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which has always in it something melancholy or in the story of a lady's being got with child by one terrifying; so that the killing on the stage does of these her hand-maids, I cannot tell; but I not seem to have been avoided only as an inde-think at present the whole race of them is extinct cency, but also as an improbability. in our own country.
Nec pueros coram populo Medea trucidet;
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 185.
Medea must not draw her murd'ring knife,
About the time that several of our sex were taken into this kind of service, the ladies likewise brought up the fashion of receiving visits in their beds. It was then looked upon as a piece of illbreeding for a woman to refuse to see a man, because she was not stirring; and a porter would have been thought unfit for his place, that could have made so awkward an excuse. As I love to see every thing that is new, I once prevailed upon my friend Will Honeycomb to carry me along with him to one of these travelled ladies, desiring him I have now gone through the several dramatic at the same time to present me as a foreigner who inventions which are made use of by the ignorant could not speak English, that so I might not be poets to supply the place of tragedy, and by the obliged to bear a part in the discourse. The lady, skilful to improve it; some of which I could wish though willing to appear undressed, had put on entirely rejected, and the rest to be used with her best looks, and painted herself for our recepcaation. It would be an endless task to consider tion. Her hair appeared in a very nice disorder, comedy in the same light, and to mention the inas the night-gown which was thrown upon her numerable shifts that small wits put in practice to shoulders was ruffled with great care. For my raise a laugh. Bullock in a short coat, and Norris part, I am so shocked with every thing which in a long one, seldom fail of this effect. In ordi- looks immodest in the fair sex, that I could not nary comedies, a broad and a narrow brimmed hat forbear taking off my eye from her when she are different characters. Sometimes the wit of the moved in her bed, and was in the greatest confuscene lies in a shoulder-belt, and sometimes in a sion imaginable every time she stirred a leg or an pair of whiskers. A lover running about the stage, arm. As the coquettes who introduced this custom with his head peeping out of a barrel, was thought grew old, they left it off by degrees; well knowa very good jest in King Charles the Second's ing, that a woman of threescore may kick and time, and invented by one of the first wits of that tumble her heart out, without making any image. But because ridicule is not so delicate as pressions. compassion, and because the objects that make us laugh are infinitely more numerous than those that make us weep, there is a much greater latitude for comic than tragic artifices, and by consequence a much greater indulgence to be allowed them.
Sempronia is at present the most professed admirer of the French nation, but is so modest as to admit her visitants no further than her toilet. It is a very odd sight that beautiful creature makes, when she is talking politics with her tresses flowing about her shoulders, and examining that face in the glass, which does such execution upon all the male standers-by. How prettily does she divide her discourse between her woman and her visitants? What sprightly transitions does she make from an opera or a sermon, to an ivory comb or a pin-cushion? How have I been pleased to see her interrupted in an account of her travels, by a message to her footman; and holding her tongue in the midst of a moral reflection, by applying the tip of it to a patch?
THERE is nothing which I desire more than a safe and honourable peace, though at the same time I There is nothing which exposes a woman to am very apprehensive of many ill consequences greater dangers, than that gaiety and airiness of that may attend it. I do not mean in regard to temper which are natural to most of the sex. our politics, but to our manners. What an inun- should be therefore the concern of every wise and dation of ribbons and brocades will break in upon virtuous woman to keep this sprightliness from deus? What peals of laughter and impertinence shall generating into levity. On the contrary, the whole we be exposed to? For the prevention of these discourse and behaviour of the French is to make great evils, I could heartily wish that there was an the sex more fantastical, or (as they are pleased to act of parliament for prohibiting the importation term it) more awakened, than is consistent either of French fopperies. with virtue or discretion. To speak loud in public The female inhabitants of our island have al-assemblies, to let every one hear you talk of things ready received very strong impressions from this that should only be mentioned in private, or in ludicrous nation, though by the length of the war whisper, are looked upon as parts of a refined (as there is no evil which has not some good at-education. At the same time a blush is unfashiontending it) they are pretty well worn out and for-able, and silence more ill-bred than any thing that gotten. I remember the time when some of our can be spoken. In short, discretion and modesty, well-bred country women kept their valet de which in all other ages and countries have been chambre, because, forsooth, a man was much more regarded as the greatest ornaments of the fair sex, handy about them than one of their own sex. I myself have seen one of these male Abigails trip-sation, and family behaviour. are regarded as the ingredients of narrow conver
ping about the room with a looking-glass in his Some years ago I was at the tragedy of Macbeth, hand, and combing his lady's hair a whole morn- and unfortunately placed myself under a woman ing together. Whether or no there was any truth of quality that is since dead; who, as I found by France. A little before the rising of the curtain,' the noise she made, was newly returned from
Sir George Etherege, in his comedy of The Comical Re
venge, or Love in a Tub.
