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as a melancholy man left his lodgings on company closed their ranks, and crowded Thursday last, in the afternoon, and was about the fire. I took notice in particular afterwards seen going towards Islington: if of a little boy, who was so attentive to every any one can give notice of him to R. B. story, that I am mistaken if he ventures to fishmonger in the Strand, he shall be very go to bed by himself this twelvemonth. Inwell rewarded for his pains.? As I am the deed they talked so long, that the imaginabest man in the world to keep my own tions of the whole assembly were manifestly counsel, and my landlord, the fishmonger, crazed, and, I am sure, will be the worse not knowing my name, this accident of my for it as long as they live. I heard one of life was never discovered to this very day. the girls, that had looked upon me over her
I am now settled with a widow woman, shoulder, asking the company how long I who has a great many children, and com- had been in the room, and whether I did plies with my humour in every thing. I do not look paler than I used to do. This put not remember that we have exchanged a me under some apprehensions that I should word together these five years; my coffee be forced to explain myself, if I did not recomes into my chamber every morning tire; for which reason I took the candle into without asking for it: if I want fire, I point my hand, and went up into my chamber, to my chimney, if water to my basin, upon not without wondering at this unaccountawhich my landlady nods, as much as to say ble weakness in reasonable creatures, that she takes my meaning, and immediately they should love to astonish and terrify one obeys my signals. She has likewise mo- another. Were I a father, I should take a delled her family so well, that when her particular care to preserve my children little boy offers to pull me by the coat, or from these little horrors of imagination, prattle in my face, his eldest sister imme- which they are apt to contract when they diately calls him off, and bids him not dis- are young, and are not able to shake off turb the gentleman. At my first entering when they are in years. I have known a into the family, I was troubled with the soldier that has entered a breach, affrighted civility of their rising up to me every time at his own shadow, and look pale upon a I came into the room; but my landlady, ob- little scratching at his door, who the day serving that upon these occasions I always before had marched up against a battery of cried Pish, and went out again, has forbid- cannon. There are instances of persons, den any such ceremony to be used in the who have been terrified even to distraction house; so that at present I walk into the at the figure of a tree, or the shaking of a kitchen or parlour, without being taken no- bulrush. The truth of it is, I look upon tice of, or giving any interruption to the a sound imagination as the greatest blessing business or discourse of the family. The of life, next to a clear judgment, and a good maid will ask her mistress (though I am conscience. In the mean time, since there by) whether the gentleman is ready to go are very few whose minds are not more or to dinner, as the mistress (who is indeed an less subject to these dreadful thoughts and excellent housewife) scolds at the servants apprehensions, we ought to arm ourselves as heartily before my face, as behind my against them by the dictates of reason and back. In short, I move up and down the religion, 'to pull the old woman out of our house, and enter into all companies with hearts,'(as Persius expresses it in the motto the same liberty as a cat, or any other do- of my paper,) and extinguish those impermestic animal, and am as little suspected tinent notions which we imbibed at a time of telling any thing that I hear or see. that we were not able to judge of their ab
I remember last winter there were seve- surdity. Or, if we believe, as many wise ral young girls of the neighbourhood sitting and good men have done, that there are about the fire with my landlady's daugh- such phantoms and apparitions as those I ters, and telling stories of spirits and appa- have been speaking of, let us endeavour to ritions. Upon my opening the door the establish to ourselves an interest in Him, young women broke off their discourse, but who holds the reins of the whole creation my landlady's daughters telling them that in his hands, and moderates them after it was nobody but the gentleman (for that such a manner, that it is impossible for one is the name which I go by in the neighbour- being to break loose upon another without hood, as well as in the family) they went his knowledge and permission. on without minding me. I seated myself by For my own part, I am apt to join in the the candle that stood on a table at one end opinion with those who believe that all the. of the room; and pretending to read a book regions of nature swarm with spirits; and that I took out of my pocket, heard several that we have multitudes of spectators on all dreadful stories of ghosts, as pale as ashes, our actions, when we think ourselves most that had stood at the feet of a bed, or walked alone; but instead of terrifying myself with over a church-yard by moon-light; and of such a notion, I am wonderfully pleased to others that had been conjured into the Red- think that I am always engaged with such sea, for disturbing people's rest, and draw- an innumerable society in searching out the ing their curtains at midnight, with many wonders of the creation, and joining in the other old women's fables of the like nature. same concert of praise and adoration. As one spirit raised another, I observed, Milton has finely described this mixed that at the end of every story the whole communion of men and spirits in paradise;
and had doubtless his eye upon a verse in was thinking on something else, I acciold Hesiod, which is almost word for word dentally justled against a monstrous animal the same with his third line in the follow- that extremely startled me, and upon my ing passage:
nearer survey of it, appeared to be a lion
rampant. The lion seeing me very much -Nor think, though men were none, That heav'n would want spectators,
God want praise; I might come by him, if I pleased: For,?
