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Your Lordship appears as great in your private life, as in the moft important offices which you have borne. I would therefore rather chufe to fpeak of the pleasure you afford all who are admitted into your converfation, of your elegant tafte in all the polite parts of learning, of your great humanity and complacency of manners, and of the furprizing influence which is peculiar to you, in making every one, who converfes with your Lordihip, prefer you to himself, without thinking the lefs meanly of his own talents. But if I fhould take notice of all that might be obferved in your Lordship, I fhould have nothing new to fay upon any other character of distinction. I am,
VOLUME THE FIRST.
No I. THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 1710-1.1.
NON FUMUM EX FULGORE, SED EX FUMO DARE LUCEM
HOR. ARS POET. VER. 143.
ONE WITH A FLASH BEGINS, AND ENDS IN SMOKEj
SURPRIZES US WITH DAZZLING MIRACLES.
Have obferved, that a reader feldom perufes a book with pleasure, till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric difpofition, married or a bachelor; with other particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the right understanding of an author. To gratify this curiofity, which is fo natural to a reader, I defign this paper and my next as prefatory difcourfes to my following writings, and fhall give fome account in them of the feveral perions that are engaged in this work. As the chief trouble of compiling, digeting, and correcting, will fall to my fhare, I must do myfelf the juftice to open the work with my own hiftory.
Iwas born to a small hereditary eftate, which; according to the tradition of the village where it lies, was bounded by the fame hedges and ditches in William the Conqueror's time that it is at prefent, and has been delivered down from father to fon whole and entire, without the lofs or acquifition of a fingle field
or meadow, during the space of fix hundred years. There runs a story in the family, that when my mother was gone with child of me about three months, the dreamt that he was brought-to-bed of a Judge: whether this might proceed from a law-fuit which was then depending in the family, or my father's being a juftice of the peace, I cannot determine; for I am not fo vain as to think it prefaged any dignity that I fhould arrive at in my future life, though that was the interpretation which the neighbourhood put upon it. The gravity of my behaviour at my very first appearance in the world, and all the time that I fucked, feemed to favour my mother's dream; for, as he 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.
As for the rest of my infancy, there being nothing in it remarkable, I fall pafs it over in filence. I find, that, during my nonage, I had the reputa
tion of a very fullen youth; but was always a favourite of my fchoolmaster, who used to fay, that my parts were so• lid, and would wear well. I had not been long at the univerfity, before I diftinguished myself by a moit profound filence; for during the space of eight years, excepting in the public exercifes of the college, I fcarce uttered the quantity of an hundred words, and, indeed, do not remember that I ever spoke three fentences together in my whole life. Whilst I was in this learned body, I applied myself with fo much diligence to my ftudies, that there are very few celebrated books, either in the learned or the modern tongues, which I am not acquainted with.
Upon the death of my father, I was refolved to travel into foreign countries; and therefore left the univerfity, with the character of an odd, unaccountable fellow, that had a great deal of learning, if I would but fhew it. An infatiable thirst after knowledge carried me into all the countries of Europe, in which there was any thing new or ftrange to be feen; nay, to fuch a degree was my curiofity raifed, that having read the controverfies of fome great men concerning the antiquities of Egypt, I made a voyage to Grand Cairo, on purpose to take the measure of a pyramid; and as foon as I had fet myself right in that particular, returned to my native country with great fatisfaction.
I have paffed my latter years in this city, where I am frequently feen in most public places, though there are not above half a dozen of my felect friends that know me; of whom my next paper shall give a more particular account. There is no place of general refort, wherein I do not often make my appearance; fometimes I am feen thrufting my head into a round of politicians at Will's, and liftening with great attention to the narratives that are made in thofe lit
Lane and the Haymarket. I have been taken for a merchant upon the Exchange for above these ten years, and fometimes pafs for a Jew in the affembly of stockjobbers at Jonathan's. In short, wherever I fee a cluster of people, I always mix with them, though I never open my lips but in my own club.
Thus I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind, than as one of the fpecies; by which means I have made myfelf a fpeculative ftatesman, soldier, merchant, and artisan, without ever meddling with any practical part in life. I am very well verfed in the theory of a hufband or a father; and can difcern the errors in the economy, business, and diverfion of others, better than those who are engaged in them; as ftandersby difcover blots, which are apt to efcape thofe who are in the game. I never efpoufed any party with violence, and am refolved to obferve an exact neutrality between the Whigs and Tories, unlefs I thall be forced to declare myfelf by the hoftilities of either fide. In fhort, I have acted in all the parts of my life as a looker-on, which is the character I intend to preferve in this paper.
I have given the reader juft fo much of my hiftory and character, as to let him fee I am not altogether unqualified for the bufinefs I have undertaken. for other particulars in my life and adventures, I fhall infert them in following papers as I fhall fee occafion. In the mean time, when I confider how much I have feen, read, and heard, I begin to blame my own taciturnity; and fince I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fulness of my heart in fpeech, I am refolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out, if poffible, before I die. I have been often told by my friends, that it is pity fo many ufeful discoveries which I have made fhould be in the poffeffion of a filent man. For this reafon, therefore, I fhall publish a fheet-full of thoughts every morning, for the benefit of my contemporaries; and if I can any way contribute to the diverfion or improvement of the country in which I live, I fhall leave it, when I am fummoned out of it, with the fecret fatisfaction of thinking that I have not lived in vain.
