Obrázky na stránke

implying, that I would have any young fellow spend more time than the common leisure which his studies require, or more money than his fortune or allowance may admit of, in the pursuit of an acquaintance with his betters : for as to his time, the gross of that ought to be sacred to more substantial acquisitions: for each irrecoverable moment of which he ought to believe he stands religiously accountable. As to his dress, I shall engage myself no further than in the modest defence of two plain suits a year: for being perfectly satisfied in Eutrapelus's contrivance of making a Mohock of a man, by presenting him with laced and embroidered suits, I would by no means be thought controvert the conceit, by insinuating the advantages of foppery. It is an assertion which admits of much proof, that a stranger of tolerable sense, dressed like a gentleman, will be better received by those of quality above him, than one of much better parts, whose dress is regulated by the rigid notions of frugality. A man's appearance falls within the censure of every one that sees him; his parts and learning very few are judges of; and even upon these few they can't at first be well intruded; for policy and good breeding will counsel him to be reserved among strangers, and to support himself only by the common spirit of conversation. Indeed among the injudicious, the words delicacy, idiom, fine images, structure of periods, genius, fire, and the rest made use of with a frugal and comely gravity, will maintain the figure of immense read. ing, and the depth of criticism.

* All gentlemen of fortune, at least the young and middle-aged, are apt to pride themselves a little too much upon their dress, and consequently to value others in some measure upon the same consideration, With what confusion is a man of figure obliged to return the civilities of the hat to a person whose air


and attire hardly entitle him to it! for whom nevertheless the other has a particular esteem, though he is ashamed to have it challenged in so public a man

It must be allowed, that any young fellow that affects to dress and appear genteelly, might, with artificial management, save ten pounds a year; as instead of fine hollaud he might mourn in sackcloth, and in other particulars be proportionably shabby: but of what service would this sum be to avert any misfortune, whilst it would leave him deserted by the little good acquaintance he has, and prevent his gaining any other? As the appearance of an easy fortune is necessary towards making one, I don't know but it might be of advantage sometimes to throw into one's discourse certain exclama. tions about bank stock, and to shew a marvellous surprise upon its fall, as well as the most affected triumph upon its rise. The veneration and respect which the practice of all ages has preserved to appearances, without doubt suggested to our tradesmen that wise and politic custom, to apply and recommend themselves to the public by all those dacorations upon their sign-posts and houses which the most eminent hands in the neighbourhood can furnish them with. What can be more attractive to a man of letters, than that immense erudition of all ages and languages, which a skilful bookseller, in conjunction with a painter, shall image upon liis column, and the extremities of his shop? The same spirit of maintaining a handsome appearance reigns among the grave and solid apprentices of the law (here I could be particularly dull in proving the word apprentice to be significant of a barrister); and you may easily distinguish who has most lately made his pretensions to business, by the whitest and most ornamental frame of his window; if indeed the chamber is a ground-room, and has rails before

it, the finery is of necessity more extended, and the pomp of business better maintained. And what can be a greater indication of the dignity of dress, than that burdensome finery which is the regular habit of our judges, nobles, and bishops, with which upon certain days we see them incumbered! And though it may be said, this is awful, and necessary for the dignity of the state, yet the wisest of them have been remarkable, before they arrived at their present stations, for being very well-dressed persons. As to my own part, I am near thirty; and since I left school have not been idle, which is a modern phrase for having studied hard. I brought off a clean system of moral philosophy, and a tolerable jargon of metaphysics, from the university; since that, I have been engaged in the clearing part of the perplexed style and matter of the law, which so hereditarily descends to all its professors. To all which severe studies I have thrown in, at proper interims, the pretty learning of the classics. 'Notwithstanding which, I am what Shakspeare calls a fellow of no mark or likelihood. which makes me understand the more fully, that since the regular methods of making friends and a fortune by the mere force of a profession is so very slow and uncertain, a man should take all reasonable opportunities, by enlarging a good acquaintance, to court that time and chance which is said to happen to every man.'


N°361. THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 1712.

Turtaream intendit vocem, qua protinus omnis
Contremuit domus -

VIRG. Æn. vii. 514.

The blast Tartarean spreads its notes around;
The house astonish'd trembles at the sound.

[ocr errors]

I have lately received the following letter from a country gentleman:



• The night before I left London I went to see a play called The Humorous Lieutenant. Upon the rising of the curtain I was very much surprised with the great concert of cat-calls which was exhibited that evening, and began to think with myself that I had made a mistake, and gone to a musicmeeting instead of the playhouse. It appeared indeed a little odd to me, to see so many persons of quality, of both sexes, assembled together at a kind of caterwauling, for I cannot look

upon that performance to have been any thing better, whatever the musicians themselves might think of it. As I had no acquaintance in the house to ask questions of, and was forced to go out of town early the next morning, I could not learn the secret of this matter. What I would therefore desire of you is, to give me some account of this strange instrument, which I found the company called a cat-call; and particularly to let me know whether it be a piece of music lately come from Italy. For my own part, to be free with you, I would rather hear an English tiddle: though I durst not shew my dislike whilst I was in

the playhouse, it being my chance to sit the very next man to one of the performers.

I am, SIR, • Your most affectionate friend and servant,



In compliance with Squire Shallows's request, I design this paper as a desertation upon the cat-call. In order to make myself a master of the subject, I purchased one the beginning of last week, though not without great difficulty, being informed at two or three toy-shops that the players had lately bought them all up. I have since consulted many learned antiquaries in relation to its original, and find them very much divided among themselves upon that particular. A fellow of the Royal Society who is my good friend, and a great proficient in the mathematical part of music, concludes, from the simplicity of its make, and the uniformity of its sound, that the cat-call is older than any of the inven. tions of Jubal. He observes very well, that musical instruments took their first rise from the notes of birds, and other melodious animals; and what,

was more natural than for the first ages of mankind to imitate the voice of a cat, that lived under the same roof with them? He added, that the cat had contributed more to harmony than any other animal; as we are not only beholden to her for this wind instrument, but for our stringmusic in general.

Another virtuoso of my acquaintance will not allow the cat-call to be older than Thespis, and is apt to think it appeared in the world soon after the ancient comedy; for which reason it has still a place in our dramatic entertainments. Nor must I here omit what a very curious gentleman, who is

[ocr errors]

says he,

« PredošláPokračovať »