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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 Censor 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-house. 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 breast-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. Bickerstaff'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 their bosoms, and, if they pleased, proceed to their duel. Upon which they both went very quietly out of the court, and retired to their respective lodgings." The Court then adjourned until after the holidays."
N° 266. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1710.
Rideau et pulset lasciva decentiùs ætas.
Let youth, more decent in their follies, scoff
HOR. 2 Ep. II. ult.
From my own Apartment, December 20.
Ir 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
Paradise, which indeed would have been a place as little delightful as a barren heath or desert to those who slept in it. The fondness of the posture in which Adam is represente 1, and the softness of his whisper, are passages in this divine poem that are above all commendation, and rather to be admired than praised.
Now Mon her rosy steps in the eastern c'imo
Renty, which, whether w king or asleep,
Such whispering wak'd her, but with startled eye
O sols! in whom my thoughts find all repose, My glory, my perfection, glad I see Thy face, and morn return'd MILION's Par. Lost, b. V. 1. #, &c,
Favour your tongues.
N°264. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1710.
HOR. 1 Od. iii. 2.
From my own Apartment, December 15. BOCCALINI, in his "Parnassus," indicts a laconic writer for speaking that in three words which he might have said in two, and sentences him for his punishment to read over all the works of Guicciardini. This Guicciardini is so very prolix and circumstantial in his writings, that I remember our countryman, doctor Donne, speaking of that majestic and concise manner in which Moses has described the creation of the world, adds, "that if such an author as Guicciardini were to have written on such a subject, the world itself would not have been able to have contained the books that gave the history of its creation."
I look upon a tedious talker, or what is generally known by the name of a story-teller, to be much more insufferable than even a prolix writer. An author may be tossed out of your hand, and thrown aside when he grows dull and tiresome; but such liberties are so far from being allowed towards your orators in common corvrsation, that I have known a challenge sent a person for going out of the room abruptly, and leaving a man of honour in the midst of a dissertation. This evil is at present so very common and epidemical, that there is scarce a coffee-house in town that has not some speakers be
longing to it, who utter their political essays, and draw parallels out of Baker's "Chronicle" 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 eloquence ; but if you took a word from the other, you spoiled his sense." I have often applied the first part of this criticism to several of these coffee-house speakers whom I have at present in my thoughts, though the character that is given to the last of those authots, is what I would recommend to the imitation of my loving countrymen. But it is not only public 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 half hour 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 property, 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 humdrum companions seldom endeavour to wind up their narrations into a point of mirth or instruction, which might make some amends for the tediousness of them; but think they have a right to tell any thing that has happened within their 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