Слике страница
PDF
ePub

speak, in perplexed terms of his own making, of what he in that short time observed. But, on the sixth instant. it was thought fit to unbind his head, and the young woman whom he loved was instructed to open his eyes accordingly; as well to endear herself to him by such a circumstance, as to moderate his ecstasies by the persuasion of a voice which had so much power over him as hers ever had. When this beloved young woman began to take off the binding of his eyes, she talked to him as follows.

'Mr. William, I am now taking the binding off, though, when I consider what I am doing, I tremble with the apprehension, that though I have from my very childhood loved you, dark as you were, and though you had conceived so strong a love for me, you will find there is such a thing as beauty, which may ensnare you into a thousand passions of which you are now innocent, and take you from me for ever. But, before I put myself to that hazard, tell me in what manner that love, you always professed to me, entered into your heart; for its usual admission is at the eyes.'

[ocr errors]

The young man answered, Dear Lidia, if I am to lose by sight the soft pantings which I have always felt when I heard your voice; if I am no more to distinguish the step of her I love when she approaches me, but to change that sweet and frequent pleasure for such an amazement as I knew the little time I lately saw; or if I am to have any thing besides, which may take from me the sense I have of what appeared most pleasing to me at that time, which apparition it seems was you; pull out these eyes, before they lead me to be ungrateful to you, or undo myself. I wished for them but to see you; pull them out, if they are to make me forget you.'

Lidia was extremely satisfied with these as. snrances; and pleased herself with playing with his perplexities. In all his talk to her, he showed but very faint ideas of any thing which had not been received at the ears; and closed his protestation to her, by saying, that if he were to see Valentia and Barcelona, whom he supposed the most esteemed of all women, by the quarrel there was about them, he would never like any but Lidia.

his present fortune: Lewenhaupt immediately despatched three general officers to that prince, to treat about a capitulation; but the Swedes, though they consisted of fifteen thousand men, were in so great want of provision and ammunition, that they were obliged to surrender themselves at discretion. His czarish majesty despatched an express to general Goltz, with an account of these particulars, and also with instructions to send out detachments of his cavalry, to prevent the king of Sweden's joining his army in Poland. That prince made his escape with a small party by swimming over the Boristhenes; and it was thought he designed to retire into Poland by the way of Volhinia. Advices from Bern of the eleventh instant say, that the general diet of the Helvetic body held at Baden concluded on the sixth; but the deputies of the six cantons, who are deputed to determine the affair of Tockenburg, continue their application to that business, notwithstanding some new difficulties started by the abbot of St. Gall, Letters from Geneva of the ninth, say, that the duke of Savoy's cavalry had joined count Thaun, as had also two imperial regiments of hussars ; and that his royal highness's army was disposed in the following manner: the troops under the command of count Thaun are extended from Constans to St. Peter D'Albigni. Small parties are left in several posts from thence to Little St. Bernard, to preserve the communication with Piedmont by the valley of Aosta. Some forces are also posted at Taloir, and in the castle of Doin, on each side of the lake of Anneci. General Rhebinder is encamped in the valley of Oulx with ten thousand foot, and some detachments of horse; his troops are extended from Exilles to Mount Genevre, so that he may easily penetrate into Dauphinè on the least motion of the enemy; but the duke of Berwick takes all necessary precautions to prevent such an enterprise. That general's head quarters are at Francin; and he hath disposed his army in several parties, to preserve a communica tion with the Maurienne and Briançon. He hath no provisions for his army but from Savoy; Provence and Dauphine being unable to supply him with necessaries. He left two regiments of dragoons at Annen, who suffered very much in the late action at Tessons, where they lost fifteen hundred who were killed on the spot, four standards, and three hundred prisoners, among whom were forty officers. The last letters from the duke of Marlborough's camp at Orchies of the nineteenth instant, advise, that monsieur Ravignon being returned from the French court with an account that the king of France had refused to ratify the capitulation for the surrender of the citadel of Tournay, the approaches have been carried on with great vigour and success: our miners have discovered several of the enemy's mines,

