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No. 335. TUESDAY, MARCH 25.
Respicere exemplar vitae morumque jubebo
Those are the likest copies which are drawn
My friend Sir Roger de Coverley, when we last met together at the club, told me, that he had a great mind to see the new tragedy with me,' assuring me at the same time, that he had not
*This was “The Distressed Mother,” by Ambrose, otherwise “Pastoral” Philips; and, as it was advertised in the above number of the “Spectator” to be performed for the sixth time, Sir Roger must be supposed to have witnessed its fifth performance. The “first night” is thus announced in the “Spectator” and in the “Daily Courant” of 17th March, 1712.
“By desire of several ladies of Quality; by Her Majesty's Company of Comedians:
“At the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, this present Monday being 17th March, will be presented a new Tragedy called
“THE DISTRESSED MOTHER, “(By Her Majesty's command no person will be admitted behind the
Addison had a strong friendship for Philips, and took extraordinary pains, first to get his friend's play upon the stage, and next to make it succeed; for, according to Spence, he caused the house to be packed on the first night. No. 290 of the “Spectator” contains a puff preliminary.
Whoever dips into this turgid translation of Racine's “Andromache” will be much amused at the green-room grief it is said to have drawn forth. Like many a worse play, some of its success was occasioned by the epilogue as delivered by Mrs. Oldfield. “This was the most successful composition of the kind ever yet,” says Johnson, “spoken on the English theatre. The first three nights it was recited twice; and not only continued to be demanded through the run, as it is termed, of the play, but whenever it is recalled to the stage—where by peculiar fortune, thoughTwelve o'clock at night. Went to bed.
. FRIDAY. Eight in the morning. Abed. Read over all Mr. Froth's letters. Cupid and Weny. Ten o'clock. Stayed within all day, not at home. From ten to twelve. In conference with my mantua-maker. Sorted a suit of ribbands. Broke my blue china cup. From twelve to one. Shut myself up in my chamber, practised Lady Betty Modely's skuttle.” One in the afternoon. Called for my flowered handkerchief. Worked half a violet leaf in it. Eyes ached and head out of order. Threw by my work, and read over the remaining part of Aurenzebe. From three to four. Dined. From four to twelve. Changed my mind, dressed, went abroad, and played at crimp till midnight. Found Mrs. Spitely at home. Conversation: Mrs. Brilliant's necklace false stones. Old Lady Loveday going to be married to a young fellow that is not worth a groat. Miss Prue gone into the country. Tom Townley has red hair. Mem. Mrs. Spitely whispered in my ear that she had something to tell me about Mr. Froth, I am sure it is not true. Between twelve and one. Dreamed that Mr. Froth lay at my feet, and called me Indamora.
SATURDAY. Rose at eight o'clock in the morning. Sat down to my toilette. From eight to nine. Shifted a patch for half an hour before I could determine it. Fixed it above my left eyebrow. From nine to twelve. Drank my tea, and dressed. From twelve to two. At chapel. A great deal of good com
* A pace of affected precipitation.—J.
pany. Mem. The third air in the new opera. Lady Blithe dressed frightfully. From three to four. Dined. Mrs. Kitty called upon me to go to the opera before I was risen from table. Prom dinner to siz. Drank tea. Turned off a footman for being rude to Weny. Siz o'clock. Went to the opera. I did not see Mr. Froth till the beginning of the second act. Mr. Froth talked to a gentleman in a black wig. Bowed to a lady in the front box. Mr. Froth and his friend clapped Nicolini in the third act. Mr. Froth cried out Ancora. Mr. Froth led me to my chair. I think he squeezed my hand. Eleven at night. Went to bed. Melancholy dreams. Methought Nicolini said he was Mr. Froth.
Monday. Eight o'clock. Waked by Miss Kity. Auren
zebe lay upon the chair by me. Kitty repeated without book the eight best lines in the play. Went in our mobs' to the dumb
man, according to appointment. Told me that my lover's name began with a G. Mem. The conjuror” was within a letter of Mr. Froth's name, &c.
“Upon looking back into this my journal, I find that I am at a loss to know whether I pass my time well or ill; and indeed never thought of considering how I did it, before I perused your speculation upon that subject. I scarce find a single action in these five days that I can thoroughly approve of, except the working upon the violet leaf, which I am resolved to finish the first day I am at leisure. As for Mr. Froth and Weny, I did not
think they took up so much of my time and thoughts, as I find they do upon my journal. The latter of them I will turn off if you insist upon it; and if Mr. Froth does not bring matters to a conclusion very suddenly, I will not let my life run away in a dream. “Your humble servant, CLARINDA.”
To resume one of the morals of my first paper, and to confirm Clarinda in her good inclinations, I would have her consider what a pretty figure she would make among posterity, were the history of her whole life published like these five days of it. I shall conclude my paper with an epitaph written by an uncertain author on Sir Philip Sidney's sister, a lady who seems to have been of a temper very much different from that of Clarinda. The last thought of it is so very noble, that I dare say my read. er will pardon the quotation.
On the Countess Dowager of PEMBRoKE.
Underneath this marble hearse
No. 329. TUESDAY, MARCH 18.
Ire tamen restat Numa qua devenit & Ancus.
With Ancus, and with Numa, kings of Rome,
My friend Sir Roger de Coverley told me the other night, that he had been reading my paper upon Westminster Abbey, in which, says he, there are a great many ingenious fancies.' He told me at the same time, that he observed I had promised another paper upon the tombs, and that he should be glad to go and see them with me, not having visited them since he had read history. I could not at first imagine how this came into the knight's head, till I recollected that he had been very busy all last summer upon Baker's Chronicle, which he has quoted several times in his dispute with Sir Andrew Freeport since his last coming to town. Accordingly I promised to call upon him
the next morning, that we might go together to the Abbey. I found the knight under his butler's hands, who always shaves him. He was no sooner dressed, than he called for a glass of the widow Trueby's water,” which he told me he always drank
* “Spectator,” No. 26.
*One of the innumerable “strong waters” used, it is said, (perhaps libellously), chiefly by the fair sex as an exhilarant; the excuses being the cholic and “the vapours.” Addison, who pretends in the text to find it unpalatable, is accused of having been a constant imbiber of the widow's distillations. Inded, Tyers goes so far as to say on the authority of “Tacitus" Gordon, that Addison hastened his end by indulgence in them. Although an advertisement of these waters is not to be found in the Folio “Spectator,” yet the curious will see in it strong puffs of other potent spirits in disguise—thanks probably to the business connexions of Mr. Lillie, perfumer. A “grateful electuary” is recommended in No. 113, as having the power of raising the spirits, of curing loss of memory, and revivifying all the noble powers of the soul, at the small charge of two and sixpence per bottle. Another chemical secret, in No. 120, promises to cure
"the vapours in women, infallibly, in an instant.” Daffy's Elixir is advertised in No. 356.—"