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The Spectator, Volume 1 by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Part 6 out of 19

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Blasphemies, a Defiance of Mankind, and an Outraging of the Gods,
frequently pass upon the Audience for tow'ring Thoughts, and have
accordingly met with infinite Applause.

I shall here add a Remark, which I am afraid our Tragick Writers may
make an ill use of. As our Heroes are generally Lovers, their Swelling
and Blustring upon the Stage very much recommends them to the fair Part
of their Audience. The Ladies are wonderfully pleased to see a Man
insulting Kings, or affronting the Gods, in one Scene, and throwing
himself at the Feet of his Mistress in another. Let him behave himself
insolently towards the Men, and abjectly towards the Fair One, and it is
ten to one but he proves a Favourite of the Boxes. _Dryden_ and _Lee_,
in several of their Tragedies, have practised this Secret with good

But to shew how a Rant pleases beyond the most just and natural Thought
that is not pronounced with Vehemence, I would desire the Reader when he
sees the Tragedy of _OEdipus_, to observe how quietly the Hero is
dismissed at the End of the third Act, after having pronounced the
following Lines, in which the Thought is very natural, and apt to move

'To you, good Gods, I make my last Appeal;
Or clear my Virtues, or my Crimes reveal.
If in the Maze of Fate I blindly run,
And backward trod those Paths I sought to shun;
Impute my Errors to your own Decree:
My Hands are guilty, but my Heart is free.'

Let us then observe with what Thunder-claps of Applause he leaves the
Stage, after the Impieties and Execrations at the End of the fourth Act;
[4] and you will wonder to see an Audience so cursed and so pleased at
the same time;

'O that as oft have at Athens seen,--

[Where, by the Way, there was no Stage till many Years after OEdipus.]

... The Stage arise, and the big Clouds descend;
So now, in very Deed, I might behold
This pond'rous Globe, and all yen marble Roof,
Meet like the Hands of Jove, and crush Mankind.
For all the Elements, &c.'

[Footnote 1: Here Aristotle is not quite accurately quoted. What he says
of the tragedies which end unhappily is, that Euripides was right in
preferring them,

'and as the strongest proof of it we find that upon the stage, and in
the dramatic contests, such tragedies, if they succeed, have always
the most tragic effect.'

Poetics, Part II. Sec. 12.]

[Footnote 2: Of the two plays in this list, besides 'Othello', which
have not been mentioned in the preceding notes, 'All for Love', produced
in 1678, was Dryden's 'Antony and Cleopatra', 'Oroonoko', first acted
in, 1678, was a tragedy by Thomas Southerne, which included comic
scenes. Southerne, who held a commission in the army, was living in the
'Spectator's' time, and died in 1746, aged 86. It was in his best play,
'Isabella', or the Fatal Marriage, that Mrs. Siddons, in 1782, made her
first appearance on the London stage.]

[Footnote 3: Congreve's 'Mourning Bride' was first acted in 1697; Rowe's
'Tamerlane' (with a hero planned in complement to William III.) in 1702;
Rowe's 'Ulysses' in 1706; Edmund Smith's 'Phaedra' and 'Hippolitus' in

[Footnote 4: The third Act of 'OEdipus' was by Dryden, the fourth by
Lee. Dryden wrote also the first Act, the rest was Lee's.]

* * * * *


_Having spoken of Mr._ Powell,
as sometimes raising himself Applause from the ill Taste of an Audience;
I must do him the Justice to own,
that he is excellently formed for a Tragoedian,
and, when he pleases, deserves the Admiration of the best Judges;
as I doubt not but he will in the Conquest of Mexico,
_which is acted for his own Benefit To-morrow Night_.


* * * * *

No. 41. Tuesday, April 17, 1711. Steele.

'Tu non inventa reperta es.'


Compassion for the Gentleman who writes the following Letter, should not
prevail upon me to fall upon the Fair Sex, if it were not that I find
they are frequently Fairer than they ought to be. Such Impostures are
not to be tolerated in Civil Society; and I think his Misfortune ought
to be made publick, as a Warning for other Men always to Examine into
what they Admire.


Supposing you to be a Person of general Knowledge, I make my
Application to you on a very particular Occasion. I have a great Mind
to be rid of my Wife, and hope, when you consider my Case, you will be
of Opinion I have very just Pretensions to a Divorce. I am a mere Man
of the Town, and have very little Improvement, but what I have got
from Plays. I remember in _The Silent Woman_ the Learned Dr.
_Cutberd_, or Dr. _Otter_ (I forget which) makes one of the Causes of
Separation to be _Error Personae_, when a Man marries a Woman, and
finds her not to be the same Woman whom he intended to marry, but
another. [1] If that be Law, it is, I presume, exactly my Case. For
you are to know, Mr. SPECTATOR, that there are Women who do not let
their Husbands see their Faces till they are married.

Not to keep you in suspence, I mean plainly, that Part of the Sex who
paint. They are some of them so Exquisitely skilful this Way, that
give them but a Tolerable Pair of Eyes to set up with, and they will
make Bosoms, Lips, Cheeks, and Eye-brows, by their own Industry. As
for my Dear, never Man was so Enamour'd as I was of her fair Forehead,
Neck, and Arms, as well as the bright Jett of her Hair; but to my
great Astonishment, I find they were all the Effects of Art: Her Skin
is so Tarnished with this Practice, that when she first wakes in a
Morning, she scarce seems young enough to be the Mother of her whom I
carried to Bed the Night before. I shall take the Liberty to part with
her by the first Opportunity, unless her Father will make her Portion
suitable to her real, not her assumed, Countenance. This I thought fit
to let him and her know by your Means.

I am, SIR, Your most obedient, humble Servant.

