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natural antipathy to a stick; and that every touch of it, with any thing made in the fashion of a cane, was to be interpreted as a wound in that part, and a violation of the person's honour who received it. Mr. Heedless replied, “ that what he had done was out of hindness to the prosecutor, as not thinking it proper for him to appear at the head of the trainedbands with a feather upon his shoulder ;" and fur. thor added, that the stick he had made use of on this occasion was so very small, that the prosecutor could not have felt it bad he broken it on bis shoulders." The Censor bereupon dirccted the jury to examine into the nature of the staff, for that a great deal would depend upon that particular. Upon which he explained to them the different degrees of offence that might be given by the touch of crab, tree from that of cane, and by the touch of cane from that of a plain hazle stick. The jury, after a short perusal of the statt, declared their opinion by the mouth of their foreman, " that the substance of the staff was British oak" The Censor then observing that there was some dust on the skirts of the criminal's coat, ordered the prosecutor to beat it off with the aforesaid oaken plant; “ and thus," said the Censor, “ I shall decide this cause by the law of retaliation. If Mr. Ieedless did the colonel a good office, the colonel will by this mcans return it in kind; but if Mr. Heedless should at any time boast that he had cudgelled the colone), or laid his staff over his should the colonel might boas in his turn, that he has brushed Mr. Heedless's jacket, or, to use the phrase of an ingenious author, that he has rubbed him down with an oaken towel."
Benjamin Busy, of London, mercbant, was ina xlicted by Jasper Tatile, esquire, for having pulled out his watch, and looked upon it thrice, while the said csquire Tattle was giving him an account of this
funeral of the said esquire Tattle's first wife. The prisoner alleged in his defence, that he was going to buy stocks at the time when he met the prosecutor'; and that, during the story of the prosecutor, the said stocks rose abovę two per cent, to the great detriment of the prisoner. The prisoner further brought several witnesses to prove, that the said Jasper Tattle, esquire, was a most notorious storyteller ; that, before he met the prisoner, he had hindered one of the prisoner's acquaintance from the pursuit of his lawful business, with the account of lis second marriage; and that he had detained another by the button of his coat, that very morning, until he had heard several witty sayings and contrivances of the prosecutor's eldest son, who was a boy of about five years of age. Upon the whole matter, Mr. Bickerstaff dismissed the accusation as frivolous, and sentenced the prosecutor damages to the prisoner, for what the prisoner had lost by giving him so long and patient an hearing." He further reprimanded the prosecutor very severely, and told him, " that if he proceeded in his usual manner to interrupt the business of mankind, he would set a fine upon him for every quarter of an hour's impertinence, and regulate the said fine according as the time of the person so injured should appear to be more or less precious.'
Sir Paul Swash, knight, was indicted by Peter Double, gentleman, for not returning the bow which he received of the said Peter Double, on Wednesday the sixth instant, at the play-house in the Hay-narket. The prisoner denied the receipt of any such bow, and alleged in his defence, that the prosecutor would oftentimes look full in his face, but that when he bowed to the said prosccutor, he would take no notice of it, or bow to somebody else that sat quite on the other side of
Paradise, which indeed would have been a place as little delightful as a barren heath or desert io those who slept in it. The fondness of the posture in which Adam is represented, and the sotiness of his whisper, are passages in this divine poem that are above all commendation, and rather to be adınired than praised.
Now Murn her rosy steps in th' eastern c'ime
Such whispering wak'd her, but with startled eyo
O sole! in whom my thoughts find all repose,
MILION's Par. Lost, b. V. l. 1, &c,
N°264. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1710.
HOR. I Od. iii. 2.
Favour your tongues.
From my own Apartment, December 15. BOCCALINI, in his “ Parnassus," indicts a laconic writer for speaking that in three words which he might have said in two, and sentences him for his punishment to read over all the works of Guicciardini. This Guicciardini is so very prolix and circumstantial in his writings, that I remember our countryman, doctor Donne, speaking of that majestic and concise manner in which Moses has described the creation of the world, adds, “ that if such an author as Guicciardini were to have written on such a subject, the world itself would not have been able to have contained the books that gave the history of its creation."
I look upon a tedious talker, or what is generally known by the name of a story-teller, to be much more insufferable than even a prolix writer. An author may be tossed out of your hand, and thrown aside when he grows dull and tiresome; but such liberties are so far from being allowed towards your orators in common corv'rsation, that I wave known a challenge sent a person for going out of the room abruptly, and leaving a man of honour in the midst of a dissertation. This evil is at present so very common and epidemical, that there is scarce a coffee-house in town that has not some speakers be
longing to it, who titter their political essays, and draw parallels out of Baker's " Chronicle" to almost every part of her Majesty's reign. It was said of two antient authors, who had
very different beauties in their style, “ that if you took a word from one of them, you only spoiled his cloquence ; but if you took a word from the other, you spoiled bis sense." I have often applied the first part of this criticism to several of these coffee-house speak. ers whom I have at present in my thoughts, though the character that is given to the last of those authors, is what I would recommend to the imitation of my loving countrymen. But it is not only prolic places of resort, but private clubs and convere sations over a bottle, that are infested with this loquacious kind of animal, especially with that species which I comprehend under the name of a storyteller. I would earnestly desire these gentlemen to consider, that no point of wit or mirth at the end of a story can atone for the half hour that has been lost before they come at it. I would likewise lay it home to their serious consideration, whether they think that every man in the company has not a right to speak as well as themselves ? and whether they do not think they are invading another man's property, when they engross the time which should be divided equally among the company to their own private use?
What makes this evil the much greater in conversation is, that these humdrum companions seldom endeavour to wind up their narrations into a point of mirth or instruction, which might make some amends for the tediousness of them; but think they have a right to tell any thing that has happened within iheir memory. They look upon matter of fact to be a sufficient foundation for a story, and give us a long account of things, not because they