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present to a widow gentlewoman who has five daughters, desiring she would make each of them a petticoat out of it, and send back the remainder, which I design to cut into stomachers, caps, facings of my waistcoat-sleeves, and other garnitures suitable to my age and quality.
I would not be understood, that, while I discard this monstrous invention, I am an enemy to the proper ornaments of the fair sex On the contrary, as the hand of nature has poured on them such a profusion of charms and graces, and sent them into the world more amiable and finished than the rest of her works, so I would have them bestow upon
themselves all the additional beauties that art can supply them with, provided it does not interfere with, disguise, or pervert those of nature.
I consider woman as a beautiful romantic animal, that may be adorned with furs and feathers, pearls and diamonds, ores and silks. The lynx shall cast its skin at her feet to make her a tippet; the peacock, parrot, and swan shall pay contributions to her muff; the sea shall be searched for shells, and the rocks for gems, and every part of nature furnish out its share towards the embellishment of a creature that is the most consummate work of it. All this I shall indulge them in; but as for the petticoat I have been speaking of, I neither can nor will allow it.
MR. BICKERSTAFF FINDS IT EXPEDIENT TO ALTER HIS
TACTICS AND WINK AT OFFENDERS, BUT EXPECTS HUSHMONEY FOR THE BREACH OF HIS SUMPTUARY LAWS, AND IN CONSIDERATION OF HIS POWERS OF DIVINATION.
R. BICKERSTAFF gives notice to all persons that dress themselves as they please, without regard to decorum (as with blue and red stockings in mourning, tucked cravats, and
night-cap wigs, before people of the first quality), that he has yet received no fine for indulging them in that liberty, and that he expects their compliance with this demand, or that they go home immediately and shift themselves. This is further to acquaint the town that the report of the hosiers, toymen, and milliners, having compounded with Mr. Bickerstaff for tolerating such enormities is utterly false and scandalous,
When an engineer finds that his guns have not had their intended effect, he changes his batteries. I am forced at present to take this method; and instead of continuing to write against the fingularity some are guilty of in their habit and behaviour, I shall henceforward desire them to persevere in it; and not only fo, but shall take it as a favour of all the coxcombs in the town if they will set marks upon themselves, and by some particular in their dress, show to what class they belong. It would be very obliging in all such persons, who feel in themselves that they are not of found understanding, to give notice of it, and spare mankind the trouble of finding them out. A cane upon the fifth button shall from henceforth be the type of a Dapper ; red-heeled shoes and a hat hung upon one side of the head, shall signify a Smart; a good periwig made into a twist, with a brisk cock, shall speak a Mettled Fellow ; and an upper lip covered with snuff denote a Coffee-house Statesman. But as it is required that all coxcombs hang out their signs, it is on the other hand expected that men of real merit should avoid anything particular in their dress, gait, or behaviour. For as we old men delight in proverbs, I cannot forbear bringing out one on this occasion, "That good wine needs no bush." I must not leave this subject without reflecting on several persons I have lately met, who at a distance feem very terrible, but upon stricter inquiry into their looks and features, appear as meek and harmless as any of my own neighbours. These are country gentlemen who of late years have taken up a humour of coming to town in red coats, whom an arch wag of my acquaintance used to describe very well by calling them “sheep in wolves' clothing.” I have often wondered that honest gentlemen, who are good neighbours, and live quietly in their own possessions, should take it into their heads to frighten the town after this unreasonable manner. I shall think myself obliged, if they persist in so unnatural a dress, notwithstanding any posts they may have in the militia, to give away their red coats to any of the soldiery who may think fit to strip them, provided the said soldiers can make it appear that they belong to a regiment where there is a deficiency in the clothing.
About two days ago I was walking in the park, and accidentally met a rural 'squire, clothed in all the types abovementioned, with a carriage and behaviour made entirely out of his own head. He was of a bulk and stature larger than ordinary, had a red coat, flung open to shew a gay calamanco waistcoat. His periwig fell in a very considerable bush upon each shoulder. His arms naturally swung at an unreasonable distance from his sides, which, with the advantage of a cane that he brandished in a great variety of irregular motions, made it unsafe for any one to walk within several yards of him. In this manner he took up the whole Mall, his spectators moving
on each side of it, whilst he cocked up his hat and marched directly for Westminster. I cannot tell who this gentleman is, but for my comfort may say with the lover in Terence who lost sight of a fine young lady, “Wherever thou art, thou canst not be long concealed."
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, and if I have not left at Mr. Morphew's, directed to me, bank bills for two hundred pounds, on or before this day fe’nnight, I shall tell how Tom Cash got his estate. I expect three hundred pounds of Mr. Soilett, for concealing all the money he has sent to himself and his landed friend bound with him, at thirty per cent. at his fcrivener's. 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 Durham-yard into a boat with a young gentleman for Vauxhall, I say, if she will send me word that I may give the fan, which she dropped and I 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 it better than a chambermaid or valet de chambre; they only whisper it to the little set of their companions, but I can tell it to all men living or who are to live. Therefore I desire all my readers to pay their fines or mend their lives.
MR. BICKERSTAFF PROFESSES PHYSIC- -QUACKS AND IMPOSTORS OF THE TIME-THE WIDOW AND DUMB FORTUNE-TELLER.
DO not remember that in any of
lucubrations I have touched upon that useful science of phyfick, notwithstanding I have declared myself more than once a professor of it. I have indeed joined the
study of astrology with it, because I never knew a physician recommend himself to the publick who had not a sister art to embellish his knowledge in medicine. It has been commonly observed, in compliment to the ingenious of our profession, that Apollo was god of verse as well as physick; and in all ages the most celebrated practitioners of our country were the particular favourites of the muses. Poetry to physick is indeed like the gilding to a pill; it makes the art shine, and covers the severity of the doctor with the agreeableness of the companion. The very foundation of
is good fenfe, if we may allow Horace to be a judge of the art
Scribendi recte sapere eft et principium et fons— And if so, we have reason to believe that the same man who