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No. 51. SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 1709*.
Quicquid agunt hominus,
—nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86. Whate'er men do, or ay, or think, or dream, Our motley Paper seizes for its theme.
WHITE'S CHOCOLATE-HOUSE, AUGUST 5.
Continuation of the Historiette of ROBERT FIELDING, Esq. under the
fictitious name of ORLANDO the Faira. FORTUNE being now propitious to the gay Orlando, he dressed, he spoke, he moved as a man might be supposed to do in a nation of pygmies, and had an equal value for our approbation or dislike. It is usual for those who profess a contempt for the world, to fly from it and live in obscurity ; but Orlando, with a greater magnanimity, contemned it, and appeared in it to tell them so. If therefore, his exalted mien met with an unwelcome reception, he was sure always to double the cause which gave the distaste. You see our beauties affect a negligence in the ornament of their hair, and adjusting their head-dresses, as conscious that they adorn whatever they wear. Orlando had not only this humour in common with other beauties, but also had a neglect whether things became him, or not, in a world he contemned. For this reason, a noble particularity appeared in all his economy, furniture, and equipage. And to convince the present little race, how unequal all their measures were to an Antediluvian as he called himself, in respect of the insects which now appear for men, he sometimes rode in an open tumbril, of less size than ordinary, to show the largeness of his limbs and the grandeur of his personage to the greater advantage. At other seasons, all his appointments had a magnificence, as if it were formed by the genius of Trimalchio of old, which showed itself in doing ordinary things with an air of pomp and grandeur. Orlando therefore called for tea by beat of drum ; his valet got ready to shave him by a trumpet to horse; and water was brought for his teeth, when the sound was changed to boots and saddle.
* STEELE's. a See Tatler, No. 50. and notes.
In all these glorious excesses from the common practice did the happy Orlando live and reign in an uninterrupted tranquillity, until an unlucky accident brought to his remembrance, that, one evening, he was married before he courted the nuptials of Villaria. Several fatal memorandums were produced to revive the memory of this accident; and the unhappy lover was for ever banished her presence to whom he owed the support of his just renown and gallantry. But distress does not debase noble minds; it only changes the scene, and gives them new glory by that alteration. Orlando therefore now raves in a garret, and calls to his neighbour-skies to pity his dolours, and to find redress for an unhappy lover. All high spirits, in any great agitation of mind, are inclined to relieve themselves by poetry: the renowned porter of Oliverf had not more volumes
b Egerton confirms what is here said of Fielding's vanity in displaying his figure, and relates an instance of this affectation which went near to cost him his life. At a representation of the ó Scornful Lady,' for the benefit of Mrs. Oldfield, in pressing forward to show himself, Fielding trod on Mr. Fulwood, a barrister in Gray’s-inn, and, in answer to the charge of rudeness, clapped his hand to his sword; Fulwood instantly drew, and gave him a wound of twelve inches deep in the belly. This irascible lawyer was killed in a duel, the very same night, by captain Cusack, whom he challenged at the theatre in Lincoln's-inn-fields.-Egerton's · Memoirs,'
It is said that Fielding was not a man of real courage; that he run a link-boy through the body in St. Martin's-lane; and that he was caned and wounded by Mr. Price, a Welsh gentleman, at the same theatre abovementioned.'- Memoirs of Gamesters, &c.' 12mo, 1714, p. 211, &c.
Fielding's dress was always extraordinary, and the liveries of his footmen were equally fantastical; they generally wore yellow coats, with black feathers in their hats, and black sashes.- Ibidem, p. 208.
. The author humourously alludes to Fielding's trial for felony, of which an account has been given in a note in No. 50.
d Villaria means Barbara Villiers, the daughter and heiress of William Villiers, lord viscount Grandison in the kingdom of Ireland, who died in a short time after of the wounds he received at the battle of Edgehill in 1642. Her portrait, in the figure of Pallas, may be seen in the gallery of beauties at Windsor. She was born in or about the year 1642. Her first appearance in London was in no very affluent circumstances; but her extraordinary beauty procured her many admirers; and, among the rest, Roger Palmer, esq. a student in the Temple, and the heir of an ample fortune, who married her much against the will of his father, not long before the restoration of king Charles II. in 1660. Her criminal connexion with that king began, it is said, at his reign, in the thirteenth year of which he conferred on Mr. Palmer the title of earl of Castlemain in the kingdom of Ireland. She was delivered of a daughter in 1661, while she still cohabited with Mr. Palmer, who parted from her soon after. This Messalina was not more faithful to his majesty than she had been to her husband: but there is no possibility of comprising in a note the detail of her very various amours, aud the fruits of them. In 1670 she was created baroness of Nonsuch in Surrey, countess of Southampton, and duchess of Cleveland, for her natural life, with remainder to Charles and George Fitzroy, her eldest and third sons, and their heirs male. It does not appear that the king lived with her as a mistress after 1672; nor that he ever owned her daughter Barbara, who was born in that year, and became afterwards a nun at Pontoise in France. The unfortunate earl of Castlemain died in Wales in 1705, and left her at liberty to marry 'the handsome Fielding, a gentleman (says the annalist of queen Anne) of noble extraction, and justly entitled to that appellation, nature having contributed so very much towards the comeliness of his person, and the goodliness of his shape, that he exceeded any one man I ever yet saw in my life. The duchess had a constant income of 100l. a-week, paid her out of the Post Office, and a house at Chiswick, where, in about two years after her divorce from Fielding, she became dropsical, swelled to a monstrous size, and died Oct. 9, 1709, aged 69. She left her grandson, the duke of Grafton, her sole executor, who buried her in a manner privately, in the parish church of Chiswick, the dukes of Ormond and Hamilton, the earls of Essex and Grantham, the earl of Lifford, and lord Berkley of Stratton, holding up the pall. Annals of queen Anne,' year 8, 1710, p. 387, et seqq.
