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No. 547. THURSDAY NOVEMBER 27.
Si vulnus tibi monstratâ radice vel herbâ
Hor. 2 Ep. ii. 149.
Suppose you had a wound, and one had show'd
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 to me.
"I AM often in a private assembly of wits of both sexes, w'ere 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 sev. eral 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, party-spleen, 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
“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
See Tatler with notes, vol. vi., No. 224, p. 60 and note; p. 478, et passim, an account of Sir William Read: also Tatler, vol. ij., No. 55, note on Dr Giant: and Gentleman's Magazine, March 1787, p. 195.---C.
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 leveehunting, 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 halfsheet of paper, marked No. 193, where any one may be provided with the same remedy at the price of a single
“An infallible cure for hypochondriac melancholy. No. 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 Modesty, 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
* Translated from the advertisement of the Red Bavarian Liquor Spect, in fol. No. 545.-C.
rubbed off, and cannot be paralleled by either wash, powder, cosmetic, &c. It is certainly the best beautifier in the world.
6 MARTHA GLOWORM." “I, Samuel Self, of the parish of St. James's, having a consti tution 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, have 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.
0. & A course of Steele. The joke lies in the ambiguity of the expressiona course of Steele : which may either mean a course of steel-medicines, which are thought good in hypochondriac cases, or a course of those speculatios, which were, first, published by Sir Richard Steele. This observation will have its use, if these papers should outlive (as they possibly may) the memory of the invisible doctor.-H.
No. 549. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29.
Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici,
Juv. Sat. iii. 1.
Though griev'd at the departure of my friend,
* I BELIEVE most people begin the world with a resolution to withdraw from it into a serious kind of solitude or retirement, when they have made themselves easy in it. Our unhappiness is, that we find out some excuse or other for deferring such our good resolutions till our intended retreat is cut off by death. But among all kinds of people, there are none who are so hard to part with the world, as those who are grown old in the heaping up of riches.
Their minds are so warped with their constant attention to gain, that it is very difficult for them to give their souls another bent, and convert them towards those objects, which, though they are proper for every stage of life, are so more especially for the last. Horace describes an old usurer as so charmed with the pleasures of a country life, that in order to make a purchase he called in all his money; but what was the event of it? why, in a very few days after he put it out again. I am engaged in this series of thought by a discourse which I had last week with my worthy friend Sir Andrew Freeport, a man of so much natural eloquence, good sense, and probity of mind, that I always hear him with a particular pleasure. As we were sitting together, being the sole remaining members of our club, Sir Andrew gave me an account of the many busy scenes of life in which he had been engaged, and at the same time reckoned up to me abundance of those lucky hits, which at another time he
* This paper is not so well written as might be expected from Mr Addison, on so critical an occasion, as that of winding up the plot of tio Spectator. Yet, on the whole, it might possibly be his.-H.