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thought of a project which may turn both to your wool in his mouth, and keeps his body under water account and mine. It came into my head upon until the vermin get into it; after which he quits reading that learned and useful paper of yours con- the wool, and diving, leaves his tormentors to shift cerning advertisements. You must understand, I for themselves, and get their livelihood where they I would have these gentlemen take care that I have made myself master in the whole art of ad- can. vertising, both as to the style and the letter. Now do not serve them after the same manner; for if you and I could so manage it, that nobody should though I have hitherto kept my temper pretty well, write advertisements besides myself, or print them it is not impossible but I may some time or other any where but in your paper, we might both of us disappear; and what will then become of them? get estates in a little time. For this end I would Should I lay down my paper, what a famine would Likewise propose, that you should enlarge the de- there be among the hawkers, printers, booksellers, sign of advertisements, and have sent you two or and authors! It would be like Dr. Burgess's dropthree samples of my work in this kind, which Iping his cloak, with the whole congregation hanghave made for particular friends, and intend to opening upon the skirts of it. To enumerate some of shop with. The first is for a gentleman, who would these my doughty antagonists; I was threatened to willingly marry, if he could find a wife to his be answered weekly Tit for Tat; I was undermined liking; the second is for a poor whig, who is lately by the Whisperer; haunted by Tom Brown's Ghost 5 turned out of his post; and the third for a person scolded by a Female Tatler; and slandered by another of the same character, under the title of of a contrary party, who is willing to get into one.' Whereas A. B., next door to the Pestle and Atalantis. I have been annotated, relattled, eraMortar, being about thirty years old, of a spare mined, and condoled; but it being my standing make, with dark-coloured hair, bright eye, and a maxim never to speak ill of the dead, I shall let long nose, has occasion for a good-humoured, tall, these authors rest in peace; and take great pleas fair, young woman, of about £3,000 fortune; these sure in thinking, that I have sometimes been the means of their getting a belly-full. When I see are to give notice, that if any such young woman has a mind to dispose of herself in marriage to such myself thus surrounded by such formidable enea person as the above-mentioned, she may be pro- mies, I often think of the Knight of the Red Cross vided with a husband, a coach and horses, and pro-in Spenser's Den of Error,' who, after he has cut off the dragon's head, and left it wallowing in a portionable settlement." C. D. designing to quit his place, has great flood of ink, sees a thousand monstrous reptiles quantities of paper, parchment, ink, wax, and wa-making their attempts upon him, one with many fers, to dispose of, which will be sold at very reason-heads, another with none, and all of them without able rates.
'E. F. a person of good behaviour, six feet high, of a black complexion, and sound principles, wants an employ. He is an excellent penman and accountant, and speaks French.'
No. 229.] TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1710.
With conscious prideAssume the honours justly thine. From my own Apartment, September 25. THE whole creation preys upon itself. Every living creature is inhabited. A flea has a thousand invisible insects that teaze him as he jumps from place to place, and revenge our quarrels upon him. A very ordinary microscope shows us, that a louse is itself a very lousy creature. A whale, besides those several seas and oceans in the several vessels of his body, which are filled with innumerable shoals of little animals, carries about him a whole world of inhabitants; insomuch that, if we believe the calculations some have made, there are more living creatures, which are too small for the naked eye to behold, about the leviathan, than there are of visible creatures upon the face of the whole earth. Thus every noble creature is, as it were, the basis and support of multitudes that are his inferiors.
This consideration very much comforts me, when I think on those numberless vermin that feed upon this paper, and find their sustenance out of it; I mean the small wits and scribblers, that every day turn a penny by nibbling at my lucubrations. This has been so advantageous to this little species of writers, that, if they do me justice, I may expect to have my statue erected in Grub-street, as being a common benefactor to that quarter.
They say, when a fox is very much troubled with Heas, he goes into the next pool with a little lock of
Those same sore annoyed has the knight,
She poured forth out of her hellish sink
If ever I should want such a fry of little authors to attend me, I shall think my paper in a very decaying condition. They are like ivy about an oak, which adorns the tree at the same time that it eats into it; or like a great man's equipage, that do honour to the person on whom they feed. For my part, when I see myself thus attacked, I do not consider my antagonists as malicious, but hungry: anu therefore am resolved never to take any notice of them.
