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insinuate that Signor Grimaldi and myself have a correspondence more friendly than is consistent with the valour of his character, or the fierceness of mine. I desire you would for your own sake forbear such intimations for the future; and must say it is a great piece of ill-nature in you, to show so great an esteem for a foreigner, and to discourage a lion that is your own countryman.

'I take notice of your fable of the lion and man,1 but am so equally concerned in that matter, that I shall not be offended to which soever of the animals

the superiority is given. You have misrepresented me, in saying that I am a country gentleman who act only for my diversion; whereas, had I still the same woods to range in which I once had when I was a fox-hunter, I should not resign my manhood for a maintenance; and assure you, as low as my circumstances are at present, I am so much a man of honour, that I would scorn to be any beast for bread but a lion. Yours, &c.'

I had no sooner ended this, than one of my landlady's children brought me in several others, with some of which I shall make up my present paper, they all having a tendency to the same subject, viz., the elegance of our present diversions.

'SIR,

COVENT GARDEN, March 13.

I HAVE been for twenty years under-sexton of this parish of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, and have not missed tolling in to prayers six times in all those years; which office I have performed to my great satisfaction, till this fortnight last past,

1 See No. 11.

1

during which time I find my congregation take the warning of my bell, morning and evening, to go to a puppet-show set forth by one Powell under the Piazzas. By this means I have not only lost my two customers, whom I used to place for sixpence a-piece over against Mrs. Rachel Eyebright, but Mrs. Rachel herself is gone thither also. There now appear among us none but a few ordinary people, who come to church only to say their prayers, so that I have no work worth speaking of but on Sundays. I have placed my son at the Piazzas, to acquaint the ladies that the bell rings for church, and that it stands on the other side of the Garden; but they only laugh at the child.

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1 Martin Powell, puppet showman, brought his marionettes to London from the provinces in 1710, and established himself in the galleries of Covent Garden, where he produced puppet operas at Punch's Theatre in Covent Garden.' Powell is often alluded to in the Tatler (Nos. 45, 50, 115, 142), and it is said that he was employed by the ministry in 1710 to bring ridicule upon the fanatics called French Prophets by making Punch turn prophet. Defoe lamented Powell's popularity, and said ('Groans of Great Britain') that he was rich enough to buy up all the poets in England. In 1715, Thomas Burnett satirised Harley in a pamphlet called the History of Robert Powell, the Puppet Showman.' A letter from the sexton, in reparation of what is here said of Powell, will be found in No. 372. The following is one of Powell's advertisements: At the particular request of several ladies. At Punch's Theatre, alias Powell from Bath. In the Little Piazza, Covent Garden, being a place warm and commodious for the reception of persons of quality and distinction, this present Monday, being the 7th, and to-morrow the 8th of January, will be acted an opera called Heroic Love, or the Death of Hero and Leander. With variety of scenes, and machines after the Italian manner. Beginning exactly at six a clock. The boxes 28., pit Is. No persons to be admitted with Masks.' (Daily Courant, January 7, 1712.)

2

Open arcades on the north and east sides of Covent Garden market-place. They were built by Inigo Jones about 1633.

'I desire you would lay this before all the world, that I may not be made such a tool for the future, and that Punchinello may choose hours less canonical. As things are now, Mr. Powell has a full congregation, while we have a very thin house, which if you can remedy, you will very much oblige, SIR,

Yours, &c.'

The following epistle I find is from the undertaker of the masquerade: 1

'SIR,

'I HAVE observed the rules of my masque so carefully (in not inquiring into persons), that I cannot tell whether you were one of the company or not last Tuesday; but if you were not, and still design to come, I desire you would, for your own entertainment, please to admonish the town that all persons indifferently are not fit for this sort of diversion. I could wish, sir, you could make them understand that it is a kind of acting to go in masquerade, and a man should be able to say or do things proper for the dress in which he appears. We have now and then rakes in the habit of Roman senators, and grave politicians in the dress of rakes. The misfortune of the thing is, that people dress themselves in what they have a mind to be, and not what they are fit for. There is not a girl in the town, but let her have her will in going to a masque,

1 Masquerades were made a fashionable form of amusement by John James Heidegger, son of a Swiss clergyman, who came to England in 1708. He lived until 1749, and claimed to have made 5000 a year in this country. For many years he was manager of the opera. A paper of Addison's on masquerades will be found in the Guardian, No. 151.

and she shall dress as a shepherdess. But let me beg of them to read the "Arcadia," or some other good romance, before they appear in any such character at my house. The last day we presented, everybody was so rashly habited, that when they came to speak to each other a nymph with a crook had not a word to say but in the pert style of the pit bawdry; and a man in the habit of a philosopher was speechless, till an occasion offered of expressing himself in the refuse of the tiring-rooms. We had a judge that danced a minuet, with a quaker for his partner, while half-a-dozen harlequins stood by as spectators: a Turk drank me off two bottles of wine, and a Jew eat me up half a ham of bacon. If I can bring my design to bear, and make the masquers preserve their characters in my assemblies, I hope you will allow there is a foundation laid for more elegant and improving gallantries than any the town at present affords; and consequently, that you will give your approbation to the endeavours of,

SIR,

Your most obedient humble Servant.'

I am very glad the following epistle obliges me to mention Mr. Powell a second time in the same paper; for indeed there cannot be too great encouragement given to his skill in motions, provided he is under proper restrictions.

'SIR,

2

"THE opera at the Haymarket, and that under the Little Piazza in Covent Garden, being at present the two leading diversions of the town, and 1 Sir Philip Sidney's romance, published in 1590.

2 An old name for puppet-shows.

991

Mr. Powell professing in his advertisements to set up "Whittington and his Cat" against "Rinaldo and Armida, my curiosity led me the beginning of last week to view both these performances, and make my observations upon them.

First, therefore, I cannot but observe that Mr. Powell wisely forbearing to give his company a bill of fare beforehand, every scene is new and unexpected; whereas it is certain that the undertakers of the Haymarket, having raised too great an expectation in their printed opera, very much disappoint their audience on the stage.

'The King of Jerusalem is obliged to come from the city on foot, instead of being drawn in a triumphant chariot by white horses, as my opera-book had promised me; and thus, while I expected Armida's dragons should rush forward towards Argantes, I found the hero was obliged to go to Armida, and hand her out of her coach. We had also but a very short allowance of thunder and lightning; though I cannot in this place omit doing justice to the boy who had the direction of the two painted dragons, and made them spit fire and smoke; he flashed out his rosin in such just proportions and in such due time that I could not forbear conceiving hopes of his being one day a most excellent player. I saw indeed but two things wanting to render his whole action complete-I mean the keeping his head a little lower, and hiding his candle.

'I observe that Mr. Powell and the undertakers had both the same thought, and I think much about the same time, of introducing animals on their several stages, though indeed with very different success.

1 See No. 5.

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