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by parents on one side, or moved by interest only on the other, to come together, and bring forth such awkward heirs as are the product of half love and constrained compliances? There is no body, though I say it myself, would be fitter for this office than I am : for I am an ugly fellow, of great wit and sagacity. My father was an hale country squire, my mother a witty beauty of no fortune. The match was made by consent of my mother's parents against her own, and I am the child of the rape on the wedding-night; so that I am as healthy and as homely as my father, but as sprightly and agreeable as my mother. It would be of no great ease to you, if you would use me under you, that matches might be better regulated for the future, and we might have no more children of squabbles. Į shall not reveal all my pretensions until I receive your answer; and am,


Your most humble servant,


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'I AM One of those unfortunate men within the citywalls, who am married to a woman of quality, but her temper is something different from that of Lady ANVIL. My lady's whole time and thoughts are spent in keeping up to the mode both in apparel and furniture. All the goods in my house have been changed three times in seven years. I have had seven children by her: and by our Marriage-Articles she was to have her apartment new furnished as often as she lay-in. Nothing in our house is useful but that which is fashionable; my pewter holds out generally half a year, my plate a full twelve-month; chairs are not fit to sit in that were made two years since, nor beds fit for any thing but to

* See No. 299.


sleep in, that have

of opinion, that an

stood above that time. My dear is old-fashioned grate consumes coals, but gives no heat. If she drinks out of glasses of last year, she cannot distinguish wine from small beer. Oh, dear Sir, you may guess all the rest.


P. S. 'I could bear even all this, if I were not obliged also to eat fashionably. I have a plain stomach, and have a constant loathing of whatever comes to my own table; for which reason I dine at the chop-house three days in a week; where the good company wonders they never see you of late. I am sure, by your unprejudiced discourses, you love broth better than soup.”


WILL'S, Feb. 19.

You may believe you are a person as much talked of as any man in town, I am one of your best friends in this house, and have laid a wager, you are so candid a man, and so honest a fellow, that you will print this letter, though it is in recommendation of a new paper called The Historian. I have read it carefully, and find it written with skill, good sense, modesty, and fire. You must allow the town is kinder to you than you deserve; and I doubt not but you have so much sense of the world's change of humour, and instability of all human things, as to understand, that the only way to preserve favour is to communicate it to others with good-nature and judgment. You are so generally read, that what you speak of will be read. This, with men of sense and taste, is all that is wanting to recommend The Historian,

I am,

Your daily advocate,



I was

I was very much surprised this morning, that any one should find out my lodging, and know it so well, as to come directly to my closet-door, and knock at it, to give me the following letter. When I came out I opened it, and saw, by a very strong pair of shoes and a warm coat the bearer had on, that he walked all the way to bring it me, though dated from York. My misfortune is that I cannot talk, and I found the messenger had so much of me, that he could think better than speak. He had, I observed, a polite discerning hid under a shrewd rusticity. He delivered the paper with a Yorkshire tone and a town leer.

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THE privilege you have indulged JOHN TROT* has proved of very bad consequence to our illustrious assembly, which, besides the many excellent maxims it is founded upon, is remarkable for the extraordinary decorum always observed in it. One instance of which is, that the Carders (who are always of the first quality) never begin to play until the French-dances are finished, and the country-dances begin: but JoHN TROT having now got your commission in his pocket (which every one here has a profound respect for) has the assurance to set up for a minuet-dancer. Not only so, but he has brought down upon us the whole body of the TROTS, which are very numerous, with their auxiliaries the hobblers and the skippers, by which means the time is so much wasted, that, unless we break all rules of government, it must redound to the utter subversion of the Brag Table, † the discreet members of which value time, as FRIBBLE'S wife does her pin-money. We are pretty well assured that your indulgence to TROT

* See No. 295.


+ Brag was in the time of the SPECTATOR a very fashionable game, and was also much practised in JOHNSON's time. There is a very humorous severe leiter upon that in the Rambler, No. 15.

was only in relation to country-dances; however, we have deferred issuing an order of council upon the premises, hoping to get you to join with us, that TROT, nor any of his clan, may not presume for the future to dance any but country-dances, unless a horn-pipe upon a festival-day. If you will do this, you will oblige a great many ladies, and particularly,

York, Feb. 16.

Your most humble servant,

I NEVER meant any other than that Mr. TROT should confine himself to country-dances. And I further direct, that he shall take out none but his own relations according to their nearness of blood, but any gentlewoman may take out him.

London, Feb. 21.





adequate reading of all char, in bk. II gall

Satan, Molock, Belial, Mainon, Beelzebub

No. 309.


Di, quibus imperium est animarum, umbræque silentes,
Et Chaos, et Phlegethon, loca nocte silentia late:

Sit mihi fas audita loqui! sit numine vestro

Pandere res altâ terrâ et caligine mersas.

VIRG. ÆN. vi. ver. 264.

"Ye realms yet unreveal'd to human sight,
"Ye Gods who rule the regions of the night,
"Ye gliding ghosts, permit me to relate
"The mystic wonders of your silent state."



I HAVE before observed in general, that the persons
whom MILTON introduces into his poem always discover Satan,
such sentiments and behaviour as are in a peculiar man-
ner conformable to their respective characters. Every
circumstance in their speeches and actions, is, with great
justice and delicacy, adapted to the persons who speak
and act. As the poet very much excels in this consis-
tency of his characters, I shall beg leave to consider se-
veral passages of the second book in this light. That
superior greatness and mock-majesty which is ascribed
to the prince of the fallen angels, is admirably preserved
in the beginning of this book. His opening and clo-
sing the debate; his taking on himself that great enter-
prise, at the thought of which the whole infernal assem-
bly trembled; his encountering the hideous phantom
who guarded the gates of Hell, and appeared to him in
all his terrors; are instances of that proud and daring
mind which could not brook submission, even to OMNI-




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