« السابقةمتابعة »
« Dear BROTHER, - I am at present under very much concern, at the splendid appearance I saw my sister make in an equipage, which she has set up in your absence. I beg of you not to indulge her in this vanity; and desire you to consider, the world is so whimsical, that though it will value you for being happy, it will hate you for appearing so. The possession of wisdom and virtue, the only solid distinctions of life, is allowed much more easily than that of wealth and quality. Besides which, I must intreat you to weigh with yourself, what it is that people aim at in setting themselves out to show in gay equipages and moderate fortunes? You are not by this means a better man than your neighbour is; but your horses are better than his are. And will you suffer care and inquietude, to have it said, as you pass by, • Those are very pretty punch nags ?! Nay, when you have arrived at this, there are a hundred worthless fellows who are still four horses happier than you are. Remember, dear brother, there is a certain modesty in the enjoyment of moderate wealth, which to transgress exposes men to the utmost derision; and as there is nothing but meanness of spirit can move a man to value himself upon what can be purchased with money, so he that shows an am. bition that way, and cannot arrive at it, is more emphatically guilty of that meanness. I give you only my first thoughts on this occasion; but shall, as I am a Censor, entertain you in my next with my sentiments in general upon the subject of equipage; and show, that though there are no sumptuary laws amongst us, reason and good sense are equally bind. ing, and will ever prevail in appointing approbation or dislike in all matters of an indifferent nature, when they are pursued with earnestness.
I am, Sir, &c.”
ADVERTISEMENTS. To all Gentlemen, Ladies, and others, that delight
in soft lines. These are to give notice, that the proper time of the year for writing Pastorals now drawing near, there is a stage-coach settled from the One-bell in the Strand to Dorchester, which sets out twice a week, and passes through Basingstoke, Sutton, Stockbridge, Salisbury, Blandford, and so to Dorchester, over the finest downs in England. At all which places, there are accommodations of spreading beeches, beds of flowers, turf seats, and purling streams, for happy swains; and thunderstruck oaks, and left-handed ravens, to foretell misfortunes to those that please to be wretched, with all other necessaries for pensive passion.
And for the conveniency of such whose affairs will not permit them to leave this town, at the same place they may be furnished, during the season, with opening buds, flowering thyme, warbling birds, sporting lambkins, and fountain water, right and good, and bottled on the spot by one sent down on purpose.
N. B. The nymphs and swains are further given to understand, that, in those happy climes, they are so far from being troubled with wolves, that, for want of even foxes, a considerable pack of hounds have been lately forced to eat sheep.
Whereas, on the sixth instant at midnight, several persons of light honour and loose mirth, having taken upon them in the shape of men but with the voice of the players belonging to Mr. Powell's company, to call up surgeons at midnight, and send physicians to persons in sound sleep and perfect health: this is to certify, that Mr. Powell
had locked up the legs of his company for fear of mischief that night; and that Mr. Powell will not pay for any damages done by the said persons. It is also further advised, that there were no midwives wanted when those persons called them up in the several parts of Westminster; but that those gentlewomen who were in the company of the said impostors, may take care to call such useful persons on the 6th of December next.
The censor having observed, that there are fine-wrought ladies' shoes and slippers put out to view at a great shoemaker's shop towards Saint James's end of Pall-mall, which create irregular thoughts and desires in the youth of this nation; the said shop-keeper is required to take in those eye-sores, or show cause the next court-day why he continues to expose the same; and he is required to be prepared particularly to answer to the slippers with green lace and blue heels. .
It is impossible for me to return the obliging things Mr. Joshua Barnes has said to me, upon the account of our mutual friend Homer. He and I have read him now forty years with some understanding, and great admiration. A work to be produced by one who has enjoyed so great an intimacy with an author, is certainly to be valued more than any comment made by persons of yesterday. Therefore, according to my friend Joshua's request, I recommend his work; and, having used a little magic in the case, I give this recommendation by way of “ Amulet or charm against the malignity of envious backbiters, who speak evil of performances whereof themselves were never capable.” If I may use my friend Joshua's own words, I shall at present say no more, but that we, Homer's oldest acquaintance now living, know best his ways; and can inform the world, that they are often mistaken
when they think he is in lethargic fits,' which we know he was never subject to; and shall make appear to be rank scandal and envy, that of the Latin poet. - Aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus.
HOR. Ars. Post. ver. 359. --Good old Homer sometimes nods.
N° 144. SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 1709-10.
Sheer-lane, March 10. In a nation of liberty, there is hardly a person in the whole mass of the people more absolutely necessary than a Censor. It is allowed, that I have no authority for assuming this important appellation, and that I am Censor of these nations just as one is chosen king at the game of “ Questions and Com. mands:" but if, in the execution of this fantastical dignity, I observe upon things which do not fall within the cognizance of real authority, I hope it will be granted, that an idle man could not be more usefully employed. Among all the irregularities of which I have taken notice, I know none so proper to be presented to the world by a Censor, as that of the general expence and affectation in Equipage. I have lately hinted, that this extravagance must ne. cessarily get footing where we have no sumptuary laws, and where every man may be dressed, aitended, and carried, in what manner he pleases.
But my tenderness to my fellow-subjects will not permit me to let this enormity go unobserved. :
As the matter now stands, every man takes it in his head, that he has a liberty to spend bis money as he pleases. Thus, in spite of all order, justice, and decorum, we, the greater number of the queen's loyal subjects, for no reason in the world but because we want money, do not share alike in the division of her majesty's high road. The horses and slaves of the rich take up the whole street; while we Peripatetics are very glad to watch an opportunity to whisk cross a passage, very thankful that we are not run over for interrupting the machine, that carries in it a person neither more handsome, wise, or valiant, than the meanest of us. For this reason, were I to propose a tax, it should certainly be upon coaches and chairs: for no man living can assign a reason, why one man should have half a street to carry him at his ease, and perhaps only in pursuit of pleasures, when as good a man as himself wants room for his own person to pass upon the most necessary and urgent occasion. Until such an acknowledgement is made to the public, I shall take upon me to vest certain rights in the scavengers of the cities of London and Westminster, to take the horses and servants of all such as do not become or deserve such distinctions, into their peculiar custody. The offenders themselves I shall allow safe conduct to their places of abode in the carts of the said scavengers, but their horses shall be mounted by their footmen, and sent into the service abroad: and I take this opportunity, in the first place, to recruit the regiment of my good old friend the brave and honest Sylvius, that they may be as well taught as they are fed. It is to me most miraculous, so unreasonable an usurpation, 'as this I am speaking of, should so long have been to