amused himself with a dish of coffee and the Flying
Post, I listened very attentively to the conversation.
Certainly, if we would take every opportunity of getting
a grain or two of knowledge, we should soon have a
chestful; 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 box.*
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 obser-
vation. He was of a very flat, ill-favoured countenance,
but of a quick eye, and a genteel air; there was, how-
ever, 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-co-
loured coat, who seemed, by a fashionable swagger of
importance, desirous of giving the tone to the company
" Ha, Steele ! whence come you 1 from the chapel or
the tavern 1 " and the speaker winked round the room
as if he wished us to participate in the pleasure of a
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
" 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, 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 my own.
Tarleton, who was sufficiently well educated to pre-
tend to the character of a man of letters, hereupon
thought it necessary to lay aside the Flying Post, and
to introduce me to my literary neighbour.
" Pray," said Colonel Cleland, taking snnff 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 Tatter's successor, the Spectator ? "
11 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 author."
" Pooh ! " said Cleland, imperiously " pooh ! it is
neither one nor the other; I, gentlemen, am in the
secret : but 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 1 "
" I never said so, Dicky ; but the women will have
it that I am ; " and the colonel smoothed down his
" Pray, Mr Addison, what say you ? " cried the gen-
tleman in the flaxen wig, " are you for Congreve, Swift,
or Colonel Cleland ? " This was addressed to a gentle-
man of a grave, but rather prepossessing mien ; who,
with eyes fixed upon the ground, was very quietly, and
to all appearance very inattentively, solacing himself
with a pipe : without lifting his eyes, this personage,
then eminent, afterwards rendered immortal, replied
" 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,
" prithee tell us thy thoughts on the subject : dost
thou know the author of this droll periodical 1 "
" I saw him this morning," said Steele, carelessly.
" Aha ! and what said you to him 1 "
" I asked him his name 1 "
" And what did he answer 1 " 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 ansAvered me solemnly," said Steele, " in the
' Grseci carent ablativo Itali dativo Ego noininativo.' " )
" Famous capital ! " cried the gentleman in spec-
tacles; and then, touching Colonel Cleland, added,
" What does it exactly mean ? "
" Ignoramus ! " said Cleland, disdainfully, " every
school-boy knows Vinj'il ! "
" Devereux," said Tarleton, yawning, " what a d d
delightful thing it is to hear so much wit pity that
* This seems to corroborate the suspicion entertained of the
identity of Colonel Cleland with the Will Honeycomb of the Spec-
f " The Greeks want an ablative the Italians a dative I a
the atmosphere is so fine that no lungs unaccustomed
to it can endure it long. Let us recover ourselves by
" "Willingly," said I ; and we sauntered forth into the
" Wills' s is not what it was," said Tarleton; " 'tis a
pitiful 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.
"Tis 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
" 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 1 "
" Dame de la what ? in the name of long words who
is she ? "
" Oh ! Learning made libidinous : one who reads
Catullus and profits by it."
" Bah, no, we will not leave the gentle Abigail for
her. I have promised to meet St John, too, at the
" 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
peaceably accompanied me to that celebrated woman,
who did the Tories such notable service, at the expense
of being termed by the Whigs, one great want divided
into two parts viz., a great want of every shilling
belonging to other people, and a great want of every
virtue that should have belonged to herself. As we
mounted the staircase, a door to the left (a private
apartment) was opened, and I saw the favourite dis-
miss, with the most flattering air of respect, my old
preceptor, the Abbe Montreuil. He received her atten-
tions as his due, and, descending the stairs, came full
iipon 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 excellent companions
both 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 quarrel-
some a rare thing. The trusty Abigail told us stories
of the good Queen, and we added Ions-mots by way of
corollary. Wine, too, wine that even Tarleton approved,
lit up our intellects, and we spent altogether 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 com-
panion, Tarleton and I were strolling homeward, when
we perceived a remarkably tall man engaged in a contest
with a couple of watclimen. 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 shame-
fully beaten by this here madman, and for no earthly
" Who ever did beat a watchman for any earthly
cause, you rascal 1 " cried the accused party, swinging
his walking-cane over the complainant's head with a
" Very true," cried Tarleton, cooly. " Seigneurs of
the watch, you are both made and paid to be beaten ;
ergo you have no right to complain. Eelease this
worthy cavalier, and depart elsewhere to make night
hideous with your voices."
" Conie, 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 ;
"defend thyself;" and without adding another word,
he ran the watchman through not the body, but the
coat ; avoiding, with great dexterity, the corporeal sub-
stance of the attacked party, and yet approaching it so
closely, as to give the guardian of the streets very rea-
sonable 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 pavement as
if he had been shot.
" Now for thee, varlet," cried Tarleton, brandishing
his rapier before the eyes of the other watchman ;
" tremble at the sword of Gideon."
