Obrázky stránek

of his family, and that therefore he thought it the most advisable to wear out the memory of the fact, by marrying him to his daughter. Accordingly Eginhart was called in, and acquainted by the emperor, that he should no longer have any pretence of complaining his services were not rewarded, for that the Princess Imma should be given him in marriage, with a dower suitable to her quality; which was soon after performed accordingly.


No. 182. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1711.

Plus aloës quàm mellis habet.

The bitter overbalances the sweet.

JUV. SAT. vi, 180.

As all parts of human life come under my observation, my reader must not make uncharitable inferences from my speaking knowingly of that sort of crime which is at present treated of. He will, I hope, suppose I know it only from the letters of correspondents, two of which you shall have, as follow.


"It is wonderful to me that among the many enormities which you have treated of, you have not mentioned that of wenching, and particularly the ensnaring part. I mean that it is a thing very fit for your pen, to expose the villany of the practice of deluding women. You are to know, sir, that I

myself am a woman who have been one of the unhappy that have fallen into this misfortune, and that by the insinuation of a very worthless fellow, who served others in the same manner, both before my ruin, and since that time. I had, as soon as the rascal left me, so much indignation and resolution, as not to go upon the town, as the phrase is, but took to work for my living in an obscure place, out of the knowledge of all with whom I was before acquainted.

"It is the ordinary practice and business of life with a set of idle fellows about this town, to write letters, send messages, and form appointments with little raw unthinking girls, and leave them after possession of them, without any mercy, to shame, infamy, poverty, and disease. Were you to read the nauseous impertinences which are written on these occasions, and to see the silly creatures sighing over them, it could not but be matter of mirth as well as pity. A little 'prentice girl of mine has been for some time applied to by an Irish fellow, who dresses very fine, and struts in a laced coat, and is the admiration of seamstresses, who are under age in town. Ever since I have had some knowledge of the matter, I have debarred my 'prentice from pen, ink, and paper. But the other day he bespoke some cravats of me: I went out of the shop, and left his mistress to put them up in a bandbox in order to be sent to him when his man called. When I came into the shop again, I took occasion to send her away, and found in the bottom of the box written these words, Why would you ruin a harmless creature that loves you?' then in the lid, 'There is no resisting Strephon:' I searched a little further, and found in the rim of the box, 'At eleven o'clock at night come in a hackney-coach at the end


of our street.' This was enough to alarm me; I sent away the things, and took my measures accordingly. An hour or two before the appointed time I examined my young lady, and found her trunk stuffed with impertinent letters and an old scroll of parchment in Latin, which her lover had sent her as a settlement of fifty pounds a year. Among other things, there was also the best lace I had in my shop to make him a present for cravats. I was very glad of this last circumstance, because I could very conscientiously swear against him that he had enticed my servant away, and was her accomplice in robbing me: I procured a warrant against him accordingly. Every thing was now prepared, and the tender hour of love approaching, I who had acted for myself in my youth the same senseless part, knew how to manage accordingly; therefore, after having locked up my maid, and not being so much unlike her in height and shape, as in a huddled way not to pass for her, I delivered the bundle designed to be carried off, to her lover's man, who came with the signal to receive them. Thus I followed after to the coach, where when I saw his master take them in, I cried out, thieves! thieves! and the constable with his attendants seized my expecting lover. I kept myself unobserved till I saw the crowd sufficiently increased, and then appeared to declare the goods to be mine; and had the satisfaction to see my man of mode put into the round-house, with the stolen wares by him, to be produced in evidence against him the next morning. This matter is notoriously known to be fact; and I have been contented to save my 'prentice, and take a year's rent of this mortified lover, not to appear further in the matter. This was some penance; but, sir, is this enough for a villany of much more pernicious con

[ocr errors]

sequence than the trifles for which he was to have been indicted? Should not you, and all men of any parts or honour, put things upon so right a foot, as that such a rascal should not laugh at the imputation of what he was really guilty, and dread being accused of that for which he was arrested?

"In a word, Sir, it is in the power of you, and such as I hope you are, to make it as infamous to rob a poor creature of her honour as her clothes. I leave this to your consideration, only take leave, which I cannot do without sighing, to remark to you, that if this had been the sense of mankind thirty years ago, I should have avoided a life spent in poverty and shame.

"I am, Sir,

"Your most humble servant,



"I am a man of pleasure about town, but by the stupidity of a dull rogue of a justice of peace, and an insolent constable, upon the oath of an old harridan, am imprisoned here for theft, when I designed only fornication. The midnight magistrate, as he conveyed me along, had you in his mouth, and said, this would make a pure story for the Spectator. I hope, sir, you won't pretend to wit, and take the part of dull rogues of business. The world is so altered of late years, that there was not a man who would not knock down a watchman in my behalf, but I was carried off with as much triumph as if I had been a pickpocket. At this rate, there is an end of all the wit and humour in the world. The time was when all the honest whoremasters in the neighbourhood would have rose against the cuckolds in my rescue. If fornication is to be scandalous, half the fine things

that have been writ by most of the wits of the last age may be burned by the common hangman. Harkee, Mr. Spec, do not be queer; after having done some things pretty well, don't begin to write at that rate that no gentleman can read thee.. Be true to love, and burn your Seneca. You do not expect me to write my name from hence, but I am, "Your unknown humble," &c.

"Round-House, September 9."


No. 183. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1711.

Ίδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα,
Ιδμεν δ' εὖτ ̓ ἐθέλωμεν, ἀληθέα μυθήσασθαι.

Sometimes fair truth in fiction we disguise;
Sometimes present her naked to men's eyes.


FABLES were the first pieces of wit that made their appearance in the world, and have been still highly valued not only in times of the greatest simplicity, but among the most polite ages of mankind. Jotham's fable of the trees is the oldest that is extant, and as beautiful as any which have been made since that time. Nathan's fable of the poor man and his lamb† is likewise more ancient than any that is extant besides the above-mentioned, and had so good an effect, as to convey instruction to the ear of a king without offending it, and to bring the † 2 Sam. xii. 1–4.

* Judges ix. 8-15.

« PředchozíPokračovat »