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a chair, her petticoat in one corner of the room, and her girdle, that had a copy of verses made upon it but the day before, with her thread stockings, in the middle of the floor. I was so foolishly officious, that I could not forbear gathering up her clothes together to lay them upon the chair that stood by her bed-side, when, to my great surprise, after a little muttering, she cried out, What do you do? Let my petticoat alone.' I was startled at first, but soon found that she was in a dream; being one of those who (to use Shakespear's expression) are 'So loose of thought,' that they utter in their sleep every thing that passes in their imagination. I left the apartment of this female rake, and went into her neighbour's, where there lay a male coquet. He had a bottle of salts hanging over his head, and upon the table, by his bed-side, Suckling's poems, with a little heap of black patches on it. His snuff-box was within reach on a chair: but while I was admiring the disposition which he made of the several parts of his dress, his slumber seemed interrupted by a pang, that was accompanied by a sudden oath, as he turned himself over hastily in his bed. I did not care for seeing him in his nocturnal pains, and left the
I was no sooner got into another bedchamber, but I heard very harsh words uttered in a smooth uniform tone.
I was amazed to hear so great a volubility in reproach, and thought it too coherent to be spoken by one asleep; but upon looking nearer, I saw the head-dress of the person who spoke, which shewed her to be a female with a man lying by her side broad awake, and as quiet as a lamb. I could not but admire his exemplary patience, and discovered by his whole behaviour, that he was then lying under the discipline of a curtain-lecture.
I was entertained in many other places with this kind of nocturnal eloquence, but observed, that most of those whom I found awake, were kept so either by envy or by love. Some of these
were sighing, and others cursing, in soliloquy; some hugged their pillows, and others gnashed their teeth.
The covetous I likewise found to be a very wakeful people. I happened to come into a room where one of them lay sick. His physician and his wife were in close whisper near his bed-side. I overheard the doctor say to the gentlewoman, “He cannot possibly live till five in the morning.' She received it like the mistress of a family prepared for all events. At the same instant came in a servant maid, who said, “Madam, the undertaker is below according to your order.' The words were scarce out of her mouth, when the sick man cried out with a feeble voice, ' Pray, doctor, how went bank-stock to-day at 'Change?' This melancholy object made me too serious for diverting myself further this way: but as I was going home, I saw a light in a garret, and entering into it, heard a voice crying. And, hand, stand, band, fann'd, tann'd.' I concluded him by this, and the furniture of his room, to be a lunatic; but upon listening a little longer, perceived it was a poet, writing an heroic upon the ensuing peace.'
It was now towards morning, an hour when spirits, witches, and conjurors, are obliged to retire to their own apartments; and feeling the influence of it, I was hastening home, when I saw a man had got half way into a neighbour's house. I immediately called to him, and, turning my ring, appeared in my proper per
There is something magisterial in the aspect of the Bickerstaffes, which made him run away in confusion.
As I took a turn or two in my own lodging, I was thinking, that, old as I was, I need not go to bed alone, but that it was in my power to marry the finest lady in this kingdom, if I would wed her with this ring. For what a figure would she that should have it make at a visit, with so perfect a knowledge as this would
| Nichols supposes that Tickell was the person here alluded to.–V. N.'s notes.-G.
give her of all the scandal in the town? But instead of endeavouring to dispose of myself and it in matrimony, I resolved to lend it to my loving friend the author of the Atalantis," to furnish a new Secret History of Secret Memoirs.
No. 249. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1710.
Per varios casus, per tot discriinina rerum,
From my own Apartment, November 10. I was last night visited by a friend of mine, who has an in. exhaustible fund of discourse, and never fails to entertain his company with a variety of thoughts and hints that are altogether ney and uncommon, whether it were in complaisance to my way of living, or his real opinion, he advanced the following paradox,
That it required much greater talents to fill up and become a retired life, than a life of business. Upon this occasion he rallied very agreeably the busy men of the age, who only valued themselves for being in motion, and passing through a series of trifling and insignificant actions. In the heat of his discourse, seeing a piece of money lying on my table, 'I defy (says he,) any of these active persons to produce half the adventures that this twelvepenny piece has been engaged in, were it possible for him to give us an account of his life.'
