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and last to you, as to a gentleman who hath ever been ambitious of appearing in the best company. You are now wholly retired from the busy part of mankind, and at leisure to reflect upon your past achievements; for which reason I look upon you as a person very well qualified for a dedication.
I may possibly disappoint my readers, and your self too, if I did not endeavour on this occasion to make the world acquainted with your virtues. And here, Sir, I shall not compliment you upon your birth, person, or fortune, nor on any other the like perfections which you possess whether you will or no; but shall only touch upon those which are of your acquiring, and in which every one must allow you have a real merit.
Your jaunty air and easy motion, the volubility of your discourse, the suddenness of your laugh, the management of your snuff-box, with the whiteness of your hands and teeth (which have justly gained you the envy of the most polite part of the male world, and the love of the greatest beauties in the female) are entirely to be ascribed to your personal genius and application.
not indeed pretend to an ancient family, but has certainly as many forefathers as any lady in the land, if she but reckons up their names.
I must own I conceived very extraordinary hopes of you from the moment that you confessed your age, and from eight-and-forty (where you had stuck so many years) very ingeniously stepped into your grand climacteric. Your deportment has since been very venerable and becoming. If I am rightly informed, you make a regular appearance every quarter-sessions among your brothers of the quorum; and if things go on as they do, stand fair for being a colonel of the militia. I am told that your time passes away as agreeably in the amusements of a country life, as it ever did in the gallantries of the town; and that you now take as much pleasure in the planting of young trees, as you did formerly in the cutting down of your old ones. In short, we hear from all hands that you are thoroughly reconciled to your dirty acres, and have not too much wit to look into your own estate.
After having spoken thus much of my patron, I must take the privilege of an author in saying someYou are formed for these accomplishments by a thing of myself. I shall therefore beg leave to add, happy turn of nature, and have finished yourself in that I have purposely omitted setting those marks them by the utmost improvements of art. A man to the end of every paper, which appeared in my that is defective in either of these qualifications former volumes, that you may have an opportunity (whatever may be the secret ambition of his heart,) of shewing Mrs. Honeycombe the shrewdness of your must never hope to make the figure you have done, conjectures, by ascribing every speculation to its among the fashionable part of his species. It is proper author; though you know how often many therefore no wonder we see such multitudes of as- profound critics in style and sentiments have very piring young men fall short of you in all these beau-judiciously erred in this particular, before they were ties of your character, notwithstanding the study let into the secret. and practice of them is the whole business of their lives. But I need not tell you, that the free and disengaged behaviour of a fine gentleman makes as many awkward beaux, as the easiness of your favourite hath made insipid poets.
I am, Sir,
Your most faithful humble servant,
THE BOOKSELLER TO THE READER. In the six hundred and thirty-second Spectator, At present you are content to aim all your charms the reader will find an account of the rise of this at your own spouse, without farther thought of mis-eighth and last volume.
chief to any others of the sex. I know you had for- I have not been able to prevail upon the severa. merly a very great contempt for that pedantic race gentlemen who were concerned in this work to let of mortals who call themselves philosophers; and me acquaint the world with their names. yet, to your honour be it spoken, there is not a sage Perhaps it will be unnecessary to inform the of them all could have better acted up to their pre-reader, that no other papers which have appeared cepts in one of the most important points of life: I under the title of the Spectator, since the closing of mean, in that generous disregard of popular opinion this eighth volume, were written by any of those which you shewed some years ago, when you chose gentlemen who had a hand in this or the former for your wife an obscure young woman, who doth volumes.
No. 1.] THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 1710-11.
this curiosity, which is so natural in a reader, I design this paper and my next as prefatory disHOR. Ars. Poet. ver. 143. some account in them of the several persons that courses to my following writings, and shall give
One with a flash begins, and ends in smoke; Another out of smoke brings glorious light, And (without raising expectation high) Surprises us with dazzling miracles.-RoscoMMON. I HAVE observed, that a reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure, till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the light understanding of an author To gratify
are engaged in this work. As the chief trouble of compiling, digesting, and correcting, will fall to my share, I must do myself the justice to open the work with my own history.
