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the ladies that the bell rings for church, and that it stands on the other side of the garden; but they only laugh at the child.
"I desire you would lay this before all the world, that I may not be made such a tool for the future, and that punchinello may choose hours less canonical. As things are now, Mr. Powell has a full congregation, while we have a very thin house; which if you can remedy, you will very much oblige, "Sir, Yours, &c.
The following epistle I find is from the undertaker of the masquerade. 'SIR,
being at present the two leading diversions of the town, and Mr. Powell professing in his advertisements to set up Whittington and his Cat against Rinaldo and Armida, my curiosity led me the beginning of last week to view both these performances, and make my observations upon them.
'First, therefore, I cannot but observe that Mr. Powell wisely forbearing to give his company a bill of fare before-hand, every scene is new and unexpected; whereas it is certain, that the undertakers of the Haymarket, having raised too great an expectation in their printed opera, very much
disappoint their audience on the stage. come from the city on foot, instead of being The king of Jerusalem is obliged to drawn in a triumphant chariot by white horses, as my opera-book had promised
I have observed the rules of my mask so carefully (in not inquiring into persons) that I cannot tell whether you were one of the company or not, last Tuesday; but if you were not, and still design to come, I desire you would, for your own entertain-me; and thus, while I expected Armida's ment, please to admonish the town, that all dragons should rush forward towards Argentes, I found the hero was obliged to go persons indifferently are not fit for this sort to Armida, and hand her out of her coach. of diversion. I could wish, sir, you could We had also but a very short allowance of make them understand that it is a kind of thunder and lightning; though I cannot in acting to go in masquerade, and a man this place omit doing justice to the boy who should be able to say or do things proper for had the direction of the two painted drathe dress in which he appears. We have now and then rakes in the habit of Roman He flashed out his rosin in such just progons, and made them spit fire and smoke. senators, and grave politicians in the dress of rakes. The misfortune of the thing is, portions, and in such due time, that I could not forbear conceiving hopes of his being that people dress themselves in what they have a mind to be, and not what they are deed, but two things wanting to render his one day a most excellent player. I saw infit for. There is not a girl in the town, but whole action complete, I mean the keeping let her have her will in going to a mask, his head a little lower, and hiding his canand she shall dress as a shepherdess. But let me beg of them to read the Arcadia, or some other good romance, before they appear in any such character at my house. The last day we presented, every body was so rashly habited, that when they came to speak to each other, a nymph with a crook had not a word to say but in the pert style of the pit bawdry; and a man in the habit of a philosopher was speechless, till an occasion offered of expressing himself in the refuse of the tiring rooms. We had a judge that danced a minuet, with a quaker for his partner, while half a dozen harlequins stood by as spectators: a Turk drank me off two bottles of wine, and a Jew eat me up half a ham of bacon. If I can bring my design to bear, and make the maskers preserve their characters in my assemblies, I hope you will allow there is a foundation laid for more elegant and improving gallantries than any the town at present affords, and consequently that you will give your approbation
to the endeavours of,
"Your most obedient humble servant.
'I observed that Mr. Powell and the undertakers of the opera had both the same thought, and I think much about the same time, of introducing animals on their several stages, though indeed with very different success. finches at the Haymarket fly as yet very The sparrows and chafirregularly over the stage; and instead of perching on the trees, and performing their galleries, or put out the candles; whereas parts, these young actors either get into the Mr. Powell has so well disciplined his pig, that in the first scene he and Punch dance a minuet together. I am informed, however, that Mr. Powell resolves to excel his adversaries in their own way; and introduce larks in his next opera of Susannah, or Innocence Betrayed, which will be exhibited next week, with a pair of new Elders.
"The moral of Mr. Powell's drama is violated, I confess, by Punch's national reflections on the French, and King Harry's laying his leg upon the Queen's lap, in too ludicrous a manner, before so great an assembly.
