« AnteriorContinuar »
for him to return to his late condition, and suffer his eyes to be covered, till they had received strength: for he might remember well enough, that by degrees he had from little and little come to the strength he had at present in his ability in walking and moving; and that it was the same thing with his eyes, which,' he said, would lose the
of continuing to him that wonderful transport he was now in, except he would be contented to lay aside the use of them, till they were strong enough to bear the light without so much feeling as, he knew, he underwent at present. With much reluctance he was prevailed upon to have his eyes
in which condition they kept him in a dark room, till it was proper to let the organ receive its objects without further precaution. During the time of this darkness, he bewailed himself in the most distressed manner; and accused all his friends, complaining that 'some incantation had been wrought upon him, and some strange magic used to deceive him into an opinion that he had enjoyed what they called sight. He added, that the impressions then let in upon his soul would certainly distract him, if he were not so at that present. At another time, he would strive to name the persons he had seen among the crowd after he was couched, and would pretend to speak, in perplexed terms of his own making, of what he in that short time observed. But on the sixth instant it was thought fit to unbind his head, and the young woman whom he loved was instructed to open his eyes accordingly; as well to endear herself to him by such a circumstance, as to moderate his ecstasies by the persuasion of a voice which had so much power over him as hers ever had. When this beloved young woman began to take off the binding of his eyes, she talked to him as follows:
“Mr. William, I am now taking the binding off, though when I consider what I am doing, I tremble with the apprehension, that, though I have from my very childhood loved you, dark as you were, and though you had conceived so strong a love for me, yet you will find there is such a thing as beauty, which may ensnare you into a thousand passions of which you now are innocent, and take you from me forever. But, before I put myself to that hazard, tell me in what manner that love, you always professed to me, entered into your heart; for its usual admission is at the eyes.' The
young man answered, “Dear Lydia, if I am to lose by sight the soft pantings which I have always felt when I heard your voice; if I am no more to distinguish the step of her I love when she approaches me, but to change that sweet and frequent pleasure for such an amazement as I knew the little time I lately saw; or if I am to have any thing besides which may take from me the sense I have of what appeared most pleasing to me at that time, which apparition it seems was you; pull out these eyes, before they lead me to be ungrateful to you, or undo myself. I wished for them but to see you ; pull them out, if they are to make me forget you.'
Lydia was extremely satisfied with these assurances; and pleased herself with playing with his perplexities. In all his talk to her, he showed but very faint ideas of any thing which had not been received at the ear; and closed his protestation to her, by saying, that if he were to see Valentia and Barcelona, whom he supposed the most esteemed of all women, by the quarrel there was about them, he would never like any but Lydia.
ST. JAMES'S COFFEE-HOUSE, AUGUST 15. We have repeated advices of the entire defeat of the Swedish army near Pultowa, on the twentyseventh of June, O. S., and letters from Berlin give the following account of the remains of the Swedish army since the battle ; Prince Menzikoff, being ordered to pursue the victory, came up with the Swedish army, which was left to the command of General Lewenhaupt, on the thirtieth of June, O. S., on the banks of the Boristhenes; whereupon he sent General Lewenhaupt a summons to submit himself to his present fortune: Lewenhaupt immediately despatched three general officers to that prince, to treat about a capitulation ; but the Swedes, though they consisted of fifteen thousand men, were in so great want of provision and ammunition, that they were obliged to surrender themselves at discretion. His Czarish Majesty despatched an express to General Goltz, with an account of these particulars, and also with instructions to send out detachments of his cavalry, to prevent the King of Sweden's joining his army in Poland. That prince made his escape with a small party by swimming over the Boristhenes ; and it was thought he designed to retire into Poland by the way of Volhinia. Advices from Bern of the eleventh instant say, that the general diet of the Helvetic body held at Baden concluded on the sixth ; but the deputies of the six cantons, who are deputed to determine the affair of Tockenburg, continue their application to that business, notwithstanding some new difficulties started by the abbot of St. Gall. Letters from Geneva, of the ninth, say that the Duke of Savoy's cavalry had joined Count Thaun, as had also two imperial regiments of hussars ; and that his royal highness's army was disposed in the following manner: the troops under the command of Count Thaun are extended from Co ans to St. Peter D’Albigni. Small parties are left in several posts from thence to Little St. Bernard, to preserve the communication with Piedmont by the valley of Aosta. Some forces are also posted at Taloir, and in the castle of Doin, on each side of the lake of Anneci. General Rhebinder is encamped in the valley of Oulx with ten thousand foot, and some detachments of horse: his troops are extended from Exilles to mount Genevre, so that he may easily penetrate into Dauphiné on the least motion of the enemy; but the Duke of Berwick takes all nece
ecessary precautions to prevent such an enterprise. That general's head-quarters are at Francin ; and he hath disposed his army in several parties, to preserve a communication with the Maurienne and Briancon. He hath no provisions for his army but from Savoy; Provence and Dauphiné being unable to supply him with necessaries. He left two regiments of dragoons at Annen, who suffered very much in the late action at Tessons, where they lost fifteen hundred, who were killed on the spot, four standards and three hundred prisoners, among whom were forty officers. The last letters from the Duke of Marlborough’s camp at Orchies, of the nineteenth instant, advise that Monsieur Ravignon being returned from the French court with an account that the king of France refused to ratify the capitulation for the surrender of the citadel of Tournay, the approaches have been carried on with great vigour and success : our miners have discovered several of the enemy's mines, who have sprung divers others, which did little execution; but, for the better security of the troops, both assaults are carried on
by the cautious way of sapping. On the eighteenth, the confederate army made a general forage without any loss. Marshal Villars continues in his former camp, and applies himself with great diligence in casting up new lines behind the old on the Scarp. The Duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene designed to begin a general review of the army on the twentieth.
No. 56. THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 1709.
Quicquid agunt homines
- nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. SAT. i. 85, 86.
Whatever good is done, whatever ill-
WHITE'S CHOCOLATE-HOUSE, AUGUST 17.
THERE is a young foreigner committed to my care, who puzzles me extremely in the questions he asks about the persons of figure we meet in public places. He has but very little of our language, and Therefore I am mightily at a loss to express to him things for which they have no word in that tongue to which he was born. It has been often my answer upon his asking who such a fine gentleman is ? That he is what we call a sharper: and he wants my explication. I thought it would be very unjusty to tell him, he is the same the French call Coquin;