I was born to a small hereditary estate, which, according to the tradition of the village where it lies, was bounded by the same hedges and ditches in William the Conqueror's time that it is at present, and has been delivered down from father to son,
whole and entire, without the loss or acquisition of Drury-lane and the Haymarket. I have been taken a single field or meadow, during the space of for a merchant upon the exchange for above these six hundred years. There runs a story in the fa- ten years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in the asmily, that, when my mother was gone with child of sembly of stock-jobbers at Jonathan's. In short, me about three months, she dreamed that she was wherever I see a cluster of people, I always mix brought to bed of a judge. Whether this might with them, though I never open my lips but in my proceed from a law-suit which was then depending own club. in the family, or my father's being a justice of the peace, I cannot determine; for I am not so vain as to think it presaged any dignity that I should arrive at in future life, though that was the interpretation which the neighbourhood put upon it. The gravity of my behaviour at my first appearance in the world, and at the time that I sucked, seemed to favour my mother's dream; for, as she has often told me, I threw away my rattle before I was two months old, and would not make use of my coral until they had taken away the bells from it.
Thus I live in the world rather as a Spectator of mankind than as one of the species, by which means I have made myself a speculative statesman, soldier, merchant, and artisan, without ever meddling with any practical part in life. I am very well versed in the theory of a husband, or a father, and can discern the errors in the economy, business, and diversions of others, better than those who are engaged in them; as standers-by discover blots, which are apt to escape those who are in the game. I never espoused any party with violence, and am resolved to observe a strict neutrality between the Whigs and Tories, unless I shall be forced to declare myself by the hostilities of either side. In short, I have acted in all the parts of my life as a looker-on, which is the character I intend to preserve in this paper.
As for the rest of my infancy, there being nothing in it remarkable, I shall pass over it in silence. find that, during my nonage, I had the reputation of a very sullen youth, but was always a favourite of my schoolmaster, who used to say, "that my parts were solid, and would wear well." I had not been long at the university, before I distinguished myself I have given the reader just so much of my hisby a most profound silence; for during the space of tory and character, as to let him see I am not altoeight years, excepting in the public exercises of the gether unqualified for the business I have undercollege, I scarce uttered the quantity of a hundred taken. As for other particulars in my life and adwords; and indeed do not remember that I ever ventures, I shall insert them in following papers, as spoke three sentences together in my whole life. I shall see occasion. In the mean time, when I Whilst I was in this learned body, I applied myself consider how much I have seen, read, and heard, I with so much diligence to my studies, that there are begin to blame my own taciturnity; and since I very few celebrated books, either in the learned or have neither time nor inclination to communicate the modern tongues, which I am not acquainted with. the fulness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to Upon the death of my father, I was resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out, if possible, travel into foreign countries, and therefore left the before I die. I have been often told by my friends, university with the character of an odd, unaccount- that it is pity so many useful discoveries which ĺ able fellow, that had a great deal of learning, if I have made should be in the possession of a silent would but show it. An insatiable thirst after know-man. For this reason, therefore, I shall publish a ledge carried me into all the countries of Europe sheet-full of thoughts every morning, for the benefit in which there was any thing new or strange to be of my contemporaries; and if I can in any way seen; nay, to such a degree was my curiosity raised, contribute to the diversion or improvement of the that having read the controversies of some great country in which I live, I shall leave it when I am men concerning the antiquities of Egypt, I made a summoned out of it, with the secret satisfaction of voyage to Grand Cairo on purpose to take the mea-thinking that I have not lived in vain. sure of a pyramid; and as soon as I had set myself There are three very material points which I have right in that particular, returned to my native not spoken to in this paper and which, for several country with great satisfaction.