"Egad, Devereux," said he, "do you see that fellow? he
has the audacity to affect spleen. Faith, I thought melan-
choly was the distinguishing patent of nobility: we will
smoke him." And advancing towards the man of gloom,
Tarleton touched him with the end of his cane. The man
started and turned round. "Pray, sirrah," said Tarleton,
coldly, "pray who the devil are you that you presume to look
discontented ? "
"Why, Sir," said the man, good-humouredly enough, "I
have some right to be angry."
"I doubt it, my friend," said Tarleton. "What is your
complaint ? a rise in the price of tripe, or a drinking wife ?
Those, I take it, are the sole misfortunes incidental to your
"If that be the case," said I, observing a cloud on our new
friend's brow, " shall we heal thy sufferings ? Tell us thy
complaints, and we will prescribe thee a silver specific; there
is a sample of our skill."
"Thank you humbly, gentlemen," said the man, pocketing
the money, and clearing his countenance; "and seriously,
mine is an uncommonly hard case. I was, till within the
last few weeks, the under-sexton of St. Paul's, Covent Garden,
and my duty was that of ringing the bells for daily prayers :
but a man of Belial came hitherwards, set up a puppet-show,
and, timing the hours of his exhibition with a wicked saga-
city, made the bell I rang for church serve as a summons to
Punch, ā so, gentlemen, that whenever your humble servant
began to pull for the Lord, his perverted congregation began
to flock to the devil; and, instead of being an instrument for
saving souls, I was made the innocent means of destroying
them. Oh, gentlemen, it was a shocking thing to tug away
at the rope till the sweat ran down one, for four shillings a
week; and to see all the time that one was thinning one's
own congregation and emptying one's own pockets! "
"It was indeed a lamentable dilemma; and what did you,
Mr. Sexton ? "
" Do, Sir ? why, I could not stifle my conscience, and I left
my place. Ever since then, Sir, I have stationed myself in
the Piazza, to warn my poor, deluded fellow-creatures of their
error, and to assure them that when the bell of St. Paul's
rings, it rings for prayers, and not for puppet-shows, and ā
Lord help us, there it goes at this very moment; and look,
look, gentlemen, how the wigs and hoods are crowding to the
motion^ instead of the minister."
"Ha! ha! ha! " cried Tarleton, "Mr. Powell is not the first
man who has wrested things holy to serve a carnal purpose,
and made use of church bells in order to ring money to the
wide pouch of the church's enemies. Hark ye, my friend,
follow my advice, and turn preacher yourself; mount a cart
opposite to the motion, and I '11 wager a trifle that the crowd
forsake the theatrical mountebank in favour of the religious
one; for the more sacred the thing played upon, the more
certain is the game,"
"Body of me, gentlemen," cried the ex-sexton, "I '11 follow
"Do so, man, and never presume to look doleful again;
leave dulness to your superiors."^
And with this advice, and an additional compensation for
his confidence, we left the innocent assistant of Mr. Powell,
and marched into the puppet-show, by the sound of the very
bells the perversion of which the good sexton had so patheti-
The first person I saw at the show, and indeed the express
person I came to see, was the Lady Hasselton. Tarleton
and myself separated for the present, and I repaired to the
coquette. " Angels of grace ! " said I, approaching; "and, by
the by, before I proceed another word, observe, Lady Hassel-
ton, hoAV appropriate the exclamation is to you! Angels of
^ An antiquated word in use for puppet-shows.
* See " Spectator," Xo. 14, for a letter from this unfortunate under-sexton.
grace ! why, you have moved all your patches ā one ā two ā
three ā six ā eight ā as I am a gentleman, from the left side
of your cheek to the right ! What is the reason of so sudden
an emigration ? "
" I have changed my politics. Count, ^ that is all, and have
resolved to lose no time in proclaiming the change. But is
it true that you are going to be married ? "
"Married! Heaven forbid! which of my enemies spread so
cruel a report ? "
"Oh, the report is universal!" and the Lady Hasselton
flirted her fan with the most flattering violence.
" It is false, nevertheless ; I cannot afford to buy a wife at
present, for, thanks to jointures and pin-money, these things
are all matters of commerce ; and (see how closely civilized life
resembles the savage!) the English, like the Tartar gentleman,
obtains his wife only by purchase ! But who is the bride ? "
"The Duke of Newcastle's rich daughter. Lady Henrietta
"What, Harley's object of ambition I^ Faith, Madam, the
report is not so cruel as I thought for ! "
" Oh, you fop ! ā but is it not true ? "
"By my honour, I fear not; my rivals are too numerous
and too powerful. Look now, yonder ! how they already flock
around the illustrious heiress ; note those smiles and simpers.
