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kinds, they do not seem to come up to the
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
title of this paper. I therefore earnestly desire all persons, without distinc- [30 tion, to take it in for the present gratis, and hereafter at the price of one penny, forbidding all hawkers to take more for it at their peril. And I desire all persons to consider, that I am at a very great charge for proper materials for this work, as well as that, before I resolved upon it, I had settled a correspondence in all parts of the known and knowing world. And forasmuch as this globe is not trodden [40 upon by mere drudges of business only, but that men of spirit and genius are justly to be esteemed as considerable agents in it, we shall not, upon a dearth of news, present you with musty foreign edicts, and dull proclamations, but shall divide our relation of the passages which occur in action or discourse throughout this town, as well as elsewhere, under such dates of places as may prepare [50 you for the matter you are to expect in the following manner.
And, pleased the Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the
The spacious firmament on high,
What though in solemn silence all
JOSEPH ADDISON (1672–1719) AND
From THE TATLER
No. 1. Tuesday, April 12, 1709
-nostri est farrago libelli.
Though the other papers, which are published for the use of the good people of England, have certainly very wholesome effects, and are laudable in their particular
All accounts of gallantry, pleasure, and entertainment, shall be under the article of White's Chocolate-house; poetry, under that of Will's Coffee-house; learning, under the title of Grecian; foreign and domestic news, you will have from St.
James's Coffee-house; and what else I have to offer on any other subject [60 shall be dated from my own Apartment.
I once more desire my reader to consider, that as I cannot keep an ingenious man to go daily to Will's under two-pence each day, merely for his charges; to White's under six-pence; nor to the Grecian, without allowing him some plain Spanish, to be as able as others at the learned table; and that a good observer cannot speak with even Kidney at [70 St. James's without clean linen; I say, these considerations will, I hope, make all persons willing to comply with my humble request (when my gratis stock is exhausted) of a penny apiece; especially since they are sure of some proper amusement, and that it is impossible for me to want means to entertain them, having, besides the force of my own parts, the power of divination, and that I can, by [80 casting a figure, tell you all that will happen before it comes to pass.
But this last faculty I shall use very sparingly, and speak but of few things until they are passed, for fear of divulging matters which may offend our superiors.
No. 25. Tuesday, June 7, 1709. Quicquid agunt homines-nostri est farrago libelli. Juv. Sat. i. 85, 86. Whate'er men do, or say, or think, or dream, Our motley paper seizes for its theme.-Pope.
WHITE'S CHOCOLATE-HOUSE, June 6. A letter from a young lady, written in the most passionate terms, wherein she laments the misfortune of a entleman, her lover, who was lately wounded in a duel, has turned my thoughts to that subject, and inclined me to examine into the causes which precipitate men into so fatal a folly. And as it has been proposed to treat of subjects of gallantry in the article from hence, and no one [10 point in nature is more proper to be considered by the company who frequent this place than that of duels, it is worth
our consideration to examine into this chimerical groundless humor, and to lay every other thought aside, until we have stripped it of all its false pretences to credit and reputation amongst men.
But I must confess, when I consider what I am going about, and run over in [20 my imagination all the endless crowd of men of honor who will be offended at such a discourse, I am undertaking, methinks, a work worthy an invulnerable hero in romance, rather than a private gentleman with a single rapier: but as I am pretty well acquainted by great opportunities with the nature of man, and know of a truth that all men fight against their will, the danger vanishes, [30. and resolution rises upon this subject. For this reason I shall talk very freely on a custom which all men wish exploded, though no man has courage enough to resist it.
But there is one unintelligible word, which I fear will extremely perplex my dissertation, and I must confess to you I find very hard to explain, which is the term "satisfaction." An honest [40 country gentleman had the misfortune to fall into company with two or three modern men of honor, where he happened to be very ill-treated; and one of the company, being conscious of his offense, sends a note to him in the morning, and tells him, he was ready to give him satisfaction. "This is fine doing," says the plain fellow; "last night he sent me away cursedly out of humor, and [50 this morning he fancies it would be a satisfaction to be run through the body."