I am very glad the following epistle obliges me to mention Mr. Powell a second As to the mechanism and scenery, every time in the same paper; for indeed there thing, indeed, was uniform, and of a piece, cannot be too great encouragement given to and the scenes were managed very dexterhis skill in motions, provided he is under ously; which calls on me to take notice, proper restrictions. that at the Haymarket, the undertakers forgetting to change the side-scenes, we were presented with a prospect of the ocean in the midst of a delightful grove; and
THE opera at the Haymarket, and that under the little Piazza in Covent garden,
though the gentlemen on the stage had choice, one of the young lovers very luckily very much contributed to the beauty of the bethought himself of adding a supernume grove, by walking up and down between rary lace to his liveries, which had so good the trees, I must own I was not a little an effect, that he married her the very astonished to see a well-dressed young fel- week after. low, in a full-bottomed wig, appear in the midst of the sea, and without any visible concern taking snuff.
"I shall only observe one thing further, in which both dramas agree; which is, that by the squeak of their voices the heroes of each are eunuchs; and as the wit in both pieces is equal, I must prefer the perform-is ance of Mr. Powell, because it is in our own language.
'I am, &c.'
No. 15.] Saturday, March, 17, 1710-11.
Ovid, Ars Am. i. 159.
The usual conversation of ordinary women very much cherishes this natural weakness of being taken with outside and appearance. Talk of a new-married couple, and you immediately hear whether they keep their coach and six, or eat in plate. Mention the name of an absent lady, and it ten to one but you learn something of her gown and petticoat. A ball is a great help to discourse, and a birth-day furnishes conversation for a twelvemonth after. A furbelow of precious stones, a hat buttoned with a diamond, a brocade waistcoat or petticoat, are standing topics. In short, they consider only the drapery of the species, and never cast away a thought on those ornaments of the mind that make persons illustrious in themselves, and useful to WHEN I was in France, I used to gaze others. When women are thus perpetually with great astonishment at the splendid dazzling one another's imaginations, and equipages, and party-coloured habits, of filling their heads with nothing but colours, that fantastic nation. I was one day in par- it is no wonder that they are more attentive ticular contemplating a lady that sat in a to the superficial parts of life, than the solid coach adorned with gilded Cupids, and and substantial blessings of it. A girl, who finely painted with the loves of Venus and has been trained up in this kind of converAdonis. The coach was drawn by six milk-sation, is in danger of every embroidered white horses, and loaded behind with the same number of powdered footmen. Just before the lady were a couple of beautiful pages, that were stuck among the harness, and by their gay dresses and smiling features, looked like the elder brothers of the little boys that were carved and painted in every corner of the coach.
coat that comes in her way. A pair of fringed gloves may be her ruin. In a word, lace and ribands, silver and gold galloons, with the like glittering gewgaws, are so many lures to women of weak minds and low educations, and when artificially displayed, are able to fetch down the most airy coquette from the wildest of her flights and rambles.
The lady was the unfortunate Cleanthe, who afterwards gave an occasion to a pretty True happiness is of a retired nature, and melancholy novel. She had, for several an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in years, received the addresses of a gentle- the first place from the enjoyment of one's man, whom, after a long and intimate ac- self; and in the next, from the friendship quaintance, she forsook, upon the account and conversation of a few select compaof this shining equipage, which had been nions; it loves shade and solitude, and naoffered to her by one of great riches, but a turally haunts groves and fountains, fields crazy constitution. The circumstances in and meadows: in short, it feels every thing which I saw her, were, it seems, the dis-it wants within itself, and receives no addiguises only of a broken heart, and a kind of tion from multitudes of witnesses and specpageantry to cover distress, for in two tators. On the contrary, false happiness months after, she was carried to her grave with the same pomp and magnificence, being sent thither partly by the loss of one lover, and partly by the possession of an
I have often reflected with myself on this unaccountable humour in womankind, of being smitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and on the numberless evils that befal the sex, from this light fantastical disposition. I myself remember a young lady that was very warmly solicited by a couple of importunate rivals, who for several months together, did all they could to recommend themselves, by complacency of behaviour, and agreeableness of conversation. At length when the competition was doubtful, and the lady undetermined in her
loves to be in a crowd, and to draw the eyes of the world upon her. She does not receive any satisfaction from the applauses which she gives herself; but from the admiration which she raises in others. She flourishes in courts and palaces, theatres and assemblies, and has no existence but when she is looked upon.
