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Desponding mortals, with officious care,
taken from his audience all manner of superThe concave drum and magic brass prepare ;
stition, by the agitations of pretty Mrs. Bignell, Implore him to sustain th' important fight, And save depending worlds from endless night:
whom he has, with great subtilty, made a layFoudly they hope their labour may avail
sister, as well as a prophetess; by which means To ease his conflict, and assist bis toil,
she carries on the affairs of both worlds with Whilst he, in beams of vative splendour bright, , (Though dark his orb appear to human siglit)
great success. My friend designs to go on Shines to the gods with more diffusive light; Lewith another work against winter, which be To distant stars with equal glory burns,
intends to call, “ The Modern Poets,' a people Inflames their lamps, and feeds their golden urns, Sure to retain his knowo superior tract,
no less mistaken in their opinions of being in. And proves the more illustrious by defect.'
spired, than the other. In order to this, he This is a very lively image ; but I must take guities, which cannot be mistaken for any
has by bim seven songs, besides many ambithe liberty to say, my kinsman drives the sun a little like Phaëton;* he has all the warmth thing but what he means them. Mr. Dursey of Phæbus, but will not stay for his direction generally writes state-plays, and is wonderfully of it. Avail and toil, defect and tract, will This method is the saine that was used by the
useful to the world in such representations. never do for rhymes. But, however, he has old Athenians, to laugh out of countenance, the true spirit in him; for which reason I was willing to entertain any thing he pleased to send friend has therefore, against this play is acted
or promote, opinions among the people. My me. The subject which he writes upon, naturally for his own benefit, made two dances, which raises great reflexions in the soul, and puts us
may be also of an universal benefit. In the in mind of the mixed condition which we mortals are to support ; which, as it varies to good first, he has represented absolute power in the or bad, adorns or defaces our actions to the person of a tall man with a hat and feather,
who gives his first minister, that stands just beholders; all which glory and shame must end in, what we so much repine at, death. the kick to the next before; and so to the
before him, an 'huge kick; the minister gives But doctrines on this occasion, any other than end of the stage. In this moral and practical that of living well, are the most insignificant jest, you are made to understand, that there and most empty of all the labours of men.
is, in an absolute government, no gratificaNone but a tragedian can die by rule, and tion but giving the kick you receive from wait till he discovers a plot, or says a fine
one above you to one below you. This is perthing upon his exit. In real life, this is a chimera, and by noble spirits it will be done
formed to a grave and melancholy air ; bui on
a sudden the tune moves quicker, and the decently, without the ostentation of it. We whole company fall into a circle, and take see men of all conditions and characters go bauds; and then, at a certain sharp note, they through it with equal resolution ; and if we consider the speeches of the mighty philoso-ter performance he makes to be the represen
move round, and kick as kick can. This latpbers, beroes, lawgivers, and great captains, tation of a free state; where, if you all mind they can produce no more in a discerning spirit, than rules to make a man a fop on his death your steps, you may go round and round very bed. Commend me to that natural greatuess and those you dance with; nay, if you put
jollily, with a motion pleasant to purselves of soul, expressed by an innocent, and consequently resolute country-fellow, who said in yourselves out, at the worst, you only kick
and are kicked, like friends and equals. the pains of the cholic, 'If I once get this breath out of my body, you shall hang me be
From my own Apartment, May 4. fore you put it in again.' Honest Ned! and
Of all the vanities under the sun, I confess so he died. + But it is to be supposed, that from this place est. At the same time, since in this unreason
that of being proud of one's birth is the greatyou may expect an account of such a thing as a new play is not to be omitted. That acted things in which men have na hand are imputed
able age, by the force of prevailing custom, this night is the newest that ever was writ.
to them; and that I am used by some people, The author is my ingenious friend Mr. Thomas
as if Isaac Bickerstaff, though I write myself Durfey. This drama is called, “ The Modern Esquire, was nobody; to set the world right Prophets, and is a must unanswerable satire in that particular, I shall give you my geneaagainst the late spirit of enthusiasm. The writer had by long experience observed that, the herald's office. It is certain, and observed
logy, as a kinsman of ours bas sent it me from
who are not nicely chaste, and men not severely
may be apt to raise aspersions upon ours, please * Ovid, Metam. ii. 1.
to give us as impartial an account of their own, + This Ned was a farmer of Anthony Henley, Esq. who
and we shall be satisfied. The business of mentions this saying of his in a leller to Swift.-Suifi's I heralds is a matter of so great nicety, that, to ll'orks, vol. xviii. p. 15.
