Page images

yere, I shall make bold with on such occasions. The last person I read of in that writer was Lord Timon. Timon, says my author, is the most generous of all men; but is so hurried away with that strong impulse of bestowing, that he confers benefits without distinction, and is munificent without laying obligations. For all the unworthy, who receive from him, have so little sense of this noble infirmity, that they look upon themselves rather as partners in a spoil, than partakers of a bounty. The other day, coming into Paris, I met Timon going out on horseback, attended only by one servant. It struck me with a sudden damp, to see a man of so excellent a disposition, and who understood making a figure so well, so much shortened in his retinue. But, passing by his house, I saw his great coach break to pieces before his door, and, by a strange enchantment, immediately turned into many different vehicles. The first was a very pretty chariot, into which stepped his Lordship's secretary. The second was hung a little heavier; into that strutted the fat steward. In an instant followed a chaise, which was entered by the butler. The rest of the body and wheels were forthwith changed into go-carts, and run away with by the nurses and brats of the rest of the family. What makes these misfortunes in the affairs of Timon the more astonishing is, that he has better understanding than those who cheat him; so that a man knows not which more to wonder at, the indifference of the master, or the impudence of the servant.

her own

White's Chocolate-house, April 29.

the exact manner of Lindamira; in a word, becomes a sincere convert to every thing that is commendable in a fine young lady; and two or three such matches, as her aunt feigned in her devotions, are at this day in her choice. This is the history and original cause of Pastorella's conversion from coquetry. The prudence in the management of this young lady's temper, and good judgment of it, is hardly to be exceeded. I scarce remember a greater instance of forbearance of the usual peevish way with which the aged treat the young than this, except that of our famous Noy, whose good-nature went so far, as to make him put off his admonitions to his son, even until after his death; and did not give him his thoughts of him, until he came to read that memorable passage in his will: All the rest of my estate,' says he, 'I leave to my son Edward (who is executor to this my will) to be squandered as he shall think fit: I leave it him for that purpose, and hope no better for him.' A generous disdain, and reflection upon how little he deserved from so excellent a father, reformed the young man, and made Edward, from an arrant rake, become a fine gentleman.

It is a matter of much speculation among the beaux and oglers, what it is that can have made so sudden a change, as has been of late observed, in the whole behaviour of Pastorella, who never sat still a moment until she was eighteen, which she has now exceeded by two months. Her aunt, who has the care of her, has not been always so rigid as she is at this present date; but has so good a sense of the frailty of woman, and falsehood of man, that she resolved on all manner of methods to keep Pastorella, if possible, in safety, against herself and all her admirers. At the same time, the good lady knew by long experience, that a gay inclination, curbed too rashly, would but run to the greater excesses for that restraint; she therefore intended to watch her, and take some opportunity of engaging her insensibly in interests, without the anguish of an admonition. You are to know, then, that miss, with all her flirting and ogling, had also naturally a strong curiosity in her, and was the greatest eaves-dropper breathing. Parisatis (for so her prudent aunt is called) observed this humour, and retires one day to her closet, into which she knew Pastorella would peep, and listen to know how she was employed. It happened accordingly; and the young lady saw her good governante on her knees, and, after a mental behaviour, break into these words-As for the dear child committed to my care, let her sobriety of carriage, and severity of behaviour, be such as may make that noble Lord who is taken with her beauty, turn his designs to such as are honourable.' Here Parisatis heard her niece nestle closer to the key-hole: she then goes on: Make her the joyful mother of a numerous and wealthy offspring; and let her carriage be such, as may make this noble youth expect the blessings of a happy marriage, from the singularity of her life, in this loose and censorious age.' Miss, having heard enough, sneaks off for fear of discovery, and immediately at her glass alters the sitting of her head, then pulls up her tucker, and forms herself into

[ocr errors]

St. James's Coffee-house, April 29.

