Amusements Serious and Comical
by Thomas Brown
The Voyage of
Amusement V. The
The Fragments of
The City Circle.
The PREFACE. Amusement I.
The Title I have confer'd upon my Book, gives me Authority to make
as long a Preface as I please; for a Long Preface is a true
However I have ventured to put one here, under the Apprehension that
it will be very necessary toward the understanding of the Book; tho'
the Generality of Readers are of Opinion, that a Preface, instead of
setting off the Work, does but expose the Vanity of the Author.
A good General of an Army, is less embarrass'd at the Head of his
Troops, than an ill Writer in the Front of his Productions. He knows
not in what Figure to dress his Countenance. If he puts on a Fierce and
Haughty look, his Readers think themselves obliged to lower his
Topsail, and bring him under their Sterns: If he affects an Humble
Sneaking Posture, they slight and despise him: If he boasts the
Excellency of his Subject, they believe not a Syllable of what he says:
If he tells them there is little or nothing in't, they take him at his
Word; and to say nothing at all of his Work, is an unsufterable
Imposition upon an Author.
I know not what Success these Papers will find in the World; but if
any amuse themselves in Criticizing upon them, or in Reading them, my
Design is answer'd.
I have given the following Thoughts the Name of
you will find them Serious, or Comical, according to the Humour I was
in when I wrote them; and they will either Divert you, Instruct you, or
Tire you, after the Humour you are in when you read them.
T'other Day one of the Imaginary Serious Wits, who thought it a
Weakness in any Man to laugh: Seeing a Copy of this Book; at the
opening of it, fell into a Passion, and Wrinkling up his Nostrils like
a heated Stallion that had a Mare in the Wind, said, The Book was
unworthy of the Title; for Grave Subjects, should be treated with
Decorum, and 'twas to profane Serious Matters, to blend them with
Comical Entertainments. What a Mixture is here says he!
This Variety of Colours, said I to my Censurer, appears very Natural
to me; for if one strictly examines all Mens Actions and Discourses, we
shall find that Seriousness and Merriment are near Neighbours, and
always live together like Friends, if Sullen Moody Sots do not set them
at Variance. Every Day shews us, that Serious Maxims, and Sober
Counsels, often proceed out of the Mouths of the Pleasantest
Companions, and such as affect to be always Grave and Musing, are then
more Comical than they think themselves.
My Spark push'd his Remonstrance further: Are not you ashamed,
continued he, to Print Amusements? Don't you know, that Man was
made for Business, and not to sit amusing himself like an Owl in an
Ivy-Bush? To which I answer'd after this manner.
The whole Life of Man is but one entire Amusement: Vertue only
deserves the Name of Business, and none but they that practise it can
be truly said to be employed, for all the World beside are Idle.
One Amuses himself by Ambition, another by Interest, and another by
that Foolish Passion Love. Little Folks Amuse themselves in Pleasures,
Great Men in the Acquisition of Glory, and I am Amused to think that
all this is nothing but Amusement.
Once more, the whole Transactions of our Lives, are but meer
Amusements, and Life it self is but an Amusement in a continued
Expectation of Death.
Thus much for Serious Matters: Let us now make haste to Pleasantry.
I have a great mind to be in Print; but above all, I would fain be
an Original, and that is a true Comical Thought: When all the Learned
Men in the World are but Translators, is it not a Pleasant Jest, that
you should strive to be an Original! You should have observed your
Time, and have come into the World with the Ancient Greeks for
that purpose; for the Latines themselves are but Copies.
This Discourse has mightily discouraged me. Is it true then that
there is such an Embargo laid upon Invention, that no Man can produce
any thing that is perfectly New, and intirely his own? Many Authors, I
confess, have told me so: I will enquire further about it, and if Sir Roger, Mr.
Dryden, and Mr.
Durfey Confirm it, then I
will Believe it.
What need all this Toyl and Clutter about Original Authors and
Translators? He who Imagines Briskly, Thinks Justly, and Writes
Correctly, is an Original in the same things that another had thought
before him. The Natural Air, and Curious Turn he gives his
Translations, and the Application wherewith he graces them, is enough
to perswade any Sensible Man, that he was able to think and perform the
same things, if they had not been thought and done before him, which is
an advantage owing to their Birth, rather than to the Excellency of
their Parts beyond their Successors.
Some of our Modern Writers, that have built upon the Foundation of
the Ancients, have far excell'd in disguising their Notions, and
improving the first Essays, that they have acquir'd more Glory, and
Reputation, than ever was given to the Original Authors: Nay, have
utterly effaced their Memories.
Those who Rob the Modern Writers, study to hide their Thefts; those
who filch from the Ancients, account it their Glory. But why the last
should be more Reproach'd than the former, I cannot imagine, since
there is more Wit in disguising a Thought of Mr. Lock's, that in
a lucky Translation of a Passage from Horace. After all, it must
be granted, that the Genius of some Men can never be brought to Write
correctly in this Age, till they have form'd their Wits upon the
Ancients, and their Gusts upon the Moderns; and I know no reason, why
it should be their Disparagement, to capaciate themselves by these
Helps to serve the Publick.
Nothing will please some Men, but Books stuff'd with Antiquity,
groaning under the weight of Learned Quotations drawn from the
Fountains: And what is all this but Pilfering. But I will neither Rob
the Ancient, nor Modern Books, but Pillage all I give you from the Book
of the World.
The Book of the World is very Ancient, and yet always New. In all
Times, Men, and their Passions, have been the Subjects. These Passions
were always the same, tho' they have been delivered to Posterity in
different Manners, according to the different Constitution of Ages; and
in all Ages they are Read by every one, according to the Characters of
their Wit, and the Extent of their Judgment.
Those who are qualified to Read and Understand the Book of the
World, may be beneficial to the Publick, in communicating the Fruit of
their Studies; but those that have no other knowledge of the World, but
what they collect from Books, are not fit to give Instructions to
If the World then is a Book that ought to be read in the Original:
One may as well compare it to a Country that one cannot know,
nor make known to others, without Traveling through it himself. I began
this Journey very Young: I always loved to make Reflections upon every
thing that presented it self to my View: I was amused in making these
Reflections: I have amused my self in Writing them: And I wish my
Reader may Amuse himself in Reading them.
Some will think it another Amusement to find a Book without a
Dedication, begging the Protection of a Mighty Patron, and by some
fulsome kind of Flattery, expose the Great Man, the Author intended to
praise; but that I have avoided, by sending the Brat naked into the
World to shift for it self. It was not design'd to give any Man
Offence. Innocent Mirth, compounded with Wholsome Advice, is the whole
Burthen it travails with; and therefore the Author flatters himself
with the hopes of pleasing all Men: Which is a Pitch if his Book
arrives to, will be the greatest Amusement in the World.
The Voyage of the World.
There is no Amusement so entertaining and advantageous, as improving
some of our Leisure Time in Traveling. If any Man for that reason has
an Inclination to divert himself, and Sail with me round the Globe, to
supervise almost all the Conditions of Humane Life, without being
infected with the Vanities, and Vices that attend such a Whimsical
Perambulation; let him follow me, who am going to Relate it in a Stile,
and Language, proper to the Variety of the Subject: For as the
Caprichio came Naturally into my Pericranium, I am resolv'd to pursue
it through Thick and Thin, to enlarge my Capacity for a Man of Business.
Where then shall we begin? In the Name of Mischief what Country will
first present it self to my Imagination? He Bien! I have hit
upon't already: Let's Steer for the Court, for that's the Region
which will furnish us with the finest Lessons for our Knowledge of the
The Court is a Country abounding with Amusements. The Air they
breath there, is very fine and subtile; only for about three parts and
a half of four in the Year, 'tis liable to be Infected with Gross
Vapours full of Flattery and Lying. All the Avenues leading to it are
Gay, Smiling, Agreeable to the Sight, and all end in one and the same
Point, Honour, and Self-Interest.
Here Fortune keeps her Residence, and seems to expect that we make
our Addresses to her, at the bottom of a long Walk, which lies open to
all Comers and Goers. One would be apt to think at first sight, that he
might reach the End on't, before he could count Twenty; but there are
so many By-Walks and Allies to cross, so many Turnings and Windings to
find out, that he is soon convinced of his Mistake. 'Tis contrived into
such an Intricate Maze and obscure manner, that the Straitest Way is
not always the Nearest. It looks Gloriously in the Country, but when
you approach it, its Beauty diminishes.
After all the Enquiry I have made about it, I am not able to
satisfie your Curiosity, whether the Ground it stands upon be firm and
solid. I have seen some New Comers tread as confidently upon it, as if
they had been Born there; but quickly found they were in a New World,
where the tottering Earth made them Giddy and Stumble: For tho' they
knew Good and Evil were equally useful to their Advancement, yet were
so confounded, to know which of the two they ought to employ to make
their Fortunes, that for want of understanding only that pretty knack,
they made a Journey to Court only to go back again, and report at Home
they had the Honour of seeing it. On the other side, I have seen some
Old Stagers walk upon Court Ground, as gingerly as upon Ice, or a
Quagmire: And with all the Precaution and Fear imaginable, lest they
should fall from a great Fortune by the same Defects that rais'd them:
And not without cause, for the Ground is Hard in some Places, and Sinks
in others; but all People covet to get upon the highest Spot, to which
there is no coming but by one Passage, and that is so narrow, that no
Ambitious Pretender can keep the Way, without Justling other People
down with his Elbows: And the further Mischief on't is, that those that
keep their Feet, will not help up those that are fallen: For 'tis the
Genius of a true Courtier not to lend a Hand, or part with a
Farthing to one that wants every thing; but will give any thing to him
that wants nothing: Or rather will lay up for a Rainy Day, because what
he sees befal another to Day, may be his own Turn to Morrow.
He a stout Heart should have, and Steady Head, That in a dangerous
Slipery Path does tread; And 'tis the Court that Slipery Place I call,
Where all Men Slip, and very few but fall.
The Difficulties we meet with in this Country, are very surprizing;
for he takes the longest Way about, that keeps the old Track of Honesty
and True Merit; for where the Address of some, does not help to make
the Fortune of others, immediately to Eclipse his Desert, Calumny
raises the thickest Clouds, Envy the Blackest Vapours, and the
Candidate is lost in the Fog of Competitors, and must hide himself
behind a Favourites Recommendation, if ever he hopes to obtain what he
seeks for: So that Vertue is no longer Vertue, nor Vice Vice, but every
thing is confounded and eaten up by particular Interests.
A new comer, with his Pockets well lined, is always welcome to any
Court in Christendom, and every thing is provided for him
without his own Trouble. He neither Acts nor Speaks, and yet they
admire him as a very Wise Man: First, because he is so Foolish to hear
them Talk Impertinently, and next because there is no little Wisdom in
his Modesty and Silence; for had he Acted or Spoke never so little,
they wou'd soon have found out the Coxcomb.
He that holds a Courtier by the Hand, has a Wet Eel by the Tail. He
no sooner thinks he is sure of him, but he has lost him. Tho' you
presented him in the Morning, he will forget you at Night, and utterly
Renounce you the Day following. A profest Courtier, tho he never aims
at the Peace of God, is past any Man's Understanding. He is
incomparably skill'd in Modish Postures, and Modeling his Looks to
every occasion: Profound and Impenetrable, can Dissemble when he does
Ill Offices, Smile an Enemy to Death, Frown a Friend into Banishment,
put a Constraint upon his Natural Temper, act against his own
Inclination, Disguise his Passions, Rail against his own Principles,
Contradict his own Opinion, and by a Brillant Humour, convert a
Friendly Openness and Sincerity, into a Sly Chicanry and Falshood.
Is it not a great Amusement, that a Man which can subsist upon his
own, should throw himself into the two great Plagues of Mankind,
Expectation and Dependance, and spend his Life in an Anti-chamber, a
Court-Yard, or a Stair-Case, where he finds no Advantage or Content;
but is also hindred from finding it elsewhere.
Is it not strange, I say, to see a great Man that lives and is
respected in his own Country like a Prince, Haunt the Court to make
himself little by Comparison, and bow to those little Animals at the
Palace, whose Creeping, Cringing, and long Services, are all the Merits
they can pretend to. Let the Courtiers value themselves upon their
refined Pleasures, their Power and Interest: Their being able to do
Good by Chance, and Evil by Inclination; yet he that is under no
Necessity of living precariously, or mending his present Circumstances,
'tis an Amusement to see him Dance Attendance for a single Office at
Court, that has so many at his own Disposal in the Country.
And now let's take our Leave of all the Courts in
hoist Sail for London, the Chiefest City in all Christendom,
where we shall find Matter enough to Amuse our selves, tho' we should
live as long as Mathusela.
London is a World by it self. We daily discover in it more
New Countries, and surprizing Singularities, than in all the Universe
besides. There are among the Londoners so many Nations differing
in Manners, Customs, and Religions, that the Inhabitants themselves
don't know a quarter of them. Imagine then what an Indian wou'd
think of such a Motly Herd of People, and what a Diverting Amusement it
would be to him, to examine with a Traveller's Eye, all the Remarkable
Things of this Mighty City. A Whimsy now takes me in the Head, to carry
this Stranger all over the Town with me: No doubt but his Odd and
Fantastical Ideas, will furnish me with Variety, and perhaps with
Thus I am resolv'd to take upon me the Genius of an
who has had the Curiosity to Travel hither among us, and who had never
seen any thing like what he sees in London. We shall see how he
will be amazed at certain things, which the Prejudice of Custome makes
to seem Reasonable and Natural to us.
To diversifie the Stile of my Narration, I will sometimes make my
Traveller speak, and sometimes I will take up the Discourse my self. I
will represent to my self the abstracted Ideas of an Indian, and
I will likewise represent ours to him. In short, taking it for granted,
that we two understand one another by half a Word, I will set both his
and my Imagination on the Ramble. Those that won't take the Pains to
follow us, may stay where they are, and spare themselves the trouble of
reading further in the Book; but they that are minded to Amuse
themselves, ought to attend the Caprice of the Author for a few Moments.
I will therefore suppose this
Indian of mine, dropt
perpendicularly from the Clouds, and finds himself all on the sudden in
the midst of this Prodigious and Noisy City, where Repose and Silence
dare scarce shew their Heads in the Darkest Night. At first Dash the
confused Clamours near Temple-Bar, Stun him, Fright him, and
make him Giddy.
He sees an infinite Number of differenr
Machines, all in
violent Motion. Some Riding on the Top, some Within, others Behind, and Jehu in the Coach-Box before, whirling some Dignify'd Villain
towards the Devil, who has got an Estate by Cheating the Publick. He
Lolls at full Stretch within, and half a Dozen Brawny Bulk-begotten
Footmen behind. Some Carry, others are Carry'd: Make Way there,
says a Gouty-Leg'd Chairman, that is carrying a Punk of Quality to a
Mornings Exercise: Or a Bartholomew-Baby Beau, newly Launch'd
out of a Chocolate-House, with his Pockets as empty as his Brains. Make Room there, says another Fellow driving a Wheel-Barrow of
Nuts, that spoil the Lungs of the City Prentices, and make them Wheeze
over their Mistresses, as bad as the Phlegmatick Cuckolds their
Masters do, when call'd to Family Duty. One Draws, another Drives. Stand up there, you Blind Dog, says a Carman,
Will you have the
Cart squeeze your Guts out? One Tinker Knocks, another Bawls, Have you Brass Pot, Iron Pot, Kettle, Skillet, or a Frying-Pan to mend:
Whilst another Son of a Whore yells louder than Homer's
Stentor, Two a Groat, and Four for Six Pence Mackarel. One
draws his Mouth up to his Ears, and Howls out, Buy my Flawnders,
and is followed by an Old Burly Drab, that Screams out the Sale of her Maids and her
Sole at the same Instant.
Here a Sooty
Chimney-Sweeper takes the Wall of a Grave
Alderman; and a
Broom-Man Justles the
Parson of the
Parish. There a Fat Greasie Porter, runs a Trunk full Butt upon
you, while another Salutes your Antlers with a Flasket of Eggs
and Butter. Turn out there you Country Put, says a Bully
with a Sword two Yards long jarring at his Heels, and throws him into
the Channel. By and by comes a Christning, with the Reader
and the Midwife strutting in the Front, and Young Original Sin
as fine as Fippence, followed with the Vocal Musick of Kitchen-Stuff ha' you Maids; and a Damn'd
in the Rabble to see a Calf with Six Legs and a Top-knot. There
goes a Funeral, with the Men of Rosemary after it, licking their
Lips after their three Hits of White, Sack, and Claret at the House of
Mourning, and the Sexton walking before, as Big and Bluff as a Beef-Eater at a Coronation. Here's a
Poet scampers for't as
fast as his Legs will carry him, and at his Heels a Brace of Bandog
Bayliffs, with open Mouths ready to Devour him, and all the Nine
Muses. Well, say I to the Indian; And how do you like this
Crowd, Noise, and Perpetual Hurry?
I admire and tremble, says the poor Wretch to me. I admire that in
so narrow a Place, so many Machines, and so many Animals, whose Motions
are so directly Opposite or Different, can move so dexterously, and not
fall foul upon one another. To avoid all this danger, shews the
Ingenuity of you Europeans; but their Rashness makes me tremble,
when I see Brute heavy Beasts hurry through so many Streets, and run
upon slippery uneven Stones, where the least false Step brings them
within an Ace of Death.
