Veny 1 (Google Books)

London magazine or Gentleman’s monthly intelligencer

The C o N N o 1 s s E U R, Oćt, 8.
OING the other day to vifit Mrs.
Penelope Doat, after I had waited fome time in the parlour, the maid re turned with her miſtreffes’s compliments,
and informed me, that as ſhe was ex.
tremely bufy, ſhe begged to be excuſed
coming down to me, but that ſhe ſhould
be very glad to fee me in the nurfery. As I F
knew ſhe was a maiden lady, I was a good deal ſtartled at the meſſage ; but however I followed the fervant up stairs to her mif trefs ; whom I found combing a little white dog that lay in her lap, with a
grey parrot perched on one arm of the fettee where ſhe fat, a monkey on the back, and a tabby cat with half a dozen
nightingales, linnets, goldfinches, &c.
On the chairs were feveral cats repofing on foft cufhions ; and there were little
kennels, in the Chinefe tafte, in almoft every corner of the room, filled with pugs, fidos, and king Charles’s breed. As foon as the chattering of the birds, A the barking of the dogs, aud the mew ing of the cats, which my entrance occa fioned, began to ceafe, “ You find me
here, Sir, (faid the lady) tending my little family, the only joy of my life :
Here is a dear pretty creature (holding up the dog ſhe was combing !) a beauty! Sir, a fine long-eared ſnub-noſed beauty ! lady Faddle advertifed three quarters of a year, and could not get the fellow to it. Ah, blefs it, and love itfweet foul!”–Andthen
ſhe ſtroaked it, and kiffed it for near two minutes, uttering the whole time all thofe inarticulate founds, which cannot be
committed to paper, and which are only addreffed to dogs, cats, and children, and may be ftiled the language of the nurfery. Upon obferving me fmile, at the em
braces ſhe beſtowed on her little motley darling, “ I am afraid (faid fhe) you don’t love thefe pretty creatures. How can you be fo cruel ; poor dumb things !
I would not have them hurt for all the world: Nor do I fee why a lady ſhould
not indulge herfelf in having fuch fweet little company about her, as well as you D men run dut étates in keeping a pack of
filthy hounds.” Then ſhe laid pompey on his cufhion by the fire-fide, and railed
at the barbarity of the human fpecies to
the reſt of the creation, and entered into a long differtation on tendernefs and hu
manity.
A humane difpofition is, indeed fo a
E miable either in man or woman, that it ought always to be cheriſhed and kept
alive in our bofoms; but at the fame
time we ſhould be cautious not to render
the tirft virtue of our nature ridiculous.
The moſt compaffionate temper may be fufficiently gratified by relieving the wretches of our own fpecies : But who
would ever boaſt of their generofity to a
lap-dog, and their conferring eternal obli gations on a monkey ? Or would any per
fon deferve to be celebrated for their cha
. rity, who ſhould deny fupport to a rela
tion ora friend, becaufe he maintains a lit
ter of kittens? For my part, before I would treat a Dutch puppy with fuch abfurd fondnefs, I muft be brought to worſhip dogs, as the Ægyptians did of old ; and kittens in the other corner. The whole G ere I would fo extravagantly doat upon room, which was a very large one, was indeed a nurfery for all kinds of animals,
except thofe of the human fpecies : It was hung every where with cages, con taining parrots, mackaws, canary birds,
M
a monkey, I would (as Iago fays on a
different occafion)“ change my humanity 44 with a baboon,”
Yet there have been many instances, befides my female friend, of this fondres
– * for
1755.
for the brute creation being carried to very rediculous lengths. , The grave doc tors of the faculty have been called in to feel the pulſe of a lap-dog, and infpećt the urine of a fquirrel : Nay, I am myſelf acquainted with a lady, who carried this
matter fo far, as to difcharge her chap
lain, becaufe he refuſed to bury her mon-A key. But the moſt folemn piece of mummery on thefe occafions is the ma king provifions for thefe animals by will ;
which abfurd legacies as little deferve the title of humanity, as thofe people merit being called charitable, who in a death bed fright starve their relations, by leav ing their eſtates to found an hoſpital. It were indeed to be wiſhed, that money left in truft for fuch ufes were fubjećt to
fome ftatute of Mortmain ; or at leaft that the gentlemen of the long robe, would contrive fome fchenne to cut off
the entail from monkeys, mackaws, Ita
