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THE SPECTATOR'S ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF. No. 1.
P. 1, 1. 7. peruses, reads through, examines, surveys. "A coined word; from Per- and Use. No other source can well be assigned; but it must be admitted to be a barbarous and illformed word, compounded of Latin and French, and by no means used in the true sense; since to per-use could only mean to use thoroughly. The sense of the word comes nearer to that of the F. revoir or E. 'survey' or 'examine'; cp. Myself I then perused,' i.e. surveyed, Milton, P. L. viii. 267; Who first with curious eye Perused him,' id. P. R. i. 320. The F. revoir and E. survey both point to the Lat. uidere, to see; there is a fair argument for the supposed barbarous coinage from per and use, in the fact that compounds with per were once far more common than they are now (Skeat, Ety. Dict.).
1. 8. black, dark; frequent in Shakespeare in this sense, e.g. T. G. v. 2. 12, "Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes.
P. 2, 11. 5, 6. was gone... months, had been pregnant three months.
1. 6. was brought... judge, gave birth to a judge.
11. 7, 8. then depending, then in progress, not yet settled.
11. 8, 9. a justice of the peace, a title given to persons of position and character who are appointed to keep the peace of the neighbourhood in which they dwell.
1. 10. presaged, indicated; Lat. præsagire, to feel or perceive beforehand, to have a presentiment of a thing.
1. 14. to favour, to give countenance to, to support.
1. 15. my rattle, a rattle and a coral are toys commonly given to infants, the former to amuse by its noise, the latter, which generally has little silver bells attached to it, to be sucked.
1. 20. nonage, minority, before one comes of age; Lat. non, not, and age. sullen, reserved, hard to draw out.
1. 22. my parts, my natural abilities. would wear well, would be lasting, would stand the wear and tear of time; not fail me as I grew older, like those of more precocious children; a metaphor from the wearing of clothes.
1. 25. the public exercises, the term formerly given to the scholastic disputations held in colleges or in the public schools of the University as a qualification for a degree; answering to the examinations of modern times.
11. 30, 1. the learned... tongues, used more especially of the classical languages of Greece and Rome.
1. 35. unaccountable, that no one could make out, understand. P. 3, 1. 5. Grand Cairo, in Egypt; Arabic al Kahira, the victorious city.
11. 7, 8. returned.... satisfaction, "A sarcasm on Mr. Greaves, and his book intitled Pyramidographia" (Ferguson).
1. 15. a round, a circle gathered round the fire: Will's, a coffeehouse in Russell Street, Covent Garden, patronized especially by literary men and famous as the constant resort of Dryden. The coffee-houses served most of the purposes of the modern clubs, though the favourite beverages were then tea, coffee, chocolate and cocoa.
1. 18. Child's, in St. Paul's Churchyard, a coffee-house especially affected by the clergy. the Post-Man, one of the papers of the day.
1. 20. St. James's, another coffee-house in St. James's Street. 1. 22. improve, neuter; to improve himself, his understanding, etc.
1. 23. the Grecian, in Devereux Court in the Strand, the oldest coffee-house in London, much frequented by the barristers of the Temple. the Cocoa-Tree, in St. James's Street, the resort of the Tories in Queen Anne's reign.
11. 24, 5. the theatres... Hay-Market, both still in existence and among the most important in London. Drury Lane Theatre was "opened in 1674 with an address by Dryden, who extolled the advantages of its then country situation over those of the 'Duke's Theatre' in Dorset Gardens: Our house relieves the ladies from the frights of ill-paved streets and long dark winter nights.' The burning of the theatre (Feb. 24, 1809) is rendered memorable by the publication of the Rejected Addresses,' the famous jeu d'esprit of James and Horace Smith [parodying the addresses for the opening of the new theatre supposed to have been sent into the Committee by various then living poets, etc.]" (Hare, Walks in London, i. 123). The Hay-Market, in a street of the same name between Pall Mall and Piccadilly, and parallel
2-5.] THE SPECTATOR'S ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF. 147
to St. James's Street, so called because a market was held there for hay and straw from Elizabeth's time to the early years of the present century.
1. 25. the Exchange, see note on p. 35, 1. 2.
1. 27. Jonathan's, a coffee-house in Cornhill, where the Stock Exchange was originally held, and the great scene of action in the South Sea Bubble of 1720.
1. 32. a speculative statesman, a statesman in theory, though not one in practice; the adjective qualifies soldier, merchant, and artizan also.
1. 34. versed in... husband, acquainted with the duties and position of a husband.
1. 35. economy, management of a household.
P. 4, 1. 1. blots, mistakes; the common proverb is "Lookers on see most of the game.
1. 2. espoused, closely united myself with; literally to give or take as a spouse.
11. 4, 5. unless... side, unless the hostilities of either party should compel me to range myself on one side or the other.
1. 12. occasion, opportunity and propriety.
11. 16, 7. to print myself out, to put on paper all the reflections that have occurred to me, and the experience of the world that I have gained during my life.