surprised, told me, in a gentle voice, that Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep; says he, 'I do not intend to hurt any body.' All these with ceaseless praise his works behold I thanked him very kindly, and passed by Both day and night. How often from the steep him: and in a little time after saw him leap Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard Celestial voices to the midnight air,
upon the stage, and act his part with very Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
great applause. It has been observed by Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands, While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
several that the lion has changed his manWith heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds,
ner of acting twice or thrice since his first In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
appearance; which will not seem strange, Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heav'n.
when I acquaint my reader that the lion Paradise Lost. C. has been changed upon the audience three
several times. The first lion was a candle
snuffer, who being a fellow of a testy choNo. 13.] Thursday, March 15, 1710-11.
leric temper, overdid his part, and would not suffer himself to be killed so easily as
he ought to have done; besides, it was obDic mihi, si fueris tu leo, qualis eris? Mart.
served of him, that he grew more surly Were you a lion, how would you behave ? every time that he came out of the lion; THERE is nothing that of late years has conversation, as if he had not fought his
and having dropt some words in ordinary afforded matter of greater amusement to best, and that he suffered himself to be the town than Signior Nicolini's combat thrown upon his back in the scuffle, and with a lion in the Haymarket, which has that he would wrestle with Mr. Nicolini been very often exhibited to the general for what he pleased, out of his lion's skin, satisfaction of most of the nobility and gen- it was thought proper to discard him: and try in the kingdom of Great Britain. Upon it is verily believed, to this day, that had the first rumour of this intended combat it he been brought upon the stage another was confidently affirmed, and is still be- time, he would certainly have done mislieved, by many in both galleries, that there chief. Besides, it was objected against the would be a tame lion sent from the tower, first lion, that he reared himself so high every opera night, in order to be killed by upon his hinder paws, and walked in so Hydaspes; this report, though altogether erect a posture, that he looked more like groundless, so universally prevailed in the an old man than a lion. upper regions of the playhouse, that some The second lion was a tailor by trade, of the most refined politicians in those parts who belonged to the playhouse, and had of the audience, gave it out in whisper, that the character of a mild and peaceable man the lion was a cousin-german of the tiger in his profession. If the former was too who made his appearance in King Wil- furious, this was too sheepish for his part; liam's days, and that the stage would be insomuch, that after a short modest walk supplied with lions at the public expense, upon the stage, he would fall at the first during the whole session. Many likewise touch of Hydaspes, without grappling with were the conjectures of the treatment which him, and giving him an opportunity of this lion was to meet with from the hands showing his variety of Italian trips. It is of Signior Nicolini; some supposed that he said, indeed, that he once gave him a rip was to subdue him in recitativo, as Orpheus in his flesh-colour doublet: but this was used to serve the wild beasts in his time, only to make work for himself, in his priand afterwards to knock him on the head; vate character of a tailor. I must not omit, some fancied that the lion would not pre- that it was this second lion who treated me tend to lay his paws upon the hero, by rea- with so much humanity behind the scenes. son of the received opinion, that a lion will The acting lion at present is, as I am innot hurt a virgin. Several, who pretended formed, a country gentleman, who does it to have seen the opera in Italy, had in- for his diversion, but desires his name may formed their friends, that the lion was to be concealed. He says, very handsomely, act a part in high Dutch, and roar twice in his own excuse, that he does not act for or thrice to a thorough bass, before he fell gain, that he indulges an innocent pleasure at the feet of Hydaspes. To clear up a in it; and that it is better to pass away an matter that was so variously reported, I evening in this manner, than in gaming and have made it my business to examine whe-drinking: but at the same time says, with ther this pretended lion is really the savage a very agreeable raillery upon himself, that he appears to be, or only a counterfeit. if his name should be known, the ill-na
But before I communicate my discoveries, tured world might call him, “The ass in I must acquaint the reader, that upon my the lion's skin." This gentleman's temper walking behind the scenes last winter, as I is made out of such a happy mixture of the
mild and the choleric, that he outdoes both present time; and lamented to myself, that his predecessors, and has drawn together though in those days they neglected their greater audiences than have been known in morality, they kept up their good sense; the memory of man.
