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Lion's-inn, who is zealous for the honour of the place in which he was educated, sends me word I may depend upon a hundred pounds from him, towards the embellishing of the work; assuring me, at the same time, that he will set his clerk to search the records, and enquire into the antiquities of that house, that there may be no stone left unturned to make the book complete. Considering the volumes that have been written upon insects and reptiles, and the vast expense and pains some philosophers have been at to discover, by the help of glasses, their almost imperceptible qualities and perfections : it will not, I hope, be thought unreasonable, if the lion, whose majestic form lies open to the naked eye, should take up a first-rate folio.
A worthy merchant, and a friend of mine, sends me the following letter, to be inserted in my commentaries upon lions. .
• Since one of your correspondents has of late entertained the public with a very remarkable and ancient piece of history, in honour of the grandees of the forest; and since it is probable you may in time collect a great many curious records and amazing circumstances, which may contribute to make these animals respected over the face of the whole earth; I am not a little ambitious to have the glory of contributing somewhat to so generous an undertaking. If
your work into the form of chronicle, I am in hopes I may furnish out a
in it towards the latter end of the volume, by a narration of a modern date, which I had in the year 1700, from the gentleman to whom it happened.
• About sixty years ago, when the plague raged at Naples, sir George Davis, consul there for the Eng
lish nation, retired to Florence. It happened one day he went out of curiosity to see the great duke's lions. At the further end, in one of the dens, lay a lion, which the keepers in three years' time could not tame, with all the art and gentle usage imaginable. Sir George no sooner appeared at the grates of the den, but the lion ran to him with all the marks of joy and transport he was capable of expressing. He reared himself
and licked his hand, which this gentleman put in through the grates. The keeper affrighted, took him by the arm and pulled him away, begging him not to hazard his life by going so near the fiercest creature of that kind that ever entered those dens. However, nothing would satisfy sir George, notwithstanding all that could be said to dissuade him, but he must go into the den to him. The very instant he entered, the lion threw his paws upon his shoulders, and licked his face, and ran to and fro in the den, fawning, and full of joy, like a dog at the sight of his master. After several embraces and salutations exchanged on both sides, they parted very good friends. The rumour of this interview between the lion and the stranger rung immediately through the whole city, and sir George was very near passing for a saint amongst the people. The great duke, when he heard of it, sent for sir George, who waited upon his highness to the den, and to satisfy his curiosity, gave him the following account of what seemed so strange to the duke and his followers.
“ A captain of a ship from Barbary gave me this lion when he was a young whelp. I brought him up tame; but when I thought him too large to be suf, fered to run about the house, I built a den for him in my court-yard; from that time he was never permitted to go loose, except when I brought him within doors to show him to my friends. When he was five
No. 147. years old, in his gamesome tricks, he did some mischief by pawing and playing with people. Having griped a man one day a little too hard, I ordered him to be shot, for fear of incurring the guilt of what might happen; upon this a friend who was then at dinner with me, begged him : how he came here I know not.”
• Here sir George Davis ended; and thereupon the duke of Tuscany assured him, that he had the lion from that very friend of his. I am, Sir,
. Your most obedient servant,
• and constant reader,' &c.' * Lately published the third edition carefully revised, and correctly printed in two pocket volumes, of Female Falsehood; or, the life and adventures of a late French nobleman. Written by himself after his retirement, and digested by M. de St. Evremond. The third edition, revised and corrected.
• Beauty, like ice, our footing doth betray;
And see the dangers which we cannot shun.' DRYDEN.
No. 147. SATURDAY, AUGUST 29, 1713.*
Bonum est, fugienda aspicere alieno in malo.
Having in my paper of the 21st of July', shewed my dislike of the ridiculous custom of garnishing a newmarried couple, and setting a gloss upon their per
u See No. 113.
No. 1 47.
sons which is to last no longer than the honeymoon ; I think it may be much for the emolument of my disciples of both sexes, to make them sensible, in the next place, of the folly of launching out into extravagant expences, and a more magnificent way of living immediately upon marriage. If the bride and bridegroom happen to be persons of any rank, they come into all public places, and go upon all visits with so gay an equipage, and so glittering an appearance, as if they were making so many public entries. But to judicious minds, and to men of experience in this life, the gilt chariot, the coach and six, the gaudy liveries, the supernumerary train of servants, the great house, the sumptuous table, the services of plate, the embroidered clothes, the rich brocades, and the profusion of jewels, that upon this occasion break out at once, are so many symptoms of madness in the happy pair, and prognostications of their future misery.
I remember a country neighbour of my lady Lizard's, squire Wiseacre by name, who enjoyed a very clear estate of 500l. per annum, and by living frugally upon it was beforehand in the world. This gentleman unfortunately fell in love with Mrs. Fanny Flippant, the then reigning toast in those parts. In a word, he married her, and to give a lasting proof of his affection, consented to make both her and himself miserable by setting out in the high mode of wedlock. He, in less than the space of five years, was reduced to starve in prison for debt; and his lady, with a son and three daughters, became a burden to the parish. The conduct of Frank Foresight was the very reverse to squire Wiseacre's. He had lived a bachelor some years about this town, in the best of companies ; kept a chariot and four footmen,
v See No. 114. ad finem. Tom Truelove.
besides six saddle horses; he did not exceed, but went to the utmost stretch of his income; but when he married the beautiful Clarinda, who brought him a plentiful fortune, he dismissed two of his footmen, four of the saddle horses, and his chariot; and kept only a chair for the use of his lady. Embroidered clothes and laced linen were quite laid aside; he was married in a plain drugget, and from that time forward, in all the accommodations of life, never coveted any thing beyond cleanliness and conveniency. When any of his acquaintance asked him the reason of this sudden change, he would answer, · In a single life I could easily compute my wants, and provide against them; but the condition of life I am now. engaged in, is attended with a thousand unforeseen casualties, as well as a great many distant, but unavoidable expenses. The happiness or misery, in this world, of a future progeny, will probably depend upon my good or ill husbandry. I shall never think I have discharged my duty until I have laid up a provision for three or four children at least.' But, pr’ythee Frank,' says a pert coxcomb that stood by, “why should'st thou reckon thy chickens before
upon which he cut him short, and replied, “It is no matter; a brave man can never want heirs, while there is one man of worth living. This precautious way of reasoning and acting has proved to Mr. Foresight and his lady an uninterrupted source of felicity. Wedlock sits light and easy upon them; and they are at present happy in two sons and a daughter, who a great many years hence will feel the good effects of their parents' prudence.
My memory fails me in recollecting where I have read, that in some parts of Holland it is provided by law, that every man, before he marries, shall be
w I believe it is in Swisserland. A.