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the theatre; for the stage being an entertaisurent of the reason and all our faculties, this way of being pleased with the suspence of them for three hours together and being given up to the shallow sitisfaction of the eyes and ears only, seems to arise rather from the acgeneracy of our understandig, than an improvement of our diversions That the understanding has no part in the pleasure is evident, from what these letters very positively assert, to wit, that a great part of the performance was done in Italian: and a great crítick * fell into hts in the gallery, at seeing, not only time and place, but languages and nations confused in the most incorTigible manner. His spleen is so extremely moved on this occasion, that he is going to publish another treatise against operas, which, he thinks, have already inchined us to thoughts of peace, and, if tolerated, must infallibly dispirit us from carrying on the war. He has communicated his scheme to the whole room, and declared in what manner things of this kind were first introduced. He has upon this occasion considered the nature of sounds in general, and made a very elaborate digression upon the London Cries, wherein he has shown, from reason and philosophy, why oysters are cried, card matches sung, and turneps and all other vegetables neither cried, sung, nor said, but sold, with an accent and tone neither natural to man nor beast. This piece seems to be taken from the model of that excellent discourse of Mrs. Manly† the school-mistress, concerning samplers. Advices from the upper end of Piccadilly say, that May Fair is utterly abolished;
* John Dennis.
4 See, in Dr. King's works, vol. 11. 8vo. edit. 1776, “An Essay on the Invention of Samplers, by Mrs. Arabella Manly, Schoolmistress at Hackney."
and we hear Mr. Penkethman has removed his ingenious company of strollers to Greenwich. But other letters from Deptford say, the company is only making thither, and not yet settled; but that several heathen gods and goddesses, which are to descend in machines, landed at the King's. Head Stairs last Saturday. Venus and Cupid went on foot from thence to Greenwich; Mars got drunk in the town, and broke his landlord's head, for which he sat in the stocks the whole evening; but Mr. Penkethman giving security that he should do nothing this ensuing summer, he was set at liberty. The most melanci oly part of all was, that Diana was taken in the act of fornication with a boatman, and committed by justice Wrathful; which has, it seems, put a stop to the diversions of the theatre of Blackheath. But there goes down another Diana and a Patient Grissel next tide from Billingsgate.
It is credibly reported that Mr. Dy * has agreed with Mr. Penkethman to have his play acted before that audience as soon as it has had its first sixteen days run in Drury Lane.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 18.
They write from Saxony of the thirteenth instant, N. S. that the grand general of the Crown of Poland was so far from entering into a treaty with king Stanislaus, that he had written circular letters, wherein he exhorted the Palatines to join against him; declaring that this was the most favourable conjuncture for asserting their liberty.
Letters from the Hague of the twenty-third instant, N. S. say, they have advices from Vienna, which import, that his Electoral Highness of HaLover had signified to the Imperial Court, that he
did not intend to put himself at the head of the troops of the Empire, except more effectual measures were taken for acting vigorously against the enemy the ensuing campaign. Upon this representation the Emperor has given orders to several regiments to march towards the Rhine, and dispatched expresses to the respective princes of the empire, to desire an augmentation of their forces.
These letters add, that an express arrived at the Hague on the twentieth instant, with advice, that the enemy having made a detachment from Tournay, of fifteen hundred horse, each trooper carrying a foot soldier behind him, in order to surprize the garrison of Alost; the allies, upon notice of their march, sent out a strong body of troops from Ghent, which engaged the enemy at Asche, and took two hundred of them prisoners, obliging the rest to retire without making any farther attempt. On the twenty-second in the morning a fleet of merchant ships coming from Scotland were attacked by six French privateers at the entrance of the Meuse. We have yet no certain advice of the event: but letters from Rotterdam say, that a Dutch man of war, of forty guns, which was convoy to the said fleet, was taken, as were also eighteen of the merchauts. The Swiss troops in the service of the States have compleated the augmentation of their respective companies. Those of Wirtemberg and Prussia are expected on the frontiers within a few days; and the auxiliaries from Saxony, as also a battalion of Holstein, and another of Wolfenbuttle, are advancing thither with all expedition. On the twenty-first instant the Deputies of the States had a conference near Woerden with the President Rouille, but the matter which was therein debated is not made public. His Grace the Duke of Marl horough and Prince Eugene continue at the Hague.
From my own Apartment, April 18.
I have lately been very studious for intelligence, and have just now, by my astrological flying post, received a packet from Felicia * an island in America, with an account that gives me great satisfaction, and lets me understand, that the island was never in greater prosperity, or the administration in so good hands, since the death of their late glorious King. These letters import, that the chief Minister has entered into a firm league with the ablest and best men of the nation, to carry on the cause of liberty, to the encouragement of religion, virtue, and honour. Those persons at the helm are so useful, and in themselves of such weight, that their strict alliance must needs tend to the universal prosperity of the people. Camillo †, it seems, presides over the deliberations of state; and is so highly valued by all men, for his singular probity, courage, affability, and love of mankind, that his being placed in that station has dissipated the fears of that people, who of all the world are the most jealous of their liberty and happiness, and the least provident for their security. The next member of their society is Ho
who makes all the public dispatches. This Minister is master of all the languages in use to great perfection. He is held in the highest veneration imaginable for a severe honesty, and love of his country he lives in a Court unsullied with any of its artifices; the refuge of the oppressed, and terror of oppressors. Martio § has joined himself to this council; a man of most undaunted resolu
*In this allegorical paper, by Felicia is meant Britain.
tion, and great knowledge in maritime affairs; famous for destroying the navy of the Franks *, *, and singularly happy in one particular, that he never preferred a man who has not proved remarkably serviceable to his country. Philander is mentioned with particular distinction; a nobleman who has the most refined taste of the true pleasures and elegance of life, joined to an indefatigable industry in business; a man eloquent in assemblies, agreeable in conversation, and dextrous in all manner of public negociations. These letters add, that Verono, who is also of this council, has lately set sail to his government of Patricia, with design to confirm the affections of the people in the interests of his Queen. This Minister is master of great abilities, and is as industrious and restless for the preservation of the liberties of the people, as the greatest enemy can be to subvert them. The influence of these personages, who are men of such distinguished parts and virtues, makes the people enjoy the utmost tranquillity in the midst of a war, and gives them undoubted hopes of a secure peace from their vigilance and integrity.
Upon the humble petition of running stationers, &c. this Paper may be had of them, for the future, at the price of one penny §.
*At La Hogue, in 1692.
+ William Cavendish Duke of Devonshire, Lord Steward of the Houshold.
Thomas Earl of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.