Page images

who, notwithstanding their fhameful deficiency in this main requifite, are generally propofed as the most exact models of good behaviour and standards of politeness.

The art of war is no eafy study: it requires much labour and application to go through what Milton calls the rudiments of foldiership, in all the skill of embattling, marching, encamping, fortifying, befieging and battering, with all the helps of ancient and modern ftratagems, tactics, and warlike maxims. With all thefe every officer fhould undoubtedly be acquainted; for mere regimentals no more create a foldier, than the cowl makes a monk. But, I fear, the generality of our army have made little proficiency in the art they profefs; have learnt little more than just to acquit themselves with fome decency at a review; have not studied and examined, as they ought, the ancient and modern principles of war;

Nor the divifion of a battle know,
More than a spinster.


part of the poem is made up of war. Thefe ftudies cannot furely fail of animating a modern breaft, which often kindled fuch a noble ardour in the ancients.

[ocr errors]

If we look into the lives of the greateft generals of antiquity, we shall find them no mean proficients in fcience. They led their armies to victory by their courage, and fupported the state by their counfels. They revered the fame Pallas, as the goddess of war and of wifdom; and the Spartans in particular, before they entered on an engagement, always facrificed to the Mules. The exhortations, given by commanders before the onfet, are fome of the most animated pieces of oratory in all antiquity, and frequently produced aftonishing effects, roufing the foldiers from defpair, and hurrying them on to victory. `An illiterate commander would have been the contempt of Greece and Rome. Tully, indeed, was called the learned Conful in derifion; but then, as Dryden obferves, his head was turned another I way. When he read the tactics, he was thinking on the bar, which was his field of battle.' I am particularly pleafed with the character of Scipio Æmilianus as drawn by Velleius Paterculus, and would recommend it to the ferious imitation of our modern officers. He was fo great an admirer of liberal ftudies, that he always retained the most eminent wits in his camp: nor did any one fill up the intervals of business with more elegance, retiring from war only to cultivate the arts of peace; always employed in arms or ftudy, always exerciling his body with perils, or difciplining his mind with fience. The author contrafts this amiable portrait with a defcription of Mummius; a general fo little verfed in the polite arts, that havPoetry too, more especially that of ing taken at Corinth feveral pictures the ancients, feems particularly calcu- and ftatues of the greatest artists, he lated for the perufal of thofe concerned threatened the perfons, who were inin war. The subject of the Iliad is en-trusted with the carriage of them to Itatirely martial; and the principal cha- ly, that, if they loft thofe, they should racters are diftinguished from each other give new ones.' chiefly by their different exertion of the fingle quality of courage. It was, I fuppofe, on account of this martial fpirit, which breathes throughout the Iliad, that Alexander was fo captivated with it, that he is said to have laid it every night under his pillow. The principal character in the Æneid is a general of remarkable piety and courage; and great

Befides the ftudy of the art of war itself, there are many collateral branches of literature, of which, as gentlemen and as foldiers, they fhould not be ignorant. Whoever bears a commiffion in the army, fhould be well read in hiftory. The examples of Alexander, Cæfar, or Marlborough, however illustrious, are of little concern to the generality of readers, but are set up as fo many land-marks, to direct thole who are purfuing the fame courfe to glory. A thorough knowledge of history would furnish a commander with true courage, infpire him with an honeft emulation of his ancestors, and teach him to gain a victory without shedding blood.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I would fain have a British officer looked upon with as much deference as thofe of Greece and Rome: but while they neglect the acquifition of the fame accomplishments, they will never meet with the fame refpect. Instead of cultivating their minds, they are wholly taken up in adorning their bodies, and look upon gallantry and intrigue as effen

[ocr errors]

tial parts of their character. To glitter in the boxes, or at an affembly, is the full difplay of their politenefs; and to be the life and foul of a lewd brawl, almoft the only exertion of their courage; infomuch that there is a good deal of justice in Macheath's raillery, when he fays If it was not for us, and the other gentlemen of the fword, Drury Lane would be uninhabited.'

It is fomething ftrange, that officers hould want any inducement to acquire fo gentleman-like an accomplishment as learning. If they imagine it would derogate from their good-breeding, or call off their attention from military bufinefs, they are mistaken. Pedantry is no, more connected with learning, than rafhness with courage. Cæfar, who was the finest gentleman and the greatett general, was alfo the best scholar of his age.