While I behold this Town of
London, continues our
Contemplative Traveller, I fancy I behold a Prodigious Animal. The
Streets are as so many Veins, wherein the People Circulate. With
what Hurry and Swiftness is the Circulation of London perform'd?
You behold, say I to him, the Circulation that is made in the Heart of London, but it moves more briskly in the Blood of the
they are always in Motion and Activity. Their Actions succeed one
another with so much Rapidity, that they begin a Thousand Things before
they have finish'd one, and finish a thousand others before they have
They are equally uncapable both of Attention and Patience, and tho'
nothing is more quick, than the Effects of Hearing and Seeing; yet they
don't allow themselves time either to Hear or See; but like Moles, work
in the Dark, and Undermine one another.
All their Study and Labour is either about Profit, or Pleasure; and
they have Schools for the Education of their Stalking-Horses, which
they call Apprentices in the Mystery of Trade. A Term
unintelligible to Foreigners, and that none truly understand the
Meaning of, but those that practice it.
Some call it
Over-witting those they deal with, but that's
generally denied as a Heterodox Definition; for Wit was never
counted a London Commodity, unless among their Wives, and other
City Sinners; and if you search all the Warehouses and Shops, from White-Chappel Bars, to St.
Clement's, if it were to save a
Man's Life, or a Womans Honesty, you cannot find one Farthing worth of Wit among them.
Some derive this Heathenish Word
Trade from an
Original, and call it Over-Reaching, but the Jews deny
it, and say the Name and Thing is wholly Christian; and for this
Interpretation quote the Authority of a London Alderman, who
sold a Jew five Fats of Right-handed Gloves, without any
Fellows to them, and afterwards made him purchase the Left-handed ones
to Match them, at double the Value.
Trade, Honest Gain, and to make it more Palatable,
have lacker'd it with the Name of Godliness; and hence it comes
to pass, that the Generality of Londoners are accounted such
Eminent Professors; but of all Guessers, he comes nearest the Mark,
that said Trade was playing a Game at Losing Loadum, or dropping Fools Pence into
Knaves Pockets, till the
were Rich, and the Buyers were Bankrupts.
About the Middle of
London, is to be seen a Magnificent
Building, for the Accommodation of the Lady Trade, and her Heirs
and Successors for ever, so full of Amusements about Twelve a Clock
every Day, that one would think all the World was converted into
News-Mongers and Intelligencers, for that's the first Salutation among
all Mankind that frequent that Place. What News from Scandaroon
and Aleppo? says the Turkey Merchant. What Price bears
Currants at Zant? Apes at Tunis? Religion at Rome?
Cutting a Throat at Naples? Whores at Venice? And the
Cure of a Clap at Padua?
What News of such a Ship? says the
Insurer. Is there any hope
of her being Cast away, says the Adventurer, for I have Insured
more by a Thousand Pounds, than I have in her? So have I through Mercy,
says a second, and therefore let's leave a Letter of Advice for the
Master, at the New Light-House at Plimouth, that he does not
fail to touch at the Goodwin-Sands, and give us Advice of it
from Deal, or Canterbury, and he shall have another Ship
for his Faithful Service as soon as he comes to London.
I have a Bill upon you, Brother, says one
another. Go Home, Brother, says the other, and if Money and my Man be
Absent, let my Wife pay you out of her Privy-Purse, as your Good Wife
lately paid a Bill at Sight for me, I thank her Ladyship.
Hark you, Mr.
Broker, I have a Parcel of excellent Log-Wood,
Block-Tin, Spiders Brains, Philosophers Guts, Don Quixot's
Windmills, Hens-Teeth, Ell-Broad Pack-Thread, and the Quintescence of
the Blue of Plumbs. Go you Puppy, you are fit to be a Broker, and don't
know that the Greshamites buy up all these Rarities by Wholesale
all the Year, and Retail them out to the Society every first of
Hah, Old Acquaintance!
Touch Flesh: I have have been seeking
thee all the Change over. I have a pressing Occasion for some
Seeds of Sedition, Jacobite Rue, and Whig Herb of Grace,
Can'st furnish me? Indeed lau, No; saith the Merchant. I have just
parted with them to the several Coffee-Houses about the Town, where the
respective Merchants meet that Trade in those Commodities; but if you
want but a small Parcel, you may be supplied by Mrs. Bald--n, or Da--y and his Son-in-Law
Bell and Clapper, and most
Booksellers in London and Westminster. Da, da, I'll about
it immediately. Stay a little Mr. —, I have a Word in private to you.
If you know any of our Whig Friends that have occasion for any
Stanch Votes for the Choice of Mayors or Sheriffs, that were Calculated
for the Meridian of London, but will serve indifferently for any
City, or Corporation in Europe, our Friend Mr. Pats—l
has abundance that lie upon his Hands, and will be glad to dispose of
them a good Pennyworth. Enough said, They are no Winters Traffick, for
tho' Mayors and Woodcocks come in about Michaelmas, they don't
lay Springes for Sheriffs till about Midsummer, and then we'll talk
with him about those weighty Matters.
There stalks a Sergeant and his Mace, smelling at the Merchants
Backsides, like a Hungry Dog for a Dinner.
There walks a Publick
Notary tied to an Inkhorn, like an Ape
to a Clog, to put off his Heathen-Greek Commodities, Bills of Store,
and Charter Parties.
That Wheezing Sickly Shew with his Breeches full of the Prices of
Male and Female Commodities, Projects, Complaints, and all
Mismanagements from Dan to Beersheba, is the Devil's
Broker, and may be spoken withal every Sunday from Eleven
in the Morning, till Four in the Afternoon, at the next Quakers
Meeting, to his Lodging, and not after; for the rest of his time on
that Day he employs in adjusting his Accompts, and playing at Back-Gammon with his Principal.
There goes a Rat-catcher in state, Brandishing his Banner like a
Blackamore in a Pageant on the Execution-Day of Rost Beef, Greasie
Geese, and Custards.
And there Sneaks a Hunger-starv'd
Usurer in quest of a Crasie
Citizen for Use and Continuance-Money, which the other shuns as
carefully as a Sergeant, or the Devil.
Now say I to my
Indian, Is not all this Hodge-Podge a
Pleasant Confusion, and a Perfect Amusement? The Astonish'd Traveller
reply'd, Without doubt the Indigested Chaos was but an imperfect
representation of this congregated Huddle. But that which most Amuses
my Understanding, is to hear 'em speak all Languages, and talk of
nothing but Trucking, and Bartering, Buying and Selling, Borrowing and
Lending, Paying and Receiving, and yet I see nothing they have to
dispose of unless those that have them, sell their Gold Chains, the
Braziers their Leathern Aprons, the Young Merchants their Swords, or
the Old Ones their Canes and Oaken-Plants, that support their Feeble
Carcases. That doubt, quoth I to my inquisitive Indian, is
easily solved, for tho their Grosser Wares are at Home in their
Store-Houses, they have many Things of Value to Truck for, that they
always carry about them: As Justice for Fat Capons to be delivered
before Dinner. A Reprieve from the Whipping-Post, for a Dozen Bottles
of Claret to drink after it. Licences to sell Ale for a Hogshead of
Stout to his Worship; and leave to keep a Coffee-House, for a Cask of Cold Tea to his Lady. Name but what you want, and I'll direct you
to the Walks where you shall find the Merchants that will Furnish you.
Would you buy the Common Hunt, the Common Cryers, the Bridge-Master's,
or the Keeper of Newgate's Places? Stay till they fall, and a
Gold-Chain, and a Great Horse will direct you to the Proprietors. Would
you buy any Naked Truth, or Light in a Dark-Lanthorn? Look in the Wet-Quakers Walk. Have you occasion for Comb-Brushes, Tweezers,
Cringes, or Complements, A la mode? The French Walk will
supply you. Want you Old Cloaks, Plain Shooes, or Formal Gravity? You
may fit your self to a Cows-Thumb among the Spaniards.
Have you any Use in your Country for Upright Honesty, or Downright
Dealing? You may buy plenty of them both among the Stock-Jobbers,
for they are dead Commodities, and that Society are willing to quit
their Hands of them.
Would you lay out your
Indian Gold for a
Enquire for the Scotch Walk, and you buy a Good Pennyworth in Darien: Three of your own Kings, for as many New
all their Nineteen Subjects into the Purchase, to be delivered at the Scotch East-India Office, by Parson
Pattison, or their
Secretary Wisdom Webster. If you want any Tallow, Rapparee's
Hides, or Popish Massacres, enquire in the Irish Walk,
and you cannot lose your Labour: But I am interrupted.
Look! Yonder's a
Jew treading upon an
to carry on a Sodomitical Intrigue, and Bartering their Souls here,
for Fire and Brimstone in another World.
See, there's a Beau that has Play'd away his Estate at a
Chocolate-House, going to Sell himself to Barbadoes, to keep
himself out of Newgate, and from Scandalizing his Relations at
There's a Poet Reading his Verses, and squeezing his Brains into an
Amorous Cits Pockets, in hopes of a Tester to buy himself a Dinner.
Behind that Pillar is a
Welch Herald deriving a Merchant's
Pedigree from Adam's Great-Grandfather, to entitle him to a Coat
of Arms, when he comes to be Alderman.
But now the
Change began to empty so fast, I thought 'twas
time to troop off to an Eating-House; but my Indian pull'd me by
the Sleeve to satisfie his Curisioty, why they stain'd such stately
Pillars with so many Dirty Papers. I told him, they were
Advertisements. Why, says he, don't they put them into the Post-Boy?
Can't the Folks in this Country read it? Pray let me know the Contents
of some of these Scrawls.
Why first here is a
Ship to be sold, with all her Tackle and
Lading. There are Vertuous Maidens that are willing to be Transported
with William Penn into Merriland, for the Propogation of Quakerism. In another is a
Tutor to be Hired, to instruct
any Gentleman's, or Merchant's Children in their own Families: And
under that an Advertisement of a Milch-Ass, to be sold at the
Night-Mans in White-Chappel.
In another Colume in a
Gilded-Frame was a Chamber-Maid that
wanted a Service; and over her an Old Batchelor that wanted a
House-keeper. On the sides of these were two lesser Papers, one
containing an Advertisement of a Red-Headed Monkey lost from a
Seed-Shop in the Strand, with two Guineas Reward to him or her
that shall bring him Home again with his Tail and Collar on. On the
other side was a large Folio fill'd with Wet and Dry Nurses; and Houses
to be Lett; and Parrots, Canary-Birds, and Setting-Dogs to be sold.
The Way to my Lodging lay through
Cheapside, but dreading the
Canibal Man-catchers at the Counter-Gate, that suck the Blood,
and pick the Bones of all the Paupers that fall into their Clutches;
nay, are worse than Dogs, for they'll Devour one another; I Tack'd
about, and made a Trip over Moor-fields, and Visited our Friends
A Pleasant Piece it is, and abounds with Amusements; the first of
which is the Building so stately a Fabrick for Persons wholly
unsensible of the Beauty and Use of it: The Outside is a perfect
Mockery to the Inside, and admits of two Amusing Queries: Whether the
Persons that ordered the Building it, or those that Inhabit it, were
the Maddest? And whether the Name and Thing be not as disagreeable as
Harp and Harrow? But what need I wonder at that, since the whole is but
one Intire Amusement: Some were Preaching, and others in full Cry a
Hunting. Some were Praying, others Cursing and Swearing. Some were
Dancing, others Groaning. Some Singing, others Crying, and all in
perfect Confusion. A sad Representation of the greater Chimerical
World, only in this there's no Whoring, Cheating, nor Sleeping, unless
after the Platonick Mode in Thought, for want of Action. Here
were Persons Confined that having no Money nor Friends, and but
a small Stock of Confidence, run Mad for want of Preferment. A Poet
that for want of Wit and Sense, run Mad for want of Victuals, and a
Hard-favour'd Citizens Wife, that lost her Wits because her
Husband kept a Handsome Mistress.
In this Apartment was a
Common Lawyer Pleading; in another a
Civilian Sighing; a third enclosed a
against the Revolution; and a fourth a Morose Melancholy Whig,
bemoaning his want of an Office, and complaining against Abuses at
Court, and Mismanagements.
Missing many others, whom I thought deserved a Lodging among their
Brethren, I made Enquiry after them, and was told by the Keeper, they
had many other Houses of the same Foundation in the City, where they
were disposed of till they grew Tamer, and were qualified to be
admitted Members of this Soberer Society. The Projectors, who
are generally Broken Citizens, were coop'd up in the Counters
and Ludgate. The Beaus, and Rakes, and Common Mad Gilts, that
labour under a Furor Uterini in Bridewell, and
Justice Long's Powdering-Tub; and the Vertuosi were confined to Gresham-College. Those, continued he, in whose Constitutions Folly
has the Ascendant over Frenzy, are permitted to Reside, and be Smoaked
in Coffee-Houses; and those that by the Governors of this Hospital, are
thought Utterly Incurable, are shut up with a pair of Foils, a Fiddle,
and a Pipe, in the Inns of Court and Chancery; and when their Fire and
Spirits are exhausted, and they begin to Dote, they are removed by Habeas Corpus into a certain Hospital built for that purpose near
Walking from hence, I had leisure to ask my
Opinion of these Amusements, who after the best manner his Genius would
suffer him, harangued upon Deficiency of Sence, as the only Beneficial
Quality, since the bare pretence to Wit was attended by such
Tragical Misfortunes, as Confinement to Straw, Small Drink, and
Hearing a Noise as we approached near
Cripplegate Church, my
Curiosity lead me into the Inside of it, where Mr. Sm—ys was
Holding-forth against all the Vices of the Age, but Whoring and
Midwifery; for such a stretch of Extravagancy had lost both his own and
his Wifes Fees at Christenings, and Stuffing their Wembs at Churchings: And you know none but Poets and Players decry their own
way of Living. He was very Heavenly upon Conjugal Duties and Chastity,
for a reason you may imagine: Press'd Filial Obedience and Honesty,
with as much Vigour, as if his own Sons had been his Auditors: But
above all, laid out himself as powerfully in exciting his Hearers to be
Charitable to the Poor, as if himself had been the Judas and the
I that am always more scared at the sight of a
Bayliff, than at the Devil and all his Works, was mortally frighted
in my Passage through Barbican and Long-Lane, by the
Impudent Ragsellers, in those Scandalous Climates, who laid hold
of my Arm to ask me, What I lack'd? At first it made me Tremble
worse than a Quaker in a Fit of Enthusiasm, imagining it had
been an Arrest; but their Rudeness continuing at every Door, relieved
me from those Pannick Fears; and the next rhat attack'd my Arm with What ye buy, Sir, What ye lack? I threw him from my Sleeve into the
Kennel, saying, Tho' I want nothing out of your Shops, methinks you all
want good Manners and Civility, that are ready to tear a New Sute from
my Back, under pretence of selling me an Old one: Avant Vermin, your
Cloaths smell as rankly of Newgate and Tyburn, as the
Bedding to be sold at the Ditchside near Fleet-Bridge,
smells of a Bawdy-House and Brandy.
Smithfield would next have afforded us variety of Subjects to
descant upon; but it being neither Bartholomew-Fair Time, nor
Market-Day, I shall adjourn that View to another opportunity; and now
A magnificent Building, which is Open to all the World, and yet in a
Manner is shut up, by the Prodigious Concourse of People, who Crowd and
Sweat to get in or out, and happy are they that don't leave their
Lives, Estates, nor Consciences behind them.
Here we entred into a great
Hall, where my
surprized to see, in the same Place, Men on the one side with Bawbles
and Toys, and on the other taken up with the Fear of Judgment, on which
depends their inevitable Destiny.
In this Shop are to be sold Ribbons and Gloves, Towers and Commodes,
by Word of Mouth: In another Shop Lands and Tenements are disposed of
On your Left Hand you hear a nimble Tongu'd Painted
with her Charming Treble, Invite you to buy some of her Knick-Knacks:
And on your Right, a Deep-mouth'd Cryar commanding Impossibilities, viz. Silence to be kept among Women and Lawyers. What a Fantastical
Jargon does this Heap of Contrarieties amount to?
While our Traveller is making his Observations upon this Motly
Scene, he's frighted at the Terrible Approaches of a Multitude of Men
in Black Gowns, and Round Caps, that make between them a most Hideous
and Dreadful Monster, call'd Pettyfogging, of which there is
such store in England, that the People think themselves obliged
to pray for the Egyptian Locusts, and Catterpillars, in exchange
for this kind of Vermin. And this Monster bellows out so pernicious a
Language, that one Word alone is sufficient to ruine whole Families.
At certain Hours appointed, there appears Grave and Dauntless Men,
whose very Sight is enough to give one a Quartan-Ague, and who lays
this Monster on his Back.
Scarce a Day passes over their Heads, but they rescue out of his
greedy Jaws some Thousand of Acres half devoured.
This Cursed Petty-Fogging is much more to be feared than Injustice
it self. The latter openly undoes us, and affords us at least this
Comfort, That we have a Right to bewail our selves; but the former by
its Dilatory Formalities, rob tis of all we have, and tells us for our
Eternal Despair, that we suffer by Law.
Justice, if I may so express my self, is a Beautiful Young Virgin
Disguis'd, brought on the Stage by the Pleader, Pursued by the Artorney, Cajol'd by the
Counsellor, and Defended by the
Some Pert Critick will tell me now that I have lost my way in
Digressions. Under favour, this Critick is in the wrong Box, for
Digressions properly belong to my Subject, since they are all nothing
but Amusements; and this is a Truth so uncontested, that I am resolved
to continue them.