As for those who detract from my labours, without being prompted to it by an empty stomach; in return to their censures, I shall take pains to excel, and never fail to persuade myself, that their enmity is nothing but their envy or ignorance.
Give me leave to conclude, like an old man, and a moralist, with a fable.
The owls, bats, and several other birds of nigh, were one day got together in a thick shade, where
they abused their neighbours in a very sociable "SIR,
manner. Their satire at last fell upon the sun, “I cou'd n't get the things you sent for all about whom they all agreed to be very troublesome, im-town-I thot to ha come down myself, and then I'd pertinent, and inquisitive. Upon which, the sun,h' brót 'um; but I han't don't, and I believe I can't who overheard them, spoke to them after this manner: Gentlemen, I wonder how you dare abuse one that, you know, could in an instant scorch you up, and burn every mother's son of you: but the only answer I shall give you, or the revenge I shall take of you, is, to shine on.'
No. 230.] THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1710.
From my own Apartment, September 28. THE following letter has laid before me many great and manifest evils in the world of letters, which I had overlooked; but they open to me a very busy scene, and it will require no small care and application to amend errors which are become so universal. The affectation of politeness is exposed in this epistle with a great deal of wit and discernment; so that whatever discourses I may fall into hereafter upon the subjects the writer treats of, I shall at present lay the matter before the world, without the least alteration from the words of my correspondent.
To Isaac Bickerstaff, Esquire.
do't, that's pozz-Tom begins to gimself airs, because he's going with the plenipo's 'Tis said the French king will bambooz! us agen, which causes many spect lations. The Jacks and others of that kidney are uppish and alert upon't, as you may see by thei phizz's-Will Hazard has got the hipps, havin lost to the tune of five hundr'd pound, tho' he understands play very well, no body better. He has promis't me upon rep, to leave off play, but you know 'tis a weakness he's too apt to give into, the he has as much wit as any man, no body more. He has lain incog ever since-The mob's very quiet with us now- -I believe you thôt I banter'd you in my last, like a country put-I shan't leave town this month, &c."
This letter is in every point an admirable pattern of the present polite way of writing; nor is it of less authority for being an epistle. You may gather every flower in it, with a thousand more of equal sweetness, from the books, pamphlets, and single papers offered to us every day in the coffee-houses; and these are the beauties introduced to supply the want of wit, sense, humour, and learning, which formerly were looked upon as qualifications for a "There are some abuses among us of great con-writer. If a man of wit, who died forty years ago, sequence; the reformation of which is properly your province; though, as far as I have been conversant in your papers, you have not yet considered them. These are, the deplorable ignorance that for some years hath reigned among our English writers, the great depravity of our taste, and the continual corruption of our style. I say nothing here of those who handle particular sciences, divinity, law, physic, and the like; I mean the traders in history, politics, and the belles lettres; together with those by whom books are not translated, but, as the common expressions are, done out of French, Latin, or other language, and made English. I cannot but observe to you, that until of late years a Grub-street book was always bound in sheep-skin, with suitable print and paper, the price never above a shilling, and taken off wholly by common tradesmen or country pedlars; but now they appear in all sizes and shapes, and in all places. They are handed about from lapfuls in every coffee-house to persons of quality; are shown in Westminster-hall and the Court of Requests. You may see them gilt, and in royal paper of five or six hundred pages, and rated accordingly. I would engage to furnish you with a catalogue of English books, published within the compass of seven years past, which at the first hand would cost you a hundred pounds, wherein you shall not be able to find ten lines together of cominon grammar or common sense.
