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of the fair-sex, to delight in that sort of conver- their dishabille, with any manner of confidence, sation which we find in coffee-houses. Here a they give place to men who have business or man of my temper is in his element; for if he good sense in their faces, and come to the cofcannot talk, he can still be more agreeable to fee-house either to transact affairs, or enjoy his company, as well as pleased in himself, in conversation. The persons to whose behaviour being only an hearer. It is a secret known but and discourse I have most regard, are such as to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, are between these two sorts of men; such as that when you fall into a man's conversation, have not spirits too active to be happy and well the first thing you should consider is, whether pleased in a private condition, nor complexhe has a greater inclination to hear you, or that ions too warm to make them neglect the duties you should hear him. The latter is the more and relations of life. Of these sort of men con general desire, and I know very able flatterers sist the worthier part of mankind; of these are that never speak a word in praise of the persons all good fathers, generous brothers, sincere from whom they obtain daily favours, but still friends, and faithful subjects. Their entertain practise a skilful attention to whatever is utter-ments are derived rather from reason than imed by those with whom they converse. We agination; which is the cause that there is no are very curious to observe the behaviour of impatience or instability in their speech or acgreat men and their clients; but the same pas-tion. You see in their countenances they are sions and interests move men in lower spheres; at home, and in quiet possession of the preand I (that have nothing else to do but to make sent instant as it passes, without desiring to observations) see in every parish, street, lane, quicken it by gratifying any passion, or proand alley of this populous city, a little poten-secuting any new design. These are the men tate that has his court and his flatterers, who formed for society, and those little commulay snares for his affection and favour, by the nities which we express by the word neighboursame arts that are practised upon men in high-bood. er stations.
The coffee-house is the place of rendezvous
In the place I most usually frequent, men dif- to all that live near it, who are thus turned to fer rather in the time of day in which they make relish calm and ordinary life. Eubulus prea figure, than in any real greatness above one sides over the middle hours of the day, when another. I, who am at the coffee-house at six this assembly of men meet together. He enin the morning, know that my friend Beaver, joys a great fortune handsomely, without the haberdasher, has a levee of more undissem-launching into expense; and exerts many noble bled friends and admirers, than most of the and useful qualities, without appearing in any courtiers or generals of Great Britain. Every public employment. His wisdom and knowman about him has, perhaps, a newspaper in his ledge are serviceable to all that think fit to hand; but none can pretend to guess what step make use of them; and he does the office of a will be taken in any one court of Europe, till counsel, a judge, an executor, and a friend to Mr. Beaver has thrown down his pipe, and de- all his acquaintance, not only without the profits clares what measures the allies must enter into which attend such offices, but also without the upon this new posture of affairs. Our coffee- deference and homage which are usually paid house is near one of the inns ofcourt, and Beaver to them. The giving of thanks is displeasing has the audience and admiration of his neigh- to him. The greatest gratitude you can show bours from six till within a quarter of eight, at him, is to let him see you are a better man for which time he is interrupted by the students of his services; and that you are as ready to oblige the house; some of whom are ready dressed others, as he is to oblige you. for Westminster at eight in the morning, with In the private exigencies of his friends, he faces as busy as if they were retained in every lends at legal value considerable sums which cause there; and others come in their night- he might highly increase by rolling in the gowns to saunter away their time, as if they public stocks. He does not consider in whose never designed to go thither. I do not know hands his money will improve most, but where that I meet in any of my walks, objects which it will do most good. move both my spleen and laughter so effectual- Eubulus has so great an authority in his ly, as those young fellows at the Grecian, little diurnal audience, that when he shakes Squire's, Searle's, and all other coffee-houses his head at any piece of public news, they all adjacent to the law, who rise early for no other of them appear dejected; and on the contrary, purpose but to publish their laziness. One go home to their dinners with a good stomach would think these young virtuoso take a gay and cheerful aspect when Eubulus seems to cap and slippers, with a scarf and party-colour-intimate that things go well. Nay, their veneed gown, to be ensigns of dignity; for the vain ration towards him is so great, that when they things approach each other with an air, which are in other company they speak and act after shows they regard one another for their vest-him; are wise in his sentences, and are no ments. I have observed that the superiority sooner sat down at their own tables, but they among these proceeds from an opinion of gal-hope or fear, rejoice or despond, as they saw lantry and fashion. The gentleman in the him do at the coffee-house. In a word, every strawberry sash, who presides so much over man is Eubulus as soon as his back is turned. the rest, has, it seems, subscribed to every ope- Having here given an account of the several ra this last winter, and is supposed to receive reigns that succeed each other from day-break favours from one of the actresses. till dinner-time, I shall mention the monarch When the day grows too busy for these gen-of the afternoon on another occasion, and tlemen to enjoy any longer the pleasures of shut up the whole series of them with the his
tory of Tom the Tyrant;* who, as the first the outside of it, which is now as smooth as minister of the coffee-house, takes the govern- the surface of a pebble; and is in several ment upon him between the hours of eleven places hewn out into pillars that stand like the and twelve at night, and gives his orders in the most arbitrary manner to the servants below him, as to the disposition of liquors, coals, and cinders.
