Зображення сторінки


your charac

well-natured; but has the vanity to think she ex- at doing it. Pluck up & spirit, Ebenezer ; recover cels in all these qualifications, and therefore is cruel, the use of your judgment, and her faults will appear, insolent, and scornful. When I study to please or her beauties vanish. Her faults begin to pleans her, she treats me with the utmost rudeness and ill. me as well as my own,' is a sentence very prettily manners : if I approach her person, she fights, she put into the mouth of a lover by the comic poet; scratches me; if I offer a civil salute, she bites me; but he never designed it for a maxim of life, but the insomuch, that very lately, before a whole assembly picture of an imperfection. If Ebenezer takes my of ladies and gentlemen, she ripped out a consider-advice, the same temper which made her insolent to able part of my left cheek. This is no sooner done, his love will make her submissive to his indifference. but she begs my pardon in the most handsome and I cannot wholly ascribe the faults mentioned in becoming terms imaginable, gives herself worse lan- the second letter, to the same vanity or pride, in guage than I could find in my heart to do, lets me companions who secretly triumph over their friends embrace her to pacify her while she is railing at her. in being sharp upon them in things where they are self, protests she deserves the esteem of no one liv. most tender. But when this sort of behaviour dees ing, says I am too good to contradict her when she not proceed from that source, it does from barreg thus accuses herself. This atones for all; tempts ness of invention, and an inability to support a CODme to renew my addresses, which are ever returned versation in a way less offensive. It is the same in the same obliging manner. Thus, without some poverty which makes men speak or write sonttily, speedy relief, I am in danger of losing my whole that forces them to talk vexingly. As obscene labface. Notwithstanding all this, I doat upon her, guage is an address to the lewd for applause, so are and am satisfied she loves me, because she takes me sharp allusions an appeal to the ill-natured. But for a man of sense, which I have been generally mean and illiterate is that conversation where one thought, except in this one instance. Your reflec- man exercises his wit to make another exercise his Lions upon this strange amour would be very useful patience. in these parts, where we are overrun with wild beau

ADVERTISEMENT. ties and romps. I earnestly beg your assistance, Whereas Plagius has been told again and again, either to deliver me from the power of this unac- both in public and private, that he preaches excelcountable enchantment, or, by some proper animad- lently well, and still goes on to preach as well as versions, to civilize the behaviour of this agreeable ever, and all this to a polite and learned audience: rustic. I am, Sir, your most humble servant, this is to desire, that he would not hereafter be so

• Ebenezer.' eloquent, except to a country congregation; the • MR. BICKERSTAFP,

proprietors of Tillotson's works having consulted the * I now take leave to address you in

learned in the law, whether preaching a sermon they ter of Censor, and complain to you, that among the have published, is not to be construed publishing various errors in conversation which you have cor

copy? rected, there is one which, though it has not esis severe upon a weakness, and not a folly.

Mr. Dogood is desired to consider, that his story caped a general reproof, yet seems to deserve a more particular severity. It is a humour of jesting on disagreeable subjects, and insisting on the jest, the No. 270.) SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1710. more it creates uneasiness; and this some men think they have a right to do as friends. Is the design of Cum pulchris tunicis sumet nova consilia et spes. jesting, to provoke? or does friendship give a pri

Hor. 1. Ep xviii

. 33. vilege to say things with a design to shock? How In gay attire when the rain coxcomb's drest, can that be called a jest which has nothing in it but Strange hopes and projects fill his labouring breast. bitterness? It is generally allowed necessary, for the peace of company, that men should a little study From my own Apartment, December 29. the tempers of each other; but certainly that must ACCORDING to my late resolution, I take the holibe in order to shun what is offensive, not to make days to be no improper season to entertain the town it a constant entertainment. The frequent repeti- with the addresses of my correspondents. In my tion of what appears harsh, will unavoidably leave walks every day, there appear all round me very a rancour that is fatal to friendship; and I doubt great offenders in the point of dress. An armed much whether it will be an argument of a man's taylor had the impudence yesterday in the Park to good humour, if he should be roused by perpetual smile in my face, and pull off a laced hat to me, a teasing, to treat those who do it as his enemies. In it were in contempt of my authority and censure. a word, whereas, it is a common practice to let a However, it is a very great satisfaction that other story die, merely because it does not touch, I think people, as well as myself

, are offended with these imsuch as mention one they find does, are as trouble- proprieties. The following notices, from persons some to society, and as unfit for it, as wags, men of of different sexes and qualities, are a sufficient infigure, good talkers, or any other apes in conversa- stance how useful my lucubrations are to the public. tion; and therefore, for the public benefit, I hope yon will cause them to be branded with such a name

Jack's Coffee-house, near Guildhall as they deserve. I am, Sir, yours,


• It has been the peculiar blessing of our family to

be always above the smiles or frowns of fortune, The case of Ebenezer is a very common one, and and, by a certain greatness of mind, to restrain all is always cured by neglect. These fantastical re- irregular fondnesses or passions. From hence it is

