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59 are so justly laughed at for their sonnets on Phillis and Chloris, and fantastical descriptions in them; that an ingenious kinsman of mine, of the family of the Staffs, Mr. Humphrey Wagstaff by name, has, to avoid their strain, run into a way perfectly new, and described things exactly as they happen:. he never forms fields, or nymphs, or groves, where they are not; but makes the incidents just as they really appear. For an example of it; I stole out of his manuscript the following lines: they are a description of the morning, but of the morning in town; nay, of the morning at this end of the town, where my kinsman at present lodges.
Now hardly here and there a hackney coach Sigle
And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands. All that I apprehend is, that dear Numps will be angry I have published these lines; not that he has any reason to be ashamed of them, but for fear of those rogues, the bane to all excellent performances, the imitators. Therefore, beforehand, I bar all descriptions of the evening; as, a medley of verses signifying gray peas are now cried warm; that wenches now begin to amble round the passages of the playhouse: or of noon; as, that fine ladies and great beaux are just yawning out of their beds and windows in Pall-mall, and so forth. I forewarn also all persons from encouraging any draughts after my cousin ; and foretell any man who shall go about to imitate him, that he will be very insipid. The family-stock is embarked
* Dr. Swift.
in this design, and we will not admit of counterfeits : Dr. Anderson and his heirs enjoy his pills; Sir William Read+ has the cure of eyes; and Monsieur Rosselli I only can cure the gout. We pretend to none of these things ; but to examine who and who are together, to tell any
mistaken man he is not what he believes he is, to distinguish merit, and expose false pretences to it; is a liberty our family has by law in them, from an intermarriage with a daughter of Mr. Scoggin, the famous droll of the last century. This right I design to make use of; but will not encroach
upon the above-mentioned adepts, or any other. At the same time, I shall take all the privileges I may as an Englishman, and will lay hold of the late act of naturalization to introduce what I shall think fit from France. The use of that law may, I hope, be extended to people the polite world with new characters, as well as the kingdom itself with new subjects. Therefore, an author of that nation, called La Bruyere, I shall make bold with on such occasions: the last person I read of in that writer was Lord Timon. Timon, says my author, is the most generous of all men: but is so hurried away with that strong impulse of bestowing, that he confers benefits without distinction, and is munificent without laying obligations: for all the unworthy, who receive from him, have so little sense of this noble infirmity, that they look upon themselves rather as partners in a spoil, than partakers of a bounty. The other day, coming into Paris, I met Timon going out on horseback, attended only by one servant. It struck me with a sudden damp, to see a man of so excellent a disposition, and who understood inaking a figure so well, so much shortened in his retinue: but, passing by his house, I saw his great coach break to pieces before his door, and by a strange enchantment immediately turned into many different vehicles. The first was a very pretty chariot, into which stepped his Lordship's secretary: the second was hung a little heavier; into that strutted the fat steward; Anderson
was a Scotch physician in the reigns of Charles I. and Charles II.
+ The Queen's oculist. It is said that though he was wonderfully successful, he could neither read nor write.
# Rosselli, sufficiently known from the romance of his life, which was written by himself.
Ś Scoggin was a buffoon in the reign of King James I.
in an instant followed a chaise, which was entered by the butler. The rest of the body and wheels were forthwith changed into go-carts, and run away with by the nurses and brats of the rest of the family. What makes these misfortunes in the affairs of Timon the more astonishing is, that he has better understanding than those who cheat him; so that a man knows not which more to wonder at; the indifference of the master, or the impudence of the servant.
