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meaning, and immediately obeys my fignals. She has likewife modelled her family fo well, that when her little boy offers to pull me by the coat, or prattle in my face, his eldest fifter immediately calls him off, and bids him not difturb the gentleman. At my firft entring into the family, I was troubled with the civility of their rifing up to me every time I came into the room; but my landlady obferving that upon thefe occafions I always cried pifh, and went out again, has forbidden any fuch ceremony to be used in the house; fo that at prefent I walk into the kitchen or parlour without being taken notice of, or giving any interruption to the business or difcourfe of the family. The maid will ask her mistress (tho' I am by) whether the gentleman is ready to go to dinner, as the mistress (who is indeed an excellent housewife) fcolds at the fervants as heartily before my face as behind my back. In short, I move up and down the houfe, and enter into all companies with the fame liberty as a cat, or any other domestic animal, and am as little fufpected of telling any thing that I hear or fee.
I remember laft winter there were feveral young girls of the neighbourhood fitting about the fire with my landlady's daughters, and telling stories of spirits and apparations. Upon my opening the door, the young women broke off their difcourfe, but my landlady's daughters telling them that it was nobody but the gentleman (for that is the name that I go by in the neighbourhood, as well as in the family) they went on without minding me. I feated myfelf by the candle that stood on a table at one end of the room; and pretending to read a book that I took out of my pocket, heard feveral dreadful stories of ghofts as pale as ashes that had stood at the feet of a bed, or walked over a church-yard by moon-light; and of others that had been conjured into the Red-Sea, for disturbing people's reft, and drawing their curtains at midnight; with many other old womens fables of the like nature. As one spirit raised another, I obferved that at the end of every story the whole company clofed their ranks, and crouded about the fire. I took notice in panticular of a little boy, who was fo attentive to every ftory, that I am mistaken if he ventures to go to bed by himself this twelve-month. Indeed they talked fo long, that the imaginations of the whole affembly were manifeftly crazed, and, I am fure, will be the worfe for it as long as they live. I heard one of the girls, that had looked upon me over her fhoulder, afking the company how long I had been in the room, and whether I did not look paler than I used to do. This put me under fome apprehenfions that I should be forced to explain myfelf if I did not retire; for which reafon I took the candle in my hand, and went up into my chamber, not without wondering at this unaccountable weakness in reasonable creatures, that they should love to aftonish and terrify one another. Were I a father, I fhould take a particular care to preferve my children from thefe little horrors and imaginations, which they are apt to contract when they are young, and are not able to shake off when they are in years. I have known a foldier that has entered a breach, affrighted at his own fhadow, and look pale upon a little feratching at his door, who the day before had marched up against a battery of cannon. There are inftances of perfons, who have been terrified even to diftraction, at the figure of a tree, or the shaking of a bullruth. The truth of it is, I look upon a found imagination as the greateft blefling of life, next to a clear judgment and a good confcience. In the mean time, fince there are very few whose
minds are not more or lefs fubject to these dreadful thoughts and apprehenfions, we ought to arm our felves against them by the dictates of reafon and re ligion, "to pull the old woman out of our hearts". (as Perfius expreffes it in the motto of my paper) and extinguish thefe impertinent notions which we imbibed at a time that we were not able to judge of their abfurdity. Or if we believe, as many wife and good men have done, that there are fuch phantoms and apparitions as thofe I have been speaking of, let us endeavour to establish to ourselves an intereft in Him who holds the reins of the whole creation in his hand, and moderates them after fuch a manner, that it is impoffible for one being to break loofe upon another without his knowledge and permiffion.
-Nor think, though men were none, That Heav'n would want spectators, God want praife;
Millions of fpiritual creatures walk the earth
THURSDAY, MARCH 15. Dic mihi, fi fueris tu leo, qualis eris ?