No. 50.] Friday, April 27, 1711.
Nunquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia dixit.
trunks of so many trees bound about the top with garlands of leaves. It is probable that when this great work was begun, which must have been many hundred years ago, there was some religion among this people; for they give it the name of a temple, and have a tradition that it was designed for men to pay their devotions in. And indeed there are several reasons which make us think that the natives of this country had formerly among them some sort of worship; for they set apart every WHEN the four Indian kings were in this seventh day as sacred: but upon my going into one of these holy houses on that day, I country, about a twelvemonth ago, I often mixed with the rabble, and followed them ation in their behaviour. There was indeed a could not observe any circumstance of devowhole day together, being wonderfully struck with the sight of every thing that is new or uncommon. I have, since their departure, employed a friend to make many inquiries of their landlord the upholsterer, relating to their
and seemed to utter something with a great man in black, who was mounted above the rest, deal of vehemence; but as for those underthe deity of the place, they were most of them neath him, instead of paying their worship to bowing and curtsying to one another, and a considerable number of them fast asleep.
manners and conversation, as also concerning the remarks which they made in this country: for, next to the forming a right notion of The queen of the country appointed two such strangers, I should be desirous of learnmen to attend us, that had enough of our laning what ideas they have conceived of us. The upholsterer finding my friend very in-guage to make themselves understood in some quisitive about these his lodgers, brought him few particulars. But we soon perceived these some time since a little bundle of papers, which did not always agree in the same story. We two were great enemies to one another, and he assured him were written by king Sa Ga could make shift to gather out of one of them, Yean Qua Rash Tow, and as he supposes, left that this island was very much infested with behind by some mistake. These papers are a monstrous kind of animals, in the shape now translated, and contain abundance of very odd observations, which I find this little of men, called whigs; and he often told us, fraternity of kings made during their stay in them in our way, for that if we did, they that he hoped we should meet with none of the isle of Great Britain. I shall present my would be apt to knock us down for being reader with a short specimen of them in this kings. paper, and may perhaps communicate more to him hereafter. In the article of London are the following words, which without doubt are
meant of the church of St. Paul:
much of a kind of animal called a tory, that Our other interpreter used to talk very was as great a monster as the whig, and would treat us as ill for being foreigners. These two creatures, it seems, are born with a secret antipathy to one another, and engage when they meet as naturally as the elephant and the rhinoceros. But as we saw none of either of these species, we are apt to think that tions and fictions, and amused us with an acour guides deceived us with misrepresentacount of such monsters as are not really in their country.
'On the most rising part of the town there stands a huge house, big enough to contain the whole nation of which I am king. Our good brother E Tow O Koam, king of the Rivers, is of opinion it was made by the hands of that great God to whom it is consecrated. The kings of Granajah and of the Six Nations believe that it was created with the earth, and produced on the same day with the sun and moon. But for my own part, by the best information that I could get of this matter, I am out from the discourse of our interpreters; 'These particulars we made a shift to pick apt to think that this prodigious pile was fash- which we put together as well as we could, beioned into the shape it now bears by several ing able to understand but here and there a tools and instruments, of which they have a word of what they said, and afterwards makwonderful variety in this country. It was pro-ing up the meaning of it among ourselves. bably at first a huge mishapen rock, that grew The men of the country are very cunning and upon the top of the hill, which the natives of ingenious in handicraft works, but withal so the country (after having cut it into a kind of regular figure) bored and hollowed with in-very idle, that we often saw young lusty rawcredible pains and industry, till they had in little covered rooms, by a couple of porters, boned fellows, carried up and down the streets wrought it in all those beautiful vaults and who are hired for that service. Their dress is caverns into which it is divided at this day likewise very barbarous, for they almost stran As soon as this rock was thus curiously scop-gle themselves about the neck, and bind their ed to their liking, a prodigious number of hands must have been employed in chipping think are the occasion of several distempers bodies with several ligatures, that we are apt to The waiter of that coffee-house, frequently nick among them, which our country is entirely free from. Instead of those beautiful fea
named Sir Thomas. VOL. I.
thers with which we adorn our heads, they ral, where a confident lover in the play speakoften buy up a monstrous bush of hair, which ing of his mistress, cries out-" Oh that Harcovers their heads, and falls down in a large riet! to fold these arms about the waist of that fleece below the middle of their backs; and beauteous, struggling, and at last yielding fair!" with which they walk up and down the streets, and are as proud of it as if it was of their own growth.