avoid mistakes, I shall give you my cousin's , very considerable places. There have been letter verbatim, without altering a syllable. some of them of that strength and dexterity, • DEIR COUSIN,
that five hundred * of the ablest men in the Since you have been pleased to make your kingdom have often tugged in vain to pull a self so famous of late, by your ingenious writ- staff out of their hands. The Falstaffs are ings, and some time ago by your learned pre- strangely given to whoring and drinking; there dictions; since Partridge, of immortal memory,
are abundance of them in and about Lopdon. is dead and gone, who, poetical as he was, could One thing is very remarkable of this branch, not understand his own poetry; and pbiloma- and that is, there are just as many women as tical as he was, could not read his own destiny; men in it. There was a wicked stick of wood since the pope, the king of France, and great of this name in Harry the Fourth's time, one part of his court, are either literally or meta- sir John Falstaff
. As for Tipstaff, the youngest phorically defunct; since, I say, these things son, he was an honest fellow; but his sons, and (not foretold by any one but yourself) have his sons' sons, have all of them been the veriest come to pass after so surprising a manner; it rogues living; it is this unlucky branch that is with no small concern I see the original of bas stocked the nation with that swarm of tbe Staffian race so little known in the world lawyers, attorneys, serjeants, and bailiffs, with as it is at this time; for which reason, as you which the nation is over-run. Tipstaff, being have employed your studies in astronomy, and a seventh son, used to cure the king's-evil; the occult sciences, so I, my mother being a but his rascally descendants are so far from Welch woman, dedicated mine to genealogy, having that healing quality, that, by a touch particularly that of our own family, wbich, for upon the shoulder, they give a man such an ill its autiquity and number, may challenge any habit of body, that he can never come abroad in Great Britain. The Staffs are originally of afterwards. This is all I know of the line of Staffordshire, which took its name from them: Jacobstaff; his younger brother Isaacstaff, as the first that I find of the Staffs was one Jacob- I told you before, had five sons, and was marstaff, a famous and renowned astronomer, who, ried twice: his first wife was a Staff (for they by Dorothy his wife had issue seven sons; viz. did not stand upon false heraldry in those days) Bickerstaff, Longstaff, Wagstaff, Quarterstaff, by whom he had one son, who, in process of Whitestaff, Falstaff, and Tipstaff
. He also had time, being a schoolmaster and well read in a younger brother, who was twice married, the Greek, called himself Distaff or Twiceand bad five sons; viz. Distaff, Pikestaff, Mop
staff. He was not very rich, so he put his staff, Broomstaff, and Raggedstaff. As for
children out to trades; and the Distaffs have the branch from whence you spring, I shall ever since been employed in the woollen and say very little of it, only that it is the chief of linen manufactures, except myself, who am a the Staffs, and called Bickerstaff, quasi Bigger- genealogist. Pikestaff, the eldest son by the staff; as much as to say, the Great Staff, or
second venter, was a man of business, a downStaff of Staffs; and that it has applied itself right plouding fellow, and withal so plain, that to astronomy with great success, after the ex
be became a proverb. Most of this family are ample of our aforesaid forefather. The de- at present in the army. Raggedstaff was an scendants from Longstaff, the second son, were
unlucky boy, and used to tear his cloaths a rakish disorderly sort of people, and rambled in getting birds nests, and was always playing from one place to another, until, in the time with a tame bear his father kept. Mopstaff of Harry the Second, they settled in Kent, and fell in love with one of his father's maids, and were called Long-tails, from the long tails used to help her to clean the house. Broomwhich were sent them as a punishment for the staff was a chimney-sweeper. The Mopstaffs murder of Thomas a-Becket, as the legends and Broomstaffs are naturally as civil people say. They have always been sought after by
as ever went out of doors; but alas! if they the ladies; but whether it be to show their once get into ill hands, they knock down all aversion to popery, or their love to miracles, before them. Pilgramstaff ran away from his I cannot say. The Wagstaffs are a merry
friends, and went strolling about the country; thoughtless sort of people, who have always and Pipestaff was a wine-cooper. These two been opinionated of their own wit; they have
were the unlawful issue of Longstaff, turned themselves mostly to poetry. This is N. B. The Canes, the Clubs, the Cudgels, the most numerous branch of our family, and the Wands, the Devil upon two Sticks, and one the poorest. The Quarterstaffs are most of them Bread, that goes by the name of Staff of Life, prize-fighters or deer-stealers; there bave been are none of our relations. so many of them banged lately, that there are
'Dear Cousin, very few of that branch of our family left. The
Your humble servant, Whitestaff; * are all courtiers, and have had
May 1. 1109. treasury, afterwards hamnonrously compared by Sacele to “ an emmet distinguished from his fellows by a white straw."
