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Cupid, (continued she,) has always been pthisical, and as he lies under something like a chin cough, we are afraid it will end in a consumption.' I then asked her, ' If she had brought any of his water to shew me?' Upon this, she stared me in the face, and said, 'I am afraid, Mr. Bickerstaffe, you are not serious;- but if you have any receipt that is proper on this occasion, pray let us have it, for my mistress is not to be comforted.' Upon this, I paused a little without returning any answer; and after some short silence, I proceeded in the following manner : • 'I have considered the nature of the distemper, and the constitution of the patient, and by the best observation that I can make on both, I think it safest to put him into a course of kitchen physic. [In the mean time, to remove his hoarseness, it will be the most natural way to make Cupid his own druggist; for which reason, I shall prescribe to him, three mornings successively, as much powder as will lie on a groat, of that noble remedy which the apothecaries call album Græcum. Upon hearing this advice, the young woman smiled, as if she knew how ridiculous an errand she had been employed in; and indeed I found by the sequel of her discourse, that she was an arch baggage, and of a character that is frequent enough in persons of her employment, who are so used to conform themselves in every thing to the humours and passions of their mistresses, that they sacrifice superiority of sense to superiority of condition, and are insensibly betrayed into the passions and prejudices of those whom they serve, with
* This was put in to prepare the way for the change of character. See the next page.
b Proceeded in the following manner. I suppose, in Mr. Addison's orig. inal draught, it stood thus-"I dismissed her with the following prescrip tion."
• This change of character in the Abigail, is so foreign to the design of the paper; is so languidly expressed, and carried on in a vein of hu. mour so unlike Mr. Addison's, that I think it should be given to his coadjutor. What I mean, is, so much of this page as is contained within the (rotchets, from “ In the mean," &c. to " forced her out.”
out giving themselves leave to consider, that they are extravagant and ridiculous. However, I thought it very natural, when her eyes were thus open, to see her give a new turn to her discourse, and from sympathizing with her mistress in her follies, to fall a railing at her. You cannot imagine, (said she,) Mr. Bickerstaffe, what a life she makes us lead for the sake of this ugly cur: if he dies, we are the most unhappy family in town. She chanced to lose a parrot last year, which, to tell you truly, brought me into her service; for she turned off her woman upon it, who had lived with her ten years, because she neglected to give him water, though every one of the family says, she was as innocent of the bird's death, as the babe that is unborn. Nay, she told me this very morning, that if Cupid should die, she would send the poor innocent wench I was telling you of, to Bridewell, and have the milk-woman tried for her life at the Old Bailey, for putting water into his milk. In short, she talks like any distracted creature.'
Since it is so, young woman, (said I,) I will by no means let you offend her, by staying on this message longer than is absolutely necessary;' and so forced her out.]
While I am studying to cure those evils and distresses that are necessary or natural to human life, I find my task growing upon me, since by these accidental cares, and acquired calamities, (if I may so call them,) my patients contract distempers to which their constitution is of itself a stranger. But this is an evil I have for many years remarked in the fair sex; and as they are by nature very much formed for affection and dalliance, I have observed, that when by too obstinate a cruelty, or any other means, they have disappointed themselves of the proper objects of love, as husbands, or children, such virgins have exactly at such a year grown fond of lap-dogs, parrots, or other animals. I know at this time a celebrated toast, whom I allow to be one of the most agreeable of her sex, that in the presence of her admirers, will give a torrent of kisses to her 'cat, any one of which a Christian would be glad of. I do not at the same time deny, but there are as great enormities of this kind committed by our sex as theirs. A Roman emperor had so very great an esteem for an horse of his, that he had thoughts of making him a consul; and several moderns of that rank of men, whom we call country ’squires, will not scruple to kiss their hounds before all the world, and declare, in the presence of their wives, that they had rather salute a favourite of the pack, than the finest woman in England. These voluntary friendships between animals of different species, seem to arise from instinct; for which reason, I have always looked upon the mutual goodwill between the 'squire and the hound, to be of the same nature with that between the lion and the jackal.
The only extravagance of this kind which appears to me excusable, is one that grew out of an excess of gratitude, which I have somewhere met with in the life of a Turkish
emperor. His horse had brought him safe out of a field of battle, and from the pursuit of a victorious enemy. As a reward for such his good and faithful service, his master built him a stable of marble, shod him with gold, fed him in an ivory manger, and made him a rack of silver. He annexed to the stable several fields and meadows, lakes and running streams. At the same time he provided for him a seraglio of mares, the most beautiful that could be found in the whole Ottoman empire. To these were added a suitable train of domestics, consisting of grooms, farriers, rubbers, &c., accommodated with proper liveries and pensions. In short, nothing was omitted that could contribute to the ease and happiness of his life who had preserved the emperor's.
By reason of the extreme cold, and the changeableness of
the weather, I have been prevailed upon to allow the free use of the fardingal till the 20th of February next ensuing.'
No. 122. THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 1709.
Cur in Theatrum Cato severe venisti?--MART.
From my own Apartment, January 18. I find it is thought necessary, that I (who have taken upon me to censure the irregularities of the age) should give an account of my actions when they appear doubtful, or subject to misconstruction. My appearing at the play on Monday last," is looked upon as a step in my conduct which I ought to explain, that others may not be misled by my example. It is true in matter of fact, I was present at the ingenious entertainment of that day, and placed myself in a box which was prepared for me with great civility and distinction. It is said of Virgil, when he entered a Roman theatre, where there were many thousands of spectators present, that the whole assembly rose up to do him honour; a respect which was never before paid to any but the emperor. I must confess, that universal clap, and other testimonies of applause, with which I was received at my first appearance in the theatre of Great Britain, gave me as sensible a delight, as the above-mentioned reception could give to that immortal poet. I should be ungrateful at the same time, if I did not take this opportunity of acknowledging the great civilities that were shown me by Mr. Thomas Dogget, who made his compliments to me between the acts after a most ingenuous and discreet manner; and at the same time communicated to me, that
* N. B. A person dressed for Isaac Bickerstaffe did appear at the playhouse on this occasion.
the company of upholders desired to receive me at their door at the end of the Haymarket, and to light me home to my lodgings. That part of the ceremony I forbade, and took particular care during the whole play to observe the conduct of the drama, and give no offence by my own behaviour. Here I think it will not be foreign to my character, to lay down the proper duties of an audience, and what is incumbent upon each individual spectator in public diversions of this nature. Every one should on these occasions show his attention, understanding, and virtue. I would undertake to find out all the persons of sense and breeding by the effect of a single sentence, and to distinguish a gentleman as much by his laugh as his bow. When we see the footman and his lord diverted by the same jest, it very much turns to the diminution of the one, or the honour of the other. But though a man's quality may appear in his understanding and taste, the regard to virtue ought to be the same in all ranks and conditions of men, however they make a profession of it under the name of honour, religion, or morality, When, therefore, we see any thing divert an audience, either in tragedy or comedy, that strikes at the duties of civil life, or exposes what the best men in all ages have looked upon as sacred and inviolable, it is the certain sign of a profligate race of men, who are fallen from the virtue of their forefathers, and will be contemptible in the eyes of their posterity. For this reason I took great delight in seeing the generous and disinterested passion of the lovers in this comedy (which stood so many trials, and was proved by such a variety of diverting incidents) received with an universal approbation. This brings to my mind a passage in Cicero, which I could never read without being in love with the virtue of a Roman audience.' He there describes the shouts and applauses which the people gave to the persons who
i De Amicitia.