« VorigeDoorgaan »
settles on his child more than the reversion of the jointure, or the value of it in money; so that at his death, he may in the whole be bound to pay his family but double, to what he has received. I would have the eldest, as well as the rest, have his provision out of this.
When men are not able to come to those settlements I have proposed, I would have them receive so much of the portion only as they can come up to, and the rest to go to the woman by way of pinmoney, or separate maintenance. In this, I think, Idetermine equally between the two sexes.
If any lawyer varies from these rules, or is above two days in drawing a marriage-settlement, or uses more words in it than one skin of parchment will contain, or takes above five pounds for drawing it, I would have him thrown over the bar.
Were these rules observed, a woman with a small fortune, and a great deal of worth, would be sure to marry according to her deserts, if the man's estate were to be less encumbered, in proportion as her fortune is less than he might have with others.
A man of a great deal of merit and not much estate, might be chosen, for his worth; because it would not be difficult for him to make a settle
The man that loves a woman best, would not lose her for not being able to bid so much as another, or for not complying with an extravagant demand.
These I consider as accounts of news from the little world, in the same manner that the foregoing parts of the paper are from the great. If in one we hear that a sovereign prince is fled from his capital city, in the other we hear of a tradesman who hath shut up his shop, and run away. If in one we find the victory of a general, in the other we see the desertion of a private soldier. I must confess I have a certain weakness in my temper, that is often very much affected by these little domestic occurrences, and have frequently been caught with tears in my eyes over a melancholy advertisement,
But to consider this subject in its most ridiculous lights, advertisements are of great use to the vul gar. First of all, as they are instruments of ambition. A man that is by no means big enough for the Gazette, may easily creep into the advertisements; by which means we often see an apothecary in the same paper of news with a plenipotentiary, or a running-footman with an ambassador. An advertisement from Piccadilly goes down to posterity with an article from Madrid, and John Bartlett of Goodman's-fields is celebrated in the same paper with the emperor of Germany. Thus the fable tells us, that the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back.
A second use which this sort of writing hath been turned to of late years, has been the manage ment of controversy; insomuch that above half the A fine woman, would no more be set up to auction advertisements one meets with now-a-days are as she is now. When a man puts in for her, her purely polemical. The inventors of strops for friends or herself take care to publish it; and the razors have written against one another this way' man that was the first bidder is made no other use for several years, and that with great bitterness; as of but to raise the price. He that loves her will the whole argument pro and con in the ease of the continue in waiting as long as she pleases, if her morning gown,' is still carried on after the same fortune be equal to his; and under pretence of manner. I need not mention the several proprie some failure in the rent-roll, or difficulties in draw-tors of Dr. Anderson's pills; nor take notice of the ing the settlement, he is put off until a better bargain is made with another.
All the rest of the sex, that are not rich or beautiful to the highest degree, are plainly gainers, and would be married so fast, that the least charming of them would soon grow beauties to the bachelors. Widows might be easily married, if they would not, as they do now, set up for discreet, only by being mercenary.
The making matrimony cheap and easy would be the greatest discouragement to vice the limiting the expense of children would not make men ill inclined, or afraid of having them in a regular way; and the men of merit would not live unmarried, as they often do now, because the goodness of a wife cannot be ensured to them; but the loss of an estate is certain, and a man would never have the affliction of a worthless heir added to that of a bad wife.
I am the more serious, large, and particular on this subject, because my lucubrations, designed for the encouragement of virtue, cannot have the desired success as long as this incumbrance of settlements continues upon matrimony.
many satirical works of this nature so frequently published by Dr. Clark, who has had the confidence. to advertise upon that learned knight, my very worthy friend, Sir William Read: but I shalt not interpose in their quarrel: Sir William can give him his own in advertisements, that, in the judg ment of the impartial, are as well penned as the doctor's.