1. 20. a sheet full, as much as is contained in a single sheet. 1. 27. spoken to, referred to, made mention of.
1. 32. to the embellishment of my paper, towards making my paper more attractive and interesting.
1. 36. civilities, acts of civility, polite attentions.
P. 5, 1. 4. complexion, here probably used, as nowadays, in the restricted sense of the colouring of the face, though formerly frequent in the wider sense of external appearance generally.
1. 5. make discoveries of, reveal; cp. p. 50, 1. 32, and p. 66, 1. 16. 1. 10. concerted, agreed upon together.
1. 12. to stand... front, to be their representative.
1. 14. Little Britain, so called from the mansion of John, Duke of Bretagne in the time of Edward the Second, a street running into Aldersgate Street, and in Addison's day the great quarter of the booksellers.
OF THE CLUB. No. 2.
11. 25, 6. that famous country-dance, a dance still in use, more especially at the end of a ball; so called from being more common
in country places than in towns, though commonly supposed to be from the F. contre-danse.
27. parts, mental endowments.
1. 30-P. 6, 1. 1. only as... wrong, only in so far, in such respects, as his opinions of what is right and wrong differ from those of the world in general; his singularities not being mere whims and caprices without reasonable foundation or origin.
1. 3. unconfined forms, not hampered by any forms of behaviour that are prescribed merely by fashion and custom.
1. 6. Soho Square, to the south of Oxford Street, formerly called King's Square, was a very fashionable part of the town from the days of the Stuarts to the middle of the last century. It is said to derive its name from the words "So Hoe," the cry used in hunting the hare, a pastime in which the Mayor and Corporation used to indulge in the fields on which the square was afterwards built.
1. 7. by reason, because; a phrase now almost obsolete. crossed, thwarted, disappointed. perverse, sc. so far as his wishes were concerned.
1. 10. my Lord Rochester... Etherege, two well-known men of fashion of the time; the former, John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, a courtier and a poet, infamous for his debauchery; the latter, Sir George, a writer of comedies and equally loose in his life; my was and still is often prefixed to the title 'Lord,' sometimes in the way of respect, sometimes with a sarcastic emphasis.
1. 11. Bully Dawson, a notorious sharper and debauchee about town at this period.
1. 13. ill-used, sc. in being first encouraged and afterwards repulsed.
1. 15. jovial, merry, generally with the idea of boisterous mirth. Like 'mercurial,'' saturnine,' etc., a relic of the former belief in astrology according to which a man's temperament was supposed to be affected by the planet just rising above the eastern horizon at his birth. Thus the planet of Jupiter or Jove was considered of joyful augury and men born under it to be of a joyous disposition, those born under Saturn to partake of the gloomy nature of that god, those under Mercury to resemble that lighthearted deity. Other words having a similar origin are disastrous,' 'ill-starred,' 'influence,' etc.
1. 16. never dressed afterwards, sc. fashionably; never cared what he wore, whether it was in the fashion or not.
1. 17. doublet, an inner garment which served, so to speak, as a lining or double to the outer one; F. double, with the diminutive suffix -et.
1. 19. in and out, sc. of fashion.
1. 21. a good house, a well-appointed and hospitable house. 1. 28. a justice of the quorum, one of the county justices, magistrates. The word quorum, now used of a number of members of any body sufficient to transact business, is the Lat. quorum, of whom, it being usual formerly to enumerate the members forming a committee, of whom a certain number must be present at a meeting.
1. 29. a quarter-session, the quarterly meeting of the justices for the trial of offenders against the peace; we now use the plural 'quarter-sessions.'
11. 30, 1. by explaining ... Game-Act, said with a pleasant sarcasm, as though the act for the preservation of game was something beyond ordinary comprehension.
1. 36. humoursome, fanciful, odd-natured.
P. 7, 11. 2, 3. and is the most... stage, but, instead of giving his attention to such matters, devotes himself entirely to theatrical affairs.
1. 3. Aristotle, here referring to the great philosopher's writings on poetry, more especially in regard to the drama. Longinus, a distinguished Greek philosopher and grammarian of the third century of our era, whose work entitled On the Sublime contains, among other subjects, criticisms on poetry.
1. 4. Littleton or Coke, two distinguished jurists of the seventeenth century, the latter a rival of Bacon's who was dismissed from his post of Chief Justice, in 1615, for having displeased the King, James the First.
1. 5. marriage-articles, settlements as to money made at marriages.
1. 7. to answer lump, to consider and answer in return for a lump sum, a sum paid for the whole not for separate cases. 1. 11. Tully, Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great Roman orator. 1. 13. This turn, this bent or inclination of character.
1. 14. disinterested, his concern not being with matters of ordinary interest; he having no personal interest in the affairs which occupied his associates.
1. 16. too just, too rigorous in his valuation of them.
1. 19. delicate, nice, fastidious, refined.
11. 21, 2. his hour of business, the time of the day at which he becomes seriously occupied, while others are relaxing their minds.
1. 22. New Inn, an old-fashioned brick square in Lincoln's Inn. 1. 23. takes a turn, spends a short time.