No. 609. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1714.

-Farrago libelli.

Juv. Sat. i. ver. 86.

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The miscellaneous subjects of my book.


HAVE for some time desired to appear in your paper, and have therefore chosen a day* to steal into the Spectator, when I take it for granted you will not have many spare minutes for speculations of your own. As I was the other day walking with an honest country gentleman, he very often was expressing his astonishment to see the town so mightily crowded with doctors of divinity: upon which I told him he was very much mistaken, if he took all those gentlemen he saw in scarfs to be persons of that dignity; for that a young divine, after his first degree in the university, usually comes hither only to shew himself; and, on that occasion, is apt to think he is but half equipped with a gown and cassock for his public appearance, if he hath not the additional ornament of a scarf of the first magnitude to entitle him to the appellation of Doctor from his landlady and the boy at Child's. Now since I know that this piece of garniture is looked upon as a mark of vanity or affectation, as it is made use of among some of the little spruce adventurers of the town, I should be glad if you would give it a place among those extravagancies you have justly exposed in several of your papers, being very well assured that the main body of the clergy, both in the country and the universities, who are almost to a man untainted with it, would be very well pleased to see this venerable foppery well exposed. When my patron did me the honour to take me into his family (for I must own myself of this order), he was pleased to he took me as a friend and companion; and whether he looked upon the scarf like the lace and shoulder knot of a footman, as a badge of servitude and dependence, I do not know, but he was so kind as to leave my wearing


The day of the coronation of king George I.


of it to my own discretion; and, not having any just title to it from my degrees, I am content to be without the The privileges of our nobility to keep a certain number of chaplains are undisputed, though perhaps not one in ten of those reverend gentlemen have any relation to the noble families their scarfs belong to; the right generally of creating all chaplains, except the domestic, (where there is one,) being nothing more than the perquisite of a steward's place, who, if he happens to outlive any considerable number of his noble masters, shall probably, at one and the same time, have fifty chaplains, all in their proper accoutrements, of his own creation; though perhaps there hath been neither grace nor prayer said in the family since the introduction of the first coronet.

" Mr. SPECTAtor,

' I am, &c.'.

I WISH you would write a philosophical paper about natural antipathies, with a word or two concerning the strength of imagination. I can give you a list, upon the first notice, of a rational china cup, of an egg that walks upon two legs, and a quart-pot that sings like a nightingale. There is in my neighbourhood a very pretty prattling shoulder of veal, that squalls out at the sight of a knife. Then, as for natural antipathies, I know a general officer who was never conquered but by a smothered rabbit; and a wife that domineers over her husband by the help of a breast of mutton. A story that relates to myself on this subject may be thought not unentertaining, especially when I assure you, that it is literally true. I had long made love to a lady, in the possession of whom I am now the happiest of mankind, whose hand I should have gained with much difficulty, without the assistance of a cat. You must know then that my most dangerous rival had so strong an aversion to this species, that he infallibly swooned away at the sight of that harmless creature. My friend Mrs. Lucy, her maid, having a greater respect for me and my purse than she had for my rival, always took care to pin the tail of a cat under the gown of her mistress, whenever she knew of his coming; which had such an effect, that, every time he entered the room, he looked more like one

of the figures in Mrs. Salmon's wax work * than a desirable lover. In short, he grew sick of her company: which the young lady taking notice of (who no more knew why than he did,) she sent me a challenge to meet her in Lincoln's-inn chapel, which I joyfully accepted; and have, amongst other pleasures, the satisfaction of being praised by her for my stratagem.

From the Hoop.


I am, &c.


