« ZurückWeiter »
been content to have paid much dearer for them rather than to have gone without them.
The sympathy betwixt the nose and its parent was very extraordinary. Hudibras has told us, that when the porter died, the nose dropped of course, in which case it was always usual to return the nose, in order to have it interred with its first owner. was likewise affected by the pain, as well as death, of the original proprietor. An eminent instance of this nature happened to three Spaniards, whose noses were all made out of the same piece of brawn. They found them one day shoot and swell extremely; upon which they sent to know how the porter did : and heard, upon inquiry, that the parent of the noses had been severely kicked the day before, and that the porter kept his bed on account of the bruises which it had received. This was highly resented by the Spaniards, who found out the person that had used the porter so unmercifully, and treated him in the same manner, as if the indignity had been done to their own noses.
In this and several other cases it might be said, that the porters led the gentlemen by
On the other hand, if any thing went amiss with
the porter felt the effects of it; insomuch, that it was generally articled with the patient, that he should not only abstain from all his old courses, but should, on no pretence whatsoever, smell pepper or eat mustard; on which occasion, the part where the incision had been made, was seized with unspeakable twinges and prickings.
The Englishman I before mentioned was so very irregular, and relapsed so frequently into the distemper which at first brought him to the learned Taliacotius, that in the space of two years he wore out five noses; and by that means so tormented the porters, that if he would have given five hundred pounds for a nose, there was not one of them that would accommodate him. This young gentleman was born of honest parents, and passed his first years in fox-hunting; but accidentally quitting the woods, and coming up to London, he was so charmed with the beauties of the playhouse, that he had not been in town two days before he got the misfortune which carried off this part of his face. He used to be called in Germany 'the Englishman of five noses, and the gentleman that had thrice as many noses as he had ears.' Such was the raillery of those times.
I shall close this paper with an admonition to the young men of this town; which I think the more necessary, because I see several new fresh-coloured faces, that have made their first appearance in it this winter. I must therefore assure them, that the art of making noses is entirely lost ; and, in the nextplace, beg them not to follow the example of our ordinary town-rakes, who live as if there was a Taliacotius to be met with at tie corner of every street. Whatever young men may think, the nose is a very becoming part of the face; and a man makes but a very silly figure without it. But it is the nature of youth not to know the value of any thing until they have lost it. The general precept, therefore, I shall leave with them is, to regard every town-woman as a particular kind of syren, that has a design upon their noses; and that, amidst herflatteries and allurements, they will fancy she speaks to them in that humorous phrase of old Plautus, Ego tibi faciem denasabo mordicus, ' Keep your face out of my way, or I will bite off your nose.
No 261. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1710.
From my own Apartment, December 8. It is the duty of all who make philosophy the entertainment of their lives, to turn their thoughts to practical schemes for the good of society, and not pass away their time in fruitless searches, which tend rather to the ostentation of knowledge, than the service of life. For this reason I cannot forbear reading even the common bills that are daily put into people's hand as they pass the streets, which give us notice of the present residence, the past travels, and infallible medicines of doctors useful in their generation, though much below the character of the renowned Taliacotius. But, upon a nice calculation of the successes of such adepts, I find their labours tend mostly to the enriching only one sort of men, that is to say, the society of upholders. From this
other which occur to me when I am numbering the good people of Great Britain, I cannot but favour any proposal which tends to repairing the losses we sustain by eminent cures. The best I have met with in this kind, has been offered
consideration, and recommended in a letter subscribed Thomas Clement. The title to his printed articles run thus: By the profitable society, at the Wheat-sheaf over-against Tom's coffee-house in Russel-street, Covent-garden, new proposals for promoting a contribution towards raising two hundred and fifty pounds, to be made on the baptizing of any infant born in Wedlock.' The plan is laid
with such proper regulations, as serve, to such as fall in with it for the sake of their posterity, all the uses, without
of the inconveniences, of settlements. By this means, such whose fortunes depend upon their own industry, or personal qualifications, need not be deterred, by fear of poverty, from that state which nature and reason prescribe to us, as the fountain of the greatest happiness in human life. The Censors of Rome had power vested in them to lay taxes on the unmarried; and I think I cannot shew my impartiality better than inquiring into the extravagant privileges my brother bachelors enjoy, and fine them accordingly. I shall not allow a single life in one sex to be reproached, and held in esteem in the other. It would not, methinks, be amiss, if an old bachelor, who lives in contempt of matrimony, were obliged to give a portion to an old maid who is willing to enter into it. At the same time I must allow, that those who can plead courtship, and were unjustly rejected, shall not be liable to the pains and penalties of celibacy. But such as pretend an aversion to the whole sex, because they were ill-treated by a particular female, and cover their sense of disappointment in women under a contempt of their favour, shall be proceeded against as bachelors convict. I am not without hopes, that from this slight warning all the unmarried men of fortune, taste, and refinement, will, without farther delay, become lovers and humble servants to such of their acquaintance as are most agreeable to them, under pain of my censures : and it is to be hoped the rest of the world, who remain single for fear of the encumbrances of wedlock, will become subscribers to Mr. Clement's proposal. By these means we shall have a much more numerous account of births in the year 1711, than any ever before known in Great Britain, where merely to be born is a distinc
tion of Providence greater than being born to a fortune in another place.
As I was going on in the consideration of this good office which Mr. Clement proposes to do his country, I received the following letter, which seems to be dictated by a like modest and public spirit, that makes use of me also in its design of obliging mankind.
"MR. BICKERSTAFF, • In the royal lottery for a million and a half I had the good-fortune of obtaining a prize. From before the drawing I had devoted a fifth of whatever should arise to me to charitable uses. Accordingly I lately troubled you with my request and commission for placing half-a-dozen youths with Mr. More, writingmaster in Castle-street, to whom it is said, we owe all the fine devices, flourishes, and the composure of all the plates, for the drawing and paying the tickets. Be pleased, therefore, good Sir, to find or take leisure for complying therewith, for I would not appear concerned in this small matter. I am very much
Your humble servant, &c.' It is no small pleasure to observe, that in the midst of a very degenerate age, there are still spirits which retain their natural dignity, and pursue the good of their fellow-creatures; some in making themselves useful by professed service, some by secret generosity. Were I at liberty to discover even all the good I know of many men living at this time, there would want nothing but a suitable historian, to make them appear as illustrious as any of the noblest of the ancient Greeks or Romans. The cunning some have used to do handsome and worthy actions, the address to do men services, and escape their notice, has produced so many surprising incidents, which have been laid before me during my