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Author: Falstaffe, Sir John
Title: The Theater (1720)
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): falstaffe; john falstaffe; theatre; tuesday; every tuesday; saturday
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Title: The Theater (1720)


Author: Sir John Falstaffe

Release Date: June 7, 2005  [eBook #15999]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE THEATER (1720)***


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The Augustan Reprint Society, Series Four: No. 1, May, 1948

THE THEATRE

SIR JOHN FALSTAFFE

1720

With an Introduction by John Loftis






GENERAL EDITORS

RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan
EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles
H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles


ASSISTANT EDITOR

W. EARL BRITTON, University of Michigan


ADVISORY EDITORS

EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington
BENJAMIN BOYCE, University of Nebraska
LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, University of Michigan
CLEANTH BROOKS, Yale University
JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia University
ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago
SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota
ERNEST MOSSNER, University of Texas
JAMES SUTHERLAND, Queen Mary College, London


Lithoprinted from copy supplied by author

by

Edwards Brothers, Inc.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

1948




INTRODUCTION


_The Theatre_, by "Sir John Falstaffe", is according to its author a
continuation of Richard Steele's periodical of the same name. Shortly after
Steele brought his paper to a close on April 5, 1720, the anonymous author
who called himself "Falstaffe" appropriated his title; or if we prefer
Falstaffe's own account of the matter, he was bequeathed the title upon the
decease of Steele's "Sir John Edgar". At any rate, the new series of
_Theatres_ was begun on April 9, 1720, and continued to appear twice a week
for eleven numbers until May 14. On Tuesdays and Saturdays Falstaffe
entertained the town with a pleasant essay in the tradition established by
_The Tatler_.

But the paper of April 9, the first of the new _Theatres_, was only
nominally the first of a series; Falstaffe, who numbered the paper
"sixteen", had already written fifteen papers called _The Anti-Theatre_ in
answer to Steele's _Theatre_. The demise of Steele's periodical merely
afforded him an opportunity of changing his title; his naturally became
inappropriate when Steele's paper was discontinued and the shorter title
was probably thought to be more attractive to readers. Falstaffe made no
attempt to pass his papers off as the work of his famous rival, to gain
popularity for them through the reputation of Steele. Indeed, the
antagonism which existed between the two men would have made such an act of
deception an unlikely one.

Steele's _The Theatre_, his last periodical, had been written for a
controversial purpose; by his own admission he wrote it to arouse support
for himself in a dispute in which he was engaged with the Lord Chamberlain,
the Duke of Newcastle. Steele, who by the authority of a Royal Patent was
governor of the Company of Comedians acting in Drury Lane, insisted that
his authority in the theatre was not respected by the Lord Chamberlain, the
officer of the Royal Household traditionally charged with supervision of
theatrical matters. Newcastle intervened in the internal affairs of Drury
Lane and, when Steele protested, expelled him from the theatre. Steele
could do nothing but submit, though he retaliated with a series of bitter
attacks on the Duke in _The Theatre_.

Newcastle found defenders, of whom one of the strongest was Falstaffe, who
wrote in direct opposition to Steele's "Sir John Edgar", openly attempting
to provoke that knight to a journalistic contest. But Edgar gave scant
attention to his essays, though they were vigorously written and presented
strong arguments in defense of the Lord Chamberlain's intervention in Drury
Lane affairs. Steele acknowledged the first number of _The Anti-Theatre_
(it appeared on February 15, 1720) in the fourteenth number of his own
paper, praising Falstaffe for his promise not to "intrude upon the private
concerns of life" in the debate which was to follow, but thereafter he all
but ignored his new rival. With the exception of a brief allusion in _The
Theatre_, No. 17 (an allusion which Falstaffe was quick to take up), Steele
made no more references to the other periodical. For a time Falstaffe
continued to answer the arguments Steele advanced in protest against the
Lord Chamberlain's action, but finding that he was unable to provoke a
response, he gave up the debate. After his ninth number of March 14, he had
little more to say about Steele or Drury Lane.

Falstaffe, however, did not stop writing when he ceased defending
Newcastle's action. _The Anti-Theatre_ continued to come out twice a week
until the fifteenth number appeared on Monday, April 4. And in that paper
there was no indication that the periodical was to end or was to be changed
in any way. But on the day after, April 5, Steele issued _The Theatre_, No.
28, signed with his own name, which he announced would be the last in the
series. As no more _Anti-Theatres_ were known to have appeared after the
fifteenth, it has generally been assumed (though as we now know,
erroneously) that Falstaffe took his cue from Edgar and abandoned his own
series.

But there has long been some reason to believe that Falstaffe did not cease
writing completely after the fifteenth _Anti-Theatre_. Though nothing was
known of his later work, a newspaper advertisement of his _The Theatre_ was
noted. But lacking any more definite information, scholars have doubted
the existence of the periodical. A volume in the Folger Shakespeare
Library, however, removes the doubt. There, bound with a complete set of
the original _Theatre_ by Sir John Edgar, are the ten numbers of the later
_Theatre_ which are reproduced here. These papers include the entire run of
Falstaffe's "continuation" with the exception of one number, the
nineteenth, which has apparently been lost. So far as is known, the copies
in the Folger are unique.

The continuation of _The Theatre_ bears little trace of the controversial
bitterness present in Steele's paper of that name or in some of the early
numbers of _The Anti-Theatre_. Except in the mock will in No. 16, there is
no reference to Steele's dispute with Newcastle in the entire series. Nor,
in spite of the title, is there any discussion of theatrical matters. As a
source of information about the stage, it is virtually without value. But
if it be accepted as merely another of the gracefully written series of
literary essays which were so abundant in the early eighteenth century, its
value and charm are apparent. The unidentified author was an accomplished
scholar, and he wrote on a variety of subjects which have not lost their
appeal. The interest aroused by the essays is perhaps inseparable from our
historical interest in the life and manners of the time, but it is none the
less genuine. Perhaps nowhere more than in the personal essays about
subjects of contemporary importance--of which these are examples--is there
a more pleasing record of the social and intellectual life of a period.

Of the ten essays reproduced here, probably the first (No. 16) is the only
one which contains allusions which will not be generally understood by
scholars. In this paper, in the account of the death of Sir John Edgar and
in the transcript of Edgar's will, there are references to Steele's dispute
with Newcastle over the control of Drury Lane Theatre. Falstaffe
facetiously recalls several points which were debated in the journalistic
war provoked by Steele's loss of his governorship, but in themselves the
points are of too little significance to merit explanation.

The several allusions to the South Sea Bubble in these essays will be
easily recognized. In Nos. 21, 22, and 26, Falstaffe considers the
absurdities engendered by the Bubble (as he had previously in _The
Anti-Theatre_, Nos. 10, 11, 12, and 14), exhibiting a healthy distrust of
the fever of stock-jobbing then at its height. Though less extreme than
Steele in his criticism of the South Sea Company, Falstaffe shows himself
to have understood several months in advance of the crash the fundamental
unsoundness of the wave of speculation produced by the company's policies.

The essay on duelling (No. 17) was probably suggested to Falstaffe by a
bill then pending in Parliament to make the practice unlawful. No other of
his essays resembles more closely those of his predecessor, Steele, who
during a lifetime of writing carried on a personal campaign to arouse
opposition to duelling. In Steele's own _Theatre_, there are two essays
devoted to the subject (Nos. 19 and 26).

One of the most interesting of Falstaffe's papers is his twenty-fourth: his
discussion of the recently published memoirs of the deaf and dumb
fortuneteller, Duncan Campbell, memoirs which we know to have been written
by Daniel Defoe. And from Falstaffe's conspicuous reference to _Robinson
Crusoe_ in the paper, it seems evident that he also knew the identity of
the author. What we have then is, in effect, a contemporary review of
Defoe's book. Maintaining an air of seriousness, Falstaffe examines the
extravagant assertions made so confidently by Defoe, ironically suggesting
the implausibility and absurdity of some of them. Falstaffe's
matter-of-fact comments are well adapted to exposing the incredibility of
the similarly matter-of-fact narrative of Defoe.

Who Sir John Falstaffe was we do not know. No clue to his identity has been
discovered. But from the essays themselves we learn something of his tastes
and predilections. A strong interest in classical antiquity is apparent in
numerous allusions to ancient history and mythology, allusions particularly
plentiful in _The Anti-Theatre_; an intelligent reverence for the writings
of Shakespeare may be observed in a series of admiring references; and
from his repeated remarks about Spain and Spanish literature, both in _The
Anti-Theatre_ and in _The Theatre_, we may probably conclude that he had
some special knowledge of that country and its literature. But all of this
can be but speculation. We know nothing positively about Falstaffe except
that he wrote a series of engaging essays.

Falstaffe's _Theatre_ is reproduced, with permission, from the papers in
the Folger Shakespeare Library.

John Loftis
Princeton University




Numb. XVI

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

     _I am Myself, but call me What you please._

     South. in Oroon.

Saturday, _April 9. 1720._


Men, that like myself, set up for being Wits, and dictating to the World in
a censorial Way, should like Oracles endeavour to be barely heard, but
never have it distinguish'd from whence the Voice comes. _Faith_ and
_Reputation_ have ever been built on _Doubt_ and _Mystery_, and sometimes
the Art of being _unintelligible_ does not a little advance the Credit of a
Writer. There are many Reasons why we, who take upon Us the Task of Diurnal
or Weekly Lucubrations, should be like the River _Nilus_, sending abroad
fertile Streams to every Quarter, and still keeping our Heads undiscover'd.
But why should I be compell'd to give Reasons for every thing? _Were
Reasons as plenty as Blackberries_, as my worthy Ancestor was wont to say,
_I would not give a Reason upon Compulsion_.

I have confess'd to the World I am a _Knight_ (nor am I asham'd to own it,
tho' 'tis a Condescension as Knighthood goes;) and my Name is _John
Falstaffe_; must they have too a Tree of my Pedigree, and a Direction to my
Lodgings? 'Tis ill-Manners to pluck the Masque off, when we would not be
known: besides that, Curiosity has lost Men many a Blessing, and plung'd
the Discoverers into signal Calamities; as witness _Oedipus_, and the
Oracle, _Lot's_ Wife, _Orpheus_ and _Eurydice_, and several other _true_
and _ancient_ Histories, which I have something else to do than think of at
present.

