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the opinion, that it is from the notions the men inspire them with, that the women are so fantastical in the value of themselves. This imaginary pre-eminence which is given to the fair sex, is not only formed from the addresses of people of condition; but it is the fashion and humour of all orders to go regularly out of their wits, as soon as they begin to make love. I know at this time three goddesses in the New Exchange; and there are two shepherdesses that sell gloves in Westminster-hall.
A hundred men's affairs confound
HAVING the honour to be, by my great grandmother, a Welshman, I have been among some choice spirits of that part of Great Britain,
where we solaced ourselves in celebration of the day of St. David. I am, I confess, elevated above that state of mind which is proper for lucubration: but I am the less concerned at
this, because I have for this day or two last past observed, that we novelists have been condemned wholly to the pastry-cooks, the eyes of the nation being turned upon greater matters.* This, therefore, being a time when none but my immediate correspondents will read me, I shall speak to them chiefly at this present writing. It is the fate of us who pretend to joke, to be frequently understood to be only upon the droll when we are speaking the most seriously, as appears by the following letter to Charles Lillie.
when he thinks fit, whether his nomination of
An allusion to The Trial of Dr. Sacheverell,' which was between February 27, and March 23, 1709-10.
I am to tell this tleman in sober sadness, and without jest, that there really is so good
and charitable a man as the benefactor enquired for in his letter, and that there are but two boys yet named. The father of one of them was killed at Blenheim, the father of the other at Almanza. I do not here give the names of the children, because I should take it to be an insolence in me to publish them, in a charity which I have only the direction of as a servant to that worthy and generous spirit, who bestows upon them this bounty without laying the bondage of an obligation. What I have to do is to tell them, they are beholden only to their Maker, to kill in them, as they grow up, the false shame of poverty; and let them know, that their present fortune, which is come upon them by the loss of their poor fathers on so glorious occasions, is much more honourable than the inheritance of the most ample ill-gotten wealth.
The next letter which lies before me is from a man of sense, who strengthens his own authority with that of Tully, in persuading me to what he very justly believes one cannot be
MR. BICKERSTAFF, London, Feb. 27, 1709. 'I am so confident of your inclination to promote any thing that is for the advancement of liberal arts, that I lay before you the following translation of a paragraph in Cicero's oration in defence of Archias the poet, as an incentive to the agreeable and instructive reading of the writings of the Augustan age. Most vices and follies proceed from a man's incapacity of entertaining himself, and we are generally fools in company, because we dare not be wise alone. I hope, on some future occasions, you will find this no barren hint. Tully, after having said very handsome things of his client, commends the arts of which he was master, as follows:
MR. LILLIE, London, Feb. 28, 1709 10. 'It being professed by Esquire Bickerstaff, that his intention is to expose the vices and follies of the age, and to promote virtue and good-will amongst mankind; it must be a comfort for a person labouring under great straits and difficulties, to read any thing that has the appearance of succour. I should be glad to know, therefore, whether the intelligence given in his Tatler of Saturday last, of the intended charity of a certain citizen of London, to maintain the education of ten boys in writing and accounts until they be fit for trade, be given only to encourage and recommend persons to the practice of such noble and charitable designs; or, whether there be a person who really intends to do so. If the latter, I humbly beg Esquire Bickerstaff's par-delight old age, adorn prosperity, and soften, don for making a doubt, and impute it to my and even remove adversity, entertain at home, ignorance; and most humbly crave, that he are no hinderance abroad; do not leave us at would be pleased to give notice in his Tatler, night, and keep us company on the road, and in the country. 'Your humble servant, STREPHION.'
If so much profit be not reaped in the study of letters, and if pleasure only be found; yet, in my opinion, this relaxation of the mind should be esteemed most humane and ingenuous. Other things are not for all ages, places, and seasons. These studies form youth,
The following epistle seems to want the quickest despatch, because a lady is every moment offended until it is answered; which is best done by letting the offender see in her own letter how tender she is of calling him so.
