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A pint of the finest Spanish wash, being all that is left out of two hogsheads sent over last winter.
A coach very finely gilt, and little used, with a pair of dragons, to be sold cheap.
A setting-sun, a pennyworth.
An imperial mantle made for Cyrus the Great, and worn by Julius Cæsar, Bajazet, King Harry the Eighth, and Signor Valentini.
A basket-hilted sword, very convenient to carry milk in.
The imperial robes of Xerxes, never worn but once. A wild boar killed by Mrs. Tofts and Dioclesian. A serpent to sting Cleopatra.
A mustard-bowl to make thunder with. Another of a bigger sort, by Mr. D——directions, little used.
Six elbow-chairs, very expert in country-dances, with six flower-pots for their partners.
The whiskers of a Turkish Bassa.
The complexion of a murderer in a bandbox; consisting of a large piece of burnt cork, and a coalblack peruke.
A suit of clothes for a ghost, viz. a bloody shirt, a doublet curiously pinked, and a coat with three great eyelet-holes upon the breast.
A bale of red Spanish wool.
Modern plots, commonly known by the name of trap-doors, ladders of ropes, vizard-masques, and tables with broad carpets over them.
Three oak-cudgels, with one of crab-tree; all bought for the use of Mr. Pinkethman.
Materials for dancing; as masques, castanets, and a ladder of ten rounds.
Aurengezebe's scymitar, made by Will. Brown in Piccadilly.
* John Dennis, the celebrated critic.
A plume of feathers, never used but by Oedipus and the Earl of Essex.
There are also swords, halberds, sheep-hooks, cardinals' hats, turbans, drums, gallipots, a gibbet, a cradle, a rack, a cart-wheel, an altar, an helmet, a back-piece, a breast-plate, a bell, a tub, and a jointed baby.
These are the hard shifts we intelligencers are forced to; therefore our readers ought to excuse us, if a westerly wind, blowing for a fortnight together, generally fills every paper with an order of battle; when we show our martial skill in every line, and according to the space we have to fill, we range our men in squadrons and battalions, or draw out company by company, and troop by troop; ever observing that no muster is to be made, but when the wind is in a cross-point, which often happens at the end of a campaign, when half the men are deserted or killed. The Courant is sometimes ten deep, his ranks close the Post-boy is generally in files, for greater exactness; and the Post-man comes down upon you rather after the Turkish way, sword in hand, pell-mell, without form or discipline; but sure to bring men enough into the field; and wherever they are raised, never to lose a battle for want of numbers.
N° 43. TUESDAY, JULY 19, 1709.
-Bene nummatum decorat Suadela Venusque.
The goddess of persuasion forms his train,
White's Chocolate-house, July 18. I WRITE from hence at present to complain, that wit and merit are so little encouraged by people of rank and quality, that the wits of the age are obliged
to run within Temple-bar for patronage. There is a deplorable instance of this kind in the case of Mr. D'Urfey, who has dedicated his inimitable comedy, called The Modern Prophets,' to a worthy knight, to whom, it seems, he had before communicated his plan, which was, 'To ridicule the ridiculers of our established doctrine.' I have elsewhere celebrated the contrivance of this excellent drama; but was not, until I read the dedication, wholly let into the religious design of it. I am afraid, it has suffered discontinuance at this gay end of the town, for no other reason but the piety of the purpose. There is, however, in this epistle, the true life of panegyrical performance; and I do not doubt, but if the patron would part with it, I can help him to others with good pretensions to it, viz. of uncommon understanding,' who will give him as much as he gave for it. I know perfectly well a noble person, whom these words (which are the body of the panegyric) would fit to a hair.
* Your easiness of humour, or rather your harmonious disposition, is so admirably mixed with your composure, that the rugged cares and disturbance that public affairs bring with it, which does so vexatiously affect the heads of other great men of business, &c. does scarce ever ruffle your unclouded brow so much as with a frown. And what above all is praise-worthy, you are so far from thinking yourself better than others, that a flourishing and opulent fortune, which, by a certain natural corruption in its quality, seldom fails to infect other possessors with pride, seems in this case as if only providentially disposed to enlarge your humility.
But I find, Sir, I am now got into a very large field, where though I could with great ease raise a number of plants in relation to your merit of this plauditory nature; yet, for fear of an author's general vice, and that the plain justice I have done you * An extract from D'Urfey's dedication.
should by my proceeding, and other's mistaken judgment, be imagined flattery, a thing the bluntness of my nature does not care to be concerned with, and which I also know you abominate.
It is wonderful to see how many judges of these fine things spring up every day by the rise of stocks, and other elegant methods of abridging the way to learning and criticism. But I do hereby forbid all dedications to any persons within the city of London; except Sir Francis, Sir Stephen, and the Bank, will take epigrams and epistles as value received for their notes; and the East India Company accept of heroic poems for their sealed bonds. which bottom our publishers have full power to treat with the city in behalf of us authors, to enable traders to become patrons and fellows of the Royal Society,† as well as to receive certain degrees of skill in the Latin and Greek tongues, according to the quantity of the commodities which they take off our hands.
Grecian Coffee-house, July 18.
The learned have so long laboured under the imputation of dryness and dulness in their accounts of their phenomena, that an ingenious gentleman of our society has resolved to write a system of philosophy in a more lively method, both as to the matter and language, than has been hitherto attempted. He read to us the plan upon which he intends to proceed. I thought his account, by way of fable of the worlds about us, had so much vivacity in it, that I could not forbear transcribing his hypothesis, to
* Sir Francis and Sir Stephen were evidently bankers of the times; and of those the two most eminent were Sir Francis Child and Sir Stephen Evance. The latter was ruined, it is thought, in the South-sea year.
+ Mr. Whiston, alluded to in the following part of this paper, was at this time proposed as a Member of the Royal Society, and rejected. The pretended account of his hypothesis that follows is mere pleasantry, and not a quotation from his book, or any true account of his 'Theory.'
give the reader a taste of my is now in the press.
friends's treatise, which
The inferior deities, having designed on a day to play a game at football, kneaded together a numberless collection of dancing atoms into the form of seven rolling globes: and, that nature might be kept from a dull inactivity, each separate particle is endued with a principle of motion, or a power of attraction, whereby all the several parcels of matter draw each other proportionably to their magnitudes and distances, into such a remarkable variety of different forms, as to produce all the wonderful appearances we now observe in empire, philosophy, and religion. But to proceed:
At the beginning of the game, each of the globes, being struck forward with a vast violence, ran out of sight, and wandered in a straight line through the infinite spaces. The nimble deities pursue, breathless almost, and spent in the eager chace: each of them caught hold of one, and stamped it with his name; as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so of the rest. To prevent this inconvenience for the future, the seven are condemned to a precipitation, which in our inferior style we call gravity. Thus the tangential and centripetal forces, by their counterstruggle, make the celestial bodies describe exact elipsis.'
There will be added to this an appendix, in defence of the first day of the term according to the Oxford almanack, by a learned knight of this realm, with an apology for the said knight's manner of dress; proving, that his habit, according to this hypothesis, is the true modern and fashionable; and that buckles are not to be worn by this system, until the tenth of March in the year 1714, which, according to the computation of some of our greatest divines, is to be the first year of the millenium ; in which blessed age all habits will be reduced to a primitive simplicity; and whoever shall be found