As the matter at present stands, it is not to do handsome actions denominates a man of honor; it is enough if he dares to defend ill ones. Thus you often see a common sharper in competition with a gentleman of the first rank; though all mankind is convinced that a fighting gamester is only a pick-pocket with [60 the courage of a highwayman. One cannot with any patience reflect on the unaccountable jumble of persons and things in this town and nation, which occasions very frequently that a brave man falls by a hand below that of a common hangman, and yet his executioner escapes the
clutches of the hangman for doing it. I shall therefore hereafter consider, how the bravest men in other ages and na- [70 tions have behaved themselves upon such incidents as we decide by combat; and show, from their practice, that this resentment neither has its foundation from true reason or solid fame; but is an imposture, made of cowardice, falsehood, and want of understanding. For this work, a good history of quarrels would be very edifying to the public, and I apply myself to the town for par- [80 ticulars and circumstances within their knowledge, which may serve to embellish the dissertation with proper cuts. Most of the quarrels I have ever known, have proceeded from some valiant coxcomb's persisting in the wrong, to defend some prevailing folly, and preserve himself from the ingenuity of owning a mistake.
By this means it is called "giving a man satisfaction," to urge your [90 offense against him with your sword; which puts me in mind of Peter's order to the keeper in The Tale of a Tub: “If you neglect to do all this, damn you and your generation for ever: and so we bid you heartily farewell." If the contradiction in the very terms of one of our challenges were as well explained and turned into downright English, would it not run after. this manner? [100 "Sir,
Your extraordinary behavior last night, and the liberty you were pleased to take with me, makes me this morning give you this, to tell you, because you are an ill-bred puppy, I will meet you in Hydepark, an hour hence; and because you want both breeding and humanity, I desire you would come with a pistol in your hand, on horseback, and endeavor to [110 shoot me through the head, to teach you more manners. If you fail of doing me this pleasure, I shall say, you are a rascal, on every post in town: and so, sir, if you will not injure me more, I shall never forgive what you have done already. Pray, sir, do not fail of getting everything ready; and you will infinitely oblige, sir, your most obedient humble servant, etc." [120
No. 163. Tuesday, April 25, 1710.
Idem inficeto est inficetior rure,
Quem non in aliquâ re videre Suffenum
Catul. de Suffeno, xx. 14. Suffenus has no more wit than a mere clown when he attempts to write verses, and yet he is never happier than when he is scribbling; so much does he admire himself and his compositions. And, indeed, this is the foible of every one of us, for there is no man living who is not a Suffenus in one thing or other.
WILL'S COFFEE HOUSE, April 24. I yesterday came hither about two hours before the company generally make their appearance, with a design to read over all the newspapers; but, upon my sitting down, I was accosted by Ned Softly, who saw me from a corner in the other end of the room, where I found he had been writing something. "Mr. Bickerstaff," says he, "I observe by a late Paper of yours, that you and I [10 are just of a humor; for you must know, of all impertinences, there is nothing which I so much hate as news. I never read a Gazette in my life; and never trouble my head about our armies, whether they win or lose, or in what part of the world they lie encamped." Without giving me time. to reply, he drew a paper of verses out of his pocket, telling me, "that he had something which would entertain me [20 more agreeably; and that he would desire my judgment upon every line, for that we had time enough before us until the company came in."
Ned Softly is a very pretty poet, and a great admirer of easy lines. Waller is his favorite: and as that admirable writer has the best and worst verses of any among our great English poets, Ned Softly has got all the bad ones without book; [30 which he repeats upon occasion, to show
his reading, and garnish his conversation. Ned is indeed a true English reader, incapable of relishing the great and masterly strokes of this art; but wonderfully pleased with the little Gothic ornaments of epigrammatical conceits, turns, points, and quibbles, which are so frequent in the most admired of our English poets, and practised by those who want genius [40 and strength to represent, after the manner of the ancients, simplicity in its natural beauty and perfection.
Finding myself unavoidably engaged in such a conversation, I was resolved to turn my pain into a pleasure, and to divert myself as well as I could with so very odd a fellow. "You must understand," says Ned, "that the sonnet I am going to read to you was written upon a [50 lady, who showed me some verses of her own making, and is, perhaps, the best poet of our age. But you shall hear it."
Upon which he began to read as follows:
TO MIRA ON HER INCOMPARABLE POEMS. When dressed in laurel wreaths you shine, And tune your soft melodious notes, You seem a sister of the Nine,
Or Phoebus' self in petticoats.
I fancy, when your song you sing,
"Why," says I, "this is a little nosegay of conceits, a very lump of salt: every verse has something in it that piques; and then the dart in the last line is certainly as pretty a sting in the tail of an epigram, for so I think you critics call it, as ever entered into the thought of a poet." [70 "Dear Mr. Bickerstaff," says he, shaking me by the hand, "everybody knows you to be a judge of these things; and to tell you truly, I read over Roscommon's translation of 'Horace's Art of Poetry' three several times, before I sat down to write the sonnet which I have shown you. But you shall hear it again, and pray observe every line of it; for not one of them shall pass without your approba- [80 tion.
