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their company, they would not believe the same nation could produce a creature so unlike any thing they ever saw in it.
But these ancients would be as much astonished to see in the same age so illustrious a pattern to all who love things praise-worthy as the divine Aspasia*. Methinks, I now see her walking in her garden like our first parent, with unaffected charms, before beauty had spectators, and bearing celestial conscious virtue in her aspect. Her countenance is the lively picture of her mind, which is the seat of honour, truth, compassion, knowledge, and innocence.
There dwells the scorn of vice, and pity too.
In the midst of the most ample fortune, and veneration of all that behold and know her, without the least affectation, she consults retirement, the contemplation of her own being, and that Supreme Power which bestowed it. Without the learning of schools, or knowledge of a long course of arguments, she goes on in a steady course of uninterrupted piety and virtue, and adds to the severity and privacy of the last age all the freedom and ease of this. The language and mien of a court she is possessed of in the highest degree; but the simplicity and humble thoughts of a cottage are her more welcome entertainments. Aspasia is a female philosopher, who does not only live up to the resignation of the most retired lives of the ancient sages, but also to the schemes and plans which they thought beautiful, though inimitable. This lady is the most exact economist, without appearing busy; the most strictly
* The character of Aspasia was written by Mr. Congreve; and the person meant was Lady Elizabeth Hastings. See the authority for this, with an edifying account of this extraordinary lady, and her benefactions, in a book in folio, entitled "Memorials and Characters, &c.". London, 1741, printed for John Wilford, p. 780.
virtuous, without tasting the praise of it; and shuns applause with as much industry, as others do reproach. This character is so particular, that it will very easily be fixed on her only, by all that know but I dare say, she will be the last that finds it
But, alas! if we have one or two such ladies, how many dozens are there like the restless Poluglossa, who is acquainted with all the world but herself; who has the appearance of all, and possession of no one virtue : she has, indeed, in her practice the absence of vice, but her discourse is the continual history of it; and it is apparent, when she speaks of the criminal gratifications of others, that her innocence is only a restraint, with a certain mixture of envy. She is so perfectly opposite to the character of Aspasia, that as vice is terrible to her only as it is the object of reproach, so virtue is agreeable only as it is attended with applause.'
St. James's Coffee-house, July 15.
It is now twelve of the clock at noon, and no mail come in; therefore, I am not without hopes that the town will allow me the liberty which my brother news-writers take, in giving them what may be for their information in another kind, and indulge me in doing an act of friendship, by publishing the following account of goods and moveables.
**This is to give notice, that a magnificent palace, with great variety of gardens, statues, and water-works, may be bought cheap in Drury-lane; where there are likewise several castles to be disposed of, very delightfully situated; as also groves, woods, forests, fountains, and country-seats; with very pleasant prospects on all sides of them; being the move
ables of Christopher Rich, Esquire, who is breaking up house-keeping, and has many curious pieces of furniture to dispose of, which may be seen between the hours of six and ten in the evening.
Spirits fright Nantz brandy, for lambent flames and apparitions.
Three bottles and a half of lightning.
One shower of snow in the whitest French paper. Two showers of a browner sort.
A sea, consisting of a dozen large waves; the tenth bigger than ordinary, and a little damaged. A dozen and a half of clouds, trimmed with black, and well-conditioned.
A rainbow, a little faded..
A set of clouds after the French mode, streaked with lightning, and furbelowed.
A new moon, something decayed.
A pint of the finest Spanish wash, being all that is left out of two hogsheads sent over last winter. A coach very finely gilt, and little used, with a pair of dragons, to be sold cheap.
A setting-sun, a pennyworth.
An imperial mantle made for Cyrus the Great, and worn by Julius Cæsar, Bajazet, King Harry the Eighth, and Signor Valentini.
A basket-hilted sword, very convenient to carry milk in.
The imperial robes of Xerxes, never worn but
A wild boar, killed by Mrs. Tofts and Dioclesian. A serpent to sting Cleopatra.
A mustard-bowl to make thunder with. Another of a bigger sort, by Mr. D—— directions, little used.
* John Dennis, the celebrated critic.
Six elbow-chairs, very expert in country dances, with six flower-pots for their partners.
The whiskers of a Turkish Bassa.
The complexion of a murderer in a band-box; consisting of a large piece of burnt cork, and a coalblack peruke.
A suit of clothes for a ghost, viz. a bloody shirt, a doublet curiously pinked, and a coat with three great eyelet-holes upon the breast.
A bale of red Spanish wool.
Modern plots, commonly known by the name of trap-doors, ladders of ropes, vizard-masks, and tables with broad carpets over them.
Three oak-cudgels, with one of crab-tree; all bought for the use of Mr. Pinkethman.
Materials for dancing; as masks, castanets, and a ladder of ten rounds.
Aurengezebe's scymitar, made by Will. Brown in Piccadilly.
A plume of feathers, never used but by Edipus and the Earl of Essex.
There are also swords, halberds, sheep-hooks, cardinals' hats, turbans, drums, gallipots, a gibbet, a cradle, a rack, a cart-wheel, an altar, a helmet, a backpiece, a breast-plate, a bell, a tub, and a jointed baby.
These are the hard shifts we intelligencers are forced to; therefore our readers ought to excuse us, if a westerly wind, blowing for a fortnight together, generally fills every paper with an order of battle; when we shew our martial skill in every line, and according to the space we have to fill, we range our men in squadrons and battalions, or draw out company by company, and troop by troop; ever observing that no muster is to be made, but when the wind is in a cross-point, which often happens at the end of a campaign, when half the men are deserted or killed. The Courant is sometimes ten deep, his
ranks close the post-boy is generally in files, for greater exactness; and the post-man comes down upon you rather after the Turkish way, sword in hand, pell-mell, without form or discipline; but sure to bring men enough into the field; and wherever they are raised, never to lose a battle for want of numbers.
N° 43. TUESDAY, JULY 19, 1709,
-Bene nummatum decorat Suadela Venusque.-Hor. The goddess of persuasion forms his train,
And Venus decks the well-bemoney'd swain.-FRANCIS.
White's Chocolate-house, July 18.
I WRITE from hence at present to complain, that wit and merit are so little encouraged by people of rank and quality, that the wits of the age are obliged to run within Temple-bar for patronage. There is a deplorable instance of this kind in the case of Mr. D'Urfey, who has dedicated his inimitable comedy, called The Modern Prophets,' to a worthy knight, to whom, it seems, he had before communicated his plan, which was, 'To ridicule the ridiculers of our established doctrine.' I have elsewhere celebrated the contrivance of this excellent drama; but was not, until I read the dedication, wholly let into the religious design of it. I am afraid, it has suffered discontinuance at this gay end of the town, for no other reason but the piety of the purpose. There is, however, in this epistle, the true life of panegyrical performance; and I do not doubt but if the patron would part with it, I can help him to others with good pretensions to it, viz. of 'uncommon understanding,'