Imágenes de páginas

also living some time before, and even at the instant when I writ of his death. I have in another place, and in a paper by itself, sufficiently convinced this man that he is dead, and if he has any shame, I do not doubt but that by this time he owns it to all his acquaintance; for though the legs and arms and whole body of that man may still appear, and perform their animal functions; yet since, as I have elsewhere observed, his art is gone, the man is gone. I am, as I said, concerned, that this little matter should make so much noise; but since I am engaged, I take myself obliged in honour to go on in my lucubrations, and by the help of these arts of which I am master, as well as my skill in astrological speculations, I shall, as I see occasion, proceed to confute other dead men, who pretend to be in being, although they are actually deceased. I therefore give all men fair warning to mend their manners; for I shall from time to time print bills of mortality and I beg the pardon of all such who shall be named therein, if they who are good for nothing shall find themselves in the number of the deceased.


N° 2. SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 1709.

Quicquid agunt homines

nostri est farrago libelli.
Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.

Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
Our motley paper seizes for its theme.

Will's Coffee-House, April 13.


THERE has lain all this evening on the table the following poem. The subject of it being matter very useful for families, I thought it deserved to be

considered and made more public. The turn the poet gives it is very happy; but the foundation is from a real accident which happened amongst my acquaintance. A young Gentleman of great estate fell desperately in love with a great Beauty of very high quality, but as ill-natured as long flattery and an habitual self-will could make her. However, my young spark ventures upon her like a man of quality, without being acquainted with her, or having ever saluted her, until it was a crime to kiss any woman else. Beauty is a thing which palls with possession and the charms of this lady soon wanted the support of good-humour and complacency of manners: upon this my Spark flies to the bottle for relief from satiety. She disdains him, for being tired with that for which all men envied him; and he never came home, but it was-" Was there no sot that would stay longer? would any man living but you? did I leave all the world for this usage ?" to which he "Madam, split me, you are very impertinent!" In a word, this match was wedlock in its most terrible appearances. She, at last, weary of railing to no purpose, applies to a good uncle, who gives her a bottle, he pretended he had bought of Mr. Partridge, the conjuror. This, said he, I gave ten guineas for. The virtue of the enchanted liquor (said he that sold it) is such, that if the woman you marry proves a scold (which, it seems, my dear niece, is your misfortune; as it was your good mother's before you), let her hold three spoonfuls in her mouth for a full half hour after you come home-but I find I am not in humour for telling a tale and nothing in nature is so ungraceful as story-telling against the grain; therefore take it as the author has given it to you*.

*These verses are by Mr, William Harrison.

[ocr errors]


Miss Molly, a fam'd Toast, was fair and young,
Had wealth and charms-but then she had a tongue!
From morn to night th' eternal larum run,
Which often lost those hearts her eyes had won.
Sir John was smitten, and confess'd his flame,
Sigh'd out the usual time, then wed the dame;
Possess'd, he thought, of ev'ry joy of life:
But his dear Molly prov'd a very wife.
Excess of fondness did in time decline,
Madam lov'd money, and the Knight lov'd wine :
From whence some petty discord would arise,

As, "You 're a fool!"-and, "You are mighty wise!"
Though he and all the world allow'd her wit,
Her voice was shrill, and rather loud than sweet;
When she began, for hat and sword he'd call,
Then after a faint kiss
cry, B'ye, dear Moll:
Supper and friends expect me at the Rose."
"And what, Sir John, you'll get your usual dose!
Go, stink of smoke, and guzzle nasty wine:
Sure, never virtuous love was used like mine!'

Oft as the watchful bellman marched his round,
At a fresh bottle gay Sir John he found.
By four the knight would get his business done,
And only then reel'd off-because alone;
Full well he knew the dreadful storm to come;
But, arm'd with Bourdeux, he durst venture home.
My lady with her tongue was still prepar'd,

She rattled loud, and he impatient heard:

""Tis a fine hour! in a sweet pickle made!
And this, Sir John, is every day the trade.

Here I sit moping all the live-long night,
Devour'd with spleen, and stranger to delight;
'Till morn sends staggering home a drunken beast,

Resolv'd to break my heart, as well as rest."

