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way, under whatsoever despicable circum- compassion. The incidents grow out of the stances it may appear; for as no mortal subject, and are such as are the most proauthor, in the ordinary fate and vicissitude per to excite pity; for which reason the of things, knows to what use his works whole narration has something in it very may some time or other be applied, a man moving, notwithstanding the author of it may often meet with very celebrated (whoever he was) has delivered it in such names in a paper of tobacco. I have light- an abject phrase and poorness of expresed my pipe more than once with the writ- sion, that the quoting any part of it would ings of a prelate; and know a friend of look like a design of turning it into ridicule. mine, who, for these several years, has But though the language is mean, the Converted the essays of a man of quality thoughts, as I have before said, from one into a kind of fringe for his candlesticks. end to the other, are natural, and therefore I remember, in particular, after having cannot fail to please those who are not read over a poem of an eminent author on judges of language, or those who, notwitha victory, I met with several fragments of standing they are judges of language, have it upon the next rejoicing day, which had a true and unprejudiced taste of nature. been employed in squibs and crackers, and The condition, speech, and behaviour of by that means celebrated its subject in a the dying parents, with the age, innocence, double capacity. I once met with a page and distress of the children, are set forth of Mr. Baxter, under a Christmas pie. in such tender circumstances, that it is imWhether or no the pastry-cook had made possible for a reader of common humanity use of it through chance or waggery, for not to be affected with them. As for the the defence of that superstitious viande, I circumstance of the robin-red-breast, it is know not; but upon the perusal of it, I con- indeed a little poetical ornament; and to ceived so good an idea of the author's piety, show the genius of the author amidst all that I bought the whole book. I have often his simplicity, it is just the same kind of profited by these accidental readings, and fiction which one of the greatest of the have sometimes found very curious pieces Latin poets has made use of upon a paralthat are either out of print, or not to be lel occasion; I mean that passage in Homet with in the shops of our London book- race, where he describes himself when he sellers. For this reason, when my friends was a child, fallen asleep in a desert wood, take a survey of my library, they are very and covered with leaves by the turtles that much surprised to find upon the shelf of took pity on him. folios, two long band-boxes standing upright among my books; till I let them see that they are both of them lined with deep erudition and abstruse literature. I might likewise mention a paper-kite, from which I have received great improvement; and a hat case, which I would not exchange for all the beavers in Great Britain. This my inquisitive temper, or rather impertinent humour, of prying into all sorts of writing, with my natural aversion to loquacity, give me a good deal of employment when I enter any house in the country; for I cannot for my heart leave a room, before I have thoroughly studied the walls of it, and examined the several printed papers which are usually pasted upon them. The last piece that I met with upon this occasion gave me most exquisite pleasure. My reader will think I am not serious, when I acquaint him that the piece I am going to speak of, was the old ballad of the Two Children in the Wood, which is one of the darling songs of the common people, and has been the delight of most Englishmen in some part of their age.
This song is a plain simple copy of nature, destitute of the helps and ornaments of art. The tale of it is a pretty tragical story, and pleases for no other reason but because it is a copy of nature. There is even a despicable simplicity in the verse; and yet because the sentiments appear genuine and unaffected, they are able to move the mind of the most polite reader with inward meltings of humanity and
Me fabulosa Vulture in Appulo,
Fronde nova puerum palumbes
In careless slumbers bound,
The gentle doves protecting found,
I have heard that the late Lord Dorset, who had the greatest wit tempered with the greatest candour, and was one of the finest critics as well as the best poets of his age, had a numerous collection of old English ballads, and took a particular pleasure in the reading of them. I can affirm the same of Mr. Dryden, and know several of the most refined writers of our present age who are of the same humour.
I might likewise refer my readers to Moliere's thoughts on this subject, as he has expressed them in the character of the Misanthrope; but those only who are endowed with a true greatness of soul and genius, can divest themselves of the images of ridicule, and admire nature in her simplicity and nakedness. As for the little conceited wits of the age, who can only show their judgment by finding fault, they cannot be supposed to admire these productions which have nothing to recommend them but the beauties of nature, when they do not know how to relish even those compositions that with all the beauties of nature, have also the additional advantages of art. L.