lian greyhounds, and tabby cats. That a stage coachman fhould love his
And fet in a ridiculous L1 G H r. 49 I
a lawyer being converted into dotage on a
parrot ; and have an old maiden aunt,
who once languiſhed for a beau, whoſe ‘ heart is now devoted to a monkey. But I ſhould not fo much quarrel with thefe humane ladies, who chufe to fettle
theiraffećtions on the brute ſpecies, if they
were not troublefome to others, who are
not fo fenfible of the charms of a fnub
nofe, or can difcover any beauty in the grey eyes of a cat. A doating mother
would never forgive you, if you did not call her brat a fine child, and dangle it about, and prattle with it, with as much feeming rapture as herfelf: And in like manner, a lady would take it as an af
front to her own perfon, if you did not pay your addreffes equally to her pug or her parroquet. I know a young fellow, that was cut off with a fhilling by an old mai den aunt, becaufe he gave poor Veny a
kick only for lifting up his leg againſt the gentleman’s ſtocking : And I have heard of another, who might have carried off cattle better than his wives and children, C a very rich widow, but that he could not or a country fquire be fond of his hounds and hunters, is not fo furprizing, becaufe the reafon of their regard for them is ea fily accounted for; and a fea-captain has, upon the fame principles, been known to contract an affećtion for his ſhip : But no coachman would, like Caligula, tye
his horfes to a golden rack; but thinks he fhews fufficient kindnefs by filling them with good wholefome provender; and the country ſportfman takes care to provide his hounds with a good kennel and horfe fleſh, but would never think of placing them on cufhions before the fire, and
feeding them with fricafees, or breed them with as much care as the heir to his
estate. This irregular paffion (if I may E
fo call it) is moſt frequently to be met with among the ladies. How often has
the flighted gallant envied the careffes, given to a lap-dog, or kiffes beſtowed on a fquirrel ! and “ I would I were thy
“ bird !” has been the fond exclama
tion of many a Romeo. But it is remar kable, that this affećtion for birds and
beafts generally wears off after marriage,
and that the ladies difcard their four
footed darlings and feathered favourites,
when they can beſtow their endearments on an huſband, Wherefore, thefe dry nurfes to pugs and grimalkins are moſtly to be met with among thofe females, who have been difappointed in the affairs of love, and have againſt their will re- G
tained the flower of virginity till it has withered in their pofletfion. It often happens, that there is fome kind of ana logy between the gallant they once loved, and the animal on which they afterwards fix their affećtions : And I myſelf re member an inítance of a lady’s pastion for
D
prevail upon himſelf to extend his carefies to her dormoufe. Indeed I cannot lielp
thinking, that the embraces and endear ments beſtowed on thefe rivals of the hu
man fpecies ſhould be as private as the moſt fecret intrigues ; and I would have lap-dogs, like fretful and fqualling chil dren, confined to bark and growl only in the nurfery. We may often fee a footman following his lady to church with a com mom prayer-book under one arm and a
dog under the other; I have alfo known a grave divine forced to ftop ſhort in the middle of a prayer, while the whole con gregation has been raifed from their knees to attend to the howling of a lap-dog : And I once faw a tragedy monarch difturbed in his laft moments, as he lay expiring on the carpet, by a little black dog of
king Charles’s breed, who jumped out of the ſtage box, and feized upon the hero’s periwig, brought it off in his mouth, and lodged it in his lady’s lap. It will not appear ſtrange, after what has been faid, that thefe ladies (or lady
like gentlemen) ſhould be as folicitous to preferve the breed of their favourite ani mals, as a fportfman of his hounds and horfes. I have known a gentleman in St.
James’s-street fend his little Cupid in a
fedan chair as far as Grofvenor-fquare to
wait upon a lady’s Veny for this very
purpofe: And I ſhall never forget a card, which was fent to another lady on a liks
occafion exprefſed in the following terms – “ Mr. –’s compliments to lady Bet
ty , is glad to hear miſs Chloe is fafely delivered, and begs as a particu lar favour, that her ladyſhip weuld be
pleafed to fer him down for a Puppy.”

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