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ced warning of my bell, morning and evening, to go ons to a puppet-show set forth by one Powell under ve the Piazzas. By this means I have not only lost are my two customers, whom I used to place for sixpo-pence a-piece, over against Mrs. Rachael Eyebright, but Mrs. Rachel herself is gone thither also. ers There now appear among us none but a few ordient nary people, who come to church only to say their od prayers, so that I have no work worth speaking of but on Sundays. I have placed my son at the Piazzas, to acquaint the ladies, that the bell rings for church, and that it stands on the other side of the Garden; but they only laugh at the child.
'I desire you would lay this before all the world, that I may not be made such a tool for the future, and that Punchinello may choose hours less canonical. As things are now, Mr. Powell has a full congregation, while we have a very thin house; which if you can remedy, you will very much and oblige, 'SIR, yours, &c.
aly 'I HAVE observed the rules of my mask so carethe fully (in not inquiring into persons), that I cannot an tell whether you were one of the company or not, the last Tuesday; but if you were not, and still design ese to come, I desire you would, for your own enterice tainment, please to admonish the town, that all persons indifferently are not fit for this sort of diversion. I could wish, sir, you could make them understand, that it is a kind of acting to go in masquerade, and a man should be able to say or do things proper for the dress in which he appears. We have now and then rakes in the habit of Rosi- man senators, and grave politicians in the dress of rakes. The misfortune of the thing is, that people ent dress themselves in what they have a mind to be, and not what they are fit for. There is not a girl in the town, but let her have her will in going to a mask, and she shall dress as a shepherdess. But let me beg of them to read the Arcadia, or some other good romance, before they appear in any such character at my house. The last day we preand sented, every body was so rashly habited, that ter, when they came to speak to each other, a nymph the with a crook had not a word to say but in the pert re- style of the pit bawdry; and a man in the habit of a philosopher was speechless, till an occasion offered of expressing himself in the refuse of the hi tyring rooms. We had a judge that danced a minot nuet, with a quaker for his partner, while half a dozen harlequins stood by as spectators: a Turk drank me off two bottles of wine, and a Jew eat me up half a ham of bacon. If I can bring my design to bear, and make the maskers preserve their characters in my assemblies, I hope you will allow there is a foundation laid for inore elegant nd- and improving gallantries than any the town at ith present affords; and consequently that you will er, give your approbation to the endeavours of
The following epistle I find is from the undertaker of the masquerade.
Your most obedient humble servant.'
little Piazza in Covent-Garden, being at present the two leading diversions of the town, and Mr. Powell professing in his advertisements to set up Whittington and his Cat against Rinaldo and Armida, my curiosity led me, the beginning of last week, to view both these performances, and make my observations upon them.
First, therefore, I cannot but observe, that Mr. Powell wisely forbearing to give his company a bill of fare beforehand, every scene is new and anexpected; whereas it is certain, that the undertakers of the Haymarket, having raised too great an expectation in their printed opera, very much disappoint their audience on the stage.
The King of Jerusalem is obliged to come from the city on foot, instead of being drawn in a triumphant chariot by white horses, as my opera-book had promised me; and thus, while I expected Armida's dragons should rush forward towards Argentes, I found the hero was obliged to go to Armida, and hand her out of her coach. We had also but a very short allowance of thunder and lightning; though I cannot in this place omit doing justice to the boy who had the direction of the two painted dragons, and made them spit fire and smoke. He flashed out his rosin in such just proportions, and in such due time, that I could not forbear conceiving hopes of his being one day a most excellept player. I saw, indeed, but two things wanting to render his whole action complete, I mean the keeping his head a little lower, and hiding his candle.
Parva leves capiunt animos
OVID. Ars Am. i. 159 Light minds are pleas'd with trifles.