MART Were you a lion, how would you behave? HERE is nothing that of late years has af forded matter of greater amulement to the town than Signior Nicolini's combat with a Lion in the Hay-Market, which has been very often ezhibited, to the general fatisfaction of most of the nobility and gentry in the kingdom of Great-Britain. Upon the firft rumour of this intended combat, it was confidently affirmed, and is still believed by many in both galleries, that there would be a tame Lion fent from the Tower every opera night, in order to be killed by Hydafpes. This report, though altogether groundlefs, fo univerfally prevailed in the upper regions of the play-houfe, that fome of the most refined politicians in thofe parcs of the audience gave it out in whisper, that the Lion was a coufin-german of the Tiger who made his appearance in King William's days, and that the fta e would be fupplied with lions at the publick expence, during
during the whole feffion. Many likewife were the conjectures of the treatment which this Lion was to meet with from the hands of Signior Nicolini: fome fuppofed that he was to fubdue him in recititavo. as Orpheus used to serve the wild beafts in his time, and afterwards to knock him on the head; fome fancied that the Lion would not pretend to lay his paws upon the hero, by reafon of the received opinion, that a Lion will not hurt a Virgin: feveral, who pretended to have feen the opera in Italy, had informed their friends, that the lion was to act a part in High-Dutch, and roar twice or thrice to a Thorough-Bafs, before he fell at the feet of Hydafpes. To clear up a matter that was fo variously reported, I have made it my business to examine whether this pretended Lion is really the favage he appears to be, or only a counterfeit.
But before I communicate my difcoveries, I muft acquaint the reader, that upon my walking behind the fcenes laft winter, as I was thinking on fomething elfe, I accidentally juftled againft a monftrous animal that extremely startled me, and, upon my nearer furvey of it, appeared to be a lion rampant. The lion, feeing me very much furprifed, told me, in a gentle voice, that I might come by him if I pleafed; "For," fays he, "I "do not intend to hurt any body." I thanked him very kindly, and passed by him; and in a little time after faw him leap upon the ftage, and act his part with very great applaufe. It has been obferved by feveral, that the Lion has changed his manner of acting twice or thrice fince his first appearance; which will not feem ftrange, when I acquaint my reader that the Lion has been changed upon the audience three feveral times. The firit Lion was a Candle-fnuffer, who, being a fellow of a tefty choleric temper, over-did his part, and would not fuffer himself to be killed fo cafily as he ought to have done; befides, it was obferved of him, that he grew more furly every time he came out of the Lion; and having dropt fome words in ordinary converfation, as if he had not fought his beft, and that he fuffered himfelf to be thrown upon his back in the fcuffile, and that he would wrestle with Mr. Nicolini for what he pleafed, out of his Lion's fkin, it was thought proper to difcard him; and it is verily believed, to this day, that had he been brought upon the flage another time, he would certainly have done mifchief. Befides it was objected against the firft Lion, that he reared himself fo high upon his hinder paws, and walked in fo erect a pofture, that he looked more like an old Man than a Lion.
The fecond Lion was a Tailor by trade, who belonged to the play-house, and had the character of a mild and peaceable man in his profeffion. If the former was too furious, this was too fheepith, for his part; infomuch, that after a fhort modeft walk upon the ftage, he would fall at the first touch of Hydafpes, without grappling with him, and giving him an opportunity of fhewing his variety of Italian trips: it is faid indeed, that that he once gave him a rip in his flesh-coloured doublet; but this was only to make work for himself, in his private character as a Tailor. I muft not omit that it was this fecond Lion who treated me with fo much humanity behind the f:ones.
He fays very handsomely, in his own excufe, that he does not act for gain, that he indulges an innocent pleasure in it; and that it is better to pafs away an evening in this manner, than in gaming and drinking; but at the fame time fays, with a very agreeable raillery upon himself, that if his name thould be known, the ill-natured world might call him, The Afs in the Lion's fin. This Gentleman's temper is made out of fuch a happy mixture of the mild and the choleric, that he outdoes both his predeceffors, and has drawn together greater audiences than have been known in the memory of man.
I must not conclude my narrative, without taking notice of a groundless report that has been raifed, to a Gentleman's difadvantage, of whom I must declare myself an admirer: namely, that Signior Nicolini and the Lion have been feen fitting peaceably by one another, and finoking a pipe together behind the scenes; by which their common enemies would infinuate, that it is but a ham combat which they reprefent upon the stage; but upon inquiry I find, that if any fuch corre fpondence has paffed between them, it was not till the combat was over, when the Lion was to be looked upon as dead, according to the received rules of the Drama. Befides, this is what is practifed every day in Weftminster-Hall, where nothing is more ufual than to fee a couple of Lawyers, who have been tearing each other to pieces in the court, embracing one another as foon as they are out of it.