'This comes from a relation of yours, though
Your most humble servant and cousin,
I had no sooner read the just complaint of Mrs. Drumstick, but I received an urgent one from another of the fair sex, upon faults of more pernicious consequence.
Observing that you are entered into a correspondence with Pasquin, who is, I suppose, a Roman catholic, I beg of you to forbear giv. ing him any account of our religion or manners, until you have rooted out certain misdemeanours even in our churches. Among others, that of bowing, saluting, taking snuff, and other gestures. Lady Autumn made me a very low courtesy the other day from the next pew, and, with the most courtly air imaginable, called herself miserable sinner. Her niece, soon after, saying, Forgive us our trespasses, courtesied with a glouting look at my brother. He returned it, opening his snuff-box, and repeating yet a more solemn expression. I beg of you, good Mr. Censor, not to tell Pasquin any thing of this kind, and to believe this does not come from one of a morose temper, mean birth, rigid education, narrow fortune, or bigotry in opinion, or from one in whom time has worn out all taste of pleasure. I assure you, it is far otherwise, for I am possessed of all the contrary advantages; and, I hope, wealth, good
humour, and good breeding, may be best employed in the service of religion and virtue; and desire you would, as soon as possible, remark upon the above-mentioned indecorums, that we may not long transgress against the latter, to preserve our reputation in the former. · Your humble servant,
At St. Mary's, among the papers of the university of Cambridge, there is a letter of James I. against the use of tobacco.
The last letter I shall insert is what follows. This is written by a very inquisitive lady; and, I think, such interrogative gentlewomen are to be answered no other way than by interrogation. Her billet is this:
Sheer-lane, March 3.
WHILE the attention of the town is drawn 'I write this in a thin under-petticoat, and aside from reading us writers of news, we all never did or will wear a fardingal.' save ourselves against it is at more leisure. As for my own part, I shall still let the labouring oar be managed by my correspondents, and fill my paper with their sentiments, rather than my own, until I find my readers more disengaged than they are at present. When I came home this evening, I found several letters and petitions, which I shall insert with no other follows: order, than as I accidentally opened them, as
DEAR MR. BICKERSTAFF,
you quite as good as you seem to be?
To which I can only answer:
Are you quite as ignorant as you seem to be?
March 1, 1709-10. Having a daughter about nine years of age, I would endeavour she might have education. I mean such as may be useful, as working well, and a good deportment. In order to it, I am persuaded to place her at some boarding-school, situate in a good air. My wife opposes it, and gives for her greatest reason, that she is too much a woman, and understands the formalities of visiting and a tea-table so very nicely, that none, though much older, can exceed her; and, with all these perfections, the girl can scarce thread a needle: but, however, after several arguments, we have agreed to be decided by your judgment: and, knowing your abilities, shall manage our daughter exactly as you shall please to direct. I am serious in my request, and hope you will be so in your answer, which will lay a deep obligation upon, Sir, your humble servant,
Sir, pray answer it in your Tatler, that it
may be serviceakin to th
am as serious on this subject as my corre- ment for the latter, when I first came to this spondent can be; and am of opinion, that the town, was the blanket, which, I humbly congreat happiness or misfortune of mankind deceive, may be as justly applied to him that pends upon the manner of educating and treat- bawls, as to him that listens. It is there ing that sex. I have lately said, I design to fore provided for the future, that, except in turn my thoughts more particularly to them, the long vacation, no retainers to the law and their service: I beg therefore a little time with dulcimer, violin, or any other instrument to give my opinion on so important a subject, in any tavern within a furlong of an inn a and desire the young lady may fill tea one week court, shall sing any tune, or pretended tune longer, until I have considered whether she whatsoever, upon pain of the blanket, to le shall be removed or not. administered according to the discretion of al such peaceable people as shall be within the annoyance. And it is further directed, that all clerks who shall offend in this kind, shall forfeit their indentures, and be turned over as assistants to the clerks of parishes within the bills of mortality, who are hereby empowered to
Chancery-lane, Feb. 27, 1709. 'Your notice in the advertisement in your Tatler of Saturday last about Whetters in and about the Royal Exchange, is mightily taken notice of by gentlemen who use the coffeehouses near the Chancery-office in Chancery-demand them accordingly. Jane. And there being a particular certain set of both young and old gentlemen that belong to and near adjoining to the Chancery-office, both in Chancery-lane and Bell-yard, that are not only Whetters all the morning long, but very musically given about twelve at night the same days, and mightily taken with the union of the dulcimer, violin, and song; at which recreation they rejoice together with perfect barmony, however their clients disagree: You are humbly desired by several gentlemen to give some regulation concerning them; in which you will contribute to the repose of us, who are your very humble servants, L. T. N. F. T. W.'
