus dressed, I was carried to a bedside, where a fine young lady
(my mother I wot) had like to have hugged me to death. From her, they
faced me about, and there was a thing with quite another look from the
rest of the room, to whom they talked about my nose. He seemed
wonderfully pleased to see me; but I knew since, my nose belonged to
another family. That into which I was born, is one of the most numerous
amongst you; therefore crowds of relations came every day to
congratulate my arrival; among others, my cousin Betty, the greatest
romp in nature; she whisks me such a height over her head, that I cried
out for fear of falling. She pinched me, and called me squealing chit,
and threw me into a girl's arms that was taken in to tend me. The girl
was very proud of the womanly employment of a nurse, and took upon her
to strip and dress me anew, because I made a noise, to see what ailed
me: she did so, and stuck a pin in every joint about me. I still cried:
upon which, she lays me on my face in her lap; and to quiet me, fell a
nailing in all the pins, by clapping me on the back, and screaming a
lullaby. But my pain made me exalt my voice above hers, which brought up
the nurse, the witch I first saw, and my grandmother. The girl is turned
down stairs, and I stripped again, as well to find out what ailed me, as
to satisfy my granam's further curiosity. This good old woman's visit
was the cause of all my troubles. You are to understand, that I was
hitherto bred by hand, and anybody that stood next, gave me pap, if I
did but open my lips; insomuch, that I was grown so cunning, as to
pretend myself asleep when I was not, to prevent my being crammed. But
my grandmother began a loud lecture upon the idleness of the wives of
this age, who, for fear of their shape, forbear suckling their own
offspring; and ten nurses were immediately sent for; one was whispered
to have a wanton eye, and would soon spoil her milk; another was in a
consumption; the third had an ill voice, and would frighten me, instead
of lulling me to sleep. Such exceptions were made against all but one
country milch-wench, to whom I was committed, and put to the breast.
This careless jade was eternally romping with the footmen, and downright
starved me; insomuch that I daily pined away, and should never have been
relieved, had it not been, that on the thirtieth day of my life, a
fellow of the Royal Society,[205] who had writ upon Cold Baths, came to
visit me, and solemnly protested, I was utterly lost for want of that
method: upon which he soused me head and ears into a pail of water,
where I had the good fortune to be drowned, and so escaped being lashed
into a linguist till sixteen, running after wenches till twenty-five,
and being married to an ill-natured wife till sixty: which had certainly
been my fate, had not the enchantment between body and soul been broke
by this philosopher. Thus, till the age I should have otherwise lived, I
am obliged to watch the steps of men; and if you please, shall accompany
you in your present walks, and get you intelligence from the aërial
lackey, who is in waiting, what are the thoughts and purposes of any
whom you inquire for." I accepted his kind offer, and immediately took
him with me in a hack to White's.

White's Chocolate-house, May 13.

We got in hither, and my companion threw a powder round us, that made me
as invisible as himself; so that we could see and hear all others;
ourselves unseen and unheard.

The first thing we took notice of, was a nobleman of a goodly and frank
aspect, with his generous birth and temper visible in it, playing at
cards with a creature of a black and horrid countenance, wherein were
plainly delineated the arts of his mind, cozenage and falsehood. They
were marking their game with counters, on which we could see
inscriptions, imperceptible to any but us. My lord had scored with
pieces of ivory, on which were writ, Good Fame, Glory, Riches, Honour,
and Posterity. The spectre over against him had on his counters the
inscriptions of, Dishonour, Impudence, Poverty, Ignorance, and Want of
Shame. "Bless me!" said I, "sure my lord does not see what he plays
for!" "As well as I do," says Pacolet. "He despises that fellow he
plays with, and scorns himself for making him his companion." At the
very instant he was speaking, I saw the fellow who played with my lord,
hide two cards in the roll of his stocking: Pacolet immediately stole
them from thence; upon which the nobleman soon after won the game. The
little triumph he appeared in, when he got such a trifling stock of
ready money, though he had ventured so great sums with indifference,
increased my admiration. But Pacolet began to talk to me. "Mr. Isaac,
this to you looks wonderful, but not at all to us higher beings: that
noble has as many good qualities as any man of his order, and seems to
have no faults but what, as I may say, are excrescences from virtues: he
is generous to a prodigality, more affable than is consistent with his
quality, and courageous to a rashness. Yet, after all this, the source
of his whole conduct is (though he would hate himself if he knew it)
mere avarice. The ready cash laid before the gamester's counters makes
him venture, as you see, and lay distinction against infamy, abundance
against want; in a word, all that's desirable against all that's to be
avoided." "However," said I, "be sure you disappoint the sharpers
to-night, and steal from them all the cards they hide." Pacolet obeyed
me, and my lord went home with their whole bank in his pocket.

Will's Coffee-house, May 13.

To-night was acted a second time a comedy, called "The Busy Body:"[206]
this play is written by a lady. In old times, we used to sit upon a play
here after it was acted; but now the entertainment is turned another
way; not but there are considerable men appear in all ages, who, for
some eminent quality or invention, deserve the esteem and thanks of the
public. Such a benefactor is a gentleman of this house, who is observed
by the surgeons with much envy; for he has invented an engine for the
prevention of harms by love adventures, and by great care and
application, hath made it an immodesty to name his name. This act of
self-denial has gained this worthy member of the commonwealth a great
reputation. Some lawgivers have departed from their abodes for ever, and
commanded the observation of their laws till their return; others have
used other artifices to fly the applause of their merit; but this person
shuns glory with greater address, and has, by giving his engine his own
name, made it obscene to speak of him more. However, he is ranked among,
and received by the modern wits, as a great promoter of gallantry and
pleasure. But I fear, pleasure is less understood in this age, which so
much pretends to it, than in any since the creation. It was admirably
said of him who first took notice, that (_res est severa voluptas_)
there is a certain severity in pleasure. Without that, all decency is
banished; and if reason is not to be present at our greatest
satisfactions, of all the races of creatures, the human is the most
miserable. It was not so of old; when Virgil describes a wit, he always
means a virtuous man; and all his sentiments of men of genius are such
as show persons distinguished from the common level of mankind; such as
placed happiness in the contempt of low fears, and mean gratifications:
fears, which we are subject to with the vulgar; and pleasures, which we
have in common with beasts. With these illustrious personages, the
wisest man was the greatest wit; and none was thought worthy of that
character, unless he answered this excellent description of the poet:

    _Qui--metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
    Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari._[207]

St. James's Coffee-house, May 13.

We had this morning advice, that some English merchant-ships, convoyed
by the _Bristol_ of fifty-four guns, were met with by a part of Mons. du
Guy Trouin's squadron, who engaged the convoy. That ship defended itself
till the English merchants got clear of the enemy, but being disabled
was herself taken. Within few hours after, my Lord Dursley[208] came up
with part of his squadron and engaging the French, retook the _Bristol_
(which being very much shattered, sunk), and took the _Glorieux_, a ship
of forty-four guns, as also a privateer of fourteen. Before this action,
his lordship had taken two French merchant-men; and had, at the despatch
of these advices, brought the whole safe into Plymouth.

[Footnote 205: Probably William Oliver, M.D., F.R.S., who published a
Dissertation on Bath waters, and cold baths, in 1709 (_Flying Post_,
Feb. 10 to 12, 1709). Sir John Floyer's "Inquiry into the right Use and
Abuses of the Hot, Cold, and Temperate Baths in England, &c.," appeared
in 1697.]

[Footnote 206: By Mrs. Susannah Centlivre, a lady of Whig views, who was
possessed of considerable beauty. (See also No. 19.) Isaac Bickerstaff
had promised a prologue to "The Busy Body" before it was to be first
played, as appears from a poetical epistle of Mrs. Centlivre, claiming
the performance of such a promise, printed by Charles Lillie ("Orig.
Letters to _Tatler_ and _Spectator_" vol. ii. pp. 33, 34). Leigh Hunt
("The Town") suggests that Pope put Mrs. Centlivre in the "Dunciad" (ii.
410--"At last Centlivre felt her voice to fail") on account of her
intimacy with Steele and other friends of Addison. Mrs. Centlivre
(1667-1723) married, as her second husband, Mr. Carrol, a gentleman of
the army, and afterwards Mr. Joseph Centlivre, principal cook to Queen
Anne, 1706.]

[Footnote 207: Virgil, "Georgics," ii. 492.]

[Footnote 208: In November 1709, James Viscount Dursley was raised to
the rank of Vice-Admiral of the Blue. Next year he succeeded his father
in the title of Earl of Berkeley.]

No. 16. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, May 14_, to _Tuesday, May 17_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, May 15.

Sir Thomas,[209] of this house, has shown me some letters from the Bath,
which give accounts of what passes among the good company of that place;
and allowed me to transcribe one of them, that seems to be writ by some
of Sir Thomas' particular acquaintances, and is as follows:


"I desire you would give my humble service to all our friends, which I
speak of to you (out of method) in the very beginning of my epistle,
lest the present disorders, by which this seat of gallantry and pleasure
is torn to pieces, should make me forget it. You keep so good company,
that you know Bath is stocked with such as come hither to be relieved
from luxuriant health, or imaginary sickness, and consequently is always
as well stowed with gallants as invalids, who live together in a very
good understanding. But the season is so early, that our fine company is
not yet arrived: and the warm Bath, which in heathen times was dedicated
to Venus, is now used only by such as really want it for health's sake.
There are however a good many strangers, among whom are two ambitious
ladies, who being both in the autumn of their life, take the opportunity
of placing themselves at the head of such as we are, before the Chloes,
Clarissas, and Pastorellas come down. One of these two is excessively
in pain, that the ugly being called Time will make wrinkles in spite of
the lead forehead-cloth; and therefore hides, with the gaiety of her
air, the volubility of her tongue, and quickness of her motion, the
injuries which it has done her. The other lady is but two years behind
her in life, and dreads as much being laid aside as the former, and
consequently has taken the necessary precautions to prevent her reign
over us. But she is very discreet, and wonderfully turned for ambition,
being never apparently transported either with affection or malice.
Thus, while Florimel is talking in public, and spreading her graces in
assemblies, to gain a popular dominion over our diversions, Prudentia
visits very cunningly all the lame, the splenetic, and the
superannuated, who have their distinct classes of followers and friends.
Among these, she has found that some body has sent down printed
certificates of Florimel's age, which she has read and distributed to
this unjoyful set of people, who are always enemies to those in
possession of the good opinion of the company. This unprovoked injury
done by Prudentia, was the first occasion of our fatal divisions here,
and a declaration of war between these rivals. Florimel has abundance of
wit, which she has lavished in decrying Prudentia, and giving defiance
to her little arts. For an instance of her superior power, she bespoke
the play of 'Alexander the Great,'[210] to be acted by the company of
strollers, and desired us all to be there on Thursday last. When she
spoke to me to come, 'As you are,' said she, 'a lover, you will not fail
the death of Alexander: the passion of love is wonderfully hit--Statira!
Oh that happy woman--to have a conqueror at her feet--but you will be
sure to be there.' I, and several others, resolved to be of her party.
But see the irresistible strength of that unsuspected creature, a silent
woman. Prudentia had counterplotted us, and had bespoke on the same
evening the puppet-show of 'The Creation of the World.'[211] She had
engaged everybody to be there, and, to turn our leader into ridicule,
had secretly let them know, that the puppet Eve was made the most like
Florimel that ever was seen. On Thursday morning the puppet-drummer,
Adam and Eve, and several others who lived before the Flood, passed
through the streets on horseback, to invite us all to the pastime, and
the representation of such things as we all knew to be true; and Mr.
Mayor was so wise as to prefer these innocent people the puppets, who,
he said, were to represent Christians, before the wicked players, who
were to show Alexander, a heathen philosopher. To be short, this
Prudentia had so laid it, that at ten of the clock footmen were sent to
take places at the puppet-show, and all we of Florimel's party were to
be out of fashion, or desert her. We chose the latter. All the world
crowded to Prudentia's house, because it was given out, nobody could get
in. When we came to Noah's flood in the show, Punch and his wife were
introduced dancing in the Ark. An honest plain friend of Florimel's, but
a critic withal, rose up in the midst of the representation, and made
many very good exceptions to the drama itself, and told us, that it was
against all morality, as well as rules of the stage, that Punch should
be in jest in the Deluge, or indeed that he should appear at all. This
was certainly a just remark, and I thought to second him; but he was
hissed by Prudentia's party; upon which, really, Sir Thomas, we who were
his friends, hissed him too. Old Mrs. Petulant desired both her
daughters to mind the moral; then whispered Mrs. Mayoress, 'This is very
proper for young people to see.' Punch at the end of the play made Madam
Prudentia a compliment, and was very civil to the whole company, making
bows till his buttons touched the ground. All was carried triumphantly
against our party. In the meantime Florimel went to the tragedy, dressed
as fine as hands could make her, in hopes to see Prudentia pine away
with envy. Instead of that, she sat a full hour alone, and at last was
entertained with this whole relation from Statira, who wiped her eyes
with her tragical-cut handkerchief, and lamented the ignorance of the
quality. Florimel was stung with this affront, and the next day bespoke
the puppet-show. Prudentia, insolent with power, bespoke 'Alexander.'
The whole company came then to 'Alexander.' Madam Petulant desired her
daughters to mind the moral, and believe no man's fair words; 'For
you'll see, children,' said she, 'these soldiers are never to be
depended upon; they are sometimes here, sometimes there--don't you see,
daughter Betty, Colonel Clod, our next neighbour in the country, pulls
off his hat to you? Courtesy, good child, his estate is just by us.'
Florimel was now mortified down to Prudentia's humour; and Prudentia
exalted into hers. This was observed: Florimel invites us to the play a
second time, Prudentia to the show. See the uncertainty of human
affairs! The beaux, the wits, the gamesters, the prues,[212] the
coquettes, the valetudinarians, and gallants, all now wait upon
Florimel. Such is the state of things at this present date; and if there
happens any new commotions, you shall have immediate advice from,


"Your affectionate Friend

"and Servant.

"Bath, _May 11_, 1709."

#"_To Castabella._#


I have the honour of a letter from a friend of yours, relating to an
incivility done to you at the opera, by one of your own sex; but I, who
was an eye-witness of the accident, can testify to you, that though she
pressed before you, she lost her ends in that design; for she was taken
notice of for no other reason, but her endeavours to hide a finer woman
than herself. But indeed, I dare not go farther in this matter, than
just this bare mention; for though it was taking your place of right,
rather than place of precedence, yet it is so tender a point, and on
which the very life of female ambition depends, that it is of the last
consequence to meddle in it: all my hopes are from your beautiful sex;
and those bright eyes, which are the bane of others, are my only
sunshine. My writings are sacred to you; and I hope I shall always have
the good fortune to live under your protection; therefore take this
public opportunity to signify to all the world, that I design to forbear
anything that may in the least tend to the diminution of your interest,
reputation, or power. You will therefore forgive me, that I strive to
conceal every wrong step made by any who have the honour to wear
petticoats; and shall at all times do what is in my power, to make all
mankind as much their slaves as myself. If they would consider things as
they ought, there needs not much argument to convince them, that it is
their fate to be obedient to you, and that your greatest rebels do only
serve with a worse grace.

"I am, Madam,

"Your most obedient, and

"most humble Servant,

                                        "ISAAC BICKERSTAFF.

"_May 16._"

St. James's Coffee-house, May 16.

Letters from the Hague, bearing date the 21st instant, N.S., advise,
that his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, immediately after his arrival,
sent his secretary to the President and the Pensionary, to acquaint them
therewith. Soon after, these Ministers visited the duke, and made him
compliments in the name of the States-General; after which they entered
into a conference with him on the present posture of affairs, and gave
his grace assurances of the firm adherence of the States to the
alliance: at the same time acquainting him, that all overtures of peace
were rejected, till they had an opportunity of acting in concert with
their allies on that subject. After this interview, the Pensionary and
the President returned to the assembly of the States. Monsieur Torcy has
had a conference at the Pensioner's house with his Grace the Duke of
Marlborough, Prince Eugene, and his Excellency the Lord Townshend. The
result of what was debated at that time is kept secret; but there
appears an air of satisfaction and good understanding between these
Ministers. We are apt also to give ourselves very hopeful prospects from
Monsieur Torcy's being employed in this negotiation, who has been always
remarkable for a particular way of thinking, in his sense of the
greatness of France; which he has always said, was to be promoted rather
by the arts of peace, than those of war. His delivering himself freely
on this subject, has formerly appeared an unsuccessful way to power in
that Court; but in its present circumstances, those maxims are better
received; and it is thought a certain argument of the sincerity of the
French king's intentions, that this Minister is at present made use of.
The marquis is to return to Paris within few days, who has sent a
courier thither to give notice of the reasons of his return, that the
Court may be the sooner able to despatch commissions for a formal

The expectations of peace are increased by advices from Paris of the
17th instant, which say, the Dauphin hath altered his resolution of
commanding in Flanders the ensuing campaign. The Saxon and Prussian
reinforcements, together with Count Merci's regiment of Imperial horse,
are encamped in the neighbourhood of Brussels; and sufficient stores of
corn and forage are transported to that place and Ghent for the service
of the confederate army.

They write from Mons, that the Elector of Bavaria had advice, that an
advanced party of the Portuguese army had been defeated by the

We hear from Languedoc, that their corn, olives and figs, were wholly
destroyed; but that they have a hopeful prospect of a plentiful vintage.

[Footnote 209: The nickname of a waiter at White's (see No. 1).]

[Footnote 210: "The Rival Queens; or, Alexander the Great," by Nathaniel
Lee, 1677.]

[Footnote 211: The following advertisement is among the Harleian MSS.
(Bayford's Coll. 5931): "At Crawley's show at the Golden Lion, near St.
George's Church, during the time of Southwark Fair, will be presented
the whole story of the old 'Creation of the World, or Paradise Lost,'
yet newly revived with the addition of 'Noah's Flood'; &c. The best
known puppet-show man was Martin Powell. (See No. 236.)]

[Footnote 212: So in the folio and original collected editions. "Prue"
was Steele's favourite name for his wife; here it means "prude," and no
doubt Steele sometimes thought "dear Prue" was unnecessarily and
unreasonably particular.]

No. 17. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, May 17_, to _Thursday, May 19_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Will's Coffee-house, May 18.

The discourse has happened to turn this evening upon the true nature of
panegyric, the perfection of which was asserted to consist in a certain
artful way of conveying the applause in an indirect manner. There was a
gentleman gave us several instances of it: among others, he quoted, from
Sir Francis Bacon, in his "Advancement of Learning," a very great
compliment made to Tiberius, as follows: In a full debate upon public
affairs in the Senate, one of the assembly rose up, and with a very
grave air said, he thought it for the honour and dignity of the
commonwealth, that Tiberius should be declared a god, and have divine
worship paid him. The Emperor was surprised at the proposal, and
demanded of him to declare whether he had made any application to
incline him to that overture? The senator answered, with a bold and
haughty tone, "Sir, in matters that concern the commonwealth, I will be
governed by no man."[213] Another gentleman mentioned something of the
same kind spoken by the late Duke of B----m,[214] to the late Earl of
O----y:[215] "My lord," says the duke, after his libertine way, "you
will certainly be damned." "How, my lord!" says the earl with some
warmth. "Nay," said the duke, "there's no help for it, for it is
positively said, 'Cursed is he of whom all men speak well.'"[216] This
is taking a man by surprise, and being welcome when you have so
surprised him. The person flattered receives you into his closet at
once; and the sudden change in his heart, from the expectation of an
ill-wisher, to find you his friend, makes you in his full favour in a
moment. The spirits that were raised so suddenly against you, are as
suddenly for you. There was another instance given of this kind at the
table: a gentleman who had a very great favour done him, and an
employment bestowed upon him, without so much as being known to his
benefactor, waited upon the great man who was so generous, and was
beginning to say, he was infinitely obliged. "Not at all," says the
patron, turning from him to another, "had I known a more deserving man
in England, he should not have had it."

We should certainly have had more examples, had not a gentleman
produced a book which he thought an instance of this kind: it was a
pamphlet, called, "The Naked Truth."[217] The idea any one would have
of that work from the title, was, that there would be much plain
dealing with people in power, and that we should see things in their
proper light, stripped of the ornaments which are usually given to the
actions of the great: but the skill of this author is such, that he
has, under that rugged appearance, approved himself the finest
gentleman and courtier that ever writ. The language is extremely
sublime, and not at all to be understood by the vulgar: the sentiments
are such as would make no figure in ordinary words; but such is the
art of the expression, and the thoughts are elevated to so high a
degree, that I question whether the discourse will sell much. There
was an ill-natured fellow present, who hates all panegyric mortally.
"P---- take him!" said he, "what the devil means his 'Naked Truth,'
in speaking nothing but to the advantage of all whom he mentions?
This is just such a great action as that of the champion's on a
coronation day, who challenges all mankind to dispute with him the
right of the sovereign, surrounded with his guards." The gentleman
who produced the treatise, desired him to be cautious, and said, it
was writ by an excellent soldier, which made the company observe it
more narrowly: and, as critics are the greatest conjurers at finding
out a known truth, one said, he was sure it was writ by the hand of
his sword-arm. I could not perceive much wit in that expression: but
it raised a laugh, and I suppose, was meant as a sneer upon valiant men.
The same man pretended to see in the style, that it was a horse officer;
but sure that's being too nice: for though you may know officers of the
cavalry by the turn of their feet, I can't imagine how you should
discern their hands from those of other men. But it is always thus with
pedants, they will ever be carping; if a gentleman or a man of honour
puts pen to paper, I don't doubt, but this author will find this
assertion too true, and that obloquy is not repulsed by the force of
arms. I will therefore set this excellent piece in a light too glaring
for weak eyes, and, in imitation of the critic Longinus, shall, as well
as I can, make my observations in a style like the author's, of whom I
treat; which perhaps I am as capable of as another, having an unbounded
force of thinking, as well as a most exquisite address, extensively and
wisely indulged to me by the supreme powers. My author, I will dare to
assert, shows the most universal knowledge of any writer who has
appeared this century. He is a poet, and merchant, which is seen in two
master-words, Credit Blossoms. He is a grammarian, and a politician; for
he says, the uniting the two kingdoms is the emphasis of the security to
the Protestant Succession. Some would be apt to say he is a conjurer;
for he has found that a republic is not made up of every body of
animals, but is composed of men only, and not of horses. Liberty and
property have chosen their retreat within the emulating circle of a
human commonwealth. He is a physician; for he says, "I observe a
constant equality in its pulse, and a just quickness of its vigorous
circulation." And again: "I view the strength of our Constitution
plainly appear in the sanguine and ruddy complexion of a well-contented
city." He is a divine; for he says, "I cannot but bless myself." And
indeed, this excellent treatise has had that good effect upon me, who am
far from being superstitious, that I, also, can't but bless myself.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 18.

This day arrived a mail from Lisbon, with letters of the 13th instant,
N.S., containing a particular account of the late action in Portugal. On
the 7th instant, the army of Portugal, under the command of the Marquis
de Frontera, lay on the side of the Caya, and the army of the Duke of
Anjou, commanded by the Marquis de Bay, on the other. The latter
commander having an ambition to ravage the country, in a manner in sight
of the Portuguese, made a motion with the whole body of his horse toward
Fort St. Christopher, near the town of Badajos. The generals of the
Portuguese, disdaining that such an insult should be offered to their
arms, took a resolution to pass the river, and oppose the designs of the
enemy. The Earl of Galway represented to them, that the present posture
of affairs was such on the side of the Allies, that there needed no more
to be done at present in that country, but to carry on a defensive part.
But his arguments could not avail in the council of war. Upon which, a
great detachment of foot, and the whole of the horse of the King of
Portugal's army, passed the river, and with some pieces of cannon did
good execution on the enemy. Upon observing this, the Marquis de Bay
advanced with his horse, and attacked the right wing of the Portuguese
cavalry, who faced about, and fled, without standing the first
encounter. But their foot repulsed the same body of horse in three
successive charges, with great order and resolution. While this was
transacting, the British general commanded the brigade of Pearce to
keep the enemy in diversion by a new attack. This was so well executed,
that the Portuguese infantry had time to retire in good order, and
repass the river. But that brigade, which rescued them, was itself
surrounded by the enemy, and Major-General Sarkey, Brigadier Pearce,
together with both their regiments, and that of the Lord Galway, lately
raised, were taken prisoners.

During the engagement, the Earl of Barrymore having advanced too far to
give some necessary order, was hemmed in by a squadron of the enemy; but
found means to gallop up to the brigade of Pearce, with which he remains
also a prisoner. My Lord Galway had his horse shot under him in this
action; and the Conde de St. Juan, a Portuguese general, was taken
prisoner. The same night the army encamped at Aronches, and on the 9th
moved to Elvas, where they lay when these despatches came away. Colonel
Stanwix's regiment is also taken. The whole of this affair has given the
Portuguese a great idea of the capacity and courage of my Lord Galway,
against whose advice they entered upon this unfortunate affair, and by
whose conduct they were rescued from it. The prodigious constancy and
resolution of that great man is hardly to be paralleled, who, under the
oppression of a maimed body, and the reflection of repeated ill fortune,
goes on with an unspeakable alacrity in the service of the common cause.
He has already put things in a very good posture after this ill
accident, and made the necessary dispositions for covering the country
from any further attempt of the enemy, who lie still in the camp they
were in before the battle.

Letters from Brussels, dated the 25th instant, advise, that
notwithstanding the negotiations of a peace seem so far advanced, that
some do confidently report the preliminaries of a treaty to be actually
agreed on; yet the Allies hasten their preparations for opening the
campaign; and the forces of the Empire, the Prussians, the Danes, the
Wirtembergers, the Palatines, and Saxon auxiliaries, are in motion
towards the general rendezvous, they being already arrived in the
neighbourhood of Brussels. These advices add, that the deputies of the
States of Holland having made a general review of the troops in
Flanders, set out for Antwerp on the 21st instant from that place. On
the same day the Prince Royal of Prussia came thither _incognito_, with
a design to make the ensuing campaign under his Grace the Duke of

This day is published a treatise called, "The Difference between Scandal
and Admonition." By Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; and on the 1st of July
next, you may expect, "A Prophecy of Things Past; wherein the Art of
Fortune-telling is laid open to the meanest capacity." And on the Monday
following, "Choice Sentences for the Company of Masons and Bricklayers,
to be put upon new Houses, with a translation of all the Latin sentences
that have been built of late years, together with a comment upon stone
walls," by the same hand.

[Footnote 213: See Tacitus, "Annals," i. 8.]

[Footnote 214: George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.]

[Footnote 215: Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery.]

[Footnote 216: Luke vi. 26.]

[Footnote 217: Like Nichols, I have not been able to see a copy of this
pamphlet, or the defence of it, mentioned in No. 21; but a letter from
Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, dated 20 May, 1709, throws some light on
the matter: "Dear Brother, ... Brigadeer Crowder of late has made some
talk in the Coffee Houses upon a peice he has lately been pleased to
print, he did me the favour to show it me some time agoe in manuscript,
and I complymented him with desiring a coppy of it, that I might have
the pleasure of reading it more than once, and that I might communicate
the like sattisfaction to you by sending it to Berlin. He told me it had
the approbation of very ingenious men and good scholars, and his very
good friends who had persuaded him to print it, and then you, as he
always esteem'd to be such, shou'd be sure to have one. The day before
yesterday he perform'd his promise but desir'd I wou'd not tell you
directly who was the author, but recommend it to you with his most
humble service, as from a friend of his. Yesterday came out this
_Tatler_, and tho' I reckon myself a little base after all the fine
complyments he made me upon my great judgment, I can't forbear sending
it you as a fine peice of rallery upon his elaborate work, which I can
assure you he has not been a little proud of. I han't seen him since to
know if this _Tatler_ has given him any mortification. I know before he
was prepar'd for the censorious, for he said lett people say what they
wou'd, he was sure the intention was good, and his meaning for the
service of the public. I am sorry he has printed, for he's very civill
to me, and always profess a great respect for you, and I wou'd have none
that does so exposed" ("Wentworth Papers," pp. 86-7). See No. 46. A
writer in "Notes and Queries" (7 S. iii. 526), in reply to a question of
mine, stated that there is a copy of "Naked Truth," 4to, 1709, in the
Bamburgh Castle Library. The pamphlet is anonymous, but is ascribed in
the catalogue to Colonel Crowder. In May 1710, Thomas Crowther was made
a Major-General (Pointer's "Chron. History," ii. 679).]


From _Thursday, May 19_, to _Saturday, May 21_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, May 20.

It is observed too often, that men of wit do so much employ their
thoughts upon fine speculations, that things useful to mankind are
wholly neglected; and they are busy in making emendations upon some
enclitics in a Greek author, while obvious things, that every man may
have use for, are wholly overlooked. It would be a happy thing, if such
as have real capacities for public service, were employed in works of
general use; but because a thing is everybody's business, it is nobody's
business: this is for want of public spirit. As for my part, who am only
a student, and a man of no great interest, I can only remark things, and
recommend the correction of them to higher powers. There is an offence I
have a thousand times lamented, but fear I shall never see remedied;
which is, that in a nation where learning is so frequent as in Great
Britain, there should be so many gross errors as there are in the very
directions of things, wherein accuracy is necessary for the conduct of
life. This is notoriously observed by all men of letters when they first
come to town (at which time they are usually curious that way) in the
inscriptions on sign-posts. I have cause to know this matter as well as
anybody; for I have (when I went to Merchant Taylors' School) suffered
stripes for spelling after the signs I observed in my way; though at the
same time, I must confess, staring at those inscriptions first gave me
an idea and curiosity for medals; in which I have since arrived at some
knowledge.[219] Many a man has lost his way and his dinner by this
general want of skill in orthography: for, considering that the painters
are usually so very bad, that you cannot know the animal under whose
sign you are to live that day, how must the stranger be misled, if it be
wrong spelled, as well as ill painted? I have a cousin now in town, who
has answered under Bachelor at Queen's College, whose name is Humphrey
Mopstaff (he is akin to us by his mother). This young man going to see a
relation in Barbican, wandered a whole day by the mistake of one letter;
for it was written, "This is the BEER," instead of "This is the BEAR."
He was set right at last, by inquiring for the house, of a fellow who
could not read, and knew the place mechanically, only by having been
often drunk there. But, in the name of goodness, let us make our
learning of use to us, or not. Was not this a shame, that a philosopher
should be thus directed by a cobbler? I'll be sworn, if it were known
how many have suffered in this kind by false spelling since the union,
this matter would not long lie thus. What makes these evils the more
insupportable, is, that they are so easily amended, and nothing done in
it. But it is so far from that, that the evil goes on in other arts as
well as orthography. Places are confounded, as well for want of proper
distinctions, as things for want of true characters. Had I not come by
the other day very early in the morning, there might have been mischief
done; for a worthy North Briton was swearing at Stocks Market,[220] that
they would not let him in at his lodgings; but I knowing the gentleman,
and observing him look often at the King on horseback, and then double
his oaths, that he was sure he was right, found he mistook that for
Charing Cross, by the erection of the like statue in each place. I
grant, private men may distinguish their abodes as they please; as one
of my acquaintance who lives at Marylebone, has put a good sentence of
his own invention upon his dwelling-place, to find out where he lives:
he is so near London, that his conceit is this, "The country in town;
or, the town in the country"; for you know, if they are both in one,
they are all one. Besides that, the ambiguity is not of great
consequence; if you are safe at the place, it is no matter if you do not
distinctly know where to say the place is. But to return to the
orthography of public places: I propose that every tradesman in the
cities of London and Westminster shall give me sixpence a quarter for
keeping their signs in repair, as to the grammatical part; and I will
take into my house a Swiss Count[221] of my acquaintance, who can
remember all their names without book, for despatch sake, setting up the
head of the said foreigner for my sign; the features being strong, and
fit for hanging high.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 20.

This day a mail arrived from Holland, by which there are advices from
Paris, that the kingdom of France is in the utmost misery and
distraction. The merchants of Lyons have been at Court, to remonstrate
their great sufferings by the failure of their public credit; but have
received no other satisfaction, than promises of a sudden peace; and
that their debts will be made good by funds out of the revenue, which
will not answer, but in case of the peace which is promised. In the
meantime, the cries of the common people are loud for want of bread, the
gentry have lost all spirit and zeal for their country, and the king
himself seems to languish under the anxiety of the pressing calamities
of the nation, and retires from hearing those grievances which he hath
not power to redress. Instead of preparations for war, and the defence
of their country, there is nothing to be seen but evident marks of a
general despair. Processions, fastings, public mournings, and
humiliations, are become the sole employments of a people, who were
lately the most vain and gay of any in the universe.

The Pope has written to the French king on the subject of a peace, and
his Majesty has answered in the lowliest terms, that he entirely submits
his affairs to divine providence, and shall soon show the world, that he
prefers the tranquillity of his people to the glory of his arms, and
extent of his conquests.

Letters from the Hague of the 24th say, that his Excellency the Lord
Townshend delivered his credentials on that day to the States-General,
as plenipotentiary from the Queen of Great Britain; as did also Count
Zinzendorf, who bears the same character from the Emperor.

Prince Eugene intended to set out the next day for Brussels, and his
Grace the Duke of Marlborough on the Tuesday following. The Marquis de
Torcy talks daily of going, but still continues here. The army of the
Allies is to assemble on the 7th of the next month at Helchin; though it
is generally believed, that the preliminaries to a treaty are fully

The approach of a peace[222] strikes a panic through our armies, though
that of a battle could never do it, and they almost repent of their
bravery, that made such haste to humble themselves and the French king.
The Duke of Marlborough, though otherwise the greatest general of the
age, has plainly shown himself unacquainted with the arts of husbanding
a war. He might have grown as old as the Duke of Alva, or Prince
Waldeck, in the Low Countries, and yet have got reputation enough every
year for any reasonable man: for the command of general in Flanders hath
been ever looked upon as a provision for life. For my part, I can't see
how his grace can answer it to the world, for the great eagerness he
hath shown to send a hundred thousand of the bravest fellows in Europe a
begging. But the private gentlemen of the infantry will be able to shift
for themselves; a brave man can never starve in a country stocked with
hen-roosts. "There is not a yard of linen," says my honoured progenitor,
Sir John Falstaff, "in my whole company; but as for that," says this
worthy knight, "I am in no great pain, we shall find shirts on every
hedge."[223] There is another sort of gentlemen whom I am much more
concerned for, and that is, the ingenious fraternity of which I have the
honour to be an unworthy member; I mean the news-writers of Great
Britain, whether Postmen or Postboys,[224] or by what other name or
title soever dignified or distinguished. The case of these gentlemen is,
I think, more hard than that of the soldiers, considering that they
have taken more towns, and fought more battles. They have been upon
parties and skirmishes, when our armies have lain still; and given the
general assault to many a place, when the besiegers were quiet in their
trenches. They have made us masters of several strong towns many weeks
before our generals could do it; and completed victories, when our
greatest captains have been glad to come off with a drawn battle. Where
Prince Eugene has slain his thousands, Boyer[225] has slain his ten
thousands. This, gentleman can indeed be never enough commended for his
courage and intrepidity during this whole war: he has laid about him
with an inexpressible fury, and like the offended Marius of ancient
Rome, made such havoc among his countrymen, as must be the work of two
or three ages to repair. It must be confessed, the redoubted Mr.
Buckley[226] has shed as much blood as the former; but I cannot forbear
saying (and I hope it will not look like envy) that we regard our
brother Buckley as a Drawcansir,[227] who spares neither friend nor foe,
but generally kills as many of his own side as the enemy's. It is
impossible for this ingenious sort of men to subsist after a peace:
every one remembers the shifts they were driven to in the reign of King
Charles II., when they could not furnish out a single paper of news,
without lighting up a comet in Germany, or a fire in Moscow. There
scarce appeared a letter without a paragraph on an earthquake. Prodigies
were grown so familiar, that they had lost their name, as a great poet
of that age has it. I remember Mr. Dyer,[228] who is justly looked upon
by all the fox-hunters in the nation as the greatest statesman our
country has produced, was particularly famous for dealing in whales;
insomuch that in five months' time (for I had the curiosity to examine
his letters on that occasion) he brought three into the mouth of the
river Thames, besides two porpoises and a sturgeon. The judicious and
wary Mr. I. Dawks[229] hath all along been the rival of this great
writer, and got himself a reputation from plagues and famines, by which,
in those days, he destroyed as great multitudes as he has lately done by
the sword. In every dearth of news, Grand Cairo was sure to be

It being therefore visible, that our society will be greater sufferers
by the peace than the soldiery itself; insomuch that the _Daily
Courant_[230] is in danger of being broken, my friend Dyer of being
reformed, and the very best of the whole band of being reduced to
half-pay; might I presume to offer anything in the behalf of my
distressed brethren, I would humbly move, that an appendix of proper
apartments furnished with pen, ink, and paper, and other necessaries of
life should be added to the Hospital of Chelsea,[231] for the relief of
such decayed news-writers as have served their country in the wars; and
that for their exercise, they should compile the annals of their
brother-veterans, who have been engaged in the same service, and are
still obliged to do duty after the same manner.

I cannot be thought to speak this out of an eye to any private interest;
for, as my chief scenes of action are coffee-houses, play-houses, and my
own apartment, I am in no need of camps, fortifications, and fields of
battle, to support me; I don't call out for heroes and generals to my
assistance. Though the officers are broken, and the armies disbanded, I
shall still be safe as long as there are men or women, or politicians,
or lovers, or poets, or nymphs, or swains, or cits, or courtiers in

[Footnote 218: It is very possible that the first article in this number
(see the allusion to medals) is by Addison, as well as the account of
the Distress of the News-writers.]

[Footnote 219: There is much about medals in Addison's "Remarks on
several Parts of Italy," 1705. His "Dialogues on Medals" was published
posthumously by Tickell.]

[Footnote 220: Stocks Market was so named from a pair of stocks which
were erected there as early as the 13th century. The two statues
referred to were really very unlike. The one was of white marble; the
other, of brass, was originally intended for John Sobieski, King of
Poland, but being bought by Sir Robert Viner in 1672, it was altered and
erected in honour of King Charles II. The Turk underneath the horse was
metamorphosed into Oliver Cromwell; but his turban escaped unnoticed or
unaltered, to testify the truth. The statue in Stocks Market, with the
conduit and all its ornaments, was removed to make way for the Mansion
House in 1739. Marvell refers to these statues in his "Satires."]

[Footnote 221: Heidegger. See No. 12.]

[Footnote 222: The remainder of this paper is by Addison. See Steele's
Preface, and his Dedication of "The Drummer" to Congreve.]

[Footnote 223: "There's but a shirt and a half in all my company; and
the half-shirt is two napkins, tacked together, and thrown over the
shoulders like a herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say
the truth, stolen from my host of St. Alban, or the red-nosed innkeeper
of Daintry. But that's all one, they'll find linen enough on every
hedge." (1 Henry IV., act iii. sc. 2).]

[Footnote 224: The Tory _Postboy_ was published by Abel Roper; and the
Whig _Flying Post_ by George Ridpath:

    "There Ridpath, Roper, cudgelled might ye view,
    The very worsted still looked black and blue."

("Dunciad," ii. 149.) It is remarkable that both Roper and Ridpath died
on the same day, Feb. 5, 1726. Swift and others sometimes contributed to
Roper's paper for party purposes.]

[Footnote 225: Abel Boyer (1667-1729), author of "The Political State of
Great Britain," was a Whig journalist towards whom Swift felt bitterly.
"The Secretary promises me to swinge him," he wrote in 1711; "I must
make that rogue an example for a warning to others." Boyer compiled a
valuable French and English dictionary.]

[Footnote 226: Samuel Buckley was printer of the _London Gazette, Daily
Courant_, and _Spectator_. He died in 1741.]

[Footnote 227: Drawcansir, in "The Rehearsal," is described by another
character as "a great hero, who frights his mistress, snubs up kings,
baffles armies, and does what he will, without regard to number, good
sense, or justice."]

[Footnote 228: John Dyer was a Jacobite journalist who issued a
news-letter to country subscribers, among whom was Sir Roger de Coverley
(_Spectator_, No. 127), by whom he was held in high esteem. Defoe
(_Review_, vi. 132) says that Dyer "did not so much write what his
readers should believe, as what they would believe." Vellum, in
Addison's "The Drummer" (act ii. sc. i), cannot but believe his master
is living, "because the news of his death was first published in Dyer's
Letter." See also _Spectator_, Nos. 43 and 457. At the trial of John
Tutchin for seditious libel (Howell's "State Trials," xiv. 1150), on
complaint being made by counsel that Dyer had charged him with broaching
seditious principles, Lord Chief Justice Holt said, "Dyer is very
familiar with me too sometimes; but you need not fear such a little
scandalous paper of such a scandalous author."]

[Footnote 229: Ichabod Dawks was another "epistolary historian" (see
_Spectator_, No. 457, and _Tatler_, No. 178). Dawks and Dyer are both
introduced by Edmund Smith, author of "Phædra and Hippolitus," in his
poem, "Charlettus Percivallo suo":

    "Scribe securus, quid agit Senatus,
    Quid caput stertit grave Lambethanum,
    Quid comes Guilford, quid habent novorum.
                                            "Dawksque Dyerque."

[Footnote 230: The _Daily Courant_, our first daily newspaper, was begun
in 1702.]

[Footnote 231: Chelsea Hospital, for old soldiers, was founded in 1682.]

No. 19. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, May 21_, to _Tuesday, May 24_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, May 23.

There is nothing can give a man of any consideration greater pain, than
to see order and distinction laid aside amongst men, especially when the
rank (of which he himself is a member) is intruded upon by such as have
no pretence to that honour. The appellation of Esquire is the most
notoriously abused in this kind of any class amongst men, insomuch that
it is become almost the subject of derision: but I will be bold to say,
this behaviour towards it proceeds from the ignorance of the people in
its true origin. I shall therefore, as briefly as possible, do myself
and all true esquires the justice to look into antiquity upon this

In the first ages of the world, before the invention of jointures and
settlements, when the noble passion of love had possession of the hearts
of men, and the fair sex were not yet cultivated into the merciful
disposition which they have showed in latter centuries, it was natural
for great and heroic spirits to retire to rivulets, woods, and caves, to
lament their destiny, and the cruelty of the fair persons who were deaf
to their lamentations. The hero in this distress was generally in
armour, and in a readiness to fight any man he met with, especially if
distinguished by any extraordinary qualifications, it being the nature
of heroic love to hate all merit, lest it should come within the
observation of the cruel one, by whom its own perfections are neglected.
A lover of this kind had always about him a person of a second value,
and subordinate to him, who could hear his afflictions, carry an
enchantment for his wounds, hold his helmet when he was eating (if ever
he did eat); or in his absence, when he was retired to his apartment in
any king's palace, tell the prince himself, or perhaps his daughter, the
birth, parentage, and adventures, of his valiant master. This trusty
companion was styled his esquire, and was always fit for any offices
about him; was as gentle and chaste as a gentleman usher, quick and
active as an equerry, smooth and eloquent as a master of the ceremonies.
A man thus qualified was the first, as the ancients affirm, who was
called an esquire; and none without these accomplishments ought to
assume our order: but, to the utter disgrace and confusion of the
heralds, every pretender is admitted into this fraternity, even persons
the most foreign to this courteous institution. I have taken an
inventory of all within this city, and looked over every letter in the
post-office for my better information. There are of the Middle Temple,
including all in the buttery books, and in the lists of the house, 5000.
In the Inner, 4000. In the King's Bench Walks, the whole buildings are
inhabited by esquires only. The adjacent street of Essex, from Morris'
Coffee-house, and the turning towards the Grecian, you cannot meet one
who is not an esquire, till you take water. Every house in Norfolk and
Arundel Streets is governed also by a squire, or his lady. Soho Square,
Bloomsbury Square, and all other places where the floors rise above nine
feet, are so many universities, where you enter yourselves, and become
of our order. However, if this were the worst of the evil, it were to be
supported, because they are generally men of some figure and use; though
I know no pretence they have to an honour which had its rise from
chivalry. But if you travel into the counties of Great Britain, we are
still more imposed upon by innovation. We are indeed derived from the
field: but shall that give title to all that ride mad after foxes, that
halloo when they see a hare, or venture their necks full speed after a
hawk, immediately to commence esquires? No, our order is temperate,
cleanly, sober, and chaste; but these rural esquires commit immodesties
upon haycocks, wear shirts half a week, and are drunk twice a day. These
men are also to the last degree excessive in their food: an esquire of
Norfolk eats two pounds of dumpling every meal, as if obliged to it by
our order: an esquire of Hampshire is as ravenous in devouring hogs'
flesh: one of Essex has as little mercy on calves. But I must take the
liberty to protest against them, and acquaint those persons, that it is
not the quantity they eat, but the manner of eating, that shows a
squire. But above all, I am most offended at small quillmen, and
transcribing clerks, who are all come into our order, for no reason that
I know of, but that they can easily flourish it at the end of their
name. I'll undertake, that if you read the superscriptions to all the
offices in the kingdom, you will not find three letters directed to any
but esquires. I have myself a couple of clerks, and the rogues make
nothing of leaving messages upon each other's desk: one directs, to
"Degory Goosequill, Esq."; to which the other replies by a note, to
"Nehemiah Dashwell, Esq.; with respect." In a word, it is now, _populus
armigerorum_, a people of esquires. And I don't know, but, by the late
Act of Naturalisation,[232] foreigners will assume that title, as part
of the immunity of being Englishmen. All these improprieties flow from
the negligence of the Heralds' Office. Those gentlemen in parti-coloured
habits do not so rightly, as they ought, understand themselves; though
they are dressed _cap-a-pié_ in hieroglyphics, they are inwardly but
ignorant men. I asked an acquaintance of mine, who is a man of wit, but
of no fortune, and is forced to appear as Jack Pudding on the stage to a
mountebank: "Prithee, Jack, why is your coat of so many colours?" He
replied, "I act a fool, and this spotted dress is to signify, that every
man living has a weak place about him; for I am knight of the shire, and
represent you all." I wish the heralds would know as well as this man
does, in his way, that they are to act for us in the case of our arms
and appellations: we should not then be jumbled together in so
promiscuous and absurd a manner. I design to take this matter into
further consideration, and no man shall be received as an esquire, who
cannot bring a certificate, that he has conquered some lady's obdurate
heart; that he can lead up a country dance, or carry a message between
her and her lover, with address, secrecy and diligence. A squire is
properly born for the service of the sex, and his credentials shall be
signed by three toasts, and one prude, before his title shall be
received in my office.

Will's Coffee-house, May 23.

On Saturday last was presented, "The Busy Body," a comedy, written (as I
have heretofore remarked) by a woman.[233] The plot and incidents of the
play are laid with that subtlety of spirit which is peculiar to females
of wit, and is very seldom well performed by those of the other sex, in
whom craft in love is an act of invention, and not, as with women, the
effect of nature and instinct.

To-morrow will be acted a play, called, "The Trip to the Jubilee."[234]
This performance is the greatest instance that we can have of the
irresistible force of proper action. The dialogue in itself has
something too low to bear a criticism upon it: but Mr. Wilks enters into
the part with so much skill, that the gallantry, the youth, and gaiety
of a young man of a plentiful fortune, is looked upon with as much
indulgence on the stage, as in real life, without any of those
intermixtures of wit and humour, which usually prepossess us in favour
of such characters in other plays.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 23.