but that the beau monde, at present, is only I must not conclude my narrative, with-grown more childish, not more innocent out taking notice of a groundless report that than the former. While I was in this train has been raised to a gentleman's disadvan- of thought, an odd fellow, whose face I tage, of whom I must declare myself an ad- have often seen at the playhouse, gave me mirer; namely, that Signior Nicolini and the following letter with these words: “Sir, the lion have been sitting peaceably by one the Lion presents his humble service to another, and smoking a pipe together be- you, and desired me to give this into your hind the scenes; by which their common own hands.' enemies would insinuate, that it is but a
•From my den in the Haymarket, sham combat which they represent upon Sir,
March 15. the stage: but upon inquiry I find, that if “I have read all your papers, and have any such correspondence has passed be- stifled my resentment against your reflectween them, it was not till the combat was tions upon operas, until that of this day, over, when the lion was to be looked upon wherein you plainly insinuate, that Signior as dead, according to the received rules of Nicolini and myself have a correspondence the drama. Besides, this is what is prac- more friendly than is consistent with the tised every day in Westminster-hall, where valour of his character, or the fierceness of nothing is more usual than to see a couple mine. I desire you would, for your own of lawyers, who have been tearing each other sake, forbear such intimations for the futo pieces in the court, embracing one an- ture; and must say it is a great piece of ill other as soon as they are out of it. nature in you, to show so great an esteem
I would not be thought in any part of this for a foreigner, and to discourage a Lion relation, to reflect upon Signior Nicolini, that is your own countryman. who in acting this part only complies with “I take notice of your fable of the lion and the wretched taste of his audience; he man, but am so equally concerned in the knows very well, that the lion has many matter, that I shall not be offended to which more admirers than himself; as they say soever of the animals the superiority is of the famous equestrian statue on the Pont given. You have misrepresented me, in Neuf at Paris, that more people go to see saying that I am a country gentleman, who the horse, than the king who sits upon it. act only for my diversion; whereas, had I On the contrary, it gives me a just indigna- still the same woods to range in which I tion to see a person whose action gives new once had when I was a fox-hunter, I should majesty to kings, resolution to heroes, and not resign my manhood for a maintenance; softness to lovers, thus sinking from the and assure you, as low as my circumstances greatness of his behaviour, and degraded are at present, I am so much a man of hointo the character of the London Prentice. nour, that I would scorn to be any beast for I have often wished, that our tragedians bread, but a lion. would copy after this great master of ac
•Yours, &c.' tion. Could they make the same use of
I had no sooner ended this, than one of their arms and legs, and inform their faces with as significant looks and passions, how ral others, with some of which I shall make
my landlady's children brought me in seveglorious would an English tragedy appear up my present paper, they all having a with that action, which is capable of giving tendency to the same subject, viz. the eledignity to the forced thoughts, cold conceits, and unnatural expressions of an Italian gance of our present diversions. opera! In the mean time, I have related 'SIR,
Covent-Garden, March 13. this combat of the lion, to show what are 'I have been for twenty years under-sexat present the reigning entertainments of ton of this parish of St. Paul's Coventthe politer part of Great Britain.
garden, and have not missed tolling in to Audiences have often been reproached prayers six times in all those years; which by writers for the coarseness of their taste: Office I have performed to my great satisbut our present grievance does not seem to faction, until this fortnight last past, during be the want of a good taste, but of common which time I find my congregation take the
C. warning of my bell, morning and evening,
to go to a puppet-show set forth by one Powell under the piazzas. By this means I
have not only lost my two customers, whom No. 14.] Friday, March 16, 1710-11. I used to place for sixpence a piece over -Teque his, infelix, exue monstris.
against Mrs. Rachel Eyebright, but Mrs.
