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So when an Angel by divine command,
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 twenty-third 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 were 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 reënforcement expected from Germany, it was not believed they would make any attempt towards relieving Tournay. Letters from Brabant say, there has been a discovery made of a design to deliver up
* Psalm cxlviii. 8.
Antwerp to the enemy. The states of Holland have agreed to a general naturalization of all protestants who shall fly into their dominions: to which purpose a proclamation was to be issued within a 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 Macon, three hundred persong had died in the space of ten days. Letters from Lisle, of the twenty-fourth instant, advise, that great numbers of deserters came daily into that city, the most part of whom are dragoons. Letters from France say, that the Loire having overflowed its banks, hath laid the country under water for three hundred miles together.
No. 44. THURSDAY, JULY 21, 1709.
-Nullis amor est medicabilis herbis.
OVID. MET. i. 523.
‘No herb, alas! can cure the pangs of love.'
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 you not see there the mourning Æsculapius ?'* 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 assailants; and, consequently, has done greater wonders than is in the power of art to perform: for which reason he is half deified by the people; and has ever been justly courted by all the world, as 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 is 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, О 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: Evaváola, Euaváola, * that is all I implore.”
* This paper was written in ridicule of a love affair which befell Dr. Radcliffe, who was at this time about sixty.
When Æsculapius had finished his complaint, Pacolet went on in deep morals on the uncertainty of riches, with this remarkable exclamation : 0
* A Greek word, that signifies easy death, which was the common wish of the Emperor Augustus.
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 for theatrical representations, had made a gathering to purchase, the movables of the neighbouring playhouse for the encouragement of one which is setting up in the Hay-market. But the proceedings at the auction, by wh 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 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* to send the faded rainbow to the scourer's, and when it comes home, to despatch it after him. At the same time Christopher Rich,f Esquire, is invited to bring down his setting-sun himself, 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
* A noted auctioneer of those times.
† The patentee of Drury-Lane playhouse, which was shut up about this time by an order from the Lord Chamberlain.