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courage, it is well known I have more than
cane to his button; and by some lines of it he should wear red-heeled shoes; which are esDr.sential parts of the habit belonging to the order
My familiar is returned with the following letter from the French king.
Quæ regio in vella nostri non plena laboris.' What street resounds not with my great exploits? 'I omit other less particulars, the necessary consequence of greater actions. But my reason for troubling you at this present is, to put a stop, if it may be, to an insinuating increasing set of people, who, sticking to the letter of your treatise, and not to the spirit of it, do assume the name of Pretty Fellows;' nay and even get new names, as you very well hint. Some of them I have heard calling to one another as I have sat at White's and St. James's, by the names of Betty, Nelly, and so forth. You see them accost each other with effeminate airs: they have their signs and tokens like free-masons: they rail at woman-kind; receive visits on their beds in gowns, and do a thousand other unintelligible prettinesses that I cannot tell what to make of. I therefore heartily de sire you would exclude all this sort of animals.
'I have your epistle, and must take the liberty to say, that there has been a time, when there were generous spirits in Great Britain, who would not have suffered my name to be treated with the familiarity you think fit to use. thought liberal men would not be such timeservers, as to fall upon a man because his friends are not in power. But, having some concern for what you may transmit to posterity concerning me, I am willing to keep terms with you, and make a request to you, which is, that you would give my service to the nineteenth century (if ever you or yours reach them,) and tell them, that I have settled all matters between them and me by mousieur Bolieau. I should be glad to see you here.'
'There is another matter I foresee an ill consequence from, that may be timely prevented by prudence; which is, that for the last fortnight, prodigious shoals of volunteers have gone over to bully the French, upon hearing the peace was just signing; and this is so true, that I can assure you, all ingrossing work about the Temple is risen above three shillings in the pound for want of hands. Now as it is possible some little alteration of affairs may have broken their measures, and that they will post back again, I am under the last apprehension, that these will, at their return, all set up for 'Pretty Fellows,' and thereby confound all merit and service, and impose on us some new alteration in our night-cap wigs and pockets, unless you can provide a particular class for them. I ca not apply myself better than to you, and I am sure I speak the mind of a very great number, as deserving as myself.'
Three practitioners in physic or surgery, of some note at that time for curing discases contracted by debauchery. A term now become unintelligible.
'Versailles, June 13, 1709.
'Lewis XIV. to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.
It is very odd, this prince should offer to invite me into his dominions, or believe I should accept the invitation. No, no, I remember too well how he served an ingenious gentleman, a friend of mine, whom he locked up in the Bastile for no reason in the world, but because he was a wit, and feared he might mention him with justice in some of his writings. His way is, that all men of sense are preferred, banished, or imprisoned. He has indeed a sort of justice in him, like that of the gamesters; for if a stander-by sees one at play cheat, he has a right to come in for shares, as knowing the mysteries of the game.*
The pretensions of this correspondent are worthy a particular distinction; he cannot indeed be admitted as 'Pretty,' but is what we more justly call a 'Smart Fellow.' Never to pay at the play-house is an act of frugality that lets you into his character; and bis expedient in sending his children begging before they can go, are characteristical instances that he belongs to this class. I never saw the gen-I tleman; but I know by his letter, he hangs his
This is a very wise and just maxim; and if I have not left at Mr. Morphew's, directed to me, bank bills for two hundred pounds, on or before this day seven-night, I shall tell how Tom Cash got his estate. I expect three hundred pounds of Mr. Soilett, for concealing all the money he has lent to himself, and his landed friend bound with him at thirty per cent. at his scrivener's. Absolute princes make people pay what they please in deference to their power: I do not know why I should not do the same, out of fear or respect to my knowledge. I always preserve decorums and civilities to the fair sex: therefore, if a certain lady, who left her coach at the New-exchange door in the Strand, and whipt down Durhamyard into a boat with a young gentleman for Vauxhall;+ I say, if she will send me word, that may give the fan which she dropped, and I
Sir John Vanburgh, who was ouce confined in the Bas tile, is probably the person here alluded to. His being called a Wit,' seems to countenance the idea.