were to rise from the grave on purpose, how would he be able to read this letter? and after he had got through that difficulty, how would he be able to understand it? The first thing that strikes your eye, is the breaks at the end of almost every sentence; of which I know not the use, only that it is a refinement, and very frequently practised. Then you will observe the abbreviations and elisions, by which consonants of most obdurate sound are joined together without one softening vowel to intervene; and all this only to make one syllable of two, directly contrary to the example of the Greek and Romans, altoge ther of the Gothic strain, and a natural tendency towards relapsing into barbarity, which delights in monosyllables, and uniting of mute consonants, as it is observable in all the northern languages. And this is still more visible in the next refinement, which consists in pronouncing the first syllable in a word that has many, and dismissing the rest; such as phizz, hipps, mob, pozz, rep, and many more when we are already overloaded with monosyllables, which are the disgrace of our language. Thus we cram one syllable, and cut off the rest, as the ow! fattened her mice after she had bit off their legs to prevent them from running away; and if ours be the same reason for maiming our words, it will cer tainly answer the end; for I am sure no other nation will desire to borrow them. Some words are hitherto but fairly split, and therefore only in their way to perfection, as incog. and plenipo.: but in a short time, it is to be hoped they will be further docked to in and plen. This reflection has made me of late years very impatient for a peace, which I believe would save the lives of many brave words, as well as men. The war has introduced abundance of polysyllables, which will never be able to live many more cam paigns: speculations, operations, preliminaries, amBut, instead of giving you a list of the late re-bassadors, pallis does, communication, circumvalla finements crept into our language, I here send you the copy of a letter I received, some time ago, from a most accomplished person in this way of writing; upon which I shall make some remarks, It is in these terms:
These two evils, ignorance and want of taste, have produced a third; I mean the continual corruption of our English tongue, which, without some timely remedy, will suffer more by the false refinements of twenty years past, than it hath been improved in the foregoing hundred. And this is what I design chiefly to enlarge upon, leaving the former evils to your animadversion.
tion, battalions; as numerous as they are,
'The third refinement observable in the letter 1 send you, cons.sts in the cacice of certain words
invented by some pretty fellows, such as bunter, our office only to represent abuses, and yours to re bamboozle, country put, and kidney, as it is there dress them. I am, with great respect, Sir, applied; some of which are now struggling for the vogue, and others are in possession of it. I have
done my utmost for some years past to stop the No. 231.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1710. progress of mob and banter, but have been plainly borne down by numbers, and betrayed by those who promised to assist me.
In the last place, you are to take notice of certain choice phrases scattered through the letter, some of them tolerable enough, until they were worn to rags by servile imitators. You might easily find them though they were not in a different print, and therefore I need not disturb them.
Principiis obsta Ovid. Rem. Amor. ver. 91.
From my own Apartment, September 29.
These are the false refinements in our style which you ought to correct: first, by argument and fair means; but, if those fail, I think you are to make use of your authority as Censor, and by an annual Index Expurgatorius expunge all words and phrases that A gentleman in Lincolnshire had four daughters, are offensive to good sense, and condemn those bar- three of which were early married very happily; but barous mutilations of vowels and syllables. In this the fourth, though no way inferior to any of her last point the usual pretence is, that they spell as sisters, either in person or accomplishments, had, they speak. A noble standard for language; to from her infancy, discovered so imperious a temper, depend upon the caprice of every coxcomb, who, usually called a high spirit, that it continually made because words are the clothing of our thoughts, cuts great uneasiness in the family, became her known them out and shapes them as he pleases, and changes character in the neighbourhood, and deterred all her them oftener than his dress. I believe all reasonable lovers from declaring themselves. However, in people would be content that such refiners were more process of time, a gentleman of a plentiful fortune, sparing in their words, and liberal in their syllables: and long acquaintance, having observed the quickand upon this head I should be glad you would be-ness of her spirit to be her only fault, made his stow some advice upon several young readers in our addresses, and obtained her consent in due form. churches, who, coming up from the University full The lawyers finished the writings, in which, by the fraught with admiration of our town politeness, will way, there was no pin-money; and they were marneeds correct the style of their prayer-books. In ried. After a decent time spent in the father's reading the Absolution, they are very careful to say house, the bridegroom went to prepare his seat for pardons and absolves; and in the prayer for the her reception. During the whole course of his courtroyal family, it must be endue'um, enrich'um, pros-ship, though a man of the most equal temper, he had per'um, and bring'um. Then in their sermons they use all the modern terms of art, sham, bunter, mob, bubble, bully, cutting, shuffling, and palming; all which, and many more of the like stamp, as I have heard them often in the pulpit from such young sophisters, so I have read them in some of those sermons that have made most noise of late." The design, it seems, is to avoid the dreadful imputation of pedantry; to show us that they know the town, understand men and manners, and have not been poring upon old unfashionable books in the university.
