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trary to my own inclinations, and the expectation of all who know me, to appear in print. I have indeed met with some success in the projects I have communicated to some sparks with whom I am intimate ; and I cannot without a secret triumph confess, that the sleeves turned up with green velvet, which now flourish throughout the university, sprang originally from my invention.
“ As it is necessary to have the head clear, as well as the complexion, to be perfect in this part of learning, I rarely mingle with the men (for I abhor wine), but frequent the tea-tables of the ladies. I know every part of their dress, and can name all their things by their names. I am consulted about every ornament they buy: and, I speak it without vanity, have a very pretty fancy to knots and the like. Sometimes I take a needle, and spot a piece of muslin for pretty Patty Cross-stitch, who is my present favourite, which she says, I do neatly enough; or read one of your papers, and explain the motto, which they all like mightily. But then I am a sort of petty tyrant amongst them, for I own I have my humours. If any thing be amiss, they are sure Mr. Sleek will find fault; if any hoitytoity things make a fuss, they are sure to be taken to pieces the next visit. I am the dread of poor Celia; whose wrapping-gown is not right India ; and am avoided by Thalestris in her second-hand mantua, which several inasters of arts think very fine, whereas I perceived it had been scoured with half an eye.
“ Thus have I endeavoured to improve my understanding, and am desirous to communicate my innocent discoveries to those who, like me, may distinguish themselves more to advantage by their bodies than their minds. I do not think the pains I have taken, in these my studies, thrown away, since by these means, though I am not very valuable, I am however not disagreeable. Would gentlemen but reflect upon what I say, they would take care to make the best of themselves; for I think it intolerable that a blockhead should be a sloven. Though every man cannot fill his head with learning, it is in any
power wear a pretty periwig; let him who cannot say a witty thing, keep his teeth white at least; be who hath no knack at writing sonnets, may however have a soft hand; and he
may arcli his eye-brows, who hath not strength of genius for the mathematics..
“ After the conclusion of the peace, we shall undoubtedly have new fashions from France; and I have some reason to think that some particularities in the garb of their abbés may be transplanted hither to advantage. What I find becoming in their dress I hope I may, without the imputation of being popishly inclined, adopt into our habits; but would willingly have the authority of the Guardian to countenance me in this harmless desigu. I would not hereby assume to myself a jurisdiction over any of our youth, but such as are incapable of improvement any other way.
As for the awkward creatures that mind their studies, I look upon them as irreclaimable. But over the afore-mentioned order of men, I desire a commission from you to exercise full authority. Hereby I shall be enabled from time to time to introduce several pretty oddnesses in the taking and tucking up of gowns, to regulate the dimensions of wigs, to vary the tufts upon caps, and to enkarge or narrow the hems of bands, as I shall think most for the public good.
“ I have prepared a treatise against the cravat and berdash,* which I am told is not ill done; and have thrown together some hasty observations upon stockings,
which my friends assure.me I need not be ashamed of. But I shall not offer them to the public, until they are approved of at our female club: which I am the more willing to do, because I am sure of their praise; for they own I understand these things better than they do. I shall herein be very proud of your encouragement: for, next to keeping the university clean, my greatest ambition is to be thought, “Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
“ SIMON SLEEK."
A kind of neckcloth so called, whence such as sold them were styled haberdashers.
N° 11. TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 1712-13.
Huc propiùs me,
Hor. 2 Sat. iii. 80.
That all mankind are mad, from high to low.
the sharpness of it; and an address in flattery, which makes it agreeable though never so gross; but of all flatterers, the most skilful is he who can do what you
like, without saying any thing which argues he does it for your sake; the most winning circumstance in the world being the conformity of manners. I speak of this as a practice necessary in gaining people of sense, who are not yet given up to self-conceit: those who are far gone in admiration of themselves need not be treated with so much delicacy. The following letter puts this matter in a pleasant and uncommon light: the author of it attacks this vice with an air of compliance, and alarms us against it by exhorting
us to it.
" TO THE GUARDIAN.