" 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
iut<' us thy brother owl I "
"Oh, sir!" cried the craven night-bird (a bit of a
humorist in its way), " because I have a nest and
seven little owlets at home, and t'other owl is only a
" Tliou 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
himself 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 skin, and for us to claim the prisoners."
But our new foes understood not a jest, and ad-
vanced 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 approach-
ing 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. K"ow,
what say you ? "
Well spoke Phaedra against the dangers of eloquence
(xaXo/ Xiav Xo'yo/). 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
"Are you dead, Dick?" said the owl with seven
" I think I am," answered the other, groaning.
" Are you able to drink a pot of ale, Dick ? " cried
the tall stranger.
" I think I am," reiterated the dead man, very lack-
a-daisically. And this answer satisfying his comrades,
the articles of the 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 ! well it must be in my waistcoat. No. Well,
'tis a strange thing demme it is ! Gentlemen, I have
had the misfortune 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 retired, and we were left alone with our portly
Placing his hand to his heart, he made us half-a-
dozen profound bows, returned us thanks for our assist-
ance 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
Fielding ! ' ah, by the Lord, it is no less a person ! it is
the great Fielding himself."
" Is Mr Fielding, then, as elevated in fame as in
stature 1 "
" What, is it possible, that you have not yet heard
of Beau Fielding, who bared his bosom at the theatre
in order to attract the admiring compassion of the
female part of the audience ? "
"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 for-
tune 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, running before and behind
him. You know he claims relationship 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 rigidly keeps that oath of the Carthusians which
never suffers them to carry any money about them."
" An acquaintance more likely to yield amusement
" Exactly so. He will favour you with a visit to-
morrow, perhaps ; and you will remember his propen-
" Ah ! who ever forgets a warning that relates to his
purse ? "
" True ! " said Tarleton, sighing. " Alas ! my guinea,
thou and I have parted company for ever ! Vale, vale,
inquit lolas ! "
The Beau in his Den, and a Philosopher discovered.
MR FIELDIXG having twice favoured ine with visits,
which found me from home, I thought it right to pay
my respects to him ; accordingly, one morning I re-
paired to his abode. It Avas 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 considerable cluster
of infantine raggamuffins collected round the door, and
no sooner did the portal open to my summons, than
they pressed forward in a manner infinitely more zeal-
ous than respectful. 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 Avhich 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 Con-
" And is it my master you're wanting, sir 1 "
" It is."
" 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 master, and expressing my sorrow at his indis-
Upon this the orange-coloured lacquey, very quietly
reading the address on the card, and spelling letter by
letter in an audible mutter, rejoined
"C o u (cou) n t (unt) Count, D e v. Och,
by my shoul, and its Count Devereux after all, I'm
" You think with equal profundity and truth."
" You may well say that, your honour. Stip in a
bit I'll till 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 jontleinan."
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 spi-
ritually unsubstantial 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 portrait, so dim, watery,
and indistinct had it been rendered by neglect and
damp. On a huge tomb-like table, in the middle of
the room, lay two pencilled profiles of Mr Fielding, a
pawnbroker's ticket, a pair of ruffles, a very little muff,
an immense broadsword, a Wycherley comb, a jack-
boot, and an old plumed hat ; to these were added a
cracked pomatum-pot, containing ink, and a scrap of
paper, ornamented with sundry paintings of hearts and
torches, on which were scrawled several lines in a hand
so large and round that I could not avoid seeing the
first verse, though I turned away my eyes as quickly as
possible that verse, to the best of my memory, ran
thus : " Say, lovely Lesbia, when thy swain." Upon
the ground lay a box of patches, a periwig, and two or
three well - thumbed books of songs. Such was the
reception-room of Beau Fielding, one indifferently well
calculated to exhibit the propensities of a man, half
bully, half fribble ; a poet, a fop, a fighter, a beauty, a
walking museum of all odd humours, and a living
shadow of a past renown. " There are changes in wit
as in fashion," said Sir William Temple, and he pro-
ceeds to instance a nobleman, who was the greatest
wit of the court of Charles I., and the greatest dullard
in that of Charles II. * But heavens, how awful are
* The Earl of Norwich.
VOL. I. L
the revolutions of coxcombry ! what a change from
Beau Fielding the Beauty, to Beau Fielding the Oddity !
After I had remained in this apartment about ten
minutes, the great man made his appearance. He was
attired in a dressing-gown of the most gorgeous mate-
rial and colour, but so old that it was difficult to con-
ceive any period of past time which it might not have
been supposed to have witnessed ; a little velvet cap,
with a tarnished gold tassel, surmounted his head, and
his nether limbs were sheathed in a pair of military
boots. . In person, he still retained the trace of that
extraordinary symmetry he had once possessed, and his
features were yet handsome, though the complexion
had grown coarse and florid, and the expression had
settled into a broad, hardy, farcical mixture of effrontery,
humour, and conceit.
But how different his costume from that of old !
