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The same excellent and honest divine advised my father at that time, as he was depressed with doubts, to make a truce with texts and fathers, and read Don Quixote, telling him withal, that, in his present situation of mind and weakness of spirit, he was not capable of doing them justice, nor was equal to such high points of speculation. “Ah, doctor!' said my father; 'but if I should be mistaken, and put up with an erroneous faith!' “Well,' said the good divine, and constant friend, (for he loved my father for his sincere and warm desire to know his duty, and how he might best please his Maker,) Well, and if you should ?'
If I should !' said my father in surprise: if I should be mistaken, after the most diligent enquiry I can make, I am sure to make God my enemy!' 'Are you so?' said Fleetwood, warmly; then he is no God for me:' which expression (for they were his very words, as I have often heard my dear father relate them) he proceeded to explain and soften, by giving him a just and reasonable idea of the common Father of mankind."*
30. Hentage Twisden was the seventh son of Sir William Twisden, Bart. He was cut off, by
• Morgan's Life of Fleetwood, Aikin's General Biography, vol. iv.
p. 129, 130,
the chance of war, at an early period of his military career, and at a time when his friends had every reason, from his talents, his virtues, and accomplishments, to consider him, not only as a loss to themselves, but to society at large. ' A short time before his death he contributed a letter to the Tatler, of which Steele, in his preface to the octavo edition of 1710, thus speaks: “When I am upon the house of Bickerstaff, I must not forget that genealogy of the family sent to me by the post, and written, as I since understand, by Mr. Twisden, who died at the battle of Mons, and has a monument in Westminsterabbey, suitable to the respect which is due to his wit and valour.”
This letter, which is dated. May the 1st, 1709, and forms part of the eleventh number of the Tatler, contains a very ingenious and humorous genealogy of the family of the Staffs. Its author, who was a captain of foot in Sir Richard Temple's regiment, and aid-de-camp to John Duke of Argyll; féll, in the service of his country, during the course of the year which produced this epistle, at the age of twenty-nine; and to him we may with propriety apply the beautiful lines of Collins :
Blest youth, regardful of thy doom,
With shadowy trophies crown'd;
And call his heroes round.
31. James Heywood, the author of a letter in the Spectator, was for many years a wholesale linen-draper on Fish-street-hill, and maintained a high degree of respectability in the city. He was a governor of St. Bartholomew's, Christ's, Bridewell, and Bethlem-hospitals, and of the London workhouse; but feeling no inclination for a public life, he chose to pay the customary fine of 5001. on being elected alderman of Aldgate ward. He died in the 90th year of his age, at his house in Austin-friars, July the 23d, 1776, having retained his health and spirits until within a short period of his departure.
The letter which Mr. Heywood contributed to the Spectator is included in N° 268, and is written to complain of a very offensive mode of jesting, which, at that time, prevailed at the theatre, a place 'of amusement to which Mr. Heywood was particularly partial, and where he had the misfortune to have his nose severely pulled by way of humour and frolic, and as à, specimen of corporeal wit.
It appears also, from a paper in the Guardian,
that Mr. Heywood was a great politician, and that he was hinsself, in the early part of his life, the slave of a habit which, though not so hostile to the feelings of his neighbours as pulling of noses, was at least very injurious to their apparel.
“ There is a silly habit,” says Steele, “among many of our minor orators, who display their eloquence in the several coffee-houses of this fair city, to the no small annoyance of considerable numbers of her majesty's spruce and loving subjects, and that is a humour they have got of twisting off your buttons. These ingenious gentleinen are not able to advance three words until they have got fast hold of one of your buttons; but as soon as they have procured such an excellent handle for discourse, they will indeed proceed with great elocution. I know not how well some may have escaped, but for my part I have often met with them to my cost; having, I believe, within these three
past been argued out of several dozens, insomuch that I have for some time ordered my tailor to bring me home with every suit a dozen at least of spare ones, to supply the place of such as from time to time are detached, as an help to discourse, by the vehement gentlemen before mentioned. This way of holding a man in discourse is much practised in the coffee-houses within the city, and
does not indeed so much prevail at the politer end of the town. It is, likewise, more frequently made use of among the small politicians than any other body of men; I am therefore something cautious of entering into a controversy with this species of statesmen, especially the younger fry; for if you offer in the least to dissent from any thing that one of these advances, he immediately steps up to you, takes hold of one of your buttons, and indeed will soon convince you of the strength of his argumentation. I remember
the news of Dunkirk's being delivered into our hands, a brisk little fellow, a politician and an able engineer, had got into the middle of Batson's coffee-house, and was fortifying Graveling for the service of the most christian king with all imaginable expedition. The work was carried on with such success, that in less than a quarter of an hour's time he had made it almost impregnable, and in the opinion of several worthy citizens who had gathered round him, full as strong both by sea and land as Dunkirk ever could pretend to be. I happened, however, unadvisedly to attack some of his outworks; upon which, to show his great skill likewise in the offensive part, he immediately made an assault upou one of my buttons, and carried it in less than two minutes, notwithstanding I