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Dear Sir, convince them, that it never was, is, or ever will be, either of them ; nor ever did, does, or to all futurity ever can, look like either of them ; but that it is the most cursed disturbance in nature, which is possible to be inflicted on mankind, under the noble definition of a sociable creature. In doing this, Sir, you will oblige more humble servants than can find room to subscribe their names."
White's Chocolate-house, July 6. In pursuance of my last date from hence, I am to proceed on the accounts I promised of several personages among the men, whose conspicuous fortunes, or ambition in showing their follies, have exalted them above their fellows: The levity of their minds is visible in their every word and gesture, and there is not a day passes but puts me in mind of Mr. Wycherley's character of a Coxcomb: “ He is ugly all over with the affectation of the fine gentleman.' Now though the women may put on softn'ss in their looks, or affected severity, or impertinent gaiety, or pert smartness, their self-love and admiration cannot under any of these disguises appear so invincible as that of the men. easily take notice, that in all their actions there is a secret approbation, either in the tone of their voice, the turn of their body, or cast of their eye, which shews that they are extremely in their own favour.
Take one of your men of business, he shall keep you half an hour with your hat off, entertaining you with his consideration of that affair you spoke of to him last, until he has drawn a crowd that observes you in this grimace. Then, when he is public enough, he immediately runs into secrets, and falls a whispering. You and he make breaks with adverbs; as,
“ But however, thus far;" and then you whisper again, and so on, until they who are about
you are dispersed, and your busy man's vanity is no longer gratified by the notice taken of what importance he is, and how inconsiderable you are ; for your pretender to business is never in secret, but in public.
There is my dear Lord No-where, of all men the most gracious and most obliging, the terror of Valets de Chambre, whom he oppresses with good breeding, by enquiring for my good lord, and for my good lady's health. This inimitable courtier will whisper a privy counsellor's lacquey with the utmost goodness and condescension, to know when they next sit; and is thoroughly taken up, and thinks he has a part in a secret, if he knows that there is a secret. “ What it is,” he will whisper you, that « time will discover;" then he shrugs, and calls you back again “ Sir, I need not say to you, that these things are not to be spoken of- -and harkye, no names, I would not be quoted.” What adds to the jest is, that his emptiness has its moods and seasons, and he will not condescend to let you into these his discoveries, except he is in very good humour, or has seen somebody of fashion talk to you. He will keep his nothing to himself, and . pass by and overlook as well as the best of them; not observing that he is insolent when he is gracious, and obliging when he is haughty. Show me a woman so inconsiderable as this frequent character.
But my mind, now I am in, turns to many no less observable: Thou dear Will Shoe-string! I profess myself in love with thee! how shall I speak thee? how shall I address thee? how shall I draw thee? thou dear Outside! Will you be combing your wig, playing with your box, or picking your teeth? or choosest thou rather to be speaking; to be speaking for thy only purpose in speaking, to show your teeth ? Rub them no longer, dear Shoestring * : do noi premeditate murder: do not for ever whiten. Oh! that for my quiet and his own they were rotten!
But I will forget him, and give my hand to the courteous Umbra. He is a fine man indeed, but the soft creature bows below my apron-string, before he takes it; yet, after the first ceremonies, he is as familiar as my physician, and his insignificancy makes me half ready to complain to him of all I would to my doctor. He is so courteous, that he carries balf the messages of ladies ails in town to their midwives and nurses. He understands too the art of medicine as far as to the cure of a pimple, or a rash. On occasions of the like importance, he is the most assiduous of all men living, in consulting and searching precedents froin family to family, then he speaks of his obsequiousness and diligence in the style of real services. If you sneer at him, and thank him for his great friendship, he bows,
“ Madam, all the good offices in my power, while I have any knowledge or credit, shall be at your service.” The consideration of so shallow a being, and the intent application with which he pursues trifles, has made me carefully reflect upon that sort of men we usually call an Imper tinent: and I am, upon mature deliberation, so far from being offended with him, that I am really obliged to him ; for though he will take you aside, and talk half an hour to you upon matters wholly insignificant with the most solemn air, yet I consider, that these things are of weight in his imagination, and he thinks he is communicating what is
* Sir William Whitlocke, knt. Member for Oxon, Bencher of the Middle Temple: He is the learned knight mentioned, Tat. N° 43.
service. If, therefore, it be a just rule, to judge of a man by his intention, according to the equity of good breeding, he that is impertinently kind or wise, to do you service, ought in return to have a proportionable place both in your affection and esteem ; so that the courteous Umbra deserves the favour of all his acquaintance; for though he never served them, he is ever willing to do it, and believes he does it.
As impotent kindness is to be returned with all our abilities to oblige; so impotent malice is to be treated with all our force to depress it. For this reason, Fly-blow (who is received in all the fa. milies in town, through the degeneracy and iniquity of their manners) is to be treated like a knave, though he is one of the weakest of fools: he has by rote, and at second-hand, all that can be said of any man of figure, wit, and virtue, in town. Name a man of worth, and this creature tells you the worst passage of his life. Speak of a beautiful woman, and this puppy will whisper the next'man to him, though he has nothing to say of her. He is a fly that feeds on the sore part, and would have nothing to live on if the whole body were in health. You may know him by the frequency of pronouncing the particle but'; for which reason I never heard him spoke of with common charity, without using my but against him: for a friend of mine saying the other day, “Mrs. Distaff has wit, goodhumour, virtue, and friendship;" this oaf added, “ But she is not handsome.” 6. Coxcomb ! the gentleman was saying what I was, not what I was not."
St. James's Coffee-house, July 6. The approaches before Tournay have been carried on with great success; and our advices from the
camp before that place of the eleventh instant
say, that they had already made a lodgment on the glacis. Two hundred boats were come up the Scheld with the heavy artillery and ammunition, which would be employed in dismounting the enemy's defences, and raised on the batteries the fifteenth, body of miners are summoned to the camp, to countermine the works of the enemy.
We are convinced of the weakness of the garrison by a certain account, that they called a council of war, to consult whether it was not advisable to march into the citadel, and leave the town defenceless.
We are assured, that when the contederate army was advancing towards the camp of Marshal Villars, that General dispatched a courier to his master with a letter, giving an account of their approach, which concluded with the following words:
“ The day begins to break, and your Majesty's army is already in order of battle. Before noon, I hope to have the honour of congratulating your Majesty on the success of a great action; and you shall be very well satisfied with the Marshal Villars.”
Mrs. Distaff hath received the Dialogue dated Monday Evening, which she has sent forward to Mr. Bickerstaff at Maidenhead : and in the mean time gives her service to the parties.
It is to be noted, that when any part of this Paper appears dull, there is a design in it.