WHEN I was in France, I used to gaze with great astonishment at the splendid equipages and partycoloured habits of that fantastic nation. I was one day in particular contemplating a lady that sat in a coach adorned with gilded Cupids, and finely painted with the loves of Venus and Adonis. The coach was drawn by six milk-white horses, and loaded behind with the same number of powdered footmen. Just before the lady were a couple of beautiful pages, that were stuck among the harness, and by their gay dresses and smiling features, looked like the elder brothers of the little boys that were carved and painted in every corner of
I observe that Mr. Powell and the undertakers The lady was the unfortunate Cleanthe, who of the opera had both the same thought, and I afterwards gave an occasion to a pretty melanthink much about the same time, of introducing choly novel. She had for several years received animals on their several stages, though indeed with the addresses of a gentleman, whom, after a long very different success. The sparrows and chaf- and intimate acquaintance, she forsook, upon the finches at the Haymarket, fly as yet very irregu- account of this shining equipage, which had been offered to her by one of great riches, but a crazy larly over the stage; and instead of perching on the trees, and performing their parts, these young constitution. The circumstances in which I saw actors either get into the galleries, or put out the her were, it seems, the disguises only of a broken candles; whereas Mr. Powell has so well disci- heart, and a kind of pageantry to cover distress; plined his pig, that in the first scene he and Punch for in two months after she was carried to her dance a minuet together. I am informed, how-grave with the same pomp and magnificence; beever, that Mr. Powell resolves to excel bis adversaries in their own way; and introduce larks in his next opera of Susannah, or Innocence Betrayed, which will be exhibited next week, with a pair of
The moral of Mr. Powell's drama is violated, I confess, by Punch's national reflections on the French, and king Harry's laying his leg upon the queen's lap, in too ludicrous a manner before so great an assembly.
As to the mechanism and scenery, every thing, indeed, was uniform, and of a-piece, and the scenes were managed very dexterously; which calls on me to take notice, that at the Haymarket, the undertakers forgetting to change the side-scenes, we were presented with a prospect of the ocean in the midst of a delightful grove; and though the gentlemen on the stage had very much contributed to the beauty of the grove, by walking up and down between the trees, I must own I was not a little astonished to see a well-dressed young fellow, in a full-bottomed wig, appear in the midst of the sea, and without any visible concern taking
I shall only observe one thing further, in which both dramas agree; which is, that by the squeak of their voices the heroes of each are eunuchs; and as the wit in both pieces is equal, I must prefer the performance of Mr. Powell, because it is in our own language. ' I am, &c.'
ing sent thither partly by the loss of one lover, and partly by the possession of another.
I have often reflected with myself on this unaccountable humour in womankind, of being mitten with every thing that is showy and superficial; and on the numberless evils that befal the sex from this light fantastical disposition. I myself remember a young lady that was very warmly solicited by a couple of importunate rivals, who, for several months together, did all they could to recommend themselves, by complacency of behaviour and agreeAt length, when the ableness of conversation. competition was doubtful, and the lady undeter mined in her choice, one of the young lovers very luckily bethought himself of adding a supernume rary lace to his liveries, which had so good an effect that he married her the very week after.
The usual conversation of ordinary women very much cherishes this natural weakness of being taken with outside and appearance. Talk of a new-married couple, and you immediately hear whether they keep their coach and six, or eat in plate. Mention the name of an absent lady, and it is ten to one but you learn something of her gown and petticoat. A ball is a great help to discourse, and a birth-day furnishes conversation for a twelvemonth after. A furbelow of precious stones, an hat buttoned with a diamond, a brocade waistcoat
*For an account of this singular character, see the Gentleman's Magazine, vols. xxxiv. xxxv.
ey I cannot conclude my paper without observing, er that Virgil has very finely touched upon this female be passion for dress and show, in the character of Caes, milla; who, though she seems to have shaken off er all the other weaknesses of her sex, is still described nd as a woman in this particular. The poet tells us, no that, after having made a great slaughter of the er- enemy, she unfortunately cast her eye on a Trojan, ial who wore an embroidered tunic, a beautiful coat in of mail, with a mantle of the finest purple. A m- golden bow,' says he, hung upon his shoulder; of his garment was buckled with a golden clasp; and ace his head covered with an helmet of the same shinke ing metal.' The Amazon immediately singled out en this well-dressed warrior, being seized with a woifi- man's longing for the pretty trappings that he was iry adorned with:
Totumque incauta per agmen
EN, xi. 782.
N° 16. MONDAY, MARCH 19, 1710-11.
Quid verum atque decens, curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum.
