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But notwithstanding we have the same tale told us in so many different papers, and if occasion requires, in so many articles of the same paper; notwithstanding, in a scarcity of foreign posts, we hear the same story repeated by different advices from París, Brussels, the Hague, and from every great town in Europe; notwithstanding the multitude of annotations, explanations, reflections, and various readings which it passes through, our time lies heavy on our hands till the arrival of a fresh mail: we long to receive farther particulars, to hear what will be the next step, or what will be' the consequences of that which we have already taken. A westerly wind keeps the whole town in suspense, and puts a stop to conversation.
This pleasure is either an agreeable sensa- | of cooking it is so very different, that there on we are affected with, when we meet is no citizen, who has an eye to the public ith a witty thought which is well ex- good, that can leave the coffee-house with ressed, or it is a joy which we conceive a peace of mind, before he has given every om the dishonour of the person who is one of them a reading. These several dishes efamed. I will say nothing to the first of of news are so very agreeable to the palate hese cases; for perhaps some would think of my countrymen, that they are not only at my morality is not severe enough, if pleased with them when they are served should affirm that a man is not master of up hot, but when they are again set cold hose agreeable sensations, any more than before them, by those penetrating politithose occasioned by sugar or honey, cians who oblige the public with their rehen they touch his tongue; but as to the flections and observations upon every piece cond, every one will own that pleasure to of intelligence that is sent us from abroad, e a heinous sin. The pleasure in the first This text is given us by one set of writers, se is of no continuance; it prevents our and the comment by another. ason and reflection, and may be immeately followed by a secret grief, to see ur neighbour's honour blasted. If it does ot cease immediately, it is a sign that we e not displeased with the ill nature of the tirist, but are glad to see him defame his emy by all kinds of stories; and then e deserve the punishment to which the riter of the libel is subject. I shall here ld the words of a modern author. St. regory, upon excommunicating those riters who had dishonoured Castorius, es not except those who read their orks; because, says he, if calumnies have ways been the delight of their hearers, d a gratification of those persons who ave no other advantage over honest men, not he who takes pleasure in reading em as guilty as he who composed them? This general curiosity has been raised is an uncontested maxim, that they who and inflamed by our late wars, and if rightly prove an action, would certainly do it if directed, might be of good use to a person ey could; that is, if some reason of self- who has such a thirst awakened in him. we did not hinder them. There is no dif- Why should not a man, who takes delight ence, says Cicero, between advising a in reading every thing that is new, apime, and approving it when committed. ply himself to history, travels, and other he Roman law confirmed this maxim, writings of the same kind, where he will ving subjected the approvers and authors find perpetual fuel for his curiosity, and this evil to the same penalty. We may meet with much more pleasure and imerefore conclude, that those who are provement than in these papers of the eased with reading defamatory libels, so week? An honest tradesman, who lanas to approve the authors and dis-guishes a whole summer in expectation of rsers of them, are as guilty as if they a battle, and perhaps is baulked at last, d composed them; for, if they do not may here meet with half a dozen in a day. ite such libels themselves, it is because He may read the news of a whole campaign ey have not the talent of writing, or be- in less time than he now bestows upon the use they will run no hazard.' products of a single post. Fights, conquests, and revolutions, lie thick together. The reader's curiosity is raised and satisfied. every moment, and his passions disappointed or gratified, without being detained in a state of uncertainty from day to day, or lying at the mercy of the sea and wind; in short, the mind is not here kept in a perpetual gape after knowledge, nor punished with that eternal thirst, which is the portion of all our modern newsmongers and coffee-house politicians.
The author produces other authorities to afirm his judgment in this particular.
452.] Friday, August 8, 1712.
Est natura hominum novitatis avida.
Plin. apud Lilium.
Human nature is fond of novelty.
All matters of fact, which a man did not know before, are news to him; and I do not see how any haberdasher in Cheapside is more concerned in the present quarrel of the Cantons, than he was in that of the League. At least, I believe, every one will allow me, it is of more importance to an
Englishman to know the history of his ancestors, than that of his contemporaries who live upon the banks of the Danube or the Borysthenes. As for those who are of another mind, I shall recommend to them the following letter from a projector, who is willing to turn a penny by this remarkable curiosity of his countrymen.
'Letters from Brumpton advise, that the widow Blight had received several visits from John Mildew; which affords great matter of speculation in those parts
By a fisherman who lately touched at Hammersmith, there is advice from Putney, that a certain person well known in that place, is like to lose his election for we cannot give entire credit to it. churchwarden; but this being boat-news,
'Letters from Paddington bring little more than that William Squeak, the sw gelder, passed through that place the fifth instant.
