Common Sense no.73, June 24, 1738, p.1, reprinted in The London Magazine and Monthly Chronologer, London: T. Astley, July 1738, p.339.
from: British Library PP5487
also in collected annual volume Common Sense: or, the Englishman's Journal, II( London: J. Purser, 1739) p.127-8, Saturday 24 June, 1738
Caution recommended in the Choice of our Diversions. Lucinda's Case. Vaux-Hall Gardens, &c. (1)
I cannot conclude without taking some Notice of the Diversion of the Year: The Multitudes who resort daily to Vaux-Hall make it necessary to say somewhat upon that Entertainment.
The Gardens are prettily
disposed, and when illumined make a beautiful Scene; the Variety of Company
differently employ'd, the Contrast between the instrumental Musick in the
middle Grove, and the natural Harmony of the Woods, in the more
retired Parts, render the Whole a very agreeable Amusement. As I am in Hopes too the Warbling of the Nightingales, and the Verdure of the Trees, may tend to reclaim to a Toleration of the Country such of the Fair Sex as are at this Time preparing to leave this Metropolis, I am contented to let them go thither, but under the following Restrictions, viz.
That their Parties always consist of an odd Number. There is something in the Garden which so much resembles the Description of a Mahometan Paradise, that perhaps, if they should be suffered to go in Pairs, they may be tempted to imitate all the Diversions of such a Place. I must also insist, that there be no more Smoking in the Middle of the Company, lest the Stink of the Tobacco should drive some of the Fair Guests into the more private Walks for a little fresh Air, and Conversation may then perhaps grow unaccountably serious. I could wish likewise, that they who take Water at White-Hall, would not make too frequent Visits there, at least not in the same Party.
As for the honest Citizens, who carry their Wives and Families there for an Evening's Entertainment, I would by no Means stint them in their Diversions; upon Condition, that the good Lady promises not to fall too much in Love with Musick, nor teaze her Husband next Winter to carry her to the Opera.
Under these Restraints I can admit it for a passa tempo, and am glad Fashion has introduced one so reasonable.
(1) At the end of a piece on people going to concerts just for the sake of fashion, and not because they want to hear the music, and a moral tale about how easy it is for a girl to lose her honour at private parties