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in calling it a postscript; it being the nature of a postscript to contain something very material which was forgotten, or not clearly expressed in the letter itself. Thus the verses being occasioned by a march without beat of drum, and that circumstance being no ways taken notice of in any of the stanzas, the author calls it a postscript; not that it is a postscript, but figuratively, because it wants a postscript. Common writers, when what they mean is not expressed in the book itself, supply it by a preface; but a postscript seems to me the more just way of apology; because otherwise a man makes an excuse before the offence is committed. All the heroic poets were guessed at for its author; but though we could not find out his name, yet one repeated a couplet in Hudibras, which spoke his qualifications:
I' th' midst of all this warlike rabble,
The poem is admirably suited to the occasion; for to write without discovering your meaning, bears a just resemblance to marching without beat of drum.
'On the march to Tournay without beat of drum. · The BRUSSELS POSTSCRIPT.
Could I with plainest words express
To view the wonders she with ease has wrought.
Refining schemes approach his mind,
Like breezes of a southern wind,
To temperate a sultry glorious day,
Whose fannings, with a useful pride,
Its mighty heat do softly guide,
And, having clear'd the air, glide silently away.
Thus his immensity of thought
Is deeply form'd, and gently wrought,
St. James's Coffee-house, July 24.
My brethren of the quill, the ingenious society of news-writers, having with great spirit and elegance already informed the world, that the town of Tournay capitulated on the twenty-eighth instant; there is nothing left for me to say, but to congratulate the good company here, that we have reason to hope for an opportunity of thanking Mr. Withers next winter in this place, for the service he has done his country. No man deserves better of his friends than that gentleman, whose distinguishing character it is, that he gives his orders with the familiarity, and enjoys his fortune with the generosity, of a fellow-soldier. His grace the duke of Argyle had also an eminent part in the reduction of this important place. That illustrious youth discovers the peculiar turn of spirit and greatness of soul, which only make men of high birth and quality useful to their country; and considers nobility as an imaginary distinction, unless accompanied with the practice of those generous virtues by which it ought to be obtained. But, that
our military glory is arrived at its present height, and that men of all ranks so passionately affect their share in it, is certainly owing to the merit and conduct of our glorious general: for as the great secret in chemistry, though not in nature, has occasioned many useful discoveries; and the fantastic notion of being wholly disinterested in friendship has made men do a thousand generous actions above themselves; so, though the present grandeur and fame of the duke of Marlborough is a station of glory to which no one hopes to arrive, yet all carry their actions to a higher pitch, by having that great example laid before them.
N° 47. THURSDAY, JULY 28, 1738.
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
White's Chocolate-house, July 29.
My friend Sir Thomas has communicated to me his letters from Epsom of the twenty-fifth instant, which give, in general, a very good account of the present posture of affairs in that place; but that the tranquillity and correspondence of the company begins to be interrupted by the arrival of Sir Taffety Trippet*, a fortune-hunter, whose follies are too gross to give diversion; and whose vanity is too stupid to let him be sensible that he is a public offence. If people *Henry Cromwell, Esq. who died in 1728, was the original of the character here delineated under the name of Sir Taffety Trippet.
will indulge a splenetic humour, it is impossible to be at ease, when such creatures as are the scandal of our species set up for gallantry and adventures. It will be much more easy, therefore, to laugh Sir Taffety into reason, than convert him from his foppery by any serious contempt. I knew a gentleman that made it a maxim to open his doors, and even run into the way of bullies, to avoid their insolence. The rule will hold as well with coxcombs: they are never mortified, but when they see you receive and despise them; otherwise they rest assured, that it is your ignorance makes them out of your good graces; or, that it is only want of admittance prevents their being amiable where they are shunned and avoided. But Sir Taffety is a fop of so sanguine a complexion, that I fear it will be very hard for the fair one he at present pursues to get rid of the chase, without being so tired, as, for her own ease, to fall into the mouth of the mongrel she runs from. But the history of Sir Taffety is as pleasant as his character.
It happened that, when he first set up for a fortunehunter, he chose Tunbridge for the scene of action, where were at that time two sisters upon the same design. The knight believed of course the elder must be the better prize; and consequently makes all his sail that way. People that want sense do always in an egregious manner want modesty, which made our hero triumph in making his amour as public as was possible. The adored lady was no less vain of his public addresses. An attorney with one cause is not half so restless as a woman with one lover. Wherever they met, they talked to each other aloud, chose each other partner at balls, saluted at the most conspicuous part of the service of the church, and practised, in honour of each other, all the remarkable particularities which are usual for persons who admire one another, and are contemptible to the
rest of the world. These two lovers seemed as much made for each other as Adam and Eve, and all pronounced it a match of nature's own making; but the night before the nuptials, so universally approved, the younger sister, envious of the good fortune even of her sister, who had been present at most of their interviews, and had an equal taste for the charms of a fop, as there are a set of women made for that order of men; the younger, I say, unable to see so rich a prize pass by her, discovered to Sir Taffety, that a coquet air, much tongue, and three suits, was all the portion of his mistress. His love vanished that moment, himself and equipage the next morning. It is uncertain where the lover has been ever since engaged; but certain it is, he has not appeared in his character as a follower of love and fortune until he arrived at Epsom, where there is at present a young lady of youth, beauty, and fortune, who has alarmed all the vain and the impertinent to infest that quarter. At the head of this assembly, Sir Taffety shines in the brightest manner, with all the accomplishments which usually insnare the heart of a woman; with this particular merit, which often is of great service, that he is laughed at for her sake. The friends of the fair-one are in much pain for the sufferings she goes through from the perseverance o this hero; but they may be much more so from the danger of his succeeding, towards which they give a helping hand, if they dissuade her with bitterness; for there is a fantastical generosity in the sex to approve creatures of the least merit imaginable, when they see the imperfections of their admirers are become marks of derision for their sakes; and there is nothing so frequent, as that he, who was contemptible to a woman in her own judgment, has won her by being too violently opposed by others.