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No. 13] THURSDAY, MARCII 15, 1710-11.
Die mihi, si fueris tu leo, qualis eris ?-MART. Were you a lion, how would you behave? THERE is nothing that of late years has afforded matter of greater amusement to the town than Signor Nicolini's combat with a lion in the Haymarket, which has been very often exhibited to the general satisfaction of most of the nobility and gentry in the kingdom of Great Britain. Upon the first rumour of this intended combat, it was confidently affirmed, and is still believed by many in both galleries, that there would be a tame lion sent from the tower every opera night, in order to be killed by Hydaspes: this report, though altogether groundless, so universally prevailed in the upper regions of the play-house, that some of the most refined politicians in these parts of the audience gave it out in a whisper, that the on was a cousin-german of the tiger who made his appearance in King William's days, and that the stage would be supplied with lions at the public expense during the whole session. Many likewise were the conjectures of the treatment which this lion was to meet with from the hands of Signior Nicolini; some supposed that he was to subdue him in recitativo, as Orpheus used to serve the wild beasts in his time, and afterward to knock him on the head; some fancied that the lion would not pretend to lay his paws upon the hero, by reason of the received opinion, that a lion will not hurt a virgin. Several, who pretended to have seen the opera in Italy, had informed their friends, that the lion was to act a part in high Dutch, and roar twice or thrice to a thorough bass, before he fell at the feet of Hydaspes. To clear up a matter that was so variously reported, I have made it my business to examine whether this pretended lion is really the savage he appears to be, or only a counterfeit.
But before I communicate my discoveries, I must acquaint the reader, that upon my walking behind the scenes last winter, as I was thinking on something else, I accidentally jostled against a monstrous animal that extremely startled me, and upon my Dearer survey of it, appeared to be a lion rampant. The lion, seeing me very much surprised, told me, in a gentle voice, that I might come by him if I leased: "for," says he, "I do not intend to hurt any body." I thanked him very kindly, and passed by him: and in a little time after, saw him leap upon the stage, and act his part with very great applause. It has been observed by several, that the lion has changed his manner of acting twice or thrice since his first appearance; which will not seem strange, when I acquaint my reader that the lion has been changed upon the audience three several times. The first lion was a candle-snuffer, who being a fellow of a testy choleric temper, overdid his part, and would not suffer himself to be killed so easily as he ought to have done; besides, it was observed of him, that he grew more surly every time that he came out of the lion; and having dropped some words in ordinary conversation, as if he had not fought his best, that he suffered himself to be thrown upon his back in the scuffle, and that he would wrestle with Mr. Nicolini for what he pleased out of his lion's skin, it was thought proper to discard him and it verily believed to this day, that had he been brenght upen the stage another time, he would certainly have done mischief. Besides, it was objected against the first lion, that he reared himself so high upon his hinder paws, and walked in so erect a posture, that he looked more like an old man than a lion.
The second lion was a tailor by trade, who belonged to the playhouse, and had the character of a mild and peaceable man in his profession. If the former was too furious, this was too sheepish for his part; inasmuch, that after a short modest walk upon the stage, he would fall at the first touch of Hydaspes, without grappling with him, and giving him an op portunity of showing his variety of Italian trips. It is said, indeed, that he once gave him a rip in his flesh-colour doublet: but this was only to make work for himself, in his private character of a tailor. I must not omit, that it was this second lion who treated me with so much humanity behind the scenes. The acting lion at present is, as I am informed, a country gentleman, who does it for his diversion, but desires his name may be concealed. He says very handsomely in his own excuse, that he does not act from gain, that he indulges an innocent pleasure in it; and that it is better to pass away an evenings in this manner, than in gaming and in drinking: but at the same time says, with a very agreeable raillery upon himself, that if his name should be known, the ill-natured world might call him, "the ass in the lion's skin." This gentleman's temper is made out of such a happy mixture of the mild and the choleric, that he outdoes both his predecessors, and has drawn together greater audiences than have been known in the memory of man.
I must not conclude my narrative, without taking notice of a groundless report that has been raised to a gentleman's disadvantage, of whom I must declare myself an admirer; namely, that Signior Nicolini and the lion have been seen sitting peaceably by one another, and smoking a pipe together behind the scenes; by which their common enemies would insinuate, that it is but a sham combat which they represent upon the stage: but upon inquiry I find, that if any such correspondence has passed between them, it was not till the combat was over, when the lion was to be looked upon as dead, according to the received rules of the drama. Besides, this is what is prac tised every day in Westminster-hall, where nothing is more usual than to see a couple of lawyers, who have been tearing each other to pieces in the court, embracing one another as soon as they are out of it.