It was an Opinion growing apace in the Town, that Sir _John Edgar_ and I
were one and the same Man: but from what Tract or Circumstance this Notion
sprung, I can neither learn nor guess. I mounted the Stage as the
Adversary, and he accepted my Challenge: upon which I attack'd him with
such Weapons as Men of Learning commonly use against one another, yet he
declin'd the Combat. I was by This in Generosity compell'd to desist from
pursuing him, yet every now and then I took upon me to reprimand him, when
I observ'd him too free in the Use of certain Figures in Rhetorick, which
are the common Dialect of a Part of the Town famous for _good Fish_ and
_Female Orators_. Thus he continued his Course of Writing, sometimes very
obscure, sometimes too plain: according as either Vapours, or Spleen, or
Love, or Resentment, or _French_ Wine predominated; which I, by my Skill in
Natural Philosophy observing, thought it advisable to leave him to himself,
till the Court of Chancery should appoint him a proper Guardian. I cannot
deny, but that we shook Hands behind the Curtain, and have been very good
Friends for these eight Papers last, have been merry without any Gall, he
regarding me as a Gentleman Philosopher, and I looking upon him as an
inoffensive Humorist.

I confess that it contributes much to my Peace of Soul, that we were
reconcil'd before his Departure from this Stage of Business and of Life.
The Reader will hereby understand that Sir _John_ is dead: It is for this
Reason that I appear in his Dress, that I assume his _Habit de Guerre_, for
Sir John chose me, from among all Men living, to be his sole Executor. The
Printer had no _black Letter_ by him, otherwise this Paper (as in Decency
it ought) should have appear'd in Mourning: however I shall use as much
Ceremony as the Time will allow; and, as _Hob_ did in the Farce by the Man
that hang'd himself, _I take up his Cloak, and am chief Mourner_.

We never can do the Memory of a Great Man more Justice, than by being
particular in his Conduct and Behaviour at the Point of Death. Sir _John_,
tho' a Wit, took no Pains to shew it at his latest Hour, that is, he did
not dye like one of those _prophane_ Wits, who bid the Curtains be drawn,
and said _the Farce of Life was ended_. This is making our Warfare too
slight and ludicrous: He departed with more Grace, and, like the memorable
Type of his Prudence, _Don Quixote de la Mancha_, where he perceiv'd his
Sand was running out, he repented the Extravagance of his
_Knight-Errantry_, and ingenuously confess'd his _Family Name_. He seem'd
entirely dispos'd to dye in his Wits, and no doubt, did so: tho' by
Intervals, 'tis thought he was a little delirious, talk'd of taking Coach
to _Fishmongers_ Hall, broke into imperfect Sentences about _Annuities_ and
_South-Sea_, and mutter'd something to himself of making Dividends of _Ten
per Cent_ at least _six times a Year_.

If Sir _John_ appear'd by all the Actions of his Life a Friend to Mankind,
he certainly did so in a great Measure at his Death, by the charitable
Disposition of what he died possess'd. I have given an Abridgment of his
Will, that the World may see he left his Legacies only where they were
truly wanted: Neither Favour nor Prejudice had any Influence over him in
his last Minutes, but he had nothing more at Heart than the Necessities of
his Legatees.

'_In Nomini Domini_, Amen. I _John Edgar_, &c. _Knight_, being sound in
Body, but imperfect of Mind and Memory, do make this my last Will, &c.

'_Item_, As to such personal Estate which I have the good Fortune to leave
behind me, I give and dispose thereof, as follows: And, best, I give and
bequeath all and singular my _Projects_ to the Society of _Stockjobbers_,
Share and Share alike, because I am sure they will be never the better for
them.

'_Item_, I give and bequeath all my Right, Property and Share in the
_transparent Bee-hive_ to my indulgent Friend and Patron, his Grace the
Duke of ----, because he has taken such a particular Fancy to it.

'_Item_, I give and bequeath the full _Profit_ of all those _Plays_ which I
have _Intentions of writing_, if it shall happen that I live to the Poor of
the Parish in which I shall dye: desiring it may be distributed by my
Executor, and _not come into the Hands of the_ Church-wardens.

'_Item_, I give and bequeath my _Goosequilt_, with which I demolish'd
_Dunkirk_, to such Person as shall appear most strenuous for the Delivery
of _Port Mahon_ and _Gibraltar_ to the _Spaniards_.

'And as to such _Qualifications_ wherewith I am endow'd, which have always
serv'd me in the Nature of _personal Estate_, I dispose thereof as follows;
First, I give and bequeath my _Politicks_ to the Directors of the _Academy_
of _Musick_, my _Religion_ to the Bishop of B----, my _Eloquence_ to the
most distrest Author in _Grubstreet_, who writes the _full Accounts_ of
_Murthers & Rapes_, and _Fires_, and my _Obscurity_ to somebody that is
inclin'd to turn _Casuist in Divinity_.

'_Item_, I give my _Beauty_ to Mr. _Dennis_, because he had a Mind to steal
it from me while I was alive.

'_Item_, I give my _Wits_ to my Friends at _Button's_, my _Good Manners_ to
the _Deputy Governors_ of _Drury Lane_ Theatre; and my _Charity_ to the
_married_ and _unmarried Ladies_ of the said Theatre; and lest Disputes
should arise about the Distribution thereof, it being too little for them
All, my Desire is, that they be determin'd in their Shares by Lot.

'And I make and appoint Sir _John Falstaffe_, Knight, my full and whole
Executor, and residuary Legatee, desiring him to continue my Paper of the
_Theatre_, but after his own Stile and Method; and desiring likewise that
the Sum of Forty Shillings may be given to the Boys of the _Charity School_
of St. _Martin_ in the Fields, to write me an _Elegy_ any Time within
_Eighteen_ Years after my Decease.'

He left several other Legacies to the Theatrical _Viceroys_, whose Interest
he had always so much at Heart, such as, his _Humility_, his _Learning_ and
_Judgment_ in _Dramatick Poetry_; but these being Things _which they always
lived without_, and which we are assur'd, _they will never claim_, we
thought it needless to insert them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XVII.

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

     --_Animasque in vulnere ponunt._

     Virg.

Tuesday, _April 12. 1720._


The Incident of a late _Prize_ fought at one of our Theatres, has given me
some Occasion to amuse myself with the Rise, and Antiquity of _Duelling_;
and to enquire what Considerations have given it such Credit, as to make it
practicable as well in all Countries, as in all Times. Religion and Civil
Policy have ever declar'd against the Custom of receiving _Challenges_, and
deny that any Man has a Right, by a Tryal at _Sharps_, to destroy his
Fellow-Creature. History, 'tis true; both sacred and prophane, is full of
Instances of these sort of Combats: but very few are recorded to have
happen'd between Friends, none on the light and idle Misconstruction of
Words, which has set most of our modern _Tilters_ at Work. The _Athenians_
made it penal by a Law so much as to call a Man a _Murtherer_: and the
Detestation of Antiquity is so plain to this inhuman Kind of Proceeding,
that when _Eteocles_ and _Polynices_ had kill'd each other upon the
important Quarrel of disputed Empire, the Government order'd the
Challenger's Body to be thrown out as a Prey to the Dogs and Birds, and
made it Death for any one to sprinkle Dust over it, or give it the least
honorary Marks of Interment.

The _Duelling_ so much in Fashion for a few late Centuries is so scandalous
to _Christianity_ and _common Understanding_, and grounded upon none of
those specious Occasions which at first made it warrantable, that it is
high Time the Wisdom of Commonwealths should interpose to discountenance
and abrogate a pernicious Liberty, whose Source springs alone from Folly
and Intemperance. Sir _Walter Raleigh_ has very wisely observ'd in his
_History_ of the _World_, that _the acting of a private Combat, for a
private Respect, and most commonly a frivolous One, is not an Action of
Virtue, because it is contrary to the Law of God, and of all Christian
Kings: neither is it difficult, because even and equal in Persons and Arms:
neither for a publick Good, but tending to the contrary, because the Loss
or Mutilation of an able Man, is also a Loss to the Commonweal_.

Yet vile and immoral as this Custom is, it has so far prevail'd as to make
way for a _Science_, and is pretended, like Dancing, to be taught By _Rule_
and _Book_. The Advertisements, which are of great Instruction to curious
Readers, inform us, that a late Baronet had employ'd his Pen in laying down
the _solid_ Art of _Fighting_ both on _Foot_ and _Horseback_: by reading of
which Treatise any Person might in a short time attain to the Practice of
it, either for the Defence of Life upon a just Occasion, or Preservation of
Honour, in any accidental Scuffle or Quarrel. That is, if I may have
Permission, without being challeng'd, to divest the Title of its Pomp, this
solid Art would soon put one in a Capacity of killing one's Man, and
standing a fair Chance of bequeathing one's Cloaths and Neck to the
Hangman. It is observable, that Mr. _Bysshe_, in his Collection of
agreeable and sublime Thoughts, for the Imitation of future Poets, when he
comes to the Topick of _Honour_, ingeniously refers his Readers to the Word
_Butcher_; tacitly implying that the Thoughts upon both Heads have a
_Coherence_, as the Terms themselves are _synonomous_. In short, your
Practitioners in Duelling are so barbarous in their Nature; that their
whole Study is picking up Occasions to be engaged in a Quarrel. They are a
sort of _Quixots_, whose heads are so full of mischievous Chivalry, that
they will mistake the _Sails_ of a _Wind-mill_ for the _Arms_ of a _Gyant_;
and it is fifty to one, if the most innocent Motions, Looks, or Smiles, are
not, by their Prepossessions, construed Airs of Defiance, Offence, or
Ridicule. There is a Passage in _Hamlet_, which never fails of raising
Laughter in the Audience; 'tis where the Clowns are preparing a Grave for
_Ophelia_, and descanting on the Unreasonableness of her being buried in
Christian Burial, _who willfully sought her own Salvation. Will you ha' the
Truth or on't?_ says one of them wisely, _if this had not been a
Gentlewoman, she should have been buried out of_ Christian Burial. _Why
there though say'st it_; replies his Fellow, _and the more is the Pity that
great Folk should have Countenance in this World to drown, or hang
themselves more than us poor Folk_. The Application is so easy, that I
shall leave it for everyone to make it for himself.