By way of Digression, I must here inform you, that in all those
Places of my Voyage, where the Indian perplexes me with his
Questions, I will drop him, as I have already done, to pursue my own
Reflexions: Upon this Condition however, that I may be allowed to take
him up again, when I am weary of Travelling alone. I will likewise make
bold to quit the Metaphor of my Voyage, whenever the Fancy takes me;
for I am so far from confining my self like a Slave to one particular
Figure, that I will keep the Power still in my Hands, to change if I
think fit at every Period, my Figure, Subject, and Stile, that I may be
less tiresom to the Modern Reader; for I know well enough, that Variety
is the Predominant Taste of the present Age.
Altho' nothing is durable in this Transitory World, yet 'tis
observ'd, that this Saying proves false in Westminster-Hall,
where there are things of eternal continuance, as Thousands have found
true by Woful Experience, I mean Chancery Suits. Certain Sons of
Parchment, call'd Sollicitors and Barristers, make it their whole
Business to keep the Shuttle-Cock in motion, and when one Hand is weary
of it, they Play it into another. 'Tis the chiefest part of their
Religion to keep up and animate the Differences among their Clyents,
as it was with the Vestal Virgins in the Days of Yore, to
maintain the Sacred Fire.
'Tis a most surprizing thing that notwithstanding all the Clamour,
Squaling, and Bawling there is in the Courts, yet you shall have a
Judge now and then take as Comfortable a Nap upon the Bench, as if he
was at Church; and every Honest Christian has reason to pray,
that as often as a Cause comes to be heard, the Judges of Ancient Times
were Awake, and the Modern Fast Asleep.
However this must be said for them, that they are Righteous enough
in their Hearts; but the Devil on't is, that they can't tell which way
to take to instruct themselves in the Merits of the Cause. The
Contending Parties are suspected by them, the Solicitor embroils them,
the Counsellor Deafens them, the Attorney Importunes them, and (is it
not a sad thing?) the Shee-Sollicitor Distracts them. Well! Let what
will happen on't, give me for my Money the Female Sollicitor.
A certain Judge in the Days of
Yore, made his Boasts one Day,
that the most Charming Woman in the World, was not able to make him
forget that he was a Judge. Very likely, Sir, said a Gentleman to him;
but I'll lay Twenty to One on Nature's side. The Magistrate was a Man
before he was a Judge. The first Motion he finds is for the
Shee Solicitor, and the Second is for Justice.
A very Beautiful
Countess went to a Morose Surly Judge's
Chamber, to prepossess him in Favour of a very Unrighteous Cause, and
to Sollicite for a Colonel, against a Tradesman that Sued him.
This Tradesman happened rhat very Moment to be in his Lordship's
Closet, who found his Cause to be so Just, and Clear, that he could not
forbear to promise him to take care he should carry the Day.
The Words were no sooner out of his Mouth, but our Charming
Countess appear'd in the Anti-Chamber. The
run as fast as his Gouty Legs would give him leave to meet her
Ladyship. Her Eyes, her Air, her Graceful
Deportment, the Sound of her Voice, so many Charms in short,
pleaded so powerfully in her Favour, that at the first Moment he found
the Man too Powerful for the Judge, and he promised our Countess, that the
Collonel should gain his Cause. Thus you
see the Poor Judge engaged on both sides. When he came back to his
Closet, he found the Tradesman reduc'd to the last Despair. I
saw her, cries the Fellow as it were out of his Wits. I saw the Lady
that solicits against me, and Lord what a Charming Creature she is? I
am undone my Lord, my Cause is lost and ruin'd! Why, says the Judge,
not yet recovered from his Confusion, imagine your self in my Place,
and tell me if 'tis possible for frail Man to refuse any thing that so
Beautiful a Lady asks? As he spoke these Words, he pull'd a Hundred
Pistols out of his Pocket, which amounted to the Sum the Tradesman
sued for, and gave them to him. By some means or other the Countess
came to the knowledge of it; and as she was Vertuous even to a
Scruple, she was afraid of being too much obliged by so Generous a
Judge, and immediately sent him a Hundred Pistoles. The Colonel
full as Gallant as the Countess was Scrupulous, paid her the
Sum aforesaid; and thus every one did as he ought to do. The Judge was
afraid of being Unjust, the Countess feared to be too much
obliged, the Collonel paid, and the Tradesman was satisfied: Or
according to our old English Adage, all was well, Jack
had Joan, and the Man had his Mare again.
Shall I give you my Opinion of this Judge's Behaviour. The first
Motion he found in himself, was for the Charming Sollicitrix,
which I cannot Excuse him for; and the second was for Justice,
for which I Admire him.
While I thus amus'd my self, my Traveller is lost in a Fog of
Black-Gowns; let us go and find him. Oh yonder he is at the farther end
of the Hall, I call to him, he strives to come to me, but his
Breath fails him, the Crowd over-presses him, he's carried down the
Stream, he Swims upon his Elbows to get to Shoar.
At last half Spent, and dripping from every Pore in his Body, he
comes up to me, and all the Relation I could get from him of what he
had seen, was; Oh this Counfounded Country! Let us get out of it as
soon as possibly we can, and never see it more.
Come, come, says I to him, let's go and Refresh our selves after
this Fatigue; and to put the Idea of the Hall out of our Heads,
let's go this Evening into the Delicious Country of Opera.
Play-House is an Inchanted Island, where nothing appears
in Reality what it is, nor what it should be. 'Tis frequented by
Persons of all Degrees and Qualities whatsoever, that have a great deal
of Idle Time lying upon their Hands, and can't tell how to employ it
worser. Here Lords come to Laugh, and to be Laugh'd at for being
there, and seeing their Qualities ridicul'd by every Triobolary Poet.
Knights come hither to learn the Amorous Smirk, the A la mode
Grin, the Antick Bow, the Newest-Fashion'd Cringe, and how to adjust
his Phiz, to make himself as Ridiculous by Art, as he is by Nature.
Hither come the Country Gentlemen to shew their Shapes, and trouble
the Pit with their Impertinence about Hawking, Hunting, and their
Handsome Wives, and their Housewifery.
There sits a
Beau like a Fool in a Frame, that dares not stir
his Head, nor move his Body, for fear of incommoding his Wig, ruffling
his Cravat, or putting his Eyes, or Mouth out of the Order his Maitre de Dance had set it in, whilst a
Bully Beau comes
Drunk into the Pit, Screaming out, Dam me, Jack, 'tis a
Confounded Play, let's to a Whore and spend our time better.
Here the Ladies come to shew their Cloaths, which are often the only
things to be admir'd in or about 'em. Some of them having Scab'd, or
Pimpled Faces, wear a Thousand Patches to hide them, and those that
have none, scandalize their Faces by a Foolish imitation. Here they
shew their Courage by being unconcerned at a Husband being Poison'd, a
Kill'd, or a Passionate Lover
being Jilted: And discover their Modesties by standing Buff at a Baudy
Song, or a Naked Obscene Figure. By the Signs that both Sexes hang
out, you may know their Qualities or Occupations, and not mistake in
making your Addresses.
Figure and Consideration, are known by seldom being
there, and Men of Wisdom and Business, by being always absent. A Beau is known by the Decent Management of his Sword-Knot, and
Snuff-Box. A Poet by his Empty Pockets: A Citizen by his Horns
and Gold Hatband: A Whore by a Vizor-Mask: And a Fool by Talking
to her. A Play-House Wit is distinguish'd by wanting
Understanding; and a Judge of Wit by Nodding and Sleeping, till
the falling of the Curtain, and Crowding to get out awake him.
I have told you already, that the Play-House was the Land of
Enchantment, the Country of Metamorphosis, and performed it with the
greatest speed imaginable. Here in the Twinkling of an Eye, you shall
see Men transform'd into Demi-Gods: And Goddesses made as true Flesh
and Blood, as our Common Women. Here Fools by Slight of Hand,
are converted into Wits. Honest Women into Errant Whores, and
which is most miraculous, Cowards into Valiant Hero's, and Rank Cocquets and
Jilts into as Chaste and Vertuous
as a Man would desire to put his Knife into.
Let us now speak a Word or so, of the Natives of this Country, and
the Stock of Wit and Manners by which they Maintain
themselves, and Ridicule the whole World besides. The People are all
somewhat Whimsical, and Giddy-Brain'd: When they Speak, they
Sing, when they Walk, they Dance, and very often do both when they have
no mind to it.
Stage has now so great a share of Atheism, Impudence, and
Prophaneness, that it looks like an Assembly of Demons,
directing the Way Hellward; and the more Blasphemous the Poets
are, the more are they admired, even from Huffing Dryden, to
Sing-Song Durfey, who always Stutters at Sence, and speaks plain
when he Swears G— Dam me. What are all their New Plays but
Damn'd Insipid Dull Farces, confounded Toothless Satyr,
or Plaguy Rhiming Plays, with Scurvy Heroes, worse than the
Knight of the Sun, or Amadis de Gaul. They are the errantest Plagiaries in Nature, and like our Common News-Writers, steal from
When any Humour Takes in
London, they Ride it to Death before
they leave it. The Primitive Christians were not Persecuted with
half that Variety, as the poor Unthinking Beaux are tormented
with upon the Theatre.
Character they supply with a
Smutty Song, Humour with
a Dance, and Argument with Lightning and Thunder,
which has often reprieved many a Scurvy Play from Damning.
A Huge great
Muff, and a
Gaudy Ribbon hanging at a
Bully's Backside, is an Excellent Jest; and New Invented Curses, as Stap my Vitals, Damn my Diaphragma, Slit my Wind-Pipe; Rig up a New
Beau, tho' in the Main 'tis but the same everlasting Coxcomb; and
there's as much difference between their Rhimes, and Solid Verse, as
between the Royal Psalmist, and Hopkins and Sternhold,
with their Collars of Ay's and Eeke's about them.
'Tis a hard Matter to find such things as Reason, Sense, or Modesty,
among them; for the Mens Heads are so full of Musick, that you can have
nothing from them but empty Sounds; and the Women are so Light,
they may easily be blown up or down like a Feather.
We have divers sorts of Walks about
London, in some you go to
see and be seen, in others neither to see nor to be seen, but like a
Noun Substantive to be Felt, Heard, and Understood.
The Ladies that have an Inclination to be Private, take Delight in
the Close Walks of Spring-Gardens, where both Sexes meet, and
mutually serve one another as Guides to lose their Way, and the
Windings and Turnings in the little Wildernesses, are so intricate,
that the most Experienc'd Mothers, have often lost themselves in
looking for their Daughters.
From Spring-Garden we set our Faces towards
Horses have their Diversion as well as Men, and Neigh and Court their
Mistresses almost in as intelligible a Dialect. Here People Coach it
to take the Air, amidst a Cloud of Dust, able to Choak a Foot
Soldier, and hinder'd us from seeing those that come thither on purpose
to shew themselves: However we made hard shift to get now and then a
Glance at some of them.
Here we saw much to do about nothing; a World of Brave Men,
Gilt-Coaches, and Rich Liveries. Within some of them were Upstart
Courtiers, blown up as big as Pride and Vanity could swell them to;
sitting as Upright in their Chariots, as if a Stake had been driven
through them. It would hurt their Eyes to exchange a Glance upon any
thing that's Vulgar, and that's the Reason they are so sparing of their
Looks, that they will neither Bow nor move their Hats to any thing
under a Duke or a Dutchess; and yet if you examine some of their
Originals; a Covetous, Soul-less Miser, or a great Oppressor, laid the
Foundation of their Families, and in their Retinue there are more
Creditors than Servants.
See, says my
Indian, what a Bevy of Gallant Ladies are in
yonder Coaches; some are Singing, others Laughing, others Tickling one
another, and all of them Toying and devouring Cheese-Cakes, March-Pane,
and China Oranges. See that Lady says he, was ever any thing so
black as her Eye, and so clear as her Forehead? One would Swear her
Facc had taken its Tincture from all the Beauties in Nature; and yet
perhaps, answered I to my Fellow Traveller, all this is but Imposture;
she might, for ought we know, go to Bed last Night as ugly as a Hagg,
tho' she now appears like an Angel: and if you did but see this Puppet
taken to pieces, her whole is but Paint and Plaster. From hence we went
to take a Turn in the Mall.
When we came into these Pleasant Walks, my Fellow Traveller was
Ravish'd at the most agreeable Sight in Nature. There were none but
Women there that Day as it happened, and the Walks were covered with
I never, said he to me Laughing, beheld in my Life so great a Flight
of Birds. Bless me, how Fine and Pretty they are.
Friend, reply'd I to him in the same Metaphor, these are Birds to
Amuse one, that change their Feathers two or three times a Day.
They are Fickle and Light by Inclination, Weak by Constitution, but
never weary of Billing and Chirping.
They never see the Day till the Sun is just going to Set, they Hop
always upright with one Foot upon the Ground, and touch the Clouds with
their proud Toppings. In a word, the generality of Women are Peacocks
when they Walk; Water-Wagtails when they are within Doors, and Turtles
when they meet Face to Face.
This is a bold Description of them, says my
Indian. Pray tell
me, Sir, says he, is this Portrait of them after Nature? Yes, without
Question, answer'd I, but I know some Women that are Superior to the
rest of their Sex, and perhaps to Men also. In relation to those, I
need not say much to distinguish them from the rest, for they'll soon
distinguish themselves by their Vertuous Discourse and Deportment.
Nothing is so hard to be Defined as Women, and of all Women in the
World none are so undefinable as those of London.
Spanish Women are altogether
French Women always like themselves; but among
the London Women we find Spaniards, Italians, Germans,
and French, blended together into one individual Monopoly of
all Humours and Fashions.
Nay, how many different Nations are there of our
Ladies. In the first place there is the Politick Nation of your
Ladies of the Town. Next the Savage Nation of Country Dames.
Then the Free Nation of the Coquets. The Invisible Nation
of the Faithful Wives, (the worst Peopled of all.) The Good-Natur'd
Nation of Wives that Cuckold their Husbands, (they are almost forced
to Walk upon one anothers Heads, their Numbers are so prodigious.) The Warlike Nation of Intriguing Ladies. The
Fearful Nation of
—, but there are scarce any of them left. The Barbarous Nation
of Mothers-in-Law. The Haughty Nation of Citizens Wives, that
are Dignified with a Title. The Strowling Nation of your regular
Visitants, and the Lord knows how many more: Not to reckon the Superstitious Nation that run after Conjurers and Fortune-Tellers.
'Tis pitty this latter sort are not lock'd up in a Quarter by
themselves, and that the Nation of Cunning Women are not rooted
out that abuse them, and set them upon doing some things, which
otherwise they would not.
I have suffer'd my self to be carried too far by my Subject. 'Tis a
strange thing that we cannot talk of Women with a Just Moderation: We
either talk too much, or too little of them: We don't speak enough of Vertuous Women, and we speak too much of those that are not so.
Men would do Justice to 'em all, if they could talk of them without
Passion; but they scarce speak at all of those that are Indifferent:
They are prepossessed for them they Love, and against them by whom they
cannot make themselves to be Beloved.
They rank the latter in the Class of
Irregular Women, because
they are Wise, and indeed Wiser than they would have them be. The
Railing of the Men ought to be the Justification of the Women; but it
unluckily falls out, that one half of the World take delight to raise
Scandalous Stories, and t'other half in believing them.
Slander has been the Product of all Times, and all Countries; it is
very near of as Ancient standing in the World, as Vertue. Defamation
ought to be more severely punish'd than Theft. It does more Injury to
Civil Societies, and 'tis a harder matter to secure one's Reputation
from a Slanderer, than one's Money from a Robber.
All the World are agreed, that both one and the other are
Scoundrels, yet for all that we esteem 'em when they excel in this Art.
A Nice and a Witty Railer is the most agreeable Person in Conversation;
and he that Dexterously picks another Man's Pocket, as your Quacks and
Attornies, draws the Veneration even of those who live by Cutting of
When one observes in what Reputation both of them live, one would be
apt to say, That 'tis neither Defamation, nor Robbery, that we blame in
others; but only their Awkardness and want of Skill. They are
punish'd for not being able to arrive at the Perfection of their Art.
Come, come, says my
Indian, you ramble from your Subject; you
speak of Back-Biting in General, whereas at present we are only talking
of that Branch of it which belongs to Women. I would bring you back to
that Point, which puts me in mind of certain Laws, which was heretofore
proposed by a Legislator of my Country. One of these Laws gave
permission for one Woman to Slander another; in the first place,
because it is impossible to prevent it; and besides, because in
Matters of Gallantry, she that accuses her Neighbour, might her self be
accused of it in her turn, pursuant to the Ancient and Righteous Law of
returning a Rowland for an Oliver.
But how would you have a Woman quit Scores with a Man, who has
publish'd disadvantageous Stories of her? Must she serve him in the
same kind? By all means: For if Men think it a piece of Merit to
Conquer Women, and Women place theirs in well defending themselves, she
that gets a Lover sings a Triumph; and she that Loves, confesses her
self to be Conquered.
If it were true, that the Ladies were more Weak than we are, their
Fall would be more excusable; but I think we are Weaker than our Wives,
since we expect they should pardon us in every thing, and we will
pardon nothing in them. One would think that when a Man had got a Woman
into a Matrimonial Noose, 'twas enough for her to be wholly his: And by
the same Reason should not the Man be wholly hers? What a Tyranny is
this in the Men, to monopolize Infidelity to themselves?