This, in the original edition, is Foxhall.
found, to my sister Jenny, there shall be no more said of it. I expect hush-money to be regularly sent for every folly or vice any one commits in this whole town; and hope, I may pretend to deserve it better than a chambermaid or a valet de chambre; they only whisper it to the little set of their companions; but I ran tell it to all men living, or who are to live. Therefore I desire all my readers to pay their tues, or mend their lives,
"Yes, Sir," the new guest answered, “ I have
the head for their sauciness, came about my
White's Coffee-house, May 27. My familiar being come from France, with an answer to my letter to Lewis of that kingdom, instead of going on in a discourse of what he had seen in that court, he put on the immediate concern of a guardian, and fell to enquiring into my thoughts and adventures since his journey. As short as his stay had been, I confessed I had had many occasions for his assistance in my conduct; but communicated to him my thoughts of putting all my force against the horrid and senseless custom of duels. If it were possible,' said he, to laugh at things in themselves so deeply tragical as the impertinent profusion of human life, I think I could divert you with a figure I saw just after my death, when the philosopher threw me, as I told you some days ago, into the pail of water. 'You are to know that, when men leave the body, there are receptacles for them as soon as they depart, according to the manner in which they lived and died. At the very instant I was killed, there came away with me a spirit which had lost its body in a duel. We were both examined. Me the whole assembly looked at with kindness and pity, but, at the same time, with an air of welcome and consolation: they pronounced me very happy, who had died in innocence; and told me, a quite different place was allotted for my companion; there being a great distance from the mansions of Dols and innocents: though, at the same time,
said one of the ghosts, there is a great affinity between an idiot who has been so for a long
life, and a child who departs before maturity But this gentleman who has arrived with you is a fool of his own making, is ignorant out of choice, and will fare accordingly." The assembly began to flock about him, and one said to him, Sir, I observed you came in through the gate of persons murdered, and I desire to Know what brought you to your untimely end?" He said," he had been a second,” Socrates who may be said to have been murdered by he commonwealth of Athens) stood by and tegan to draw near him, in order, after his manner, to lead him into a sense of his error by concessions in his own discourse. "Sir," said that divine and amicable spirit, what was the quarrel?" He answered, "We shall know very suddenly when the principal in the business comes, for he was desperately wounded before I fell.""Sir," said the sage," had you an estate?"
Pacolet was going on in his strain, but he
custom with humour and raillery to get an au-
same time, that the matter has been often
treated by the ablest and greatest writers, yet that must not discourage you: for the properest person to handle it, is one who has rove into mixed conversations, and must have opportunities (which I shall give you) of seeing these sort of men in their pleasures and gratifications, among which they pretend to reckon fighting. It was pleasantly enough said of a bully in The king has taken away gaming and stageFrance, when duels first began to be punished: playing, and now fighting too; how does he expect gentlemen shall divert themselves?'
towards six in the evening is caused by his mimics and imitators. How ought men of sense to be careful of their actions, if it were merely from the indignation of seeing themselves illdrawn by such little pretenders! Not to say he that leads is guilty of all the actions of hi followers; and a Rake has imitators whom you would never expect should prove so. Second hand vice, sure, of all is the most nauseous. There is hardly a folly more absurd, or which seems less to be accounted for (though it what we see every day,) than that grave and honest natures give into this way, and at the same time have good sense, if they thought fit to use it; but the fatality (under which most men labour) of desiring to be what they are not, makes them go out of a method in which they might be received with applause, and would certainly excel, into one, wherein they
what they aim at.
A Rake is a man always to be pitied; and if he lives, is one day certainly reclaimed; for his faults proceed not from choice or inclination, but from strong passions and appetites, which are in youth too violent for the curb of reason, good sense, good manners, and good-will all their lives have the air of strangers to nature: all which he must have by nature and education, before he can be allowed to be, or to have been of this order. He is a poor unwieldy wretch that commits faults out of the redundance of his good qualities. His pity and compassion make him sometimes a bubble to all his fellows, let them be never so much below nim in understanding. His desires run away with him through the strength and force of a fively imagination, which burries him on to unlawful pleasures, before reason has power to come in to his rescue. Thus, with all the good intentions in the world to amendment, this creature sins on against heaven, himself, his friends, and his country, who all call for a better use of his talents. There is not a being under the sun so miserable as this: he goes on in a pursuit he himself disapproves, and has no enjoyment but what is followed by remorse; no relief from remorse, but the repetition of is crime. It is possible I may talk of this person with too much indulgence; but I must repeat it, that I think this a character which is the most the object of pity of any in the world. The man in the pangs of the stone, gout, or any acute distemper, is not in so deplorable a condition, in the eye of right sense, as he that errs and repents, and repents and errs on. The fellow with broken limbs justly deserves your alms for his impotent condition; but he that cannot use his own reason is in a much worse state; for you see him in miser-heads may roar, fight, and stab, and be never able circumstances, with his remedy at the the nearer; their labour is also lost; they same time in his own possession, if he would, or want sense : they are no Rakes. could use it. This is the cause that, of all ill characters, the Rake has the best quarter in the world; for when he is himself, and unruffled with intemperance, you see his natural faculties exert themselves, and attract an eye of favour towards his infirmities.