I cannot tell what the Law, or the Parents of the Lady, will do for this
Injured Gentleman, but must allow he has very much Justice on his Side.
I have indeed very long observed this Evil, and distinguished those of
our Women who wear their own, from those in borrowed Complexions, by the
_Picts_ and the _British_. There does not need any great Discernment to
judge which are which. The _British_ have a lively, animated Aspect; The
_Picts_, tho' never so Beautiful, have dead, uninformed Countenances.
The Muscles of a real Face sometimes swell with soft Passion, sudden
Surprize, and are flushed with agreeable Confusions, according as the
Objects before them, or the Ideas presented to them, affect their
Imagination. But the _Picts_ behold all things with the same Air,
whether they are Joyful or Sad; the same fixed Insensibility appears
upon all Occasions. A _Pict_, tho' she takes all that Pains to invite
the Approach of Lovers, is obliged to keep them at a certain Distance; a
Sigh in a Languishing Lover, if fetched too near her, would dissolve a
Feature; and a Kiss snatched by a Forward one, might transfer the
Complexion of the Mistress to the Admirer. It is hard to speak of these
false Fair Ones, without saying something uncomplaisant, but I would
only recommend to them to consider how they like coming into a Room new
Painted; they may assure themselves, the near Approach of a Lady who
uses this Practice is much more offensive.

WILL. HONEYCOMB told us, one Day, an Adventure he once had with a
_Pict_. This Lady had Wit, as well as Beauty, at Will; and made it her
Business to gain Hearts, for no other Reason, but to rally the Torments
of her Lovers. She would make great Advances to insnare Men, but without
any manner of Scruple break off when there was no Provocation. Her
Ill-Nature and Vanity made my Friend very easily Proof against the
Charms of her Wit and Conversation; but her beauteous Form, instead of
being blemished by her Falshood and Inconstancy, every Day increased
upon him, and she had new Attractions every time he saw her. When she
observed WILL. irrevocably her Slave, she began to use him as such, and
after many Steps towards such a Cruelty, she at last utterly banished
him. The unhappy Lover strove in vain, by servile Epistles, to revoke
his Doom; till at length he was forced to the last Refuge, a round Sum
of Money to her Maid. This corrupt Attendant placed him early in the
Morning behind the Hangings in her Mistress's Dressing-Room. He stood
very conveniently to observe, without being seen. The _Pict_ begins the
Face she designed to wear that Day, and I have heard him protest she had
worked a full half Hour before he knew her to be the same Woman. As soon
as he saw the Dawn of that Complexion, for which he had so long
languished, he thought fit to break from his Concealment, repeating that
of _Cowley:_

'Th' adorning Thee, with so much Art,
Is but a barbarous Skill;
'Tis like the Pois'ning of a Dart,
Too apt before to kill.' [2]

The _Pict_ stood before him in the utmost Confusion, with the prettiest
Smirk imaginable on the finished side of her Face, pale as Ashes on the
other. HONEYCOMB seized all her Gallypots and Washes, and carried off
his Han kerchief full of Brushes, Scraps of _Spanish_ Wool, and Phials
of Unguents. The Lady went into the Country, the Lover was cured.

It is certain no Faith ought to be kept with Cheats, and an Oath made to
a _Pict_ is of it self void. I would therefore exhort all the _British_
Ladies to single them out, nor do I know any but _Lindamira_, who should
be Exempt from Discovery; for her own Complexion is so delicate, that
she ought to be allowed the covering it with Paint, as a Punishment for
choosing to be the worst Piece of Art extant, instead of the Masterpiece
of Nature. As for my part, who have no Expectations from Women, and
consider them only as they are Part of the Species, I do not half so
much fear offending a Beauty, as a Woman of Sense; I shall therefore
produce several Faces which have been in Publick this many Years, and
never appeared. It will be a very pretty Entertainment in the Playhouse
(when I have abolished this Custom) to see so many Ladies, when they
first lay it down, _incog._, in their own Faces.

In the mean time, as a Pattern for improving their Charms, let the Sex
study the agreeable _Statira_. Her Features are enlivened with the
Chearfulness of her Mind, and good Humour gives an Alacrity to her Eyes.
She is Graceful without affecting an Air, and Unconcerned without
appearing Careless. Her having no manner of Art in her Mind, makes her
want none in her Person.

How like is this Lady, and how unlike is a _Pict_, to that Description
Dr. _Donne_ gives of his Mistress?

Her pure and eloquent Blood
Spoke in her Cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,
That one would almost say her Body thought. [3]

[Footnote 1: Ben Jonson's 'Epicoene', or the Silent Woman, kept the
stage in the Spectator's time, and was altered by G. Colman for Drury
Lane, in 1776. Cutbeard in the play is a barber, and Thomas Otter a Land
and Sea Captain.

"Tom Otter's bull, bear, and horse is known all over England, 'in
rerum natura.'"

In the fifth act Morose, who has married a Silent Woman and discovered
her tongue after marriage, is played upon by the introduction of Otter,
disguised as a Divine, and Cutbeard, as a Canon Lawyer, to explain to

'for how many causes a man may have 'divortium legitimum', a
lawful divorce.'

Cutbeard, in opening with burlesque pedantry a budget of twelve
impediments which make the bond null, is thus supported by Otter:

'Cutb.' The first is 'impedimentum erroris'.

'Otter.' Of which there are several species.

'Cutb.' Ay, 'as error personae'.

'Otter. If you contract yourself to one person, thinking her

[Footnote 2: This is fourth of five stanzas to 'The Waiting-Maid,' in
the collection of poems called 'The Mistress.']

[Footnote 3: Donne's Funeral Elegies, on occasion of the untimely death
of Mistress Elizabeth Drury. 'Of the Progress of the Soul,' Second
Anniversary. It is the strain not of a mourning lover, but of a mourning
friend. Sir Robert Drury was so cordial a friend that he gave to Donne
and his wife a lodging rent free in his own large house in Drury Lane,

'and was also,' says Isaac Walton, 'a cherisher of his studies, and
such a friend as sympathized 'with him and his, in all their joys and

The lines quoted by Steele show that the sympathy was mutual;
but the poetry in them is a flash out of the clouds of a dull context.
It is hardly worth noticing that Steele, quoting from memory, puts
'would' for 'might' in the last line. Sir Robert's daughter Elizabeth,
who, it is said, was to have been the wife of Prince Henry, eldest son
of James I, died at the age of fifteen in 1610.]