Aurelia, though a woman of great quality, delights in the privacy of a country life, and passes away a great part of her time in her own walks and gardens. Her husband, who is her bosom friend and companion in her solitudes, has been in love with her ever since he knew her. They both abound with good sense, consummate virtue, and a mutual esteem; and are a perpetual entertainment to one another. Their family is under
so regular an economy, in its hours of de- I HAVE received a letter desiring me to votion and repast, employment and diver- be very satirical upon the little muff that sion, that it looks like a little commonwealth is now in fashion; another informs me of a within itself. They often go into company, pair of silver garters buckled below the that they may return with the greater de- knee, that have been lately seen at the light to one another; and sometimes live in Rainbow coffee-house in Fleet-street; a town, not to enjoy it so properly, as to grow third sends me a heavy complaint against weary of it, that they may renew in them-fringed gloves. To be brief, there is scarce selves the relish of a country life. By this an ornament of either sex which one or means they are happy in each other, be- other of my correspondents has not inloved by their children, adored by their veighed against with some bitterness, and servants, and are become the envy, or recommended to my observation. I must, rather the delight of all that know them. How different to this is the life of Fulvia! She considers her husband as her steward, and looks upon discretion and good housewifery as little domestic virtues, unbecoming a woman of quality. She thinks life lost in her own family, and fancies herself out of the world, when she is not in the ring, the playhouse, or the drawing-room. She lives in a perpetual motion of body, and restlessness of thought, and is never easy in any one place, when she thinks there is more company in another. The missing of an opera the first night, would be more afflicting to her than the death of a child. She pities all the valuable part of her own sex, and calis every woman of a prudent, modest, and retired life, a poor-spirited, unpolished creature. What a mortification would it to be to Fulvia, if she knew that her setting herself to view is but exposing herself, and that she grows contemptible by being conspicuous?
therefore, once for all, inform my readers, that it is not my intention to sink the dignity of this my paper, with reflections upon red heels or top-knots, but rather to enter into the passions of mankind, and to correct those depraved sentiments that give birth to all those little extravagancies which appear in their outward dress and behaviour. Foppish and fantastic ornaments are only indications of vice, not criminal in themselves. Extinguish vanity in the mind, and you naturally retrench the little superfluities of garniture and equipage. The blossoms will fall of themselves when the root that nourishes them is destroyed.
I shall, therefore, as I have said, apply my remedies to the first seeds and principles of an affected dress, without descending to the dress itself; though at the same time I must own that I have thought of creating an officer under me, to be entitled, The Censor of small Wares,' and of allotting him one day in the week for the I cannot conclude my paper without ob- execution of such his office. An operator serving, that Virgil has very finely touched of this nature might act under me, with the upon this female passion for dress and same regard as a surgeon to a physician; show, in the character of Camilla; who, the one might be employed in healing those though she seems to have shaken off all blotches and tumours which break out in the other weaknesses of her sex, is still de- the body, while the other is sweetening the scribed as a woman in this particular. The blood, and rectifying the constitution. To poet tells us that after having made a great speak truly, the young people of both sexes slaughter of the enemy, she unfortunately are so wonderfully apt to shoot out into long cast her eye on a Trojan who wore an em- swords or sweeping trains, bushy headbroidered tunic, a beautiful coat. of mail, dresses or full-bottomed periwigs; with with a mantle of the finest purple. A several other incumbrances of dress, that golden bow,' says he, hung upon his shoul- they stand in need of being pruned very der; his garment was buckled with a golden frequently, lest they should be oppressed clasp, and his head covered with a helmet with ornaments, and over-run with the luxof the same shining metal.' The Amazon uriance of their habits. I am much in immediately singled out this well-dressed doubt whether I should give the preferwarrior, being seized with a woman's long- ence to a quaker that is trimmed close, and ing for the pretty trappings that he was almost cut to the quick, or to a beau that is adorned with: loaden with such a redundance of excrescences. I must therefore desire my correspondents to let me know how they approve my project, and whether they think the erecting of such a petty censorship may not turn to the emolument of the public, for I would not do any thing of this nature rashly and without advice.
-Totumque incauta per agmen Famineo prædæ et spoliorum ardebat amore. En. xi. 782.
This heedless pursuit after these glittering trifles, the poet (by a nice concealed moral) represents to have been the destruction of his female hero.
No. 16.] Monday, March 19, 1710-11.
Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. i. 11. What right, what true, what fit we justly call, Let this be all my care-for this is all." Pope.