Friday, June 8, 1711.
Heu quam difficile est crimen non prodere vultu!
I have seen a very ingenious author on this subject, who founds his speculations on the supposition that as a man hath in the mould of his face a remote likeness to that of an ox, a sheep, a lion, a hog, or any other creature; he hath the same resemblance in the frame of his mind, and is subject to those passions which are predominant in the creature that appears in his
THERE are several arts which all men are in some measure masters of, without having been at the pains of learning them. Every one that speaks or reasons is a grammarian and a logician, though he may be wholly unacquainted with the rules of grammar or logic, as they are delivered in books and systems. In the same man- countenance. Accordingly he gives the ner, every one is in some degree a master prints of several faces that are of a differof that art which is generally distinguished ent mould, and by a little overcharging the by the name of physiognomy; and naturally likeness discovers the figures of these seforms to himself the character or fortune veral kinds of brutal faces in human feaof a stranger, from the features and linea- tures.* I remember in the life of the faments of his face. We are no sooner pre-mous Prince of Conde, the writer observes, sented to any one we never saw before, but the face of that prince was like the face of we are immediately struck with the idea an eagle, and that the prince was very of a proud, a reserved, an affable, or a well pleased to be told so. In this case good-natured man; and upon our first go- therefore we may be sure, that he had in ing into a company of strangers, our bene- his mind some general implicit notion of volence or aversion, awe or contempt, rises this art of physiognomy which I have just naturally towards several particular per- now mentioned; and that when his coursons, before we have heard them speak a tiers told him his face was made like an single word, or so much as know who they eagle's, he understood them in the same manner as if they had told him, there was something in his looks which showed him to be strong, active, piercing, and of a royal descent. Whether or no the different motions of the animal spirits, in differ
Every passion gives a particular cast to the countenance, and is apt to discover itself in some feature or other. I have seen an eye curse for half an hour together, and an eyebrow call a man a scoundrel. No-ent passions, may have any effect on the thing is more common than for lovers to mould of the face when the lineaments are complain, resent, languish, despair, and pliable and tender, or whether the same die in dumb show. For my own part, I kind of souls require the same kind of haam so apt to frame a notion of every man's bitations, I shall leave to the considerahumour or circumstances by his looks, that tion of the curious. In the mean time I I have sometimes employed myself from think nothing can be more glorious than Charing-Cross to the Royal Exchange in for a man to give the lie to his face, and to drawing the characters of those who have be an honest, just, good-natured man, in passed by me. When I see a man with a spite of all those marks and signatures sour rivelled face, I cannot forbear pitying which nature seems to have set upon him his wife; and when I meet with an open in- for the contrary. This very often happens genuous countenance, think on the happi- among those, who instead of being exaspeness of his friends, his family and his rela-rated by their own looks, or envying the
looks of others, apply themselves entirely to the cultivating of their minds, and getting those beauties which are more lasting, and more ornamental. I have seen many an amiable piece of deformity; and have observed a certain cheerfulness in as bad a system of features as ever was clapped together, which hath appeared more lovely than all the blooming charms of an insolent beauty. There is a double praise due to virtue, when it is lodged in a body that seems to have been prepared for the reception of vice; in many such cases the soul and the body do not seem to be fellows.
I cannot recollect the author of a famous saying to a person who stood silent in his company, Speak, that I may see thee.' But, with submission, I think we may be better known by our looks than by our words, and that a man's speech is much more easily disguised than his countenance. In this case, however, I think the air of the whole face is much more expressive than the lines of it. The truth of it is, the air is generally nothing else but the inward disposition of the mind made visible. Those who have established physiognomy into an art, and laid down rules of judging men's tempers by their faces, have regarded the features much more than the air. Martial has a pretty epigram on this subject:
Thy beard and head are of a different dye :
Crine ruber, niger ore, brevis pede, lumine læsus:
Epig. liv. 1. 12.