Letters from Portugal of the eighteenth instant, dated from Estremos, say, that on the sixth the Earl of Galway arrived at that place, and had the satisfac tion to see the quarters well furnished with all manner of provisions, and a quantity of bread sufficient for subsisting the troops for sixty days, besides biscuit for twenty-five days. The enemy give out, that they shall bring into the field fourteen regiments of horse, and twenty-four battalions. The troops in the service of Portugal will make up 14,000 foot, and 4,000 horse, On the day these letters were despatched, the Earl of Galway received advice, that the Marquis de Bay was preparing for some enterprise, by gathering his troops together on the frontiers. Whereupon his excellency resolved to go that same night to Villa, Viciosa, to assemble the troops in that neighbourhood, in order to disappoint his designs.

Yesterday, in the evening, Captain Foxton, aid-decamp to Major-general Cadogan, arrived here express from the Duke of Marlborough; and this day a mail is come in with letters from Brussels of the sixth of May, N. S. which advise, that the enemy had drawn together a body, consisting of 20,000 men, with a design, as was supposed, to intercept the great convoy on the march towards Lisle, which was safely arrived at Menin and Courtray, in its way to that place, the French having retired without making any attempt.

We hear from the Hague, that a person of the first quality is arrived in the Low Countries from France, in order to be a plenipotentiary in an ensuing treaty of peace.

Letters from France acknowledge, that Monsieur Bernard has made no higher offers of satisfaction to his creditors than of thirty-five pounds per cent.

These advices add, that the Marshal Boufflers, Monsieur Torcy (who distinguished himself formerly, by advising the court of France to adhere to the treaty of partition,) and Monsieur d' Harcourt (who negociated with Cardinal Portocarrero for the succession of the crown of Spain in the house of Bourbon,) are all three joined in a commission for a treaty of peace. The Marshal is come to Ghent: the other two are arrived at the Hague.

It is confidently reported here, that the right honourable the Lord Townshend is to go with his grace the Duke of Marlborough into Holland.

Mr. Bickerstaff has received the epistles of Mrs. Rebecca Wagstaff, Timothy Pikestaff and Wagstaff, which he will acknowledge farther as occasion shall serve.

No. 10.] TUESDAY, MAY 3, 1709.


[ocr errors]

me this account of himself: I am, madam, perfectly unmoved at all that passes among men, and seldom give myself the fatigue of going among them; bat when I do, I always appear the same thing to those whom I converse with. My hours of existence, or being awake, are from eleven in the morning, to eleven at night; half of which I live to myself, in picking my teeth, washing my hands, paring my nails, and looking in the glass. The insignificaney From my own Apartment, May 1. of my manners to the rest of the world, makes the My brother Isaac, having a sudden occasion to go laughers call me a Quidnunc, a phrase which I out of town, ordered me to take upon me the neither understand, nor shall ever inquire what they despatch of the next advices from home, with liberty mean by it. The last of me each night is at St. to speak in my own way; not doubting the allow- James's coffee-house, where I converse, yet never fall ances which would be given to a writer of my sex. into a dispute on any occasion; but leave the under You may be sure I undertook it with much satisfac-standing I have, passive of all that goes through it, tion; and I confess, I am not a little pleased with without entering into the business of life. And the opportunity of running over all the papers in his thus, madam, have I arrived by laziness, to what eloset, which he has left open for my use on this oc- others pretend to by philosophy, a perfect neglect of casion. The first that I lay my hands on, is a trea- the world.' Sure, if our sex had the liberty of fre tise concerning The empire of beauty,' and the quenting public houses and conversations, we should effects it has had in all nations of the world, upon put these rivals of our faults and follies out of cour the public and private actions of men; with an ap- tenance. However, we shall soon have the pleasure pendix which he calls, The bachelor's scheme for of being acquainted with them one way or other; for governing his wife.' The first thing he makes this my brother Isaac designs, for the use of our sex, to gentleman propose, is, that she shall be no woman; give the exact characters of all the chief politicians for she is to have an aversion to balls, to operas, to who frequent any of the coffee-houses from St. visits: she is to think his company sufficient to fill James's to the Exchange; but designs to begin with up all the hours of life with great satisfaction; she that cluster of wise-heads, as they are found sitting is never to believe any other man wise, learned, or every evening from the left side of the fire, at the valiant; or at least, but in a second degree. In the Smyrna, to the door. This will be of great service next place, he intends that she shall be a cuckold; for us, and I have authority to promise an exact but expects that he himself must live in perfect sejournal of their deliberations; the publication of curity from that terror. He dwells a great while on instructions for her discreet behaviour, in case of his falsehood. I have not patience with these unreasonable expectations, therefore turn back to the treatise itself. Here indeed my brother deduces all the revolutions among men from the passion of love; and in his preface answers that usual observation against us, that there is no quarrel without a woman in it;' with a gallant assertion, that there is nothing else worth quarrelling for. My brother is of a complexion truly amorous; all his thoughts and actions carry in them a tincture of that obliging inclination; and this turn has opened his eyes to see, that we are not the inconsiderable creatures which unlucky pretenders to our favour would insinuate. He observes, that no man begins to make any tolerable figure, until he sets out with the hopes of pleasing some one of us. No sooner he takes that in hand, but he pleases every one else by the bye. It has an immediate effect upon his behaviour. There is Colonel Ranter, who never spoke without an oath, until he saw the Lady Betty Modish; now, never gives his man an order, but it is, Pray, Tom, do it. The drawers where he drinks live in perfect happiness. He asked Will at the George the other day, how he did? Where he used to say, Damn it, it is so; he now 'believes there is some mistake; he must confess he is of another opinion; but however