Such an image as this ought by no means to be presented to a chaste and regular audience. I expect your opinion of this sentence, and recommend to your consideration, as a Spectator, the conduct of the stage at present with relation to chastity and modesty.
I am, Sir,
We were invited to one of their public diversions, where we hoped to have seen the great men of their country running down a stag, or pitching a bar, that we might have discovered who were the persons of the greatYour constant reader and well-wisher.' est abilities among them; but instead of that, they conveyed us into a huge room lighted up The complaint of this young lady is so just, with abundance of candles, where this lazy that the offence is gross enough to have dispeople sat still above three hours to see seve- pleased persons who cannot pretend to that ral feats of ingenuity performed by others, delicacy and modesty, of which she is miswho it seems were paid for it. But there is a great deal to be said in
I will answer for the
who make up the bulk of his audience, his natural recourse is to that which he has in common with them; and a description which graauthor has nothing about him to delight a retifies a sensual appetite will please, when the fined imagination. It is to such a poverty we must impute this and all other sentences in plays, which are of this kind, and which are commonly termed luscious expressions.
'As for the women of the country, not be-behalf of an author. If the audience would ing able to talk with them, we could only make but consider the difficulty of keeping up a our remarks upon them at a distance. They sprightly dialogue for five acts together, they let the hair of their heads grow to a great would allow a writer, when he wants wit, and length; but as the men make a great show cannot please any otherwise, to help it out with a little smuttiness. with heads of hair that are none of their own, the women, who they say have very fine heads poets, that no one ever writ bawdry, for any of hair, tie it up in a knot, and cover it from other reason but dearth of invention. When being seen. The women look like angels, and the author cannot strike out of himself any would be more beautiful than the sun, were it more of that which he has superior to those not for little black spots that are apt to break out in their faces, and sometimes rise in very odd figures. I have observed that those little blemishes wear off very soon; but when they disappear in one part of the face, they are very apt to break out in another, insomuch that I have seen a spot upon the forehead in the afternoon, which was upon the chin in the morning.' The author then proceeds to show the ab- This expedient to supply the deficiencies of surdity of breeches and petticoats, with many wit, has been used more or less by most of the other curious observations, which I shall re-authors who have succeeded on the stage; serve for another occasion. I cannot however though I know but one who has professedly conclude this paper without taking notice, that writ a play upon the basis of the desire of mulamidst these wild remarks there now and then tiplying our species, and that is the polite Sir appears something very reasonable. I cannot George Etheridge; if I understand what the likewise forbear observing, that we are all lady would be at, in the play called She would guilty in some measure of the same narrow if She could. Other poets have here and there way of thinking which we meet with in this given an intimation that there is this design, abstract of the Indian journal, when we fan- under all the disguises and affectations which a cy the customs, dresses, and manners of other lady may put on; but no author, except this, countries are ridiculous and extravagant, if has made sure work of it, and put the imaginathey do not resemble those of our own.
Torquet ab obscœnis jam nunc sermonibus aurem.
tions of the audience upon this one purpose from the beginning to the end of the comedy. It has always fared accordingly; for whether it be that all who go to this piece would if they could, or that the innocents go to it, to guess only what she would if she could, the play has always been well received.
It lifts an heavy empty sentence, when there is added to it a lascivious gesture of body; and when it is too low to be raised even by that, a flat meaning is enlivened by making it a double one Writers who want genius, never fail of keeping this secret in reserve, to create a laugh or raise a clap. I, who know nothing of women but from seeing plays, can give
'My fortune, quality, and person, are such as render me as conspicuous as any young woman in town. It is in my power to enjoy it in all its vanities, but I have from a very careful education, contracted a great aversion to the forward air and fashion which is prac- *The Funeral, or Grief Alamode, a comedy, by Sir tised in all public places and assemblies. I Richard Steele.-Much to the honour of Sir Richard, he attribute this very much to the style and man-subsequent edition of this comedy, expunged all the obattended to the letter of his fair correspondent, and in a ner of our plays. I was last night at the Fune noxious passages.