Socrates was an extraordinary instance of this nature. There chanced to be a
This refers to Baptista della Porta's celebrated Treatise De Humana Physiognomia: which has ran through many editions both in Latin and Italian. He died in 1615.
great physiognomist in his time at Athens, not at all displeased with themselves upon who had made strange discoveries of men's considerations which they had no choice in; tempers and inclinations by their outward so the discourse concerning Idols tended to appearances. Socrates's disciples, that lessen the value people put upon themthey might put this artist to the trial, car- selves from personal advantages and gifts ried him to their master, whom he had of nature. As to the latter species of mannever seen before, and did not know he kind, the beauties, whether male or female, was then in company with him. After a they are generally the most untractable short examination of his face, the physiog- people of all others. You are so excessively nomist pronounced him the most lewd, li-perplexed with the particularities in their bidinous, drunken old fellow that he had behaviour, that to be at ease, one would be ever met with in his whole life. Upon apt to wish there were no such creatures. which the disciples all burst out a-laugh- They expect so great allowances, and give ing, as thinking they had detected the so little to others, that they who have to do falsehood and vanity of his art. But So- with them find in the main, a man with a crates told them, that the principles of his better person than ordinary, and a beautiart might be very true, notwithstanding his ful woman, might be very happily changed present mistake; for that he himself was for such to whom nature has been less libenaturally inclined to those particular vices ral. The handsome fellow is usually so which the physiognomist had discovered much a gentleman, and the fine woman has in his countenance, but that he had con- something so becoming, that there is no quered the strong dispositions he was born enduring either of them. It has therefore with, by the dictates of philosophy.* been generally my choice to mix with cheerful ugly creatures, rather than gentlemen who are graceful enough to omit or do what they please; or beauties who have charms enough to do and say what would be disobliging in any but themselves.
We are indeed told by an ancient author,† that Socrates very much resembled Silenus in his face; which we find to have been very rightly observed from the statues and busts of both, that are still extant; as well as on several antique seals and precious stones, which are frequently enough to be met with in the cabinets of the curious. But however observations of this nature may sometimes hold, a wise man should be particularly cautious how he gives credit to a man's outward appearance. It is an irreparable injustice we are guilty of towards one another, when we are prejudiced by the looks and features of those whom we do not know. How often do we conceive hatred against a person of worth, or fancy a man to be proud or ill-natured by his aspect, whom we think we cannot esteem too much when we are acquainted with his real character? Dr. Moore, in his admirable System of Ethics, reckons this particular inclination to take a prejudice against a man for his looks, among the smaller vices in morality, and, if I remember, gives it the name of a prosopolepsia.
Diffidence and presumption, upon account of our persons, are equally faults; and both arise from the want of knowing, or rather endeavouring to know ourselves, and for what we ought to be valued or neglected. But indeed I did not imagine these little considerations and coquetries could have the ill consequences as I find they have, by the following letters of my correspondents; where it seems beauty is thrown into the account, in matters of sale, to those who receive no favour from the charmers,
No. 87.] Saturday, June 9, 1711.
-Nimium ne crede colori. Virg. Ecl. ii. 17. Trust not too much to an enchanting face. Dryden.
It has been the purpose of several of my speculations to bring people to an unconcerned behaviour with relation to their persons, whether beautiful or defective. As the secrets of the Ugly Club were exposed to the public, that men might see there were some noble spirits in the age, who are
* Cicer. Tusc. Qu. 5, et De Fato. † Plat. Conviv.
Í A Greek word, used in the New Testament, Rom. ii. 11, and Eph. vi. 9: where it is said that "God is no respecter of persons." Here it signifies a prejudice against a person formed from his countenance, &c. too hastily.
'June 4. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-After I have assured you I am in every respect one of the handsomest young girls about town, I need be particular in nothing but the make of my face, which has the misfortune to be exactly oval. This I take to proceed from a temper that naturally inclines me both to speak and hear.
'With this account you may wonder how I can have the vanity to offer myself as a candidate, which I now do, to a society where the Spectator and Hecatissa have been admitted with so much applause. I don't want to be put in mind how very defective I am in every thing that is ugly: I am too sensible of my own unworthiness in this particular, and therefore I only propose myself as a foil to the club.
'You see how honest I have been to confess all my imperfections, which is a great deal to come from a woman, and what I hope you will encourage with the favour of your interest.