But if Men will be slandering Women, let them vent their Fury
against those only that are ugly, for that is neither Slandering nor
Calumniating, tho' it be a Crime the Ladies will never forgive; for the
Generality of them are more Jealous of the Reputation of their
Beauties, than of their Honours, and she that wants a whole Morning at
least to bring her Face to perfection, would be more concern'd to be
surpriz'd at her Toilet, than to be taken in the Arms of a
I am not at all surprized at this Notion, for the chief Vertue in
the Ladies Catechism is to please; and Beauty pleases Men more
effectually than Wisdom. One Man loves Sweetness and Modesty in a
Woman; another loves a Jolly Damsel with Life and Vigour; but
Agreeableness and Beauty Relishes with all Humane Pallats.
A Young Woman who has no other Portion than her hopes of Pleasing,
is at a loss what Measures to take that she may make her Fortune. Is
she Simple, we despise her: Is she Vertuous we don't like her Company.
Is she a Coquet, we avoid her: Therefore to succeed well in the World,
'tis necessary that she be Vertuous, Simple, and a Coquet all at once.
Simplicity Invites us, Coquetry Amuses, and Vertue Retains us.
'Tis a hard matter for a Woman to escape the Censures of the Men.
'Tis much more so to guard themselves from the Womens Tongues. A Lady
that sets up for Vertue, makes her self envied; she that pretends to
Gallantry, makes her self despised; but she that pretends to nothing,
escapes Contempt and Envy, and saves her self between two Reputations.
This Management surpasses the Capacity of a Young Woman: Those that
are Young and Handsome, are exposed to two Temptations: To preserve
themselves from them they want the Assistance of Reason; and 'tis their
Misfortune that Reason comes not in to their Relief, till their Youth
and Beauty, and the Danger is gone together. Tell us why should not
Reason come as soon as Beauty, since one was made to defend the other?
It does not depend upon a Woman to be Handsome; the only Beauty that
all of them might have, and some of them, to speak Modestly, think fit
to part with, is Chastity; but of all Beauties whatsoever, 'tis
the easiest to lose.
She that never was yet in Love, is so asham'd of her first Weakness,
that she would by all means conceal it from her self: As for the
second, she desires to conceal it from others; but she does not think
it worth the while to conceal the third from any Body.
Chastity is once gone, 'tis no more to be retriev'd than
Youth. Those that have lost their Chastities, assumes an affected one,
which is much sooner provoked than that which is real: Of which we had
an Experiment in the Close Walk at the Head of Rosamond's Pond,
where for one poor Equivocal Word, a Brisk She was ready to tear a
Gentleman's Cravat off; who after a further Parley, discover'd her self
to be sensible of some things which she ought to have been ignorant of,
to have maintained her affected Modesty.
A Lady of this Character was sitting on the side of this
upon the Grass with her Younger Sister newly come out of the
Country, to whom a Spark sitting by, entertain'd her with a Relation of
an Amorous Adventure between my Lord —, and my Lady Love it;
but expressing himself in such Obscene Ambiguous Terms, that a Woman
that did not know What was What, could as soon fly with a
Hundred Weight of Lead at her Heels, as tell what to make of it: The
more obscurely the Gentleman told his Story, the more attentively did
our Young Creature listen to it, and discover'd her Curiosity by some
simple harmless Questions. The Elder of the two Sisters desirous to
let the Gentleman, and others that sate by them, understand that she
had more Modesty than her Younger Sister, cryed out, Oh fie, Sister,
fie; Can you hear such a wicked Story as this without Blushing?
Alas, Sister, says the Young Innocency, I don't yet know what it is
to Blush, or what it is you mean by it!
The Gentleman soon took the Hint, and whispering the Elder Sister in
the Ear, she immediately sends Home the Young Ignorant Creature by her
Footman, and Trig'd away Hand in Hand with the Gentleman. Her cunning
Management, shew'd her an Experienc'd Coquet, who observ'd a
sort of Decorum, to Usher in a greater Liberty.
Every thing is managed in good Order, by a Woman that knows her
Company, and understands her Business. He that loses his Money out of
Complaisance, yields place to him who lends the Lady his Coach to take
the Air in. The Young Heir begins where the Ruin'd Cully
ended. He that pays for the Collation, is succeeded by another that
Eats it; and when my Lord comes in at the Gate, poor Sir John
must Scamper out at the Window.
The Green Walk afforded us variety of Discourses from Persons of
both Sexes. Here walk'd a Beau Bareheaded by a Company of the
Common Profession in Dishabilie, and Night-Dresses; either for want of
Day Cloths, or to shew they were ready for Business.
Here walk'd a
French Fop with both his Hands in his Pockets,
carrying all his Pleated Coat before, to shew his Silk Breeches.
There were a Cluster of Senators talking of State Affairs, and the
Price of Corn, and Cattle, and were disturb'd with the Noisy Milk
Folks, crying, A Can of Milk, Ladies; a Can of Red Cows Milk,
Here were a Beavy of Bucksom Lasses complaining of the Decay of
Trade, and Monopilies; and there Vertuous Women, Railing against
Whores, their Husbands, and Coquetry.
And now being weary of Walking so long, we reposed our selves upon
one of the Benches, and digesting several Dialogues between the Modest
Ladies and Coquets, made this Observation.
That tho' the
Coquets were despised by the generality of
Ladies, yet they immitate them to a Hairs Breadth in their whole
Conduct. They learn of them the Winning Air, the Bewitching
Glance, the Amorous Smirk, and the Sullen Pout. They Talk, and
Patch like them: They must needs
go down with the Stream. It is the Coquets that Invent the New Modes
and Expressions; every thing is done for them, and by them; tho' with
all these Advantages, there is a vast difference between the one and
the other. The Reputation of Vertuous Women is more solid; that of
Coquets is more extended. But
I am sensible I have made too long a stay in this part of my Voyage.
A Man always Amuses himself longer with the Women, than he is
willing. Well, since we are here, let's shew our Indian the
Horse-Guards, the Country of Gallantry.
In our Way thither, was nothing worth our Observation, unless 'twas
the Bird-Cage, inhabited by Wild-Fowl; the Ducks begging Charity, the
Black-Guard Boys robbing their own Bellies to relieve them, and an English Dog-Kennel Translated into a
Let's enter into this Brave Country, and see —: But what is there
to be seen here? Gallantry and Bravery which was formerly so well
Cultivated, so Flourishing and Frequented by many Persons of Honour, is
at present Desolate, Unmanur'd, and Abandoned! What a Desert 'tis
become! Alass, I can see nothing in it but a Disbanned Soldier mounted
upon a Pedestal, standing Centinel over the Ducks and Wild-Geese, and
to prevent an Invasion by O—'s Spanish Pilgrims, or
Why, says my
Indian, is that a Soldier? He has ne'er a Sword,
and is Naked.
I suppose, reply'd I to the
Indian, since the Peace he has
Pawn'd his Sword to buy him Food; and for his being Naked, who regards
it? What signifies a Soldier in Time of Peace? Pish, a
Soldier Naked, is that such a Wonder? What are they good for else but
Hanging, or Starving, when we have no occasion for them; as has been
learnedly determined by the Author of that Original Amusement,
Arguments against a Standing Army.
Our God, and Soldier, we alike Adore, Just at the Brink of Danger,
not before; After Deliverance, they are alike requited, Our God's
Forgotten, and our Soldier's Slighted.
Come, this is a Melancholy Country, let's leave Amusing our selves
about Gallantry and Bravery, and all at once, like Men that have
nothing to Do, nor nothing to Have, take a Trip into the Land of
Marriage, and see Who and Who are together: But first, What are those
Soldiers doing? They look like Brave Fellows.
They are, (says I) drawn up to Prayers; and would be brave Men
indeed, if they were half as good at Praying, and Fighting, as they are
at Cursing and Swearing.
'Tis a difficult Task to speak so of Marriage, as to please all
People. Those who are not Noos'd in the Snare, will thank me for giving
a Comical Description of it. The Grand Pox eat this Buffoon, says the
Serious Wary Husband; if he was in my Place, he wou'd have no more
Temptation to Laugh, than to Break his Neck. If I Moralize
gravely upon the Inconveniences of Matrimony, those that have a Longing
to enter into that Honourable State, will complain that I disswade them
from so Charming a Condition. How then shall I order my Discourse? For
I am in a great Perplexity about it.
A certain Painter made a Picture of
Hymen for a young Lover.
I wou'd have him drawn, says this Passionate Gentleman, with all the
Graces your utmost Skill can bestow upon him: Above all, remember that Hymen ought to be more Beautiful than
Adonis: You must put
into his Hands a Flambeau more Brillant than that of Love. In
short, give him all the Charms that your Imagination and Colours can
bestow. I will pay you for your Picture, according as I find you use my
Friend Hymen. The Painter who was well acquainted with his
Generous Temper, was not wanting, you may be sure, to answer his
Expectations, and brought him Home the Piece the Evening before he was
Married. Our young Lover was not at all satisfied with it. This Figure,
says he, wants a certain Gay Air, it has none of those Charms
and Agreements. As you have Painted him, he makes but a very
indifferent Appearance, and therefore you shall but be indifferently
The Painter who had as much Presence of Mind, as Skill in his
Profession, took a Resolution what to do that very Moment. You are in
the right on't, Sir, said he, to find fault with my Picture, it is not
yet dry: This Face is Soak'd, and to deal freely with you, the
Colours I use in Painting, don't appear worth a Farthing at first. I
will bring you this Table some Months hence, and then you shall
pay me, as you find it pleases you: I am confident it will appear quite
another thing then. Sir, your Humble Servant, I have no occasion for
The Painter carried his Piece Home; our young Lover was
the next Day, and some Months went over his Head before the Painter
appear'd. At last he brings the Picture with him, and our young Husband
was surpriz'd when he saw it. You promis'd, says he, that time wou'd
mend your Picture, and you are as good as your Word. Lord, what a
difference there is? I swear I scarce know it now I see it again. I
admire to see what a strange effect a few Months have had upon your
Colours; but I admire your Ingenuity much more. However, Sir, I must
take the freedom to tell you, That in my Opinion his Looks are somewhat
of the Gayest, these Eyes are too Brisk and Lively: Then
to deal plainly with you, the Fires of Hymen ought not to
be altogether so bright as those of Love; for his is a Solid
but Heavy Fire. Besides, the Disposition of your Figure, is somewhat to Free, and
Chearful, and you have given him a certain Air of
Wantonness, which let me tell you, Sir, does not at all sit well upon .
. . . . In short, this is none of Hymen.
Very well, Sir, said the Painter; what I foresaw is now come to
pass. Hymen at present is not so beautiful in your Idea, as in
my Picture. The Case is mightily alter'd from what it was three Months
ago. 'Tis not my Picture, but your Imagination that is changed: You
were a Lover then, but now a Husband.
I understand you very well, says the Husband interrupting him,
Let us drop that Matter. Your Picture now pleases, and here is more
Money for it than you could reasonably have expected. By no means says
the Painter, you must excuse me there; but I will give you another
Picture, wherein by certain Optick Rules and Perspectives, it
shall be so contrived, as it shall please both the Lovers and
the Husbands, and perform'd it accordingly, placing it at the
end of a Long-Gallery, upon a kind of an Alcove; and to come to this
Alcove, one must first pass over a very Slippery Step. On this side of
it was the Critical Place where the Piece look'd so Lovely and
Delicious; but as soon as you were gone beyond it, it made a most
If you understand how difficult a thing it is to paint
to the Gust of all People, pray suspend your Censure here, I am going
to Present my Picture, chuse what Light you please to view it in.
To come back to my Travelling Stile, I must tell you at first Dash
that Marriage is a Country that Peoples all others: The Commonalty are more fruitful there than the
reason of which perhaps is, That the Nobility take more delight to
Ramble Abroad, than stay at Home. Marriage has this peculiar Property
annext to it, that it can alter the Humours of those that are setled in
it. It frequently transforms a Jolly Fellow into a Meer Sot, it
often melts down a Beau into an errant Sloven; and on the
other Hand it so happens sometimes, that a Witty Vertuous Woman
will improve a Dull Heavy Country Booby, into a Man of
Sence and Gallantry.
People Marry for different Motives: Some are lead by Portion, and
others by Reason; the former without knowing what they are going to do,
and the latter knowing no more, but that the thing must be done.
There are Men in the World so weary of Quiet and Indolence, that
they Marry only to divert themselves. In the first place the Choice
of a Woman employs them for some time: Then Visits and Interviews,
Feasts and Ceremonies; but after the last Ceremony is over, they are
more Tired and Weary than ever.
How many Hundred Married Couples do we see, who from the second Year
of their coming together, have nothing more in Common than their Names,
their Quality, their Ill Humour and their Misery.
I don't wonder there are so many Unhappy Matches, since Folks Marry
rather wholly of their own Heads, or wholly by those of others. A Man
that Marries of his own Head, not seeing that in his Spouse,
which all the World sees in her, is in danger of seeing much more in
her, than others ever did.
Another that has not Courage enough to trust his own Judgment,
fairly applies himself to the next Match-Maker in the
Neighbourhood, who knows to a Tittle the exact Rates of the Market, and
the Current Price of Young Women that are fit to Marry. These Marriage Hucksters, or
Wife-Brokers, have an admirable Talent to sort
Conditions, Families, Trades, and Estates: In short, every thing
together, except Humours and Inclinations, about which they never
By the Procurement of these experienc'd Matrons, a Marriage is
struck up like a Smithfield Bargain: There is much Higling and
Wrangling for t'other Ten Pound. One side endeavours to raise, and the
other to beat down the Market Price. At last, after a World of Words
spent to fine purpose, they come to a Conclusion.
Others that have not time to Truck and Bargain so, go immediately to
a Scrivener's to find out a Rich Widow, as they go to the Office
of Intelligence to hearken out a Service.
It is not altogether the Match-makers Fault, if you are deceived in
your Woman. She gives you an account of her Portion to a
Farthing: You examine nothing but the Articles relating to the Family
and the Fortune; the Woman is left in the Margin of the
Inventory, and you find her too much at long run.
After all that I have said, I am not afraid to advance this
Proposition; that 'tis possible for those that Marry to be Happy.
But you must call it Trucking or Bartering, and not Marrying, to take
a Woman meerly for her Fortune, and reckon her Perfections by the
Number of Pounds she is like to bring with her. Nor is it to
Marry but to Please one's self, to choose a Wife as we do a Tulip,
meerly for her Beauty. It is not to Marry, but to Doat at a
certain Age, to take a Young Woman only for the sake of her
What is it then to be Marry'd? Why, 'tis to choose with
Circumspection, and Deliberation, by Inclination, and not by Interest,
such a Woman as will chuse you after the same manner.
Besides other things in common with all the World, the Country of
Marriage has this Particular to it self; That Strangers have a
desire to Settle there, and the Natural Inhabitants wou'd be Banish'd
out of it with all their Hearts.
A Man may be Banish'd out of this Country by certain things call'd
Separation; but the true way of getting out of it is by
Widdow-hood, and is much to be preferred before Separation; for the
Separated are Savage Animals, uncapable of the prettiest Ties of
Society. The usual Causes of Separation is assign'd as the Fault of the
Wife, but often the Husband is the occasion that the Wife is in the
Fault; and he himself is a Fool to proclaim to the World that his Wife
has made a false Step.
It will be expected now, that I speak a few Words of Widdowhood.
'Tis a Copious and Fertile Subject that's certain: but a Man may burn
his Fingers by medling with it. For if I describe them but as little
concern'd for the Death of their Husbands, I shall offend the Rules of
Decency and good Manners, and if I exaggerate their Afflictions, I
shall offend the Truth.
Whatever our Railers pretend to the contrary, I say there's no
Widdowhood without a sprinkling of Sorrow in it. Is it not a very
Sorrowful Condition to be obliged to Counterfeit a perpetual Sorrow? A
very Doleful Part this, that a Widdow must plhy, who would not give the
World occasion to Talk of her.
There are some Widdows in the World so mightily befriended by
Providence, that their Sighs and Tears cost them nothing I know one of
a contrary Temper to this, who did honestly all that in her lay to
afflict her self; but Nature it seems had denied her the Gift of Tears.
She desir'd to raise the Compassion of her Husband's Relations, for her
All depended on them.
One Day her Brother-in-Law, who lamented exceedingly, reproach'd her
for not having shed one Tear. Alass, reply'd the Widow to him, my Poor
Heart is so over-whelm'd with this unexpected Calamity, that I am, as
it were become insensible by it. Great Sorrows are not felt at first;
but I am sure mine will Kill me in the End.
I know very well, said her Brother-in-Law to her, that Griefs too
great don't make themselves at first to be perceived; and I know as
well, that Violent Griefs don't continue long. Thus, Madam, you will be
strangely surprized, that the Grief of your Widdowhood will be past
before you are aware.
Another Widow was reduced to the last pitch of Despair, nor was it
without a very Sorrowful Occasion. She had lost upon the same Day the Best Husband, and the prettiest little
This double Widdowhood had brought her to so low a Condition, that her
Friends were afraid of her Life. They durst not speak to her of Eating
and Drinking; nay, they durst not so much as offer to Comfort her. 'Tis
a dangerous Matter, you know, to combat a Woman's Grief. The best way
is to let Time and their Natural Inconstancy work it off. However to
accustom our Widdow by little and little to support the Idea of her Two
Losses, a Good Friend spoke to her first of her Little Dog. At
the bare Name of Dony, there was such a Howling and Crying, such
Tearing of Hair, and Beating of Breasts; in short, such a Noise, and
such a Pother, that one would have thought Heaven and Earth had been
coming together. At last she fainted away. Well, says this Prudent
Friend of hers, God be prais'd I was so happy as not to mention her Husband to her, for then she had certainly Died upon the Spot.