she broke out into a loud soliloquy, When will are my speculations in the first principles, that the dear witches enter? and immediately upon (like the world in its chaos) are void of all light, their first appearance, asked a lady that sat three distinction, and order.
boxes from her on her right hand, if those witches] About a week since there happened to me a were not charming creatures. A little after, as very odd accident, by reason of one of these my Betterton was in one of the finest speeches of the papers of minutes which I had accidentally dropped play, she shook her fan at another lady who sat at Lloyd's coffee-house, where the auctions are as far on the left hand, and told her with a whis-usually kept. Before I missed it, there were a per that might be heard all over the pit, 'We must cluster of people who had found it, and were di not expect to see Balloon to-night. Not long verting themselves with it at one end of the coffeeafter, calling out to a young baronet by his name, house. It had raised so much laughter among them who sat three seats before me, she asked him whe-before I had observed what they were about, that ther Macbeth's wife was still alive; and before he I had not the courage to own it. The boy of the could give an answer, fell a talking of the ghost coffee-house, when they had done with it, carried of Banquo. She had by this time formed a little it about in his hand, asking every body if they had audience to herself, and fixed the attention of all dropped a written paper; but nobody challenging about her. But as I had a mind to hear the play, it, he was ordered by those merry gentlemen who I got out of the sphere of her impertinence, and had before perused it, to get up into the auction planted myself in one of the remotest corners of pulpit, and read it to the whole room, that if any the pit. one would own it, they might. The boy accordingly mounted the pulpit, and with a very audible voice read as follows:
This pretty childishness of behaviour is one of the most refined parts of coquetry, and is not to be attained in perfection by ladies that do not travel for their improvement. A natural and unconstrained behaviour has something in it so agree. Sir Roger de Coverley's country-seat-Yes, for able, that it is no wonder to see people endeavour-I hate long speeches-Query, if a good Christian ing after it. But at the same time it is so very hard may be a conjurer-Childermas-day, saltseller, to hit, when it is not born with us, that people house.dog, screech-owl, cricket-Mr. Thomas Inoften make themselves ridiculous in attempting it. cle of London, in the good ship called the Achilles. A very ingenious French author tells us, that the Yarico-Egrescitque medendo-Ghosts--The Lady's ladies of the court of France, in his time, thought library-Lion by trade a tailor-Dromedary called it ill-breeding, and a kind of female pedantry, to Bucephalus-Equipage the lady's summum bonum―― pronounce a hard word right; for which reason they took frequent occasion to use hard words, that they might show a politeness in murdering them. He further adds, that a lady of some quality at court, having accidentally made use of a hard word in a proper place, and pronounced it right, the whole assembly was out of countenance for her.
Charles Lillie to be taken notice of-Short face a relief to envy-Redundancies in the three professions-King Latinus a recruit-Jew devouring a ham of bacon-Westminster- abbey-Grand Cairo. Procrastination-April fools-Blue boars, red lions, hogs in armour-Enter a King and two Fiddlers solus-Admission into the Ugly club-Beauty how I must however be so just to own, that there are improvable-Families of true and false humourmany ladies who have travelled several thousands The parrot's school-mistress--Face half Pict half of miles without being the worse for it, and have British-No man to be an hero of a tragedy under brought home with them all the modesty, discre-six foot-Club of sighers-Letters from flowertion, and good sense, that they went abroad with. pots, elbow-chairs, tapestry-figures, lion, thunder. As, on the contrary, there are great numbers of The bell rings to the puppet-show-Old woman travelled ladies, who have lived all their days with- with a beard married to a smock-faced boy-My in the smoke of London. I have known a woman next coat to be turned up with blue-Fable of that never was out of the parish of St. James's, be- tongs and gridiron-Flower dyers-The soldier's tray as many foreign fopperies in her carriage, as prayer-Thank ye for nothing, says the gallypot. she could have gleaned up in half the countries of Pactolus in stockings with golden clocks to them. Europe.