White's Chocolate-house, June 9.
PACOLET being gone a-strolling among the men of the sword, in order to find out the secret causes of the frequent disputes we meet with, and furnish me with materials for my treatise on duelling: I have room left to go on in my information to my country readers, whereby they may understand the bright people whose memoirs I have taken upon me to write. But in my discourse of the twentyeighth of the last month, I omitted to mention the most agreeable of all bad characters, and that is, a Rake.
But if we look round us here, how many dell rogues are there, that would fain be what this poor man bates himself for? All the noise
For this reason, I have not lamented the metamorphosis of any one I know so much as of Nobilis, who was born with sweetness of temper, just apprehension, and every thing else that might make him a man fit for his order. But instead of the pursuit of sober studies and applications, in which he would certainly be capable of making a considerable figure in the noblest assembly of men in the world; I say, in spite of that good nature, which is his proper bent, he will say ill-natured things aloud, put such as he was, and still should be, out of countenance, and drown all the natural good in him, to receive an artificial ill character, in which he will never succeed; for Nobilis is no Rake. He may guzzle as much wine as he pleases, talk bawdy if he thinks fit; but he may as well drink water-gruel, and go twice a-day to church, for it will never do. I pronounce it again, Nobilis is no Rake. To be of that order, he must be vicious against his will, and not so by study or application. All Pretty Fellows' are also excluded to a man, as well as all inamoratoes, or persons o the epicene gender, who gaze at one another in the presence of ladies. This class, of which I am giving you an account, is pretended to also by men of strong abilities in drinking; though they are such whom the liquor, not the conversation, keeps together. But block
As a Rake among men is the man who lives in the constant abuse of his reason, so a Coquette among women is one who lives in con tinual misapplication of her beauty. The chief of all whom I have the honour to be acquainted with, is pretty Mrs. Toss: she is ever in practice of something which disfigures her, and takes from her charms, though all she does tends to a contrary effect. She has naturally
a very agreeable voice and utterance, which she has changed for the prettiest lisp imaginable. She sees what she has a mind to see at half a mile distance; but poring with her eyes half shut at every one she passes by, she believes much more becoming. The Cupid on her fan and she have their eyes full on each other, all the time in which they are not both in motion. Whenever her eye is turned from that dear object, you may have a glance, and your bow, if she is in humour, returned as civilly as you make it; but that must not be in the presence of a man of greater quality: for Mrs. Toss is so thoroughly well-bred, that the chief person present has all her regards. And she who giggles at divine service, and laughs at her very mother, can compose herself at the approach of a man of a good estate.
Will's Coffee-house, June 9.
A fine lady showed a gentleman of this company, for an eternal answer to all his addresses, a paper of verses, with which she is so captivated, that she professed the author should be the happy man in spite of all other pretenders. It is ordinary for love to make men poetical,
and it had that effect on this enamoured man: but he was resolved to try his vein upon some of her confidants or retinue, before he ventured upon so high a theme as herself. To do otherwise than so, would be like making an heroic poem a man's first attempt. Among the favourites to the fair one, he found her parrot not to be in the last degree: he saw Poll had her ear, when his sighs were neglected. To write against him had been a fruitless labour; therefore he resolved to flatter him into his interest in the following manner:
From my own Apartment, June 10. I have so many messages from young gentlemen who expect preferment and distinction, that I am wholly at a loss in what manner to acquit myself. The writer of the following letter tells me in a postscript, he cannot go out of town until I have taken some notice of him, and is very urgent to be somebody in it, before he returns to his commons at the university. But take it from himself.
It is indeed a very just proposition to give that honour rather to the parrot than the other volatile. The parrot represents us in the state of making love: the dove, in the possession of the object beloved. But, instead of turning the dove off, I fancy it would be better if the chaise of Venus had hereafter a parrot added (as we see sometimes a third horse to a coach,) which might intimate, that to be a parrot, is the only way to succeed; and to be a dove, to preserve your conquests. If the swain would go on successfully, he must imitate the bird he writes upon; for he who would be loved by women, must never be silent before the favour, or open his lips after it.
'To Isauc Bickerstaff, Esq. Monitor General of Great-Britain.