The next Day the Name of
Dony set her Tears a running in so
great plenty, that it was hoped the Spring would stop of it self, and
the above-mentioned Zealous Friend, thought she might now venture to
administer some Consolation to her.
Alass, says she, if the bare Name of
Dony gives you so much
Affliction, what might we not fear from you, should we talk to you of
your Dear Husband? But God forbid I should do that. Ah Poor
Dony! To be Mow'd down thus in the Flower of Youth and Beauty!
Well, Madam, you'll never have such another pretty Creature
again. But 'tis happy for the Dog that he's Dead, for you cou'd
never have Lov'd him longer that's certain! Is it possible for a Woman
to love any thing after she has lost her Husband?
After this manner it was that this
Discreet Gentlewoman very
dexterously mingled the Idea of the Husband with that of Dony,
well knowing that as two Shoulders of Mutton drive down one another,
so two powerful Griefs destroy one another by making a Diversion. She
observed that at the Name of Dony, her Tears redoubled, which
stopt short at the Name of Husband: It was without question, a
sort of a Qualm. Every Body knows that Tears are a Tribute we
owe, and only pay to ordinary Griefs. However it was, our poor
Afflicted Widow passed several Days and Nights in this sad Alternative
of Weeping for her Dog, and Lamenting her Husband.
At last her Good Friend enquired all over the Town for a
Dog; and it was her good Luck to light upon one much Finer and
Prettier than Dony of Happy Memory, and presented it to our
Widdow, who burst into a fresh Stream of Tears as she accepted it. This
Beautiful New-comer, so strangely insinuated himself into her Good
Affections, that within Eight Days he had got the Ascendant of her
Heart, and Dony was no more thought of, then if he had never had
a Being there. Observe now what a Consequence our Widows Friend drew
If a New
Dog has put a stop to her
Tears, perhaps a
New Husband will have the same Operation upon her Qualms.
But Alass, the one was not to be so easily effected as the other. The
New Dog so play'd his Cards, that he effaced the Memory of his
Predecessors in Eight Days; but it was above Three Long Tedious
Months, before our Widow could be brought to take a New Husband
into her Bed.
Now tho' I left my self full power to drop my
Traveller as often as I saw convenient, yet I have no intention to
lose him out of my Sight; for I have occasion for him to authorize
certain Odd Fances that come into my Head, concerning Philosophy
and Physick, which are the next Countries I design to visit.
Philosophical, or Virtuosi Country.
In this Country every thing is obscure, their Habitations, their
Looks, their Language, and their Learning. 'Tis a long time ago since
they undertook to cultivate the Country of Science; but the only
Thing they have made clear and undeniable, is, that One and One makes
Two: And the Reason why this is so clear, is because it was
known by all Men before they made a Science of it.
Geometricians work upon so solid a Foundation, that as
soon as ever they have well laid the first Stone, they carry on their
Buildings without the least fear, so high as the Atmosphere; but
their Philosophers build those haughty Edifices they call
Systems, upon a quite different Bottom.
They lay their Foundation in the Air, and when they think they are
come to solid Ground, the Building disappears, and the Architects
tumble down from the Clouds.
This Country of
Experimental Philosophy, is very Amusing, and
their Collections of Rarities exceeds that of John Tradusken,
for here are the Galls of Doves, the Eye-Teeth of Flying Toads, the
Eggs of Ants, and the Eyes of Oysters. Here they weigh the Air,
measure Heat, Cold, Dryness, and Humidity, great
Discoveries for the publick advantage of Mankind. Without giving
ourselves the trouble to make use of our Senses, we need but only cast
our Eyes upon a Weather-Glass, to know if 'tis Hot or Cold, if it
Rains, or is Fair Weather.
Tempted by these Noble Curiosities, I desired the favour of seeing
some of the Gentlemen they called Improvers of Nature, and immediately
they shewed me an Old Bard cutting Asp Leaves into Tongues, which were
to be fastened in the Mouths of Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, and Seeds, with
design to make the whole Creation Vocal. Another was Dissecting
Atomes, and Mites in Cheese, for the improvement of the Anatomical
Science, and a third was transfusing the Blood of an Ass into an Astrological Quack; of a
Sheep into a
Bully; and of a
Fish into an
Exchange-Woman, which had all the desired
Effects; the Quack prov'd a Sot, the Bully a Coward, and the
Silent. All Prodigies
in Nature, and none miscarried in the Operation.
In another Apartment were a curious Collection of
Gentlemen, that had their Employments severally assign'd them. One was
Chewing the Cud upon Dr. Burnet's New System of the World, and
making Notes upon it in Confutation of Moses and all the
Antidiluvian Historians. Another was Reconciling the Differences
among Learned Men, as between Aristotle and Des
Cartes, Cardan and Copernicus, William Penn and Christianity, Mr.
the Controversy between the Acidists and Alkalists, and
putting a Period to the Abstruse Debates between the Engineers
and Mouse-Trap Makers.
If any one ask me, which of these Disputants has Reason of his side,
I will say that some of them have the Reason of Antiquity, the
other the Reason of Novelty; and in Matters of Opinion, these
two Reasons have a greater influence upon the Learned, than Reason it
Those that set up for finding the North-West Passage into the Land
of Philosophy, would with all their Hearts, if it were possible,
follow these two Guides all at once, but they are afraid to travel in a
Road where they talk of nothing but Accidents and Privation,
Hecceities and Entelechias. Then they find themselves all on
the sudden seized with Hot and Cold, Dry and Moist, penetrated by a
subtile Matter, encompassed with Vortexes, and so daunted by the
fear of a Vacuum, that it drives them back, instead of
encouraging them to go forward.
A Man need not lay it much to Heart that he never Travel'd through
this Country; for those that have not so much as beheld it at a
distance, know as much of it almost, as those that have spent a great
deal of Money and Time there; but one of their Arts I admire above all
the rest, and that is, when they have Consumed their Estates in
trifling Experiments, to perswade themselves they are now as Rich, and
Eat and Drink as Luxuriously as ever; they view a single Shilling in a
Multiplying Glass, which makes it appear a Thousand, and view their
Commons in a Magnifying Glass, which makes a Lark look as big as a
Turkey-Cock, and a Three-penny Chop as large as a Chine of Mutton.
Before I let my Traveller pass from this place to
'twill not be amiss to make him remark, That in the Country of Science and the
Court, we lose our selves; that we don't
search for our selves in Marriage; that in the Walks and
among Women we find our selves again; but seldom or never come
back from the Kingdom of Physick.
The first thing remarkable in the Country of
that it is situate upon the Narrow Passage from this World to
the other. 'Tis a Clymaterick Country, where they make us Breath a
Refreshing Air, but such a one as is a great Enemy to the Natural Heat,
and those that Travel far in this Climate, throw away a World of
Money in Drugs, and at last Die of Hunger.
The Language that is spoken here, is very Learned; but the People
that speak it are very Ignorant.
In other Countries we learn Languages to be able to express what we
know in clear and intelligible Terms; but it looks as if Physicians
learnt their Gibberish for no other purpose, than to embroil what
they do not understand.
How I pitty a Patient of good Sence that falls into their Hands? He
is obliged at once to Combat the Arguments of the Doctor, the Disease
it self, the Remedies, and Emptiness. One of my Friends, whom all this
together had thrown into a Dilyrium, had a Vision in his Fever
which sav'd him his Life. He fancied he saw a Feaver under the Shape of
a Burning Monster, that press'd hard upon a Sick Man, and every Minute
got Ground of him, till a Man who look'd like a Guide, came and
took him by the Wrist to help him over a River of Blood. The
poor Patient had not Strength enough to cross the Stream and so was
Drown'd. The Guide used means to get himself paid for his Pains,
and immediately run after another Sick Man, who was carried down a
Stream of Carduus Posset-Drink, Barly-Broth, and Water-Gruel. My
Friend advised by this Vision, discarded his Doctor, and 'twas
this that did his Business; for when he was by himself, there was no
Body to hinder him from recovering. The Absence of Physicians, is a
Soveraign Remedy to him that has not Recourse to a Quack.
These Gentlemen of the
Faculty, are Pensioners to
and Travel Day and Night to enlarge that Monarch's Empire; for you
must know, notwithstanding Distemper'd Humours make a Man Sick, 'tis
the Physician that has the Honour of Killing him, and expects to
be well paid for the Job, by his Relations that lay in wait for his
Life to share his Fortune: So that when a Man is ask'd how such a one
Died, he is not presently to answer according to Corrupt Custome, that
he Died of a Feaver or Pleurisy; but that he Died of the
See a Consult of them marching in State to a Patient, attended by a
Diminitive Apothecary, that's just Arse high, and fit to give a
Clyster. How Majesterially they look, and talk of the Patient's
Recovery, when they themselves are but Death in a Disguise, and
bring the Patient's Hour along with them. While the Patient
breaths and Money comes, they are still Prescribing; but when they have
sent the Patient hence, like a Rat with a Straw in's Arse;
they'll say his Body was as Rotten as a Pear, and 'twas impossible to
Save him. Cruel People, that are not contented to take away a
Man's Life, and like the Hangman, be Paid when they have done;
but must Persecute him in the Grave too; and Blast his Honour, to
excuse their Ignorance.
It were to be wish'd that every Physician might be obliged to Marry;
for its highly reasonable, that those Men should beget Children to the
State, who every Day rob the King of so many of his Subjects.
In this Land of
Physick they have erected themselves a
College, for the Improvement of the Mystery of
which may be call'd their Armory; for here are their Weapons
and Utensils forged, and a Company of Men attending to Kill Poor Folks
out of meer Charity.
In one part of their Convent, is a
where some were Calcining Calves-Brains, to supply those of the Society that wanted. Some fixing Volatile Wits, and others
Rarifying Dull ones. Some were playing Tricks with Mercury,
promising themselves vast Advantages from the Process; but after they
had Resolv'd the Viscous Matter, and brought the Materia
Prima into the Coppel, all went away in a Fume, and the
Operator had his Labour for his Travel.
In another place were
The Outsides of their Pots were Gilded, with the Titles of
Preservatives, Cordials, and Panpharmacons; but in the Inside were
Poysons, or more Nauseous Preparations. However of all our late
pretended Alchimists, commend me to the Apothecaries, as the Noblest Operators and
Chimists; for out of Toads, Vipers, and a
Sir Reverence it self, they will fetch ye Gold ready Minted, which
is more than ever Paracelsus himself pretended to.
Here were also Chirurgeons in great Numbers, talking hard Words to
their Patients, as Solution of Continuity, Dislocations, Fractures,
Amputation, Phlebotomy, and spoke Greek Words, without
understanding the English of them. One of the Gravest among
them, propounded this Question to the rest. Suppose a Man falls from
the Main-Yard, and lies all Bruised upon the Deck; Pray
what is the First Intention in that Case? A Brisk Fellow
answers: You must give him Irish Slate quantum sufficit,
and Embrocate the Parts affected Secundum Artem. At which I
seeming to Smile, another Reprimands me, saying, What do you Laugh
at, Sir, the Man's i'th right on't. To whom I reply'd, With
Reverence to your Age and Understanding, Sir, I think he's in the wrong; for if a Man falls from the Main-Yard, the first Intention
is, To take him up again.
Among all these People every thing is made a Mystery, to detain
their Patients in Ignorance, and keep up the Market of Physick; but
were not the very Terms of Art, and Names of their Medicines sufficient
to fright away any Distempers, 'tis to be feared their Remedies
would prove worse than the Disease.
That nothing might be wanting in this Famous College, there were
others that like Porters and Plaisterers stood ready to be Hired, as Corn-Cutters, and
Tooth-Drawers. The One of which will make
you Halt before the best Friend you have; and if you do but Yawn,
the other Knaves will be examining your Grinders; Depopulate
your Mouths, and make you Old before your time, and take as much for
Drawing out an Old Tooth, as would buy a Sett of New ones.
An Ill Accident happened while we were viewing the Curiosities of
this College. A Boy had swallowed a Knife, and the Members of
the College being sitting, he was brought among them, if it were
possible to be Cured. The Chirurgeons claim'd the Patient as
belonging to their Fraternity, and one of them would have been poking a
Cranes Bill down his Throat to pluck it up again, but the Doctors would
not suffer him.
After a long Consultation, one of the two Remedies was agreed on,
viz. That the Patient should swallow as much
Aqua fortis, as
would dissolve the Knife into Minute Particles, and bring it away by
Seige; but the other Remedy was more Philosophical, and therefore
better approv'd, and that was to apply a Loadstone to his Arse,
and so draw it out by a Magnetick Attraction; but which of the
two was put in practice I know not, for I did not stay to see the Noble
Experiment, tho' my particular Friend Dr. W—d was the first
that proposed that Remedy, and he is no Quack I assure you.
Not but that there are some Quacks as Honest Fellows as you would
desire to Piss upon. This Foreigner here for instance, is a Man of
Conscience, that will take you but Half a Crown a Bottle for as good Lambs-Conduit Water as ever was in the World. He pretends it has an
Occult Quality that Cures all Distempers. He Swears it, and Swears like T. O. on the right side of the Hedge, since this very Individual
Water has Cured him of Poverty, which comprehends all Diseases.
'Tis with Physicians in
London, as with Almanacks, the Newest
are the most Consulted; but then their Reign like that of an Almanack,
concludes with the Year.
When a Sick Man leaves all for
Nature to do, he hazards much.
When he leaves all for the Doctor to do, he hazards more: And since
there is a Hazard both ways, I would much sooner chuse to rely upon Nature; for this, at least, we may be sure of, That she acts as
Honestly as she can, and that she does not find her Account in
prolonging the Disease.
I pardon those that are brought to the Extremity of their Lives, to
Resign themselves to the Doctors, as I pardon those that are at the
Extremity of their Fortune to abandon themselves to Poetry, or
Gaming is an Estate to which all the World has a Pretence, tho' few
espouse it that are willing to keep either their Estates, or
Reputations. I knew two Middlesex Sharpers not long ago, which
Inherited a West-Country Gentlemen's Estate; who, I believe, wou'd have
never made them his Heirs in his last Will and Testament.
Lantrillou is a kind of a Republick very ill ordered, where
all the World are Hail Fellow well met; no distinction of Ranks, no
Subordination observed. The greatest Scoundrel of the Town with Money
in his Pockets, shall take his Turn before the best Duke or Peer in the
Land, if the Cards are on his side.
From these Priviledg'd-Places, not only all Respect and Inferiority
is Banish'd; but every thing that looks like Good Manners, Compassion,
or Humanity: Their Hearts are so Hard and Obdurate, that what occasions
the Grief of one Man, gives Joy and Satisfaction to his next Neighbour.
Græcians met together in former Times, to see their
Gladiators shew their Valour; that is, to Slash and Kill one another;
and this they called Sport? What a Cursed Barbarity was this? But are
we a Jot Inferiour to them in this respect, who Christen all the
Disorders of Lansquenet by the Name of Gaming, or to use the
Gamesters own Expression, where a Parcel of Sharks meet,
Bite one anothers Heads off.
It happened one Day, that my Traveller dropt into a Chocolate-House
in Covent-Garden, where they were at this Noble Recreation. He
was wonderfully surprized at the Odness of the Sight. Set your self now
in the room of a Superstitious Indian, who knows nothing of our
Customs at Play, and you will agree that his Notions, as Abstracted and
Visionary as they may seem, have some Foundations in Truth. I present
you here with his own Expressions as I found them set down in a Letter
which he sent into his own Country.
The Fragments of an Indian
English pretend that they they Worship but one God, but
for my Part, I don't believe what they say: For besides several Living
Divinities, to which we may see them daily offer their Vows, they have
several other Inanimate ones to whom they pay Sacrifices, as I have
observed at one of their Publick Meetings, where I happened once to be.
In this Place there is a great Altar to be seen, built round and
covered with a Green Whachum, lighted in the midst, and encompassed by
several Persons in a sitting Posture, as we do at our Domestick
At the very Moment I came into the Room, one of those, who I
supposed was the Priest, spread upon the Altar certain Leaves
which he took out of a little Book that he held in his Hand. Upon these
Leaves were represented certain Figures very awkardly Painted; however
they must needs be the Images of some Divinities; for in proportion as
they were distributed round, each one of the Assistants made an
Offering to it, greater or less, according to his Devotion. I observed
that these Offerings were more considerable than those they make in
their other Temples.
After the aforesaid Ceremony is over, the Priest lays his Hand in a
trembling manner, as it were, upon the rest of the Book, and continues
some time in this posture seized with Fear, and without any Action at
all: All the rest of the Company, attentive to what he does, are in
Suspence all the while, and unmovable, like himself. At last every Leaf
which he returns to them, these unmovable Assistants are all of them in
their Turn possest by different Agitations, according to the Spirit
which happens to seize them: One joyns his Hands together, and Blesses Heaven, another very earnestly looking upon his Image,
Grinds his Teeth; a third
Bites his Fingers and stamps upon the
Ground with his Feet. Every one of them, in short, make such
extraordinary Postures and Contortions, that they seem to be no longer
Rational Creatures. But scarce has the Priest returned a certain Leaf,
but he is likewise seised by the same Fury with the rest. He tears
the Book, and devours it in his Rage, throws down the Altar, and Curses
the Sacrifice. Nothing now is to be heard but Complaints and Groans, Cries and
Imprecations. Seeing them so Transported,
and so Furious, I judge that the God they Worship is a Jealous Deity,
who to Punish them for what they Sacrifice to others, sends to each of
them an Evil Demon to Possess him.
