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n temper, and will my mind for ever from a folly. For the charity received, I return my thanks this way.
"Your most humble servant."'
'Epping, April 18.
We have your papers here the morning they come out, and we have been very well entertained with your last, upon the false ornaments of persons who represent heroes in a tragedy. What made your speculation come very seasonably among us is, that we have now at this place a company of strollers, who are very far from offending in the impertinent splendour of the drama. They are so far from fall-d ing into these false gallantries, that the stage is 's here in its original situation of a cart. Alexander the Great was acted by a fellow in a paper cravat. The next day the Earl of Essex seemed to have no I distress but his poverty; and my Lord Foppington the same morning wanted any better means to show himself a fop, than by wearing stockings of EP different colours. In a word, though they have had a full barn for many days together, our itine10 rants are still so wretchedly poor, that without e- you can prevail to send us the furniture you forbid at the playhouse, the heroes appear only like sturdy beggars, and the heroines gipsies. We have er had but one part, which was performed and dressed with propriety, and that was Justice Clodpate. This was so well done, that it offended Mr. Justice Overdo, who, in the midst of our whole audience, was (like Quixote in the puppet-show) so highly ly provoked, that he told them, if they would move compassion, it should be in their own persons, and not in the characters of distressed princes and potentates. He told them, if they were so good at finding the way to people's hearts, they should do it at the end of bridges or church-porches, in 5 their proper vocation of beggars. This, the justice says, they must expect, since they could not be contented to act heathen warriors, and such fellows as Alexander, but must presume to make a mockery of one of the quorum.
Hominem pagina nostra sapit.
a Ir is very natural for a man who is not turned for mirthful meetings of men, or assemblies of the fair he sex, to delight in that sort of conversation which nd we find in coffee-houses. Here a man of my temper to is in his element; for if he cannot talk, he can Still be more agreeable to his company, as well as so pleased in himself, in being only an hearer.
a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's in conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him. The latter is the more general desire, and I know very able flatith terers that never speak a word in praise of the nen persons from whom they obtain daily favours, but ase still practise a skilful attention to whatever is utme, tered by those with whom they converse. We are dis- 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
Men and their manners I describe.
have nothing else to do but make observations) see somely, without launching into expense; and exeris in every parish, street, lane, and alley of this po- many noble and useful qualities, without appearpulous city, a little potentate that has his courting in any public employment. His wisdom and and his flatterers who lay snares for his affection knowledge are serviceable to all that think fit to and favour, by the same arts that are practised make use of them; and he does the office of a upon men in higher stations. counsel, a judge, an executor, and a friend to all his acquaintance, not only without the profits which attend such offices, but also without the deference and homage which are usually paid to them. The giving of thanks is displeasing to him. The greatest gratitude you can show him, is to let him see you are the better man for his services; and that yo are as ready to oblige others, as he is to oblige you.
In the place I most usually frequent, men differ rather in the time of day in which they make a figure, than in any real greatness above one another. I, who am at the coffee-house at six in the morning, know that my friend Beaver the haberdasher has a levee of more undissembled friends and admirers, than most of the courtiers or generals of Great Britain. Every man about him has, perhaps, a newspaper in his hand; but none can pretend to guess what step will be taken in any one court of Europe, till Mr. Beaver has thrown down his pipe, and declares what measures the allies must enter into upon this new posture of affairs. Our coffee-house is near one of the inns of court, and Beaver has the audience and admiration of his neighbours from six till within a quarter of eight, at which time he is interrupted by the students of the house; some of whom are ready dressed for Westminster at eight in a morning, with faces as busy as if they were retained in every cause there; and others come in their night-gowns to saunter away their time, as if they never designed to go thither. I do not know that I meet, in any of my walks, objects which move both my spleen and laughter so effectually, as those young fellows at the Grecian, Squire's, Searle's, and all other coffee-houses adjacent to the law, who rise early for no other purpose but to publish their laziness, One would think these young virtuosos take a gay cap and slippers, with a scarf and party-coloured gown, to be ensigns of dignity; for the vain things approach each other with an air, which shows they regard one another for their vestments. I have observed, that the superiority among these proceeds from an opinion of gallantry and fashion. The gentleman in the strawberry sash, who presides so much over the rest, has, it seems, subscribed to every opera this last winter, and is supposed to receive favours from one of the actresses.