* important reasons, I must keep to myself, at least I have passed my latter years in this city, where I for some time: I mean an account of my name, am frequently seen in most public places, though age, and lodgings. I must confess, I would gratify there are not above half-a-dozen of my select friends my reader in any thing that is reasonable; but as that know me; of whom my next paper shall give a for these three particulars, though I am sensible more particular account. There is no place of ge- they might tend very much to the embellishment of neral resort wherein I do not often make my ap- my paper, I cannot yet come to a resolution of compearance. Sometimes I am seen thrusting my head municating them to the public. They would indeed into a round of politicians at Will's, and listening draw me out of that obscurity which I have enjoyed with great attention to the narratives that are made for many years, and expose me in public places to in those little circular audiences. Sometimes I several salutes and civilities, which have been always smoke a pipe at Child's,† and while I seem attentive very disagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can to nothing but the Postman, overhear the conversa- suffer, is the being talked to, and being stared at. It tion of every table in the room. I appear on Sun-is for this reason, likewise, that I keep my comday nights at St. James's coffee-house, and some- plexion and dress as very great secrets; though it times join the little committee of politics in the is not impossible but I may make discoveries of both inner room, as one who comes there to hear and im- in the progress of the work I have undertaken. prove. My face is likewise very well known at the Grecian, the Cocoa-tree, and in the theatres both of
A sarcasm on Mr. Greaves, and his book entitled Pyrami dographia.
Child's coffee-house was in St. Paul's church-yard, and the resort of the clergy; St. James's stood then where it does now; Jonathan's was in Change-alley; and the Rose tavern was on the outside of Temple bar.
After having been thus particular upon myself, I shall in to-morrow's paper give an account of those gentlemen who are concerned with me in this work: for, as I have before intimated, a plan of it is laid and concerted (as all other matters of importance are) in a club. However, as my friends have engaged me to stand in the front, those who have a mind to correspond with me may direct their letters
to the Spectator, at Mr. Buckley's, in Little Bri. understanding; but he has chosen his place of retain. For I must further acquaint the reader, that though our club meets only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have appointed a committee to sit every night for the inspection of all such papers as may contribute to the advancement of the public weal. C.
No. 2.] FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 1710-11.
Ast alii sex
Et plures, uno conclamant ore.-Juv. Sat. vii. 167
THE first of our society is a gentleman of Wor-
is rather beloved than esteemed.
His tenants grow rich, his servants look satisfied, all the young women profess love to him, and the young men are glad of his company. When he comes into a house he calls the servants by their names, and talks all the way up stairs to a visit. I must not omit, that Sir Roger is a justice of the quorum; that he fills the chair at a quarter-session with great abilities, and three months ago gained universal applause, by explaining a passage in the game act.
The gentleman next in esteem and authority among us is another bachelor, who is a member of the Inner Temple, a man of great probity, wit, and
sidence rather to obey the direction of an old humoursome father, than in pursuit of his own inclinations. He was placed there to study the laws of the land, and is the most learned of any of the house in those of the stage. Aristotle and Longinus are much better understood by him than Littleton or Coke. The father sends up every post questions relating to marriage-articles, leases, and tenures in the neighbourhood; all which questions he agrees with an attorney to answer and take care of in the lump. He is studying the passions themselves when he should be inquiring into the debates among men which arise from them. He knows the argument of each of the orations of Demosthenes and Tully, but not one case in the reports of our own courts. No one ever took him for a fool; but none, except his intimate friends, know he has a great deal of wit. This turn makes him at once both disinterested and agreeable: as few of his thoughts are drawn from business, they are most of them fit for conversation. His taste for books is a little too just for the age he lives in; he has read all, but approves of very few. His familiarity with the customs, manners, actions, and writings of the ancients, makes him a very delicate observer of what occurs to him in the present world. He is an excellent critic, and the time of the play is his hour of business; exactly at five he passes through New-Inn, crosses through Russellcourt, and takes a turn at Will's till the play begins; he has his shoes rubbed and his perriwig powdered at the barber's as you go into the Rose. It is for the good of the audience when he is at a play, for the actors have an ambition to please him.