"They advise from Fulham that things remained there in the same state they were. They had intelligence, just as the letters came away, of a tub of excellent ale just abroach at Parson's Green; but this wanted confirmation.
I have here, sir, given you a specimen of the news with which I intend to entertain the town, and which, when drawn up re gularly in the form of a newspaper, will, doubt not, be very acceptable to many of those public-spirited readers who take more delight in acquainting themselves with other people's business than their own. I hope a paper of this kind, which lets us know what is done near home, may be more useful to us than those which are filled with advices from Zug and Bender, and make some amends for that dearth of intelligence which we may justly apprehend from times of peace. If I find that you receive this prowith one or two more; and in the mean ject favourably, I will shortly trouble you time am, most worthy sir, with all due respect, your most obedient and humble servant.'
'MR. SPECTATOR,-You must have observed that men who frequent coffee-houses, and delight in news, are pleased with every thing that is matter of fact, so it be what they have not heard before. A victory or a defeat are equally agreeable to them. The shutting of a cardinal's mouth pleases them one post, and the opening of it another. They are glad to hear the French court is removed to Marli, and are after-set wards as much delighted with its return to Versailles. They read the advertisements with the same curiosity as the articles of public news; and are as pleased to hear of a pie-bald horse that is strayed out of a field near Islington, as of a whole troop that have been engaged in any foreign adventure. In short, they have a relish for every thing that is news, let the matter of it be what it will; or, to speak more properly, they are men of a voracious appetite, but no taste. Now, sir, since the great fountain of news, I mean the war, is very near being dried up; and since these gentlemen have contracted such an inextinguishable thirst after it, I have taken their case and my own into consideration, and have thought of a project which may turn to the advantage of us both. I have thoughts of publishing a daily paper, which shall comprehend in it all the most remarkable occurrences in every little town, village, and hamlet, that lie within ten miles of London, or, in other words, within the verge of the penny-post. I have pitched upon No. 453.] Saturday, August 9, 1712. this scene of intelligence for two reasons; first, because the carriage of letters will be very cheap; and, secondly, because I may receive them every day. By this means my readers will have their news fresh and fresh, and many worthy citizens, who cannot sleep with any satisfaction at present, for want of being informed how the world goes, may go to bed contentedly, it being my design to put out my paper every night at nine o'clock precisely. I have already established correspondences in these several places, and received very good intelli
By my last advices from Knightsbridge, I hear that a horse was clapped into the pound on the third instant, and that he
was not released when the letters came away.
We are informed from Pankridge,* that a dozen weddings were lately celebrated in the mother-church of that place, but are referred to their next letters for the names of the parties concerned.
St. Pancras, then a fashionable place for weddings.
Non usitata nec tenui ferar
Hor. Od. xx. Lib. 21.
the mind than gratitude. It is accompa
If gratitude is due from man to man, how much more from man to his Maker! The Supreme Being does not only confer up us those bounties, which proceed more im mediately from his hand, but even those
us by others Every blessing we enjoy, by what means Isoever it may be derived upon us, is the
ft of Him who is the great Author of good, d Father of mercies.
If gratitude, when exerted towards one other, naturally produces a very pleasing nsation in the mind of a grateful man, it calts the soul into rapture, when it is emoyed on this great object of gratitude, on is beneficent Being, who has given us every ing we already possess, and from whom expect every thing we yet hope for. Most of the works of the pagan poets ere either direct hymns to their deities, tended indirectly to the celebration of eir respective attributes and perfections. hose who are acquainted with the works the Greek and Latin poets which are Ill extant, will, upon reflection, find this servation so true that I shall not enlarge on it. One would wonder that more of r Christian poets have not turned their oughts this way, especially if we consider at our idea of the Supreme Being is not ly infinitely more great and noble than hat could possibly enter into the heart of meathen, but filled with every thing that n raise the imagination, and give an oprtunity for the sublimest thoughts and nceptions.
Plutarch tells us of a heathen who was ging a hymn to Diana, in which he celeated her for her delight in human sacries, and other instances of cruelty and venge; upon which, a poet who was prent at this piece of devotion, and seems to ve had a truer idea of the divine nature, d the votary, by way of reproof, that, recompense for his hymn, he heartily shed he might have a daughter of the me temper with the goddess he celeated. It was impossible to write the aises of one of those false deities, accordg to the pagan creed, without a mixture impertinence and absurdity.