The third and last use of these writings is to inform the world, where they may be furnished with almost every thing that is necessary for life. If a man has pains in his head, colics in his bowels, or spots in his clothes, he may here meet with proper cures and remedies. If a man would recover a wife, or a horse that is stolen or strayed; if he wants new sermons, electuaries, asses milk, or any thing else, either for his body or his mind; this is the place to look for them in.
The great art in writing advertisements, is the finding out a proper method to catch the reader's eye, without which a good thing may pass over unobserved, or be lost among commissions of bankrupts. Asterisks and hands were formerly of great use for this purpose. Of late years the N.B. has ' been much in fashion, as also little cuts and figures, the invention of which we must ascribe to the author of spring-trusses. I must not here ouit the blind Italian character, which, being scarce legible, always fixes and detains the eye, and gives the cuR. Wynne. into a secret. rious reader something like the satisfaction of prying
No. 224.] THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1710.
From my own Apartment, September 13.
But the great skill in an advertiser is chiefly seen in the style which he makes use of. He is to mention the universal esteem, or general reputation,' of things that were never heard of. If he is
-Si quid novisti rectius istis, Candidus imperti; sinon, his utere mecum. Hor. 1 Ep. vi. 67.
If a better system's thine,
Impart it frankly; or make use of mine.
a physician or astrologer, he must change his lodg-No. 225.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1710. ings frequently; and, though he never saw any body in them besides his own family, give public notice of it, for the information of the nobility and gentry. Since I am thus usefully employed in writing criticisms on the works of these diminu tive authors, I must not pass over in silence an advertisement, which has lately made its appear. ance, and is written altogether in a Ciceronian manner. It was sent to me, with five shillings, to be inserted among my advertisements; but as it is a pattern of good writing in this way. I shall give it a place in the body of my paper.
The highest compounded spirit of lavender, the most glorious, if the expression may be used, enlivening scent and flavour that can possibly be, which so raptures the spirits, delights the gust, and gives such airs to the countenance, as are not to be imagined but by those that have tried it. The meanest sort of the thing is admired by most gen tlemen and ladies; but this far more, as by far it exceeds it, to the gaining among all a more than common esteem. It is sold, in neat flint bottles fit for the pocket, only at the Golden Key, in Wharton's-court, near Holborn-bars, for three shillings and sixpence, with directions.'
At the same time that I recommend the several flowers in which this spirit of lavender is wrapped up, if the expression may be used, I cannot excuse my fellow-labourers for admitting into their papers several uncleanly advertisements, not at all proper to appear in the works of polite writers. Among these I must reckon the 'Carminative wind-expelling pills. If the doctor had called them only his carminative pills, he had been as cleanly as one could have wished; but the second word entirely destroys the decency of the first. There are other absurdities of this nature so very gross, that I dare not mention them; and shall therefore dismiss this subject with a public admonition to Michael Parrot, That he do not presume any more to mention a certain worm he knows of, which, by the way, has grown seven feet in my memory; for, if I am not much mistaken, it is the same that was but nine feet long about six months ago.
By the remarks I have here made, it plainly appears, that a collection of advertisements is a kind of miscellany, the writers of which, contrary to all authors, except men of quality, give money to the booksellers who publish their copies. The genius of the bookseller is chiefly shown in his method of ranging and digesting these little tracts. The last paper I took up in my hand places them in the following order:
The true Spanish blacking for shoes, &c. The beautifying cream for the face, &c. Pease and plaisters, &c.
Nectar and ambrosia, &c.