When the day grows too busy for these gentlemen to enjoy any longer the pleasures of their dishabille, with any manner of confidence, they give place to men who have business or good sense in their faces, and come to the coffee-house either to transact affairs, or enjoy conversation. The persons to whose behaviour and discourse I have mot regard, are such as are between these two sorts of men; such as have not spirits too active to be happy and well pleased in a private condition, nor complexions too warm to make them neglect the duties and relations of life. Of these sort of men consist the worthier part of mankind; of these are all good fathers, generous brothers, sincere friends, and faithful subjects. Their entertainments are derived rather from reason than imagination; which is the cause that there is no impatience or instability in their speech or action. You see in their countenances they are at home, and in quiet possession of the present instant as it passes, without desiring to quicken it by gratifying any passion, or prosecuting any new design. These are the men formed for society, and those little communities which we express by the word neighbourhood.
In the private exigencies of his friends, he lend, at legal value considerable sums, which he migh highly increase by rolling in the public stocks. He does not consider in whose hands his money wil improve most, but where it will do most good.
Eubulus has so great an authority in his little diurnal audience, that when he shakes his head a any piece of public news, they all of them appear dejected; and, on the contrary, go home to the dinners with a good stomach and cheerful aspect when Eubulus seems to intimate that things go well Nay, their veneration towards him is so great, that when they are in other company they speak and act after him; are wise in his sentences, and are no sooner sat down at their own tables, but they hope or fear, rejoice or despond, as they saw him do a the coffee-house. In a word, every man is Eubulus as soon as his back is turned.
Having here given an account of the several reigns that succeed each other from day-break till dinner time, I shall mention the monarchs of the afternoon on another occasion, and shut up the whole series of them with the history of Tom the Tyrant *; who, as first minister of the coffee-house takes the government upon him between the hours of eleven and twelve at night, and gives his orden in the most arbitrary manner to the servants be low him, as to the disposition of liquors, coal, and cinders.
No 50. FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 1711.
Nunquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia dixit.
Good taste and nature always speak the same.
WHEN the four Indians kings were in this coun
The waiter of that coffee-house, nick-named Sir Thomas
+ Swift writes thus to Stella, in his Journal, under date 25th April, 1711. The Spectator is written by Steele, with Addi son's help; 'tis often very pretty. Yesterday it was made of dian, supposed to write his travels into England. I repent he a noble bint I gave him long ago for his Tatlers, about an Inever had it. I intended to have written a book on that subI believe he has spent it all in one paper, and all the underhints there are mine too; but I never see him or addison. See Swift's Works, vol. xv. p. 32, 33, edit. 1801. See also Tat. No 171.
The coffee-house is the place of rendezvous to all that live near it, who are thus turned to relish calm and ordinary life. Eubulus presides over the mid-ject. dle hours of the day, when this assembly of men meet together. He enjoys a great fortune hand
g in our way, for that if we did, they would be apt to knock us down for being kings.
i- Our other interpreter used to talk very much e of a kind of animal called a tory, that was as in 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 nanother, and engage when they meet as naturally d as the elephant and the rhinoceros. But as we ir saw none of either of these species, we are apt to at think that our guides deceived us with misrepreis sentations and fictions, and amused us with an acm count of such monsters as are not really in their -country.