Letters from the Hague of the 23rd instant, N.S., say, Mr. Walpole[235]
(who is since arrived) was going with all expedition to Great Britain,
whither they doubted not but he carried with him the preliminaries to a
treaty of peace. The French Minister, Monsieur Torcy, has been observed
in this whole negotiation to turn his discourse upon the calamities sent
down by Heaven upon France, and imputed the necessities they were under
to the immediate hand of Providence, in inflicting a general scarcity of
provision, rather than the superior genius of the generals, or the
bravery of the armies against them. It would be impious not to
acknowledge the indulgence of Heaven to us; but at the same time, as we
are to love our enemies, we are glad to see them mortified enough to mix
Christianity with their politics. An authentic letter from Madame
Maintenon to Monsieur Torcy has been stolen by a person about him, who
has communicated a copy of it to some of the dependants of a Minister of
the Allies. That epistle is writ in the most pathetic manner imaginable,
and in a style which shows her genius, that has so long engrossed the
heart of this great monarch.[236]


"I received yours, and am sensible of the address and capacity with
which you have hitherto transacted the great affair under your
management. You well observe, that our wants here are not to be
concealed; and that it is vanity to use artifices with the knowing men
with whom you are to deal. Let me beg you therefore, in this
representation of our circumstances, to lay aside art, which ceases to
be such when it is seen, and make use of all your skill, to gain us what
advantages you can from the enemy's jealousy of each other's greatness;
which is the place where only you have room for any dexterity. If you
have any passion for your unhappy country, or any affection for your
distressed master, come home with peace. O Heaven! Do I live to talk of
Lewis the Great as the object of pity? The king shows a great uneasiness
to be informed of all that passes; but at the same time, is fearful of
every one who appears in his presence, lest he should bring an account
of some new calamity. I know not in what terms to represent my thoughts
to you, when I speak of the king, with relation to his bodily health.
Figure to yourself that immortal man, who stood in our public places,
represented with trophies, armour, and terrors, on his pedestal:
consider, the Invincible, the Great, the Good, the Pious, the Mighty,
which were the usual epithets we gave him, both in our language and
thoughts. I say, consider him whom you knew the most glorious and great
of monarchs; and now think you see the same man an unhappy Lazar, in the
lowest circumstances of human nature itself, without regard to the state
from whence he is fallen. I write from his bedside: he is at present in
a slumber. I have many, many things to add; but my tears flow too fast,
and my sorrow is too big for utterance.

"I am, etc."

There is such a veneration due from all men to the persons of princes,
that it were a sort of dishonesty to represent further the condition
which the king is in; but it is certain, that soon after the receipt of
these advices, Monsieur Torcy waited upon his Grace the Duke of
Marlborough and the Lord Townshend, and in that conference gave up many
points, which he had before said were such, as he must return to France
before he could answer.

[Footnote 232: See No. 13.]

[Footnote 233: Mrs. Centlivre. See No. 15.]

[Footnote 234: Wilks took the part of Sir Harry Wildair in Farquhar's
"The Constant Couple; or, A Trip to the Jubilee," 1699.]

[Footnote 235: Horatio Walpole, Secretary to the Embassy at the Hague,
and brother of Sir Robert Walpole.]

[Footnote 236: This letter is a pure invention.]

No. 20. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, May 24_, to _Thursday, May 26_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, May 24.

It is not to be imagined how far prepossession will run away with
people's understandings, in cases wherein they are under present
uneasiness. The following narration is a sufficient testimony of the
truth of this observation.

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 mien 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 ingenuous in representing the causes of your complaint, or
I cannot give you the satisfaction you desire." "Sir," she answers, "I
believed there would be no need of half your skill in 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, except 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 a 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 you will 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 and conversation of men, with all the
alacrity of spirit imaginable; they spend their time in heavenly
raptures, in constant and frequent devotions, and at proper hours in
agreeable conversations." "Sir," said she hastily, "tell not me of
Papists, or any of their idolatries." "Well then, madam, consider how
many fine ladies live innocently in the eye of the world, and this gay
town, in the midst of temptation: there's the witty Mrs. W---- is a
virgin of 44, Mrs. T----s is 39, Mrs. L----ce, 33; yet you see, they
laugh and are gay, at the park, at the playhouse, at balls, and at
visits; and so much at ease, that all this seems hardly a self-denial."
"Mr. Bickerstaff," said she, with some emotion, "you are an excellent
casuist; but the last word destroyed your whole argument; if it is not
self-denial, it is no virtue. I presented you with a half-guinea, in
hopes not only to have my conscience eased, but my fortune told. Yet--"
"Well, madam," said I, "pray of what age is your husband?" "He is,"
replied my injured client, "fifty, and I have been his wife fifteen
years." "How happened it, you never communicated your distress in all
this time to your friends and relations?" She answered, "He has been
thus but a fortnight." I am the most serious man in the world to look
at, and yet could not forbear laughing out. "Why, madam, in case of
infirmity, which proceeds only from age, the law gives no remedy."
"Sir," said she, "I find you have no more learning than Dr. Case;[237]
and I am told of a young man, not five and twenty, just come from
Oxford, to whom I will communicate this whole matter, and doubt not but
he will appear to have seven times more useful and satisfactory
knowledge than you and all your boasted family." Thus I have entirely
lost my client: but if this tedious narrative preserves Pastorella from
the intended marriage with one twenty years her senior--To save a fine
lady, I am contented to have my learning decried, and my predictions
bound up with Poor Robin's Almanacks.

Will's Coffee-house, May 25.

This evening was acted, "The Recruiting Officer,"[238] in which Mr.
Estcourt's[239] proper sense and observation is what supports the play.
There is not, in my humble opinion, the humour hit 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 Mayfair, than a theatre royal. Yet that fair is now
broke,[240] 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 inquire of Mr. Pinkethman, who has one to
dispose of at a reasonable rate.[241] The downfall of Mayfair 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,[242] where
she sells her little troop under the term of jointed babies.[243] 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 sun-setting,
with a glass in one hand, and a pipe in the other, as sentry to a
brandy-shop. The great revolutions of this nature bring to my mind the
distresses of the unfortunate Camilla[244], 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 has 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,
    Yet must wander in disgrace," &c._

But for fear of being overheard, and her quality known, she usually
sings it in Italian:

    _"Naqui al regno, naqui al trono
    E pur sono
    Inventurata Pastorella--"_

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.

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[245] in "The
Rehearsal"; for her mother keeps an ale-house 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 inquiry,
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 a 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 anybody to grow rich on 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,[246] a player: and it is also said, a famous
she-tragedian[247] 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.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 25.

Letters from the Hague of the 31st 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 28th. Monsieur Torcy
immediately returned to the Court of France, from whence he is expected
again on the 4th of the next month, with those articles ratified by that
Court. The Hague is agreed upon for the place of treaty, and the 15th of
the next month the day on which it is to commence. The terms on which
this negotiation is founded, are not yet declared by public authority;
but what is most generally received, is as follows:

Her Majesty's right and title, and the Protestant succession to those
dominions, is forthwith to be acknowledged. King Charles is also to be
owned the lawful sovereign of Spain; and the French king shall not only
recall his troops out of that kingdom, and deliver up to the Allies the
towns of Roses, Fontarabia, and Pampeluna; but in case the Duke of Anjou
shall not retire out of the Spanish dominions, he shall be obliged to
assist the Allies to force him from thence. A cessation of arms is
agreed upon for two months from the first day of the treaty. The port
and fortifications of Dunkirk are to be demolished within four months;
but the town itself left in the hands of the French. The Pretender 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 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 II.

The Dutch are to have for their barriers, Nieuport, Berg, St. Vinox,
Furnes, Ipres, Lille, Tournay, Douay, Valenciennes, Condé, 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, Keisemberg, Obrenheim,
Rosheim, Weisemburg, and Landau. Huninguen, Fort Louis, Fort Kiel, and
New Brisac shall be demolished, and all the fortifications from Basle 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 French 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

[Footnote 237: John Case, astrologer and friend of John Partridge,
succeeded to Saffold's habitation in Blackfriars gateway, opposite to
Ludgate Church, whence he issued many advertisements. "Their old
physician begged they would not forget him--he gives his advice for
nothing--his cures are private. At Lilly's Head, &c., is the only place
to obtain health, long life, and happiness, by your old friend Dr. Case,
who extirpates the foundation of all diseases":

    "At the Golden Ball and Lillie's Head
    John Case lives though Saffold's dead."

His handbills were commonly adorned with a variety of emblematic devices
and poetry. See note on Kirleus, in No. 14; and Nos. 216, 240. Case's
most important book was his "Compendium Anatomicum nova methodo
institutum," 1695.]

[Footnote 238: By Farquhar; first acted in 1706.]

[Footnote 239: Richard Estcourt (1668-1712), whom Farquhar specially
selected to act the part of Sergeant Kite, is celebrated by Steele in a
well-known paper in the _Spectator_ (No. 468; see also No. 390).
Estcourt was providore of the Beefsteak Club, and wrote two or three
dramatic pieces. See No. 51.]

[Footnote 240: See No. 4. This article was printed by Tickell among
Addison's works.]

[Footnote 241: In 1704, Pinkethman advertised that at his booth he would
speak an epilogue upon an elephant between nine and ten feet high,
arrived from Guinea, led upon the stage by six blacks.]

[Footnote 242: This may be either the Royal Exchange or the New
Exchange, in the Strand. There were shops for the sale of trinkets and
toys at both places.]

[Footnote 243: "Baby" was a term often applied to dolls.]

[Footnote 244: Mrs. Katherine Tofts sang in English to Nicolini's
Italian, in Buononcini's opera of "Camilla," but this absurdity was
forgiven on account of the charm of their voices. In 1709, in the height
of her beauty, Mrs. Tofts left the stage, owing to her intellect
becoming disordered; but afterwards she married Mr. Joseph Smith, a
gentleman who lived in great state; but his wife's mind again gave way,
and she spent hours walking and singing in a garden attached to a remote
part of the house. She died in 1760. See _Spectator,_ Nos. 18, 22 and
443, where there is a letter purporting to be from Mrs. Tofts, at

[Footnote 245: In act iii. sc. 2 of "The Rehearsal," Prince Volscius
falls in love at first sight with Parthenope, who says:

    "My mother, sir, sells ale by the town-walls,
    And me her dear Parthenope she calls;"

whereupon Volscius (repeating words from Davenant's "Siege of Rhodes")

    "Can vulgar vestments high-born beauty shroud?
    Thou bring'st the morning pictured in a cloud."

[Footnote 246: Edward Alleyn, the actor, who died in 1626, aged 61,
founded Dulwich Hospital.]

[Footnote 247: Mrs. Bracegirdle; see No. 1.]

[Footnote 248: "It is said that Monsieur Torcy, when he signed this
instrument broke into this exclamation: 'Would Colbert have signed such
a treaty for France?' On which a Minister present was pleased to say,
'Colbert himself would have been proud to have saved France in these
circumstances on such terms'" (folio).]

No. 21. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, May 26_, to _Saturday, May 28_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, May 26.

A gentleman has writ to me out of the country a very civil letter, and
said things which I suppress with great violence to my vanity. There are
many terms in my narratives which he complains want explaining, and has
therefore desired, that, for the benefit of my country readers, I would
let him know what I mean by a Gentleman, a Pretty Fellow, a Toast, a
Coquette, a Critic, a Wit, and all other appellations in the gayer
world, who are in present 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. 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 despatch among the men of business. This he
performs with so much 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 he ever 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 a manner, that the equality of society is perfectly
kept up, and every man obliges as much as he is obliged: for it is the
greatest and justest skill 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 agreeable being, is made that animal we call a
Pretty Fellow; who being just able to find out, that what makes
Sophronius 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 unlike 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, till he thinks he is not
careless enough in his air, and come back to the mirror to recollect his

Will's Coffee-house, May 27.

This night was acted the comedy, called, "The Fox";[249] 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 everything 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 overrun with criticism, and
inquire, 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 such a
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 one
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 don't know how they did in those old times: this same Ben Jonson
has made every one's passion in this play be towards money, and yet not
one of them expresses that desire, or endeavours to obtain it 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 prodigious their
discourses should rise from the invention of the same author. But the
poets are a nest of hornets, and I'll drive these thoughts no farther,
but must mention some hard treatment I am like to meet with from my
brother-writers. I am credibly informed, that the author of a play,
called, "Love in a Hollow Tree,"[250] has made some remarks upon my late
discourse on "The Naked Truth."[251] 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 has dedicated his
treatise to the Honourable Mr. Ed----d H----rd.[252]

From my own Apartment, May 27.

"_To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq._

"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 17th
instant, unless it were prevented by the assistance of well-disposed
people:[253] I have therefore prevailed on my own modesty to send you a
piece of news, which may serve instead of Goddard's Drops,[254] to keep
you alive for two days, till nature be able to recover itself, or till
you meet with some better help from other hands. Therefore, without
further ceremony, I will go on to relate a singular adventure just
happened in the place where I am writing, wherein it may be highly
useful for the public to be informed.[255]

"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 velvets, which
sometimes appeared in flames of blue fire; that she used magical herbs,
with some of which she drew in hundreds of men daily to her, who went
out from her presence all inflamed, their mouths parched, and a hot
steam issuing from them, attended with a grievous stench; that many of
the said men were by the force of that herb metamorphosed into swine,
and lay wallowing in the kennels for twenty-four hours, before they
could reassume their shapes or their senses.

"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.

"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 neighbourhood.

"This was the sum of what was objected against the three ladies, who
indeed had nothing to say in their own defence, but downright denying
the facts, which is like to avail very little when they come upon their

"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 smoking, and got drunk towards evening, and made
themselves beasts. He says, the second is a butcher's daughter, and
sometimes brings a quarter of mutton from the slaughter-house overnight
against a market-day, 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 answers he gives to solve this wonderful phenomenon; upon
which I shall not animadvert, but leave it among the philosophers: and
so wishing you all success in your undertakings for the amendment of the
world, I remain,

"Dear Cousin,

"Your most affectionate Kinsman,

"and humble Servant,

                                        "EPHRAIM BEDSTAFF."

"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, till it reached the vital parts. I believe your death, which
you foretold would happen on the 17th instant, will fall out the same
way, and that your distemper hath already seized on you, and makes
progress daily. The lower part of you, that is, the advertisements,[256]
is dead; and these have risen for these ten days last past, so that they
now take up almost a whole paragraph. Pray, sir, do your endeavour to
drive this distemper as much as possible to the extreme parts, and keep
it there, as wise folks do the gout; for if it once gets into your
stomach, it will soon fly up into your head, and you are a dead man."

St. James's Coffee-house, May 27.

We hear from Leghorn, that Sir Edward Whitaker, with five men-of-war,
four transports, and two fire-ships, was arrived at that port, and
Admiral Byng was suddenly expected. Their squadrons being joined, they
design to sail directly for Final, to transport the reinforcements,
lodged in those parts, to Barcelona.

They write from Milan, that Count Thaun arrived there on the 16th
instant, N.S., and proceeded on his journey to Turin on the 21st, in
order to concert such measures with his royal highness, as shall appear
necessary for the operations of the ensuing campaign.

Advices from Dauphiny say, that the troops of the Duke of Savoy began
already to appear in those valleys, whereof he made himself master the
last year; and that the Duke of Berwick applied himself with all
imaginable diligence to secure the passes of the mountains by ordering
entrenchments to be made towards Briançon, Tourneau, and the Valley of
Queiras. That general has also been at Marseilles and Toulon, to hasten
the transportation of the corn and provisions designed for his army.

Letters from Vienna, bearing date May 23, 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 25th of this month.
General Heister would shortly appear at the head of his army at
Trentschin, which place is appointed for the general rendezvous of the
Imperial forces in Hungary; from whence he will advance to lay siege to
Neuhausel: in the meantime, reinforcements, with a great train of
artillery, are marching the same way. The King of Denmark arrived on the
both instant at Innspruck, and on the 26th 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 Bishopric of Spires, &c. were
assembled, and had taken the necessary measures for the provision of
forage, the security of the country against the incursions of the enemy,
and laying a bridge over the Rhine. Several vessels laden with corn are
daily passing before Frankfort for the Lower Rhine.

Letters from Poland inform us, that a detachment of Muscovite cavalry,
under the command of General Infland, had joined the confederate army;
and the infantry commanded by General Goltz, was expected to come up
within few days. These succours will amount to 20,000 men.

Our last advices from the Hague, dated June the 4th, N.S., say, that
they expected a courier from the French Court with the ratification of
the preliminaries that night or the day following. His Grace the Duke of
Marlborough will set out for Brussels on Wednesday or Thursday next, if
the despatches which are expected from Paris don't alter his
resolutions. Letters from Majorca confirm the honourable capitulation of
the castle of Alicante, and also the death of the governor,
Major-General Richards, Colonel Sibourg, and Major Vignolles, who were
all buried in the ruins of that place, by the springing of their great
mine, which did, it seems, more execution than was reported. Monsieur
Torcy passed through Mons in his return, and had there a long conference
with the Elector of Bavaria; after which, that prince spoke publicly of
the treatment he had from France with the utmost indignation.

Any person that shall come publicly abroad in a fantastical habit,
contrary to the present mode and fashion, except Don Diego
Dismallo,[257] or any other out of poverty, shall have his name and
dress inserted in our next.

N.B.--Mr. How'd'call is desired to leave off those buttons.

[Footnote 249: Ben Jonson's "Volpone; or, The Fox."]

[Footnote 250: The comedy, "Love in a Hollow Tree; or, The Lawyer's
Fortune," was published by William, Lord Viscount Grimston (1683-1756),
when he was twenty-two years of age. On the occasion of a contested
election for the borough of St. Albans (1736), it was reprinted--by the
Duchess of Marlborough, it is said--with notes attacking the author, and
adorned with the frontispiece of an elephant dancing on a rope. The
viscount bought up as nearly as he could the whole edition. "This worthy
notleman was a good husband to one of the best of wives, an indulgent
father of a numerous offspring, a kind master to his servants, a
generous friend, and an affable, hospitable neighbour." (Biog. Dram.)]

[Footnote 251: See No. 17]

[Footnote 252: Probably the Hon. Edward Howard, second son of Henry,
fifth Earl of Suffolk. On the death of his nephew without issue in 1722,
he became eighth Earl of Suffolk, but he died unmarried in 1731.]

[Footnote 253: See No. 7.]

[Footnote 254: Dr. Jonathan Goddard, the physician and confidant of
Cromwell, a member of the Royal Society, and medical professor of
Gresham College, discovered in the course of his chemical experiments,
the famous elixir, called here his "drops." Dr. Goddard died of an
apoplexy in 1675. "March 24, 1674-5. About 10 o'clock that night, my
very good friend, Dr. Jonathan Goddard, reader of the physic lectures at
Gresham College, suddenly fell down dead in the street, as he was
entering into a coach. He was a pretty corpulent and tall man, a
bachelor between 45 and 50 years of age; he was melancholy, inclined to
be cynical, and used now and then to complain of giddiness in his head.
He was an excellent mathematician, and some time physician to Oliver the
Protector" (John Coniers, apothecary, in Shoe Lane. MSS. Sloan. 958).
The "drops" were a preparation of spirit of hartshorn, with other
things; they were used in fainting, apoplexies, &c.]

[Footnote 255: With this satire on the vulgar prejudices concerning
witches, may be compared what Addison says in the _Spectator_ (No. 117):
"I believe in general that there is and has been such a thing as
witchcraft; but at the same time can give no credit to any particular
instance of it."]

[Footnote 256: The number of advertisements in the Tatler gradually
increased; but as a compensation the "news" paragraph was dropped.]

[Footnote 257: This name was afterwards applied by the Tory writers to
the Earl of Nottingham; and the author of the 'Examiner' (vol. iii. No
48) says that it was Steele who first used the name for this nobleman,
"and upon no less an important affair, than the oddness of his buttons."
In the 'Guardian (No. 53), however, Steele disavowed any reference to
Lord Nottingham: "I do not remember the mention of Don Diego; nor do I
remember tht ever I thought of Lord Nottingham in any character drawn in
any one paper of Bickerstaff." See also No. 31, below.]

No. 22. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, May 28_, to _Tuesday, May 31_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, May 28.

I came hither this evening to see fashions, and who should I first
encounter but my old friend Cynthio[258] (encompassed by a crowd of
young fellows) dictating on the passion of love with the gayest air
imaginable. "Well," says he, "as to what I know of the matter, there is
nothing but ogling with skill carries a woman; but indeed it is not
every fool that is capable of this art: you will find twenty can speak
eloquently, fifty can fight manfully, and a thousand that can dress
genteelly at a mistress, where there is one that can gaze skilfully.
This requires an exquisite judgment, to take the language of her eyes to
yours exactly, and not let yours talk too fast for hers; as at a play
between the acts, when Beau Frisk stands upon a bench full in
Lindamira's face, and her dear eyes are searching round to avoid that
flaring open fool; she meets the watchful glance of her true lover, and
sees his heart attentive on her charms, and waiting for a second twinkle
of her eye for its next motion." Here the good company sneered; but he
goes on. "Nor is this attendance a slavery, when a man meets
encouragement, and her eye comes often in his way: for, after an evening
so spent, and the repetition of four or five significant looks at him,
the happy man goes home to his lodging, full of ten thousand pleasing
images: his brain is dilated, and gives him all the ideas and prospects
which it ever lets in to its seat of pleasure. Thus a kind look from
Lindamira revives in his imagination all the beauteous lawns, green
fields, woods, forests, rivers and solitudes, which he had ever before
seen in picture, description, or real life: and all with this addition,
that he now sees them with the eyes of a happy lover, as before only
with those of a common man. You laugh, gentlemen: but consider
yourselves (you common people that were never in love) and compare
yourselves in good humour with yourselves out of humour, and you will
then acknowledge, that all external objects affect you according to the
disposition you are in to receive their impressions, and not as those
objects are in their own nature. How much more shall all that passes
within his view and observation, touch with delight a man who is
prepossessed with successful love, which is an assemblage of soft
affections, gay desires, and hopeful resolutions?" Poor Cynthio went on
at this rate to the crowd about him, without any purpose in his talk,
but to vent a heart overflowing with sense of success. I wondered what
could exalt him from the distress in which he had long appeared, to so
much alacrity. But my familiar has given me the state of his affairs. It
seems then, that lately coming out of the play-house, his mistress, who
knows he is in her livery (as the manner of insolent beauties is),
resolved to keep him still so, and gave him so much wages, as to
complain to him of the crowd she was to pass through. He had his wits
and resolution enough about him to take her hand, and say, he would
attend her to her coach. All the way thither, my good young man
stammered at every word, and stumbled at every step. His mistress,
wonderfully pleased with her triumph, put him to a thousand questions,
to make a man of his natural wit speak with hesitation, and let drop her
fan, to see him recover it awkwardly. This is the whole foundation of
Cynthio's recovery to the sprightly air he appears with at present. I
grew mighty curious to know something more of that lady's affairs, as
being amazed how she could dally with an offer of one of his merit and
fortune. I sent Pacolet to her lodgings; he immediately brought me back
the following letter to her friend and confidante Amanda in the country,
wherein she has opened her heart and all its folds.


The town grows so empty, that you must expect my letter so too, except
you will allow me to talk of myself instead of others: you cannot
imagine what pain it is, after a whole day spent in public, to want
your company, and the ease which friendship allows in being vain to each
other, and speaking all our minds. An account of the slaughter which
these unhappy eyes have made within ten days last past, would make me
appear too great a tyrant to be allowed in a Christian country. I shall
therefore confine myself to my principal conquests, which are the hearts
of Beau Frisk, and Jack Freeland, besides Cynthio, who, you know, wore
my fetters before you went out of town. Shall I tell you my weakness? I
begin to love Frisk: it is the best-humoured impertinent thing in the
world: he is always too in waiting, and will certainly carry me off one
time or other. Freeland's father and mine have been upon treaty without
consulting me; and Cynthio has been eternally watching my eyes, without
approaching me, my friends, my maid, or any one about me: he hopes to
get me, I believe, as they say the rattlesnake does the squirrel, by
staring at me till I drop into his mouth. Freeland demands me for a
jointure which he thinks deserves me; Cynthio thinks nothing high enough
to be my value: Freeland therefore will take it for no obligation to
have me; and Cynthio's idea of me, is what will vanish by knowing me
better. Familiarity will equally turn the veneration of the one, and the
indifference of the other, into contempt. I will stick therefore to my
old maxim, to have that sort of man, who can have no greater views than
what are in my power to give him possession of. The utmost of my dear
Frisk's ambition is, to be thought a man of fashion; and therefore has
been so much in mode, as to resolve upon me, because the whole town
likes me. Thus I choose rather a man who loves me because others do,
than one who approves me on his own judgment. He that judges for himself
in love, will often change his opinion; but he that follows the sense of
others, must be constant, as long as a woman can make advances. The
visits I make, the entertainments I give, and the addresses I receive,
will be all arguments for me with a man of Frisk's second-hand genius;
but would be so many bars to my happiness with any other man. However,
since Frisk can wait, I shall enjoy a summer or two longer, and remain a
single woman, in the sublime pleasure of being followed and admired;
which nothing can equal, except that of being beloved by you.

"I am, &c."

Will's Coffee-house, May 30.

My chief business here this evening was to speak to my friends in behalf
of honest Cave Underhill,[259] who has been a comic for three
generations: my father[260] admired him extremely when he was a boy.
There is certainly nature excellently represented in his manner of
action; in which he ever avoided that general fault in players, of doing
too much. It must be confessed, he has not the merit of some ingenious
persons now on the stage, of adding to his authors; for the actors were
so dull in the last age, that many of them have gone out of the world,
without having ever spoke one word of their own in the theatre. Poor
Cave is so mortified, that he quibbles, and tells you, he pretends only
to act a part fit for a man who has one foot in the grave; viz., a
gravedigger. All admirers of true comedy, it is hoped, will have the
gratitude to be present on the last day of his acting, who, if he does
not happen to please them, will have it even then to say, that it is his
first offence.

But there is a gentleman here, who says he has it from good hands, that
there is actually a subscription made by many persons of wit and
quality, for the encouragement of new comedies. This design will very
much contribute to the improvement and diversion of the town: but as
every man is most concerned for himself, I, who am of a saturnine and
melancholy complexion, cannot but murmur, that there is not an equal
invitation to write tragedies, having by me, in my book of commonplaces,
enough to enable me to finish a very sad one by the 5th of next month. I
have the farewell of a general, with a truncheon in his hand, dying for
love, in six lines. I have the principles of a politician (who does all
the mischief in the play) together with his declaration on the vanity of
ambition in his last moments, expressed in a page and a half. I have all
my oaths ready, and my similes want nothing but application. I won't
pretend to give you an account of the plot, it being the same design
upon which all tragedies have been writ for several years last past; and
from the beginning of the first scene, the frequenters of the house may
know, as well as the author, when the battle is to be fought, the lady
to yield, and the hero to proceed to his wedding and coronation. Besides
these advantages which I have in readiness, I have an eminent tragedian
very much my friend, who shall come in, and go through the whole five
acts, without troubling me for one sentence, whether he is to kill or be
killed, love or be loved, win battles or lose them, or whatever other
tragical performance I shall please to assign him.

From my own Apartment, May 30.

I have this day received a letter subscribed "Fidelia," that gives me an
account of an enchantment under which a young lady suffers, and desires
my help to exorcise her from the power of the sorcerer. Her lover is a
rake of sixty; the lady a virtuous woman of twenty-five: her relations
are to the last degree afflicted, and amazed at this irregular passion:
their sorrow I know not how to remove, but can their astonishment; for
there is no spirit in woman half so prevalent as that of contradiction,
which is the sole cause of her perseverance. Let the whole family go
dressed in a body, and call the bride to-morrow morning to her nuptials,
and I'll undertake, the inconstant will forget her lover in the midst of
all his aches. But if this expedient does not succeed, I must be so just
to the young lady's distinguishing sense, as to applaud her choice. A
fine young woman, at last, is but what is due from fate to an honest
fellow, who has suffered so unmercifully by the sex; and I think we
cannot enough celebrate her heroic virtue, who (like the patriot that
ended a pestilence by plunging himself into a gulf) gives herself up to
gorge that dragon which has devoured so many virgins before her.

A letter directed to "Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; astrologer and physician
in ordinary to her Majesty's subjects of Great Britain, with respect,"
is come to hand.

[Footnote 258: See Nos. 1, 5, 35, 85.]

[Footnote 259: The following advertisement appeared in Nos. 20 and 22:
"Mr. Cave Underhill, the famous comedian in the reigns of Charles II.,
King James II., King William and Queen Mary, and her present Majesty
Queen Anne; but now not able to perform so often as heretofore in the
playhouse, and having had losses to the value of near £2500, is to have
the tragedy of 'Hamlet' acted for his benefit, on Friday, the 3rd of
June next, at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, in which he is to perform
his original part, the Grave-maker. Tickets may be had at the Mitre
Tavern in Fleet Street." Colley Cibber says that Underhill was
particularly admired in the character of the Grave-digger; and he adds:
"Underhill was a correct and natural comedian; his particular excellence
was in characters that may be called still-life; I mean the stiff, the
heavy, and the stupid; to these he gave the exactest and most expressive
colours, and in some of them looked as if it were not in the power of
human passions to alter a feature of him. A countenance of wood could
not be more fixed than his, when the blockhead of a character required
it; his face was full and long; from his crown to the end of his nose
was the shorter half of it, so that the disproportion of his lower
features, when soberly composed, threw him into the most lumpish, moping
mortal, that ever made beholders merry; not but, at other times, he
could be wakened into spirit equally ridiculous." Genest says that
Underhill acted again as the Grave-digger on Feb. 23, 1710, at Drury

[Footnote 260: "Grandfather" (folio).]

No. 23. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, May 31_, to _Thursday, June 2_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, May 31.

The generality of mankind are so very fond of this world, and of staying
in it, that a man cannot have eminent skill in any one art, but they
will, in spite of his teeth, make him a physician also, that being the
science the worldlings have most need of. I pretended, when I first set
up, to astrology only; but I am told, I have deep skill also in
medicine. I am applied to now by a gentleman for my advice in behalf of
his wife, who, upon the least matrimonial difficulty, is excessively
troubled with fits, and can bear no manner of passion without falling
into immediate convulsions. I must confess, it is a case I have known
before, and remember the party was recovered by certain words pronounced
in the midst of the fit by the learned doctor who performed the cure.
These ails have usually their beginning from the affections of the mind:
therefore you must have patience to let me give you an instance, whereby
you may discern the cause of the distemper, and then proceed in the cure
as follows:

A fine town lady was married to a gentleman of ancient descent in one of
the counties of Great Britain, who had good humour to a weakness, and
was that sort of person, of whom it is usually said, he is no man's
enemy but his own: one who had too much tenderness of soul to have any
authority with his wife; and she too little sense to give him authority
for that reason. His kind wife observed this temper in him, and made
proper use of it. But knowing it was below a gentlewoman to wrangle, she
resolved upon an expedient to save decorum, and wear her dear to her
point at the same time. She therefore took upon her to govern him, by
falling into fits whenever she was repulsed in a request, or
contradicted in a discourse. It was a fish-day, when in the midst of her
husband's good humour at table, she bethought herself to try her
project. She made signs that she had swallowed a bone. The man grew pale
as ashes, and ran to her assistance, calling for drink. "No, my dear,"
said she, recovering, "it is down; don't be frightened." This accident
betrayed his softness enough. The next day she complained, a lady's
chariot, whose husband had not half his estate, had a crane-neck, and
hung with twice the air that hers did. He answered, "Madam, you know my
income; you know I have lost two coach-horses this spring."--Down she
fell.--"Hartshorn! Betty, Susan, Alice, throw water in her face." With
much care and pains she was at last brought to herself, and the vehicle
in which she visited was amended in the nicest manner, to prevent
relapses; but they frequently happened during that husband's whole life,
which he had the good fortune to end in few years after. The
disconsolate soon pitched upon a very agreeable successor, whom she very
prudently designed to govern by the same method. This man knew her
little arts, and resolved to break through all tenderness, and be
absolute master, as soon as occasion offered. One day it happened, that
a discourse arose about furniture: he was very glad of the occasion, and
fell into an invective against china,[261] protesting, he would never
let five pounds more of his money be laid out that way as long as he
breathed. She immediately fainted--he starts up as amazed, and calls for
help--the maids ran to the closet--he chafes her face, bends her
forwards, and beats the palms of her hands: her convulsions increase,
and down she tumbles on the floor, where she lies quite dead, in spite
of what the whole family, from the nursery to the kitchen, could do for
her relief.

While every servant was thus helping or lamenting their mistress, he,
fixing his cheek to hers, seemed to be following her in a trance of
sorrow; but secretly whispers her, "My dear, this will never do: what is
within my power and fortune, you may always command, but none of your
artifices: you are quite in other hands than those you passed these
pretty passions upon." This made her almost in the condition she
pretended; her convulsions now came thicker, nor was she to be held
down. The kind man doubles his care, helps the servants to throw water
in her face by full quarts; and when the sinking part of the fit came
again, "Well, my dear," said he, "I applaud your action; but I must take
my leave of you till you are more sincere with me. Farewell for ever:
you shall always know where to hear of me, and want for nothing." With
that, he ordered the maids to keep plying her with hartshorn, while he
went for a physician: he was scarce at the stairhead when she followed;
and pulling him into a closet, thanked him for her cure; which was so
absolute, that she gave me this relation herself, to be communicated for
the benefit of all the voluntary invalids of her sex.

From my own Apartment, May 31.

The public is not so little my concern, though I am but a student, as
that I should not interest myself in the present great things in
agitation. I am still of opinion, the French king will sign the
preliminaries. With that view, I have sent him by my familiar the
following epistle, and admonished him, on pain of what I shall say of
him to future generations, to act with sincerity on this occasion.

#"London, May 31.#

#"Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., of Great Britain, to Lewis XIV. of France.#

"The surprising news which arrived this day, of your Majesty's having
refused to sign the treaty your Ministers have in a manner sued for, is
what gives ground to this application to your Majesty, from one whose
name, perhaps, is too obscure to have ever reached your territories; but
one who, with all the European world, is affected with your
determinations. Therefore, as it is mine and the common cause of
mankind, I presume to expostulate with you on this occasion. It will, I
doubt not, appear to the vulgar extravagant, that the actions of a
mighty prince should be balanced by the censure of a private man, whose
approbation or dislike are equally contemptible in their eyes, when they
regard the thrones of sovereigns. But your Majesty has shown, through
the whole course of your reign, too great a value for liberal arts to be
insensible, that true fame lies only in the hands of learned men, by
whom it is to be transmitted to futurity, with marks of honour or
reproach to the end of time. The date of human life is too short to
recompense the cares which attend the most private condition: therefore
it is, that our souls are made as it were too big for it, and extend
themselves in the prospect of a longer existence, in a good fame and
memory of worthy actions after our decease. The whole race of men have
this passion in some degree implanted in their bosoms, which is the
strongest and noblest incitation to honest attempts: but the base use of
the arts of peace, eloquence, poetry, and all the parts of learning,
have been possessed by souls so unworthy those faculties, that the names
and appellations of things have been confounded by the labours and
writings of prostituted men, who have stamped a reputation upon such
actions as are in themselves the objects of contempt and disgrace. This
is that which has misled your Majesty in the conduct of your reign, and
made that life, which might have been the most imitable, the most to be
avoided. To this it is, that the great and excellent qualities of which
your Majesty is master, are lost in their application; and your Majesty
has been carrying on for many years the most cruel tyranny, with all the
noble methods which are used to support a just reign. Thus it is, that
it avails nothing that you are a bountiful master; that you are so
generous as to reward even the unsuccessful with honour and riches; that
no laudable action passes unrewarded in your kingdoms; that you have
searched all nations for obscure merit; in a word, that you are in your
private character endowed with every princely quality, when all this is
subjected to unjust and ill-taught ambition, which to the injury of the
world, is gilded by those endowments. However, if your Majesty will
condescend to look into your own soul, and consider all its faculties
and weaknesses with impartiality; if you will but be convinced, that
life is supported in you by the ordinary methods of food, rest, and
sleep; you would think it impossible that you could ever be so much
imposed on, as to have been wrought into a belief, that so many
thousands of the same make with yourself, were formed by Providence for
no other end, but by the hazard of their very being to extend the
conquests and glory of an individual of their own species. A very little
reflection will convince your Majesty, that such cannot be the intent of
the Creator; and if not, what horror must it give your Majesty to think
of the vast devastations your ambition has made among your fellow
creatures? While the warmth of youth, the flattery of crowds, and a
continual series of success and triumph, indulged your Majesty in this
allusion of mind, it was less to be wondered at, that you proceeded in
this mistaken pursuit of grandeur; but when age, disappointments, public
calamities, personal distempers, and the reverse of all that makes men
forget their true being, are fallen upon you: heavens! is it possible
you can live without remorse? Can the wretched man be a tyrant? Can
grief study torments? Can sorrow be cruel?--

"Your Majesty will observe, I do not bring against you a railing
accusation; but as you are a strict professor of religion, I beseech
your Majesty to stop the effusion of blood, by receiving the opportunity
which presents itself, for the preservation of your distressed people.
Be no longer so infatuated, as to hope for renown from murder and
violence: but consider, that the great day will come, in which this
world and all its glory shall change in a moment: when nature shall
sicken, and the earth and sea give up the bodies committed to them, to
appear before the last tribunal. Will it then, O king! be an answer for
the lives of millions who have fallen by the sword, 'They perished for
my glory'? That day will come on, and one like it is immediately
approaching: injured nations advance towards thy habitation: vengeance
has begun its march, which is to be diverted only by the penitence of
the oppressor. Awake, O monarch, from thy lethargy! Disdain the abuses
thou hast received: pull down the statue which calls thee immortal: be
truly great: tear thy purple, and put on sackcloth.

"I am,

"Thy generous Enemy,

                                        "ISAAC BICKERSTAFF."

St. James's Coffee-house, June 1.

Advices from Brussels of the 6th instant, N.S., say, his Highness Prince
Eugene had received a letter from Monsieur Torcy, wherein that Minister,
after many expressions of great respect, acquaints him, that his master
had absolutely refused to sign the preliminaries to the treaty which he
had, in his Majesty's behalf, consented to at the Hague. Upon the
receipt of this intelligence, the face of things at that place were
immediately altered, and the necessary orders were transmitted to the
troops (which lay most remote from thence) to move towards the place of
rendezvous with all expedition. The enemy seem also to prepare for the
field, and have at present drawn together twenty-five thousand men in
the plains of Lenz. Marshal Villars is at the head of those troops; and
has given the generals under his command all possible assurances, that
he will turn the fate of the war to the advantage of his master.

They write from the Hague of the 7th, that Monsieur Rouillé had received
orders from the Court of France, to signify to the States-General and
the Ministers of the High Allies, that the king could not consent to the
preliminaries of a treaty of peace, as it was offered to him by Monsieur
Torcy. The great difficulty is the business of Spain, on which
particular his Ministers seemed only to say, during the treaty, that it
was not so immediately under their master's direction, as that he could
answer for its being relinquished by the Duke of Anjou: but now he
positively answers, that he cannot comply with what his Minister has
promised in his behalf, even in such points as are wholly in himself to
act in or not. This has had no other effect, than to give the Alliance
fresh arguments for being diffident of engagements entered into by
France. The Pensioner made a report of all which this Minister had
declared to the Deputies of the States-General, and all things turn
towards a vigorous war. The Duke of Marlborough designed to leave the
Hague within two days, in order to put himself at the head of the army,
which is to assemble on the 17th instant between the Scheldt and the
Lis. A fleet of eighty sail, laden with corn from the Baltic, is arrived
in the Texel. The States have sent circular letters to all the
provinces, to notify this change of affairs, and animate their subjects
to new resolutions in defence of their country.

[Footnote 261: Addison ridiculed the prevalent craze for collecting
china in No. 10 of the _Lover_; and Swift wrote to Steele, "What do I
know whether china is dear or not; I once took a fancy of resolving to
go mad for it, but now it is off."]

No. 24. [ADDISON.

From _Thursday, June 2_, to _Saturday, June 4_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, June 2.

In my paper of the 28th of the last month,[262] I mentioned several
characters which want explanation to the generality of readers: among
others, I spoke of a Pretty Fellow; but I have received a kind
admonition in a letter, to take care that I do not omit to show also
what is meant by a Very Pretty Fellow, which is to be allowed as a
character by itself, and a person exalted above the other by a peculiar
sprightliness, as one who, by a distinguishing vigour, outstrips his
companions, and has thereby deserved and obtained a particular
appellation, or nickname of familiarity. Some have this distinction from
the fair sex, who are so generous as to take into their protection those
who are laughed at by the men, and place them for that reason in degrees
of favour. The chief of this sort is Colonel Brunett, who is a man of
fashion, because he will be so; and practises a very jaunty way of
behaviour, because he is too careless to know when he offends, and too
sanguine to be mortified if he did know it. Thus the colonel has met
with a town ready to receive him, and cannot possibly see why he should
not make use of their favour, and set himself in the first degree of
conversation. Therefore he is very successfully loud among the wits,
familiar among the ladies, and dissolute among the rakes. Thus he is
admitted in one place, because he is so in another; and every man treats
Brunett well, not out of his particular esteem for him, but in respect
to the opinion of others. It is to me a solid pleasure to see the world
thus mistaken on the good-natured side; for it is ten to one but the
colonel mounts into a general officer, marries a fine lady, and is
master of a good estate, before they come to explain upon him. What
gives most delight to me in this observation, is, that all this arises
from pure nature, and the colonel can account for his success no more
than those by whom he succeeds. For these causes and considerations, I
pronounce him a true woman's man, and in the first degree, "a very
pretty fellow." The next to a man of this universal genius, is one who
is peculiarly formed for the service of the ladies, and his merit
chiefly is to be of no consequence. I am indeed a little in doubt,
whether he ought not rather to be called a "very happy," than a "very
pretty" fellow? For he is admitted at all hours: all he says or does,
which would offend in another, are passed over in him; and all actions
and speeches which please, doubly please if they come from him: no one
wonders or takes notice when he is wrong; but all admire him when he is
in the right. By the way it is fit to remark, that there are people of
better sense than these, who endeavour at this character; but they are
out of nature; and though, with some industry, they get the characters
of fools, they cannot arrive to be "very," seldom to be merely "pretty
fellows." But where nature has formed a person for this station amongst
men, he is gifted with a peculiar genius for success, and his very
errors and absurdities contribute to it; this felicity attending him to
his life's end. For it being in a manner necessary that he should be of
no consequence, he is as well in old age as youth; and I know a man,
whose son has been some years a pretty fellow, who is himself at this
hour a "very" pretty fellow. One must move tenderly in this place, for
we are now in the ladies' lodgings, and speaking of such as are
supported by their influence and favour; against which there is not,
neither ought there to be, any dispute or observation. But when we come
into more free air, one may talk a little more at large. Give me leave
then to mention three, whom I do not doubt but we shall see make
considerable figures; and these are such as, for their Bacchanalian
performances, must be admitted into this order. They are three brothers
lately landed from Holland: as yet, indeed, they have not made their
public entry, but lodge and converse at Wapping. They have merited
already on the waterside particular titles: the first is called
Hogshead; the second Culverin; and the third Musket. This fraternity is
preparing for our end of the town by their ability in the exercises of
Bacchus, and measure their time and merit by liquid weight, and power
of drinking. Hogshead is a prettier fellow than Culverin by two quarts,
and Culverin than Musket by a full pint. It is to be feared, Hogshead is
so often too full, and Culverin overloaded, that Musket will be the only
lasting "very" pretty fellow of the three.[263] A third sort of this
denomination are such as, by very daring adventures in love, have
purchased to themselves renown and new names; as, Joe Carry, for his
excessive strength and vigour; Tom Drybones, for his generous loss of
youth and health; and Cancrum, for his meritorious rottenness. These
great and leading spirits are proposed to all such of our British youth
as would arrive at perfection in these different kinds; and if their
parts and accomplishments were well imitated, it is not doubted but that
our nation would soon excel all others in wit and arts, as they already
do in arms.

N.B.--The gentleman who stole Betty Pepin,[264] may own it, for he is
allowed to be a "very" pretty fellow.

#But we must proceed to the explanation of other terms in our writings.#

To know what a Toast is in the country, gives as much perplexity as she
herself does in town: and, indeed, the learned differ very much upon the
original of this word, and the acceptation of it among the moderns.
However, it is by all agreed to have a joyous and cheerful import. A
toast in a cold morning, heightened by nutmeg, and sweetened with sugar,
has for many ages been given to our rural dissenters of justice, before
they entered upon causes, and has been of great and politic use to take
off the severity of their sentences; but has indeed been remarkable for
one ill effect, that it inclines those who use it immoderately, to speak
Latin, to the admiration, rather than information, of an audience. This
application of "a toast" makes it very obvious, that the word may,
without a metaphor, be understood as an apt name for a thing which
raises us in the most sovereign degree. But many of the wits of the last
age will assert, that the word, in its present sense, was known among
them in their youth, and had its rise from an accident at the town of
Bath, in the reign of King Charles II. It happened, that on a public day
a celebrated beauty of those times was in the Cross Bath, and one of the
crowd of her admirers took a glass of the water in which the fair one
stood, and drank her health to the company. There was in the place a gay
fellow, half fuddled, who offered to jump in, and swore, though he liked
not the liquor, he would have the toast. He was opposed in his
resolution; yet this whim gave foundation to the present honour which is
done to the lady we mention in our liquors, who has ever since been
called a "toast." Though this institution had so trivial a beginning, it
is now elevated into a formal order; and that happy virgin who is
received and drank to at their meetings, has no more to do in this life,
but to judge and accept of the first good offer. The manner of her
inauguration is much like that of the choice of a Doge in Venice: it is
performed by balloting; and when she is so chosen, she reigns
indisputably for that ensuing year; but must be elected anew to prolong
her empire a moment beyond it. When she is regularly chosen, her name is
written with a diamond on a drinking-glass.[265] The hieroglyphic of the
diamond is to show her, that her value is imaginary; and that of the
glass to acquaint her, that her condition is frail, and depends on the
hand which holds her. This wise design admonishes her, neither to
overrate nor depreciate her charms; as well considering and applying,
that it is perfectly according to the humour and taste of the company,
whether the toast is eaten, or left as an offal.

The foremost of the whole rank of toasts, and the most undisputed in
their present empire, are Mrs. Gatty and Mrs. Frontlet: the first, an
agreeable; the second, an awful beauty. These ladies are perfect
friends, out of a knowledge that their perfections are too different to
stand in competition. He that likes Gatty can have no relish for so
solemn a creature as Frontlet; and an admirer of Frontlet will call
Gatty a maypole-girl. Gatty for ever smiles upon you; and Frontlet
disdains to see you smile. Gatty's love is a shining quick flame;
Frontlet's a slow wasting fire. Gatty likes the man that diverts her;
Frontlet him who adores her. Gatty always improves the soil in which she
travels; Frontlet lays waste the country. Gatty does not only smile, but
laughs at her lover; Frontlet not only looks serious, but frowns at him.
All the men of wit (and coxcombs their followers) are professed servants
of Gatty: the politicians and pretenders give solemn worship to
Frontlet. Their reign will be best judged of by its duration. Frontlet
will never be chosen more; and Gatty is a toast for life.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 3.

Letters from Hamburg of the 7th instant, N.S., inform us, that no art or
cost is omitted to make the stay of his Danish Majesty at Dresden
agreeable; but there are various speculations upon the interview between
King Augustus and that prince, many putting politic constructions upon
his Danish Majesty's arrival, at a time when his troops are marching out
of Hungary, with orders to pass through Saxony, where it is given out,
that they are to be recruited. It is said also, that several Polish
senators have invited King Augustus to return into Poland. His Majesty
of Sweden, according to the same advices, has passed the Dnieper without
any opposition from the Muscovites, and advances with all possible
expedition towards Voldinia, where he proposes to join King Stanislaus
and General Cressau.

We hear from Berne of the 1st instant, N.S., that there is not a
province in France, from whence the Court is not apprehensive of
receiving accounts of public emotions, occasioned by the want of corn.
The General Diet of the thirteen cantons is assembled at Baden, but have
not yet entered upon business, so that the affair of Tockenburg is yet
at a stand.

Letters from the Hague, dated the 11th instant, N.S., advise that
Monsieur Rouillé having acquainted the Ministers of the Allies, that his
master had refused to ratify the preliminaries of a treaty adjusted with
Monsieur Torcy, set out for Paris on Sunday morning. The same day the
foreign Ministers met a committee of the States-General, where Monsieur
van Hessen opened the business upon which they were assembled, and in a
very warm discourse laid before them the conduct of France in the late
negotiations, representing the abject manner in which she had laid open
her own distresses, which reduced her to a compliance with the demands
of all the Allies, and the mean manner in receding from those points to
which her Minister had consented. The respective Ministers of each
potentate of the Alliance severally expressed their resentment of the
faithless behaviour of the French, and gave each other mutual assurances
of the constancy and resolution of their principles to proceed with the
utmost vigour against the common enemy. His Grace the Duke of
Marlborough set out from the Hague on the 9th, in the afternoon, and lay
that night at Rotterdam, from whence at four the next morning he
proceeded towards Antwerp, with design to reach Ghent as on this day.
All the troops in the Low Countries are in motion towards the general
rendezvous between the Scheldt and Lis, and the whole army will be
formed on the 12th instant; and it is said that on the 14th they will
advance towards the enemy's country. In the meantime the Marshal de
Villars has assembled the French army between Lens, la Bassée, and

Yesterday morning Sir John Norris[266] with the squadron under his
command, sailed from the Downs for Holland.