* * * *


_A young Gentlewoman of about Nineteen Years of Age
(bred in the Family of a Person of Quality lately deceased,)
who Paints the finest Flesh-colour,
wants a Place,
and is to be heard of at the House of
Minheer_ Grotesque _a Dutch Painter in_ Barbican.

N. B. _She is also well-skilled in the Drapery-part,
and puts on Hoods and mixes Ribbons
so as to suit the Colours of the Face
with great Art and Success_.


* * * *

No. 42. Wednesday, April 18, 1711. Addison.

Garganum inugire putes nemus aut mare Thuscum,
Tanto cum strepitu ludi spectantur; et artes,
Divitiaeque peregrina, quibus oblitus actor
Cum stetit in Scena, concurrit dextera laevae.
Dixit adhuc aliquid? Nil sane. Quid placet ergo?
Lana Tarentino violas imitata veneno.


Aristotle [1] has observed, That ordinary Writers in Tragedy endeavour
to raise Terror and Pity in their Audience, not by proper Sentiments and
Expressions, but by the Dresses and Decorations of the Stage. There is
something of this kind very ridiculous in the _English_ Theatre. When
the Author has a mind to terrify us, it thunders; When he would make us
melancholy, the Stage is darkened. But among all our Tragick Artifices,
I am the most offended at those which are made use of to inspire us with
magnificent Ideas of the Persons that speak. The ordinary Method of
making an Hero, is to clap a huge Plume of Feathers upon his Head, which
rises so very high, that there is often a greater Length from his Chin
to the Top of his Head, than to the sole of his Foot. One would believe,
that we thought a great Man and a tall Man the same thing. This very
much embarrasses the Actor, who is forced to hold his Neck extremely
stiff and steady all the while he speaks; and notwithstanding any
Anxieties which he pretends for his Mistress, his Country, or his
Friends, one may see by his Action, that his greatest Care and Concern
is to keep the Plume of Feathers from falling off his Head. For my own
part, when I see a Man uttering his Complaints under such a Mountain of
Feathers, I am apt to look upon him rather as an unfortunate Lunatick,
than a distressed Hero. As these superfluous Ornaments upon the Head
make a great Man, a Princess generally receives her Grandeur from those
additional Incumbrances that fall into her Tail: I mean the broad
sweeping Train that follows her in all her Motions, and finds constant
Employment for a Boy who stands behind her to open and spread it to
Advantage. I do not know how others are affected at this Sight, but, I
must confess, my Eyes are wholly taken up with the Page's Part; and as
for the Queen, I am not so attentive to any thing she speaks, as to the
right adjusting of her Train, lest it should chance to trip up her
Heels, or incommode her, as she walks to and fro upon the Stage. It is,
in my Opinion, a very odd Spectacle, to see a Queen venting her Passion
in a disordered Motion, and a little Boy taking care all the while that
they do not ruffle the Tail of her Gown. The Parts that the two Persons
act on the Stage at the same Time, are very different: The Princess is
afraid lest she should incur the Displeasure of the King her Father, or
lose the Hero her Lover, whilst her Attendant is only concerned lest she
should entangle her Feet in her Petticoat.

We are told, That an ancient Tragick Poet, to move the Pity of his
Audience for his exiled Kings and distressed Heroes, used to make the
Actors represent them in Dresses and Cloaths that were thread-bare and
decayed. This Artifice for moving Pity, seems as ill-contrived, as that
we have been speaking of to inspire us with a great Idea of the Persons
introduced upon the Stage. In short, I would have our Conceptions raised
by the Dignity of Thought and Sublimity of Expression, rather than by a
Train of Robes or a Plume of Feathers.

Another mechanical Method of making great Men, and adding Dignity to
Kings and Queens, is to accompany them with Halberts and Battle-axes.
Two or three Shifters of Scenes, with the two Candle-snuffers, make up a
compleat Body of Guards upon the _English_ Stage; and by the Addition of
a few Porters dressed in Red Coats, can represent above a Dozen Legions.
I have sometimes seen a Couple of Armies drawn up together upon the
Stage, when the Poet has been disposed to do Honour to his Generals. It
is impossible for the Reader's Imagination to multiply twenty Men into
such prodigious Multitudes, or to fancy that two or three hundred
thousand Soldiers are fighting in a Room of forty or fifty Yards in
Compass. Incidents of such a Nature should be told, not represented.

'Non tamen intus
Digna geri promes in scenam: multaque tolles
Ex oculis, qua mox narret facundia proesens.'


'Yet there are things improper for a Scene,
Which Men of Judgment only will relate.'

(L. Roscom.)

I should therefore, in this Particular, recommend to my Countrymen the
Example of the _French_ Stage, where the Kings and Queens always appear
unattended, and leave their Guards behind the Scenes. I should likewise
be glad if we imitated the _French_ in banishing from our Stage the
Noise of Drums, Trumpets, and Huzzas; which is sometimes so very great,
that when there is a Battle in the _Hay-Market_ Theatre, one may hear it
as far as _Charing-Cross_.

I have here only touched upon those Particulars which are made use of to
raise and aggrandize Persons in Tragedy; and shall shew in another Paper
the several Expedients which are practised by Authors of a vulgar Genius
to move Terror, Pity, or Admiration, in their Hearers.

The Tailor and the Painter often contribute to the Success of a Tragedy
more than the Poet. Scenes affect ordinary Minds as much as Speeches;
and our Actors are very sensible, that a well-dressed Play his sometimes
brought them as full Audiences, as a well-written one. The _Italians_
have a very good Phrase to express this Art of imposing upon the
Spectators by Appearances: They call it the _Fourberia della Scena, The
Knavery or trickish Part of the Drama_. But however the Show and Outside
of the Tragedy may work upon the Vulgar, the more understanding Part of
the Audience immediately see through it and despise it.

