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joined us. They had been talking, it seems, of the two letters which were found in the coffin, and mentioned in one of my late Lucubrations, and came with a request to me, that I would communicate
others of them that were legible. One of the gentlemen was pleased to say, that it was a very proper instance of a widow's constancy, and said, “ He wished I had subjoined, as a foil to it, the following passage in Hamlet.” The young prince was not yet acquainted with all the guilt of his mother, but turns his thoughts on her sudden forgetfulness of his father, and the indecency of her hasty marriage.
-That it should come to this!
The several emotions of mind, and breaks of passion, in this speech, are admirable. He has? touched every circumstance that aggravated the fact,
and seemed capable of hurrying the thoughts of a son into distraction. His father's tenderness for his mother, expressed in so delicate a particular; his mother's fondness for his father, no less exquisitely described; the great and amiable figure of his dead parent drawn by a true filial piety; his disdain ofi so unworthy a successor to his bed; but, above all, the shortness of the time between his father's death and his mother's second marriage, brought together with so much disorder, make up as noble a part as any in that celebrated tragedy. The circumstance of time I never could enough admire. The widowhood had lasted two months. This is his first reflexion : but, as his indignation rises, he sinks to scarce two months: afterwards into a month; and at last, into a little month: but all this so naturally, that the reader accompanies him in the violence of his passion, and finds the time lessen insensibly, according to the different workings of his disdain. I have not mentioned the incest of her marriage, which is so obvious a provocation; but cannot forbear taking notice, that when his fury is at its height, he cries, “ Frailty, thy name is Woman!” as railing at the sex in general, rather than giving himself leave to think his mother worse than others-Desideruntur multa.
* Whereas Mr. Jeffery Groggram has surrendered hiinself, by his letter bearing date December 7, and has sent an acknowledgement that he is dead, praying an order to the company of Upholders for interment at such a reasonable rate as may not impoverish bis heirs: the said Groggram having been dead ever since he was born, and added nothing to his small patrimony; Mr. Bickerstaft has taken the premises into consideration; and Being sensible of the ingenuous and singular behaviour of this petitioner, pronounces the said Jeffery Groggram a live man, and will not suffer that he should bury himself out of modesty ; but requires him to remain among the living, as an example to those obstinate dead men, who will neither labour for life, nor go to their grave.
N. B. Mr. Groggram is the first person that has come in upon Mr. Bickerstaff's dead warrant.
+++ Florinda demands, by her letter of this day, to be allowed to pass for a living woman, having danced the Derbyshire Hornpipe in the presence of several friends on Saturday last.
Granted; provided she can bring proof, that she can make a pudding on the twenty-fourth instant.
N° 107. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1799.
HOR. 1. Od, xxvii. 20.
And have her flames possess'd
Thy burning breast ?
Sheer-lane, December 14. About four this afternoon, which is the hour I usually put myself in a readiness to receive company, there entered a gentleman, who I believed at first came upon some ordinary question: but, as he
ness to me.
approached nearer to me, I saw in his countenance a deep sorrow, mixed with a certain ingenuous complacency, that gave me sudden good-will towards him. He stared, and betrayed an absence of thought, as he was going to communicate his busi
But at last, recovering himself, he said with an air of great respect,“ Sir, it would be an injury to your knowledge in the occult sciences, to. tell you what is my distress; I dare say, you read it in my countevance: I, therefore, beg your advice to the most unhappy of all men.” Much experience has made me particularly sagacious in the discovery of distempers, and I soon saw that his was love. I then turned to my common-place-book, and found his case under the word Coquette; and reading over the catalogue which I have collected out of this great city of all under that character, I saw at the name of Cynthia his fit came upon him. I repeated the name thrice after a musing manner, and immediately perceived his pulse quicken two thirds; when his eyes, instead of the wildness with which they appeared at his entrance, looked with all the gentleness imaginable upun me, not without tears. « Oh! Sir," said he,“ you know not the unworthy usage I have met with from the woman my soul
I could gaze at her to the end of my being: yet when s have done so, for some time past, I have found her eyes fixed on another. She is now two-and-twenty, in the full tyranny of her charms, which she once acknowledged she rejoiced in, only as they made her choice of me, out of a crowd of admirers, the more obliging. But in the midst of this happiness, so it is, Mr. Bickerstaff, that young Quickset, who is just come to town, without any other recommendation than that of being tolerably handsome, and excessively rich, has
won her heart in so shameless a manner, that she dies for him. In a word, I would consult you, how to cure myself of this passion for an ungrateful woman, who triumphs in her falsehood, and can make no man happy, because her own satisfaction consists chiefly in being capable of giving distress. I know Quickset is at present considerable with her, for, no other reason but that he can be without her, and feel no pain in the loss. Let me, therefore, desire you, Sir, to fortify my reason against the levity of an inconstant, who ought only to be treated with neglect."
All this time I was looking over my receipts, and asked him, “ if he had any good winter boots_-" " Boots, Sir!” said my patient-I went on; “ You may easily reach Harwich in a day, so as to be there when the packet goes
off.” Sir, said the lover, “ I find you design me for travelling; but, alas! I have no language, it will be the same thing to me as solitude, to be in a strange country. I have,' continued he, sighing, “ been many years in love with this creature, and have almost lost even my English, at least to speak such as any body else does. I asked a tenant of ours, who came up to town the other day with rent, whether the flowery mead near my
father's house in the country had any shepherd in it? I have called a cave a grotto these three years, and must keep ordinary company, and frequent busy people for some time, before I can recover my common words.” I smiled at his raillery upon himself, though I well saw it came from a heavy heart. “ You are,” said I, “ acquainted, to be sure, with some of the general officers: suppose you made a campaign?"_"If I did," said he, “ I should venture more than any man there, for I should be in danger of starving; my father is such an untoward old gentleman, that he would tell me