I have thus shewed you what Judgment an
Indian would be apt
to pass upon the Transports he finds in our Gamesters. What wou'd he
not have thought then, if he had seen any of our Gaming Ladies
'Tis certain that Love it self as extravagant as it is, never
occasion'd so many Disorders among the Women, as the unaccountable
Madness of Gaming. How come they to abandon themselves thus to a
Passion that discomposes their Minds, their Healths, their Beauty, that
Ruines—What was I going to say? But this Picture does not shew them
to Advantage, let us draw a Curtain over it.
In some Places they call Gaming-Houses
Academies; but I know
not why they should inherit that Honourable Name, since there's nothing
to be learn'd there, unless it be Slight of Hand, which is
sometimes at the Expence of all our Money, to get that of other Mens by
Fraud and Cunning.
The Persons that meet are generally Men of an
Character, and are in various Shapes, Habits, and Employments.
Sometimes they are Squires of the Pad and now and then borrow a
little Money upon the King's High-Way, to recruit their Losses
at the Gaming-House, and when a Hue and Cry is out, to apprehend
them, they are as safe in one of these Houses, as a Thief in a Mill,
and practise the old Trade of Cross-biting Cullies, assisting
the Frail square Dye with high and low Fullums, and other Napping Tricks, in comparison of whom the common Bulkers, and
Pick-Pockets, are a very honest Society.
How unaccountable is this way to
Beggary, that when a Man has
but a little Money, and knows not where in the World to compass any
more, unless by hazarding his Neck for't, will try an Experiment
to leave himself none at all: Or, he that has Money of his own, should
play the Fool, and try whether it shall not be another Man's. Was ever
any thing so Nonsensically Pleasant?
One idle day I ventur'd into one of these
where I found an Oglio of Rakes of several Humours, and
Conditions met together. Some that had lost were Swearing, and Damning
themselves, and the Devil's Bones, that had left them never a
Penny to bless their Heads with. One that had play'd away even his
Shirt and Cravat, and all his Clothes but his Breeches, stood shivering
in a Corner of the Room, and another comforting him, and saying, Dam
me Jack, who ever thought to see thee in a State of Innocency:
Cheer up, Nakedness is the best Receipt in the World against a Fevor,
and then fell a Ranting, as if Hell had broke loose that very Moment.
What the Devil have we here to do, says my
Indian, do's it
Rain Oaths and Curses in this Country? I see Gamesters are Shipwrackt
before they come to understand their Danger, and loose their Clothes
before they have paid their Taylors. They should go to School
in my Country to learn Sobriety and Vertue. I told him, instead of Academies, these Places should be call'd
Whereupon a Bully of the Blade came strutting up to my very
Nose, in such a Fury, that I would willingly have given half the Teeth
in my Head for a Composition, crying out, Split my Wind-pipe, Sir, you
are a Fool, and don't understand Trap, the whole World's a Cheat.
Play-House cheats you of your time, and the
of your Money, without giving you either Sense or Reason for't. The Attorney picks your Pocket, and gives you
Law for't; the
Whore picks your Purse, and gives you the
Pox for't it; and
the Poet picks your Pocket, and gives you nothing for it. Lovers couzen you with their
Eyes, Orators with their
Valiant with their
Arms, Fidlers with
their Fingers, Surgeons with Wooden Legs, and Courtiers
and Songsters, empty your Pockets, and give you Breath
and Air for it: And why should not we Recruit by the same
Methods that have Ruin'd us.
Our Friends, continued he, gives us good Advice, and would fain draw
us off from the Course we are in, but all to no purpose: We ask them
what they would have us do? Money we have none, and without it there is
no Living: Should we stay till it were brought, or come alone? How
would you have a poor Individuum Vagum live? that has neither
Estate, Office, Master, nor Friend to maintain him: And is quite out of
his Element, unless he be either in a Tavern, a Bawdy-House,
or a Gaming Ordinary. No, we are the Men, says he, that
Providence has appointed to live by our Wits, and will not want while
there is Money above Ground. Happy Man catch a Mackeril. Let the
Worst come to'th Worst, a Wry Mouth on the Tripple Tree, puts
an end to all Discourse about us.
From the Gaming-House we took our Walk through the Streets, and the
first Amusements we Encountred, were the Variety and contradictory
Language of the Signes, enough to perswade a Man there were no
Rules of Concord among the Citizens. Here we saw Joseph's Dream,
the Bull and Mouth, the Hen and Razor, the Ax and
and Swan, the Frying-Pan and Drum, the Lute
and Tun, the Hog in Armour, and a thousand others
that the wise Men that put them there can give no Reason for.
Here walk'd a Fellow with a long white Rod on his Shoulder, that's
asham'd to cry his Trade, though he gets his Living by it; another
bawling out TODD's Four Volumes in Print, which a Man in Reading
of, wou'd wonder that so much Venom should not tear him to
pieces, but that some of the ancient Moralists have observed, that the
Rankest Poyson may be kept in an Asses Hoof, or a Fool's Bosom. Some say, the first Word he spoke was
and that if he lives to have Children, they will all speak the same
Dialect, and have a Natural Antipathy to Eggs, because their
Father was palted with hundreds of them, when he was dignified on the
Other Amusements presented themselves as thick as Hops, as
Pictur'd with Horns on his Head, to keep Cheapside in
Countenance. Bishop Overal's Convocation Book Carved over the
Dean of St. P—l's Stall in that Cathedral. Here sate a Fellow
selling little Balls to take the Stains out of the Citizens
Wives Petticoats, that should have been as big as Foot-Balls, if
applied to that purpose. Under that Bulk was a Prejector
clicking off his Swimming Girdles, to keep up Merchants Credits
from sinking. A pretty Engine to preserve Bankers and Ensurers
from Breaking, and prevent publishing it in the Gazette, when
they are Broke; that they will pay all their Debts as far as it may
stand with their Convenience.
In that Shop was an indebted Lord talking of his
a Tradesman of his Honesty, things that every Man has, and every
thing is, in some Disguise or other, but duly consider'd, there are
scarce any such things In the World, unless among Pawn-Brokers,
Stock-Jobbers, and Horse-Coursers; so that the Lord and Tradesman were discoursing about nothing; and signified no more,
than the Parson's Preaching against Covetousness to the Maim'd,
Blind, and superannuated Soldiers in Chelsey-College, nor Dr. Salmon's prescribing
Cow Heels to a Married Couple, as a
conglutinating Aliment. But there the Weaver had the Ascendant
of the Doctor.
As we pass'd along, I could not forbear looking into some of the
Shops, to see how the Owners imployed themselves in the Absence of
Customers, and in a Barber's Shop I saw a Beau so overladen with
Wig, that there was no difference between hls Head, and the Wooden one
that stood in the Window. The Fop it seems, was newly come to his
Estate, though not to the years of Discretion, and was singing the
Song, Happy is the Child whose Father is gone to the Devil, and the
Barber all the while keeping time on his Cittern; for you know a
Cittern and a Barber is as natural as Milk to a Calf, or the Beares to
be attended by a Bag-piper.
In the Scrivener's Shop I saw a company of Sparks that were selling
their Wives and their Portions, and Purchasing Annuities; and Old Ten-
in-the-Hundred-Fathers, Damning themselves to raise their Posterities.
In the Tobacconist's Shops Men were sneezing and spawling, as if they
were all Clapt, and under a Salivation for the cure on't. They that
smoak'd it, were persecuting others to follow their Example, and they
that snuff'd it up in Powder, were drawing upon themselves the
Incommodies of all Age, in the perpetual Annoyance of Rheum and Drivel.
Pursuing my Voyage through the City, and casting a Leere into the
Shops of the Rich Drapers, Mercers, and Lacemen, I saw
them haunted by many People in Want, especially young Heirs
newly at Age, and Spendthrifts, that came to borrow Money of
them. Alas, said the Traders, Times are Dead, and little Money
stirring. All we can do, is to furnish you with what the Shop affords;
and if a Hundred Pound or two in Commodities will do you any
good, they are at your Service. These the Gallants take up at
an excessive Rate, to sell immediately for what they can get: and the Trader has his Friend to take them off Underhand at a third part of
the Value, by way of helping Men in Distress. These are they
that inveagle unthinking Animals, into all sorts of extravagant
Expences, and ruin them Insensibly under colour of Kindness and Credit: For they set every thing at double the Value; and if you
keep not touch at your Day, your Persons are imprisoned, your Goods
seized, and your Estates extended. And they that help'd to make you Princes before, are now the forwardest to put you into the
Condition of Beggars.
Among other Amusements, let us speak a Word or two of
Luxury seems to carry us to
where you behold their Magazines, Ingots of Gold and Silver as big as
Pigs of Lead; and your Ladies after they have travell'd thither
with some liberal Interloper, carry home with them more than their
Husbands are worth, and drag at their long Tails the whole Substance of
a Herd of Creditors. Here are Jewels and Pearls, Rubies and Diamonds,
Broad Pieces, Guineas, Lewis d'Or's, Crown Pieces, and Dollars
without Number: Nay, in some of their Shops is nothing to be seen, or
Sold, but great heaps of Money; that would tempt a Man to think, the
whole Indies were emptied into one single Shop 'tis so full of
Gold and Silver; and yet it often happens, that he that is possest of
all this vast Treasure, is not worth a brass Farthing. To Day his
Counters bend under the weight of Cash, and to Morrow the Shop
is shut up, and you hear no more of our Goldsmith, till you find him in
a Gazette, torn to pieces by a Statute of Bankrupt: And he and
his Creditors made a Prey by a parcel of devouring Vermin,
The Neighbouring Country is
Stocks-Market, where you see a
large Garden, Paved with Pibble Stones in all the Beds and
Allies; indifferently open to all Comers and Goers, and yet bears as
good Herbs, Fruits, and Flowers, as any in the World. Here is Winter
dress'd in the Livery of Summer. Every day a Crop is gather'd,
and every Night are stockt up in Baskets, till the next days Sun does
About this Garden great Numbers of Nymphs reside, who each of them
live in their respective Tubs: They have not only that in common with Diogenes, but like that Philosopher also, they speak out freely to
the first Comer whatever comes uppermost. A further Description I would
give you of their Parts, and Persons, but that I cannot endure
the smell of the Serjeants at the Counter-Gate, who stink
worse than old Ling, or Assa fætida, and would poyson the
Country, if this pleasant Garden was not an Antidote against their
Infection. And therefore I'll go back again into the Country of
Where being arriv'd I am in a
Wood, there are so many of them
I know not which to enter. Stay, let me see! Where the Sign is Painted
with a Woman's Hand in't, 'tis a Bawdy-House. Where a Man's,
it has another Qualification; but where it has a Star in the
Sign, 'tis Calculated for every Leud purpose.
Every Coffee-House is
Illuminated both without and within
Doors; without by a fine Glass-Lanthorn, and within by a Woman so Light and
Splendid, you may see through her without the help
of a Perspective. At the Bar the good Man always places a
charming Phillis or two, who invite you by their Amorous Glances
into their smoaky Territories, to the loss of your Sight.
This is the Place where several
Knights Errant come to seat
themselves at the same Table, without knowing one another, and yet talk
as familiarly together, as if they had been of many years Acquaintance.
They have scarce look'd about them, when a certain Liquor as Black
as Soot, is handed to them, which being Foppishly fumed into
their Noses, Eyes, and Ears, has the Vertue to make them Talk and
Prattle together of every thing but what they should do. Now they tell
their several Adventures by Sea, and Land. How they Conquer'd the Gyant, were overcome by the
Lady, and bought a pair of wax'd
Boots at Northampton, to go a Wooing in. One was commending his
Wife, another his Horse, and the third said he had the best smoak'd
Beef in Christendom. Some were discoursing of all sorts of
Government, Monarchical, Aristocratical, and Democratical. Some about
the choice of Mayors, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, and others of the
Transcendent Vertues of Vinegar, Pepper, and Mustard. In short, I
thought the whole Room was a perfect Resemblance of Dover
-Court, where all Speak, but no body heard nor answer'd.
To the Charms of
Coffee, the wiser sort joyn'd
of Clary, Usquebaugh, and Brandy, which compleatly
Enchants the Knights: By the force of these Soporiferous Enchantments,
you shall find one Snoaring heartily on a Bench, another makes
Love to beautiful Phillis at the Bar; and the third as valiant
as Orlando Furioso, goes to signalize his Valour in scouring the
I should never have done, if I should attempt to run through all the
several Countries within the Walls of London; as the long Robe,
the Sword, the Treasury. Every State, in brief, is like a separate
Country by its self, and has its particular Manners and Gibberish.
Here you may view the Fruitful Country of
Trade, that has
turn'd Leather Breeches into Gold Chains, blue Aprons into Fur Gowns, a
Kitchinstuff Tub into a gilded Chariot, a Dray-man into a Knight, and
Noblemen's Palaces into Shops and Ware-Houses.
Here is also the
Barren Country of the
inhabited by none but Cheats in the Operation, Beggars in the
Conclusion, and now is become almost Desolate, till another Age of
Fools and Knaves do People it. To this may be added the Cold Country
of the News-Mongors, that Report more than they hear, affirm
more than they know, and swear more than they believe, that Rob one
another, and lye in Sheets for want of a Coverlid. The Hot Country of the Disputers, that quarrel and raise a Dust about
nothing. The Level Country of Bad Poets, and Presbyterian Parsons: One of which is maintain'd by a good stock of Confidence,
and by the other Flattery and Canting. The Desert uninhabited Country
of Vertuous Women. The Conquer'd Country of Coquets,
and an infinite Number of others; not to reckon the Lost
Country inhabited by Strowlers, who aim at nothing but to lead
others out of their way. They are of easie access, but 'tis dangerous
to Traffick with them. Some of them have the Art to please without
Management, and to love without Loving.
But how have I forgot my own
Dear Country, that is
consecrated to Bacchus; that abounds with Nectar, the
Wonder working Liquor of the World; that makes a Poet a Prince
in's own Conceit; a Coward Valiant, and a Beggar as Rich as an Alderman. Here I live at Ease, and in Plenty, Swagger and Carouze,
Quarrel with the Master, Fight the Drawer, and never trouble my self
about paying the Reckoning, for one Fool or other pays it for
me. A Poet that has Wit in his Head, never carries Money in his
Breeches, for fear of creating a New Amusement.
Leicester-Fields, I saw a
Mountebank on the Stage,
with a Congregation of Fools about him, who like a Master in the
Faculty of Lying, gave them a History of his Cures, beyond all
the Plays and Farces in the World. He told them of Fifteen Persons
that were Run clear through the Body, and glad for a matter of three
Days together, to carry their Puddings in their Hands; but in
Four and twenty Hours he made'em as whole as Fishes, and not so much as
a Scar for a Remembrance of the Orifice. If a Man had been so
bold as to ask him when, and where? his Answer would have been ready
without Studying; that it was some Twelve hundred Leagues off in Terra Incognito, by the Token, that at the same time he was
Physician in Ordinary to a great Prince, that dy'd about Five and
twenty years ago, and yet the Quack was not Forty.
All these Subjects, though very Amusing, were not equally Edifying,
and therefore in my Voyage towards the City, I call'd in at a Quaker's Meeting, where a Fellow was talking Nonsence as
confidently, as if he had had a Parent for it, and confirm'd the Popish Maxim,
That Ignorance is the Mother of Devotion. The
Women were the Oddest Creatures in the World, neither Flesh nor Fish;
but like Frogs, only their lower Parts were Man's Meat.
From thence I sailed into a
Presbyterian Meeting near
Covent-Garden, where the Vociferous Holder-forth was as bold and
Saucy, as if the Deity and all Mankind had owed him Money. He was
shewing the way to be Rich when Taxes rise, and Trading falls,
and Descanting upon all Humours and Manners. He (says the Tubster)
that would be Rich according to the Practice of this wicked Age, must
play the Thief or the Cheat; he that would Rise in the
World, must turn Parasite, or Projector. He that Marries,
ventures for the Horn, either before, or afterwards. There is no
Valour without Swearing, Quarrelling, or Hectoring. If you are Poor, no
body owns you. If Rich, you'll know no body. If you dye young,
what pity 'twas they'l say, that he should be cut off in his Prime. If Old, he was e'en past his best; there's no great Miss of him. If
you are Religious, and frequent Meetings, the World will say you are a Hypocrite: And if you go to Church, and don't make a liberal
Contribution to us, we say you are a Papist. To which I make bold to
add, If you are Gay and Pleasant, you pass for a Buffoon; and
if Pensive and Reserv'd, you are taken to be Sour and
Censorious. Courtesy is call'd Colloguing and Currying of
Favour: Downright Honesty and Plain-Dealing, is interpreted to be Pride
and Ill Manners: And so I took my leave of Dr. —
And Peep'd into a
Fine Church in my Way to
where a huge double Belly'd Doctor, was so full of his Doubtlesses,
that he left no room for one Grain of Scepticism, and
made me so perfect a Dogmatist, that I made these Innocent
Reflections. The Doctor is very Fat, Doubtless he is Rich. He
looks very Grum and Surly, Doubtless he is not the best
Humour'd Man in the World; but I soon gave over these Remarks; for
being a Stranger to his Worship, Doubtless I might have been
sometimes in the Right, and Doubtless I should sometimes have
been in the Wrong; and therefore I removed my Corps to another Church
in my Road to London.