St. James's Coffee-house, August 15. We have repeated advices of the entire defeat of the Swedish army near Pultowa, on the twenty-seventh of June, O. S.; and letters from Berlin give the following account of the remains of the Swedish army since the battle: Prince Menzikoff, being ordered to pursue the victory, came up with the Swedish army, which was left to the command of general Lewenhaupt, on the thirtieth of June, O. S. on the banks of the Boristhenes; whereupon he sent general Lewenhaupt a summons to submit himself to

who have sprung divers others, which did little | any subject, but applies proper language, temexecution; but for the better security of the per, and skill, with which the thing in debate troops, both assaults are carried on by the cau- is to be treated, told the youth, that gentletious way of sapping. On the eighteenth, the man had spoken nothing but what was literally confederate army made a general forage with- true; but fell upon it with too much earnestout any loss. Marshal Villars continues in his ness to give a true idea of that sort of people former camp, and applies himself with great he was declaiming against, or to remedy the diligence in casting up new lines behind the evil which he bewailed: for the acceptance of old on the Scarp. The duke of Marlborough these men being an ill which had crept into the and prince Eugene designed to begin a gene- conversation-part of our lives, and not into our ral review of the army on the twentieth. constitution itself, it must be corrected where it began; and, consequently, is to be amended only by bringing raillery and derision upon the persons who are guilty, or those who converse with them. For the sharpers,' continued he,

"

at present, are not as formerly, under the acceptation of pick-pockets: but are by custom erected into a real and venerable body of men, and have subdued us to so very particular a deference to them, that though they were known to be men without honour or conscience, no demand is called a debt of honour so indisputably as theirs. You may lose your honour to them, but they lay none against you: as the priesthood in Roman Catholic countries can purchase what they please for the church; but they can alienate nothing from it. It is from this toleration, that sharpers are to be found among all sorts of assemblies and companies; and every talent amongst men is made use of by some one or other of the society, for the good of their common cause: so that an unexperienced young gentleman is as often ensnared by his understanding as his folly; for who could be unmoved, to hear the eloquent Dromio explain the constitution, talk in the key of Cato, with the severity of one of the ancient sages, and debate the greatest question of state in a common chocolate or coffee-house? who could, I say, hear this generous declamator, without being fired at his noble zeal, and becoming his professed follower, if he might be admitted? Monoculus's gravity would be no less inviting to a beginner in conversation; and the snare of his eloquence would equally catch

No. 56.]
Thursday, August 18, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines-

nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86. Whatever good is doue, whatever illBy human kind, shall this collection fill.*

White's Chocolate-house, August 17. There is a young foreigner committed to my care, who puzzles me extremely in the questions he asks about the persons of figure we meet in public places, He has but very little of our language, and therefore I am mightily at a loss to express to him things for which they have no word in that tongue to which he was born. It has been often my answer, upon his asking who such a fine gentleman is? That he is what we call a sharper; and he wants my explication. I thought it would be very unjust to tell him, he is the same the French call Coquin; the Latins, Nebulo; or the Greeks, Pάoxaλ:† for, as custom is the most powerful of all laws, and that the order of men we call sharpers are received amongst us, not only with permission, but favour, I thought it unjust to use them like persons upon no establishment; besides that it would be an unpardonable dishonour to our country to let him leave us with an opinion, that our nobility and gentry keep company with common thieves and cheats: I told him, 'they were a sort of tame hussars, that were allowed in our cities, like the wild ones in our camp; who had all the privileges belonging to ns, but at the same time, were not tied to our discipline or laws.' Aletheus, who is a gentle-one who had never seen an old gentleman so Many other man of too much virtue for the age he lives in, very wise, and yet so little severe. would not let this matter be thus palliated; instances of extraordinary men among the brobut told my pupil, that he was to understand therhood might be produced; but every man, that distinction, quality, merit, and industry, who knows the town, can supply himself with were laid aside among us by the incursions of such examples without their being named. Will these civil hussars; who had got so much coun. Vafer, who is skilful at finding out the ridiculous tenance, that the breeding and fashion of the side of a thing, and placing it in a new and age turned their way to the ruin of order and proper light, though he very seldom talks, economy in all places where they are admitted.'thought fit to enter into this subject. He has But Sophronius, who never falls into heat upon income of his estate will bring in within seven lately lost certain loose sums, which half the

years besides which, he proposes to marry, to set all right. He was, therefore, indolent enough to speak of this matter with great impartiality. 'When I look around me,' said this easy gentleman, and consider in a just balance us bubbles, elder brothers whose sup

This is the first of some patriotic and excellent papers, in which Steele laudably employed his wit, in exposing the gamesters, sharpers, and swindlers of his time, with a view to guard his unwary countrymen from their snares; and, ⚫to banish fraud and cozeuage from the presence aud conversation of gentlemen.'