I would not be thought, in any part of this relation, to reflect upon Signior Nicolini, who in acting this part only complies with the wretched tafte of his audience; he knows very well, that the Lion has many more admirers than himself; as they fay of the famous equeftrian statue on the PontNeuf at Paris, that more people go to see the horse, than the King who fits upon it. On the contrary, it gives me a juft indignation to see a perfon whofe action gives new majefty to kings, refolution to heroes, and foftnefs to lovers, thus finking from the greatnefs of his behaviour, and degraded into the character of the London 'Prentice. I have often wished, that our tragedians would copy after this great matter in action. Could they make the fame ufe of their arms and legs, and inform their faces with as fignificant looks and paffions, how glorious would an English tragedy appear with that action, which is capable of giving a dignity to the forced thoughts, cold conceits, and unnatural expreffions of an Italian opera. In the mean time, I have related this combat of the Lion, to fhew what are at present the reigning entertainments of the politer part of Great-Britain.
The acting Lion at prefent is, as I am informel, a Country-Gentleman, who does it for his diverfion, but defires his name may be concealed,
Audiences have often been reproached by writers for the coarfeness of their tafte; but our prefent grievance does not seem to be the want of a good tafte, but of common fenfe.
WAS reflecting this morning upon the spirit and humour of the public diverfions five-andtwenty years ago, and thofe of the prefent time; and lamented to myfelf, that, though in those
From my Den in the Hay-Market, March 15.
The following epiftle I find is from the undertaker of the Masquerade.
'that I cannot tell whether you were one of the company or not laft Tuesday; but if you were not, and still defign to come, I defire you would, 'for your own entertainment, please to admonish the town, that all perfons indifferently are not fit for this fort of diverfion. I could with, Sir, you 'could make them underftand, that it is a kind
I all have ftified
my refentment against your reflections upon < operas, till that of this day, wherein you plainly infinuate, that Signior Grimaldi and myself ⚫ have a correfpondence more friendly than is con'fiftent with the valour of his character, or the ⚫ fierceness of mine. I defire you would for your • own fake forbear fuch intimations for the fu
6 ture; and muft fay it is a great piece of ill< nature in you, to fhew fo great an efteem for a foreigner, and to difcourage a Lion that is C your own countryman.
I take notice of your fable of the Lion and 'Man, but am fo equally concerned in that matter, ⚫ that I fhall not be offended at whichfoever of the 'animals the fuperiority is given. You have mif' reprefented me, in faying that I am a courty'gentleman, who act only for my diverfion; whereas, had I ftill the fame woods to range in which I once had when I was a fox-hunter, I 'fhould not refign my manhood for a maintenance; • and affure you, as low as my circumstances are at 'prefent, I am fo much a man of honour, that I would fcorn to be any beaft for bread but a
I had no fooner ended this, than one of my landlady's children brought me in feveral others, with fome of which I fhall make up my prefent paper, they all having a tendency to the fame fubject, viz. the elegance of our prefent diversions.
'SIR, Covent-Garden, March. 13. HAVE been for twenty years Under-Sexton of this parish of St. Paul's Covent-Garden, ⚫ and have not miffed tolling in to prayers fix times in all thofe years; which office I have performed to my great fatisfaction, till this fortnight laft • paft, during which time I find my congregation ⚫ take the warning of my bell, morning and evening, to go to a puppet-fhow fet forth by one Pow⚫ell under the Piazzas. By this means, I have
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 fenators, and grave
politicians in the drefs of rakes. The misfortune ' of the thing is, that people dress themselves in 'what they have a mind to be, and not what the are fit for. There is not a girl in the town, but 'let her have her will in going to a mafque, and 'fhe fhall drefs as a fhepherdess. But let me beg
of them to read the Arcadia, or fome other good romance, before they appear in any fuch a cha⚫racter at my house. The last day we presented,
every body was fo rafhly habited, that when they came to speak to each other, a nymph with a 'crook had not a word to fay but in the pert stile ' of the pit bawdry; and a man in the habit of a philofopher was fpeechlefs, till an occafion of'fered of expreffing himself in the refufe of the tyring-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 defign to bear, and make the masquers preferve their characters in my affemblies, I hope you ' will allow there is a foundation laid for more elegant and improving gallantries than any the
town at present affords; and confequently, that you will give your approbation to the endeavours
HAVE obferved the rules of my mafque fo
Your most obedient humble fervant."