he will not insist.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Every temper, except downright insipid, is to be animated and softened by the influence of beauty; but of this untractable sort is a lifeless handsome fellow that visits us, whom I have dressed at this twelvemonth, but he is as insensible of all the arts I use, as if he conversed all that time with his nurse. He outdoes our whole sex in all the faults our enemies impute to us; he has brought laziness into an opinion, `and makes his indolence his philosophy: insomuch that no longer ago than yesterday in the evening he gave

which, I am to be allowed for pin-money. In the mean time, I cast my eye upon a new book, which gave me more pleasing entertainment, being a sixth part of Miscellany Poems published by Jacob Tonson, which, I find, by my brother's notes upon it, no way inferior to the other volumes. There is, it seems, in this, a collection of the best pastorals that have hitherto appeared in England; but, among them, none superior to that dialogue between Syiriz and Dorinda, written by one of my own sex; where all our little weaknesses are laid open in a manner more just, and with truer raillery than ever man yet hit upon.

Only this I now discern,

From the things thou'dst have me learn,
That womankind's peculiar joys

From past or present beauties rise.

[ocr errors]

greater instance of the command of females, than in But, to resume my first design, there cannot be a the prevailing charms of the heroine in the play, which was acted this night, called, All for Love; or The World well Lost. The enamoured Anthony resigns glory and power to the force of the attractive Cleopatra, whose charms were the defence of her diadem against a people otherwise invincible. It is so natural for women to talk of themselves, that it is to be hoped, all my own sex at least will pardon me, that I could fall into no other discourse. If we have their favour, we give ourselves very little anxiety for the rest of our readers. I believe I see a sentence of Latin in my brother's day-book of wit, which seems applicable on this occasion, and in contempt of the critics,

Tristitiam et metus

Tradam protervis in mare Creticum
Portare ventis,
Hor. i. Od. xxvi. 2.
No boding fears shall break my rest,
Not ansious cares invade my breast

[blocks in formation]

St. James's Coffee-house, May 2.

We are advised by letters from Bern, dated the first instant, N. S. that the Duke of Berwick arrived at Lyons the twenty-fifth of the last month, and continued his journey the next day to visit the passes of the mountains and other posts in Dauphiné and Provence. These letters also informed us, that the miseries of the people in France are heightened to that degree, that unless a peace be speedily concluded, half of that kingdom would perish for want of bread. On the twenty-fourth, the Marshal de Thesse passed through Lyons, in his way to Versailles; and two battalions, which were marching from Alsace to reinforce the army of the Duke of Berwick, passed also through that place. Those troops were to be followed by six battalions more.

