Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

habit of virtue can make men suspend the receiving the acknowledgments due to their merit, until they are out of a capacity of receiving them. I am so very much charmed with accidents of this kind, that I have made a collection of all the memorable handsome things done by private men in my time. As a specimen of my manner of noticing such actions, take the following fragment out of much more, which is written in my year-book, on the remarks able will of a gentleman, whom I shall here call Celamico.

"This day died that plain and excellent man, my much-honoured friend Celamico, who bequeathed his whole estate to a gentleman no way related to him, and to whom he had given no such expectation in his life-time."

He was a person of a very enlarged soul, and thought the nearest relation among men to be the resemblance of their minds and sentiments. He was not mistaken in the worth of his successor, who received the news of this unexpected good-fortune with an air that shewed him less moved with the be pefit than the loss of the benactor.

ADVERTISEMENT.

*Notice is hereby given, that on Monday the eleventh instant, the case of the visit comes on, between the hours of ten and eleven, at the Court of Honour; where both persons are to attend, the meeting there not being to be understood as a visit, and the right of the next visit being then to be wholly settled, according to the prayer of the plaintiff.

N° 262. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1710.

Verba toga sequeris, junctura callidus acri,
Ore teres modico, pallantes radere mores

Doctus, et ingenuo culpam defigere ludo.

Soft elocution does thy style renown,

PERS. Sat. v. 14,

And the sweet accents of the peaceful gown;
Gentle or sharp according to thy choice,
To laugh at follies, or to lash at vice.

DRYDEN.

JOURNAL OF THE COURT OF HONOUR, &c. TIMOTHY TREATALL, gentleman, was indicted by several ladies of his sister's acquaintance for a very rude affront offered to them at an entertainment, to which he had invited them on Tuesday the seventh of November last past, between the hours of eight and nine in the evening. The indictment set forth, "that the said Mr. Treatall, upon the serving up of the supper, desired the ladies to take their places according to their different age and seniority; for that it was the way always at his table to pay respect to years." The indictment added, "that this produced an unspeakable confusion in the company; for that the ladies, who before had pressed together for a place at the upper end of the table, immediately crowded with the same disorder towards the end that was quite opposite: that Mrs. Frontley had the insolence to clap herself down at the very lowest place of the table; that the widow Partlet seated herself on the right-hand of Mrs. Frontley, alleging for her excuse, that no ceremony was to

[blocks in formation]

be used at a round table; that Mrs. Fidget and Mrs. Fescue disputed above half-an-hour for the same chair, and that the latter would not give up the cause until it was decided by the parish register, which happened to be kept hard by." The indictment further saith, "that the rest of the company who sat down did it with a reserve to their right, which they were at liberty to assert on another occasion; and that Mrs. Mary Pippe, an old maid, was placed by the unanimous vote of the whole company at the upper end of the table, from whence she had the confusion to behold several mothers of families among her inferiors." The criminal alleged in his defence, "that what he had done was to raise mirth, and avoid ceremony; and that the ladies did not complain of his rudeness until the next morning, having eaten up what he had povided for them with great readiness and alacrity.", The Censor, frowning upon him, told him, "that he ought not to discover so much levity in matters of a serious nature;" and, upon the jury's bringing him in guilty, sentenced him to treat the whole assembly of ladies over again, and to take care that he did it with the decorum which was due to per, sons of their quality."

Rebecca Shapely, spinster, was indicted by Mrs. Sarah Smack, for speaking many words reflecting upon her reputation, and the heels of her silk slippers, which the prisoner had maliciously suggested to be two inches higher than they really were. The prosecutor urged, as an aggravation of her guilt, that the prisoner was " herself guilty of the same kind of forgery which she had laid to the prosecutor's charge; for that she, the said Rebecca Shapely, did always wear a pair of steel bodice, and a false rump." The Censor ordered the slippers

to be produced in open court, where the heels were adjudged to be of the statutable size. He then or dered the grand jury to search the criminal, who, after some time spent therein, acquitted her of the bodice, but found her guilty of the rump; upon which she received sentence as is usual in such cases.

William Trippit, esquire, of the Middle Temple, brought his action against the lady Elizabeth Prudely, for having refused him her hand as he offered to lead her to her coach from the opera. The plaintiff set forth, that he had entered himself into the list of those volunteers, who officiate every night behind the boxes as gentlemen-ushers of the playhouse that he had been at a considerable charge in white gloves, perriwigs, and snuff-boxes, in order to qualify himself for that employment, and in hopes of making his fortune by it. The counsel for the defendant replied, that the plaintiff had given out that he was within a month of wedding their client, and that she had refused her hand to him in ceremony, lest he should interpret it as a promise that she would give it him in marriage. As soon as the pleadings on both sides were finished, the Censor ordered the plaintiff to be cashiered from his office of gentleman-usher to the play-house, since it was too plain that he had undertaken it with an ill design; and at the same time ordered the defendant either to marry the said plaintiff, or to pay him half-a-crown for the new pair of gloves and coach. hire that he was at the expence of in her service.

[ocr errors]

The lady Townly brought an action of debt against Mrs. Flambeau, for that the said Mrs. Flambeau had not been to see the lady Townly, and wish her joy, since her marriage with Sir Ralph, notwithstanding she, the said lady Townly, had paid Mrs. Flambeau a visit upon her first coming to

town. It was urged in the behalf of the defendant, that the plaintiff had never given her any regular notice of her being in town; that the visit she alleged had been made on Monday, which she knew was a day on which Mrs. Flambeau was always abroad, having set aside that only day in the week to mind the affairs of her family: that the servant, who inquired whether she was at home, did not give the visiting-knock: that it was not between the hours of five and eight in the evening; that there were no candles lighted up: that it was not on Mrs. Flambeau's day: and, in short, that there was not one of the essential points observed that constitute a visit. She further proved by her porter's book, which was produced in court, that she had paid the lady Townly a visit on the twen ty-fourth day of March, just before her leaving the town, in the year seventeen hundred and nine-ten for which she was still creditor to the said lady Townly. To this the plaintiff only replied, that she was now under covert, and not liable to any debts contracted when she was a single woman. Mr. Bickerstaff finding the cause to be very intricate, and that several points of honour were likely to arise in it, he deferred giving judgment upon it until the next session day, at which time he ordered the ladies on his left-hand to present to the court a table of all the laws relating to visits.

Winifred Leer brought her action against Richard Sly for having broken a marriage-contract, and wedded another woman, after he had engaged him

*Not Nineteen, but on the very last day of 1709-10. It was a nice point, for, according to the manner of reckoning at that time, the year 1710 began on the day following, that is, on the 25th of March.

« VorigeDoorgaan »