e 'These particulars we made a shift to pick out from the discourse of our interpreters; which we put together as well as we could, being able to ds understand but here and there a word of what they a- | said, and afterwards making up the meaning of it E among ourselves. The men of the country are very it cunning and ingenious in handicraft works, but m withal so very idle, that we often saw young lusty of raw-boned fellows carried up and down the streets thin little covered rooms, by a couple of porters, he who are hired for that service. Their dress is liken-wise very barbarous; for they almost strangle thempt selves about the neck, and bind their bodies with ed many ligatures, that we are apt to think are the nd occasion of several distempers among them, which our country is entirely free from. Instead of those rst beautiful feathers with which we adorn our heads, of they often buy up a monstrous bush of hair, which er covers their heads, and falls down in a large fleece ed below the middle of their backs; with which they walk up and down the streets, and are as proud Ful of it as if it was of their own growth.
is 'We were invited to one of their public diverly sions, where we hoped to have seen the great men of of their country running down a stag, or pitching The a bar, that we might have discovered who were the r-persons of the greatest abilities among them; but instead of that, they conveyed us into an huge So room lighted up with abundance of candles, where of this lazy people sat still above three hours to see rk several feats of ingenuity performed by others, ed who it seems were paid for it.
'As for the women of the country, not being nd able to talk with them, we could only make our to remarks upon them at a distance. They let the re-hair of their heads grow to a great length; but as the men make a great show with heads of hair that ne are none of their own, the women, who they say ith have very fine heads of hair, tie it up in a knot, and cover it from being seen. The women look ny like angels, and would be more beautiful than the
sun, were it not for little black spots that are apt to break out in their faces, and sometimes rise in th very odd figures. I have observed that those little er- blemishes wear off yery soon; but when they dishe appear in one part of the face, they are very apt to break out in another, insomuch that I have seen le a spot upon the forehead in the afternoon, which was upon the chin in the morning.'
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 practised in all public places and assemblies. I attribute this very much to the style and manner of our plays. I was last night at The Funeral, where a confident lover in the play, speaking of his mistress, cries out, “Oh + that Harriot! to fold these arms about the waist of that beauteous, struggling, and at last yielding fair!" 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,
'Your constant reader and well-wisher.'
The complaint of this young lady is so just, that the offence is gross enough to have displeased persons who cannot pretend to that delicacy and modesty, of which she is mistress. But there is a great deal to be said in behalf of an author. If the audience would but consider the difficulty of keeping up a sprightly dialogue for five acts together, they would allow a writer, when he wants wit, and cannot please any otherwise, to help it out with a little smuttiness. I will answer for the poets, that no one ever writ bawdry for any other reason but dearth of invention. When the author cannot strike out of himself any more of that which he has superior to those 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 gratifies a sensual appetite will please, when the author has nothing about him to delight a refined 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 ‡.
called She Would if she Could. Other poets have here and there given an intimation that there i this design, under all the disguises and affectation which a lady may put on; but no author, excep this, has made sure work of it, and put the ima ginations of the audience upon this one purpos from the beginning to the end of the comedy. 1 has always fared accordingly; for whether it b that all who go to this piece would if they could or that the innocents go to it, to guess only wha she would if she could, the play has always been well received.
It lifts an heavy empty sentence, when there i added to it a lascivious gesture of body; and whe it is too low to be raised even by that, a fla 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 great guesses at the whol structure of the fair sex, by being innocently place in the pit, and insulted by the petticoats of thei dancers; the advantages of whose pretty person are a great help to a dull play. When a poe flags in writing lusciously, a pretty girl can move lasciviously, and have the same good consequence for the author. Dull poets in this case use thei audiences, as dull parasites do their patrons; whet they cannot longer divert them with their wit o humour, they bait their ears with something which is agreeable to their temper, though below thei understanding. Apicius cannot resist being pleased if you give him an account of a delicious meal; o Clodius, if you describe a wanton beauty: thoug at the same time, if you do not awake those in clinations in them, no men are better judges o what is just and delicate in conversation. But as have before observed, it is easier to talk to the man, than to the man of sense.