Is it not pretty to see those very fine gentlemen imitating
bumpkins at a fair, and grinning their best for a gold ring !
But you need not fear me. Lady Hasselton, my love cannot
wander if it would. In the quaint thought of Sidney,^ love
having once flown to my heart, burned its wings there, and
cannot fly away."
" La, you now ! " said the beauty ; " I do not comprehend
you exactly: your master of the graces does not teach you
your compliments properly."
1 Whig ladies patched on one side of the cheek, Tories on the other.
2 Lord Bolingbroke tells us that it M-as the main end of Harley's adminis-
tration to marry his son to this lady. Tims is the fate of nations a bundle
made up of a thousand little private schemes.
8 In the " Arcadia," that museum of oddities and beauties.
"Yes, he does, but in your presence I forget them; and
now," I added, lowering my voice into the lowest of whis-
pers, " now that you are assured of my fidelity, will you not
learn at last to discredit rumours and trust to me ? "
" I love you too well ! " answered the Lady Hasselton in the
same tone, and that answer gives an admirable idea of the
affection of every coquette! love and confidence with them
are qualities that have a natural antipathy, and can never be
united. Our tete-a-tete was at an end; the people round us
became social, and conversation general.
"Betterton acts to-morrow night," cried the Lady Pratterly :
" we must go ! "
"We mast go," cried the Lady Hasselton.
" We must go ! " cried all.
And so passed the time till the puppet-show was over, and
my attendance dispensed with.
It is a charming thing to be the lover of a lady of the mode !
One so honoured does with his hours as a miser with his
guineas; namely, nothing but count them!
The next night, after the theatre, Tarleton and I strolled
into Wills's. Half-a-dozen wits were assembled. Heavens!
how they talked ! actors, actresses, poets, statesmen, philoso-
phers, critics, divines, were all pulled to pieces with the
most gratifying malice imaginable. We sat ourselves down,
and while Tarleton amused himself with a dish of coffee and
the "Flying Post," I listened very attentively to the conver-
sation. Certainly if we would take every opportunity of get-
ting a grain or two of knowledge, we should soon have a
chest-full; a man earned an excellent subsistence by asking
every one who came out of a tobacconist's shop for a pinch of
snuff, and retailing the mixture as soon as he had filled his
While I was listening to a tall lusty gentleman, who was
abusing Dogget, the actor, a well-dressed man entered, and
immediately attracted the general observation. He was of a
very flat, ill-favoured countenance, but of a quick eye, and a
genteel air; there was, however, something constrained and
artificial in his address, and he appeared to be endeavouring
to clothe a natural good-humour with a certain primness
which could never be made to fit it.
^ " Ha, Steele ! " cried a gentleman in an orange-coloured coat,
who seemed by a fashionable swagger of importance desirous
of giving the tone to the company, ā "Ha, Steele, whence
come you ? from the chapel or the tavern ? " and the speaker
winked round the room as if he wished us to participate in
the pleasure of a good thing.
Mr. Steele drew up, seemingly a little affronted; but his
good-nature conquering the affectation of personal sanctity,
which, at the time I refer to, that excellent writer was pleased
to assume, he contented himself with nodding to the speaker,
and saying, ā
" All the world knows, Colonel Cleland, that you are a wit,
and therefore we take your fine sayings as we take change
from an honest tradesman, ā rest perfectly satisfied with the
coin we get, without paying any attention to it."
"Zounds, Cleland, you got the worst of it there," cried a
gentleman in a flaxen wig. And Steele slid into a seat near
Tarleton, who was sufficiently well educated to pretend to
the character of a man of letters, hereupon thought it neces-
sary to lay aside the " Flying Post, " and to introduce me to
my literary neighbour.
"Pray," said Colonel Cleland, taking snuff and swinging
himself to and fro with an air of fashionable grace, "has any
one seen the new paper ? "
"What!" cried the gentleman in the flaxen wig, "what!
the 'Tatler's' successor, ā the 'Spectator'?"
" The same, " quoth the colonel.
"To be sure; who has not?" returned he of the flaxen
ornament. "People say Congreve writes it."
"They are very much mistaken, then," cried a little square
man with spectacles ; "to my certain knowledge Swift is the
"Pooh!" said Cleland, imperiously, "pooh! it is neither
the one nor the other ; I, gentlemen, am in the secret ā but
ā you take me, eh ? One must not speak well of one's self;
mum is the word."