I would not be thought, in any part of this relation, to reflect upon Siguior Nicolini, who in acting this part only complies with the wretched taste of his audience; he knows very well, that the lion has many more admirers than himself; as they say of the fa mous equestrian statue on the Pont Neuf at Paris, that more people go to see the horse, than the king who sits upon it. On the contrary, it gives me a just indignation to see a person whose action gives new majesty to kings, resolution to heroes, and softness to lovers, thus sinking from the greatness of his beha viour, and degraded into the character of the London Prentice. I have often wished, that our tragedians would copy after this great master of action. Could they make the same use of their arms and legs, and inform their faces with as significant looks and passions, how glorious would an English tragedy appear with that action which is capable of giving dignity to the forced thoughts, cold conceits, and unnatural expressions of an Italian opera! In the mean time, I have related this combat of the lion, to show what are at present the reigning entertainments of the politer part of Great Britain.
Audiences have often been reproached by writers for the coarseness of their taste; but our present grievance does not seem to be the want of a good taste, but of common sense.-C.
No. 14.] FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 1710-11.
Teque his, infelix, exue monstris.-Ovid. Met. iv. 590. Wretch that thou art! put off this monstrous shape.
which if you can remedy, you will very mucia
The following epistle I find is from the undertaker of the masquerade:
I was reflecting this morning upon the spirit and humour of the public diversions five-and-twenty years ago, and those of the present time; and lamented to "I have observed the rules of my mask so carefully myself, that though in those days they neglected their (in not inquiring into persons) that I cannot tell morality, they kept up their good sense; but that the whether you were one of the company or not, last beau monde, at present, is only grown more childish, Tuesday; but if you were not, and still design to not more innocent, than the former. While I was come, I desire you would, for your own entertainin this train of thought, an odd fellow, whose face I ment, please to admonish the town, that all persons have often seen at the playhouse, gave me the fol-indifferently are not fit for this sort of diversion. I lowing letter with these words: "Sir, the Lion presents his humble service to you, and desired me to give this into your hands."
"From my Den in the Haymarket, March 15. "SIR,
"I have read all your papers, and have stifled my resentment against your reflections upon operas, until that of this day, wherein you plainly insinuate, that Signior Nicolini and myself have a correspondence more familiar than is consistent with the valour of his character, or the fierceness of mine. I desire you would, for your own sake, forbear such intimamations for the future; and must say it is a great piece of ill-nature in you, to show so great an esteem for a foreigner, and to discourage a Lion that is your own countryman.
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 Roman senators, and grave politicians in the dress of rakes. The misfortune of the thing is, that people 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 presented, every body was so rashly habited, that when they came to speak to each other, a nymph with a crook had not a word to say "I take notice of your fable of the lion and man, but in the pert style of the pit bawdry; and a man but am so equally concerned in that matter, that I in the habit of a philosopher was speechless, till an ocshall not be offended to which soever of the animals casion offered of expressing himself in the refuse of the superiority is given. You have misrepresented the tyring rooms. We had a judge that danced a me, in saying that I am a country gentleman, who minuet with a quaker for his partner, while half-aact only for my diversion; whereas, had I still the dozen harlequins stood by as spectators: a Turk same woods to range in which I once had when I was drank me off two bottles of wine, and a Jew eat me a fox-hunter, I should not resign my manhood for a up half a ham of bacon. If I can bring my design maintenance; and assure you, as low as my circum- to bear, and make the maskers preserve their chastances are at present, I am so much a man of ho-racters in my assemblies, I hope you will allow there nour, that I would scorn to be any beast for bread, is a foundation laid for more elegant and improving but a lion. "Yours, &c." gallantries than any the town at present affords, and consequently, that you will give your approbation to the endeavours of, Sir,
I had no sooner ended this, than one of my landlady's children brought me in several others, with some of which I shall make up my present paper, they all having a tendency to the same subject, viz. the elegance of our present diversions.
"Your most obedient humble servant.