From the Ilcrald's Office,
An allnsion to the staff carried by the first lord of the
The lleuse ol Commons.
St. Jurnes's Coffee-house, Muy 4.
No. 12.] Sturday May 7, 1709. As political news is not the principal subject
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat, i. 35, 86, on which we treat, we are so happy as to have
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream, no occasion for that art of cookery which our
Our motley paper seizes for it's theme. brother newsmongers so much excel in ; as appears by their excellent and inimitable man
May 5. ner of dressing up a second time for your taste When a man has engaged to keep a stage the same dish which they gave you the day coach, he is obliged, whether be bas passengers before, in case there come over no new pickles or not, tv set out; thus it fares with us weekly from Holland. Therefore, when we have no- historians; but indeed, for my particular, I thing to say to you from courts and camps, we hope, I shall soon bave little more to do in this hope still to give you somewhat new and curi. work, than to publish what is sent me from ous from ourselves: the women of our house, such as have leisure and capacity for giving upon occasion, being capable of carrying on delight, aud being pleased in an elegant manthe business, according to the laudable custom The present grandeur of the British naof the wives jo Holland; but, without farther tion might make us expect, that we should rise preface, take what we have not mentioned in in our public diversions, and manner of enjoyour former relations.
ing life, in proportion to our advancement in Letters from Hanover of the thirtieth of the glory and power. Instead of that, survey this last month say, that the prince royal of Prussia town, and you will find rakes and debauchees arrived there on the fifteenth, and left that are your men of pleasure; thoughtless atheists court on the second of this month, in pursuit and illiterate drunkards call themselves freeof his journey to Flanders, where he makes thinkers; and gamesters, banterers, biters, the ensuing campaign. Those advices add, swearers, and twenty new-born insects more, that the young prince Nassau, hereditary go- are, in their several species, the modern men vernor of Friesland, celebrated, on the twenty-of wit. Hence it is, that a man, who has been sixth of the last month, his marriage with the out of towu but one half year, has lost the lanbeauteous princess of Hesse-Cassel, with a pompguage, and must have some friend to stand by and magnificence suitable to their age and him, and keep him in countenance for talking quality.
To-day I saw a short interLetters from Paris say, his most Christian lude at White's of this nature, which I took majesty retired to Marley on the first instant, notes of, and put together as well as I could N. S. and our last advices from Spain inform in a public place. The persons of the drama us, that the prince of Asturias had made his are Pip, the last gentleman that has been made public entry into Madrid in great splendour. so at cards; Trimmer, a person hall undone at The duke of Anjou has given Don Joseph Har. them, and who is now between a cheat and a tadu de Amaraga the government of Terra firma gentleman; Acorn, an honest Englishman of de Veragua, and the presidency of Panama in good plain sense and meaning; and Mr. FriendAmerica. They add, that the forces com- | !y, a reasonable man of the town. manded by the marquis de Bay have been reinforced by six battalions of Spanish Walloon
D'hite's Chocolate-house, May 5. guards. Letters from Lisbon advise, that the
Enter PIP, TRIMMER, and ACORN, army of the king of Portugal was at Elvas on the twenty-second of the last month, and would take no potice of an old friend ?
Ac. What is the matter, gentlemen ? what! decampoo the twenty-fourth, in order to march
Pip. Pox on it! do not talk to me, upon the enemy who lay at Badajos. Yesterday, at four in the morning, his grace hudiour.
voweled by the count, and cursedly out of the duke of Marlborough set out for Margate,
Ac. Voweled! pry'thee, Trimmer, what does and embarked for Holland at eight this morn
he mean by that? ing.
Trim. Have a care, Harry, speak softly; do Yesterday also sir George Thorold was de. clared alderman of Cordwainers Ward, in the bite you wherever they meet you, they are
not show your ignorance :- if you do, they will room of his brother sir Charles Thorold, de
such cursed curs—the present wits. ceased.
Ac. Bite me! what do you mean?
Pip. Why! do not you know wbat biting
is? nay, you are in the right on it. However, Any ladies wbo have any particular stories one would learn it only to defend one's self of their acquaintance, which they are willing against men of wit, as one would know the privately to make public, may send them by tricks of play, to be secure against the cheats. the penny-post to Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. in. But do not you bear, Acorn, that report, that closed to Mr. John Morphew, near Stationers' some potentates of the alliance have taken care Hall.
of themselves exclusively of us?