Next to my first Wish, that _Duelling_ were totally restrain'd, methinks, I
could be glad that our young hot _Bravo's_ would not be altogether
_brutal_, but quarrel mathematically, and with some Discretion. I would
recommend the Caution, which _Shakespear_ has prescrib'd by an Example, of
offering and accepting a Challenge. In one of his Plays, there is an
hereditary Quarrel betwixt two Families, and the Servants on each Side are
so zealous in their Masters Cause, that they never meet without a Desire of
fighting, yet are shy of giving the Occasion of Combat. The transcribing a
short Passage will give the best Idea of their Conduct.

     Samp. _I will bite my Thumb at them, which is a Disgrace to them
     if they bear it._

     Abra. _Do you bite your Thumb at Us, Sir?_

     Samp. _I do bite my Thumb, Sir._

     Abra. _Do you bite your Thumb at Us, Sir?_

     Samp. _Is the Law on our Side, if I say, Ay?_

     Greg. _No._

     Samp. _No, Sir; I do not bite my Thumb at you, Sir; but I bite my
     Thumb, Sir._

The most beneficial Things to a Commonwealth will have some of its Members
who will think them a Grievance. I have just now receiv'd the following
Letter from a _Fencing-Master_, who is very apprehensive of Business
falling off, if the _Act_ against _Duelling_ should take place.

     "Sir,

     "As you are both a Knight and a Gentleman (which now-a-days don't
     always meet in one Man) I will make bold to Expostulate with you
     upon a Bill depending in the House of Commons, I mean that
     against _Duelling_. Every good Subject has a right of dissenting
     to any Bill propos'd, either by petition, or Pamphlet, before it
     passes into a Law; and this concerns the Honour of all Orders of
     Men from the Prince to the private Gentleman. I make free to tell
     you in a Word, if this passes, there's an End of _good Manhood_
     in the King's Dominions. How must all the Important Quarrels,
     which happen in Life, among men of Honour, be decided? Must a
     heedless sawcy Coxcomb frown, or tread upon a Gentleman's Toes
     with Impunity? No, I suppose, the great Cause of Honour must be
     determined by the womanish Revenge of Scolding; and when two
     Peers or Gentlemen have had some manly Difference, they must
     chuse their _Seconds_ from _Billingsgate_ or the _Bar_--Consider,
     Sir, how many brave Gentleman have comfortably kept good Company,
     and had their Reckoning always paid, only by shewing a _broad
     Blade_, and cherishing a fierce Pair of _Whiskers_. Good Manners
     must certainly die with Chivalry; for what keeps all the pert
     Puppies about Town in Awe, but the Fear of being call'd to
     Account? Don't you know that there are a Set of impertinent
     Wretches, who are always disturbing publick Assemblies with Riots
     and Quarrels, only upon a presumption of being hinder'd from
     fighting, by the Crowd? There will be no end of such Grievances,
     if this Law takes Place. Besides, Sir, I hope it will be
     consider'd, what will become of us Brothers of the Blade; the Art
     we profess will grow of no Use to Mankind; and, of Consequence,
     we shall be expos'd to Poverty and Disgrace. Consider, Sir, how
     many bright Qualifications must go to the finishing one of us; we
     require Parts as elegant, generous, and manly, as any Profession
     whatsoever; therefore, I hope, that some publick Spirit in the
     House of Commons, who is a Lover of his Country, and a Friend to
     Arts and Sciences, will start up and distinguish himself against
     this Bill. You know that our Profession is justly call'd the
     Noble _Science_ of _Defence_, and makes a considerable Branch of
     the _Mathematicks_; if the Ignorant should gain this Point
     against us, they won't stop here; no doubt, their Design is to
     attack all Arts and Sciences, and beat them one by one quite out
     of the Nation; the _Assault_, 'tis true, seems only made against
     us; but wise Men foresee that all Learning is in Danger. Our
     Adversaries are upon the _Longe_ with their Swords just at our
     Breasts, I desire therefore your Advice and Assistance, in what
     _Guard_ we must stand to _parry_ this fatal _Thrust_. Yours,

     "FLANKANADE."

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XVIII.

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

    _Totum hominem Deus adsumit, quia totus ab ipso est;
    Et totum redimit quem sumpserat, omne reducens
    Quicquid homo est, istud Tumulis, ast istud Abysso._

    Prudent.

     [Greek: Phthenxomai hois themis osti, thuras d' epithesthe
     bebelois.]

     Orpheus.

Saturday, _April 16. 1720._


The Person, who confines himself to the Task of writing a Paper of
Entertainment, is not thereby obliged to be continually ludicrous in his
Composition, or to expect that his Readers should always be upon the broad
Grin. The _rational_, as well as _risible_, Faculties are to be exercised;
and if I think fit to be too precisely serious to Day, my good-natur'd
Customers will give me an Indulgence, and believe that I will make it up to
them with Mirth on _Tuesday_.

As I devoted the spare Hours of yesterday to Meditation, I could not help
reflecting, what little Notion we have at this Time of _Prodigies_ and
_Phenomena_, that are not in the common Course of Nature. We are grown
_Epicureans_ in our Principles, and force our selves to believe, that it is
Fear, Superstition, or Ignorance, to fancy that Providence sends the World
a Warning in extraordinary Appearances: We buoy our selves up, that we only
want such a Portion of Philosophy to account for what startles the
Grossness of Sense, and to know that such Appearances must have their Cause
in Nature, tho' we cannot readily determine where to fix it. This brings to
my Mind, when _Glendour_ was boasting in the Play, that at his Nativity the
Heavens were full of fiery Shapes, and the Foundation of the Earth shook
like a Coward; _Hotspur_ reply'd humourously, _Why so it would have done at
the same Season, if your Mother's Cat had but kitten'd, tho' your self had
never been born_.

If we are to think so slightly of these uncommon Accidents, since the
Fashion of the Times will call them so, I would fain be resolved in one
Point, how it comes to pass, that the Birth and Death of so many eminent
Persons, and of Consequence to the World, have been mark'd and usher'd in
with such a Pomp of Prodigies. The same great Poet, whom I but now quoted,
observes finely, that,

    _When Beggars die, there are no Comets seen:
    The Heav'ns themselves blaze forth the Death of Princes._

The whole Concurrence of Historians, even of the most undoubted Authority,
have struck in, and espoused this Opinion. They are not all Fools and
superstitious Dotards, nor tied by any Obligations to record a Set of
Miracles, which in their own private Thoughts they counted absurd, and
laugh'd at. Every Pen, that has touch'd the Circumstance of _Julius
Caesar's_ Death, has consented to relate the Strange Things, which both
foresaw and foretold his Assassination. _Shakespear_ has communicated these
Terrors to his Audience with the utmost Art: The Night is attended with
Thunder and Lightning; and _Caesar_ comes forth in his Night-gown,
reflecting on the Unquietness of the Season, and ordering the Priests to do
present Sacrifice: _Calphurnia_ immediately follows him; and the
Undauntedness of his Spirit, attack'd by the Tenderness of his Wife's
Tears, gives an Occasion for the following Recital.

    Caesar, _I never stood on Ceremonies;
    Yet now they fright me: There is one within,
    Besides the Things that we have heard and seen,
    Recounts most horrid Sights seen by the Watch.
    A Lioness hath whelped in the Streets;
    And Graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their Dead:
    Fierce fiery Warriours fight upon the Clouds,
    (In Ranks and Squadrons, and right Forms of War)
    Which drizzled Blood upon the_ Capitol.
    _The Noise of Battle hurried in the Air,
    Horses did neigh, and dying Men did groan,
    And Ghosts did shriek, and squeal about the Streets.
    O_ Caesar! _These Things are beyond all Use,
    And I do fear them_.

The Poet, tho' he has adorned this Description by his Art, has been careful
to collect its Substance from the Historians. Every Particular is preserved
to us by the _Heathen_ Writers; and not a _Heathen_, that we know of, did
ever dispute the Truth of it. The Love and Esteem which the Generality bore
to the Person of _Caesar_, the Reverence which they paid to the Dignity of
his Character, and the important Services which he had done the
Commonwealth, contributed not only to convince them of these Prodigies, but
to make some effort, that the Gods had received him into their Number.

The Use, which I intended from this Subject, is, that as _Christians_, who
have more invaluable Obligations to remember, we should suffer our Faith
and Gratitude to extend as least as far as the _Pagans_ did. There was a
dread Time (for the Commemoration whereof a Day is annually set a-part)
_when the Sun was eclipsed, and Darkness was over all the Land; when the
Vail of the Temple was rent asunder from the Top to the Bottom; when the
Earth quaked, and Rocks were split; when the Graves were opened, and the
Bodies of Saints, which slept in Death, arose and walked_. Let _Atheists_
alone, and _Freethinkers_ disbelieve the Terrors of that Hour. 'Twas fit
that Nature should feel such Convulsions, when the Lord of Life suffered
such Indignities.

I almost fear least my Readers should suspect that I am usurping the
Province of the Pulpit, and therefore I shall continue this Discourse in
the Words of a Poet, who will ever be esteemed in the _English_ Tongue.
When _Adam_ is doom'd to be turn'd out of Paradise, _Milton_ has by a happy
Machinery supposed, that the Angel _Michael_ is dispatched down to
pronounce the Sentence, and mitigate it by shewing _Adam_ in Vision, what
should happen to his Posterity. Amongst the rest, the _Incarnation_ is
shadowed out; and the Angel tells him, that the _Messiah_ shall spring from
_his_ Loins, and make a Satisfaction for the Punishment, which _he_ by his
Transgression had earned on himself and his Race.