, turns of affection proceed from a certain vanity in that though a long decay, and a numerous descent, the other sex, supported by a perverted taste in ours. have obliged many of our house to fall into the arts I must publish it as a rule, that no faults which pro- of trade and business, no one person of us has ever ceed from the will

, either in a mistress or a friend, made an appearance that betrayed' our being usare to be tolerated: but we should be so complaisant satisfied with our own station of life, or has ever to ladies as to let them displease when they aim | affected a mien or gesture unsuitable to it.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


• You have up and down in your writings very her friend, Rebecca Hive, and your petitioner, walkjustly remarked, that it is not this or the other pro- ing in the Strand, saw a gentleman before us in a fession or quality among men that gives us honour gown, whose periwig was so long, and so much or esteem, but the well or ill behaving ourselves in powdered, that your petitioner took notice of it, and those characters. It is, therefore, with no small said, “she wondered that_lawyer would so spoil a concern, that I behold in coffee-houses and public new gown with powder.” To which it was answered, places my brethren, the tradesmen of this city, put “ that he was no lawyer, but a clergyman." Upon off the smooth, even, and ancient decorum of thriv- a wager of a pot of coffee we overtook him, and your ing citizens, for a fantastical dress and figure, im- petitioner was soon convinced she had lost. proper for their persons and characters, to the utter * Your petitioner therefore desires your worship destruction of that order and distinction, which ot to cite the clergymen before you, and to settle and right ought to be between St. James's and Milk-street, adjust the length of canonical periwigs, and the the Camp and Cheapside.

quantity of powder to be made use of in them, and " I have given myself some time to find out how to give such other directions as you shall think fit.' distinguishing the frays in a lot of muslins, or draw

* And your petitioner, &c.' ing up a regiment of thread laces, or making a pane- Query, whether this gentleman be not chaplain gyric on pieces of sagathy or Scotch plaid, should to a regiment, and, in such case, allow powder acentitle a man to a laced hat or sword, a wig tied up cordingly. with ribbands, or an embroidered coat. The college say, this enormity proceeds from a sort of deliriuin After all that can be thought on these subjects, I in the brain, which makes it break out first about must confess, that the men who dress with a certain the head, and, for want of timely remedies, fall upon ambition to appear more than they are, are much the left thigh, and from thence, in little mazes and more excusable than those who betray, in the adornwindings, run over the whole body, as appears by ing their persons, a secret vanity and inclination to pretty ornaments on the buttons, button-holes, gar- shine in things wherein, if they did succeed, it terings, sides of the breeches, and the like. 'I beg would rather lessen than advance their character. the favour of you to give us a discourse wholly upon For this reason I am more provoked at the allegathe subject of habits, which will contribute to the tions relating to the clergyman, than any other better government of conversation among us, and in hinted at in these complaints. I have indeed a long particular oblige, Sir, your affectionate cousin, time, with much concern, observed abundance of

* Felix TRANQUILLus.' pretty fellows in sacred orders, and shall in due time

let them know, that I pretend to give ecclesiastical To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., Censor of Great Britain. as well as civil censures. A man well-bred and well• The humble Petition of Ralph Nab, Haberdasher dressed in that habit, adds to the sacredness of his

of Hats, and many other poor Sufferers of the function an agreeableness not to be met with among same Trade;

the laity. I own I have spent some evenings among SHEWETH,

the men of wit of that profession with an inexpressilver galloon upon hats has been almost universal; which they utter in company is as much above what *That for some years last past the use of gold and sible delight. Their habitual care of their character

gives such a chastisement to their fancy, that all being undistinguishably worn by soldiers, esquires, you meet with in other conversation, as the charms lords, footmen, beaux, sportsmen, traders, clerks, of a modest, are superior to those of a light, woman. prigs, smarts, cullies, pretty fellows, and sharpers. I therefore earnestly desire our young missionaries

• That the said use and custom has been two ways from the universities to consider where they are, and very prejudicial to your petitioners. First, in that

not dress, and look, and move, like young officers. it has induced men, to the great damage of your pe. It is no disadvantage to have a very handsome white titioners, to wear their hats upon their heads; by hand; but, were

I to preach repentance to a gallery which means the said hats last much longer whole, of ladies, I would, methinks, keep my gloves on. than they would do if worn under their arms: Se have an unfeigned affection to the class of mankind condly, in that very often a new dressing and a new lace supply the place of a new hat, which grievance appointed to serve at the altar, therefore am in danwe are chiefly sensible of in the spring time, when ger of running out of my way, and growing too se

rious on this occasion; for which reason I shall end the company is leaving the town; it so happening with the following epistle, which, by my interest in commonly, that a hat shall frequent, all winter, the Tom Trot, the penny-post, I procured a copy of: finest and best assemblies without any ornament at all, and in May shall be tricked up with gold or si! To the Rer. Mr. Ralph Incense, Chaplain to the ver, to keep company with rustics, and ride in que

countess dowager of Brompton. rain. All which premises your petitioners humbly pray you to take into your consideration, and either