The person of next consideration is Sir Andrew Freeport, a merchant of great eminence in the city of London. A person of indefatigable industry, strong reason, and great experience. His notions of trade are noble and generous, and (as every rich man has usually some sly way of jesting, which would make no great figure were he not a rich man) he calls the sea the British Common. He is acquainted with commerce in all its parts, and will tell you that it is a stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms: for true power is to be got by arts and industry. He will often argue, that if this part of our trade were well cultivated, we should gain from one nation; and if another, from another. I have heard him prove, that diligence makes more lasting acquisitions than valour, and that sloth has ruined more nations than the sword. He abounds in several frugal maxims, amongst which the greatest favourite is," A penny saved is a penny got." A general trader of good sense is pleasanter company than a general scholar; and Sir Andrew having a natural unaffected eloquence, the perspicuity of his discourse gives the same pleasure that wit would in another man. He has made his fortune himself; and says that England may be richer than other kingdoms, by as plain methods as he himself is richer than other men; though at the same time I can say this of him, that there is not a point in the compass, but blows home a ship in which he is an owner.
Next to Sir Andrew in the club-room sits Captain Sentry, a gentleman of great courage, good understanding, but invincible modesty. He is one of those that deserve very well, but are very awkward
At that time the genteelest part of the town. It has been said, that the real person alluded to under this This fellow was a noted sharper, swaggerer, and de-name was C. Kempenfelt, father of the Admiral Kempenfelt bauchee about town, at the time here pointed out; he was who deplorably lost his life, when the Royal George of 100 well known in Blackfriars, and its then infamous purlieus. guns sank at Spithead, Aug. 29, 1782.
at putting their talents within the observation of present Lord Such-a-one. If you speak of a young such as should take notice of them. He was some commoner that said a livery thing in the house, he years a captain, and behaved himself with great starts up, "He has good blood in his veins, Tom gallantry in several engagements and at several Mirable begot him; the rogue cheated me in that sieges; but having a small estate of his own, and affair; that young fellow's mother used me more like being next heir to Sir Roger, he has quitted a way a dog than any woman I ever made advances to." of life in which no man can rise suitably to his This way of talking of his very much enlivens the merit, who is not something of a courtier as well as conversation among us of a more sedate turn; and a soldier. I have heard him often lament, that in a I find there is not one of the company, but myself, profession where merit is placed in so conspicuous a who rarely speak at all, but speaks of him as of view, impudence should get the better of modesty. that sort of man, who is usually called a well-bred When he had talked to this purpose, I never heard fine gentleman. To conclude his character, where him make a sour expression, but frankly confess women are not concerned, he is an honest worthy man. that he left the world, because he was not fit for it. I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom A strict honesty, and an even regular behaviour, are I am next to speak of, as one of our company; for in themselves obstacles to him that must press he visits us but seldom; but when he does, it adds through crowds, who endeavour at the same end to every man else a new enjoyment of himself. He with himself, the favour of a commander. He will, is a clergyman, a very philosophic man, of general however, in his way of talk excuse generals, for not learning, great sanctity of life, and the most exact disposing according to men's desert, or inquiring good breeding. He has the misfortune to be of a into it; for, says he, that great man who has a mind very weak constitution, and consequently, cannot to help me, has as many to break through to come accept of such cares and business as preferments in at me, as I have to come at him: therefore he will his function would oblige him to; he is therefore conclude, that the man who would make a figure, among divines what a chamber-counsellor is among especially in a military way, must get over all false lawyers. The probity of his mind, and the integrity modesty, and assist his patron against the importu- of his life, create him followers, as being eloquent or nity of other pretenders, by a proper assurance in loud advances others. He seldom introduces the his own vindication. He says it is a civil cowardice subject he speaks upon; but we are so far gone in to be backward in asserting what you ought to ex-years, that he observes, when he is among us, an pect, as it is a military fear to be slow in attacking when it is your duty. With this candour does the gentleman speak of himself and others. The same frankness runs through all his conversation. The military part of his life has furnished him with many adventures, in the relation of which he is very agreeable to the company; for he is never overbearing, though accustomed to command men in the utmost degree below him; nor ever too obsequious, from a babit of obeying men highly above him.