    _For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,
    Seis'd on by Force, judg'd, and to Death condemn'd,
    A shameful and accurst, nail'd to the Cross
    By his own Nation, slain for bringing Life;
    But to the Cross He nails thy Enemies
    The Law that is against thee, and the sins
    Of all Mankind, with him there crucified,
    Never to hurt them more, who rightly trust
    In this his Satisfaction: So he dies,
    But soon revives; Death over him no Power
    Shall long usurp: e'er the third dawning Light
    Return, the Stars of Morron shall see him rise
    Out of his Grave, fresh as the dawning Light,
    The Ransom paid, which Man from Death redeems._

I cannot better conclude the Triumph of this Promise, than by the Speech,
in which _Adam_ expresses his Joy and Wonder at these glad Tidings.

    _'O Goodness infinite! Goodness immense,
    That all this Good of Evil shall produce,
    And Evil turn to Good; more wonderful
    Than that, which by Creation first brought forth
    Light out of Darkness! Full of doubt I stand,
    Whether I should repent me now of Sin
    By me done and committed, or rejoice
    Much more, that much more Good thereof shall spring._

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XX.

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

    _Tristius baud illis monstrum, nec saevior ulla
    Pestis, & ira Deum_, Stygiis _sese extulit oris._

    Virg.

Saturday, _April 23. 1720._


It is very odd to consider, yet very frequently to be remark'd, that tho'
we have all so many Passions and Appetites pushing for the Government of
us, and every one of us has a Portion of Reason, that, if permitted, would
regulate our Conduct: yet we are obstinate not to be directed by that
Reason, and give the Rein and Regulation of our Actions over to the
Passions and Appetites of other People. This is putting our selves upon the
Foot of _Epicurus's_ Deities, who were too indolent to look after the World
themselves, and left the Task of Providence to Chance and Second Causes.

I grant, it is very necessary that our Misconduct should be assisted, and
set right by wiser Judgment; but the Danger is, and especially among the
Female Sex, into what Hands this Power of Direction is committed. The Trust
of Friendship is so often betrayed, and the Duty of the Office postponed to
private Interest, that it is a Question whether we are not safer, while we
give a Loose to our own extravagant Excursions. The Institution of
_Douegnas_, or Governesses in _Spain_, we do not doubt, was a Design well
befitting the Caution of that wise and reserved Nation; but the Corruption
of the Persons intrusted, soon brought them into so much Disreputation,
that they became the Objects of hatred and Scandal.

Don _Francisco de Quevedo_, in his general Satires, has set these Vermin in
such a Light, as gives a shrewd Suspicion of their having been mischievous
in his own Family. He dreams that he is got within the Confines of Death,
and, among the other visionary Figures presented, he is encountred by an
old _Governante_. _How's this_! says he, in a great Amazement, _Have ye any
of those Cattle in this Country? Let the Inhabitants pray heartily for
Peace then; and all little enough to keep them quiet_. In short, he makes
the old Gentlewoman acquaint him, that she had been Eight Hundred Years in
Hell, upon a Design to erect an Order of the _Governantes_; but the Right
Worshipful _Satanic_ Commissioners were not as yet come to any Resolution
upon the Point: For, they said, if your _Governantes_ should come once to
settle there, there would be no Occasion for any other Tormentors, and the
Devils themselves would be but so many _Jacks out of Office_. _I have
been_, says she, _too in_ Purgatory _upon the same Project, but there so
soon as ever they set Eyes upon me, all the Souls cried out unanimously_,
Libera nos, Domine. _And as for_ Heaven, _That's no Place for Quarrels,
Slanders, Disquiets, Heart-burnings, and consequently none for_ Me.

These are the _Douegna's_ which the Suspicions of the _Spaniards_ at first
intended as Spies upon the Conduct of their Wives and Daughters. We have a
Species of _Governantes_ among us in _England_, who being admitted into a
Familiarity in Families, by Policy improve it into Friendship: this
Friendship lets them into a Degree of Trust, which they are diligent to
turn into the best Advantage; and having always little servile Ends of
their own to obtain, their surest Step is to sow Dissention, and strengthen
their own Interest, by alienating the Affections of the Wife from her
Husband; whose _Bread_ they are eating at the same Time, that they are
undermining his _Quiet_ in the nearest Concerns of Life.

Making a Visit the other Day to my Friend _Gellius_, who happened to be
abroad, I found the Partner of his Bosom _Clarissa_, and her eternal
Companion _Drusilla_, all in Tears. I was not received with that open
Familiarity, which was used to be shewn me; and I observed something in
them of that kind of Reserve, which is common with People who are under
some great Affliction. I at first apprehended, that some fatal Accident had
happen'd to the Person or Circumstances of my Friend; but, upon Inquiry, I
was set easy as to these Fears, tho' they would give me no Hint, by which I
might guess at the Cause of their Disquietude. Finding them in a
Disposition so unapt for Mirth, I took my Leave; judging, it could be no
worse than some little domestick Misunderstanding, occasion'd, perhaps, by
a disagreeable Command on the Side of the Husband, or some Contradiction on
the Side of the Wife. But my Man, who is very intimate with all the
Servants, has since let me into the Secret. It seems, there is a strange
Union of Souls between these two Ladies; from what Affinity of Disposition,
or mysterious Impulse, is a Secret only known to Nature and themselves.
They love and hate alike; their Sympathies and Antipathies are the same;
and all Joys are tasteless to the One, without the Company and
Participation of the Other. Their Affection is of that tender, that
delicate Nature, that the smallest Jealousie, the least Unkindness blasts
it. It happen'd one Day, that _Clarissa_ was more than commonly civil to
her Husband: There was something past between them, that look'd like
Fondness, and this in the Presence of _Drusilla_: Who can express the
Passions that struggled in the Female Rival's Soul? Despair, Rage,
Jealousie, and Anguish at once possess'd her; and it was now Time to retire
to Sleep; the Lady with her Husband withdrew to Bed, and the jealous Friend
likewise committed her self to her Pillow, tho' not to Rest. Her Soul was
busied with the bitter Reflexion of what had past, and what further
Endearments might be practis'd. Unable to compose her self, she resolves to
rise, and pretends Sickness: _Clarissa_ is disturbed from the Embraces of
her Husband; nor is suffer'd to go back to the Bed of Wedlock, till she has
promis'd her disgusted Friend, by a forc'd Indifference to restrain the
Liberties of the inamour'd _Gellius_.

The learned Times, I find, were not unacquainted with these _Female
Intimacies_: And by the Names they affix'd to the Persons practising them,
which I shall forbear to mention, 'tis plain they put none of the best
Constructions on their Familiarities.

_Plato_, I remember, offers at a Reason in Nature for such Conversations.
He tells us, that at first Mankind were made with _Two_ Heads, _Four_ Arms,
_Four_ Legs, and so every Way double: that of these, there were _three_
Sorts; some, double Men; some, double Women; and some Hermaphrodites.
_Jupiter_, upon an Offence committed, split them all into _Two's_; from
whence arises in Mankind that Desire of a Companion, as his other half to
perfect his Being. The Consequence of this Division was, that they, who in
their original State were _double Men_, are still fond of the _Ganymede's_
with smooth Chins; and they, who were at first _double Women_, are at this
Day enamoured of their own Sex, and _Platonicks_ as to any Commerce with
Ours.

I have heard so much to the Disadvantage of these _Inamorata's_, that I
consider a Man, who is link'd to such a Wife, in the State of the _Lover_
and his _Two Mistresses_ in the _Fable_. The one, who was a little turned
in Years, pulled out all his _black_ Hairs, to make him look nearer to her
Standing: and the other, who was in her Bloom, pick'd out all the _grey_
ones, that the World might not suspect she had an Old Man; 'till between
them, they made him as bald as Father _Time_ himself.

I shall conclude with the Story of an unfortunate Gentleman, who had
suffer'd heavily in this Way, and went abroad to avoid his Slavery. As he
was travelling from _Madrid_ to _Valladolid_, he found himself belated, and
wanted to take up his Night's Quarters in some middle Place. He was
informed, the nearest Way would bring him to a small Village, call'd
_Douegnas_; which with us would be the Village of _Governesses_. _But is
there no other Place_, said he, _within some reasonable Distance, either
short of, or beyond it_? They told him, No, unless it were at a _Gallows_.
_Nay, there shall be my Quarters then_, said he, _I am resolved; for a
Thousand_ Gibbets _are not so bad to me as One_ Douegna.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XXI.

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

     [Greek: Kronides phrenas exeleto Zeus].

     Homer.

Tuesday, _April 26. 1720._


The Writer who attempts either to divert, or instruct the Town, has,
perhaps, a worse Chance of succeeding now, than in any Age before. The
Conversation of the World is changed, Gaiety and Mirth are banished from
Society, and the buisy Affair of Avarice has taken up the Thoughts of every
Company; if a Man in a Coffee-House takes up a _News-Paper_, the first
Thing he turns to is the Price of the _Stocks_; if he looks over the
_Advertisements_, it is in Quest of some new _Project_; when he has
finished his Enquiry, and mixes in Conversation, you hear him expatiate
upon the Advantage of some favourite Project, or curse his Stars for
missing the lucky Moment of buying as he intended at the Rise of the
South-Sea. Another complains of the Roguery of some Broker or Director,
whom he intrusted; this I have heard canvass'd over and over, with so many
Aggravations of Meanness and Knavery against each other, that, I confess, I
shall never see a poor Malefactor go to suffer Death for robbing another of
ten Pounds upon the High-Way, but I shall look with Compassion on his
Condition, and perhaps reflect secretly upon the Partiality of publick
Justice. I know so many little infamous Frauds, so many Breaches of Honour,
and Friendship, in the Conduct of these Persons, that I should think it a
Piece of Justice to expose them, could I imagine it would bring them to
Shame or Amendment; but I shall leave them to work their Way to _Wealth_
and _Contempt_, which I presume they will be very well contented with; nor
envy any Man the Merit of his Poverty and good Nature. But I cannot forbear
admiring the Nature of Projects, and by what furious Impulse Mankind is
carried into them: No Person asks the Question, whether they be for the
Good of the Nation; for, it seems to me, that no Man cares, provided he
gets by them himself.