"Hey! hoop! d' ye hear my damn'd obstreperous spouse; What, can't you find one bed about the house?

Will that perpetual clack lie never still!

That rival to the softness of a mill!

Some couch and distant room must be my choice,

Where I may sleep uncurs'd with wife and noise."
Long this uncomfortable life they led,

With snarling meals, and each a sep❜rate bed.
To an old uncle oft she would complain,
Beg his advice, and scarce from tears refrain,

Old Wisewood smok'd the matter as it was:
"Cheer up!" cry'd he, "and I'll remove the cause.

A wondrous spring within my garden flows,
Of sovereign virtue, chiefly to compose
Domestic jars, and matrimonial strife;
The best elixir t' appease man and wife;
Strange are th' effects, the qualities divine;
'Tis water call'd, but worth its weight in wine.

If in his sullen airs Sir John should come,

Three spoonfuls take, hold in your mouth-then mum.
Smile, and look pleas'd, when he shall rage and scold;
Still in your mouth the healing cordial hold;

One month this sympathetic medicine try'd,
He'll grow a lover, you a happy bride.

But, dearest niece, keep this grand secret close,
Or every prattling hussy 'll beg a dose."

A water bottle's brought for her relief;
Not Nants could sooner ease the lady's grief:
Her busy thoughts are on the trial bent,
And, female like, impatient for th' event.

The bonny knight reels home exceeding clear,
Prepar'd for clamour and domestic war;

Entering, he cries, "Hey! where 's our thunder fled! No hurricane! Betty, 's your lady dead?"

Madam, aside, an ample mouthful takes,

Curt'sies, looks kind, but not a word she speaks:
Wondering, he star'd, scarcely his eyes believ❜d,
But found his ears agreeably deceiv'd.

"Why how now, Molly, what's the crotchet now?"
She smiles, and answers only with a bow.
Then, clasping her about, "Why, let me die!
These night-cloaths, Moll, become thee mightily!"
With that he sigh'd, her hand begun to press,
And Betty calls, her lady to undress.
"Nay, kiss me, Molly-for I'm much inclin'd."
Her lace she cuts, to take him in the mind:
Thus the fond pair to bed enamour'd went,
The lady pleas'd, and the good knight content.
For many days these fond endearments past,
The reconciling bottle fails at last;

"Twas us'd and gone-then midnight storms arose,
And looks and words the union discompose.
Her coach is order'd, and post haste she flies,
To beg her uncle for some fresh supplies;
Transported does the strange effects relate,
Her knight's conversion, and her happy state!

"Why, niece," says he, "I pr'ythee apprehend,
The water's water-be thyself the friend.
Such beauty would the coldest husband warm;
But your provoking tongue undoes the charm:
Be silent and complying; you'll soon find,
Sir John without a med'cine will be kind."

St. James's Coffee-house, April 13.

Letters from Venice say, the disappointment of their expectation to see his Danish Majesty has very much disquieted the Court of Rome. Our last advices from Germany inform us, that the Minister of Hanover has urged the Council at Ratisbonne to exert themselves in behalf of the common cause, and taken the liberty to say, That the dignity, the virtue, the prudence of his Electorial Highness, his master, were called to the head of their affairs in vain, if they thought fit to leave him naked of the proper means, to make those excellencies useful for the honour and safety of the empire. They write from Berlin of the thirteenth, O. S. That the true design of General Fleming's visit to that Court was, to insinuate that it will be for the mutual interest of the King of Prussia and King Augustus to enter into a new alliance; but that the Ministers of Prussia are not inclined to his sentiments. We hear from Vienna, that his Imperial Majesty has expressed great satisfaction in their High Mightinesses having communicated to him the whole that has passed in the affair of a peace. Though there have been practices used by the agents of France, in all the Courts of Europe, to break the good understanding of the allies, they have had no other effect, but to make all the members concerned in the alliance more doubtful of their safety from the great offers of the enemy. The Emperor is roused by this alarm, and the frontiers of all the French dominions are in danger of being insulted the ensuing campaign. Advices from all parts confirm, that it is impossible for

« AnteriorContinuar »