But that our society may not appear a set of humourists, unacquainted with the gallantries and pleasures of the age, we have amongst us the gallant Will Honeycomb, a gentleman who, according to his years, should be in the decline of his life, but having been very careful of his person, and always had a very easy fortune, time has made but very little impression, either by wrinkles on his forehead, or traces on his brain. His person is well turned, and of a good height. He is very ready at that sort of discourse with which men usually entertain women. He has all his life dressed very well, and remembers habits as others do men. He can smile when one speaks to him, and laughs easily. He knows the history of every mode, and can inform you from which of the French king's wenches our wives and daughters had this manner of curling their hair, that way of placing their hoods-whose frailty was covered by such a sort of petticoat, and whose vanity to shew her foot made that part of the dress so short in such a year. In a word, all his conversation and knowledge has been in the female world. As other men of his age will take notice to you what such a minister said upon such an occasion, he will tell you, when the Duke of Monmouth danced at court, such a woman was then smitten-another was taken with him at the head of his troop in the Park. In all these important relations, he has ever about the same time received a kind glance, or a blow of a fan from some celebrated beauty, mother of the
It has been said that a Colonel Cleland was supposed to have been the real person alluded to under this character,
earnestness to have him fall on some divine topic, which he always treats with much authority, as one who has no interest in this world, as one who is hastening to the object of all his wishes, and conceives hope from his decays and infirmities. These are my ordinary companions.-R.
No. 3. SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 1710-11.
LUCR. 1. iv. 959.
-What studies please, what most delight,
IN one of my rambles, or rather speculations, I looked into the great hall, where the bank is kept, and was not a little pleased to see the directors, secretaries, and clerks, with all the other members of that wealthy corporation, ranged in their several stations, according to the parts they act in that just and regular economy. This revived in my memory the many discourses which I had both read and heard concerning the decay of public credit, with the methods of restoring it, and which, in my opinion, have always been defective, because they have always been made with an eye to separate interests and party principles.
The thoughts of the day gave my mind employment for a whole night, so that I fell insensibly into a kind of methodical dream, which disposed all my contemplations into a vision, or allegory, or what else the reader shall please to call it.
Methought I returned to the great hall, where I had been the morning before; but to my surprise, instead of the company that I left there, I saw towards the upper end of the hall a beautiful virgin, seated on a throne of gold. Her name (as they told me) was Public Credit. The walls, instead of being adorned with pictures and maps, were hung with many acts of parliament written in golden letters.
earth in the Rehearsal, that danced together for no other end but to eclipse one another.
The reader will easily suppose, by what has been before said, that the lady on the throne would have been almost frightened to distraction, had she seen but any one of these spectres; what then must have been her condition when she saw them all in a body? She fainted and died away at the sight.
