An Island in the Moon/Chapter VIII

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Chap 8

Steelyard the Lawgiver, sitting at his table, taking extracts from Hervey’s Meditations among the tombs & Young’s Night thoughts. [This is unfair and ?I ?think]

“He is not able to hurt me,” (said he) “more than making me Constable or taking away the parish business. Hah!

[O what a scene is here what a disguise]
My crop of corn is but a field of tares”,

Says Jerome happiness is not for us poor crawling reptiles of the earth. Talk of happiness & happiness! It’s no such thing.Every person has as something.

Hear then the pride & knowledge of a Sailor,
His sprit sail fore sail main sail & his mizzen.
A poor frail man! god wot I know none frailer.
I know no greater sinner than John Taylor.

If I had only myself to care for I'd soon make Double Elephant look foolish, & Filligree work. I hope [I] shall live to see–

‘The wreck of matter & the crush of worlds’,

as Younge says.”

Obtuse Angle enterd the Room.

“What news, Mr Steelyard?

“I am Reading ‘Theron & Aspasio’, said he.

Obtuse Angle took up the books one by one.

“I don’t find it here,” said he.

“Oh no,” said the other, “it was the meditations!”

Obtuse Angle took up the book & read till the other was quite tir'd out.

Then Scopprell & Miss Gittipin, coming in Scopprell took up a book & read <the following passage:–

”An Easy of [Human] Huming Understanding, by John Lookye [Gentleman] Gent.

“John Locke,” said Obtuse Angle.

“O, ay–Lock,” said Scopprell. [“Its a book about…”]

”Now here,” said Miss Gittipin I never saw such company in my life. You are always talking of your books. I like to be where we talk. You had better take a walk, that we may have some pleasure. I am sure I never see any pleasure. There’s Double Elephant’s Girls, they have their own way; & there’s Miss Filligreework she goes out in her coaches, & her footman, & her maids, & Stormonts, & Balloon hats, & a pair of Gloves every day, & the sorrows of Werter, & Robinsons, & the Queen of France’s Puss colou, & my Cousin Gibble Gabble says that I am like nobody else. I might as well be in a nunnery. There they go [to] in Postchaises & Stages to Vauxhall & Ranelagh. And I hardly know what a coach is, except when I go to [PAGE 9] Mr Jacko's he knows what riding is, [& he does not] & his wife is the most agreeable woman. You hardly know she has a tongue in her head, and he is the funniest fellow, & I do believe he'll go in partnership with his master, & they have black servants lodge at their house. I never saw such a place in my life. He says he as Six & twenty rooms in his house, and I believe it, & he is not such a liar as Quid thinks he is.” [but he is always Envying]

“Poo! Poo! Hold your tongue! Hold your tongue,” said the Lawgiver.

This quite provok’d Miss Gittipin, to interrupt her in her favourite topic, & she proceeded to use every Provoking speech that ever she could, & he bore it [more] like a Saint than a Lawgiver, and with great Solemnity he address’d the company in these words:–

”They call women the weakest vessel, but I think they are the strongest. A girl has always more tongue than a boy. I have seen a little brat no higher than a nettle, & she had as much tongue as a city clark; but a boy would be such a fool, not have any thing to say and, if any body ask’d him a question he would put his head into a hole & hide it. I am sure I take but little pleasure. You have as much pleasure as I have. There I stand & bear every fool’s insult. if I had only myself to care for, I'd wring off their noses.”

To this Scopprell answer’d, “I think the Ladies discourses, Mr Steelyard, are some of them more improving than any book. That is the way I have got some of my knowledge.”

”Then,” said Miss Gittipin, “Mr Scopprell, do you know the song of Phebe and Jellicoe?

“No, Miss,” said Scopprell.

Then she repeated these verses while Steelyard walk’d about the room:

“Phebe, drest like beauties Queen,
Jellicoe in faint peagreen,
Sitting all beneath a grot
Where the little lambkins trot;
Maidens dancing loves a sporting,
All the country folks a courting,
Susan, Johnny, Bet, & Joe
Lightly tripping on a row.
Happy people who can be
In happiness compard with ye?
The Pilgrim with his crook & hat
Sees your happiness compleat.”

”A charming Song, indeed miss,” said Scopprell.

[That was all for..] here they reciev’d a summons for a merry making at the Philosopher’s house.