To fay the truth, learning wears a more amiable afpect and winning air in courts and camps, whenever it appears there, than amid the gloom of colleges and cloisters. Mixing in genteel life files off the ruft that may have been contracted by study, and wears out any little oddnefs or peculiarity, that may be acquired in the clofet. For this reafon the officer is more inexcufable, who neglects an accomplishment that would fit to gracefully upon him: for this reafon too, we pay fo great deference to thofe few who have enriched their minds with the treasures of antiquity. illiterate officer either hardens into a bravo, or refines into a fop. The infipidity of the fop is utterly contemptible; and a rough brutal courage, unpolished by fcience and unaffifted by realon, has no more claim to heroifm, than the cafehardened valour of a bruifer or prizefighter. Agreeable to this notion, Ho


mer in the fifth Iliad reprefents the goddefs Minerva as wounding Mars, and driving the heavy deity off the field of battle; implying allegorically, that wif dom is capable of fubduing courage.

[ocr errors]

I would flatter myfelf, that British minds are still as noble, and British genius as exuberant, as those of any other nation or age whatever; but that fome are debafed by luxury, and others run wild for want of proper cultivation. If Athens can boaft her 'Miltiades, Themiftocles, &c. Rome her Camillus, Fabius, Cæfar, &c. England has had her Edwards, Henrys, and Marlboroughs. It is to be hoped the time will come, when learning will be reckoned as neceflary to qualify a man for the army, as for the bar or pulpit. Then we may expect to fee the British foldiery enter on the field of battle, as on a theatre,` for which they are prepared in the parts they are to act. They will not then,' (as Milton expreffes himself with his ufual strength in his Treatife on Education) if intrufted with fair and hopeful armies, fuffer them, for want of juft and wife difcipline, to fhed away from about them like fick feathers, though they be never fo oft fupplied: they would not fuffer their empty and unrecruitable colonels of twenty men in a company, to quaff out, or convey into fecret hoards, the wages of a delufive lift and a miferable remnant; yet in the mean while to be overmastered with a fcore or two of drunkards, the only foldiery left about them, or elfe to comply with all rapines and violences. No certainly, IF THEY

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

N° XI. THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 1754.

[blocks in formation]


HE principal character in Steele's young Bockwit, an Oxonian, who at once thio vs off the habit and manners of an academic, and affumes the drefs, air, and converfation, of a man of the town. He is, like other fine gentlemen, a cox

comb; but a coxcomb of learning and

[ocr errors]

vient to his pleatures: his knowledge in poetry qualifies him for a fonneteer his rhetoric to fay fine things to th ladies, and his philofophy to regulat his equipage; for he talks of havin Peripateti

Peripatetic footmen, a follower of Ariftippus for a valet de chambre, an • Epicurean cook, with an Hermetical chymift (who are good only at making fires) for a fcullion.' Thus he is, in every particular, a fop of letters, a compleat claffical beau.

By a review I have lately made of the people in this great metropolis, as Cenfor, I find that the town fwarms with Book-wits. The playhouses, park, taverns, and coffee-houses, are thronged with them. Their manner, which has fomething in it very characteristic, and different from the town-bred coxcombs, difcovers them to the flightest observer. It is, indeed, no eafy matter for one, whofe chief employment is to store his mind with new ideas, to throw that happy vacancy, that total abfence of thought and reflection, into his countenance, fo remarkable in our modern fine gentlemen. The fame lownging air too, that paffes for genteel in an univerfity coffee-house, is foon diftinguished from the genuine careless loll, and eafy faunter; and bring us over to the notion of Sir Wilful in The Way of the World, that a man should be bound prentice to a maker of fops, before he ventures to fet up for himself.'

Yet, in fpite of all thefe difadvantages, the love of pleasure, and a few fupernumerary guineas, draw the ftudent from his literary employment, and entice him to this theatre of noife and hurry, this grand mart of luxury; where, as long as his purse can fupply him, he may be as idle and debauched as he pleases. I could not help fmiling at a dialogue between two of thefe gentlemen, which I overheard a few nights ago at the Bedford Coffee-houfe. Ha! Jack! fays one accofting the other, is it you? How long have you been in town?' Two hours. How long do you stay?' Ten guineas. If you'll come to Venable's after the play is over, you'll find Tom Latine, Bob Claffic, and two or three more, who will be very glad to fee you. ⚫ What, you're in town upon the fober plan at your father's? But hearkye, Frank, if you'll call in, I'll tell your ⚫ friend Harris to prepare for you. So 'your fervant; for I'm going to meet ⚫ the finest girl upon town in the green • boxes,'

