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ADVERTISEMENT. I have this morning received the following Letter from the famous Mr. Thomas Dogget.
“ On Monday next will be acted, for my benefit, the Comedy of Love for Love. If you will do me the honour to appear there, I will publish on the bills, that it is to be performed at the request of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire, and question not but it will bring me as great an audience, as ever was at the house, since the Morocco Ambassador* was there. I am, with the greatest respect, your most obedient and most humble servant,
THOMAS DOGGET." Being naturally an encourager of wit, as well as bound to it in the quality of Censor, I returned the following answer;
“ MR. DOGGET, “ I am very well pleased with the choice you have made of so excellent a play, and have always looked upon you as the best of comedians; I shall therefore come in between the first and second act, and remain in the right-hand box over the pit until the end of the fourth ; provided you
take care that every thing be rightly prepared for my reception. N° 121. TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 1709-10.
- Similis tibi, Cynthia, vel tibi, cujus
Juv. Sat. vi. 7.
From my own Apartment, January 16. I was recollecting the remainder of my vision when my maid came to me and told me, " there was a
* About three years before this time, in 1706, towards the end of April, the Morocco ambassador made dis public entry into London, and was admitted to bis audience.
gentlewoman below, who seemed to be in great trouble, and pressed very much to see me.” When it lay in my power to remove the distress of an unhappy person, I thought I should very ill employ my time in attending to matters of speculation, and therefore desired the lady would walk in. When she entered I saw her eyes full of tears. However, her grief was not so great as to make her omit rules, for she was very long and exact in her civilities, which gave me time to view and consider her. Her cloaths were very rich, but tarnished : and her words were very fine but ill applied. These distinctions made me, without hesitation, though I had never seen her before, ask her, “ if her lady had any commands for me?” She then began to weep afresh, and with many broken sighs told me, " that their family was in very great affliction.”—I beseeched her " to compose herself, for that I might possibly be capable of assisting them.”-She then cast her
eye upon my little dog, and was again transported with too much passion to proceed; but, with much ado, she at last gave me to understand,“ that Cupid, her lady's lap-dog, was dangerously ill, and in so bad a condition, that her lady neither saw company, nor went abroad, for which reason she did not come herself to consult me; that, as I had mentioned with great affection my own dog,” (here she curtsied, and looking first at the cur, and then on me, said, “ indeed I had reason, for he was very pretty) her lady sent to me rather than to any other doctor, and hoped I would not laugh at her sorrow, but send her
advice." I must confess, I had some indignation to find myself treated like something below a farrier; yet well knowing that the best as well as the 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 accordingly.
Pray, Madam,” said l;
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 recommended 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 physicians, they are so in haste, that they never hear out the case. I
this silly girl, after washing Cupid, let him stand half an hour in the window without a 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 have 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 cold bath. Poor Cupid," continued she, “ has always been phthisical; and as he lies under something like a chin-cough, we are afraid it will end in a consumption.” I then asked her, “ if she had brought any of his water to show 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 thus 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.
6. 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 OldBailey, for putting water into his milk. In short, she talks like
any distracted creature.” Since it is so, young woman,” said I,
by no means let you offend her, by staying on this message longer than is absolutely necessary;" and so forced her out.
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 glad of. 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 Esquires, would 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 Esquire and the hound to be of the same nature with that between the lion and the jackall.
The only extravagance of this kind which appears