A good Poet will give the Reader a more lively Idea of an Army or a
Battle in a Description, than if he actually saw them drawn up in
Squadrons and Battalions, or engaged in the Confusion of a Fight. Our
Minds should be opened to great Conceptions and inflamed with glorious
Sentiments by what the Actor speaks, more than by what he appears. Can
all the Trappings or Equipage of a King or Hero give _Brutus_ half that
Pomp and Majesty which he receives from a few Lines in _Shakespear_?


[Footnote 1: 'Poetics', Part II. Sec. 13.]

* * * * *

No. 43. Thursday, April 19, 1711. Steele.

'Ha tibi erunt artes; pacisque imponere morem,
Parcere Subjectis, et debellare Superbos.'


There are Crowds of Men, whose great Misfortune it is that they were not
bound to Mechanick Arts or Trades; it being absolutely necessary for
them to be led by some continual Task or Employment. These are such as
we commonly call dull Fellows; Persons, who for want of something to do,
out of a certain Vacancy of Thought, rather than Curiosity, are ever
meddling with things for which they are unfit. I cannot give you a
Notion of them better than by presenting you with a Letter from a
Gentleman, who belongs to a Society of this Order of Men, residing at

Oxford, April 13, 1711. Four a Clock in the Morning.


'In some of your late Speculations, I find some Sketches towards an
History of Clubs: But you seem to me to shew them in somewhat too
ludicrous a Light. I have well weighed that Matter, and think, that
the most important Negotiations may best be carried on in such
Assemblies. I shall therefore, for the Good of Mankind, (which, I
trust, you and I are equally concerned for) propose an Institution of
that Nature for Example sake.

I must confess, the Design and Transactions of too many Clubs are
trifling, and manifestly of no consequence to the Nation or Publick
Weal: Those I'll give you up. But you must do me then the Justice to
own, that nothing can be more useful or laudable than the Scheme we go
upon. To avoid Nicknames and Witticisms, we call ourselves _The
Hebdomadal Meeting:_ Our President continues for a Year at least, and
sometimes four or five: We are all Grave, Serious, Designing Men, in
our Way: We think it our Duty, as far as in us lies, to take care the
Constitution receives no Harm,--_Ne quid detrimenti Res capiat
publica_--To censure Doctrines or Facts, Persons or Things, which we
don't like; To settle the Nation at home, and to carry on the War
abroad, where and in what manner we see fit: If other People are not
of our Opinion, we can't help that. 'Twere better they were. Moreover,
we now and then condescend to direct, in some measure, the little
Affairs of our own University.

Verily, _Mr_. SPECTATOR, we are much offended at the Act for importing
_French_ Wines: [1] A Bottle or two of good solid Edifying Port, at
honest _George's_, made a Night chearful, and threw off Reserve. But
this plaguy _French_ Claret will not only cost us more Mony, but do us
less Good: Had we been aware of it, before it had gone too far, I must
tell you, we would have petitioned to be heard upon that Subject. But
let that pass.

I must let you know likewise, good Sir, that we look upon a certain
Northern Prince's March, in Conjunction with Infidels, [2] to be
palpably against our Goodwill and Liking; and, for all Monsieur
Palmquist, [3] a most dangerous Innovation; and we are by no means yet
sure, that some People are not at the Bottom on't. At least, my own
private Letters leave room for a Politician well versed in matters of
this Nature, to suspect as much, as a penetrating Friend of mine tells

We think we have at last done the business with the Malecontents in
_Hungary_, and shall clap up a Peace there. [4]

What the Neutrality Army [5] is to do, or what the Army in
_Flanders_, and what two or three other Princes, is not yet fully
determined among us; and we wait impatiently for the coming in of the
next _Dyer's_ [6] who, you must know, is our Authentick Intelligence,
our _Aristotle_ in Politics. And 'tis indeed but fit there should be
some Dernier Resort, the Absolute Decider of all Controversies.

We were lately informed, that the Gallant Train'd Bands had patroll'd
all Night long about the Streets of _London:_ We indeed could not
imagine any Occasion for it, we guessed not a Tittle on't aforehand,
we were in nothing of the Secret; and that City Tradesmen, or their
Apprentices, should do Duty, or work, during the Holidays, we thought
absolutely impossible: But _Dyer_ being positive in it, and some
Letters from other People, who had talked with some who had it from
those who should know, giving some Countenance to it, the Chairman
reported from the Committee, appointed to examine into that Affair,
That 'twas Possible there might be something in't. I have much more to
say to you, but my two good Friends and Neighbours, _Dominick_ and
_Slyboots_, are just come in, and the Coffee's ready. I am, in the
mean time,


_Your Admirer, and

Humble Servant,_

Abraham Froth.

You may observe the Turn of their Minds tends only to Novelty, and not
Satisfaction in any thing. It would be Disappointment to them, to come
to Certainty in any thing, for that would gravel them, and put an end to
their Enquiries, which dull Fellows do not make for Information, but for
Exercise. I do not know but this may be a very good way of accounting
for what we frequently see, to wit, that dull Fellows prove very good
Men of Business. Business relieves them from their own natural
Heaviness, by furnishing them with what to do; whereas Business to
Mercurial Men, is an Interruption from their real Existence and
Happiness. Tho' the dull Part of Mankind are harmless in their
Amusements, it were to be wished they had no vacant Time, because they
usually undertake something that makes their Wants conspicuous, by their
manner of supplying them. You shall seldom find a dull Fellow of good
Education, but (if he happens to have any Leisure upon his Hands,) will
turn his Head to one of those two Amusements, for all Fools of Eminence,
Politicks or Poetry. The former of these Arts, is the Study of all dull
People in general; but when Dulness is lodged in a Person of a quick
Animal Life, it generally exerts it self in Poetry. One might here
mention a few Military Writers, who give great Entertainment to the Age,
by reason that the Stupidity of their Heads is quickened by the Alacrity
of their Hearts. This Constitution in a dull Fellow, gives Vigour to
Nonsense, and makes the Puddle boil, which would otherwise stagnate. The
_British Prince_, that Celebrated Poem, which was written in the Reign
of King Charles the Second, and deservedly called by the Wits of that
Age _Incomparable_, [7] was the Effect of such an happy Genius as we are
speaking of. From among many other Disticks no less to be quoted on this
Account, I cannot but recite the two following Lines.

