« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
SUNDAY AMUSEMENTS VINDICATED.
72 raffing-shops * of Margate or Brighton, and how niuch their muscular energy was increaied by rattling the dicebox, and throwing the little magical cubes on which the happiness or misery of all around was inscribed Surely such healthful exercises as these must be very good, even on the Sabbath-day, and more decorous than the violent exercise of the skipping-rope, which is, indeed, only fit for some Miss Tomboy,
With respect to futurity, you know it is quite unfathionable to discuss that mysterious topic; nay, the very thought of death would frighten leveral female philosophers of my acquaintance into fits; and when some of the superstitious notions, early imbibed from the prejudices of their parents, pass through their imagination like a phantom, they hurry to their harplichord, and, by playing two or three lively airs, drive away reflection, as the harp of David exorcised the melancholy Daemon of Saul.
It may be argued, that even inanimate nature seems to pay a tribute to the Great Creator; that the cheerful light of day, the sparkling beauty of streams, the majestic swell of mountains, and the wavý expanse of the ocean, display the goodness and power of the Deity; while the perfume of thrubs and flowers, the waving homage of the winds, and the triumphant song of the feathered tribes, seem to prompt the human race to pious gratitude. And fhall man be filent while the whole creation around him is inspired with inarticulate devotion ? All this may be very true; and piety, among
the lower claffes, may be productive of focial order, and the universal happiness of the community. But you know, Sir, that, in all ages, the world of fashion have claimed the privilege of playing the fool--of living in their own way as a detached body. In polite
* Now, alas! prohibited by Act of Parliament.
sonipany the very mention of religion would either excite a grin, or make all the female part of the company, who were not fainting, turn pale. — Wishing your friend Crabtree may become a profelyte to the new phisophy, which bids us “ eat, drink, and be merry,
" I am, &c.
THE LAPDOG AND PHYSICIAN.
[From the French ] ALL
LL the world has heard of Ninon l'Enclos, who
preferved her beauty for near a century. Ninon l'Enclos' lapdog was a neat, fleek, clever little cur, and his name was Katon. This celebrated beauty, so much admired, as well for the charms of her wit as the graces of her person, never went abroad but Raton was her conttant companion. At table the used to place him in a baiket beside her plate. He was, as history relates, lier physician. He took care that his mistress should observe the stricteft regimen, which preferved her beauty, ber health, and her good humour till the was a hundred
and this because the abstained from coffee, ragouts, and liqueurs.
Raton permitted in filence plain soup, a simple roast or boiled joint of meat, to pass; but whenever his mistress attempted to touch ragouts, he growled, looked stern, and absolutely prohibited all seasoned disaes, Their arguments on these occasions formed a most ani. mated sentimental dialogue; and the doctor, after some pretty hard disputes, generally carried his point. Sometimes he permitted a few light entreniets to escape his severity ; but to others he was inexorable, particu. larly when his nostrils were affailed by the odour of Spices.
The attentive doctor allowed the different courses to succeed without the leatt demand for himself; nor VOL. VI.
THE LAPDOG AND PHYSICIAN.
even did he thew the leait longing for the breast of a pullet, or any other tid-bit. He was none of your physicians who preach temperance over turtle and venison. But as soon as the deflert entered, up he rose, leaped on the table-cloth, wagged his tail, ran backwards and forwards, paying bis court to the ladies till he got a few niacaroons, or some such thing, to appeafe his hunger.
He allowed his lady to eat as much fruit as the pleased, and to use fugar if the liked it; but as to coffee, he was inexorable. As soon as the cordials were produced, Raton pressed close to his mistress, snatched up the glass, and hid it in the corner of his basket. It Ninon attempted to put her lips to the nectar, our four-footed Sangrado growled furioully. If the per. fevered, he was as ready to bite as thew his teeth. He would bark, grin, and inap; and every body wondered 20 fee fuch hippocratical zeal lodged in to small a body!