There are three very material points which I have not spoken to in this paper; and which, for several important reafons,
reafons, I must keep to myself, at least for fome time: I mean, an account of my name, my age, and my lodgings. I muft confefs, I would gratify my reader in any thing that is reafonable; but as for these three particulars, though I am fenfible they might tend very much to the embellishment of my paper, I cannot yet come to a refolution of communicating them to the public. They would indeed draw me out of that ob fcurity which I have enjoyed for many years, and expose me in public places to feveral falutes and civilities, which have been always very difagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can fuffer is, the being talked to, and being stared at. It is for this reafon likewife, that I keep my complexion and drefs as very great fecrets; though it is not impoffible but I may make difcoveries of both, in
the progress of the work I have undertaken.
After having been thus particular upon myself, I fhall in to-morrow's paper give an account of thofe 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 ftand in the front, those who have a mind to correfpond 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 fuch papers as may contribute to the advancement of the public weal.
N° II. FRIDAY, MARCH 2.
AST ALII SEX
ET PLURES UNO CONCLAMANT ORE.
Juv. SAT. 7. v. 167.
SIX MORE AT LEAST JOIN THEIR CONSENTING VOICE.
HE firft of our fociety is a gentle
defcent, 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 hire 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 fin. gularities proceed from his good fenfe, 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 fournefs or obftinacy; and his being unconfined to modes and forms makes him but the readier and more capable to please and oblige all who know him. When he is in town, he lives in Soho Square. It is faid, he keeps himself a bachelor, by reafon he was croffed in love by a perverfe beautiful widow of the next county to him. Before this disappointment, Sir Roger was what you call a fine gentleman, had often fupped with my Lord Ro. chefter and Sir George Etherege, fought a duel upon his firit coming to town, and kicked Bully Dawfon in a public
coffee-houfe for calling him youngster.
tioned widow, he was very serious for a year and a half; and though, his temper being naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew carelefs of himself, and never dreffed afterwards. He continues to wear a coat and doublet of the fame 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 ince he first wore it. It is faid. Sir Roger grew humble in his defires after he had forgot this cruel beauty, infomuch that it is reported he has frequently offended in point of chastity with beggars and gypfies: but this is looked upon by his friends rather as matter of raillery than truth. He is now in his fifty-fixth year, chearful, gay, and hearty; keeps a good houfe both in town and country; a great lover of mankind; but there is fuch a mirthful caft in his behaviour, that he is rather beloved than efteemed. His tenants grow rich, his fervants look fatisfied, all the young women profefs love to him, and the young men are glad of his company; when he comes into a houfe, he calls the fervants by their names, and talks all
the way up-fairs to a vifit. I muft not omit, that Sir Roger is a juftice of the quorum; that he fills the chair at a quarter-feffion with g eat abilities, and three months ago gined univerfal applause by explaining a paffage in the gaineact.
The gentleman next in efteem and authority among us, is another bachelor, who is a member of the InnerTemple; a man of great probity, wit, and understanding; but he has chofen his place of refidence, rather to obey the direction of an old humourfome father, than in purfuit of his own inclinations. He was placed there to ftudy the laws of the land, and is the moft learned of any of the hife in those of the itage. Ariftotle and Longinus are much better understood by him than Littleton or Coke. The father fends up every post queftions relating to marriage articles, leafes, and tenures, in the neighbourhood; all which queftions he agrees with an attorney to answer and take care of in the lump. He is tudying the paf
fions themfelves, when he fhould be enquiring into the debates among men which arife from them. He knows the argument of each of the orations of Demofthenes and Tully; but not one cafe 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 hufinefs, they are moft of them fit for converfation. His tafte of books is a little too jult 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 obferver of what occurs to him in the prefent world. He is an excellent critic, and the time of the play is his hour of bulinefs; exactly at five he pafles through New Inn, croffes through Ruffel Court, and takes a turn at Will's till the play begins; he has his fhoes rubbed and his periwig powdered at the barber's as you go into the Rofe. It is for the good of the audience when he is at a play, for the actors have an ambition to pleafe him.
The perfon of next confideration, is Sir Andrew Freeport, a merchant 6f great eminence in the city of London; a perfon of indefatigable indultry, ftrong
reafon, and great experience. His notions of trade are noble and generous, and (as every rich man has ufually fome fly way of jefting, which would make no great figure were he not a rich man) he calls the fea the British Common. He is acquainted with commerce in all it's parts, and will tell you, that it is a ftupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms; for true power is to be got by arts and induftry. He will often argue, that if this part of our trade were well cultivated, we fhould gain from one nation; and if another, from another. I have heard him prove, that diligence makes more lasting acquifitions than valour, and that floth has ruined more nations than the sword. He abounds in feveral frugal maxims, amongst which the greatest favourite is A penny
faved is a penny got. A general trader of good fente is pleafanter company than a general fcholar; and Sir Andrew having a natural unaffected eloquence, the perfpicuity of his difcourfe gives the fame pleasure that wit would in another man. He has made his fortunes himself; and fays that England may be richer than other kingdoms, by as plain methods as he himfelf is richer than other men; though at the fame time I can fay this of hini, that there is not a point in the compafs bus blows home a hip 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 modefty. He is one of thofe that deferve very well, but are very auk ward at putting their talents within the obfervation of fuch as fhould take notice of them. He was fome years a captain, and behaved himfelf with great gallantry in feveral engagements, and at feveral ficges; but having a fmall eftate of his own, and being next heir to Sir Roger, he has quitted a way of life in which no man can rife fuitably to his merit, who is not fomething of a courtier, as well as a folier. I have heard him often lament, that in a profeflion where merit is placed in fo confpicuous a view, impudence fhould get the better of modelty. When he has talked to this purpofe, I never heard him make a four expreffion, but frankly confefs that he left the world becaufe he was not fit for it. A ftrict honesty, and an even regular behaviour, are in themfelves obitacles to him that mult