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should think yourself neglected, which I have reason to believe you would take heinously ill. Secondly, partly because it will increase my fame, and consequently my audience, when all the quality shall see with how much wit and raillery I show you—I do not care a farthing for you. Thirdly, partly because being without books, if I do not show much learning, it will not be imputed to my having none.
"I have travelled Italy, France, and Spain, and fully comprehend whatever any German artist in the world can do; yet cannot I imagine, why you should endeavour to disturb the repose and plenty which, though unworthy, I enjoy at this place. It cannot be, that you take offence at my prologues and epilogues, which you are pleased to miscall foolish and abusive.
you give a better, I shall not forbear thinking that the true reason of your picking a quarrel with me was, because it is more agreeable to your principles, as well as more to the honour of your assured victory, to attack a governor. Mr. Isaac, Mr. Isaac, I can see into a mill-stone as far as another, as the saying is ; you are for sowing the seeds of sedition and disobedience among my puppets, and your zeal for the good old cause would make you persuade Punch to pull the string from his chops, and not move his jaw when I have a mind he should harangue. Now, I appeal to all men if this is not contrary to that uncontrollable unaccountable dominion, which by the laws of nature I exercise over them; for all sorts of wood and wire were made for the use and benefit of man; I have therefore an unquestionable right to frame, fashion, and put them together as I please; and having made them what they are, my puppets are my property, and therefore my slaves; nor is there in nature any thing more just, than the homage
which is paid by a less to a more excellent being; so that by the right, therefore, of a superior genius, I am their supreme moderator, although you would insinuate, agreeably to your levelling principles, that I am myself but a great puppet, and can therefore have but a coördinate jurisdiction with them. I suppose,
I have now sufficiently made it appear, that I have a paternal right to keep a puppetshow; and this right I will maintain in my prologues on all occasions.
“And therefore, if you write a defence of yourself against this my self-defence, I admonish you to keep within bounds ; for every day will not be so propitious to you as the twenty-ninth of April; and perhaps my resentment may get the better of my generosity, and I may no longer scorn to fight one who is not my equal, with unequal weapons; there are such things as scandalums magnatums; therefore, take heed hereafter how you write such things as I cannot easily answer, for that will put me in a passion.
“I order you to handle only these two propositions, to which our dispute may be reduced, the first, whether I have not an absolute power, whenever I please, to light a pipe with one of Punch's legs, or warm my fingers with his whole carcase ? the second, whether the devil would not be in Punch, should he by word or deed oppose my sovereign will and pleasure ? and then, perhaps, I may, if I can find leisure for it, give you the trouble of a second letter.
“But if you intend to tell me of the original of puppet-shows; and the several changes and revolutions that have happened in them since Thespis, and I do not care who, that is Noli me tangere! I have solemnly engaged to say nothing of what I
cannot approve. Or, if you talk of certain contracts with the mayor and burgesses, or fees to the constables, for the privilege of acting, I will not write one single word about any such matters; but shall leave you to be mumbled by the learned and very ingenious author of a late book, who knows very well what is to be said and done in such cases.
He is now shuffling the cards and dealing to Timothy; but if he wins the game, I will send him to play at backgammon with you; and then he will satisfy you that deuce-ace makes five.
“And so, submitting myself to be tried by my country, and allowing any jury of twelve good men and true, to be that country; not excepting any, unless Mr. Isaac Bickerstaff, to be of the panel, for you are neither good nor true: I bid
heartily farewell ; and am, Sir,
“Your loving friend,
Proper cuts for the historical part of this paper, are now almost finished, by an engraver lately arrived from Paris, and will be sold at all the toyshops in London and Westminster.
No. 51. SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines –
– nostri est farrago libelli.
JUY. SAT. i. 85, 86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
WHITE'S CHOCOLATE-HOUSE, AUGUST 5.
CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF ORLANDO, THE
FORTUNE being now propitious to the gay Orlando, he dressed, he spoke, he moved as a man might be supposed to do in a nation of pygmies, and had an equal value for our approbation or dislike. It is usual for those who profess a contempt of the world, to fly from it, and live in obscurity ; but Orlando, with a greater magnanimity, contemned it, and appeared in it to tell them so. If, therefore, his exalted mien met with an unwelcome reception, he was sure always to double the cause which gave the distaste. You see our beauties affect a negligence in the ornament of their hair, and adjusting their head-dresses, as conscious that they adorn whatever they wear. Orlando had not only this humour in common with other beauties, but also had a neglect whether things became him, or not, in a world he contemned. For this reason, a noble
* See p. 56.
particularity appeared in all his economy, furniture, and equipage. And to convince the present little race, how unequal all their measures were to an antediluvian, as he called himself, in respect of the insects which now appear for men, he sometimes rode in an open tumbril, of less size than ordinary, to show the largeness of his limbs, and the grandeur of his personage, to the greater advantage. At other seasons, all his appointments had a magnificence, as if it were formed by the genius of Trimalchio of old, which showed itself in doing ordinary things, with an air of pomp and grandeur. Orlando therefore called for tea by beat of drum; his valet got ready to shave him by a trumpet to horse ; and water was brought for his teeth, when the sound was changed to boots and saddle.
In all these glorious excesses from the common practice, did the happy Orlando live and reign in an uninterrupted tranquillity, till an unlucky accident brought to his remembrance, that one evening he was married before he courted the nuptials of Villaria. Several fatal memorandums were produced to revive the memory of this accident; and the unhappy lover was forever banished her presence, to whom he owed the support of his just renown and gallantry. But distress does not debase noble minds; it only changes the scene, and gives them new glory by that alteration. Orlando therefore now raves in a garret, and calls to his neighbour-skies to pity his dolours, and to find redress for an unhappy lover. All high spirits, in any great agitation of mind, are inclined to relieve themselves by poetry: the renowned porter of Oliver had not more volumes around his cell in his college of Bedlam, than Orlando in his present apartment. And though inserting poetry in the midst of prose be