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tilda should be in all the pride and wantonness of wealth, and I only in the ease and affluence of it."

Here I interrupted : “ Well, Madam, now I see your whole affliction; you could be happy, but that you fear another would be happier. Or rather, you could be solidly happy, but that another is to be happy in appearance. This is an evil which you must get over, or never know happiness. We will put the case, Madam, that you married Crassus, and she Lorio.” She answered, “ Speak not of it, I could tear her eyes out at the mention of it." Well then, I pronounce Lorio to be the man; but I must tell you, that what we call settling in the world is, in a kind, leaving it; and you must at once resolve to keep your thoughts of happiness within the reach of your fortune, and not measure it by comparison with others. But, indeed, Ma. dam, when I behold that beauteous form of your's, and consider the generality of your sex, as to their disposal of themselves in marriage, or their parents doing it for them without their own approbation, I cannot but look upon all such matches as the most impudent prostitutions. Do but observe, when you are at a play, the familiar wenches that sit laughing among the men.

These appear detestable to you in the boxes. Each of them would give up her

person for a guinea; and some of you would take the worst there for life for twenty thousand. If so, how do you differ but in price? As to the circumstance of marriage, I take that to be hardly an alteration of the case; for wedlock is but a more solemn prostitution, where there is not an union of minds. You would hardly believe it, but there have been designs even upon me.'

A neighbour in this very lane, who knows I have, by leading a very wary life, laid up a litt e money, had a great mind to marry me to his daughe YOL. III.


ter. I was frequently invited to their table: the girl was always very pleasant and agreeable. Aftet dinner, Miss Molly would be sure to fill my pipe for me, and put more sugar than ordinary into my coffee; for she was sure I was good natured. If I chanced to hem, the mother would applaud my vigour; and has often said on that occasion, “I wonder, Mr. Bickerstaff, you do not marry, I am sure you would have children. Things went so far, that my mistress presented me with a wrought night-cap and a laced band of her own working. I began to think of it in earnest; but one day, having an occasion to ride to Islington, as two or three people were lifting me upon my pad, I spied her at a convenient distance laughing at her lover, with a parcel of romps of her acquaintance. One of them, who I

suppose had the same design upon me, told me she said, "Do you see how briskly my old

gentleman mounts?' This made me cut off my, amour, and to reflect with myself, that no married life could be so unhappy, as where the wife proposes no other advantage from her husband, than that of making herself fine, and keeping her out of the dirt.”

My fair elient burst out a laughing at the account I

gave her of my escape, and went away seemingly convinced of the reasonableness of my discourse to her.

As soon as she was gone, my maid brought up the following epistle, which, by the style, and the description she gave of the person, I suppose was left by Nick Doubt.

said he, girl, tell old Basket-hilt I would have him answer it by the first opportunity." What he says is this.

Isaac, “ You seem a very honest fellow; therefore, pray tell me, did not you write that letter in praise of the squire and his Lucubrations yourself, &c."

« Hark you,

The greatest plague of coxcombs is, that they often break upon you with an impertinent piece of good sense, as this jackanapes has hit me in a right place enough. I must confess, I am as likely to play such a trick as another; but that letter he speaks of was really genuine. When I first set up, I thought it fair enough to let myself know from all parts, that my works were wonderfully inquired for, and were become the diversion, as well as instruction, of all the Choice Spirits in every county of Great Britain. I do not doubt but the more intel. ligent of my readers found it, before this jackanapes, I can call him no better, took upon him to observe upon my style and my basket-hilt. A very pleasant gentleman of my acquaintance told me one day a story of this kind of falsehood and vanity in an author.

Mævius ed him a paper of verses, which he said he had received that morning by the penny, post from an unknown hand. My friend admired them extremely. “ Sir," said he, “this must come from a man that is eminent: you see fire, life, and spirit run through the whole, and at the same time a correctness, which shows he is used to writing, Pray, Sir, read them over again.” He begins again, title and all; “ To Mævius, on his incomparable poems. The second reading was performed with much more vehemence and action than the former; after which my friend fell into downright rapturesWhy, they are truly sublime! there is energy

in this line! deseription in that! Why! it is the thing itself! this is perfect picture!” Mævius could bear no more; but, « Faith,” says he, “ Ned, to tell you the plain truth, I writ them myself.”

There goes just such another story of the same paternal tenderness in Bavius, an ingenious contemporary of mine, who had writ several comedies, “ By your

which were rejected by the players. This my friend Bavius took for envy, and therefore prevailed upon a gentleman to go with him to the play-house, and gave him a new play of his, desiring he would personate the author, and read it, to baffle the spite of the actors. The friend consented, and to reading they went. They had not gone over three similies, before Roscius the player made the acting author. stop, and desired to know, “ what he meant by such a rapture? and how it came to pass, that in this condition of the lover, instead of acting according to his circumstances, he spent his time in considering what his present state was like?"-" That is very true,” says the mock author;

« I believe we had as good strike these lines out.”. leave,” says Bavius, “you shall not spoil your play, you are too modest; ihose very lines, for aught I know, are as good as any in your play, and they shall stand.” Well, they go on, and the particle “ and” stood unfortunately at the end of a verse, and was made to rhyme to the word “stand.” This Roscius excepted against. The new poet gave up that too, and said " he would not dispute for a monosyllable.” .“. For a monosyllable!” says the real author; “ I can assure you, a monosyllable may be of as great force as a word of ten syllables. I tell you, Sir, 'and' is the connexion of the matter in that place; without that word, you may put all that follows into any other play as well as this. Besides, if you leave it out, it will look as if you had put it in only for the sake of the rhyme.” Roscius persisted, assuring the gentleman, that it was impossible to speak it, but the • and must be lost, so it might as well be blotted out.” Bavius snatched his play out of their hands, said “ they were both blockheads,” and went off; repeating a couplet, because he would not make his exit irregularly. A witty man of these days compared this true and feigned poet to the contending mothers before Solomon; the true one was easily discovered from the pretender, by refusing to see his offspring dissected.

No 92. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1709.

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Falsus honor juvat, et mendax infamia terret
Quem nisi mendosum et mendacem ?-

HOR. I. Ep. xvi.
False praise can please, and calumny affright,
None but the vicious and the hypocrite.


White's Chocolate-house, November 9. Í know no manner of speaking so offensive as that of giving praise, and closing it with an exception; which proceeds (where men do not do it to introduce malice, and make calumny more effectual) from the common error of considering man as a perfect creature. But, if we rightly examine things, we shall find that there is a sort of economy in Providence, that one shall excel where another is defective, in order to make men more useful to each other, and mix them in society. This man having this talent, and than man another, is as necessary in conversation, as one professing one trade, and ano, ther another, is beneficial in commerce. piest climate does not produce all things; and it was so ordered, that one part of the earth should

The hap

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