White's Chocolate-house, April 29. It is a matter of much speculation among the beaux and oglers, what it is that can have made so sudden a change, as has been of late observed, in the whole behaviour of Pastorella, who never sat still a moment until she was eighteen, which she has now exceeded by two months. Her aunt, who has the care of her, has not been always so rigid as she is at this present date; but has so good a sense of the frailty of woman, and falsehood of man, that she resolved on all manner of methods to keep Pastorella, if possible, in safety, against herself and all her admirers. At the same time the good lady kuew, by long experience,
inclination, curbed too rashly, would but run to the greater excesses for that restraint; she therefore intended to watch her, and take some opportunity of engaging her insensibly in her own interests, without the anguish of an admonition. You are to know then, that miss, with all her flirting and ogling, had also a strong curiosity in her, and was the greatest eaves-dropper breathing. Parisatis (for so her prudent aunt is called) observed this humour, and retires one day to her closet, into which she knew Pastorella would peep, and listen to know how she was employed. It happened accordingly; and the young lady saw her good governante on her knees, and after a mental behaviour, break into these words: “ As for the dear child committed to my care, let her sobriety of carriage, and severity of behaviour, be such as may make that noble lord who is taken with her beauty, turn his designs to such as are honourable.” Here Parisatis heard her piece nestle closer to the key-hole: she then goes on. “Ma
her the joyful mother of a numerous and wealthy offspring ; and let her carriage be such, as may make this noble youth ex
that a gay
pect the blessings of a happy marriage, from the singularity of her life, in this loose and censorious age.”. Miss, having heard enough, sneaks off for fear of discovery, and immediately at her glass alters the sitting of her head; then pulls up her tucker; and forms herself into the exact manner of Lindamira ; in a word, becomes a sincere convert to every thing that is commendable in a fine young lady; and two or three such matches, as her aunt feigned in her devotions, are at this day in her choice. This is the history and original cause of Pastorella's conversion from coquetry. The prudence in the management of this young lady's temper, and good judgment of it, is hardly to be exceeded. I scarce remember a greater instance of forbearance of the usual peevish way with which the aged treat the young than this, except that of our famous Noy, whose goodnature went so far, as to make him put off his admonitions to his son, even until after his death; and did not give him his thoughts of him until he came to read that memorable passage in his will: “ All the rest of my estate," says he, “I leave to my son Edward (who is executor to this my will), to be squandered as he shall think fit: I leave it him for that purpose, and hope no better from him.” A generous disdain, and reflection upon how little he deserved from so excellent a father, reformed the young man, and made Edward, from an arrant rake, become a fine gentleman,
St. James's Coffee-house, April 29. Letters from Portugal of the eighteenth instant, dated from Estremos, say, that on the sixth the Earl of Galloway arrived at that place, and had the satisfaction to see the quarters well furnished with all manner of provisions, and a quantity of bread sufficient for subsisting the troops for sixty days, besides biscuits for twenty-five days. The enemy give out, that they shall bring into the field fourteen regiments of horse, and twenty-four battalions. The troops in the service of Portugal will make up 14,000 foot, and 4000 horse. On the day these letters were dispatched, the Earl of Galloway received advice, that the Marquis de Bay was preparing for some enterprise, by gathering his troops together on the frontiers ; whereupon his Excellency resolved to go that same night to Villa Viciosa, to
assemble the troops in that neighbourhood, in order to disappoint his designs.
Yesterday, in the evening, Captain Foxon, aid-de-camp to Major-general Cadogan, arrived here express from the Duke of Marlborough. And this day a mail is come in with letters from Brussels, of the sixth of May, N.S., which advise, that the enemy had drawn together a body, consisting of 20,000 men, with a design, as was supposed, to intercept the great convoy on the march towards Lisle, which was safely arrived at Menin and Courtray, in its way to that place, the French having retired without making any attempt.
We hear from the Hague, that a person of the first quality is arrived in the Low Countries from France, in order to be a plenipotentiary in an ensuing treaty of peace.
Letters from France acknowledge, that Monsieur Bernard has made no higher offers of satisfaction to his creditors than 35l. per cent.
These advices add, that the Marshal Boufflers, Monsieur Torcy(who distinguished himself formerly, by advising the court of France to adhere to the treaty of Partition), and Monsieur d'Harcourt (who negotiated with Cardinal Portocarrero for the succession of the crown of Spain in the house of Bourbon), are all three joined in a commission for a treaty of peace. The marshal is come to Ghent; the other two are arrived at the Hague.
It is confidently reported here, that the Right Honourable the Lord Townshend is to go with his Grace the Duke Marlborough into Holland.
*** Mr. Bickerstaff has received the epistles of Mrs. Rebecca Wagstaff, Timothy Pikestaff, and Wagstaff, which he will acknowledge farther as occasion shall serve.