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White's Chocolate-house, April 7.
THE deplorable condition of a very pretty gentleman, who walks here at the hours when men of quality first pear, is what is very much lamented. His history is, That on the ninth of September, 1705, being in his one and twentieth year, he was washing his teeth at a tavern window in Pall-Mall, when a fine equipage paffed by, and in it a young lady who looked up at him; away goes the coach, and the young gentleman pulled off his night-cap, and inftead of rubbing his gums, as he ought to do, out of the window until about four of the clock, fits him down and spoke not a word until twelve at night; after which 'he began to inquire if any body knew the lady?-The company asked, What lady? but he faid no more, until they broke up at fix in the morning. All the ensuing winter he went from church to church every Sunday, and from playhouse to playhouse every night in the week; but could never find the original of the picture which dwelt in his bofom. In a word, his attention to any thing but his paffion was utterly gone. He has loft all the money he ever played for, and been confuted in every argument he has entered upon, fince the moment he first faw her. He is of a noble family, has naturally a very good air, and is of a frank honeft temper: but this paffion has fo extremely mauled him, that his features are fet and uninformed, and his whole vifage is deadened, by a long abfence of thought. He never appears in any alacrity, but when raised by wine, at which time he is fure to come hither, and throw away a great deal of wit on fellows who have no sense farther than just to obferve, that our poor lover has most understanding when he is drunk, and is least in his senses when he is sober.
Will's Coffee-houfe, April 8.
On Thursday laft was acted, for the benefit of Mr. Betterton, the celebrated comedy called Love for Love. Thofe excellent players, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, B 2
and Mr. Dogget, though not at present concerned in the houfe, acted on that occafion. There has not been known fo great a concourfe of perfons of diftinction as at that time; the ftage itself was covered with gentlemen and ladies, and when the curtain was drawn, it discovered even there a very fplendid audience. This unufual encouragement, which was given to a play for the advantage of fo great an actor, gives an undeniable inftance, that. the true relish for manly entertainments and rational pleasures, is not wholly loft. All the parts were acted to perfection: the actors were careful of their carriage, and no one was guilty of the affectation to infert witticisms of his own; but a due respect 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 perfons of wit and merit, notwithstanding their late apoftafy in favour of dress and found. This place is very much altered fince Mr. Dryden frequented it; where you used to fee fongs, epigrams, and fatires, in the hands of every man you met, you have now only a pack of cards; and inftead of the cavils about the turn of the expreffion, the elegance of the ftyle, and the like, the learned now difpute only about the truth of the game. however the company is altered, all have fhewn a great refpect for Mr. Betterton: and the very gaming part of this house haye been so much touched with a fenfe 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, Theodofius of Greece, and Henry the Eighth of England. It is well known he has been in the condition of each of thofe illuftrious perfonages for feveral hours to gether, and behaved himself in those high stations, in all the changes of the fcene, with fuitable dignity. For these reafons, we intend to repeat this favour to him on a proper occafion, left he, who can inftruct us fo well in perfonating feigned forrows, fhould be loft to us by fuffering under real ones. The town is at prefent in very great expectation of feeing a comedy now in rehearsal, which is the twenty-fifth production of my honoured friend Mr. Thomas D'Urfey;
D'Urfey; who, befides 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 tranflations of the modern Italian operas.
St. James's Coffee-boufe, April 11.
LETTERS from the Hague of the fixteenth fay, that major general Cadogan was gone to Bruffels, with orders to difperfe proper inftructions for affembling the whole force of the allies in Flanders, in the beginning of the next month. The late offers concerning peace were made in the ftyle of perfons who think themfelves upon equal terms but the allies have so just a sense, of their prefent advantages, that they will not admit of a treaty except France offers what is more fuitable to her perfent condition. At the fame 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 feems now to be argued fword in hand. This was what a great general alluded to, when, being afked the names of those. who were to be plenipotentiaries for the enfuing peace, he answered with a ferious air, There are about an hun'dred thousand of us. Mr. Kidney, who has the ear of the greatett politicians that come hither, tells me, there is a mail come in to-day with letters, dated Hague, April the nineteenth N. S. which fay, a design of bringing part of our troops into the field, at the latter end of this month, is now altered to a refolution of marching towards the camp about the twentieth of the next. There happened the other day, in the road of Scheveling, an engagement between a privateer of Zealand, and one of Dunkirk. The Dunkirker, carrying thirty-three pieces of cannon, was taken and brought into the Texel. It is faid the courier of monfieur Rouille is returned to him from the court of France. Monfieur Vendofme, being re-inftated in the favour of the duchefs of Burgundy, is to command in Flanders.
Mr. Kidney added, that there were letters of the feven
teenth from Ghent, which give an account, that the enemy had formed a defign to surprise two battalions of the allies which lay at Aloft: but those battalions received advice of their march, and retired to Dendermond. Lieutenant general Wood appeared on this occafion at the head of five hundred foot and one thousand horse; upon which the enemy withdrew, without making any farther attempt.
From my own Apartment.
I AM forry I am obliged to trouble the public with fo much difcourfe upon a matter which I at the very firft 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 it is afferted by the faid John Partridge, that he is ftill living, and not only fo, but that he was also living fome time before, and even at the inftant when I writ of his death. I have in another place, and in a paper by itself, fufficiently convinced this man that he is dead, and, if he has any fhame, 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 ftill appear, and perform their animal functions; yet fince, as I have elsewhere observed, his art is gone, the man is gone. I am, as I faid, concerned, that this little matter fhould make so much noife; but fince I am engaged, I take myself obliged in honour to go on in my lucubrations, and by the help of thofe arts of which I am mafter, as well as my skill in aftrological fpeculations, I fhall, as I fee occafion, proceed to confute other dead men, who pretend to be in being, that they are actually deceased. I therefore give all men fair warning to amend their manners; for I fhall from time to time print bills of mortality: and I beg the pardon of all such who fhall be named therein, if they who are good for nothing fhall find themfelves in the number of the deceafed.
NO. 2. THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 1709.
Will's Coffee-boufe, April 13.
THERE has lain all this evening on the table the following poem. The fubject of it being matter very useful for families, I thought it deferved to be confidered, and made inore 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 a great eftate fell desperately in love with a great beauty of very high quality, but as ill-natured as long flattery and an habitual felf-will could make her. However, my young spark ventures upon her like a man of quality, without being acquainted with her, or having ever faluted her until it was a crime to kifs any woman else. Beauty is a thing which palls with poffeffion; and the charms of this lady foon wanted the fupport of good humour and complacency of manners. Upon this, my. fpark flies to the bottle for relief from his fatiety She difdains him for being tired with that for which all men envied him; and he never came home, but it wasWas there no fot that would ftay longer? would any man living but you? did I leave all the world for this ufage? To which he-Madam, fplit me, you are very impertinent! In a word, this match was wedlock in its moft 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 a conjurer. This, faid he, I gave ten guineas for. The virtue of the inchanted liquor (faid he that fold it) is fuch, that if the woman you marry proves a fcold (which, it feems, my dear niece, is your misfortune, as it was your good mother's before you), let her hold three spoonfuls 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 fo ingrateful as ftory telling against the grain, therefore take it as the author has given it you.