I am very glad the following epistle obliges me to mention Mr. Powell a second time in the same paper; for indeed there cannot be too great encou ragement given to his skill in motions*, provided he under proper restrictions,
"Covent-garden, March 13. "I have been for twenty years under-sexton of this parish of St. Paul's Covent-garden, and have not missed tolling in to prayers six times in all those years; which office I have performed to my great "The opera at the Haymarket, and that under satisfaction, until this fortnight last past, during the little Piazza in Covent-garden, being at present which time I find my congregation take the warning the two leading diversions of the town, and Mr. of my bell, morning and evening, to go to a puppet-Powell professing in his advertisements to set up show set forth by one Powell, under the Piazzas, Whittington and his Cat against Rinaldo and Ar By this means I have not only lost my two custom-mida, my curiosity led me the beginning of last ers, whom I used to place for sixpence a-piece over week to view both these performances, and make my against Mrs. Rachael Eyebright, but Mrs. Rachael observations upon them." herself is gone thither also. There now appear among us none but a few ordinary people, who come to church only to say their 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
"I desire you would lay this before all the whole worid, 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 full congregation, while we have a very thin house;
"First, therefore, I cannot but observe that Mr. Powell wisely forbearing to give his company a bill of fare before-hand, every scene is new and unex pected; whereas it is certain, that the undertakers of the Haymarket, having raised too great an expectation in their printed opera, very much disap point 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
• Puppet-shows were formerly called motions.
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 excellent 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.
The lady was the unfortunate Cleanthe, who afterward gave an occasion to a pretty melancholy novel. She had, for several years, received the addresses of a gentleman, whom, after a long and intimate acquaintance, she forsook, upon the account of this shining equipage, which had been offered to her by one of great riches, but a crazy constitution. The circumstances in which I saw her, were, it seems, the disguises only of a broken heart, and a kind of pageantry to cover distress-for in two months after she was carried to her grave with the same pomp and magnificence, being sent thither partly by the loss of one lover, and partly by the possession another.
I have often reflected with myself on this unao countable humour in womankind, of being smitter. with every thing that is showy and superficial; ana 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 agreeable
"I observe that Mr. Powell and the undertakers of the opera had both the same thought, and I think much about the same time, of introducing animals on their several stages-though indeed, with very different success. The sparrows and chaffinches at the Haymarket fly as yet very irregularly over the stage; and instead of perching on the trees, and performing their parts, these young actors either get into the galleries, or put out the candles; whereas Mr. Powell has so well disciplined his pig, that in the first scene he and Punch dance a minuet toge-ness of conversation. At length, when the compether. I am informed, however, that Mr. Powell resolves to excel his adversaries in their own way; and introduces larks in his next opera of Susannah, or Innocence Betrayed, which will be exhibited next week, with a pair of new Elders.
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 the 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 snuff.
"I shall only observe one thing farther, 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."
No. 15.] SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 1710-11,
tition was doubtful, and the lady undetermined in her choice, one of the young lovers very luckily bethought himself of adding a supernumerary 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, a hat buttoned with a diamond, a brocade waistcoat or petticoat, are standing topics. In short, they consider only the drapery of the species, and never cast away a thought on those ornaments of the mind that make persons illustrious in themselves, and useful to others. When women are thus perpetually dazzling one another's imaginations, and filling their heads with nothing but colours, it is no wonder that they are more attentive to the superficial parts of life than the solid and substantial blessings of it. A girl who has been trained up in this kind of conversation is in danger of every embroidered coat that comes in her way. A pair of fringed gloves may be her ruin. In a word, lace and ribands, silver and gold galloons, with the like glittering gewgaws, are so many lures to women of weak minds and low education, and, when artificially displayed, are able to fetch down the most airy coquette from the wildest of her flights and rambles.
True happiness is of a retired nature, and an WHEN I was in France, I used to gaze with great enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first astonishment at the splendid equipages and party-place, from the enjoyment of one's self; and in the coloured 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 or the little boys that were carved and painted in every corner of the coach.
next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions; it loves shade and solitude, and naturally haunts groves and fountains, fields and meadows: in short, it feels every thing it wants within itself, and receives no addition from multitudes of witnesses and spectators. On the contrary, false happiness loves to be in a crowd, and to draw the eyes of the world upon her. She does not receive any satisfaction from the applauses which she gives herself, but from the admiration which she raises in others. She flourishes in courts and palaces,
theatres and assemblies, and has no existence but when she is looked upon.
sends me a heavy complaint against fringed gloves, To be brief, there is scarce an ornament of either sex which one or other of my correspondents has not inveighed against with some bitterness, and recommended to my observation. I must, therefore, once for all, inform my readers, that it is not my intention to sink the dignity of this my paper with reflections upon red heels or top-knots, but rather to enter into the passions of mankind, and to correct those de praved sentiments that give birth to all those little extravagances which appear in their outward dress and behaviour. Foppish and fantastic ornaments are only indications of vice, not criminal in themselves. Extinguish vanity in the mind, and you naand equipage. The blossoms will fall of themselves when the root that nourishes them is destroyed.