My friend's talk made so odd an impression upon my mind, that soon after I was a-bed I fell insensibly into a most unac
· Mrs. Manley.-N.
6 See his letters to Mrs. Johnson. Letter X. Nov. 25, 1710. p. 115.Swift then invented the subject: but it is not so much the invention of a story, as the manner of telling it, that constitutes the merit of these papers. [V. NICHOL's notes for a full account of the origin of this paper.-G.]
countable reverie, that had neither moral nor design in it, and cannot be so properly called a dream as a delirium.
Methought the shilling that lay upon the table reared itself upon its edge, and turning the face towards me, opened its mouth, and in a soft silver sound, gave me the following account of his life and adventures :
'I was born, (says he,) on the side of a mountain, near a little village of Peru, and made a voyage to England in an ingot, under the convoy of Sir Francis Drake. I was, soon after my arrival, taken out of my Indian habit, refined, naturalized, and put into the British mode, with the face of Queen Elizabeth on one side, and the arms of the country on the other. Being thus equipped, I found in me a wonderful inclination to ramble, and visit all the parts of the new world into which I was brought. The people very much favoured my natural disposition, and shifted me so fast from hand to hand, that before I was five years old, I had travelled into almost every corner of the nation. But in the beginning of my sixth year, to my unspeakable grief, I fell into the bands of a miserable old fellow, who clapped me into an iron chest, where I found five hundred more of my own quality who lay under the same confinement. The only relief we had, was to be taken out and counted over in the fresh air every morning and evening. After an imprisonment of several years, we heard somebody knocking at our chest, and breaking it open with an hammer. This we found was the old man's heir, who, as his father lay a dying, was so good as to come to our release : he separated us that very day. What was the fate of my companions I know not: as for myself, I was sent to the apothecary's shop for a pint of sack. The apothecary gave me to an herb-woman, the herb-woman to a butcher, the butcher to a brewer, and the brewer to his wife, who made a present of me to a nonconformist preacher. After this manner I made my way merrily through
the world; for, as I told you before, we shillings love nothing so much as travelling. I sometimes fetched in a shoulder of mutton, sometimes a play-book, and often had the satisfaction to treat a Templar at a twelvepenny ordinary, or carry him, with three friends, to Westminster Hall.
• In the midst of this pleasant progress which I made from place to place, I was arrested by a superstitious old woman, who shut me up in a greasy purse, in pursuance of a foolish saying, • That while she kept a Queen Elizabeth's shilling about her, she should never be without money.' I continued here a close prisoner for many months, till at last I was exchanged for eight and forty farthings.
"I thus rambled from pocket to pocket till the beginning of the civil wars, when, to my shame be it spoken, I was employed in raising soldiers against the king : for being of a very tempting breadth, a sergeant made use of me to inveigle country fellows, and list them in the service of the parliament.
“As soon as he had made one man sure, his way was to oblige him to take a shilling of a more homely figure, and then practise the same trick upon another. Thus I continued doing great mischief to the crown, till my officer, chancing one morning to walk abroad earlier than ordinary, sacrificed me to his pleasures, and made use of me to seduce a milk-maid. This wench bent me, and gave me to her sweetheart, applying more properly than she intended the usual form of, 'To my love and from my
love.' This ungenerous gallant marrying her within a few days after, pawned me for a dram of brandy, and drinking me out next day, I was beaten flat with an hammer, and again set a running.
' After many adventures, which it would be tedious to relate, I was sent to a young spendthrift, in company with the will of his deceased father. The young fellow, who I found was very extravagant, gave great demonstrations of joy at the receiving of