Imágenes de páginas

Wrath to Persecution, which always ends in Ignorance, and very often proceeds from it. In the same manner it frequently takes its progress through the lower half of the glass; and when it has a tendency to fall, will gradually descend from Moderation to Lukewarmness, and from Lukewarmness to Infidelity, which very often terminates in Ignorance, and always proceeds from it.

It is a common observation, that the ordinary thermometer will be affected by the breathing of people who are in the room where it stands; and indeed, it is almost incredible to conceive how the glass I am now describing will fall by the breath of a multitude crying Popery; or on the contrary, how it will rise when the same multitude (as it sometimes happens) cry out in the same breath, "The Church is in danger."

As soon as I had finished this my glass, and adjusted it to the above-mentioned scale of religion, that I might make proper experiments with it, I carried it under my cloak to several coffee-houses, and other places of resort about this great city. At St. James's coffee-house, the liquor stood at Moderation; but at Will's, to my extreme surprise, it subsided to the very lowest mark on the glass. At the Grecian, it mounted but just one point higher; at the Rainbow, it still ascended two degrees; Child's fetched it up to Zeal, and other adjacent coffee-houses to Wrath.

It fell into the lower half of the glass as I went further into the city, till at length it settled at Moderation, where it continued all the time I stayed about the 'Change, as also whilst I passed by the Bank. And here I cannot but take notice, that through the whole course of my remarks, I never observed my glass to rise at the same time that the stocks did.

To complete the experiment, I prevailed upon a friend of mine, who works under me in the occult sciences, to make a progress with my glass through the whole island of Great Britain; and after his return, to present me with a register of his observations. I guessed beforehand at the temper of several places he passed through, by the characters they have had time out of mind. Thus that facetious divine, Dr. Fuller, speaking of the town of Banbury near a hundred years ago, tells us, it was a place famous for cakes and zeal, which I find by my glass is true to this day, as to the latter part of

this description; though I must confess, it is not in the same reputation for cakes that it was in the time of that learned author: and thus of other places. In short, I have now by me, digested in an alphabetical order, all the counties, corporations, and boroughs in Great Britain, with their respective tempers, as they stand related to my thermometer: but this I shall keep to myself, because I would by no means do anything that may seem to influence any ensuing elections.

The point of doctrine which I would propagate by this my invention, is the same which was long ago advanced by that able teacher Horace, out of whom I have taken my text for this discourse: we should be careful not to overshoot ourselves in the pursuits even of virtue. Whether zeal or moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the one, and frost out of the other. But alas! the world is too wise to want such a precaution. The terms High Church and Low Church, as commonly used, do not so much denote a principle, as they distinguish a party. They are like words of battle, that have nothing to do with their original signification, but are only given out to keep a body of men together, and to let them know friends from enemies.

I must confess, I have considered with some little attention, the influence which the opinions of these great national sects have upon their practice; and do look upon it as one of the unaccountable things of our times, that multitudes of honest gentlemen, who entirely agree in their lives, should take it in their heads to differ in their religion.

No. 224. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1710.

Materiam superabat opus.—


From my own Apartment, September 13. Ir is my custom, in a dearth of news, to entertain myself with those collections of advertisements that appear at the end of all our public prints. These I consider as accounts of news from the little world, in the same manner that the foregoing parts of the paper are from the great. If in one we hear that a sovereign prince is fled from his capital city, in the other we hear of a tradesman who hath shut up his shop and run away. If in one we find the victory of a

general, in the other we see the desertion of a private soldier. I must confess, I have a certain weakness in my temper, that is often very much affected by these little domestic occurrences, and have frequently been caught with tears in my eyes over a melancholy advertisement.

But to consider this subject in its most ridiculous lights, advertisements are of great use to the vulgar: first of all, as they are instruments of ambition. A man that is by no means big enough for the Gazette, may easily creep into the advertisements: by which means we often see an apothecary in the same paper of news with a plenipotentiary, or a running-footman with an ambassador. An advertisement from Piccadilly goes down to posterity with an article from Madrid; and John Bartlett, of Goodman's Fields, is celebrated in the same paper with the Emperor of Germany. Thus the fable tells us, "That the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back."

