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• In this case, a certain quantity of my white or red cordial, which you will, is an easy, but an infallible remedy. It awakens the judgment, quickens the memory, ripens the understanding, disperses melancholy, cheers the heart; in a word, restores the whole man to himself and his friends, without the least pain or indisposition to the patient. To be taken only in the evening, in a reasonable quantity, before going to bed. Note; My bottles are sealed with three flower-de-luces and a bunch of grapes. Beware of counterfeits. I am your most humble servant, &c.'
Whatever has been said against the use of wine, upon the supposition that it enfeebles the mind, and renders it unfit for the duties of life, bears forcibly to the advantages of that delicious juice in cases where it only heightens conversation, and brings to light agreeable talents, which otherwise would have lain concealed under the oppression of an unjust modesty. I must acknowledge I have seen many of the temper mentioned by this correspondent, and own wine may very allowably be used, in a degree above the supply of mere necessity, by such as labour under melancholy, or are tongue-tied by modesty. It is certainly a very agreeable change, when we see a glass raise a lifeless conversation into all the pleasures of wit and good-humour. But when Caska adds to his natural impudence the fluster of a bottle, that which fools called fire, when he was sober, all men abhor as outrage when he is drunk. Thus he, that in the morning was only saucy, is in the evening tumultuous. It makes one sick to hear one of these fellows say, 'they love a friend and a bottle.' Noisy mirth has something too rustic in it to be considered without terror by men of politeness: but while the discourse improves in a well-chosen company, from the addition of spirits which flow from moderate cups, it must be acknowledged, that leisure-time cannot be more agreeably, or perhaps more usefully employed, than at such meetings. There is a certain prudence in this, and all other circumstances which makes right or wrong in the conduct of ordinary life. Sir Jeoffrey Wildacre has nothing so much at heart, as that his son should know the world betimes. For this end he introduces him among the sots of his own age, where the boy learns to laugh at his father from the familiarity with which he sees him treated by his equals. This the old fellow calls “ living well with his heir, and teaching him to be too much his friend to be impatient for his estate. But, for the more exact regulation of society in this and other matters, I shall publish' tables of the characters and relations among men, and by them instruct the town in making sets and companies for a bottle. This humour of Sir Jeoffrey shall be taken notice of in the first place; for there is, methinks, a sort of incest in drunkenness, and sons are not to behold fathers stripped of all reverence.
It is shocking in nature for the young to see those, whom they should have an awe for, in circumstances of contempt. I shall therefore utterly forbid, that those whom nature should admonish to avoid too gross familiarities, shall be received into parties of pleasure where there is the least danger of
I should run through the whole doctrine of drinking, but that my thoughts are at present too much employed in the modelling my Court of Honour,' and altering the seats, benches, bar, and canopy, from that of the court wherein I, last winter, sat upon causes of less moment. By the way, I shall take an opportunity to examine, what method is to be taken to make joiners and other artificers get out of a house they have once entered; not forgetting to tie them under proper regulations. It is for want of such rules that I have, a day or two longer than I expected, been tormented and deafened with hammers; insomuch, that I neither can pursue this discourse, nor answer the following and many other letters of the highest importance.
"MR. BICKERSTAFF, • We are man and wife, and have a boy and a girl; the lad seventeen, the maiden sixteen. We are quarrelling about some parts of their education. I Ralph cannot bear that I must pay for the girl's learning on the spinnet, when I know she has no ear. I Bridget have not patience to have my son whipped because he cannot make verses, when I know he is a blockhead. Pray, Sir, inform us, is it absolutely necessary that all who wear breeches must be taught to rhyme; all in petticoats to touch an instrument? Please to interpose in this and the like cases, to end much solid distress which arises from trifling causes, as it is common in wedlock, and
wedlock, and you will very much oblige us and yours,
N° 253. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1710.
Pietate gravem ac meritis si fortè virum quem
VIRG. Æn. i. 155.
1.-DRYDEN. From my own Apartment, November 20. Extract of the Journal of the Court of Honour, 1710.
Die Lunæ, vicesimo Novembris, horâ nonâ antemeridiana. The court being sat, an oath prepared by the Censor was administered to the assistants on his right hand, who were all sworn upon their honour. The women on his left hand took the same oath upon their reputation. Twelve gentlemen of the horseguards were impannelled, having unanimously chosen Mr. Alexander Truncheon, who is their right hand man in the troop, for their foreman in the jury. Mr. Truncheon immediately drew his sword, andy holding it with the point towards his own body, presented it to the Censor. Mr. Bickerstaff received it; and, after having surveyed the breadth of the blade, and sharpness of the point, with more than ordinary attention, returned it to the foreman in a very graceful manner.
The rest of the jury, upon the delivery of the sword to their foreman, drew all of them together as one man, and saluted the bench with such an air, as signified the most resigned submission to those who commanded them, and the greatest magnanimity to execute what they should command.
Mr. Bickerstaff, after having received the compliments on his right hand, cast his eye upon
the left, where the whole female jury paid their respects by a low courtesy, and by laying their hands upon their mouths. Their forewoman was a professed Platonist, that had spent much of her time in exhorting the sex to set a just value upon their persons, and to make the men know themselves.
There followed a profound silence, when at length, after some recollection, the Censor, who continued hitherto uncovered, put on his hat with great dignity; and, after having composed the brims of it in a manner suitable to the gravity of his character, he gave the following charge: which was received with silence and attention, that being the only applause which he admits of, or is ever given in his presence.
· The nature of my office, and the solemnity of this occasion, requiring that I should open my first session with a speech, I shall cast what I have to say under two principal heads.
. Under the first, I shall endeavour to shew the necessity and usefulness of this new-erected court; and, under the second, I shall give a word of advice and instruction to every constituent part of it.
As for the first, it is well observed by Phædrus, a heathen poet,
Nisi utile est quod facimus, frustra est gloria. Which is the same, ladies, as if I should say, it would be of no reputation for me to be president of a court which is of no benefit to the public.
Now the advantages that may arise to the weal-public from this institution, will more plainly appear, if we consider what it suffers for the want of it. Are not our streets daily filled with wild pieces of justice, and random penalties? Are not crimes undetermined, and reparations disproportioned? How often have we seen the lie punished by death, and the liar himself deciding his own cause! nay, not only acting the judge, but the executioner! Have we not