"Then," asked Steele, quietly, "we are to suppose that
you. Colonel, are the writer ? "
" I never said so, Dicky ; but the women will have it that I
am," and the colonel smoothed down his cravat.
" Pray, Mr. Addison, what say you ? " cried the gentleman
in the flaxen wig; "are you for Congreve, Swift, or Colonel
Cleland? " This was addressed to a gentleman of a grave but
rather prepossessing mien; who, with eyes fixed upon the
ground, was very quietly and to all appearance very inatten-
tively solacing himself with a pipe; without lifting his eyes,
this personage, then eminent, afterwards rendered immortal,
"Colonel Cleland must produce other witnesses to prove
his claim to the authorship of the 'Spectator:' the women,
we well know, are prejudiced in his favour."
"That 's true enough, old friend," cried the colonel, looking
askant at his orange-coloured coat; "but faith, Addison, I
wish you would set up a paper of the same sort, d' ye see ;
you 're a nice judge of merit, and your sketches of character
would do justice to your friends."
"If ever I do. Colonel, I, or my coadjutors, will study at
least to do justice to you. " ^
"Prithee, Steele," cried the stranger in spectacles, "pri-
thee, tell us thy thoughts on the subject : dost thou know the
author of this droll periodical ? "
"I saw him this morning," replied Steele, carelessly.
1 This seems to corroborate the suspicion entertained of the identity of
Colonel Cleland vdth the Will Honeycomb of the " Spectator."
10 i DEVEREUX.
"Aha! and what said you to him?"
"I asked him his name."
"And what did he answer?" cried he of the flaxen wig,
while all of us crowded round the speaker, with the curiosity
every one felt in the authorship of a work then exciting the
most universal and eager interest.
"He answered me solemnly," said Steele, "in the follow-
ing words, ā
" ' Grseci carent ablative, Itali dativo, ego nominativo.' " ^
"Famous ā capital!" cried the gentleman in spectacles;
and then, touching Colonel Cleland, added, "what does it
exactly mean ? "
" Ignoramus ! " said Cleland, disdainfully, " every schoolboy
knows Virgil ! "
"Devereux," said Tarleton, yawning, "what a dā d delight-
ful thing it is to hear so much wit : pity that the atmosphere
is so fine that no lungs unaccustomed to it can endure it long.
Let us recover ourselves by a walk."
"Willingly," said I; and we sauntered forth into the
"Wills's is not what it was," said Tarleton; "'tis a piti-
ful ghost of its former self, and if they had not introduced
cards, one would die of the vapours there."
"I know nothing so insipid," said I, "as that mock literary
air which it is so much the fashion to assume. 'T is but a
wearisome relief to conversation to have interludes of songs
about Strephon and Sylvia, recited with a lisp by a gentleman
with fringed gloves and a languishing look."
"Fie on it," cried Tarleton, "let us seek for a fresher topic.
Are you asked to Abigail Masham's to-night, or will you
come to Dame de la Eiviere Mauley's?"
" Dame de la what ? ā in the name of long words who is
she ? "
"Oh! Learning made libidinous: one who reads Catullus
and profits by it."
1 " The Greek wants an ablative, the Italians a dative, I a nominative."
"Bah, no, we will not leave the gentle Abigail for her. I
have promised to meet St. John, too, at the Mashams'."
"As you like. We shall get some wine at Abigail's,
which we should never do at the house of her cousin of
And, comforting himself with this belief, Tarleton peace-
ably accompanied me to that celebrated woman, who did the
Tories such notable service, at the expense of being termed
b}' the Whigs one great want divided into two parts ; namely,
a great want of every shilling belonging to other people, and
a great want of every virtue that should have belonged to her-
self. As we mounted the staircase, a door to the left (a pri-
vate apartment) was opened, and I saw the favourite dismiss,
with the most flattering air of respect, my old preceptor, the
Abbe Montreuil. He received her attentions as his due, and,
descending the stairs, came full upon me. He drew back,
changed neither hue nor muscle, bowed civilly enough, and
disappeared. I had not much opportunity to muse over this
circumstance, for St. John and Mr. Domville ā excellent com-
panions both ā joined us ; and the party being small, we had
the unwonted felicity of talking, as well as bowing, to each
other. It was impossible to think of any one else when St.