There is another set of correspondents to whom I must address myself in the second place; I mean such as fill their letters with Private scandal, and black accounts of particular persons and families. The world is so full of ill nature, that I have lampoons sent me by people who cannot spell, and
has heard of any uncommon virtue which he would desire to publish; in short, if he has any materials that can furnish out an innocent diversion, I shall promise him my best assistance in the working of them up for a public entertainment.
To the Spectator.
satires composed by those who scarce know | prising story which he does not know how how to write. By the last post in particu- to tell, if he has discovered any epidemical lar, I received a packet of scandal which vice which has escaped my observation, or is not legible; and have a whole bundle of letters in women's hands, that are full of blots and calumnies, insomuch, that when I see the name Calia, Phillis, Pastora, or the like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I conclude of course, that it brings me some account of a fallen virgin, a faithless wife, or This paper my reader will find was inan amorous widow. I must therefore in- tended for an answer to a multitude of corform these my correspondents, that it is respondents; but I hope he will pardon me not my design to be a publisher of intrigues if I single out one of them in particular, and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous who has made me so very humble a request, stories out of their present lurking-holes that I cannot forbear complying with it. into broad day-light. If I attack the vicious, I shall only set upon them in a body; and will not be provoked by the worst usage I can receive from others, to make an example of any particular criminal. In short I have so much of a drawcansir in me, that I shall pass over a single foe to charge whole armies. It is not Lais nor Silenus, but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I shall endeavour to expose; and shall consider the crime as it appears in the species, not as it is circumstanced in an individual. I think it was Caligula, who wished the whole city of Rome had but one neck, that he might behead them at a blow, I shall do, out of humanity, what that emperor would have done in the cruelty of his temper, and aim every stroke at a collective body of offenders. At the same time I am and genius. ery sensible that nothing spreads a paper like private calumny and defamation; but as my speculations are not under this necessity, they are not exposed to this temptation.
In the next place I must apply myself to
SIR, March 15, 1710-11. 'I am at present so unfortunate as to have nothing to do but to mind my own business; and therefore beg of you that you will be pleased to put me into some small post under you. I observe that you have appointed your printer and publisher to receive letters and advertisements for the city of London, and shall think myself very much honoured by you, if you will appoint me to take in letters and advertisements for the city of Westminster and duchy of Lancaster. Though I cannot promise to fill such an employment with sufficient abilities, I will endeavour to make up with industry and fidelity what I want in parts
'I am, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
my party correspondents, who are continu-No. 17.] Tuesday, March 20, 1710-11.
-Tetrum ante omnia vultum.
Juv. Sat. x. 191.
ally teasing me to take notice of one another's proceedings. How often am I asked by both sides, if it is possible for me to be an unconcerned spectator of the rogueries that are committed by the party which is opposite to him that writes the letter. SINCE Our persons are not of our own About two days since, I was reproached making, when they are such as appear dewith an old Grecian law, that forbids any fective or uncomely, it is, methinks, an man to stand as a neuter, or a looker-on in honest and laudable fortitude to dare to be the divisions of his country. However, as ugly; at least to keep ourselves from being I am very sensible my paper would lose abashed with a consciousness of imperfec its whole effect, should it run out into the tions which we cannot help, and in which outrages of a party, I shall take care to there is no guilt. I would not defend a keep clear of every thing which looks that haggard beau, for passing away much time way. If I can any way assuage private in- at a glass, and giving softness and languishflammations, or allay public ferments, I ing graces to deformity: all I intend is, that shall apply myself to it with my utmost we ought to be contented with our counteendeavours: but will never let my heart nance and shape, so far as never to give reproach me with having done any thing ourselves an uneasy reflection on that subtowards increasing those feuds and animosi-ject. It is to the ordinary people, who are ties that extinguish religion, deface government, and make a nation miserable.