Aurelia, though a woman of great quality, delights in the privacy of a country life, and passes away a great part of her time in her own walks and gardens. Her husband, who is her bosom friend and companion in her solitudes, has been in love with her ever since he knew her. They both abound with good sense, consummate virtue, and a mutual esteem; and are a perpetual entertainment to one another. Their family is under so regular an economy, in its hours of devotion and repast, employment and diversion, that it looks like a little commonwealth within itself. They often go into company, that they may return with the greater delight to one another; and some-turally retrench the little superfluities of garniture times live in town, not to enjoy it so properly, as to grow weary of it, that they may renew in themselves the relish of a country life. By this means they are happy in each other, beloved by their children, adored by their servants, and are become the envy, or rather the delight, of all that know them.
I shall therefore, as I have said, apply my reme. dies to the first seeds and principles of an affected dress, without descending to the dress itself; though at the same time I must own that I have thoughts of How different to this is the life of Fulvia! She creating an officer under me, to be entitled the Cenconsiders her husband as her steward, and looks upon sor of Small Wares, and of allotting him one day in discretion and good housewifery as little domestic the week for the execution of such his office. An opevirtues, unbecoming a woman of quality. She thinks rator of this nature might act under me, with the life lost in her own family, and fancies herself out of same regard as a surgeon to a physician; the one the world when she is not in the ring, the playhouse, might be employed in healing those blotches and tuor the drawing-room. She lives in a perpetual mours which break out in the body, while the other motion of body and restlessness of thought, and is is sweetening the blood, and rectifying the constitu never easy in any one place, when she thinks there tion. To speak truly, the young people of both is more company in another. The missing of an sexes are so wonderfully apt to shoot out into long opera the first night, would be more afflicting to swords or sweeping trains, bushy head-dresses or fullher than the death of a child. She pities all the va-bottomed periwigs, with several other encumbrances luable part of her own sex, and calls every woman of a prudent, modest, and retired life, a poor-spirited, unpolished creature. What a mortification would it be to Fulvia, if she knew that her setting herself to view is but exposing herself, and that she grows contemptible by being conspicuous!
I cannot conclude my paper without observing, that Virgil has very finely touched upon this female passion for dress and show, in the character of Camilla; who, though she seems to have shaken off all the other weaknesses of her sex, is still described as a woman in this particular. The poet tells us, that after having made a great slaughter of the enemy, she unfortunately cast her eye on a Trojan, who wore an embroidered tunic, a beautiful coat of mail, with a mantle of the finest purple. "A golden bow," says he, "hung upon his shoulder; his garment was buckled with a golden clasp, and his head covered with a helmet of the same shining metal." The Amazon immediately singled out this well-dressed warrior, being seized with a woman's longing for the pretty trappings that he was adorned with:
Totumque incauta per agmen Fœmineo prædæ et spoliorum ardebat amore.-Æn. xi. 782. This heedless pursuit after these glittering trifles, the poet (by a nice concealed moral,) represents to have been the destruction of his female hero.-C.
No. 16.1 MONDAY, MARCH 19, 1710-11.
I HAVE received a letter, desiring me to be very satirical upon the little muff that is now in fashion; another informs me of a pair of silver garters buckled below the knee, that have been lately seen at the Rainbow coffee-house in Fleet-street; a third
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.