We use our Country like our Step-Mother, we have no natural Affection for
her, we are Foreigners to her Blood, and when we have sucked her dry, we
make no Returns of Gratitude in her Necessities, but turn her loose to
shift for her self; I think this the Case, if you consider the Condition of
a rising Project, which every Man that's concerned in, intends to get out
of, and declares he will not trust too long.

I have very little Capacity, or Inclination, to argue upon this Subject;
and being a little indolent withal, I shall take the Liberty of
entertaining to Day with a Story, that lies ready at my elbow; and which I
declare before-hand, has no significant Meaning in it, that I know of: If
the Sagacity of my Readers can make more of it than my self, in God's Name,
let them please themselves with the Application.

There is a small _Island_ on the Coast of _Denmark_, in which there are
five Towns; the Lord of this Place was very poor, rather because he coveted
much, than that he wanted any Thing. God has afflicted the Inhabitants with
a general Inclination in them all to be _Projectors_, so that the Land
seemed to be infested with as many Monsters as there were Men: So
prodigious was the natural Proneness to projecting in that Country, that
the very sucking Babes cried out _Project_, before they could say _Papa_ or
_Mamma_; the whole island was a confused Chaos, for Man and Wife, Father
and Son, Neighbour and Neighbor, were ever jangling about their Projects,
and they were as intoxicated with them as if they had been drunk with Wine.
The Lord of this Place ordered a general Examination of all _Projects_.
Legions of _Projectors_ assembled before his Palace with Skrips and Scrolls
of Paper stuck in their Girdles, run through their Button-holes, and
peeping through their Pockets. The Lord having made known his Wants,
demanded their Assistance; and they all at once laying hold of their
Papers, and crowding till they had almost stifled one another, in an
Instant heap'd up four Tables with their Memoirs. The first Paper he cast
his Eyes on was, _How to raise an unmeasurable Treasure by Subscription of
all that Men are worth, and yet inrich them by taking it away. The first
Part_, quoth the Lord, _of taking from all Men, I like; but as to the
second, which is to inrich them by taking it away, I am dubious of, yet let
them look to that_. He looked over a Multitude of others. In the mean Time
the Projectors quarrelled, each approving his own Scheme, and condemning
the rest; and they grew so Scurrilous, they called one another _Sons of
Projectors_ instead of _Sons of Whores_. The Lord commanded Peace, and
being tempted with their Offers, receiv'd and allow'd several of their
Proposals: Whereupon they all swore they would stand by him in all
Extremities. A few Days after, the Lord's Servants came out, and cried the
Palace was on Fire in three several Places, and the Wind blew high. The
Lord was in a great Consternation; the Projectors gathered about him, bid
him sit still, and be easy, and they would set all to Rights in a Moment;
Upon which they fell to Work, and laid their Hands on all they found in the
House, casting every Thing of Value out at the Windows; others with Sledges
threw down a Tower; others cried the Fire would cease, as soon as it had
Vent, and fell to unroofing the House; and so destroy'd the whole Structure
they were called to save. None endeavoured to extinguish the Fire; they
were all busy in confounding every Thing they could grasp. At length the
Smoak decreased, and the Lord, going out, perceived that the common People
had master'd the Fire, while the Projectors had demolished his Palace, and
destroyed his Furniture: Incens'd and raging at this Sight, he cried out,
_Rogues, you are worse than the Fire, and so are all your Projects; it were
better I had been burnt, than to have given Ear to your destructive
Counsels. You overturn a whole House, least a Corner of it should fall; you
feed a Prince with his own Limbs, and pretend to maintain him, when he is
devouring himself. Villains, justly did the Fire come to burn me, for
suffering you to live; but, when it perceived me in the Power of
Projectors, it ceased, concluding I was already consumed. Fire is the most
merciful of Projectors, for Water quenches it; but you increase in spight
of all the Elements_. Princes may be poor; but when they once have to do
with Projectors, they cease to be Princes, to avoid being poor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XXII

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

     _Quos_ Jupiter _vult perdere, dementat prius._

Saturday, _April 30. 1720._


It is common with Authors of my Rank to give themselves Airs of
Consequence, when they assume a Right of correcting, or reforming, the
Vices, or Follies of the Age. The late Sir _John Edgar_, of obscure Memory,
pretended to define a Sort of Men whom he called _wrong-headed_, and has
told two or three Stories by Way of Examples, from whence he wou'd have you
think, that a Slip of Memory, is an Error in Judgment; as you may see in
his Instance of the Foot Soldier, who robbed the Gentleman, and forgetting
that he had put the Things into his own Pockets, afterwards changed Coats
with the Gentleman, and by that Means put him again in Possession of
whatever he before had robbed him. Without any Malice to Sir _John's_
Remaines, I shall beg Leave to observe, that the Term _wrong-headed_ more
properly belongs to him, who has an ill Turn of thinking, and judging, than
to him who commits a careless Oversight, which is common to Men of the best
Parts. My Reason for introducing this, is, from some Reflections that I
have made on the Subject of my last Paper; by which it appears to me that
there are Multitudes of this Sort of People in the World, pursuing Fortune
in a very giddy Way. I suppose it will be thought ridiculous, to call him
_wrong-headed_, who by any Artifice shall improve his Estate; yet when the
Misfortunes of others, and those by much the greater Number, and a Decay of
Trade are put in Ballance against that Artifice, I doubt this Charge must
be somewhere, tho' I am not cunning enough to tell where. As I see but
little Company, and retire for my Ease and the Improvement of my Studies; I
was deeply ingaged in Thought the other Night upon this Topick, and in made
such a strong Impression upon me, that it produced a very odd Dream. As it
is the Weakness of Women, and old Men, to be fond of telling their Dreams
to their Friends, I hope my Readers will excuse me this Infirmity of my
Age.

Methought, I saw a Lady of a middle Age, large Stature, and in the Fulness
of her Beauty, stand before me, magnificently dress'd; I had not Leisure to
peruse her, before she began to walk about, skip and dance, and used so
many odd Gestures, that she appeared to me little better than mad. I had
the Curiosity to approach, to observe what she might be, when upon
contemplating her Features, her Dress, and her Air, I fancied, I had seen
her exact Likeness in several Maps and Drawings in _Metzo-Tinto_, where her
Form was made use of to express _Britannia_. This gave me a Tenderness and
Compassion for her Condition; I ask'd her many Questions, by her Replies
to which I perceived her Head was a little turned, and her Notions of
Things extravagant. She owned, she had forsaken all those ingenious and
industrious Arts, which she had practised long to the Wonder of her
Neighbours, with the Reputation of a discreet and vertuous Matron, and now
was resolved to turn _Rope-Dancer_. This was no sooner said, but she falls
to work, to setting up her Tackle with proper Supporters; and to my very
great Astonishment fixed one End of her Rope in _France_, and t'other in
_Holland_. The Inhabitants of these Countries flock'd to behold her,
watching and wishing for her Fall, and every one ready to receive her; she
tottered strangely, and seemed ready to come down every Minute; upon which
those below stretch'd out their Hands in Order to pull her down, and shewed
Joy, and Disappointment, in their Looks alternately, as often as she
stumbled or recovered. She begg'd for a Pole to poise her, but no body
wou'd lend her one; and looked about in vain for help. There appeared at
some Distance a Man in a broad Hat, and short Cloak, with a swarthy
Complexion, and black Whiskers, who seemed altogether unconcern'd at what
shou'd happen; to her in her Frights she gave him many a Look, as if she
silently begg'd his Assistance, but whether she had done him any Injury, or
that her Pride would not suffer her to turn Petitioner, she seemed ashamed
to call to him for Help. Thus she went on tottering, 'till she tore all her
Garments, so that her Robes appeared like the ragged Colours in
_Westminster-Hall_; at length seeing her Danger, he reached her out a Pole,
and then she shewed a tolerable Skill and Agility; which the People
perceiving, who were towards France, they resolved to let go the Rope that
she might slip down to their Side, and this gave me such Pain for her
Safety, that I waked with a Start of Consternation.

Tho' there was nothing in this but a Dream, it cannot be imagined how
concerned I was, that it did not last till I could be satisfied whether she
fell, or no. I was grave for at least an Hour after, and reflected on the
Policy of those, who forsake a safe and profitable Path, for vain and
dangerous Flights; I fancied my self a Politician too, and imagined I knew
what a Nation of _Projectors_ must bring their Country to. I shall here
make a Digression, without giving any Reason for it; for since I am not
bound to the Unities of Time, and Place, as we are in Poetry, I stand in no
Awe of the peevish Criticks.