"There can be no objection made on the side of the matchless Hecatissa, since it is certain I shall be in no danger of giving her the least occasion of jealousy: and then a
joint-stool in the very lowest place at the
idolaters; but that from the time of publishing this in your paper, the idols would mix ratsbane only for their admirers, and take more care of us who don't love them. 'I am, sir, yours,
'P. S. I have sacrificed my necklace to put into the public lottery against the common enemy. And last Saturday, about three o'clock in the afternoon, I began to patch indifferently on both sides of my No. 88.] Monday, June 11, 1711. face.'
'London, June 7, 1711.
'MR. SPECTATOR,-Upon reading your late dissertation concerning Idols, I cannot but complain to you that there are, in six or seven places of this city, coffee-houses kept by persons of that sisterhood. These idols sit and receive all day long the adoration of the youth within such and such districts. I know in particular, goods are not entered as they ought to be at the customhouse, nor law-reports perused at the Temple, by reason of one beauty who detains the young merchants too long near 'Change, and another fair one who keeps the students at her house when they should be at study. It would be worth your while to see how the idolaters alternately offer incense to their idols, and what heart-burnings arise in those who wait for their turn to receive kind aspects from those little thrones, which all the company, but these lovers, call the bars. I saw a gentleman turn as pale as ashes, because an idol turned the sugar in a tea-dish for his rival, and carelessly called the boy to serve him, with a "Sirrah! why don't you give the gentleman the box to please himself?" Certain it is, that a very hopeful young man was taken with leads in his pockets below the bridge, where he intended to drown himself, because his idol would wash the dish in which she had just drank tea, before she
Quid domini faciant, audent cum talia fures?
May 30, 1711. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I have no small value for your endeavours to lay before the world what may escape their observation, and yet highly conduces to their service. You have, I think, succeeded very well on many subjects; and seem to have been conversant in very different scenes of life. But in the considerations of mankind, as a Spectator, you should not omit circumstances which relate to the inferior part of the world, any more than those which concern the greater. There is one thing in particular which I wonder you have not touched upon, and that is the general corruption of manners in the servants of Great Britain. I am a man that have travelled and seen many nations, but have for seven years last past resided constantly in London, or within twenty miles of it. In this time I have contracted a numerous acquaintance among the best sort of people, and have hardly found one of them happy in their servants. This is matter of great, astonishment to foreigners, and all such as have visited foreign countries; especially since we cannot but observe, that there is no part of the world where servants have those privileges and advantages as in England. They have no where else such plentiful diet, large I am, sir, a person past being amorous, wages, or indulgent liberty. There is no and do not give this information out of envy place where they labour less, and yet where or jealousy, but I am a real sufferer by it. they are so little respectful, more wasteful, These lovers take any thing for tea and more negligent, or where they so frequentcoffee; I saw one yesterday surfeit to make ly change their masters. To this I attrihis court, and all his rivals, at the same bute, in a great measure, the frequent robtime, loud in the commendation of liquors beries and losses which we suffer on the that went against every body in the room high road and in our own houses. That that was not in love. While these young of this kind is, that a careless groom of indeed which gives me the present thought fellows resign their stomachs with their hearts, and drink at the idol in this man-mine has spoiled me the prettiest pad in ner, we who come to do business, or talk the world, with only riding him ten miles; politics, are utterly poisoned. They have and I assure you, if I were to make a regisalso drams for those who are more enam-ter of all the horses I have known thus oured than ordinary; and it is very common abused by negligence of servants, the numfor such as are too low in constitution to ber would mount a regiment. I wish you ogle the idol upon the strength of tea, to would give us your observations, that we fluster themselves with warmer liquors: may know how to treat these rogues, or thus all pretenders advance, as fast as they that we masters may enter into measures can, to a fever, or a diabetes. I must re- to reform them. Pray give us a speculation peat to you, that I do not look with an evil in general about servants, and you make Yours, eye upon the profit of the idols, or the di- me versions of the lovers; what I hope from 'PHILO-BRITANNICUS. this remonstrance, is only that we plain 'P. S. Pray do not omit the mention of people may not be served as if we were grooms in particular.'
would let him use it.
This honest gentleman, who is so desirous that I should write a satire upon grooms, has a great deal of reason for his resentment; and I know no evil which touches all mankind so much as this of the misbehaviour of servants.
