Tatler 4, April 16, 1709 (Steele)

No. 4.

From Saturday April 16, to Tuesday, April 19, 1709.

* * * * *

It is usual with persons who mount the stage for the cure or information
of the crowd about them, to make solemn professions of their being
wholly disinterested in the pains they take for the public good. At the
same time, those very men, who make harangues in plush doublets, and
extol their own abilities and generous inclinations, tear their lungs in
vending a drug, and show no act of bounty, except it be, that they lower
a demand of a crown, to six, nay, to one penny. We have a contempt for
such paltry barterers, and have therefore all along informed the public
that we intend to give them our advices for our own sakes, and are
labouring to make our lucubrations come to some price in money, for our
more convenient support in the service of the public. It is certain,

being a novice at all manner of play I declined the offer. Another
advised me, for want of money, to set up my coach and practise physic,
but having been bred a scholar, I feared I should not succeed that way
to understand, that I shall not pretend to raise a credit to this work,
upon the weight of my politic news only, but, as my Latin sentence in
the title-page informs you, shall take anything that offers for the
subject of my discourse. Thus, new persons, as well as new things, are
pronounced such, you shall have the freshest advice of their preferment
as also, in whose places they are advanced. For this town is never
good-natured enough to raise one, without depressing another. But it is
my design, to avoid saying anything, of any person, which ought justly
style, to give entertainment for men of pleasure, without offence to
those of business.

All hearts at present pant for two ladies only, who have for some
time engrossed the dominion of the town. They are indeed both exceeding
charming, but differ very much in their excellences. The beauty of
Clarissa is soft, that of Chloe piercing. When you look at Clarissa,
find in Chloe nothing extraordinary in any one of those particulars, but

desire. The gazers at Clarissa are at first unconcerned, as if they were
observing a fine picture. They who behold Chloe, at the first glance,
discover transport, as if they met their dearest friend. These different
perfections are suitably represented by the last great painter Italy has
sent us, Mr. Jervas. Clarissa is, by that skilful hand, placed in a
drawn with a liveliness that shows she is conscious, but not affected,

given her, of a straw hat and riband, to represent that sort of beauty
which enters the heart with a certain familiarity, and cheats it into a
belief, that it has received a lover as well as an object of love. The
force of their different beauties is seen also in the effects it makes
on their lovers. The admirers of Chloe are eternally gay and
well-pleased: those of Clarissa, melancholy and thoughtful. And as this
passion always changes the natural man into a quite different creature
Clarissa, madmen. There were of each kind just now here. Here was one
that whistles, laughs, sings, and cuts capers, for love of Chloe.
Another has just now written three lines to Clarissa, then taken a turn
in the garden, then came back again, then tore his fragment, then called
for some chocolate, then went away without it.

Chloe has so many admirers in the room at present, that there is too
much noise to proceed in my narration, so that the progress of the loves
of Clarissa and Chloe, together with the bottles that are drank each
night for the one, and the many sighs which are uttered, and songs
written, on the other, must be our subject on future occasions.

Letters from the Haymarket inform us, that on Saturday night last the

for the stage being an entertainment of the reason and all our
faculties, this way of being pleased with the suspense of them for three
hours together, and being given up to the shallow satisfaction of the
eyes and ears only, seems to arise rather from the degeneracy of our
understanding, than an improvement of our diversions. That the
understanding has no part in the pleasure is evident, from what these
letters very positively assert, to wit, that a great part of the
performance was done in Italian: and a great critic fell into fits in
the gallery, at feeling, not only time and place, but languages and
nations confused in the most incorrigible manner. His spleen is so
extremely moved on this occasion, that he is going to publish a treatise
against operas, which, he thinks, have already inclined us to thoughts
of peace, and if tolerated, must infallibly dispirit us from carrying on
the war. He has communicated his scheme to the whole room, and declared
in what manner things of this kind were first introduced. He has upon
this occasion considered the nature of sounds in general, and made a
very elaborate digression upon the London cries, wherein he has
shown from reason and philosophy why oysters are cried,
card-matches sung, and turnips and all other vegetables neither
cried, sung, nor said, but sold, with an accent and tone neither natural
to man or beast. This piece seems to be taken from the model of that
excellent discourse of Mrs. Manly the schoolmistress, concerning
samplers. Advices from the upper end of Piccadilly say that Mayfair
his ingenious company of strollers to Greenwich: but other letters from
but that several heathen gods and goddesses, which are to descend in

this ensuing summer, he was set at liberty. The most melancholy part of
all, was, that Diana was taken in the act of fornication with a boatman,
and committed by Justice Wrathful, which has, it seems, put a stop to
the diversions of the theatre of Blackheath. But there goes down another
Diana and a patient Grissel next tide from Billingsgate.

