« PredošláPokračovať »
him. He likewise alleged, that several ladies had complained of the prosecutor, who, after ogling them a quarter of an hour, upon their making a courtesy to him, would not return the civility of a bow. The Censor observing several glances of the prosecutor's eye, and perceiving that when he talked to the court he looked upon the jury, found reason to suspect there was a wrong cast in his sight, which, upon examination, proved true. The Ceno sor therefore ordered the prisoner, that he might not produce any more confusions in public assemblies; “ never to bow to any body whom he did not at the same time call to by name."
Oliver Bluff and Benjamin Browbeat were indicted for going to fight a duel since the erection of “ The Court of Honour." It appeared, that they were both taken up in the street as they passed by the court in their way to the fields behind Montague-bouse. The criminals would answer nothing for themselves, but that they were going to execute a challenge which had been made a week before the “ Court of Honour" was erected. The Censor finding some reason to suspect, by the sturdiness of their behaviour, that they were not so very brave as they would have the court believe them, ordered them both to be searched by the grand jury, who found a brcast-plate upon the one, and two quires of paper upon the other. The breast-plate was immediately ordered to be hung upon a peg over Mr. Bickerstaft's tribunal, and the paper to be laid upon the table for the use of his clerk. He then ordered the criminals to button up thcir bosoms, and, if they plcascd, proceed to their duel. Upon which they both went very quictly out of the court, and retired to their respective lodgings.-“ The Court theq adjourned until after the holidays." Copia vera.
N° 266. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21,1710.
Rideau et pulset lasciva decentiùs etas.
HOR. 2 Ep. II. ult.
From my own Apartment, December 20. It would be a good appendix to “ The Art of Living and Dying,” if any one would write “ The Art of growing Old,” and teach men to resign their pretensions to the pleasures and gallantries of youth, in proportion to the alteration they find in themselves by the approach of age and infirmities. The infirmities of this stage of life would be much fewer, if we did not affect those which attend the more vigorous and active part of our days; but instead of studying to be wiser, or being contented with our present follies, the ambition of many of us is also to be the same sort of fools we formerly have been. I have often argued, as I am a professed lover of women, that our sex grows old with a much worse grace than the other does; and have ever been of opinion, that there are more well-pleased old women than old men. I thought it a good reason for this, that the ambition of the fair sex being confined to advantageous marriages, or shining in the eyes of men, their parts were over sooner, and consequently the errors in the performance of them. The conversation of this evening has not convinced me of the contrary; for one or two fop-women shall not make a balance for the crowds of coxcombs among ourselves, diversitic d according to the disferent pursuits of pleasure and business.
Returning home this evening a little before my usual hour, 1 scarce hud seated myselt in my casy chair, stirred the tirr, and stroaked my cat, but I heard somebody come rumbling up stairs. I saw my door opened, and a human tigure advancing towards me, so fantastically put together, that it was some minutes before I discovered it to be my old and intimate friend Sam Trusty. Immediately I rose up, and placed him in my own seat; a compliment I pay to fow. The first thing he uttered was, “ 1:aac, feuch me a cup of your cherry-brandy before you oiler to ink any question." He drank a lurry draught, sat silent for some time, and at last broke out; “I am come," quoth he, “ to insult thee for an old fantastic dotard, as thou art, in ever detending the women. I have this erining visited two widous, who are now in that starte I have otion beard you call an aller-18*; I suppose you mean by it, an existence which grow's out of pist entertainments, and is an duinely delight in the satisfactions which they once set their hearts upou too much to be ever able to relinquishi. Have but paticnce," continued hic, “ until I give you a succinct account of my ladies, and of this night's adventure. They are nuch of an age, but very different in their characters. The one of them, with all the advances which your's have made upon her, gocs on in a certain romantic road of love and friendship which she fell into in her teens; the other has transferred the amorous passions of her tirst years to the love of cronics, pets, and favourites, with which she is always surrounded; but the genius of each of their will best appear by the account of what happened to me at their houses. About five this afternoon, being tired with study, the weather inviting, and time lying a little upon my hands, I resolved, at the instigation of my evil genius, to visit them; their husbands having been our contemporaries. This I thought I could do without much trouble; for both live in the very next street, Į went first to my lady Camomile; and the butler, who had lived long in the family, and seen me often in his master's time, ushered me very civilly into the parlour, and told me, though my lady had given strict orders to be denied, he was sure I might be admitted, and bid the black boy acquaint his lady, that I was come to wait upon her. In the window lay two letters, one broke open, the other fresh sealed with a wafer : the first directed to the divine Cosmelia, the second to the charming Lucinda ; but both, by the indented characters, appeared to have been writ* by very, unsteady hands.
Such uncommon Addresses increased my curiosity, and put me upon asking my old friend the butler, if he knew who those persons were ? Very well,' says he, this is from Mrs. Furbish to my lady, an old school-fellow and great crony of her ladyship's; and this the answer. I inquired in what county she lived. “Oh dear!' says he, but just by, in the neighbourhood. Why, she was here all this morning, and that letter came and was answered within these two hours. They have taken an odd fancy, you must know, to call one another hard names; but, for all that, they love one another hugely.' By this time the boy returned with his lady's humble service to me, desiring I would excuse her; for she could not possibly see me, nor any body else, for it was opera-niglit.'
• For writen. Instances of this kind are frequent in the Talder, Specta:or, and Guardian.
longing to it, who atter their political essays, and draw parallels out of Baker's "Chronide" to almost every part of her Majesty's reign. It was said of two antient authors, who had very different beauties in their style, " that if you took a word from one of them, you only spoiled his cloquence ; but if you took a word from the other, you spoiled bis senue." I have often applied the first part of this criticism to several of these coffre-house speak. ers whom I have at present in my thoughts, though the character that is given to the last of those authors, is what I would recommend to the imitation of my loving countryinen,
But it is not only poblic places of resort, but private clubs and conver. sations over a bottle, that are infested with this loquacious kind of animal, especially with that species which I comprehend under the name of a storyteller. I would earnestly desire these gentlemen to consider, that no point of wit or mirth at the end of a story can atone for the balf bour that has been lost before they come at it. I would likewise lay it home to their serious consideration, whether they think that every man in the company has not a right to speak as well as themselves ? and whether they do not think they are invading another man's próperty, when they engross the time which should be divided equally among the company to their own private use?
What makes this evil the much greater in conversation is, that these bumdrum companions seldown endeavour to wind up their narrations into a point of mirth or instruction, which might make some ainends for the tediousness of them; but tunk they have a right to tell any thing that bas happened within iheir memory. They look upon matter of fact to be a sufficient foundation for a story, and give us a long account of things, not because they