The Jews, who before the time of Chrisnity were the only people who had the Lowledge of the true God, have set the aristian world an example how they ght to employ this divine talent of which am speaking. As that nation produced en of great genius, without considering em as inspired writers, they have transtted to us many hymns and divine odes, ich excel those that are delivered down
us by the ancient Greeks and Romans, No. 454.] Monday, August, 11, 1712. the poetry, as much as in the subject to ich it was consecrated. This I think ght easily be shown if there were occan for it. F
Sine me, vacivum tempus ne quod dem mihi Laboris. Ter. Heaut. Act. i. Sc. i. Give me leave to allow myself no respite from labour. It is an inexpressible pleasure to know a little of the world, and be of no character or significancy in it.
I have already communicated to the pubsome pieces of divine poetry; and, as ey have met with a very favourable reption, I shall from time to time publish To be ever unconcerned, and ever looky work of the same nature, which has ing on new objects with an endless curiEyet appeared in print, and may be ac-osity, is a delight known only to those who ptable to my readers.
are turned for speculation: nay, they who enjoy it, must value things only as they are the objects of speculation, without drawing any worldly advantage to themselves from them, but just as they are what contribute
versation at their own houses.
to their amusement, or the improvement | lieve any place more entertaining than Coof the mind. I lay one night last week at vent-garden; where I strolled from one Richmond; and being restless, not out, of fruit-shop to another, with crowds of agreedissatisfaction, but a certain busy inclina- able young women around me, who were tion one sometimes has, I rose at four in purchasing fruit for their respective fami the morning, and took beat for London, lies. It was almost eight of the clock be with a resolution to rove by boat and coach fore I could leave that variety of objects I for the next four-and-twenty hours, till the took coach and followed a young lady, many different objects I must needs meet who tripped into another just before me, with should tire my imagination, and give attended by her maid. I saw immediately me an inclination to a repose more profound she was of the family of the Vain-loves than I was at that time capable of. I beg There are a set of these, who of all things, people's pardon for an odd humour I am effect the play of Blindman's-buff, and guilty of, and was often that day, which is leading men into love for they know not saluting any person whom I like, whether whom, who are fled they know not where. I know him or not. This is a particularity This sort of woman is usually a janty slat would be tolerated in me, if they considered tern; she hangs on her clothes, plays her that the greatest pleasure I know I receive head, varies her posture, and changes at my eyes, and that I am obliged to an place incessantly, and all with an appear agreeable person for coming a broad into ance of striving at the same time to hide my view, as another is for a visit of con- herself, and yet give you to understand she is in humour to laugh at you. You must have often seen the coachmen make signs with their fingers, as they drive by each other, to intimate how much they have got that day. They can carry on that language to give intelligence where they are driving In an instant my coachman took the wink to pursue; and the lady's driver hint that he was going through Long-acre towards St. James's: while he whipped up James-street, we drove for King-street, to save the pass at St. Martin's-lane. The coachman took care to meet, jostle, and threaten each other for way, and be entan gled at the end of Newport-street and Long-acre. The fright, you must believe, brought down the lady's coach door, and obliged her, with her mask off, to inquire into the bustle,-when she sees the man she would avoid. The tackle of the coachwindow is so bad she cannot draw it up again, and she drives on sometimes wholly discovered and sometimes half escaped, according to the accident of carriages her way. One of these ladies keeps her seat in a hackney-coach, as well as the best rider does on a managed horse. The laced shoe on her left foot, with a careless ges ture just appearing on the opposite cushion, held her both firm, and in proper attitude to receive the next jolt.
The hours of the day and night are taken up in the cities of London and Westminster, by people as different from each other as those who are born in different centuries. Men of six o'clock give way to those of nine, they of nine, to the generation of twelve; and they of twelve disappear, and make room for the fashionable world, who have made two o'clock the noon of the day.
When we first put off from shore, we soon fell in with a fleet of gardeners, bound for the several market-ports of London; and it was the most pleasing scene imaginable to see the cheerfulness with which those industrious people plyed their way to a certain sale of their goods. The banks on each side are as well peopled, and beau- | tified with as agreeable plantations as any spot on the earth; but the Thames itself, loaded with the product of each shore, added very much to the landscape. It was very easy to observe by their sailing, and the countenances of the ruddy virgins, who were supercargoes, the part of the town to which they were bound. Their was an air in the purveyors for Covent-garden, who frequently converse with morning rakes, very unlike the seeming sobriety of those
bound for Stocks-market.
