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sician, and carried off his wife. · The doctor had not been a widow long, before he married his second lady, with whom also he lived in very good understanding. It so happened, that the doctor was with child at the same time that his lady was; but the little ones coming both together, they passed for twins. The doctor having entirely established the reputation of his manhood, especially by the birth of the boy of whom he had been lately delivered, and who very much resembles him, grew into good business, and was particularly famous for the cure of venereal distempers; but would have had much more practice among his own sex, had not some of them been so unreasonable as to de mand certain proofs of their cure, which the doctor was not able to give them. The florid blooming look, which gave the doctor some uneasiness at first, instead of betraying his person, only recommended his physic. Upon this occasion I cannot forbear mentioning what I thought a very agreeable surprise in one of Moliere's plays, where a young woman applies herself to a sick person in the habit of a quack, and speaks to her patient, who was something scandalized at the youth of his physician, to the following purpose :-"I begun to practise in the reign of Francis I. and am now in the hundred and fiftieth year of my age; but, by the virtue of my medicaments, have maintained myself in the same beauty and freshness I had at fifteen. For this reason, Hippocrates lays it down as a rule, that a student in physic should have a sound constitution, and a healthy look; which indeed seem as necessary qualifications for a physician, as a good life, and virtuous behaviour, for a divine. But to return to our subject. About two years ago, the doctor was very much afflicted with the vapours,
grew upon him to such a degree, that about six weeks since they made an end of him. His death discovered the disguise he had acted under, and brought him back again to his former sex.
Tis said, that at his burial, the pall was held up by
six women of some fashion. The doctor left behind him a widow, and two fatherless children, if they may be called so, besides the little boy before mentioned. In relation to whom we may say of the doctor, as the good old ballad about. The Children in the Wood' says of the unnatural uncle, that he was father and mother both in one. These are all the circumstances that I could learn of Dr. Young's life, which might have given occasion to many obscene fictions : but as I know those would never have gained a place in your paper, I have not troubled you with any impertinence of that nature; having stuck to the truth very scrupulously, as I always do when I subscribe myself,
“Sir, Your,” &c.
I shall add, as a postscript to this letter, that I am informed, the famous Saltero,' who sells coffee in his museum at Chelsea, has by him a curiosity which helped the doctor to carry on his imposture, and will give great satisfaction to the curious inquirer.
No. 229. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1710,
Quæsitam meritis sume superbiam.—IIor.
From my own Apartment, September 25, The whole creation preys upon itself; every living creature is inhabited. A flea has a thousand invisible insects that teaze him as he jumps from place to place, and revenge our quarrels upon him. A very ordinary microscope shows us, that a louse is itself a very lousy creature. A whale, besides those seas and oceans in the several vessels of his body, which are filled with
· V. notes to No. 34, Nichols's ed.-G.
innumerable shoals of little animals, carries about it a whole world of inhabitants; insomuch that, if we believe the calculations some have made, there are more living creatures, which are too small for the naked eye to behold, about the leviathan, than there are of visible creatures upon the face of the whole earth. Thus every nobler creature is as it were the basis and support of multitudes that are his inferiors.
This consideration very much comforts me, when I think on those numberless vermin that feed
and find their sustenance out of it; I mean, the small wits and scribblers that every day turn a penny by nibbling at my lucubrations. This has been so advantageous to this little species of writers, that, if they do me justice, I may expect to have my statue erected in Grub-street, as being a common benefactor to that quarter.
They say, when a fox is very much troubled with fleas, he goes into the next pool with a little lock of wool in his mouth, and keeps his body under water, till the vermin get into it, after which he quits the wool, and diving, leaves his tormentors to shift for themselves, and get their livelihood where they can. I would have these gentlemen take care that I do not serve them after the same manner; for though I have hitherto kept my temper pretty well, it is not impossible but I may some time or other disappear; and what will then become of them ? Should I lay down my paper, what a famine would there be among the hawkers, printers, booksellers, and authors ? It would be like Dr. Burgess's" dropping his cloak, with the whole congregation hanging upon the skirts of it. To enumerate some of these my doughty antagonists, I was threatened to be answered weekly Tit for Tat: I was undermined by the Whisperer, haunted by Tom Brown's Ghost, scolded at by a Female Tatler, and slandered
* Daniel Burgess was secretary and render to the princess Sophia at the court of Hanovnr in 1714.--N.
by another of the same character, under the title of Atalantis. I have been annotated, retattled, examined, and condoled : but it being my standing maxim, never to speak ill of the dead; I shall let these authors rest in peace, and take great pleasure in thinking that I have sometimes been the means of their getting a belly-full. When I see myself thus surrounded by such formidable enemies, I often think of the Knight of the Red Cross in Spencer's Den of Error, who, after he has cut off the dragon's head, and left it wallowing in a flood of ink, sees a thousand monstrous reptiles making their attempts upon him, one with many heads, another with none, and all of them without eyes.
The same so sore annoyed has the knight,
As gentle shepherd in sweet even-tide,
If ever I should want such a fry of little authors to attend me, I shall think my paper in a very decaying condition. They are like ivy about an oak, which adorns the tree at the same time that it eats into it; or like a great man's equipage, that do honour to the person on whom they feed. For my part, when I see myself thus attacked, I do not consider my antagonists as malicious, but hungry, and therefore am resolved never to take any notice of them.
* Fairy Queen, L. i., I. 1.---1. 22-25.--.N.
As for those who detract from my labours without being prompted to it by an empty stomach, in return to their censures I shall take pains to excel, and never fail to persuade myself, that their enmity is nothing but their envy or ignorance.
Give me leave to conclude, like an old man and a moralist, with a fable.
The owls, bats, and several other birds of night, were one day got together in a thick shade, where they abused their neighbours in a very sociable manner. This satire at last fell upon the sun, whom they all agreed to be very troublesome, impertinent, and inquisitive. Upon which the sun, who overheard them, spoke to them after this manner : 'Gentlemen, I wonder dare abuse one that
know could in an instant scorch you up, and burn every mother's son of you: but the only answer I shall give you, or the revenge I shall take of you, is, to shine on.'
No. 239. THURSDAY, OCTOBEB 19, 1710.
-Mecum certasse feretur.-OVID.
From my own Apartment, October 18. It is ridiculous for any man to criticise on the works of another, who has not distinguished himself by his own performances. A judge would make but an indifferent figure who had never been known at the bar. Cicero was reputed the greatest orator of his age and country before he wrote a book De Oratore; and Horace the greatest poet before he published his Art of Poetry.