Imágenes de páginas

knowledge, and that I intend to give as little offence as may be to readers of a well-bred imagination, I must, for my own quiet, desire the critics (who in all times have been famous for good noses) to refrain from the lecture1 of this curious tract. These gentlemen were formerly marked out and distinguished by the little rhinocerical nose, which was always looked upon as an instrument of derision, and which they were used to cock, toss, or draw up in a contemptuous manner, upon reading the works of their ingenious contemporaries. It is not, therefore, for this generation of men that I write the present transaction,

-Minus aptus acutis

Maribus horum hominum,2

but for the sake of some of my philosophical friends in the Royal Society, who peruse discourses of this nature with a becoming gravity, and a desire of improving by them.

Many are the opinions of learned men concerning the rise of that fatal distemper which has always taken a particular pleasure in venting its spite upon the nose. I have seen a little burlesque poem in Italian that gives a very pleasant account of this matter. The fable of it runs thus: Mars, the god of war, having served during the siege of Naples in the shape of a French colonel, received a visit one night from Venus, the goddess of love, who had been always his professed mistress and admirer. The poem says, she came to him in the disguise of a suttling wench, with a bottle of brandy under her arm. Let that be as it will, he managed matters so well, that she went away big-bellied, and was at length brought to bed of a little Cupid. This boy, whether it were by reason of any bad food that his father had eaten during the siege, or of any particular malignity in the stars that reigned at his nativity, came into the world with a very sickly look, and crazy constitution. As soon as he was able to handle his bow, he made discoveries of a most perverse disposition. He dipped all his arrows in poison, that rotted everything they touched; and what was more particular, aimed all his shafts at the nose, quite contrary to the prac"the perusal

He says, the "lecture," instead of the "reading," or of," to ridicule the pedantic style of learned critics.

2 Pleasantly said. But this paper (except in one instance, or two, which shall be pointed out) has nothing to apprehend from the best-nosed critic.

tice of his elder brothers, who had made a human heart their butt in all countries and ages. To break him of this roguish trick, his parents put him to school to Mercury, who did all he could to hinder him from demolishing the noses of mankind; but in spite of education, the boy continued very unlucky; and though his malice was a little softened by good instructions, he would very frequently let fly an envenomed arrow, and wound his votaries oftener in the nose than in the heart. Thus far the fable.

I need not tell my learned reader, that Correggio has drawn a Cupid taking his lesson from Mercury, conformable to this poem; nor that the poem itself was designed as a burlesque upon Fracastorius.

It was little after this fatal siege of Naples that Talicotius begun to practise in a town of Germany. He was the first clap-doctor that I meet with in history, and a greater man in his age than our celebrated Dr. Wall. He saw his species extremely mutilated and disfigured by this new distemper that was crept into it; and therefore, in pursuance of a very seasonable invention, set up a manufacture of noses, having first got a patent that none should presume to make noses besides himself. His first patient was a great man of Portugal, who had done good services to his country, but in the midst of them unfortunately lost his nose. Talicotius grafted a new one on the remaining part of the gristle or cartilaginous substance, which would sneeze, smell, take snuff, pronounce the letters m or n, and in short, do all the functions of a genuine and natural nose. There was, however, one misfortune in this experiment. The Portuguese's complexion was a little upon the subfuse, with very black eyes and dark eyebrows, and the nose being taken from a porter that had a white German skin, and cut out of those parts that are not exposed to the sun, it was very visible that the features of his face were not fellows. In a word, the Conde resembled one of those maimed antique statues that has often a modern nose of fresh marble glued to a face of such a yellow ivory complexion as nothing can give but age. To remedy this particular for the future, the doctor got together a great collection of porters, men of all complexions, black, brown, fair, dark, sallow, pale, and ruddy;

Was crept:] "Creep" being a neutral verb, I should rather have said," had crept."

so that it was impossible for a patient of the most out-ofthe-way colour not to find a nose to match it.

The doctor's house was now very much enlarged, and become a kind of college, or rather hospital, for the fashionable cripples of both sexes that resorted to him from all parts of Europe. Over his door was fastened a large golden snout, not unlike that which is placed over the great gates at Brazen-Nose College in Oxford; and as it is usual for the learned in foreign universities to distinguish their houses by a Latin sentence, the doctor writ underneath this great golden proboscis two verses out of Ovid:

Militat omnis amans, habet et sua castra Cupido,
Pontice, crede mihi, militat omnis amans.

