Alexander Chalmers.

The British essayists : with prefaces, historical and biographical (Volume 2) online

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THE



BRITISH ESSAYISTS



PREFACES,
HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL,

BY ■

A. CHALMERS, F. S. A.

VOLUME II.



BOSTON:

LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY
M.DCCC.LV.






RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE:
PRINTED By H. O. HOUGHTOX AXD COMPANY.



STEREOTYPED BY STONE AXD SMART.



TATLER



No. 43—105.



^



CONTENTS.



VOL. II.



NO.

43. D*Urfey's Dedication: Steele — New System of

Philosophy: addisox — On the Sublime steel

44. Esciilapiiis in Love with Hebe — Sale of the Play-

house Articles — Humorous Complaint of Punch
— The Country Gentlemen who cannot bear a
Jest — Continental Intelligence

45. Story of Teraminta — Puppet-shows — Scene of

Bodily Wit — Characters of Florio and Senecio

46. Character and Gallantries of Aurengezebe — Lines

on the March to Tournay without beat of Drum —
Continental Intelligence

47. Character of Sir Taffety Trippet — Cure for the

Spleen — Passions expressed by Shakspeare. . .

48. Shades of Conscience and Honour — Genius of

Credit



49. Love and Lust — Florio and Limberham — Noc-

turnus

50. History of Orlando the Fair — Powel's Puppet-

show



VI CONTENTS.

XO.

51. Historj' of Orlando, Chap. 2. — Pantomime Tricks —

Powel's Puppet-show Steele.

52. Use of Delamira's Fan — On Modesty — Characters

of Nestor and Varillus — The modest Man and the

modest Fellow



53. The civil Husband — Dramatic Criticism — Conti-

nental Intelligence

54. The government of Affection — The "Wife and the

Mistress — Complaint against Stentor — Death of
Lisander and Coriana

55. Story of a Cure performed on a blind young Man —

Continental Intelligence

56. On Sharpers — Instances of Longevity in France —

Notices to Correspondents

57. Emilia, a Woman too humble — Sharping Extortion-

ers — Satire on the French applied to the Eng-
lish — New Coxcomb

58. Continence of Scipio — Grammatical Pedantry —

Continental Intelligence

59. On Sharpers — Raffling shops — Character of Ac-

tion — Author accused of writing nonsense:
STEELE— Family of Greenhats: swift— Conti-
nental Intelligence Steele.

60. A Rake reclaimed by his Father's liberality— Wo-

men to be gained by nonsense— Mars Triumph-
ant — Advertisement

61. Men of Fire described— Use of Satire— Distinction

between Goldsmiths and Coppersmiths— Sten-
tor— Education and Beauty of Women— Letter
from the Artillery Ground

62. Sharpers described as a pack of Dogs — On Wit —

Women the best Speakers — Sallust censured —



CONTENTS. Vll

NO.

Story of Dampler's Boatswain — Continental In-
telligence STEELE.

63. Of the enjoyment of Life with regard to others —

Use of Ridicule: Steele — Madonella's Platonic
College: swift — Continental Intelligence Steele.

64. Continental Intelligence: Steele — Character of

Cleontes hughes.

65. Character of a Battle-Critic — Conduct of the Bath

Sharpers Steele.

66. Eloquence of the Pulpit: swift and Steele — In-

felicity of Riches to one who is not a Gentle-
man — Sharpers — Continental Intelligence Steele.

67. Proposals for Tables of Fame : swift — Continental

Intelligence — Skill of Transition Steele.

68. Tables of Fame — Female Sharpers : swift — Causes

of Teai-s — Notice of a Sharper — Of a Book. . . . Steele.

69. On acting our parts in Life well — Promotion of

Eboracensis — Letter from Two Ladies inclined
to marry the same ilan — Bravery of the Allies —
Various notices

70. Eloquenceof the Pulpit: swift and Steele — List

of Sharpers Steele.

71. Danger of Satirical Writings: Steele — Irregular

conduct of a Clergyman: swift— Betterton's
Hamlet — Reformation of Planners at Oxford . . . Steele.

72. Story of Pcetus and AiTia — Want of earnestness in

the Pulpit — Favonius — Decision of a Wager. . .



73. Letter from Monoculus and Answer: Steele — Ac-

count of a Club of Gamesters : hughes — Elec-
tion for Queenhithe Ward Steele.

74. Letter from a Lover — Letter on the tendency of



Vlll CONTENTS.

NO.

satirical Characters — Table of Fame — Continen-
tal Intelligence Steele.

75. Miss Jenny's Marriage — Choice of Matches in the

Bickerstaff family : addison and Steele.