Nothing remarkable happened in our voyage; but I landed with ten sail of apricot boats, at Strand-bridge, after having put in at Nine-Elms, and taken in melons, consigned by Mr. Cuffee, of that place, to Sarah Sewell and company, at their stall in Covent-garden. We arrived at Strand-bridge at six of the clock, and were unloading, when the hackney-coachmen of the foregoing night took their leave of each other at the Dark-House, to go to bed before the day was too far spent. Chimney-sweepers passed by us as we made up to the market, and some raillery happened between one of the fruit-wenches and those black men, about the Devil and Eve, with allusion to their several professions. I could not be
As she was an excellent coach-woman, many were the glances at each other which we had for an hour and a half, in all parts of the town, by the skill of our drivers; at last my lady was conveniently lost, with notice from her coachman to ours to make off, and he should hear where she went This chase was now at an end; and the fellow who drove her came to us, and dis covered that he was ordered to come again in an hour, for that she was a Silk-worm I was surprised with this phrase, but found it was a cant among the hackney fraternity for their best customers, women who ram ble twice or thrice a week from shop to shop, to turn over all the goods in tom without buying any thing. The silk-worm
e, it seems, indulged by the tradesmen; | wiser thoughts, I had liked to have lost my , though they never buy, they are ever place at the chop-house, where every man, king of new silks, laces and ribands, and according to the natural bashfulness or ve the owners in getting them customers sullenness of our nation, eats in a public their common dunners do in making room a mess of broth, or chop of meat, in dumb silence, as if they had no pretence to speak to each other on the foot of being men, except they were of each other's acquaintance.
The day of people of fashion began now break, and carts and hacks were mined with equipages of show and vanity; men I resolved to walk it, out of cheapss; but my unhappy curiosity is such, at I find it always my interest to take ach; for some odd adventure among begrs, ballad singers, or the like, detains d throws me into expense. It happened immediately; for at the corner of Warck-street, as I was listening to a new llad, a ragged rascal, a beggar who knew , came up to me, and began to turn the es of the good company upon me, by tellme he was extremely poor, and should in the street for want of drink, except immediately would have the charity to e him sixpence go into the next ale-house d save his life. He urged with a melanoly face, that all his family had died of rst. All the mob have humour, and two three began to take the jest; by which r. Sturdy carried his point, and let me eak off to a coach. As I drove along, it as a pleasing reflection to see the world prettily checkered since I left Richmond, d the scene still filling with children of a w hour. This satisfaction increased as noved towards the city; and gay signs, ll-disposed streets, magnificent public uctures, and wealthy shops, adorned th contented faces, made the joy still ing till we came into the centre of the y, and centre of the world of trade, the change of London. As other men in the owds about me were pleased with their pes and bargains, I found my account in serving them, in attention to their seveinterests. I indeed, looked upon myf as the richest man that walked the Exange that day; for my benevolence made share the gains of every bargain that s made. It was not the least of my satistion in my survey, to go up stairs, and ss the shops of agreeable females; to obve so many pretty hands busy in the ding of ribands, and the utmost eagerness
I went afterwards to Robin's, and saw people who had dined with me at the fivepenny ordinary just before, give bills for the value of large estates; and could not but behold with great pleasure, property lodged in, and transferred in a moment from, such as would never be masters of half as much as is seemingly in them, and given from them, every day they live. But before five in the afternoon I left the city, came to my common scene of Covent-garden, and passed the evening at Will's, in attending the discourses of several sets of people, who relieved each other, within my hearing, on the subjects of cards, dice, love, learning, and politics. The last subject kept me till I heard the streets in the possession of the bell-man, who had now the world to himself, and cried Past two o'clock.' This roused me from my seat; and I went to my lodgings, led by a light, whom I put into the discourse of his private economy, and made him give me an account of the charge, hazard, profit, and loss of a family that depended upon a link, with a design to end my trivial day with the generosity of sixpence, instead of a third part of that sum. When I came to my chambers, I writ down these minutes: but was at a loss what instruction I should propose to my reader from the enumeration of so many insignificant matters and occurrences: and I thought it of great use, if they could learn with me to keep their minds open to gratification, and ready to receive it from any thing it meets with. This one circumstance will make every face you see give you the satisfaction you now take in beholding that of a friend; will make every object a pleasing one; will make all the good which arrives to any man, an increase of happiness to yourself.
-Ego apis matin
Grata carpentis thyma per laborem Plurimum
Hor. Od. ii. Lib. 4. 27
agreeable faces in the sale of patches, No. 455.] Tuesday, August 12, 1712.
-My timorous muse
For little drops of honey fly,
THE following letters have in them reflections which will seem of importance both to the learned world and to domestic