↑ The word ' rascal,' printed in Greek characters,

port our dull fathers contrived to depend upon | may be better understood by the good people
certain acres, with the rooks, whose ancestors
left them the wide world; I cannot but admire
their fraternity, and contemn my own. Is not
Jack Heyday much to be preferred to the knight
he has bubbled? Jack has his equipage, his
wenches, and his followers: the knight, so far
from a retinue, that he is almost one of Jack's.
However, he is gay, you see, still; a florid out-
side His habit speaks the man-And since he
must unbutton, he would not be reduced out-
wardly, but is stripped to his upper coat. But
though I have great temptation to it, I will
not at this time give the history of the losing
side; but speak the effects of my thoughts,
since the loss of my money, upon the gaining
people. This ill fortune makes most men con.
templative and given to reading; at least it
has happened so to me; and the rise and fall
of the family of Sharpers in all ages has been
my contemplation.'

I find, all times have had of this people: Homer, in his excellent heroic poem, calls them Myrmidons, who were a body that kept among themselves, and had nothing to lose; therefore never spared either Greek or Trojan, when they fell in their way, upon a party. But there is a memorable verse, which gives us an account of what broke that whole body, and made both Greeks and Trojans masters of the secret of their warfare and plunder. There is nothing so pedantic as many quotations; therefore, I shall inform you only, that in this battalion there were two officers called Ther

[ocr errors]

of England. These sort of men, in some ages,
were sycophants and flatterers only, and were
endued with arts of life to capacitate them for
the conversation of the rich and great; but
now the bubble courts the impostor, and pre-
tends at the utmost to be but his equal. To
clear up the reasons and causes in such revolu-
tions, and the different conduct between fools
and cheats, shall be one of our labours for the
good of this kingdom. How, therefore, pimps,
footmen, fiddlers, and lackeys, are elevated into
companions in this present age, shall be ac-
counted for from the influence of the planet
Mercury on this island; the ascendency of
which Sharper over Sol, who is a patron of the
muses and all honest professions, has been noted
by the learned Job Gadbury,* to be the cause,
that cunning and trick are more esteemed
than art and science.' It must be allowed also,
to the memory of Mr. Partridge, late of Cecil,
street in the Strand, that in his answer to an
horary question, At what hour of the night to
set a fox-trap in June 1705? he has largely
discussed, under the character of Reynard, the
manner of surprising all Sharpers as well as
him. But of these great points, after more
mature deliberation.

St. James's Coffee-house, August 17.
'To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire,

'SIR,

'We have nothing at present new, but that we understand by some Owlers,+ old people die sites and Pandarus: they were both less re-in France. Letters from Paris of the tenth nowned for their beauty than their wit; but instant, N. S. say, that monsieur d'Andre, each had this particular happiness, that they marquis d'Oraison, died at eighty-five: monwere plunged over head and ears in the same sieur Brumars, at one hundred and two years, water which made Achilles invulnerable; and died for love of his wife, who was ninety-two had ever after, certain gifts which the rest of at her death, after seventy years cohabitation. the world were never to enjoy. Among others, Nicholas de Boutheiller, parish-preacher at they were never to know they were the most Sasseville, being a bachelor, held out to one dreadful to the sight of all mortals, never to hundred and sixteen. Dame Claude de Massy, be diffident of their own abilities, never to relict of monsieur Peter de Monceaux, grand blush, or ever to be wounded but by each audiencer of France, died on the seventeenth, other. Though some historians say, gaming aged one hundred and seven. Letters of the began among the Lydians, to divert hunger, seventeenth say, monsieur Chrestien de Lacould cite many authorities to prove it had its moignon died on the seventh instant, a person rise at the siege of Troy; and that Ulysses won of great piety and virtue; but having died young, his age is concealed for reasons of state. On the fifteenth, his most Christian majesty, attended by the dauphin, the duke of Burgundy, the duke and dutchess of Berry, assisted at the procession which he yearly per

I

the sevenfold shield at hazard. But be that as

it may, the ruin of the corps of the Myrmidons
proceeded from a breach between Thersites
and Pandarus. The first of these was leader of
a squadron, wherein the latter was but a private
man; but having all the good qualities neces-forms in memory of a vow made by Lewis the
sary for a partisan, he was the favourite of his Thirteenth, in 1638. For which act of piety,
officer. But the whole history of the several his majesty received absolution of his confessor,
changes in the order of Sharpers, from those for the breach of all inconvenient vows made
Myrmidons to our modern men of address and
plunder, will require that we consult some
ancient manuscripts. As we make these en-
quiries, we shall diurnally communicate them
to the public, that the Knights of the Industry | an illicit trade by night,

Gadbury was an almanack-maker and astrologer.