John chose to exert himself; and so even the Abbe Montreuil
glided out of my brain as St. John's wit glided into it. We
were all of the same way of thinking on politics, and therefore
were witty without being quarrelsome, ā a rare thing. The
trusty Abigail told us stories of the good Queen, and we added
hons mots by way of corollary. Wine, too, wine that even
Tarleton approved, lit up our intellects, and we spent alto-
gether an evening such as gentlemen and Tories very seldom
have the sense to enjoy.
Apollo ! I wonder whether Tories of the next century will
be such clever, charming, well-informed fellows as we were!
AN INTELLECTUAL ADVENTURE.
A LITTLE affected by the vinous potations which had been
so much an object of anticipation with my companion, Tarle-
ton and I were strolling homeward when we perceived a re-
markably tall man engaged in a contest with a couple of
watchmen. Watchmen were in all cases the especial and
natural enemies of the gallants in my young days; and no
sooner did we see the unequal contest than, drawing our
swords with that true English valour which makes all the
quarrels of other people its own, we hastened to the relief of
the weaker party.
"Gentlemen," said the elder watchman, drawing back,
" this is no common brawl ; we have been shamefully beaten
by this here madman, and for no earthly cause."
" Who ever did beat a watchman for any earthly cause, you
rascal ? " cried the accused party, swinging his walking cane
over the complainant's head with a menacing air.
"Very true," cried Tarleton, coolly. "Seigneurs of the
watch, you are both made and paid to be beaten ; ergo ā you
have no right to complain. Eelease this worthy cavalier,
and depart elsewhere to make night hideous with your
" Come, come, " quoth the younger Dogberry, who perceived
a reinforcement approaching, " move on, good people, and let
us do our duty."
"Which," interrupted the elder watchman, "consists in
taking this hulking swaggerer to the watchhouse."
"Thou speakest wisely, man of peace," said Tarleton; "de-
fend thyself ; " and without adding another word he ran the
watchman through ā not the body but the coat; avoiding
with great dexterity the corporeal substance of the attacked
party, and yet approacliing it so closely as to give the guar-
dian of the streets very reasonable ground for apprehension.
No sooner did the watchman find the hilt strike against his
breast, than he uttered a dismal cry and fell upon the pave-
ment as if he had been shot.
"Now for thee, varlet," cried Tarleton, brandishing his ra-
pier before the eyes of the other watchman, "tremble at the
sword of Gideon."
"0 Lord, Lord!" ejaculated the terrified comrade of the
fallen man, dropping on his knees, "for Heaven's sake, sir,
have a care."
" What argument canst thou allege, thou screech-owl of the
metropolis, that thou shouldst not share the same fate as thy
brother owl ? "
"Oh, sir! " cried the craven night-bird (a bit of a humourist
in its way), "because I have a nest and seven little owlets at
home, and t' other owl is only a bachelor."
"Thou art an impudent thing to jest at us," said Tarleton;
"but thy wit has saved thee; rise."
At this moment two other watchmen came up.
" Gentlemen, " said the tall stranger whom we had rescued,
"we had better fly."
Tarleton cast at him a contemptuous look, and placed him-
self in a posture of offence.
"Hark ye," said I, "let us effect an honourable peace.
Messieurs the watch, be it lawful for you to carry off the
slain, and for us to claim the prisoners."
But our new foes understood not a jest, and advanced upon
us with a ferocity which might really have terminated in a
serious engagement, had not the tall stranger thrust his bulky
form in front of the approaching battalion, and cried out with
a loud voice, " Zounds, my good fellows, what 's all this for ?
If you take us up you will get broken heads to-night, and a
few shillings perhaps to-morrow. If you leave us alone, you
will have whole heads, and a guinea between you. Now,
what say you ? "
Well spoke Phsedra against the dangers of eloquence (*caXol
Xi'av Xoyot). The watchmen looked at each other. "Why
really, sir," said one, "what you say alters the case very
much; and if Dick here is not much hurt, I don't know what
we may say to the offer."
So saying, they raised the fallen watchman, who, after
three or four grunts, began slowly to recover himself.
"Are you dead, Dick ?" said the owl wath seven owlets.
*' I think I am, " answered the other, groaning.
" Are you able to drink a pot of ale, Dick ? " cried the tall
"I think I am," reiterated the dead man, very lack-a-daisi-
cally. And this answer satisfying his comrades, the articles
of peace were subscribed to.
Now, then, the tall stranger began searching his pockets
with a most consequential air.
"Gad, so!" said he at last; "not in my breeches pocket!