[ocr errors]

A second use which this sort of writings have been turned to of late years, has been the management of controversy, insomuch, that above half the advertisements one meets with now-a-days are purely polemical. The inventors of "Strops for Razors" have written against one another this way for several years, and that with great bitterness; as the whole argument pro and con in the case of the "Morning Gowns is still carried on after the same manner. I need not mention the several proprietors of Dr. Anderson's pills; nor take notice of the many satirical works of this nature so frequently published by Dr. Clark, who has had the confidence to advertise upon that learned knight, my very worthy friend, Sir William Read: but I shall not interpose in their quarrel; Sir William can give him his own in advertisements, that, in the judgment of the impartial, are as well penned as the doctor's.

The third and last use of these writings is, to inform the world where they may be furnished with almost everything that is necessary for life. If a man has pains in his head, cholics in his bowels, or spots in his clothes, he may here meet with proper cures and remedies. If a man would

recover a wife or a horse that is stolen or strayed, if he wants new sermons, electuaries, asses' milk, or anything else, either for his body or his mind, this is the place to look for them in.

The great art in writing advertisements, is the finding out a proper method to catch the reader's eye; without which a good thing may pass over unobserved, or be lost among commissions of bankrupt. Asterisks and hands were formerly of great use for this purpose. Of late years, the N. B. has been much in fashion; as also little cuts and figures, the invention of which we must ascribe to the author of springtrusses. I must not here omit the blind Italian character, which being scarce legible, always fixes and detains the eye, and gives the curious reader something like the satisfaction of prying into a secret.

But the great skill in an advertiser, is chiefly seen in the style which he makes use of. He is to mention "the universal esteem, or general reputation," of things that were never heard of. If he is a physician or astrologer, he must change his lodgings frequently, and (though he never saw anybody in them besides his own family) give public notice of it, "For the information of the Nobility and Gentry." Since I am thus usefully employed in writing criticisms on the works of these diminutive authors, I must not pass over in silence an advertisement which has lately made its appearance, and is written altogether in a Ciceronian manner. It was sent to me, with five shillings, to be inserted among my advertisements; but as it is a pattern of good writing in this way, I shall give it a place in the body of my paper.

"THE highest compounded Spirit of Lavender, the most glorious, (if the expression may be used,) enlivening scent and flavour that can possibly be, which so raptures the spirits, delights the gust, and gives such airs to the countenance, as are not to be imagined but by those that have tried it. The meanest sort of the thing is admired by most gentlemen and ladies but this far more, as by far it exceeds it, to the gaining among all a more than common esteem. It is sold (in neat flint bottles fit for the pocket) only at the Golden Key, in Warton's Court, near Holborn Bars, for 3s. 6d., with directions."


At the same time that I recommend the several flowers in which this spirit of lavender is wrapped up, (if the expression may be used,) I cannot excuse my fellow-labourers for admitting into their papers several uncleanly advertisements, not at all proper to appear in the works of polite writers. Among

these I must reckon the "Carminative wind-expelling Pills." If the doctor had called them his Carminative Pills, he had done as cleanly as any one could have wished; but the second word entirely destroys the decency of the first. There are other absurdities of this nature so very gross, that I dare not mention them; and shall therefore dismiss this subject, with a public admonition to Michael Parrot; that he do not presume any more to mention a certain worm he knows of, which, by the way, has grown seven foot in my memory; for, if I am not much mistaken, it is the same that was but nine foot long about six months ago.

By the remarks I have here made, it plainly appears, that a collection of advertisements is a kind of miscellany; the writers of which, contrary to all authors, except men of quality, give money to the booksellers who publish their copies. The genius of the bookseller is chiefly shown in his method of ranging and digesting these little tracts. The last paper I took up in my hands places them in the following order:

The true Spanish blacking for shoes, &c.

The beautifying cream for the face, &c.

Pease and plasters, &c.

Nectar and ambrosia, &c.

Four freehold tenements of £15 per annum, &c. *** The present State of England, &c.

tit Annotations upon the Tatler, &c.

A COMMISSION of bankrupt be awarded against B. L., bookseller, &c.

No. 226. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1710.

-Juvenis quondam, nunc Fæmina Cæneus,

Et fato in veterem rursus revoluta figuram. VIRG.

From my own Apartment, September 18. Ir is one of the designs of this paper to transmit to posterity an account of everything that is monstrous in my own times. For this reason I shall here publish to the world the life of a person who was neither man nor woman, as written by one of my ingenious correspondents, who seems to have imitated Plutarch in that multifarious erudi

« AnteriorContinuar »