76. EiTors of Good-nature — Complaint of Lovewell

Barebones: Steele — Defence of the Tatler:
HUGHES — Continental Intelligence — Notice to a
young Gentleman Steele.

77. Affectation of Faults and Imperfections — Original

Letter from Marshal Boufflers — Bath Physicians

78. Letters soliciting places at the Table of Fame —

Character of Hippocrates — Advertisement and

Notice to Correspondents

79. Advice to married Persons — Mrs. Jenny's "Wed-

ding-dinner — Notice of a Pamphlet

80. Exorbitant price of Books — Letters from a sple-

netic Gentleman — From a Limper — Continental
Intelligence

81. Vision of the Table of Fame : addisox — Taking of

MonS STEELE.

82. Story of the Cornish Lovers — Of a Lover who kills

his Mistress

83. Kemarks on the Table of Fame— Maria declares a

Passion for the Author — His Answer — Advantage
of being able to say No — Continental Intelli-
gence

84. Censure of Ladies who attend Trials for Rapes —

Case of Lucretia — Egotism of the French writ-
ers — On giving Advice, a Fable ■

85. Matrimonial Quarrel and Eeconciliation — Cha-

racter of the Dappers — Death of Cynthio



CONTEXTS. IX

SO.

86. Scene of Country Etiquette: addison— On Mo-

desty STEELE.

87. Humorous Criticism on Sergeant Hall's Letter^

Glory shared among an Array

88. Of Story-tellers, under the names of Gunners and

Gunsters : steele — A Dancing-master practising

by book addison.

89. Letter to the Autlior — His History of his Life — .

Evil of unreasonable Visits — Players saying

moi-e than is set down to them Steele.

90. Unity of sentiment in treating the passion of Love —

Its allegorical History: addisox — On a Scene

in Kichard HI Steele.

91. Maria's Visit — A Case of Love and Envy — Imperti-

nence of Nic. Doubt — Play-house scene of a true

and feigned Poet

92. On Praise with Exceptions — Libellers — Recom-

mendation of Charles Lillie

93. Letter from Switzerland — Remarks on Travelling —

Fools not to be exported — The Author's Precau-
tions against Assaults addison.

94. Story of Clarinda and Chloe — Recommendation of

Mr. Lillie — Notices of an Almanac, &c steele.

95. Scene of Domestic Felicity

96. Every worthless Man a dead !Man — Peculiarities of

Dress — Game killed by the French King —
Charles Lillie addisdx.

97. Hercules courted by Pleasure and Virtue, an Alle-

gory

98. Letter from a Woman in Love — Impressive tend-

ency of Poetry steele.



X CONTENTS.

NO.

99. Advantages from having but one Theatre — At-
tack and Expulsion of Divito — Remonstrance
of the Upholders Steele.

100. Goddess of Justice distributing Rewai'ds addison.

101. Danger of Authors from Pirates : addison — No-

tices STEELE.

102. Continuation of the Vision of the Goddess of Jus-

tice ADDISON.

103. Applications for Pemaission to use Canes, &c. :

ADDISON and Steele.

104. Happiness, how secured in the Married State

105. History of Will Kosin — Art of Knocking



THE TATLER.



No. 43. TUESDAY, JULY 19, 1709.



— Bene nummatum decorat Suadela Venusque.

HOR. EPIST. 1, 6, 38.

The goddess of persuasion forms his train,

And Venus decks the well-bemoney'd swain, francis.

white's chocolate-house, JULY 18.

I WRITE from hence at present to complain, that
wit and merit are so little encouraged by people of
rank and quality, that the wits of the age are oblig-
ed to run within Temple-bar for patronage. There
is a deplorable instance of this kind in the case of
IVIr. D'Urfey, who has dedicated his inimitable co-
medy, called ' The Modern Prophets,' to a worthy
knight, to whom, it seems, he had before communi-
cated his plan, wliich was, ' To ridicule the ridicul-
ers of our established doctrine.' I have elsewhere
celebrated the contrivance of this excellent drama ;
but was not, till I read the dedication, wholly let
into the relidous desi"rn of it. I am afraid it has
suffered discontinuance at this gay end of the town,
for no other reason but the piety of the purpose.
There is, however, in this epistle, the true life of
panegyrical performance ; and I do not doubt but

VOL. II. 1



Z TATLER. NO. 43.

if the patron would part with it, I can help him to
others with good pretensions to it, viz. of ' uncom-
mon understanding,' who will give him as much as
he gave for it. I know perfectly well a noble per-
son, whom these words, which are the body of the
panegyric, would fit to a hair.