These Whetters are a people I have considered with much pains; and find them to differ from a sect I have hitherto spoken of, called snuff-takers, only in the expedition they take in destroying their brains: the Whetter is obliged to refresh himself every moment with a liquor, as the snuff-taker with a powder. As for their harmony in the evening, I have nothing to object; provided they remove to Wapping, or the Bridge-foot, where it is not to be supposed that their vociferations will annoy the studious, the busy, or the contemplative. I once had lodgings in Gray's-Inn, where we had two hard students, who learned to play upon the hautboy; and I had a couple of chamber-fellows over my head not less diligent in the practice of back-sword and single-rapier. I remember these gentlemen were assigned by the benchers the two houses at the end of the terrace-walk, as the only place fit for their meditations. Such students as will let none im
prove but themselves, ought, indeed, to have their proper distances from societies.
The gentlemen of loud mirth above-mentioned I take to be, in the quality of their crime, the same as eaves-droppers; for they who will be in your company whether you will or no, are to as great a degree offenders, as they who hearken to what passes without being of your company at all. The ancient punish
I am not to omit the receipt of the following letter, with a night-cap from my Valentine; which night cap, I find, was finished in the year 1588, and is too finely wrought to be of any modern stiching. Its antiquity will better appear by my Valentine's own words:
Since you are pleased to accept of so mean a present as a night-cap from your Valentine, I have sent you one, which I do assure you has been very much esteemed of in our family; for my great-grandmother's daughter, who worked it, was maid of honour to queen Elizabeth, and had the misfortune to lose her life by pricking her finger in the making of it, of which she bled to death, as her tomb now at neither myself, nor any of the family, have Westminster * will show. For which reason, loved work ever since; otherwise you should have one, as you desired, made by the hands of, Sir,
'To the right worshipful Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, Censor of Great Britain, and Governor of the Hospital erected, or to be erected in Moor-fields;
The petition of the inhabitants of the parish of Gotham, in the county of Middlesex;
" That whereas it is the undoubted right of your said petitioners to repair on every Lord's day to a chapel of ease in the said parish, there
to be instructed in their duties in the known or vulgar tongue; yet so it is, may it please your worship, that the preacher of the said chapel has of late given himself wholly up to matters of controversy, in nowise tending to the edification of your said petitioners; and in handling, as he calls it, the same, has used divers hard and crabbed words; such as, amoug
many others, orthodox and heterodox, which
"Your petitioners further say, that they are
DEAR, COUSIN, Nando's, Feb. 28, 1709. 'I am just come out of the country, and upon perusing your late lucubrations, I find Charles Lillie to be the darling of your affections; that you have given him a place, and taken no small pains to establish him in the world; and, at the same time, have passed by his name saker at this end of the town, as if he was a citizen defunct, and one of no use in a commonwealth. I must own, his circumstances are so good, and so well known, that he does not stand in need of having his fame published to the world; but, being of an ambitious spirit, and an aspiring soul, he would be rather proud of the honour, than desirous of the profit, which might result from your recommendation. He is a person of a particular genius, the first that brought toys in fashion, and bawbles to perfection. He is admirably well versed in screws, springs, and hinges, and deeply read in knives, combs, or scissars, buttons, or buckles. He is a perfect master of words, which, uttered with a smooth voluble tongue, flow into a most persuasive eloquence; insomuch, that I have known a gentleman of distinction find several ingenious faults with a toy of his, and show his utmost dislike to it, as being either useless or ill-contrived; but when the orator, behind the counter, had harangued upon it for an hour and a half, displayed its hidden beauties, and revealed its secret perfections, he has wondered how he had been able to spend so great a part of his life without so important a utensil. I will not pretend to furnish out an inventory of all the valuable commodities that are to be found at his shop.
