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particular; but I hope, whatever knocks, bangs, or thumps, might be given with such an honest intention, would not be construed as a breach of the peace. I dare say they would not be returned by the person who receives them ; for whatever these fools may say, in the vanity of their hearts, they are too wise to risk their lives
the uncertainty of their opinions.
When I was a young man about this town, I frequented the ordinary of the Black-horse in Holborn, where the person that usually presided at the table was a rough old-fashioned gentleman, who, according to the custom of those times, had been the Major and Preacher of a regiment, It happened one day, that a noisy young officer, bred in France, was venting some new-fangled notions, and speaking, in the gaiety of his humour, against the dispensations of Providence. The Major, at first, only desired him to talk more respectfully of one for whom all the company had an honour; but finding him run on in his extravagance, began to reprimand him after a more serious manner. • Young man,' said he, . do not abuse your Benefactor whilst you are eating his bread. Consider whose air you breathe, whose
presence you are in, and who it is that gave you the power of that very speech, which make use of to his dishonour.' The young fellow, who thought to turn matters into a jest, asked him, if he was going to preach ?' but at the same time desired him to take care what he said when he spoke to a man of honour.' of honour!' says the Major ; ' thou art an infidel and a blasphemer, and I shall use thee as such.' In short, the quarrel ran so high, that the Major was desired to walk out. Upon their coming into the garden, the old fellow advised his antagonist to consider the place into which one pass might drive
( A man
I do allow the allegations of this petition to be just ; and forbid all persons, but the petitioners, or those who shall purchase from them, to wear the said garment after the date hereof.
No. 137. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1709-10.
Tercentum tonat ore Deos, Erebumque, Chaosque,
VIRG. Æn. iv. 510,
SHEER-LANE, FEBRUARY 22. Dick REPTILE and I sat this evening later than the rest of the club; and as some men are better company
when only with one friend, others when there is a larger number, I found Dick to be of the former kind. He was bewailing to me, in very just terms, the offences which he frequently met with in the abuse of speech ; some use ten times more words than they need; some put in words quite foreign to their purpose ; and others adorn their discourses with oaths and blasphemies, by way of tropes and figures. What my good friend started dwelt upon na after I came home this evening, and
ciry with myself. Whence should
rescences in-discourse ? where,
him; but, finding him grow upon him to a degree of scurrility, as believing the advice proceeded from fear; Sirrah,' says he, if a thunderbolt does not strike thee dead before I come at thee, I shall not fail to chastise thee for thy profaneness to thy Maker, and thy sauciness to his servant.' Upon this he drew his sword, and cried out with a loud voice, The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" which so terrified his antagonist, that he was immediately disarmed, and thrown upon his knees. In this posture he begged his life; but the Major refused to grant it, before he had asked pardon for his offence in a short extemporary prayer, which the old gentleman dictated to him upon the spot, and which his proselyte repeated after him in the presence of the whole ordinary, that were now gathered about him in the garden.
No. 136. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1709-10.
Deprendi miserum est: Fabio vel judice vincam.
To be surpris'd, is, sure a wretched tale,
WHITE'S CHOCOLATE-HOUSE, FEBRUARY 18.
THE HISTORY OF TOM VARNISH.
BECAUSE I have a professed aversion to long beginnings of stories, I will go into this at once, by telling you, that there dwells near the Royal Exchange as happy a couple as ever entered into wed
lock. These live in that mutual confidence of each other, which renders the satisfactions of marriage even greater than those of friendship, and makes wife and husband the dearest appellations of human life. Mr. Balance is a merchant of good consideration, and understands the world, not from speculation, but practice. His wife is the daughter of an honest house, ever bred in a family way; and has, from a natural good understanding, and great innocence, a freedom which men of sense know to be the certain sign of virtue, and fools take to be an encouragement to vice.
Tom Varnish, a young gentleman of the MiddleTemple, by the bounty of a good father, who was so obliging as to die, and leave him, in his twentyfourth year,
besides a good estate, a large sum which lay in the hands of Mr. Balance, had by this means an intimacy at his house; and being one of those hard students who read plays for improvement in the law, took his rules of life from thence. Upon mature deliberation, he conceived it very proper, that he, as a man of wit and pleasure of the town, should have an intrigue with his merchant's wife. He no sooner thought of this adventure, but he began it by an amorous epistle to the lady, and a faithful promise to wait upon her at a certain hour the next evening, when he knew her husband was to be absent.
The letter was no sooner received, but it was communicated to the husband, and produced no other effect in him, than that he joined with his wife to raise all the mirth they could out of this fantastical piece of gallantry. They were so little concerned at this dangerous man of mode, that they plotted ways to perplex him without hurting him. Varnish comes exactly at his hour; and the lady's well-acted confusion at his entrance gave