What I have said under the three foregoing heads will, I am afraid, very much retrench the number of my correspondents. I shall therefore acquaint my reader, that if he has started any hint which he is not able to pursue, if he has met with any sur
not accustomed to make very proper remarks on any occasion, matter of great jest, if a man enters with a prominent pair of shoulders into an assembly, or is distinguished by an expansion of mouth, or obliquity of aspect. It is happy for a man that has any of those oddnesses about him, if he can be as merry upon himself, as
others are apt to be upon that occasion. | There have arose in this university (long When he can possess himself with such a since you left us without saying any thing) cheerfulness, women and children, who are several of these inferior hebdomadal socie`at first frighted at him, will afterwards be ties, as the Punning club, the Witty club, as much pleased with him. As it is barba- and, amongst the rest, the Handsome club; rous in others to rally him for natural de- as a burlesque upon which, a certain merry fects, it is extremely agreeable when he species, that seem to have come into the can jest upon himself for them. world in masquerade, for some years last past have associated themselves together, and assumed the name of the Ugly club. This ill-favoured fraternity consists of a president and twelve fellows; the choice of which is not confined by patent to any particular foundation, (as St. John's men would have the world believe, and have therefore erected a separate society within themselves,) but liberty is left to elect from any school in Great Britain, provided the candidates be within the rules of the club, as set forth in a table, entitled, The Act of Deformity;' a clause or two of which I shall transmit to you.
Madam Maintenon's first husband* was a hero in this kind, and has drawn many pleasantries from the irregularity of his shape, which he describes as very much resembling the letter Z. He diverts himself likewise by representing to his reader the make of an engine and pully, with which he used to take off his hat. When there happens to be any thing ridiculous in a visage, and the owner of it thinks it an aspect of dignity, he must be of very great quality to be exempt from raillery. The best expedient therefore is to be pleasant upon himself. Prince Harry and Falstaff, in Shakspeare, have carried the ridicule upon fat and lean as far as it will go. Falstaff is humourously called woolsack, bedpresser and hill of flesh; Harry, a starveling, an elves-skin, a sheath, a bow-case, and a tuck. There is, in several incidents of the conversation between them, the jest still kept up upon the person. Great tenderness and sensibility in this point is one of the greatest weaknesses of self-love. For my own part, I am a little unhappy in the mould of my face, which is not quite so long as it is broad. Whether this might not partly arise from my opening my mouth much seldomer than other people, and by consequence not so much lengthening the fibres of my visage, I am not at leisure to determine. However it be, I have been often put out of countenance by the shortness of my face, and was formerly at great pains of concealing it by wearing a periwig with a high fore-top, and letting my beard grow. But now I have thoroughly got over this delicacy, and could be contented with a much shorter, provided it might qualify me for a member of the merry club, which the following letter gives me an account of. I have received it from Oxford, and as it abounds with the spirit of mirth and good humour, which is natural to that place, I shall set it down word for word as it came to me.
"MOST PROFOUND SIR,
I. That no person whatsoever shall be admitted without a visible queerity in his aspect, or peculiar cast of countenance; of which the president and officers for the time being are to determine, and the president to have the casting voice.
II. That a singular regard be had upon examination, to the gibbosity of the gentlemen that offer themselves as founders' kinsmen; or to the obliquity of their figure, in what sort soever.
III. That if the quantity of any man's nose be eminently miscalculated, whether as to the length or breadth, he shall have a just pretence to be elected.
Lastly, That if there shall be two or more competitors for the same vacancy, cæteris paribus, he that has the thickest skin to have the preference.
Every fresh member, upon the first night, is to entertain the company with a dish of codfish, and a speech in praise of
sop, whose portraiture they have in full proportion, or rather disproportion, over the chimney; and their design is, as soon as their funds are sufficient, to purchase the heads of Thersites, Duns Scotus, Scarron, Hudibras, and the old gentleman in Oldham, with all the celebrated ill faces of antiquity, as furniture for the club-room.
'As they have always been professed admirers of the other sex, so they unanimously declare that they will give all possible encouragement to such as will take the benefit of the statute, though none yet have appeared to do it.
Having been very well entertained, in the last of your speculations that I have yet seen, by your specimen upon clubs, The worthy president who is their which I therefore hope you will continue, I most devoted champion, has lately shown shall take the liberty to furnish you with a me two copies of verses, composed by a brief account of such a one as, perhaps, you gentleman of this society; the first a conhave not seen in all your travels, unless gratulatory ode, inscribed to Mrs. Touchit was your fortune to touch upon some of wood, upon the loss of her two fore-teeth; the woody parts of the African continent, the other a panegyric upon Mrs. Andiin your voyage to or from Grand Cairo. ron's left shoulder. Mrs. Vizard, (he says) since the small-pox, is grown tolerably ugly, and a top toast in the club; but I never heard him so lavish of his fine things,
The celebrated Paul Scarron, author of the Roman Comique.