Imágenes de páginas

sale of this year's almanac, that John Partridge is dead : this may inform all his loving countrymen, that he is still living in health, and they are knaves that reported it otherwise.

J. P:


When an engineer finds his guns have not had their intended effect, he changes his batteries. I am forced at present to take this method ; and instead of continuing to write against the singularity some are guilty of in their habit and behaviour, I shall henceforward desire them to persevere in it; and not only so, but shall take it as a favour of all the coxcombs in the town, if they will set marks upon themselves, and by some particular in their dress show to what class they belong. It would be very obliging in all such persons, who feel in themselves that they are not sound of understanding to give the world notice of it, and spare mankind the pains of finding them out. A cane upon the fifth button shall from henceforth be the type of a Dapper ; red-heeled shoes, and a hat hung upon one side of the head, shall signify a Smart; a good periwig made into a twist, with a brisk cock, shall speak a Mettled Fellow; and an upper lip covered with snuff denotes a Coffee-house Statesman. But as it is required that all coxcombs hang out their signs, it is on the other hand expected that men of real merit should avoid any thing particular in their dress, gait, or behaviour. For, as we old men delight in proverbs, I cannot forbear bringing out one on this occasion, 'That good wine needs no bush.' I m not leave this subject without reflecting on several persons I have lately met with, who at a distance seem very terrible; but upon a stricter inquiry into their looks and features, appear as meek and harmless as any of my own neighbours. These are country gentlemen, who of late years have taken up a humour of coming to town in red coats, whom an arch wag of my acquaintance used to describe very well, by calling them, sheep in wolves' clothing. I have often wondered, that honest gentlemen, who are good neighbours, and live quietly in their own possessions, should take it in their heads to frighten the town after this unreasonable manner. I shall think myself obliged, if they persist in so unnatural a dress, notwithstanding any posts they may have in the militia, to give away their red coats to any of the soldiery who shall think fit to strip them, provided the said soldiers can make it appear

that they belong to a regiment where there is a deficiency in the clothing

About two days ago I was walking in the Park, and accidentally met a rural 'squire, clothed in all the types above mentioned, with a carriage and behaviour made entirely out of his own head. He was of a bulk and stature larger than ordinary, had a red coat, flung open to show a gay calamanco waistcoat. His periwig fell in a very considerable bush upon each shoulder. His arms naturally swung at an unreasonable distance from his sides ; which, with the advantage of a cane that he brandished in a great variety of irregular motions, made it unsafe for any one to walk within several yards of him. In this manner he took up the whole Mall, his spectators moving on each side of it, whilst he cocked

up his hat, and marched directly for Westminster. I cannot tell who this gentleman is, but for my comfort, may say with the lover in Terence, who lost sight of a fine young lady, Wherever thou art, thou canst not be long concealed.'

ST. JAMES'S COFFEE-HOUSE, NOVEMBER 18. By letters from Paris, of the sixteenth, we are informed that the French king, the princes of the blood, and the elector of Bavaria, had lately killed fifty-five pheasants.

*** Whereas several have industriously spread abroad, that I am in partnership with Charles Lillie, the perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort-buildings; I must say, with my friend Partridge, that they are knaves who reported it. However, since the said Charles has promised that all his customers shall be mine, I must desire all mine to be his; and dare answer for him, that if you ask in my name for snuff, Hungary or orange water, you shall have the best the town affords, at the cheapest rate.

[blocks in formation]

No. 97. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1709.

Illud maximè rarum genus est eorum, qui aut excellente ingenii

magnitudine, aut præclarâ eruditione atque doctrinâ, aut utrâque re ornati, spatium deliberandi habuerunt, quem potissimùm, vitae cursum sequi vellent.


There are very few persons of extraordinary genius, or eminent

for learning and other noble endowments, who have had sufficient time to consider what particular course of life they ought to pursue.

FROM MY OWN APARTMENT, NOVEMBER 21. HAVING swept away prodigious multitudes in my last paper, and brought a great destruction upon my own species, I must endeavour in this to raise fresh recruits, and, if possible, to supply the places of the unborn and the deceased. It is said of Xerxes, that when he stood upon a hill

, and saw the whole country round him covered with his army, he burst out in tears, to think that not one of that multitude would be alive a hundred years after. For my part, when I take a survey of this populous city, I can scarce forbear weeping, to see how few of its inhabitants are now living. It was with this thought that I drew up my last bill of mortality, and endeavoured to set out in it the great number of persons who have perished by a distemper commonly known by the name of idleness, which has long raged in the world, and destroys more in every great town than the plague has done at Dantzick. To repair the mischief it has done, and stock the world with a better race of mortals, I have more hopes of bringing to life those that are young, than of reviving those that are old. For which reason, I shall here set down that noble allegory which was written by an old author called Prodicus, but recommended and embellished by Socrates. It is the description of Virtue and Pleasure, making their court to Hercules under the appearances of two beautiful women.

When Hercules, says the divine moralist, was in that part of his youth, in which it was natural for him to consider what course of life he ought to pursue, he one day retired into a desert, where the silence and solitude of the place very much favoured his meditations. As he was musing on his present condition, and very much perplexed in himself on the state of life he should choose, he saw two women of a larger stature than ordinary approaching towards him. One of them had a very noble air, and graceful deportment; her beauty was natural and easy, her person clean and unspotted, her eyes cast towards the ground with an agreeable reserve, her motion and behaviour full of modesty, and her raiment as white as snow. The other had a great deal of health and floridness in her countenance, which she had helped with an artificial white and red; and endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her mien, by a mixture of affectation in all her gestures. She had a wonderful confidence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her dress that she thought were most proper to show her complexion to an advantage. She cast her eyes upon herself, then turned them on those that were present, to see how they liked her, and often looked on the figure she made in her own shadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules, she stepped before the other

« AnteriorContinuar »