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oath was taken, she began to lament kerself, and revealed to him, “ 'That, miserable woman as she was, she had been false to his bed.” Will was glad to hear it was no worse; but, before he could reply, “ Nay,” said she, “I will make you all the atonement I can, and take shame upon me, by proclaiming it to all the world, which is the only thing that can remove my present terrors of mind.” This was indeed too true, for her design was to prevent Mr. Boniface's marriage, which was all she apprehended. Will was thoroughly angry, and began tus curse and swear, the ordinary expressions of passion in persons of his condition. Upon which his wife
Ah, William! how well you mind the oath you have taken, and the distress of your poor wife, who can keep nothing from you! I hope you will not be such a perjured wretch as to forswear yourself.” The fidler answered, “ That his oath obliged him only not to be angry at what had passed; but I find you intend to make me laughed at all over Wapping.”—“ No, no," replied Mrs. Rosin, “ I see well enough what you would be at, you poor, spirited cuckold! You are afraid to expose Boniface, who has abused your poor wife, and would fain persuade me still to suffer the stings of conscience; but I assure you, sirrah, I will not go to the devil
Poor Will was not made for contention, and, beseeching her to be pacified, desired “she would consult the good of her soul her own way, for he would not say
any thing." Mrs. Rosin was so very loud and public in her invectives against Boniface, that the parents of his mistress forbad the banns, and his match was prevented, which was the whole design of this deep stratagem. The father of Boniface brought his action of defamation, arrested the fidler, and recovered damages. This was the distress from
which he was relieved by the company; and the good husband's air, history, and jollity upon his enlargement, gave occasion to very much mirth; especially when Will, finding he had friends to stand by him, proclaimed himself a cuckold, by way of insult over the family of the Bonifaces.
Here is a man of tranquillity without reading Seneca! What work had such an incident made among persons
of distinction! The brothers and kindred of each side must have been drawn out, and hereditary hatred entailed on the families as long as their very names remained in the world. Who would believe that Herod, Othello, and Will Rosin, were of the same species?
There are quite different sentiments which reign in the parlour and the kitchen; and it is by the point of honour, when justly regulated, and inviolably observed, that some men are superior to others, as much as mankind in general are to brutes. This puts me in mind of a passage in the admirable poem called “ The Dispensary,” where the nature of true honour is artfully described in an ironical dispraise of it:
“ But ere we once engage in honour's cause',
*** A very odd fellow, visited me to-day at my lodgings, and desired encouragement and recom
mendation from me for a new invention of knockers to doors, which he told me he had made, and proš fessed to teach rustic servants the use of them. I desired him to show me an experiment of this invention; upon which he fixed one of his knockers to my parlour-door. He then gave me a complete set of knocks, from the solitary rap of the dun and beggar, to the thunderings of the saucy footman of quality, with several flourishes and rattlings never yet performed. He likewise played over some private notes, distinguishing the familiar friend' or relation from the most modish visitor; and directing when the reserve candles are to be liglited. He has several other curiosities in his art.
He waits only to receive my approbation of the main design. Ho is now ready to practise tu such as shalt apply themselves to him; but I have put off his public licence until next court-day.
N. B. He teaches under ground.
N. 106. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 1709.
Invenies dissecti membra poeta.
HOR. 1. Sat. IV. 62.
You will find the limbs of a dismember'd poet.
Will's Coffee-house, December 12. I was this evening sitting at the side-table, and reading one of my own papers with great satisfaction, not knowing that I was observed by any in
I had not long enjoyed this secret pleasure of an author, when a gentleman, some of whose works I have been highly entertained with, accosted me after the following manner. “ Mr. Bickerstaff, you
know I have for some years devoted my self wholly to the Muses, and, perhaps, you will be surprised when I tell you I am resolved to take up, and apply myself to business. I shall, therefore, beg you will stand my friend, and recommend a customer to me for several goods that I have now upon my hands."'--I desired him to let me have a particular*, and I would do my utmost to serve him.-“I have, first of all,” says he,
o the progress of an amour digested into sonnets, beginning with a poem to the unknown fair, and end. ing with an epithalamium. I have celebrated in it her cruelty, her pity, her face, her shape, her wit, her good humour, her dancing, ber singing"-I could not forbear interrupting him; " This is a most accomplished lady," said I; " but has she really, with all these perfections, a fine voice?"
Pugh,” says he, you do not believe there is such a person in nature. This was only my employment in solitude last summer, when I had neither friends nor books to divert me.'
I was going," said I, “to ask her name, but I find it is only aur imaginary mistress.”
_" That's true," replied my friend,“ but her name is Flavia. I have,” continued he, “in the second place, a collection of lampoons, calculated either for the Bath, Tunbridge, or any place where they drink waters, with blank spaces, for the names of such person or persons as may be inserted in them on occasion. Thus much I have told only of what I have by me, proceedling from love and malice. I have also at this time the
* The technical phrase of an auctioneer,
sketch of an lieroic poem upon the next peace: several, indeed, of the verses are either too long or too short, it being a rough draught of my thoughts upon that subject.” I thereupon told him, “That, as it was, it might probably pass for a very good Pindaric, and I believed I knew one who would be willing to deal with him for it upon that foot." must tell you also,” said he, “ I have made a dedication to it, which is about four sides close written, that may serve any one that is tall, and understands Latin. I have further, about fifty similies, that were never yet applied, besides three-and-twenty descriptions of the sun rising, that might be of great use to an epic poet. These are my more bulky commodities : besides which, I have several small wares that I would part with at easy 'rates; as, observations upon life, and moral sentences, reduced into several couplets, very proper to close up acts of plays, and may be easily introduced by two or three lines of prose, either in tragedy or comedy. If I could find a purchaser curious in Latin poetry, I could accommodate him with two dozen of epigrams, which, by reason of a few false quantities, should come for little, or nothing.”
I heard the gentleman with much attention, and asked him, “Whether he would break bulk, and sell his goods by retail, or designed they should all go in a lump?” He told me, 6. That he should be very loth to part them, unless it was to oblige a man of quality, or any person for whom I had a particular friendship."-"My reason for asking," said I, “ is, only because I know a young gentleman who intends to appear next spring in a new jingling chariot, with the figures of the nine Muses on each side of it; and, I believe, would be glad to come. into the world in verse.” We could not go on in our treaty, by reason of two or three critics that