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had some indignation to find myself treated like something below a farrier; yet well knowing that the best, as well as most tender way, of dealing with a woman, is to fall in with her humours, and by that means to let her see the absurdity of them, I proceeded accordingły: Pray, madam, said I, can you give me any methodical account of this illness, and how Cupid was first taken? Sir, said she, we have a little ignorant country girl, who is kept to tend him : she was recomInended to our family by one, that my lady never saw but once, at a visit ; and, you know, persons of quality are always inclined to strangers; for I could have helped her to a cousin of my own, but............... Good madam, said I, you neglect the account of the sick body, while you are complaining of this girl. No, no, Sir, said she, begging your pardon: but it is the general fault of physiciants, they are so in haste, that they never hear out the case. I say, this silly girl, after washing Cupid, let him stand half an hour in the window without his collar, where he catched cold, and in an hour after began to bark very hoarse. He had, however, a pretty good night, and we hoped the danger was over; but for these two nights last past, neither he nor my lady havę slept a wink. Has he, said I, taken any thing? No, said she, but my lady says, he shall take any thing that you prescribe, provided you do not make use of jesuit's powder, or the coldbath. Poor Cupid, continued she, has always been phthisical, and as he lies under something like a chincough, we are afraid it will end in a consumption. I then asked her if she had brought any of his water to shew me. Upon this, she stared me in the face, and said, I am afraid, Mr. Bickerstaff, you are not serious; but if you have any receipt that is proper on this occasion, pray let us have it; for my mistress is not to be comforted. Upon this, I paused a little without returning any answer, and after some short silence, I proceeded in the following manner: I have considered
the nature of the distemper, and the constitution of the patient, and by the best observation that I'can make on both, I think it is safest to put him into a course of kitchen physic. In the mean time, to remove his hoarseness, it will be the most natural way to make Cupid his own druggist; for which reason, I shall prescribe to him, three mornings successively, as much powder as will lie on a groat, of that noble remedy which the apothecaries call album Græcum. Upon hearing this advice, the young woman smiled, as if she knew how ridiculous an errand she had been employed in; and indeed I found by the sequel of her discourse, that she was an arch baggage, and of a character that is frequent enough in persons of her employment, who are so used to conform themselves in every thing to the humours and passions of their mistresses, that they sacrifice superiority of sense to superiority of condition, and are insensibly betrayed into the passions and prejudices of those whom they serve, without giving themselves leave to consider, that they are extravagant and ridiculous. However, I thought it very natural, when her eyes were open, to see her give a new turn to her discourse, and from sympathizing with her mistress in her follies, to fall a railing at her. You cannot imagine, said she, Mr. Bickerstaff, what a life she makes us lead for the sake of this little ugly cur: if he dies, we are the most unhappy family in town. She chanced to lose a parrot last year, which, to tell you truly, brought me into her service; for she turned off her woman upon it, who had lived with her ten years, because she neglected to give him water, though every one of the family says she was as innocent of the bird's death, as the babe that is unborn. Nay, she told me this very morning, that if Cupid should die, she would send the poor innocent wench I was telling you of, to Bridewell, and have the milk-woman tried for her life at the Old Bailey, for:
putting water into his milk. In short, she talks like any distracted creature.
Since it is so, young woman, said I, I will by no means let you offend her, by staying on this message longer than is absolutely necessary, and so forced her cut.
While I am studying to cure those evils and distresses that are necessary or natural to human life, I find my task growing upon me, since by these accidental cares, and acquired calamities, if I may so call them, my patients contract distempers to which their constitution is of itself a stranger. But this is an evil I have for many years remarked in the fair sex; and as they are by nature very much formed for affection and dalliance, I have observed, that when by too obstinate a cruelty, or any other means, they have disappointed themselves of the proper objects of love, as husbands, or children, such virgins have exactly at such a year, grown fond of lap-dogs, parrots, or other animals. I know at this time a celebrated toast, whom I allow to be one of the most agreeable of her sex, that in the presence of her admirers, will give a torrent of kisses to her cat, any one of which a christian would be gladof. I do not at the same time deny, but there are as great enormities of this kind committed by our sex as theirs. A Roman emperor had so very great an esteem for an horse of his, that he had thoughts of making him a consul ; and several moderns of that rank of men whom we call country 'squires, will not scruple to kiss their hounds before all the world, and declare in the presence of their wives, that they had rather salute a favourite of the pack, than the finest woman in England. These voluntary friendships between animals of different species, seem to arise from instinct; for which reason, I have always looked upon the mutual good-will between the 'squire and the hound, to be of the same nature with that between the lion and jackall,
The only extravagance of this kind which appears to me excusable, is one that grew out of an excess of gratitude, which I have somewhere met with in the life of a Turkish emperor. His horse had brought him safe out of a field of battle, and from the pursuit of a victorious enemy. As a reward for such his good and faithful service his master built him a stable of marble, shod him with gold, fed him in an ivory manger, and made him a rack of silver. He annexed to the stable several fields and meadows, lakes and running streams. At the same time he provided for him a seraglio of mares, the most beautiful that could be found in the whole Ottoman empire. To these were added a suitable train of domestics, consisting of grooms, farriers, &c. accommodated with proper liveries and pensions. In short, nothing was omitted that could contribute to the ease and happiness of his life who had preserved the emperor's.
“ By reason of the extreme cold, and the changea« bleness of the weather, I have been prevailed upon " to allow the free use of the fardingal, till the 201k “ of February next ensuing."
No. CXXII. THURSDAY, JANUARY 19.
Cur in theatrum, Cato severe, venisti?
From my own Apartment, January 18. I FIND it is thought necessary, that I (who have taken upon me to censure the irregularities of the age) should give an account of my own actions when they appear doubtful, or subject to misconstruction. My appearing at the play on Monday last, is looked upon as a step in my conduct, which I ought to explain, that others may not be misled by my example. It is true matter of fact, I was present at the ingenious entertainment of that day, and placed myself in a box which was prepared for me with great civility and distinction. It is said of Virgil, when he entered a Roman theatre, where there were many thousands of spectators present, that the whole assembly rose up to do him honour; a respect which was never before paid to any but the emperor. I must confess, that universal clap, and other testimonies of applause, with which I was received at my first appearance in the theatre of Great Britain, gave me as sensible a delight, as the abovementioned reception could give to that immortal poet. I should be ungrateful at the same time, if I did not take this opportunity of acknowledging the great civilities that were shewn me by Mr. Thomas Dogget, who made compliments to me between the acts, after a most ingenuous and discreet manner; and at the same time communicated to me, that the company of upholders desired to receive me at their door at the end of the Haymarket, and to light me home to my lodgings. That part of the ceremony I forbad, and took particular care during the whole play to observe the conduct of the drama, and give no offence by my own behaviour. Here I think it will not be foreign to my character, to lay down the proper duties of an audience,