Abbildungen der Seite

Will's Coffee-house, April 8. On Thursday last was acted for the benefit of Mr. Betterton, the celebrated comedy called Love for Love. Those excellent players, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, and Mr. Dogget, though not at present concerned in the house, acted on that occasion. There has not been known so great a concourse of persons of distinction as at that time; the stage itself was covered with gentlemen and ladies, and when the curtain was drawn, it discovered even there a very splendid audience. This unusual encouragement, which was given to a play for the advantage of so great an actor, gives an undeniable instance, that the true relish for manly entertainments and rational pleasures is not wholly lost. All the parts were acted to perfection; the actors were careful of their carriage, and no one was guilty of the affectation to insert witticisms of his own; but a due remi spect was had to the audience, for encouraging this accomplished player. It is not now doubted but plays will revive, and take their usual place in the opinion of persons of wit and merit, notwithstanding their late apostacy in favour of dress and sound. This place is very much altered since Mr. Dryden frequented it; where you used to see songs, epigrams, and satires, in the hands of every man you met, you have now only a pack of cards; and instead of the cavils about the turn of the expression, the elegance! of the style, and the like, the learned now dispute only about the truth of the game. But however the companyi is altered, all have shewn a great respect for Mr. Betterton: and the very gaming part of this house have been so touched with a sense of the uncertainty of human affairs. (which alter with themselves every moment), that in this gentleman they pitied Mark Antony of Rome, Hamlet of Denmark, Mithridates of Pontus, Theodosius of Greece, and Henry the Eighth of England. It is well known, he has been in the condition of each of those illustrious personages for several hours together, and behaved himself in those high stations, in all the changes of the scene, with suitable dignity. For these reasons, we intend to repeat this late favour to him on a proper occasion, lest he, who can instruct us so well in personating feigned sorrows, should be lost to us by suffering under real ones. The

town is at present in very great expectation of seeing a comedy now in rehearsal, which is the twenty-fifth production of my honoured friend Mr. Thomas D'Urfey; who, besides his great abilities in the dramatic, has a peculiar talent in the lyric way of writing, and that with a manner wholly new and unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans, wherein he is but faintly imitated in the translations of the modern Italian Operas.

· St. James's Coffee-house, April 11. Letters from the Hague of the sixteenth say, that Majorgeneral Cadogan was gone to Brussels, with orders to disperse proper instructions for assembling the whole force of the allies in Flanders, in the beginning of the next month. The late offers concerning peace were made in the style of persons who think themselves upon equal terms: but the allies have so just a sense of their present advantages, that they will not admit of a treaty, except France offers what is more suitable to her present condition. At the same time we make preparations, as if we were alarmed by a greater force than that which we are carrying into the field. Thus this point seems now to be argued sword in hand. This was what a great general * alluded to, when being asked the names of those who were to be plenipotentiaries for the ensuing peace, he answered with a serious air, “ There are about a hundred thousand of us." Mr. Kidney, who has the ear of the greatest politicians that come hither, tells me there is a mail come in to-day with letters, dated Hague, April the nineteenth, N. S. which say, a design of bringing part of our troops into the field, at the latter end of this month, is now altered to a resolution of marching towards the

about the twentieth of the next. Prince Eugene was then returned thither from Amsterdam. He sets out from Brussels on Tuesday : the greater number of the general officers at the Hague have orders to go at the same time. The squadron at Dunkirk consists of seven vessels. There happened the other day, in the road of Scheveling, an engagement between a privateer of Zeeland and one of Dunkirk. The Dunkirker, carrying thirty-three pieces of cannon, was taken and brought into the Texel. It is said the courier of Monsieur Rouille is returned to him from the court of France. Monsieur Vendosme, being reinstated in the favour of the Duchess of Burgundy, is to command in Flanders.


* The Duke of Marlborough.

Mr. Kidney added, that there were letters of the seventeenth from Ghent, which gave an account, that the enemy had formed a design to surprise two battalions of the allies which lay at Alost: but those battalions received advice of their march, and retired to Dendermond. Lieutenantgeneral Wood appeared on this occasion at the head of five thousand foot and one thousand horse: upon which the enemy withdrew, without making any farther attempt.

From my own Apartment. I am sorry I am obliged to trouble the public with so much discourse upon a matter which I at the very first mentioned as a trifle, viz. the death of Mr. Partridge, * under whose name there is an almanack come out for the year 1709; in one page of which is asserted by the said John Partridge, that he is still living, and not only so, but that he was also living some time before, and even at the instant when I writ of his death. I have in another place, and in a paper by itself, sufficiently convinced this man that he is dead, and if he has any shame, I do not doubt but that by this time he owns it to all his acquaintance: for though the legs and arms and whole body of that man may still appear, and perform their animal functions; yet şince, as I have elsewhere observed, his art is gone, the man is gone.