What right, what true, what fit we justly call,
de- I HAVE received a letter, desiring me to be very sses satirical upon the little muff that is now in fashion; alks another informs me of a pair of silver garters som buckled below the knee, that have been lately seen at the Rainbow Coffee-house in Fleet-Street They a third sends me an heavy complaint against fringed tue, gloves. To be brief, there is scare an ornament of ter- either sex which one or the other of my corresponr so dents has not inveighed against with some bitterand ness, and recommended to my observation. I must, oks therefore, once for all, inform my readers, that it hey is not my intention to sink the dignity of this my with paper with reflections upon red-heels or top-knots, mes but rather to enter into the passions of mankind, s to and to correct those depraved sentiments that give em- birth to all those little extravagancies which apeans pear in their outward dress and behaviour. Fopheir pish and fantastic ornament are only indications be- of vice, not criminal in themselves. Extinguish that vanity in the mind, and you naturally retrench the little superfluities of garniture and equipage. The she blossoms will fall of themselves when the root that ooks nourished them is destroyed.
do- I shall therefore, as I have said, apply my remelity. dies to the first seeds and principles of an affected cies dress, without descending to the dress itself; though the at the same time I must own, that I have thoughts She of creating an officer under me, to be entitled, The less- Censor of Small Wares, and of allotting him one ace,day in the week for the execution of such his ther. office. An operator of this nature might act under d be me, with the same regard as a surgeon to a physiShe cian; the one might be employed in healing those and blotches and tumours which break out in the body, I re- while the other is sweetening the blood, and rectiEure. fying the constitution. To speak truly, the young f she people of both sexes are so wonderfully apt to tex- shoot out into long swords or sweeping trains, e by bushy head-dresses, or full-bottomed periwigs, with several other encumbrances of dress, that they
stand in need of being pruned very frequently, lest they should be oppressed with ornaments, and overrun with the luxuriancy of their habits. I am much in doubt, whether I should give the preference to a quaker that is trimmed close, and almost cut to the quick, or to a beau that is loaden with such a redundance of excrescences. I must therefore desire my correspondents to let me know how they approve my project, and whether they think the erecting of such a petty censorship may not turn to the emolument of the public; for I would not do any thing of this nature rashly and without advice.
that are full of blots and calumnies, insomuch, that
What I have said under the three foregoing heads, will, I am afraid, very much retrench the number of my correspondents. I shall therefore acquaint my reader, that if he has started any hint which he is not able to pursne, if he has met with any surpising story which he does not know how to tell, if he has discovered any epidemical vice which has escaped my observation, or has heard of any uncommon virtue which he would desire to publish; in short, if he has any materials that can furnish out an innocent diversion, shall promise him my best assistance in the working of them up for a public entertainment.
This paper my reader will find was intended for an answer to a multitude of correspondents; but I hope he will pardon me if I single out one of them in particular, who has made me so very humble a request, that I cannot forbear complying with it.
'TO THE SPECTATOR.
March 15, 1710-11.
There is another set of correspondents to whom I must address myself in the second place; I mean such as fill their letters with private scandal, and black accounts of particular persons and families. The world is so full of ill-nature, that I have lampoons sent me by people who cannot spell, and satires composed by those who scarce know how to write. By the last post in particular, I received a packet of scandal which is not legible; and have a whole bundle of letters in women's hands, I AM at present so unfortunate, as to have nothing when I see the name Cælia, Phillis, Pastora, or the to do but to mind my own business; and therefore like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I conclude of beg of you that you will be pleased to put me into course that it brings me some account of a fallen some small post under you. I observe that you virgin, a faithless wife, or an amorous widow. Iceive letters and advertisements for the city of have appointed your printer and publisher to remust therefore inform these my correspondents, London; and shall think myself very much honourthat it is not my design to be a publisher of in-ed by you, if you will appoint me to take in lettrigues and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous stories out of their present lurking holes into broad ters and advertisements for the city of Westminster and the duchy of Lancaster. Though I cannot day-light. If I attack the vicious, I shall only set upon them in a body; and will not be provoked promise to fill such an employment with sufficient by the worst usage I can receive from others, to abilities, I will endeavour to make up with indusmake an example of any particular criminal. In try and fidelity, what I want in parts and genius. short, I have so much of a Drawcansir* in me, that 'Your most obedient servant, I shall pass over a single foe to charge whole arCHARLES LILLIE." mies. It is not Lais or Silenus, but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I shall endeavour to expose ; C. and shall consider the crime as it appears in a species, not as it is circumstanced in an individual. I think it was Caligula, who wished the whole city of Rome had but one neck, that he might behead them at a blow. I should do, out of humanity, what that emperor would have done in the cruelty of his temper, and aim every stroke at a collective body of offenders. At the same time I am very sensible, that nothing spreads a paper like private calumny and defamation; but as my speculations are not under this necessity, they are not exposed to this temptation.
