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HERE is no State of Life so Anxious as that of "THI
Man who does not live according to the Di6&tates of his own Reason: It will seem odd to you,
when I assure you that my Love of Retirement first of rall brought me to Court; but this will be no Riddle,
when I acquaint you that I placed my self here with a Design of getting so much Money as might enable me:
to Purchase a handsome Retreat in the Country. At • present my Circumstances enable me, and my Duty
prompts me, to pass away the remaining Part of my . Life in such a Retirement as I at first proposed to my * self; but to my great. Misfortune I have entirely lost 6. the Relish of it, and should now return to the Country • with greater Reluctance than I at first came to Court • I am so unhappy, as to know that what I am fond of
are Trifles, and that what I neglect is of the greatest
Importance: In short, I find a Contest in my Mind « between Reafon and Fashion. I remember you once • told me, that I might live in the World, and out of
it, and at the same time. Let me beg of you to ex
plain this Paradox more at large to me, that I may « conform my Life, if possible, both to my Duty and my Inclination. I am
Your mot humble Servant, RC
Shall here present my Reader with a Letter from a.
may very much contribute to the Embellishment of: tie City, and to the driving Barbarity out of our Streets.
I consider it is a Satyr upon Projectors in general, and a lively Picture of the whole. Art of Modern Criticism. SI R,
of certain Officers under you, for the. Inspection of • several petty Enormities which you your self cannot • attend to; and finding daily. Absurdities hung out upon
the Sign-Pofts of this City, to the great Scandal of Fo. reigners, as well as those of our own Counıry, who. are curious Spectators of the same: I'do humbly propose, that you would be pleased to make me your Super
intendant of all such Figures and Devices as are or shall • be made use of on this Occasion; with full Powers to. • re&ifie or expunge whatever I shall find irregular or • defective. For want of such an Officer, there is no
thing like found Literature and good Sense to be met
with in those Objects, that are every where thrusting • themselves out to the Eye, and endeavouring to become • visible. Our Streets are filled with blue Boars, black • Swans, and red Lions; notto mention flying Pigs, and
Hogs in Armour, with many other Creature more ex. • traordinary than any in the Desarts of Africk. Strange!
that one who has all the Birds and Beasts in Nature to. chule out of, 'hould live at the Sign of an Ens Rationis!'
• MʻY first Task therefore should be, like that of Hero & cules, to clear the City from Monsters. In the second & Place 'I would forbid, that Creatures of jarring and in. congruous Natures should be joined together in the fame Sign;
such as the Bell and the Neats-Tongue, the * Dog and the Gridiron. The Fox and Goose may be sup:
posed to have met, but what has the Fox and the Se. ven Stars to do together? And when did the Lamb and
Dolphin ever meet, except upon a Sign-Poft? As for • the Cat and Fiddle, there is a Conceit in it; and there“ fore I do not intend that any thing I have here said *. should affe&t' it. I must however observe to you upon • this Subject, that it is usual for a young Tradesman, • at his first setting up, to add to his own Sign, that of “ the Master whom he served; as the Husband'affer Mar.
riage, gives a Place to his Mistress's Arms in bis 5. Coat. This I take to have given Rise to many of those
• Absurdities which are committed over our Heads; and,
as I am informed, first occasioned the three Nuns and
a Hare, which we see so frequently joined together. I " would therefore establish certain Rules, for the deter. * mining how far one Tradesman may give the. Sign of
another, and in what Cases he may be allowed to quar-ter it with his own.
IN the third Place, I would enjoin every Shop to "make use of a Sign which bears some Affinity to the. • Wares in which it deals. What can be more inconfi.
stent, than to see a Bawd at the Sign of the Angel, or
a Taylor at the Lion? Á Cook should not live at the • Boot, nor a Shoe-maker at the roasted Pig; and yet • for want of this Regulation, I have seen a Goat set up
before the Door of a Perfumer, and the French King's Head at a Sword-Cutler's.