From my own Apartment, September 15. THE hours which we spend in conversation are the most pleasing of any which we enjoy : yet, methinks, there is very little care taken to improve ourselves for the frequent repetition of them. The common fault in this case is that of growing too intimate, and falling into displeasing familiarities; for it is a very ordinary thing for men to make no other use of a close acquaintance with each other's affairs, but to teaze one another with unacceptable allusions. One would pass over patiently such as converse like animals, and salute each other with bangs on the shoulders, sly raps with canes, or other robust pleasantries practised by the rural gentry of this nation: but even among those who should have more polite ideas of things, you see a set of people who invert the design of conversation, and make frequent mention of ungrateful subjects; nay, mention them because they are ungrateful; as if the the perfection of society were in knowing how to offend on the one part, and how to bear an offence on the other. In all parts of this populous town, you find the merry world made up of an active and a passive companion; one who has good-nature enough to suffer all his friend shall think fit to say, and one who is resolved to make the most of his good-humour to show his parts. In the trading part of mankind, I have ever observed the jest went by the weight of purses, and the ridicule is made up by the gains that arise from it. Thus the packer allows the clothier to say what he pleases; and the broker has his countenance ready to laugh with the merchant, though the abuse is to fall on himself, because he knows that, as a go-between, he shall find his account in being in the good graces of a man of wealth. Among these just and punctual people the richest man is ever the better jester; and they know no such a thing as a person who shall pretend to a superior laugh at a man, who does not make him amends by opportunities of advantage in another kind: but among people of a different way, where the pretended distinction in company is only what is raised from sense and understanding, it is very absurd to carry on a rough raillery so far, as that the whole discourse should turn upon each other's infirmities, follies, or misfortunes.
I was this evening with a set of wags of this class. They appeared generally by two and two; and what is most extraordinary, is, that those very persons who are most together appear least of a mind when
Four freehold tenements of fifteen pounds per joined by other company. This evil proceeds from annum, &c.
Annotations upon the Tatler, &c.
The present state of England, &c.
an indiscreet familiarity, whereby a man is allowed to say the most grating thing imaginable to another, and it shall be accounted weakness to show an impa
A commission of bankruptcy being awarded tience for the unkindness. But this and all other against B. L., bookseller, &c.
deviations from the design of pleasing, each other when we meet, are derived from interlopers in society; who want capacity to put in a stock among regular companions, and therefore supply their wants by stale histories, sly observations, and rude hints, which relate to the conduct of others. All cohabitants in general run into this unhappy fault; men and their wives break into reflections, which are like so much Arabic to the rest of the company;
sisters and brothers often make the like figure, to posterity an account of every thing that is mosfrom the same unjust sense of the art of being intimate and familiar. It is often said, such a-one cannot stand the mention of such a circumstance; if he cannot, I am sure it is for want of discourse, or a worse reason, that any companion of his touches upon it.
Familiarity, among the truly well-bred, never gives authority to trespass upon one another in the most minute circumstance: but it allows to be kinder than we ought otherwise to presume to be. Eusebius has wit, humour, and spirit; but there never was a man in his company who wished he had less; for he understands familiarity so well, that he knows how to make use of it in a way that neither makes himself or his friend contemptible; but if any one is lessened by his freedom, it is he himself, who always likes the place, the diet, and the reception, when he is in the company of his friends. Equality is the life of conversation; and he is as much out who assumes to himself any part above another, as he who considers himself below the rest of the society. Familiarity in inferiors is sauciness; in superíors, condescension; neither of which are to have being among companions, the very word implying that they are to be equal. When, therefore, we have abstracted the company from all considerations of their quality or fortune, it will immediately appear, that to make it happy and polite, there must nothing be started which shall discover that our thoughts run upon any such distinctions. Hence it will arise, that benevolence must become the rule of society, and he that is most obliging must be most diverting.
strous in my own times. For this reason, I shall here publish to the world the life of a person who was neither man nor woman; as written by one of my ingenious correspondents, who seems to have imitated Plutarch in that multifarious erudition, and those occasional dissertations, which he has wrought into the body of his history. The life I am putting out is that of Margery, alías John Young, commonly known by the name of Dr. Young; who, as the town very well knows, was a woman that practised physic in a man's clothes, and, after having had two wives and several children, died about a month since.