Ovid, Met. iv. 590. Rachel herself is gone thither also. There Wretch that thou art! put off this monstrous shape. now appear among us none but a few ordi
nary people, who come to church only to I was reflecting this morning upon the say their prayers, so that I have no work spirit and humour of the public diversions worth speaking of but on Sundays. I have five-and-twenty years agn, and those of the placed my son at the piazzas, to acquaint
the ladies that the bell rings for church, being at present the two leading diversions and that it stands on the other side of the of the town, and Mr. Powell professing in garden; but they only laugh at the child. his advertisements to set up Whittington
*I desire you would lay this before all the and his Cat against Rinaldo and Armida, world, that I may not be made such a tool my curiosity led me the beginning of last for the future, and that punchinello may week to view both these performances, and choose hours less canonical. As things are make my observations upon them. now, Mr. Powell has a full congregation, *First, therefore, I cannot but observe while we have a very thin house; which if that Mr. Powell wisely forbearing to give you can remedy, you will very much oblige, his company a bill of fare before-hand,
"Sir, Yours, &c. every scene is new and unexpected; whereThe following epistle I find is from the as it is certain, that the undertakers of the undertaker of the masquerade.
Haymarket, having raised too great an ex
pectation in their printed opera, very much "Sir, I have observed the rules of
disappoint their audience on the stage.
•The king of Jerusalem is obliged to so carefully (in not inquiring into persons)
come from the city on foot, instead of being that I cannot tell whether you were one of drawn in a triumphant chariot by white the company or not, last Tuesday; but if horses, as my opera-book had promised you were not, and still design to come, desire you would, for your own entertain-Ime;
and thus, while I expected Armida's ment, please to admonish the town, that all dragons should rush forward towards Ar
I found the hero was obliged to go persons indifferently are not fit for this sort to Armida, and hand her out of her coach. of diversion. I could wish, sir, you could We had also but a very short allowance of make them understand that it is a kind of thunder and lightning; though I cannot in acting to go in masquerade, and a man this place omit doing justice to the boy who should be able to say or do things proper for had the direction of the two painted drathe dress in which he appears. We have now and then rakes in the habit of Roman He flashed out his rosin in such just pro
gons, and made them spit fire and smoke. senators, and grave politicians in the dress of rakes. The misfortune of the thing is, portions, and in such due time, that I could
not forbear conceiving hopes of his being that people dress themselves in what they have a mind to be, and not what they are deed, but two things wanting to render his
one day a most excellent player. I saw infit for. There is not a girl in the town, but whole action complete, I mean the keeping let her have her will in going to a mask, his head a little lower, and hiding his canand she shall dress as a shepherdess. But
dle. let me beg of them to read the Arcadia, or
• I observed that Mr. Powell and the unsome other good romance, before they ap-dertakers of the opera had both the same pear in any such character at my house. thought, and I think much about the same The last day we presented, every body was time, of introducing animals on their seveso rashly habited, that when they came to ral stages, though indeed with very difspeak to each other, a nymph with a crook
ferent success. had not a word to say hut in the pert style finches at the Haymarket fly as yet very
The sparrows and chafof the pit bawdry; and a man in the habit irregularly over the stage; and instead of casion offered of expressing himself in the perching on the trees, and performing their refuse of the tiring rooms. We had a judge galleries, or put out the candles; whereas
parts, these young actors either get into the that danced a minuet, with a quaker for his Mr. Powell has so well disciplined his pig, partner, while half a dozen harlequins
stood that in the first scene he and Punch dance a by as spectators: a Turk drank me off two minuet together. I am informed, however, bottles of wine, and a Jew eat me up half a that Mr. Powell resolves to excel his adham of bacon. If I can bring my design to versaries in their own way; and introduce bear, and make the maskers preserve their larks in his next opera of Susannah, or Incharacters in my assemblies, I hope you nocence Betrayed, which will be exhibited will allow there is a foundation laid for more next week, with a pair of new Elders. elegant and improving gallantries than any
•The moral of Mr. Powell's drama is the town at present affords, and conse- violated, I confess, by Punch's national requently that you will give your approbation Aections on the French, and King Harry's to the endeavours of, Sir, *Your most obedient humble servant laying his leg upon the Queen's lap, in too
ludicrous a manner, before so great an asI am very glad the following epistle sembly. obliges me to mention Mr. Powell a second As to the mechanism and scenery, every time in the same paper; for indeed there thing, indeed, was uniform, and of a piece, cannot be too great encouragement given to and the scenes were managed very dexterhis skill in motions, provided he is under ously; which calls on me to take notice, proper restrictions,
that at the Haymarket, the undertakers SIR,
forgetting to change the side-scenes, we “The opera at the Haymarket, and that were presented with a prospect of the ocean under the little Piazza in Covent garden, in the midst of a delightful grove; and
though the gentlemen on the stage had | choice, one of the young lovers very luckily very much contributed to the beauty of the bethought himself of adding a supernumegrove, by walking up and down between rary lace to his liveries, which had so good the trees, I must own I was not a little an effect, that he married her the very astonished to see a well-dressed young fel- week after. low, in a full-bottomed wig, appear in the The usual conversation of ordinary womidst of the sea, and without any visible men very much cherishes this natural weakconcern taking snuff.