From my own Apartment, June 3.

I have the honour of the following letter from a gentleman whom I
receive into my family, and order the heralds at arms to enroll him


"Though you have excluded me the honour of your family, yet I have
ventured to correspond with the same great persons as yourself, and have
wrote this post to the King of France; though I'm in a manner unknown
in his country, and have not been seen there these many months.

#"'To Lewis le Grand.#

    "'Though in your country I'm unknown,
      Yet, sir, I must advise you;
    Of late so poor and mean you're grown,
      That all the world despise you.

    Here vermin eat your majesty,
      There meagre subjects stand unfed;
    What surer signs of poverty,
      Than many lice, and little bread?

    Then, sir, the present minute choose,
      Our armies are advanced;
    Those terms you at the Hague refuse,
      At Paris won't be granted.

    Consider this, and Dunkirk raze,
      And Anna's title own;
    Send one Pretender out to graze,
      And call the other home.'

"Your humble Servant,

                                        "BREAD, THE STAFF OF LIFE."

[Footnote 262: No. 21.]

[Footnote 263: It would seem from the passage in the _Examiner_ (vol.
iii. No. 48), that three men of distinction at that time, probably
noblemen, were supposed to be denoted under the names of Hogshead,
Culverin, and Musket, from Wapping; or, as they are named by the
_Examiner_, "Tun, Gun, and Pistol, from Wapping." They are there
mentioned among others, said to have been, "with at least fifty more,
sufferers of figure under this author's satire, in the days of his
mirth," &c. In the _Guardian_ (No. 53) Steele says, "Tun, Gun, and
Pistol from Wapping, laughed at the representation which was made of
them, and were observed to be more regular in their conduct

[Footnote 264: The kept mistress of a knight of the shire near
Brentford, who squandered his estate on women, and in contested
elections. He has long since gone into the land of oblivion. See No.

[Footnote 265: Several such verses, inscribed on the glasses of the Kit
Cat Club, are given in Nichols' "Select Collection of Poems," v.

[Footnote 266: Admiral Sir John Norris (died 1749) was sent in June
1709, with a small squadron, to stop the French supply of corn from the

No. 25. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, June 4_, to _Tuesday, June 7_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, June 6.

A letter from a young lady, written in the most passionate terms
(wherein she laments the misfortune of a gentleman, her lover, who was
lately wounded in a duel), has turned my thoughts to that subject, and
inclined me to examine into the causes which precipitate men into so
fatal a folly.[267] And as it has been proposed to treat of subjects of
gallantry in the article from hence, and no one point of nature is more
proper to be considered by the company who frequent this place, than
that of duels, it is worth our consideration to examine into this
chimerical groundless humour, and to lay every other thought aside, till
we have stripped it of all its false pretences to credit and reputation
amongst men. But I must confess, when I consider what I am going about,
and run over in my imagination all the endless crowd of men of honour
who will be offended at such a discourse, I am undertaking, methinks, a
work worthy an invulnerable hero in romance, rather than a private
gentleman with a single rapier; but as I am pretty well acquainted by
great opportunities with the nature of man, and know of a truth, that
all men fight against their will, the danger vanishes, and resolution
rises upon this subject. For this reason I shall talk very freely on a
custom which all men wish exploded, though no man has courage enough to
resist it. But there is one unintelligible word which I fear will
extremely perplex my dissertation, and I confess to you I find very
hard to explain, which is, the term "satisfaction." An honest country
gentleman had the misfortune to fall into company with two or three
modern men of honour, where he happened to be very ill-treated; and one
of the company being conscious of his offence, sends a note to him in
the morning, and tells him, he was ready to give him satisfaction. "This
is fine doing," says the plain fellow: "last night he sent me away
cursedly out of humour, and this morning he fancies it would be a
satisfaction to be run through the body." As the matter at present
stands, it is not to do handsome actions denominates a man of honour; it
is enough if he dares to defend ill ones. Thus you often see a common
sharper in competition with a gentleman of the first rank; though all
mankind is convinced, that a fighting gamester is only a pickpocket with
the courage of a highwayman. One cannot with any patience reflect on the
unaccountable jumble of persons and things in this town and nation,
which occasions very frequently, that a brave man falls by a hand below
that of the common hangman, and yet his executioner escapes the clutches
of the hangman for doing it. I shall therefore hereafter consider, how
the bravest men in other ages and nations have behaved themselves upon
such incidents as we decide by combat; and show, from their practice,
that this resentment neither has its foundation from true reason, nor
solid fame; but is an imposture,[268] made up of cowardice, falsehood,
and want of understanding. For this work, a good history of quarrels
would be very edifying to the public, and I apply myself to the town for
particulars and circumstances within their knowledge, which may serve to
embellish the dissertation with proper cuts. Most of the quarrels I have
ever known, have proceeded from some valiant coxcomb's persisting in
the wrong, to defend some prevailing folly, and preserve himself from
the ingenuity of owning a mistake.[269]

By this means it is called, "giving a man satisfaction," to urge your
offence against him with your sword; which puts me in mind of Peter's
order to the keeper, in the "Tale of a Tub": "If you neglect to do all
this, damn you and your generation for ever; and so we bid you heartily
farewell."[270] If the contradiction in the very terms of one of our
challenges were as well explained, and turned into plain English, would
it not run after this manner?


"Your extraordinary behaviour last night, and the liberty you were
pleased to take with me, makes me this morning give you this, to tell
you, because you are an ill-bred puppy, I will meet you in Hyde Park an
hour hence; and because you want both breeding and humanity, I desire
you would come with a pistol in your hand, on horseback, and endeavour
to shoot me through the head; to teach you more manners. If you fail of
doing me this pleasure, I shall say, you are a rascal on every post in
town: and so, sir, if you will not injure me more, I shall never forgive
what you have done already. Pray sir, do not fail of getting everything
ready, and you will infinitely oblige,


"Your most obedient,

"humble Servant, &c."

From my own Apartment, June 6.

Among the many employments I am necessarily put upon by my friends, that
of giving advice is the most unwelcome to me; and indeed, I am forced to
use a little art in the matter; for some people will ask counsel of you,
when they have already acted what they tell you is still under
deliberation. I had almost lost a very good friend the other day, who
came to know how I liked his design to marry such a lady. I answered,
"By no means; and I must be positive against it, for very solid reasons,
which are not proper to communicate." "Not proper to communicate!" said
he with a grave air, "I will know the bottom of this." I saw him moved,
and knew from thence he was already determined; therefore evaded it by
saying, "To tell you the truth, dear Frank, of all women living, I would
have her myself." "Isaac," said he, "thou art too late, for we have been
both one these two months." I learned this caution by a gentleman's
consulting me formerly about his son. He railed at his damned
extravagance, and told me, in a very little time, he would beggar him by
the exorbitant bills which came from Oxford every quarter. "Make the
rogue bite upon the bridle,"[271] said I, "pay none of his bills, it
will but encourage him to further trespasses." He looked plaguy sour at
me. His son soon after sent up a paper of verses, forsooth, in print, on
the last public occasion; upon which, he is convinced the boy has parts,
and a lad of spirit is not to be too much cramped in his maintenance,
lest he take ill courses. Neither father nor son can ever since endure
the sight of me. These sort of people ask opinions, only out of the
fulness of their heart on the subject of their perplexity, and not from
a desire of information. There is nothing so easy as to find out which
opinion the person in doubt has a mind to; therefore the sure way is to
tell him, that is certainly to be chosen. Then you are to be very clear
and positive; leave no handle for scruple. "Bless me! sir, there is no
room for a question." This rivets you into his heart; for you at once
applaud his wisdom, and gratify his inclination. However, I had too much
bowels to be insincere to a man who came yesterday to know of me, with
which of two eminent men in the City he should place his son? Their
names are Paulo and Avaro.[272] This gave me much debate with myself,
because not only the fortune of the youth, but his virtue also depended
upon this choice. The men are equally wealthy; but they differ in the
use and application of their riches, which you immediately see upon
entering their doors.

The habitation of Paulo has at once the air of a nobleman and a
merchant. You see the servants act with affection to their master, and
satisfaction in themselves: the master meets you with an open
countenance, full of benevolence and integrity: your business is
despatched with that confidence and welcome which always accompanies
honest minds: his table is the image of plenty and generosity, supported
by justice and frugality. After we had dined here, our affair was to
visit Avaro: out comes an awkward fellow with a careful countenance;
"Sir, would you speak with my master? May I crave your name?" After the
first preambles, he leads us into a noble solitude, a great house that
seemed uninhabited; but from the end of the spacious hall moves towards
us Avaro, with a suspicious aspect, as if he believed us thieves; and as
for my part, I approached him as if I knew him a cut-purse. We fell
into discourse of his noble dwelling, and the great estate all the world
knew he had to enjoy in it: and I, to plague him, fell a commending
Paulo's way of living. "Paulo," answered Avaro, "is a very good man; but
we who have smaller estates, must cut our coat according to our cloth."
"Nay," says I, "every man knows his own circumstance best; you are in
the right, if you haven't wherewithal." He looked very sour (for it is,
you must know, the utmost vanity of a mean-spirited rich man to be
contradicted, when he calls himself poor). But I was resolved to vex
him, by consenting to all he said; the main design of which was, that he
would have us find out, he was one of the wealthiest men in London, and
lived like a beggar. We left him, and took a turn on the 'Change. My
friend was ravished with Avaro. "This," said he, "is certainly a sure
man." I contradicted him with much warmth, and summed up their different
characters as well as I could. "This Paulo," said I, "grows wealthy by
being a common good; Avaro, by being a general evil: Paulo has the art,
Avaro the craft of trade. When Paulo gains, all men he deals with are
the better: whenever Avaro profits, another certainly loses. In a word,
Paulo is a citizen, and Avaro a cit." I convinced my friend, and carried
the young gentleman the next day to Paulo, where he will learn the way
both to gain, and enjoy a good fortune. And though I cannot say, I have,
by keeping him from Avaro, saved him from the gallows, I have prevented
his deserving it every day he lives: for with Paulo he will be an honest
man, without being so for fear of the law; as with Avaro, he would have
been a villain within the protection of it.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 6.

We hear from Vienna of the 1st instant, that Baron Imoff, who attended
her Catholic Majesty with the character of Envoy from the Duke of
Wolfembuttel, was returned thither. That Minister brought an account,
that Major-general Stanhope, with the troops which embarked at Naples,
was returned to Barcelona. We hear from Berlin, by advices of the 8th
instant, that his Prussian Majesty had received intelligence from his
Minister at Dresden, that the King of Denmark desired to meet his
Majesty at Magdeburg. The King of Prussia has sent answer, that his
present indisposition will not admit of so great a journey; but has sent
the king a very pressing invitation to come to Berlin or Potsdam. These
advices say, that the Minister of the King of Sweden has produced a
letter from his master to the King of Poland, dated from Batitzau the
30th of March, O.S., wherein he acquaints him, that he has been
successful against the Muscovites in all the occasions which have
happened since his march into their country. Great numbers have revolted
to the Swedes since General Mazeppa went over to that side; and as many
as have done so, have taken solemn oaths to adhere to the interests of
his Swedish Majesty.

Advices from the Hague of the 14th instant, N.S., say, that all things
tended to a vigorous and active campaign; the Allies having strong
resentments against the late behaviour of the Court of France; and the
French using all possible endeavours to animate their men to defend
their country against a victorious and exasperated enemy. Monsieur
Rouillé had passed through Brussels without visiting either the Duke of
Marlborough or Prince Eugene, who were both there at that time. The
States have met, and publicly declared their satisfaction in the
conduct of their deputies during the whole treaty. Letters from France
say, that the Court is resolved to put all to the issue of the ensuing
campaign. In the meantime, they have ordered the preliminary treaty to
be published, with observation upon each article, in order to quiet the
minds of the people, and persuade them, that it has not been in the
power of the king to procure a peace, but to the diminution of his
Majesty's glory, and the hazard of his dominions. His Grace the Duke of
Marlborough and Prince Eugene arrived at Ghent on Wednesday last, where,
at an assembly of all the general officers, it was thought proper, by
reason of the great rains which have lately fallen, to defer forming a
camp, or bringing the troops together; but as soon as the weather would
permit, to march upon the enemy with all expedition.[273]

[Footnote 267: For Steele's other papers on duelling, see Nos. 26, 28,
29, 31, 38, 39.]

[Footnote 268: Something imposed upon us.]

[Footnote 269: "While this barbarous custom of duelling is tolerated, we
shall never be rid of coxcombs, who will defend their understandings by
the sword, and force us to bear nonsense on pain of death."--(Steele,
_Theatre_, No. 26.)]

[Footnote 270: Swift's "Tale of a Tub," sect. 4.]

[Footnote 271: _I.e._, hold him in.]

[Footnote 272: Said to be Bateman and Heathcote, both eminent
citizens--(_Gentleman's Magazine_, lx. 679.)]

[Footnote 273: "Mr. Bickerstaff has received a letter, dated June 6,
with the just exceptions against the pretence of persons therein
mentioned, to the name of Pretty Fellows, which shall be taken notice of
accordingly: as likewise, the letter from Anthony Longtail of
Canterbury, concerning the death of Thomas à Becket" (folio). See Nos.
24, 26.]

No. 26. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, June 7_, to _Thursday, June 9_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, June 8.

I have read the following letter with delight and approbation, and I
hereby order Mr. Kidney at St. James's, and Sir Thomas at White's[274]
(who are my clerks for enrolling all men in their distant classes,
before they presume to drink tea or chocolate in those places), to take
care, that the persons within the descriptions in the letter be
admitted, and excluded according to my friend's remonstrance.[275]

"_To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.; at Mr. Morphew's near Stationers' Hall._

"_June 6_, 1709.


"Your paper of Saturday[276] has raised up in me a noble emulation, to
be recorded in the foremost rank of worthies therein mentioned; and if
any regard be had to merit or industry, I may hope to succeed in the
promotion, for I have omitted no toil or expense to be a proficient; and
if my friends do not flatter, they assure me, I have not lost my time
since I came to town. To enumerate but a few particulars; there's hardly
a coachman I meet with, but desires to be excused taking me, because he
has had me before. I have compounded two or three rapes; and let out to
hire as many bastards to beggars. I never saw above the first act of a
play: and as to my courage, it is well known, I have more than once had
sufficient witnesses of my drawing my sword both in tavern and
playhouse. Dr. Wall[277] is my particular friend; and if it were any
service to the public to compose the difference between Marten and
Sintilaer[278] the pearl-driller, I don't know a judge of more
experience than myself: for in that I may say with the poet,

    "'_Quæ regio in villa nostri non plena laboris?_'[279]

"I omit other less particulars, the necessary consequences of greater
actions. But my reason for troubling you at this present is, to put a
stop, if it may be, to an insinuating, increasing set of people, who
sticking to the letter of your treatise, and not to the spirit of it, do
assume the name of 'pretty fellows'; nay, and even get new names, as you
very well hint. Some of them I have heard calling to one another, as I
have sat at White's and St. James's, by the names of Betty, Nelly, and
so forth. You see them accost each other with effeminate airs: they have
their signs and tokens like freemasons: they rail at women-kind; receive
visits on their beds in gowns, and do a thousand other unintelligible
prettinesses that I cannot tell what to make of. I therefore heartily
desire you would exclude all this sort of animals.

"There is another matter I am foreseeing an ill consequence from, but
may be timely prevented by prudence; which is, that for the last
fortnight, prodigious shoals of volunteers have gone over to bully the
French, upon hearing the peace was just signing; and this is so true,
that I can assure you, all engrossing work about the Temple is risen
above 3_s_. in the pound for want of hands. Now as it is possible some
little alteration of affairs may have broken their measures, and that
they will post back again, I am under the last apprehension, that these
will, at their return, all set up for 'pretty fellows,' and thereby
confound all merit and service, and impose on us some new alteration in
our nightcap-wigs[280] and pockets, unless you can provide a particular
class for them. I cannot apply myself better than to you, and I am sure
I speak the mind of a very great number as deserving as myself."

The pretensions of this correspondent are worthy a particular
distinction: he cannot indeed be admitted as a "pretty," but is, what we
more justly call, a "smart fellow." Never to pay at the playhouse, is an
act of frugality, that lets you into his character. And his expedient in
sending his children a-begging before they can go, are characteristical
instances that he belongs to this class. I never saw the gentleman; but
I know by his letter, he hangs his cane on his button;[281] and by some
lines of it, he should wear red-heeled shoes;[282] which are essential
parts of the habit belonging to the order of "smart fellows."

My familiar is returned with the following letter from the French king:

"Versailles, _June 13_, 1709.

#"_Louis XIV. to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq._[283]#


"I have your epistle, and must take the liberty to say, that there has
been a time, when there were generous spirits in Great Britain, who
would not have suffered my name to be treated with the familiarity you
think fit to use. I thought liberal men would not be such time-servers,
as to fall upon a man because his friends are not in power. But having
some concern for what you may transmit to posterity concerning me, I am
willing to keep terms with you, and make a request to you, which is,
that you would give my service to the nineteenth century (if ever you or
yours reach to them), and tell them, that I have settled all matters
between them and me by Monsieur Boileau. I should be glad to see you

It is very odd this prince should offer to invite me into his dominions,
or believe I should accept the invitation. No, no, I remember too well
how he served an ingenious gentleman, a friend of mine,[284] whom he
locked up in the Bastille for no reason in the world, but because he was
a wit, and feared he might mention him with justice in some of his
writings. His way is, that all men of sense are preferred, banished, or
imprisoned. He has indeed a sort of justice in him, like that of the
gamesters; if a stander-by sees one at play cheat, he has a right to
come in for snares, for knowing the mysteries of the game. This is a
very wise and just maxim; and if I have not left at Mr. Morphew's,
directed to me, bank bills for £200 on or before this day sevennight, I
shall tell how Tom Cash got his estate. I expect three hundred pounds of
Mr. Soilett, for concealing all the money he has lent to himself, and
his landed friend bound with him, at thirty per cent. at his
scrivener's. Absolute princes make people pay what they please in
deference to their power: I do not know why I should not do the same,
out of fear or respect to my knowledge. I always preserve decorums and
civilities to the fair sex: therefore if a certain lady, who left her
coach at the New Exchange[285] door in the Strand, and whipped down
Durham Yard into a boat with a young gentleman for Fox Hall;[286] I say,
if she will send me word, that I may give the fan which she dropped, and
I found, to my sister Jenny, there shall be no more said of it. I expect
hush-money to be regularly sent for every folly or vice any one commits
in this whole town; and hope I may pretend to deserve it better than a
chamber-maid, or _valet-de-chambre_: they only whisper it to the little
set of their companions; but I can tell it to all men living, or who are
to live. Therefore I desire all my readers to pay their fines, or mend
their lives.

White's Chocolate-house, June 8.

My familiar being come from France, with an answer to my letter to Lewis
of that kingdom, instead of going on in a discourse of what he had seen
in that Court, he put on the immediate concern of a guardian, and fell
to inquiring into my thoughts and adventures since his journey. As short
as his stay had been, I confessed I had had many occasions for his
assistance in my conduct; but communicated to him my thoughts of putting
all my force against the horrid and senseless custom of duels. "If it
were possible," said he, "to laugh at things in themselves so deeply
tragical as the impertinent profusion of human life, I think I could
divert you with a figure I saw just after my death, when the philosopher
threw me, as I told you some days ago, into the pail of water.[287] You
are to know, that when men leave the body, there are receptacles for
them as soon as they depart, according to the manner in which they lived
and died. At the very instant that I was killed, there came away with me
a spirit which had lost its body in a duel. We were both examined. Me,
the whole assembly looked at with kindness and pity, but at the same
time with an air of welcome, and consolation: they pronounced me very
happy, who had died in innocence; and told me, a quite different place
was allotted to me, than that which was appointed for my companion;
there being a great distance from the mansions of fools and innocents:
'though at the same time,' said one of the ghosts, there is a great
affinity between an idiot who has been so for long life, and a child who
departs before maturity. But this gentleman who has arrived with you is
a fool of his own making, is ignorant out of choice, and will fare
accordingly.' The assembly began to flock about him, and one said to
him, 'Sir, I observed you came into the gate of persons murdered, and I
desire to know what brought you to your untimely end?' He said, he had
been a second. Socrates (who may be said to have been murdered by the
commonwealth of Athens) stood by, and began to draw near him, in order,
after his manner, to lead him into a sense of his error by concessions
in his own discourse. 'Sir,' said that divine and amicable spirit, 'what
was the quarrel?' He answered, 'We shall know very suddenly, when the
principal in the business comes, for he was desperately wounded before I
fell.' 'Sir,' said the sage, 'had you an estate?' 'Yes, sir,' the new
guest answered, 'I have left it in a very good condition; I made my will
the night before this occasion.' 'Did you read it before you signed it?'
'Yes sure, sir,' said the newcomer. Socrates replies, could a man that
would not give his estate without reading the instrument, dispose of his
life without asking a question? That illustrious shade turned from him,
and a crowd of impertinent goblins, who had been drolls and parasites in
their lifetime, and were knocked on the head for their sauciness, came
about my fellow-traveller, and made themselves very merry with questions
about the words 'carte' and 'terce' and other terms of fencers. But his
thoughts began to settle into reflection upon the adventure which had
robbed him of his late being; and with a wretched sigh, said he, 'How
terrible are conviction and guilt when they come too late for
penitence!'" Pacolet was going on in this strain, but he recovered from
it, and told me, it was too soon to give my discourse on this subject so
serious a turn; you have chiefly to do with that part of mankind which
must be led into reflection by degrees, and you must treat this custom
with humour and raillery to get an audience, before you come to
pronounce sentence upon it. There is foundation enough for raising such
entertainments from the practice on this occasion. Don't you know, that
often a man is called out of bed to follow implicitly a coxcomb (with
whom he would not keep company on any other occasion) to ruin and death?
Then a good list of such as are qualified by the laws of these
uncourteous men of chivalry to enter into combat (who are often persons
of honour without common honesty): these, I say, ranged and drawn up in
their proper order, would give an aversion to doing anything in common
with such as men laugh at and contemn. But to go through this work, you
must not let your thoughts vary, or make excursions from your theme:
consider at the same time, that the matter has been often treated by the
ablest and greatest writers; yet that must not discourage you; for the
properest person to handle it, is one who has roved into mixed
conversations, and must have opportunities (which I shall give you) of
seeing these sort of men in their pleasures and gratifications; among
which, they pretend to reckon fighting. It was pleasantly enough said of
a bully in France, when duels first began to be punished: "The king has
taken away gaming, and stage-playing, and now fighting too; how does he
expect gentlemen shall divert themselves?"[288]

[Footnote 274: See Nos. 1, 10, 16.]

[Footnote 275: This letter is probably by Anthony Henley; see
advertisement at end of No. 25. At this time Henley was M.P. for
Weymouth, and a friend of the wits belonging to the Whig party. He died
in 1711. See Nos. 11, 193.]

[Footnote 276: No. 21.]

[Footnote 277: Wall and the others named were quack doctors.]

[Footnote 278: Sintelaer, who lived in High Holborn, published in Feb.
1709, "The Scourge of Venus and Mercury. With an appendix in answer to
Mr. John Marten's reflections thereupon" (_Postman_, Feb. 24 to 26,

[Footnote 279: "Æneid," i. 460. Steele alters Virgil's "terriss" to

[Footnote 280: A sort of periwig, with a short tie and small round head.
See No. 30, end. In the _Spectator_ (No. 319), Dorinda describes a
humble servant of hers who "appeared to me in one of those wigs that I
think you call a 'night-cap,' which had altered him more effectually
than before. He afterwards played a couple of black riding wigs upon me,
with the same success."]

[Footnote 281: The elaborate canes used by the beaux commonly had a
ribbon to enable them to be hung on the button of the waistcoat. Thus we
find among the advertisements for lost canes, "A cane with a silver head
and a black ribbon in it, the top of it amber, part of the head to turn
round, and in it a perspective glass."]

[Footnote 282: Men of fashion wore very high-heeled shoes, and their red
heels are often satirised by Steele and Addison (cf. _Spectator_, No.
311). In No. 16 of the _Spectator_ Addison said, "It is not my intention
to sink the dignity of this my paper with reflections upon red-heels or

[Footnote 283: See Nos. 19, 23.]

[Footnote 284: Probably Sir John Vanbrugh.]

[Footnote 285: A bazaar on the south side of the Strand, between George
Court and Durham Street, and opposite Bedford Street. There were two
long and double galleries, one above the other, containing shops, with
pretty attendants. The New Exchange was a favourite lounge, and is
frequently mentioned in the Restoration literature; it was pulled down
in 1737. See _Spectator_, Nos. 96, 155, and Steele's "Lying Lover," act
ii. sc. 2, where Young Bookwit says, "My choice was so distracted among
the pretty merchants and their dealers, that I knew not where to run
first." On the other hand, we find complaints that young fops hindered
business by lolling on the counter an hour longer than was necessary,
and annoyed the young women who served them with ingenious ribaldry.]

[Footnote 286: Vauxhall, or Fox-hall, Gardens were formed about 1661, on
the Surrey side of the Thames, and were at first called the New Spring
Gardens, to distinguish them from the Old Spring Gardens at Charing
Cross. At the end of the seventeenth century Vauxhall was a favourite
place for assignations, and Pepys was scandalised at scenes he there
witnessed. The gardens were reopened in 1732, after being closed, it
would seem, for some years, and they continued to be a place of
fashionable resort until the end of the reign of George III.]

[Footnote 287: See No. 15.]

[Footnote 288: "Whereas several gentlemen have desired this paper with a
blank leaf to write business on, and for the convenience of the post;
this is to give notice, that this day, and for the future, it may be had
of Mr. Morphew, near Stationers' Hall" (folio, advertisement).]

No. 27. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, June 9_, to _Saturday, June 11, 1709_.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, June 9.

Pacolet being gone a strolling among the men of the sword, in order to
find out the secret causes of the frequent disputes we meet with, and
furnish me with material for my treatise on duelling; I have room left
to go on in my information to my country readers, whereby they may
understand the bright people whose memoirs I have taken upon me to
write. But in my discourse of the 28th of the last month,[289] I omitted
to mention the most agreeable of all bad characters; and that is, a

A Rake is a man always to be pitied; and if he lives, is one day
certainly reclaimed; for his faults proceed not from choice or
inclination, but from strong passions and appetites, which are in youth
too violent for the curb of reason, good sense, good manners, and good
nature: all which he must have by nature and education, before he can be
allowed to be, or have been of this order. He is a poor unwieldy wretch,
that commits faults out of the redundance of his good qualities. His
pity and compassion make him sometimes a bubble to all his fellows, let
them be never so much below him in understanding. His desires run away
with him through the strength and force of a lively imagination, which
hurries him on to unlawful pleasures, before reason has power to come in
to his rescue. Thus, with all the good intentions in the world to
amendment, this creature sins on against heaven, himself, his friends,
and his country, who all call for a better use of his talents. There is
not a being under the sun so miserable as this: he goes on in a pursuit
he himself disapproves, and has no enjoyment but what is followed by
remorse; no relief from remorse, but the repetition of his crime. It is
possible I may talk of this person with too much indulgence; but I must
repeat it, that I think this a character which is the most the object of
pity of any in the world. The man in the pangs of the stone, gout, or
any acute distempers, is not in so deplorable a condition in the eye of
right sense, as he that errs and repents, and repents and errs on. The
fellow with broken limbs justly deserves your alms for his impotent
condition; but he that cannot use his own reason, is in a much worse
state; for you see him in miserable circumstances, with his remedy at
the same time in his own possession, if he would or could use it. This
is the cause, that of all ill characters, the rake has the best quarter
in the world; for when he is himself, and unruffled with intemperance,
you see his natural faculties exert themselves, and attract an eye of
favour towards his infirmities. But if we look round us here, how many
dull rogues are there, that would fain be what this poor man hates
himself for? All the noise towards six in the evening,[290] is caused by
his mimics and imitators. How ought men of sense to be careful of their
actions, if it were merely from the indignation of feeling themselves
ill drawn by such little pretenders? not to say, he that leads, is
guilty of all the actions of his followers: and a rake has imitators
whom you would never expect should prove so. Second-hand vice sure of
all is the most nauseous. There is hardly a folly more absurd, or which
seems less to be accounted for (though it is what we see every day) than
that grave and honest natures give into this way, and at the same time
have good sense, if they thought fit to use it: but the fatality (under
which most men labour) of desiring to be what they are not, makes them
go out of a method, in which they might be received with applause, and
would certainly excel, into one, wherein they will all their life have
the air of strangers to what they aim at. For this reason, I have not
lamented the metamorphosis of any one I know so much as of Nobilis, who
was born with sweetness of temper, just apprehension, and everything
else that might make him a man fit for his order. But instead of the
pursuit of sober studies and applications, in which he would certainly
be capable of making a considerable figure in the noblest assembly of
men in the world; I say, in spite of that good nature, which is his
proper bent, he will say ill-natured things aloud, put such as he was,
and still should be, out of countenance, and drown all the natural good
in him, to receive an artificial ill character, in which he will never
succeed: for Nobilis is no rake. He may guzzle as much wine as he
pleases, talk bawdy if he thinks fit; but he may as well drink
water-gruel, and go twice a day to church, for it will never do. I
pronounce it again, Nobilis is no rake. To be of that order, he must be
vicious against his will, and not so by study or application. All Pretty
Fellows are also excluded to a man, as well as all Inamaratos, or
persons of the epicene gender, who gaze at one another in the presence
of ladies. This class, of which I am giving you an account, is pretended
to also by men of strong abilities in drinking; though they are such
whom the liquor, not the conversation, keeps together. But blockheads
may roar, fight, and stab, and be never the nearer; their labour is also
lost; they want sense: they are no rakes.

As a rake among men is the man who lives in the constant abuse of his
reason, so a coquette among women is one who lives in continual
misapplication of her beauty. The chief of all whom I have the honour to
be acquainted with, is pretty Mrs. Toss: she is ever in practice of
something which disfigures her, and takes from her charms; though all
she does, tends to a contrary effect. She has naturally a very agreeable
voice and utterance, which she has changed for the prettiest lisp
imaginable. She sees what she has a mind to see, at half a mile distance;
but poring with her eyes half shut at every one she passes by, she
believes much more becoming. The Cupid on her fan and she have their eyes
full on each other, all the time in which they are not both in motion.
Whenever her eye is turned from that dear object, you may have a glance,
and your bow, if she is in humour, returned as civilly as you make it;
but that must not be in the presence of a man of greater quality: for
Mrs. Toss is so thoroughly well bred, that the chief person present has
all her regards. And she, who giggles at divine service, and laughs at
her very mother, can compose herself at the approach of a man of a good

Will's Coffee-house, June 9.

A fine lady showed a gentleman of this company, for an eternal answer to
all his addresses, a paper of verses, with which she is so captivated,
that she professed, the author should be the happy man in spite of all
other pretenders. It is ordinary for love to make men poetical, and it
had that effect on this enamoured man: but he was resolved to try his
vein upon some of her confidantes or retinue, before he ventured upon so
high a theme as herself. To do otherwise than so, would be like making
an heroic poem a man's first attempt. Among the favourites to the fair
one, he found her parrot not to be in the last degree: he saw Poll had
her ear, when his sighs were neglected. To write against him, had been a
fruitless labour; therefore he resolved to flatter him into his
interests, in the following manner:

#"To a Lady on her Parrot.#

    _"When nymphs were coy, and love could not prevail,
    The gods disguised were seldom known to fail,
    Leda was chaste, but yet a feathered Jove
    Surprised the fair, and taught her how to love.
    There's no celestial but his heaven would quit,
    For any form which might to thee admit.
    See how the wanton bird, at every glance,
    Swells his glad plumes, and feels an amorous trance.
    The queen of beauty has forsook the dove,
    Henceforth the parrot be the bird of love."_

It is indeed a very just proposition, to give that honour rather to the
parrot than the other volatile. The parrot represents us in the state of
making love: the dove in the possession of the object beloved. But
instead of turning the dove off, I fancy it would be better if the
chaise of Venus had hereafter a parrot added (as we see sometimes a
third horse to a coach) which might intimate, that to be a parrot, is
the only way to succeed; and to be a dove, to preserve your conquests.
If the swain would go on successfully, he must imitate the bird he
writes upon. For he who would be loved by women, must never be silent
before the favour, or open his lips after it.

From my own Apartment, June 10.

I have so many messages from young gentlemen who expect preferment and
distinction, that I am wholly at a loss in what manner to acquit myself.
The writer of the following letter tells me in a postscript, he cannot
go out of town till I have taken some notice of him, and is very urgent
to be somebody, in town before he leaves it, and returns to his commons
at the university. But take it from himself.

#"_To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., Monitor-General of Great Britain._#

"Shire Lane, _June 8._

I have been above six months from the university, of age these three
months, and so long in town. I was recommended to one Charles
Bubbleboy[291] near the Temple, who has supplied me with all the
furniture he says a gentleman ought to have. I desired a certificate
thereof from him, which he said would require some time to consider of;
and when I went yesterday morning for it, he tells me, upon due
consideration, I still want some few odd things more, to the value of
threescore or fourscore pounds, to make me complete. I have bespoke
them; and the favour I beg of you is, to know, when I am equipped, in
what part or class of men in this town you will place me. Pray send me
word what I am, and you shall find me,


"Your most humble Servant,

                                        "JEFFRY NICKNACK."

I am very willing to encourage young beginners; but am extremely in the
dark how to dispose of this gentleman. I cannot see either his person or
habit in this letter; but I'll call at Charles', and know the shape of
his snuff-box, by which I can settle his character. Though indeed, to
know his full capacity, I ought to be informed, whether he takes Spanish
or musty.[292]

St. James's Coffee-house, June 10.

Letters from the Low Countries of the 17th instant say, that the Duke of
Marlborough and the Prince of Savoy intended to leave Ghent on that day,
and join the army, which lies between Pont d'Espiere and Courtray, their
headquarters being at Helchin. The same day the Palatine foot was
expected at Brussels. Lieutenant-General Dompre, with a body of eight
thousand men, is posted at Alost, in order to cover Ghent and Brussels.
The Marshal de Villars was still on the plains of Lens; and it is said,
the Duke of Vendôme is appointed to command in conjunction with that
general. Advices from Paris say, Monsieur Voisin is made Secretary of
State, upon Monsieur Chamillard's resignation of that employment. The
want of money in that kingdom is so great, that the Court has thought
fit to command all the plate of private families to be brought into the
Mint. They write from the Hague of the 18th, that the States of Holland
continue their session; and that they have approved the resolution of
the States-General, to publish a second edict to prohibit the sale of
corn to the enemy. Many eminent persons in that assembly have declared,
that they are of opinion, that all commerce whatsoever with France
should be wholly forbidden: which point is under present deliberation;
but it is feared it will meet with powerful opposition.

[Footnote 289: No. 21.]

[Footnote 290: People of fashion dined at about four o'clock in Queen
Anne's time, and by six the men, who had often drunk a good deal of
wine, would be finding their way to the clubs and coffee-houses.]

[Footnote 291: Charles Mather, a toyman in Fleet Street, next door to
Nandoe's Coffee-house, over against Chancery Lane. Swift wrote ("Sid
Hamet's Rod," 1710):

    "No hobby horse with gorgeous top,
    The dearest in Charles Mather's shop;
    Or glittering tinsel of Mayfair
    Could with the rod of Sid compare."

See Nos. 113, 142, and _Spectator_, Nos. 328, 503 ("One of Charles
Mather's fine tablets"), and 570 ("The famous Charles Mather was bred up
under him").]

[Footnote 292: Charles Lillie, the perfumer, tells us how snuff came
into use. A great quantity of musty snuff was captured in the Spanish
fleet taken at Vigo in 1702, and snuff with this special musty flavour
became the fashion. In No. 138 of the _Spectator_, Steele humorously
announced that "the exercise of the snuff-box, according to the most
fashionable airs and motions, in opposition to the exercise of the fair,
will be taught with the best plain or perfumed snuff at Charles
Lillie's, perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand."]

No. 28. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, June 11_, to _Tuesday, June 14, 1709._

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, June 13.

I had suspended the business of duelling to a distant time, but that I
am called upon to declare myself on a point proposed in the following

                                        "_June 9, at night._


"I desire the favour of you to decide this question, whether calling a
gentleman a 'smart fellow' is an affront or not? A youth entering a
certain coffee-house, with his cane tied at his button, wearing
red-heeled shoes, I thought of your description,[293] and could not
forbear telling a friend of mine next to me, 'There enters a smart
fellow.' The gentleman hearing it, had immediately a mind to pick a
quarrel with me, and desired satisfaction: at which I was more puzzled
than at the other, remembering what mention your familiar makes of those
that had lost their lives on such occasions. The thing is referred to
your judgment, and I expect you to be my second, since you have been the
cause of our quarrel. I am,


"Your Friend and humble Servant."

I absolutely pronounce, that there is no occasion of offence given in
this expression; for a "smart fellow" is always an appellation of
praise, and is a man of double capacity. The true cast or mould in which
you may be sure to know him is, when his livelihood or education is in
the Civil List, and you see him express a vivacity or mettle above the
way he is in by a little jerk in his motion, short trip in his steps,
well-fancied lining of his coat, or any other indications which may be
given in a vigorous dress. Now, what possible insinuation can there be,
that it is a cause of quarrel for a man to say, he allows a gentleman
really to be, what he, his tailor, his hosier, and his milliner, have
conspired to make him? I confess, if this person who appeals to me had
said, he was _not_ a "smart fellow," there had been cause for
resentment; but if he stands to it that he is one, he leaves no manner
of ground for a misunderstanding. Indeed, it is a most lamentable thing,
that there should be a dispute raised upon a man's saying another is,
what he plainly takes pains to be thought. But this point cannot be so
well adjusted, as by inquiring what are the sentiments of wise nations
and communities of the use of the sword, and from thence conclude,
whether it is honourable to draw it so frequently or not? An illustrious
commonwealth of Italy[294] has preserved itself for many ages, without
letting one of their subjects handle this destructive instrument, always
leaving that work to such of mankind as understand the use of a whole
skin so little, as to make a profession of exposing it to cuts and
scars. But what need we run to such foreign instances: our own ancient
and well-governed cities are conspicuous examples to all mankind in
their regulation of military achievements. The chief citizens, like the
noble Italians, hire mercenaries to carry arms in their stead; and you
shall have a fellow of a desperate fortune, for the gain of one
half-crown, go through all the dangers of Tothill Fields, or the
Artillery Ground,[295] clap his right jaw within two inches of the
touch-hole of a musket, fire it off, and huzza, with as little concern
as he tears a pullet. Thus you see to what scorn of danger these
mercenaries arrive, out of a mere love of sordid gain: but methinks it
should take off the strong prepossession men have in favour of bold
actions, when they see upon what low motives men aspire to them. Do but
observe the common practice in the government of those heroic bodies,
our militia and lieutenancies, the most ancient corps of soldiers,
perhaps, in the universe. I question whether there is one instance of an
animosity between any two of these illustrious sons of Mars since their
institution, which was decided by combat? I remember indeed to have read
the chronicle of an accident which had like to have occasioned bloodshed
in the very field before all the general officers, though most of them
were justices of the peace: Captain Crabtree of Birching Lane,
haberdasher, had drawn a bill upon Major-General Maggot, cheesemonger in
Thames Street. Crabtree draws this upon Mr. William Maggot and Company.
A country lad received this bill, and not understanding the word
"company," used in drawing bills on men in partnership, carried it to
Mr. Jeffry Stick of Crooked Lane (lieutenant of the major-general's
company) whom he had the day before seen march by the door in all the
pomp of his commission. The lieutenant accepts it, for the honour of the
company, since it had come to him. But repayment being asked from the
major-general, he absolutely refuses. Upon this, the lieutenant thinks
of nothing less than to bring this to a rupture, and takes for his
second, Tobias Armstrong of the Counter,[296] and sends him with a
challenge in a script of parchment, wherein was written, "Stitch contra
Maggot," and all the fury vanished in a moment. The major-general gives
satisfaction to the second, and all was well. Hence it is, that the bold
spirits of our city are kept in such subjection to the civil power.
Otherwise, where would our liberties soon be? If wealth and valour were
suffered to exert themselves with their utmost force: if such officers
as are employed in the terrible bands above-mentioned, were to draw
bills as well as swords: these dangerous captains, who could victual an
army as well as lead it, would be too powerful for the State. But the
point of honour justly gives way to that of gain; and by long and wise
regulation, the richest is the bravest man. I have known a captain rise
to a colonel in two days by the fall of stocks; and a major, my good
friend, near the Monument, ascended to that honour by the fall of the
price of spirits, and the rising of right Nantz. By this true sense of
honour, that body of warriors are ever in good order and discipline,
with their colours and coats all whole: as in other battalions (where
their principles of action are less solid) you see the men of service
look like spectres, with long sides, and lank cheeks. In this army, you
may measure a man's services by his waist, and the most prominent belly
is certainly the man who has been most upon action. Besides all this,
there is another excellent remark to be made in the discipline of these
troops. It being of absolute necessity that the people of England should
see what they have for their money, and be eye-witnesses of the
advantages they gain by it, all battles which are fought abroad are
represented here. But since one side must be beaten, and the other
conquer, which might create disputes, the eldest company is always to
make the other run, and the younger retreats, according to the last news
and best intelligence. I have myself seen Prince Eugene make Catinat fly
from the back-side of Gray's Inn Lane to Hockley-in-the-Hole,[297] and
not give over the pursuit, till obliged to leave the Bear Garden on the
right, to avoid being borne down by fencers, wild bulls and monsters,
too terrible for the encounter of any heroes, but such whose lives are
their livelihood.

We have here seen, that wise nations do not admit of fighting, even in
the defence of their country, as a laudable action; and they live
within the walls of our own city in great honour and reputation without
it. It would be very necessary to understand, by what force of the
climate, food, education, or employment, one man's sense is brought to
differ so essentially from that of another; that one is ridiculous and
contemptible for forbearing a thing which makes for his safety; and
another applauded for consulting his ruin and destruction.

It will therefore be necessary for us (to show our travelling) to
examine this subject fully, and tell you how it comes to pass, that a
man of honour in Spain, though you offend him never so gallantly, stabs
you basely; in England, though you offend never so basely, challenges
fairly: the former kills you out of revenge; the latter out of good
breeding. But to probe the heart of a man in this particular to its
utmost thoughts and recesses, I must wait for the return of Pacolet, who
is now attending a gentleman lately in a duel, and sometimes visits the
person by whose hand he received his wounds.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 13.

Letters from Vienna of the 8th instant say, there has been a journal of
the marches and actions of the King of Sweden, from the beginning of
January to the 11th of April, N.S., communicated by the Swedish
Ministers to that Court. These advices inform, that his Swedish Majesty
entered the territories of Muscovy in February last with the main body
of his army, in order to oblige the enemy to a general engagement; but
that the Muscovites declining a battle, and a universal thaw having
rendered the rivers unpassable, the king returned into Ukrania. There
are mentioned several rencounters between considerable detachments of
the Swedish and Russian armies. Marshal Heister intended to take his
leave of the Court on the day after the date of these letters, and put
himself at the head of the army in Hungary. The malcontents had
attempted to send in a supply of provisions into Neuheusel; but their
design was disappointed by the Germans.

Advices from Berlin of the 15th instant, N.S., say, that his Danish
Majesty having received an invitation from the King of Prussia to an
interview, designed to come to Potsdam within few days; and that King
Augustus resolved to accompany him thither. To avoid all difficulties in
ceremony, the three kings, and all the company who shall have the honour
to sit with them at table, are to draw lots, and take precedence

They write from Hamburg of the 18th instant, N.S., that some particular
letters from Dantzic speak of a late action between the Swedes and
Muscovites near Jaroslaw; but that engagement being mentioned from no
other place, there is not much credit given to this intelligence.

We hear from Brussels, by letters, dated the 20th, that on the 14th in
the evening the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene arrived at
Courtray, with a design to proceed the day following to Lille, in the
neighbourhood of which city the confederate army was to rendezvous the
same day. Advices from Paris inform us, that the Marshal de Bezons is
appointed to command in Dauphiné; and that the Duke of Berwick is set
out for Spain, with a design to follow the fortunes of the Duke of
Anjou, in case the French king should comply with the late demands of
the Allies.

The Court of France has sent a circular letter to all the governors of
the provinces, to recommend to their consideration his Majesty's late
conduct in the affair of peace. It is thought fit in that epistle, to
condescend to a certain appeal to the people, whether it is consistent
with the dignity of the crown, or the French name, to submit to the
preliminaries demanded by the confederates? The letter dwells upon the
unreasonableness of the Allies, in requiring, that his Majesty should
assist in dethroning his grandson, and treats this particular in
language more suitable to it, as it is a topic of oratory, than a real
circumstance, on which the interests of nations, and reasons of State,
which affect all Europe, are concerned.

The close of this memorial seems to prepare the people to expect all
events, attributing the confidence of the enemy to the goodness of their
troops; but acknowledging, that his sole dependence is upon the
intervention of Providence.

[Footnote 293: See No. 26.]

[Footnote 294: Venice, where mercenaries were employed for fighting

[Footnote 295: The City train-bands were often the subject of ridicule
by the wits. See "Harleian Misc." i. 206, Cowper's "John Gilpin," and
Nos. 38, 41. Tothill Fields, Westminster, and the Artillery Ground,
Finsbury, were the usual exercising-grounds for the train-bands.]

[Footnote 296: The Compter was a prison for the city of London, where
debtors and others were confined.]

[Footnote 297: Steele wrote at length in the _Spectator_ (No. 436) of a
trial of skill in the noble art of self-defence at Hockley-in-the-Hole;
and in No. 630 there is an allusion to the gladiators of
Hockley-in-the-Hole. In the "Beggar's Opera," Mrs. Peachum says: "You
should to Hockley-in-the-Hole and to Marybone, child, to learn valour;
there are the schools that have bred so many brave men." As to the other
sports at the Bear Garden, see No. 134, and Gay's "Trivia," ii. 407-12:

    "When thro' the town, with slow and solemn air,
    Led by the nostril, walks the muzzled bear;
    Behind him moves, majestically dull,
    The pride of Hockley-hole, the surly bull;
    Learn hence the periods of the week to name:
    Mondays and Thursdays are the days of game."

There were seats, at half a crown and upwards, for the quality; the
neighbourhood of the Bear Garden was infested by thieves. The following
are specimens of the advertisements common about 1709: "At the
Bear-garden, in Hockley in the Hole. A trial of skill, to be performed
between two profound masters of the noble science of defence, on
Wednesday next, the 13th of July, 1702, at two o'clock precisely. I
George Gray, born in the city of Norwich, who has fought in most parts
of the West Indies, viz., Jamaica, Barbadoes, and several other parts of
the world, in all twenty-five times upon the stage, and was never yet
worsted; and am now lately come to London, do invite James Harris to
meet, and exercise at the following weapons, back-sword, sword and
dagger, sword and buckler, single falchon, and case of falchons. I James
Harris, master of the said noble science of defence, who formerly rid in
the Horse-guards, and hath fought 110 prizes, and never left a stage to
any man, will not fail (God willing) to meet this brave and bold
inviter, at the time and place appointed, desiring sharp swords, and
from him no favour. No person to be upon the stage, but the seconds.
_Vivat Regina_."

"At the Bear-garden in Hockley in the Hole, near Clerkenwell Green,
1710. This is to give notice to all gentlemen, gamesters, and others,
that on this present Monday is a match to be fought by two dogs, one
from Newgate-market, against one from Honey-lane market, at a bull, for
a guinea to be spent, five let-goes out of hand, which goes fairest and
fastest in, wins all. Likewise, a green bull to be baited, which was
never baited before; and a bull to be turned loose with fireworks all
over him. Also a mad ass to be baited. With a variety of bull-baiting
and bear-baiting, and a dog to be drawn up with fireworks. To begin
exactly at three of the clock."]

No. 29. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, June 14_, to _Thursday, June 16, 1709._

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, June 14.