toast of my acquaintance who told me, she
There appears, methinks, something very
'I shall content myself with giving an account of what I think most curious. Imprimis, his pocket-books are very neat and well contrived, not for keeping bank-bills, or goldsmiths
fess, I envied all who had youth and health
But, since age and infirmities forbid my ap-
me no small inquietude, it being an accusation of partiality, and disregard to merit, in the person of a virtuoso, who is the most eloquent of all men upon small occasions, and is the more to be admired for his prodigious fertility of invention, which never appears but upon subjects which others would have thought barren. But in consideration of his uncommon talents, I am contented to let him be the hero of my next two days, by inserting his friend's recommendation of him at large.
No. 142.] Tuesday, March 7, 1709-10.
ALL persons who employ themselves in pub-
subsists in Fleet-street in high reputation.
+ Charles Mather
and of great use to encourage young gentlemen
only one in fashion until after Easter. The
"This virtuoso has a parcel of Jambees now growing in the East-Indies, where he keeps a man on purpose to look after them, which will be the finest that ever landed in Great-Britain, and will be fit to cut about two years hence. Any gentleman may subscribe for as many as he pleases. Subscriptions will be taken in at nis shop at ten guineas each joint. They that subscribe for six shall have a Dragon gratis. This is all I have to say at present concerning Charles's curiosities; and hope it may be sufficient to prevail with you to take him into your consideration, which if you comply with, you will oblige "Your humble servant.'
Sheer-lane, March 8.
are so very good, that they are fit to be laid up
I WAS this afternoon surprized with a visit
the odd place I lived in, and begged of me to
ledge of them; and is arrived at that perfection, that he is able to hold forth upon canes longer than upon any one subject in the world. Indeed, his canes are so finely clouded, and so well made up, either with gold or amber heads, that I am of the opinion it is impossible for a gentleman to walk, talk, sit, or stand, as he should do, without one of them. He knows the value of a cane, by knowing the value of the buyer's estate. Sir Timothy Shallow has two thousand pounds per annum, and Tom Empty, one. They both at several times bought a cane of Charles: sir Timothy's cost ten guineas, and Tom Empty's five. Upon comparing them, they were perfectly alike. Sir Timothy, surprised there should be no difference in the canes, and so much in the price, comes to Charles: Damn it, Charles," says he," you have sold me a cane here for ten pieces, and the very same to Tom Empty for five." "Lord! sir Timothy," says Charles, "I am concerned that you, whom I took to understand canes better than any baronet in town, should be so overseen!" " Why, sir Timothy, your's is a true Jambee, and esquire Empty's only a plain Dragon."
understood her pretty well, but would not; therefore desired her, ' to pay off her coach, for I had a great deal to talk to her.' She very pertly told me, she came in her own chariot.' Why,' said I, is your husband in town? and has he set up an equipage?' 'No,' answered she, but I have received five hundred pounds by his order; and his letters, which came at the same time, bade me want for nothing that was necessary.'
I was heartily concerned at her folly, whose
she had a
N. B. Whereas there came out, last term, several gold snuff-boxes, and others: this is to give notice, that Charles will put out a new 'I am at present under very much concerr edition on Saturday next, which will be the Fat the splendid appearance I saw my sister