Three _French_ Men were travelling into _Spain_, over the Mountains of
_Biscay_: One of them trundled before him a _Wheelbarrow_, with Implements
for grinding _Knives_ and _Scissors_; another carried a Load of
_Mouse-Traps_ and _Bellows_; and the third had a Box of Combs and _Pins_. A
poor _Spaniard_, who was travelling into _France_ on Foot, with his Cloak
on his Shoulder, met them half Way on the Ascent of a craggy Hill. They
sate down to rest in the Shade, and began to confer Notes. They asked the
_Spaniard_, whither he was going? He replied, into _France_. What to do?
says one of the _Frenchmen_: To seek my Fortune, replies the _Spaniard_: He
was asked again, what Trade he was of? He answered, of no Trade at all: of
late, says he, we _Spaniards_ have been bred to no Trades; but those of us
that are poor, and honest, either beg or borrow; those, that are not, rob
or cheat, as they do in other Countries. How did you live in your own
Country? says one of the _Frenchmen_. Oh! says the _Spaniard_, very well
for a while; I had a great many thousand Pistoles left me by my Ancestors.
What have you done with them? says one of the _Frenchmen_: I put them into
a _Policy_, says the _Spaniard_, where I was to have a great Interest for
them. And what became of that Policy? says one of the _Frenchmen_. The
_Spaniard_ replied, that at first the Interest was paid, and then Things
went merrily enough; but that in a little Time the Body _Politick_ became
_Bankrupt_, and paid neither Principal nor Interest. And did all the
Adventurers lose their Money? says one of the _Frenchmen_. All, replies the
_Spaniard_, except those that were concerned in the Management: and is
Money plenty in _Spain_ now? says one of the _Frenchmen_. Never so scarce,
answers the _Spaniard_; for all Degrees of Men, all Artificers, and
Mechanicks left off their Trades, and put their Effects into this Policy,
that they might live at their Ease; and now they're all ruined; and of all
the immense Sums that were put into this damned Policy, there is not the
hundredth Part to be found, and that is in the Hands of those few that
cheated the rest; but whether it be sunk again into the Bowels of the
Earth, or where it is gone, we cannot tell. At this one of the _French_ Men
smiled, and told the _Spaniard_, he could let him into the Secret; _while
your Nation was in Pursuit of this imaginary Mountain of Gold_, says he,
_and all your People neglected their Employments; we, with such Trumpery as
these, have drawn away the Wealth of your_ Indian _Mines; we sell our Ware
in your Country, and carry your Money back to our own; By which Means we
inrich our own Country, and impoverish yours: Of all the Treasures that
come into_ Spain, _you enjoy only the Name; for while you are busy in
Chimera's, our Industry drains all the Treasure from you; and take this
with you, that_ all Projects must end like the Searches for the
Philosopher's Stone, that is, in Smoke, where the _Interest_ is paid out of
the _Principal Stock_, and is not supported by any industrious _Traffick_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XXIII

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

    _Est genus hominum, qui esse primos se omnium rerum volunt,
    Nec sunt:--_

    Ter.

Tuesday, _May 3. 1720._


I find by a long Conversation with the World, and from Remarks I have made
on different Times and Sexes, that there is a Desire, or rather an
Ambition, implanted in all humane Creatures of being thought agreeable; but
'tis no unpleasant Study to observe what different Methods are taken of
obtaining this one universal End. The Ladies seem to have laid it up as a
Maxim on their Side, that their Beauty is to be the greatest Merit; for
which Reason no Art, or Industry, is wanting to cultivate that Jewel; and
there is so great an Adoration paid to it by all Mankind, that 'tis no
Wonder they should neglect the Qualifications of the Mind, Things merely
speculative, for those Graces and Ornaments which command Respect, and
whose Dominion is owned as soon as seen. Upon the Foot of this Observation,
some of our Sex, who are of the Order of the _Beau Garcons_, being equal to
the Ladies in their Understandings, employ all their Care and Capacity in
decorating the Outside; and have a Notion that he's the most ingenious Man,
who makes the cleanest Figure, and is best dress'd for the Assembly or
Drawing-Room. Among these pretty Triflers, a good Embroidery on their
Clothes, or a Sword Knot of a new Invention, raises more Emulation than a
Piece of new Wit does among the bad Poets; in their View of Things, a Man
of Sense is a very insignificant Creature; and if, with the _Eclat_ of
their Dress, or Equipage, they can draw the Eyes of the Vulgar, they are in
That arrived at the Top of their Glory; since all they wish for is to be
taken Notice of.

There is another Order of _fine Gentlemen_ among Us, who study other
Accomplishments than That of Dress, by which they labour to recommend
themselves to Company. The prevailing Artifice of their Conduct is, in
every Stage of Action, to appear Great, and insinuate themselves to be
thought the _Favourites_ only of the _Great_. These nice Oeconomists, being
equipped with one Thread-bare Suit, a _German_ Wig, guilty of few or no
Curls, and happy in a single Change of Linnen, seem to despise all
superfluous Ornaments of Garniture, and have no Time on their Hands, but
what is spent in devising how to get rid, as they would have you suppose,
of a Multitude of Engagements. There is a certain veteran Beau of my
Acquaintance, who is highly caressed upon the Credit of his Intimacy with
Persons of Quality whom he never spoke to; he has a Knot of vain young
Fellows attendant upon him, whom he is to introduce into great Company; and
he has dropt some Hints, as if he would use his Interest to recommend some
of them to Employments at Court. These are, for the most part, young Men
stept into suddain great Fortunes, whose Rank and Conversation being at a
such a Distance from Title, they fancy that Men of Quality are not made of
the same Materials with other Men. This industrious merry old Gentleman has
a peculiar Happiness in telling, and making, a Story; and, in the winding
up or Catastrophe of it, never fails to surprize and please you, therefore
he diverts, as well as amuses his Company. It is to these Talents that he
chiefly owes his Subsistance, for he is very little beholding to Fortune,
or his Family. I am pleased to hear him relate the Adventures, that his
very good Friend King _Charles_ the _Second_ and He have met with together;
the Sword he wears (which, it must be confessed, looks something _antique_)
was given to him on the Day of the Battle at _Worcester_ by that Monarch.
This Weapon being reverenced by the Youths his Followers, one of them
sollicited hard to purchase it. For ten Guineas, and to oblige a Friend,
our Humorist was prevailed upon to part with it. Next Day he purchas'd
exactly such another Peice of Antiquity for _Eighteen Pence_ in _Monmouth_
Street, and has been so obliging, from Time to Time, to sell at least ten
of these Weapons to young Fellows well affected to the Royal Family, and
all presented to him by the same Monarch with whom he was so conversant.
The Furniture of his Apartment is not very costly, as may be judged by his
Circumstances; a Gentleman visiting him one Morning, sat down upon a Stool,
which being decrepit and crazy, he was apprehensive of a Fall; and
therefore throwing it aside with so much Negligence that its whole Frame
had like to have been dissolved, the old Gentleman begged him to use it
with more Respect, for he valued it above all he was worth beside, it being
made out of a Piece of the _Royal Oak_. His Visitant, who was a Man of
Fortune, immediately had a Desire to be in Possession of such a Treasure:
Over a Bottle he let him know his Inclination, and the good-natur'd old
Gentleman, who could refuse nothing to so dear a Friend, was prevailed upon
to accept of a _Gold Watch_ in Exchange for his _Stool_. It was immediately
sent down to the Mansion-house in the Country, where it is to be seen
finely incased, and is shewn to all Strangers as the most valuable Rarity
of the Family. _Tom Varnish_, who is a Pupil of our old Humourists, is a
good Proficient in his Way of Conversation: Whenever you see him, he's just
come from visiting some great Person of Quality. If a Game at _Hombre_ be
proposed, and you are settling your Way of Play, he says, _We never play it
so at the Dutchess's_. If you ask him to take a Glass of Wine at a Tavern
with you, he is always engaged in a _Parti quarre_; and then he speaks all
the _French_ he is Master of. If he has an Amour, it is with a Woman of
Quality. He sits in the Side Box the first Act of the Play, and stays no
longer, for some Reasons best known to himself. It happened once, that a
Person sat next to him, who, by his Star and Garter, he knew to be of the
first Rank: _Tom_, seeing some of his Acquaintance in the middle Gallery,
thought it would be for his Reputation to be seen to talk with this
Gentleman; therefore, observing when the Eyes of his Acquaintance were upon
him, he drew his Lips near my Lord's Ear, and asked him _what a Clock it
was_; my Lord answered him; then _Tom_ look'd up again, and smiled; and
when he talked with his Friends next, told them, that his Lordship had
informed him of some Changes designed at Court, not yet made publick; and
therefore they must pardon him if he did not communicate. He did not come
off so well upon another Occasion; for having boasted of a great Intimacy
with a certain Foreign Minister, _Tom_ was asked by some Gentlemen to go
one Evening to his Assembly: He willingly accepted the Party, thinking by
their Means to get Admittance: They, on the contrary, expected to be
introduced by him; when they came into his Excellency's House, the Porter,
who had dress'd himself in his great Coat, which was richly laced, and
having a good Wig, well powder'd, was coming down to take his Post; _Tom_
seeing the Richness of the Habit, fancied it was a Robe worn by Foreigners,
mistook the _Porter_ for the Embassador, and, making several low Bows,
began to address him with, _May it please your Excellency_. The Fellow
answered, Sir, if you'd speak with my Lord, I'll call one of his Gentlemen
to you; this raised a Laugh against him by his Companions, and _Tom_ walked
off defeated in his Vanity, tho' he would fain have laid the Mistake on a
sudden Absence of Thought, and asserted, that he had frequently conversed
with the Ambassador.

My old Friend, the Humourist, who is liberal of Talk in his Wine, I must
confess, sometimes lets his Vain-Glory bring his Discourse under some
Suspitions; especially, when upon the Strain of his Intimacy with King
_Charles_. He tells how that Prince, seeing him one Morning in the Park,
obliged him to take a Breakfast with him at _Whitehall_: As soon as they
were got into the Lodgings, the King called for _Kate_, meaning the Queen,
made her salute his Friend, and asked her how she could entertain them. The
Queen, he says, seeing a Stranger, made some little Hesitations: But at
last, _My Dear_, says she, _we have nothing but a Rib of cold Beef at
present, for yesterday, you know, was Washing-Day_. In short, he tells this
Story with so much Gravity, that you must either consent to believe it, or
be obliged to fight him, for suspecting the Truth of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XXIV

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

    _Hic est quem quaeris, ille quem requiris_,
    Tota _notus in_ Urbe.

    Mart.

Saturday, _May 7. 1720._


I have more than once declar'd, that, as I set up for a publick Spirit, and
am for countenancing every Thing which may give either Profit or Delight to
my Countrymen, no Essay, tending to the Improvement of any Art or Science,
shall want my Approbation or Encouragement. This may seem a very
inconsiderable Assistance from a Person, whose Fortune, and Figure in Life,
have not made him Great enough to be a profitable Patron to the Ingenious:
But I have found, in many Instances, that the Approbation of a _grave_ Man,
and such I am esteemed, has some Weight with the _Many_; since, it is
observ'd, that, in Works of Learning, not Half of Mankind judge for
themselves, and of Those who do, we may presume to say, that at least Half
judge amiss.

