No. 429. Saturday, July 12, 1712. Steele.

--Populumque falsis dedocet uti Vocibus--'


Since I gave an Account of an agreeable Set of Company which were gone down into the Country, I have received Advices from thence, that the Institution of an Infirmary for those who should be out of Humour, has had very good Effects. My Letters mention particular Circumstances of two or three Persons, who had the good Sense to retire of their own Accord, and notified that they were withdrawn, with the Reasons of it, to the Company, in their respective Memorials.

_The Memorial of Mrs_. Mary Dainty, _Spinster_,
Humbly Sheweth,
That conscious of her own want of Merit, accompanied with a Vanity
of being admired, she had gone into Exile of her own accord.
She is sensible, that a vain Person is the most insufferable
Creature living in a well-bred Assembly.
That she desired, before she appeared in publick again, she might
have Assurances, that tho' she might be thought handsome, there
might not more Address or Compliment be paid to her, than to the
rest of the Company.
That she conceived it a kind of Superiority, that one Person should
take upon him to commend another.
Lastly, That she went into the Infirmary, to avoid a particular
Person who took upon him to profess an Admiration of her.
She therefore prayed, that to applaud out of due place, might be
declar'd an Offence, and punished in the same Manner with
Detraction, in that the latter did but report Persons defective, and
the former made them so.
All which is submitted, &c.

There appeared a Delicacy and Sincerity in this Memorial very uncommon, but my Friend informs me, that the Allegations of it were groundless, insomuch that this Declaration of an Aversion to being praised, was understood to be no other than a secret Trap to purchase it, for which Reason it lies still on the Table unanswered.

_The humble Memorial of the Lady_ Lydia Loller, Sheweth,
That the Lady _Lydia_ is a Woman of Quality; married to a private
That she finds her self neither well nor ill.
That her Husband is a Clown.
That Lady _Lydia_ cannot see Company. That she desires the Infirmary
may be her Apartment during her stay in the Country.
That they would please to make merry with their Equals.
That Mr. _Loller_ might stay with them if he thought fit.

It was immediately resolved, that Lady Lydia was still at London.

_The humble Memorial_ of Thomas Sudden, _Esq_., of the Inner-Temple,
That Mr. _Sudden_ is conscious that he is too much given to
That he talks loud.
That he is apt to think all things matter of Debate.
That he stayed behind in _Westminster-Hall_, when the late Shake of
the Roof happened, only because a Council of the other Side asserted
it was coming down.
That he cannot for his Life consent to any thing.
That he stays in the Infirmary to forget himself.
That as soon as he has forgot himself, he will wait on the Company.

His Indisposition was allowed to be sufficient to require a Cessation from Company.

_The Memorial_ of Frank Jolly, Sheweth,
That he hath put himself into the Infirmary, in regard he is
sensible of a certain rustick Mirth which renders him unfit for
polite Conversation.
That he intends to prepare himself by Abstinence and thin Diet to be
one of the Company.
That at present he comes into a Room as if he were an Express from
That he has chosen an Apartment with a matted Anti-Chamber, to
practise Motion without being heard.
That he bows, talks, drinks, eats, and helps himself before a Glass,
to learn to act with Moderation.
That by reason of his luxuriant Health he is oppressive to Persons
of composed Behaviour.
That he is endeavouring to forget the Word _Pshaw, Pshaw_.
That he is also weaning himself from his Cane.
That when he has learnt to live without his said Cane, he will wait
on the Company, &c.


_The Memorial_ of John Rhubarb, _Esq_.,
That your Petitioner has retired to the Infirmary, but that he is
in perfect good Health, except that he has by long Use. and for want
of Discourse, contracted an Habit of Complaint that he is sick.
That he wants for nothing under the Sun, but what to say, and
therefore has fallen into this unhappy Malady of complaining that he
is sick.
That this Custom of his makes him, by his own Confession, fit only
for the Infirmary, and therefore he has not waited for being
sentenced to it.
That he is conscious there is nothing more improper than such a
Complaint in good Company, in that they must pity, whether they
think the Lamenter ill or not; and that the Complainant must make a
silly Figure, whether he is pitied or not.
Your Petitioner humbly prays, that he may have Time to know how he
does, and he will make his Appearance.

The Valetudinarian was likewise easily excused; and this Society being resolved not only to make it their Business to pass their Time agreeably for the present Season, but also to commence such Habits in themselves as may be of Use in their future Conduct in general, are very ready to give into a fancied or real Incapacity to join with their Measures, in order to have no Humourist, proud Man, impertinent or sufficient ellow, break in upon their Happiness. Great Evils seldom happen to disturb Company; but Indulgence in Particularities of Humour, is the Seed of making half our Time hang in Suspence, or waste away under real Discomposures.

Among other Things it is carefully provided that there may not be disagreeable Familiarities. No one is to appear in the publick Rooms undressed, or enter abruptly into each other's Apartment without intimation. Every one has hitherto been so careful in his Behaviour, that there has but one Offender in ten Days Time been sent into the Infirmary, and that was for throwing away his Cards at Whist.

He has offered his Submission in the following Terms.

_The humble Petition of_ Jeoffry Hotspur, _Esq._,
Though the Petitioner swore, stamped, and threw down his Cards, he
has all imaginable Respect for the Ladies, and the whole Company.
That he humbly desires it may be considered in the Case of Gaming,
there are many Motives which provoke to Disorder.
That the Desire of Gain, and the Desire of Victory, are both
thwarted in Losing.
That all Conversations in the World have indulged Human Infirmity in
this Case.
Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays, that he may be restored
to the Company, and he hopes to bear ill Fortune with a good Grace
for the future, and to demean himself so as to be no more than
chearful when he wins, than grave when he loses.


Translation of motto:
HOR. 2 Od. ii. 19.
'From cheats of words the crowd she brings
To real estimates of things.'