They write from Saxony of the 13th instant, N.S., that the Grand General
of the Crown of Poland was so far from entering into a treaty with King
Stanislaus, that he had written circular letters, wherein he exhorted
favourable conjuncture for asserting their liberty.

Letters from the Hague of the 23rd instant, N.S., say, they have advices
from Vienna, which import, that his Electoral Highness of Hanover had
signified to the Imperial Court, that he did not intend to put himself
at the head of the troops of the Empire, except more effectual measures
were taken for acting vigorously against the enemy the ensuing campaign.
Upon this representation, the Emperor has given orders to several
regiments to march towards the Rhine, and despatched expresses to the
respective princes of the Empire to desire an augmentation of their

These letters add, that an express arrived at the Hague on the 20th
instant, with advice, that the enemy having made a detachment from
Tournay of 1500 horse, each trooper carrying a foot-soldier behind him,
their march, sent out a strong body of troops from Ghent, which engaged
the enemy at Asche, and took 200 of them prisoners, obliging the rest to
retire without making any further attempt. On the 22nd in the morning a
fleet of merchant ships coming from Scotland, were attacked by six
French privateers at the entrance of the Meuse. We have yet no certain
advice of the event: but letters from Rotterdam say, that a Dutch
man-of-war of forty guns, which was convoy to the said fleet, was taken,
as were also eighteen of the merchants. The Swiss troops, in the
service of the States, have completed the augmentation of their
respective companies. Those of Wirtemberg and Prussia are expected on
a battalion of Holstein, and another of Wolfembuttel, are advancing
thither with all expedition. On the 21st instant, the deputies of the
States had a conference near Woerden with the President Rouillé, but the
matter which was therein debated is not made public. His Grace the Duke
of Marlborough and Prince Eugene continue at the Hague.

From my own Apartment, April 18.

I have lately been very studious for intelligence, and have just now, by
my astrological flying-post, received a packet from Felicia, an
island in America, with an account that gives me great satisfaction, and
lets me understand that the island was never in greater prosperity, or
the administration in so good hands, since the death of their late
valiant king. These letters import, that the chief minister has entered
into a firm league with the ablest and best men of the nation, to carry
on the cause of liberty, to the encouragement of religion, virtue, and
honour. Those persons at the helm are so useful, and in themselves of
such weight, that their strict alliance must needs tend to the universal
prosperity of the people. Camillo, it seems, presides over the
singular probity, courage, affability, and love of mankind, that his
being placed in that station has dissipated the fears of that people,
who of all the world are the most jealous of their liberty and
happiness. The next member of their society is Horatio, who makes
all the public despatches. This minister is master of all the languages
in use to great perfection: he is held in the highest veneration
imaginable for a severe honesty, and love of his country: he lives in a
court, unsullied with any of its artifices, the refuge of the oppressed,
and terror of oppressors. Martio has joined himself to this

singularly happy in one particular, that he never preferred a man who
has not proved remarkably serviceable to his country. Philander[111] is
refined taste of the true pleasures and elegance of life, joined to an
agreeable in conversation, and dextrous in all manner of public
negotiations. These letters add, that Verono,[112] who is also of this
council, has lately set sail to his government of Patricia, with design
to confirm the affections of the people in the interests of his queen.
This minister is master of great abilities, and is as industrious and
restless for the preservation of the liberties of the people, as the
greatest enemy can be to subvert them. The influence of these
personages, who are men of such distinguished parts and virtues, makes
the people enjoy the utmost tranquillity in the midst of a war, and
gives them undoubted hopes of a secure peace from their vigilance and