great guesses at the whole structure of the fair composure or freedom of their looks. Such sex, by being innocently placed in the pit, and incidents as these make some ladies wholly abinsulted by the petticoats of their dancers; the sent themselves from the playhouse; and othadvantages of whose pretty persons are a great ers never miss the first day of a play, lest it help to a dull play. When a poet flags in should prove too luscious to admit their going writing lusciously, a pretty girl can move las-with any countenance to it on the second. civiously, and have the same good consequence If men of wit, who think fit to write for the for the author. Dull poets in this case use their stage, instead of this pitiful way of giving de audiences, as dull parasites do their patrons; light, would turn their thoughts upon raising when they cannot longer divert them with their it from such good natural impulses as are in wit or humour, they bait their ears with some-the audience, but are choked up by vice and thing which is agreeable to their temper, though luxury, they would not only please, but bebelow their understanding. Apicius cannot friend us at the same time. If a man had a resist being pleased, if you give him an account mind to be new in his way of writing, might of a delicious meal; or Clodius, if you des- not he who is now reprepresented as a fine gencribe a wanton beauty; though at the same tleman, though he betrays the honour and bed time, if you do not awake those inclinations in of his neighbour and friend, and lies with half them, no men are better judges of what is just the women in the play, and is at last reward. and delicate in conversation. But as I have ed with her of the best character in it; I say, before observed, it is easier to talk to the man upon giving the comedy another cast, might than to the man of sense. not such a one divert the audience quite as well, It is remarkable that the writers of least if at the catastrophe he were found out for a learning are best skilled in the luscious way. traitor, and met with contempt accordingly? The poetesses of the age have done wonders There is seldom a person devoted to above one in this kind; and we are obliged to the lady darling vice at a time, so that there is room who writ Ibrahim,* for introducing a prepara- enough to catch at men's hearts to their good tory scene to the very action, when the emper- and advantage, if the poets will attempt it with or throws his handkerchief as a signal for his the honesty which becomes their character. mistress to follow him into the most retired There is no man who loves his bottle or his part of the seraglio. It must be confessed his mistress, in a manner so very abandoned, as Turkish majesty went off with a good air, but not to be capable of relishing an agreeable methought we made but a sad figure who wait-character, that is no way a slave to either of ed without. This ingenious gentlewoman, in those pursuits. A man that is temperate, generthis piece of bawdry, refined upon an author ous, valiant, chaste, faithful, and honest, may, of the same sex.t who, in the Rover, makes a at the same time, have wit, humour, mirth, country 'squire strip to his Holland drawers. good breeding, and gallantry. While he exFor Blunt is disappointed, and the emperor is understood to go on to the utmost. The pleasantry of stripping almost naked has been since practised (where indeed it should have been begun) very successfully at Bartholomew fair.t
erts these latter qualities, twenty occasions might be invented to show he is master of the other noble virtues. Such characters would smite and reprove the heart of a man of sense, when he is given up to his pleasures. He would see he has been mistaken all this while, and be convinced that a sound constitution and an innocent mind, are the true ingredients for becoming, and enjoying life. All men of true
No. 52.] Monday, April 30, 1711.
Omnes ut tecum meritis pro talibus annos
It is not to be here omitted, that in one of the above-mentioned female compositions, the Rover is very frequently sent on the same errand; as I take it, above once every act. taste would call a man of wit, who should turn This is not wholly unnatural; for, they say, his ambition this way, a friend and benefactor the men authors draw themselves in thier chief to his country; but I am at a loss what name characters, and the women writers may be al- they would give him, who makes use of his lowed the same liberty. Thus, as the male wit capacity for contrary purposes. gives his hero a great fortune, the female gives her heroine a good gallant at the end of the play. But, indeed, there is hardly a play one can go to, but the hero or fine gentleman of it struts off upon the same account, and leaves us to consider what good office he has put us to, or to employ ourselves as we please. To be plain, a man who frequents plays would have a very respectful notion of himself, were be to recollect how often he has been used as a AN ingenious correspondent, like a sprightly pimp to ravishing tyrants, or successful rakes. wife, will always have the last word. I did When the actors make their exit on this good not think my last letter to the deformed fraoccasion, the ladies are sure to have an ex-ternity would have occasioned any answer, esamining glance from the pit, to see how they pecially since I had promised them so sudden relish what passes; and a few lewd fools are a visit: but as they think they cannot show too very ready to employ their talents upon the great a veneration for my person, they have already sent me up an answer. As to the proMrs. Mary Pix, † Mrs. Aphara Behn. posal of a marriage between myself and the The appearance of Lady Mary, a rope-dancer at Bartholomew fair, gave occasion to this proper animad-matchless Hecatissa, I have but one objection to it; which is, That all the society will