I left the coffee-house pretty late; and

as I came into the piazza, the fire in the Bedford-Arms kitchen blazed fo chearfully and invitingly before me, that I was easily perfuaded by a friend who was with me, to end the evening at that houfe. Our good fortune led us into the next room to this knot of academical rakes. Their merriment being pretty boisterous, gave us a good pretext to enquire what company were in the next room. The wiiter told us, with a fmartnefs which thofe fellows frequently contract from attending on beaux and wits, Some gentlemen from Oxford with fome ladies, Sir. My 'malter is always very glad to fee them; for while they stay in town, they never dine or fup out of his houfe, and eat and drink, and pay better, than any nobleman.'

[ocr errors]

As it grew later, they grew louder: till at length an unhappy difpute arofe between two of the company, concerning the prefent grand contest between the Old and the New Interest, which has lately inflamed Oxfordshire. This accident might have been attended with ugly confequences: but as the ladies are great enemies to quarrelling, unless themselves are the occafion, a goodnatured female of the company interpofed, and quelled their animofity. By the mediation of this fair-one, the dif pute ended very fashionably, in a bet of a dozen of claret, to be drank there by the company then prefent, whenever the wager fhould be decided. There was fomething fo extraordinary in their whole evening's converfation, fuch an odd mixture of the town and univerfity, that I am perfuaded, if Sir Richard had been witnefs to it, he could have wrought it into a scene as lively and entertaining as any he has left us.

The whole time thefe lettered beaux remain in London, is fpent in a continual round of diverfion. Their sphere, indeed, is fomewhat confined; for they generally eat, drink, and fleep, within the precincts of Covent-Garden. I remember I once faw, at a public inn on the road to Oxford, a journal of the town tranfactions of one of thefe fparks; who had recorded them on a windowpane for the example and imitation of his fellow-tudents. I fhall prefent my reader with an exact copy of this cu rious journal, as nearly as I can remember.



MONDAY. Rode to town in fix hours -faw the two laft acts of Hamlet-At night, with Polly Brown..

TUESDAY. Saw Harlequin Sorcerer -At night, Polly again.

WEDNESDAY. Saw Macbeth-At. night, with Sally Parker, Polly engaged. THURSDAY. Saw the Sufpicious Husband-At night, Polly again.

FRIDAY. Set out at twelve o'clock for Oxford a damn'd muzzy place.

There are no fet of mortals more joyous than these occafional rakes, whofe pride it is to gallop up to town once or twice in the year with their quarterage in their pockets, and in a few days to fquander it away in the higheft fcenes of luxury and debauchery. The tavern, the theatre, and the bagnio, engrofs the chief part of their attention; and it is conftantly Polly again with them, till their finances are quite exhaufted, and they are obliged to return (as Bookwit has it) to mali-beer and three-halfpenny commons.'

for inferting it; and the learned reader will have the the additional pleasure of admiring it as an humorous imitation of Horace.

GAZIS, &c.
LIB. I. ODE 29.

SO you, my friend, at laft are caught-
Where could you get fo frange a thought,
In mind and body found?
All meaner ftudies you refign,
Your whole ambition now to fhine

The beau of the beau-monde.
Say, gallant youth, what
Shall fpread the triumphs of your fame

Through all the realms of Drury?
How will you ftrike the gaping cit?
What tavern fhall record your wit?

What watchmen mourn your fury?
What fprightly imp of Gallic breed
Shall have the culture of your head,
(I mean the outward part)
Form'd by his parent's early care
To range in niceft curls his hair,

And wield the puff with art?
No more let mortals toil in vain,

By wife conjecture to explain

What rolling time will bring:
Thames to his fource may upwards flow,
Or Garrick fix foot high may grow,
Or witches thrive at Tring:

I fhall enlarge no further on this fubject at prefent, but conclude thefe reflections with an ode, which I have received from an unknown correfpondent. He tells me, it was lately fent from an academical friend to one of thefe gentle-Since men, who had refigned himself wholly to thefe polite enjoyments, and feemed to have forgot his connections with the univerfity. All, who perufe this elegant little piece, will, I doubt not, thank me

you each better promise break, Once fam'd for flov nliness and Greek,

Now turn'd a very Paris,
For lace and velvet quit your gown,
The STAGYRITE for Mr. Town,
For Drury-Lane St. MARY'S.