_A painted Vest Prince_ Voltager _had on,
Which from a Naked_ Pict _his Grandsire won_.

Here if the Poet had not been Vivacious, as well as Stupid, he could
[not,] in the Warmth and Hurry of Nonsense, [have] been capable of
forgetting that neither Prince _Voltager_, nor his Grandfather, could
strip a Naked Man of his Doublet; but a Fool of a colder Constitution,
would have staid to have Flea'd the _Pict_, and made Buff of his Skin,
for the Wearing of the Conqueror.

To bring these Observations to some useful Purpose of Life, what I would
propose should be, that we imitated those wise Nations, wherein every
Man learns some Handycraft-Work. Would it not employ a Beau prettily
enough, if instead of eternally playing with a Snuff-box, he spent some
part of his Time in making one? Such a Method as this, would very much
conduce to the Publick Emolument, by making every Man living good for
something; for there would then be no one Member of Human Society, but
would have some little Pretension for some Degree in it; like him who
came to _Will's_ Coffee-house, upon the Merit of having writ a Posie of
a Ring.


[Footnote 1: Like the chopping in two of the _Respublica_ in the
quotation just above of the well-known Roman formula by which consuls
were to see _ne quid Respublica detrimenti capiat_, this is a jest on
the ignorance of the political wiseacres. Port wine had been forced on
England in 1703 in place of Claret, and the drinking of it made an act
of patriotism,--which then meant hostility to France,--by the Methuen
treaty, so named from its negotiator, Paul Methuen, the English Minister
at Lisbon. It is the shortest treaty upon record, having only two
clauses, one providing that Portugal should admit British cloths; the
other that England should admit Portuguese wines at one-third less duty
than those of France. This lasted until 1831, and so the English were
made Port wine drinkers. Abraham Froth and his friends of the
'Hebdomadal Meeting', all 'Grave, Serious, Designing Men in their Way'
have a confused notion in 1711 of the Methuen Treaty of 1703 as 'the Act
for importing French wines,' with which they are much offended. The
slowness and confusion of their ideas upon a piece of policy then so
familiar, gives point to the whimsical solemnity of their 'Had we been
aware,' &c.]

[Footnote 2: The subject of Mr. Froth's profound comment is now the
memorable March of Charles XII of Sweden to the Ukraine, ending on the
8th of July, 1709, in the decisive battle of Pultowa, that established
the fortune of Czar Peter the Great, and put an end to the preponderance
of Sweden in northern Europe. Charles had seemed to be on his way to
Moscow, when he turned south and marched through desolation to the
Ukraine, whither he was tempted by Ivan Mazeppa, a Hetman of the
Cossacks, who, though 80 years old, was ambitious of independence to be
won for him by the prowess of Charles XII. Instead of 30,000 men Mazeppa
brought to the King of Sweden only himself as a fugitive with 40 or 50
attendants; but in the spring of 1809 he procured for the wayworn and
part shoeless army of Charles the alliance of the Saporogue Cossacks.
Although doubled by these and by Wallachians, the army was in all but
20,000 strong with which he then determined to besiege Pullowa; and
there, after two months' siege, he ventured to give battle to a
relieving army of 60,000 Russians. Of his 20,000 men, 9000 were left on
that battle-field, and 3000 made prisoners. Of the rest--all that
survived of 54,000 Swedes with whom he had quitted Saxony to cross the
steppes of Russia, and of 16,000 sent to him as reinforcement
afterwards--part perished, and they who were left surrendered on
capitulation, Charles himself having taken refuge at Bender in
Bessarabia with the Turks, Mr. Froth's Infidels.]

[Footnote 3: Perhaps Monsieur Palmquist is the form in which these
'Grave, Serious, Designing Men in their Way' have picked up the name of
Charles's brave general, Count Poniatowski, to whom he owed his escape
after the battle of Pultowa, and who won over Turkey to support his
failing fortunes. The Turks, his subsequent friends, are the 'Infidels'
before-mentioned, the wise politicians being apparently under the
impression that they had marched with the Swedes out of Saxony.]

[Footnote 4: Here Mr. Froth and his friends were truer prophets than
anyone knew when this number of the _Spectator_ appeared, on the 19th of
April. The news had not reached England of the death of the Emperor
Joseph I on the 17th of April. During his reign, and throughout the war,
the Hungarians, desiring independence, had been fighting on the side of
France. The Archduke Charles, now become Emperor, was ready to give the
Hungarians such privileges, especially in matters of religion, as
restored their friendship.]

[Footnote 5: After Pultowa, Frederick IV of Denmark, Augustus II of
Poland, and Czar Peter, formed an alliance against Sweden; and in the
course of 1710 the Emperor of Germany, Great Britain, and the
States-General concluded two treaties guaranteeing the neutrality of all
the States of the Empire. This suggests to Mr. Froth and his friends the
idea that there is a 'Neutrality Army' operating somewhere.]

[Footnote 6: Dyer was a Jacobite printer, whose News-letter was twice in
trouble for 'misrepresenting the proceedings of the House,' and who, in
1703, had given occasion for a proclamation against 'printing and
spreading false 'news.']

[Footnote 7: ''The British Princes', an Heroick Poem,' by the Hon.
Edward Howard, was published in 1669. The author produced also five
plays, and a volume of Poems and Essays, with a Paraphrase on Cicero's
Laelius in Heroic Verse. The Earls of Rochester and Dorset devoted some
verses to jest both on 'The British Princes' and on Edward Howard's
Plays. Even Dr. Sprat had his rhymed joke with the rest, in lines to a
Person of Honour 'upon his Incomparable, Incomprehensible Poem, intitled
'The British Princes'.' Edward Howard did not print the nonsense here
ascribed to him. It was a burlesque of his lines:

'A vest as admir'd Vortiger had on,
Which from this Island's foes his Grandsire won.']