Al. How! heaven forbid! after all our glo- sions, which were too dangerous to be cured riaus victories; all the expense of blood and by the skill of little king Oberon,* who then treasure!
sat in the throne of it. The laziness of this Pip. BITE.
prince threw him upon the choice of a person Ac. Bite! low :
who was fit to spend his life in contentions, an Trim. Nay, he has bit you fairly evough; able and profound attorney, to whom he mortthat is certain
gayed his whole empire. This Divito p is the 4. Pox! I do not feel it-How? where? most skilful of all politicians; he has a perfect
[Ereunt Pip and Trimmer laughing: art in being unintelligible in discourse, and Ac. Ho! Mr. Friendly, your most humble uncomeatable in business. But he, having no servant; you heard what passed between those understanding in this polite way, brought in fine gentlemen and me. Pip complained to upon us, to get in his money, ladder dancers, me, that be had been voweled; and they tell jugglers, and mountebanks, to strut in the me I am bit.
place of Shakspeare's beroes, and Jouson's Friend. You are to understand, sir, that humorists. When the seat of wit was thus simplicity of behaviour, which is the perfection mortgaged without equity of redemption, an of good breeding and good sense, is utterly lost architect | arose, who has built the muse a in the world, and in the room of it there are new palace, but secured her no retinue; so started a thousand little inventions, which men, that, instead of action there, we have been put barren of better things, take up in the place of off by song and dance. This latter help of it. Thus, for every character in conversation sound bas also begun to fail for want of voices ; that used to please, there is an impostor put therefore the palace has since been put into upon you. Him whom we allowed, formerly, the hands of a surgeon, who cuts any foreign for a certain pleasant subtilty, and patural fellow into a eunuch, ş and passes him upon way of giving you an unexpected bit, called a us for a singer of Italy. droll, is now mimicked by a biter, who is a Ac. I will go out of town to-morrow. dull fellow, that tells you a lie with a grave Friend. Things are come to this pass; and face, and laughs at you for knowing him no yet the world will not understand, that the better ihan to believe him. Instead of that theatre has much the same effect on the mansort of companion who could rally you, and ners of the age, as the bank on the credit of keep his countenance, until he made you fall the nation. Wit and spirit, humour and good into some little inconsistency of behaviour, at sense, can never be revived, but under the gowhich you yourself could laugh with him, you government of those who are judges of such have the sneerer, who will keep you company talents; who know, that whatever is put up from morning to night, to gather your follies in their stead, is but a short and trifling expeof the day (which perhaps you commit out of dient, to support the appearance of them for a confidence in him) and expose you in the even- season. It is possible, a peace will give leisure ing to all the scorners in town. For your man to put these matters under new regulations, of sense and free spirit, whose set of thoughts but, at present, all the assistance we can see were built upon learning, reason, and expe- towards our recovery is as far from giving us rience, you have now au impudent creature help, as a poultice is from performing what made up of vice only, wbu supports bis igno- can be done only by the grand elixir. rance by his courage, and want of learning by contempt of it.
Will's Coffee-house, May 6. Ac. Dear sir, hold: what you have told me According to our late design in the applauder already of this change in conversation is too verses on the morning, |! which you lately bad miserable to be heard with any delight; but, from bence, we proceed to improve that just metbiuks, as these new creatures appear in the intention, and present you with other labours, world, it might give an excellent field to writers made proper to the place in which they were for the stage, to divert us with the representa- written. The following poem comes from Cotion of them there.
Friend. No, no; as you say, there miglit be . Mr. Owen, or Mac Owen Swiney, was born in Ire. kome hopes of redress of these grievances, if land, and formerly a manager of Drury-lane theatre, and there were proper care taken of the theatre ; l leaving that office, he vesiled in Italy several years, and, but the history of that is yet more lamentable at his return, procured a place in the custom-house, and than that of the decay of conversation I gave
was kecper of the king's mews. He died Oct. 2, 1754, and you.
left his fortune to Mrs. Wullington, lle was the author of
several dramatic pieces.' Ac. Pray, sir, a little: I have not been in
Christopher Rich. town these six years, until within this fort- Sir John Vanbrugh.
John Jamncs llegdegger, esq. styled here a sorgeon, in Friend. It is now some time since several
allnsion to the employment assigned to him; he had at that revolutions in the gay world had made the em
time the direction of the operas, as be had afterwards of the
masquerades. pire of (be stage subject to very fatal convul.
!! By Swift.
