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those who are in the game. I never espoused any party with violence, and am resolved to obsere an exact neutrality between the Whigs and Tories, unless I shall be forced to declare myself by the hostilities of either fide. In short, I have acted in all the parts
life as a looker-on, which is the character I intend to preserve
. I have given the reader just so much of my history and charater, as to let him fee I am not altogether unqualified for the business I have undertaken. As for other particulars in my life and adventures, I shall insert them in following papers as I shall fee occafion. In the mean time, when I consider how much have seen, jead, and heard, I begin to blame my own taciturnity; and fince I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fulneis of my heart in speech, I am re.. folved to do it in writing, and to print myself out, if possible, before I die. I have been often told by my friends, that it is pity fo many useful discoveries which I have made should be in the possession of a silent man. For this reason therefore, I shall publish a fheet-full of thoughts every morning for the benefit of my contemporaries; and if I can any way contribute to the diversion or improvement of ihe country in which ] live, I Mall leave it, when I am summoned out of it, with the secret fatisfaction of thinking that I have not lived in vain.
There are three very material paints which I have noi fpoken to in this paper; and which, for several im. portant reasons, I muit keep to myself, at least for some time: I mean, an account of my name, iny age, and my lodgings. I must confess, I would gratify my Reader in any thing that is reasonable; but as for these three particulars, though I am senfible they might tend very much to the embellishment of iny paper, I cannot yet come to a resolution of communicating them to the Public. They would indeed draw me out of that obscurity which I have enjoyed for many years, and expose me in public places to several falutes and civilities, which have been always very disagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can sutter is, the being talked to, and being fared at. It is for this reason likewise, that I keep
my coinplexion and dress as very great secrets; though it is not impossible, but I inay make discoveries of both in the progress of the work I have undertaken.
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 iwimated, 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-Britain. For I must further acquaint the reader, that though our club meets only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have appointed a committee to fit every night for the inspection of all such papers as may contribute to the advancement of the
Friday, March 2.
Af alii sex
Juv. Sat. 7. V. 167:
HE first of our society is a Gentleman of Worces
tershire, of ancient descent, a Baronet, his name Sir Roger de Coverley. His great grandfather was inventor of that famous country-dance which is called after him. All who know that shire are very well acquainted with the parts and merits of Sir Roger. He is a gentleman that is very fingular in his behaviour, but his fingularities proceed from his good sense, and are contradictions to the manners of the world, only as he thinks the world is in the wrong. However, this humour creates him no enemies, for he does nothing with fourness or obstinacy; and his being unconfined to modes and forms makes him but the readier and more
capable capable to please and oblige all who know him. When he is in town, he lives in Soho Square. It is said, he keeps himself a bachelor, by reason he was crossed in love by a perverse beautiful widow of the next county to him. Before this disappointment, Sir Rager was what you call a fine Gentleman, had often fupped with my Lord Rochester and Sir George Etherege, fought aduel upon his first coming to town, and kicked Bully Dawson in a public coffee-house for calling him youngiter. But being ill-used by the above-mentioned widow, he was very serious for a year and a half; and though, his temper being naturally jovial, he at laft got over it, he grew careless of himself, and never drefled afterwards. He continues to wear a coat and doublet of the same cut that were in fashion at the time of his repulse, which, in his merry humours, he tells us, has been in and out twelve times since he first wore it. It is said Sir Roger grew humble in his desires after he had forgot this cruel beauty, insomuch, that it is reported he has frequently offended in point of chastity with beggars and gypties: but this is looked upon by his friends rather as matter of raillery than truth. He is now in his fifty-sixth year, chearful, gay, and hearty ; keeps a good house both in town and country; a great lover of mankind ; but there is such a mirthful cast in his behaviour, that he 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, vifit. I inust not omit, that Sir Roger is a justice of the Quorum ; that he fills the chair at a quarter-fession with great abilities, and three months ago gained universal applause by explaining a paffage in the game-act.
The Gentleman next in esteem and authority among us, is another bachelor, who is a member of the InnerTeinple; a man of great probity, wit, and understanding; but he has cholen his place of refidence, rather to obey the direction of an old humoursome father, than in pursuit of his own inclinations. He was placed there to ftudy the laws of the land, and is the most learned
SPECTATOR, 15 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 enquiring 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 of books is a little too just for the age he lives in; he has read all, but
ap proves very few. His familiarity with the customs, manners, actions, and writings of the ancients, makes him a
delicate observer of what occurs to hiin in the present world. He is an excellent critick, and the time of the play is his hour of business; exactly at five he passes through New-Inn, crosses through Ruffel-Court, and takes a turn at Will's till the play begins; he has his shoes rubbed and his periwig powdered at the barber's as you go
into the Role. 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 confideration, is Sir Andrew Freeport, a merchant of great eminence in the city of London ; a person of indefatigable industry, trong reason, and great experience. His notions of trade are noble and generous, and (as every rich man has usually some fly way of jeiting, which would make no great figure were ine not a rich man) he calls the sea the British Coininon. He is acquainted with commerce in all its parts, and will tell you, that it is a stu. pid 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
diligence makes more lasting acquisitions than valour, and that floth has ruined more nations than the sword. He abounds in several frugal maxims, ainongst which the greatest favourite is, ' A penny saved is a penny got.' A general trader of good sense is pleasanter coinpany. than a general scholar; and Sir Andrew having a nae tural unaffected eloquence, the perspicuity of his discourse gives the same pleasure that wit would in another man.
He has made his fortunes 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 fits Captain Sentry, a Gentleman of great courage, good understanding, but invincible modesty. He is one of those : that deserve very well, but are very aukward at put ting their talents within the observation of such as should take notice of them. He was some years a captain, and behaved himself with great gallantry in several engagements, and at several fieges; but having a small estate of his own, and being next heir to Sir Roger, he has quitted a way of life in which
can rise suitably to his merit, who is not something of a courtier, as well as a soldier. I have heard him often lament, that in a profession where merit is placed in so confpicuous a view, impudence should get the better of modesty. When he has talked to this purpose, I never heard him make a four expression, but frankly confess that he left the world because he was not fit for it. A strict honesty, and an even regular behaviour, are in themselves obstacles to him: that mult press through crowds, who endeavour at the fame end with himself, the favour of a commander.. He will however in his way of talk excuse Generals, for not disposing according to mens desert, or inquiring into it; for, says he, that great man who has a mind to help me, has as many to break through to come at. me, as I have to come at him: therefore he will com, clude, that the man who would make a figure, especially in a military way, muß get over all false mom