' Your easiness of humour, or rather your harmo-
nious disposition, is so admirably mixed with your
composure, that the rugged cares and disturbance
that public affairs bring with it, which does so vexa-
tiously affect the heads of other great men of busi-
ness, &c. does scarce ever ruffle your unclouded brow
so much as with a frown. And what above all is
praiseworthy, you are so far from thinking yourself
better than others, that a flourishing and opulent
fortune, which, by a certain natural corruption in
its quality, seldom fails to infect other possessors
with pride, seems in this case as if only providen-
tially disposed to enlarge your humility.

' But I find. Sir, I am now got into a very large
field, where though I could with great ease raise a
number of plants in relation to your merit of this
plauditory nature ; yet, for fear of an author's ge-
neral vice, and that the plain justice I have done
you should by my proceeding, and others' mistaken
judgment, be imagined flattery, a thing the blunt-
ness of my nature does not care to be concerned
with, and which I also know you abominate.' *

It is wonderful to see how many judges of these
fine things spring up every day by the rise of stocks,
and other elegant methods of abridging the way to
learning and criticism. But I do hereby forbid all
dedications to any persons within the city of Lon-
don, except Sir Francis,! Sir Stephen, and the

* An extract from D'Urfev's dedication.

t Sir Francis and Sir Stephen were evidently bankers of the



NO. 43. TATLER. 3

Bank, will take epigrams and epistles as value re-
ceived for their notes ; and the East India Company
accept of heroic poems for their sealed bonds.
Upon which bottom our publishers have full power
to treat with the city in behalf of us authors, to
enable traders to become patrons and fellows of
the Royal Society,* as well as receive certain
degrees of skill in the Latin and Greek tongues,
according to the quantity of the commodities which
they take off our hands.

GRECIAN COFFEE-HOUSE, JULY 18.

The learned have so long laboured under the im-
putation of dryness and dulness in their accounts of
their phenomena, that an ingenious gentleman of
our society has resolved to write a system of philo-
sophy in a more lively method, both as to the mat-
ter and language, than has been hitherto attempted.
He read to us the plan upon which he intends to
proceed. I thought his account, by way of fable of
the worlds about us, had so much vivacity in it, that
I could not forbear transcribing his hypothesis, to
give the reader a taste of my friend's treatise, which
is now in the press.

'The inferior deities, having designed on a day
to play a game at football, kneaded together a num-
berless collection of dancing atoms into the form of
seven rolling globes : and, that nature might be kept

times ; and of those the two most eminent were Sir Francis
Child and Sir Stephen Evance. The latter was ruined, it is
thought, in the South-sea year.

* Mr. Whiston, alluded to in the following part of this paper,
was at this time proposed as a member of the Royal Society,
and rejected. The pretended account of his hypothesis that
follows is mere pleasantry, and not a quotation from his book,
or any true account of his ' Theory.'



4 TATLER. NO. 43.

from a dull inactivity, each separate particle is en-
dued with a principle of motion, or a power of at-
traction, whereby all the several parcels of matter
draw each other proportionably to their magnitudes
and distances into such a remarkable variety of dif-
ferent forms, as to produce all the wonderful ap-
pearances we now observe in empire, philosophy,
and religion. But to proceed :

' At the beginning of the game, each of the globes,
being struck forward with a vast violence, ran out
of sight, and wandered in a straight line through the
infinite spaces. The nimble deities pursue, breath-
less almost, and spent in the eager chase ; each of
them caught hold of one, and stamped it with his
name ; as, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so of the rest.
To prevent this inconvenience for the future, the
seven are condemned to a precipitation, which in our
inferior style we call gravity. Thus the tangential
and centripetal forces, by their counter-struggle,
make the celestial bodies describe an exact ellipsis.'

There will be added to this an aj^pendix, in de-
fence of the first day of the term according to the
Oxford almanac, by a learned knight of this realm,
with an apology for the said knight's manner of
dress ; proving, that his habit, according to this hy-
pothesis, is the true modern and fashionable ; and
that buckles are not to be worn, by this system, un-
til the tenth of March in the year 1714, which, ac-
cording to the computation of some of our greatest
divines, is to be the first year of the millennium ;
in which blessed age all habits will be reduced to a
primitive simphcity ; and whoever shall be found to
have persevered in a constancy of dress, in spite of
aU the allurements of profane and heathen habits,
shall be rewarded with a never-fading doublet of a
thousand years. All points in the system, which



NO. 43. TATLEK.



are doubted, shall be attested by the knight's ex-
temporary oath, for the satisfaction of his readers.



will's coffee-house, JULY 18.