ness of being taken with outside and ap•I shall only observe one thing further, pearance. Talk of a new-married couple, in which both dramas agree; which is, that and you immediately hear whether they by the squeak of their voices the heroes of keep their coach and six, or eat in plate. each are eunuchs; and as the wit in both Mention the name of an absent lady, and it pieces is equal, I must prefer the perform-is ten to one but you learn something of her ance of Mr. Powell, because it is in our gown and petticoat. A ball is a great help own language.
to discourse, and a birth-day furnishes con*I am, &c.' versation for a twelvemonth after. A fur
below of precious stones, a hat buttoned
with a diamond, a brocade waistcoat or petNo. 15.) Saturday, March, 17, 1710-11.
ticoat, are standing topics. In short, they
consider only the drapery of the species, Parva leves capiunt animos
and never cast away a thought on those Ovid, Ars Am. i. 159.
ornaments of the mind that make persons Light minds are pleased with trifles.
illustrious in themselves, and useful to When I was in France, I used to gaze others. When women are thus perpetually with great astonishment at the splendid dazzling one another's imaginations, and equipages, and party-coloured habits, of filling their heads with nothing but colours, that fantastic nation. 'I was one day in par- it is no wonder that they are more attentive ticular contemplating a lady that sat in a to the superficial parts of life, than the solid coach adorned with gilded Cupids, and and substantial blessings of it. A girl, who finely painted with the loves of Venus and has been trained up in this kind of converAdonis
. The coach was drawn by six milk-sation, is in danger of every embroidered white horses, and loaded behind with the coat that comes in her way. A pair of same number of powdered footmen. Just fringed gloves may be her ruin. In a word, before the lady were a couple of beautiful lace and ribands, silver and gold galloons, pages, that were stuck among the harness, with the like glittering, gewgaws, are so and by their gay dresses and smiling fea- many lures to women of weak minds and tures, looked like the elder brothers of the low educations, and when artificially dislittle boys that were carved and painted in played, are able to fetch down the most every corner of the coach.
airy coquette from the wildest of her flights The lady was the unfortunate Cleanthe, and rambles. who afterwards gave an occasion to a pretty True happiness is of a retired nature, and melancholy, novel. She had, for several an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in years, received the addresses of a gentle- the first place from the enjoyment of one's man, whom, after a long and intimate ac- self; and in the next, from the friendship quaintance, she forsook, upon the account and conversation of a few select compaof this shining equipage, which had been nions; it loves shade and solitude, and naoffered to her by one of great riches, but a turally haunts groves and fountains, fields crazy constitution. The circumstances in and meadows: in short, it feels every thing which I saw her, were, it seems, the dis- it wants within itself, and receives no addiguises only of a broken heart, and a kind of tion from multitudes of witnesses and specpageantry to cover distress, for in two tators. On the contrary, false happiness months after, she was carried to her grave loves to be in a crowd, and to draw the with the same pomp and magnificence, be- eyes of the world upon her. She does not ing sent thither partly by the loss of one receive any satisfaction from the applauses lover, and partly by the possession of an- which she gives herself; but from the adother.
miration which she raises in others. She I have often reflected with myself on this fourishes in courts and palaces, theatres unaccountable humour in womankind, of and assemblies, and has no existence but being smitten with every thing that is showy when she is looked upon. and superficial; and on the numberless evils Aurelia, though a woman of great quality, that befal the sex, from this light fantasti- delights in the privacy of a country life, and cal disposition. I myself remember a young passes away a great part of her time in her lady that was very warmly solicited by a own walks and gardens. Her husband, who couple of importunate rivals, who for seve- is her bosom friend and companion in her ral months together, did all thev could to solitudes, has been in love with her ever recommend themselves, by complacency of since he knew her. They both abound with behaviour, and agreeableness of conversa- good sense, consummate virtue, and a mution. At length when the competition was tual esteem ; and are a perpetual entertaindoubtful, and the lady undetermined in her ment to one another. Their family is under