THE virgins of Great Britain are very much obliged to you for putting them on such tedious drudgeries in needle-work as were fit only for the Hilpas and the Nilpas that lived before the flood. Here is a stir indeed with your histories in embroidery, your groves with shades of silk and streams of mohair! I would have you to know, that I hope to kill a hundred lovers before the best housewife in England can stitch out a battle; and do not fear but to provide boys and girls much faster than your disciples can embroider them. I love birds and beasts as well as you, but am content to fancy them when they are really made. What do you think of gilt leather for furniture? There is your pretty hangings for a chamber; and, what is more, our own country is the only place in Europe where work of that kind is tolerably done. Without minding your musty lessons, I am this minute going to Paul's church-yard to bespeak a screen and a set of hangings; and am resolved to encou rage the manufacture of my country.

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* An exhibition then to be seen near St. Dunstan's-church, Fleet-street; but which toward the close of the century, was removed to the opposite side of the way, somewhat nearer to Temple-bar.

+ About this time there was a celebrated manufactory of tapestry at Chelsea.

No. 610.


Sic, cum transierint mei
Nullo cum strepitu dies,
Plebeius moriar senex,
Illi mors gravis incubat,
Qui, notus nimis omnibus,
Ignotus moritur sibi.


Thus, when my fleeting days, at last,
Unheeded, silently are past,
Calmly I shall resign my breath,
In life unknown, forgot in death;
While he, o'ertaken unprepar'd,
Finds death an evil to be fear'd,
Who dies, to others too much known,
A stranger to himself alone.

HAVE often wondered that the Jews should contrive
such a worthless greatness for the Deliverer whom they
expected, as to dress him in external pomp
and page-
antry, and represent him to their imagination, as making
havock amongst his creatures, and actuated with the poor
ambition of a Cæsar or an Alexander. How much more
illustrious does he appear in his real character, when con-
sidered as the author of universal benevolence among
men, as refining our passions, exalting our nature, giving
us vast ideas of immortality, and teaching us a contempt
of that little showy grandeur, wherein the Jews made
the glory of their Messiah to consist!

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Nothing,' says Longinus, can be great, the contempt of which is great.' The possession of wealth and riches cannot give a man a title to greatness, because it is looked upon as a greatness of mind to contemn these gifts of fortune, and to be above the desire of them. Į have therefore been inclined to think that there are greater men who lie concealed among the species, than those who come out and draw upon themselves the eyes and admiration of mankind. Virgil would never have been heard of, had not his domestic misfortunes driven him out of his obscurity, and brought him to Rome.

If we suppose that there are spirits, or angels, who look into the ways of men, as it is highly probable there are,

both from reason and revelation; how different are the notions which they entertain of us, from those which we are apt to form of one another! Were they to give us in their catalogue of such worthies as are now living, how different would it be from that which any of our own species would draw up!

We are dazzled with the splendour of titles, the ostentation of learning, the noise of victories: they, on the contrary, see the philosopher in the cottage, who possesses his soul in patience and thankfulness, under the pressures of what little minds call poverty and distress. They do not look for great men at the head of armies, or among the pomps of a court, but often find them out in shades and solitudes, in the private walks and by-paths of life. The evening's walk of a wise man is more illustrious in their sight than the march of a general at the head of an hundred thousand men. A contemplation of God's works; a voluntary act of justice to our own detriment; a generous concern for the good of mankind; tears that are shed in silence for the misery of others; a private desire of resentment broken and subdued; in short, an unfeigned exercise of humility, or any other virtue, are sucit actions as are glorious in their sight, and denominate men great and reputable. The most famous among us are of ten looked upon with pity, with contempt or with indignation; whilst those who are most obscure among their own species are regarded with love, with approbation, and esteem.

The moral of the present speculation amounts to this; that we should not be led away by the censures and applauses of men, but consider the figure that every person will make at that time when Wisdom shall be justified of her children,' and nothing pass for great or illustrious which is not an ornament and perfection to human nature.

The story of Gyges, the rich Lydian monarch, is a memorable instance to our present purpose. The oracle, being asked by Gyges who was the happiest man, replied, Aglaus. Gyges, who expected to have heard himself named on this occasion, was much surprised, and very curious to know who this Aglaüs should be. After much inquiry he was found to be an obscure countryman, who employed all his time in cultivating a garden and a few acres of land about his house.

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