the door delivering a letter to my maid, and begging her in a very great hurry, to give it to her master as suon as ever he was awake, which I opened and found as follows:

[ocr errors]


" I WAS to wait upon you about a week ago, to • let you know, that the honest gentleman whom you “ conversed with upon the bench at the end of the “ Mall, having heard that I had received five shillings {"6 of you, to give you a hundred pounds upon the “ Great Turk's being driven out of Europe, desired

me to acquaint you, that every one of that company “ would be willing to receive five shillings, to pay a ** hundred pounds on the same condition. Our last " advices from Muscovy making this a fairer bet than " it was a week ago, I do not question but you will

accept the wager.

“ But this is not my present business. If you re*«* member, I whispered a word in your ear, as we

were walking up the Mall, and you see what has “ happened since. If I had seen you this morning, I 56 would have told you in your ear another secret. I " hope you will be recovered of your indisposition by **to-morrow morning, wher I will wait on you at the

same hour as I did this; my private circumstances « being such, that I cannot well appear in this quar« ter of the town after it is day.

“ I have been so taken up with the late good news *" from Holland, and expectation of further particulars,

as well as with other transactions, of which I will « tell you more to-morrow morning, that I have not "slept a wink these three nights.

“ I have reason to believe, that Picardy will soon « follow the example of Artois, in case the enemy “ continue in their present resolution of flying away * from us. I think I told you the last time we were

together my opinion about the Duelle.


“ The honest gentlemen upon the bench, bid me • tell you, they would be glad to see you often among « them. We shall be there all the warm hours of the “ day during the present posture of affairs.

“ This happy opening of the campaign will, I hope, " give us a very joyful summer; and I propose to take

many a pleasant walk with you, if you will some6 times come into the park; for that is the only place « in which I can be free from the malice of my ene6 mies. Farewel till three of the clock to-morrow “ morning.

66 I am,

“ Your most humble servant, &c."

6 P. S. The King of Sweden is still at Bender."

I should have fretted myself to death at this promise of a second visit, if I had not found in his letter an intimation of the good news which I have since heard at large. I have however ordered my maid to tie up the knocker of my door, in such a manner as she would do if I was really indisposed. By which means I hope to escape breaking my morning's rest.

Since I have given this letter to the public, I shall communicate one or two more, which I have lately received from others of my correspondents. The following is from a coquet, who is very angry at my hav: ing disposed of her in marriage to a Bass-Viol.


“I THOUGHT you would never have descend. « ed from the Censor of Great-Britain, to become a “ match-maker. But pray, why so severe upon tlie “ Kit? Had I been a Jew's Harp, that is nothing but

tongue, you could not have used me worse. Of all " things a Bass-Viol is my aversion. Had you mar« ried me to a Bagpipe, or a Passing-bell, I should

have been better pleased. Dear father Isaac, either

a chuse me a better husband, or I will live and die a “ Dulcimer. In hopes of receiving satisfaction from I am yours, whilst


o you,

The pertness which this fair lady hath shewn in this letter, was one occasion of my joining her to the BassViol, which is an instrument that wants be quickened by these little vivacities; as the sprightliness of the Kit ought to be checked and curbed by the gravity of the Bass-Viol.

My next letter is from Tom Folio, who it seems, takes it amiss, that I have published a character of him so much to his disadvantage.

6 SIR,

6 I SUPPOSE you meant Tom Fool, when you < called me Tom Folio in a late trifling paper of yours; « for I find, it is your design to run down all useful 6 and solid learning. The tobacco-paper on which

your own writings are usually printed, as well as 6 the incorrectness of the press, and the scurvy letter, 6 sufficiently shew the extent of your knowledge. I " question not but you look upon John Morphew to « be as great a man as Elzevir; and Aldus to have 6. been such another as Bernard Lintot. If you would “ give me my revenge, I would only advise you to let si me publish an account of your library, which, I dare say, would furnish out an extraordinary catalogue.

66 Tom Folio."

It hath always been my way to baffle reproach with silence, though I cannot but observe the disengenuous proceedings of this gentleman, who is not content to asperse my writings, but hath wounded through my sides, those eminent and worthy citizens, Mr. John Morphew, and Mr. Bernard Lintot.

[ocr errors]


.Nunquam libertas gratior exstat
Quam sub rege pio..........

From my own Apartment, April 19. I WAS walking two or three days ago in a very pleasing retirement, and amusing myself with the reading of that ancient and beautiful allegory, called, The Table of Cebes. I was at last so tired with my walk, that I sat down to rest myself upon a bench that stood in the midst of an agreeable shade. The music of the birds, that filled all the trees about me, lulled me asleep before I was aware of it; which was followed by a dream, that I impute in some measure to the foregoing author, who had made an impression upon my imagination, and put me into his own way of thinking.

I fancied myself among the Alps, and, as it is natural in a dream, seemed every moment to bound from one summit to another, till at last, after having made this airy progress over the tops of several mountains, I arrived at the very centre of those broken rocks and precipices. I here, methought, saw a prodigious circuit of hills, that reached above the clouds, and encompassed a large space of ground, which I had a great curiosity to look into. I thereupon continued my former way of travelling through a great variety of winter-scenes, till I gained the top of these white mountains, which seemed another Alps of snow. I looked down from hence into a spacious plain, which was surrounded on all sides by this mound of hills, and which presented me with the most agreeable prospect I had ever seen. There was a greater variety of colours in the embroidery of the meadows, a more lively green in the leaves and grass, a brighter chrystal in the streams, than what I ever met with in any

other region. The light itself had something more shining and glorious in it than that of which the day is made in other places. I was wonderfully astonished at the discovery of such a paradise amidst the wildness of those cold, hoary landscapes which lay about it, but found at length, that this happy region was inhabited by the goddess of Liberty; whose presence softened the rigours of the climate, enriched the barrenness of the soil, and more than supplied the absence of the sun. The place was covered with a wonderful profusion of flowers, that without being disposed into regular borders and parterres, grew promiscuously, and had a greater beauty in their natural luxuriancy and disorder, than they could have received from the checks and restraints of art. There was a river that arose out of the south side of the mountain, that by an infinite number of turns and windings, seemed to visit every plant, and cherish the several beauties of the spring, with which the fields abounded. After having run to and fro in a wonderful variety of meanders, as unwilling to leave so charming a place, it at last throws itself into the hollow of a mountain, from whence it passes under a long range of rocks, and at length rises in that part of the Alps where the inhabitants think it the first source of the Rhone. This river, after having made its progress through those free nations, stagnates in a huge lake at the leaving of them, and no sooner enters into the regions of slavery, but runs through them with an incredible rapidity, and takes its shortest way to the sea.

I descended into the happy fields, that lay beneath me, and in the midst of them beheld the goddess sitting upon a throne. She had nothing to inclose her but the bounds of her own dominions, and nothing over her head but the heavens. Every glance of her eye cast a track of light; where it fell, that revived the spring, and made all things smile about her. My heart grew cheerful at the sight of her, and as she looked




« VorigeDoorgaan »