Page images
PDF
EPUB

N° 27. SATUẦDAY, JUNE 11, 1709.

Quicquid agunt bomines

nostri est farrago libelli.

JUV. Sat. I. 85, 86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
Our motley paper seizes for its theme.

P.

White's Chocolute-house, June 9. PACOLEt being gone a-sirolling among the men of the sword, in order to find out the secret causes of the frequent disputes we meet with, and furnish me with materials for my treatise on duelling : I have room left to go on in my information to my country readers, whereby they may understand the bright people whose memoirs I have taken upon me to write. But in my discourse of the twenty-eighth of the last month, I omitted to mention the most agreeable of all bad characters, and that is, a Rake.

A Rake is a man always to be pitied; and, if he lives, is one day ertainly reclaimed; for his faults proceed not fronte choice or inclination, but from strong passions and appetites, which are in youth too violent for the curb of reason, good sense, good manners, and good-nature : all which he must have by nature and education, before he can be allowed to be, or to have been of this order. He is a poor unwieldy wretch, that commits faults out of the redundance of his good qualities. His pity and compassion make him sometimes a bubble to all his fellows, let them be never so much below him in understanding. His desires run away with him

June 6, 1799

James's, and Sir Thomas at White's (who are my clarks for enrolling all men in their different classes, before they presude to drink tea or chocolate in those places), tó iske care that the persons within the descriprions in the latter be amitted and excluded, a cording to my friend's remonstrance.

Sir, “ Your paper of Saturday has raised up in me a moble emulation to be recorded in the foremost rank of worthit's therein mentioned: if any regard be had to merit or industry, I may hope to succeed in the promotion ; for I have omitted no toil or exprnce to be a proficient; and if my friends do not Haticr, they assure nie I have not lost my time since I came to town. To enumerate but a few particuLars. There is hardly a coachman I meet with, but desires to be excusce taking me, because hic has had me before. I have compounded two or three rapes ; and let out to hire as many bastards to bey gars. I never saw above the first act of a play * ; and as to my courage, it is well known I have more than once had sufficient witnesses of my drawing my sword buih in tavern and play-house. Dr. Wall t is my particular friend ; and if any service to the publick to compose the difference between Martin t and Sintilaer f the Pearl-driller 1, I do not know a judge of more experience than myBelf' ; for in that I may say, with the poet,

Qux repio in villa nostri non plena laboris ?
" What street resounds not with my great exploits ?"

were

* At that time, it seems as if the money was returned to such as withdrew at the end of the first act.

+ Three practitioners in pliyric or surgery of some gote at that time for curing diseases contracted by debaucl.eiy.

# A term, rendered onintelligible by time.

I omit other less particulars, the necessary consequence of greater actions. But my: reason for troubling you at this present is, to put a stop, if it may be, to an insinuating increasing set of people, who, sticking to the letter of your treatise, and not to the spirit of it, do assume the name of “ Pretty Yellows ;” nay', and even get new names, as you very well hint. Some of them I have heard calling to one another as I have sat at White's and St. James's, by the names of Betty, Nelly, and so forth. You see them accost each other with efleminate airs : they have their signs and tokens like freemasons. They rail at woman-kind ; receive visits on their beds in gowns, and do a thousand other unintelligible prettinesses that I cannot tell what to make of. I therefore heartily desire you would exclude all this sort of animals.

" There is another matter I foresee an ill consequence from, that may be timely prevented by prudence; which is, that for the last fortnight prodigious shoals of volunteers have gone over to bully the French, upon hearing the peace was just signing; and this is so true, that I can assure you, all ingrossing work about the Temple is risen above three shillings in the pound for want of hands. Now as it is possible, some little alteration of affairs may have broken their measures, and that they will post back again, I am under the last apprehension, that these will, at their return, all set up for “ Pretty Fellows,” and thereby confound all inerit and service, and impose on us some new alteration in our night-cap wigs and pockets, unless you can provide a particular class for them. I cannot apply myself better than to you, and I am sure I speak the mind of a very great number, as deserving as my self."

The pretensions of this correspondent are worthy a particular distinction; he cannot indeed be ad mitted as a " Pretty," but is what we more justly ciell a “ Smart Follow." Never to pay at the playLoovuse is it act of trugality that lets you into his character, and his expedient in sending his childrena beveing before they can go, are characteristical instances that lie belongs to this class. I never saw the gentleman; but I know by bis letter, he hanno his cane to his button; and by some lines of it does should wear red-heeled she's; which are essential parts of the liubit belonging to the order of “ Sun.111 Follow's."

My familiar is returned with the following litt from the French king.

Versailles, June 3, 179%. Lewis XIV. to Isaac BICKER STAFF, Esq.

[ocr errors]

I have your epistle, and must take the liberty to say, that there has been a time, when there were generous spirits in Great Britain, who would not luve suffered my name to be ureated with the familiarity you think fit to use. I thought liberal men would not be such time-servers, as to fall upon a man because his friends are not in power. But, having some concern for what you may transmit to posterity concerning me, I am willing to keep terms with you, and make a request to you, which is, that

you would give my service to the nineteenth century (if ever you or yours reach them), and tell them, that I have settled all matters between thein and me by Monsieur Boileau, I should be glad to sce you hicre."

It is very odd, this prince should offer to invite me into his dominions, or believe I should accept the invitation. No, no, I remember too well how he served an ingenious gentleman, a friend of mine, whom he locked up in the Bastile for no reason in the world, but because he was a wit, and feared he might mention him with justice in some of his writings. His way is, that all men of sense are preferred, banished, or imprisoned. He has indeed a sort of justice in him, like that of the gamesters ; for if a stander-by sees one at play cheat, he has a right to come in for shares, as knowing the mysterics of the game *.

This is a very wise and just maxim ; and if I have not left at Mr. Morphew's, directed to nie, bank bills for two hundred pounds, on or before this day sevennight, I shall tell how Tom Cash got his estate. I expect three hundred pounds of Mr. Soilett, for concealing all the money he has lent to himself, and his landed friend bound with him at thirty per cent. at his scrivener's. Absolute princes make people pay what they please in deference to their power: I do not know why I should not do the same, out of fear or respect to my knowledge. I always preserve decorums and civilities to the fair sex: therefore, if a certain lady, who left her coach at the New Exchange door in the Strand, and whipt down Durham-yard into a boat with a young gentleman for. Vauxhall t; I say, if she will send me word, that I may give the fan which she dropped, and I found, to my sister Jenny, there shall be no more said of it. I expect hush-money to be regularly sent for every folly or vice any one

* Sir John Vanbrugh, who was once confined in the Bastile, is probably the person here alluled to. † In the Original Folio it is “ Fox-Hall.”. VOL. I.

« PreviousContinue »