Here a very Genteel
Reader, to shew himself
instead of reading Porage, after our Old Honest English
Custom, gave it an A la Mode Turn, and pronounc'd it Pottaugsh; whereas to have been more Modish in his
as well as his other Parts, he might have called it a Dish of Soop.
Before Sermon began, the Clark in a
Slit Stick (contrived for
that purpose at a Serious Consult by the Famous Architects and Engineers, Sir
C. W. and Col.
Pickpeper) handed up to
the Pulpit a Number of Prayer-Bills, containg the Humble
Petitions of divers Devoto's, for a supply of what they wanted,
and the removal of their Afflictions.
One was a Bill from a
Courtier, that having a good
desired he might keep it for his Life, without being call'd to an
Account for Neglect, or Mismanagement; and that he might
continue without controul, God's Servant in Ordinary, and the King's
Virgin, apprehensive of her Wants, and Weaknesses,
being about to enter into the Holy State of Matrimony, prayed
for proportionable Gifts and Graces, to enable her for such an
Some Pray'd for Good Matches for their
Daughters, and good
Offices for their Sons; others beg'd Children for
themselves: And sure the Husband that allows his Wife to ask
Children Abroad, will be so Civil as to take them Home when they are
Now came abundance of
Bills from such as were going Voyages
to Sea, and others that were taking long Journeys by Land; both Praying
for the Gift of Chastity for their Wives, and Fidelity
for their Prentices, till they should return again. Then the
Bills of Complaint coming in thick and threefold, Humbly shewing
that many Citizens Wives, had hard Hearts, Undutiful Husbands, and
Disobedient Children, which they heartily Pray'd to be quit of; I
discharg'd my Ears from their Attendance on so Melancholy a Subject,
and employed my Eyes on the variety of Diverting Faces in the
Where you might see in one
Pew, a Covey of Handsome,
Bucksome, Bona Roba's, with High-Heads, and all the Mundus
Muliebris of Ornament and Dress about them, as Merry as Hawks
in a Mew, as Airy as their Fans, and as Light as a Beaux Head, or his
Pew was a Nest of such Hard-favour'd
that you would have blest your self. Some with their Faces so Pounced
and Speckled, as if they had been Scarified, and newly pass'd
the Cupping-Glass; with a World of little Plasters, Large,
Round, Square, and briefly cut out into such variety, that it would
have posed a good Mathematician to have found out another
Figure. They employ'd themselves while the Bills were reading,
about —Hush, hush.
Wou'd be Bishop is beginning, and 'tis a sign of a
Clown, as well as an
Ludere cum Sanctis; for
tho' I expose the Foppery of Persons, I have a great Veneration for
Holy Offices. Our Doctor, I Grant it, has some of the
Qualifications of an All-Souls Candidate, Bene Vestiti &
Mediocriter Docti; and in good earnest fills a Pulpit very well;
but that he so often hauls in his Common-Place Book by Neck and
Shoulders; that he cloys his Auditors with that unpalatable Ragoust,
called in Latin Cramben Biscoctum, and in plain English, Twice-boil'd Cabbage; for having in every Harangue, let
the Subject be what it will, Marshal'd his Discourse by the help of the Warlike Josephus,
and by the Assistance of the Learned
Grotius, and Pious Dr. Hammond our own Countryman, puzzled
Aquinas, confuted Bellarmin, and Baffled Origen, pass
we on (says he) to the next thing as considerable.
Clark is such an Affected C. C. C—, that he Sings out
of Tune, says out of Order, and does nothing as he should do: For
instead of saying, Amen, he Screams out A Main, which had
like to put me into a Confounded Fit of Laughter; for a Spark who had
been Over-night at 7 or 11, falling Asleep in the Church, and being
waked by the Noise of A Main, he starts up, and cries out aloud,
I'll Set you Half a Crown
Crowding to get out to breath my Spleen at this Adventure, I put the
Bilk upon a
Pick-Pocket; who measuring my Estate by the
Length and Bulkiness of my New Wig, which (God knows) is not paid
for, he made a Dive into my Pocket, but encountring a
Disappointment, Rub'd off, Cursing the Vacuum; and I as heartily
laughing at his Folly, that could think a Poet ever went
to Church, when he had Money to go to a Tavern. Poets are better
Principled than to hoard up Trash; and could they as well
secure themselves from the Flesh and the Devil, as they
do from the World, there would not be a Hairs breadth 'twixt
them and Heaven.
Now I cross'd the way to a
Booksellers, in hopes to get a
Dinner and a Bottle; but the Stingy Curr pop't me off with a Dish of Coffee, and the old Talk that Trading was Dead, that they suffer'd
for other Mens Works as well as their own; and in short, finding not a Penny to be screw'd out of the
Prig, I pursued my Voyage to
the City; but it happening to Rain, to shelter my self from it, I run
my Face into
A Heralds Office.
Here was a Confounded Noise of Descents, Pedigrees, Genealogies,
Coat Armour, Bearings, Additions, Abatements, and a deal of that
insignificant Jargon. While I was listening to this Gibberish,
in comes a Fellow with a Role of Parchment in his Hand, to be made a Gentleman, and to have a Coat of Arms finely Painted to hang up in
his Dining-Room till his Wife Died, and then to be transported
on the Outside and Front of the House, to Invite a Rich Widdow to Marry
Father, says he, has bore Arms for His Majesty, in many
Honourable Occasions of Watching and Warding; and has
made many a Tall Fellow speak to the Constable at all Hours of
the Night. My Uncle was the first Man that ever was of the
Honourable Order of the Black-Guard: And we have had five
Brave Commanders of our Family, by my Father's side, that have served
the State in the Quality of Marshal's Men, and Thief
Takers, and gave His Majesty a fair Account of all the Prisoners
that were taken by them: And by my Mothers side, it will not be
denied, but that I am Honourably Descended; for my Grandmother
was never without a Dozen Chamber-Maids and Nurses in Family. Her
Husband wore a Sword by his Place, for he was Deputy-Marshal;
and to prove my self a Man of Honour, I have here a Testimonial
in my Hand, in Black and White; and in my Pocket brave Yellow-Boys,
to pay for a Coat of Arms: Which being produced and Finger'd by the
Herald, he immediately assign'd him a Coat, viz. A Gibbet
Erect, with a Wing Volant. A Ladder Ascendant. A Rope Pendant, and a Marshal's Man Swinging at the end on't.
I am Sandalized, says my
Indian, at your Custome in
in making every Saucy Jack, a Gentleman.
And why are you not as well offended, reply'd I to my
to hear almost every Gentleman call one another Jack,
and Tom, and Harry They first dropt the Distinction,
Proper to Men of Quality, and Scoundrels took it up and bestowed
it upon themselves; and hence it is, that a Gentleman is sunk
into plain Jack, and Jack is rais'd into Gentleman.
In Days of
Yore, a Man of
Honour was more
Distinguishable by his Generosity and Affability, than by his Lac'd Liveries; but too many of them having degenerated into the
Vices of the Vulgar Fry, Honour is grown Contemptible, the Respect that
is due to their Births, is lost in a Savage Management,
and is now assumed by every Scoundrel.
The Cobler is Affronted, if you don't call him Mr.
The Groom Names himself Gentleman of the Horse, and the Fellow
that carries Guts to the Bears, writes himself one of
His Majesty's Officers. The Page calls himself a Child of Honour,
and the Foot-Boy stiles himself my Ladies Page. Every Little Nasty Whore takes upon her the Title of
Lady, and every
Impudent Broken-Mouth'd Manteau-Maker, must be call'd
Theodosia Br—. Every Dunce of a Quack, is call'd a Physician. Every Gown-Man, a
Counseller. Every Silly Huff, a
Gay thing, a Chevalier. Every Parish Reader,
a Doctor: And every Writing Clerk in the Office, Mr. Secretary: Which is all but Hypocrisie and Knavery in Disguise; for
nothing is now called by its right Name.
The Heralds I see have but little to do, Honour and Arms which used
to employ all Men of Birth and Parts, is now almost dwindled into an
Airy Nothing: Let us then go and see how the World wags in the City
The City Visiting-Day.
I have given my Traveller Walking enough from Country to Country,
let us save him the trouble now of Beating the Hoof, and shew him the
rest of the World as he sits in his Chair.
To be acquainted with all the Different Characters of it, it will be
sufficient for him to frequent certain Numerous Assemblies, a sort of City Circle, they are set up in imitation of the Circle at Court.
The Circle in Foreign Courts is a Grave Assembly, but ill seated
upon Low Stools set in a Round. Here all Women Talk, and none of them
Listen. Here they make a Pother about nothing. Here they Decide all
things, and their most diversified Conversations are a sort of
Roundeaus that end either in Artificial Slanders, or gross Flattery,
but this being in no wise applicable to the English Court, I
shall wave a further Description of it, and come to
The City Circle.
Which is a Familiar Assembly, or a General Council of the Fair and
Charming-Sex, where all the Important Affairs of their Neighbors are
largely discuss'd, but Judged in an Arbitrary Manner, without hearing
the Parties speak for themselves. Nothing comes amiss to these
Tribunals. Matters of High, and no Consequence, as Religion, and
Cuckoldom, Commodes and Sermons, Polliticks and Gallantry, Receipts of
Cookery and Scandal, Coquettry and Preserving, Jilting and Laundry; in
short every thing is subject to the Jurisdiction of this Court, and no
Appeal lies from it.
A Venerable Old Gentlewoman, call'd Madam
Relations are dispersed into all Corners of the Earth, is President of
this Board. She is Lineally Descended from the Maggots of the South, an Illustrious and Ancient Family, that were a Branch of the
Wag-Tails of the
East, who boast themselves Descended in a
Right Line from Madam Eve. Here are to be found as many
Different Opinions as there are Heads in the Room. The same Judge is
sometimes Severe, and sometimes Indulgent, sometimes Grave and
sometimes Trifling, and they Talk exactly there, as I do in my
They pass in a Moment from the most Serious, to the most Comical
Strain; from the greatest things to the smallest; from a Duke, to a
Chimney-Sweeper; from a Council of War to a Christning, and sometimes a
sudden Reflexion upon a Womans Head-Dress, hinders the Decision
of a Case of Conscience under Examination.
In this Country Twenty several Sentences are pronounced all at once.
The Men Vote when they can, the Women as often as they please. They
have two Votes for one. The great Liberty that is allowed in the City
Circle, invites all sorts of Persons to come thither to see and to be
seen. Every one talks according to his Designs, his Inclination, and
his Genius. The Young Folks talk of what they are now a doing; the Old
Fellows Talk of what they have done in the Days of Queen Dick;
and your Sots and Coxcombs of what they have a design to do, tho' they
never go about it.
The Ambitious Rail at the Sluggards as a Company of Idle Fellows
that take up a room in the World, and do nothing? The Sluggards return
back the Compliment to the Ambitious, that they trouble all the World
with their Plots to advance themselves and ruine others. The Tradesman
Curses War from the bottom of his Heart, as that which spoils Commerce,
Depopulates Countries, and destroys Mankind; and the Soldier wishes
those that had a Hand in making the Peace, were at the Devil.
The Vertuoso despises the Rich for making such a bustle about so
Foolish and Pale-faced a Mettal as Gold. The Rich laugh at Learning,
and Learned Men, and cry, A Fig for Aristotle and Des Cartes.
Your Men of Gravity and Wisdom forsooth, rail at Love as the most
Foolish and Impertinent Trifling thing in the World; and the Lover
fattens himself with his own Fancies, and laughs at Wisdom as a Sower
and Severe thing that is not worth the Pursuit. Those that are
Unmarried fall foul upon the Jealous-Pated Husbands, as Men that create
their own Troubles. And those that are Married justify their own
Prudent Conduct in endeavouring to prevent their own Dishonour.
A Young forward Puppy full of Vigour and Health, seem'd to intimate
by his Discourse, that he thought himself Immortal. Well, says he, I
have drank my Gallon of Claret every Night this Seven Years, and yet
the Devil of a Feaver or any other Disease dares Attack me, tho' I
always keep two or three Sins going at once. Before George I
think our Family's made of Iron. There's that Old Prig my Father (a
Plague on him) turn'd of Seventy, and yet he's as sound as a Roach
still. He'll ride you Forty Mile out-right at a Fox-Chase. Small-Beer
be my Portion here and hereafter, if I believe he'll ever have the Good
Manners to troop off.
A Grave Old Gentleman offended at this Rude and Frothy Discourse
gave his Whiskers a Twirl, and thus repremanded our Saucy
Whipper-Snapper. Know Boy, cries he to him in an Angry Tone: Know,
Sirrah, that every Age stands upon the same Level as to the Duration of
Life. A Man of Fourscore is Young enough to Live, and an Infant but of
Four Days Birth, is Old enough to Die.
I apprehend your Meaning, Old Gentleman, says our Young Prig to him,
well enough. You are Young enough to Live to Day, and Old enough to Die
Those whom you have hitherto heard, talk'd only to let the Company
see what they were: The rest both in their Conversation and Manners,
appear'd directly contrary to what they were.
You admire the Gay Noisy Impertinence of that Country Wit yonder,
that tells so many Pleasant Stories, and sets all the Company a
Laughing. Don't be mistaken in him, he's the Dullest Rogue alive, if
you strip him of what he has Plunder'd from others.
All his Jests and Repartees he Purloin'd from his
Chaplain; they are the effect of his Memory, and not of his
That other Spark there sets up for a
Wit, and has some Sence
to't. Pray mind that Worshipful Lump of Clay, that Inanimate
Figure that lolls in the Elbow-Chair; he takes no manner of Notice of
what is said in the Company. By his Plodding Starch'd Solemn Looks, you
would conclude that Business of Importance, and Affairs of State, took
up all his Thoughts, and that his Head was brim full of Dispatches,
Negotiations, Decrees, Orders of Council, and the Lord knows what. I'll
tell you what; he's the Emptiest, Dullest, Shallowest Monster, within
the Bills of Mortality. He's equally incapable of Business and
Pleasure: He'll take you a Nap over a Game at Cards, and Yawn
and Stretch at the most diverting Comedy: Nay, under the Pulpit when the Parson has Preach'd all the Dogs out o'th' Church.
He Dreams as he Walks, and the Sot when he's a Sleep, differs from the
Sot when Waking, as a Nine-Pin when it is up, differs from a Nine-Pin when its down. He has a Considerable Post in the
Government, and a Pretty Wife, and minds them both alike? 'Tis pity he
has not a Deputy to officiate for him.
Young Creature there by the Window, at the bare mention
of the Word Love, Starts, and Trembles, as if a Demi-Culvirin
were shot off at her Ear. Her Vertuous Mother has told her such
terrible Stories about it, that the Poor Fool believes she hates
it. And do you think, Sir, she'll hate it to the end of the Chapter?
That's not so certain, I dare not engage for it. A Woman that hates
Love before she knows what it is, is not in danger to hate it
Perhaps I explain things after a
Freer manner than I ought,
and Unmask too many Faces in my Circle; but if I were never so
much inclined to spare them, and they themselves had Address enough to
conceal their own Defects: I see a Lady of great Penetration
coming into the Room, who will decipher them more Unmercifully
than I can.
Now she has Seated her self. Observe what a
Modest Air she
has? How Critically she draws off her Gloves? How Artfully she
manages her Fan? And if she lift up her Eyes, 'tis only to see whether
other Women are as Handsome and as Modest as her self. She has so much
Vertue the World says, that she can't endure any that have a less share
on't than her self. What is harder still, those that have more Vertue
than she, do equally displease her. 'Tis for this reason she spares no
I ask'd a Lady of the same Character t'other Day, how it came to
pass that her Exhortations were half Godliness, and half Slander? Bless me, crys she,
Slander! What mean you by the
Word? 'Tis enough to give one the Spleen, or an Augue Fit. The
Truth on't is, I am sometimes obliged to accommodate my self to the Taste of the World, to
Season my Remonstrances with a little
Satyr, for the World expects we should make every thing agreeable,
even Connection it self. We must sometimes give a little Slip
from Morality, to bring in a few Strokes of Satyr. Speak more
Honestly, Madam, says I to her, and confess that you bring in
one stroke of Morality, to countenance the making of a Thousand
Very well, replies the
Indian to me, I find the
are as Comical in their Garbs, as affected in their Discourses. They
would think themselves dishonour'd to appear in a Suit they wore
last Year. According to the Rule of Fashions, this Furious Beau
the next Year must make but a Scurvy Figure; but I pardon them
for following the Custom of their Country. I put so ill a Construction
upon their Curiosity, I will not hereafter Judge of the Hearts of Women
by the Steps I see them make.
As for that
Beau yonder, I have a great Curiosity to know
whither his Inside answers his Outside. Not a Word has drop'd from him
as yet; but surely the Oracle will open Anon. The Ladies that
encompass him, said I to my Curious Traveller, are as impatient to hear
him Talk, as you can be. Therefore let us listen.