It is a trite Observation, but not unserviceable in Life, that _a Man had
as good be out of the World, as out of the Fashion_. This lays me under an
Obligation and Necessity of looking out for every Thing _new_, that starts
into the Publick. The Papers, which are mighty Helps to Intelligence of
this Kind, have been big with advertising the History of the _Life_ and
_Adventures_ of Mr. _Duncan Campbell_: And finding, by the Information of
these Diurnal Oracles, that his Majesty _has received it very graciously_,
I was induced to subscribe for this _remarkable_ Treatise. I must confess,
I think it a Work of immense Erudition, full of curious Disquisitions into
speculative Philosophy, comprehending a large Fund of Philological
Learning, and furnished with some Remarks, that have escaped the Pens of
former Authors, who have writ in any Faculty whatsoever.

Man's Life is so short, it has been the settled Opinion of the Wise, that
this Prosecution of any single Subject would be sufficient to take up all
his Time. For this Reason, and especially in the Summer Season, when I make
shift to retire from this Metropolis of Noise and Business, I contract my
Speculations and Studies under one Head. To this End my great Care is, to
collect a small Parcel of useful Books, that may all contribute to one and
the same Purpose. As my Pleasure lies chiefly in searching after Truth, and
Authors, whose Aim is to inform the Mind, or reform the Morals, I have
determined carefully to peruse once more these _Memoirs_, relating to the
celebrated Mr. _Campbell_. They are penn'd with a particular Air of
Sincerity, and such a strict Regard to Truth and Matter of Fact, that they
seem a Copy, in this Point, from _Lucian's true History_. I have therefore,
to satisfy my Readers of the Judgment which I make of Books, concluded to
accompany my Reflections over this Author, with reading, at proper
Intervals, the Surprizing Adventures of _Robinson Crusoe_, the Travels of
_Aaron Hill_ Esq., into _Turkey_, the History of the _Empires_ in the _Sun_
and _Moon Worlds_, _Psalmonaazar's_ History of the Island of _Formosa_,
and, that great Promoter of Christien Piety, the _Tale of a Tub_.

As I have taken upon me to animadvert upon this Treatise, containing the
Adventures and profound Skill of Mr. _Campbell_, I shall continue to do it
with the Impartiality of a true Critick. I have allowed the Author's
Excellencies, and am therefore at Liberty to observe upon his Errors. He
tells us, that _Lapland_ receives its Name from the _Finland_ Word _Lapp_,
that is _Exiles_, and from the _Swedish_ Word _Lap_, signifying _Banished_.
I am very loath my Countrymen should be deceived in such Matters of
Language: And therefore I think my self obliged to let them know, that this
Region derives its Name from the _Lappi_ or _Lappones_, the original
Inhabitants of it, who were People of a rude and blockish Behaviour: The
Word _Lappon_, being equivalent to _barbarous_, and _ignorant_, without the
Knowledge of _Arts_ or _Letters_: And hence it comes, that this Clime has
been ever so proper for the Reception of _Witches_, and Propagation of the
_Conjuring_ Trade.

There is likewise one Circumstance, that, I own, a little shocks my Belief,
in Relation to a young Lady, who, he says, was _bewitch'd_: nor do I think
told it with that clean Regard to the Lady's Character, which Occurrences
of this Nature require. He says, she was in as bad a Condition, as He who
was possessed with a _whole Legion of Devils_: (An Account, which must of
course alarm her Lovers, and may, possibly, prevent her of good Match.)
When he has related the miraculous Cure made upon Her, by Mr. _Campbell's_
taking her up into his _Bed-chamber_, he adds, that she stood upright,
drank a Glass of Wine, and evacuated a great deal of Wind. This Charge of
Immodesty upon a young Lady unmarried, is what I can by no Means allow: nor
does the _uncleanly_ Term become the Pen of a _chast_ and _polite_ Writer.
But the Lady shall be vindicated from this Aspersion; for if you consult
all Authors, both Ancient and Modern, no _Virgin_ was ever thought capable
of such an _Indecency_. Nor can I forbear condemning his Want of Judgment,
in refering you to the Lady for the Truth of this: since it is putting his
Reputation upon a Circumstance, which is not consistent with her Modesty to
admit.

There is another Passage in his Book of singular Mystery: he is pleased to
observe that Things are sometimes foretold by _smelling_, and That by
Persons who are endued with a _Second-Sight_. This smelling of Futurity
would be of notable Use to Statesmen: which brings to my Mind, that
somewhere in an Old Play, the Politician cries, _I smell a Plot_. The
Vulgar too have an Expression, when they speak of a Man they don't like, of
_smelling the Rogue_, and _smelling him out_. These Phrases, no doubt, had
their Original from this Kind of Prediction; and the terms remain, tho' the
Gift be in great Part lost among Men. If this Gentleman could again teach
the Learned to arrive at it, it would be attended with its Inconveniences,
as well as Benefits; for we should have our _Politicians_ running their
Noses into every private Circumstance of Life, and a _Set of State Beagles_
ever upon the Scent for new Treasons and Conspiracies: on the contrary,
this Advantage might be derived, that an Invasion, which was never
intended, seen, or heard of, might be _smelt out_ by their _unerring
Sagacity_.

Our Author proceeds to observe that Children, _Horses_, and _Cows_, have
the _Second Sight_ as well as Men and Women; yet at the same Time takes no
Notice of _Hogs_, whom a great Part of the World have allowed to be gifted
with Second Sight, and to be able to foretel Storms, and _windy Weather_.
This appears to me like Prejudice, and does not consist with the Candour of
an unbias'd Author: it looks as if he were carried away with the Humour of
his Country, who are observed to be no Favourers of _Pork_, and therefore
will allow _Hogs_ no Share in _Divination_.

Indeed, but that I am afraid of being suspected of too much Learning, or
that I would invalidate the Testimonies of this Author, I should be bold to
say, that no Part of the _Brute_ Creation have the Benefit of _Second
Sight_: and that they have neither Organs, nor Reason, to discern, or
distinguish Phantoms, from material Bodies: and therefore the old _Rabins_
very subtly conjectured, that the _Ass_, which carried _Balaam_, was not a
real Ass, but the _Devil in Disguise_, and subject to the _Magical_ Power
of the _Prophet_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XXV

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

    _When the Married shall marry,
    Then the Jealous will be sorry;
    And tho' Fools will be talking,
    To keep their Tongues walking,
    No Man runs well, I find,
    But with's Elbows behind._

    Nostrad. _in_ Quev.

Tuesday, _May 10. 1720._


Upon the Perusal of my Motto, I believe my Readers will be puzzled to
comprehend what it is I aim at: It seems to be a perfect Riddle, and if you
read it backward like a _Witches_ Prayer, it will be as easily understood.
Yet let no Man condemn it for that trifling Objection, that he does not
understand it: for, I can assure the World, that it is an old _Prophecy_,
which comprehends many Secrets of Destiny, Stars, and Fate. Tho' the
Vulgar, whose Eyes are shut against these Mysteries, may endeavour to
explode all _Divination_; yet when the Prophecy comes to be fulfilled, they
will confess their own Ignorance, and give an implicit Belief to such
_Revelations_, as are delivered to the Publick by those wise Men, who by
their Art pry into the Cabinet of Futurity, and make to themselves
_Spectacles_ of the _Planets_, by which they are enabled to read the
darkest Page in the Book of _Doomesday_.

Having, in my last, given some Account of my intended Summer Library, it
cannot appear strange, if I should already have anticipated a Part of my
Pleasure, and dipped into some of the promising Authors I mentioned. The
witty _Quevedo_, in one of his visionary Prospects of Hell, fancies, he
sees an _Astrologer_ creeping upon all Four; with a pair of Compasses
betwixt his Teeth; his Spheres, and Globes about him; his _Jacob's_ Staff
before him; and his Eyes fixed upon the Stars, as if he were taking a
Height, or making an Observation. The Student, after gazing awhile, started
up of a sudden, and wringing his Hands, _Good Lord_! says he, _what an
unlucky Dog was I! If I had come into the World but one_ Half Quarter _of
an_ Hour _sooner, I had beene saved: for just then_ Saturn _shifted, and_
Mars _was lodged in the_ House of Life. Another Proficient in the same
Art, who was very loth to go to Hell before his Time, had his Tormentors be
sure he was dead: _for_, says he, _I am a little doubtful of it my self; in
Regard that I had_ Jupiter _for my_ Ascendant, _and_ Venus _in the_ House
of Life, _and no_ malevolent Aspect _to cross me. So that by the Rules of_
Astrology, _I was to live, precisely_, a Hundred and one Years, two Months,
six Days, four Hours, and three Minutes.

It is plain from such Instances, and many more of equal Demonstration, had
I Leisure to collect them, that the Stars dispose of us as they please, and
have an Influence on every Action of our Lives. They are particularly busy
in the Affairs of Women, and She that, by a too great Love of Society, has
been kind to others besides her own Husband, might have been an Example of
Discretion and Modesty, had she been born a Minute sooner, or later, and
had a more _continent_ Planet for her _Ascendent_. I hope, this will be
sufficient to vindicate the Science from all Suspicions of Imposture. I can
assure my Readers, that I my self saw a _Prophecy_ about _two_ Months
_after_ the Battle of _Hockstadt_, which exactly described that great Event
in all its Circumstances. The same Prophecy foretold, that in seven Years
_Lewis_ the _Fourteenth_ should not have Ground enough to make him a Grave;
and tho' this did not exactly come to pass, it cannot be imputed to the
_Ignorance_ of the Astrologer, but to those _Counsels_ and _Events_ which
would not suffer the Prophecy to take Place.