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, that are full of blots and calumnies; insomuch, that when I see the name of Calia, Phillis, Pastora, or the like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I conclude of course that it brings me some account of a fallen virgin, a faithless wife, or an amorous widow. I must therefore inform these my correspondents, that it is not my design to be a publisher of intrigues and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous stories out of their present lurkingholes into broad day-light. If I attack the vicious, I shall only set upon them in a body; and will not be provoked by the worst usage I can receive from others to make an example of any particular criminal. In short, I have so much of a Drawcansir in me, that I shall pass over a single foe to charge whole armies. It is not Lais or Silenus, but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I shall endeavour to expose; and shall consider the crime as it appears in the species,
it is, methinks, an honest and laudable fortitude to dare to be ugly; at least to keep ourselves from being abashed with a consciousness of imperfections which we cannot help, and in which there is no guilt. I would not defend a haggard beau for passing away much time at a glass, and giving softness and languishing graces to deformity: all I intend is, that we ought to be contented with our countenance and shape, so far, as never to give ourselves an uneasy reflection on that subject. It is to the ordinary people who are not accustomed to make very proper remarks on any occasion, matter of great jest, if a man enters with a prominent pair of shoulders into an assembly, or is distinguished by an expansion of mouth, or obliquity of aspect. It is happy for a man that has any of these oddnesses about him, if he can be as merry upon himself, as others are apt to be upon that occasion. When he can possess himself with such a cheerfulness, women and children, who
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 shall 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. In the next place I must apply myself to my party correspondents, who are continually teasing me to take notice of one another's proceedings. How often am I asked by both sides, if it is possible for me to be an unconcerned spectator of the rogueries that are committed by the party which is opposite to him that writes the letter. About two days since, I was reproached with an old Grecian law, that forbids any tean to stand as a neuter, or a looker-on, in the divisions of his country. However, as I am very sen-are at first frighted at him, will afterward be as much sible my paper would lose its whole effect, should it run into the outrages of a party, I shall take care to keep clear of every thing which looks that way. If I can any way assuage private inflammations, or allay public ferments, I shall apply myself to it with my utmost endeavours; but will never let my heart reproach me with having done any thing towards increasing those feuds and animosities that extinguish religion, deface government, and make a nation miserable.
pleased with him. As it is barbarous in others to rally him for natural defects, it is extremely agreeable when he can jest upon himself for them.
Madam Maintenon's first husband was a hero in this kind, and has drawn many pleasantries from the irregularity of his shape, which he describes as very much resembling the letter Z. He diverts himself likewise by representing to his reader the make of an engine and pully, with which he used to take off his hat. When there happens to be any thing ridiculous What I have said under the three foregoing heads in a visage, and the owner of it thinks it an aspect of will, I am afraid, very much retrench the number of dignity, he must be of very great quality to be exmy correspondents. I shall therefore acquaint my empt from raillery. The best expedient, therefore, reader, that if he has started any hint which he is not is to be pleasant upon himself. Prince Harry and able to pursue, if he has met with any surprising Falstaff, in Shakspeare, have carried the ridicule story which he does not know how to tell, if he has upon fat and lean as far as it will go. Falstaff is discovered any epidemical vice which has escaped my humorously called woolsack, bedpresser, and hill of observation, or has heard of any uncommon virtue flesh; Harry, a starveling, an elves-skin, a sheath, which he would desire to publish; in short, if he has a bow-case, and a tuck. There is, in several inciany materials that can furnish out an innocent di-dents of the conversation between them, the jest still version, I 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.
kept up upon the person. Great tenderness and sensibility in this point is one of the greatest weaknesses of self-love. For my own part, I am a little unhappy in the mould of my face, which is not quite so long as it is broad. Whether this might not partly arise from my opening my mouth much seldomer than other people, and by consequence not so much lengthening the fibres of my visage, I am not "SIR. "March 15, 1710-11 at leisure to determine. However it be, I have "I am at present so unfortunate as to have nothing been often put out of countenance by the shortness to do but to mind my own business; and therefore of my face, and was formerly at great pains in conbeg of you that you will be pleased to put me into cealing it by wearing a periwig with a high fore-top, some small post under you. I observe that you have and letting my beard grow. But now I have thoappointed your printer and publisher to receive let- roughly got over this delicacy, and could be contentters and advertisements for the city of London, and ed with a much shorter, provided it might qualify shall think myself very much honoured by you, if me for a member of the merry club, which the folyou will appoint me to take in letters and advertise-lowing letter gives me an account of. I have rements for the city of Westminster and the duchy of Lancaster. Though I cannot promise to fill such an employment with sufficient abilities, I will endea Four to make up with industry and fidelity what I want in parts and genius.
"I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,
No. 17.] TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 1710-11.
ceived it from Oxford, and as it abounds with the spirit of mirth and good humour, which is natural to that place, I shall set it down word for word as it came to me.
"MOST PROFOUND SIR,
Having been very well entertained, in the last of your speculations that I have yet seen, by your specimen upon clubs, which I therefore hope you will continue, I shall take the liberty to furnish you with a brief account of such a one as, perhaps, you have not seen in your travels, unless it was your fortune to touch upon some of the woody parts of the African continent, in your voyage to or from Grand Cairo. There have arose in this university