* * * * *

No. 44. Friday, April 20, 1711. Addison.

'Tu, quid ego et populus mecum desideret, audi.'


Among the several Artifices which are put in Practice by the Poets to
fill the Minds of [an] [1] Audience with Terror, the first Place is due
to Thunder and Lightning, which are often made use of at the Descending
of a God, or the Rising of a Ghost, at the Vanishing of a Devil, or at
the Death of a Tyrant. I have known a Bell introduced into several
Tragedies with good Effect; and have seen the whole Assembly in a very
great Alarm all the while it has been ringing. But there is nothing
which delights and terrifies our 'English' Theatre so much as a Ghost,
especially when he appears in a bloody Shirt. A Spectre has very often
saved a Play, though he has done nothing but stalked across the Stage,
or rose through a Cleft of it, and sunk again without speaking one Word.
There may be a proper Season for these several Terrors; and when they
only come in as Aids and Assistances to the Poet, they are not only to
be excused, but to be applauded. Thus the sounding of the Clock in
'Venice Preserved', [2] makes the Hearts of the whole Audience quake;
and conveys a stronger Terror to the Mind than it is possible for Words
to do. The Appearance of the Ghost in 'Hamlet' is a Master-piece in its
kind, and wrought up with all the Circumstances that can create either
Attention or Horror. The Mind of the Reader is wonderfully prepared for
his Reception by the Discourses that precede it: His Dumb Behaviour at
his first Entrance, strikes the Imagination very strongly; but every
time he enters, he is still more terrifying. Who can read the Speech
with which young 'Hamlet' accosts him, without trembling?

Hor. Look, my Lord, it comes!

Ham. Angels and Ministers of Grace defend us!
Be thou a Spirit of Health, or Goblin damn'd;
Bring with thee Airs from Heav'n, or Blasts from Hell;
Be thy Events wicked or charitable;
Thou com'st in such a questionable Shape
That I will speak to thee. I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, Father, Royal Dane: Oh! Oh! Answer me,
Let me not burst in Ignorance; but tell
Why thy canoniz'd Bones, hearsed in Death,
Have burst their Cearments? Why the Sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble Jaws
To cast thee up again? What may this mean?
That thou dead Coarse again in compleat Steel
Revisit'st thus the Glimpses of the Moon,
Making Night hideous?

I do not therefore find Fault with the Artifices above-mentioned when
they are introduced with Skill, and accompanied by proportionable
Sentiments and Expressions in the Writing.

For the moving of Pity, our principal Machine is the Handkerchief; and
indeed in our common Tragedies, we should not know very often that the
Persons are in Distress by any thing they say, if they did not from time
to time apply their Handkerchiefs to their Eyes. Far be it from me to
think of banishing this Instrument of Sorrow from the Stage; I know a
Tragedy could not subsist without it: All that I would contend for, is,
to keep it from being misapplied. In a Word, I would have the Actor's
Tongue sympathize with his Eyes.

A disconsolate Mother, with a Child in her Hand, has frequently drawn
Compassion from the Audience, and has therefore gained a place in
several Tragedies. A Modern Writer, that observed how this had took in
other Plays, being resolved to double the Distress, and melt his
Audience twice as much as those before him had done, brought a Princess
upon the Stage with a little Boy in one Hand and a Girl in the other.
This too had a very good Effect. A third Poet, being resolved to
out-write all his Predecessors, a few Years ago introduced three
Children, with great Success: And as I am informed, a young Gentleman,
who is fully determined to break the most obdurate Hearts, has a Tragedy
by him, where the first Person that appears upon the Stage, is an
afflicted Widow in her mourning Weeds, with half a Dozen fatherless
Children attending her, like those that usually hang about the Figure of
Charity. Thus several Incidents that are beautiful in a good Writer,
become ridiculous by falling into the Hands of a bad one.

But among all our Methods of moving Pity or Terror, there is none so
absurd and barbarous, and what more exposes us to the Contempt and
Ridicule of our Neighbours, than that dreadful butchering of one
another, which is so very frequent upon the _English_ Stage. To delight
in seeing Men stabbed, poysoned, racked, or impaled, is certainly the
Sign of a cruel Temper: And as this is often practised before the
_British_ Audience, several _French_ Criticks, who think these are
grateful Spectacles to us, take occasion from them to represent us as a
People that delight in Blood. [3] It is indeed very odd, to see our
Stage strowed with Carcasses in the last Scene of a Tragedy; and to
observe in the Ward-robe of a Play-house several Daggers, Poniards,
Wheels, Bowls for Poison, and many other Instruments of Death. Murders
and Executions are always transacted behind the Scenes in the _French_
Theatre; which in general is very agreeable to the Manners of a polite
and civilized People: But as there are no Exceptions to this Rule on the
_French_ Stage, it leads them into Absurdities almost as ridiculous as
that which falls under our present Censure. I remember in the famous
Play of _Corneille_, written upon the Subject of the _Horatii_ and
_Curiatii_; the fierce young hero who had overcome the _Curiatii_ one
after another, (instead of being congratulated by his Sister for his
Victory, being upbraided by her for having slain her Lover,) in the
Height of his Passion and Resentment kills her. If any thing could
extenuate so brutal an Action, it would be the doing of it on a sudden,
before the Sentiments of Nature, Reason, or Manhood could take Place in
him. However, to avoid _publick Blood-shed_, as soon as his Passion is
wrought to its Height, he follows his Sister the whole length of the
Stage, and forbears killing her till they are both withdrawn behind the
Scenes. I must confess, had he murder'd her before the Audience, the
Indecency might have been greater; but as it is, it appears very
unnatural, and looks like killing in cold Blood. To give my Opinion upon
this Case; the Fact ought not to have been represented, but to have been
told, if there was any Occasion for it.