artificially lamented to her that he was the most passsionate creature breathing. By this one intimation, he at once made her understand warmth of temper to be what he ought to pardon in her, as well as that he alarmed her against that constitution in himself. She at the same time thought herself highly obliged by the composed behaviour which he maintained in her presence. Thus far he with great success soothed her from being guilty of violences, and still resolved to give her such a terrible apprehension of his fiery spirit, that she should never dream of giving way to her own. He returned on the day 'I should be glad to see you the instrument of appointed for carrying her home; but, instead of a introducing into our style that simplicity which is coach and six horses, together with the gay equipage the best and truest ornament of most things in life, suitable to the occasion, he appeared without a serwhich the politer ages always aimed at in their vant, mounted on the skeleton of a horse, which his building and dress, simplex munditiis, as well as their huntsman had, the day before, brought in to feast his productions of wit. It is manifest that all new dogs on the arrival of their new mistress, with a affected modes of speech, whether borrowed from pillion fixed behind, and a case of pistols before him, the court, the town, or the theatre, are the first attended only by a favourite hound. Thus equipped, perishing parts of any language; and, as I could he, in a very obliging but somewhat positive manner, prove by many hundred instances, have been so in desired his lady to seat herself on the cushion. ours. The writings of Hooker, who was a country which done, away they crawled. The road being clergyman, and of Parsons the Jesuit, both in the obstructed by a gate, the dog was commanded to reign of queen Elizabeth, are in a style that, with open it: the poor cur looked up and wagged his tail; very few allowances, would not offend any present but the master, to show the impatience of his temper, reader, and are much more clear and intelligible drew a pistol, and shot him dead. He had no sooner than those of sir Harry Wooton, sir Robert Naunton, done it, but he fell into a thousand apologies for his Osborn, Daniel the historian, and several others who unhappy rashness, and begged as many pardons for writ later; but being men of the court, and affecting his excesses before one for whom he had so profound the phrases then in fashion, they are often either not to be understood, or appear perfectly ridiculous. What remedies are to be applied to these evils I have not room to consider, having, I fear, already taken up most of your paper. Besides, I think it is TATLER.NOS, 41 & 12
a respect. Soon after, their steed stumbled, but with some difficulty recovered; however, the bridegroom took occasion to swear, if he frightened his wife so again he would run him through! and alas! the poor animal being now Imost tired, made a second
I received the following letter with a dozen of wine, and cannot but do justice to the letter, and give my testimony, That I have tried it upon several of my acquaintance, who were given to impertinent abbreviations, with great success.'
have discoursed you upon some matters of moment, but that I love to be well informed in the subject upon which I enter into debate with them. I have, therefore, with the utmost care and pains, applied myself to the reading all the writings and pamphlets which have come out since the trial, and have studied night and day to be master of the whole controversy: but the authors are so numerous, and the state of affairs alters so very fast, that I am now a fortnight behind-hand in my reading, and know
trip; immediately on which the careful husband alights, and, with great ceremony, first takes off his lady, then the accoutrements, draws his sword, and saves the huntsman the trouble of killing him then says to his wife, Child, pr'ythee take up the saddle; which she readily did, and tugged it home, where they found all things in the greatest order, suitable to their fortune and the present occasion. Some time after, the father of the lady gave an entertainment to all his daughters and their husbands; where, when their wives were retired, and the gen-only how things stood twelve days ago. I wish you tlemen passing a toast about, our last married man would enter into those useful subjects; for, if 1 took occasion to observe to the rest of his brethren, may be allowed to say so, these are not times to how much, to his great satisfaction, he found the jest in. As for my own pert, you know very well world mistaken as to the temper of his lady, for that that I am of a