Having a very solid respect for human nature, however it is distorted
from its natural make, by affectation, humour, custom, misfortune, or
vice, I do apply myself to my friends to help me in raising arguments
for preserving it in all its individuals, as long as it is permitted. To
one of my letters on this subject, I have received the following


"In answer to your question, why men of sense, virtue, and experience,
are seen still to comply with that ridiculous custom of duelling, I must
desire you to reflect, that custom has dished up in ruffs the wisest
heads of our ancestors, and put the best of the present age into huge
falbala periwigs.[299] Men of sense would not impose such encumbrances
on themselves; but be glad they might show their faces decently in
public upon easier terms. If then such men appear reasonably slaves to
the fashion, in what regards the figure of their persons, we ought not
to wonder, that they are at least so in what seems to touch their
reputations. Besides, you can't be ignorant, that dress and chivalry
have been always encouraged by the ladies, as the two principal branches
of gallantry. It is to avoid being sneered at for his singularity, and
from a desire to appear more agreeable to his mistress, that a wise,
experienced, and polite man, complies with the dress commonly received,
and is prevailed upon to violate his reason and principles, in hazarding
his life and estate by a tilt, as well as suffering his pleasures to be
constrained and soured by the constant apprehension of a quarrel. This
is the more surprising, because men of the most delicate sense and
principles have naturally in other cases a particular repugnance in
accommodating themselves to the maxims of the world: but one may easily
distinguish the man that is affected with beauty, and the reputation of
a tilt, from him who complies with both, merely as they are imposed upon
him by custom; for in the former you will remark an air of vanity and
triumph; whereas when the latter appears in a long Duvillier full of
powder, or has decided a quarrel by the sword, you may perceive in his
face, that he appeals to custom for an excuse. I think it may not be
improper to inquire into the genealogy of this chimerical monster,
called a 'duel', which I take to be an illegitimate species of the
ancient knight-errantry. By the laws of this whim, your heroic person,
or man of gallantry, was indispensably obliged to starve in armour a
certain number of years in the chase of monsters, encounter them at the
peril of his life, and suffer great hardships, in order to gain the
affection of the fair lady, and qualify himself for assuming the
_belair_, that is, of a pretty fellow, or man of honour according to the
fashion: but since the publishing of 'Don Quixote' and extinction of the
race of dragons, which Suetonius says happened in that of Wantley,[300]
the gallant and heroic spirits of these latter times have been under the
necessity of creating new chimerical monsters to entertain themselves
with, by way of single combats, as the only proofs they are able to give
their own sex, and the ladies, that they are in all points men of nice
honour. But to do justice to the ancient and real monsters, I must
observe, that they never molested those who were not of a humour to hunt
for them in the woods and deserts; whereas on the contrary, our modern
monsters are so familiarly admitted and entertained in all the Courts
and cities of Europe (except France) that one can scarce be in the most
humanised society without risking one's life; the people of the best
sort, and the fine gentlemen of the age, being so fond of them, that
they seldom appear in any public place without one. I have some further
considerations upon this subject, which, as you encourage me, shall be
communicated to you, by, sir, a cousin but once removed from the best
family of the Staffs, namely, "Sir,

"Your humble Servant,

"Kinsman and Friend,

                                        "TIM SWITCH."

It is certain, Mr. Switch has hit upon the true source of this evil; and
that it proceeds only from the force of custom that we contradict
ourselves in half the particulars and occurrences of life. But such a
tyranny in love, which the fair impose upon us, is a little too severe,
that we must demonstrate our affection for them by no certain proof but
hatred to one another, or come at them (only as one does to an estate)
by survivorship. This way of application to gain a lady's heart, is
taking her as we do towns and castles, by distressing the place, and
letting none come near them without our pass. Were such a lover once to
write the truth of his heart, and let her know his whole thoughts, he
would appear indeed to have a passion for her; but it would hardly be
called love. The billet-doux would run to this purpose:


"I have so tender a regard for you and your interests, that I'll knock
any man in the head whom I observe to be of my mind, and like you. Mr.
Truman the other day looked at you in so languishing a manner, that I am
resolved to run him through to-morrow morning: this, I think, he
deserves for his guilt in admiring you; than which I cannot have a
greater reason for murdering him, except it be that you also approve
him. Whoever says he dies for you, I will make his words good, for I
will kill him. I am,


"Your most obedient,

"Most humble Servant."

From my own Apartment, June 14.

I am just come hither at ten at night, and have ever since six been in
the most celebrated, though most nauseous, company in town: the two
leaders of the society were a critic and a wit. These two gentlemen are
great opponents upon all occasions, not discerning that they are the
nearest each other in temper and talents of any two classes of men in
the world; for to profess judgment, and to profess wit, both arise from
the same failure, which is want of judgment. The poverty of the critic
this way proceeds from the abuse of his faculty; that of the wit from
the neglect of it. It is a particular observation I have always made,
that of all mortals, a critic is the silliest; for by inuring himself
to examine all things, whether they are of consequence or not, be never
looks upon anything but with a design of passing sentence upon it; by
which means, he is never a companion, but always a censor. This makes
him earnest upon trifles; and dispute on the most indifferent occasions
with vehemence. If he offers to speak or write, that talent which should
approve the work of the other faculties, prevents their operation. He
comes upon action in armour; but without weapons: he stands in safety;
but can gain no glory. The wit on the other hand has been hurried so
long away by imagination only, that judgment seems not to have ever been
one of his natural faculties. This gentleman takes himself to be as much
obliged to be merry, as the other to be grave. A thorough critic is a
sort of Puritan in the polite world. As an enthusiast in religion
stumbles at the ordinary occurrences of life, if he cannot quote
scripture examples on the occasion; so the critic is never safe in his
speech or writing, without he has among the celebrated writers an
authority for the truth of his sentence. You will believe we had a very
good time with these brethren, who were so far out of the dress of their
native country, and so lost to its dialect, that they were as much
strangers to themselves, as to their relation to each other. They took
up the whole discourse; sometimes the critic grew passionate, and when
reprimanded by the wit for any trip or hesitation in his voice, he would
answer, Mr. Dryden makes such a character on such an occasion break off
in the same manner; so that the stop was according to nature, and as a
man in a passion should do. The wit, who is as far gone in letters as
himself, seems to be at a loss to answer such an apology; and concludes
only, that though his anger is justly vented, it wants fire in the
utterance. If wit is to be measured by the circumstances of time and
place, there is no man has generally so little of that talent, as he who
is a wit by profession. What he says, instead of arising from the
occasion, has an occasion invented to bring it in. Thus he is new for no
other reason, but that he talks like nobody else; but has taken up a
method of his own, without commerce of dialogue with other people. The
lively Jasper Dactyle[301] is one of this character. He seems to have
made a vow to be witty to his life's end. When you meet him, "What do
you think," says he, "I have been entertaining myself with?" Then out
comes a premeditated turn, to which it is to no purpose to answer; for
he goes on in the same strain of thought he designed without your
speaking. Therefore I have a general answer to all he can say; as, "Sure
there never was any creature had so much fire!" Spondee, who is a
critic, is seldom out of this fine man's company. They have no manner of
affection for each other, but keep together, like Novel and Oldfox in
"The Plain Dealer,"[302] because they show each other. I know several of
sense who can be diverted with this couple; but I see no curiosity in
the thing, except it be, that Spondee is dull, and seems dull; but
Dactyle is heavy with a brisk face. It must be owned also, that Dactyle
has almost vigour enough to be a coxcomb; but Spondee, by the lowness of
his constitution, is only a blockhead.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 15.

We have no particulars of moment since our last, except it be, that the
copy of the following original letter came by the way of Ostend. It is
said to have been found in the closet of Monsieur Chamillard, the late
Secretary of State of France, since his disgrace. It was signed by two
brothers of the famous Cavallier,[303] who led the Cevennois, and had a
personal interview with the king, as well as a capitulation to lay down
his arms, and leave the dominions of France. There are many other names
to it; among whom, is the chief of the family of the Marquis
Guiscard.[304] It is not yet known, whether Monsieur Chamillard had any
real design to favour the Protestant interest, or only thought to place
himself at the head of that people, to make himself considerable enough
to oppose his enemies at Court, and reinstate himself in power there.


"We have read your Majesty's[305] letter to the governors of your
provinces, with instructions what sentiments to insinuate into the minds
of your people: but as you have always acted upon the maxim, that we
were made for you, and not you for us, we must take leave to assure your
Majesty, that we are exactly of the contrary opinion, and must desire
you to send for your grandson home, and acquaint him, that you now know
by experience, absolute power is only a vertigo in the brain of princes,
which for a time may quicken their motion, and double in their diseased
sight the instances of power above them; but must end in their fall and
destruction. Your memorial speaks a good father of your family, but a
very ill one of your people. Your Majesty is reduced to hear truth when
you are obliged to speak it: there is no governing any but savages by
any methods but their own consent, which you seem to acknowledge, in
appealing to us for our opinion of your conduct in treating of peace.
Had your people been always of your council, the King of France had
never been reduced so low, as to acknowledge his arms were fallen into
contempt. But since it is thus, we must ask, 'How is any man of France,
but they of the House of Bourbon, the better that Philip is King of
Spain?' We have outgrown that folly of placing our happiness in your
Majesty's being called, The Great; therefore as you and we are all alike
bankrupts,[306] and undone, let us not deceive ourselves, but compound
with our adversaries, and not talk like their equals. Your Majesty must
forgive us that we cannot wish you success, or lend you help; for if you
lose one battle more, we may have a hand in the peace you make; and
doubt not but your Majesty's faith in treaties will require the
ratification of the states of your kingdoms. So we bid you heartily
farewell, till we have the honour to meet you assembled in Parliament.
This happy expectation makes us willing to wait the event of another
campaign, from whence we hope to be raised from the misery of slaves, to
the privileges of subjects. We are,

"Your Majesty's

"Truly faithful, and

"Loyal Subjects, &c."

[Footnote 298: See Nos. 25, 26, 28.]

[Footnote 299: The full-bottomed dress wigs. Another name was
"Duvillier," used below.]

[Footnote 300: See Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry," ed.
Wheatley, iii. 279. "The Dragon of Wantley" is a satire on the old
ballads of chivalry.]

[Footnote 301: See Nos. 3, 63.]

[Footnote 302: In the list of characters, Wycherley defines Novel as "a
pert railing coxcomb, and an admirer of novelties," and Major Oldfox as
"an old impertinent fop, given to scribbling."]

[Footnote 303: James Cavallier was the celebrated leader of the French
Protestants in the Cevennes, when these warlike but enthusiastic
mountaineers opposed the tyranny of Lewis XIV. and made a vigorous stand
against the whole power of France, which for a long time laboured in
vain to subdue them. It was in the heat of this gallant struggle to
preserve themselves from religious slavery, that the first seeds of that
wild fanaticism were sown, which afterwards grew up to such an amazing
extravagance, and distinguished them, by the name of French Prophets,
among the most extraordinary enthusiasts that are to be found in the
history of human folly. Cavallier, who found in his latter days an
hospitable asylum in Ireland, published, in 1726, "Memoirs of the Wars
of the Cevennes, under Col. Cavallier, in defence of the Protestants
persecuted in that country, and of the peace concluded between him and
the Mareschal Duke of Villars; of his conference with the King of
France, after the conclusion of the peace; with letters relating
thereto, from Mareschal Villars, and Chamillard, secretary of state."

[Footnote 304: It was a younger brother, an abbé, who used his pen and
sword against Lewis XIV. He was employed in England, had preferment in
the army, and a pension; but, being found a useless villain, he was soon
discarded. He then endeavoured to make his peace with France, by acting
here as a spy; but being detected, he was brought before the Cabinet
Council, to be examined, March 8, 1711. In the course of his examination
he took an opportunity to stab Mr. Harley. Of the wounds given to this
assassin on that occasion, he died in Newgate soon after. See the
"Narrative of Guiscard's Examination," by Mrs. Manley, from facts
communicated to her by Dr. Swift. See also _Examiner_, No. 32.

[Footnote 305: Soon after the conclusion of the late treaty of peace,
the French king dispersed a letter through his dominions, wherein he
shows the reasons why he could not ratify the preliminaries. _Vide_ the
public newspapers of this date. (Steele.)]

[Footnote 306: N.B.--Mons. Bernard and the chief bankers of France
became bankrupts about this time (Steele).--See news paragraph in Nos.
3, 5, 9.]

No. 30. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, June 16_, to _Saturday, June 18, 1709._

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, June 16.

The vigilance, the anxiety, the tenderness, which I have for the good
people of England, I am persuaded will in time be much commended; but I
doubt whether they will ever be rewarded. However, I must go on
cheerfully in my work of reformation: that being my great design, I am
studious to prevent my labours increasing upon me; therefore am
particularly observant of the temper and inclinations of childhood and
youth, that we may not give vice and folly supplies from the growing
generation. It is hardly to be imagined how useful this study is, and
what great evils or benefits arise from putting us in our tender years
to what we are fit, or unfit: therefore on Tuesday last (with a design
to sound their inclinations) I took three lads who are under my
guardianship a rambling, in a hackney-coach, to show them the town, as
the lions,[307] the tombs,[308] Bedlam,[309] and the other places which
are entertainments to raw minds, because they strike forcibly on the
fancy. The boys are brothers, one of sixteen, the other of fourteen, the
other of twelve. The first was his father's darling, the second his
mother's, and the third is mine, who am their uncle. Mr. William is a
lad of true genius; but being at the upper end of a great school, and
having all the lads below him, his arrogance is insupportable. If I
begin to show a little of my Latin, he immediately interrupts: "Uncle,
under favour, that which you say is not understood in that manner."
"Brother," says my boy Jack, "you do not show your manners much in
contradicting my Uncle Isaac." "You queer cur," says Mr. William, "do
you think my uncle takes any notice of such a dull rogue as you are?"
Mr. William goes on; "He is the most stupid of all my mother's children:
he knows nothing of his book: when he should mind that, he is hiding or
hoarding his taws and marbles, or laying up farthings. His way of
thinking is, four and twenty farthings make sixpence, and two sixpences
a shilling, two shillings and sixpence half a crown, and two half-crowns
five shillings. So within these two months, the close hunks has scraped
up twenty shillings, and we'll make him spend it all before he comes
home." Jack immediately claps his hands into both pockets, and turns as
pale as ashes. There is nothing touches a parent (and such I am to Jack)
so nearly, as a provident temper. This lad has in him the true temper
for a good husband, a kind father, and an honest executor. All the great
people you see make considerable figures on the 'Change, in Court, and
sometimes in Senates, are such as in reality have no greater faculty
than what may be called human instinct, which is a natural tendency to
their own preservation, and that of their friends, without being capable
of striking out of the road for adventures. There is Sir William Scrip
was of this sort of capacity from his childhood: he has bought the
country round him, and makes a bargain better than Sir Harry Wildfire
with all his wit and humour. Sir Harry never wants money but he comes to
Scrip, laughs at him half an hour, and then gives bond for the other
thousand. The close men are incapable of placing merit anywhere but in
their pence, and therefore gain it; while others, who have larger
capacities, are diverted from the pursuit by enjoyments, which can be
supported only by that cash which they despise; and therefore are in the
end, slaves to their inferiors both in fortune and understanding. I once
heard a man of excellent sense observe, that more affairs in the world
failed by being in the hands of men of too large capacities for their
business, than by being in the conduct of such as wanted abilities to
execute them. Jack therefore being of a plodding make, shall be a
citizen; and I design him to be the refuge of the family in their
distress, as well as their jest in prosperity. His brother Will, shall
go to Oxford with all speed, where, if he does not arrive at being a man
of sense, he will soon be informed wherein he is a coxcomb. There is in
that place such a true spirit of raillery and humour, that if they can't
make you a wise man, they will certainly let you know you are a fool,
which is all my cousin wants to cease to be so. Thus having taken these
two out of the way, I have leisure to look at my third lad. I observe in
the young rogue a natural subtilty of mind, which discovers itself
rather in forbearing to declare his thoughts on any occasion, than in
any visible way of exerting himself in discourse. For which reason I
will place him where, if he commits no faults, he may go farther than
those in other stations, though they excel in virtues. The boy is well
fashioned, and will easily fall into a graceful manner; wherefore, I
have a design to make him a page to a great lady of my acquaintance; by
which means he will be well skilled in the common modes of life, and
make a greater progress in the world by that knowledge, than with the
greatest qualities without it. A good mien in a Court will carry a man
greater lengths than a good understanding in any other place. We see a
world of pains taken, and the best years of life spent, in collecting a
set of thoughts in a college for the conduct of life; and after all, the
man so qualified shall hesitate in his speech to a good suit of clothes,
and want common sense before an agreeable woman. Hence it is, that
wisdom, valour, justice, and learning, can't keep a man in countenance
that is possessed with these excellences, if he wants that less art of
life and behaviour, called "good breeding." A man endowed with great
perfections without this, is like one who has his pockets full of gold,
but always wants change for his ordinary occasions. Will. Courtly is a
living instance of this truth, and has had the same education which I am
giving my nephew. He never spoke a thing but what was said before; and
yet can converse with the wittiest men without being ridiculous. Among
the learned, he does not appear ignorant; nor with the wise, indiscreet.
Living in conversation from his infancy, makes him nowhere at a loss;
and a long familiarity with the persons of men, is in a manner of the
same service to him, as if he knew their arts. As ceremony is the
invention of wise men to keep fools at a distance, so good breeding is
an expedient to make fools and wise men equals.

Will's Coffee-house, June 17.

The suspension of the playhouse[310] has made me have nothing to send
you from hence; but calling here this evening, I found the party I
usually sit with, upon the business of writing, and examining what was
the handsomest style in which to address women, and write letters of
gallantry. Many were the opinions which were immediately declared on
this subject: some were for a certain softness; some for I know not what
delicacy; others for something inexpressibly tender: when it came to me,
I said there was no rule in the world to be made for writing letters,
but that of being as near what you speak face to face as you can; which
is so great a truth, that I am of opinion, writing has lost more
mistresses than any one mistake in the whole legend of love. For when
you write to a lady for whom you have a solid and honourable love, the
great idea you have of her, joined to a quick sense of her absence,
fills your mind with a sort of tenderness, that gives your language too
much the air of complaint, which is seldom successful. For a man may
flatter himself as he pleases, but he will find, that the women have
more understanding in their own affairs than we have, and women of
spirit are not to be won by mourners. Therefore he that can keep
handsomely within rules, and support the carriage of a companion to his
mistress, is much more likely to prevail, than he who lets her see, the
whole relish of his life depends upon her. If possible therefore divert
your mistress, rather than sigh to her. The pleasant man she will desire
for her own sake; but the languishing lover has nothing to hope from but
her pity. To show the difference I produced two letters a lady gave me,
which had been writ to her by two gentlemen who pretended to her, but
were both killed the next day after the date at the battle of Almanza.
One of them was a mercurial gay-humoured man; the other a man of a
serious, but a great and gallant spirit. Poor Jack Careless! This is his
letter: you see how it is folded: the air of it is so negligent, one
might have read half of it by peeping into it, without breaking it open.
He had no exactness.


"It is a very pleasant circumstance I am in, that while I should be
thinking of the good company we are to meet within a day or two, where
we shall go to loggerheads, my thoughts are running upon a fair enemy in
England. I was in hopes I had left you there; but you follow the camp,
though I have endeavoured to make some of our leaguer ladies drive you
out of the field. All my comfort is, you are more troublesome to my
colonel than myself: I permit you to visit me only now and then; but he
downright keeps you. I laugh at his Honour as far as his gravity will
allow me; but I know him to be a man of too much merit to succeed with a
woman. Therefore defend your heart as well as you can, I shall come home
this winter irresistibly dressed, and with quite a new foreign air. And
so I had like to say, I rest, but alas! I remain,


"Your most obedient,

"Most humble Servant,

                                        "JOHN CARELESS."

Now for Colonel Constant's epistle; you see it is folded and directed
with the utmost care.


"I do myself the honour to write to you this evening, because I believe
to-morrow will be a day of battle, and something forebodes in my breast
that I shall fall in it. If it proves so, I hope you will hear, I have
done nothing below a man who had a love of his country, quickened by a
passion for a woman of honour. If there be anything noble in going to a
certain death; if there be any merit, that I meet it with pleasure, by
promising myself a place in your esteem; if your applause, when I am no
more, is preferable to the most glorious life without you: I say, madam,
if any of these considerations can have weight with you, you will give
me a kind place in your memory, which I prefer to the glory of Cæsar. I
hope, this will be read, as it is writ, with tears."

The beloved lady is a woman of a sensible mind; but she has confessed
to me, that after all her true and solid value for Constant, she had
much more concern for the loss of Careless. Those great and serious
spirits have something equal to the adversities they meet with, and
consequently lessen the objects of pity. Great accidents seem not cut
out so much for men of familiar characters, which makes them more easily
pitied, and soon after beloved. Add to this, that the sort of love which
generally succeeds, is a stranger to awe and distance. I asked Romana,
whether of the two she should have chosen had they survived? She said,
she knew she ought to have taken Constant; but believed she should have
chosen Careless.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 17.

Letters from Lisbon of the 9th instant, N.S., say, that the enemy's
army, having blocked up Olivenza, was posted on the Guadiana. The
Portuguese are very apprehensive that the garrison of that place, though
it consists of five of the best regiments of their army, will be obliged
to surrender, if not timely relieved, they not being supplied with
provisions for more than six weeks. Hereupon their generals held a
council of war on the 4th instant, wherein it was concluded to advance
towards Badajos. With this design the army decamped on the 5th from
Jerumena, and marched to Cancaon. It is hoped, that if the enemy follow
their motions, they may have opportunity to put a sufficient quantity of
provision and ammunition into Olivenza.

Mr. Bickerstaff gives notice to all persons that dress themselves as
they please, without regard to decorum (as with blue and red stockings
in mourning; tucked cravats, and nightcap wigs, before people of the
first quality) that he has yet received no fine for indulging them in
that liberty, and that he expects their compliance with this demand, or
that they go home immediately and shift themselves. This is further to
acquaint the town, that the report that the hosiers, toymen, and
milliners, have compounded with Mr. Bickerstaff for tolerating such
enormities, is utterly false and scandalous.

[Footnote 307: At the Tower of London. The Tower menagerie was one of
the sights of London until its removal in 1834. See Addison's
_Freeholder_; No. 47.]

[Footnote 308: In Westminster Abbey.]

[Footnote 309: The Priory of Bethlem, in St. Botolph Without,
Bishopsgate, was given by Henry VIII. to the Corporation of London, and
was from thenceforth used as a hospital for lunatics. In 1675 a new
hospital was built near London Wall, in Moorfields, at a cost of
£17,000. See Hogarth's "Rake's Progress," Plate 8. In No. 127, Steele
calls Bedlam "that magnificent palace."]

[Footnote 310: Drury Lane Theatre was closed on June 6, 1709, by order
of the Lord Chamberlain, in consequence of Rich's ill-treatment of the

No. 31. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, June 18_, to _Tuesday, June 21, 1709._

       *       *       *       *       *

Grecian Coffee-house, June 18.

In my dissertation against the custom of single combat,[311] it has been
objected, that there is not learning, or much reading, shown therein,
which is the very life and soul of all treatises; for which reason,
being always easy to receive admonitions, and reform my errors, I
thought fit to consult this learned board on the subject. Upon proposing
some doubts, and desiring their assistance, a very hopeful young
gentleman, my relation, who is to be called to the bar within a year and
a half at farthest, told me, that he had ever since I first mentioned
duelling turned his head that way; and that he was principally moved
thereto, by reason that he thought to follow the circuits in the North
of England and South of Scotland, and to reside mostly at his own estate
at Landbadernawz[312] in Cardiganshire. The northern Britons and
southern Scots are a warm people, and the Welsh a nation of gentlemen;
so that it behoved him to understand well the science of quarrelling.
The young gentleman proceeded admirably well, and gave the board an
account, that he had read Fitzherbert's "Grand Abridgment,"[313] and had
found, that duelling is a very ancient part of the law: for when a man
is sued, be it for his life or his land, the person that joins the
issue, whether plaintiff or defendant, may put the trial upon the duel.
Further he argued, under favour of the court, that when the issue is
joined by the duel in treason or other capital crimes, the parties
accused and accuser must fight in their own proper persons: but if the
dispute be for lands, you may hire a champion at
Hockley-in-the-Hole,[314] for anywhere else. This part of the law we had
from the Saxons; and they had it, as also the trial by ordeal, from the
Laplanders.[315] "It is indeed agreed," said he, "the Southern and
Eastern nations never knew anything of it; for though the ancient Romans
would scold, and call names filthily, yet there is not an example of a
challenge that ever passed amongst them." His quoting the Eastern
nations, put another gentleman in mind of an account he had from a
boatswain of an East Indiaman; which was, that a Chinese had tricked and
bubbled him, and that when he came to demand satisfaction the next
morning, and like a true tar of honour called him "Son of a whore,"
"Liar," "Dog," and other rough appellatives used by persons conversant
with winds and waves; the Chinese, with great tranquillity, desired him
not to come aboard fasting, nor put himself in a heat, for it would
prejudice his health. Thus the East knows nothing of this gallantry.
There sat at the left of the table a person of a venerable aspect, who
asserted, that half the impositions which are put upon these ages, have
been transmitted by writers who have given too great pomp and
magnificence to the exploits of the ancient Bear Garden, and made their
gladiators, by fabulous tradition, greater than Gorman[316] and others
of Great Britain. He informed the company, that he had searched
authorities for what he said, and that a learned antiquary, Humphrey
Scarecrow, Esq., of Hockley-in-the-Hole, recorder to the Bear Garden,
was then writing a discourse on the subject. It appears by the best
accounts, says this gentleman, that the high names which are used among
us with so great veneration, were no other than stage-fighters, and
worthies of the ancient Bear Garden. The renowned Hercules always
carried a quarterstaff, and was from thence called Claviger. A learned
chronologist is about proving what wood this staff was made of, whether
oak, ash, or crab-tree. The first trial of skill he ever performed, was
with one Cacus, a deer-stealer; the next was with Typhonus, a giant of
forty feet four inches. Indeed it was unhappily recorded, that meeting
at last with a sailor's wife, she made his staff of prowess serve her
own use, and dwindle away to a distaff: she clapped him on an old tar
jacket of her husband's; so that this great hero drooped like a scabbed
sheep. Him his contemporary Theseus succeeded in the Bear Garden, which
honour he held for many years: this grand duellist went to hell, and was
the only one of that sort that ever came back again. As for Achilles and
Hector (as the ballads of those times mention), they were pretty smart
fellows; they fought at sword and buckler; but the former had much the
better of it; his mother, who was an oyster-woman, having got a
blacksmith of Lemnos to make her son's weapons. There is a pair of
trusty Trojans in a song of Virgil's, that were famous for handling
their gauntlets, Dares, and Entellus;[317] and indeed it does appear,
they fought [for] no sham prize. What arms the great Alexander used, is
uncertain; however, the historian mentions, when he attacked Thalestris,
it was only at single rapier; but the weapon soon failed; for it was
always observed, that the Amazons had a sort of enchantment about them,
which made the blade of the weapon, though of never so good metal, at
every home push, lose its edge and grow feeble. The Roman Bear Garden
was abundantly more magnificent than anything Greece could boast of; it
flourished most under those delights of mankind, Nero and Domitian: at
one time it is recorded, four hundred senators entered the list, and
thought it an honour to be cudgelled and quarterstaffed.[318] I observe,
the Lanistaé were the people chiefly employed, which makes me imagine
our Bear Garden copied much after this, the butchers being the greatest
men in it. Thus far the glory and honour of the Bear Garden stood
secure, till fate, that irresistible ruler of sublunary things, in that
universal ruin of arts and politer learning, by those savage people the
Goths and Vandals, destroyed and levelled it to the ground. Thus fell
the grandeur and bravery of the Roman state, till at last the warlike
genius (but accompanied with more courtesy) revived in the Christian
world under those puissant champions, St. George, St. Denis, and other
dignified heroes: one killed his dragon, another his lion, and were all
afterwards canonised for it, having red letters before them to
illustrate their martial temper.[319] The Spanish nation, it must be
owned, were devoted to gallantry and chivalry above the rest of the
world. What a great figure does that great name, Don Quixote, make in
history? How shines this glorious star in the Western world? O renowned
hero! O mirror of knighthood!

    _Thy brandished whinyard all the world defies,
    And kills as sure as del Tobosa's eyes._

I am forced to break off abruptly, being sent for in haste, with my
rule, to measure the degree of an affront, before the two gentlemen (who
are now in their breeches and pumps ready to engage behind Montague
House[320]) have made a pass.

From my own Apartment, June 18.

It is an unreasonable objection I find against my labours, that my stock
is not all my own, and therefore the kind reception I have met with is
not so deserved as it ought to be. But I hope, though it be never so
true that I am obliged to my friends for laying their cash in my hands,
since I give it them again when they please, and leave them at their
liberty to call it home, it will not hurt me with my gentle readers. Ask
all the merchants who act upon consignments, where is the necessity (if
they answer readily what their correspondents draw) of their being
wealthy themselves? Ask the greatest bankers, if all the men they deal
with were to draw at once, what would be the consequence? But indeed a
country friend has writ me a letter which gives me great mortification;
wherein I find I am so far from expecting a supply from thence, that
some have not heard of me, and the rest do not understand me. His
epistle is as follows:[321]


"I thought when I left the town to have raised your fame here, and
helped you to support it by intelligence from hence; but alas! they had
never heard of the _Tatler_ until I brought down a set. I lent them from
house to house; but they asked me what they meant. I began to enlighten
them, by telling who and who were supposed to be intended by the
characters drawn. I said for instance, Chloe[322] and Clarissa are two
eminent toasts. A gentleman (who keeps his greyhound and gun, and one
would think might know better) told me, he supposed they were papishes,
for their names were not English: 'Then,' said he, 'why do you call live
people "toasts"?' I answered, that was a new name found out by the wits,
to make a lady have the same effect as burridge[323] in the glass when a
man is drinking. 'But,' says I, 'sir, I perceive this is to you all
bamboozling; why you look as if you were Don Diego'd[324] to the tune of
a thousand pounds.' All this good language was lost upon him: he only
stared, though he is as good a scholar as any layman in the town, except
the barber. Thus, cousin, you must be content with London for the centre
of your wealth and fame; we have no relish for you. Wit must describe
its proper circumference, and not go beyond it, lest (like little boys,
when they straggle out of their own parish), it may wander to places
where it is not known, and be lost. Since it is so, you must excuse me
that I am forced at a visit to sit silent, and only lay up what
excellent things pass at such conversations.

"This evening I was with a couple of young ladies; one of them has the
character of the prettiest company, yet really I thought her but silly;
the other, who talked a great deal less, I observed to have
understanding. The lady who is reckoned such a companion among her
acquaintance, has only, with a very brisk air, a knack of saying the
commonest things: the other, with a sly serious one, says home things
enough. The first (Mistress Giddy) is very quick; but the second (Mrs.
Slim) fell into Giddy's own style, and was as good company as she. Giddy
happens to drop her glove; Slim reaches it to her: 'Madam,' says Giddy,
'I hope you'll have a better office.' Upon which Slim immediately
repartees, and sits in her lap, and cries, 'Are you not sorry for my
heaviness?' This sly wench pleased me to see how she hit her height of
understanding so well. We sat down to supper. Says Giddy, mighty
prettily, 'Two hands in a dish and one in a purse': says Slim, 'Ay,
madam, the more the merrier; but the fewer the better cheer.' I quickly
took the hint, and was as witty and talkative as they. Says I,

    "_'He that will not when he may,
    When he will he shall have nay;'_

and so helped myself. Giddy turns about, 'What, have you found your
tongue?' 'Yes,' says I, 'it is manners to speak when I am spoken to; but
your greatest talkers are little doers, and the still sow eats up all
the broth.' 'Ha! ha!' says Giddy, 'one would think he had nothing in
him, and do you hear how he talks when he pleases.' I grew immediately
roguish and pleasant to a degree in the same strain. Slim, who knew how
good company we had been, cries, 'You'll certainly print this bright

It is so; and hereby you may see how small an appearance the prettiest
things said in company, make when in print.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 20.

A mail from Lisbon has brought advices of June the 12th, from the King
of Portugal's army encamped at Torre Allegada, which inform us, that the
general of the army called a court-martial on the 4th at the camp of
Gerumhena, where it was resolved to march with a design to attempt the
succour of Olivenza. Accordingly the army moved on the 5th, and marched
towards Badajos. Upon their approach, the Marquis de Bay detached so
great a party from the blockade of Olivenza, that the Marquis des Minas,
at the head of a large detachment, covered a great convoy of provisions
towards Olivenza, which threw in their stores, and marched back to the
main army, without molestation from the Spaniards. They add, that each
army must necessarily march into quarters within twenty days.

Whosoever can discover a surgeon's apprentice, who fell upon Mr.
Bickerstaff's messenger, or (as the printers call him) devil, going to
the press, and tore out of his hand part of his essay against duels, in
the fragments of which were the words, "You lie," and "Man of honour,"
taken up at the Temple Gate; and the words, "Perhaps,"--"May be
not,"--"By your leave, sir,"--and other terms of provocation, taken up
at the door of Young Man's Coffee-house,[325] shall receive satisfaction
from Mr. Morphew, besides a set of arguments to be spoken to any man in
a passion, which, if the said enraged man listens to, will prevent

Mr. Bickerstaff does hereby give notice, that he has taken the two
famous universities of this land under his immediate care, and does
hereby promise all tutors and pupils, that he will hear what can be said
of each side between them, and to correct them impartially, by placing
them in orders and classes in the learned world, according to their

[Footnote 311: See Nos. 25, 26, 28, 29.]

[Footnote 312: Probably meant for Llanbadern Vawr, if not a name coined
for the occasion.]

[Footnote 313: Sir Anthony Fitzherbert's book was published in 1514.]

[Footnote 314: See Nos. 28, 134.]

[Footnote 315: See Selden, "De Duello" (1610), p. 19.]

[Footnote 316: A prize-fighter mentioned in Lansdowne's epilogue to "The
Jew of Venice."]

[Footnote 317: "Æneid," v. 437 _seq._]

[Footnote 318: Suetonius, "Life of Nero," chap. 12.]

[Footnote 319: An allusion to the rubrics in Roman missals.]

[Footnote 320: The fields at the back of Montague House, Bloomsbury,
were a favourite place for duels in the first half of the eighteenth
century. Cf. _Spectator_, No. 91: "I shall be glad to meet you
immediately in Hyde Park or behind Montague House, or attend you to Barn
Elms, or any other fashionable place that's fit for a gentleman to die

[Footnote 321: It has been suggested, with some probability, that this
letter is by Swift.]

[Footnote 322: See No. 4.]

[Footnote 323: Borago was a plant formerly used as a cordial.]

[Footnote 324: See No. 21.]

[Footnote 325: Young Man's Coffee-house at Charing Cross, had a back
door into Spring Garden. It seems to have been specially frequented by

[Footnote 326: "Mr. Bickerstaff has received the advices from Clay Hill,
which, with all intelligence from honest Mr. Sturdy and others, shall
have their place in our future story" (folio).]


From _Tuesday, June 21_, to _Thursday, June 23, 1709._

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, June 22.

An answer to the following letter being absolutely necessary to be
despatched with all expedition, I must trespass upon all that come with
horary questions into my ante-chamber, to give the gentlemen my opinion.

#"_To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq._#

"_June 18_, 1709.


"I know not whether you ought to pity or laugh at me; for I am fallen
desperately in love with a professed Platonne, the most unaccountable
creature of her sex. To hear her talk seraphics, and run over
Norris,[327] and More,[328] and Milton,[329] and the whole set of
intellectual triflers, torments me heartily; for to a lover who
understands metaphors, all this pretty prattle of ideas gives very fine
views of pleasure, which only the dear declaimer prevents, by
understanding them literally. Why should she wish to be a cherubim, when
it is flesh and blood that makes her adorable? If I speak to her, that
is a high breach of the idea of intuition: if I offer at her hand or
lip, she shrinks from the touch like a sensitive plant, and would
contract herself into mere spirit. She calls her chariot, 'vehicle'; her
furbelowed scarf, 'pinions': her blue mant and petticoat is her 'azure
dress'; and her footman goes by the name of Oberon. It is my misfortune
to be six foot and a half high, two full spans between the shoulders,
thirteen inches diameter in the calves; and before I was in love, I had
a noble stomach, and usually went to bed sober with two bottles. I am
not quite six and twenty, and my nose is marked truly aquiline. For
these reasons, I am in a very particular manner her aversion. What shall
I do? Impudence itself cannot reclaim her. If I write miserable, she
reckons me among the children of perdition, and discards me her region:
if I assume the gross and substantial, she plays the real ghost with me,
and vanishes in a moment. I had hopes in the hypocrisy of her sex; but
perseverance makes it as bad as fixed aversion. I desire your opinion,
whether I may not lawfully play the Inquisition upon her, make use of a
little force, and put her to the rack and the torture, only to convince
her she has really fine limbs, without spoiling or distorting them. I
expect your directions, ere I proceed to dwindle and fall away with
despair; which at present I don't think advisable; because, if she
should recant, she may then hate me perhaps in the other extreme for my
tenuity. I am (with impatience) "Your most humble Servant,

                                        "CHARLES STURDY."

My patient has put his case with very much warmth, and represented it in
so lively a manner, that I see both his torment and tormentor with great
perspicuity. This order of platonic ladies are to be dealt with in a
peculiar manner from all the rest of the sex. Flattery is the general
way, and the way in this case; but it is not to be done grossly. Every
man that has wit, and humour, and raillery, can make a good flatterer
for woman in general; but a Platonne is not to be touched with
panegyric: she will tell you, it is a sensuality in the soul to be
delighted that way. You are not therefore to commend, but silently
consent to all she does, and says. You are to consider in her the scorn
of you is not humour, but opinion. There were some years since a set of
these ladies who were of quality, and gave out, that virginity was to be
their state of life during this mortal condition, and therefore resolved
to join their fortunes, and erect a nunnery. The place of residence was
pitched upon; and a pretty situation, full of natural falls and risings
of waters, with shady coverts, and flowery arbours, was approved by
seven of the founders. There were as many of our sex who took the
liberty to visit those mansions of intended severity; among others, a
famous rake of that time, who had the grave way to an excellence. He
came in first; but upon seeing a servant coming towards him, with a
design to tell him, this was no place for him or his companions, up goes
my grave impudence to the maid: "Young woman," said he, "if any of the
ladies are in the way on this side of the house, pray carry us on the
other side towards the gardens: we are, you must know, gentlemen that
are travelling England; after which we shall go into foreign parts,
where some of us have already been." Here he bows in the most humble
manner, and kissed the girl, who knew not how to behave to such a sort
of carriage. He goes on: "Now you must know we have an ambition to have
it to say, that we have a Protestant nunnery in England: but pray Mrs.
Betty--" "Sir," she replied, "my name is Susan, at your service." "Then
I heartily beg your pardon--" "No offence in the least," says she, "for
I have a cousin-german whose name is Betty." "Indeed," said he, "I
protest to you that was more than I knew, I spoke at random: but since
it happens that I was near in the right, give me leave to present this
gentleman to the favour of a civil salute." His friend advances, and so
on, till that they had all saluted her. By this means, the poor girl was
in the middle of the crowd of these fellows, at a loss what to do,
without courage to pass through them; and the Platonics, at several
peep-holes, pale, trembling, and fretting. Rake perceived they were
observed, and therefore took care to keep Suky in chat with questions
concerning their way of life; when appeared at last Madonella,[330] a
lady who had writ a fine book concerning the recluse life, and was the
projectrix of the foundation. She approaches into the hall; and Rake,
knowing the dignity of his own mien and aspect, goes deputy from his
company. She begins, "Sir, I am obliged to follow the servant, who was
sent out to know, what affair could make strangers press upon a solitude
which we, who are to inhabit this place, have devoted to Heaven and our
own thoughts?" "Madam," replies Rake, with an air of great distance,
mixed with a certain indifference, by which he could dissemble
dissimulation, "your great intention has made more noise in the world
than you design it should; and we travellers, who have seen many foreign
institutions of this kind, have a curiosity to see, in its first
rudiments, this seat of primitive piety; for such it must be called by
future ages, to the eternal honour of the founders. I have read
Madonella's excellent and seraphic discourse on this subject." The lady
immediately answers, "If what I have said could have contributed to
raise any thoughts in you that may make for the advancement of
intellectual and divine conversation, I should think myself extremely
happy." He immediately fell back with the profoundest veneration; then
advancing, "Are you then that admired lady? If I may approach lips which
have uttered things so sacred--" He salutes her. His friends follow his
example. The devoted within stood in amazement where this would end, to
see Madonella receive their address and their company. But Rake goes on,
"We would not transgress rules; but if we may take the liberty to see
the place you have thought fit to choose for ever, we would go into such
parts of the gardens as is consistent with the severities you have
imposed on yourselves." To be short, Madonella permitted Rake to lead
her into the assembly of nuns, followed by his friends, and each took
his fair one by the hand, after due explanation, to walk round the
gardens. The conversation turned upon the lilies, the flowers, the
arbors, and the growing vegetables; and Rake had the solemn impudence,
when the whole company stood round him, to say, "That he sincerely
wished that men might rise out of the earth like plants; and that our
minds were not of necessity to be sullied with carnivorous appetites for
the generation, as well as support of our species."[331] This was spoke
with so easy and fixed an assurance, that Madonella answered, "Sir,
under the notion of a pious thought, you deceive yourself in wishing an
institution foreign to that of Providence: these desires were implanted
in us for reverent purposes, in preserving the race of men, and giving
opportunities for making our chastity more heroic." The conference was
continued in this celestial strain, and carried on so well by the
managers on both sides, that it created a second and a third[332]
interview; and, without entering into further particulars, there was
hardly one of them but was a mother or father that day twelve-month.

Any unnatural part is long taking up, and as long laying aside;
therefore Mr. Sturdy may assure himself, Platonica will fly for ever
from a forward behaviour; but if he approaches her according to this
model, she will fall in with the necessities of mortal life, and
condescend to look with pity upon an unhappy man, imprisoned in so much
body, and urged by such violent desires.

From my own Apartment, June 22.

The evils of this town increase upon me to so great a degree, that I am
half afraid I shall not leave the world much better than I found it.
Several worthy gentlemen and critics have applied to me, to give my
censure of an enormity which has been revived (after being long
oppressed) and is called Punning.[333] I have several arguments ready to
prove, that he cannot be a man of honour who is guilty of this abuse of
human society. But the way to expose it, is like the expedient of curing
drunkenness, showing a man in that condition: therefore I must give my
reader warning, to expect a collection of these offences; without which
preparation, I thought it too adventurous to introduce the very mention
of it in good company; and hope I shall be understood to do it, as a
divine mentions oaths and curses, only for their condemnation. I shall
dedicate this discourse to a gentleman my very good friend, who is the
Janus[334] of our times, and whom by his years and wit, you would take
to be of the last age; but by his dress and morals, of this.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 22.

Last night arrived two mails from Holland, which brings letters from the
Hague of the 28th instant, N.S., with advice, that the enemy lay
encamped behind a strong retrenchment, with the marsh of Remières on
their right and left, extending itself as far as Bethune: La Bassée is
in their front, Lens in their rear, and their camp is strengthened by
another line from Lens to Douay. The Duke of Marlborough caused an exact
observation to be made of their ground, and the works by which they were
covered, which appeared so strong, that it was not thought proper to
attack them in their present posture. However, the Duke thought fit to
make a feint as if he designed it; and accordingly marching from the
abbey at Looze, as did Prince Eugene from Lampret, advanced with all
possible diligence towards the enemy. To favour the appearance of an
intended assault, the ways were made, and orders distributed in such a
manner, that none in either camp could have thoughts of anything but
charging the enemy by break of day the next morning: but soon after the
fall of the night of the 26th, the whole army faced towards Tournay,
which place they invested early in the morning of the 27th. The Marshal
Villars was so confident that we designed to attack him, that he had
drawn great part of the garrison of the place, which is now invested,
into the field: for which reason, it is presumed it must submit within a
small time; which the enemy cannot prevent, but by coming out of their
present camp, and hazarding a general engagement. These advices add,
that the garrison of Mons had marched out under the command of Marshal
d'Arco; which, with the Bavarians, Walloons, and the troops of Cologne,
have joined the grand army of the enemy.

[Footnote 327: John Norris (1657-1711), the divine, published, in 1688,
"The Theory and Regulation of Love, a Moral Essay; to which are added
Letters Philosophical and Moral between the author and Doctor Henry

[Footnote 328: Henry More, the platonist (1614-87), published "Divine
Dialogues," "Conjectura Cabalistica," and many other works.]

[Footnote 329: It is not clear why Milton is bracketed with Norris and
More; perhaps Swift had in mind such passages about heavenly love as
that in "Paradise Lost," viii. 588-614.]

[Footnote 330: Swift seems to have been the author of this first portion
of No. 32, which contains a scandalous attack on Mary Astell. Nichols
thought that Addison also had a share in it. See Nos. 59, 63. Mrs.
Astell, a friend of Lady Elizabeth Hastings and John Norris, published,
in 1694, her "Serious Proposal to the Ladies," advocating a Church of
England monastery, without any irrevocable vows. Provision was made for
mental as well as moral training; in fact, the institution was to have
been "rather academical than monastic." But Bishop Burnet advised Lady
Elizabeth Hastings not to subscribe to the proposed building, and the
scheme fell through. In 1709, Miss Astell published a book called
"Bart'lemy Fair; or, An Enquiry after Wit.... By Mr. Wotton, in answer
to Lord Shaftesbury's Letter concerning Enthusiasm, and other profane
writers." In the advertisement to the Second Edition ("An Enquiry after
Wit," &c., 1722), Mary Astell says that, although her book was at first
published under a borrowed name, it was ascribed to her, and drew upon
her the resentment of that sort of men of wit who were exposed, and was
the true cause of the fable published in the _Tatler_ a little after the
"Enquiry" appeared. But she notes that, although the _Tatler_ showed its
teeth against the "Proposal to the Ladies," the compilator made amends
to the author (if not to the bookseller), by transcribing above a
hundred pages into his _Ladies' Library_ verbatim, except in a few
places, which would not be found to be improved. The "Enquiry after Wit"
is dedicated "To the most Illustrious Society of the Kit-Cats," with
many sarcastic allusions to their luxury, oaths, &c. True, their names
had not been heard of from Hochsted or Ramillies, but then their heroism
found in every place an ample theatre for their merits. "The Bath, the
Wells, and every Fair, each Chocolate, Gaming House and Tavern resounds
with your noble exploits."]

[Footnote 331: This is borrowed from Sir Thomas Browne's "Religio
Medici," part ii. sect. 9.]

[Footnote 332: "Second," in original editions.]

[Footnote 333: There is an apology for punning in No. 36 of the

[Footnote 334: Swift.]

No. 33. [STEELE.

By Mrs. JENNY DISTAFF, half-sister to Mr. BICKERSTAFF.

From _Thursday, June 23_, to _Saturday, June 25_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, June 23.

My brother has made an excursion into the country, and the work against
Saturday lies upon me. I am very glad I have got pen and ink in my hand;
for I have for some time longed for his absence, to give a right idea of
things, which I thought he put in a very odd light, and some of them to
the disadvantage of my own sex. It is much to be lamented, that it is
necessary to make discourses, and publish treatises, to keep the horrid
creatures, the men, within the rules of common decency. Turning over the
papers of memorials or hints for the ensuing discourses, I find a letter
subscribed by Mr. Truman.