ā well, it must be in my waistcoat. No. Well, 't is a strange
thing ā demme it is! Gentlemen, I have had the misfor-
tune to leave my purse behind me : add to your other favours
by lending me wherewithal to satisfy these honest men."
And Tarleton lent him the guinea. The watchmen now re-
tired, and we were left alone with our portly ally.
Placing his hand to his heart he made us half-a-dozen
profound boAvs, returned us thanks for our assistance in
some very courtly phrases, and requested us to allow him to
make our acquaintance. We exchanged cards and departed
on our several ways.
"I have met that gentleman before," said Tarleton. "Let
us see what name he pretends to. 'Fielding ā Fielding;' ah,
by the Lord, it is no less a person ! It is the great Fielding
"Is Mr. Fielding, then, as elevated in fame as in stature?"
" What, is it possible that you have not yet heard of Beau
Fielding, who bared his bosom at the theatre in order to at-
tract the admiring compassion of the female part of the
"What!" I cried, "the Duchess of Cleveland's Fielding?"
" The same ; the best-looking fellow of his day ! A sketch
of his history is in the ' Tatler, ' under the name of ' Orlando
the Fair. ' He is terribly fallen as to fortune since the day
when he drove about in a car like a sea-shell, with a dozen
tall fellows, in the Austrian livery, black and yellow, run-
ning before and behind him. You know he claims relation-
ship to the house of Hapsburg. As for the present, he writes
poems, makes love, is still good-natured, humorous, and odd;
is rather unhappily addicted to wine and borrowing, and rig-
idly keeps that oath of the Carthusians which never suffers
them to carry any money about them."
"An acquaintance more likely to yield amusement than
" Exactly so. He will favour you with a visit ā to-morrow,
perhaps, and you will remember his propensities."
" Ah ! who ever forgets a warning that relates to his purse ! "
"True!" said Tarleton, sighing. "Alas! my guinea, thou
and I have parted company forever ! vale, vale, Inquit lolas ! "
THE BEAU IN HIS DEN, AND A PHILOSOPHER DISCOViaiED.
Mr. Eielding having twice favoured me with visits, which
found me from home, I thought it right to pay my respects to
him; accordingly one morning I repaired to his abode. It
was situated in a street which had been excessively the mode
some thirty years back; and the house still exhibited a stately
and somewhat ostentatious exterior. I observed a considera-
ble cluster of infantine ragamuffins collected round the door,
and no sooner did the portal open to my summons than they
pressed forward in a manner infinitely more zealous than re-
spectful. A servant in the Austrian livery, with a broad belt
round his middle, officiated as porter. " Look, look ! " cried
one of the youthful gazers, " look at the Beau's keeper ! " This
imputation on his own respectability and that of his master,
the domestic seemed by no means to relish; for, muttering
some maledictory menace, which I at first took to be German,
but which I afterwards found to be Irish, he banged the door
in the faces of the intrusive impertinents, and said, in an
accent which suited very ill with his Continental attire, ā
" And is it my master you 're wanting, Sir ? "
" And you would be after seeing him immadiately ? "
"Rightly conjectured, my sagacious friend."
" Fait then, your honour, my master 's in bed with a terrible
fit of the megrims."
" Then you will favour me by giving this card to your mas-
ter, and expressing my sorrow at his indisposition."
Upon this the orange-coloured lacquey, very quietly read-
ing the address on the card, and spelling letter by letter in
an audible mutter, rejoined, ā
"C ā o ā u (cou) n ā t (unt) Count, D ā e ā v. Och, by
my shoul, and it 's Count Devereux after all I 'm thinking ? "
"You think with equal profundity and truth."
" You may well say that, your honour. Stip in a bit : I '11
tell my master ; it is himself that will see you in a twinkling ! "
" But you forget that your master is ill ? " said I.
"Sorrow a bit for the matter o' that: my master is never
ill to a jontleman,"
And with this assurance "the Beau's keeper" ushered me
up a splendid staircase into a large, dreary, faded apartment,
and left me to amuse myself with the curiosities within, while
he went to perform a cure upon his master's "megrims." The
chamber, suiting with the house and the owner, looked like a
place in the other world set apart for the reception of the
ghosts of departed furniture. The hangings were wan and
colourless ; the chairs and sofas were most spiritually unsub-
stantial ; the mirrors reflected all things in a sepulchral sea-
green; even a huge picture of Mr. Fielding himself, placed
over the chimney-piece, seemed like the apparition of a por-
trait, so dim, watery, and indistinct had it been rendered by
neglect and damp. On a huge tomb-like table in the middle