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thought a license among correct writers not to be indulged, it is hoped the necessity of doing it, to give a just idea of the hero of whom we treat, will plead for the liberty we shall hereafter take, to print Orlando's soliloquies in verse and prose, after the manner of great wits, and such as those to whom they are nearly allied.
WILL'S COFFEE-HOUSE, AUGUST 5. A good company of us were this day to see, or rather to hear, an artful person do several feats of activity with his throat and windpipe. The first thing wherewith he presented us, was a ring of bells, which he imitated in a most miraculous manner; after that he gave us all the different notes of a pack of hounds, to our great delight and astonishment. The company expressed their applause with much noise; and never was heard such a harmony of men and dogs : but a certain plump, merry
fellow, from an angle of the room, fell a crowing like a cock so ingeniously, that he won our hearts from the other operator in an instant. As soon as I saw him, I recollected I had seen him on the stage, and immediately knew it to be Tom Mirrour, * comical actor. He immediately addressed himself to me, and told me, ‘he was surprised to see a virtuoso take satisfaction in any representations below that of human life ;' and asked me, whether I thought this acting of bells and dogs was to be considered under the notion of wit, humour, or satire ? Were it not better,' continued he, “to have some particular picture of man laid before your eyes, that
* Mr. Richard Estcourt commonly called Dick Estcourt, celebrated for his mimic powers, in which he was inimitable.
might incite your laughter?' He had no sooner spoke the word, but he immediately quitted his natural shape, and talked to me in a very different air and tone from what he had used before: upon which, all that sat near us laughed; but I saw no distortion in his countenance, or any thing that appeared to me disagreeable. I asked Pacolet, 'what meant that sudden whisper about us ? for I could not take the jest. He answered, “The gentleman you were talking to assumed your air and countenance so exactly, that all fell a-laughing to see how little you
knew yourself, and how much you were enamoured with your own image. But that person,' continued my monitor, 'if men would make the right use of him, might be as instrumental to their reforming errors in gesture, language, and speech, as a dancing-master, linguist, or orator. You see he laid yourself before you with so much address, that you saw nothing particular in his behaviour: he has so happy a knack of representing errors and imperfections, that you can bear your faults in him, as well as in yourself: he is the first mimic that ever gave the beauties, as well as the deformities, of the man he acted. What Mr. Dryden said of a very great man, may be well applied to him :
“ He seems to be
“You are to know that this pantomime may be said to be a species of himself: he has no commerce with the rest of mankind, but as they are the objects of imitation; like the Indian fowl, called the mock-bird, who has no note of his own, but hits every sound in the wood as soon as he hears it; so that Mirrour is at once a copy and an original.
Poor Mirrour's fate, as well as talent, is like that of the bird we just now spoke of; the nightingale, the linnet, the lark, are delighted with his company; but the buzzard, the crow, and the owl, are observed to be his mortal enemies. Whenever Sophronius meets Mirrour, he receives him with civility and respect, and well knows a good copy of himself can be no injury to him; but Bathillus shuns the street where he expects to meet him ; for he, that knows his every step and look is constrained and affected, must be afraid to be rivalled in his action, and of having it discovered to be unnatural, by its being practised by another as well as himself
FROM MY OWN APARTMENT, AUGUST 5. Letters from Coventry and other places have been sent to me, in answer to what I have said in relation to my antagonist, Mr. Powel; and advise me, with warm language, to keep to subjects more proper for me than such high points. But the writers of these epistles mistake the use and service I proposed to the learned world by such observations ; for you are to understand, that the title of this paper gives me a right in taking to myself, and inserting in it, all such parts of any book or letter which are foreign to the purpose intended, or professed, by the writer : so that suppose two great divines should argue, and treat each other with warmth and levity unbecoming their subject or character, all that they say unfit for that place is very proper to be inserted here. Therefore, from time to time, in all writings which shall hereafter be published, you shall have from me extracts of all that shall appear not to the purpose; and for the benefit. of the gentle reader, I will show what to
turn over unread, and what to peruse. For this end I have a mathematical sieve preparing, in which I will sift every page and paragraph ; and all that falls through I shall make bold with for my own use. The same thing will be as beneficial in speech; for all superfluous expressions in talk fall to me also : as when a pleader at the bar designs to be extremely impertinent and troublesome, and cries, Under favour of the court with submission, my lord—I humbly offer’ -and, I think Í have well considered this matter; for I would be very far from trifling with your lordship’s time, or trespassing upon your patience-however, thus I will venture to say — and so forth. Or else when a sufficient self-conceited coxcomb is bringing out something in his own praise, and begins, ' Without vanity, I must take this upon me to assert.' There is also a trick which the fair sex have, that will greatly contribute to swell my volumes : as, when a woman is going to abuse her best friend, Pray,' says she, ‘have you heard what is said of Mrs. Such-a-one? I am heartily sorry to hear any thing of that kind of one I have so great a value for; but they make no scruple of telling it ; and it was not spoken of to me as a secret, for now all the town rings of it. All such flowers in rhetoric, and little refuges for malice, are to be noted, and naturally belong only to Tatlers. By this method you will immediately find folios contract themselves into actavos, and the labour of a fortnight got over in half a day.
ST. JAMES'S COFFEE-HOUSE, AUGUST 5. Last night arrived a mail from Lisbon, which gives a very pleasing account of the posture of affairs in that part of the world, the enemy having
been necessitated wholly to abandon the blockade of Olivenza. These advices say, that Sir John Jennings is arrived at Lisbon. When that gentleman left Barcelona, his Catholic Majesty was taking all possible methods for carrying on an offensive
It is observed with great satisfaction, in the court of Spain, that there is a very good intelligence between the general officers; Count Staremberg and Mr. Stanhope acting in all things with such unanimity, that the public affairs receive great advantages from their personal friendship and esteem to each other, and mutual assistance in promoting the service of the common cause.
* This is to give notice, that if any able-bodied Palatine will enter into the bonds of matrimony with Betty Pepin, the said Palatine shall be settled in a freehold of forty shillings per annum in the county of Middlesex.