Imágenes de páginas

In cut and dye so like a tile,
A sudden view it would beguile;
The upper part thereof was whey,
The nether orange mixt with grey.



The whisker continued for some time among us after the expiration of beards; but this is a subject which I shall not here enter upon, having discussed it at large in a distinct treatise, which I keep by me in manuscript, upon the mustache.

If my friend Sir Roger's project of introducing beards should take effect, I fear the luxury of the present age would make it a very expensive fashion. There is no question but the beaux would soon provide themselves

with false ones of the lightest colours and the most im15 moderate lengths. A fair beard of the tapestry size,

which Sir Roger seems to approve, could not come under twenty guineas. The famous golden beard of Æsculapius would hardly be more valuable than one made in the extravagance of the fashion.

Besides, we are not certain that the ladies would not come into the mode, when they take the air on horseback. They already appear in hats and feathers, coats and periwigs; and I see no reason why we may not

suppose that they would have their riding-beards on the 25 same occasion.

N. B. J may give the moral of this discourse in another paper.




[blocks in formation]

RESPICERE exemplar vitæ morumque jubebo
Doctum imitatorem, et veras hinc ducere voces.

- HOR. ARS POET 327.

KEEP Nature's great original in view,
And thence the living images pursue. — FRANCIS.

My friend Sir Roger de Coverley, when we last met together at the club, told me that he had a great mind to see the new tragedy with me, assuring me at the same time, that he had not been at a play these twenty years. * The last I saw,” said Sir Roger, was The Com- 5 mittee, which I should not have gone to neither, had not I been told before-hand that it was a good church of England comedy.” He then proceeded to inquire of me who this Distressed Mother was; and upon hearing that she was Hector's widow, he told me that her husband 10 was a brave man, and that when he was a school-boy he had read his life at the end of the dictionary. My friend asked me, in the next place, if there would not be some danger in coming home late, in case the Mohocks should be abroad. “I assure you,” says he, “I 15 thought I had fallen into their hands last night; for I observed two or three lusty black men that followed me half way up Fleet-street, and mended their pace behind

me, in proportion as I put on to get away from them. You must know," continued the knight, with a smile, “I fancied they had a mind to hunt me; for I remember

an honest gentleman in my neighbourhood, who was 5 served such a trick in king Charles II's time, for which

reason he has not ventured himself in town ever since. I might have shewn them very good sport, had this been their design ; for as I am an old fox-hunter, I should

have turned and dodged, and have played them a thou10 sand tricks they had never seen in their lives before.”

Sir Roger added, that if these gentlemen had any such intention, they did not succeed very well in it; “for I threw them out,” says he, “at the end of Norfolk-street,

where I doubled the corner, and got shelter in my lodg15 ings before they could imagine what was become of me.

However," says the knight, “if Captain Sentry will make one with us to-morrow night, and if you will both of you call upon me about four o'clock, that we may be at the

house before it is full, I will have my own coach in readi20 ness to attend you, for John tells me he has got the fore-wheels mended.”

The Captain, who did not fail to meet me there at the appointed hour, bid Sir Roger fear nothing, for that he

had put on the same sword which he made use of at the 25 battle of Steenkirk. Sir Roger's servants, and among

the rest, my old friend the butler, had, I found, provided themselves with good oaken plants, to attend their master upon this occasion. When we had placed

him in his coach, with myself at his left hand, the Cap30 tain before him, and his butler at the head of his foot

men in the rear, we convoyed him in safety to the playhouse, where, having marched up the entry in good order, the Captain and I went in with him, and seated him betwixt us in the pit. As soon as the house was full, and the candles lighted, my old friend stood up and looked about him with that pleasure, which a mind sea- 5 soned with humanity naturally feels in itself, at the sight of a multitude of people who seem pleased with one another, and partake of the same common entertainment. I could not but fancy myself, as the old man stood up in the middle of the pit, that he made a very 10 proper centre to a tragic audience. Upon the entering of Pyrrhus, the knight told me that he did not believe the king of France himself had a better strut. I was indeed very attentive to my old friend's remarks, because I looked upon them as a piece of natural criticism; and

15 was well pleased to hear him, at the conclusion of almost every scene, telling me that he could not imagine how the play would end. One while he appeared much concerned for Andromache, and a little while after as much for Hermione; and was extremely puzzled to think what 20 would become of Pyrrhus.

When Sir Roger saw Andromache's obstinate refusal to her lover's importunities, he whispered me in the ear, that he was sure she would never have him ; to which he added, with a more than ordinary vehemence, “You 25 can't imagine, Sir, what it is to have to do with a widow." Upon Pyrrhus his threatening afterwards to leave her, the knight shook his head, and muttered to himself, “Ay, do if you can.” This part dwelt so much upon my friend's imagination, that at the close of the third act, 30 as I was thinking of something else, he whispered me in

my ear,

“These widows, Sir, are the most perverse creatures in the world. But pray,” says he, “ you that are a critic, is this play according to your dramatic rules, as you call them? Should your people in tragedy always 5 talk to be understood? Why, there is not a single sentence in this play that I do not know the meaning of.”

The fourth act very unluckily began before I had time to give the old gentleman an answer : Well,” says the

knight, sitting down with great satisfaction, “I suppose 10 we are now to see Hector's ghost.” He then renewed

his attention, and from time to time fell a-praising the widow. He made, indeed, a little mistake as to one of her pages, whom at his first entering he took for Astya

nax: but he quickly set himself right in that particular, 15 though, at the same time, he owned he should have been very glad to have seen the little boy. Who,” says he,

must needs be a very fine child by the account that is given of him.” Upon Hermione's going off with a men

ace to Pyrrhus, the audience gave a loud clap; to which 20 Sir Roger added, “On my word, a notable young bag

gage !

As there was a very remarkable silence and stillness in the audience during the whole action, it was natural

for them to take the opportunity of the intervals between 25 the acts, to express their opinion of the players, and of

their respective parts. Sir Roger hearing a cluster of them praise Orestes, struck in with them, and told them that he thought his friend Pylades was

very sensible man; as they were afterwards applauding Pyrrhus, Sir 30 Roger put in a second time, “And let me tell you,” says

he, “though he speak but little, I like the old fellow in

« AnteriorContinuar »