صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


minuet to admiration, and accompanies the airs in the Beggar's opera on his flute in their original taste: He is also a playhouse critic of no mean pretensions, for he remembers Mrs. Woffington, and Quin and Mrs. Cibber; and when the players come to town, Billy is greatly looked up to, and has been known to lead a clap, where nobody but himself could find a reason for clapping at all. When his vanity is in the cue, Billy Bachelor can talk to you of his amours, and upon occasion stretch the truth to save his credit; particularly in accounting for a certain old lameness in his knee-pan, which fome, who are in the secret, know was got by being kicked out of a coffee-house, but which to the world at large he afferts was incurred by leaping out of a window to save a lady's reputation, and escape the fury of an enraged husband.

Dr. Pyeball is a dignitary of the church, and a mighty proficient in the belles lettres: He tells you Voltaire was a man of some fancy and had a knack of writing, but he bids you beware of his principles, and doubts if he had any more christianity than Pontius Pilate: He has wrote an epigram against a certain contemporary historian, which cuts him up at a stroke. By a happy jargon of professional phrases with a kind



of Socratic mode of arguing, he has so bamboozled the dons of the cathedral as to have effected a total revolution in their church music, making Purcell, Crofts and Handel give place to a quaint, quirkish stile, little less capricious than if the organist was to play cotillons and the dean and chapter dance to them. The doctor is a mighty admirer of those ingenious publications, which are intitled The flowers of the several authors they are selected from ; this short cut to Parnassus not only faves him a great deal of round-about riding, but supplies him with many an apt couplet for off-hand quotations, in which he is very expert and has besides a clever knack of weaving them into his pulpit essays (for I will not call them fermons) in much the same way as Tiddy-Doll stuck plumbs on his short pigs and his long pigs and his pigs with a curley tail. By a proper sprinkling of these spiritual nosegays, and the recommendation of a foft insinuating address, doctor Pyeball is universally cried up as a very pretty genteel preacher, one who understands the politeness of the pulpit and does not surfeit well-bred people with more religion than they have stomachs for. Amiable Miss Pen Tabby is one of his warmest admirers, and declares Doctor Pyeball in his

gown familiarities


gown and caflock is quite the man of fashion : The ill-natured world will have it she has con. templated him in other situations with equal approbation.

Elegant Mrs. Dainty is another ornament of this charming coterie : She is feparated from her husband, but the eye of malice never spied a fpeck upon her. virtue ; his manners were in. supportable ; fhe, good lady, never gave him the least provocation, for she was always fick and mostly confined to her chamber in nursing a delicate constitution: Noises racked her head

3 company fhook her nerves all to pieces; in the country fhe could not live, for country doctors and apothecaries knew nothing of her case; in London she could not sleep; unless the whole ftreet was littered with straw. Her husband was a man of no refinement; all the fine feelings of the human heart were heathen Greek to him; he loved his friend, had no quarrel with his bottle, and, conring from his club one night a little fustered, his horrid dalliances threw Mrs. Dainty into strong hysterics, and the covenanted truce being now broken, the kept no further terms with him and they separated. It was a step of absolute neceffity, for the declares her life could no otherwise have been saved; his boisterous

familiarities would have been her death. She now leads an uncontaminated life, supporting a feeble frame by medicine, fipping her tea with her dear quiet friends every evening, chatting over the little news of the day, fighing charitably when she hears any evil of her kind neighbours, turning off her femme-de-chambre once a week or thereabouts, fondling her lap-dog, who is a dear sweet pretty creature and so fenfible, and taking the air now and then on a pillion behind faithful John, who is so careful of her, and so handy, and at the same time one of the stouteft, handsomeft, beft-limbed lads in all England.

Sir Hugo Fitz-Hugo is a decayed baroret of a family fo very antient, that they have long since worn out the estate that supported them: Sir Hugo knows his own dignity none the less, and keeps a little fnivelling boy, who can scarce move under the load of worsted lace, that is plaistered down the edges and seains of his livery: He leaves a vifiting card at your door, stuck as full of emblems as an American paper dollar. Sir Hugo abominates a tradesman ; his olfactory nerves are tortured with the scent of a grocer, or a butcher, quite across the way, and as for a tallow-chandler he can wind him to the very


[ocr errors]

end of the street; these are people, whose visits he cannot endure; their very bills turn his stomach upside down.

Sir Hugo inveighs against modern manners as severely as Cato would against French cookery; he notes down omiffions in punctilio as a merchant does bills for protesting; and in cold weather Sir Hugo is of some use, for he suffers no man to turn his back to the fire and screen it from the company who fit round: He holds it for a solecism in good-breeding for any man to touch a lady's hand without his glove: This as a general maxim Miss Pen Tabby agrees to, but doubts whether there are not some cases when it


be waved: He anathematizes the heresy of a gentleman's sitting at the head of a lady's table, and contends that the honours of the


dish the unalienable rights of the mistress of the family: In short, Sir Hugo Fitz-Hugo has more pride about him than he knows how to dispose of, and yet cannot find in his heart to bestow one atom of it upon honesty: From the world he merits no other praise but that of having lived fingle all his life, and, being the last of his family; at his decease the Fitz-Hugos will be cxtinct.



« السابقةمتابعة »