To crown thy worth, she shall be ever thine,
expect to be acquainted with her; and who can of his fraternity, as the person of all the world be sure of keeping a woman's heart long, she could like for a paramour. And if so, where she may have so much choice? I am really I cannot but applaud her choice, and the more alarmed at this, because the lady should be glad, if it might lie in my power, to seems particularly smitten with men of their
I believe I shall set my heart upon her; and think never the worse of my mistress for an epigram a smart fellow writ, as he thought, against her; it does but the more recommend her to me. At the same time I cannot but discover that his malice is stolen from Martial:
Tacta places, audita places, si non videare,
Whilst in the dark on thy soft hand I hung,
she may then be thought, upon their wedding-
effect an amicable acccommodation betwixt two faces of such different extremes, as the only possible expedient to mend the breed, and rectify the physiognomy of the family on both sides. And again, as she is a lady of a very fluent elocution, you need not fear that your first child will be born dumb, which otherwise you might have some reason to be apprehensive of. To be plain with you, I can see nothing shocking in it; for though she has not a face like a john-apple, yet as a late friend of mine, who at sixty-five ventured on a lass of fifteen, very frequently in the remaining five of his life gave me to understand, that as years old as he then seemed, when they were first Your letter to us we have received, as a married he and his spouse could make but signal mark of your favour and brotherly af- fourscore; so may madam Hecatissa very fection. We shall be heartily glad to see your justly allege hereafter, that as long-visaged as short face in Oxford: and since the wisdom of our legislature has been immortalized in your speculations, and our personal deformities in some sort by you recorded to all posterity; we hold ourselves in gratitude bound to receive, with the highest respect, all such persons as for their extraordinary merit you shall think fit, from time to time, to recommend unto the board. As for the Pictish damsel, we have an easy chair prepared at the upper end of the table; which we doubt not but she will grace with a very hideous aspect, and much better become the seat in the native and unaffected uncomeliness of her person, than with all the Your assured friend, and most humble servant, superficial airs of the pencil, which (as you HUGH GOBLIN, Præses.' have very ingeniously observed) vanish with a breath, and the most innocent adorer may deface the shrine with a salutation, and in the literal sense of our poets, snatch and imprint his balmy kisses, and devour her melting lips. In short, the only faces of the Pictish kind that You proposed in your Spectator of last will endure the weather, must be of Dr. Car- Tuesday, Mr. Hobb's hypothesis for solving buncle's die; though his, in truth, has cost that very odd phænomenon of laughter. You him a world the painting; but then he boasts have made the hypothesis valuable by espouswith Zeuxes, in æternitalem pingo; and oft ing it yourself; for had it continued Mr. Hobb's, jocosely tells the fair ones, would they acquire nobody would have minded it. Now here this colours that would stand kissing, they must perplexed case arises. A, certain company no longer paint, but drink for a complexion: laughed very heartily upon the reading of that a maxim that in this our age has been pursued very paper of yours; and the truth on it is, he with no ill success; and has been as admirable must be a man of more than ordinary constanin its effects, as the famous cosmetic mentioned cy that could stand out against so much comein the Postman, and invented by the renowned British Hippocrates of the pestle and mortar; making the party, after a due course, rosy, hale, and airy; and the best and most approved receipt now extant, for the fever of the spirits. But to return to our female candidate, who, I understand, is returned to herself, and will no longer hang out false colours; as she is the Thursday, the 26th of the month of fools. first of her sex that has done us so great an honour, she will certainly in a very short time, 'In answer to your letter, I must desire you both in prose and verse, be a lady of the most to recollect yourself; and you will find, that celebrated deformity now living, and meet when you did me the honour to be so merry with many admirers here as frightful as her- over my paper, you laughed at the idiot, the self. But being a long-headed gentlewoman, German courtier, the gaper, the merry-andrew, I am apt to imagine she has some further de- the haberdasher, the biter, the butt, and not sign than you have yet penetrated; and per-at haps has more mind to the Spectator than any
The following letter has not much in it, but as it is written in my own praise, I cannot from my heart suppress it.
dy, and not do as we did. Now there are few men in the world so far lost to all good sense, as to look upon you to be a man in a state of folly" inferior to himself."-Pray then how do you justify your hypothesis of laughter?. Your most humble,
'Your humble servant,