It is reported that Talicotius had at one time in his house twelve German counts, nineteen French marquisses, and a hundred Spanish cavaliers, besides one solitary English esquire, of whom more hereafter. Though the doctor had the monopoly of noses in his own hands, he is said not to have been unreasonable. Indeed if a man had occasion for a high Roman nose, he must go to the price of it. A carbuncle nose likewise bore an excessive rate: but for your ordinary short turned-up noses, of which there was the greatest consumption, they cost little or nothing; at least the purchasers thought so, who would have been content to have paid much dearer for them, rather than to have gone without them.1

The sympathy betwixt the nose and its parent was very extraordinary. Hudibras has told us, that when the porter died, the nose dropped of course, in which case it was always usual to return the nose, in order to have it interred with its first owner. The nose was likewise affected by the pain as well as death of the original proprietor. An eminent instance of this nature happened to three Spaniards, whose noses were all made out of the same piece of brawn. They found them one day shoot and swell extremely, upon which they sent to know how the porter did, and heard, upon inquiry, that the parent of the noses had been severely kicked the day before, and that the porter kept his bed on account of the bruises he had received. This was highly resented by the Spaniards, who found out the person that had used the

1 The same fault as in No. 249.


porter so unmercifully, and treated him in the same manner as if the indignity had been done to their own noses. this and several other cases it might be said, that the porters led the gentlemen by the nose.

On the other hand, if anything went amiss with the nose, the porter felt the effects of it, insomuch that it was generally articled with the patient, that he should not only abstain from all his old courses, but should on no pretence whatsoever smell pepper, or eat mustard; on which occasion, the part where the incision had been made was seized with unspeakable twinges and prickings.

The Englishman I before mentioned was so very irregular, and relapsed so frequently into the distemper which at first brought him to the learned Talicotius, that in the space of two years he wore out five noses, and by that means so tormented the porters, that if he would have given £500 for a nose, there was not one of them that would accommodate him. This young gentleman was born of honest parents, and passed his first years in fox-hunting; but accidentally quitting the woods, and coming up to London, he was so charmed with the beauties of the play-house, that he had not been in town two days before he got the misfortune which carried off this part of his face. He used to be called in Germany, the Englishman of five noses, and, the gentleman that had thrice as many noses as he had ears: such was the raillery of those times.

I shall close this paper with an admonition to the young men of this town, which I think the more necessary, because I see several new fresh-coloured faces, that have made their first appearance in it this winter. I must therefore assure them that the art of making noses is entirely lost; and in the next place, beg them not to follow the example of our ordinary town rakes, who live as if there was a Talicotius to be met with at the corner of every street. Whatever young men may think, the nose is a very becoming part of the face, and a man makes but a very silly figure without it. But it is the nature of youth not to know the value of anything till they have lost it. The general precept, therefore, I shall leave with them is, to regard every town-woman as a particular kind of Siren, that has a design upon their noses; and that, amidst her flatteries and allurements, they will

fancy she speaks to them in that humorous phrase of old



Ego tibi faciem denasabo mordicùs.

'Keep your face out of my way, or I'll bite off your nose.'

[ocr errors]

No. 262. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1710.

Verba togæ sequeris, juncturâ callidus acri,
Ore teres modico, pallentes radere mores,

Doctus et ingenuo culpam defigere ludo. PERS. SAT. 5.

Journal of the Court of Honour, &c.

TIMOTHY TREATALL, Gent., was indicted by several ladies of his sister's acquaintance for a very rude affront offered to them at an entertainment, to which he had invited them on Tuesday the 7th of November last past, between the hours of eight and nine in the evening. The indictment set forth that the said Mr. Treatall, upon the serving up of the supper, desired the ladies to take their places according to their different age and seniority, for that it was the way always at his table to pay respect to years. The indictment added, that this produced an unspeakable confusion in the company; for that the ladies, who before had pressed together for a place at the upper end of the table, immediately crowded with the same disorder towards the end that was quite opposite; that Mrs. Frontly had the insolence to clap herself down at the very lowest place of the table; that the widow Partlett seated herself on the right hand of Mrs. Frontly, alleging for her excuse, that no ceremony was to be used at a round table; that Mrs. Fidget and Mrs. Fescue disputed above half an hour for the same chair, and that the latter would not give up the cause till it was decided by the parish register, which happened to be kept hard by. The indictment further said, that the rest of the company who sat down did it with a reserve to their right, which they were at liberty to assert on another occasion; and that Mrs. Mary Pippe, an old maid, was placed by the unanimous vote of the whole company at the upper end of the table, from whence she had the confusion to behold several mothers of families

« AnteriorContinuar »