'I here make bold to trouble you with a short account of the famous Dr. Young's life, which you may call, if you please, a second part of the farce of the Sham Doctor. This, perhaps, will not seem so strange to you, who if I am not mistaken, have somewhere mentioned with honour your sister Kirleus, as a practitioner both in physic and astrology: but, in the common opinion of mankind, a she-qnack is altogether as strange and astonishing a creature, as the centaur that practised physic in the days of Achilles, or as king Phys in the Rehearsal. Eseulapius, the great founder of your art, was particularly famous for his beard, as we may conclude from the behaviour of a tyrant, who is branded by heathen historians as guilty both of sacrilege and blasphemy; having robbed the statue of Esculapius of a thick bushy golden beard, and then alleged for his excuse, That it was a shame the son should have a beard, when his father Apollo had none. This latter in This way of talking I am fallen into from the stance indeed seems something to favour a femalé reflection that I am, wherever I go, entertained professor, since, as I have been told, the ancient with some absurdity, mistake, weakness, or ill-luck statues of Apollo are generally made with a head of some man or other, whom not only I, but the and face of a woman: nay, I have been credibly person who makes me those relations, has a value informed by those who have seen them both, that for. It would therefore be a great benefit to the the famous Apollo in the Belvidera did very much world, if it could be brought to pass, that no story resemble Doctor Young. Let that be as it will, the should be a taking one, but what was to the advan- doctor was a kind of Amazon in physic, that made tage of the person of whom it was related. By this as great devastations and slaughters as any of our means, he that is now a wit in conversation would chief heroes in the art and was as fatal to the Engbe considered as a spreader of false news is in busi-lish in these our days, as the famous Joan d'Are was in those of our forefathers.
But above all, to make a familiar fit for a bosom friend, it is absolutely necessary that we should always be inclined rather to hide, than rally each other's infirmities. To suffer for a fault is a sort of atonement; and nobody is concerned for the offence for which he has made reparation.
P. S. I have received the following letter, which rallies me for being witty sooner than I designed; but I have now altered my resolution, and intend to be facetious untill the day in October heretofore mentioned, instead of beginning from that day. Sept. 6, 1710. By your own reckoning, you came yesterday about a month before the time you looked yourself, much to the satisfaction of
'Your most obliged, humble servant,
No. 226.] TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1710.
'I do not find any thing remarkable in the life which I am about to write, until the year 1695; at which time the doctor, being about twenty-three years old, was brought to-bed of a bastard child. The scandal of such a misfortune gave so great an ar easiness to pretty Mrs. Peggy, for that has been the name by which the doctor was then called, that she left her family, and followed her lover to London, with a fixed resolution some way or other to recover her lost reputation; but, instead of changing her life, which one would have expected from so good a disposition of mind, she took it in her head to change her sex. This was soon done by the help of a sword and a pair of breeches. I have reason to believe, that her first design was to turn man-midwife, having herself had some experience in those affairs; but thinking this too narrow a foundation for her future fortune, she at length bought her a gold-buttoned coat, and set up for a physician. Thus we see the same fatal miscarriage in her youth made Mrs. Young a doctor, that formerly made one of the same sex a pope.
The doctor succeeded very well in his business at first; but very often met with accidents that die quieted him. As he wanted that deep magisterial voice which gives authority to a prescription, and is absolutely necessary for the right pronouncing of these
words, "Take these pills," he unfortunately got the very scrupulously, as I always do when I subscribe nick-name of the Squeaking Doctor. If this circum-myself, 'Sir, yours, &c.' stance alarmed the doctor, there was another which I shall add as a posteript to this letter, that I am gave him no small disquiet, and very much diminished informed the famous Saltero, who sells coffee in hi his gains. In short, he found himself run down as museum at Chelsea, has by him a curiosity, which a superficial prating quack in all families that had helped the doctor to carry on his imposture, and wil at the head of them a cautious father, or a jealous give great satisfaction to the curious inquirer. husband. These would often complain among one another, that they did not like such a smock-faced physician; though in truth, had they known how justly he deserved that name, they would rather have favoured his practice, than have apprehended any thing from it.