Where was the long wig with its myriad curls? the
coat stiff with golden lace? the diamond buttons
" the pomp, pride, and circumstance of glorious war?"
the glorious war Beau Fielding had carried on through*
out the female world finding in every saloon a Blen-
heim in every playhouse a Rarnilies ? Alas ! to what
abyss of fate will not the love of notoriety bring men !
To what but the lust of show do we owe the misan-
thropy of Tiinon, or the ruin of Beau Fielding ]
" By the Lord !" cried Mr Fielding, approaching
and shaking me familiarly by the band, " by the Lord,
I am delighted to see thee ! As 1 am a soldier, I
thought thou wert a spirit, invisible and incorporeal
and as long as I was in that belief I trembled for thy
salvation, for I knew at least that thou wert not a
spirit of heaven ; since thy door is the very reverse of
the doors above, which we are assured shall be opened
unto our knocking. But thou art early, Count ; like
the ghost, in Hamlet, thou snuffest the morning air.
Wilt thou not keep out the rank atmosphere by a pint
of wine and a toast 1"
" Many thanks to you, Mr Fielding ; but I have at
least one property of a ghost, and don't drink after
" Xay, now, 'tis a bad rule ! a villanous bad rule,
fit only for ghosts and grey-beards. We youngsters,
Count, should have a more generous policy. Come,
now, where didst thou drink last night 1 ? has the
bottle bequeathed thee a qualm or a headache, which
preaches repentance and abstinence this morning ?"
' ' Xo, but I visit my mistress this morning ; would
you have me smell of strong potations, and seem a
worshipper of the ' Glass of Fashion,' rather than of
' the Mould of Form ? ' Confess, Mr Fielding, that the
women love not an early tippler, and that they expect
sober and sweet kisses from a pair of ' youngsters ' like
" By the Lord," cried Mr Fielding, stroking down
his comely stomach, " there is a great show of reason in
thy excuses, but only the show, not substance, my
noble Count. You know me, you know my experience
with the women I would not boast, as I'm a soldier
but 'tis something ! nine hundred and fifty locks of
hair have I got in my strong-box, under padlock and
key ; fifty within the last week true on rny soul
so that I may pretend to know a little of the dear
creatures : well, I give thee my honour, Count, that
they like a royster ; they love a fellow who can carry
his six bottles under a silken doublet ; there's vigour
and manhood in it and then, too, what a power of
toasts can a six-bottle man drink to his mistress ! Oh,
'tis your only chivalry now your modern substitute
for tilt and tournament; true, Count, as I am a sol-
"I fear my Dulcinea differs from the herd, then;
for she quarrelled with me for supping with St John
three nights ago, and "
" St John," interrupted Fielding, cutting me off in
the beginning of a witticism ; " St John, famous fellow,
is he not ? By the Lord, we will drink to his ad-
ministration you in chocolate, I in Madeira. 0' Carroll,
you dog O'Carroll rogue rascal ass dolt !"
" The same, your honour," said the orange-coloured
lacquey, thrusting in his lean visage.
" Ay, the same indeed thou anatomised son of St
Patrick. Why dost thou not get fat? thou shamest
niy good living, and thy belly is a rascally minister to
thee, devouring all things for itself, without fattening
a single member of the body corporate. Look at me,
you dog ; am 7 thin 1 Go and get fat, or I will dis-
charge thee by the Lord I will ! The sun shines
through thee like an empty wine-glass."
" And is it upon your honour's lavings you would
have me get fat?" rejoined Mr O'Carroll, with, an air
of deferential inquiry.
"Now, as I live, thou art the impudentest varlet !"
cried Mr Fielding, stamping his foot on the floor with
an angry frown.
" And is it for talking of your honour's lavings ? an'
sure that's nothing at all, at all," said the valet, twirl-
ing his thumbs with expostulating innocence.
" Begone, rascal ! " said Mr Fielding " begone. Go
to the Salop, and bring us a pint of Madeira, a toast,
and a dish of chocolate."
" Yes, your honour, in a twinkling," said the valet,
"A sorry fellow," said Mr Fielding, "but honest
and faithful, and loves me as well as a saint loves gold ;
'tis his love makes him familiar."
Here the door was again opened, and the sharp face
of Mr O'Carroll again intruded.
" How now, sirrah !" exclaimed his master.
Mr O'Carroll, without answering by voice, gave a
grotesque sort of signal between a wink and a beckon.
Mr Fielding rose, muttering an oath, and underwent a
whisper. "By the Lord," cried he, seemingly in a
furious passion, " and thou hast not got the bill cashed
yet, though I told thee twice to have it done last even-
ing ! Have I not my debts of honour to discharge, and
did I not give the last guinea I had about me for a
walking-cane yesterday ? Go down to the city imme-
diately, sirrah, and bring me the change."
The valet again whispered.
"Ah," resumed Fielding, "ah so far, you say, 'tis