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N° 258. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1710.
Oecidit miseros crambe repetita
Juv, Sat. vii. 154.
From my own Apartment, December 1. WHEN a man keeps a constant table, he may be allowed sometimes to serve up a cold dish of meat, or toss
up the fragments of a feast in a ragoût. I have · sometimes, in a scarcity of provisions, been obliged to take the same kind of liberty, and to entertain my reader with the leavings of a former treat. I must this day have recourse to the same method, and beg my guests to sit down to a kind of Saturday's din
To let the metaphor rest; I intend to fill up this paper with a bundle of letters, relating to subjects on which I have formerly treated ; and have ordered my bookseller to print, at the end of each letter, the minutes with which I indorsed it, after the first perusal of it.
“ To Isaac BICKERSTAFF, Esquire. SIR,
November 22, 1710. “ Dining yesterday with Mr. South-British and Mr. William North-Britain, two gentlemen, who, before you ordered it otherwise, were known by the names of Mr. English, and Mr. William Scot: among other things, the maid of the house, who in her time I believe may have been a North-British
warming pan, brought us up a dish of North-British collops. We liked our entertainment very well ; only we observed the table-cloth, being not so fine as we could have wished, was North-British cloth. But the worst of it was, we were disturbed all dinnertime by the noise of the children, who were playing in the paved court at North-British hoppers ; so we paid our North-Briton* sooner than we designed, and took coach to North-Briton Yard † about which place most of us live. We had indeed
a-foot, only we were under some apprehensions lest a North-British mist should wet a South-British man to the skin.
“ We think this matter properly expressed, according to the accuracy of the new style, settled by you in one of
late Papers. You will please to give your opinion upon it to, Sir, Your most humble servants,
66 J. S. 66 M. P.
“ N. R.I" See if this letter be conformable to the directions given in the Tatler above-mentioned.
“ To ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire.
Kent, Nov. 22, 1710. “A gentleman in my neighbourhood, who appens to be brother to a lord, though neither his father nor grandfather were so, is perpetually making use of this phrase, a person of my quality. He has it in his mouth fifty times a day, to his labourers, his servants, his children, his tenants, and his neighbours. Wet or dry, at home or abroad, drunk or sober, angry or pleased, it is the constant burden of his style. Sir, as you are Censor of Great Britain, as you value the repose of a loyal county, and the reputation of my neighbour, I beg you will take this cruel grievance into your consideration ; else, for my own particular, I am resolved to give up my farms, sell my stock, and remove with my wife and seven children next spring to Falmouth or Berwick, if my strength will permit me, being brought into a very weak condition. I am, with great respect, Sir, your most obedient and languishing servant,” &c.
* Scot, i. e. share of the reckoning. + Scotland yard.
Jonathan Swift, Matthew Prior, Nicholas Rowe.
Let this be referred to the Court of Honour.
" MR. BICKERSTAFF, “ I am a young lady of a good fortune, and at present invested by several lovers, who lay close siege to me, and carry on their attacks with all possible diligence. I know which of them has the first place in my own heart, but would freely cross my private inclinations to make choice of the man who Ioves me best; which it is impossible for me to know, all of them pretending to an equal passion for me. Let me therefore beg of you, dear Mr. Bickerstaff, to lend me your Ithuriel's spear, in order to touch this troop of rivals ; after which I will most faithfully return it to you again, with the greatest gratitude. I am, Sir, &c.”
Query 1. What figure doth this lady think her lover will
in ? or what symptoms will he betray of his passion upon being touched ?
2 Whether a touch of her fan may not have the same efficacy as a touch of Ithuriel's
? “ Great Lincoln's-Inn Square, Nov. 29. “ HONOURED SIR, “ Gratitude obliges me to make this public acknowledgement of the eminent service you have done myself in particular, and the whole body of chaplains, I hope, in general. Coming home on Sunday about dinner-time, I found things strangely altered for the better ; the porter smiled in my
face when he let me in, the footman bowed to me as I passed him, the steward shook me by the hand, and Mrs. Beatrice dropped me a courtesy as she went along. I was surprized at all this civility, and knew not to what I might ascribe it, except to my bright beaver and shining scarf, that were new that day. But I was still more astonished to find such an agreeable change at the table. My lord helped me to a fat slice of venison with his own hand, and my lady did me the honour to drink to me. I offered to rise at my usual time; but was desired to sit still, with this kind expression, Come, doctor, a jelly or a conserve will do you no harm ; do not be afraid of the dessert. I was so confounded with the favour, that I returned my
thanks in a most aukward manner, wondering what was the meaning of this total transformation : but my lord soon put an end to my admiration, by shewing me a paper that challenged you, Sir, for its author ; and rallied me very agreeably on the subject, asking me, · Which was best handled, the lord or his chaplain?' I owned myself to think the banter sharpest against ourselves, and that these were trifling matters, not fit for a philosopher to insist on. His lordship was in so good a humour, that he ordered me to return his thanks with my own: and my lady joins in the same, with this one exception to your Paper, that the chaplain in her family was always allowed minced pyes from Allhallows to Candlemas. I am, Sir, “ Your most obliged, humble servant,
- T. W." Requires no answer.
Oxford, Nov. 27. I have read your account of Nova Zembla with great pleasure, and have ordered it to be transcribed in a little hand, and inserted in Mr. Tonson's late edition of Hudibras. I could wish you would furnish us with more notes upon that author, to fill up the place of those dull annotations with which several editions of that book have been encumbered. I would particularly desire of you to give the world the story of Taliacotius, who makes a very eminent figure in the first Canto; not having been able to meet with any account of the said Taliacotius in the writings of any other author. I am, with the most profound respect, the most humble of your admirers,
“ Q. Z." To be answered next Thursday, if nothing more material intervenes.
“ MR. CENSOR, “ In your survey of the people, you must have observed crowds of single persons that are qualified to increase the subjects of this glorious island, and yet neglect that duty to their country. In order to reclaim such persons, I lay before you this proposal. " Your most obedient servant,
" Th. Cl.*" This to be considered on Saturday next,
* Thomas Clement,