Et neque jam color est misto candore rubori:
- Her spirits faint,
Her blooming cheeks assume a pallid teint,
At the upper end of the hall was the magna charta, with the act of uniformity on the right hand, and the act of toleration on the left. At the lower end of the hall was the act of settlement, which was placed full in the eye of the virgin that sat upon the throne. Both the sides of the hall were covered with such acts of parliament as had been made for the establishment of public funds. The lady seemed to set an unspeakable value upon these several pieces of furniture, insomuch that she often refreshed her eye with them, and often smiled with a secret pleasure, as she looked upon them; but, at the same time, shewed a very particular uneasiness, if she saw any thing approaching that might hurt them. She appeared, indeed, infinitely timorous in all her behaviour; and whether it was from the delicacy of her constitution, or that she was troubled with vapours, as I was afterward told by one who I found was none of her well-wishers, she changed colour, and startled at every thing she heard. She was The rest that took up the same space, and made likewise (as I afterward found) a greater valetudi- the same figure, as the bags that were really filled narian than any I had ever met with even in her with money, had been blown up with air, and called own sex, and subject to such momentary consump-into my memory the bags full of wind which Homer tions, that, in the twinkling of an eye, she should tells us his hero received as a present from Æolus. fall away from the most florid complexion, and most The great heaps of gold on either side the throne now healthful state of body, and wither into a skeleton. appeared to be only heaps of paper, or little piles of Her recoveries were often as sudden as her decays, notched sticks, bound up together in bundles, like insomuch that she would revive in a moment out of Bath fagots. a wasting distemper, into a habit of the highest health and vigour.
I had very soon an opportunity of observing these quick turns and changes in her constitution. There sat at her feet a couple of secretaries, who received every hour letters from all parts of the world, which the one or the other of them was perpetually reading to her; and according to the news she heard, to which she was exceedingly attentive, she changed colour, and discovered many symptoms of health or sickness.
Behind the throne was a prodigious heap of bags of money, which were piled upon one another so high that they touched the ceiling. The floor, on her right hand and on her left, was covered with vast sums of gold, that rose up in pyramids on either side of her. But this I did not so much wonder at, when I heard, upon inquiry, that she had the same virtue in her touch which the poets tell us a Lydian king was formerly possessed of: and that she could convert whatever she pleased into that precious metal.
After a little dizziness, and confused hurry of thought, which a man often meets with in a dream, methought the hall was alarmed, the doors flew open, and there entered half a dozen of the most hideous phantoms that I had ever seen (even in a dream) before that time. They came in two by two, though matched in the most dissociable manner, and mingled together in a kind of dance. It would be too tedious to describe their habits and persons, for which reason I shall only inform my reader, that the first couple were Tyranny and Anarchy, the second were Bigotry and Atheism, the third the Genius of a commonwealth, a young man of about twenty-two years of age, whose name I could not learn. He had a sword in his right hand, which in the dance he often brandished at the act of settlement; and a citizen, who stood by me, whispered in my ear, that he saw a sponge in his left hand. The dance of so many jarring natures put me in mind of the sun, moon, and
There was a great change in the hill of moneybags, and the heaps of money, the former shrinking and falling into so many empty bags, that I now found not above a tenth part of them had been filled with money.
Whilst I was lamenting this sudden desolation that had been made before me, the whole scene vanished. In the room of the frightful spectres, there now entered a second dance of apparitions very agreeably matched together, and made up of very amiable phantoms. The first pair was Liberty, with Monarchy at her right hand. The second was Moderation leading in Religion; and the third a person whom I had never seen, with the Genius of Great Britain. At the first entrance the lady revived, the bags swelled to their former bulk, the pile of fagots and heaps of paper changed into pyramids of guineas and for my own part, I was so transported with joy that I awaked, though I must confess I would fain have fallen asleep again to have closed my vision, if I could have done it.-C.
No. 4.1 MONDAY, MARCH 5, 1710-11.
AN author, when he first appears in the world, is very apt to believe it has nothing to think of but his performances. With a good share of this vanity in my heart, I made it my business these three days to listen after my own fame; and as I have sometimes met with circumstances which did not displease me, I have been encountered by others which gave me much mortification. It is incredible to think how empty I have in this time observed some part of the species to be, what mere blanks they are when they first come abroad in the morning, how utterly they are at a stand until they are set a-going by some paragraph in a newspaper.
Such persons are very acceptable to a young author, for they desire no more in any thing but to be new, to be agreeable. If I found consolation among such, I was as much disquieted by the incapacity of others. These are mortals who have a certain curiosity without power of reflection, and perused my papers like spectators rather than readers. But
The Elector of Hanover, afterwards George I.