The complaint of this letter runs wholly upon men-servants; and I can attribute the licentiousness which has at present prevailed among them, to nothing but what an hundred before me have ascribed it to, the custom of giving board-wages. This one instance of false economy is sufficient to debauch the whole nation of servants, and makes them as it were but for some part of their time in that quality. They are either attending in places where they meet and run into clubs, or else if they wait at taverns, they eat after their masters, and reserve their wages for other occasions. From hence it arises, that they are but in a lower degree what their masters themselves are; and usually affect an imitation of their manners; and you have in liveries, beaux, fops, and coxcombs, in as high perfection as among people that keep equipages. It is a common humour among the retinue of people of quality, when they are in their revels, that is, when they are out of their master's sight, to assume in a humorous way the names and titles of those whose liveries they wear. By which means characters and distinctions become so familiar to them, that it is to this, among other causes, one may impute a certain insolence among our servants, that they take no notice of any gentleman, though they know him ever so well, except he is an acquaintance of their master's.
that there were no such thing as rule and distinction among us.
The next place of resort, wherein the servile world are let loose, is at the entrance of Hyde Park, while the gentry are at the ring. Hither people bring their lackeys out of state, and here it is that all they say at their tables, and act in their houses, is communicated to the whole town. There are men of wit in all conditions of life; and mixing with these people at their diversions, I have heard coquettes and prudes as well rallied, and insolence and pride exposed (allowing for their want of education) with as much humour and good sense, as in the politest companies. It is a general observation, that all dependents run in some measure into the manners and behaviour of those whom they serve. You shall frequently meet with lovers and men of intrigue among the lackeys as well as at White's or in the side-boxes. I remember some years ago an instance of this kind. A footman to a captain of the guards used frequently, when his master was out of the way, to carry on amours and make assignations in his master's clothes. The fellow had a very good person, and there are very many women that think no further than the outside of a gentleman: besides which, he was almost as learned a man as the colonel himself: I say, thus qualified, the fellow could scrawl billet-doux so well, and furnish a conversation on the common topics, that he had, as they call it, a great deal of good business on his hands. It happened one day, that coming down a tavern stairs in his master's fine guard-coat with a welldressed woman masked, he met the colonel coming up with other company; but with a ready assurance he quitted his lady, came up to him and said, Sir, I know you have too much respect for yourself to cane me in this honourable habit. But you see there is a lady in the case, and I hope on that score also you will put off your anger till I have told you all another time.' After a little pause the colonel cleared up his countenance, and with an air of familiarity whispered his man apart, 'Sirrah, bring the lady with you to ask pardon for you; then aloud, 'Look to it, Will, I'll never forgive you else.' The fellow went back to his mistress, and telling her, with a loud voice and an oath, that was the honestest fellow in the world, conveyed her to a hackneycoach.
My obscurity and taciturnity leave me at liberty, without scandal, to dine, if I think fit, at a common ordinary, in the meanest as well as the most sumptuous house of entertainment.-Falling in the other day at a victualling-house near the house of peers, I heard the maid come down and tell the landlady at the bar, that my lord bishop swore he would throw her out at window, if she did not bring up more mild beer, and that my lord duke would have a double mug of purl. My surprise was increased, in hearing loud and rustic voices speak and answer to each other upon the public affairs, by the names of the most illustrious of our nobility; till of a sudden one came running in, and cried the house was rising. Down came all the company together and away! The alehouse was immediately filled with But the many irregularities committed by clamour, and scoring one mug to the mar- servants in the places above-mentioned, as quis of such a place, oil and vinegar to such well as in the theatres, of which masters an earl, three quarts to my new lord for are generally the occasions, are too various wetting his title, and so forth. It is a thing not to need being resumed on another occatoo notorious to mention the crowds of ser- sion. vants, and their insolence, near the courts
of justice, and the stairs towards the su- No. 89.] Tuesday, June 12, 1711.
preme assembly, where there is a universal mockery of all order, such riotous clamour and licentious confusion, that one would think the whole nation lived in jest, and
-Petite hinc, juvenesque senesque
Cras hoc fiet. Idem cras fiet. Quid? quasi magnum,