"I am lately come to town, and have read your works with much pleasure.
You make wit subservient to good principles and good manners. Yet,
because I design to buy the _Tatlers_ for my daughters to read, I take
the freedom to desire you, for the future, to say nothing about any
combat between Alexander and Thalestris."[335]

This offence gives me occasion to express myself with the resentment I
ought, on people who take liberties of speech before that sex of whom
the honoured names of mother, daughter, and sister, are a part: I had
liked to have named wife in the number; but the senseless world are so
mistaken in their sentiments of pleasure, that the most amiable term in
human life is become the derision of fools and scorners. My brother and
I have at least fifty times quarrelled upon this topic. I ever argue,
that the frailties of women are to be imputed to the false ornaments
which men of wit put upon our folly and coquetry. He lays all the vices
of men upon women's secret approbation of libertine characters in them.
I did not care to give up a point; but now he is out of the way, I
cannot but own I believe there is very much in what he asserted: for if
you will believe your eyes, and own, that the wickedest and the wittiest
of them all marry one day or other, is it possible to believe, that if a
man thought he should be for ever incapable of being received by a woman
of merit and honour, he would persist in an abandoned way, and deny
himself the possibility of enjoying the happiness of well-governed
desires, orderly satisfactions, and honourable methods of life? If our
sex were wise, a lover should have a certificate from the last woman he
served, how he was turned away, before he was received into the service
of another: but at present any vagabond is welcome, provided he promises
to enter into our livery. It is wonderful, that we will not take a
footman without credentials from his last master; and in the greatest
concern of life, we make no scruple of falling into a treaty with the
most notorious offender in his behaviour against others. But this breach
of commerce between the sexes, proceeds from an unaccountable prevalence
of custom, by which a woman is to the last degree reproachable for being
deceived, and a man suffers no loss of credit for being a deceiver.
Since this tyrant humour has gained place, why are we represented in the
writings of men in ill figures for artifice in our carriage, when we
have to do with a professed impostor? When oaths, imprecations, vows,
and adorations, are made use of as words of course, what arts are not
necessary to defend us from such as glory in the breach of them? As for
my part, I am resolved to hear all, and believe none of them; and
therefore solemnly declare, no vow shall deceive me, but that of
marriage: for I am turned of twenty, and being of a small fortune, some
wit, and (if I can believe my lovers and my glass) handsome, I have
heard all that can be said towards my undoing, and shall therefore, for
warning sake, give an account of the offers that have been made me, my
manner of rejecting them, and my assistances to keep my resolution. In
the sixteenth year of my life, I fell into the acquaintance of a lady,
extremely well known in this town for the quick advancement of her
husband, and the honours and distinctions which her industry has
procured him, and all who belong to her. This excellent body sat next to
me for some months at church, and took the liberty (which she said her
years and the zeal she had for my welfare gave her claim to) to assure
me, that she observed some parts of my behaviour which would lead me
into errors, and give encouragement to some to entertain hopes I did not
think of. "What made you," said she, "look through your fan at that
lord, when your eyes should have been turned upward, or closed in
attention upon better objects?" I blushed, and pretended fifty odd
excuses;--but confounded myself the more. She wanted nothing but to see
that confusion, and goes on: "Nay, child, do not be troubled that I take
notice of it, my value for you made me speak it; for though he is my
kinsman, I have a nearer regard to virtue than any other consideration."
She had hardly done speaking, when this noble lord came up to us, and
took her hand to lead her to her coach. My head ran all that day and
night on the exemplary carriage of this woman who could be so virtuously
impertinent, as to admonish one she was hardly acquainted with.
However, it struck upon the vanity of a girl that it may possibly be,
his thoughts might have been as favourable of me, as mine were amorous
of him, and as unlikely things as that have happened, if he should make
me his wife. She never mentioned this more to me; but I still in all
public places stole looks at this man, who easily observed my passion
for him. It is so hard a thing to check the return of agreeable
thoughts, that he became my dream, my vision, my food, my wish, my
torment. That minister of darkness, the Lady Sempronia,[336] perceived
too well the temper I was in, and would one day after evening service
needs take me to the Park. When we were there, my lord passes by; I
flushed into a flame. "Mrs. Distaff," said she, "you may very well
remember the concern I was in upon the first notice I took of your
regard to that lord, and forgive me, who had a tender friendship for
your mother (now in her grave) that I am vigilant of your conduct." She
went on with much severity, and after great solicitation, prevailed on
me to go with her into the country, and there spend the ensuing summer
out of the way of a man she saw I loved, and one whom she perceived
meditated my ruin, by frequently desiring her to introduce him to me;
which she absolutely refused, except he would give his honour that he
had no other design but to marry me. To her country house a week or two
after we went: there was at the farther end of her garden a kind of
wilderness, in the middle of which ran a soft rivulet by an arbour of
jessamine. In this place I usually passed my retired hours, and read
some romantic or poetical tale till the close of the evening. It was
near that time in the heat of summer, when gentle winds, soft murmurs
of water, and notes of nightingales had given my mind an indolence,
which added to that repose of soul, which twilight and the end of a warm
day naturally throws upon the spirits. It was at such an hour, and in
such a state of tranquillity I sat, when, to my unexpressible amazement,
I saw my lord walking towards me, whom I knew not till that moment to
have been in the country. I could observe in his approach the perplexity
which attends a man big with design; and I had, while he was coming
forward, time to reflect that I was betrayed; the sense of which gave me
a resentment suitable to such a baseness: but when he entered into the
bower where I was, my heart flew towards him, and, I confess, a certain
joy came into my mind, with a hope that he might then make a declaration
of honour and passion. This threw my eye upon him with such tenderness,
as gave him power, with a broken accent, to begin. "Madam,--You will
wonder--For it is certain, you must have observed--though I fear you
will misinterpret the motives--But by Heaven, and all that's sacred! If
you could--" Here he made a full stand. And I recovered power to say,
"The consternation I am in you will not, I hope, believe--A helpless
innocent maid--Besides that, the place--" He saw me in as great
confusion as himself; which attributing to the same causes, he had the
audaciousness to throw himself at my feet, and talk of the stillness of
the evening; then ran into deifications of my person, pure flames,
constant love, eternal raptures, and a thousand other phrases drawn from
the images we have of heaven, which ill men use for the service of hell,
were run over with uncommon vehemence. After which, he seized me in his
arms: his design was too evident. In my utmost distress, I fell upon my
knees--"My lord, pity me, on my knees--On my knees in the cause of
virtue, as you were lately in that of wickedness. Can you think of
destroying the labour of a whole life, the purpose of a long education,
for the base service of a sudden appetite, to throw one that loves you,
that dotes on you, out of the company and road of all that is virtuous
and praiseworthy? Have I taken in all the instructions of piety,
religion, and reason, for no other end, but to be the sacrifice of lust,
and abandoned to scorn? Assume yourself, my lord, and do not attempt to
vitiate a temple sacred to innocence, honour, and religion. If I have
injured you, stab this bosom, and let me die, but not be ruined by the
hand I love." The ardency of my passion made me incapable of uttering
more; and I saw my lover astonished and reformed by my behaviour: when
rushed in Sempronia. "Ha! Faithless, base man, could you then steal out
of town, and lurk like a robber about my house for such brutish
purposes?" My lord was by this time recovered, and fell into a violent
laughter at the turn which Sempronia designed to give her villany. He
bowed to me with the utmost respect: "Mrs. Distaff," said he, "be
careful hereafter of your company"; and so retired. The fiend Sempronia
congratulated my deliverance with a flood of tears. This nobleman has
since very frequently made his addresses to me with honour, but I have
as often refused them; as well knowing, that familiarity and marriage
will make him, on some ill-natured occasion, call all I said in the
arbour a theatrical action. Besides that, I glory in contemning a man
who had thoughts to my dishonour. And if this method were the imitation
of the whole sex, innocence would be the only dress of beauty; and all
affectation by any other arts to please the eyes of men, would be
banished to the stews for ever. The conquest of passion gives ten times
more happiness than we can reap from the gratification of it; and she
that has got over such a one as mine, will stand among beaux and pretty
fellows, with as much safety as in a summer's day among grasshoppers and

P.S.--I have ten millions of things more against men, if I ever get the
pen again.

St. James's Coffee-house, June 24.

Our last advices from the Hague, dated the 28th instant, say, that on
the 25th a squadron of Dutch men-of-war sailed out of the Texel to join
Admiral Baker at Spithead. The 26th was observed as a day of fasting and
humiliation, to implore a blessing on the arms of the Allies this
ensuing campaign. Letters from Dresden are very particular in the
account of the gallantry and magnificence in which that Court has
appeared since the arrival of the King of Denmark. No day has passed in
which public shows have not been exhibited for his entertainment and
diversion: the last of that kind which is mentioned is a carousal,
wherein many of the youth of the first quality, dressed in the most
splendid manner, ran for the prize. His Danish Majesty condescended to
the same; but having observed that there was a design laid to throw it
in his way, passed by without attempting to gain it. The Court of
Dresden was preparing to accompany his Danish Majesty to Potsdam, where
the expectation of an interview of three kings had drawn together such
multitudes of people, that many persons of distinction will be obliged
to lie in tents as long as those Courts continue in that place.

[Footnote 335: See No. 31.]

[Footnote 336: See Sallust, "Bell. Catal." chap. 21. The person here
referred to as Sempronia is said to be the same as the Madam d'Epingle
elsewhere alluded to.]

No. 34. [STEELE.


From _Saturday, June 25_, to _Tuesday, June 28, 1709._

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, June 25.

Having taken upon me to cure all the distempers which proceed from
affections of the mind, I have laboured since I first kept this public
stage, to do all the good I could possibly, and have perfected many
cures at my own lodging; carefully avoiding the common method of
mountebanks, to do their most eminent operations in sight of the people;
but must be so just to my patients as to declare, they have testified
under their hands their sense of my poor abilities, and the good I have
done them, which I publish for the benefit of the world, and not out of
any thoughts of private advantage. I have cured fine Mrs. Spy of a great
imperfection in her eyes, which made her eternally rolling them from one
coxcomb to another in public places, in so languishing a manner, that it
at once lessened her own power, and her beholder's vanity. Twenty drops
of my ink, placed in certain letters on which she attentively looked for
half an hour, have restored her to the true use of her sight; which is,
to guide, and not mislead us. Ever since she took this liquor, which I
call Bickerstaff's Circumspection Water, she looks right forward, and
can bear being looked at for half a day without returning one glance.
This water has a peculiar virtue in it, which makes it the only true
cosmetic or beauty wash in the world: the nature of it is such, that if
you go to a glass, with design to admire your face, it immediately
changes it into downright deformity. If you consult it only to look
with a better countenance upon your friends, it immediately gives an
alacrity to the visage, and new grace to the whole person. There is
indeed a great deal owing to the constitution of the person to whom it
is applied: it is in vain to give it when the patient is in the rage of
the distemper; a bride in her first month, a lady soon after her
husband's being knighted, or any person of either sex who has lately
obtained any new good fortune or preferment, must be prepared some time
before they use it. It has an effect upon others, as well as the
patient, when it is taken in due form. Lady Petulant has by the use of
it cured her husband of jealousy, and Lady Gad her whole neighbourhood
of detraction. The fame of these things, added to my being an old
fellow, makes me extremely acceptable to the fair sex. You would hardly
believe me, when I tell you there is not a man in town so much their
delight as myself. They make no more of visiting me, than going to Madam
d'Epingle's.[337] There were two of them, namely, Damia and Clidamira (I
assure you women of distinction) who came to see me this morning in
their way to prayers, and being in a very diverting humour as (innocence
always makes people cheerful) they would needs have me, according to the
distinction of "pretty" and "very pretty" fellows, inform them if I
thought either of them had a title to the "very pretty" among those of
their own sex; and if I did, which was the more deserving of the two. To
put them to the trial, "Look ye," said I, "I must not rashly give my
judgment in matters of this importance; pray let me see you dance: I
play upon the kit."[338] They immediately fell back to the lower end of
the room (you may be sure they curtsied low enough to me): and began.
Never were two in the world so equally matched, and both scholars to my
namesake Isaac.[339] Never was man in so dangerous a condition as
myself, when they began to expand their charms. "O! ladies, ladies,"
cried I, "not half that air, you'll fire the house." Both smiled; for
by-the bye, there's no carrying a metaphor too far, when a lady's charms
are spoken of. Somebody, I think, has called a fine woman dancing, a
brandished torch of beauty.[340] These rivals moved with such an
agreeable freedom, that you would believe their gesture was the
necessary effect of the music, and not the product of skill and
practice. Now Clidamira came on with a crowd of graces, and demanded my
judgment with so sweet an air--and she had no sooner carried it, but
Damia made her utterly forgot by a gentle sinking, and a rigadoon
step.[341] The contest held a full half-hour; and I protest, I saw no
manner of difference in their perfections, till they came up together,
and expected my sentence. "Look ye, ladies," said I, "I see no
difference in the least in your performance; but you Clidamira seem to
be so well satisfied that I shall determine for you, that I must give it
to Damia, who stands with so much diffidence and fear, after showing an
equal merit to what she pretends to. Therefore, Clidamira, you are a
'pretty'; but, Damia, you are a 'very pretty' lady. For," said I,
"beauty loses its force, if not accompanied with modesty. She that has a
humble opinion of herself, will have everybody's applause, because she
does not expect it; while the vain creature loses approbation through
too great a sense of deserving it."

From my own Apartment, June 27.

Being of a very spare and hective constitution, I am forced to make
frequent journeys of a mile or two for fresh air; and indeed by this
last, which was no further than the village of Chelsea, I am farther
convinced of the necessity of travelling to know the world. For as it is
usual with young voyagers, as soon as they land upon a shore, to begin
their accounts of the nature of the people, their soil, their
government, their inclinations, and their passions, so really I fancied
I could give you an immediate description of this village, from the Five
Fields,[342] where the robbers lie in wait, to the coffee-house where
the _literati_ sit in council. A great ancestor of ours by the mother's
side, Mr. Justice Overdo (whose history is written by Ben Jonson),[343]
met with more enormities by walking _incog._ than he was capable of
correcting; and found great mortifications in observing also persons of
eminence, whom he before knew nothing of. Thus it fared with me, even in
a place so near the town as this. When I came into the
coffee-house,[344] I had not time to salute the company, before my eye
was diverted by ten thousand gimcracks round the room and on the
ceiling. When my first astonishment was over, comes to me a sage of a
thin and meagre countenance; which aspect made me doubt, whether reading
or fretting had made it so philosophic: but I very soon perceived him to
be of that sect which the ancients call Gingivistæ,[345] in our
language, tooth-drawers. I immediately had a respect for the man; for
these practical philosophers go upon a very rational hypothesis, not to
cure, but take away the part affected. My love of mankind made me very
benevolent to Mr. Salter, for such is the name of this eminent barber
and antiquary. Men are usually, but unjustly, distinguished rather by
their fortunes, than their talents, otherwise this personage would make
a great figure in that class of men which I distinguish under the title
of Odd Fellows. But it is the misfortune of persons of great genius, to
have their faculties dissipated by attention to too many things at once.
Mr. Salter is an instance of this: if he would wholly give himself up to
the string,[346] instead of playing twenty beginnings to tunes, he might
before he dies play "Roger de Caubly"[347] quite out. I heard him go
through his whole round, and indeed I think he does play the "Merry
Christ-Church Bells"[348] pretty justly; but he confessed to me, he did
that rather to show he was orthodox, than that he valued himself upon
the music itself. Or if he did proceed in his anatomy, why might not he
hope in time to cut off legs, as well as draw teeth? The particularity
of this man put me into a deep thought, whence it should proceed, that
of all the lower order barbers should go farther in hitting the
ridiculous, than any other set of men. Watermen brawl, cobblers sing;
but why must a barber be for ever a politician, a musician, an
anatomist, a poet, and a physician? The learned Vossus says,[349] his
barber used to comb his head in iambics. And indeed in all ages, one of
this useful profession, this order of cosmetic philosophers, has been
celebrated by the most eminent hands. You see the barber in "Don
Quixote,"[350] is one of the principal characters in the history, which
gave me satisfaction in the doubt, why Don Saltero writ his name with a
Spanish termination: for he is descended in a right line, not from John
Tradescant,[351] as he himself asserts, but from that memorable
companion of the Knight of Mancha. And I hereby certify all the worthy
citizens who travel to see his rarities, that his double-barrelled
pistols, targets, coats of mail, his sclopeta,[352] and sword of
Toledo,[353] were left to his ancestor by the said Don Quixote, and by
the said ancestor to all his progeny down to Don Saltero. Though I go
thus far in favour of Don Saltero's great merit, I cannot allow a
liberty he takes of imposing several names (without my licence) on the
collections he has made, to the abuse of the good people of England; one
of which is particularly calculated to deceive religious persons, to the
great scandal of the well disposed, and may introduce heterodox
opinions. He shows you a straw hat, which I know to be made by Madge
Peskad, within three miles of Bedford; and tells you, it is Pontius
Pilate's wife's chamber-maid's sister's hat. To my knowledge of this
very hat, it may be added, that the covering of straw was never used
among the Jews, since it was demanded of them to make bricks without it.
Therefore this is really nothing, but under the specious pretence of
learning and antiquity, to impose upon the world. There are other things
which I cannot tolerate among his rarities; as, the china figure of a
lady in the glass case; the Italian engine for the imprisonment of those
who go abroad with it: both which I hereby order to be taken down, or
else he may expect to have his letters patents for making punch
superseded, be debarred wearing his muff next winter, or ever coming to
London without his wife.[354] It may perhaps be thought I have dwelt too
long upon the affairs of this operator; but I desire the reader to
remember, that it is my way to consider men as they stand in merit, and
not according to their fortune or figure; and if he is in a coffee-house
at the reading hereof, let him look round, and he will find there may be
more characters drawn in this account than that of Don Saltero; for half
the politicians about him, he may observe, are, by their place in
nature, of the class of tooth-drawers.

[Footnote 337: See p. 273, note.]

[Footnote 338: A small violin or fiddle. See No. 160.]

[Footnote 339: A dancing-master, who either was French, or pretended to
be so. See No. 109.]

[Footnote 340: A song of Waller's begins:

    "Behold the brand of beauty tost!
    See, how the motion doth dilate the flame!"

[Footnote 341: The rigadoon was a dance for two persons. Cf. _Guardian_,
No. 154: "We danced a rigadoon together."]

[Footnote 342: On the site of Eaton and Belgrave Squares. See
_Spectator_, No. 137: "The Five Fields towards Chelsea."]

[Footnote 343: In "Bartholomew Fair," act ii. sc. i. Overdo went to the
Fair in disguise, and being mistaken for a cutpurse, was well beaten.]

[Footnote 344: Salter, a barber, opened a coffee-house in Cheyne Walk,
Chelsea, in 1695. Sir Harry Sloane, whose servant he had been, gave him
some curiosities to start a museum. Others, including Admiral Munden and
his fellow-officers, added to the collection, and the first catalogue
appeared in 1729. The more startling curiosities were, of course, not
genuine. The remains of the collection were sold in 1799 for about £50.
A view of Salter's house will be found in Timbs' "Clubs and Club Life in
London." Verses of a more or less coarse nature by Don Saltero appeared
not unfrequently in the "British Apollo," in 1709.]

[Footnote 345: From "gingiva," the gum.]

[Footnote 346: Salter played very badly on the fiddle.]

[Footnote 347: "Sir Roger de Coverley," the famous country-dance tune.]

[Footnote 348: By Dr. Henry Aldrich, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford,
where Steele matriculated.]

[Footnote 349: "De Poematum cantu, et viribus Rythmi," 1673.]

[Footnote 350: Master Nicholas. See "Don Quixote," chap. v.]

[Footnote 351: There were two John Tradescants (father and son) who
collected objects of natural history. Their collection formed the
foundation of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. The "Museum
Tradescantianum: or, A Collection of Rarities preserved at South
Lambeth, near London, by John Tradescant," contains interesting
portraits of both John Tradescant, senior, and John Tradescant, junior,
as well as a plate of the Tradescant arms.]

[Footnote 352: A sclopeta or sclopetta was a hand-gun used by

[Footnote 353: Toledo was famous for its sword-blades.]

[Footnote 354: Salter had an old grey muff, which he clapped constantly
to his nose, and by which he was distinguishable at the distance of a
quarter of a mile. His wife was none of the best, being much addicted to

No. 35. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, June 28_, to _Thursday, June 30_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Grecian Coffee-house, June 28.

There is a habit or custom which I have put my patience to the utmost
stretch to have suffered so long, because several of my intimate friends
are in the guilt; and that is, the humour of taking snuff, and looking
dirty about the mouth by way of ornament. My method is to dive to the
bottom of a sore before I pretend to apply a remedy. For this reason, I
sat by an eminent story-teller and politician who takes half an ounce in
five seconds, and has mortgaged a pretty tenement near the town, merely
to improve and dung his brains with this prolific powder. I observed
this gentleman the other day in the midst of a story diverted from it by
looking at something at a distance, and I softly hid his box. But he
returns to his tale, and looking for his box, he cries, "And so, sir--"
Then when he should have taken a pinch, "As I was saying," says he--"Has
nobody seen my box?" His friend beseeches him to finish his narration.
Then he proceeds, "And so, sir--Where can my box be?" Then, turning to
me, "Pray, sir, did you see my box?" "Yes, sir," said I, "I took it to
see how long you could live without it." He resumes his tale; and I took
notice, that his dulness was much more regular and fluent than before. A
pinch supplied the place of, "As I was saying," "And so, sir"; and he
went on currently enough in that style which the learned call the
insipid. This observation easily led me into a philosophic reason for
taking snuff, which is done only to supply with sensations the want of
reflection. This I take to be an Ἕυρηκα [Heurêka], a nostrum; upon which
I hope to receive the thanks of this board. For as it is natural to lift
a man's hand to a sore, when you fear anything coming at you; so when a
person feels his thoughts are run out, and has no more to say, it is as
natural to supply his weak brain with powder at the nearest place of
access, viz., the nostrils. This is so evident, that nature suggests the
use according to the indigence of the persons who use this medicine,
without being prepossessed with the force of fashion or custom. For
example; the native Hibernians, who are reckoned not much unlike the
ancient Bœotians, take this specific for emptiness in the head, in
greater abundance than any other nation under the sun. The learned
Sotus, as sparing as he is in his words, would be still more silent if
it were not for this powder. But however low and poor the taking snuff
argues a man to be in his own stock of thought, or means to employ his
brains and his fingers, yet there is a poorer creature in the world than
he, and this is a borrower of snuff; a fellow that keeps no box of his
own, but is always asking others for a pinch. Such poor rogues put me
always in mind of a common phrase among schoolboys when they are
composing their exercise, who run to an upper scholar, and cry, "Pray
give me a little sense." But of all things, commend me to the ladies who
are got into this pretty help to discourse.[355] I have been this three
years persuading Sagissa[356] to leave it off; but she talks so much,
and is so learned, that she is above contradiction. However, an
accident the other day brought that about, which my eloquence never
could accomplish: she had a very pretty fellow in her closet, who ran
thither to avoid some company that came to visit her. She made an excuse
to go in to him for some implement they were talking of. Her eager
gallant snatched a kiss; but being unused to snuff, some grains from off
her upper lip made him sneeze aloud, which alarmed the visitants, and
has made a discovery, that profound reading, very much intelligence, and
a general knowledge of who and who's together, cannot fill up her vacant
hours so much, but that she is sometimes obliged to descend to
entertainments less intellectual.

White's Chocolate-house, June 29.

I know no manner of news for this place, but that Cynthio, having been
long in despair for the inexorable Clarissa, lately resolved to fall in
love the good old way of bargain and sale, and has pitched upon a very
agreeable young woman.[357] He will undoubtedly succeed; for he accosts
her in a strain of familiarity, without breaking through the deference
that is due to woman whom a man would choose for his life. I have hardly
ever heard rough truth spoken with a better grace than in this his


"I writ to you on Saturday by Mrs. Lucy, and give you this trouble to
urge the same request I made then, which was, that I may be admitted to
wait upon you. I should be very far from desiring this, if it were a
transgression of the most severe rules to allow it: I know you are very
much above the little arts which are frequent in your sex, of giving
unnecessary torments to their admirers; therefore hope, you'll do so
much justice to the generous passion I have for you, as to let me have
an opportunity of acquainting you upon what motives I pretend to your
good opinion. I shall not trouble you with my sentiments, till I know
how they will be received; and as I know no reason why difference of sex
should make our language to each other differ from the ordinary rules of
right reason, I shall affect plainness and sincerity in my discourse to
you, as much as other lovers do perplexity and rapture. Instead of
saying, 'I shall die for you,' I profess I should be glad to lead my
life with you: you are as beautiful, as witty, as prudent, and as
good-humoured, as any woman breathing; but I must confess to you, I
regard all these excellences as you will please to direct them, for my
happiness or misery. With me, madam, the only lasting motive to love is
the hope of its becoming mutual. I beg of you to let Mrs. Lucy send me
word when I may attend you. I promise you, I'll talk of nothing but
indifferent things; though at the same time I know not how I shall
approach you in the tender moment of first seeing you, after this
declaration, of,


"Your most obedient,

"And most faithful

"Humble Servant, &c."

Will's Coffee-house, June 29.

Having taken a resolution when plays are acted next winter by an entire
good company, to publish observations from time to time on the
performance of the actors, I think it but just to give an abstract of
the law of action, for the help of the less learned part of the
audience, that they may rationally enjoy so refined and instructive a
pleasure as a just representation of human life. The great errors in
playing are admirably well exposed in Hamlet's direction to the
actors[359] who are to play in his supposed tragedy; by which we shall
form our future judgments on their behaviour, and for that reason you
have the discourse as follows:

"Speak the speech as I pronounce it to you, trippingly on the tongue;
but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lieve the
town-crier had spoke my lines: nor do not saw the air too much with your
hand thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as
I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a
temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh! it offends me to the soul,
to see a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to
very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who (for the most part)
are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I could
have such a fellow whipped for overdoing termagant: it out-Herods Herod.
Be not too tame neither; but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit
the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special
observance, that you overstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so
overdone, is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first
and now, was, and is, to hold as it were the mirror up to Nature; to
show Virtue her own feature; scorn her own image; and the very age and
body of the time its form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy
off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious
grieve. The censures of which one, must, in your allowance, oversway a
whole theatre of others. Oh! there be players, that I have seen play,
and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speak it profanely),
that neither having the accent of Christian, Pagan, or Norman, have so
strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen
had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so
abominably. This should be reformed altogether; and let those that play
your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them: for there be of
them that will of themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren
spectators to laugh too; though in the meantime, some necessary question
of the play be then to be considered; that is villanous, and shows a
most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it."

From my own Apartment, June 29.

It would be a very great obligation, and an assistance to my treatise
upon Punning,[360] if any one would please to inform in what class,
among the learned who play with words, to place the author of the
following letter.[361]


"Not long since you were pleased to give us a chimerical account of the
famous family of Staffs,[362] from whence I suppose you would insinuate,
that it is the most ancient and numerous house in all Europe. But I
positively deny that it is either; and wonder much at your audacious
proceedings in this matter, since it is well known, that our most
illustrious, most renowned, and most celebrated Roman family of Ix, has
enjoyed the precedency to all others from the reign of good old Saturn.
I could say much to the defamation and disgrace of your family; as, that
your relations Distaff and Broomstaff were both inconsiderate mean
persons, one spinning, the other sweeping the streets, for their daily
bread. But I forbear to vent my spleen on objects so much beneath my
indignation. I shall only give the world a catalogue of my ancestors,
and leave them to determine which hath hitherto had, and which for the
future ought to have, the preference.

"First then comes the most famous and popular Lady Meretrix, parent of
the fertile family of Bellatrix, Lotrix, Netrix, Nutrix, Obstetrix,
Famulatrix, Coctrix, Ornatrix, Sarcinatrix, Fextrix, Balneatrix,
Portatrix, Saltatrix, Divinatrix, Conjectrix, Comtrix, Debitrix,
Creditrix, Donatrix, Ambulatrix, Mercatrix, Adsectrix, Assectatrix,
Palpatrix, Præceptrix, Pistrix.

"I am yours,

                                        "ELIZ. POTATRIX."

St. James's Coffee-house, June 29.

Letters from Brussels of the 2nd of July, N.S., say, that the Duke of
Marlborough and Prince Eugene having received advice, that the Marshal
Villars had drawn a considerable body out of the garrison of Tournay to
reinforce his army, marched towards that place, and came before it early
in the morning of the 27th. As soon as they came into that ground, the
Prince of Nassau was sent with a strong detachment to take post at St.
Amand; and at the same time my Lord Orkney received orders to possess
himself of Mortagne; both which were successfully executed; whereby we
are masters of the Scheldt and the Scarp. Eight men were drawn out of
each troop of dragoons and company of foot in the garrison of Tournay,
to make up the reinforcement which was ordered to join Marshal Villars;
but upon advice that the Allies were marching towards Tournay, they
endeavoured to return into the town; but were intercepted by the Earl of
Orkney, by whom that whole body was killed or taken. These letters add,
that 1200 dragoons (each horseman carrying a foot-soldier behind him)
were detached from Mons to throw themselves into Tournay; but upon
appearance of a great body of horse of the Allies, retired towards
Condé. We hear, that the garrison does not consist of more than 3500
men. Of the sixty battalions designed to be employed in this siege,
seven [_sic_] are English, viz., two of Guards, and the regiments of
Argyle, Temple, Evans and Meredith.

[Footnote 355: See Nos. 79, 140; and Swift's "Journal to Stella," Nov.
3, 1711. A correspondent begged the _Spectator_ (No. 344) to "take
notice of an impertinent custom the women, the fine women, have lately
fallen into, of taking snuff."]

[Footnote 356: It has been suggested that Steele here alludes to Mrs. De
la Rivière Manley.]

[Footnote 357: Lord Hinchinbroke married Elizabeth, only daughter of
Alexander Popham, Esq. See Nos. 1, 5, 22.]

[Footnote 358: This was one of Steele's own letters to Miss Scurlock.
(See "Correspondence," 1809, vol. i. p. 93.) "Mrs. Lucy" is "Mrs.
Warren" in the original.]

[Footnote 359: "Hamlet," act iii. sc. 2.]

[Footnote 360: See No. 32.]

[Footnote 361: This letter is printed in Scott's edition of Swift's

[Footnote 362: See No. II.]

No. 36. [? STEELE.[363]

By Mrs. JENNY DISTAFF, half-sister to Mr. BICKERSTAFF.

From _Thursday, June 30_, to _Saturday, July 2_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

From our own Apartment, June 30.

Many affairs calling my brother into the country, the care of our
intelligence with the town is left to me for some time; therefore you
must expect the advices you meet with in this paper to be such as more
immediately and naturally fall under the consideration of our sex:
history therefore written by a woman, you will easily imagine to consist
of love in all its forms, both in the abuse of, and obedience to that
passion. As to the faculty of writing itself, it will not, it is hoped,
be demanded, that style and ornament shall be so much consulted, as
truth and simplicity; which latter qualities we may more justly pretend
to beyond the other sex. While therefore the administration of our
affairs is in my hands, you shall from time to time have an exact
account of all false lovers, and their shallow pretences for breaking
off; of all termagant wives who make wedlock a yoke; of men who affect
the entertainments and manners suitable only to our sex, and women who
pretend to the conduct of such affairs as are only within the province
of men. It is necessary further to advertise the reader, that the usual
places of resort being utterly out of my province or observation, I
shall be obliged frequently to change the dates of places, as
occurrences come into my way. The following letter I lately received
from Epsom.[364]

Epsom, June 28.

"It is now almost three weeks since what you writ about happened in this
place: the quarrel between my friends did not run so high as I find your
accounts have made it. The truth of the fact you shall have very
faithfully. You are to understand, that the persons concerned in this
scene were, Lady Autumn, and Lady Springly:[365] Autumn is a person of
good breeding, formality, and a singular way practised in the last age;
and Lady Springly, a modern impertinent of our sex, who affects as
improper familiarity, as the other does distance. Lady Autumn knows to a
hair's-breadth where her place is in all assemblies and conversations;
but Springly neither gives nor takes place of anybody, but understands
the place to signify no more, than to have room enough to be at ease
wherever she comes. Thus while Autumn takes the whole of this life to
consist in understanding punctilio and decorum, Springly takes
everything to be becoming which contributes to her ease and
satisfaction. These heroines have married two brothers, both knights.
Springly is the spouse of the elder, who is a baronet; and Autumn, being
a rich widow, has taken the younger, and her purse endowed him with an
equal fortune and knighthood of the same order. This jumble of titles,
you need not doubt, has been an aching torment to Autumn, who took place
of the other on no pretence, but her carelessness and disregard of
distinction. This secret occasion of envy broiled long in the breast of
Autumn; but no opportunity of contention on that subject happening, kept
all things quiet till the accident, of which you demand an account.

"It was given out among all the gay people of this place, that on the
9th instant several damsels, swift of foot, were to run for a suit of
head-clothes at the Old Wells. Lady Autumn on this occasion invited
Springly to go with her in her coach to see the race. When they came to
the place where the governor of Epsom and all his court of citizens were
assembled, as well as a crowd of people of all orders, a brisk young
fellow addresses himself to the younger of the ladies, viz., Springly,
and offers her his service to conduct her into the music-room. Springly
accepts the compliment, and is led triumphantly through the bowing
crowd, while Autumn is left among the rabble, and has much ado to get
back into her coach; but she did it at last: and as it is usual to see
by the horses my lady's present disposition, she orders John to whip
furiously home to her husband; where, when she enters, down she sits,
began to unpin her hood, and lament her foolish fond heart to marry into
a family where she was so little regarded, she that might--Here she
stops; then rises up and stamps, and sits down again. Her gentle knight
made his approaches with a supple beseeching gesture. 'My dear,' said
he--'Tell me no dears,' replied Autumn; in the presence of the governor
and all the merchants; 'What will the world say of a woman that has
thrown herself away at this rate?' Sir Thomas withdrew, and knew it
would not be long a secret to him; as well as that experience told him,
he that marries a fortune, is of course guilty of all faults against his
wife, let them be committed by whom they will. But Springly, an hour or
two after, returns from the Wells, and finds the whole company together.
Down she sat, and a profound silence ensued. You know a premeditated
quarrel usually begins and works up with the words, 'Some people.' The
silence was broken by Lady Autumn, who began to say, 'There are some
people who fancy, that if some people--' Springly immediately takes her
up; 'There are some people who fancy, if other people--' Autumn
repartees, 'People may give themselves airs; but other people, perhaps,
who make less ado, may be, perhaps, as agreeable as people who set
themselves out more.' All the other people at the table sat mute, while
these two people, who were quarrelling, went on with the use of the word
'people,' instancing the very accidents between them, as if they kept
only in distant hints. 'Therefore,' says Autumn, reddening, 'there are
some people who will go abroad in other people's coaches, and leave
those, with whom they went, to shift for themselves; and if, perhaps,
those people have married the younger brother, yet, perhaps, he may be
beholden to those people for what he is.' Springly smartly answers,
'People may bring so much ill humour into a family, as people may repent
their receiving their money'; and goes on--'Everybody is not
considerable enough to give her uneasiness.' Upon this, Autumn comes up
to her, and desired her to kiss her, and never to see her again; which
her sister refusing, my lady gave her a box on the ear. Springly
returns; 'Ay, ay,' said she, 'I knew well enough you meant me by your
"some people,"' and gives her another on the other side. To it they went
with most masculine fury: each husband ran in. The wives immediately
fell upon their husbands, and tore periwigs and cravats. The company
interposed; when (according to the slip-knot of matrimony, which makes
them return to one another when any put in between) the ladies and their
husbands fell upon all the rest of the company; and having beat all
their friends and relations out of the house, came to themselves time
enough to know, there was no bearing the jest of the place after these
adventures, and therefore marched off the next day. It is said, the
governor has sent several joints of mutton, and has proposed divers
dishes very exquisitely dressed, to bring them down again. From his
address and knowledge in roast and boiled, all our hopes of the return
of this good company depend. I am,

"Dear Jenny,

"Your ready Friend

"And Servant,

                                        "MARTHA TATLER."

White's Chocolate-house, June 30.

This day appeared here a figure of a person, whose services to the fair
sex have reduced him to a kind of existence, for which there is no name.
If there be a condition between life and death, without being absolutely
dead or living, his state is that. His aspect and complexion in his
robust days gave him the illustrious title of Africanus:[366] but it is
not only from the warm climates in which he has served, nor from the
disasters which he has suffered, that he deserves the same appellation
with that renowned Roman; but the magnanimity with which he appears in
his last moments, is what gives him the undoubted character of Hero.
Cato stabbed himself, and Hannibal drank poison; but our Africanus lives
in the continual puncture of aching bones and poisoned juices. The old
heroes fled from torments by death, and this modern lives in death and
torments, with a heart wholly bent upon a supply for remaining in them.
An ordinary spirit would sink under his oppressions; but he makes an
advantage of his very sorrow, and raises an income from his diseases.
Long has this worthy been conversant in bartering, and knows, that when
stocks are lowest, it is the time to buy. Therefore, with much prudence
and tranquillity, he thinks, that now he has not a bone sound, but a
thousand nodous parts for which the anatomists have not words, and more
diseases than the College ever heard of, it is the only time to purchase
an annuity for life. Sir Thomas[367] told me, it was an entertainment
more surprising and pleasant than can be imagined, to see an inhabitant
of neither world without hand to lift, or leg to move, scarce tongue to
utter his meaning, so keen upon biting the whole world, and making
bubbles at his exit. Sir Thomas added, that he would have bought twelve
shillings a year of him, but that he feared there was some trick in it,
and believed him already dead: "What!" says that knight, "is Mr.
Partridge, whom I met just now going on both his legs firmer than I can,
allowed to be quite dead; and shall Africanus, without one limb that can
do its office, be pronounced alive?" What heightened the tragi-comedy of
this market for annuities was, that the observation of it provoked
Monoculus[368] (who is the most eloquent of all men) to many excellent
reflections, which he spoke with the vehemence and language both of a
gamester and an orator. "When I cast," said that delightful speaker, "my
eye upon thee, thou unaccountable Africanus, I cannot but call myself as
unaccountable as thou art; for certainly we were born to show what
contradictions nature is pleased to form in the same species. Here am I,
able to eat, to drink, to sleep, and do all acts of nature, except
begetting my like; and yet by an unintelligible force of spleen and
fancy, I every moment imagine I am dying. It is utter madness in thee to
provide for supper; for I'll bet you ten to one, you don't live till
half an hour after four; and yet I am so distracted as to be in fear
every moment, though I'll lay ten to three, I drink three pints of burnt
claret at your funeral three nights hence. After all, I envy thee; thou
who dying hast no sense of death, art happier than one in health
that[369] always fears it." The knight had gone on, but that a third man
ended the scene by applauding the knight's eloquence and philosophy, in
a laughter too violent for his own constitution, as much as he mocked
that of Africanus and Monoculus.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 1.

This day arrived three mails from Holland, with advices relating to the
posture of affairs in the Low Countries, which say, that the Confederate
army extends from Luchin, on the causeway between Tournay and Lisle, to
Epain near Mortagne on the Scheldt. The Marshal Villars remains in his
camp at Lens; but it is said, he detached ten thousand men under the
command of the Chevalier de Luxembourg, with orders to form a camp at
Crepin on the Haine, between Condé and St. Guillain, where he is to be
joined by the Elector of Bavaria with a body of troops, and after their
conjunction, to attempt to march into Brabant. But they write from
Brussels, that the Duke of Marlborough having it equally in his power to
make detachments to the same parts, they are under no apprehensions from
these reports for the safety of their country. They further add from
Brussels, that they have good authority for believing that the French
troops under the conduct of Marshal de Bezons are retiring out of

[Footnote 363: Nichols argued that this and the two following numbers
were by Addison. (1) At the end of No. 37 there is a list of errata for
the preceding number. It was Addison's frequent practice to make verbal
alterations in a preceding paper, and this Steele never did, except in
rare cases, or where there was a positive mistake. (2) All the three
papers are _superscribed_, as Addison's often were, and appear upon the
face of them, to be of the nature, and in the number of those, for which
Steele stood sponsor, and was very patiently traduced and calumniated,
as he acknowledges to Congreve, in the Dedication prefixed to "The
Drummer." There is nothing in the style or manner of any of the three
that appears incongruous with such a supposition; and the nature of
their principal contents seems to support it. They consist chiefly of
pleasantries and oblique strokes, apparently on persons of fashion, in
that age, of both sexes. It appears from the Dedication to "The
Drummer," that Steele had Addison's direct injunctions to hide papers
which he never did declare to be Addison's. The case, in short, seems to
be, that as, as Steele says, there are communications in the course of
this work, which Addison's modesty, so there are likewise others, which
Addison's prudence, "would never have admitted to come into daylight,
but under such a shelter." According to the usual rule where there is
uncertainty, Steele's name is placed at the head of the papers in this
edition. Probably he was responsible in any case for part of the
contents of each of these numbers.]

[Footnote 364: Epsom was frequented for its mineral waters, and was also
a favourite holiday resort. "At the Crown Coffee-house, behind the Royal
Exchange, fresh Epsom water, with the rest of the purging waters, at 2d.
per quart, and sold both winter and summer, and Epsom salt." (See
"British Apollo," vol. iii. No. 15, 1710, and "Post Man," June 11,
1700.) "The New Wells at Epsom, with variety of raffling-shops, a
billiard-table, and a bowling-green, and attended with a new set of
music, are now open," &c. (_Flying Post_, Aug. 4-6, 1709.) The new Wells
were opened on Easter Monday, 1709 (_Daily Courant_, April 23, 1709). We
can form some idea of Epsom some years before, with its wells and
bowling-green, from Shadwell's play, "Epsom Wells," 1673. See also No.

[Footnote 365: On July 8, 1709, Peter Wentworth wrote to Lord Raby: "I
have not sent you the _Tatler_ of last Saturday, because I was told
'twas dull, but that persons judgement I shall take no more; for having
since read it I think it diverting enough, the news from Epsom is almost
matter of fact, wch makes the jest the better; the Ladys are city ladys,
named Turners" ("Wentworth Papers," p. 93). This is confirmed by the MS.
annotator mentioned in No. 4.]

[Footnote 366: "I like the description of Africanus, wch is Sir Scipio
Hill ... Sir Scipio Hill with his new project of getting money occasions
some diversion and talk at White's. You may have heard for this long
while he was dieing of the ----; he now come abroad and look a divel, or
at least a sad _memento mori_. He gives forescore guineas to receive ten
guineas a quarter for his life, Sir James of the Peak is his agent, and
runs about offering it all that will take. Boscowen has took it, and two
or three more, who are of opinion he will not live a month. Those he had
made his heirs does not approve of this whim, for he's resolved to
dispose of all his ready money this way if he can find substantial fools
enough to take it; but the crack begins to run as if he may live a great
while for all he looks so ill, for he has recovered his voice to a
miracle" (Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, July 1 and 8, 1709; "Wentworth
Papers," pp. 92-3).]

[Footnote 367: The waiter. See No. 16.]

[Footnote 368: Said to be Sir Humphrey Monoux, Bart., who was elected
M.P. for Tavistock in 1728, and for Stockbridge in 1734. He succeeded to
the baronetage in 1707, and died without issue in 1757.]

[Footnote 369: "Thou that hast no sense of death, art happier than one
that" (folio; altered in Errata in No. 37).]

[Footnote 370: "This paper, with a blank leaf to write business on, may
be had of J. Morphew, near Stationers'-hall" (folio).]

No. 37. [?STEELE.[371]

From _Saturday, July 2_, to _Tuesday, July 5_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, July 2.

It may be thought very unaccountable, that I,[372] who can never be
supposed to go to White's, should pretend to talk to you of matters
proper for, or in the style of, that place. But though I do not go to
these public haunts, I receive visits from those who do; and for all
they pretend so much to the contrary, they are as talkative as our sex,
and as much at a loss to entertain the present company, without
sacrificing the last, as we ourselves. This reflection has led me into
the consideration of the use of speech; and made me look over in my
memory all my acquaintance of both sexes, to know to which I may more
justly impute the sin of superfluous discourse, with regard to
conversation, and not entering into it as it respects religion. I
foresee my acquaintance will immediately, upon starting this subject,
ask me, how I shall celebrate Mrs. Alse Copswood,[373] the Yorkshire
huntress, who is come to town lately, and moves as if she were on her
nag, and going to take a five-bar gate; and is as loud as if she were
following her dogs. I can easily answer that; for she is as soft as
Damon, in comparison of her brother-in-law Tom Bellfrey,[374] who is the
most accomplished man in this kingdom for all gentlemanlike activities
and accomplishments. It is allowed, that he is a professed enemy to the
Italian performers in music. But then for our own native manner,
according to the customs and known usages of our island, he is to be
preferred, for the generality of the pleasure he bestows, much above
those fellows,[375] though they sing to full theatres. For what is a
theatrical voice to that of a fox-hunter? I have been at a musical
entertainment in an open field, where it amazed me to hear to what
pitches the chief masters would reach. There was a meeting near our seat
in Staffordshire, and the most eminent of all the counties of England
were at it. How wonderful was the harmony between men and dogs! Robin
Cartail of Bucks was to answer to Jowler; Mr. Tinbreast of Cornwall was
appointed to open with Sweetlips, and Beau Slimber, a Londoner,
undertook to keep up with Trips, a whelp just set in: Tom Bellfrey and
Ringwood were coupled together, to fill the cry on all occasions, and be
in at the death of the fox, hare, or stag; for which both the dog and
the man were excellently suited, and loved one another, and were as much
together as Banister and King. When Jowler first alarmed the field,
Cartail repeated every note; Sweetlips' treble succeeded, and shook the
wood; Tinbreast echoed a quarter of a mile beyond it. We were soon after
all at a loss, till we rid up, and found Trips and Slimber at a default
in half-notes: but the day and the tune was recovered by Tom Bellfrey
and Ringwood, to the great joy of us all, though they drowned every
other voice: for Bellfrey carries a note four furlongs, three rood, and
six paces, farther than any other in England. But I fear the mention of
this will be thought a digression from my purpose about speech: but I
answer, No. Since this is used where speech rather should be employed,
it may come into consideration in the same chapter: for Mr. Bellfrey
being at a visit where I was, viz., his cousin's (Lady Dainty's) in
Soho, was asked, what entertainments they had in the country? Now
Bellfrey is very ignorant, and much a clown; but confident withal. In a
word, he struck up a fox-chase: Lady Dainty's dog, Mr. Sippet, as she
calls him, started and jumped out of his lady's lap, and fell a barking.
Bellfrey went on, and called all the neighbouring parishes into the
square. Never was woman in such confusion as that delicate lady. But
there was no stopping her kinsman. A room full of ladies fell into the
most violent laughter: my lady looked as if she was shrieking; Mr.
Sippet in the middle of the room, breaking his heart with barking, but
all of us unheard. As soon as Bellfrey became silent, up gets my lady,
and takes him by the arm to lead him off: Bellfrey was in his boots. As
she was hurrying him away, his spurs takes hold of her petticoat; his
whip throws down a cabinet of china: he cries, "What! are your crocks
rotten? Are your petticoats ragged? A man can't walk in your house for
trincums." Every county of Great Britain has one hundred or more of this
sort of fellows, who roar instead of speaking. Therefore if it be true,
that we women are also given to greater fluency of words than is
necessary, sure one that disturbs but a room or a family is more to be
tolerated, than one who draws together parishes and counties, and
sometimes (with an estate that might make him the blessing and ornament
of the world around him) has no other view and ambition, but to be an
animal above dogs and horses, without the relish of any one enjoyment,
which is peculiar to the faculties of human nature. But I know it will
here be said, that talking of mere country squires at this rate, is, as
it were, to write against Valentine or Orson. To prove anything against
the race of men, you must take them as they are adorned with education,
as they live in Courts, or have received instructions in colleges.

But I was so full of my late entertainment by Mr. Bellfrey, that I must
defer pursuing this subject to another day; and waive the proper
observations upon the different offenders in this kind, some by profound
eloquence, on small occasions, others by degrading speech upon great
circumstances. Expect therefore to hear of the whisperer without
business, the laugher without wit, the complainer without receiving
injuries, and a very large crowd, which I shall not forestall, who are
common (though not commonly observed) impertinents, whose tongues are
too voluble for their brains, and are the general despisers of us women,
though we have their superiors, the men of sense, for our servants.[376]

St. James's Coffee-house, July 4.

There has arrived no mail since our last; so that we have no manner of
foreign news, except we were to give you, for such, the many
speculations which are on foot concerning what was imported by the last
advices. There are, it seems, sixty battalions and seventeen squadrons
appointed to serve in the siege of Tournay; the garrison of which place
consists but of eleven battalions and four squadrons. Letters of the
29th of the last month from Berlin have brought advice, that the Kings
of Denmark, Prussia, and his Majesty Augustus, were within few days to
come to an interview at Potsdam. These letters mention, that two Polish
princes of the family of the Sapicha and Lubermirsky, lately arrived
from Paris, confirm the reports of the misery in France for want of
provisions, and give a particular instance of it, which is, that on the
day Monsieur Rouillé returned to Court, the common people gathered in
crowds about the Dauphin's coach, crying, "Peace and bread, bread and

Mrs. Distaff has taken upon her, while she writes this paper, to turn
her thoughts wholly to the service of her own sex, and to propose
remedies against the greatest vexations attending female life. She has
for this end written a small treatise concerning the second word, with
an appendix on the use of a reply, very useful to all such as are
married to persons either ill-bred or ill-natured. There is in this
tract a digression for the use of virgins concerning the words, "I

A gentlewoman who has a very delicate ear, wants a maid who can whisper,
and help her in the government of her family. If the said servant can
clear-starch, lisp, and tread softly, she shall have suitable
encouragement in her wages.

