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seems, if we are to judge by the testimonials published from time immemorial by vendors of ointment and pills, to have moved mountainous tumours, wens, and carbuncles, for without it soft soap, bread, and bacon fat would be of little use indeed. Glorious John Dryden died early in this year, and a hoaxing advertisement appeared in the Post Boy of May 4-7, which called for elegies, &c.:—
'T'HE Death of the famous John Dryden Esq. Poet Laurent to their two late Majesties, King Charles and King James the Second; being a Subject capable of employing the best pens, and several persons of quality and others, having put a stop to his interment, which is to be in Chaucer's grave, in Westminster Abbey: This is to desire the gentlemen of the two famous universities, and others who have a respect for the memory of the deceas'd, and are inclinable to such performances, to send what copies they please as Epigrams, etc to Henry Playford at his shop at the Temple-Change in Fleet street, and they shall be inserted in a Collection which is design'd after the same nature and in the same method (in what language they shall please) as is usual in the composures which are printed on solemn occasions at the two Universities aforesaid.
Other advertisements followed this, and from them it appears that the shop of Henry Playford was inundated with manuscripts of all lengths and kinds, and in many languages. What became of them does not make itself known, which is a pity, as many must have been equal to any specimen which occurs in the " Rejected Addresses," with the advantage and recommendation of being genuine.
It is strange that so far we have met with no theatrical or musical advertisement or public notice of any forthcoming amusement, for it appeared most probable that as soon as ever advertising became at all popular it would have been devoted to the interest of all pursuits of pleasure. In 1700, however, we come upon what must be considered the really first advertisement issued from a playhouse, and, as a curiosity, reproduce it from the columns of the Flying Post of July 4:—
Jv^s. AT the request and for the Entertainment of several persons of quality at the New Theatre in Lincolns-Inn-Fields, to morrow, being Friday the 5th of this instant, July, will be acted '' The Comical History of Don Quixote," both parts made into one by the author. With a new entry by the little boy, being his last time of dancing before he goes to France: Also Mrs. Elfords new entry, never performed but once and Miss Evans's jigg and Irish dance: with several new comical dances, composed and performed by Monsier L'Sac and others. Together with a new Pastoral Dialogue, by Mr Gorge and Mrs Haynes, and variety of other singing. It being for the benefit of a gentleman in great distress, and for the relief of his wife and 3 children.
This lead was soon followed by more important houses, and in a very few years we have lists regularly published of the amusements at all theatres. Theatrical managers have in all times been blessed with a strong faculty of imitation, . and though it seems immensely developed just now, the lessees of a hundred and seventy years ago were just as keen to follow the scent of anything which had proved fortunate on the venture of any one possessed of pluck or originality.
We have reserved for the end of this chapter two advertisements of an individual who, according to his own showing, would have been invaluable to some of the members of the various school boards of the present, and have enabled them to keep pace with the pupils under their supervision, a consummation devoutly to be wished. However, if we cannot have Mr Switterda, some other deus ex machin& may yet arise. The first is from the Postman of July 6-9, and runs thus :—
ALL Gentlemen and Ladies who are desirous in a very short time IX. to learn to speak Latin, French or High Dutch fluently, and that truly and properly without pedantry, according to Grammar rules, and can but spare two hours a week, may faithfully be taught by Mr. Switterda or his assistant at his lodgings in Panton Street, at the Bunch of Grapes, near Leicester Fields, where you may have Latin and French historical cards. Children may come every day, or as often as parents please at his house in Arundel Street, next to the Temple Passage, chiefly those of discretion, who may be his or her assistant, entring at the same time. And if any Gent, will take two children or half a dozen of equal age, whose capacity are not disproportionable, and let any Gent, take his choice, and leave to the abovenamed S. the other, and he is content to lose his reward, if he or his assistant makes not a greater and more visible improvement of the Latin tongue in the first three months time, than any Gent, whatsoever. Et quamquam nobili Germano est dedecori linguas profiteri, tamen non abscondi talenta mea quae Deus mihi largitus est, sed ea per multos annos publicavi, et omnes tarn divites quam paupores ad domum meam invitavi, sed surdas semper aures pulsavi, multos mihi invidos conciliavi, quos confidentia et sedulitate jam superavi. Omnes artes mechanics: quotidie excoluntur, artes vero liberates sunt veluti statua idolatrica qua; addorantur non promoventur. He intends to dispose of two copper plates containing the ground of the Latin tongue, and the highest bidder shall have them. Every one is to pay according to his quality from one guinea to 4 guineas per month, but he will readier agree by the great.