We were upon the heroic strain this evening ;
and the question was, ' What is the true sublime ? '
Many very good discourses happened thereupon;
after which a gentleman at the table, who is, it
seems, writing on that subject, assumed the argu-
ment ; and though he ran through many instances
of sublimity from the ancient writers, said, ' he had
hardly known an occasion wherein the true great-
ness of soul, which animates a general in action is
so well represented, with regard to the person of
whom it was spoken, and the time in which it was
writ, as in a few lines in a modern poem. There
is,' continued he, 'nothing so forced and constrain-
ed, as what we frequently meet with in tragedies ;
to make a man under the weight of a great sorrow,
or full of meditation upon what he is soon to exe-
cute, cast about for a simile to what he himself is,
or the thing which he is going to act : but there is
nothing more proper and natural for a poet, whose
business is to describe, and who is spectator of one
in that circumstance, when his mind is working
upon a great image, and that the ideas hurry upon
his imagination — I say, there is nothing so natural,
as for a poet to relieve and clear himself from the
burden of thought at that time, by uttering his con-
ception in simile and metaphor. The highest act of
the mind of man is to possess itself with tranquillity
in imminent danger, and to have its thoughts so
free, as to act at that time without perplexity. The
ancient authors have compared this sedate courage
to a rock that remains immovable amidst the rage



6 TATLER. NO. 43.

of winds and waves ; but that is too stupid and in-
animate a similitude, and could do no credit to the
hero. At other times they are all of them wonder-
fully obliged to a Libyan lion, which may give in-
deed very agreeable terrors to a description, but is
no compliment to the person to whom it is applied :
eagles, tigers, and wolves, are made use of on the
same occasion, and very often with much beauty ;
but this is still an honour done to the brute rather
than the hero. Mars, Pallas, Bacchus, and Her-
cules, have each of them furnished very good similes
in their time, and made, doubtless, a greater im-
pression on the mind of a heathen, than they have
on that of a modern reader. But the sublime image
that I am talking of, and which I really think as
great as ever entered into the thought of man, is in
the poem called ' The Campaign ; '* where the
simile of a ministering angel sets forth the most
sedate and the most active courage, engaged in an
uproar of nature, a confusion of elements, and a
scene of divine vengeance. Add to all, that these
lines comphment the general and his queen at the
same time, and have all the natural horrors height-
ened by the image that was still fresh in the mind
of every reader : t

' 'T was then great Marlbro's mighty soul was prov'd,

That, in the shock of charging hosts unmov'd,

Amidst confusion, horror, and despair,

Examin'd all the dreadful scenes of war;

In peaceful thought the field of death survey'd,

To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid,

Inspir'd repuls'd battalions to engage,

And taught the doubtful battle where to rage.

* By Addison, published in 1704.

t The author alludes here to the terrible tempests which hap-
pened in November, 1703, and made sad havoc m England, and
m several other parts of Europe.



NO. 43. TATLER. 7

So when an Angel by divine command,
With rising tempests shakes a guilty land,
Such as of late o'er pale Britannia past,
Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
And, plea.s'd th' Almighty's orders to perform,
Eides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.' *

The whole poem is so exquisitely noble and poetic,
that I think it an honour to our nation and language.
The gentleman concluded his critique on this
work, by saying that ' he esteemed it wholly new,
and a wonderful attempt to keep up the ordinary
ideas of a march of an army, just as they happened,
in so warm and great a style, and yet be at once fa-
miliar and heroic. Such a performance is a chro-
nicle as well as a poem, and will preserve the me-
mory of our hero, when all the edifices and statues
erected to his honour are blended with common
dust.'

ST. JAMES'S COFFEE-HOUSE, JULY 18.

Letters from the Hague, of the twenty-third in-
stant, N. S., say, that the allies were so forward in
the siege of Tournay, that they were preparing for
a general assault, which it was supposed would be
made within a few days. Deserters from the town
gave an account, that the garrison were carrying
their ammunition and provisions into the citadel,
which occasioned a tumult among the inhabitants of
the town. The French army had laid bridges over
the Scarp, and made a motion as if they intended to
pass that river : but, though they are joined by the
reenforcement expected from Germany, it was not
believed they would make any attempt towards re-
lieving Tournay. Letters from Brabant say, there
has been a discovery made of a design to deliver up

* Psalm cxlviii. 8.



8 TATLER. NO. 44.

Antwerp to the enemy. The states of Holland have
agreed to a general naturalization of all protestants
who shall fly into their dominions : to which pur-
pose a proclamation was to be issued within a few
days.