Such were the motives that determined Mrs. Young to change her condition, and take in marriage a virtuous young woman, who lived with her in good reputation, and made her the father of a very pretty girl. But this part of her happiness was soon after destroyed, by a distemper, which was too hard for our physician, and carried off his first wife. The doctor had not been a widow long before he married his second lady, with whom he also lived in very good understanding, It so happened, that the doctor was with child at the same time that his lady was; but the little ones coming both together, they passed for twins. The doctor having entirely established the reputation of his manhood, especially by the birth of the boy of whom he had been lately delivered, and who very much resembles him, grew into good business, and was particularly famous for the cure of venereal distempers; but would have had much more practice among his own sex, had not some of them been so unreasonable as to demand certain proofs of their cure, which the doctor was not able to give them. The florid blooming look, which gave the doctor some uneasiness at first, instead of betraying his person, only recommended his physic.Upon this occasion I cannot forbear mentioning what I thought a very agreeable surprise: in one of Moliere's plays, where a young woman applies herself to a sick person in the habit of a quack, and speaks to her patient, who was something scandalized at the youth of his physician, to the following purpose:-I began to practise in the reign of Francis the First, and am now in the hundred and fiftieth year of my age: but, by the virtue of my medicaments, have maintained myself in the same beauty and freshness I had at fifteen. For this reason Hippocrates lays it down as a rule, that a student in physic should have a sound constitution, and a healthy look; which indeed seem as necessary qualifications for a physician, as a good life and virtuous behaviour for a divine. But to return to our subject. About two years ago the doctor was very much afflicted with the vapours, which grew upon him to such a degree, that about six weeks since they made an end of him. His death discovered the disguise he had acted under, and brought him back again to his former sex. It is said, that at his burial the pall was held up by six women of some fashion. The doctor left behind him a widow, and two fatherless children, if they may be called so, besides the little boy before-mentioned. In relation to whom we may say of the doctor, as the good old ballad about the children in the wood says of the unnatural uncle, that he was father and mother both in one. There are all the circumstances that I could learn of doctor Young's life, which might have given occasion to many obscene fictions; but as I know those would never have gained a place in your paper, I have not troubled you with any impertinence of that nature, having stuck to the truth
No. 227.] THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1710.
From my own Apartment, September 20.
The patient gave me this account with such candour and openness, that I conceived immediate hopes of his cure; because, in diseases of the mind, the person affected is half recovered when he is sensible of his distemper. Sir,' said I, 'the acknowledgment of your kinsman's merit is a very hopeful symptom; for it is the nature of persons afflicted with this evil, when they are incurable, to pretend a contempt of the person envied, if they are taxed with that weakness. A man who is really envious will not allow he is so; but, upon such an accusation, is tormented with the reflection, that to envy a man is to allow him your superior. But in your case, when you examine the bottom of your heart, I am apt to think it is avarice, which you mistake for envy. Were it not that you have both expectations from the same man, you would look upon your cousin's accomplishments with pleasure. You, that now consider him an obstacle to your interest, would, then behold him as an ornament to your family.' I observed my patient upon this occasiou recover himself in some measure; and he owned to me, that he hoped it was as I imagined; for that in all places, but where he was his rival, he had pleasure in his company. This was the first
discourse we had upon this malady; but I do not doubt but, after two or three more, I shall, by just degrees, soften his envy into emulation.'