e The author of memoirs of Fielding, in the Select Trials, admits, that for all the ludicrous air and pleasantry of this narrative, the truth of facts
and characters is in general fairly represented; but denies his being reduced to vent his dolours in a garret. The imprisonment, however, mertioned by that memorialist, seems to justify this circumstance of the relation. It appears from Fielding's last will, dated April 21, 1712, that he was perfectly reconciled to Mary Wadsworth, for he styles her there his dear and loving wife ; and after leaving legacies among his friends to the amount of 1300l. constitutes her his whole and sole executrix. In cohabitation with her, and under her care, he died of a fever, at their house in Scotland-yard, aged 61.- Select Trials,' vol. v. passim. Memoirs of Gamesters,' p. 216.
f Cromwell's porter is said to have been the original from which Caius Gabriel, father of Colley Cibber, copied one of the lunatic figures on Bedlam gate, which are, says his son, no ill monuments of his fame as an artist. That this man was remarkably tall is very probable from the figure of a large 0 on the back of the terrace at Windsor, reported to have been the standard of his height. Be this as it may, his Christian name was Daniel; he was many years in Bedlam, and when his cure was despaired of, he was allowed the use of his library, in which the most conspicuous book was a large Bible, given to him by Nell Gwynn. He is said to have turned his brain by plodding in books of mystical divinity, and to have had much of the cant which prevailed at that time. He frequently preached, sometimes prophesied, and foretold, it was said, several remarkable events, particularly the great fire of London. Butler seems to allude to this frantic enthusiast in the following lines :
· Had lights where better eyes were blind,
Hudib. Mr. Charles Leslie, who places Daniel with Fox and Muggleton, tells us in his “ Snake in the Grass,' edit. 1698, p. 330 and p. 327, that sober people often went to hear him preach, and would sit for hours under his window with great devotion. He adds, that a gentleman having asked a grave woman in this situation, what profit she could derive from hearing a madman rave; she, with a composed countenance, as pitying his ignorance, replied, “ That Festus thought Paul was mad.'-Granger's ' Biogr. Hist. of England,' vol. ii. part ii. p. 460, &c. ,
In King's - Remarks on the Tale of a Tub,' there is the following passage : “The book was written (says one) by a surgeon's man who had married a midwife's nurse. But (cries another) Oliver's porter had an amanuensis in Bedlam, who used to transcribe what he dictated; and may not these be some scattered notes of his master's?' To which all replied that though Oliver's porter was crazed, his misfortune never made him for
around his cell in the college of Bedlam, than Orlando in his present apartment. And though inserting poetry in the midst of prose he thought a licence among correct writers not to be indulged, it is hoped the necessity of doing it, to give a just idea of the hero of whom we treat, will plead for the liberty we shall hereafter take, to print Orlando's soliloquies in verse and prose, after the manner of great wits, and such as those to whom they are near allied.
WILL'S COFFEE-HOUSE, AUGUST 5. A Good company of us were this day to see, or rather to hear, an artful person do several feats of activity with his throat and windpipe. The first thing wherewith he presented us, was a ring of bells, which he imitated in a most miraculous manner; after that, he gave us all the different notes of a pack of hounds, to our great delight and astonishment. The company expressed their applause with much noise ; and never was heard such a harmony of men and dogs: but a certain plump merry fellow, from an angle of the room, fell a crowing like a cock so ingeniously, that he won our hearts from the other operator in an instant. As soon as I saw him, I recollected I had seen him on the stage, and immediately knew it to be Tom Mirrour", the comical actor. He immediately
get that he was a Christian.'—Dr. King's · Works, 1776, vol. i. p. 217,
8 The Annotator has been informed, on very respectable authority, that the artful person' here alluded to was a man well known at that time under the name of Clench of Barnet. In the London Daily Post, 1734, it
appears that on Dec. 11, in that year, died, aged about 70, the famous Mr. Clench, of Barnet, who diverted the town many years with imitating
woman, pack of hounds, &c. b Mr. Richard Estcourt, commonly called Dick Estcourt, celebrated for his mimic powers, in which he was inimitable. See Tatler, No. 20. and Spect. Nos. 358. 468, and Supplement to Swift's “Works, vol. ii. p. 437.
a drunken man,