It is remarkable, that the writers of least learn ing are best skilled in the luscious way. The poetesses of the age have done wonders in this kind; and we are obliged to the lady who writ Ibrahim *, for introducing a preparatory scene to the very action, when the emperor throws his handkerchief as a signal for his mistress to follow him into the most retired part of the seraglio. It must be confessed his Turkish majesty went off with a good air, but methought we made but a sad figure who waited without. This ingenious gentlewoman, in this piece of bawdry, refined upon an author of the same sex t, who, in The Rover, makes a country 'squire strip to his Holland drawers. For 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 suc cessfully at Bartholomew fair ‡.
This expedient to supply the deficiencies of wit, It is not here to be omitted, that in one of the has been used more or less by most of the authors above-mentioned female compositions, the Rover who have succeeded on the stage; though I know is very frequently sent on the same errand; as I but one who has professedly writ a play upon the take it, above once every act. This is not wholly basis of the desire of multiplying our species, and unnatural; for, they say, the men authors draw that is the polite Sir George Etherege; if I under-themselves in their chief characters, and the women stand what the lady would be at, in the play
writers may be allowed the same liberty. Thus, female gives her heroine a good gallant, at the end as the male wit gives his hero a great fortune, the 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
* Mrs. Mary Pix.
+ Mrs. Behn.
By a rope-dancer called Lady Mary.
my person, they have already sent me up an ann, a swer. As to the proposal of a marriage between re- myself and the matchless Hecatissa, I have but one objection to it; which is, that all the society ants, will expect to be acquainted with her; and who heir can be sure of keeping a woman's heart long, e to where she may have so much choice? I am the more alarmed at this, because the lady seems parare ticularly smitten with men of their make. Com- I believe I shall set my heart upon her; and ents think never the worse of my mistress for an epielvesgram a smart fellow writ, as he thought, against first her; it does but the more recommend her to me. is to At the same time I cannot but discover that his t on malice is stolen from Martial:
'Tacta places, audita places, si non videare
If 'Your letter to us we have received, as a signal ting, mark of your favour and brotherly affection. We gen- shall be heartily glad to see your short face in Oxd of ford: and since the wisdom of our legislature has the been immortalized in your speculations, and our with personal deformities in some sort by you recorded ving to all posterity; we hold ourselves in gratitude one bound to receive, with the highest respect, all such atas- persons as for their extraordinary merit you shall met think fit, from time to time, to recommend unto m a the board. As for the Pictish damsel, we have an time, easy chair prepared at the upper end of the table; men's which we doubt not but she will grace with a very Doets hideous aspect, and much better become the seat omes in the native and unaffected uncomeliness of her person, than with all the superficial airs of the mis- pencil, which (as you have very ingeniously obCo be served) vanish with a breath, and the most innothat cent adorer may deface the shrine with a saluta. A tion, and in the literal sense of our poets, snatch aste, and imprint his balmy kisses, and devour her melthave ing lips. In short, the only faces of the Pictish ntry. kind that will endure the weather must be of Dr. y oc- Carbuncle's die; though his, in truth, has cost him er of a world the painting; but then he boasts with would Zeuxis, in æternitatem pingo; and oft jocosely tells ense, the fair ones, would they acquire colours that would would stand kissing, they must no longer paint, but drink d be for a complexion; a maxim that in this our age inno- has been pursued with no ill success; and has been ning, as admirable in its effects, as the famous cosmetic would mentioned in the Postman, and invented by the bition renowned British Hippocrates of the pestle and ntry; mortar: making the party, after a due course, rosy, give hale, and airy; and the best and most approved trary 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 first of her sex that has done us so great an honour, she will certainly, in a very short time, both in prose and verse, be a lady of the most celebrated deformity now living, and meet with many admirers here as frightful as herself. But. being a longheaded gentlewoman, I am apt to imagine she has some further design than you have yet penetrated; and perhaps has more mind to the Spectator than wife, any of his fraternity, as the person of all the world think she could like for a paramour. And if so, really would I cannot but applaud her choice; and should be nce I glad, if it might lie in my power, to effect an they amicable accommodation betwixt two faces of on for such different extremes, as the only possible expe
• Whilst in the dark on thy soft hand I hung,