« EdellinenJatka »
love, and that it is a woman that makes this confession. I am now in the twenty-third year of my age, and have for a great while entertained the addresses of a man who, I thought, loved me more than life. I am sure I did him; and must own to you, not without some confusion, that I have thought on nothing else for these two long years, but the happy life we should lead together, and the means I should use to make myself still dearer to him. My fortune was indeed much beyond his ; and as I was always in the company of my relations, he was forced to discover his inclinations, and declare himself to me by stories of other persons, kind looks, and many ways, which he knew too well that I understood. Oh! Mr. Bickerstaff it is impossible to tell you, how industrious I have been to make him appear lovely in my thoughts. I made it a point of conscience to think well of him, and of no man else: but he has since had an estate fallen to him, and makes love to another of a greater fortune than mine. I could not believe the report of this at first; but about a fortnight ago I was convinced of the truth of it by his own behaviour. He came to make our family a formal visit, when, as there were several in company, and many things talked of, the discourse fell upon some unhappy woman, who was in my own circumstances. It was said by one in the room, that they could not believe the story could be true, because they did not believe any man could be so false. Upon which, I stole a look upon him with an anguish not to be expressed. He saw my eyes full of tears, yet had the cruelty to say, that he could see no falsehood in alterations of this nature, where there had been no contracts or vows interchanged. Pray do not make a jest of misery, but tell me seriously your opinion of his behaviour; and if you can have any pity for my condition, publish this in your next paper ; that being the only way I have of complaining of his unkindness, and shewing him the injustice he has done me.
I am your humble servant,
The unfortunate STATIRA.
The name my correspondent gives herself, puts me in mind of my old reading in romances, and brings into my thoughts a speech of the renowned Don Bellianis, who upon a complaint made to him of a discourteous knight, that had left his injured paramour in the same manner, dries up her tears with a promise of relief. Disconsolate damsel,' quoth he, a foul disgrace it were to all right-worthy professors of chivalry, if such a blot to knighthood should pass unchastised. Give me to know the abode of this recreant lover, and I will give him as a feast to the fowls of the air, or drag him bound before
you at my horse's tail ! I am not ashamed to own myself a champion of distressed damsels, and would venture as far to relieve them as Don Bellianis; for which reason, I do invite this lady to let me know the name of the traitor who has deceived her; and do promise, not only her, but all the fair ones of Great Britain, who lie under the same calamity, to employ my right hand for their redress, and serve them to my last drop of ink.
No 129. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1709-10.
Ingenio manus est et cervix cæsa.
Juv. Sat. x. 120.
From my own Apartment, February 3. When my paper for to-morrow was prepared for the press, there came in this morning a mail from Holland, which brought me several advices from foreign parts, and took my thoughts off domestic affairs. Among others, I have a letter from a burgher of Amsterdam, who makes me his compliments, and tells me he has sent me several draughts of humorous and satirical pictures by the best hands of the Dutch nation. They are a trading people, and in their very minds mechanics. They express their wit in manufacture, as we do in manuscript. He informs me, that a very witty hand has lately represented the present posture of public affairs in a landscape, or rather a sea-piece, wherein the potentates of the alliance are figured as their interests correspond with, or affect each other, under the appearance of commanders of ships. These vessels carry the colours of the respective nations concerned in the present war. The whole design seems to tend to one point, which is, that several squadrons of British and Dutch ships are battering a French manof-war, in order to make her deliver up a long-boat with Spanish colours. My correspondent informs me, that a man must understand the compass perfectly well, to be able to comprehend the beauty and invention of this piece ; which is so skilfully
drawn, that the particular views of every prince in Europe are seen according as the ships lie to the main figure in the picture, and as that figure may help or retard their sailing. It seems this curiosity is now on board a ship bound for England, and, with other rarities, made a present to me. as it arrives, I design to expose it to public view at my secretary Mr. Lillie's, who shall have an explication of all the terms of art; and I doubt not but it will give as good content as the moving picture in Fleet-street.
But, above all the honours I have received from the learned world abroad, I am most delighted with the following epistle from Rome. · Pasquin of Rome to Isaac BICKERSTAFF, of
Great Britain, Greeting. · SIR,
Your reputation has passed the Alps, and would have come to my ears by this time, if I had any. In short, Sir, you are looked upon here as a northern droll, and the greatest virtuoso among the Tramontanes. Some indeed say, that Mr. Bickerstaff and Pasquin are only names invented to father compositions which the natural parent does not care for owning. But, however that is, all agree, that there are several persons, who, if they durst attack you, would endeavour to leave you no more limbs than I have. I need not tell that
my adversaries have joined in a confederacy with Time to demolish me, and that, if I were not a very great wit, I should make the worst figure in Europe, being abridged of my legs, arms, nose, and ears. If you think fit to accept of the correspondence of so facetious a cripple, I shall from time to time send you an account of what happens at Rome. You have only heard of it from Latin and Greek authors; nay, perhaps, have
read no accounts from hence, but of a triumph, ovation, or apotheosis, and will doubtless be surprised to see the description of a procession, jubilee, or canonization. I shall, however, send you what the place affords, in return to what I shall receive from you. If you will acquaint me with your next promotion of general officers, I will send you an account of our next advancement of saints. If
you will let me know who is reckoned the bravest warrior in Great Britain, I will tell you who is the best fiddler in Rome. If you will favour me with an inventory of the riches that were brought into your nation by Admiral Wager, I will not fail giving you an account of a pot of medals that has been lately dug up here, and are now under the examination of our ministers of state. • There is one thing, in which I desire you
would be very particular. What I mean is an exact list of all the religions in Great Britain, as likewise the habits, which are said here to be the great points of conscience in England; whether they are made of serge or broad-cloth, of silk or linen. I should be glad to see a model of the most conscientious dress among you, and desire you will send me a hat of each religion; as likewise, if it be not too much trouble, a cravat. It would also be very acceptable here to receive an account of those two religious orders, which are lately sprung up amongst you, the Whigs and the Tories, with the points of doctrine, severities in discipline, penances, mortifications, and good works, by which they differ one from another. It would be no less kind, if you would explain to us a word, which they do not understand even at our English monastery, Toasts, and let us know whether the ladies so called are nuns or lay-sisters. In return, I will send you the secret history of several cardinals, which I have by me in manuscript, with the gallan