I am very glad the following epistle obliges me to mention Mr. Powell a fecond time in the fame
paper; for indeed there cannot be too great encouragement given to his-skill in motions, provided he is under proper restrictions.
< not only lost my two cuftomers, whom I used to place for fix-pence a-piece over-against Mrs. Rachael Eye-bright, but Mrs. Rachael herfelf is gone thither alfo. There now appear s among us none but a few ordinary people, who
come to church only to fay their prayers, fo that 'I have no work worth speaking of but on Sun' days. I have placed my fon at the Piazzas, to 'acquaint the ladies that the bell rings for church,
and that it ftands on the other fide of the Gar'den; but they only laugh at the child.
'I defire you will lay this before all the world, that I may not be made fuch a tool for the future, and that Punchinello may choose hours lefs ca• nonical. 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,'
HE Opera at the Hay-Market, and that under the little Piazza in Covent-Garden, being at present the two leading diverfions of the town, and Mr. Powell profeffing in his advertifements to fet up Whittington and his cat against Rinaldo and Armida, my curiofity led me the beginning of laft week to view both these performances, and make my observations upon them.
First therefore, I cannot but obferve that Mr. Powell wifely forbearing to give his company a bill of fare beforehand, every fcene is new and unexpected; whereas it is certain, that the Undertakers of the Hay-Market, having raised too great an expectation in their printed opera, very 'much disappoint the audience on the stage.
The King of Jerufalem is obliged to come from the city on foot, instead of being drawn in a tri" umphant chariot by white horses, as my operabook had promised me; and thus while I exD pected
pected Armida's dragons should rush forward to'wards 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 thun<der and lightning; though I cannot in this place ⚫omit doing juftice to the boy who had the direc⚫tion of the two painted dragons, and made them fpit fire and smoke; he flashed out his rofin in fuch juft proportions and in fuch due time, that I could not forbear conceiving hopes of his be ing one day a moft excellent player. I faw 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 obferve that Mr. Powell and the Undertakers had both the fame thought, and I think much about the fame time, of introducing ani⚫ mais on their several ftages, though indeed with 6 very different fuccefs. The Sparrows and Chaffinches at the Hay-Market fly as yet very irregularly over the ftage; and instead of perching on the trees and performing their parts, these young actors either get into the galleries, or put out the candles; whereas Mr. Powell has fo well difciplined his Pig, that in the firft fcene he and Punch dance a minuet together. I am informed however, that Mr. Powell refolves to excel his adverfaries in their own way; and introduce Larks in his next Opera of Sufanna, or Inno⚫cence betrayed, which will be exhibited next week with a pair of new Elders.
The moral of Mr. Powell's drama is violated, I confefs, by Punch's national reflections on the French, and King Harry's laying his leg upon the Queen's lap in too ludicrous a manner before fo great an affembly.
As to the mechanism and scenery, every thing indeed was uniform and of a piece, and the fcenes were managed very dexterously; which calls on me to take notice, that at the HayMarket the Undertakers forgetting to change their fide-fcenes, we were prefented with a profpect of the ocean in the midft of a delightful grove; and though the gentleman on the ftage had very much contributed to the beauty of the grove, by walking up and down between the trees, I must own I was not a little aftonished ⚫ to fee a well-dreffed young fellow, in a full-bottomed wig, appear in the midst of the fea, and without any vifible concern taking snuff.
I fhall only obferve one thing farther, in which both dramas agree; which is, that by the fqueak of their voices the heroes of each are eunuchs; and as the wit in both pieces is equal, I muft prefer the performance of Mr. Powell, because it is in our own Language.