They all Compliment, and address their Discourses to him. What
Answers does he make them? Sometimes Yes, and sometimes No,
and sometimes Nothing at all. He speaks to one with his Eyes,
to another with his Head, and Laughs at a third with so Mysterious an Air, that 'tis believed there is something
extraordinary meant by it. All the Company are of Opinion that he has Wit in abundance. His Physiognomy
Talks, his Air
Perswades, but all his Eloquence lies in the Fine
makes; and as soon as the Spark has shew'd himself, he has concluded
his Speech. 'Tis a thousand pitties that Nature had not time enough
to finish her Workmanship, Had she bestowed never so little Wit
upon an Outside so Prepossessing us in his Favour, the Idlest
Tales from his Mouth wou'd have pass'd for the most Ingenious Story in
But our Ladies now begin to be weary of holding a longer Discourse
with their Idol, All of 'em resolv'd, if they must speak, to speak with
some Body that would answer them again, and not with a Statue.
Our Beau retires into the next Chamber, intent upon nothing but how to
display his Charms to the best advantage. He is at first view enamour'd
with a Pretty Lady whom he saw in the Room. He Besieges her with his Eyes, he
Ogles at her, he
himself, and at last he Boards her.
Lady is very Reserved, and tho' our Gentleman appear
very Charming to her, yet she is not surprized at the first sight of
him. 'Tis nothing but her Curiosity which makes her hazard meeting him
in the Field. With this Intention she listens to what our Adventurer
has to say to her. In short, this was the success of his Affair with
He found himself mightily at a loss how to
Cope with this
Lady. She had an inexhaustible Source of Wit, and would not be
paid with Gracious Nods and Smiles, but as we see there are a
Hundred Witty Women in the World, that are not displeas'd with a fair
Outside; our Confident Spark flatter'd himself, that if he cou'd but
once perswade the Lady that he was in Love with her, the Garrison wou'd
immediately surrender. To effect this he employ'd the Finest Turns
of Eloquence, and the most touching Expressions of the Mute
Language; but this Fair Lady made as if she did not understand him.
What should he now do to explain himself more clearly to her. He had a Diamond-Ring of a considerable Value upon his Finger, and found
himself put to't to contrive a Piece of Gallantry A la Mode, to
present it to her. Thus Playing with his Hand, and holding it so
that he might shew his Diamond more advantageously to the Eyes
of the Fair Indifferent, he plays with it: She turns her Head, first on
one side, then on the other side. This Unconcernedness mortified him
extreamly; yet still he kept on his Shew, which is always the
last Refuge of a Coxcomb. He is Astonish'd to find a Woman insensible
to such a Beau as himself, and to such a Diamond as his
was; but this made no Impression on the Lady, who still
continued Inexorable and Cruel.
At the very Moment he despair'd of his Enterprize, this Cruel, this
Insensible seiz'd him hastily by the Hand, to look nearer at the Diamond, from which she first turn'd her Eyes: What a
turn of the Scene was this to a Dejected Lover! He reassumes his
Courage, and to make a Declaration of his Passion for once and all, he
takes the Ring from his Finger, and after a Thousand Cringes
and Grimaces, Presents her with it. The Lady takes it in
her Hand, and holds it close to her Eyes, to view it more carefully: He
redoubles his Hope and Assurance, and thought he had a Right to Kiss
that Hand, that had received his Diamond. The Lady was so taken
up in looking at it, that she was not at leisure to think of being
angry at this Freedom; but on the contrary smiled, and without any more
Ceremony put the Ring upon her Finger.
Now it is that our Lover thinks himself secure of
and transported with Joy, proposes the Hour and Place of
Meeting. Sir, says this Lady coldly to him, I am Charm'd with this Diamond; and the reason why I have accepted it without Scruple, is
because it belongs to me. Yes, Sir, this Diamond is mine; my
Husband took it from off my Toilet some Three Months ago, and
made me afterwards believe he had lost it. That cannot be, replys our Fop, it was a
Marchioness that exchang'd it with me for
something that shall be Nameless.
Right, right, continues the Woman,
my Husband was
acquainted with this Marchioness, he Truck'd with her for
my Diamond, the Marchioness Truck'd with you for it, and
I take it for nothing; tho if I were of a Revengeful Nature, my
Husband very well deserves, that I should give the same Price
for it, as he received from the Marchioness. At this unexpected
Blow, our Fine Thing stood Confounded and Astonish'd; but I can now
forgive his being Mute upon so Odd an Occasion. A Man of Wit and
Sence could hardly avoid it.
Lord yonder, was Bred and Born a
Soul is full as Noble as his
Blood, his Thoughts as high as
his Extraction. I Esteem, but don't Admire his Lordship; but the
Man, who by his Merits and Vertues raises himself above
his Birth and Education, I both Esteem and Admire.
Why then should you, whose Virtues equal your Fortune, conceal the
Meanness of your Original, which raises the Lustre of your Merit?
And as for you that have no other Merit to boast of, but that of
advancing your Fortune; never be ashamed to own the Meanness of your
former Life: We shall better esteem the Merit of your Elevation.
Look, yonder goes a Man, says one, that takes upon him so much of
the Lord, that one would think he had never been any thing else.
It often happens, that by our Over-acting of Matters, the World
discovers we were not always the Men we appear.
While I made my Reflections, my
Indian was likewise busie in
making his. He did not so much wonder at the Man in the Embroidered
Coat, who did not know himself, as at the Assembly, who likewise seem'd
not to know him. He was treated with the Respect due to a Prince; these
are not Civilities, but downright Adorations. What cannot you be
content, says our Indian, cannot you be content to Idolize Riches that are useful to you? Must you likewise Idolize the
Rich, who will never do you a Farthings-worth of Kindness?
I confess, continued he, that I cannot recover out of this
Astonishment. I see another Man of a very good Look come into the Circle, and no body takes the least Notice of him. He has seated
himself and Talks, and very much to the purpose too, and yet no one
will vouchsafe him a Hearing. I observe, the Company Files off from him
by degrees, to another part of the Room, and now he is left alone by
himself. Wherefore say I to my self, Do they shun him thus? Is his Breath Contagious, or has he a
Plague-Sore running upon him?
At the same time I took Notice, That these Deserters had flock'd
about the Gay Coxcomb in the laced Suite, whom they worshipp'd
like a little God. By this I came to understand, that the Contagious
Distemper the other Man was troubled with was his Poverty.
Oh Heavens! says the
Indian, falling all on the sudden
into an Enthusiastick Fit, like that wherein you saw him in his Letter; Oh Heavens! Remove me quickly out of a Country, where they shut
their Ears to the wholsom Advice, and sage Instructions of a Poor
Man, to lissen to the Nonsensical Chat of a Sot in Gawdy
Cloathes. They seem to refuse this Philosopher a Place among
Men, because his Apparel is but indifferent, while they Rank that
Wealthy Coxcomb in the Number of the Gods. When I behold this
Abominable Sight, I cou'd almost pardon those that grow Haughty and
Insolent upon Prosperity. This latter Spark a little while ago was less
than a Man among you, at present you make a sort of a Deity
of him. If the Head of their new Idol should grow Giddy, he may e'en
thank those who Incense him at this abominable Rate.
There are among us in my Country, continues he, a sort of People who
Adore a certain Bird, for the Beauty and Richness of its Feathers.
To justifie the Folly wherein their Eyes have engaged them, they are
perswaded that this proud Animal has a Divine Spirit that Animates him.
Their Error is infinitely more excusable than yours; for in short, this
Creature is Mute, but if he could Talk, like your Brute there in
the Rich Embroidery, they would soon find him out to be a Beast, and
perhaps would forbear to Adore him.
This sudden Transport, carry'd our well-meaning Traveller a little
too far. To oblige him to drop his Discourse, I desir'd him to cast his
Eyes upon a certain Gentleman in the Circle, who deserved to
have his Veil taken off with which he covered himself, to
procure the Confidence of Fools. Examine well this serious Extravagant.
The Fool's Bawble he makes such a pother with, is his Probity,
an amiable thing indeed, if his Heart were affected by it; but 'tis
only the Notion of it that has Fly-blown his Head. Because,
forsooth, it has not yet appear'd in his Story, that he is a Notorious
Cheat and Falsifier, upon the Merit of this Reputation, the Insect
thinks himself the most Virtuous Man in the World. He demands an
Implicite Faith to all he says. You must not question any thing he is
pleas'd to affirm, but must pay the same Deference to his Words, as to
the Sacred Oracles of Truth it self. If he thinks fit to assert that Romulus and
Remus were Grand Children to
John of Gaunt,
'tis a Breach of Good Manners to enquire into their Pedigrees.
If any Difference happens, he pretends his Word is a Decree, from
which you cannot Appeal without Injustice. He takes it for a high
Affront, if you do but ask him to give you the common Security. All the
Universe must understand that his Verbal Promise is worth a thousand
Pounds. He would fain have perswaded his Wifes Relations to have
given him her in Marriage upon his bare Word, without making a
Settlement. He affects to be exactly Nice to a Tittle in all his
Expressions, and if you think it impossible to find a Model of
this impracticable Exactness, he tells you that you may find it in him,
all his Words you ought to believe to a Hairs breadth: Nothing less,
and nothing beyond it. If ever he gives you liberty to Stretch a
little, it must be in his Commendation. Let the Conversation turn upon
what Subject it pleases, be it of War, or of Religion,
Morality, or Politicks, he will perpetually thrust his Nose into it, though he is sure to be laughed at for his Pains, and
all to make a fine Parade of his own good Qualities and Vertues.
Lady for Instance, after she had effectually proved
that all Gallantry, and Sincerity, was extinct among the young Fellows
of this Age, corrected her self pleasantly in this manner. I am in the wrong Gentlemen, says she, I am in the
wrong, I own it.
There is such a thing as Sincerity still among the Men:
all that they think of us Women.
Upon the bare Mention of the Word
Sincerity, our Gentleman
thought he had a fair opportunity to enlarge upon his own. Every Man,
says he, has his particular Faults My Fault is to be too Sincere.
Soon after this, the Discourse fell upon other Matters, as want of
Compassion and Charity in the Rich. What an excess of Barbarity crys
our Man of Honour, is this? For my part, I always fall into the
opposite Extream. I melt at every thing, I am too Good in
my Temper, but 'tis a Fault I shall never Correct in my self. To make
short, another who towards the Conclusion of his Story, happen'd
accidentally to let the Word Avarice drop from him, found himself
interrupted by our Modest Gentleman, who made no difficulty to
own that Liberality was his Vice. Ah Sir, replied the Man
coldly, who was interrupted, you have three great Vices, Sincerity,
Goodness, and Liberality. This excess of Modesty in you, which makes
you own these Vices, give me to understand Sir, that you are Masters of
all the contrary Vertues.
In my Opinion now, this was plucking off the Vizor of our Sir
Formal. This was discharging a
Pistol at his Breast: One
would have thought it wou'd have went to the very Heart of him. In the
mean time he did not so much as feel the Blow; the Callus of his
Vanity had made him invulnerable, he takes every thing you say to him
in good part. Call him in an Ironical manner, the Great Heroe of
Probity, he takes you in the Litteral Sense. Tell him in the plain
Language of T. O. that he's a confounded Rascal, Oh Sir,
says he, your humble Servant, you are disposed to be merry I find: thus
he takes it for Raillery.
Raillers have a fine time on't you see, to
upon a Man of so Oily a Temper. What a Vexation is it to your
Gentlemen that speak sharp and witty Things, to level them at so supple a Slave. All the Pleasure wou'd be to touch him to the
Quick, to confound his Vanity. Wit does but hazard it self by Attacking
him in the Face, there's nothing to be got by it: Vanity is a Wall
But I find nothing will be lost. There sits a Gentleman in the
corner of a quite different Temper, who takes every thing upon himself,
that was meant to another. He Blushes, he grows Pale,
he's out of Countenance; at last quits the Room, and as he goes out,
threatens all the Company with his Eyes. What does the World think of
this holding up the Buckler, they put but a bad Construction
upon it, and say that his Conscience is Ulcerated, that you
cannot touch any String, but it will answer to some painful place. Touch a Gall'd Horse and He'll Wince. In a word, he's wounded all
over, because he's all over Sensible of Pain.
These are two Characters that seem to be directly opposite; however,
it were easie to prove that these two are the same at Bottom. What's
this Bottom? Divine it if you can: One Word wou'd not be sufficient to
explain it clearly to you, and I am not at leisure to give you any
more. I perceive a Man coming into the Room whom I am acquainted with,
he will interrupt me without Remorse. I had better be beforehand with
him, and hold my Tongue.
Silence, and see you shew due
Respect. You will immediately see one of those Noble Lords who
believe that all is due to them, and that they owe nothing to any Body.
When my Lord enter'd, every one put on a demure Look, and he
himself came in with a Smiling look, like a true Polititian.
Immediately he makes a thousand Protestations of Friendship to every
one; but at the same time that he promises you his Service, he looks as
Pale as a Scotchman, when he offers you his Purse.
He is scarce sate down in his Chair, but he embroiles the
Conversation. He talks to four several Persons about four several
Affairs at once: He puts a Question to one Man, without waiting
for an Answer of another: He proposes a Doubt, Treats it,
and resolves it all by himself. He's not weary of Talking,
though all the Company be of hearing him. They steal off by
degrees, and so the Circle ended.
Publick is a great Spectacle always New, which presents
it self to the Eyes of private Men, and Amuses them. These
private Men are so many diversified Spectacles, that offer themselves
to the Publick View, and Divert it. I have already as it were
in Minature, shew'd some few of these small inconsiderable
private Spectacles. My Fellow Traveller not content with this, still
demands of me, that I should speak a few Words more of the Publick.
Publick is a
Prince of which all those Hold, that
aim at Honour, Reputation and Profit. Those Sordid Mean-Spirited Souls, that don't take any Pains to merit its Approbation, are at
least afraid of its Hatred, and Contempt. The Right we assume to our
selves to Judge of every thing, has produc'd abundance of Vertues, and
stifled abundance of Crimes.
Publick has a Just, a Solid, and Penetrating Discernment:
In the mean time, as 'tis wholly composed of Men; so there's a great
deal of the Man very often in its Judgments. It suffers it self
to be Prepossessed as well as a Private Person, and afterwards
prepossesseth us by the Ascendant it hath had over us for many Ages.
Publick is a true
Misanthrope, it is neither
guilty of Complaisance, nor Flattery; nor does it seek to
be Flatter'd. It runs in Crowds to Assembles, where it hears Truths of
it self, and each of the Particulars that compose the whole Body, love
rather to see themselves Jeer'd, than to deprive themselves of
the Pleasure of seeing others Jeer'd.
Publick is the Nicest and most Severe
the World; yet a Dull Execrable Ballad, is enough to Amuse
it for a whole Year. It is both Constant and Inconstant. One may truly
affirm, that since the Creation, the Publick Genius has never
changed. This shews its Constancy; but it is fond of Novelties,
it daily changes all its Fashions of acting, its Language and its
Modes. A Weather-Cock is not more Inconstant. It is so Grave it strikes a Terror upon those that Talk to it, and yet so
Trifling that a
Band, or a
Cravat put the wrong way,
sets the whole Auditory a Laughing.
Publick is served by the greatest
Grandeur is there? And yet it depends upon those that serve it: How Little it is?
Publick is, if I may allow my self the Expression, always
at Man's Estate, for the Solidity of its Judgment, and yet an Infant,
whom the errantest Scoundrel of a Jack-Pudding, or a Merry-Andrew, shall lead from one end of the Town to the other.
'Tis an Old Man, who shews his Dotage by Murmuring without
knowing what he would have, and whose Mouth we cannot stop, when he has
once began to Talk.
I should never have done, were I minded to set down all the
Contrarieties that are to be found in the Publick, since it
possesses all the Vertues, and all the Vices, all the Forces, and all the
Infirmities of Mankind.
Let us reassume our Gravity to consider the Real
the Publick. 'Tis out of it we see every thing proceeds, which
is of any Consideration in the World: Governors to Rule
Provinces, Judges to Regulate them, Warriers to Fight,
and Heroes to Conquer. After these Governors, these Judges,
these Warriers, and these Heroes, have Gloriously signaliz'd themselves
in all Parts, they all come to meet again at Court; where Interpidity
it self Trembles, Fierceness is Softned, Gravity Rectified, and Power
There those that are distinguish'd in other Places, like so many
Sovereigns; among the Crowd of Courtiers, become Courtiers themselves;
and after they have drawn the Eyes of so many Thousands after them,
think it their Glory to be look'd upon by One from whom those
Illustrious Stars derive their Splendour, and are never so near
their Meridian, as when the Monarch, that Spring of
Glory, shines upon them, and Communicates some Beams of his
Magnificence to them.
As his very
Looks raise the Merit of the greatest Actions,
every one is Jealous of him who endeavours to attract them to himself;
but for all that, they are so Complaisant, that they don't neglect to Caress the Man of whom they are Jealous.
However, there are some
Elevated Souls that have infinitely
rais'd themselves about those Court Infirmities. Real Heroes
and Brave Men indeed! Who are no more grieved at the Glory
of others, than to share the Light of the Sun in Common with
I own indeed, says my
Indian, in taking his leave of me, that
England produces some of these perfect
Reputations have reached our Parts of the World; but it was to see
something Greater than this, that I undertook this Voyage; and consider
how I reason'd with my self as I pass'd the Ocean. England
abounds with Illustrious Men, and tho' there may be Animosities
among them; yet they all unanimously now agree to Reverence and Respect the King alone: And must not he be an Extraordinary Man?