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charges; to White's under six-pence; nor to the Grecian, without allowing him some plain Spanish, to be as able as others at the learned table; and that a good observer cannot speak with even Kidney,* at St. Jmaes's without clean linen; I say, these considerations will, I hope, make all persons willing to comply with my humble request (when my gratis stock is exhausted) of a penny a-piece; especially since they are sure of some proper amusement, and that it is impossible for me to want means to entertain them, having, besides the force of my own parts, the power of divination, and that I can, by casting a figure, tell you all that will happen before it comes to pass.
"But this last faculty I shall use very sparingly, and speak but of few things until they are passed,† for fear of divulging matters which may offend our superiors."
White's Chocolate-house, April 7.
THE deplorable condition of a very pretty gentleman, who walks here at the hours when men of quality first appear, is what is very much lamented. His history is, That on the ninth of September, 1705, being in his one-and-twentieth year, he was washing his teeth at a tavern window in Pall Mall, when a fine equipage passed by, and in it a young lady who looked up at him; away goes the coach, and the young gentleman pulled off his night-cap, and instead of rubbing his gums, as he ought to do, out of the window until about four of the clock, sits him down and spoke not a word until twelve at night; after which he began to inquire if any body knew the lady?—The company asked, what lady? but he said no more, until they broke up at six in
*Kidney was one of the waiters at St. James's Coffee-house. + Not speak of any thing till it is passed. Original T.
the morning. All the ensuing winter he went from church to church every Sunday, and from playhouse to play-house every night in the week; but could never find the original of the picture which dwelt in his bosom. In a word his attention to any thing but his passion was utterly gone. He has lost all the money he ever played for, and been confuted in every argument he has entered upon, since the moment he first saw her. He is of a noble family, has naturally a very good air, and is of a frank honest temper: but this passion has so extremely mauled him, that his features are set and uninformed, and his whole visage is deadened, by a long absence of thought. He never appears in any alacrity, but when raised by wine; at which time he is sure to come hither, and throw away a great deal of wit on fellows who have no sense farther than just to observe, that our poor Lover has most understanding when he is drunk, and is least in his senses when he is sober."
The reader is desired to take notice of the article from this place from time to time, for I design to be very exact in the progress this unhappy gentleman makes, which may be of great instruction to all who actually are, or who ever shall be in love.
Will's Coffee-house, April 8.
On Thursday last was acted, for the benefit of Mr. Betterton, the celebrated comedy called Love for Love. Those excellent players, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Bracegirdle, and Mr. Dogget, though not at present concerned in the house, acted on that occasion. There has not been known so great a concourse of persons of distinction as at that time; the
* Edward Lord Viscount Hinchinbroke, mentioned afterwards under the name of Cynthio. He died in the life-time of his father, Oct. 3, 1722.
stage itself was covered with gentlemen and ladies, and when the curtain was drawn, it discovered even there a very splendid audience. This unusual encouragement, which was given to a play for the advantage of so great an actor, gives an undeniable instance, that the true relish for manly entertainments and rational pleasures is not wholly lost. All the parts were acted to perfection; the actors were careful of their carriage, and no one was guilty of the affectation to insert witticisms of his own; but a due respect was had to the audience, for encouraging this accomplished player. It is not now doubted but plays will revive, and take their usual place in the opinion of persons of wit and merit, notwithstanding their late apostacy in favour of dress and sound. This place is very much altered since Mr. Dryden frequented it; where you used to see songs, epigrams, and satires, in the hands of every man you met, you have now only a pack of cards; and instead of the cavils about the turn of the expression, the elegance of the style, and the like, the learned now dispute only about the truth of the game. But however the company is altered, all have shown a great respect for Mr. Betterton : and the very gaming part of this house have been so touched with a sense of the uncertainty of human affairs (which alter with themselves every moment) that in this gentleman they pitied Mark Anthony of Rome, Hamlet of Denmark, Mithridates of Pontus, Theodosius of Greece, and Henry the Eighth of England. It is well known, he has been in the condition of each of those illustrious personages for several hours together, and behaved himself in those high stations, in all the changes of the scene, with suitable dignity. For these reasons, we intend to repeat this late favour to him on a proper occasion, lest he, who can instruct us so well in personating feigned sorrows, should be lost to us by suffering
under real ones. The town is at present in very great expectation of seeing a comedy now in rehearsal, which is the twenty-fifth production of my honoured friend Mr. Thomas D'Urfey; who, besides his great abilities in the dramatic, has a peculiar talent in the lyric way of writing, and that with a manner wholly new and unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans, wherein he is but faintly imitated in the translations of the modern Italian Operas.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 11.
Letters from the Hague of the sixteenth say, Major General Cadogan was gone to Brussels, with orders to disperse proper instructions for assembling the whole force of the allies in Flanders, in the beginning of the next month. The late offers concerning peace were made in the style of persons who think themselves upon equal terms: but the allies have so just a sense of present advantages, that they will not admit of a treaty, except France offers what is more suitable to her present condition. At the same time we make preparations, as if we were alarmed by a greater force than that which we are carrying into the field. Thus this point seems now to be argued sword in hand. This was what a great general* alluded to, when being asked the name of those who were to be plenopotentiaries for the ensuing peace, he answered with a serious air, "There are about an hundred thousand of us." Mr. Kidney, who has the ear of the greatest politicians that come hither, tells me there is a mail come in to-day with letters, dated Hague, April the nineteenth, N. S. which say, a design of bringing part of our troops into the field, at the latter end of this month, is now altered to a resolution of marching towards the camp about the twentieth of the next. Prince Eugene
* The Duke of Marlborough.
was then returned thither from Amsterdam. sets out from Brussels on Tuesday: the greater number of the general officers at the Hague have orders to go at the same time. The squadron of Dunkirk consists of seven vessels. There happened the other day, in the road of Scheveling, an engagement between a privateer of Zeeland and one of Dunkirk. The Dunkirker, carrying thirty-three pieces of cannon, was taken and brought into the Texel. It is said the courier of Monsieur Rouille is returned to him from the Court of France. Monsieur Vendosme, being re-instated in the favour of the Dutchess of Burgundy, is to command in Flanders.
Mr. Kidney added, that there were letters of the seventeenth from Ghent, which give an account, that the enemy had formed a design to surprise two battalions of the allies which lay at Alost: but those battalions received advice of their march and retired to Dendermond. Lieutenant General Wood appeared on this occasion at the head of five thousand foot, and one thousand horse; upon which the enemy withdrew, without making any farther attempt.
From my own Apartment.
I am sorry I am obliged to trouble the publick with so much discourse upon a matter which I at the very first mentioned as a trifle, viz. the death of Mr. Partridge,* * under whose name there is an almanack come out for the year 1709; in one page of which is asserted by the said John Partridge, that he is still living, and not only so, but that he was
* Dr. Swift, in his "Predictions for 1708," foretold that Partridge the almanack-maker would infallibly die on the 29th of March, about eleven at night, of a raging fever. The wits resolved to support this prediction, and uniformly insisted that Partridge actually died at that time.