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hells, devils and fiery dragons; in which will be introduced the Indian manner of fighting, to conclude with a representation of the grand scalping dance with all its horrors.
While this warlike disposition prevails in the nation, I am under some apprehensions, lest the attention of the public should be cailed off from the weighty concerns of these papers. I already perceive that the common newspapers are more eagerly snatched up in the public coffee-houses than my essays; and the Gazette is much oftener called for than the Con. noisseur. For these reasons I find it necessary to lay open my own importance before the public, to shew that I myself am acting (as it were) in a military capacity, and that Censor-General Town has done his country no less service as a valiant and skilful commander at home, than major general Johnson in America. Authors may very properly be said to be engaged in a state of literary warfare, many of whom are taken into pay by those great and mighty potentates, the booksellers; and it will be allowed, that they undergo no less hardships in the service, than the common soldiers who are contented to be shot at for a groat a day.
It has been my province to repel the daily inroads and incroachments made by vice and folly, and to guard the nation from an invasion of foreign fopperies and French fashions. The town has been principally the scene of action; where I have found enemies to encounter with no less formidable than the Tquattot. quaws or the Chickchimuckchis of North America. But as the curiosity of the public is so much engaged in attending to the enterprizes of old Hendrick the Sachem, and the incursions of the Indians who have taken up the hatchet against our colonies, I am afraid that my exploits against the savages, which infest tais metropolis, will be wholly over-looked. I have, therefore, resolved to give my readers fresh advices from time to time of what passes here, drawn up in the same warlike style and manner as those very alarming articles of news, which are commonly to be met with in our public papers.
Thursday, November 13, 1555. WE hear from White's, that the forces under ma. jor general Hoyle, which used to encamp at that place, are removed from thence, and have fixed their winter quarters, at Arthur's. The same letters say, that an obstinate engagement was fought there a few nights ago, at which one party gained a great booty, and the other suffered a considerable loss. We are also informed, that an epidemical distemper rages among them, and that several of the chiefs have been carried off by a sudden death.
They write from Covent-Garden, that last week a body of irregulars sallied out at midnight, stormed several forts in that neighbourhood, and committed great outrages; but being attacked by a small detachment from the allied army of watchmen, constables, and justices, they were put to flight, and several of then taken prisoners. The plague still rages there with great violence, as well as in the neighbouring territories of Drury.
We hear from the saine place, that the company commanded by brigadier Rich, has been reinforced with several new-raised recruits, to supply the place of some deserters, who had gone over to the enemy; but his chief dependance is on the light-armed troops, which are very active, and are distinguished, like the Highlanders, by their party-coloured dress. The enemy on the other hand, have taken several Swiss*
* Alluding to the dancers, employed in the entertainment of the Chinese Festival, at Drury Lane Theatre.
and Germans into pay; though they are under terrible apprehensions of their being set upon by the critics. These are a rude, ignorant, savage people, who are always at war with the nation of authors. Their constant manner of fighting is to begin the onset with strange hissings and noises, accompanied with an horrid instrument, named the cat-call; which, like the war-hoop of the Indians, has struck panic into the hearts of the stoutest heroes.
We have advice from the Butcher-Row, TempleBar, that on Monday night last the infidels held a grand council of war at their head-quarters in the Robin Hood, at which their good friend and ally, the Mufti of Clare-Market, assisted in person. After many debates, they resolved to declare war against the Christians, and never to make peace, untill they had pulled down all the churches in Christendom, and established the Alcoran of Bolingbroke in lieu of the bible.
All our advices from the city of London agree in their accounts of the great havock and slaughter inade there on the festival, Commonly called My Lord Mayor's Day. All the companies in their black uniform, and the trained band in their regimentals, made a general forage. They carried off vast quantities of chickens, geese, ducks, and all kinds of provisions. Major Guzzledown of the ward of Bassishaw distin. guished himself greatly, having with his sword in hand gallantly attacked the outworks, scaled the walls, mounted the ramparts, and forced through the covertway of a large fortified custard, which seemed impregnable.
The inhabitants of Sussex have lately been alarmed with the apprehensions of an invasion; as the French have been very busy in fitting out several small vessels laden with stores of wine and brandy, with which it is thought they will attempt to make a descent somewhere on our coasts. The independant companies of smugglers in the service of France are to be sent on this expedition : but if the fleet of Custom-house smacks, &c. do not intercept them at sea, we are preparing to receive them as soon as they are landed.
From divers parts of the country we have advice, that the roads are every where crowded with ladies, who (notwithstanding the severity of the weather) are hurrying up to London, to be present at the meeting of the female Parliament. At this critical juncture, the fate of the nation depends entirely on the deliberations of this wise assembly: and as there are known to be many disinterested patriots in the house, it is not to be doubted, but that proper measures will be taken by them for the good of their country. Many salutary laws are already talked of, which we could wish to see put into execution ; such as.... A bill for prohibiting the importation of French milliners, hair-cutters, and mantua-makers.... A bill for the exportation of French cooks and French valet de chambres..... A bill to re. strain ladies from wearing French dresses..... And lastly, a bill to restrain them from wearing French faces.
No. XCV. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20.
Melle soporatum et medicatis frugibus offam
The honey'd cake will lose its sweetness soon,
AS every marriage is a kind of family festival, the wedding-day is honoured with various celebrities, and distinguished like the fifth of November, the birthdays of the royal family, or any other public day, with many demonstrations of joy : the happy couple are dressed in their richest suits, the bells ring all day, and the evening is concluded with the merry ceremony of throwing the stocking. But these festivities are not always so religiously observed in town ; where many a pair of quality are tacked together with the utmost privacy, and immediately after sneak out of town, as if they were ashamed to shew their faces after what they had done. In the country, when the squire or any other person of distinction is married, the honey. moon is almost a continual carnival; and every marriage is accounted more or less likely to be prosperous, in proportion to the number of deer, oxen, and sheep, that are killed on the occasion, and the hogsheads of wine and tuns of ale, with which they are washed down. By the last post I received an account from my cousin Village, of the wedding of a near relation, with a particular detail of the magnificence of the entertainment, the splendor of the ball, and the universal joy of the whole manor. At the same time I received compliments from the new-married couple, with a large slice of the bride cake; the virtues of which are well known to every girl of thirteen. I was never in possession of this nuptial charm before: