« VorigeDoorgaan »
« ficient to prevail with you to take him into your 6 consideration, which, if you comply with, you will 6 oblige
66 Your humble servant."
« N. B. Whereas there came out last term, several “ gold snuff-boxes, and others: this is to give notice, “ that Charles will put out a new edition on Saturday « next, which will be the only one in fashion till after “ Easter. The gentleman that gave fifty pounds for “ the box set with diamonds, may shew till Sunday “ night, provided he goes to church ; but not after " that time, there being one to be published on Mon66 day, which will cost fourscore guineas."
No. CXLIII. THURSDAY, MARCH 9.
Sheer-lane, March 8. I WAS this afternoon surprised with a visit from my sister Jenny, after an absence of some time. She had, methought, her manner and air, something that was a little below that of women of the first breeding and quality, but at the same time above the simplicity and familiarity of her usual deportment. As soon as she was seated, she began to talk to me of the odd place I lived in, and begged of me to remove out of the lane where I have been so long acquainted; for (said she) it does so spoil ones horses, that I must beg your pardon if you see me much seldomer, when I am to make so great a journey with a single pair, and make visits, and get home the same night. I understood her pretty well, but would not ; therefore desired her to pay off her coach, for I had a great
deal to talk to her. She very pertly told me, she came in her own chariot. Why, said I, is your husband in town? And has he set up an equipage ? No, answered she, but I have received 500). by his order; and his letters, which came at the same time, bad me want for nothing that was necessary. I was heartily concerned at her folly, whose affairs render her but just able to bear such an expence. However, I considered, that according to the British custom of treating women, there is no other method to be used in removing any of their faults and errors, but conducting their minds from one humour to another, with as much ceremony as we lead their persons from one place to another. I therefore dissembled my concern, and in complaisance with her, as a lady that was to use her feet no more, I begged of her, after a short visit, to let me persuade her not to stay out till it was late, for fear of catching cold as she went into her coach in the dampness of the evening. The malapert
knew well enough I laughed at her, but was not illI pleased with the certainty of her power over her hus
band, who she knew, would support her in any humour he was able, rather than pass through the torment of an expostulation, to gainsay any thing she had a mind to. As soon as my fine lady was gone, I wrote the following letter to my brother :
66 DEAR BROTHER,
“I AM at present under very much concern at “ the splendid appearance I saw my sister make in an " equipage which she has set up in your absence. I “ beg of you not to indulge her in this vanity; and “ desire you to consider, the world is so whimsical, " that though it will value you for being happy, it will “ hate you for appearing so. The possession of wis“ dom and virtue (the only solid distinctions of life) “ is allowed much more easily than that of wealth
“ and quality. Besides which, I must intreat you to * weigh with yourself, what is it that people aim at in « setting themselves out to show in gay equipages, < and moderate fortunes? You are not by this means
a better man than your neighbour is; but your hor
ses are better than his are. And will you suffer “ care and inquietude, to have it said as you pass by, “ those are very pretty punch nags? Nay, when you “ have arrived at this, there are a hundred worthless “ fellows who are still four horses happier than you “ are. Remember, dear brother, there is a certain
modesty in the enjoyment of moderate wealth, “ which to transgress, exposes men to the utmost “ derision; and as there is nothing but meanness of « spirit can move a man to value himself upon what
can be purchased with money, so he that shews an « ambition that way, and cannot arrive at it, is more “ emphatically guilty of that meanness. I give you
only my first thoughts on this occasion, but shall,
as I am a censor, entertain you in my next with my “ sentiments in general upon the subject of equipage; 6 and shew, that though there are no sumptuary laws « amongst us, reason and good sense are equally 5 binding, and will ever prevail in appointing approba66 tion or dislike in all matters of an indifferent nature, 66 when they are pursued with earnestness.
“ I am, Sir, &c."
To all Gentlemen, Ladies and others, that delight in soft
“ THESE are to give notice, that the proper time “ of the year for writing pastorals now drawing near, 6 there is a stage-coach settled from the One Bell in 66 the Strand to Dorchester, which sets out twice a so week, and passes through Basingstoke, Sutton, Stock
si bridge, Salisbury, Blandford, and so to Dorchester, " over the finest downs in England. At all which pla
ces, there are accommodations of spreading beeches, 5 beds of flowers, turf seats, and purling streams, for “ happy swains ; and thunder struck oaks, and left “ handed ravens, to foretel misfortunes to those that “ please to be wretched ; with all other necessaries “ for pensive passion..
« And for the conveniency of such whose affairs will 6 not permit them to leave this town, at the same
place they may be furnished during the season, with “ opening buds, flowering thyme, warbling birds, 6 sporting lambkins, and fountain water, right and “ good, and bottled on the spot by one sent down on purpose.
6 N. B. The nymphs and swains are further given “ to understand, that in those happy climes, they are “ so far from being troubled with wolves, that for “ want of even foxes, a considerable pack of hounds “ have been lately forced to eat sheep."
“ Whereas on the 6th instant at midnight, several
persons of light honour, and loose mirth, having ta“ ken upon them in the shape of men, but with the
voice of the players belonging to Mr Powell's com" pany, to call up surgeons at midnight, and send phy“sicians to persons in sound sleep, and perfect health: 6 this is to certify, that Mr. Powell had locked up the
legs of all his company for fear of mischief that “ night; and that Mr. Powell will not pay for any “ damages done by the said persons. It is also fur" ther advised, that there were no midwives wanted • when those persons called them up in the several “ parts of Westminster ; but that those gentlewomen " who were in the company of the said impostors, may
take care to call such useful persons on the 6th li of December next.”
6 The censor having observed, that there are fine
wrought ladies shoes and slippers put out to view. " at a great shoemaker's shop towards St. James's
end of Pall-mall, which create irregular thoughts 6 and desires in the youth of this nation ; the said “ shopkeeper is required to take in those eye-sores, or 6 shew cause the next court-day why he continues to
expose the same ; and he is required to be prepar« ed and particularly to answer to the slippers with
green lace, and blue heels.”
It is impossible for me to return the obliging things Mr. Joshua Barnes has said to me upon the account of our mutual friend Homer. He and I have read him now forty years with some understanding, and great admiration. A work to be produced by one who has enjoyed so great an intimacy with an author, is certainly to be valued more than any comment made by persons of yesterday. Therefore according to my friend Joshua's request, I recommend his * work ; and have
; ing used a little magic in the case, I give this recom
I mendation by way of amulet or charm against the malignity of envious backbiters, who speak evilof performances whereof themselves were never capable.
If I may use my friend Joshua's own words, I shall at present say no more, but that we, Homer's own acquaintance now living, know best his ways; and can inform the world, that they are often mistaken when they think he is in lethargic fits, which we know he was never subject to ; and shall make appear to be rank scandal and envy, that of the Latin poet,
........Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus.
* Mr. Joshua Barnes's new and accurate edition of all Homer's works, &c.