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another, who seemed very much pleased while his petition was reading, in which he had represented that he was extremely afflicted with the gout, and set his foot upon the ground with the caution and dignity which accompany that distemper. I suspected him for an impostor; and having ordered him to be searched, I committed him into the hands of doctor Thomas Smith in King-street, my own corn-cutter, who attended in an outward room, and wrought so speedy a cure upon him that I thought fit to send him away without his cane. ...While I was thus dispensing justice, I heard a noise in my outward room; and inquiring what was the occasion of it, my door-keeper told me, that they had taken ap one in the very fact as he was passing by my door. They immediately brought in a lively freshcoloured young man, who made great resistance with hand and foot, but did not offer to make use of his cane, which hung upou his fifth button. Upon examination I found him to be an Oxford scholar, who was just entered at the Temple. He at first disputed the jurisdiction of the court; but being driven out of his little law and logic, he told me very pertly, that he looked upon such a perpendicular creature as man to make a very imperfect figure without a cane in his hand. It is well known, says he, we ought, according to the natural situation of our bodies, to walk upon our hands and feet; and that the wisdom of the antients had described man to be an animal of four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three at night; by which they intimated, that a cane might very properly become part of us in some period of life. Upon which I asked him, whether he wore it at his breast to have it in readiness when that period should arrive?. My young lawyer immediately told me he had a property in it, and a right to hang it where he pleased, and to make use of it as he thought fit, provided that he did not break the peace with it; and further said, that he never took it off his button, unless it were to lift it up at a coachman, hold it over the head of a drawer, point out the circumstances of a story, or for other services of the like nature, that are all within the laws of the land. I did not care for discouraging a young man, who, I saw, would come to good; and because his heart was set upon his new purchase, I only ordered him to wear it about his neck, instead of hanging it upon his button, and so dismissed him.
There were several appeared in court, whose pretensions I found 10 be very good, and therefore gave them their licences upon paying their fees : as many others had their licences renewed, who required more time for recovery of their lameness than I had before allowed them.
Having dispatched this set of my petitioners, there came in a well-dressed man, with a glass tube in one hand, and his petition in the other. Upon his entering the room, he threw back the right side of his wig, put forward his right leg, and, advancing the glass to his right eye, aimed it directly at me.
In the mean while, to make my observations also, I put on my spectacles ; in which posture we surveyed each other for some time. Upon the removal of our glasses, I desired him to read his petition; which he did very promptly and easily, though at the same time it set forth that he could see nothing distinctly, and was within very few degrees of being utterly blind; concluding with a prayer that he might be permitted to strengthen and extend his sight by a glass. In answer
to this, I told him he might sometimes extend it to bis own destruction. As you are now, said I, you are out of the reach of beauty; the shafts of the finest eyes
lose their force before they can come at you; you cannot distinguish a toast from an orangewench; you can see a whole circle of beauty without any interruption from an impertinent face to disu compose you. In short, what are snares for others My petitioner would hear no more, but told me very seriously, Mr. Bickerstaff, you quite mistake your man; it is the joy, the pleasure, the employment of my life, to frequent public assemblies, and gaze upon the fair. In a word, I found his use of a glass was occasioned by no other infirmity but his vanity, and was not so much designed to make him see, as to make him be seen and distinguished by others. I therefore refused him a licence for a perspective, but allowed him a pair of spectacles, with full permission to use them in any public assembly as he should think fit. He was followed by so very few of this order of men, that I have reason to hope this sort of cheats are al. most at an end.
The orange-flower-men appeared next with petitions, perfumed so strongly with musk that I was almost overcome with the scent; and for my own sake wag. obliged forthwith to license their handkerchiefs, especially when I found they had sweetened them at Charles Lillie's, and that some of their persons would not be altogether inoffensive without them. John Morphew, whom I have made the general of my dead men, acquainted me that the petitioners were all of that crder, and could produce certificates to prove it, if I required it. I was so well pleased with this way of their embalming themselves, that I commanded the aforesaid Morphew
to give it in orders to his whole army, that every one, who did not surrender himself up to be disposed of by the upholders, should use the same method to keep himself sweet during his present state of putrefaction.
I finished my session with great content of mind, reflecting upon the good I had done; for, however slightly men may regard these particularities and little follies in dress and behaviour, they lead to greater evils. The bearing to be laughed at for such singularities teaches us insensibly an impertinent fortitude, and enables us to bear public censure for things which more substantially deserve it. By this means they open a gate to folly, and oftentimes render a man so ridiculous, as to discredit his virtues and capacities, and unqualify them from doing any good in the world. Besides, the giving into uncommon habits of this nature is a want of that humble deference which is due to mankind, and, what is worst of all, the certain indication of some secret flaw in the mind of the person that commits them. When I was a young man, I remember a gentleman of great integrity and worth was very remarkable for wearing a broad belt and a hanger, instead of a fashionable sword, though in all other points a very well-bred man. I suspected him at first sight to have something wrong in him, but was not able for a long while to discover any collateral proofs of it. I watched him narrowly for six-and-thirty years; when at last, to the surprise of every body but myself, who had long expected to see the folly break out, he married his own cookmaid.
ADDISON AND STEELE.
THERE has not some years been such a tumult in our neighbourhood as this evening about six. At the lower end of the lane the word was given, that there was a great funeral coming by. The next moment came forward, and in a very hasty instead of solemn manner, a long train of lights; when at last a footman, in very high youth and health, with all his force ran through the whole art of beating the door of the house next to me, and ended his rattle with the true finishing rap. This did not only bring one to the door at which he knocked, but to that of every one in the lane in an instant. Among the rest, my country maid took the alarm, and, immediately running to me, toid nie there was a fine, fine lady, who had three men with burial torches making way before her, carried by two men upon poles, with looking-glasses on each side of her, and one glass also before, she herself appearing the prettiest that ever was. The girl was going on in her story, when the lady was come to my door in her chair, having mistaken the house. As soon as she entered, I saw she was Mr. Isaac's scholar, by her speaking air, and the becoming stop she made when she began her apology. You will be surprised, sir, said she, that I take this liberty, who am utterly a stranger to you; besides that it may be thought an indecorum that I visit a man. She made here a pretty hesitation, and held her fan to her face-Then, as if recovering her resolution, she proceededBut I think
have said that men of your age are of no sex ; therefore I may be as free with you as one
The lady did me the honour to consult me on some particular matters, which I am not at liberty to report. But be