Bamboos, cudgels, drum-sticks-Slip of my landlady's eldest daughter-The black mare with a star in her forehead-The barber's pole-Will Honeycomb's coat-pocket-Cæsar's behaviour and my own in parallel circumstances-Poem in patchwork-Nulli gravis est percussus Achilles-The fe male conventicler-The ogle-master.
Non bene junctarum discordía semina rerum. OVID, Met. 1. i. ver. 9. The jarring seeds of ill-consorted things. The reading of this paper made the whole coffeehouse very merry; some of them concluded it was WHEN I want materials for this paper, it is my written by a madman, and others by somebody custom to go abroad in quest of game; and when that had been taking notes out of the Spectator. I meet any proper subject, I take the first oppor- One who had the appearance of a very substantial tunity of setting down an hint of it upon paper. citizen told us, with several political winks and At the same time I look into the letters of my cor- nods, that he wished there was no more in the respondents, and if I find any thing suggested in paper than what was expressed in it: that for his them that may afford matter of speculation, I like- part he looked upon the dromedary, the gridiron, wise enter a minute of it in my collection of ma- and the barber's pole, to signify something more terials. By this means I frequently carry about than what was usually meant by those words; and me a whole sheetful of hints, that would look like that he thought the coffee-man could not do better a rhapsody of nonsense to any body but myself. than to carry the paper to one of the secretaries There is nothing in them but obscurity and con- of state. He further added, that he did not like fusion, raving and inconsistency. In short, they the name of the outlandish man with the golden
clock in his stockings. A young Oxford scholar, also brought over with me a new flying ogle fit for who chanced to be with his uncle at the coffee-the ring; which I teach in the dusk of the evening, house, discovered to us who this Pactolus was: and or in any hour of the day, by darkening one of by that means turned the whole scheme of this wor- my windows. I have a manuscript by me, called thy citizen into ridicule. While they were making The Complete Ogler, which I shall be ready to their several conjectures upon this innocent paper, show you on any occasion. In the mean time, I I reached out my arm to the boy as he was coming beg you will publish the substance of this letter in out of the pulpit, to give it me; which he did ac- an advertisement, and you will very much oblige, e wer cordingly. This drew the eyes of the whole com'Yours, &c.' wered pany upon me; but after having cast a cursory e coffee glance over it, and shook my head twice or thrice ing that the reading of it, I twisted it into a kind of out, the match, and lighted my pipe with it. My profound
silence, together with the steadiness of my countecarrienance, and the gravity of my behaviour during this
whole transaction, raised a very loud laugh on all leh sides of me; but as I had escaped all suspicion of ner being the author, I was very well satisfied, and applying myself to my pipe and the Postman, at if took no further notice of any thing that passed about me.
N° 47. TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 1711.
