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and adventures. It will be much more easy, therefore, to laugh Sir Taffety 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 a 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
cvice 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 coquet 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 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 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 marks of derision for their sakes; and there is nothing so frequent, as that he, who was contempt
ible 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 neverfailing medicine for the spleen; my experience in this distemper came from a very remarkable cure on my ever worthy friend Tom Spindle, who, through excessive gayety, 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.
Ďrachm 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, flowing 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, 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 writ 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 a 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 Postcript; 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.* Æsculapius, as soon as he saw the patient, cries out, “It is love! it is 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, О 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 advice, 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 Sylvia's snowy arms he lies,
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
* Dr. Radcliffe.