description of a City-shower. I do not question but the reader remembers my cousin's description of the Morning as it breaks in town, which is printed in the ninth Tatler, and is another exquisite piece of this local poetry.

Careful observers may foretel the hour

(By sure prognostics) when to dread a Shower;
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more.
Returning home at night, you'll find the sink
Strike your offended sense with double stink.
If you be wise, then go not far to dine,
You'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine.
A coming Shower your shooting corns presage,
Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.
Sauntering in coffee house is Dulman seen;
He damns the climate, and complains of spleen.
Meanwhile the South, rising with dabbled wings,
A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings,

That swill'd more liquor than it could contain,
And, like a drunkard, gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope,
Whilst the first drizzling Shower is borne aslope :
Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean
Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean.
You fly, invoke the gods; then, turning, stop
To rail; she, singing, still whirls on her mop.
Not yet the dust had shunn'd th' unequal strife,
But, aided by the wind, fought still for life;
And, wafted with its foe by violent gust,

'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust.
Ah! where must needy Poct seek for aid,
When dust and rain at once his coat invade?
His only coat, where dust, confus'd with rain,
Roughen the nap, and leave a mingled stain?
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this devoted town.
To shops in crowds the daggled females fly,
Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy.
The Templar Spruce, while every spout's abroach,
Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach.
The tuck'd up sempstress walks with hasty strides,
While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides.

Here various kinds, by various fortunes led,
Commence acquaintance underneath a shed.
Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
Box'd in a chair, the beau impatient sits,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits;
And ever-and-anon with frightful din

The leather sounds; he trembles from within.
So when Troy-chairmen bore the wooden steed,
Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed
(Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do,
Instead of paying chairmen, run them through),
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear,
And each imprison'd hero quak'd for fear.

Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go :
Filth of all hues and odours seem to tell

What street they sail'd from, by their sight and smell.
They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force,
From Smithfield or St. 'Pulehre's shape their course,
And in huge confluent join'd at Snow-hill ridge,
Fall from the conduit, prone to Holborn-bridge.
Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood,
Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd in mud,
Dead cats and turnip-tops come tumbling down the flood.

N° 239. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1710.

Mecum certâsse feretur?

OVID. Met. xiii. 20.

Shall he contend with me to get a name?


From my own Apartment, October 18.

It is ridiculous for any man to criticise on the works of another, who has not distinguished himself by his own performances. A judge would make but an indifferent figure who had never been known at the bar. Cicero was reputed the greatest orator of his age and country, before he wrote a book "De Oratore;" and Horace the greatest poet, before he published his "Art of Poetry." This observation arises naturally in any one who casts his eye upon this last-mentioned author, where he will find the criticisms placed in the latter end of his book, that is, after the finest odes and satires in the Latin tongue.

A modern, whose name I shall not mention, because I would not make a silly Paper sell, was born a Critic and an Examiner, and, like one of the race of the serpent's teeth, came into the world with a sword in his hand. His works put me in mind of the story that is told of the German monk, who was taking a catalogue of a friend's library, and meeting with a Hebrew book in it, entered it under the title of, "A book that has the beginning where the end should be." This author, in the last of his crudities, has amassed together a heap of quotations,

to prove that Horace and Virgil were both of them modester men than myself; and if his works were to live as long as mine, they might possibly give posterity a notion, that Isaac Bickerstaff was a very conceited old fellow, and as vain a man as either Tully or Sir Francis Bacon. Had this serious writer fallen upon me only, I could have overlooked it; but to see Cicero abused is, I must confess, what I cannot bear. The censure he passes upon this great man runs thus: "The itch of being very abusive is almost inseparable from vain-glory. Tully has these two faults in so high a degree, that nothing but his being the best writer in the world can make amends for them." The scurrilous wretch goes on to say, that I am as bad as Tully. His words are these: "And yet the Tatler, in his Paper of September the twenty-sixth, has outdone them both. He speaks of himself with more arrogance, and with more insolence of others." I am afraid, by his discourse, this gentleman has no more read Plutarch than he has Tully. If he had, he would have observed a passage in that historian, wherein he has, with great delicacy, distinguished between two passions which are usually complicated in human nature, and which an ordinary writer would not have thought of separating. Not having my Greek spectacles by me, I shall quote the passage word for word as I find it translated to my hand. "Nevertheless, though he was intemperately fond of his own praise, yet he was very free from envying others, and most liberally profuse in commending both the ancients and his contemporaries, as is to be understood by his writings; and many of those sayings are still recorded, as that concerning Aristotle, that he was a river of flowing gold:' of Plato's dialogue, that if Jupiter were to speak, he would discourse as he did.' Theophrastus he was

wont to call his peculiar delight: and being asked, which of Demosthenes his orations he liked best?' He answered, The longest.

"And as for the eminent men of his own time either for eloquence or philosophy, there was not one of them which he did not, by writing or speaking favorably of, render more illustrious."

Thus the critic tells us, that Cicero was excessively vain-glorious and abusive; Plutarch, that he was vain, but not abusive. Let the reader believe which of them he pleases.

After this he complains to the world, that I call him names, and that, in my passion, I said he was a flea, a louse, an owl, a bat, a small wit, a scribbler, and a nibler. When he had thus bespoken his reader's pity, he falls into that admirable vein of mirth, which I shall set down at length, it being an exquisite piece of raillery, and written in great gaiety of heart. "After this list of names," viz. flea, louse, owl, bat, &c. "I was surprized to hear him say, that he has hitherto kept his temper pretty well; I wonder how he will write when he has lost his temper! I suppose, as he is now very angry and unmannerly, he will then be exceeding courteous and good-humoured." If I can outlive this raillery, I shall be able to bear any thing.

There is a method of criticism made use of by this author, for I shall take care how I call him a scribbler again, which may turn into ridicule any work that was ever written, wherein there is a variety of thoughts. This the reader will observe in the following words: "He," meaning me," is so intent upon being something extraordinary, that he scarce knows what he would be; and is as fruitful in his similes as a brother of his whom I lately took notice of. In the compass of a few lines he compares himself to a fox, to Daniel Burgess, to the

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