MR. HOBBS, in his Discourse of Human Nature, My reader will find, that I have already made which, in my humble opinion, is much the best of use of above half the contents of the foregoing all his works, after some very curious observations paper; and will easily suppose, that those subjects upon laughter, concludes thus: The passion of which are yet untouched, were such provisions as laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising Yes, had made for his future entertainment. But as I from some sudden conception of some eminency in have been unluckily prevented by this accident, I ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of shall only give him the letters which related to the others, or with our own formerly; for men laugh two last hints. The first of them I should not have at the follies of themselves past, when they come As published, were I not informed that there is many suddenly to remembrance, except they bring with eLa an husband who suffers very much in his private them any present dishonour.' affairs by the indiscreet zeal of such a partner as According to this author, therefore, when we is hereafter mentioned; to whom I may apply the hear a man laugh excessively, instead of saying he barbarous inscription quoted by she Bishop of Salis-is very merry, we ought to tell him he is very bury in his travels: Dum nimia via est, facta proud. And indeed, if we look into the bottom impiaThrough too much piety she became of this matter, we shall meet with many observa
tions to confirm us in his opinion. Every one laughs at somebody that is in an inferior state of folly to himself. It was formerly the custom for every great Tax one of those unhappy men that are plagued house in England to keep a tame fool dressed in with a gospel-gossip, so common among dissenters petticoats, that the heir of the family might have especially friends). Lectures in the morning, an opportunity of joking upon him, and diverting church-meetings at noon, and preparation sermons himself with his absurdities. For the same reason, at night, take up so much of her time, it is very idiots are still in request in most of the courts of rare she knows what we have for dinner, unless Germany, where there is not a prince of any great when the preacher is to be at it. With him come magnificence, who has not two or three dressed, tribe, all brothers and sisters it seems; while distinguished, undisputed fools in his retinue, whom others, really such, are deemed no relations. If the rest of the courtiers are always breaking their at any time I have her company alone, she is a jests upon. mere sermon pop-gun, repeating and discharging| The Dutch, who are more famous for their inexts, proofs, and applications so perpetually, that dustry and application, than for wit and humour, however weary I may go to bed, the noise in my hang up in several of their streets what they call head will not let me sleep till towards morning. the sign of the Gaper, that is, the head of an idiot The misery of my case, and great numbers of such dressed in a cap and bells, and gaping in a most sufferers, plead your pity and speedy relief: other immoderate manner. This is a standing jest at Vise must expect, in a little time, to be lectured, Amsterdam. reached and prayed into want, unless the hapness of being sooner talked to death prevent it. 'I am, &c.
Thus every one diverts himself with some person or other that is below him in point of understanding, and triumphs in the superiority of his genius, whilst he has such objects of derision before his eyes. Mr. Dennis has very well expressed this in The second letter, relating to the ogling-master, a couple of humorous lines, which are part of a translation of a satire in Monsieur Boileau:
Thus one fool lolls his tongue out at another,
Tax an Irish gentleman that have travelled many ears for my improvement; during which time L Mr. Hobbs' reflection gives us the reason why have accomplished myself in the whole art of the insignificant people above mentioned are stirogling, as it is at present practised in the polite rers-up of laughter among men of a gross taste: ations of Europe. Being thus qualified, I intend, but as the more understanding part of mankind do by the advice of my friends, to set up for an ogling- not find their risibility affected by such ordinary master. I teach the church ogle in the morning, objects, it may be worth the while to examine and the playhouse ogle by candle-light. I have into the several provocatives of laughter, in men of superior sense and knowledge.
* Dr. Barnett's Letters, &c. Læt. 1.
In the first place I must observe, that there is a of mirth in conversation, that it is impossible for set of merry drolls, whom the common people of a club or merry meeting to subsist without them; all countries admire, and seem to love so well, I mean those honest gentlemen that are always 'that they could eat them,' according to the old exposed to the wit and raillery of their wellproverb: I mean those circumforaneous wits whom wishers and companions; that are pelted by men, every nation calls by the name of that dish of meat women, and children, friends and foes, and, in a which it loves best: in Holland they are termed word, stand as butts in conversation, for every one Pickled Herrings; in France, Jean Potages; in to shoot at that pleases. I know several of these Italy, Maccaronies; and in Great Britain, Jack butts who are men of wit and sense, though by Puddings. These merry wags, from whatsoever some odd turn of humour, some unluckly cast in food they receive their titles, that they may make their person or behaviour, they have always the their audiences laugh, always appear in a fool's misfortune to make the company merry. The truth coat, and commit such blunders and mistakes in of it is, a man is not qualified for a butt, who has every step they take, and every word they utter, not a good deal of wit and vivacity, even in the as those who listen to them would be ashamed of. ridiculous side of his character.