public spirit, and never regarded my she was the most meek and humble woman breath-own interest, but looked further; and let me tell ing. The applause was received with a loud laugh: | you, that while some people are minding only thembut, as a trial which of them would appear the selves and families, and others are thinking only of most master at home, he proposed they should all their own country, things go on strangely in the by turns send for their wives down to them. A ser-north. I foresee very great evils arising from the vant was dispatched, and answer was made by one, neglect of transactions at a distance; for which * tell him I will come by-and-by ;' and another, reason I am now writing a letter to a friend in the 'that she would come when the cards were out of country, which I design as an answer to the czar her hand ;' and so on. But no sooner was her hus- of Muscovy's letter to the Grand Seignior concernband's desire whispered in the ear of our last mar-ing his majesty of Sweden. I have endeavoured ried lady, but the cards were clapped on the table, to prove, that it is not reasonable to expect that his and down she comes with my dear, would you Swedish majesty should leave Bender without farty speak with me?' He receives her in his arms, and, thousand men; and I have added to this an apology after repeated caresses, tells her the experiment, for the Cossacks. But the matter multiplies upon confesses his good nature, and assures her, that me, and I grow dim with much writing; therefore since she could now command her temper, he would desire, if you have an old green pair of spectacles, no longer disguise his own. such as you used about your fiftieth year, that you would send them to me; as also that you would please to desire Mr. Morphew to send me in a bushel of coals on the credit of my answer to his czarian majesty; for I design it shall be printed for Morphew, and the weather grows sharp. I shall take it kindly also if you will send me the papers as they come out. If there are no fresh pamphlets published, I compute that I shall know before the end of next month what has been done in town to this day. If it were not for an ill custom lately introduced by a certain author, of talking Latin at the beginning of papers, matters would be in a much clearer light than they are: but, to our comfort, there are solid writers who are not guilty of this pedantry. The Postman writes like an angel The Moderator is fine reading. It would do you no harm to read the Postboy with attention; he is very deep of late. He is instructive; but I confess little satirical: a sharp pen! he cares not what he says. The Examiner is admirable, and is become a grave and substantial author. But, above all, I am at a loss how to govern myself in my judg ment of those whose whole writings consist in interrogatories: and then the way of answering, by proposing questions as hard to them, is quite as exI HAVE received the following letter from my un-traordinary. As for my part, I tremble at these fortunate old acquaintance the upholsterer, who, observed, had long absented himself from the bench at the end of the Mall. Having not seen him for some time, I was in fear I should soon hear of his death; especially since he never appeared, though the noons have been of late pretty warm, and the councils at that place very full from the hour of twelve to three, which the sages of that board employ in conference, while the unthinking part of mankind are eating and drinking for the support of their own private persons, without any regard to the public.
I send you by this bearer, and not per bearer, a dozen of that claret which is to be sold at Garraway's coffee-house, on Thursday the fifth day of October next. I can assure you I have found by experience the efficacy of it, in amending a fault you complain of in your last. The very first draught of it has some effect upon the speech of the drinker, and restores all the letters taken away by the elisions so justly complained of. Will Hazard was cured of his hypocondria by three glasses; and the gentleman who gave you an account of his late indisposition, has, in public company, after the first quart, spoke every syllable of the word plenipotentiary. 'Your's, &c.'
No. 232.] TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1710.
Inovelties; we expose, in my opinion, our affairs too much by it. You may be sure the French king will spare no cost to come at the reading of them. I dread to think if the fable of the blackbirds should fall into his hands. But I shall not venture to say more until I see you. In the mean time,
'I am, &c.' P.S. I take the Bender letter in the Examiner to be spurious.'