[Footnote 371: See note to No. 36.]

[Footnote 372: Jenny Distaff.]

[Footnote 373: The Jacobite Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sharpe, who
died in 1713. See _Examiner_, vol. iv. No. 22.]

[Footnote 374: Dr. Blackall (1654-1716), who was made Bishop of Exeter
in 1708.]

[Footnote 375: The French Prophets, from the Cevennes. Dr. Blackall's
sermon against them was printed by order of the Queen.]

[Footnote 376: The following article appeared only in the folio issue:--

Will's Coffee-house, July 3.

A very ingenious gentleman was complaining this evening, that the
players are grown so severe critics, that they would not take in his
play, though it has as many fine things in it as any play that has been
writ since the days of Dryden. He began his discourse about his play
with a preface.

"There is," said he, "somewhat (however we palliate it) in the very
frame and make of us, that subjects our minds to chagrin and
irresolution on any emergency of time or place. The difficulty grows on
our sickened imagination, under all the killing circumstances of danger
and disappointment. This we see, not only in the men of retirement and
fancy, but in the characters of the men of action; with this only
difference, the coward sees the danger, and sickens under it; the hero,
warmed by the difficulty, dilates, and rises in proportion to that, and
in some sort makes use of his very fears to disarm it. A remarkable
instance of this we have in the great Cæsar, when he came to the
Rubicon, and was entering upon a part, perhaps, the most hazardous he
ever bore (certainly the most ungrateful), a war with his countrymen.
When his mind brooded over personal affronts, perhaps his anger burned
with a desire of revenge. But when more serious reflections laid before
him the hazard of the enterprise, with the dismal consequences which
were likely to attend it, aggravated by a special circumstance, What
figure it would bear in the world, or how be excused to posterity. What
shall he do?--His honour, which was his religion, bids him arm; and he
sounds the inclinations of his party, by this set speech:

#_CÆSAR_ to his Party at the Rubicon.#

    Great Jove, attend, and thou my native soil,
    Safe in my triumphs, glutted in my spoil;
    Witness with what reluctance I oppose
    My arms to thine, secure of other foes.
    What passive breast can bear disgrace like mine?
    Traitor!--For this I conquered on the Rhine,
    Endured their ten years' drudgery in Gaul,
    Adjourned their fate, and saved the Capitol.
    I grew by every guilty triumph less;
    The crowd, when drunk with joy, their souls express,
    Impatient of the war, yet fear success.
    Brave actions dazzle with too bright a ray,
    Like birds obscene they chatter at the day;
    Giddy with rule, and valiant in debate,
    They throw the die of war, to save the state;
    And gods! to gild ingratitude with fame,
    Assume the patriot's, we the rebel's name.
    Farewell, my friends, your general forlorn,
    To your bare pity, and the public scorn,
    Must lay that honour and his laurel down,
    To serve the vain caprices of the gown;
    Exposed to all indignities, the brave
    Deserve of those they gloried but to save,
    To rods and axes!--No, the slaves can't dare
    Play with my grief, and tempt my last despair.
    This shall the honours which it won maintain,
    Or do me justice, ere I hug my chain."

The reason for cancelling this article when these papers were
republished in octavo, is obvious; for, being printed by Steele, it
would naturally be applied to the circumstances in which the Duke of
Marlborough was at that time: "The Duke having his commission under the
Great Seal, the order of the Queen was not sufficient to dissolve his
power. His friends advised him to assemble, by his authority as general,
all the troops in London, in the different squares, and to take
possession of St. James's, and the person of the Queen. Oxford, apprised
of this design, suddenly called together the Cabinet Council. Though he
probably concealed his intelligence to prevent their fears, he told them
of the necessity of superseding Marlborough under the Great Seal. This
business was soon despatched. His dismission in form was sent to the
Duke. The Earl of Oxford, no stranger to the character of Marlborough,
knew that he would not act against law, by assembling the troops. The
natural diffidence of his disposition had made him unfit for enterprises
of danger, in a degree that furnished his enemies with insinuations
against his personal courage."--(Macpherson's "State Papers," quoted by

No. 38. [?STEELE.[377]

From _Tuesday, July 5_, to _Thursday, July 7, 1709._

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, July 6.

I find among my brother's papers the following letter verbatim, which I
wonder how he could suppress so long as he has, since it was sent him
for no other end, but to show the good effect his writings have already
had upon the ill customs of the age.

                                        "London, _June 23_.


"The end of all public papers ought to be the benefit and instruction,
as well as the diversion of the readers: to which I see none so truly
conducive as your late performances; especially those tending to the
rooting out from amongst us that unchristianlike and bloody custom of
duelling; which, that you have already in some measure performed, will
appear to the public in the following no less true than heroic story.

"A noble gentleman of this city, who has the honour of serving his
country as major in the train-bands, being at that general mart of
stockjobbers called Jonathan's,[378] endeavouring to raise himself (as
all men of honour ought) to the degree of colonel at least; it happened
that he bought the 'bear'[379] of another officer, who, though not
commissioned in the army, yet no less eminently serves the public than
the other, in raising the credit of the kingdom, by raising that of the
stocks. However, having sold the 'bear,' and words arising about the
delivery, the most noble major, no less scorning to be outwitted in the
coffee-house, than to run into the field, according to method, abused
the other with the titles of, 'rogue,' 'villain,' 'bearskin-man,' and
the like. Whereupon satisfaction was demanded, and accepted: so, forth
the major marched, commanding his adversary to follow. To a most
spacious room in the sheriff's house, near the place of quarrel, they
come; where, having due regard to what you have lately published, they
resolved not to shed one another's blood in that barbarous manner you
prohibited; yet, not willing to put up affronts without satisfaction,
they stripped, and in decent manner fought full fairly with their
wrathful hands. The combat lasted a quarter of an hour; in which time
victory was often doubtful, and many a dry blow was strenuously laid on
by each side, till the major finding his adversary obstinate, unwilling
to give him further chastisement, with most shrill voice cried out, 'I
am satisfied, enough.' Whereupon the combat ceased, and both were
friends immediately.

"Thus the world may see, how necessary it is to encourage those men who
make it their business to instruct the people in everything necessary
for their preservation. I am informed, a body of worthy citizens have
agreed on an address of thanks to you for what you have writ on the
foregoing subject, whereby they acknowledge one of their highly esteemed
officers preserved from death.

"Your humble Servant,

                                        "A. B."

I fear the word "bear" is hardly to be understood among the polite
people; but I take the meaning to be, that one who ensures a real value
upon an imaginary thing, is said to sell a "bear," and is the same thing
as a promise among courtiers, or a vow between lovers. I have writ to my
brother to hasten to town; and hope, that printing the letters directed
to him, which I knew not how to answer, will bring him speedily; and
therefore I add also the following:

                                        "_July 5_, 1709.


You having hinted a generous intention of taking under your
consideration the whisperers without business, and laughers without
occasion; as you tender the welfare of your country, I entreat you not
to forget or delay so public-spirited a work. Now or never is the time.
Many other calamities may cease with the war; but I dismally dread the
multiplication of these mortals under the ease and luxuriousness of a
settled peace, half the blessing of which may be destroyed by them.
Their mistake lies certainly here, in a wretched belief, that their
mimicry passes for real business, or true wit. Dear sir, convince them,
that it never was, is, or ever will be, either of them; nor ever did,
does, or to all futurity ever can, look like either of them; but that it
is the most cursed disturbance in nature, which is possible to be
inflicted on mankind, under the noble definition of a sociable creature.
In doing this, sir, you will oblige more humble servants than can find
room to subscribe their names."

White's Chocolate-house, July 6.

In pursuance of my last date from hence, I am to proceed on the accounts
I promised of several personages among the men, whose conspicuous
fortunes, or ambition in showing their follies, have exalted them above
their fellows: the levity of their minds is visible in their every word
and gesture, and there is not a day passes but puts me in mind of Mr.
Wycherley's character of a coxcomb: "He is ugly all over with the
affectation of the fine gentleman." Now though the women may put on
softness in their looks, or affected severity, or impertinent gaiety, or
pert smartness, their self-love and admiration cannot, under any of
these disguises, appear so invincible as that of the men. You may easily
take notice, that in all their actions there is a secret approbation,
either in the tone of their voice, the turn of their body, or cast of
their eye, which shows that they are extremely in their own favour. Take
one of your men of business, he shall keep you half an hour with your
hat off, entertaining you with his consideration of that affair you
spoke of to him last, till he has drawn a crowd that observes you in
this grimace. Then when he is public enough, he immediately runs into
secrets, and falls a whispering. You and he make breaks with adverbs;
as, "But however, thus far"; and then you whisper again, and so on, till
they who are about you are dispersed, and your busy man's vanity is no
longer gratified by the notice taken of what importance he is, and how
inconsiderable you are; for your pretender to business is never in
secret, but in public. There is my dear Lord Nowhere, of all men the
most gracious and most obliging, the terror of all _valets-de-chambre_,
whom he oppresses with good breeding, in inquiring for my good lord, and
for my good lady's health. This inimitable courtier will whisper a privy
councillor's lackey with the utmost goodness and condescension, to know
when they next sit; and is thoroughly taken up, and thinks he has a part
in a secret, if he knows that there is a secret. "What it is," he will
whisper you, "that time will discover"; then he shrugs, and calls you
back again--"Sir, I need not say to you, that these things are not to be
spoken of--and hark you, no names, I would not be quoted." What adds to
the jest is, that his emptiness has its moods and seasons, and he will
not condescend to let you into these his discoveries, except he is in
very good humour, or has seen somebody in fashion talk to you. He will
keep his nothing to himself, and pass by and overlook as well as the
best of them; not observing that he is insolent when he is gracious, and
obliging when he is haughty. Show me a woman so inconsiderable as this
frequent character. But my mind (now I am in) turns to many no less
observable: thou dear Will Shoestring![380] I profess myself in love
with thee: how shall I speak thee? How shall I address thee? How shall I
draw thee? Thou dear outside! Will you be combing your wig,[381] playing
with your box, or picking your teeth? Or choosest thou rather to be
speaking; to be speaking for thy only purpose in speaking, to show your
teeth? Rub them no longer, dear Shoestring: do not premeditate murder:
do not for ever whiten: Oh! that for my quiet and his own they were
rotten. But I will forget him, and give my hand to the courteous Umbra;
he is a fine man indeed, but the soft creature bows below my
apron-string before he takes it; but after the first ceremonies, he is
as familiar as my physician, and his insignificancy makes me half ready
to complain to him of all I would to my doctor. But he is so courteous,
that he carries half the messages of ladies' ails in town to their
midwives and nurses. He understands too the art of medicine as far as to
the cure of a pimple or a rash. On occasions of the like importance, he
is the most assiduous of all men living, in consulting and searching
precedents from family to family; and then he speaks of his
obsequiousness and diligence in the style of real services. If you sneer
at him, and thank him for his great friendship, he bows, and says,
"Madam, all the good offices in my power, while I have any knowledge or
credit, shall be at your service." The consideration of so shallow a
being, and the intent application with which he pursues trifles, has
made me carefully reflect upon that sort of men we usually call an
Impertinent: and I am, upon mature deliberation, so far from being
offended with him, that I am really obliged to him; for though he will
take you aside, and talk half an hour to you upon matters wholly
insignificant with the most solemn air, yet I consider, that these
things are of weight in his imagination, and he thinks he is
communicating what is for my service. If therefore it be a just rule to
judge of a man by his intention, according to the equity of good
breeding, he that is impertinently kind or wise, to do you service,
ought in return to have a proportionable place both in your affection
and esteem; so that the courteous Umbra deserves the favour of all his
acquaintance; for though he never served them, he is ever willing to do
it, and believes he does it. But as impotent kindness is to be returned
with all our abilities to oblige, so impotent malice is to be treated
with all our force to depress it. For this reason Flyblow (who is
received in all the families in town through the degeneracy and iniquity
of their manners) is to be treated like a knave, though he is one of the
weakest of fools: he has by rote, and at second-hand, all that can be
said of any man of figure, wit, and virtue in town. Name a man of worth,
and this creature tells you the worst passage of his life. Speak of a
beautiful woman, and this puppy will whisper the next man to him, though
he has nothing to say of her. He is a Fly that feeds on the sore part,
and would have nothing to live on, if the whole body were in health. You
may know him by the frequency of pronouncing the particle "but"; for
which reason I never hear him spoke of with common charity, without
using my "but" against him: for a friend of mine saying the other day,
Mrs. Distaff has wit, good humour, virtue, and friendship, this oaf
added, "'But' she is not handsome." Coxcomb! The gentleman was saying
what I was, not what I was not.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 6.

The approaches before Tournay have been carried on with great success;
and our advices from the camp before that place of the 11th instant say,
that they had already made a lodgment on the glacis. Two hundred boats
were come up the Scheldt with a heavy artillery and ammunition, which
would be employed in dismounting the enemy's defences, and raised on the
batteries the 15th. A great body of miners are summoned to the camp to
countermine the works of the enemy. We are convinced of the weakness of
the garrison, by a certain account, that they called a council of war,
to consult whether it was not advisable to march into the citadel, and
leave the town defenceless. We are assured, that when the Confederate
army was advancing towards the camp of Marshal Villars, that general
despatched a courier to his master with a letter, giving an account of
their approach, which concluded with the following words: "The day
begins to break, and your Majesty's army is already in order of battle.
Before noon, I hope to have the honour of congratulating your Majesty on
the success of a great action; and you shall be very well satisfied with
the Marshal Villars."

It is to be noted, that when any part of this paper appears dull, there
is a design in it.[382]

[Footnote 377: See note to No. 36.]

[Footnote 378: A coffee-house in Change Alley. See _Spectator_, No. 1,
and Mrs. Centlivre's "Bold Stroke for a Wife."]

[Footnote 379: See No. 7.]

[Footnote 380: Sir William Whitlocke, Knt., Member for Oxon, Bencher of
the Middle Temple. He is the learned knight mentioned in No. 43 (Percy).
This is confirmed by the MS. annotator mentioned in a note to No. 4.
Nichols explains that Whitlocke is called Will Shoestring, for his
singularity in using shoe-strings, so long after the era of
shoe-buckles, which commenced in the reign of Charles II., although
ordinary people, and such as affected plainness in their garb, wore
strings in their shoes after that time.]

[Footnote 381: "Combing the peruke, at the time when men of fashion wore
large wigs, was even at public places an act of gallantry. The combs,
for this purpose, were of a very large size, of ivory or tortoise-shell,
curiously chased and ornamented, and were carried in the pocket as
constantly as the snuff-box. At Court, on the Mall, and in the boxes,
gentlemen conversed and combed their perukes "(Sir John Hawkins' "Hist,
of Music," vol. iv. p. 447, note). Cf. Dryden's prologue to "Almanzor
and Almahide":--

    "But as when vizard mask appears in pit,
    Straight every man who thinks himself a wit,
    Perks up; and managing his comb with grace,
    With his white wig sets off his nut-brown face."

And "The Fortune Hunters," act i. sc. 2 (1689): "He looked, indeed, and
sighed, and set his cravat-string, and sighed again, and combed his
periwig: sighed a third time, and then took snuff, I guess to show the
whiteness of his hand." See, too, Wycherley's "Love in a Wood," act iii.
sc. 1:--

"DAPPERWIT. Let me prune and flounce my perruque a little for her;
there's ne'er a young fellow in the town but will do as much for a mere
stranger in the play-house.

"RANGER. A wit's wig has the privilege of being uncombed in the very
play-house, or in the presence--

"DAPPERWIT. But not in the presence of his mistress; 'tis a greater
neglect of her than himself; pray lend me your comb.... She comes, she
comes; pray, your comb. (_Snatches_ RANGER'S _comb_.)"]

[Footnote 382: "Mrs. Distaff hath received the Dialogue dated Monday
evening, which she has sent forward to Mr. Bickerstaff at Maidenhead:
and in the meantime gives her service to the parties" (folio).]

No. 39. [STEELE.


From _Thursday, July 7_, to _Saturday, July 9_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Grecian Coffee-house, July 7.

As I am called forth by the immense love I bear to my fellow creatures,
and the warm inclination I feel within me, to stem, as far as I can, the
prevailing torrent of vice and ignorance; so I cannot more properly
pursue that noble impulse, than by setting forth the excellence of
virtue and knowledge in their native and beautiful colours. For this
reason I made my late excursion to Oxford, where those qualities appear
in their highest lustre, and are the only pretences to honour and
distinction: superiority is there given in proportion to men's
advancement in wisdom and learning; and that just rule of life is so
universally received among those happy people, that you shall see an
earl walk bareheaded to the son of the meanest artificer, in respect to
seven years more worth and knowledge than the nobleman is possessed of.
In other places they bow to men's fortunes, but here to their
understandings. It is not to be expressed, how pleasing the order, the
discipline, the regularity of their lives, is to a philosopher, who has,
by many years' experience in the world, learned to contemn everything
but what is revered in this mansion of select and well-taught spirits.
The magnificence of their palaces, the greatness of their revenues, the
sweetness of their groves and retirements, seem equally adapted for the
residence of princes and philosophers; and a familiarity with objects of
splendour, as well as places of recess, prepares the inhabitants with an
equanimity for their future fortunes, whether humble or illustrious. How
was I pleased when I looked round at St. Mary's, and could, in the faces
of the ingenious youth, see ministers of state, chancellors, bishops,
and judges. Here only is human life! Here only the life of man is a
rational being! Here men understand and are employed in works worthy
their noble nature. This transitory being passes away in an employment
not unworthy a future state, the contemplation of the great decrees of
Providence. Each man lives as if he were to answer the questions made to
Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?... Who
shut up the sea with doors, ... and said, Hitherto shalt thou come, and
no further?"[383] Such speculations make life agreeable, make death
welcome, But alas! I was torn from this noble society by the business of
this dirty mean world, and the cares of fortune: for I was obliged to be
in town against the 7th day of the term, and accordingly governed myself
by my Oxford Almanack, and came last night; but find, to my great
astonishment, that this ignorant town began the term on the 24th of the
last month, in opposition to all the learning and astronomy of the
famous university of which I have been speaking; according to which, the
term certainly was to commence on the 1st instant.[384] You may be sure,
a man who has turned his studies as I have, could not be mistaken in
point of time; for knowing I was to come to town in term, I examined the
passing moments very narrowly, and called an eminent astronomer to my
assistance. Upon very strict observation we found, that the cold has
been so severe this last winter (which is allowed to have a benumbing
quality), that it retarded the earth in moving round from Christmas to
this season full seven days and two seconds. My learned friend assured
me further, that the earth had lately received a shog from a comet that
crossed its vortex, which, if it had come ten degrees nearer us, had
made us lose this whole term. I was indeed once of opinion, that the
Gregorian computation was the most regular, as being eleven days before
the Julian; but am now fully convinced, that we ought to be seven days
after the chancellor and judges, and eighteen before the Pope of Rome;
and that the Oxonian computation is the best of the three. These are the
reasons which I have gathered from philosophy and nature; to which I can
add other circumstances in vindication of the account of this learned
body who published this almanack. It is notorious to philosophers, that
joy and grief can hasten and delay time. Mr. Locke is of opinion, that a
man in great misery may so far lose his measure, as to think a minute an
hour; or in joy, make an hour a minute. Let us examine the present case
by this rule, and we shall find, that the cause of this general mistake
in the British nation, has been the great success of the last campaign,
and the following hopes of peace. Stocks ran so high at the 'Change,
that the citizens had gained three days of the courtiers; and we have
indeed been so happy this reign, that if the University did not rectify
our mistakes, we should think ourselves but in the second year of her
present Majesty. It would be endless to enumerate the many damages that
have happened by this ignorance of the vulgar. All the recognisances
within the Diocese of Oxford have been forfeited, for not appearing on
the first day of this fictitious term. The University has been nonsuited
in their action against the booksellers for printing Clarendon in
quarto. But indeed what gives me the most quick concern, is the case of
a poor gentleman my friend, who was the other day taken in execution by
a set of ignorant bailiffs. He should, it seems, have pleaded in the
first week of term; but being a Master of Arts of Oxford, he would not
recede from the Oxonian computation. He showed Mr. Broad the almanack,
and the very day when the term began; but the merciless ignorant fellow,
against all sense and learning, would hurry him away. He went indeed
quietly enough; but he has taken exact notes of the time of arrest, and
sufficient witnesses of his being carried into gaol; and has, by advice
of the Recorder of Oxford, brought his action; and we doubt not but we
shall pay them off with damages, and blemish the reputation of Mr.
Broad. We have one convincing proof, which all that frequent the Courts
of Justice are witnesses of: the dog that comes constantly to
Westminster on the first day of the term, did not appear till the first
day according to the Oxford Almanack; whose instinct I take to be a
better guide than men's erroneous opinions, which are usually biased by
interest. I judge in this case, as King Charles II. victualled his navy,
with the bread which one of his dogs chose of several pieces thrown
before him, rather than trust to the asseverations of the victuallers.
Mr. Cowper,[385] and other learned counsel, have already urged the
authority of this almanack, in behalf of their clients. We shall
therefore go on with all speed in our cause; and doubt not, but Chancery
will give at the end what we lost in the beginning, by protracting the
term for us till Wednesday come se'nnight: and the University orator
shall for ever pray, &c.

From my own Apartment, July 7.

The subject of duels[386] has, I find, been started with so good
success, that it has been the frequent subject of conversation among
polite men; and a dialogue of that kind has been transmitted to me
verbatim, as follows. The persons concerned in it are men of honour, and
experience in the manners of men, and have fallen upon the truest
foundation, as well as searched the bottom, of this evil.

Mr. SAGE. If it were in my power, every man that drew his sword, unless
in the Service, or purely to defend his life, person, or goods, from
violence (I mean abstracted from all punctos or whims of honour) should
ride the wooden horse in the Tilt Yard[387] for such first offence, for
the second stand in the pillory, and for the third be prisoner in Bedlam
for life.

Col. PLUME. I remember, that a rencounter or duel was so far from being
in fashion among the officers that served in the Parliament army, that
on the contrary, it was as disreputable, and as great an impediment to
advancement in the Service, as being bashful in time of action.

Sir MARK. Yet I have been informed by some old Cavaliers, of famous
reputation for brave and gallant men, that they were much more in mode
among their party, than they have been during this last war.

Col. PLUME. That is true too, sir. Mr. SAGE. By what you say,
gentlemen, one should think that our present military officers are
compounded of an equal proportion of both those tempers; since duels are
neither quite discountenanced, nor much in vogue.

Sir MARK. That difference of temper, in regard to duels, which appears
to have been between the Court and Parliament-men of the sword, was not
(I conceive) for want of courage in the latter, nor of a liberal
education; because there were some of the best families in England
engaged in that party; but gallantry and mode, which glitter agreeably
to the imagination, were encouraged by the Court, as promoting its
splendour; and it was as natural that the contrary party (who were to
recommend themselves to the public for men of serious and solid parts)
should deviate from everything chimerical.

Mr. SAGE. I have never read of a duel among the Romans; and yet their
nobility used more liberty with their tongues than one may do now
without being challenged.

Sir MARK. Perhaps the Romans were of opinion, that ill language, and
brutal manners, reflected only on those who were guilty of them; and
that a man's reputation was not at all cleared by cutting the person's
throat who had reflected upon it: but the custom of those times had
fixed the scandal in the action; whereas now it lies in the reproach.

Mr. SAGE. And yet the only sort of duel that one can conceive to have
been fought upon motives truly honourable and allowable, was that
between the Horatii and Curiatii.

Sir MARK. Colonel Plume, pray what was the method of single combat in
your time among the Cavaliers? I suppose, that as the use of clothes
continues, though the fashion of them has been mutable; so duels,
though still in use, have had in all times their particular modes of

Col. PLUME. We had no constant rule, but generally conducted our dispute
and tilt according to the last that had happened between persons of
reputation among the very top fellows for bravery and gallantry.

Sir MARK. If the fashion of quarrelling and tilting was so often changed
in your time, Colonel Plume, a man might fight, yet lose his credit for
want of understanding the fashion.

Col. PLUME. Why, Sir Mark, in the beginning of July, a man would have
been censured for want of courage, or been thought indigent of the true
notions of honour, if he had put up [with] words, which in the end of
September following, one could not resent without passing for a brutal
and quarrelsome fellow.

Sir MARK. But, Colonel, were duels or rencounters most in fashion in
those days?

Col. PLUME. Your men of nice honour, sir, were for avoiding all censure
of advantage which they supposed might be taken in a rencounter;
therefore they used seconds, who were to see that all was upon the
square, and make a faithful report of the whole combat; but in a little
time it became a fashion for the seconds to fight, and I'll tell you how
it happened.

Mr. SAGE. Pray do, Colonel Plume, and the method of a duel at that time,
and give us some notion of the punctos upon which your nice men
quarrelled in those days.

Col. PLUME. I was going to tell you, Mr. Sage, that one Cornet Modish
had desired his friend, Captain Smart's, opinion in some affair, but did
not follow it; upon which Captain Smart sent Major Adroit (a very
topping fellow of those times) to the person that had slighted his
advice. The Major never inquired into the quarrel, because it was not
the manner then among the very topping fellows; but got two swords of an
equal length, and then waited upon Cornet Modish, desiring him to choose
his sword, and meet his friend Captain Smart. Cornet Modish came with
his friend to the place of combat; there the principals put on their
pumps, and stripped to their shirts, to show they had nothing but what
men of honour carry about them, and then engaged.

Sir MARK. And did the seconds stand by, sir?

Col. PLUME. It was a received custom till that time; but the swords of
those days being pretty long, and the principals acting on both sides
upon the defensive, and the morning being frosty, Major Adroit desired
that the other second, who was also a very topping fellow, would try a
thrust or two only to keep them warm, till the principals had decided
the matter, which was agreed to by Modish's second, who presently
whipped Adroit through the body, disarmed him, and then parted the
principals, who had received no harm at all.

Mr. SAGE. But was not Adroit laughed at?

Col. PLUME. On the contrary, the very topping fellows were ever after of
opinion, that no man who deserved that character, could serve as a
second, without fighting; and the Smarts and Modishes finding their
account in it, the humour took without opposition.

Mr. SAGE. Pray, Colonel, how long did that fashion continue?

Col. PLUME, Not long neither, Mr. Sage; for as soon as it became a
fashion, the very topping fellows thought their honour reflected upon,
if they did not proffer themselves as seconds when any of their friends
had a quarrel; so that sometimes there were a dozen of a side.

Sir MARK. Bless me! If that custom had continued, we should have been
at a loss now for our very pretty fellows; for they seem to be the
proper men to officer, animate, and keep up an army: but, pray, sir, how
did that sociable manner of tilting grow out of mode?

Col. PLUME. Why, sir, I'll tell you; it was a law among the combatants,
that the party which happened to have the first man disarmed or killed,
should yield as vanquished; which some people thought might encourage
the Modishes and Smarts in quarrelling, to the destruction of only the
very topping fellows; and as soon as this reflection was started, the
very topping fellows thought it an incumbrance upon their honour to
fight at all themselves. Since that time, the Modishes and the Smarts,
throughout all Europe, have extolled the French king's edict.

Sir MARK. Our very pretty fellows, whom I take to be the successors of
the very topping fellows, think a quarrel so little fashionable, that
they will not be exposed to it by another man's vanity, or want of

Mr. SAGE. But, Colonel, I have observed in your account of duels, that
there was a great exactness in avoiding all advantage that might
possibly be between the combatants.

Col. PLUME. That's true, sir; for the weapons were always equal.

Mr. SAGE. Yes, sir; but suppose an active, adroit, strong man, had
insulted an awkward, or a feeble, or an unpractised swordsman.

Col. PLUME. Then, sir, they fought with pistols.

Mr. SAGE. But, sir, there might be a certain advantage that way; for a
good marksman will be sure to hit his man at twenty yards distance; and
a man whose hand shakes (which is common to men that debauch in
pleasures, or have not used pistols out of their holsters) won't
venture to fire, unless he touches the person he shoots at. Now, sir, I
am of opinion, that one can get no honour in killing a man (if one has
it all rug,[388] as the gamesters say), when they have a trick to make
the game secure, though they seem to play upon the square.

Sir MARK. In truth, Mr. Sage, I think such a fact must be murder in a
man's own private conscience, whatever it may appear to the world.

Col. PLUME. I have known some men so nice, that they would not fight but
upon a cloak without pistols.

Mr. SAGE. I believe a custom, well established, would outdo the Grand
Monarch's edict.[389]

Sir MARK. And bullies would then leave off their long swords; but I
don't find that a very pretty fellow can stay to change his sword, when
he is insulted by a bully with a long diego,[390] though his own at the
same time be no longer than a penknife; which will certainly be the
case, if such little swords are in mode. Pray, Colonel, how was it
between the hectors of your time and the very topping fellows?

Col. PLUME. Sir, long swords happened to be generally worn in those

Mr. SAGE. In answer to what you were saying, Sir Mark, give me leave to
inform you, that your knights-errant (who were the very pretty fellows
of those ancient times) thought they could not honourably yield, though
they had fought their own trusty weapons to the stumps; but would
venture as boldly with the page's leaden sword, as if it had been of
enchanted metal. Whence I conceive, there must be a spice of romantic
gallantry in the composition of that very pretty fellow.

Sir MARK. I am of opinion, Mr. Sage, that fashion governs a very pretty
fellow; nature, or common sense, your ordinary persons, and sometimes
men of fine parts.

Mr. SAGE. But what is the reason, that men of the most excellent sense
and morals (in other points) associate their understandings with the
very pretty fellows in that chimæra of a duel?

Sir MARK. There's no disputing against so great a majority.

Mr. SAGE. But there is one scruple (Colonel Plume) and I have done:
don't you believe there may be some advantage even upon a cloak with
pistols, which a man of nice honour would scruple to take?

Col. PLUME. Faith, I can't tell, sir; but since one may reasonably
suppose, that (in such a case) there can be but one so far in the wrong
as to occasion matters to come to that extremity, I think the chance of
being killed should fall but on one; whereas by their close and
desperate manner of fighting, it may very probably happen to both.

Sir MARK. Why, gentlemen, if they are men of such nice honour (and must
fight), there will be no fear of foul play, if they threw up cross or
pile[391] who should be shot.

[Footnote 383: Job xxxviii. 4, 8, 11.]

[Footnote 384: There was a difference between the University terms and
the Law terms.]

[Footnote 385: Spencer Cowper (1669-1727), brother of Earl Cowper, and
afterwards a judge of the Common Pleas. He was one of the managers of
the impeachment of Sacheverell in 1710.]

[Footnote 386: See Nos. 25, 26, 29, 31, 38, 205.]

[Footnote 387: At Whitehall.]

[Footnote 388: _Cf._ "Wentworth Papers," p. 394: "June 29, 1714. The
changes at Court does not go so rug as some people expected and gave
out, that 'twas to be all intire Tory with the least seeming mixture of

[Footnote 389: See _Spectator_, No. 97.]

[Footnote 390: A sword. Don Diego was a familiar name for a Spaniard
with both English and French writers in the seventeenth century. San
Diego is a corruption of Santiago (St. James), the patron saint of

[Footnote 391: A pillar, the design on one side of a coin, bearing on
the other a cross. Swift says, "This I humbly conceive to be perfect
boys' play; cross, I win, and pile, you lose."]

No. 40. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, July 9_, to _Tuesday, July 12_, 1709.

       *       *       *       *       *

Will's Coffee-house, July 11.

Letters from the city of London give an account of a very great
consternation that place is in at present, by reason of a late inquiry
made at Guildhall, whether a noble person[392] has parts enough to
deserve the enjoyment of the great estate of which he is possessed. The
city is apprehensive that this precedent may go further than was at
first imagined. The person against whom this inquisition is set up by
his relations, is a peer of a neighbouring kingdom, and has in his youth
made some few bulls, by which it is insinuated, that he has forfeited
his goods and chattels. This is the more astonishing, in that there are
many persons in the said city who are still more guilty than his
lordship, and who, though they are idiots, do not only possess, but have
also themselves acquired great estates, contrary to the known laws of
this realm, which vests their possessions in the Crown. There is a
gentleman of this coffee-house at this time exhibiting a bill in
Chancery against his father's younger brother, who by some strange magic
has arrived at the value of half a plum, as the citizens call a hundred
thousand pounds; and in all the time of growing up to that wealth, was
never known in any of his ordinary words or actions to discover any
proof of reason. Upon this foundation my friend has set forth, that he
is illegally master of his coffers, and has writ two epigrams to signify
his own pretensions and sufficiency for spending that estate. He has
inserted in his plea some things which I fear will give offence; for he
pretends to argue, that though a man has a little of the knave mixed
with the fool, he is nevertheless liable to the loss of goods; and makes
the abuse of reason as just an avoidance of an estate as the total
absence of it. This is what can never pass; but witty men are so full of
themselves, that there is no persuading them; and my friend will not be
convinced, but that upon quoting Solomon, who always used the word
"fool" as a term of the same signification with "unjust," and makes all
deviation from goodness and virtue to come under the notion of folly--I
say, he doubts not, but by the force of this authority, let his idiot
uncle appear never so great a knave, he shall prove him a fool at the
same time. This affair led the company here into an examination of these
points; and none coming here but wits, what was asserted by a young
lawyer, that a lunatic is in the care of the Chancery, but a fool in
that of the Crown, was received with general indignation. "Why that?"
says old Renault. "Why that? Why must a fool be a courtier more than a
madman? This is the iniquity of this dull age: I remember the time when
it went on the mad side; all your top wits were scowrers,[393] rakes,
roarers, and demolishers of windows. I remember a mad lord who was drunk
five years together, and was the envy of that age, and is faintly
imitated by the dull pretenders to vice and madness in this. Had he
lived to this day, there had not been a fool in fashion in the whole
kingdom." When Renault had done speaking, a very worthy man assumed the
discourse: "This is," said he, "Mr. Bickerstaff, a proper argument for
you to treat in your article from this place; and if you would send your
Pacolet into all our brains, you would find, that a little fibre or
valve, scarce discernible, makes the distinction between a politician
and an idiot. We should therefore throw a veil upon those unhappy
instances of human nature, who seem to breathe without the direction of
reason and understanding, as we should avert our eyes with abhorrence
from such as live in perpetual abuse and contradiction to these noble
faculties. Shall this unfortunate man be divested of his estate, because
he is tractable and indolent, runs in no man's debt, invades no man's
bed, nor spends the estate he owes his children and his character; when
one who shows no sense above him, but in such practices, shall be
esteemed in his senses, and possibly may pretend to the guardianship of
him who is no ways his inferior, but in being less wicked? We see old
age brings us indifferently into the same impotence of soul, wherein
nature has placed this lord. There is something very fantastical in the
distribution of civil power and capacity among men. The law certainly
gives these persons into the ward and care of the Crown, because that is
best able to protect them from injuries, and the impositions of craft
and knavery; that the life of an idiot may not ruin the entail of a
noble house, and his weakness may not frustrate the industry or capacity
of the founder of his family. But when one of bright parts, as we say,
with his eyes open, and all men's eyes upon him, destroys those
purposes, there is no remedy. Folly and ignorance are punished! Folly
and guilt are tolerated! Mr. Locke has somewhere made a distinction
between a madman and a fool:[394] a fool is he that from right
principles makes a wrong conclusion; but a madman is one who draws a
just inference from false principles. Thus the fool who cut off the
fellow's head that lay asleep, and hid it, and then waited to see what
he would say when he awakened and missed his headpiece, was in the right
in the first thought, that a man would be surprised to find such an
alteration in things since he fell asleep; but he was a little mistaken
to imagine he could awake at all after his head was off. A madman
fancies himself a prince; but upon his mistake, he acts suitably to that
character; and though he is out in supposing he has principalities,
while he drinks gruel, and lies in straw, yet you shall see him keep the
port of a distressed monarch in all his words and actions. These two
persons are equally taken into custody: but what must be done to half
this good company, who every hour of their life are knowingly and
wittingly both fools and madmen, and yet have capacities both of forming
principles, and drawing conclusions, with the full use of reason?"

From my own Apartment, July 11.

This evening some ladies came to visit my sister Jenny; and the
discourse, after very many frivolous and public matters, turned upon the
main point among the women, the passion of love.[395] Sappho, who always
leads on this occasion, began to show her reading, and told us, that Sir
John Suckling and Milton had, upon a parallel occasion, said the
tenderest things she had ever read. "The circumstance," said she, "is
such as gives us a notion of that protecting part which is the duty of
men in their honourable designs upon, or possession of, women. In
Suckling's tragedy of 'Brennoralt' he makes the lover steal into his
mistress's bedchamber, and draw the curtains; then, when his heart is
full of her charms, as she lies sleeping, instead of being carried away
by the violence of his desires into thoughts of a warmer nature, sleep,
which is the image of death, gives this generous lover reflections of a
different kind, which regard rather her safety than his own passion.
For, beholding her as she lies sleeping, he utters these words:

    _"So misers look upon their gold,
    Which, while they joy to see, they fear to lose:
    The pleasure of the sight scarce equalling
    The jealousy of being dispossessed by others.
    Her face is like the Milky Way i' th' sky,
    A meeting of gentle lights without name!

    "Heavens I shall this fresh ornament of the world,
    These precious love-lines, pass with other common things
    Amongst the wastes of time? what pity 'twere!_[396]

"When Milton makes Adam leaning on his arm, beholding Eve, and lying in
the contemplation of her beauty, he describes the utmost tenderness and
guardian affection in one word:

    "_Adam with looks of cordial love
    Hung over her enamoured._[397]

"This is that sort of passion which truly deserves the name of 'love,'
and has something more generous than friendship itself; for it has a
constant care of the object beloved, abstracted from its own interests
in the possession of it." Sappho was proceeding on the subject, when my
sister produced a letter sent to her in the time of my absence, in
celebration of the marriage state, which is the condition wherein only
this sort of passion reigns in full authority. The epistle is as


"Your brother being absent, I dare take the liberty of writing to you my
thoughts of that state, which our whole sex either is or desires to be
in: you'll easily guess I mean matrimony, which I hear so much decried,
that it was with no small labour I maintained my ground against two
opponents; but, as your brother observed of Socrates, I drew them into
my conclusion from their own concessions; thus:

    _"In marriage are two happy things allowed,
    A wife in wedding-sheets, and in a shroud.
    How can a marriage state then be accursed,
    Since the last day's as happy as the first?_

"If you think they were too easily confuted, you may conclude them not
of the first sense, by their talking against marriage.



I observed Sappho began to redden at this epistle; and turning to a
lady, who was playing with a dog she was so fond of as to carry him
abroad with her; "Nay," says she, "I cannot blame the men if they have
mean ideas of our souls and affections, and wonder so many are brought
to take us for companions for life, when they see our endearments so
triflingly placed: for, to my knowledge, Mr. Truman would give half his
estate for half the affection you have shown to that Shock: nor do I
believe you would be ashamed to confess, that I saw you cry, when he had
the colic last week with lapping sour milk. What more could you do for
your lover himself?" "What more!" replied the lady, "there is not a man
in England for whom I could lament half so much." Then she stifled the
animal with kisses, and called him, Beau, Life, Dear, Monsieur, Pretty
Fellow, and what not, in the hurry of her impertinence. Sappho rose up;
as she always does at anything she observes done, which discovers in her
own sex a levity of mind, which renders them inconsiderable in the
opinion of others.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 11.

Letters from the Hague of the 16th instant, N.S., say, that the siege of
Tournay went on with all imaginable success; and that there has been no
manner of stop given to the attempts of the Confederates since they
undertook it, except that by an accident of firing a piece of ordnance,
it burst, and killed fifteen or sixteen men. The French army is still
in the camp of Lens, and goes on in improving their entrenchments. When
the last advices came away, it was believed the town of Tournay would be
in the hands of the Confederates by the end of this month. Advices from
Brussels inform us, that they have an account of a great action between
the malcontents in the Vivarez, and the French king's forces under the
command of the Duke of Roquelaure, in which engagement there were
eighteen hundred men killed on the spot. They add, that all sorts of
people who are under any oppression or discontent do daily join the
Vivarois; and that their present body of men in arms consisted of six
thousand. This sudden insurrection has put the Court of France under
great difficulties; and the king has given orders, that the main body of
his troops in Spain shall withdraw into his own dominions, where they
are to be quartered in such countries as have of late discovered an
inclination to take up arms: the calamities of that kingdom being such,
that the people are not by any means to be kept in obedience, except by
the terror of military execution. What makes the distresses still
greater, is, that the Court begins to be doubtful of their troops, some
regiments in the action in the Cevennes having faced about against their
officers; and after the battle was over, joined the malcontents. Upon
receiving advice of this battle, the Duke of Berwick detached twelve
battalions into those parts, and began to add new works to his
entrenchments near Briançon, in order to defend his camp, after being
weakened by sending so great a reinforcement into the Cevennes. Letters
from Spain say, that the Duchess of Anjou was lately delivered of a
second son. They write from Madrid of the 25th of June, that the
blockade of Olivenza was continued; but acknowledge, that the late
provisions which were thrown into the place, make them doubt whether
they shall be masters of it this campaign; though it is at present so
closely blocked up, that it appears impracticable to send in any more
stores or succours. They are preparing with all expedition to repair the
fortifications of Alicante, for the security of the kingdom of Valencia.

[Footnote 392: It appears from Luttrell's "Brief Relation," that in Feb.
1707, Commissioners sat in the Exchequer Room at Westminster to try
whether Viscount Wenman, "aged 19, of £5000 per annum estate in
Oxfordshire," were an idiot or not. On the 14th February the Commission
was superseded. In June 1709, a new Commission passed the Great Seal for
inquiring into the Viscount's idiocy, and on July 29 they found that he
was no idiot. On July 12, Peter Wentworth wrote thus to Lord Raby: "The
prosecution of Lord Wainman is now order'd again, upon wch the _Tatler_
is to day; the accation I am told is this, that last year when there was
a stopt put to't 'twas upon the intercession lady Wainman the mother
made to the Queen, and that she designed to marry her son, the fool, to
Sir John Packington's daughter, 'twas then said that my Lady her self
had married her Butler, wch the Queen desired her to tell the truth, and
she did assure the Queen upon her word and honour,'twas false, and she
never intended any such thing, but of late she has own her marriage to
that same Butler, and put off the match with Sir John P----daughter, and
married him to her husband's sister, wch they say the Queen is angry at
and therefore this fresh prosecution is order'd" ("Wentworth Papers," p.
93). Lord Wenman, the fifth Viscount, was born in 1687, married
Susannah, daughter of Seymour Wroughton, Esq., in 1709, and died in
1729. Lord Wenman's brother-in-law, Francis Wroughton, was also his
father-in-law, for he had married, in 1699, as her third husband, the
Viscount's mother, the Countess of Abingdon.]

[Footnote 393: The Scowrers and Roarers were the forerunners of the
Mohocks of 1712. Shadwell wrote a play called "The Scowrers," and often
alludes to the window-breakers of his time. See Gay's "Trivia," iii.

    "Who has not heard the Scowrer's midnight fame?
    Who has not trembled at the Mohock's name?"

[Footnote 394: "Essay concerning Human Understanding," chap. xii. sect.

[Footnote 395: See Nos. 6, 35.]

[Footnote 396: "Brennoralt," act iii.]

[Footnote 397: "Paradise Lost," iv. 12, 13.]

No. 41. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, July 12_, to _Thursday, July 14_, 1709.

    Celebrare domestica facta.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, July 12.

There is no one thing more to be lamented in our nation, than their
general affectation of everything that is foreign; nay, we carry it so
far, that we are more anxious for our own countrymen when they have
crossed the seas, than when we see them in the same dangerous condition
before our eyes at home: else how is it possible, that on the 29th of
the last month, there should have been a battle fought in our very
streets of London, and nobody at this end of the town have heard of it?
I protest, I, who make it my business to inquire after adventures,
should never have known this, had not the following account been sent me
enclosed in a letter. This, it seems, is the way of giving out of orders
in the Artillery Company;[398] and they prepare for a day of action with
so little concern, as only to call it, "An Exercise of Arms."

"An Exercise at Arms of the Artillery Company, to be performed on
Wednesday, June 29, 1709, under the command of Sir Joseph Woolfe, Knight
and Alderman, General; Charles Hopson, Esquire, present Sheriff,
Lieutenant-General; Captain Richard Synge, Major; Major John Shorey,
Captain of Grenadiers; Captain William Grayhurst, Captain John Buttler,
Captain Robert Carellis, Captains.

"The body march from the Artillery Ground through Moorgate, Coleman
Street, Lothbury, Broad Street, Finch Lane, Cornhill, Cheapside, St.
Martin's, St. Anne's Lane, halt the pikes under the wall in Noble
Street, draw up the firelocks facing the Goldsmiths' Hall, make ready
and face to the left, and fire, and so ditto three times. Beat to arms,
and march round the hall, as up Lad Lane, Gutter Lane, Honey Lane, and
so wheel to the right, and make your salute to my lord, and so down St.
Anne's Lane, up Aldersgate Street, Barbican, and draw up in Red Cross
Street, the right at St. Paul's Alley in the rear. March off
Lieutenant-General with half the body up Beech Lane: he sends a
subdivision up King's Head Court, and takes post in it, and marches two
divisions round into Red Lion Market, to defend that pass, and succour
the division in King's Head Court, but keeps in White Cross Street,
facing Beech Lane, the rest of the body ready drawn up. Then the General
marches up Beech Lane, is attacked, but forces the division in the court
into the market, and enters with three divisions while he presses the
Lieutenant-General's main body; and at the same time, the three
divisions force those of the revolters out of the market, and so all the
Lieutenant-General's body retreats into Chiswell Street, and lodges two
divisions in Grub Street; and as the General marches on, they fall on
his flank, but soon made to give way; but having a retreating place in
Red Lion Court, but could not hold it, being put to flight through
Paul's Alley, and pursued by the General's grenadiers, while he marches
up and attacks their main body, but are opposed again by a party of men
as lay in Black Raven Court; but they are forced also to retire soon in
the utmost confusion; and at the same time those brave divisions in
Paul's Alley ply their rear with grenadiers, that with precipitation
they take to the rout along Bunhill Row: so the General marches into the
Artillery Ground, and being drawn up, finds the revolting party to have
found entrance, and makes a show as if for a battle, and both armies
soon engage in form, and fire by platoons."

Much might be said for the improvement of this system; which, for its
style and invention, may instruct generals and their historians, both in
fighting a battle, and describing it when it is over. These elegant
expressions, "Ditto," "And so," "But soon," "But having," "But could
not," "But are," "But they," "Finds the party to have found," &c., do
certainly give great life and spirit to the relation. Indeed I am
extremely concerned for the Lieutenant-General, who, by his overthrow
and defeat, is made a deplorable instance of the fortune of war, and
vicissitudes of human affairs. He, alas! has lost in Beech Lane and
Chiswell Street, all the glory he lately gained in and about Holborn and
St. Giles's. The art of subdividing first, and dividing afterwards, is
new and surprising; and according to this method, the troops are
disposed in King's Head Court and Red Lion Market: nor is the conduct of
these leaders less conspicuous in their choice of the ground or field of
battle. Happy was it, that the greatest part of the achievements of this
day was to be performed near Grub Street,[399] that there might not be
wanting a sufficient number of faithful historians, who being
eye-witnesses of these wonders, should impartially transmit them to
posterity: but then it can never be enough regretted, that we are left
in the dark as to the name and title of that extraordinary hero who
commanded the divisions in Paul's Alley; especially because those
divisions are justly styled brave, and accordingly were to push the
enemy along Bunhill Row, and thereby occasion a general battle. But
Pallas appeared in the form of a shower of rain, and prevented the
slaughter and desolation which were threatened by these extraordinary

    _Hi motus animorum atque hæc certamina tanta
    Pulveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt._[400]

Will's Coffee-house, July 13.

