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those 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, unless I fhall 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 preserve 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 business I have undertaken. As 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 seen, 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 myfelf out, if poffible, before I die. I have been often told by my friends, that it is pity fo many ufeful difcoveries which I have made should 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 fpoken to in this paper; and which, for feveral important reafons, I must keep to myfelf, at leaft for fome: time: I mean, an account of my name, my age, and my lodgings. I must confefs, I would gratify my Reader in any thing that is reasonable; but as for thefe 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 obscurity which I have enjoyed for many years, and expofe me in public places to feveral falutes and civilities, which have been always very difagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can fuder is, the being talked to, and being flared 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 progrefs of the work I have undertaken.
After having been thus particular upon myself, I fhall in to-morrow's paper give an account of those 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, thofe, who have a mind to correspond with me, may direct their letters to the Spectator, at Mr. Buckley's in Little-Britain. For I muft further acquaint the reader, that though our club meets only on Tuesdays and Thurfdays, we have appointed a committee to fit every night for the infpection of all fuch papers as may contribute to the advancement of the public weal.
HE firft of our fociety is a Gentleman of Worcef terfhire, 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 fhire 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 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 himfelf a bachelor, by reafon he was croffed in love by a perverfe beautiful widow of the next county to him. Before this difappointment, Sir Roger 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 Dawfon in a public coffee-houfe for calling him youngiter. But being ill-ufed 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 himfelf, 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 repulfe, which, in his merry humours, he tells us, has been in and out twelve times fince he firft 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 gypties: 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 esteemed. 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-ftairs to a, vifit. I must not omit, that Sir Roger is a juftice of the Quorum; that he fills the chair at a quarter-feffion with great abilities, and three months ago gained univerfal applaufe by explaining a paffage in the game-act.
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 most learned
of any of the house in thofe of the ftage. Ariftotle and Longinus are much better understood by him than Littleton or Coke. The father fends up every post questions relating to marriage-articles, leafes, and tenures, in the neighbourhood; all which questions he agrees with an attorney to answer and take care of in the lump. He is ftudying the paffions themfelves, when he should 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 difinterested and agreeable: as few of his thoughts are drawn from bufinefs, they are most of them fit for converfation. His tafte of books is a little too juft 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 critick, and the time of the play is his hour of bufinefs; exactly at five he paffes 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 please him.
The perfon of next confideration, is Sir Andrew Freeport, a merchant of great eminence in the city of London; a perfon of indefatigable induftry, ftrong reafon, and great experience. His notions of trade are noble and generous, and (as every rich man has ufually fome fly way of jetting, 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 its parts, and will tell you, that it is a stupid 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
diligence makes more lafting acquifitions than valour, and that floth has ruined more nations than the fword. He abounds in feveral frugal maxims, anongft which the greatest favourite is, A penny faved is a penny got.' A general trader of good fenfe is pleafanter company than a general scholar; and Sir Andrew having a na tural 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 himself is richer than other men; though at the fame time I can fay this of him, that there is not a point in the compafs but blows home a fhip in which he is an owner.
Next to Sir Andrew in the club-room fits Captain Sentry, a Gentleman of great courage, good underftanding, but invincible modefty. He is one of thofe that deferve very well, but are very aukward at put ting their talents within the obfervation of fuch as fhould take notice of them. He was fome years a captain, and behaved himself with great gallantry in feveral engagements, and at feveral fieges; 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 foldier. I have heard him often lament, that in a profeffion where merit is placed in fo confpicuous a view, impudence fhould get the better of modefty. 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 honefty, and an even regular behaviour, are in themselves obftacles to him: that must prefs through crowds, who endeavour at the fame end with himfelf, the favour of a coinmander.. He will however in his way of talk excufe Generals, for not difpofing according to mens defert, or inquiring. into it; for, fays 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, efpecially in a military way, muft get over all falfe mo