A stupid butt is But this little triumph of the understanding, only fit for the conversation of ordinary people: under the disguise of laughter, is no where more men of wit require one that will give them play, visible than in that custom which prevails every and bestir himself in the absurd part of his beha where among us on the first day of the present viour. A butt with these accomplishments fremonth, when every body takes it in his head to quently gets the laugh of his side, and turns the make as many fools as he can. In proportion as ridicule upon him that attacks him. Sir John there are more follies discovered, so there is more Falstaff was an hero of this species, and gives a laughter raised on this day than on any other in good description of himself in his capacity of a the whole year. A neighbour of mine, who is a butt, after the following manner: Men of all haberdasher by trade, and a very shallow con- sorts,' says that merry knight, 'take a pride to ceited fellow, makes his boast that for these ten gird at me. The brain of any man is not able to years successively he has not made less than an invent any thing that tends to laughter more than hundred April fools. My landlady had a falling. I invent, or is invented on me. I am not only out with him about a fortnight ago, for sending witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other every one of her children upon some sleeveless men.' errand, as she terms it. Her eldest son went to buy an halfpennyworth of inkle at a shoemaker's; the eldest daughter was despatched half a mile to see a monster; and, in short, the whole family of innocent children made April fools. Nay, my landlady herself did not escape him. This empty fellow has laughed upon these conceits ever since.
N° 48. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 1711.
Per multas aditum sibi sæpe figuras
OVID. Met. xiv. 652. Through various shapes he often finds access.
This art of wit is well enough, when confined to one day in a twelvemonth; but there is an ingenious tribe of men sprung up of late years, who are for making April fools every day in the year. These gentlemen are commonly distinguished by Mr correspondents take it ill if I do not, from the name of Biters: a race of men that are perpetually employed in laughing at those mistakes which are of their own production.
time to time, let them know I have received their letters. The most effectual way will be to publish some of them that are upon important subjects; which I shall introduce with a letter of my own that I writ a fortnight ago to a fraternity who thought fit to make me an honorary member.
TO THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF THE
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR DEFORMITIES,
Thus we see, in proportion as one man is more refined than another, he chooses his fool out of a lower or higher class of mankind, or, to speak in a more philosophical language, that secret elation or pride of heart, which is generally called laughter, arises in him, from his comparing himself with an object below him, whether it so happens that it be a natural or an artifical fool. It is, indeed, very possible, that the persons we laugh at may in the 'I HAVE received the notification of the honour main of their characters be much wiser men than you have done me, in admitting me into your ourselves; but if they would have us laugh at them, society. I acknowledge my want of merit, and they must fall short of us in those respects which for that reason shall endeavour at all times to make stir up this passion. up my own failures, by introducing and recomI am afraid I shall appear too abstracted in my mending to the club persons of more undoubted speculations, if I show that when a man of wit qualifications than I can pretend to. I shall next makes us laugh, it is by betraying some oddness or week come down in the stage coach, in order to infirmity in his own character, or in the represen- take my seat at the board; and shall bring with tation which he makes of others; and that when me a candidate of each sex.
The persons I shall we laugh at a brute, or even at an inanimate present to you, are an old beau and a modern thing, it is at some action or incident that bears a Pict. If they are not so eminently gifted by naremote analogy to any blunder or absurdity in rea-ture as our assembly expects, give me leave to sonable creatures. say their acquired ugliness is greater than any that
But to come into common life: I shall pass by has ever appeared before you. The beau has vathe consideration of those stage coxcombs that are ried his dress every day of his life for these thirty able to shake a whole audience, and take notice years past, and still added to the deformity he of a particular sort of men who are such provokers was born with. The Pict has still greater merit towards us, and has, ever since she came to years • See No. 504, and Tat. No. 12. Rowe produced a comedy on of discretion, deserted the handsome party, and the subject, with the title of The Biter;' which, however, added | nothing to his reputation as an author, taken all possible pains to acquire the face in
ssible fe Out then
which I shall present her to your consideration temper, and will my mind for ever from a folly. For the charity received, I return my thanks this
'I am, GENTLEMEN,
Your most humble servant.'