Some part of the company keep up the old way of conversation in this
place, which usually turned upon the examination of nature, and an
inquiry into the manners of men. There is one in the room so very
judicious, that he manages impertinents with the utmost dexterity. It
was diverting this evening to hear a discourse between him and one of
these gentlemen. He told me before that person joined us, that he was a
questioner, who, according to his description, is one who asks
questions, not with a design to receive information, but an affectation
to show his uneasiness for want of it. He went on in asserting, that
there are crowds of that modest ambition, as to aim no farther than to
demonstrate that they are in doubt. But by this time Will Why-not was
sat down by us. "So, gentlemen," says he, "in how many days, think you,
shall we be masters of Tournay? Is the account of the action of the
Vivarois to be depended upon? Could you have imagined England had so
much money in it, as you see it has produced? Pray, sirs, what do you
think? Will the Duke of Savoy make an eruption into France? But," says
he, "time will clear all these mysteries." His answer to himself gave me
the altitude of his head, and to all his questions I thus answered very
satisfactorily: "Sir, have you heard that this Slaughterford[401] never
owned the fact for which he died? Have the newspapers mentioned that
matter? But, pray, can you tell me what method will be taken to provide
for these Palatines?[402] But this, as you say, time will clear." "Ay,
ay," says he, and whispers me, "they will never let us into these things
beforehand." I whispered him again, "We shall know it as soon as there
is a proclamation." He tells me in the other ear, "You are in the right
of it." Then he whispered my friend to know what my name was; then made
an obliging bow, and went to examine another table. This led my friend
and me to weigh this wandering manner in many other incidents, and he
took out of his pockets several little notes or tickets to solicit for
votes to employments: as, "Mr. John Taplash having served all offices,
and being reduced to great poverty, desires your vote for singing clerk
of this parish." Another "has had ten children, all whom his wife has
suckled herself; therefore humbly desires to be a schoolmaster." There
is nothing so frequent as this way of application for offices. It is not
that you are fit for the place, but because the place would be
convenient for you, that you claim a merit to it. But commend me to the
great Kirleus,[403] who has lately set up for midwifery, and to help
childbirth, for no other reason, but that he is himself the Unborn
Doctor. The way is to hit upon something that puts the vulgar upon the
stare, or that touches their compassion, which is often the weakest part
about us. I know a good lady, who has taken her daughters from their old
dancing-master, to place them with another, for no other reason, but
because the new man has broke his leg, which is so ill set, that he can
never dance more.

From my own Apartment, July 13.

As it is a frequent mortification to me to receive letters, wherein
people tell me, without a name, they know I meant them in such and such
a passage; so that very accusation is an argument, that there are such
beings in human life, as fall under our description and our discourse,
is not altogether fantastical and groundless. But in this case I am
treated as I saw a boy was the other day, who gave out poxy bills: every
plain fellow took it that passed by, and went on his way without further
notice: at last came one with his nose a little abridged; who knocks the
lad down, with a, "Why, you son of a w----e, do you think I am p----d?"
But Shakespeare has made the best apology for this way of talking
against the public errors: he makes Jaques, in the play called "As You
Like It," express himself thus:

    _Why, who cries out on pride,
    That can therein tax any private party?
    What woman in the city do I name,
    When that I say the city woman bears
    The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
    Who can come in and say that I mean her,
    When such a one as she, such is her neighbour?
    Or, what is he of basest function,
    That says his bravery is not on my cost?
    Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits
    His folly to the mettle of my speech.
    There then! How then? Then let me see wherein
    My tongue hath wronged him: if it do him right,
    Then he hath wronged himself: if he be free,
    Why then my taxing like a wild goose flies,
    Unclaimed of any man._[404]

St. James's Coffee-house, July 13.

We have received, by letters of the 18th instant from the camp before
Tournay, an account, that we were in a fair prospect of being masters of
the town within seven days after that date. Our batteries had utterly
overthrown those of the enemy. On the 16th instant, N.S., General
Schuylemburg had made a lodgment on the counterscarp of the Tenaille;
which post was so weakly defended, that we lost but six men in gaining
it. So that there seems reason to hope, that the citadel will also be in
the hands of the Confederates about the 6th of August, O.S. These
advices inform us further, that Marshal Villars had ordered large
detachments to make motions towards Douay and Condé. The swift progress
of this siege has so much alarmed the other frontier towns of France,
that they were throwing down some houses in the suburbs of Valenciennes,
which they think may stand commodiously for the enemy in case that place
should be invested. The Elector of Cologne is making all imaginable
haste to remove from thence to Rheims.

[Footnote 398: See Nos. 28, 38.]

[Footnote 399: Grub Street, Cripplegate (now Milton Street), became,
towards the end of the seventeenth century, the abode of what Johnson
calls "writers of small histories, dictionaries and temporary poems;
whence any mean production is called Grub Street."]

[Footnote 400: Virgil, "Georgics," iv. 86.]

[Footnote 401: The _Flying Post_ records that one Slaughterford was
sentenced to death on July 2, 1709, for murdering his sweetheart.]

[Footnote 402: See Nos. 24, 51.]

[Footnote 403: See No. 14.]

[Footnote 404: "As You Like It," act ii. sc. 7.]


From _Thursday, July 14, to Saturday, July 16_, 1709.

    Celebrare domestica facta.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, July 15.

Looking over some old papers, I found a little treatise, written by my
great-grandfather, concerning bribery, and thought his manner of
treating that subject not unworthy my remark. He there has a digression
concerning a possibility, that in some circumstances a man may receive
an injury, and yet be conscious to himself that he deserves it. There
are abundance of fine things said on the subject; but the whole wrapped
up in so much jingle and pun (which was the wit of those times) that it
is scarce intelligible; but I thought the design was well enough in the
following sketch of the old gentleman's poetry: for in this case, where
two are rivals for the same thing, and propose to attain it by presents,
he that attempts the judge's honesty, by making him offers of reward,
ought not to complain when he loses his cause for a better bidder. But
the good old doggerel runs thus:[405]

    _A poor man once a judge besought,
      To judge aright his cause,
    And with a pot of oil salutes
      This judger of the laws.

    "My friend" quoth he, "thy cause is good":
      He glad away did trudge;
    Anon his wealthy foe did come
      Before this partial judge.

    An hog well fed this churl presents,
      And craves a strain of law;
    The hog received, the poor man's right
      Was judged not worth a straw.

    Therewith he cried, "O! partial judge,
      Thy doom has me undone;
    When oil I gave, my cause was good,
      But now to ruin run."

    "Poor man" quoth he, "I thee forgot,
      And see thy cause of foil;
    An hog came since into my house,
      And broke thy pot of oil."_

Will's Coffee-house, July 15.

The discourse happened this evening to fall upon characters drawn in
plays, and a gentleman remarked, that there was no method in the world
of knowing the taste of an age, or period of time so good, as by the
observations of the persons represented in their comedies. There were
several instances produced, as Ben Jonson's bringing in a fellow smoking
as a piece of foppery;[406] "But," said the gentleman who entertained us
on this subject, "this matter is nowhere so observable as in the
difference of the characters of women on the stage in the last age, and
in this. It is not to be supposed that it was a poverty of genius in
Shakespeare, that his women made so small a figure in his dialogues; but
it certainly is, that he drew women as they then were in life; for that
sex had not in those days that freedom in conversation; and their
characters were only, that they were mothers, sisters, daughters, and
wives. There were not then among the ladies, shining wits, politicians,
virtuosas, free-thinkers, and disputants; nay, there was then hardly
such a creature even as a coquette: but vanity had quite another turn,
and the most conspicuous woman at that time of day was only the best
housewife. Were it possible to bring into life an assembly of matrons of
that age, and introduce the learned Lady Woodby into their company, they
would not believe the same nation could produce a creature so unlike
anything they ever saw in it. But these ancients would be as much
astonished to see in the same age so illustrious a pattern to all who
love things praiseworthy, as the divine Aspasia.[407] Methinks, I now
see her walking in her garden like our first parent, with unaffected
charms, before beauty had spectators, and bearing celestial conscious
virtue in her aspect. Her countenance is the lively picture of her mind,
which is the seat of honour, truth, compassion, knowledge, and

    _There dwells the scorn of vice and pity too._

In the midst of the most ample fortune, and veneration of all that
behold and know her, without the least affectation, she consults
retirement, the contemplation of her own being, and that supreme power
which bestowed it. Without the learning of schools, or knowledge of a
long course of arguments, she goes on in a steady course of
uninterrupted piety and virtue, and adds to the severity and privacy of
the last age all the freedom and ease of this. The language and mien of
a Court she is possessed of in the highest degree; but the simplicity
and humble thoughts of a cottage, are her more welcome entertainments.
Aspasia is a female philosopher, who does not only live up to the
resignation of the most retired lives of the ancient sages, but also to
the schemes and plans which they thought beautiful, though inimitable.
This lady is the most exact economist, without appearing busy; the most
strictly virtuous, without tasting the praise of it; and shuns applause
with as much industry, as others do reproach. This character is so
particular, that it will very easily be fixed on her only, by all that
know her: but I daresay, she will be the last that finds it out. But,
alas! if we have one or two such ladies, how many dozens are there like
the restless Poluglossa, who is acquainted with all the world but
herself; who has the appearance of all, and possession of no one virtue:
she has indeed in her practice the absence of vice; but her discourse is
the continual history of it; and it is apparent, when she speaks of the
criminal gratifications of others, that her innocence is only a
restraint, with a certain mixture of envy. She is so perfectly opposite
to the character of Aspasia, that as vice is terrible to her only as it
is the object of reproach, so virtue is agreeable only as it is attended
with applause.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 15.

It is now twelve o'clock at noon, and no mail come in; therefore I am
not without hopes, that the town will allow me the liberty which my
brother news-writers take, in giving them what may be for their
information in another kind, and indulge me in doing an act of
friendship, by publishing the following account of goods and

This is to give notice, that a magnificent palace, with great variety of
gardens, statues, and waterworks, may be bought cheap in Drury Lane;
where there are likewise several castles to be disposed of, very
delightfully situated; as also groves, woods, forests, fountains, and
country seats, with very pleasant prospects on all sides of them; being
the movables of Ch----r R----ch,[409] Esq.; who is breaking up
housekeeping, and has many curious pieces of furniture to dispose of,
which may be seen between the hours of six and ten in the evening.


    Spirits of right Nantes brandy, for lambent flames and apparitions.

    Three bottles and a half of lightning.

    One shower of snow in the whitest French paper.

    Two showers of a browner sort.

    A sea, consisting of a dozen large waves; the tenth bigger than
    ordinary, and a little damaged.

    A dozen and a half of clouds, trimmed with black, and well

    A rainbow a little faded.

    A set of clouds after the French mode, streaked with lightning, and

    A new-moon, something decayed.

    A pint of the finest Spanish wash, being all that is left of two
    hogsheads sent over last winter.

    A coach very finely gilt, and little used, with a pair of dragons,
    to be sold cheap.

    A setting sun, a pennyworth.[410]

    An imperial mantle, made for Cyrus the Great, and worn by Julius
    Cæsar, Bajazet, King Harry the Eighth, and Signior Valentin.[411]

    A basket-hilt sword, very convenient to carry milk in.

    Roxana's night-gown.

    Othello's handkerchief.

    The imperial robes of Xerxes, never worn but once.

    A wild-boar, killed by Mrs. Tofts[412] and Dioclesian.

    A serpent to sting Cleopatra.

    A mustard-bowl to make thunder with.

    Another of a bigger sort, by Mr. D----is's directions, little

    Six elbow-chairs, very expert in country-dances, with six
    flower-pots for their partners.

    The whiskers of a Turkish bassa.

    The complexion of a murderer in a band-box; consisting of a large
    piece of burnt cork, and a coal-black peruke.

    A suit of clothes for a ghost, viz., a bloody shirt, a doublet
    curiously pinked, and a coat with three great eyelet-holes upon the

    A bale of red Spanish wool.

    Modern plots, commonly known by the name of trapdoors, ladders of
    ropes, vizard-masks, and tables with broad carpets over them.

    Three oak cudgels, with one of crab-tree; all bought for the use of
    Mr. Pinkethman.

    Materials for dancing; as masks, castanets, and a ladder of ten

    Aurengezebe's scimitar, made by Will Brown in Piccadilly.

    A plume of feathers, never used but by Oedipus and the Earl of

There are also swords, halberts, sheep-hooks, cardinals' hats, turbans,
drums, gallipots, a gibbet, a cradle, a rack, a cart-wheel, an altar, a
helmet, a back-piece, a breast-plate, a bell, a tub, and a jointed

These are the hard shifts we intelligencers are forced to; therefore our
readers ought to excuse us, if a westerly wind blowing for a fortnight
together, generally fills every paper with an order of battle; when we
show our martial skill in each line, and, according to the space we have
to fill, we range our men in squadrons and battalions, or draw out
company by company, and troop by troop; ever observing, that no muster
is to be made, but when the wind is in a cross point, which often
happens at the end of a campaign, when half the men are deserted or
killed. The _Courant_ is sometimes ten deep, his ranks close: the
_Postboy_[415] is generally in files, for greater exactness; and the
_Postman_ comes down upon you rather after the Turkish way, sword in
hand, pell-mell, without form or discipline; but sure to bring men
enough into the field; and wherever they are raised, never to lose a
battle for want of numbers.

[Footnote 405: From George Whetstone's "English Mirror," 1586.]

[Footnote 406: See "Every Man out of his Humour," act ii. sc. 1.]

[Footnote 407: Lady Elizabeth Hastings, unquestionably one of the most
accomplished and virtuous characters of the age in which she lived, was
the daughter of Theophilus Hastings, the 7th Earl of Huntingdon, and of
Elizabeth, eldest daughter and co-heiress to John Lewes, of Ledstone, in
Yorkshire, Knt. and Bart. Her father succeeded to the honours and estate
of the family, Feb. 13, 1655, and was in 1687 Lord Chief Justice, and
Justice in Eyre of all the King's forests, &c., beyond Trent; Lord
Lieutenant of the counties of Leicester and Derby; Captain of the Band
of Gentlemen Pensioners, and of the Privy Council to King James II. He
died suddenly at his lodgings in Charles Street, St. James's, May 13,
1701, and was succeeded in his honours and estate by his son, and her
brother, Charles, who died unmarried, Feb. 22, 1704. Lady Elizabeth
Hastings was born April 19, 1682, and died Dec. 22, 1739. It is said,
with great probability, that since the commencement of the Christian
era, scarce any age has produced a lady of such high birth and superior
accomplishments, that was a greater blessing to many, or a brighter
pattern to all. There is an admirable sketch of this illustrious lady's
character, drawn soon after her death, in the tenth volume of the
_Gentleman's Magazine_, p. 36, probably by Samuel Johnson. See also "An
historical Character relating to the holy and exemplary Life of the
Right Honourable the Lady Elisabeth Hastings, &c. By Thomas Barnard,
A.M. Printed at Leeds, in 1742, 12mo" (Nichols).--Lady Elizabeth
Hastings, who came into a fortune upon the death of her brother George,
Earl of Huntingdon, settled at Ledstone House, where she was the Lady
Bountiful of the neighbourhood. Her whole estate, however, is said to
have been less than £3000 a year. The best of the clergy of the day were
among her friends. She helped Berkeley in his Bermuda Mission scheme,
and she befriended Miss Mary Astell. Ralph Thoresby, who visited her,
was "extremely pleased with the most agreeable conversation of the pious
and excellent Lady Elizabeth Hastings." ("Diary," ii. 82). She was one
of the numerous eligible ladies that the friends of Lord Raby,
afterwards Earl of Strafford, suggested to him as a suitable wife
("Wentworth Papers," pp. 29, 56). The character of Aspasia in this paper
has been attributed to Congreve, on the ground, apparently, that he knew
Lady Elizabeth Hastings' half-brother, Theophilus, afterwards Earl of
Huntingdon. See No. 49, note.]

[Footnote 408: The remainder of this paper is by Addison; see Steele's
Preface. Drury Lane Theatre was closed by an order of the Lord
Chamberlain, as mentioned in No. 30.]

[Footnote 409: Christopher Rich.]

[Footnote 410: A bargain.]

[Footnote 411: Valentini Urbani sang in Italian in the opera of
"Camilla," in 1707. His acting seems to have been better than his voice
(Burney's "History of Music," iv. 208).]

[Footnote 412: See No. 20.]

[Footnote 413: John Dennis's unsuccessful tragedy of "Appius and
Virginia" was produced in 1709. On that occasion he introduced a new
method of making thunder (see "Dunciad," ii. 226), which was found
useful by managers. Afterwards, when Dennis found his invention being
used in "Macbeth," he exclaimed, "'Sdeath! that's my thunder. See how
the fellows use me, they have silenced my tragedy, and they roar out my
thunder" (Oldys, MS. notes on Langbaine).]

[Footnote 414: "Baby" was often used for "doll."]

[Footnote 415: See No. 18.]

No. 43. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, July 16_, to _Tuesday, July 19_, 1709.

    Bene nummatum decorat suadela Venusque,
                                            HOR. 1 Ep. vi. 38.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, July 18.

I write from hence at present to complain, that wit and merit are so
little encouraged by people of rank and quality, that the wits of the
age are obliged to run within Temple Bar for patronage. There is a
deplorable instance of this in the case of Mr. D----y,[416] who has
dedicated his inimitable comedy, called, "The Modern Prophets," to a
worthy knight,[417] to whom, it seems, he had before communicated his
plan, which was, to ridicule the ridiculous of our established doctrine.
I have elsewhere celebrated the contrivance of this excellent drama; but
was not, till I read the dedication, wholly let into the religious
design of it. I am afraid it has suffered discontinuance at this gay end
of the town, for no other reason but the piety of the purpose. There is
however in this epistle the true life of panegyrical performance; and I
do not doubt but, if the patron would part with it, I can help him to
others with good pretensions to it; viz., of uncommon understanding, who
would give him as much as he gave for it. I know perfectly well a noble
person to whom these words (which are the body of the panegyric) would
fit to a hair.

"Your easiness of humour, or rather your harmonious disposition, is so
admirably mixed with your composure, that the rugged cares and
disturbance that public affairs brings with it, which does so
vexatiously affect the heads of other great men of business, &c. does
scarce ever ruffle your unclouded brow so much as with a frown. And what
above all is praiseworthy, you are so far from thinking yourself better
than others, that a flourishing and opulent fortune, which by a certain
natural corruption in its quality, seldom fails to infect other
possessors with pride, seems in this case as if only providentially
disposed to enlarge your humility.

"But I find, sir, I am now got into a very large field, where though I
could with great ease raise a number of plants in relation to your merit
of this plauditory nature; yet for fear of an author's general vice, and
that the plain justice I have done you should, by my proceeding and
others' mistaken judgment, be imagined flattery, a thing the bluntness
of my nature does not care to be concerned with, and which I also know
you abominate."

It is wonderful to see how many judges of these fine things spring up
every day by the rise of stocks, and other elegant methods of abridging
the way to learning and criticism. But I do hereby forbid all
dedications to any persons within the city of London, except Sir
Francis, Sir Stephen,[418] and the Bank, will take epigrams and epistles
as value received for their notes; and the East India Companies accept
of heroic poems for their sealed bonds. Upon which bottom, our
publishers have full power to treat with the city in behalf of us
authors, to enable traders to become patrons and Fellows of the Royal
Society, as well as receive certain degrees of skill in the Latin and
Greek tongues, according to the quantity of the commodities which they
take off our hands.

Grecian Coffee-house, July 18.

The learned have so long laboured under the imputation of dryness and
dulness in their accounts of their phenomena, that an ingenious
gentleman of our society has resolved to write a system of philosophy in
a more lively method, both as to the matter and language, than has been
hitherto attempted. He read to us the plan upon which he intends to
proceed. I thought his account, by way of fable of the worlds about us,
had so much vivacity in it, that I could not forbear transcribing his
hypothesis, to give the reader a taste of my friend's treatise, which is
now in the press.[419]

"The inferior deities having designed on a day to play a game at
football, knead together a numberless collection of dancing atoms into
the form of seven rolling globes: and that nature might be kept from a
dull inactivity, each separate particle is endued with a principle of
motion, or a power of attraction, whereby all the several parcels of
matter draw each other proportionately to their magnitudes and
distances, into such a remarkable variety of different forms, as to
produce all the wonderful appearances we now observe in empire,
philosophy, and religion. To proceed; at the beginning of the game, each
of the globes being struck forward with a vast violence, ran out of
sight, and wandered in a straight line through the infinite spaces. The
nimble deities pursue, breathless almost, and spent in the eager chase;
each of them caught hold of one, and stamped it with his name; as,
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so of the rest. To prevent this inconvenience
for the future, the seven are condemned to a precipitation, which in our
inferior style we call 'gravity.' Thus the tangential and centripetal
forces, by their counter-struggle, make the celestial bodies describe an
exact ellipsis."

There will be added to this an appendix, in defence of the first day of
the term according to the Oxford Almanac,[420] by a learned knight of
this realm, with an apology for the said knight's manner of dress;
proving, that his habit, according to this hypothesis, is the true
modern and fashionable; and that buckles are not to be worn, by this
system, till the 10th of March, in the year 1714, which, according to
the computation of some of our greatest divines, is to be the first year
of the Millennium[421]; in which blessed age, all habits will be reduced
to a primitive simplicity; and whoever shall be found to have persevered
in a constancy of dress, in spite of all the allurements of profane and
heathen habits, shall be rewarded with a never-fading doublet of a
thousand years. All points in the system which are doubted, shall be
attested by the knight's extemporary oath, for the satisfaction of his

Will's Coffee-house, July 18.

We were upon the heroic strain this evening, and the question was, What
is the True Sublime? Many very good discourses happened thereupon; after
which a gentleman at the table, who is, it seems, writing on that
subject, assumed the argument; and though he ran through many instances
of sublimity from the ancient writers, said, he had hardly known an
occasion wherein the true greatness of soul, which animates a general in
action, is so well represented, with regard to the person of whom it was
spoken, and the time in which it was writ, as in a few lines in a modern
poem: "there is," continued he, "nothing so forced and constrained, as
what we frequently meet with in tragedies; to make a man under the
weight of a great sorrow, or full of meditation upon what he is soon to
execute, cast about for a simile to what he himself is, or the thing
which he is going to act: but there is nothing more proper and natural
than for a poet, whose business is to describe, and who is spectator of
one in that circumstance when his mind is working upon a great image,
and that the ideas hurry upon his imagination--I say, there is nothing
so natural, as for a poet to relieve and clear himself from the burthen
of thought at that time, by uttering his conception in simile and
metaphor. The highest act of the mind of man, is to possess itself with
tranquillity in imminent danger, and to have its thoughts so free, as to
act at that time without perplexity. The ancient poets have compared
this sedate courage to a rock that remains immovable amidst the rage of
winds and waves; but that is too stupid and inanimate a similitude, and
could do no credit to the hero. At other times they are all of them
wonderfully obliged to a Lybian lion, which may give indeed very
agreeable terrors to a description; but is no compliment to the person
to whom it is applied: eagles, tigers, and wolves, are made use of on
the same occasion, and very often with much beauty; but this is still an
honour done to the brute, rather than the hero. Mars, Pallas, Bacchus,
and Hercules, have each of them furnished very good similes in their
time, and made, doubtless, a greater impression on the mind of a
heathen, than they have on that of a modern reader. But the sublime
image that I am talking of, and which I really think as great as ever
entered into the thought of man, is in the poem called, 'The
Campaign';[422] where the simile of a ministering angel sets forth the
most sedate and the most active courage, engaged in an uproar of nature,
a confusion of elements, and a scene of divine vengeance. Add to all,
that these lines compliment the General and his Queen at the same time,
and have all the natural horrors, heightened by the image that was still
fresh in the mind of every reader.[423]

    "_'Twas then great Marlborough's mighty soul was proved,
    That, in the shock of charging hosts unmoved,
    Amidst confusion, horror, and despair,
    Examined all the dreadful scenes of war;
    In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed,
    To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid,
    Inspired repulsed battalions to engage,
    And taught the doubtful battle where to rage.
    So when an angel by divine command,
    With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
    Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past,
    Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
    And, pleased the Almighty's orders to perform,
    Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm._

"The whole poem is so exquisitely noble and poetic, that I think it an
honour to our nation and language." The gentleman concluded his critique
on this work, by saying, that he esteemed it wholly new, and a wonderful
attempt to keep up the ordinary ideas of a march of an army, just as
they happened in so warm and great a style, and yet be at once familiar
and heroic. Such a performance is a chronicle as well as a poem, and
will preserve the memory of our hero, when all the edifices and statues
erected to his honour are blended with common dust.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 18.

Letters from the Hague of the 23rd instant, N.S., say, that the Allies
were so forward in the siege of Tournay, that they were preparing for a
general assault, which, it was supposed, would be made within a few
days. Deserters from the town gave an account, that the garrison was
carrying their ammunition and provisions into the citadel, which
occasioned a tumult among the inhabitants of the town. The French army
had laid bridges over the Scarp, and made a motion as if they intended
to pass that river; but though they are joined by the reinforcement
expected from Germany, it was not believed they should make any attempt
towards relieving Tournay. Letters from Brabant say, there has been a
discovery made of a design to deliver up Antwerp to the enemy. The
States of Holland have agreed to a general naturalisation of all
Protestants who shall fly into their dominions; to which purpose, a
proclamation was to be issued within few days.

They write from France, that the great misery and want under which that
nation has so long laboured, has ended in a pestilence, which began to
appear in Burgundy and Dauphiné. They add, that in the town of Mazon,
three hundred persons had died in the space of ten days. Letters from
Lille of the 24th instant advise, that great numbers of deserters came
daily into that city, the most part of whom are dragoons. We are advised
from France, that the Loire having overflowed its banks, hath laid the
country under water for three hundred miles together.

[Footnote 416: See Nos. 1 and 11. In No. 29 of the _Guardian_ Steele
accused the world of ingratitude in not properly "rewarding the jocose
labours of my friend, Mr. Durfey"; and in No. 67 Addison urged the town
to go to a performance at the theatre given for Durfey's benefit. "He
has made the town merry, and I hope they will make him easy, so long as
he stays among us."]

[Footnote 417: Sir William Scawen, a merchant who was knighted in 1692.]

[Footnote 418: Probably Sir Francis Child and Sir Stephen Evance, the
bankers. The latter was ruined at the time of the South Sea mania. The
following advertisement appeared in the _Postman_ for Jan. 1, 1709:
"Lost or mislaid, some time the last summer, at Winchester House, in
Chelsea, a gold snuff-box, a cypher graved on the cover, with trophies
round it, and over the cypher these words, 'DD. Illust. Princ. Jac. Duci
Ormond.' Whoever brings it to Sir Stephen Evance, at the Black Boy in
Lombard Street, shall have ten guineas reward, and be asked no

[Footnote 419: This seems to be a banter upon Mr. Whiston's book
intituled, "Prælectiones Physicæ Mathematicæ; sive Philosophia
clarissimi Newtoni Mathematica illustrata, 1710"; wherein he explained
the Newtonian philosophy, which now began to grow into vogue. Both
Addison and Steele, however, very much befriended Whiston; and after his
banishment from Cambridge, promoted a subscription for his astronomical
lectures at Button's Coffee-house (Nichols).--See No. 251.]

[Footnote 420: See No. 39.]

[Footnote 421: Whiston had fixed that day for the destruction of
Anti-Christ and the beginning of the Millennium.]

[Footnote 422: Written by Addison in 1705, in celebration of the victory
at Blenheim.]

[Footnote 423: The great storm of November 1703 formed the subject of a
volume published by Defoe in 1704.]

No. 44. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, July 19_, to _Thursday, July 21_, 1709.

    --Nullis amor est medicabilis herbis.
                                            OVID, Met. i. 523.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, July 19.

This day, passing through Covent Garden, I was stopped in the Piazza by
Pacolet, to observe what he called the "triumph of love and youth." I
turned to the object he pointed at; and there I saw a gay gilt chariot
drawn by fresh prancing horses; the coachman with a new cockade, and the
lackeys with insolence and plenty in their countenances. I asked
immediately, what young heir or lover owned that glittering equipage?
But my companion interrupted: "Do not you see there the mourning
Æsculapius?"[424] "The mourning!" said I. "Yes, Isaac," said Pacolet,
"he is in deep mourning, and is the languishing hopeless lover of the
divine Hebe, the emblem of youth and beauty. The excellent and learned
sage you behold in that furniture, is the strongest instance imaginable,
that love is the most powerful of all things. You are not so ignorant as
to be a stranger to the character of Æsculapius, as the patron and most
successful of all who profess the art of medicine. But as most of his
operations are owing to a natural sagacity or impulse, he has very
little troubled himself with the doctrine of drugs; but has always given
Nature more room to help herself, than any of her learned assistants;
and consequently has done greater wonders than is in the power of art to
perform;[425] for which reason, he is half deified by the people; and
has ever been justly courted by all the world, as if he were a seventh
son. It happened, that the charming Hebe was reduced, by a long and
violent fever, to the most extreme danger of death; and when all skill
failed, they sent for Æsculapius. The renowned artist was touched with
the deepest compassion to see the faded charms and faint bloom of Hebe;
and had a generous concern in beholding a struggle, not between life,
but rather between youth, and death. All his skill and his passion
tended to the recovery of Hebe, beautiful even in sickness: but, alas!
the unhappy physician knew not, that in all his care he was only
sharpening darts for his own destruction. In a word, his fortune was the
same with that of the statuary, who fell in love with the image of his
own making; and the unfortunate Æsculapius is become the patient of her
whom he lately recovered. Long before this disaster, Æsculapius was far
gone in the unnecessary and superfluous amusements of old age, in
increasing unwieldy stores, and providing, in the midst of an incapacity
of enjoyment of what he had, for a supply of more wants than he had
calls for in youth itself. But these low considerations are now no more,
and love has taken place of avarice, or rather has become an avarice of
another kind, which still urges him to pursue what he does not want. But
behold the metamorphosis; the anxious mean cares of an usurer are turned
into the languishments and complaints of a lover. 'Behold,' says the
aged Æsculapius, 'I submit, I own, great Love, thy empire: pity, Hebe,
the fop you have made: what have I to do with gilding but on pills? Yet,
O fair! For thee I sit amidst a crowd of painted deities on my chariot,
buttoned in gold, clasped in gold, without having any value for that
beloved metal, but as it adorns the person, and laces the hat of thy
dying lover. I ask not to live, O Hebe! Give me but gentle death:
euthanasia, euthanasia, that is all I implore.'" When Æsculapius had
finished his complaint, Pacolet went on in deep morals on the
uncertainty of riches, with this remarkable exclamation; "O wealth! How
impotent art thou! And how little dost thou supply us with real
happiness, when the usurer himself can forget thee for the love of what
is as foreign to his felicity as thou art?"

Will's Coffee-house, July 19.

The company here, who have all a delicate taste of theatrical
representations, had made a gathering to purchase the movables of the
neighbouring playhouse,[426] for the encouragement of one which is
setting up in the Haymarket. But the proceedings at the auction (by
which method the goods have been sold this evening) have been so unfair,
that this generous design has been frustrated; for the Imperial Mantle
made for Cyrus was missing, as also the Chariot and Two Dragons: but
upon examination it was found, that a gentleman of Hampshire[427] had
clandestinely bought them both, and is gone down to his country seat;
and that on Saturday last he passed through Staines attired in that
robe, and drawn by the said Dragons, assisted by two only of his own
horses. This theatrical traveller has also left orders with Mr.
Hall[428] to send the faded rainbow to the scourers, and when it comes
home, to despatch it after him. At the same time C---- R----[429] Esq.
is invited to bring down himself his Setting Sun, and be box-keeper to a
theatre erected by this gentleman near Southampton. Thus there has been
nothing but artifice in the management of this affair; for which reason
I beg pardon of the town, that I inserted the inventory in my paper and
solemnly protest, I knew nothing of this artful design of vending these
rarities: but I meant only the good of the world in that and all other
things which I divulge. And now I am upon this subject, I must do myself
justice in relation to an article in a former paper, wherein I made
mention of a person who keeps a puppet-show in the town of Bath;[430] I
was tender of naming names, and only just hinted, that he makes larger
promises, when he invites people to his dramatic representations, than
he is able to perform: but I am credibly informed, that he makes a
profane lewd jester, which he calls Punch, speak to the dishonour of
Isaac Bickerstaff with great familiarity; and before all my learned
friends in that place, takes upon him to dispute my title to the
appellation of Esquire. I think I need not say much to convince all the
world, that this Mr. Powell (for that is his name) is a pragmatical and
vain person to pretend to argue with me on any subject. _Mecum certasse
feretur_[431]; that is to say, it will be an honour to him to have it
said he contended with me; but I would have him to know, that I can look
beyond his wires, and know very well the whole trick of his art, and
that it is only by these wires that the eye of the spectator is cheated,
and hindered from seeing that there is a thread on one of Punch's chops,
which draws it up, and lets it fall at the discretion of the said
Powell, who stands behind and plays him, and makes him speak saucily of
his betters. He! to pretend to make prologues against me! But a man
never behaves himself with decency in his own case; therefore I shall
command myself, and never trouble me further with this little fellow,
who is himself but a tall puppet, and has not brains enough to make even
wood speak as it ought to do: and I, that have heard the groaning
board,[432] can despise all that his puppets shall be able to speak as
long as they live. But, _Ex quovis ligno non fit Mercurius_[433]. He has
pretended to write to me also from the Bath, and says, he thought to
have deferred giving me an answer till he came to his books[434]; but
that my writings might do well with the waters: which are pert
expressions that become a schoolboy, better than one that is to teach
others: and when I have said a civil thing to him, he cries, "Oh! I
thank you for that--I am your humble servant for that."[435] Ah! Mr.
Powell, these smart civilities will never run down men of learning: I
know well enough your design is to have all men automata, like your
puppets; but the world is grown too wise, and can look through these
thin devices. I know you design to make a reply to this; but be sure you
stick close to my words; for if you bring me into discourses concerning
the government of your puppets, I must tell you, I neither am, nor have
been, nor will be, at leisure to answer you. It is really a burning
shame this man should be tolerated in abusing the world with such
representations of things: but his parts decay, and he is not much more
alive than Partridge.

From my own Apartment, July 14.

I must beg pardon of my readers that for this time I have, I fear,
huddled up my discourse, having been very busy in helping an old friend
of mine out of town. He has a very good estate, is a man of wit; but he
had been three years absent from town, and cannot bear a jest; for
which reason I have, with some pains, convinced him, that he can no
more live here than if he were a downright bankrupt. He was so fond of
dear London, that he began to fret only inwardly; but being unable to
laugh and be laughed at, I took a place in the northern coach for him
and his family; and hope he is got to-night safe from all sneerers in
his own parlour.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 20.

This morning we received by express, the agreeable news of the surrender
of the town of Tournay on the 28th instant, N.S. The place was assaulted
at the attacks of General Schuylemburg, and that of General Lottum, at
the same time. The action at both those parts of the town was very
obstinate, and the Allies lost a considerable number at the beginning of
the dispute; but the fight was continued with so great bravery, that the
enemy observing that we were masters of all the posts which were
necessary for a general attack, beat the chamade,[436] and hostages were
received from the town, and others sent from the besiegers, in order to
come to a formal capitulation for the surrender of the place. We have
also this day received advice, that Sir John Leake, who lies off of
Dunkirk, had intercepted several ships laden with corn from the Baltic;
and that the Dutch privateers had fallen in with others, and carried
them into Holland. The French letters advise, that the young son to the
Duke of Anjou lived but eight days.

[Footnote 424: Dr. John Radcliffe, the physician (1650-1714), was
disappointed in love when about sixty. The matter is referred to again
in Nos. 46, 47, 50 and 67. Radcliffe became rich, but was considered to
be a quack by many other doctors. "The last _Tatler_ is upon Dr. Ratclif
who they say is desparately in love with Dutchess of Bolton, his passion
runs so high as to declare he'll make her eldest son his heir, upon wch
account they say the Duke of B---- is not at all alarm'd, but gives the
Old amorist opportunity to make his Court, the Dr. lately gave the
Dutchess and some other Ladys an entertainm' of musick upon the water,
and a fine supper in the Barge" ("Wentworth Papers," p. 97). This
identification of Hebe with the Duchess of Bolton is corroborated by the
MS. annotator mentioned in a note to No. 4. According to another account
she was a Miss Tempest, a maid of honour to the Queen. The writer of the
article on Radcliffe in the "Biog. Britannica" says: "The lady, who made
the doctor, at this advanced age, stand in need of a physician himself,
was of great beauty, wealth, and quality; and too attractive not to
inspire the coldest heart with the warmest sentiments. After he had made
a cure of her, he could not but imagine, as naturally he might, that her
ladyship would entertain a favourable opinion of him. But the lady,
however grateful she might be for the care he had taken of her health,
divulged the secret, and one of her confidants revealed it to Steele,
who, on account of party, was so ill-natured as to write the ridicule of
it in the _Tatler_" Radcliffe never married.]

[Footnote 425: I have a pamphlet called "The _Tatler's_ Character (July
21) of Æsculapius guessing diseases, without the knowledge of drugs;
applied to the British Physicians and Surgeons: or, The difficult
diseases of the Royal Family, Nobility and Gentry will never be
understood and recover'd, when the populace are oppress'd and destroy'd
by the Practising-Apothecaries and Empiricks confess'd by the College
and Mr. Bernard the Surgeon. By a Consultation of Gentlemen of Quality."
London, 8vo, 1709. The pamphlet contains some interesting remarks on the
physicians, apothecaries and hospitals of the time. Mr. Bickerstaff is
called "the most ingenious physician of our vices and follies."]

[Footnote 426: See No. 42.]

[Footnote 427: A friend of Nichols said, "I have seen somewhere, but
cannot immediately refer to the book, an account of a theatre built at
Southwick, in the county of Hants, by a Mr. Richard Norton, whose will
is in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, 1733, p. 57. He is the person, I
believe, who wrote a play called 'Pausanias' (1696). Cibber dedicated
his first play to him." The MS. annotator mentioned in No. 4 also
identifies the gentleman of Hampshire with "Mr. N----n."]

[Footnote 428: An auctioneer.]

[Footnote 429: Christopher Rich, the manager.]

[Footnote 430: Under the name of Powell, the puppet-show man, Steele
attacked Dr. Blackall, Bishop of Exeter (see No. 37), who was engaged in
a controversy with Benjamin Hoadly. In March 1709, Blackall preached
before the Queen a sermon laying down the doctrine of passive obedience
in its most extreme form, but in 1704 he had preached obedience limited
by the laws of the State. Hoadly wrote against the sermon of 1709, and
brought against the Bishop the sermon of 1704. The Bishop, angry at this
mode of refutation, answered haughtily, and dwelt on the superiority of
his rank as compared with that of Hoadly, then simply rector of a London
parish. Bickerstaff here reproaches Blackall for the pride and rudeness
of his answer, and then, under the guise of Powell, proprietor of the
puppet-show, satirises the extreme doctrine of divine right taught by
the Bishop, a doctrine which would make the subjects mere automata, to
be moved only at the will of the prince.]

[Footnote 431: Ovid, "Met." xiii. 20.]

[Footnote 432: The following printed advertisement appeared in 1682: "At
the sign of the wool-sack, in Newgate-market, is to be seen, a strange
and wonderful thing, which is an elm-board, being touched with a hot
iron, doth express itself, as if it were a man dying with groans, and
trembling, to the great admiration of all the hearers. It hath been
presented before the King and his nobles, and hath given great
satisfaction. _Vivat Rex_."--(MSS. Sloan. 958.)]

[Footnote 433: "Ne e quovis ligno Mercurius fiat" is one of the proverbs
in the "Adagia" of Erasmus. But its history, as originally from the
Greek, is thus given in a note of Andr. Schottus, quoted by Gaisford in
his "Parcemiographia Græci," p. 39, Ox. 1836:--"Illiud adagium ὀυκ ἐκ
παντὸς ξύλου Ἕρμης ἂν γένοιτο [ouk ek pantòs zýlon Hermês àn génoito],
quod a Pythagora primum profectum auctor est Apuleius 'Apol.'" [t. ii.
p. 499] (Ed. Marshall, "Notes and Queries," March 26, 1887). See
Apuleius, "Apologia," 476: "Non enim ex omni ligno, ut Pythagoras
dicebat, debet Mercurius exsculpi."]

[Footnote 434: In the Bishop's answer to Hoadly's letter, 1709, there is
this passage: "I have no books here; and being under these
circumstances, I hope I may be excused, if, in citing Scripture, I
should not always name chapter and verse, nor hit exactly upon the very
words of the translation" (Lord Bishop of Exeter's Answer, &c., pp. 2
and 3).--"As to the _Tatlers_ relating to Powell's puppets, and the
doctrines of passive obedience and absolute non-resistance, and to
Bishop Blackall, I know it gave my father some uneasiness, that there is
a reference to a fact, which, as he resolved himself never to take
notice of, thinking it ungenerous, so he was sorry to see any friend of
the cause had; which is, that the Bishop had said inadvertently, he was
at Bath, and had not a Bible in his family. It is worth remarking, that
all the arguments used by Powell about his power over Punch, 'lighting
his pipe with one of his legs,' &c., are a good burlesque of those used
by the advocates of non-resistance."--(Dr. John Hoadly.)]

[Footnote 435: The Bishop, after quoting a respectful expression of
Hoadly's, says, "Your servant, sir, for that."]

[Footnote 436: A beat of the drum or sound of a trumpet, which summons
the enemy to a parley. In _Spectator_, No. 165, Addison ridiculed the
use of this and other French war terms by English writers.]

No. 45. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, July 21, to Saturday, July 23_, 1709.

    Credo pudicitiam Saturno rege moratam
    In terris.
                                            Juv., Sat. vi. I.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, July 22.

The other day I took a walk a mile or two out of town and strolling
wherever chance led me, I was insensibly carried into a by-road, along
which was a very agreeable quickset, of an extraordinary height, which
surrounded a very delicious seat and garden. From one angle of the
hedge, I heard a voice cry, "Sir, sir--" This raised my curiosity, and I
heard the same voice say, but in a gentle tone, "Come forward, come
forward." I did so, and one through the hedge called me by my name, and
bade me go on to the left, and I should be admitted to visit an old
acquaintance in distress. The laws of knight-errantry made me obey the
summons without hesitation; and I was let in at the back gate of a
lovely house by a maid-servant, who carried me from room to room, until
I came into a gallery; at the end of which, I saw a fine lady dressed in
the most sumptuous habit, as if she were going to a ball, but with the
most abject and disconsolate sorrow in her face that I ever beheld. As I
came near, she burst into tears, and cried, "Sir, do not you know the
unhappy Teraminta?" I soon recollected her whole person: "But," said I,
"madam, the simplicity of dress, in which I have ever seen you at your
good father's house, and the cheerfulness of countenance with which you
always appeared, are so unlike the fashion and temper you are now in,
that I did not easily recover the memory of you. Your habit was then
decent and modest, your looks serene and beautiful: whence then this
unaccountable change? Nothing can speak so deep a sorrow as your present
aspect; yet your dress is made for jollity and revelling." "It is," said
she, "an unspeakable pleasure to meet with one I know, and to bewail
myself to any that is not an utter stranger to humanity. When your
friend my father died, he left me to a wide world, with no defence
against the insults of fortune, but rather, a thousand snares to entrap
me in the dangers to which youth and innocence are exposed, in an age
wherein honour and virtue are become mere words, and used only as they
serve to betray those who understand them in their native sense, and
obey them as the guides and motives of their being. The wickedest of all
men living, the abandoned Decius, who has no knowledge of any good art
or purpose of human life, but as it tends to the satisfaction of his
appetites, had opportunities of frequently seeing and entertaining me at
a house where mixed company boarded, and where he placed himself for the
base intention which he has since brought to pass. Decius saw enough in
me to raise his brutal desires, and my circumstances gave him hopes of
accomplishing them. But all the glittering expectations he could lay
before me, joined by my private terrors of poverty itself, could not for
some months prevail upon me; yet, however I hated his intention, I still
had a secret satisfaction in his courtship, and always exposed myself to
his solicitations. See here the bane of our sex! Let the flattery be
never so apparent, the flatterer never so ill thought of, his praises
are still agreeable and we contribute to our own deceit. I was therefore
ever fond of all opportunities and pretences of being in his company. In
a word, I was at last ruined by him, and brought to this place, where I
have been ever since immured; and from the fatal day after my fall from
innocence, my worshipper became my master and my tyrant. Thus you see me
habited in the most gorgeous manner, not in honour of me as a woman he
loves, but as this attire charms his own eye, and urges him to repeat
the gratification he takes in me, as the servant of his brutish lusts
and appetites. I know not where to fly for redress; but am here pining
away life in the solitude and severity of a nun, but the conscience and
guilt of a harlot. I live in this lewd practice with a religious awe of
my minister of darkness, upbraided with the support I receive from him,
for the inestimable possession of youth, of innocence, of honour, and of
conscience. I see, sir, my discourse grows painful to you; all I beg of
you is, to paint in so strong colours, as to let Decius see I am
discovered to be in his possession, that I may be turned out of this
detestable scene of regular iniquity, and either think no more, or sin
no more. If your writings have the good effect of gaining my
enlargement, I promise you I will atone for this unhappy step, by
preferring an innocent laborious poverty, to all the guilty affluence
the world can offer me."

Will's Coffee-house, July 21.

To show that I do not bear an irreconcilable hatred to my mortal enemy,
Mr. Powell at Bath, I do his function the honour to publish to the
world, that plays represented by puppets are permitted in our
universities,[437] and that sort of drama is not wholly thought unworthy
the critic of learned heads: but as I have been conversant rather with
the greater Ode, as I think the critics call it, I must be so humble as
to make a request to Mr. Powell, and desire him to apply his thoughts
to answering the difficulties with which my kinsman, the author of the
following letter, seems to be embarrassed.

#"_To my Honoured Kinsman, Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq._#


"Had the family of the Beadlestaffs,[438] whereof I, though unworthy, am
one, known of your being lately at Oxon, we had in our own name, and in
the Universities' (as it is our office), made you a compliment: but your
short stay here robbed us of an opportunity of paying our due respects,
and you of receiving an ingenious entertainment, with which we at
present divert ourselves and strangers. A puppet-show at this time
supplies the want of an Act.[439] And since the nymphs of this city are
disappointed of a luscious music-speech, and the country ladies of
hearing their sons or brothers speak verses; yet the vocal machines,
like them, by the help of a prompter, say things as much to the benefit
of the audience, and almost as properly their own. The licence of a
Terræ-Filius[440] is refined to the well-bred satire of Punchinello.
Now, Cousin Bickerstaff, though Punch has neither a French nightcap, nor
long pockets, yet you must own him to be a pretty fellow, a 'very'
pretty fellow: nay, since he seldom leaves the company, without
calling, 'Son of a whore,' demanding satisfaction, and duelling, he must
be owned a smart fellow too. Yet, by some indecencies towards the
ladies, he seems to be of a third character, distinct from any you have
yet touched upon. A young gentleman who sat next me (for I had the
curiosity of seeing this entertainment), in a tufted gown, red
stockings, and long wig (which I pronounce to be tantamount to red heels
and a dangling cane[441]) was enraged when Punchinello disturbed a soft
love-scene with his ribaldry. You would oblige us mightily by laying
down some rules for adjusting the extravagant behaviour of this
Almanzor[442] of the play, and by writing a treatise on this sort of
dramatic poetry, so much favoured, and so little understood, by the
learned world. From its being conveyed in a cart after the Thespian
manner, all the parts being recited by one person, as the custom was
before Æschylus, and the behaviour of Punch as if he had won the goal,
you may possibly deduce its antiquity, and settle the chronology, as
well as some of our modern critics. In its natural transitions, from
mournful to merry; as, from the hanging of a lover, to dancing upon the
rope; from the stalking of a ghost, to a lady's presenting you with a
jig; you may discover such a decorum, as is not to be found elsewhere
than in our tragi-comedies. But I forget myself; it is not for me to
dictate: I thought fit, dear cousin, to give you these hints, to show
you that the Beadlestaffs don't walk before men of letters to no
purpose; and that though we do but hold up the train of arts and
sciences, yet like other pages, we are now and then let into our
ladies' secrets. I am,

"Your most

"Affectionate Kinsman,

                                        "BENJAMIN BEADLESTAFF.