+ Owler signifies one who carries contraband goods; the

word is perhaps derived from the necessity of carrying ou

[ocr errors]

by himself. I am, sir, your most humble servant.

'HUMPHREY KIDNEY.'

From my own Apartment, August 17. I am to acknowledge several letters which I have lately received; among others, one subscribed Philanthropos, another Emilia, both which shall be honoured. I have a third from an officer in the army, wherein he desires I would do justice to the many gallant actions which have been done by men of private characters, or officers of lower stations, during this long war; that their families may have the pleasure of seeing we lived in an age, wherein men of all orders had their proper share in fame and glory. There is nothing I should undertake with greater pleasure than matters of this kind; if, therefore, they who are acquainted with such facts would please to communicate them by letters, directed to me at Mr. Morphew's, no pains should be spared to put them in a proper and distinguishing light.

This is to admonish Stentor, that it was not admiration of his voice, but my publication of it, which has lately increased the number of his hearers.

[ocr errors]

White's Chocolate-house, August 19. Since my last, I have received a letter from Tom Trump, to desire that I would do the fraternity of gamesters the justice to own, that there are notorious Sharpers, who are not of their class. Among others, he presented me with the picture of Harry Coppersmith, in little, who, he says, is at this day worth half a plumb,* by means much more indirect than by false dice. I must confess there appeared some reason in what he asserted; and he met me since, and accosted me in the following manner: 6 It is wonderful to me, Mr. Bickerstaff, that you can pretend to be a man of penetration, and fall upon us Knights of the Industry as the wickedest of mortals, when there are so many who live in the constant practice of baser methods, unobserved. You cannot,

Quicquid agunt homines

-nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86. though you know the story of myself and the Whatever good is done, whatever ill· By human kind, shall this collection fill.

North Briton, but allow I am an honester man than Will Coppersmith, for all his great credit among the Lombards. I get my money by The declining merchant communicates his men's follies, and he gets his by their distresses. griefs to him, and he augments them by extortion. If, therefore, regard is to be had to the merit of the persons we injure, who is the man, or he that cheats a foolish one? All more blameable, he that oppresses an unhappy mankind are indifferently liable to adverse strokes of fortune; and he who adds to them, when he might relieve them, is certainly a whose prosperity is unwieldy to him. Besides worse subject, than he who unburdens a man all which, he that borrows of Coppersmith does it out of necessity; he that plays with me does it out of choice.'

No. 57.]

Saturday, August 20, 1709.

one regards, because all know it is within their power. The best course Emilia can take is, to have less humility; for if she could have as good an opinion of herself for having every quality, as some of her neighbours have of themselves with one, she would inspire even them with a sense of her merit, and make that carriage, which is now the subject of their derision, the sole object of their imitation, Until she has arrived at this value of herself, she must be contented with the fate of that uncommon creature, a women too humble.

Will's Coffee-house, August 19.

I was this evening representing a complaint sent me out of the country from Emilia. She says, her neighbours there have so little sense of what a refined lady of the town is, that she, who was a celebrated wit in London, is in that dull part of the world in so little esteem, that they call her in their base style a Tongue-Pad. Old True Penny bid me advise her to keep her wit until she comes to town again, and admonish her, that both wit and breeding are local; for a fine court-lady is as awkward among country housewives, as one of them would appear in a drawing-room. It is therefore the most useful knowledge one can attain at, to understand among what sort of men we make the best figure; for if there be a place where the beauteous and accomplished Emilia is unacceptable, it is certainly a vain endeavour to attempt pleasing in all conversations. Here is Will Ubi, who is so thirsty after the reputation of a companion, that his company is for any body that will accept of it; and for want of knowing whom to choose for himself, is never chosen by others. There is a certain chastity of behaviour which makes a man desirable; and which if he transgresses, his wit will have the same fate with Delia's beauty, which no

himself, which is the height of his pretensions; I allowed Trump there are men as bad as and must confess, that Coppersmith is the most wicked and impudent of all Sharpers; a ber in the habit of a friend. The contemplacreature that cheats with credit, and is a robtion of this worthy person made me reflect on the wonderful successes I have observed men world, and recollect an observation. I once of the meanest capacities meet with in the

A Plumb is a term in the city for L.100,000
R

heard a sage man make; which was, 'That | be had observed, that in some professions, the lower the understanding, the greater the capacity. I remember, he instanced that of a banker, and said, that the fewer appetites, passions, and ideas a man had, he was the better for his business.'