'I am, &c,'
number of powdered footmen. Juft before the lady were a couple of beautiful pages that were ftuck among the harness, and by their gay dresses and fmiling features, looked like the elder brothers of the little boys that were carved and painted in every corner of the coach.
The lady was the unfortunate Cleanthe, wha afterwards gave an occafion to a pretty melancholy novel. She had for feveral years received the addreffes of a gentleman, whom after a long and intimate acquaintance the forfook, upon the account of this fhining equipage, which had been offered to her by one of great riches but a crazy conftitution. The circumstances in which I faw her, were, it feems, the difguifes only of a broken heart, and a kind of pageantry to cover distress; for in two months after she was carried to her grave with the fame pomp and magnificence! being fent thither partly by the lofs of one lover, and partly by the poffeffion of another.
I have often reflected with myself on this unaccountable humour in woman-kind, of being fmitten with every thing that is fhowy and fuperficial; and on the numberlefs ev.ls that befal the fex from this light fantastical disposition. I myself remember a young lady, that was very warmly folicited by a couple of importunate rivals, who, for several months together, did all they could to recommend themfelves by complacency of behaviour, and agreeablenefs of converfation. At length, when the competition was doubtful, and the lady undetermined in her choice, one of the young lovers very luckily bethought himfelf of adding a fupernumerary lace to his liveries, which had fo good an effect that he married her the very week after.
No 15. SATURDAY, MARCH 17.
OVID. Ars Am. i. 159. Light minds are pleas'd with trifles, W HEN I was in France, I used to gaze with great aftonishment at the fplendid equipages, and party-coloured habits, of that fantastic nation. I was one day in particular contemplating a lady, that fat in a coach adorned with gilded Cupids, and finely painted with the loves of Venus and Adonis. The coach was drawn by fix milk-white horfes, and loaden behind with the fame
The ufual converfation of ordinary women very much cherishes this natural weakness of being taken with outfide and appearance. Talk of a newmarried couple, and you immediately hear whether they keep their coach and fix, or eat in plate; mention the name of an abfent lady, and it is ten to one but you learn fomething of her gown and petticoat. A ball is a great help to difcourfe, and a birth-day furnishes converfation for a twelvemonth after. A furbelow of precious ftones, an hat buttoned with a diamond, a brocade waistcoat or petticoat, are fanding topicks. In fhort, they confider only the drapery of the fpecies, and never caft away a thought on thofe ornaments of the mind that make perfons illuftrous in themselves and useful to others. When women are thus perpetually dazzling one another's imaginations, and filling their heads with nothing but colours, it is no wonder that they are more attentive to the fuperficial parts of life than the folid and substantial bleffings of it. A girl who has been trained up in this kind of converfation, is in danger of every embroidered coat that comes in her way. A pair of fringed gloves may be her ruin. In a word, lace and ribbons, filver and gold galloons, with the like glittering gew-gaws, are fo many lures to women of weak minds or low educations, and when artificially difplayed, are able to fetch down the moft airy coquette from the wildeft of her flights
True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noife! it arifes, in the first the next, from the friendship and converfation of place, from the enjoyment of one's felf; and, in tude, and naturally haunts groves and fountains, a few felect companions; it loves fhade and folifields and meadows: in fhort, it feels every thing
it wants within itself, and receives no addition
which the raises in others. She flourishes in courts
Aurelia, though a woman of great quality, delights in the privacy of a country life, and paffes away a great part of her time in her own walks and gardens. Her husband, who is her bofom friend and companion in her folitudes, has been in love with her ever fince he knew her. They both abound with good fenfe, confummate virtue, and a mutual esteem; and are a perpetual entertainment to one another. Their family is under fo regular an œconomy, in its hours of devotion and repast, employment and diverfion, that it looks like a little commonwealth within itself. They often go into company, that they may return with the greater delight to one another; and fometimes live in town, not to enjoy it so properly as to grow weary of it, that they may renew in themselves the relish of a country life. By this means they are happy in each other, beloved by their children, adored by their fervants, and are become the envy, or rather the delight, of all that know them.