Letters from Naples of the sixteenth of April say, that the Marquis de Prie's son was arrived there, with instructions from his father, to signify to the viceroy the necessity his imperial majesty was under, of desiring an aid from that kingdom, for carrying on the extraordinary expenses of the war. On the fourteenth of the same month they made a review of the Spanish troops in that garrison, and afterwards of the marines; one part of whom will embark with those designed for Barcelona, and the rest are to be sent on board the galleys appointed to convoy provisions to that place.

[blocks in formation]

The same advices say, bread was sold at Paris for sixpence a pound; and that there was not half enough, even at that rate, to supply the necessities of the people, which reduced them to the utmost despair; that three hundred men had taken up arms, and, having plundered the market of the suburb of St. Germain, pressed down by their multitude the king's guards who opposed them. Two of those mutineers were afterwards seized and condemned to death; but four others went to the magistrate who pronounced that sentence, and told him, he must expect to answer with his own life for those of their comrades. All order and sense of government being thus lost among the enraged people: to keep up a show of authority, the captain of the guards, who saw all their insolence, pretended, that he had represented to the king their deplorable condition, and had obtained their pardon. It is further reported, that the Dauphin and Duchess of Burgundy, as they went to the opera, were surrounded by crowds of people, who upbraided them with their neglect of the general calamity, in going to diversions, when the whole people were ready to perish for want of bread, Edicts are daily published to suppress these riots; and papers, with menaces against the government, as publicly thrown about. Among others, these words were dropped in a court of justice. wants a Ravilliac or a Jesuit to deliver her.' Besides this universal distress, there is a contagious sickness, which, it is feared, will end in a pestilence. Letters from Bordeaux bring accounts no less lamentable; the peasants are driven by hunger from their abodes into that city, and make lamentations in the streets

We hear from Rome, by letters dated the twentieth of April, that the Count de Mellos, envoy from the king of Portugal, had made his public entry into that city with much state and magnificence. The pope has lately held two other consistories, wherein he made a promotion of two cardinals; but the acknow-without redress. ledgment of King Charles is still deferred.

Letters from other parts of Italy advise us, that the Doge of Venice continues dangerously ill; that the Prince de Carignan, having relapsed into a violent fever, died the twenty-third of April, in his eightieth year.

Advices from Vienna of the twenty-seventh of April import, that the Archbishop of Saltzburg is dead, who is succeeded by Count Harrach, formerly bishop of Vienna, and for these last three years coadjutor to the said Archbishop; and that Prince Maximilian of Lichtenstein is likewise departed this life at his country seat called Cromaw in Moravia. These advices add, that the Emperor has named Count Zinzendorf, Count Goes, and Monsieur Consbruck, for his plenipotentiaries in an ensuing treaty of peace; and they hear from Hungary, that the imperialists have had several successful skirmishes with the malcontents.


We are advised by letters from the Hague, dated the tenth instant, N. S. that on the sixth the Marquis de Torey arrived there from Paris; but the passport, by which he came, having been sent blank by Monsieur Rouille, he was there two days before his quality was known. That minister offered to communicate to Monsieur Heinsius the proposals which he had to make; but the pensionary refused to see them, and said, he would signify it to the states, who deputed some of their own body to acquaint him, that they would enter into no negotiation until the arrival of his grace the Duke of Marlborough, and the other ministers of the alliance. Prince Eugene was expected there the twelfth instant from Brussels. It is said, that besides Monsieur de Torcy, and Monsieur Pajot, director-general of the posts, there are two or three persons at the Hague whose names are not known; but it is supposed, that the Duke d'Alba, ambassador from the Duke of Anjou, was one of them. The states have sent letters to all the cities of the provinces, desiring them to send their deputies to receive the propositions of peace made by the court of France.

In the absence of Mr. Bickerstaff, Mrs. Dis taff has received Mr. Nathaniel Broomstick's letter.