It may not be unacceptable to the Reader, to see how _Sophocles_ has
conducted a Tragedy under the like delicate Circumstances. _Orestes_ was
in the same Condition with _Hamlet_ in _Shakespear_, his Mother having
murdered his Father, and taken possession of his Kingdom in Conspiracy
with her Adulterer. That young Prince therefore, being determined to
revenge his Father's Death upon those who filled his Throne, conveys
himself by a beautiful Stratagem into his Mother's Apartment with a
Resolution to kill her. But because such a Spectacle would have been too
shocking to the Audience, this dreadful Resolution is executed behind
the Scenes: The Mother is heard calling out to her Son for Mercy; and
the Son answering her, that she shewed no Mercy to his Father; after
which she shrieks out that she is wounded, and by what follows we find
that she is slain. I do not remember that in any of our Plays there are
Speeches made behind the Scenes, though there are other Instances of
this Nature to be met with in those of the Ancients: And I believe my
Reader will agree with me, that there is something infinitely more
affecting in this dreadful Dialogue between the Mother and her Son
behind the Scenes, than could have been in anything transacted before
the Audience. _Orestes_ immediately after meets the Usurper at the
Entrance of his Palace; and by a very happy Thought of the Poet avoids
killing him before the Audience, by telling him that he should live some
Time in his present Bitterness of Soul before he would dispatch him; and
[by] ordering him to retire into that Part of the Palace where he had
slain his Father, whose Murther he would revenge in the very same Place
where it was committed. By this means the Poet observes that Decency,
which _Horace_ afterwards established by a Rule, of forbearing to commit
Parricides or unnatural Murthers before the Audience.

_Nec coram populo natos_ Medea _trucidet_.

_Let not_ Medea _draw her murth'ring Knife,
And spill her Children's Blood upon the Stage._

The _French_ have therefore refin'd too much upon _Horace's_ Rule, who
never designed to banish all Kinds of Death from the Stage; but only
such as had too much Horror in them, and which would have a better
Effect upon the Audience when transacted behind the Scenes. I would
therefore recommend to my Countrymen the Practice of the ancient Poets,
who were very sparing of their publick Executions, and rather chose to
perform them behind the Scenes, if it could be done with as great an
Effect upon the Audience. At the same time I must observe, that though
the devoted Persons of the Tragedy were seldom slain before the
Audience, which has generally something ridiculous in it, their Bodies
were often produced after their Death, which has always in it something
melancholy or terrifying; so that the killing on the Stage does not seem
to have been avoided only as an Indecency, but also as an Improbability.

_Nec pueros coram populo_ Medea _trucidet;
Aut humana palam coquat exta nefarius_ Atreus;
_Aut in avem_ Progne _vertatur_, Cadmus _in anguem,
Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi_.


Medea _must not draw her murth'ring Knife,
Nor_ Atreus _there his horrid Feast prepare._
Cadmus _and_ Progne's _Metamorphosis,
(She to a Swallow turn'd, he to a Snake)
And whatsoever contradicts my Sense,
I hate to see, and never can believe._

(Ld. ROSCOMMON.) [4]

I have now gone through the several Dramatick Inventions which are made
use of by [the] Ignorant Poets to supply the Place of Tragedy, and by
[the] Skilful to improve it; some of which I could wish entirely
rejected, and the rest to be used with Caution. It would be an endless
Task to consider Comedy in the same Light, and to mention the
innumerable Shifts that small Wits put in practice to raise a Laugh.
_Bullock_ in a short Coat, and _Norris_ in a long one, seldom fail of
this Effect. [5] In ordinary Comedies, a broad and a narrow brim'd Hat
are different Characters. Sometimes the Wit of the Scene lies in a
Shoulder-belt, and Sometimes in a Pair of Whiskers. A Lover running
about the Stage, with his Head peeping out of a Barrel, was thought a
very good Jest in King _Charles_ the Second's time; and invented by one
of the first Wits of that Age. [6] But because Ridicule is not so
delicate as Compassion, and [because] [7] the Objects that make us laugh
are infinitely more numerous than those that make us weep, there is a
much greater Latitude for comick than tragick Artifices, and by
Consequence a much greater Indulgence to be allowed them.


[Footnote 1: the]

[Footnote 2: In Act V The toll of the passing bell for Pierre in the
parting scene between Jaffier and Belvidera.]

[Footnote 3: Thus Rene Rapin,--whom Dryden declared alone

'sufficient, were all other critics lost, to teach anew the rules of

said in his 'Reflections on Aristotle's Treatise of Poetry,' translated
by Rymer in 1694,

The English, our Neighbours, love Blood in their Sports, by the
quality of their Temperament: These are _Insulaires_, separated from
the rest of men; we are more humane ... The English have more of
Genius for Tragedy than other People, as well by the Spirit of their
Nation, which delights in Cruelty, as also by the Character of their
Language, which is proper for Great Expressions.']

[Footnote 4: The Earl of Roscommon, who died in 1684, aged about 50,
besides his 'Essay on Translated Verse,' produced, in 1680, a
Translation of 'Horace's Art of Poetry' into English Blank Verse, with
Remarks. Of his 'Essay,' Dryden said:

'The Muse's Empire is restored again
In Charles his reign, and by Roscommon's pen.']

[Footnote 5: Of Bullock see note, p. 138, _ante_. Norris had at one
time, by his acting of Dicky in Farquhar's 'Trip to the Jubilee,'
acquired the name of Jubilee Dicky.

[Footnote 6: Sir George Etherege. It was his first play, 'The Comical
Revenge, or Love in a Tub', produced in 1664, which introduced him to
the society of Rochester, Buckingham, &c.

[Footnote 7: as]

* * * * *

No. 45. Saturday, April 21, 1711. Addison.

'Natio Comaeda est.'


There is nothing which I more desire than a safe and honourable Peace,
[1] tho' at the same time I am very apprehensive of many ill
Consequences that may attend it. I do not mean in regard to our
Politicks, but to our Manners. What an Inundation of Ribbons and
Brocades will break in upon us? What Peals of Laughter and Impertinence
shall we be exposed to? For the Prevention of these great Evils, I could
heartily wish that there was an Act of Parliament for Prohibiting the
Importation of _French_ Fopperies.