'I heard and saw you preach last Sunday. I am to appoint a day in your Court of Honour, when all pretenders to the galloon may enter their claims,

an ignorant young woman, and understood not half and have them approved or rejected, or to give us you said; but ah! your manner, when you held up such other relief as to your great wisdom shall seem your hands towards our pew! Did you design to win And your petitioners, &c.' me to heaven or yourself? Your

humble servant,

PENITENCE GENTLE.' Order my friend near Temple-bar, the author of the hunting-cock, to assist the court when this petition is read, of which Mr. Lillie to give him notice. No. 271.) TUESDAY, JANUARY 2, 1710. • To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., Censor of Great Britain. The printer having informed me, that there are

as many of these papers printed as will make four • The humble Petition of Elizabeth Slender, Spinster; volumes, I am now come to the end of my ambition "SHEWETH,

in this matter, and have nothing further to say to That on the twentieth of this instant December, the world under the character of Isaac Bickersin.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



This work has indeed for some time been disagreea- any man who should insult him. When I mentica
ble to me, and the purpose of it wholly lost by my this subject, I hope major-general Davenport, briga
being so long understood as the author. I never dier Bisset, and my lord Forbes, will accept of my
designed in it to give any man any secret wound by thanks for their frequent good offices, in professing
my concealment, but spoke in the character of an their readiness to partake any danger that should
old man, a philosopher, a humorist, an astrologer, befall me in so just an undertaking as the endeavour
and a censor, to allure my reader with the variety to banish fraud and cozenage from the presence and
of my subjects, and insinuate, if I could, the weight conversation of gentlemen.
of reason with the agreeableness of wit. The gene- But what I find is the least excusable part of all
ral purpose of the whole has been to recommend this work is, that I have, in some places in it, touched
truth, innocence, honour, and virtue, as the chief upon matters which concern both church and state.
ornaments of life; but I considered, that severity All I shall say for this.is, that the points I have al.
of manners was absolutely necessary to him who luded to, are such as concerned every Christian and
would censure others, and for that reason, and that freeholder in England; and I could not be cold
only, chose to talk in a mask. I shall not carry my enough to conceal my opinion on subjects which
humility so far as to call myself a vicious man, but related to either of those characters. But politics
at the same time must confess, my life is at best but apart.
pardonable. And, with no greater character than I must confess it has been a most exquisite plea-
ihis, a man would make but an indifferent progress sure to me to frame characters of domestic life, and
in attacking prevailing and fashionable vices, which put those parts of it which are least observed into an
Mr. Bickerstaff has done with a freedom of spirit agreeable view; to enquire into the seeds of vanity
that would have lost both its beauty and efficacy and affectation; to lay before the readers the empti-
had it been pretended to by Mr. Steele.

ness of ambition; in a word, to trace human life
As to the work itself, the acceptance it has met through all its mazes and recesses, and show much
with is the best proof of its value; but I should err shorter methods than men ordinarily practise, to be
against that candour, which an honest man should happy, agreeable, and great.
always carry about him, if I did not own, that the But to enquire into men's faults and weaknesses
most approved pieces in it were written by others, has something in it so unwelcome, that I have often
and those which have been most excepted against, seen people in pain to act before me, whose modesty
by myself. The hand that has assisted me in those only makes them think themselves liable to censure.
noble discourses upon the immortality of the soul, This, and a thousand other nameless things, bare
the glorious prospects of another life, and the most made it an irksome task to me to personate Mr.
sublime ideas of religion and virtue, is a person Bickerstaff any longer; and I believe it does not
who is too fondly my friend ever to own them; but often happen, that the reader is delighted where the
I should little deserve to be this, if I usurped the author is displeased.
glory of them. I must acknowledge at the same time, All I can now do for the further gratification of
that I think the finest strokes of wit and humour in the town, is to give them a faithful explication of
all Mr. Bickerstaff's

lucubrations, are those for which passages and allusions, and sometimes of persons he also is beholden to him.

intended in the several scattered parts of the work. As for the satirical part of these writings, those At the same time, I shall discover which of the whole against the gentlemen who profess gaming are the have been written by me, and which by others, and most licentious; but the main of them i take to by whom, as far as I am able, or permitted. come from losing gamesters, as invectives against Thus I have voluntarily done what I think all the fortunate; for in very many of them I was very authors should do when called upon. I have publittle else but the transcriber. If any have been lished my name to my writings and given myself up more particularly marked at, such persons may im- to the mercy of the town, as Shakspeare expresses pute it to their own behaviour, before they were it,' with all my imperfections on my head. The touched upon, in publicly speaking their resentment indulgent reader's most obliged, most obedient, humagainst the author, and professing they would support I ble servant,


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« НазадПродовжити »