URNING over the laft volume. T of Lord Bolingbroke's works a few days ago, I could not help fmiling at his lordship's extraordinary manner of commenting upon fome parts of the Scriptures. Among the reit he reprefents Mofes, as making beafts accountable to the community for crimes, as well as men: whence his lordship infers, that the Jewish legiflator fuppofed them capable of diftinguishing between right and wrong, and acting as moral agents.

The oddity of this remark led me to reflect, if fuch an opinion fhould prevail in any country, what whimfical laws would be enacted, and how ridiculous they would appear, when put in execution. As if the horfe, that carried the highwayman, fhould be arraigned for taking a purse, or a dog indicted for fel niously stealing a shoulder of mutton. Such a country would feem to go upon the fame principles, and to entertain the fame notions of juftice, as


the puritanical old woman, that hanged her cat for killing mice on the Sabbathday.

Thefe reflections were continued afterwards in my fleep; when methought fuch proceedings were common in our own courts of judicature. I imagined myfelf in a fpacious hall like the Old Bailey, where they were preparing to try feveral animals, who had been guilty of offences against the laws of the land. The walls, I obferved, were hung all round with bulls hides, fheep fkins, foxes tails, and the spoils of other brute malefactors; and over the justice-feat, where the King's-arms are commonly placed, there was fixed a large ftag's head, which overshadowed the magiftrate with it's branching horns. I took particular notice, that the galleries were very much crouded with ladies: which I could not tell how to account for, till I found it was expected that a Goat would that day be tried for a rape.

The feffions foon opened; and the firft prifoner that was brought to the bar, was a Hog, who was profecuted at the fuit of the Jews on an indictment for burglary, in breaking into their fynagogue. As it was apprehended that religion might be affected by this caufe, and as the profecution appeared to be malicious, the Hog, though the fact was plainly proved against him, to the great joy of all true Chriftians, was allowed benefit of clergy.

An indictment was next brought again't a Cat for killing a favourite Canary bird. This offender belonged to an old woman, who was believed by the neighbourhood to be a witch. The jury, therefore, were unanimous in their opinion, that he was the devil in that fhape, and brought her in guilty. Upon which the judge formally pronounced fentence upon her, which I remember concluded with these words: You **must be carried to the place of execution, where you are to be hanged ⚫ by the neck nine times, till you are dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, ⚫ dead, dead, dead; and the fidlers have mercy upon your guts!'


A Parrot was next tried for Scanda

lum Magnatum. He was accufed by the chief magiftrate of the city, and the whole court of aldermen, for defaming them, as they paffed along the ftrect, on a public feftival, by finging

Room for cuckolds, here comes a great • company;

Room for cuckolds, here comes my lord 'mayor.'

This Parrot was a very old offender; much addicted to fcurrility; and had been feveral times convicted of profane curfing and fwearing. He had even the impudence to abufe the whole court by calling the jury rogues and rafcals; and frequently interrupted my lord judge in fumming up the evidence, by crying out-' Old bitch. The court, however, was pleafed to fhew mercy to him, upon the petition of his mistress, a strict Methodist; who gave bail for his good behaviour, and delivered him over to Mr. Whitfield, who undertook to make a thorough convert of him.

After this a Fox was indicted for robbing an Hen-rooft. Many farmers appeared against him; who deposed, that he was a very notorious thief, and had long been the terror of ducks, geese, turkies, and all other poultry. He had infefted the country a long time, and had often been purfued, but they could never take him before. As the evidence was very full against him, the jury roadily brought him in guilty; and the judge was proceeding to condemn him, when the fly villain, watering his brush, flirted it in the face of the jailer, and made off. Upon this a country fquire, who was prefent, hollowed out • Stole away!' and an hue and cry was immediately fent after him.

[ocr errors]

When the uproar, which this occafioned, was over, a Milch Afs was brought to the bar, and tried for contumelioufly braying, as the stood at the door of a fick lady of quality. It ap peared, that this lady was terribly afflicted with the vapours, and could not bear the leaft noife; had the knocker always tied up, and itraw laid in the ftreet. Notwithstanding which, this audacious creature ufed every morning to give her foul language, which broke her reft, and flung her into hysterics, For this repeated abuse the criminal was fentenced to the pillory, and ordered to lofe her ears.

An information was next laid against a fhepherd's Dog upon the Game-Act for poaching. He was accused of killing an hare, without being properly qualified. But the plaintiff thought it advifeable to quafh the indictment, as

D 2


« PreviousContinue »