.“ As you profess to encourage all those who any way contribute to the public good, I fatter myself I may claim your countenance and protection. I am by profession a mad-doctor, but of a peculiar kind, not of those whose aim it is to remove frenzies, but one who makes it my business to confer an agreeable madness on my fellow-creatures, for their mutual delight and benefit. Since it is agreed by the philosophers, that happiness and misery consist chiefly in the imagination, nothing is more necessary to mankind in general than this pleasing delirium, which renders every one satisfied with himself, and persuades him that all others are equally so.
“ I have for several years, both at home and abroad, made this science my particular study, which I may venture to say I have improved in almost all the courts of Europe; and have reduced it'into so safe and easy a method, as to practise it on both sexes, of what disposition, age, or quality soever, with success. What enables me to perform this great work, is the use of my Obsequium Catholicon, or the Grand Elixir to support the spirits of human nature. This remedy is of the most grateful flavour in the world, and agrees with all tastes whatever. It is delicate to the senses, delightful in the operation, may be taken at all hours without confinement, and is as properly given at a ball or playhouse as in a private chamber. It restores and vivifies the most dejected minds, corrects and extracts all that is painful in the knowledge of a man's self. One dose of it will instantly disperse itself through the whole animal system, dissipate the first motions of distrust so as never to return, and so exhilarate the brain and rarify the gloom of reflection, as to give the patients a new flow of spirits, a vivacity of behaviour, and a pleasing dependance upon their own capacities.
“ Let a person be never so far gone, I advise him not to despair; even though he has been troubled many years with restless reflections, which by long neglect have hardened into a settled consideration. Those that have been stung with satire may here find a certain antidote, which infallibly disperses all the remains of poison that has been left in the understanding by bad cures. It fortifies the heart against the rancour of pamphlets, the inveteracy of epigrams, and the mortification of lampoons; as has been often experienced by several persons of both sexes, during the seasons of Tunbridge and the Bath.
“ I could, as farther instances of my success, produce certificates and testimonials from the favourites and ghostly fathers of the most eminent princes of Europe; but shall content anyself with the mention of a few cures, which I have performed by this my grand universal restorative, during the practice of one month only since I came to
“Cures in the month of February, 1712-13. “ George Spondee, Esq. poet, and inmate of the parish of St. Paul's, Covent-garden, fell into violent fits of the spleen upon a thin third night. He had been frightened into a vertigo by the sound of cat-calls on the first day; and the frequent hissings on the second made him unable to endure the bare pronunciation of the letter S. I searched
into the causes of his distemper; and by the prescription of a dose of my Obsequium, prepared secundum artem, recovered him to his natural state of madness. I cast in at proper intervals the words, Ill taste of the town, Envy of critics, Bad performance of the actors, and the like. He is so perfectly cured that he has promised to bring another play upon
the stage next winter. “A lady of professed virtue, of the parish of St. James's, Westminster, who hath desired her name may be con.cealed, having taken offence at a phrase of double meaning in conversation, undiscovered by any other in the company, suddenly fell into a cold fit of modesty. Upon a right application of praise of her virtue, I threw the lady into an agreeable waking dream, settled the fermentation of her blood into a warm charity, so as to make her look with patience on the very gentleman that offended.
“ Hilaria, of the parish of St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, a coquette of long practice, was, by the reprimand of an old maiden, reduced to look grave in company, and deny herself the play of the fan. In short, she was brought to such melancholy circumstances, that she would sometimes, unawares, fall into devotion at church. I advised her to take a few innocent freedoms, with occasional kisses, prescribed her the exercise of the eyes, and immediately raised her to her former state of life. She on a sudden recovered her dimples, furled her fan, threw round her glances, and for these two Sundays last past has not once been seen in an attentive posture. This the churchwardens are ready to attest upon oath.
" Andrew Terror, of the Middle Temple, Mohock, was almost induced, by an aged bencher of the same house, to leave off bright conversation, and pore over Coke upon Littleton. He was so ill that his hat began to flap, and he was seen one day in the last term at Westminster-hall. This patient had quite lost his spirit of contradiction; I, by the distillation of a few of my vivifying drops in his ear, drew him from his lethargy, and restored him to his usual vivacious misunderstanding. He is at present very easy in his condition.
“I will not dwell upon the recital of the innumerable cures I have performed within twenty days last past; but rather proceed to exhort all persons of whatever age, com