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gardener who has a turn to sculpture, and is thereby capable of improving upon the ancients of his profession in the imagery of evergreens. My correspondent is arrived to such perfection, that he cuts family pieces of men, women, or children. Any ladies that please may have their own effigies in myrtle, or their husbands in horn-beam. He is a puritan wag, and never fails when he shews his garden, to repeat that passage in the Psalms, Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine, and thy children as olive branches round thy table.' I shall proceed to his catalogue, as he sent it for my recommendation.
Adam and Eve in yew; Adam a little shattered by the fall of the tree of knowledge in the great storm: Eve and the serpent very flourishing.
'The tower of Babel not yet finished.
St. George in box; his arm scarce long enough, but will be in condition to stick the dragon by next April.
A green dragon of the same, with a tail of ground-ivy for the present.
N. B. These two not to be sold separately.
A laurestine bear in blossom, with a juniper hunter in berries.
A pair of giants, stunted, to be sold cheap. "A queen Elizabeth in phylyræa, a little inclining to the green-sickness, but of full growth.
Another queen Elizabeth in myrtle, which was very forward, but miscarried by being too near a
'An old maid of honour in wormwood.
A topping Ben Johnson in laurel.
'Divers eminent modern poets in bays, somewhat blighted, to be disposed of, a pennyworth.
A quickset hog, shot up into a porcupine, by its being forgot a week in rainy weather.
A lavender pig with sage growing in his belly. 'Noah's ark in holly, standing on the mount; the ribs a little damaged for want of water.
A pair of maidenheads in fir, in great forward
N° 174. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1713.
Salve Pæoniæ largitor nobilis undæ,
Publica morborum requies commune medentum
Hail, greatest good Dardanian fields bestow,
IN public assemblies there are generally some envious splenetic people, who having no merit to procure respect, are ever finding fault with those who distinguish themselves. This happens more frequently at those places, where this season of the year calls persons of both sexes together for their health. I have had reams of letters from Bath, Epsom, Tunbridge, and Saint Wenefrede's well; wherein I could observe that a concern for honour and virtue proceeded from the want of health, beauty, or fine petticoats. A lady who subscribes
herself Eudosia, writes a bitter invective against Chloe the celebrated dancer; but I have learned, that she herself is lame of the rheumatism. Another, who hath been a prude ever since she had the small-pox, is very bitter against the coquettes and their indecent airs; and a sharp wit hath sent me a keen epigram against the gamesters; but I took notice, that it was not written upon gilt paper.
Having had several strange pieces of intelligence from the Bath; as, that more constitutions were weakened there than repaired; that the physicians were not more busy in destroying old bodies, than the young fellows in producing new ones; with several other common-place strokes of raillery; I resolved to look upon the company there, as I returned lately out of the country. It was a great jest to see such a grave ancient person as I am, in an embroidered cap and brocade night-gown. But, besides the necessity of complying with the custom, by these means I passed undiscovered, and had a pleasure I much covet, of being alone in a crowd. It was no little satisfaction to me, to view the mixt mass of all ages and dignities upon a level, partaking of the same benefits of nature, and mingling in the same diversions. I sometimes entertained myself by observing what a large quantity of ground was hid under spreading petticoats; and what little patches of earth were covered by creatures with wigs and hats, in comparison to those spaces that were distinguished by flounces, fringes, and furbelows. From the earth my fancy was diverted to the water, where the distinctions of sex and condition are concealed; and where the mixture of men and women hath given occasion to some persons of light imaginations, to compare the Bath
to the fountain of Salmacis, which had the virtue of joining the two sexes into one person; or to the stream wherein Diana washed herself, when she bestowed horns on Acteon; but by one of a serious turn, these healthful springs may rather be likened to the Stygian waters, which made the body invulnerable; or to the river of Lethe, one draught of which washed away all pain and anguish in a mo
As I have taken up a name which ought to abound in humanity, I shall make it my business, in this paper, to cool and assuage those malignant humours of scandal which run throughout the body of men and women there assembled; and after the manner of those famous waters, I will endeavour to wipe away all foul aspersions, to restore a bloom and vigour to decayed reputations, and set injured characters upon their legs again. I shall herein regulate myself by the example of that good man, who used to talk with charity of the greatest villains; nor was ever heard to speak with rigour of any one, until he affirmed with severity that Nero was a wag.
Having thus prepared thee, gentle reader, I shall not scruple to entertain thee with a panegyric upon the gamesters. I have indeed spoken incautiously heretofore of that class of men; but I should forfeit all titles to modesty, should I any longer oppose the common sense of the nobility and gentry of the kingdom. Were we to treat all those with contempt, who are the favourites of blind chance, few levees would be crowded. It is not the height of sphere in which a man moves, but the manner in which he acts, that makes him truly valuable. When therefore I see a gentleman lose his money with serenity, I recognise in him all the great
qualities of a philosopher. If he storms, and invokes the gods, I lament that he is not placed at the head of a regiment. The great gravity of the countenances round Harrison's table, puts me in mind of a council board; and the indefatigable application of the several combatants furnish me with an unanswerable reply to those gloomy mortals, who censure this as an idle life. In short, I cannot see any reason why gentlemen should be hindered from raising a fortune by those means, which at the same time enlarge their minds. Nor shall I speak dishonourably of some little artifice and finesse used upon these occasions; since the world is so just to any man who is become a possessor of wealth, as not to respect him the less, for the methods he took to come by it.
Upon considerations like these the ladies share in these diversions. I must own, that I receive great pleasure in seeing my pretty countrywomen engaged in an amusement which puts them upon producing so many virtues. Hereby they acquire such a boldness, as raises them near that lordly creature man. Here they are taught such contempt of wealth, as may dilate their minds, and prevent many curtain lectures. Their natural tenderness is a weakness here easily unlearned; and I find my soul exalted, when I see a lady sacrifice the fortune of her children with as little concern as a Spartan or a Roman dame. In such a place as the Bath I might urge, that the casting of a die is indeed the properest exercise for a fair creature to assist the waters; not to mention the opportunity it gives to display the well-turned arm, and to scatter to advantage the rays of the diamond. But I am satisfied, that the gamester ladies have surmounted the little vanities of shewing their beauty,