How different to this is the life of Fulvia! fhe confiders her husband as her steward, and looks upon difcretion and good houfwifry as little domestic virtues, unbecoming a Woman of Quality. She thinks life loft in her own family, and fancies herself out of the world when she is not in the Ring, the Play - houfe, or the Drawing-room; fhe lives in a perpetual motion of body, and reftleffness of thought, and is never easy in any one place, when the thinks there is more company in another. The miffing of an opera the first night would be more afflicting to her than the death of a child. She pities all the valuable part of her own fex, and calls every woman of a prudent, modeft, and retired life, a poor-spirited unpolished creature. What a mortification would it be to Fulvia, if she knew that her setting herself to view is but expofing herself, and that the grows contemptible by being confpicuous.
I cannot conclude my paper, without obferving that Virgil has very finely touched upon this female paffion for dress and show, in the character of Camilla; who, though fhe feems to have fhaken off all the other weakneffes of her fex, is ftill described as a woman in this particular. The poet tells us, that after having made a great flaughter of the enemy, the unfortunately caft her eye on a Trojan, who wore an embroidered tunic, a beautiful coat of mail, with a mantle of the finest purple. "A golden bow," says he, "hung 66 upon his fhoulder; his garment was buckled "with a golden clafp, and his head was covered "with an helmet of the fame fhining metal." The Amazon immediately fingled out this welldreffed warrior, being feized with a woman's longing for the pretty trappings that he was adorned with:
Totumque incauta per agmen Famineo præda & fpoliorum ardebat amore. Æn. xi. ver. 782. This heedlefs purfuit after these glittering trifies, the poet (by a nice concealed moral) reprefents to have been the deftruction of his female hero.
MONDAY, MARCH 19.
Quod verum atque docens curo & rogo, & omnis in
HAVE received a letter, defiring me to be very fatirical upon the little Muff that is now in fafhion; another informs me of a pair of filver Garters buckled below the knee, that have been lately feen at the Rainbow Coffee-houfe in Fleetftreet; a third fends me an heavy complaint against fringed gloves. To be brief, there is scarce an ornament of either sex which one or other of my correfpondents has not inveighed against with some bitterness, and recommended to my obfervation. I must therefore, once for all, inform my readers, that it is not my intention to fink the dignity of this my paper with reflections upon red-heels or top-knots, but rather to enter into the paffions of mankind, and to correct those depraved fentiments that give birth to all those little extravagancies which appear in their outward dress and behaviour. Foppish and fantastic ornaments are only indications of vice, not criminal in themselves. Extinguish vanity in the mind, and you naturally retrench the little fuperfluities of garniture and equipage. The bloffoms will fall of themselves when the root that nourishes them is destroyed.
I shall therefore, as I have faid, apply my reme dies to the first feeds and principles of an affected dress, without defcending to the drefs itfelf; though at the fame time I must own, that I have thoughts of creating an officer under me, to be entituled, "The Cenfor of fmall Wares," and of allotting him one day in a week for the execution of fuch his office. An operator of this nature might act under me with the fame regard as a furgeon to a phyfician; the one might be employed in healing thofe blotches and tumours which break out in the body, while the other is fweetening the blood and rectifying the conftitution. To fpeak truly, the young people of both fexes are fo wonderfully apt to shoot out into long fwords or fweeping trains, bushy head-dreffes, or full-bottomed perriwigs, with feveral other incumbrances of drefs, that they ftand in need of being pruned very frequently, left they should be oppreffed with ornaments, and over-run with the luxuriance of their habits. I am much in doubt, whether I fhould give the preference to a quaker that is trimmed close and almoft cut to the quick, or to a beau that is loaden with fuch a redundance of excrefcences. I must therefore defire my correfpondents to let me know how they approve my project, and whether they think the erecting of fuch a petty cenforship may not turn to the emolument of the Public; for I would not do any thing of this nature rafhly and without advice.
There is another set of correspondents to whom I must addrefs myself in the second place; I mean fuch as fill their letters with private fcandal and black accounts of particular perfons and families. The world is fo full of ill-nature, that I have lampoons fent me by people who cannot fpell, and fatires compofed by thofe who fearce know how to write. By the laft poft in particular, I received a packet of scandal which is not legible; and have a whole bundle of letters in womens hands that are full of blots and calumnies, infomuch, that when I fee the name of Calia, Phillis, Pa D 2