There is little sir Tristram, without connection in his speech, or so much as common sense, has arrived by his own natural parts at one of the greatest estates amongst us. But bonest sir Tristram knows himself to be but a repository for cash: he is just such a utensil as his iron chest, and may rather be said to hold money, than possess it. There is nothing so pleasant as to be in the conversation of these wealthy proficients. I had lately the honour to drink half-a-pint with sir Tristram, Harry Coppersmith, and Giles Twoshoes. These wags gave one another credit in discourse, according to their purses; they jest by the pound, and make answers as they honour bills. Without vanity, I thought myself the prettiest fellow of the company; but I had no manner of power over one muscle in their faces, though they smirked at every word spoken by each other. Sir Tristram called for a pipe of tobacco; and telling us tobacco was a pot-herb,' bid the drawer bring him the other half-pint. Twoshoes laughed at the knight's wit without moderation; I took the liberty to say it was but a pun.' A pun!' said Coppersmith; you would be a better man by ten thousand pounds if you could pun like sir Tristram.' With that they all burst out together. The queer curs maintained this style of dialogue until we had drunk our quart a-piece, by half-pints. All! could bring away with me is, that Twoshoes is not worth twenty thousand pounds: for his mirth, though he was as insipid as either of the others, had no more effect upon the company than if he had been a bankrupt.

6

6

[ocr errors]

prefer beasts, victuals, and ridiculous amours before them. Amongst these people, he is sober who is never drunk with any thing but wine; the too frequent use of it having rendered it flat and insipid to them: They endeavour by brandy, and other strong liquors, to quicken their taste, already extinguished, and want nothing to complete their debauches, but to drink aqua-fortis. The women of that country hasten the decay of their beauty, by their artifices to preserve it: they paint their cheeks, eye-brows, and shoulders, which they lay open, together with their breasts, arms, and ears, as if they were afraid to hide those places which they think will please, and never think they show enough of them. The physiogno. mies of the people of that country are not at all neat, but confused and embarrassed with a bundle of strange hair, which they prefer before their natural: with this they weave something to cover their heads, which descends down half way their bodies, hides their features, and hinders you from knowing men by their faces. This nation has, besides this, their God and their king. The grandees go every day at a certain hour, to a temple they call a church at the upper end of that temple there stands an altar consecrated to their God, where the priest celebrates some mysteries which they call holy, sacred, and tremendous. The great men make a vast circle at the foot of the altar, standing with their backs to the priest and the holy mysteries, and their faces erected towards their king, who is seen on his knees upon a throne, and to whom they seem to direct the desires of their hearts, and all their devotion. However, in this custom, there is to be remarked a sort of subordination; for the people appear adoring their prince, and their prince adoring God. The inhabitants of this region call it--. It is from forty-eight degrees of latitude, and more than eleven hundred leagues by sea, from the Iroquois and Hurons.'

From my own Apartment, August 19.

I have heard it has been advised by a diocesan to his inferior clergy, that instead of broaching opinions of their own, and uttering doctrines which may lead themselves and hearers into error, they would read some of the most celebrated sermons, printed by others for the instruction of their congregations. In imitation of such preachers at second-hand, I shall transcribe from Bruyere one of the most elegant pieces of raillery and satire which I have ever read. He describes the French as if speaking of a people not yet discovered, in the air and style of a traveller.

'I have heard talk of a country, where the old men are gallant, polite, and civil: the young men, on the contrary, stubborn, wild, without either manners or civility. They are free from passion for women, at the age when in other countries they begin to feel it; and

new.

Letters from Hampstead say, there is a coxcomb arrived there, a kind which is utterly The fellow has courage, which he takes himself to be obliged to give proofs of every hour he lives. He is ever fighting with the men, and contradicting the women. A lady, who sent to me, superscribed him with this description out of Suckling:

I am a man of war and might, And know thus much that I can fight Whether I am i'th' wrong or night,

Devoutly.

[blocks in formation]
« ПретходнаНастави »