"And tune your soft melodious notes. "Pray observe the gliding of that verse; there is scarce a consonant in it: I [90 took care to make it run upon liquids. Give me your opinion of it." "Truly," said I, "I think it as good as the former." "I am very glad to hear you say so," says he; "but mind the next:
You seem a sister of the Nine.
"That is," says he, "you seem a sister of the Muses; for, if you look into ancient authors, you will find it was their opinion that there were nine of them." "I [100 remember it very well," said I; "but pray proceed."
"Or Phoebus' self in petticoats.
"Phoebus," says he, "was the god of poetry. These little instances, Mr. Bickerstaff, show a gentleman's reading. Then, to take off from the air of learning, which Phoebus and the Muses had given to this first stanza, you may observe, how it falls all of a sudden into the familiar; [110 'in Petticoats'!
Or Phoebus' self in petticoats."
"Let us now," says I, "enter upon the second stanza; I find the first line is still a continuation of the metaphor:
I fancy, when your song you sing." "It is very right," says he, "but pray observe the turn of words in those two lines. I was a whole hour in adjusting of them, and have still a doubt upon [120 me, whether in the second line it should be 'Your song you sing;' or, 'You sing your song.' You shall hear them both: I fancy, when your song you sing, (Your song you sing with so much art)
I fancy, when your song you sing, (You sing your song with so much art.)"
"Truly," said I, "the turn is so natural either way, that you have made me [130
almost giddy with it." "Dear sir," said he, grasping me by the hand, "you have a great deal of patience; but pray what do you think of the next verse?
Your pen was plucked from Cupid's wing."
"Think!" says I; "I think you have made Cupid look like a little goose." "That was my meaning," says he: "I think the ridicule is well enough hit off. But we come now to the last, which [140 sums up the whole matter:
For, ah! it wounds me like his dart.
"Pray, how do you like that Ah! doth it not make a pretty figure in that place? Ahl-it looks as if I felt the dart, and cried out as being pricked with it!
For, ah! it wounds me like his dart.
"My friend Dick Easy," continued he, "assured me, he would rather have written that Ah! than to have been the au- [150 thor of the Æneid. He indeed objected, that I made Mira's pen like a quill in one of the lines, and like a dart in the other. But as to that- " "Oh! as to that," says I, "it is but supposing Cupid to be like a porcupine, and his quills and darts will be the same thing.' He was going to embrace me for the hint; but half a dozen critics coming into the room, whose faces he did not like, he conveyed the son- [160 net into his pocket, and whispered me in the ear, "he would show it me again as soon as his man had written it over fair." -ADDISON.
No. 254. Thursday, November 23, 1710.
Hor. 2 Od. iii. 35.
MY OWN APARTMENT, November 22. There are no books which I more delight in than in travels, especially those that describe remote countries, and give the writer an opportunity of showing his parts without incurring any danger of
being examined or contradicted. Among all the authors of this kind, our renowned countryman, Sir John Mandeville, has distinguished himself by the copiousness of his invention and the greatness of [10 his genius. The second to Sir John I take
to have been Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, a person of infinite adventure, and unbounded imagination. One reads the voyages of these two great wits, with as much astonishment as the travels of Ulysses in Homer, or of the Red-Cross Knight in Spenser. All is enchanted ground, and fairyland.
I have got into my hands, by great [20 chance, several manuscripts of these eminent authors, which are filled with greater wonders than any of those they have communicated to the public; and indeed, were they not so well attested, they would appear altogether improbable. I am apt to think the ingenious authors did works, lest they should pass for fictions not publish them with the rest of their and fables: a caution not unnecessary, [30 when the reputation of their veracity was not yet established in the world. But as this reason has now no farther weight, I shall make the public a present of these curious pieces, at such times as I shall find myself unprovided with other subjects.
The present paper I intend to fill with an extract from Sir John's Journal, in which that learned and worthy knight [40 gives an account of the freezing and thawing of several short speeches, which he made in the territories of Nova Zembla. I need not inform my reader, that the author of "Hudibras" alludes to this strange quality in that cold climate, when, speaking of abstracted notions clothed in a visible shape, he adds that apt simile,
"Like words congealed in northern air." 50 Not to keep my reader any longer in suspense, the relation put into modern language, is as follows:
"We were separated by a storm in the latitude of seventy-three, insomuch, that only the ship which I was in, with a Dutch and French vessel, got safe into a creek