" THE SPECTATOR.
Epping, April 18.
'P. S. I desire to know whether you admit We have your papers here the morning they come of the people of quality.'
en in the
out, and we have been very well entertained with Through by your last, upon the false ornaments of persons who ly cast represent heroes in a tragedy. What made your fraTo show you there are among us of the vain weak speculation come very seasonably among us is, that sex, some that have honesty and fortitude enough we have now at this place a company of strollers, to dare to be ugly, and willing to be thought so; I who are very far from offending in the impertinent apply myself to you, to beg your interest, and re- splendour of the drama. They are so far from fallcommendation to the Ugly club. If my own word ing into these false gallantries, that the stage is will not be taken (though in this case a woman's here in its original situation of a cart. Alexander hem play), I can bring credible witness of my qualifica- the Great was acted by a fellow in a paper cravat. his bel twas for their company, whether they insist upon The next day the Earl of Essex seemed to have no hair forehead, eyes, cheeks, or chin; to which I distress but his poverty; and my Lord Foppington mast add, that I find it easier to lean to my left the same morning wanted any better means to side, than my right. I hope I am in all respects show himself a fop, than by wearing stockings of agreeable, and for humour and mirth, I will keep different colours. In a word, though they have p to the president himself. All the favour I will had a full barn for many days together, our itinepretend to is, that as I am the first woman who rants are still so wretchedly poor, that without you has appeared desirous of good company and agree- can prevail to send us the furniture you forbid at ble conversation, I may take and keep the upper the playhouse, the heroes appear only like sturdy end of the table. And indeed I think they want beggars, and the heroines gipsies. We have had carver, which I can be, after as ugly a manner but one part, which was performed and dressed as they could wish. I desire your thoughts of my with propriety, and that was Justice Clodpate. chaim as soon as you can. Add to my features the This was so well done, that it offended Mr. Justice length of my face, which is full half-yard; though Overdo, who, in the midst of our whole audience, I never knew the reason of it till you gave one was (like Quixote in the puppet-show) so highly for the shortness of yours. If I knew a name ugly provoked, that he told them, if they would move 11 enough to belong to the above-described face, I compassion, it should be in their own persons, would feign one; but to my unspeakable misfor- and not in the characters of distressed princes and tane, my name is the only disagreeable prettiness potentates. He told them, if they were so good about me; so prythee make one for me that signi- at finding the way to people's hearts, they should fes all the deformity in the world. You under-do it at the end of bridges or church-porches, in and Latin, but be sure bring it in with my being, their proper vocation of beggars. This, the justice in the sincerity of my heart,
the eyes of women, I never have a moment's case, Ir is very natural for a man who is not turned for but I am mounted in high-heeled shoes, with a glazed wax-leather instep. Two days after a semirthful meetings of men, or assemblies of the fair ere fit, I was invited to a friend's house in the sex, to delight in that sort of conversation which , where I believed I should see ladies; and we find in coffee-houses. Here a man of my temper
is in his element; for if he cannot talk, he can still be more agreeable to his company, as well as pleased in himself, in being only an bearer. It is a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in
my usual complaisance crippled myself to at upon them. A very sumptuous table, agree. le company, and kind reception, were but so any importunate additions to the torment I was A gentleman of the family observed my con- the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's con; and soon after the queen's health, he in conversation, the first thing you should consider is, Le presence of the whole company, with his own whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, ads, degraded me into an old pair of his own or that you should hear him. The latter is the es. This operation before fine ladies, to me more general desire, and I know very able flatwho am by nature a coxcomb) was suffered with terers that never speak a word in praise of the same reluctance as they admit the help of men persons from whom they obtain daily favours, but their greatest extremity. The return of ease still practise a skilful attention to whatever is utmade me forgive the rough obligation laid on me, tered by those with whom they converse. We are which at that time relieved my body from a dis:
*No. 38. See also No. 404, No. 460, and No. 515.
very curious to observe the behaviour of great men
and their clients; but the same passions and interests move men in lower spheres; and I (that