Letters from Paris, dated May the sixth, say that the Marshal de Thesse arrived there on the twentyninth of the last month, and that the Chevalier de Beuil was sent thither by Don Pedro Ronquillo with advice, that the confederate squadron appeared before Alicant on the seventeenth; and, having for some time cannonaded the city, endeavoured to land some troops for the relief of the castle; but General Stanhope, finding the passes well guarded, and the enterprise dangerous, demanded to capitulate for the castle; which being granted him, the garrison, consist-No. 11.

N. B. Under the signature of Nath. Broomstick, the subsequent paper, or hints for it, might have been communicated to Steele by Swift, by Anthony Henley, Esq., or by Mr. Jabez Hughes. See Tatler,

No. 11.]

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 1709,

Will's Coffee-house, May 3.

A kinsman has sent me a letter, wherein he informs me, he had lately resolved to write an heroic poem, but by business has been interrupted, and has only made one similitude, which he should be afflicted to have wholly lost; and begs of me to apply it to something, being very desirous to see it well placed in the world. I am so willing to help the distressed, that I have taken it in; but, though his greater genius might very well distinguish his verses from mine, I have marked where his begin. His lines are a description of the sun in eclipse, which I know nothing more like than a brave man in sorrow, who bears it as he should, without imploring the pity of his friends, or being dejected with the contempt of his enemies; as in the case of Cato.

When all the globe to Cæsar's fortune bow'd, Cato alone his empire disallow'd; With inborn strength alone oppos'd mankind, With heav'n in view, to all below it blind: Regardless of his friend's applause, or moan, Alone triumphant, since he falls alone.

Thus when the ruler of the genial day Behind some dark'ning planet forms his way, Desponding mortals, with officious care, The concave drum and magic brass prepare; Implore him to sustain the important fight, And save depending worlds from endless night; Fondly they hope their labour may avail To ease his conflict, and assist his toil, Whilst he, in beams of native splendour bright, (Though dark his orb appear to human sight) Shines to the gods with more diffusive light; To distant stars with equal glory burns, Inflames their lamps, and feeds their golden urns, Sure to retain his known superior tract, And proves the more illustrious by defect.'

This is a very lively image; but I must take the liberty to say, my kinsman drives the sun a little like Phaeton, he has all the warmth of Phoebus, but will not stay for his direction of it. Avail and toil, defect and tract, will never do for rhymes. But, however, he has the true spirit in him; for which reason I was willing to entertain any thing he pleased to send me. The subject which he writes upon, naturally raises great reflections in the soul, and puts us in mind of the mixed condition which we mortals are to support; which, as it varies to good or bad, adorns or defaces our actions to the beholders; all which glory and shame must end in, what we so much repine at, death. But doctrines on this occasion, any other than that of living well, are the most insignificant and most empty of all the labours of men. None but a tragedian can die by rule, and wait till he discovers a plot, or says a fine thing upon his exit. In real life, this is a chimera; and by noble spirits it will be done decently, without the ostentation of it. We see men of all conditions and characters go through it with equal resolution; and if we consider the speeches of the mighty philosophers, heroes, law- | givers, and great captains, they can produce no more in a discerning spirit, than rules to make a man a fop on his death-bed. Commend me to that natural greatness of soul, expressed by an innocent, and consequently resolute country-fellow, who said in the pains of the cholic, If I once get this breath out of my body, you shall hang me before you put it in again.' Honest Ned! and so he died.