“Doctor,” said Ninon," at least you will allow me to take a glass of water ?” At these words he smoothed his wrinkled front, and composed his quivering jaws; and in tuken of reconciliation they drank out of the fame tumbler. He then accepted and munched up his accuftonied cheesecake, skipped and gambolled about the room, triumphing in his victory, proud of guarding the life of his faithful mistress.
Ye fair, who eat without fcruple whatever is put before you, think of Ninon l'Enclos' physician! But fo rare a treasure never fol to the lot of
other but Ninon l'Enclos. Inconiparable physician, fo tender yet so rigorous ! Alas! poor Raton! His remains are still to be seen in the Museum of Natural History.There, fluffed with firaw, is exhibited the skin of this matchless guardian and preserver of beauty! Go, ye fair, and visit his remains; and wbile you
melt over the memory of this parago of animals, be guided by his prescriptions !
LOVE OF LAPDOGS.
[Froin the Sun.] SIR, AS sa ridiculous attachment to the canine species
seems at present very prevalent among the order of Ancient Virgins, I wilh to circulate as much as possible the account in your paper, of the melancholy event occafioned by such unwholesome bedfellows. I think it may have a good effect, as most of these ladies are tremblingly alive to every thing which concerns their bodily health. My aunt has taken the alarm, and poor little Fidèle is wathed, aired, and perfumed every night, to prevent the danger of infection from him.
A short history of this French cur may gratify some of your readers ; and if it should fall under the perusal of the good old lady herself, it may thew her the folly of such fondness, and induce her to place her affections upon more deserving objects. I am her nephew, and only relation; and having lost a most amiable wife, who left me with two young children, I gladly accepted a refuge ụnder her roof. I looked up to her as a. mother for my children, my situation in the army leaving me little leisure to attend to their education. At first the appeared dotingly fond of them, and well the might, for they were perfect cherlibs. But un. fortunately, about the breaking out of the French war, a priest who had fled his country, and found thelter at Bath, where my aunt resides, made her a present of little Fidèle. The animal was then in his prime, and ferved as a playfellow to my children; but by degrees, be contrived to infinuate himself into such favour; that, from being the companion of the old lady's walks, he bas for many years ihared her bed. Like all favourites, he was never to be corrected; in confequence, every chair, curtain, and carpet in the house, bears fome mark of Fidèle's bounty.--But that is not the worit :
LOVE OF LAPDOGS. as age has weakened the poor fellow's retentive faculties, a night feldom passes that he does not give his fond bedfellow a favoury proof of his affection; for Fidèle loves good eating, and he is fed with the greatett dainties, In lhort, he is become almost a piece of carrion, mangy, and full of vermin, with a breath the fartheit from the sweets of Arabia you can imagine. It makes my
Meart ache, to fec my good old aunt leading this animal in a string round and round the Circus, watching with the greatest anxiety every call of nature, while hundreds of idle wenches and their sweethearts are tittering at every window. Often am I obliged to interfere with the landlady, who declares the did not bargain to find Fidèle with theets; and it was only yesterday, when I was expoftulating with Susan for. threatening to leave her place, that the girl exclaimed, “ Lord, Sir, I would do any thing for a Christian, but it is too much to do the dirty work for a dog and then to hear my old mistress, while my itomach has turned at the 'mell, address this nafty cur, as if he were one of yourown sweet babes, 'Never mind, Fiddy; ? do it again, my dear; she has nothing to do but to • clean after you.'- Indeed, Sir, it is too much, and there is no likelihood of being an end to it; for if he dies
old lady declares the will have his skin-ftuffed, and that he shall be her bedfellow as long as the lives.”
I am not much versed in books, but I think this subje& formerly fell under the lath of the inimitable author of the Spectator, who has observed, that as the fair sex are by nature formed for affection and dalliance, so when they have been disappointed of the proper objects of love, as husbands, or children, they have, at a certain age, grown proportionably fond of lapdogs, parrots, and other animals. I am notold enough to remember if my aunt ever met with a mortification of this sort; but sure I am, that it affords a most melancholy proof of the weakness of human nature, to