They write from France, that the great misery
and want under which that nation has so long la-
boured, has ended in a pestilence, which began to
appear in Burgundy and Dauphine. They add,
that in the town of Macon, three hundred persons
had died in the -space of ten days. Letters from
Lisle, of the twenty-fourth instant, advise, that great
numbers of deserters came daily into that city, the
most part of whom are dragoons. Letters from
France say, that the Loire having overflowed its
banks, hath laid the country under water for thi*ee
hundred miles together.



No. 44. THURSDAY, JULY 21, 1709.



NulUi amor est medicabilis herlis. ovid. met. i. 523.

' No herb, alas ! can cure the pangs of love.'

^VHITE'S CHOCOLATE-HOUSE, JULY 19.

This day, passing through Co vent-garden, I was
stopped in the piazza by Pacolet, to observe what
he called the triumph of love and youth. I turned
to the object he pointed at, and there I saw a gay



NO. 44. TATLER. 9

gilt chariot, drawn by fresh prancing horses ; the
coachman with a new cockade, and the lackeys
with insolence and plenty in their countenances. 1
asked immediately, 'What young heir or lover
owned that glittering equipage ? ' But my compa-
nion interrupted : ' Do you not see there the
mourning ^sculapius ? ' * ' The mourning ? ' said
I. 'Yes, Isaac,' said Pacolet, 'he is in deep
mourning, and is the languishing, hopeless lover of
the divine Hebe, the emblem of youth and beauty.
The excellent and learned sage you behold in that
furniture is the strongest instance imaginable, that
love is the most powerful of all things.

* You are not so ignorant as to be a stranger to
the character of ^sculapius, as the patron and most
successful of all who profess the art of medicine.
But as most of his operations are owing to a natural
sagacity or impulse, he has very little troubled him-
self with the doctrine of drugs, but has always given
nature more room to help herself, than any of her
learned assailants ; and, consequently, has done
greater wonders than is in the power of art to per-
form: for which reason he is half deified by the
people ; and has ever been justly courted by all
the world, as he were a seventh son.

'It happened, that the charming Hebe was re-
duced, by a long and violent fever, to the most ex-
treme danger of death ; and when all skill failed,
they sent for ^sculapius. The renowned artist was
touched with the deepest compassion to see the
faded charms and faint bloom of Hebe ; and had a
generous concern in beholding a struggle, not be-
tween life, but rather between youth and death.



* This paper -was written in ridicule of a love affair which
befell Dr. Radcliffe, who was at this time about sixtv.



10 TATLER. NO. 44.

All his skill and his passion tended to the recovery
of Hebe, beautiful even in sickness ; but, alas ! the
unhappy physician knew not that in all his care
he was only sharpening darts for his own destruction.
In a word, his fortune was the same with that of
the statuary, who fell in love with the image of his
own making: and the unfortunate ^sculapius is
become the patient of her whom he lately recovered.
Long before this disaster, ^sculapius was far gone
in the unnecessary and superfluous amusements of
old age, in increasing unwieldy stores, and provid-
ing in the midst of an incapacity of enjoyment of
what he had, for a supply of more wants than he
had calls for in youth itself. But these low con-
siderations are now no more, and love has taken
place of avarice, or rather is become an avarice of
another kind, which still urges him to pursue what
he does not want. But, behold the metamorphosis ;
the anxious mean cares of an usurer are turned
into the languishments and complaints of a lover.
" Behold," says the aged -^sculapius, " I submit ; I
own, great Love, thy empire : pity, Hebe, the fop
you have made. What have I to do with gilding
but on pills ? Yet, fair ! for thee I sit amidst a
crowd of painted deities on my chariot, buttoned in
gold, clasped in gold, without having any value for
that beloved metal, but as it adorns the person, and
laces the hat, of thy dying lover. I ask not to hve, O
Hebe ! give me but gentle death : Evi^avaam, ^vdavaoLa,*
that is all I implore." '

When -^sculapius had finished his complaint,
Pacolet went on in deep morals on the uncertainty
of riches, with this remarkable exclamation : ' O



* A Greek word, that signifies easy death, which was the
common wish of the Emperor Augustus.



NO. 44. TATLER. 11

wealth ! how impotent art thou ! and how little dost
thou supply us with real happiness, when the usurer
himself can forget thee for the love of what is as
foreign to his fehcity as thou art ! '

WaLL'S COFFEE-HOUSE, JULY 19.

The company here, who have all a delicate taste
for theatrical representations, had made a gathering
to purchase, the movables of the neighbouring play-
house for the encouragement of one which is setting
up in the Hay-market. But the proceedings at the
auction, by which method the goods have been sold
this evening, have been so unfair, that this ge-
nerous design has been frustrated ; for the imperial



Online LibraryAlexander ChalmersThe British essayists : with prefaces, historical and biographical (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 29)