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N° 264. table, as an hour-glass is often placed near the pul pit, to measure out the length of a discourse.
I shall be willing to allow a man one round of my watch, that is, a whole minute, to speak in; but if he exceeds that time, it shall be lawful for any of the company to look upon the watch, or to call him down to order.
Provided, however, that if any one can make it appear he is turned of threescore, he may take two, or, if he pleases, three rounds of the watch, without giving offence. Provided also that this rule be not construed to extend to the fair sex, who shall still be at liberty to talk by the ordinary watch that is now in use. I would likewise earnestly recommend this little automaton, which may be easily carried in the pocket without any incumbrance, to all such as are troubled wito this infirmity of speech, that upon pulling out their watches, they may have frequent occasion to consider what they are doing, and by that means cut the thread of the story short, and hurry to a conclusion. I shall only add, that this watch, with a paper of directions how to use it, is sold at Charles Lillie's.
I am afraid a Tatler will be thought a very improper paper to censure this humour of being talkative; but I would have my readers know, that there is a great difference between tattle and loquacity, as I shall shew at large in a following Lucubration it being my design to throw away a candle upon that subject, in order to explain the whole art of tattling in all its branches and subdivisions.
N° 265. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1710.
Arbiter hic igitur factus de lite jocosa.
-Him therefore they create
OVID. Met. iii. 331.
The sovereign umpire of their droll debate.
CONTINUATION OF THE JOURNAL OF THE COURT OF HONOUR, &c.
As soon as the court was sat, the ladies of the bench presented, according to order, a table of all the laws now in force relating to visits and visitingdays, methodically digested under their respective heads, which the Censor ordered to be laid upon the table, and afterwards proceeded upon the business of the day.
Henry Heedless, esquire, was indicted by colonel Touchy, of her majesty's trained-bands, upon an action of assault and battery; for that he, the said Mr. Heedless, having espied a feather upon the shoulder of the said colonel, struck it off gently with the end of a walking-staff, value three-pence, It appeared, that the prosecutor did not think himself injured until a few days after the aforesaid blow was given him; but that, having ruminated with himself for several days, and conferred upon it with other officers of the militia, he concluded, that le had in effect been cudgelled by Mr. Heedless, and that he ought to resent it accordingly. The counsel for the prosecutor alleged, that the shoulder was the tenderest part in a man of honour; that it had a
natural antipathy to a stick; and that every touch of it, with any thing made in the fashion of a cane, was to be interpreted as a wound in that part, and a violation of the person's honour who received it. Mr. Heedless replied, "that what he had done was out of kindness to the prosecutor, as not thinking it proper for him to appear at the head of the trainedbands, with a feather upon his shoulder:" and further added, "that the stick he made use of on this occasion was so very small, that the prosecutor could not have felt it had he broken it on his shoulders." The Censor hereupon directed the jury to examine into the nature of the staff, for that a great deal would depend upon that particular. Upon which he explained to them the different degrees of offence that might be given by the touch of crabtree from that of cane, and by the touch of cane from that of a plain hazel stick. The jury, after a short perusal of the staff, declared their opinion by the mouth of their foreman, "that the substance of the staff was British oak." The Censor then observing that there was some dust on the skirts of the criminal's coat, ordered the prosecutor to beat it off with the aforesaid oaken plant; "and thus," said the Censor, "I shall decide this cause by the law of retaliation. If Mr. Heedless did the colonel a good office, the colonel will by this means return it in kind; but if Mr. Heedless should at any time boast that he had cudgelled the colonel, or laid his staff over his shoulders, the colonel might boast, in his turn, that he has brushed Mr. Heedless's jacket, or, to use the phrase of an ingenious author, that he has rubbed him down with an oaken towel."
Benjamin Busy, of London, merchant, was indicted by Jasper Tattle, esquire, for having pulled out his watch, and looked upon it thrice, while the said esquire 'Tattle was giving him an account of the
funeral of the said esquire Tattle's first wife. The prisoner alleged in his defence, that he was going to buy stocks at the time when he met the prosecutor; and that, during the story of the prosecutor, the said stocks rose above two per cent. to the great detriment of the prisoner. The prisoner further brought several witnesses to prove, that the said Jasper Tattle, esquire, was a most notorious storyteller; that, before he met the prisoner, he had hindered one of the prisoner's acquaintance from the pursuit of his lawful business, with the account of his second marriage; and that he had detained another by the button of his coat, that very morn ing, until he had heard several witty sayings and contrivances of the prosecutor's eldest son, who was a boy of about five years of age. Upon the whole matter, Mr. Bickerstaff dismissed the accusation as frivolous, and sentenced the prosecutor "to pay damages to the prisoner, for what the prisoner had lost by giving him so lo long and patient an hearing." He further reprimanded the prosecutor very se verely, and told him," that if he proceeded in his usual manner to interrupt the business of mankind, he would set a fine upon him for every quarter of an hour's impertinence, and regulate the said fine ac cording as the time of the person so injured should appear to be more or less precious."
Sir Paul Swash, knight, was indicted by Peter Double, gentleman, for not returning the bow which he received of the said Peter Double, on Wednesday the sixth instant, at the play-house in the Hay-market. The prisoner denied the receipt. of any such bow, and alleged in his defence, that the prosecutor would oftentimes look full in his face, but that when he bowed to the said prosecutor, he would take no notice of it, or bow to somebody else that sat quite on the other side of
him. He likewise alleged, that several ladies had complained of the prosecutor, who, after ogling them a quarter of an hour, upon their making a courtesy to him, would not return the civility of a bow. The Censor observing several glances of the prosecutor's eye, and perceiving that when he talked to the court, he looked upon the jury, found reason to suspect there was a wrong cast in his sight, which, upon examination, proved true. The Censor therefore ordered the prisoner, that he might not produce any more confusions in public assemblies, "never to bow to any body whom he did not at the same time call to by name.”
Oliver Bluff and Benjamin Browbeat were indicted for going to fight a duel since the erection of "The Court of Honour." It appeared, that they were both taken up in the street as they passed by the court in their way to the fields behind Montague-house. The criminals would answer nothing for themselves, but that they were going to execute a challenge which had been made a week before the "Court of Honour" was erected. The Censor finding some reason to suspect, by the sturdiness of their behaviour, that they were not so very brave as they would have the court believe them, ordered them both to be searched by the grand jury, who found a breast-plate upon the one, and two quires of paper upon the other. The breast-plate was immediately ordered to be hung upon a peg over Mr. Bickerstaff's tribunal, and the paper to be laid upon the table for the use of his clerk. He then ordered the criminals to button up their bosoms, and, if they pleased, proceed to their duel. Upon which they both went very quietly out of the court, and retired to their respective lodgings." The Court then adjourned until after the holidays." Copia vera. CHARLES LILlie.