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falsehood, and want of understanding. For this work, a good history of quarrels would be very edifying to the public, and I apply myself to the town for particulars and circumstances within their knowledge, which may serve to embellish the dissertation with proper cuts. Most of the quarrels I have ever known, have proceeded from some valiant coxcomb's persisting in the wrong, to defend some prevailing folly, and preserve himself from the ingenuousness of owning a mistake.
By this means it is called 'giving a man satisfaction,' to urge your offence against him with your sword. If the contradiction in the very terms of one of our challenges were as well explained and turned into downright English, would it not run after this manner ?
‘Your extraordinary behaviour last night, and the liberty you were pleased to take with me, makes me this morning give you this, to tell you, because you are an ill-bred puppy, I will meet you in Hyde Park an hour hence ; and because you want both breeding and humanity, I desire you would come with a pistol in your hand, on horseback, and endeavour to shoot me through the head, to teach you more manners. If you fail of doing me this pleasure, I shall say you are a rascal, on every post in town : and so, sir, if you will not injure me more, I shall never forgive what you have done already. Pray, sir, do not fail of getting everything ready; and you will infinitely oblige,
'Sir, your most obedient humble servant, etc.'
[Tatler, No. 25.
Dn the art of Growing Did
It would be a good appendix to ‘The Art of Living and Dying,' if any one would write “The Art of Growing Old,' and teach · men to resign their pretensions to the pleasures and gallantries of youth, in proportion to the alteration they find in themselves by the approach of age and infirmities. The infirmities of this stage of life would be much fewer, if we did not affect those which attend the more vigorous and active part of our days; but instead of studying to be wiser, or being contented with our present follies, the ambition of many of us is also to be the same sort of fools we formerly have been. I have often argued, as I am a professed lover of women, that our sex grows old with a much worse grace than the other does ; and have ever been of opinion, that there are more well-pleased old women, than old men. I thought it a good reason for this, that the ambition of the fair sex being confined to advantageous marriages, or shining in the eyes of men, their parts were over sooner, and consequently the errors in the performances of them. The conversation of this evening has not convinced me of the contrary ; for one or two fop-women shall not make a balance for the crowds of coxcombs among ourselves, diversified according to the different pursuits of pleasures and business.
Returning home this evening a little before my
usual hour, I scarce had seated myself in my easychair, stirred the fire, and stroked my cat, but I heard somebody come rumbling upstairs. I saw my door opened, and a human figure advancing towards me, so fantastically put together, that it was some minutes before I discovered it to be my old and intimate friend, Sam Trusty. Immediately I rose up, and placed him in my own seat; a compliment I pay to few. The first thing he uttered was, “Isaac, fetch me a cup of your cherry-brandy before you offer to ask any question. He drank a lusty draught, sat silent for some time, and at last broke out : ‘I am come,' quoth he, 'to insult thee for an old fantastic dotard, as thou art, in ever defending the women. I have this evening visited two widows, who are now in that state I have often heard you call an “after-life”; I suppose you mean by it, an existence which grows out of past entertainments, and is an untimely delight in the satisfactions which they once set their hearts upon too much to be ever able to relinquish. Have but patience,' continued he, ' until I give you a succinct account of my ladies, and of this night's adventure. They are much of an age, but very different in their characters. The one of them, with all the advances which years have made upon her, goes on in a certain romantic road of love and friendship which she fell into in her teens; the other has transferred the amorous passions of her first years to the love of cronies, pets, and favourites, with which she is always surrounded ; but the genius of each of them will best appear by the account of what happened to me at their houses. About five this afternoon, being tired with study, the weather inviting, and time lying a little upon my hands,
I resolved, at the instigation of my evil genius, to visit them;
their husbands having been our contemporaries. This I thought I could do without much trouble ; for both live in the very next street.
I went first to my lady Camomile ; and the butler, who had lived long in the family, and seen me often in his master's time, ushered me very civilly into the parlour, and told me, though my lady had given strict orders to be denied, he was sure I might be admitted, and bid the black boy acquaint his lady that I was come to wait upon her. In the window lay two letters, one broke open, the other fresh sealed with a wafer : the first directed to the divine Cosmelia, the second to the charming Lucinda ; but both, by the indented characters, appeared to have been writ by very unsteady hands. Such uncommon addresses increased my curiosity, and put me upon asking my old friend the butler, if he knew who those persons were ? Very well,” says he, “that is from Mrs. Furbish to my lady, an old school-fellow and great crony of her ladyship’s ; and this the answer." I inquired in what county she lived. “Oh dear!” says he, “but just by in the neighbourhood. Why, she was here all this morning, and that letter came and was answered within these two hours. They have taken an odd fancy, you must know, to call one another hard names ; but, for all that, they love one another hugely.” By this time the boy returned with his lady's humble service to me, desiring I would excuse her ; for she could not possibly see me, nor anybody else, for it was opera-night.'
‘Methinks," says I, 'such innocent folly as two old women's courtship to each other, should rather make you merry than put you out of humour.'
good Isaac,' says he, ‘no interruption, I beseech you. I got soon to Mrs. Feeble's ; she that was formerly Betty Frisk; you must needs remember her ; Tom Feeble of Brazen Nose fell in love with her for her fine dancing. Well, Mrs. Ursula, without further ceremony, carries me directly up to her mistress's chamber, where I found her environed by four of the most mischievous animals that can ever infest a family : an old shock dog with one eye, a monkey chained to one side of the chimney, a great grey squirrel to the other, and a parrot waddling in the middle of the
However, for a while, all was in a profound tranquillity. Upon the mantel-tree, for I am a pretty curious observer, stood a pot of lambetive electuary, with a stick of liquorice, and near it a phial of rosewater, and powder of tutty. Upon the table lay a pipe filled with betony and colt's-foot, a roll of waxcandle, a silver spitting-pot, and a Seville orange. The lady was placed in a large wicker-chair, and her feet wrapped up in flannel, supported by cushions ; and in this attitude, would you believe it, Isaac, she was reading a romance with spectacles on. The first compliments over, as she was industriously endeavouring to enter upon conversation, a violent fit of coughing seized her. This awaked Shock, and in a trice the whole room was in an uproar; for the dog barked, the squirrel squealed, the monkey chattered, the parrot screamed, and Ursula, to appease them, was more clamorous than all the rest. You, Isaac, who know how any harsh noise affects my head, may guess what I suffered from the hideous din of these discordant sounds. At length all was appeased, and quiet restored : a chair was drawn for me, where I