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"Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lieve the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious perriwig pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shews, and noise: I would have such a fellow whipp'd for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold as 'twere the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this, over-done, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one, must, in your allowance, o'er-weigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play,-and heard others praise, and that highly- not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, Pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. This should
be reformed altogether. And let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them: for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though in the mean time, some ne cessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.”
From my own Apartment, June 29.
It would be a very great obligation, and an assistance to my treatise upon punning, if any one would please to inform me in what class among the learned, who play with words, to place the author of the following letter.
"Not long since you were pleased to give us a chimerical account of the famous family of the Staffs, from whence I suppose you would insinuate, that it is the most antient and numerous house in all Europe. But I positively deny that it is either, and wonder much at your audacious proceedings in this manner, since it is well known, that our most illustrious, most renowned, and most celebrated Roman family of Ix has enjoyed the precedency to all others, from the reign of good old Saturn. I could say much to the defamation and disgrace of your family; as, that your relations Distaff and Broomstaff were both inconsiderable mean persons, one spinning, the other sweeping the streets, for their daily bread. But I forbear to vent my spleen on objects so much beneath my indignation. I shall only give the world a catalogue of my ancestors, and leave them to determine which hath hitherto had, and which for the future ought to have, the preference.
First then comes the most famous and popular lady Meretrix, parent of the fertile family of Bellatrix, Lotrix, Netrix, Nutrix, Obstetrix, Famulatrix, Coctrix, Ornatrix, Sarcinatrix, Fextrix, Balneatrix, Portatrix, Saltatrix, Divinatrix, Conjectrix, Comtrix, Debitrix, Creditrix, Donatrix, Ambulatrix, Mercatrix, Adsectrix, Assectatrix, Palpatrix, Præceptrix, Pistrix. I am yours,
St. James's Coffee-house, June 27.
Letters from Brussels, of the second of July, N. S. say, that the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, having received advice that the marshal Villars had drawn a considerable body out of the garrison of Tournay, to reinforce his army, marched towards that place, and came before it early in the morning of the twenty-seventh. As soon as they came into that ground, the prince of Nassau was sent with a strong detachment to take post at St. Amand; and at the same time my lord Orkney received orders to possess himself of Mortagne; both which were successfully executed; whereby we were masters of the Scheld and Scarp. Eight men were drawn out of each troop of dragoons and company of foot in the garrison of Tournay, to make up the reinforcement which was ordered to join marshal Villars. On advice, that the allies were marching towards Tournay, they endeavoured to return into the town, but were intercepted by the earl of Orkney, by whom the whole body was killed or taken. These letters add, that twelve hundred dragoons (each horseman carrying a foot-soldier behind him) were detached from Mons to throw themselves into Tournay, but, upon appearance of a great body of horse of the allies, retired towards Condé. We hear that the
garrison does not consist of more than three thousand five hundred men. Of the sixty battalions designed to be employed in this siege, seven are English, viz. two of guards, and the regiments of Argyle, Temple, Evans, and Meredith.
N° 36. SATURDAY, JULY 2, 1709.
By Mrs. JENNY DISTAFF, Half-sister to
Quicquid agunt homines
nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. Sat. I. 85, 86.
Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream,
From my own Apartment, June 30.
MANY affairs calling my brother into the country, the care of our intelligence with the town is left to me for some time; therefore, you must expect the advices you meet with in this paper, to be such as more immediately and naturally fall under the consideration of our sex. History, therefore, written by a woman, you will easily imagine to consist of love in all its forms, both in the abuse of, and obedience to that passion. As to the faculty of writing itself, it will not, it is hoped, be demanded that style and ornament shall be so much consulted, as truth and simplicity; which latter qualities we may more justly pretend to beyond the other sex: while, therefore, the administration of our affairs is in my
hands, you shall from time to time have an exact account of all false lovers, and their shallow pretences for breaking off; of all termagant wives who make wedlock a yoke; of men who affect the entertainments and manners suitable only to our sex, and women who pretend to the conduct of such affairs as are only within the province of men. It is necessary further to advertise the reader, that the usual places of resort being utterly out of my province or observation, I shall be obliged frequently to change the dates of places, as occurrences come into my way. The following letter I lately received from Epsom:
"Epsom, June 28.
"It is now almost three weeks since what you writ about happened in this place the quarrel between my friends did not run so high as I find your accounts have made it. The truth of the fact you shall have very faithfully. You are to understand, that the persons concerned in this scene were Lady Autumn and Lady Springly. Autumn is a person of good-breeding, formality, and a singular way practised in the last age; and Lady Springly, a modern impertinent of our sex, who affects as improper a familiarity, as the other does distance: Lady Autumn knows to a hair's breadth where her place is in all assemblies and conversations; but Springly neither gives nor takes place of any body, but understands the place to signify no more, than to have room enough to be at ease wherever she comes thus, while Autumn takes the whole of this life to consist in understanding punctilio and decorum, Springly takes every thing to be becoming, which contributes to her ease and satisfaction. These heroines have married two brothers, both knights. Springly is the spouse of the elder,