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though I am not made the happy instrument of doing it.
'However, nothing in my power shall be wanting to shew my gratitude; I will make it the business of my life to thank him; and shall esteem (next to him) those my best friends, who give me the greatest assistance in this good work. Printing this letter would be some little instance of my gratitude; and your favour herein will very much oblige Your most humble servant, &c.
N° 547. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1712.
Si vulnus tibi, monstratâ radice vel herbâ,
It is very difficult to praise a man without putting him out of countenance. My following correspondent has found out this uncommon art, and, together with his friends, has celebrated some of my speculations after such a concealed but diverting manner, that if any of my readers think I am to blame in publishing my own commendations, they will allow I should have deserved their censure as much, had I suppressed the humour in which they are conveyed
I am often in a private assembly of wits of both
sexes, where we generally descant upon your speculations, or upon the subjects on which you have treated. We were last Tuesday talking of those two volumes which you have lately published. Some were commending one of your papers, and some another; and there was scarce a single person in the company that had not a favourite speculation. Upon this a man of wit and learning told us, he thought it would not be amiss if we paid the Spectator the same compliment that is often made in our public prints to Sir William Read, Dr. Grant, Mr. Moor the apothecary, and other eminent physicians, where it is usual for the patients to publish the cures which have been made upon them, and the several distempers under which they laboured. The proposal took; and the lady where we visited having the two last volumes in large paper interleaved for her own private use, ordered them to be brought down, and laid in the window, whither every one in the company retired, and writ down a particular advertisement in the style and phrase of the like ingenious compositions which we frequently meet with at the end of our newspapers. When we had finished our work, we read them with a great deal of mirth at the fire-side, and agreed, nemine contradicente, to get them transcribed, and sent to the Spectator. The gentleman who made the proposal entered the following advertisement before the title-page, after which the rest succeeded in order.
Remedium efficax et universum; or, an effectual remedy adapted to all capacities: shewing how any person may cure himself of ill-nature, pride, partyspleen, or any other distemper incident to the human system, with an easy way to know when the infection is upon him. This panacea is as innocent as bread, agreeable to the taste, and requires no confinement. It has not its equal in the universe, as
abundance of the nobility and gentry throughout the kingdom have experienced.
N. B. No family ought to be without it.'
Over the two Spectators on jealousy, being the two first in the third volume. N° 170, 171.
'I, William Crazy, aged threescore and seven, having been for several years afflicted with uneasy doubts, fears, and vapours, occasioned by the youth and beauty of Mary my wife, aged twenty-five, do hereby, for the benefit of the public, give notice, that I have found great relief from the two following doses, having taken them two mornings together with a dish of chocolate. Witness my hand, &c.'
For the Benefit of the Poor.
In charity to such as are troubled with the disease of levee-hunting, and are forced to seek their bread every morning at the chamber-doors of great men, I, A. B. do testify, that for many years past I laboured under this fashionable distemper, but was cured of it by a remedy which I bought of Mrs. Baldwin, contained in a half-sheet of paper, marked No. 193, where any one may be provided with the same remedy at the price of a single penny.
'An infallible cure for hypochondriac melancholy, Nos. 173, 184, 191, 203, 209, 221, 233, 235, 239, 245, 247, 251.
I, Christopher Query, having been troubled with a certain distemper in my tongue, which shewed itself in impertinent and superfluous interrogatories, have not asked one unnecessary question since my perusal of the prescription marked No. 228.'
'The Britannic Beautifier*, being an essay on moTranslated from the advertisement of the Red Bavarian Liquor. Spec. in folio, No. 545.
desty, No. 231, which gives such a delightful blushing colour to the cheeks of those that are white or pale, that it is not to be distinguished from a natural fine complexion, nor perceived to be artificial by the nearest friend, is nothing of paint, or in the least hurtful. It renders the face delightfully handsome; is not subject to be rubbed off, and cannot be paralleled by either wash, powder, cosmetic, &c. It is certainly the best beautifier in the world.
I, Samuel Self, of the parish of St. James, having a constitution which naturally abounds with acids, made use of a paper of directions marked No. 177, recommending a healthful exercise called good-nature, and have found it a most excellent sweetener of the blood.'
'Whereas I, Elizabeth Rainbow, was troubled with that distemper in my head, which about a year ago was pretty epidemical among the ladies, and discovered itself in the colour of their hoods; having made use of the doctor's cephalic tincture, which he exhibited to the public in one of his last year's papers, I recovered in a very few days.'
I, George Gloom, having for a long time been troubled with the spleen, and being advised by my friends to put myself into a course of Steele, did for that end make use of remedies conveyed to me several mornings, in short letters, from the hands of the invisible doctor. They were marked at the bottom Nathaniel Henroost, Alice Threadneedle, Rebecca Nettletop, Tom Loveless, Mary Meanwell, Thomas Smoaky, Anthony Freeman, Tom Meggot, Rustick Sprightly, &c. which have had so good an effect upon me, that I now find myself cheerful, lightsome, and easy; and therefore do recommend them to all such as labour under the same distemper.'
Not having room to insert all the advertisements which were sent me, I have only picked out some few from the third volume, reserving the fourth for another opportunity.-O.
N° 548. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1712.
-Vitiis nemo sine nascitur: optimus ille
Qui minimis urgetur.-HOR. 1 Sat. iii. 68.
There's none but has some fault; and he's the best,
Nov. 27, 1712.
'MR. SPECTATOR, 'I HAVE read this day's paper with a great deal of pleasure, and could send you an account of several elixirs and antidotes in your third volume, which your correspondents have not taken notice of in their advertisements; and at the same time must own to you, that I have seldom seen a shop furnished with such a variety of medicaments, and in which there are fewer soporifics. The several vehicles you have invented for conveying your unacceptable truths to us, are what I most particularly admire, as I am afraid they are secrets which will die with you. I do not find that any of your critical essays are taken notice of in this paper, notwithstanding I look upon them to be excellent cleansers of the brain, and could venture to superscribe them with an advertisement which I have lately seen in one of our newspapers, wherein there is an account given of a sovereign remedy for restoring the taste to all such persons whose palates have been vitiated by distempers, unwholesome food, or any the like occasions. But to let fall the allusion, notwithstanding your criticisms, and parti