Sheer-Lane, June 8. 'I have been above six months from the uni
versity, of age these three months, and so long in town. I was recommended to one Charles Bubbleboy near the Temple, who has supplied me with all the furniture he says a gentleman ought to have. I desired a certificate thereof from him, which he said would require some time to consider of; and when I went yesterday morning for it, he tells me, upon due consideration, I still want some few odd things more, to the value of threescore or fourscore pounds, to make me complete. I have bespoke them; and the favour I beg of you is, to know, when I am equipped, in what part or class of men in this town you will place me. Pray send me word what I am, and you shall find me, Sir, your most humble servant, JEFFRY NICKNACK.
I am very willing to encourage young beginners, but am extremely in the dark how to dispose of this gentleman. I cannot see either his person or habit in this letter; but I will call at Charles's, and know the shape of his snuff-box, by which I can settle his character.
To a Lady, on her Parrot.
When nymphs were coy, and love con!! not prevail, Though indeed, to know his full capacity, I ought to be informed whether he takes Spanish or Musty.+
The gods disguis'd were seldom known to fail;
St. James's Coffee-house, June 10. Letters from the Low Countries of the seventeenth instant say, that the duke of Marlborough and the prince of Savoy intended to leave Ghent on that day, and join the army which lies between Pont d'Espiere and Courtray, their head-quarters being at Helchin. The same day the Palatine foot were expected at Brussels. Lieutenant-general Dompre, with a body of eight thousand men, is posted at Alost, in order to cover Ghent and Brussels. The marshal de Villars was still on the plain of Lenz; and it is said the duke of Vendosme
Charles Mather, at that time an eminent toyman in
† A great quantity of musty snuff was captured in the Spanish fleet which was taken or burnt at Vigo in 1703; it
soon became fashionable to use no snuff bot what had this musty flavour. Time, and the tricks of the tobacconists and perfumers, put an end at last to this absurd custom.
is appointed to command in conjunction with
Tuesday, June 14, 1709
a man to say, he allows a gentleman really to be, what his tailor, his hosier, and his milliner, have conspired to make him? I confess, if this person who appeals to me had said, he was not a Smart Fellow,' there had been cause for resentment; but if he stands to it that he is one, he leaves no manner of ground for misunderstanding. Indeed it is a most lamentable thing, that there should be a dispute raised upon a man's saying another is what he plainly takes pains to be thought.
But this point cannot be so well adjusted, as by enquiring what are the sentiments of wise nations and communities, of the use of the sword, and from thence conclude whether it is honourable to draw it so frequently or not? An illustrious commonwealth of Italy has preserved itself for many ages, without letting one of their subjects handle this destructive instrument; always leaving that work to such of mankind as understand the use of a whole skin so little, as to make a profession of exposing it to cuts and scars.
But what need we run to such foreign instances? Our own ancient and well governed P. cities are conspicuous examples to all mankind in their regulation of military achievements. The chief citizens, like the noble Italians, hire mercenaries to carry arms in their stead; and you shall have a fellow of a desperate fortune, for the gain of one half-crown, go through all the dangers of Tothill-Fields, or the ArtilleryGround, clap his right jaw within two inches of the touch-hole of a musquet, fire it off, and huzza, with as little concern as he tears a pullet. + Thus you see, to what scorn of danger these mercenaries arrive, out of a mere love of sordid gain but methinks it should take off the strong prepossession men have in favour of bold actions, when they see upon what low motives men aspire to them. Do but observe the common practice in the government of those heroic bodies, our militia and lieutenancies, the most ancient corps of soldiers, perhaps, in the universe; I question, whether there is one instance of an animosity between any two of these illustrious sons of Mars since their institution, which was decided by combat? I remember indeed to have read the chronicle of an accident which had like to have occasioned bloodshed in the very field before all the general officers, though most of them were justices of the peace. Captain Crabtree of Birching-lane, haberdasher, had drawn a bill upon major-general Maggot, cheesemonger in Thames-street. Crabtree draws this upon Mr. William Maggot and company. A country
nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.
White's Chocolate-house, June 13.
I HAD suspended the business of duelling to a distant time, but that I am called upon to declare myself on a point proposed in the following letter.
June 9, at night.
I absolutely pronounce, that there is no occasion of offence given in this expression; for 'Smart Fellow' is always an appellation of praise, and is a man of double capacity. The true cast or mould in which you may be sure to know him is, when his livelihood or education is in the civil list, and you see him express a vivacity or mettle above the way he is in by a little jerk in his motion, short trip in his steps, well-fancied lining of his coat, or any other indications which may be given in a vigorous dress. Now, what possible insinuation can there be, that it is a cause of quarrel for