I am my self a considerable Proficient in this Study, and have told several
Things that have greatly surprized the Hearers. I am consulted chiefly by
the Ladies, who come to my Lodgings by _Two's_ and by _Three's_; and it is
pleasant to hear them titter, and laugh among themselves, before they
venture to knock at my Door. The young Things come in blushing, and express
all the Fears and Confusions natural to Youth and Innocence: Immediately I
examine them: One tells me, she desires to know _when she shall be
married_; another is as importunate to learn _when she shall be a Widow_: I
interrupt them, by telling one, I know that _she_ is a _married Woman_; and
the other, that _she_ shall soon be _married_. I proceed to ask them
several Questions, which they are very ingenious in answering: And then I
tell them a hundred Things, every one of which they knew to a Tittle
before-hand. The Result is, that they go away frighted and amazed at my
profound Skill; and I often over-hear them saying, that _He certainly must
deal with the Devil, or he could not have told us such and such
Circumstances_.

But the Excellency of my Skill consists in giving an Account of things
lost: I would not have the Reader suppose that I descend to the trifling
Study of consulting Fate, about _who_ stole a _Spoon_, or _what_ became of
a straggling _Thimble_, Things of which the Stars take no Cognizance. These
Toys I leave to the Six-penny _Philomaths_ of _Moorfields_, and the
_Astrologers_ of _Grub-street_: My Enquiries are a little more sublime. I
account for Things which some lose, and no other finds; of this Nature are
the _Maidenheads_ of _Women_, and the _Honour_ of _Great Men_. They, who
are short-sighted in the Sciences, cannot see they fly up to the _Moon_,
from whence they never return, as the learned _Ariosta_ discovered before
me: And therefore it is an Absurdity in our Language, and ought to be
corrected, when we say of Things which we cannot account for, _I know no
more than the_ Man _in the_ Moon.

Astrology consists of many Branches, which the Learned, who have travelled
thro' the Spheres, very well know; and every Proficient takes the Road
which he likes best. A Student, now living, has made great Discoveries
concerning the Duration of this _Earthly Globe_; and tho' by his Art he
found out, it could not last above _Ten_ Years, yet being a good
Protestant, and to shew his great Trust in Government Securities, he
purchased an Annuity for _Ninety and Nine_ Years, and, 'tis thought, means
to leave the _Reversion_ of it to the Poor till _Doomesday_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.




Numb. XXVI.

THE

THEATRE.

By Sir _JOHN FALSTAFFE_.

_To be Continued every_ Tuesday _and_ Saturday.

Price Two-pence.

    _--Jam nunc debentia dici
    Pleraq; differat, & praesens in tempus omittat._

    Hor.

Saturday, _May 14. 1720._


My first Entertainment in a Morning is to throw my Eyes over the Papers of
the Day, by which I am informed, with very little Trouble, how Things are
carried in the great World. I look upon the printed News to be the
Histories of the Times, in which the candid and ingenious Authors, out of a
strict Regard to Truth, deliver Facts in such ambiguous Terms, that when
you read of a Battle betwixt Count _Mercy_, and the Marquis _De Lede_, you
may give the Victory to that Side, which your private Inclination most
favours. I have seen in one Paragraph the precise number of the _kill'd_
and _wounded_ adjusted; and in the next, the Author seems doubtful in his
Opinion, whether there has been any Battle fought. In Domestick Affairs,
our Writers are somewhat more bold in their Intelligence; and relate Things
with a greater Air of Certainty, when they lie most under the Suspition of
delivering false History. Thus it happens, that I have seen a great Fortune
_married_ in the _Evening Post_ two Years after her _Death_; and a Man of
Quality has had an _Heir laid to him_, before he himself, or the Town, ever
knew that he was married. Thus they _kill_ and _marry_ whom they please,
knowing well, that every Circumstance, whether true, or false, serves to
fill up a _Paragraph_.

As nothing can effect the Safety, and Welfare of the People, so much as the
_Resolutions_ of our _House_ of _Commons_, I read over the _Votes_ with a
diligent Concern. 'Tis there that every Man aggrieved is to find Redress;
from their Proceedings is it, that Peace abroad, or Unity at home, must be
expected: and should they be byass'd, or deceived, their Error must involve
Millions in Misfortunes. _Horace's_ Observation has ever prevailed, and
will continue to do so, while this is a World. _Delirant Reges, plectuntur
Achivi._

I read a Resolution of that Honourable House lately, which gave me no
little satisfaction, and which I had long expected from their Wisdom: viz.
that all Methods of raising Money by _Voluntary Subscriptions_ are
prejudicial to _Trade_. This is a Truth which every Man in Trade has
already felt; and yet, tis amazing to observe how little Effect it has had
upon the Publick. Whereas by this Resolution it should have been expected,
that such prejudicial Subscriptions were worth nothing, the Price of these
_Bubbles_ immediately rose, and their Reputation and Number of Subscribers
encreased in a greater Proportion, than before they were under any Censure
from the State: It is hard to account for this Paradox: either the
Authority of Parliament has become a Jest, or we are under the strongest
Infatuation that these Kingdoms ever felt.

I am unwilling to publish the Reasons, which an intelligent Person gave me,
for such Consequences: Because it would not do Honour to certain Persons,
by whose Interest it is expected, that _Charters_ are to be obtain'd. As to
the Great _Bubble_, which as open'd a Subscription, where every Man is to
pay _five_ Times the Value of what he purchases, a Gentleman, who is very
conversant in Trade, informs me, that the Foreigners, who have Original
Stocks to a very great Value, have already sent Commissions to have it all
sold, when it comes to this extravagant Price. By this Means, they will
have Opportunities of draining the Nation of its current Coin. I suppose,
it will be answer'd, that the _Exportation_ of _Coin_ is provided against
by _Statutes_; it is granted; and so is the Exportation of _Wooll_: Yet we
are all sensible, the Law is transgress'd every Day in this Point: And it
must be allowed, that Money may be as easily _smuggled_ as any Commodity
whatsoever. The Consequence of this will be, that a Circulation of _Paper_
must be set on Foot to supply the Want of _ready Money_: And then, as I
have read in a very witty Author, _a_ Crown-Piece _will be shewn about as
an_ Elephant, _and_ Guineas _will be stiled of_ Blessed Memory.

Without being deeply learned in Trade, this appears to me a natural
Consequence: Yet, notwithstanding all that can be said, I find the giddy
Multitude resolute to forsake the profitable Paths of Industry, to grasp
only at _Bubbles_ and _Shadows_. This calls to my Mind the Fable of
_Jupiter_ and the _Old Woman_. The indulgent God gave the Woman a _Hen_,
which laid a _Golden Egg_ every Day: She, not content with this slow Way of
growing rich, and being curs'd with a foolish Avarice, thought a Mine of
Golden Eggs must be lodged in the Hen's Belly: But, killing the Bird, she
found only common Entrails, and lost at once the _expected Treasure_, and
the Advantage which she reaped before, by its laying every Day.

But it is Time to have done with these Discourses; the World is obstinate
in the Pursuit of Follies, and not to be reclaimed either by the Authority
of Parliaments, or good Sense: It is not so much the Consideration of this,
as the Season being so far advanced, which now induces me to lay down my
Pen. My Thoughts and Desires, I must own, are turn'd to Solitude and rural
Pleasures. The Man, who desires to have his Body in Health, should rise
from Table with some Remains of Appetite, and not be covetous of gorging to
Satiety: So a Writer, who would not wish to surfeit the Town, should submit
to give over Writing, before they begin to think he has harass'd them too
long.

The gay Part of the World are every Day retreating from the Field of
Business; and going with their Families into Summer Quarters. I look upon
my self in the State of a _Roman_ General, who has made a vigorous and
successful Campaign, and is now returning Home to take his _Triumph_. I am
retiring to the Village, in which my Family for some Ages have made no
inconsiderable Figure, and know I shall be received not with the single
Respect due to my Name and Quality, but as the Person who ingaged the late
memorable Sir _John Edgar_. If Health and Fortune permit, next Season, I
shall again propagate my Character in the Town; in the mean Time, to make
my self the more conspicuous, I have ordered my _Lucubrations_ to be
printed in a _small_ Volumn, and to have one of the Books sent down after
me, which shall be chained in my Library, and go along with the
_Mansion-House_ from Generation to Generation, as a lasting Monument in
Honour of the Name and Erudition of Sir _John Falstaffe_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the _Angel_ in _Pater-Noster-Row_, where
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            Ned Ward, Selected Tracts.

Series V:   Drama
            Edward Moore, _The Gamester_ (1753).
            Nevil Payne, _Fatal Jealousy_ (1673).
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            John Oldmixon, _Reflections on Dr. Swift's Letter to
              Harley_ (1712); and Arthur Mainwaring, _The British
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and Addison's _Freeholder_ No. 45 (1716).

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Criticism_ (1707).

SEPT., 1946: Series III, No. 1--Anon., _Letter to A.H. Esq.; concerning the
Stage_ (1698), and Richard Willis' _Occasional Paper_ No. IX (1698).

NOV., 1946: Series I, No. 2--Anon., _Essay on Wit_ (1748), together with
Characters by Flecknoe, and Joseph Warton's _Adventurer_ Nos. 127 and 133.

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Concerning Poetry_ (1700) and _Essay on Heroic Poetry_ (1693).

MARCH, 1947: Series III, No. 2--Anon., _Representation of the Impiety and
Immorality of the Stage_ (1704) and anon., _Some Thoughts Concerning the
Stage_ (1704).


PUBLICATIONS FOR THE SECOND YEAR (1947-1948)

MAY, 1947: Series I, No. 3--John Gay's _The Present State of Wit_; and a
section on Wit from _The English Theophrastus_. With an Introduction by
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Creech. With an Introduction by J.E. Congleton.

SEPT., 1947: Series III, No. 3--T. Hanmer's (?) _Some Remarks on the
Tragedy of Hamlet_. With an Introduction by Clarence D. Thorpe.

NOV., 1947: Series I, No. 4--Corbyn Morris' _Essay towards Fixing the True
Standards of Wit_, etc. With an Introduction by James L. Clifford.

JAN., 1948: Series II, No. 4--Thomas Purney's _Discourse on the Pastoral_.
With an Introduction by Earl Wasserman.

MARCH, 1948: Series III, No. 4--Essays on the Stage, selected, with an
Introduction by Joseph Wood Krutch.


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