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ry syllable I had written in her praise, and in bitterness of soul translated the sixth satire of Juvenal.
Soon after this, the son and heir of Lord Townly, to whom I have the honour of being a distant relation, was engaged in a treaty of marriage with a rich heiress. I sat down immediately with great composure to write an epithalamium on this occasion. I trimmed Hymen's torch, and invited the loves and graces to the wedding: Concord was prepared to join their hands, and Juno to bless them with a numerous race of children. After all these pains, when every thing was ready for the wedding, and the last hand put to the epithalamium, the match was suddenly broke off, and my poem of course rendered useless. more uneasy under this disappointment than any of the parties could possibly be; till I was informed of the sudden marriage of a noble lord with a celebrated beauty. On this popular occasion, promising my. self universal applause, I immediately publisbed my epithalamium; which, like Bayes's prologue, was artfully contrived to serve one purpose as well as ano. ther.
As my notions had been hitherto confined within a narrow sphere of life, my literary pursuits were consequently less important, till I had the opportunity of enlarging my ideas by going abroad. My travels, of which I have before hinted something to the reader, opened to me a new and extensive field for observa, tion. I will not presume to boast, that I received any part of my education at Geneva, or any of those cele: brated foreign universities, in which alone an Eng. lishman can be grounded in the principles of religion and liberty : But I may say without vanity, that I gleaned some useful knowledge from every place I visited. My propensity to writing followed me whereever I went; and were I to meet with encouragement by a large subscription, I could publish several volumes of curious remarks which I made in my tour, I had, indeed, like to have got into some unlucky scrapes, by turning author in places where the liberty of the press was never so much as heard of. At Paris I narrowly escaped being put into the Bastile
for a little Chanson a boire, reflecting on the mistress 1 of the Grand Monarque ; and I was obliged to quit
Rome a week sooner than I intended, for fixing on Pasquin a prayer for the Pope's toe, which was then laid up with the gout.
It was not till my return from abroad, that I formally commenced a professed critic, for which I now thought myself thoroughly qualified. I could draw parallels between Marseilles and Denoyer, compare the behaviour of the French parterre with the English pit ; and have lately made a figure by affecting an indifference about the present burlettas, as I took care to let every body know, that I had often seen them in Flanders. My knowledge in theatrical affairs naturally led me to write a great number of occasional pamphlets on those topics; such as " Examens of New Plays, Letters to the Managers, &c.” Not content with this, I had a strong inclination to shine in the drama. I often pleased myself with computing ....“ three benefit nights....let me see....six hundred pounds at least....an hundred more for the copy....besides a perpetual freedom of the house.”.... These were temptations not to be resisted. I sat down therefore to a tragedy; but before I got through the first act, despairing to make it sufficiently pathetic for the modern taste, I changed my scheme, and began a comedy ; then again reflecting, that most of our comedies were in reality nothing but over-grown farces, contented myself with writing what authors are now pleased to call a comedy of two acts. This I finished with a great deal of pains, and very much to my own satisfaction: but not being able to get it on the stage, as one house was entirely taken up with pantomimes, and the manager of the other had so
many farces of his own, I generously made a present of it to an actor for his benefit ;....when to my great surprize it was damned.
I have at last resolved to bend all my attention, and dedicate all my powers, to the carrying on this my present elaborate undertaking. I am sorry to own, that the success has not at all answered my expectations: Iflattered myself with being universally known, read, and admired; but I find quite the contrary. I went into a coffee-house the other day by Whitechapel Mount, where on asking for the Connoisseur, the woman stared at me, and said she did not know what I meant. I dined last week at a foreign ambassador's ; and not a word about me or my works passed at table. I wrote to a relation at Caermarthen, desiring to know what reputation my paper hasin Wales; but he tells me, that nothing in the literary way comes down there but the King's Speech and the London Evening Post. I have enquired into the sale of my first number, my second, my third, my fourth, and the last ; yet I cannot assure my readers, that I have sold three thousand of any one of them. In short, I give this public notice once for all, that if I do not find myself taken in all over England, by the time I have published two or three hundred papers, ....let them look to it....let them look to it....I'll bid adieu to my ungrat. ful country, go directly to Berlin, and (as Voltaire is discarded) employ my pen in the service of that encourager of literary merit the king of Prussia.
As several correspondents, since the first publication of this number, have desired to know, from what Italian author the fable at the beginning of this paper is borrowed. We think it necessary to acquaint them, that the fiction is entirely our own.
No. VII. THURSDAY, MARCH 14.
Pænitet hospitii, cum me spectante lacertos
Imponit collo rusticus ille tuo.
Ante oculos posui pocula sumpta meos.
I loath'd the dinner, while before my face
TO MR. TOWN.
I SHALL make no apology for recommending to your notice, as Censor-General, a fault that is too common among the married people; I mean the absurd trick of fondling before company. Love is, indeed, a very rare ingredient in modern wedlock ; nor can the parties entertain too much affection for each other: bui an open display of it on all occasions render them ridiculous.
A few days ago I was introduced to a young couple, who were but lately married, and are reckoned by all their acquaintance to be exceeding happy in each other. I had scarce saluted the bride, when the husband caught her eagerly in his arms, and almost devoured her with kisses. When we were seated, they took care to place themselves close to each other; and during our conversation he was constantly piddling with her fingers, tapping her cheek, or playing with her hair. At dinner, they were mutuelly employed in pressing each other to taste of every dish; and the fond appellations of " my dear, my love," &c. were continually bandied across the table. Soon after the cloth was removed, the lady made a motion to retire; but the husband prevented the compliments of the rest of the company by saying, “ We should
be unhappy without her.” As the bottle went round, he joined her health to every toast; and could not help now and then rising from his chair to press her hand, and manifest the warmth of his passion by the ardour of his caresses. This precious fooling, though it highly entertained them, gave me great disgust: therefore, as my company might very well be spared, I took my leave as soon as possible.
Nothing is more common than to see a new married couple, setting out with a splendor in their equipage, furniture, and manner of living, which they have been afterwards obliged to retrench. Thus it happens, when they have made themselves remarkable by a shew of excessive love. They begin with great eclat, are lavish of their fondness at first, but their whole stock is soon wasted; and their poverty is the more insupportable, as their former profusion has made it more conspicuous. I have remarked the ill consequence of this indiscretion in both cases : One couple has at last had separate beds, while the other have been carried to the opera in hackney chairs.
Two people, who are to pass their whole lives together, may surely find time enough for dalliance without playing over their pretty tricks in public. How ridiculous would it appear, if in a large assembly every one should select his mate, and the whole company should fall into couples, like the birds on Valentine's day! and it is surely no less absurd, to see a man and his wife eternally trifling and toying together.
“ Still amorous, and fond, and billing,
I have often been reduced to a kind of awkward distress on these occasions ; not knowing which way to look, or what to say. I consider them as playing a game, in which the stander-by is not it all interested; and would therefore recommend it to every third