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sketch of an heroic poem upon the next peace: several, indeed, of the verses are either too long or too short, it being a rough draught of my thoughts upon that subject." I thereupon told him, “That, as it was, it might probably pass for a very good Pindaric, and. I believed I knew one who would be willing to deal with him for it upon that foot.” . “I must tell you also,” said he, “ I have made a dedi.cation to it, which is about four sides close written, that may serve any one that is tall, and understands Latin. I have further, about fifty similies, that were never yet applied, besides three-and-twenty descriptions of the sun rising, that might be of great use to an epic poet. These are my more bulky commodities; besides which, I have several smalt wares that I would part with at easy rates; as, obser: vations upon life, and moral sentences, reduced into several couplets, very proper to close up acts of plays, and may be easily introduced by two or three lines of prose, either in tragedy or comedy. If I could find a purchaser curious in Latin poetry, I could accommodate him with two dozen of epigrams, which, by reason of a few false quantities, should come for little, or nothing."
I heard the gentleman with much attention, and asked him, “Whether he would break bulk, and sell his goods by retail, or designed they should all go in a lump?” He told me, " That he should be very loth to part them, unless it was to oblige a man of quality, or any person for whom I had a particular friendship.”
My reason for asking,” said I, “ is, only because I know a young gentleman who intends to appear next spring in a new jingling chariot, with the figures of the nine Muses on each side of it; and, I believe, would be glad to come into the world in verse.'
We could not go on in our treaty, by reason of two or three eritics ihat
joined us. They had been talking, it seems, of the two letters which were found in the coffin, and mentioned in one of my late Lucubrations, and came with a request to me, that I would communicate any others of them that were legible. One of the gentlemen was pleased to say, that it was a very proper instance of a widow's constancy, and said, “ He wished I had subjoined, as a foil to the following passage in Hamlet.” The young prince was not yet acquainted with all the guilt of his mother, but turns bis thoughts on her sudden forgetfulness of his father, and the indecency of her hasty marriage.
-That it should come to this!
The several emotions of mind, and breaks of passion, in this speech, are admirable. He has touched every circumstance that aggravated the fact,
and seemed capable of hurrying the thoughts of a son into distraction. His father's tenderness for his mother, expressed in so delicate a particular; his mother's fondness for his father, no less exquisitely described; the great and amiable figure of his dead parent drawn by a true filial piety; his disdain of so unworthy a successor to his bed; but, above all, the shortness of the time between his father's death and his mother's second marriage, brought together with so much disorder, make up as noble a part as any in that celebrated tragedy. The circumstance of time I never could enough admire. The widowa hood had lasted two months. This is his first reflexion : but, as his indignation rises, he siuks to scarce two months; afterwards into a month; and at last, into a little month: but all this so naturally, that the reader accompanies him in the violence of his passion, and finds the time lessen insensibly, according to the different workings of his disdain. I have not mentioned the incest of her marriage, which is so obvious a provocation; but cannot forbear taking notice, that when his fury is at its height, he cries, “ Frailty, thy name is Woman!” as railing at the sex in general, rather than giving himself leave to think his mother worse than others--- Desiderantur multa.
*** Whereas Mr. Jeffery Groggram has surrendered hiinself, by his letter earing date December 7, and has sent an acknowledgement that he is dead, praying an order to the company of Upholders for interment at such a reasonable rate as may not impoverish his heirs: the said Groggram having been dead ever since he was born, and added nothing to his small patrimony; Mr. Bickerstaff has taken the premises into consideration; and being sensible of the ingenuous and singular behaviour of this petitioner, pronounces the said Jeffery Groggram a live man, and will not suffer that he should bury himself out of modesty ; but requires him to remain among the living, as an example to those obstinate dead men, who will neither labour for life, nor go to their grave.
N. B. Mr. Groggram is the first person that has come in upon Mr. Bickerstaff's dead warrant.
++ Florinda demands, by her letter of this day, to be allowed to pass for a living woman, having danced the Derbyshire Hornpipe in the presence of several friends on Saturday last.
Granted; provided she can bring proof, that she can make a pudding on the twenty-fourth instant.
No 107. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1709.
HOR. 1. Od. xxvii. 20.
And have her flames possess'd
Thy burning breast?
Sheer-lane, December 14. About four this afternoon, which is the hour I usually put myself in a readiness to receive company, there entered a gentleman, who I believed at first came upon some ordinary question: but, as he
ness to me.
approached nearer to me, I saw in his countenance a deep sorrow, mixed with a certain ingenuous complacency, that gave me sudden good-will towards him. He stared, and betrayed an absence of thought, as he was going to communicate his busi
But at last, recovering himself, he said with an air of great respect, “ Sir, it would be an injury to your knowledge in the occult sciences, to tell you what is my distress; I dare say, you read it in my countenance: I, therefore, beg your advice to the most unhappy of all men.” Much experience has made me particularly sagacious in the discovery of distempers, and I soon saw that his was love. I then turned to my common-place-book, and found his case under the word Coquette; and reading over the catalogue which I have collected out of this great city of all under that character, I saw at the name of Cynthia his fit came upon him. I repeated the name thrice after a musing manner,
und imme diately perceived his pulse quicken two thirds; when his eyes, instead of the wildness with which they appeared at his entrance, looked with all the gentleness imaginable upon me, not without tears. « Oh! Sir," said he,“ you
know not the unworthy usage I have met with from the woman my soul
I could gaze at her to the end of my being: yet when I have done so, for some time past, I have found her eyes fixed on another. She is now two-and-twenty, in the full tyranny of her charms, which she once acknowledged she rejoiced in, only as they made her choice of me, out of a crowd of admirers, the more obliging.
But in the midst of this happiness, so it is, Mr. Bickerstatt, that young Quickset, who is just come to town, without any other recommendation than that of being tolerably handsome, and excessively rich, has