"From Mother Gourdon's, at Hedington,[443] near Oxon, _June 18_."

From my own Apartment, July 22.

I am got hither safe, but never spent time with so little satisfaction
as this evening; for you must know, I was five hours with three Merry,
and two Honest Fellows. The former sang catches; and the latter even
died with laughing at the noise they made. "Well," says Tom Belfrey,
"you scholars, Mr. Bickerstaff, are the worst company in the world."
"Ay," says his opposite, "you are dull to-night; prithee be merry." With
that I huzzaed, and took a jump across the table, then came clever upon
my legs, and fell a-laughing. "Let Mr. Bickerstaff alone," says one of
the Honest Fellows, "when he's in a good humour, he's as good company as
any man in England." He had no sooner spoke, but I snatched his hat off
his head, and clapped his upon my own, and burst out a-laughing again;
upon which we all fell a-laughing for half an hour. One of the Honest
Fellows got behind me in the interim, and hit me a sound slap on the
back; upon which he got the laugh out of my hands, and it was such a
twang on my shoulders, that I confess he was much merrier than I. I was
half angry; but resolved to keep up the good humour of the company; and
after holloing as loud as I could possibly, I drank off a bumper of
claret, that made me stare again. "Nay," says one of the Honest Fellows,
"Mr. Isaac is in the right, there is no conversation in this; what
signifies jumping, or hitting one another on the back? Let's drink
about." We did so from seven o'clock till eleven; and now I am come
hither, and, after the manner of the wise Pythagoras, begin to reflect
upon the passages of the day. I remember nothing, but that I am bruised
to death; and as it is my way to write down all the good things I have
heard in the last conversation to furnish my paper, I can from this only
tell you my sufferings and my bangs. I named Pythagoras just now, and I
protest to you, as he believed men after death entered into other
species, I am now and then tempted to think other animals enter into
men, and could name several on two legs, that never discover any
sentiment above what is common with the species of a lower kind; as we
see in these bodily wits whom I was with to-night, whose parts consist
in strength and activity; but their boisterous mirth gives me great
impatience for the return of such happiness as I enjoyed in a
conversation last week. Among others in that company, we had Florio, who
never interrupted any man living when he was speaking, or ever ceased to
speak, but others lamented that he had done. His discourse ever arises
from a fulness of the matter before him, and not from ostentation or
triumph of his understanding; for though he seldom delivers what he need
fear being repeated, he speaks without having that end in view; and his
forbearance of calumny or bitterness, is owing rather to his good nature
than his discretion; for which reason, he is esteemed a gentleman
perfectly qualified for conversation, in whom a general goodwill to
mankind takes off the necessity of caution and circumspection. We had
at the same time that evening the best sort of companion that can be, a
good-natured old man. This person meets in the company of young men,
veneration for his benevolence, and is not only valued for the good
qualities of which he is master, but reaps an acceptance from the pardon
he gives to other men's faults: and the ingenuous sort of men with whom
he converses, have so just a regard for him, that he rather is an
example, than a check to their behaviour. For this reason, as Senecio
never pretends to be a man of pleasure before youth, so young men never
set up for wisdom before Senecio; so that you never meet, where he is,
those monsters of conversation, who are grave or gay above their years.
He never converses but with followers of nature and good sense, where
all that is uttered is only the effect of a communicable temper, and not
of emulation to excel their companions; all desire of superiority being
a contradiction to that spirit which makes a just conversation, the very
essence of which is mutual goodwill. Hence it is, that I take it for a
rule, that the natural, and not the acquired man, is the companion.
Learning, wit, gallantry, and good breeding, are all but subordinate
qualities in society, and are of no value, but as they are subservient
to benevolence, and tend to a certain manner of being or appearing equal
to the rest of the company; for conversation is composed of an assembly
of men, as they are men, and not as they are distinguished by fortune:
therefore he that brings his quality with him into conversation, should
always pay the reckoning; for he came to receive homage, and not to meet
his friends--But the din about my ears from the clamour of the people I
was with this evening, has carried me beyond my intended purpose, which
was to explain upon the Order of Merry Fellows; but I think I may
pronounce of them, as I heard good Senecio, with a spice of wit of the
last age, say, viz. that a Merry Fellow is the Saddest Fellow in the

[Footnote 437: See No. 44. Blackall was a bishop; and the University of
Oxford had declared publicly in his favour.]

[Footnote 438: See No. 11.]

[Footnote 439: A meeting for conferring degrees, when speeches, &c., are

[Footnote 440: An undergraduate who made extempore speeches at the Act,
often of a very satirical kind. Sometimes there were two _terræ filii_,
who carried on a dialogue. In 1721, Amberst published a periodical with
the title "Terræ-Filius: or, The Secret History of the University of
Oxford," and these papers were reprinted in two volumes in 1726, with a
curious engraving of the Theatre at Oxford, by Hogarth, as

[Footnote 441: See No. 26.]

[Footnote 442: In an Essay "Of Heroic Plays," prefixed to his play,
"Almanzor and Almahide; or, The Conquest of Granada," Dryden defended at
length the character of Almanzor.]

[Footnote 443: This village is the scene of Dr. William King's play,
"Joan of Hedington" ("Works," 1776, vol. iii. p. 16).]

No. 46. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, July 23_, to _Tuesday, July 26_, 1709.

    Non bene conveniunt, nec in una sede morantur,
    Majestas et amor.
                                            OVID, Met. ii. 846.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, July 25.

We see every day volumes written against that tyrant of human life
called Love, and yet there is no help found against his cruelties, or
barrier against the inroads he is pleased to make into the mind of man.
After this preface, you will expect I am going to give particular
instances of what I have asserted. That expectation cannot be raised too
high for the novelty of the history, and manner of life, of the Emperor
Aurengezebe,[444] who has resided for some years in the cities of London
and Westminster, with the air and mien indeed of his imperial quality,
but the equipage and appointment only of a private gentleman. This
potentate, for a long series of time, appeared from the hour of twelve
till that of two at a coffee-house near the 'Change, and had a seat
(though without a canopy) sacred to himself, where he gave diurnal
audiences concerning commerce, politics, tare and tret, usury and
abatement, with all things necessary for helping the distressed, who
were willing to give one limb for the better maintenance of the rest; or
such joyous youths, whose philosophy is confined to the present hour,
and were desirous to call in the revenue of next half-year to double the
enjoyment of this. Long did this growing monarch employ himself after
this manner: and as alliances are necessary to all great kingdoms, he
took particularly the interests of Lewis XIV. into his care and
protection. When all mankind were attacking that unhappy monarch, and
those who had neither valour nor wit to oppose against him would be
still showing their impotent malice by laying wagers in opposition to
his interests, Aurengezebe ever took the part of his contemporary, and
laid immense treasures on his side in defence of his important magazine
of Toulon. Aurengezebe also had all this while a constant intelligence
with India, and his letters were answered in jewels, which he soon made
brilliant, and caused to be affixed to his imperial castor, which he
always wears cocked in front, to show his defiance; with a heap of
imperial snuff in the middle of his ample visage, to show his sagacity.
The zealots for this little spot called Great Britain fell universally
into this emperor's policies, and paid homage to his superior genius, in
forfeiting their coffers to his treasury: but wealth and wisdom are
possessions too solemn not to give weariness to active minds, without
the relief (in vacant hours) of wit and love, which are the proper
amusements of the powerful and the wise: this emperor therefore, with
great regularity, every day at five in the afternoon, leaves his
money-changers, his publicans, and little hoarders of wealth, to their
low pursuits, and ascends his chariot to drive to Will's; where the
taste is refined, and a relish given to men's possessions, by a polite
skill in gratifying their passions and appetites. There it is that the
emperor has learned to live and to love, and not, like a miser, to gaze
only on his ingots or his treasures; but with a nobler satisfaction, to
live the admiration of others, for his splendour and happiness in being
master of them. But a prince is no more to be his own caterer in his
love, than in his food; therefore Aurengezebe has ever in waiting two
purveyors for his dishes, and his wenches for his retired hours, by whom
the scene of his diversion is prepared in the following manner:

There is near Covent Garden a street known by the name of Drury, which,
before the days of Christianity, was purchased by the Queen of Paphos,
and is the only part of Great Britain where the tenure of vassalage is
still in being. All that long course of building is under particular
districts or ladyships, after the manner of lordships in other parts,
over which matrons of known abilities preside, and have, for the support
of their age and infirmities, certain taxes paid out of the rewards for
the amorous labours of the young. This seraglio of Great Britain is
disposed into convenient alleys and apartments, and every house, from
the cellar to the garret, inhabited by nymphs of different orders, that
persons of every rank may be accommodated with an immediate consort, to
allay their flames, and partake of their cares. Here it is, that when
Aurengezebe thinks fit to give a loose to dalliance, the purveyors
prepare the entertainments; and what makes it more august is, that every
person concerned in the interlude has his set part, and the prince sends
beforehand word what he designs to say, and directs also the very answer
which shall be made to him.

It has been before hinted, that this emperor has a continual commerce
with India; and it is to be noted, that the largest stone that rich
earth has produced, is in our Aurengezebe's possession.

But all things are now disposed for his reception. At his entrance into
the seraglio, a servant delivers him his bever of state and love, on
which is fixed this inestimable jewel as his diadem. When he is seated,
the purveyors, Pandarus and Nuncio, marching on each side of the matron
of the house, introduce her into his presence. In the midst of the room,
they bow altogether to the diadem.

When the matron:

"Whoever thou art (as thy awful aspect speaks thee a man of power), be
propitious to this mansion of love, and let not the severity of thy
wisdom disdain, that by the representation of naked innocence, or
pastoral figures, we revive in thee the memory at least of that power of
Venus, to which all the wise and the brave are some part of their lives
devoted." Aurengezebe consents by a nod, and they go out backward.

After this, an unhappy nymph, who is to be supposed just escaped from
the hands of a ravisher, with her tresses dishevelled, runs into the
room with a dagger in her hand, and falls before the emperor.

"Pity, oh! pity! whoever thou art, an unhappy virgin, whom one of thy
train has robbed of her innocence; her innocence, which was all her
portion--Or rather, let me die like the memorable Lucretia--" Upon which
she stabs herself. The body is immediately examined after the manner of
our coroners. Lucretia recovers by a cup of right Nantes; and the
matron, who is her next relation, stops all process at law.

This unhappy affair is no sooner over, but a naked mad woman breaks into
the room, calls for her duke, her lord, her emperor. As soon as she
spies Aurengezebe, the object of all her fury and love, she calls for
petticoats, is ready to sink with shame, and is dressed in all haste in
new attire at his charge. This unexpected accident of the mad woman
makes Aurengezebe curious to know, whether others who are in their
senses can guess at his quality. For which reason the whole convent is
examined one by one. The matron marches in with a tawdry country girl:
"Pray, Winifred," says she, "who do you think that fine man with those
jewels and pearls is?" "I believe," says Winifred, "it is our landlord.
It must be the squire himself." The emperor laughs at her simplicity.
"Go, fool," says the matron: then turning to the emperor, "Your
greatness will pardon her ignorance!" After her, several others of
different characters are instructed to mistake who he is in the same
manner: then the whole sisterhood are called together, and the emperor
rises, and cocking his hat, declares, he is the Great Mogul, and they
his concubines. A general murmur goes through the assembly, and
Aurengezebe certifying, that he keeps them for state rather than use,
tells them, they are permitted to receive all men into their apartments;
then proceeds through the crowd, among whom he throws medals shaped like
half-crowns, and returns to his chariot.

This being all that passed the last day in which Aurengezebe visited the
women's apartments, I consulted Pacolet concerning the foundation of
such strange amusements in old age: to which he answered; "You may
remember, when I gave you an account of my good fortune in being drowned
on the thirtieth day of my human life, I told you of the disasters I
should otherwise have met with before I arrived at the end of my stamen,
which was sixty years. I may now add an observation to you, that all who
exceed that period, except the latter part of it is spent in the
exercise of virtue and contemplation of futurity, must necessarily fall
into an indecent old age, because, with regard to all the enjoyments of
the years of vigour and manhood, childhood returns upon them: and as
infants ride on sticks, build houses in dirt, and make ships in gutters,
by a faint idea of things they are to act hereafter; so old men play the
lovers, potentates, and emperors, from the decaying image of the more
perfect performances of their stronger years: therefore be sure to
insert Æsculapius and Aurengezebe in your next bill of mortality of the
metaphorically defunct."

Will's Coffee-house, July 24.

As soon as I came hither this evening, no less than ten people produced
the following poem, which they all reported was sent to each of them by
the penny post from an unknown hand. All the battle-writers in the room
were in debate, who could be the author of a piece so martially written;
and everybody applauded the address and skill of the author, in calling
it a Postscript: it being the nature of a postscript to contain
something very material which was forgotten, or not clearly expressed in
the letter itself. Thus, the verses being occasioned by a march without
beat of drum, and that circumstance being no ways taken notice of in any
of the stanzas, the author calls it a postscript; not that it is a
postscript, but figuratively, because it wants a postscript. Common
writers, when what they mean is not expressed in the book itself, supply
it by a preface; but a postscript seems to me the more just way of
apology; because otherwise a man makes an excuse before the offence is
committed. All the heroic poets were guessed at for its author; but
though we could not find out his name, yet one repeated a couplet in
"Hudibras" which spoke his qualifications:

    _"I' th' midst of all this warlike rabble,
    Crowdero marched, expert and able"_[445]

The poem is admirably suited to the occasion: for to write without
discovering your meaning, bears a just resemblance to marching without
beat of drum.

#On the March to Tournay without Beat of Drum.#

#The Brussels POSTSCRIPT.#[446]

      Could I with plainest words express
      That great man's wonderful address,
    His penetration, and his towering thought;
      It would the gazing world surprise,
      To see one man at all times wise,
    To view the wonders he with ease has wrought.

      Refining schemes approach his mind,
      Like breezes of a southern wind,
    To temperate a sultry glorious day;
      Whose fannings, with an useful pride,
      Its mighty heat doth softly guide,
    And having cleared the air, glide silently away.

      Thus his immensity of thought
      Is deeply formed, and gently wrought,
    His temper always softening life's disease;
      That Fortune, when she does intend
      To rudely frown, she turns his friend,
    Admires his judgment, and applauds his ease.

    His great address in this design,
      Does now, and will for ever shine,
    And wants a Waller but to do him right:
      The whole amusement was so strong,
      Like fate he doomed them to be wrong,
    And Tournay's took by a peculiar sleight.

      Thus, madam, all mankind behold
      Your vast ascendant, not by gold,
    But by your wisdom, and your pious life;
      Your aim no more than to destroy
      That which does Europe's ease annoy,
    And supersede a reign of shame and strife.

St. James's Coffee-house, July 24.

My brethren of the quill, the ingenious society of news-writers, having
with great spirit and elegance already informed the world, that the town
of Tournay capitulated on the 28th instant, there is nothing left for me
to say, but to congratulate the good company here, that we have reason
to hope for an opportunity of thanking Mr. Withers[447] next winter in
this place, for the service he has done his country. No man deserves
better of his friends than that gentleman, whose distinguishing
character it is, that he gives his orders with the familiarity, and
enjoys his fortune with the generosity, of a fellow-soldier. His Grace
the Duke of Argyle had also an eminent part in the reduction of this
important place. That illustrious youth[448] discovers the peculiar
turn of spirit and greatness of soul which only make men of high birth
and quality useful to their country; and considers nobility as an
imaginary distinction, unless accompanied with the practice of those
generous virtues by which it ought to be obtained. But[449] that our
military glory is arrived at its present height, and that men of all
ranks so passionately affect their share in it, is certainly owing to
the merit and conduct of our glorious general; for as the great secret
in chemistry, though not in nature, has occasioned many useful
discoveries; and the fantastic notion of being wholly disinterested in
friendship, has made men do a thousand generous actions above
themselves; so, though the present grandeur and fame of the Duke of
Marlborough is a station of glory to which no one hopes to arrive, yet
all carry their actions to a higher pitch, by having that great example
laid before them.

[Footnote 444: "Aurenzeb is Tom Colson, who never had any friendship
with anybody but S'r Edward Seymour, who brought him into Parliament"
(Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, 29 July 1709; "Wentworth Papers," p. 97).
Thomas Coulson was elected M.P. for Totnes, with Sir Edward Seymour,
Bart., in 1698. He was re-elected in 1701, 1702, and in 1705. At the
election of 1708, Sir Edward Seymour, previously member for Exeter, was
elected for Totnes; but in 1710, Sir Edward having transferred himself
to Great Bedwyn, Coulson again became member for Totnes. In 1715,
Coulson's arrest was sought in the neighbourhood of Bristol for joining
in the rising on behalf of the Pretender; see a letter of Addison's in
Hist. MSS. Comm., Second Report, p. 250.]

[Footnote 445: "Hudibras," part i. canto ii. 105-6. Butler wrote, "I'
the head," &c.]

[Footnote 446: "I should have given you a key to the two _Tatlers_ I
sent you last, the Brussels Postscript are verses of Crowders. He show'd
them me in manuscript" (Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby, 29 July 1709;
"Wentworth Papers," p. 97). See No. 17 note on Brigadier Crowther.]

[Footnote 447: General Henry Withers commanded at the capitulation of
Tournay. On his death in 1729, he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Pope
wrote an epitaph beginning:

    "Here, Withers, rest! thou bravest, gentlest mind,
    Thy country's friend, but more of human-kind."

[Footnote 448: John, second Duke of Argyle (1678-1743), took an active
part in the battles of Ramilies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet, and at the
siege of Tournay.]

[Footnote 449: There was a long-standing hostility between the Duke of
Marlborough and the Duke of Argyle.]

No. 47. [STEELE.

From _Tuesday, July 26_, to _Thursday, July 28_, 1709.

    Quicquid agunt homines ... nostri farrago libelli.
                                            Juv., Sat. i. 85, 86.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, July 27.

My friend Sir Thomas[450] has communicated to me his letters from Epsom
of the 25th instant, which give, in general, a very good account of the
posture of affairs at present in that place; but that the tranquillity
and correspondence[451] of the company begins to be interrupted by the
arrival of Sir Taffety Trippet,[452] a fortune-hunter, whose follies
are too gross to give diversion; and whose vanity is too stupid to let
him be sensible that he is a public offence. But if people will indulge
a splenetic humour, it is impossible to be at ease, when such creatures
as are the scandal of our species, set up for gallantry and adventures.
It will be much more easy therefore to laugh him into reason, than
convert him from his foppery by any serious contempt. I knew a gentleman
that made it a maxim to open his doors, and ever run into the way of
bullies, to avoid their insolence. The rule will hold as well with
coxcombs: they are never mortified, but when they see you receive, and
despise them; otherwise they rest assured, that it is your ignorance
makes them out of your good graces; or, that it is only want of
admittance prevents their being amiable where they are shunned and
avoided. But Sir Taffety is a fop of so sanguine complexion, that I fear
it will be very hard for the fair one he at present pursues to get rid
of the chase, without being so tired, as for her own ease to fall into
the mouth of the mongrel she runs from. But the history of Sir Taffety
is as pleasant as his character. It happened, that when he first set up
for a fortune-hunter, he chose Tunbridge for the scene of action; where
were at that time two sisters upon the same design. The knight believed
of course the elder must be the better prize; and consequently makes all
his sail that way. People that want sense, do always in an egregious
manner want modesty, which made our hero triumph in making his amour as
public as was possible. The adored lady was no less vain of his public
addresses. An attorney with one cause is not half so restless as a woman
with one lover. Wherever they met, they talked to each other aloud,
chose each other partner at balls, saluted at the most conspicuous parts
of the service at church, and practised in honour of each other all the
remarkable particularities which are usual for persons who admire one
another, and are contemptible to the rest of the world. These two lovers
seemed as much made for each other as Adam and Eve, and all pronounced
it a match of Nature's own making; but the night before the nuptials (so
universally approved), the younger sister, envious of the good fortune
even of her sister, who had been present at most of their interviews,
and had an equal taste for the charms of a fop (as there are a set of
women made for that order of men); the younger, I say, unable to see so
rich a prize pass by her, discovered to Sir Taffety, that a coquette
air, much tongue, and three suits, was all the portion of his mistress.
His love vanished that moment, himself and equipage the next morning. It
is uncertain where the lover has been ever since engaged; but certain it
is, he has not appeared in his character as a follower of love and
fortune till he arrived at Epsom, where there is at present a young lady
of youth, beauty, and fortune, who has alarmed[453] all the vain and the
impertinent to infest that quarter. At the head of this assembly, Sir
Taffety shines in the brightest manner, with all the accomplishments
which usually ensnare the heart of woman; with this particular merit
(which often is of great service), that he is laughed at for her sake.
The friends of the fair one are in much pain for the sufferings she goes
through from the perseverance of this hero; but they may be much more so
from the danger of his succeeding, toward which they give him a helping
hand, if they dissuade her with bitterness; for there is a fantastical
generosity in the sex, to approve creatures of the least merit
imaginable, when they see the imperfections of their admirers are become
the marks of derision for their sakes; and there is nothing so frequent,
as that he who was contemptible to a woman in her own judgment, has won
her by being too violently opposed by others.

Grecian Coffee-house, July 27.

In the several capacities I bear, of astrologer, civilian, and
physician, I have with great application studied the public emolument:
to this end serve all my lucubrations, speculations, and whatever other
labours I undertake, whether nocturnal or diurnal. On this motive am I
induced to publish a never-failing medicine for the spleen: my
experience in this distemper came from a very remarkable cure on my ever
worthy friend Tom Spindle,[454] who, through excessive gaiety, had
exhausted that natural stock of wit and spirits he had long been blessed
with: he was sunk and flattened to the lowest degree imaginable, sitting
whole hours over the "Book of Martyrs," and "Pilgrim's Progress"; his
other contemplations never rising higher than the colour of his urine,
or regularity of his pulse. In this condition I found him, accompanied
by the learned Dr. Drachm, and a good old nurse. Drachm had prescribed
magazines of herbs, and mines of steel. I soon discovered the malady,
and descanted on the nature of it, till I convinced both the patient and
his nurse, that the spleen is not to be cured by medicine, but by
poetry. Apollo, the author of physic, shone with diffusive rays the best
of poets as well as of physicians; and it is in this double capacity
that I have made my way, and have found, sweet, easy, flowering numbers,
are oft superior to our noblest medicines. When the spirits are low, and
nature sunk, the muse, with sprightly and harmonious notes, gives an
unexpected turn with a grain of poetry, which I prepare without the use
of mercury. I have done wonders in this kind; for the spleen is like the
tarantula,[455] the effects of whose malignant poison are to be
prevented by no other remedy but the charms of music: for you are to
understand, that as some noxious animals carry antidotes for their own
poisons; so there is something equally unaccountable in poetry: for
though it is sometimes a disease, it is to be cured only by itself. Now
I knowing Tom Spindle's constitution, and that he is not only a pretty
gentleman, but also a pretty poet, found the true cause of his distemper
was a violent grief that moved his affections too strongly: for during
the late Treaty of Peace, he had written a most excellent poem on that
subject; and when he wanted but two lines in the last stanza for
finishing the whole piece, there comes news that the French tyrant would
not sign. Spindle in few days took his bed, and had lain there still,
had not I been sent for. I immediately told him, there was great
probability the French would now sue to us for peace. I saw immediately
a new life in his eyes; and knew, that nothing could help him forward
so well, as hearing verses which he would believe worse than his own; I
read him therefore the "Brussels Postscript";[456] after which I recited
some heroic lines of my own, which operated so strongly on the tympanum
of his ear, that I doubt not but I have kept out all other sounds for a
fortnight; and have reason to hope, we shall see him abroad the day
before his poem. This you see, is a particular secret I have found out,
viz., that you are not to choose your physician for his knowledge in
your distemper, but for having it himself. Therefore I am at hand for
all maladies arising from poetical vapours, beyond which I never
pretend. For being called the other day to one in love, I took indeed
their three guineas, and gave them my advice; which was, to send for
Æsculapius.[457] Æsculapius, as soon as he saw the patient, cries out,
"'Tis love! 'tis love! Oh! the unequal pulse! these are the symptoms a
lover feels; such sighs, such pangs, attend the uneasy mind; nor can our
art, or all our boasted skill, avail--Yet O fair! for thee--" Thus the
sage ran on, and owned the passion which he pitied, as well as that he
felt a greater pain than ever he cured. After which he concluded, "All I
can advise, is marriage: charms and beauty will give new life and
vigour, and turn the course of nature to its better prospect." This is
the new way; and thus Æsculapius has left his beloved powders, and
writes a recipe for a wife at sixty. In short, my friend followed the
prescription, and married youth and beauty in its perfect bloom.

    _Supine in Silvia's snowy arms he lies,
    And all the busy care of life defies:
    Each happy hour is filled with fresh delight,
    While peace the day, and pleasure crowns the night._

From my own Apartment, July 27.

Tragical passion was the subject of the discourse where I last visited
this evening; and a gentleman who knows that I am at present writing a
very deep tragedy, directed his discourse in a particular manner to me.
"It is the common fault," said he, "of you, gentlemen, who write in the
buskin style, that you give us rather the sentiments of such who behold
tragical events, than of such who bear a part in them themselves. I
would advise all who pretend this way, to read Shakespeare with care,
and they will soon be deterred from putting forth what is usually called
'tragedy.' The way of common writers in this kind, is rather the
description, than the expression of sorrow. There is no medium in these
attempts; and you must go to the very bottom of the heart, or it is all
mere language; and the writer of such lines is no more a poet, than a
man is a physician for knowing the names of distempers, without the
causes of them. Men of sense are professed enemies to all such empty
labours: for he who pretends to be sorrowful, and is not, is a wretch
yet more contemptible than he who pretends to be merry, and is not. Such
a tragedian is only maudlin drunk." The gentleman went on with much
warmth; but all he could say had little effect upon me: but when I came
hither, I so far observed his counsel, that I looked into Shakespeare.
The tragedy I dipped into was, "Harry the Fourth." In the scene where
Morton is preparing to tell Northumberland of his son's death, the old
man does not give him time to speak, but says,

    "_The whiteness of thy cheeks
    Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand;
    Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
    So dull, so dead in look, so woebegone,
    Drew Priam's curtain at the dead of night,
    And would have told him half his Troy was burnt:
    But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue,
    And I my Percy's death ere thou reportest it_"[458]

The image in this place is wonderfully noble and great; yet this man in
all this is but rising towards his great affliction, and is still enough
himself, as you see, to make a simile: but when he is certain of his
son's death, he is lost to all patience, and gives up all the regards of
this life; and since the last of evils is fallen upon him, he calls for
it upon all the world.

      "_Now let not Nature's hand
    Keep the wild flood confined; let Order die,
    And let the world no longer be a stage,
    To feed contention in a lingering act;
    But let one spirit of the firstborn Cain
    Reign in all bosoms, that each heart being set
    On bloody courses, the wide scene may end,
    And darkness be the burier of the dead_."

Reading but this one scene has convinced me, that he who describes the
concern of great men, must have a soul as noble, and as susceptible of
high thoughts, as they whom he represents: I shall therefore lay by my
drama for some time, and turn my thoughts to cares and griefs, somewhat
below that of heroes, but no less moving. A misfortune proper for me to
take notice of, has too lately happened: the disconsolate Maria[459] has
three days kept her chamber for the loss of the beauteous Fidelia, her
lap-dog. Lesbia herself[460] did not shed more tears for her sparrow.
What makes her the more concerned, is, that we know not whether Fidelia
was killed or stolen; but she was seen in the parlour window when the
train-bands went by, and never since. Whoever gives notice of her, dead
or alive, shall be rewarded with a kiss of her lady.

[Footnote 450: See No. 16.]

[Footnote 451: Intercourse.]

[Footnote 452: Henry Cromwell (died 1728) was a correspondent of Pope's,
and a friend of Wycherley's. "I cannot choose," wrote Mrs. Elizabeth
Thomas, "but be pleased with the conquest of a person whose fame our
incomparable Tatler has rendered immortal, by the three distinguishing
titles of 'Squire Easy the amorous bard'; 'Sir Timothy the critic'; and
'Sir Taffety Trippet the fortune-hunter'" ("Pylades and Corinna," i. 96,
194). See also Nos. 49, 165. Cromwell was a man about town, of private
means, with property in Lincolnshire, who had contributed verses to
Tonson's "Miscellany." Gay ("Mr. Pope's Welcome from Greece," st. xvii.)
speaks of "Honest, hatless Cromwell, with red breeches."]

[Footnote 453: Called forth, drawn as with an alarum.]

[Footnote 454: Henry Cromwell; see note on p. 380. According to another
suggestion, Spindle is intended for Thomas Tickell, who published a
poem, "The Prospect of Peace," in 1713; but it is not probable that in
1709 either Addison or Steele would have satirised him; and Cromwell may
very likely have written verses on the same subject.]

[Footnote 455: A spider named from Tarentum, in Apulia. Strange stories
were told of the effects of its bite, and of their cure by music and

[Footnote 456: See No. 46.]

[Footnote 457: Dr. Radcliffe. See No. 44.]

[Footnote 458: 2 Henry IV., act i. sc. I.]

[Footnote 459: "This _Tatler_ I know nothing of, only they say the
Dutchess of Montague has lately lost a bitch she call'd fidel, and has
had it cry'd."--(Peter Wentworth to Lord Raby; "Wentworth Papers," p.

[Footnote 460: See Catullus, passim.]

No. 48. [STEELE.

From _Thursday, July 28_, to _Saturday, July 30_, 1709.

    --Virtutem verba putant, et
    Lucum ligna.
                                            HOR., 1 Ep. vi. 31.

       *       *       *       *       *

From my own Apartment, July 29.

This day I obliged Pacolet to entertain me with matters which regarded
persons of his own character and occupation. We chose to take our walk
on Tower Hill; and as we were coming from thence in order to stroll as
far as Garraway's,[461] I observed two men, who had but just landed,
coming from the waterside. I thought there was something uncommon in
their mien and aspect; but though they seemed by their visage to be
related, yet was there a warmth in their manner, as if they differed
very much in their sentiments of the subject on which they were talking.
One of them seemed to have a natural confidence, mixed with an ingenious
freedom in his gesture, his dress very plain, but very graceful and
becoming: the other, in the midst of an overbearing carriage, betrayed
(by frequently looking round him) a suspicion that he was not enough
regarded by those he met, or that he feared they would make some attack
upon him. This person was much taller than his companion, and added to
that height the advantage of a feather in his hat, and heels to his
shoes so monstrously high, that he had three or four times fallen down,
had he not been supported by his friend. They made a full stop as they
came within a few yards of the place where we stood. The plain gentleman
bowed to Pacolet; the other looked on him with some displeasure: upon
which I asked him, who they both were, when he thus informed me of their
persons and circumstances.

"You may remember, Mr. Isaac, that I have often told you, there are
beings of a superior rank to mankind, who frequently visit the
habitations of men, in order to call them from some wrong pursuits in
which they are actually engaged, or divert them from methods which will
lead them into errors for the future. He that will carefully reflect
upon the occurrences of his life, will find he has been sometimes
extricated out of difficulties, and received favours where he could
never have expected such benefits; as well as met with cross events from
some unseen hand, which have disappointed his best laid designs. Such
accidents arrive from the interventions of aërial beings, as they are
benevolent or hurtful to the nature of man, and attend his steps in the
tracts of ambition, of business, and of pleasure. Before I ever appeared
to you in the manner I do now, I have frequently followed you in your
evening walks, and have often, by throwing some accident in your way, as
the passing by of a funeral, or the appearance of some other solemn
object, given your imagination a new turn, and changed a night you had
destined to mirth and jollity, into an exercise of study and
contemplation. I was the old soldier who met you last summer in Chelsea
Fields, and pretended that I had broken my wooden leg, and could not get
home; but I snapped it short off on purpose, that you might fall into
the reflections you did on that subject, and take me into your hack. If
you remember, you made yourself very merry on that fracture, and asked
me, whether I thought I should next winter feel cold in the toes of that
leg? As is usually observed, that those who lose limbs, are sensible of
pains in the extreme parts, even after those limbs are cut off. However,
my keeping you then in the story of the battle of the Boyne, prevented
an assignation, which would have led you into more disasters than I then

"To be short; those two persons you see yonder, are such as I am; they
are not real men, but are mere shades and figures: one is named Alethes;
the other, Verisimilis. Their office is to be the guardians and
representatives of Conscience and Honour. They are now going to visit
the several parts of the town, to see how their interests in the world
decay or flourish, and to purge themselves from the many false
imputations they daily meet with in the commerce and conversation of
men. You observed Verisimilis frowned when he first saw me. What he is
provoked at, is, that I told him one day, though he strutted and dressed
with so much ostentation, if he kept himself within his own bounds, he
was but a lackey, and wore only that gentleman's livery whom he is now
with. This frets him to the heart; for you must know, he has pretended a
long time to set up for himself, and gets among a crowd of the more
unthinking part of mankind, who take him for a person of the first
quality; though his introduction into the world was wholly owing to his
present companion."

This encounter was very agreeable to me, and I was resolved to dog
them, and desired Pacolet to accompany me. I soon perceived what he told
me in the gesture of the persons: for when they looked at each other in
discourse, the well-dressed man suddenly cast down his eyes, and
discovered that the other had a painful superiority over him. After some
further discourse, they took leave. The plain gentleman went down
towards Thames Street, in order to be present, at least, at the oaths
taken at the Custom-house; and the other made directly for the heart of
the city. It is incredible how great a change there immediately appeared
in the man of honour when he got rid of his uneasy companion: he
adjusted the cock of his hat anew, settled his sword-knot, and had an
appearance that attracted a sudden inclination for him and his interests
in all who beheld him. "For my part," said I to Pacolet, "I cannot but
think you are mistaken in calling this person, of the lower quality; for
he looks much more like a gentleman than the other. Don't you observe
all eyes are upon him as he advances: how each sex gazes at his stature,
aspect, address, and motion?" Pacolet only smiled, and shaked his head;
as leaving me to be convinced by my own further observation. We kept on
our way after him till we came to Exchange Alley, where the plain
gentleman again came up to the other; and they stood together after the
manner of eminent merchants, as if ready to receive application; but I
could observe no man talk to either of them. The one was laughed at as a
fop; and I heard many whispers against the other, as a whimsical sort of
fellow, and a great enemy to trade. They crossed Cornhill together, and
came into the full 'Change, where some bowed, and gave themselves airs
in being known to so fine a man as Verisimilis, who, they said, had
great interests in all princes' courts; and the other was taken notice
of by several as one they had seen somewhere long before. One more
particularly said, he had formerly been a man of consideration in the
world; but was so unlucky, that they who dealt with him, by some strange
infatuation or other, had a way of cutting off their own bills, and were
prodigiously slow in improving their stock. But as much as I was curious
to observe the reception these gentlemen met with upon 'Change, I could
not help being interrupted by one that came up towards us, to whom
everybody made their compliments. He was of the common height, and in
his dress there seemed to be great care to appear no way particular,
except in a certain exact and feat[462] manner of behaviour and
circumspection. He was wonderfully careful that his shoes and clothes
should be without the least speck upon them; and seemed to think, that
on such an accident depended his very life and fortune. There was hardly
a man on 'Change who had not a note upon him; and each seemed very well
satisfied that their money lay in his hands, without demanding payment.
I asked Pacolet, what great merchant that was, who was so universally
addressed to, yet made too familiar an appearance to command that
extraordinary deference? Pacolet answered, "This person is the demon or
genius of credit: his name is Umbra. If you observe, he follows Alethes
and Verisimilis at a distance; and indeed has no foundation for the
figure he makes in the world, but that he is thought to keep their cash;
though at the same time, none who trust him would trust the others for a
groat." As the company rolled about, the three spectres were jumbled
into one place: when they were so, and all thought there was an alliance
between them, they immediately drew upon them the business of the whole
'Change. But their affairs soon increased to such an unwieldy bulk, that
Alethes took his leave, and said, he would not engage further than he
had an immediate fund to answer. Verisimilis pretended that though he
had revenues large enough to go on his own bottom, yet it was below one
of his family to condescend to trade in his own name; therefore he also
retired. I was extremely troubled to see the glorious mart of London
left with no other guardian, but him of credit. But Pacolet told me,
that traders had nothing to do with the honour or conscience of their
correspondents, provided they supported a general behaviour in the
world, which could not hurt their credit or their purses: "for," said
he, "you may in this one tract of building of London and Westminster see
the imaginary motives on which the greatest affairs move, as well as in
rambling over the face of the earth. For though Alethes is the real
governor, as well as legislator of mankind, he has very little business
but to make up quarrels, and is only a general referee, to whom every
man pretends to appeal; but is satisfied with his determinations no
further than they promote his own interest. Hence it is, that the
soldier and the courtier model their actions according to Verisimilis'
manner, and the merchant according to that of Umbra. Among these men,
honour and credit are not valuable possessions in themselves, or pursued
out of a principle of justice; but merely as they are serviceable to
ambition and to commerce. But the world will never be in any manner of
order or tranquillity, till men are firmly convinced, that conscience,
honour, and credit, are all in one interest; and that without the
concurrence of the former, the latter are but impositions upon ourselves
and others. The force these delusive words have, is not seen in the
transactions of the busy world only, but also have their tyranny over
the fair sex. Were you to ask the unhappy Lais, what pangs of
reflection, preferring the consideration of her honour to her
conscience, has given her? She could tell you, that it has forced her to
drink up half a gallon this winter of Tom Dassapas' potions; that she
still pines away for fear of being a mother; and knows not, but the
moment she is such, she shall be a murderess: but if conscience had as
strong a force upon the mind, as honour, the first step to her unhappy
condition had never been made; she had still been innocent, as she's
beautiful. Were men so enlightened and studious of their own good, as to
act by the dictates of their reason and reflection, and not the opinion
of others, Conscience would be the steady ruler of human life; and the
words, Truth, Law, Reason, Equity, and Religion, would be but synonymous
terms for that only guide which makes us pass our days in our own favour
and approbation."

[Footnote 461: A coffee-house in Exchange Alley, Cornhill, with an
auction-room on the first floor, where wine and other things were sold
(see No, 147). Thomas Garway was originally a tobacconist and
coffee-man. Defoe ("Journey through England") says that this
coffee-house was frequented by "the people of quality who have business
in the City, and the most considerable and wealthy citizens."]

[Footnote 462: Adroit.]

No. 49. [STEELE.

From _Saturday, July 30_, to _Tuesday, August 2, 1709._

    Quicquid agunt homines ... nostri farrago libelli.
                                            JUV., Sat. i. 85, 86.

       *       *       *       *       *

White's Chocolate-house, August 1.

The imposition of honest names and words upon improper subjects, has
made so regular a confusion amongst us, that we are apt to sit down with
our errors, well enough satisfied with the methods we are fallen into,
without attempting to deliver ourselves from the tyranny under which we
are reduced by such innovations. Of all the laudable motives of human
life, none has suffered so much in this kind as love; under which
revered name, a brutal desire called lust is frequently concealed and
admitted; though they differ as much as a matron from a prostitute, or a
companion from a buffoon. Philander[463] the other day was bewailing
this misfortune with much indignation, and upbraided me for having some
time since quoted those excellent lines of the satirist:

    _To an exact perfection they have brought
    The action love, the passion is forgot._[464]

"How could you," said he, "leave such a hint so coldly? How could
Aspasia[465] and Sempronia[466] enter into your imagination at the same
time, and you never declare to us the different reception you gave them?
The figures which the ancient mythologists and poets put upon love and
lust in their writings, are very instructive. Love is a beauteous blind
child, adorned with a quiver and a bow, which he plays with, and shoots
around him, without design or direction; to intimate to us, that the
person beloved has no intention to give us the anxieties we meet with;
but that the beauties of a worthy object are like the charms of a lovely
infant: they cannot but attract your concern and fondness, though the
child so regarded is as insensible of the value you put upon it, as it
is that it deserves your benevolence. On the other side, the sages
figured Lust in the form of a satyr; of shape, part human, part bestial;
to signify, that the followers of it prostitute the reason of a man to
pursue the appetites of a beast. This satyr is made to haunt the paths
and coverts of the wood-nymphs and shepherdesses, to lurk on the banks
of rivulets, and watch the purling streams (as the resorts of retired
virgins), to show, that lawless desire tends chiefly to prey upon
innocence, and has something so unnatural in it, that it hates its own
make, and shuns the object it loved, as soon as it has made it like
itself. Love therefore is a child that complains and bewails its
inability to help itself, and weeps for assistance, without an immediate
reflection of knowledge of the food it wants: Lust, a watchful thief
which seizes its prey, and lays snares for its own relief; and its
principal object being innocence, it never robs, but it murders at the
same time. From this idea of a Cupid and a Satyr, we may settle our
notion of these different desires, and accordingly rank their followers.
Aspasia must therefore be allowed to be the first of the beauteous Order
of Love, whose unaffected freedom, and conscious innocence, give her the
attendance of the graces in all her actions. That awful distance which
we bear towards her in all our thoughts of her, and that cheerful
familiarity with which we approach her, are certain instances of her
being the truest object of love of any of her sex. In this accomplished
lady, love is the constant effect, because it is never the design. Yet,
though her mien carries much more invitation than command, to behold her
is an immediate check to loose behaviour; and to love her is a liberal
education:[467] for, it being the nature of all love to create an
imitation of the beloved person in the lover, a regard for Aspasia
naturally produces decency of manners, and good conduct of life in her
admirers. If therefore the giggling Lucippe could but see her train of
fops assembled, and Aspasia move by them, she would be mortified at the
veneration with which she is beheld, even by Lucippe's own unthinking
equipage, whose passions have long taken leave of their understandings.
But as charity is esteemed a conjunction of the good qualities necessary
to a virtuous man, so love is the happy composition of all the
accomplishments that make a fine gentleman. The motive of a man's life
is seen in all his actions; and such as have the beauteous boy for their
inspirer have a simplicity of behaviour, and a certain evenness of
desire, which burns like the lamp of life in their bosoms; while they
who are instigated by the satyr are ever tortured by jealousies of the
object of their wishes; often desire what they scorn, and as often
consciously and knowingly embrace where they are mutually indifferent.

Florio, the generous husband, and Limberham, the "kind keeper,"[468] are
noted examples of the different effects which these desires produce in
the mind. Amanda, who is the wife of Florio, lives in the continual
enjoyment of new instances of her husband's friendship, and sees it the
end of all his ambition to make her life one series of pleasure and
satisfaction; and Amanda's relish of the goods of life, is all that
makes them pleasing to Florio: they behave themselves to each other when
present with a certain apparent benevolence, which transports above
rapture; and they think of each other in absence with a confidence
unknown to the highest friendship: their satisfactions are doubled,
their sorrows lessened by participation. On the other hand, Corinna, who
is the mistress of Limberham,[469] lives in constant torment: her
equipage is, an old woman, who was what Corinna is now; an antiquated
footman, who was pimp to Limberham's father; and a chambermaid, who is
Limberham's wench by fits, out of a principle of politics to make her
jealous and watchful of Corinna. Under this guard, and in this
conversation, Corinna lives in state: the furniture of her habitation,
and her own gorgeous dress, make her the envy of all the strolling
ladies in the town; but Corinna knows she herself is but part of
Limberham's household stuff, and is as capable of being disposed of
elsewhere, as any other movable. But while her keeper is persuaded by
his spies, that no enemy has been within his doors since his last visit,
no Persian prince was ever so magnificently bountiful: a kind look or
falling tear is worth a piece of brocade, a sigh is a jewel, and a smile
is a cupboard of plate. All this is shared between Corinna and her guard
in his absence. With this great economy and industry does the unhappy
Limberham purchase the constant tortures of jealousy, the favour of
spending his estate, and the opportunity of enriching one by whom he
knows he is hated and despised. These are the ordinary and common evils
which attend keepers, and Corinna is a wench but of common size of
wickedness. Were you to know what passes under the roof where the fair
Messalina reigns with her humble adorer! Messalina is the professed
mistress of mankind; she has left the bed of her husband and her
beauteous offspring, to give a loose to want of shame and fulness of
desire. Wretched Nocturnus, her feeble keeper! How the poor creature
fribbles in his gait, and scuttles from place to place to despatch his
necessary affairs in painful daylight, that he may return to the
constant twilight preserved in that scene of wantonness, Messalina's
bedchamber. How does he, while he is absent from thence, consider in his
imagination the breadth of his porter's shoulders, the spruce nightcap
of his valet, the ready attendance of his butler! Any of all whom he
knows she admits, and professes to approve of. This, alas! is the
gallantry; this the freedom of our fine gentlemen: for this they
preserve their liberty, and keep clear of that bugbear, marriage. But he
does not understand either vice or virtue, who will not allow, that life
without the rules of morality is a wayward uneasy being, with snatches
only of pleasure; but under the regulation of virtue, a reasonable and
uniform habit of enjoyment. I have seen in a play of old Heywood's, a
speech at the end of an act, which touched this point with much spirit.
He makes a married man in the play, upon some endearing occasion, look
at his spouse with an air of fondness, and fall into the following
reflection on his condition:

    "_O Marriage! happiest, easiest, safest state;
    Let debauchees and drunkards scorn thy rights,
    Who, in their nauseous draughts and lusts, profane
    Both thee and Heaven by whom thou wert ordained.
    How can the savage call it loss of freedom,
    Thus to converse with, thus to gaze at
    A faithful, beauteous friend?
    Blush not, my fair one, that thy love applauds thee,
    Nor be it painful to my wedded wife,
    That my full heart overflows in praise of thee.
    Thou art by law, by interest, passion, mine:
    Passion and reason join in love of thee.
    Thus, through a world of calumny and fraud,
    We pass both unreproached, both undeceived;
    While in each other's interest and happiness,
    We without art all faculties employ,
    And all our senses without guilt enjoy_."

St. James's Coffee-house August 1.

Letters from the Hague of the 6th instant, N.S., say, that there daily
arrive at our camp deserters in considerable numbers; and that several
of the enemy concealed themselves in the town of Tournay when the
garrison marched into the citadel; after which, they presented
themselves to the Duke of Marlborough; some of whom were commissioned
officers. The Earl of Albemarle is appointed governor of the town. Soon
after the surrender, there arose a dispute about a considerable work,
which was asserted by the Allies to be part of the town, and by the
French to belong to the citadel. It is said, Monsieur de Surville was so
ingenious as to declare, he thought it to be comprehended within the
limits of the town; but Monsieur de Mesgrigny, governor of the citadel,
was of a contrary opinion. It is reported, that this affair occasioned
great difficulties, which ended in a capitulation for the citadel
itself; the principal article of which is, that it shall be surrendered
on the 5th of September next, in case they are not in the meantime
relieved. This circumstance gives foundation to believe, that the enemy
have acted in this manner, rather from some hopes they conceive of a
treaty of peace before that time, than any expectation from their army,
which has retired towards their former works between Lens and La Bassée.
These advices add, that his Excellency the Czarish Ambassador has
communicated to the States-General, and the foreign Ministers residing
at the Hague, a copy of a letter from his master's camp, which gives an
account of the entire defeat of the Swedish army. They further say, that
Count Piper is taken prisoner, and that it is doubted whether the King
of Sweden himself was not killed in the action. We hear from Savoy, that
Count Thaun having amused the enemy by a march as far as the Tarantaise,
had suddenly repassed Mount Cenis, and moved towards Briançon. This
unexpected disposition is apprehended by the enemy as a piece of the
Duke of Savoy's dexterity; and the French adding this circumstance to
that of the Confederate squadron's lying before Toulon, convince
themselves, that his royal highness has his thoughts upon the execution
of some great design in those parts.

[Footnote 463: See No. 13.]

[Footnote 464: See No. 5.]

[Footnote 465: Lady Elizabeth Hastings (see No. 42).]

[Footnote 466: See No. 33.]

[Footnote 467: In the _Spectator_ for March 29, 1884, Mr. Swinburne
published a letter saying that Steele was not the author of these famous
words,--"the most exquisite tribute ever paid to the memory of a noble
woman"; for the article in No. 42 was by Congreve. But Mr. Justin
McCarthy afterwards pointed out that these words occur in No. 49, not
No. 42; and whether or no Congreve wrote the paper in No. 42 which is at
least doubtful--the article in No. 49 is certainly Steele's.]

[Footnote 468: The title of one of Dryden's plays.]

[Footnote 469: Henry Cromwell and Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas. See No. 47.]


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