AN ingenious Foreigner observes, that several of 6. those Gentlemen who value themselves upon their Fa6 milies, and overlook such as are bred to Trade, bear the « Tools of their Forefathers in their Coats of Arms. I will
not examine how true this is in Fact : But though it * may not be necessary for Posterity thus to set up the • Sign of their forefathers, I think it highly proper for • those who actually profess the Trade, to shew some
such Marks of it before their Doors.
that Opportunity of letting the World know who he ris. It would have been ridiculous for the Ingenious • Mrs. Salmon to have lived at the Sign of the Trout; 6. for which Reason she has erected before her House the
Figure of the Fish that is her Name-sake. Mr. Bell has • likewise distinguished himself by a Device of the same
Nature: And here, Sir, I must beg leave to observe to
you, that this particular Figure of a Bell has given Oc«casion to several Pieces of Wit in this kind. A Man of
your Reading, must know that Abel Drugger gained great Applause by it in the Time of Ben. Johnson, Our Apocryphal Heathen God is also represented by this Figure; which, in Conjunction with the Dragon, makes
handsome Picture in several of our Screets. As for the Bell-Sayage, which is the sign of a Savage
• Man ftanding by a Bell, I was formerly very much puz
zled upon the Conceit of it, till I accidentally fell into 'the reading of an old Romance translated out of the
French; which gives an Account of a very beautiful
Woman who was found in a Wilderness, and is called ' in the French la belle Sauvage; and is every where tran.
Nated by our Country-man the Bell-Savage. This Piece ' of Philosophy will, 'I hope, convince you that I have
made Sign-Pósts my Study, and consequently qualified
my self for the Employment which I follicit at your “ Hands. But before I conclude my Letter, I must com' municate to you another Remark which I have made
upon the Subject with which I am now entertaining
you, namely, that I can give a shrewd Guess at the · Humour of the Inhabitant by the Sign that hangs be
fore his Door. A sarly cholerick Fellow, generally • makes Choice of a Bear; as Men of milder Dispositions
frequently live at the Lamb. Seeing a Punch-Bowl pain' ted upon a Sign near Charing Cross, and very curiously
garnished, with a couple of Angels hovering over it and squeezing a Lemmon into it, I had the Curiofity to ask after the Master of the House, and found upon ' Enquiry, as I had guessed by the little Agréemens upon ' his Sign, that he was a Frenchman. I know, Sir, it is * not requisite for me to enlarge upon these Hints to a • Gentleman of your great Abilities; so humbly recommending my self to your Favour and Patronage,
I remain, &c.
I shall add to the foregoing Letter, another which came to me by the same Penny-Post.
From my own Apartment near Charing-Cross, Honoured Sir, : courager of Ingenuity, I have brought
with me a Rope-Dancer that was caught in one of the Woods belonging to the Great Mogul. He is by Birth a Monkey; but swings upon a Rope, takes a Vipe of Tobacco, and drinks a Gla of Ale, like any reasonable CreaHe gives great Satisfaction to the Quality; and
if they will make a Subscription for him, I will send for a Brother of his out of Holland that is a very good Tumbler; and also for another of the same Family whom I design for my Merry-Andrew, as being an excellent Mimick, and the greatest Drole in the Country where he now is. I hope to have this Entertainment in a Readiness for the next Winter; and doubt not but it will please more than the Opera or Puppet-Show. I will not say that a Monkey is a better Man than some of the Opera-Heroes; but certainly he is a better Re
presentative of a Man, than the most artificial Compo. • lition of Wood and Wire. If you will be pleased to
give me a good Word in your Paper, you shall be every Night a Spectator at my Show for nothing. с
Tuesday, April 3.
Sermo linguâ concinnus utrâque
Entrance upon the Stage. People were wonder. fully surprized to hear Generals singing the Word of Command, and Ladies delivering Messages in Mufick, Our Country-men could not forbear laughing when they heard a Lover chanting out a Billet-doux, and even the Superscription of a Letter set to a Tune. The Famous Blunder in an old Play of Enter a King and two Fidlers solus, was now no longer an Absurdity; when it was impossible for a Hero in a Desart, or a Princess in her Clo. fet, to speak any thing unaccompanied with Musical Inftruments.
BUT however this Italian Method of a&ing in Recirativo might appear at first hearing, I cannot but think it much more just than that which prevailed in our Engo lifh O.pera before this Innovacion : The Transition from