I am, as I said, concerned that this little matter should make so much noise; but since I am engaged, I take myself obliged in honour to go on in my lucubrations, and by the helps of these arts of which I am master, as well as my skill in astrological speculations, I shall, as I see occasion, proceed to confute other dead men, who pretend to be in being, although they are actually deceased. I therefore give all men fair warning to mend their manners; for I shall from time to time print bills of mortality: and I beg the pardon of all such who shall be named therein, if they who are good for nothing shall find themselves in the number of the deceased.

* Dr. Swift, in his · Predictions for 1708,' foretold that Partridge, the almanack-maker, would infallibly die on the 29th of March, about eleven at night of a raging fever. The wits resolved to support this prediction, and uniformly insisted that Partridge actually died at that time,

N° 2. THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 1709.

Quicquid agunt homines

-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. Pope.

: Will's Coffee-house, April 13. WHERE has lain all this evening on the table the follow

for families, I thought it deserved to be considered and made more public. The turn the poet gives it is very happy; but the foundation is from a real accident which happened among my acquaintance. A young gentleman of great estate fell desperately in love with a great beauty of very high quality, but as ill-natured as long flattery and a habitual self-will could make her. However, my young spark ventures upon her like a man of quality, without being acquainted with her, or having ever saluted her, until it was a crime to kiss any woman else.

Beauty is a thing which palls with possession: and the charms of this lady soon wanted the support of good-humour and complacency of manners : upon this my spark flies to the bottle for relief from satiety. She disdains him for being tired with that for which all men envied him; and he never came home, but it was“ Was there no sot that would stay longer? would any man living but you? did I leave all the world for this usage?" to which he—“Madam, split me, you are very impertinent !" In a word, this match was wedlock in its most terrible appearances. She, at last, weary of railing to no purpose, applies to a good uncle, who gives her a bottle, he pretended he had bought of Mr. Partridge, the conjurer. This, said he, I gave ten guineas for. The virtue of the enchanted liquor (said he that sold it) is such, that if the woman you marry proves a scold (which, it seems, my dear niece, is your misfortune; as it was your good mother's before you), let her hold three spoonsful in her mouth for a full half hour after you come home-but I find I am not in humour for telling a tale: and nothing in nature is so ungraceful as story-telling against the grain; therefore take it as the author has given it to you.


Miss Molly, a fam’d Toast, was fair and young,
Had wealth and charms--but then she had a tongue !
From morn to night th' eternal larum run,
Which often lost those hearts her eyes had won.

Sir John was smitten, and confess'd his flame,
Sigh'd out the usual time, then wed the dame;
Possess’d, he thought, of ev'ry joy of life:
But his dear Molly proved a very wife.
Excess of fondness did in time decline,
Madam lov'd money, and the Knight lov'd wine :
From whence some petty discord would arise,
As, 'You're a fool!'-and, 'You are mighty wise !

Though he and all the world allow'd her wit,
Her voice was shrill, and rather loud than sweet;
When she began, for hat and sword he'd call,
Then after a faint kiss cry,' B'ye, dear Moll:
Supper and friends expect me at the Rose.'
* And what, Sir John, you'll get your usual dose !
Go, stink of smoke, and guzzle nasty wine :
Sure, never virtuous love was used like mine!

Oft as the watchful bellman marched his round,
At a fresh bottle gay Sir John he found.
By four the knight would get his business done,
And only then reeld off-because alone;
Full weil he knew the dreadful storm to come;
But, arm’d with Bourdeaux, he durst venture home.

My lady with her tongue was still prepar'd,
She rattled loud, and he impatient heard :
• 'Tis a fine hour! in a sweet pickle made !
And this, Sir John, is every day the trade.
Here I sit moping all the live-long night,
Devour'd with spleen, and stranger to delight';
'Till morn sends staggering home a drunken beast,
Resolved to break my heart, as well as rest.'

Hey! hoop! d'ye hear my damn'd obstreperous spouse;
What, can't you find one bed about the house?
Will that perpetual clack lie never still !
That rival to the softness of a mill!
Some couch and distant room must be my choice,
Where I may sleep uncurs’d with wife and noise.'

Long this uncomfortable life they led,
With snarling meals, and each a sep'rate bed.
To an old uncle oft she would complain,
Beg his advice, and scarce from tears refrain.

* These verses are by Mr. William Harrison.

« ZurückWeiter »