But it is to be supposed, that from this place you may expect an account of such a thing as a new play is not to be omitted. That acted this night is the newest that ever was writ. The author is my ingenious friend Mr. Thomas Durfey. This drama is called, The Modern Prophets,' and is a most unanswerable satire against the late spirit of enthusiasm. The writer had by long experience observed that, in company, very grave discourses had been followed by bawdry; and therefore has turned the humour that way with great success, and taken from his audience all manner of superstition, by the agitations of pretty Mrs. Bignell, whom he has, with great subtlety, made a lay-sister, as well as a prophetess; by which means she carries on the affairs of both worlds with great success. My friend designs to go on with another work against winter, which he intends to call,' The Modern Poets,' a people no less mistaken in their opinions of being inspired, than the other. In order to this, he has by him seven songs, besides many ambiguities, which cannot be mistaken for any thing but what he means them. Mr. Durfey generally writes state-plays, and is wonderfully useful to the world in such representations. This method is the same that was used by the old Athenians, to laugh out of countenance, or promote, opinions among the people. My friend has therefore, against this play is acted for his own benefit, made two dances, which may be also of an universal benefit. In the first, he has represented absolute power in the person of a tall man with a hat and feather, who gives his first minister, that stands just before him, a huge kick; the minister gives the kick to the next before; and so to the end of the stage. In this moral and practical jest, you are made to understand, that there is, in an absolute government, no gratification but giving the kick you receive from one above you to one below air; but on a sudden the tune moves quicker, and you. This is performed to a grave and melancholy the whole company fall into a circle, and take hands; and then, at a certain sharp note, they move round, and kick as kick can. This latter performance he makes to be the representation of a free state; where, if you all mind your steps, you may go round and round very jollily, with a motion pleasant to your selves and those you dance with; nay, if you put yourselves out, at the worst, you only kick and are kicked, like friends and equals.

From my own Apartment, May 4.

Of all the vanities under the sun, I confess that of being proud of one's birth is the greatest. At the same time, since, in this unreasonable age, by the force of prevailing custom, things in which men have no hand are imputed to them; and that I am used by some people, as if Isaac Bickerstaff, though I write myself Esquire, was nobody; to set the world right in that particular, I shall give you my genealogy, as a kinsman of ours has sent it me from the herald's office. It is certain, and observed by the wisest writers, that there are women who are not nicely chaste, and men not severely honest, in all families; therefore let those who may be apt to raise aspersions upon ours, please to give us as impartial an account of their own, and we shall be satisfied. The business of heralds is a matter of so great nicety, that to avoid mistakes, I shall give you my cousin's letter verbatim, without altering a syllable.


'Since you have been pleased to make yourself so famous of late by your ingenious writings, and some

did not stand upon false heraldry in those days) by whom he had one son, who, in process of time, being a schoolmaster and well read in the Greek, called himself Distaff or Twicestaff. He was not very rich, so he put his children out to trades; and the Distaffs have ever since been employed in the woollen and linen manufactures, except myself, who am a genealogist. Pikestaff, the eldest son by the second renter, was a man of business, a downright plodding fellow, and withal so plain, that he became a proverb. Most of this family are at present in the army. Raggedstaff was an unlucky boy, and used to tear his cloaths in getting birds' nests, and was always playing with a tame bear his father kept. Mopstaff fell in love with one of his father's maids, and used to help her to clean the house. Broomstaff was a chimney-sweeper. The Mopstaffs and Broomstaffs are naturally as civil people as ever went out of doors; but alas! if they once get into ill hands, they knock down all before them. Pilgrimstaff ran away from his friends, and went strolling about the country; and Pipestaff was a wine-cooper. These two were the unlawful issue of Longstaff.

N. B. The Canes, the Clubs, the Cudgels, the Wands, the Devil upon two Sticks, and one Bread, that goes by the name of Staff of Life, are none of our relations. I am,

[ocr errors]

Dear Cousin,

'Your humble servant, D. DISTAFF From the Herald's Office, May 1, 1709.

St. James's Coffee-house, May 4.