The trackless scenes disperso iu fuid air, penhagen, and is as fine a winter-piece as we
And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear : have ever had from any of the schools of the
A tedions road the weary wretch returns, most learned painters. Such images as these And as he goes, the transient vision mourns. give us a new pleasure in our sight, and fix upon our minds traces of reflection, which ac
From my own Apartment, May 6. company us whenever the like objects occur. There has a mail this day arrived from HolIn short, excellent poetry and description dwell land; but the matter of the advices importing upon us so agreeably, that all the readers of rather what gives us great expectations, than them are made to think, if not write, like men any positive assurances, I shall, for this time, of wit. But it would be injury to detain you decline giving you what I know; and apply longer from this excellent performance, which the following verses of Mr. Dryden, in the is addressed to the earl of Dorset by Mr. Philips, second part of ‘Almanzor,' to the present the author of several choice poems in Mr. Ton circumstances of things, without discovering son's new Miscellany.
what my knowledge in astronomy suggests to
me Copenhagen, March 9, 1709. From trozeu climes, and endless tracts of snow,
When empire in its childhood first appears, Froin streams that northern winds forbid to Now,
A watchful fate o'ersees its tender years : What prescnt shall the muse to Dorset bring,
Till, grown more strong it thrusts and stretches out, Or how, 80 near the pole, attenipt to sing?
And elbows all the kingdoms round about. The hoary winter here conccals from sight
The place this made for its first breathing free, All pleasing objects that to verse invite.
It moves again for ease and luxury: The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
Till, swelling by degrees, it has possest The Now'ry plains, and silver-streaining floods,
The greater space, and now crowds up the rest. By snow disguis'), in bright confusion lie,
When from behind there starts some pelty state, And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.
And pushes on its now unwieldy fate :
Then down the precipice of time it goes,
And sinks in minutes, which in ages rose.
Tuesday, May 10, 1709. And spout his waters in the face of day,
Quicquid agunt hominesThe starving wolves along the main sca prowl,
nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86. And to the moon in icy valley howl. For many a shining league the level main
Whatc'er men do, or say, or think, or dream, Jlere spreads itself into a glassy plain :
Our motley paper scizes for its tbcnie.
P. There solid billows of enormous size, Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
From my own Apartment, May 8. And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here,
Much hurry and business bas to-day perThe winter in a lovely dress appear.
plexed me into a mood tou thoughtful for going Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur'd snow, Or winds began thro' hazy skies to blow,
into company; for which reason, instead of the At evening a keen eastern breeze arose ;
tavern, I went into Lincoln's Inn walks; and, And the descending rain unsully'd froze.
having taken a round or two, I sat down, acSoon as the silevt shades of night withdrew, The ruddy morn disclos'd at once to view
cording to the allowed familiarity of these The face of nature in a rich disguise,
places, on a bench; at the other end of wbich And brighten'd ev'ry object to my eyes :
sat a venerable gentleman, who speaking with For every shrub, and every blade of
grass, And every pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass,
a very affable air,—' Mr. Bickerstaff,' said he, In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorn's show, ' I take it for a very great piece of good forWhile thro' the ice the crimson berries glow.
tune that you have found me out.' “Sir,' The thick-sprung reeds the watery marshes yiell Seem polish'd lances in a hostile field.
said I, I had never, that I know of, the ho. The stag in limpid currents, with surprise,
nour of seeing you before.'' That,' replied Sees crystal branches on his forehead risc. The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pivc,
he, ‘ is what I have often lamented; but, I Glaz'd over, in the freczing æther shine.
assure you, I have for many years done you The frighted birds the ratlling branches shun,
good offices, without being observed by you; That wave and glitter in the distant san.
or else, when you hail any little glimse of my When, if a sudden gust of wind arise,
being concerned in an affair, you have fled The brittle forest into atoms flies:
and shunned me like an enemy; but, The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends, bowever, the part I am to act in the world is Aud in a spangled shower the prospect ends; Or, if a southern gale the region warm,
such, that I am to go un in doing good, though And by degrees unbind the wintery chiarm,
I meet with never so many repulses, even from The traveller a miry country sees,
those I oblige.' This, thought I, shews a great And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees.
good-nature, but little judgment in the perLike some deluded pensant Merlin leads
sons upon whom he confers his favours. He Thro' fragrant bowers, and thro' delicious meads; immediately took notice to me, that be obWhile here enchanted gardens to him rise,
served by my countenance I thought him inAnd airy fabrics there attract his eyes, His wandering feet the magic paths pursue ;
discreet in his beneficence, and proceeded to And while he thinks the fair illusion true,
tell me his quality in the following manner :