observations may not be also a good casuist; upon
Such an envy, as I have here described, may possibly enter an ingenuous mind; but the envy which makes a man uneasy to himself and others, is a certain distortion and perverseness of temper, that renders him unwilling to be pleased with any thing without him, that has either beauty or perfection in it. I look upon it as a distemper in the mind, which I know no moralist that has described in this light, when a man cannot discern any thing, which, another is master of that, is agreeable. For which reason, I look upon the good-natured man to be endowed with a certain discerning faculty, which the envious are altogether deprived of. Shallow wits, superficial critics, and conceited fops, are with me so many blind men in repect of excellencies. They can behold nothing but faults and blemishes, and, indeed, see nothing that is worth seeing. Show them a poem, it is stuff; a picture, it is daubing. name for my admirer, and may, some time or other, I am very proud of having a gentleman of this They find nothing in architecture that is not irre-write such a treatise as he mentions. In the mean gular, or in music that is not out of tune. These time, I do not see why our clergy, who are fre men should consider, that it is their envy which de quently men of good families, should be reproached, forms every thing, and that the ugliness is not in if any of them chance to espouse a hand-maid with the object, but in the eye. And as for nobler minds, a rectory in commendam, since the best of our peers whose merits are either not discovered, or are mis-have often joined themselves to the daughters of very represented by the envious part of mankind, they ordinary tradesmen, upon the same valuable conshould rather consider their defamers with pity than siderations. indignation. A man cannot have an idea of perfection in another, which he was never sensible of in himself. Mr. Locke tells us, That upon asking a blind man, what he thought scarlet was, he answered, That he believed it was like the sound of a trumpet.' He was forced to form his conceptions of ideas which he had not, by those which he had. In the same manner, ask an envious man what he thinks of virtue? he will call it design; what of good-nature? and he will term it dulness. The difference is, that as the person before-mentioned was born blind, your envious men have contracted the distemper themselves, and are troubled with a sort of an acquired blindness. Thus the devil in Milton, though made an angel of light, could see nothing to please him even in Paradise, and hated our first parents, though in a state of innocence.
No. 228.1 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1710.
'Globe in Moorfields. Sept. 16. I have now finished my almanac for the next year, in all the parts of it, except that which concerns the weather; and you having shown yourself, by some of your late works, more weatherwise than any of our modern astrologers, I most humbly presume to trouble you upon this head. You know very well, that in our ordinary almanacs the wind and rain, snow and hail, clouds and sunshine, have their proper seasons, and come up as regularly *their several months as the fruits and plants of the earth. As for my own part, I freely own to you, that I generally steal my weather out of some antiquated almanac, that foretold it several years ago. Now, sir, what I humbly beg of you is, that you would lend me your State Weather-Glass, in order to fill up this vacant column in my works. This, I know, would sell my almanac beyond any other, and make me a richer man than Poor Robin. H Sit mihi you will not grant me this favour, I must have réHor. 1 Sat. iv. 141. course to my old method, and will copy after an A powerful aid from other hands will come. almanac which I have by me, and which I think B. Wynne. was for the year when the great storm was. From my own Apartment, September 22. I am, Sir, A MAN of business, who makes a public enter"The most humble of your admirers, tainment, may sometimes leave his guests, and beg 'T. PHILOMATH.' them to divert themselves as well as they can until This gentleman does not consider, what a strange his return. I shall here make use of the same pri- appearance his almanac would make to the ignovilege, being engaged in matters of some impor- rant, should he transpose his weather, as he must tance relating to the family of the Bickerstaffs, and do, did he follow the dictates of my glass. What must desire my readers to entertain one another would the world say to see summers filled with clouds until I can have leisure to attend them. I have and storms, and winters with calms and sunshine; therefore furnished out this paper, as I have done according to the variations of the weather, as they few others, with letters of my ingenious correspond- might accidentally appear in a state-barometer? ents, which, I have reason to believe, will please the But let that be as it will, I shall apply my own inpublic as much as my own more elaborate lucubravention to my own use; and if I do not make my tions. fortune by it, it will be my own fault, The next letter comes to me from another self
Lincoln, Sept. 9.
"I have long been of the number of your ad-interested solicitor. mirers, and take this opportunity of telling you so.
I know not why a man so famed for astrological I am going to set up for a Scrivener, and hars