time ago by your learned predictions; since Partridge, of immortal memory, is dead and gone, who, poetical as he was, could not understand his own poetry; and philomatical as he was, could not read his own destiny; since the Pope, the King of France, and great part of his court, are either literally or metaphorically defunct; since, I say, these things (not foretold by any one but yourself) have come to pass after so surprising a manner; it is with no small concern I see the original of the Staffian race so little known in the world as it is at this time; for which reason, as you have employed your studies in astronomy, and the occult sciences, so I, my mother being a Welch woman, dedicated mine to genealogy, particularly that of our own family, which, for its antiquity and number, may challenge any in Great Britain. The Staffs are originally of Staffordshire, which took its name from them: the first that I find of the Staffs was one Jacobstaff, a famous and renowned astronomer, who, by Dorothy his wife had issue seven sons; viz. Bickerstaff, Longstaff, Wagstaff, Quarterstaff, Whitestaff, Falstaff, and Tipstaff. He also had a younger brother, who was twice married, and had five sons; viz. Distaff, Pikestaff, Mopstaff, Broomstaff, and Raggedstaff. As for the branch from whence you spring, I shall say very little of it, only that it is the chief of the Staffs, and called Bickerstaff, quasi, Biggerstaff; as much as to say, the Great Staff, or Staff of Staffs; and that it has applied itself to astronomy with great success, after the example of our aforesaid forefather. The descendants from Longstaff, the second son, were a rakish disorderly sort of people, and rambled from one place to another, until, in the time of Harry the Second, they settled in Kent, and were called Long-tails, from the As political news is not the principal subject on long tails which were sent them as a punishment for which we treat, we are so happy as to have no occasion the murder of Thomas a-Becket, as the legends say. for that art of cookery which our brother newsThey have always been sought after by the ladies; mongers so much excel in; as appears by their exbut whether it be to show their aversion to popery, cellent and inimitable manner of dressing up a second or their love to miracles, I cannot say. The Wag-time for your taste the same dish which they gave staffs are a merry thoughtless sort of people, who have you the day before, in case there come over no new always been opinionated of their own wit; they have pickles from Holland. Therefore, when we have turned themselves mostly to poetry. This is the nothing to say to you from courts and camps, we most numerous branch of our family, and the poorest. hope still to give you somewhat new and curious The Quarterstaff's are most of them prize-fighters or from ourselves: the women of our house, upon ocdeer-stealers; there have been so many of them casion, being capable of carrying on the business, hanged lately, that there are very few of that branch according to the laudable custom of the wives in of our family left. The Whitestaffs are all courtiers, Holland; but, without farther preface, take what we and have had very considerable places. There have have not mentioned in our former relations. been some of them of that strength and dexterity, Letters from Hanover of the thirtieth of the last that five hundred of the ablest men in the kingdom month say, that the Prince Royal of Prussia arrived have often tugged in vain to pull a staff out of their there on the fifteenth, and left that Court on the hands. The Falstaffs are strangely given to whoring second of this month, in pursuit of his journey to and drinking; there are abundance of them in and Flanders, where he makes the ensuing campaign. about London. One thing is very remarkable of this Those advices add, that the young Prince Nassau, branch, and that is, there are just as many women as hereditary governor of Friesland, celebrated, on the men in it. There was a wicked stick of wood of this twenty-sixth of the last month, his marriage with the name in Harry the Fourth's time, one Sir John Fal- beauteous Princess of Hesse-Cassel, with a pomp and staff. As for Tipstaff, the youngest son, he was an magnificence suitable to their age and quality. honest fellow; but his sons, and his sons' sons, have all of them been the veriest rogues living; it is this unlucky branch that has stocked the nation with that swarm of lawyers, attorneys, serjeants, and bailiffs, with which the nation is over-run. Tipstaff, being a seventh son, used to cure the king's-evil; but his rascally descendants are so far from having that healing quality, that, by a touch upon the shoulder, they give a man such an ill habit of body, that he can never come abroad afterwards. This is all I know of the line of Jacobstaff; his younger brother Isaacstaff, as I told you before, had five sons, and was married twice: his first wife was a Staff (for they

Letters from Paris say, His Most Christian Majesty retired to Marley on the first instant, N.S. and our last advices from Spain inform us, that the Prince of Asturias had made his public entry into Madrid in great splendour. The Duke of Anjou has given Don Joseph Hartado de Amaraga the government of Terra Firma de Veragua, and the Presidency of Panama in America. They add, that the forces commanded by the Marquis de Bay have been reinforced by six battalions of Spanish Walloon guards. Letters from Lisbon advise, that the army of the King of Portugal was at Elvas on the twenty-second of the last month, and would decamp on the twenty-fourth,

« PreviousContinue »