This unhappy correspondent, whose fantastical loyalty to the king of Sweden has reduced him to this low condition of reason and fortune, would ap I should have waited on you very frequently to hear much more monstrous in his madness, did we
not see crowds very little above his circumstances indiscretions. When those whom we know to be from the same cause a passion to politics. excellent, and deserving of a better fate, are It is no unpleasant entertainment to consider the wretched, we cannot but resign ourselves, whom commerce even of the sexes interrupted by differ- most of us know to merit a much worse state than ence in state affairs. A wench and her gallant that we are placed in. For such, and many other parted last week upon the words unlimited and pas-occasions, there is one admirable relation which one sive and there is such a jargon of terms got into might recommend for certain periods of one's life, the mouths of the very silliest of the women, that to touch, comfort, and improve the heart of man. you cannot come into a room, even among them, but Tully says somewhere, 'the pleasures of a husbandyou find them divided into Whig and Tory. What man are next to those of a philosopher. In like heightens the humour is, that all the hard words manner one may say, for they bear the same prothey know, they certainly suppose to be terms use- portion one to another, the pleasures of humanity ful in the disputes of the parties. I came in this are next to those of devotion. In both these latter day where two were in very hot debate; and one of satisfactions, there is a certain humiliation which them proposed to me to explain to them what was exalts the soul above its ordinary state. At the the difference between circumcision and predesti- same time that it lessens our value of ourselves, it nation. You may be sure I was at a loss; but they enlarges our estimation of others. The history A were too angry at each other to wait for my expla- am going to speak of, is that of Joseph in holy nation, and proceeded to lay open the whole state of writ, which is related with such majestic simplicity, affairs, instead of the usual topics of dress, gallantry, that all the parts of it strike us with strong touches and scandal. of nature and compassion; and he must be a stranger to both who can read it with attention, and not be overwhelmed with the vicissitudes of joy and sorrow. I hope it will not be a profanation, to tell it one's own way here, that they, who may be unthinking enough to be more frequently readers of such papers as this, than of sacred writ, may be advertised, that the greatest pleasures the imagination can be entertained with are to be found there, and that even the style of the scriptures is more than humar.
I have often wondered how it should be possible that this turn to politics should so universally prevail, to the exclusion of every other subject out of conversation; and, upon mature consideration, find it is for want of discourse. Look round you among all the young fellows you meet, and you see those who have the least relish for books, company, or pleasure, though they have no manner or qualities to make them succeed in those pursuits, shall make very passable politicians. Thus the most barren invention shall find enough to say to make one apJoseph, a beloved child of Israel, became invipear an able man in the top coffee-houses. It is but dious to his elder brethren, for no other reason but adding a certain vehemence in uttering yourself, let his superior beauty, and excellence of body and the thing you say be never so flat, and you shall be mind, insomuch, that they could not bear his growthought a very sensible man, if you were not too ing virtue, and let him live. They therefore conhot. As love and honour are the noblest motives spire his death; but nature pleaded so strongly for of life; so the pretenders to them, without being him in the heart of one of them, that by his peranimated by them, are the most contemptible of all suasion they determined rather to bury him in a sorts of pretenders. The unjust affectation of any pit, than be his immediate executioners with their thing that is laudable is ignominious in proportion own hands. When thus much was obtained for to the worth of the thing we affect: thus, as love of him, their minds still softened towards him, and one's country is the most glorious of all passions, to they took the opportunity of some passengers to sell see the most ordinary tools in a nation give them-him into Egypt. Israel was persuaded by the artiselves airs that way, without any one good quality in their own life, has something in it romantic, yet
not so ridiculous as odious.
Mr. Bickerstaff has received Sylvia's letter from the Bath, and his sister is set out thither. Tom Frontley, who is one of the guides for the town, is desired to bring her into company, and oblige her with a mention in his next lampoon.'
No. 233.] THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1710.
Hor. 1 Ep. i. 36.
From my own Apartment, October 4.
fice of his sons, that the youth was torn to pieces by wild beasts: but Joseph was sold to slavery, and still exposed to new misfortunes, from the same cause, his beauty and his virtue. By a false accusation he was committed to prison; but in process of time delivered from it, in consideration of his Pharaoh's house. In this elevation of his fortune, wisdom and knowledge, and made the governor of his brothers were sent into Egypt to buy necessaries of life, in a famine. As soon as they are brought into his presence, he beholds, but he beholds with compassion, the men who had sold him to slavery, approaching him with awe and reverence. While he was looking over his brethren, he takes a resolution to indulge himself in the pleasure of stirring their and his own affections, by keeping himself concealed, and examining into the circumstances of their family. For this end, with an air of severity, as a watchful minister to Pharaoh, he accuses them as spies, who are come into Egypt with designs against the state. This led them into the account which he wanted of them, the condition of their ancient father and little brother whom they had left behind them. When he had learned that his brother was living, he demands the bringing him to Egypt, as a proof of their veracity.
But it would be a vain and empty endeavour to