'I am, SIR,
N° 17. TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 1710-11.
Tetrum ante omnia vultum.
A visage rough,
JÚV. x. 191.
SINCE our persons are not of our own making, when they are such as appear defective or uncomeIn the next place, I must apply myself to my ly, it is, methinks, an honest and laudable fortitude party correspondents, who are continually teasing to dare to be ugly; at least to keep ourselves from me to take notice of one another's proceedings. being abashed with a consciousness of imperfecHow often am I asked by both sides, if it is tions which we cannot help, and in which there is possible for me to be an unconcerned spectator of no guilt. I would not defend an haggard beau, the rogueries that are committed by the party for passing away much time at a glass, and giving which is opposite to him that writes the letter? softness and languishing graces to deformity: ali I About two days since, I was reproached with an intend is, that we ought to be contented with our old Grecian law, that forbids any man to stand as countenance and shape, so far, as never to give ourneuter, or å looker-on in the divisions of his coun-selves an uneasy reflection on that subject. It is try. However, as I am very sensible my paper to the ordinary people, who are not accustomed to would lose its whole effect, should it run out into make very proper remarks on any occasion, matthe outrages of a party, I shall take care to keepter of great jest, if a man enters with a prominent clear of every thing which looks that way. If I pair of shoulders into an assembly, or is distincan any way assuage private inflammations, or al-guished by an expansion of mouth, or obliquity of lay public ferments, I shall apply myself to it with aspect. It is happy for a man that has any of my utmost endeavours; but will never let my heart these oddnessess about him, if he can be as merry reproach me with having done any thing towards upon himself, as others are apt to be upon that ocincreasing those feuds and animosities, that extin-casion. When he can possess himself with such a guish religion, deface government, and make a na-cheerfulness, women and children, who are at first tion miserable. frighted at him, will afterwards be as much pleased with him. As it is barbarous in others to rally
* A character in the comedy of The Rehearsal.
eable cast of countenance; of which the president and
from Lastly, That if there shall be two or more to be competitors for the same vacancy, cæteris paribus, Istaff, he that has the thickest skin to have the preon fat ference.
umor- "Every fresh member, upon his first night, is to
ess of The worthy president, who is their most decon- voted champion, has lately shown me two copies fore- of verses composed by a gentleman of his society; have the first, a congratulatory ode, inscribed to Mrs. con- Touchwood, upon the loss of her two fore-teeth; qua- the other, a panegyric upon Mrs. Andiron's left the shoulder. Mrs. Vizard (he says), since the smallpox, is grown tolerably ugly, and a top toast in h the the club; but I never heard him so lavish of his tural fine things, as upon old Nell Trot, who constantly rd as officiates at their table; her he even adores and extols as the very counterpart of Mother Shipton; in short, Nell (says he) is one of the extraordinary ast of works of nature; but as for complexion, shape, your and features, so valued by others, they are all you mere outside and symmetry, which is his aversion. Give me leave to add, that the president is a faceyou tious pleasant gentleman, and never more so, than your when he has got (as he calls them) his dear mumf the mers about him; and he often protests it does him rand good to meet a fellow with a right genuine grimace long in his air (which is so agreeable in the generality veral of the French nation); and as an instance of his Pun- sincerity in this particular, he gave me a sight of rest, a list in his pocket-book of all this class, who for hich, these five years have fallen under his observation, with himself at the head of them, and in the rear last (as one of a promising and improving aspect)
'Your obliged and humble servant,
'Oxford, March 12, 1710.
N° 18. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 1710-11.
Esq. IT is
--Equitis quoque jam migravit ab aure voluptas
HOR. 2 Ep. i. 187.
But now our nobles too are fops and vain,
my design in this paper to deliver down to posterity a faithful account of the Italian opera,