It is evident that Mr Switterda was of an accommodating disposition, and doubtless did well not only out of those who agreed by the great—a species of scholastic slang we are -unable to understand positively, however much we may surmise—but out of those who were content, or were perforce compelled to put up, with the small. Here is another "high-falutin'" notice which appears in the same paper about a month later, and which shows that the advertiser is also possessed of a power of purring his own goods which must have aroused the envy and admiration of other quacks, in an age when they were not only numerous but singularly fertile in expedient:—
"I Tl 7HEREAS in this degenerate age, Youth are kept so many years
*" in following only the Latin tongue and many of them are quite discouraged Mr. Switterda offers a very easy, short, and delightful method, which is full, plain, most expeditious and effectual, without pedantry, resolving all into a laudable and most beneficial practice by which Gent, and Ladies, who can but spare to be but twice in a week with him, may in two years time leam Latin, French and High Dutch, not only to speak them truly and properly, but also to understand a classical author. Antisthenes, an eminent Teacher being ask'd why
he had so few scholars? answer'd Quoniam non compello, sed depello illos virga argentea. Mr. Switterda who loves qualitatem non quantitatem may say the same of a great many, except those who are scholars themselves, and love to give their children extraordinary learning, who have paid not only what he desired, but one, two, or three guineas above their quarteridge, and some more than he asked. He is not willing to be troubled with stubborn boys, or those of 8 or 9 years of age, unless they come along with one of more maturity, that shall be able to instruct them at home, and such as may be serviceable to the public in Divinity, Law and Physick, or teaching school. There is £20 offered for the two copper plates, and he that bids most shall have them. He teacheth Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at his house in Arundel Street, next door above the Temple Passage, and the other three days in Panton Street, at the Bunch of Grapes near Leicester Fields, where you may have Latin and French Historical Cards, and a pack to learn Copia Verborum, which is a great want in many gentlemen. Every one is to pay according to his quality, from one Guinea to 4 Guineas per month. But poor Gent, and Ladies he will consider, chiefly when they agree by the great, or come to board with him.
How different from the puffing and pretentious announcements just given is the one of the same time which follows, as we read which we can hear the hum of the little country schoolroom, and see the master with his wig all awry, deep in snuff and study, the mistress keenly alive to the disposition of her girls, and the pupils of both sexes, as pupils are often even nowadays, intent upon anything but their lessons or work. London is forty miles away, and the coach is an object of wonder and admiration to the villagers, who look upon the pupils who have come from the great city with awe and reverence, while the master is supposed to diffuse learning from every pore in his body, and to scatter knowledge with every wave of his hand. The mistress is also an object of veneration, but her accomplishments are more within the ken of rustic folk, and she, good simple dame, who imagines her husband to be the most learned man in all the King, God bless him's, dominions, delights to talk about the clergymen they have educated, and has been the principal cause of his inditing and publishing this notice :—
ABOUT forty miles from London is a schoolmaster has had such **■ success with boys as there are almost forty ministers and schoolmasters that were his scholars. His wife also teaches girls lacemaking, plain work, raising paste, sauces, and cookery to a degree of exactness. His price is^io or^n tire year, with a pair of sheets and one spoon, to be returned if desired; coaches and other conveniencies pass every day within half a mile of the house, and 'tis but an easy journey to or from London.
And with these proofs that the schoolmaster was very much abroad at the time, we will take leave of the seventeenth "century.