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posed to the most gallant army and the most intrepid leaders that ever the sun shone upon, are treated by the talk of some in this room as objections to the merit of our general and our army : but,' continued he, • I leave all the examination of this matter, and a proper discourse on our sense of public actions, to my friend Mr. Bickerstaff; who may let beaux and gamesters rest, until he has examined into the reasons of men's being malcontents, in the only nation that suffers professed enemies to breathe in open air.'
FROM MY OWN APARTMENT, SEPTEMBER 7. The following letters are sent to me from relations ; and though I do not know who, and who are intended, I publish them. I have only writ nonsense, if there is nothing in them; and done a good action, if they alarm any heedless men against the fraternity of the Knights, whom the Greeks call Páonans.
• It is taken very ill by several gentlemen here, that you are so little vigilant as to let the dogs run from their kennels to this place. Had you done your duty, we should have had notice of their arrival; but the sharpers are now become so formidable here, that they have divided themselves into nobles and commons: beau Bogg, beau Pert, Rake, and Tallboy, are of their upper house ; broken captains, ignorant attorneys, and such other bankrupts from industrious professions, compose their lower order, Among these two sets of men, there happened here lately some unhappy differences. Esquire Humphry came down among us with four hundred guineas : his raw appearance, and certain signals in the goodnatured muscles of Humphry's countenance, alarmed
& See Tatler, Nos. 56. 57. 59. 61. 62. and 64.
the societies; for sharpers are as skilful as beggars in physiognomy, and know as well where to hope for plunder, as the others to ask for alms. Pert was the man exactly fitted for taking with Humphry, as a fine gentleman; for a raw fool is ever enamoured with his contrary, a coxcomb; and a coxcomb is what the booby, who wants experience and is unused to company, regards as the first of men. He ever looks at him with envy, and would certainly be such, if he were not oppressed by his rusticity or bashfulness. There arose an entire friendship by this sympathy between Pert and Humphry, which ended in stripping the latter. We now could see this forlorn youth for some days moneyless, without sword, and one day without his hat, and with secret melancholy pining for his snuff-box~the jest of the whole town, but most of those who robbed him.
• At last fresh bills came down, when immediately their countenances cleared up, ancient kindnesses and familiarity renewed, and to dinner he was invited by the fraternity. You are to know, that while he was in his days of solitude, a commoner, who was excluded from his share of the prey, had whispered the esquire that he was bit, and cautioned him of venturing again. However, hopes of recovering his snuff-box, which was given him by his aunt, made him fall to play after dinner; yet, mindful of what he was told, he saw something that provoked him to tell them they were a company of sharpers. Presently Tallboy fell on him, and, being too hard at fisty-cuffs, drove him out of doors. The valiant Pert followed, and kicked him in his turn; which the esquire resented, as being nearer his match; so challenged him: but differing about time and place, friends interposed, for he had still money left, and persuaded him to ask pardon for provoking them to
beat him, and they asked his for doing it. The house, consulting whence Humphry could have his information, concluded it must be from some malicious commoner; and, to be revenged, beau Bogg watched their haunts, and in a shop where some of them were at play with ladies, showed dice which he found, or pretended to find, upon them; and, declaring how false they were, warned the company to take care who they played with. By his seeming candour, he cleared his reputation at least to fools and some silly women ; but it was still blasted by the esquire's story with thinking men: however, he gained a great point by it; for the next day he got the company shut up with himself and fellow-members, and robbed them at discretion.
'I cannot express to you with what indignation I behold the noble spirit of gentlemen degenerated to that of private cut-purses. It is in vain to hope a remedy, while so many of the fraternity get and enjoy estates of twenty, thirty, and fifty thousand pounds, with impunity, creep into the best conversations, and spread the infectious villany through the nation, while the lesser rogues, that rob for hunger or nakedness, are sacrificed by the blind and, in this respect, partial and defective law. Could you open men's eyes against the occasion of all this, the great corrupter of our manners and morality, the author of more bankrupts than the war, and sure bane of all industry, frugality, and good nature; in a word, of all virtues; I mean, public or private play at cards or dice; how willingly would I contribute my utmost, and possibly send you some memoirs of the lives and politics of some of the fraternity of great figure, that might be of use to you in setting this in a clear light against next session; that all who care for their country or posterity, and see the pernicious effects
with impunha infectious what rob for
of such a public vice, may endeavour its destruction by some effectual laws. In concurrence to this good design, I remain
• Your humble servant, &c.' * Båth, Aug. 30.
• I HEARTILY join with you in your laudable design against the Myrmidons", as well as your late insinuations against Coxcombs of Fire'; and I take this opportunity to congratulate you on the success of your labours which I observed yesterday in one of the hottest Firemen in town; who not only affects a soft smile, but was seen to be thrice contradicted without showing any sign of impatience. These, I say, so happy beginnings promise fair, and on this account I rejoice you have undertaken to unkennel the curs; a work of such use, that I admire it so long escaped your vigilance; and exhort you, by the concern you have for the good people of England, to pursue your design : and, that these vermin may not flatter themselves that they pass undiscovered, I desire you would acquaint Jack Haughty, that the whole secret of his bubbling his friend with the Swiss at the Thatched house is well known, as also his sweetening the knight; and I shall acknowledge the favour.
Your most humble servant, &c.' • Friday, Sept. 2.'
h See Tatler, No. 56. note on Myrmidons. i See Tatler, No. 61.
No. 66. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1709.*
-nostri est farrago libelli. Juv, Sat. i. 85, 86,
WILL'S COFFEE-HOUSE, SEPTEMBER 9. The subject of the discourse this evening was eloquence and graceful action. Lysander, who is some. thing particular in his way of thinking and speaking, told us, “a man could not be eloquent without action: for the deportment of the body, the turn of the eye, and an apt sound to every word that is uttered, must all conspire to make an accomplished speaker. Action in one that speaks in public, is the same thing as a good mien in ordinary life. Thus, as a certain insensibility in the countenance recommends a sentence of humour and jest, so it must be a very lively consciousness that gives grace to great sentiments. The jest is to be a thing unexpected ; therefore your un. designing manner is a beauty in expressions of mirth; but when you are to talk on a set subject, the more you are moved yourself, the more you will move others.
• There is,' said he, a remarkable example of that kind. Æschines, a famous orator of antiquity, had pleaded at Athens in a great cause against Demosthenes; but having lost it, retired to Rhodes.' Eloquence was then the quality most admired among men ; and the magistrates of that place, having heard he had a copy of the speech of Demosthenes, desired him to repeat both their pleadings. After his own, he recited also the oration of his antagonist. The people expressed their admiration of both, but
* SWIFT's and STEELE's. VOL. II.