The Female Inhabitants of our Island have already received very strong
Impressions from this ludicrous Nation, tho' by the Length of the War
(as there is no Evil which has not some Good attending it) they are
pretty well worn out and forgotten. I remember the time when some of our
well-bred Country-Women kept their _Valet de Chambre_, because,
forsooth, a Man was much more handy about them than one of their own
Sex. I myself have seen one of these Male _Abigails_ tripping about the
Room with a Looking-glass in his Hand, and combing his Lady's Hair a
whole Morning together. Whether or no there was any Truth in the Story
of a Lady's being got with Child by one of these her Handmaids I cannot
tell, but I think at present the whole Race of them is extinct in our
own Country.

About the Time that several of our Sex were taken into this kind of
Service, the Ladies likewise brought up the Fashion of receiving Visits
in their Beds. [2] It was then look'd upon as a piece of Ill Breeding,
for a Woman to refuse to see a Man, because she was not stirring; and a
Porter would have been thought unfit for his Place, that could have made
so awkward an Excuse. As I love to see every thing that is new, I once
prevailed upon my Friend WILL. HONEYCOMB to carry me along with him to
one of these Travelled Ladies, desiring him, at the same time, to
present me as a Foreigner who could not speak _English_, that so I might
not be obliged to bear a Part in the Discourse. The Lady, tho' willing
to appear undrest, had put on her best Looks, and painted her self for
our Reception. Her Hair appeared in a very nice Disorder, as the
Night-Gown which was thrown upon her Shoulders was ruffled with great
Care. For my part, I am so shocked with every thing which looks immodest
in the Fair Sex, that I could not forbear taking off my Eye from her
when she moved in her Bed, and was in the greatest Confusion imaginable
every time she stired a Leg or an Arm. As the Coquets, who introduced
this Custom, grew old, they left it off by Degrees; well knowing that a
Woman of Threescore may kick and tumble her Heart out, without making
any Impressions.

_Sempronia_ is at present the most profest Admirer of the _French_
Nation, but is so modest as to admit her Visitants no further than her
Toilet. It is a very odd Sight that beautiful Creature makes, when she
is talking Politicks with her Tresses flowing about her Shoulders, and
examining that Face in the Glass, which does such Execution upon all the
Male Standers-by. How prettily does she divide her Discourse between her
Woman and her Visitants? What sprightly Transitions does she make from
an Opera or a Sermon, to an Ivory Comb or a Pincushion? How have I been
pleased to see her interrupted in an Account of her Travels, by a
Message to her Footman; and holding her Tongue, in the midst of a Moral
Reflexion, by applying the Tip of it to a Patch?

There is nothing which exposes a Woman to greater dangers, than that
Gaiety and Airiness of Temper, which are natural to most of the Sex. It
should be therefore the Concern of every wise and virtuous Woman, to
keep this Sprightliness from degenerating into Levity. On the contrary,
the whole Discourse and Behaviour of the _French_ is to make the Sex
more Fantastical, or (as they are pleased to term it,) _more awakened_,
than is consistent either with Virtue or Discretion. To speak Loud in
Publick Assemblies, to let every one hear you talk of Things that should
only be mentioned in Private or in Whisper, are looked upon as Parts of
a refined Education. At the same time, a Blush is unfashionable, and
Silence more ill-bred than any thing that can be spoken. In short,
Discretion and Modesty, which in all other Ages and Countries have been
regarded as the greatest Ornaments of the Fair Sex, are considered as
the Ingredients of narrow Conversation, and Family Behaviour.

Some Years ago I was at the Tragedy of _Macbeth_, and unfortunately
placed myself under a Woman of Quality that is since Dead; who, as I
found by the Noise she made, was newly returned from _France_. A little
before the rising of the Curtain, she broke out into a loud Soliloquy,
_When will the dear Witches enter?_ and immediately upon their first
Appearance, asked a Lady that sat three Boxes from her, on her
Right-hand, if those Witches were not charming Creatures. A little
after, as _Betterton_ was in one of the finest Speeches of the Play, she
shook her Fan at another Lady, who sat as far on the Left hand, and told
her with a Whisper, that might be heard all over the Pit, We must not
expect to see _Balloon_ to-night. [3] Not long after, calling out to a
young Baronet by his Name, who sat three Seats before me, she asked him
whether _Macbeth's_ Wife was still alive; and before he could give an
Answer, fell a talking of the Ghost of _Banquo_. She had by this time
formed a little Audience to herself, and fixed the Attention of all
about her. But as I had a mind to hear the Play, I got out of the Sphere
of her Impertinence, and planted myself in one of the remotest Corners
of the Pit.

This pretty Childishness of Behaviour is one of the most refined Parts
of Coquetry, and is not to be attained in Perfection, by Ladies that do
not Travel for their Improvement. A natural and unconstrained Behaviour
has something in it so agreeable, that it is no Wonder to see People
endeavouring after it. But at the same time, it is so very hard to hit,
when it is not Born with us, that People often make themselves
Ridiculous in attempting it.

A very ingenious _French_ Author [4] tells us, that the Ladies of the
Court of _France_, in his Time, thought it Ill-breeding, and a kind of
Female Pedantry, to pronounce an hard Word right; for which Reason they
took frequent occasion to use hard Words, that they might shew a
Politeness in murdering them. He further adds, that a Lady of some
Quality at Court, having accidentally made use of an hard Word in a
proper Place, and pronounced it right, the whole Assembly was out of
Countenance for her.

I must however be so just to own, that there are many Ladies who have
Travelled several Thousand of Miles without being the worse for it, and
have brought Home with them all the Modesty, Discretion and good Sense
that they went abroad with. As on the contrary, there are great Numbers
of _Travelled_ Ladies, [who] [5] have lived all their Days within the
Smoke of _London_. I have known a Woman that never was out of the Parish
of St. _James's_, [betray] [6] as many Foreign Fopperies in her
Carriage, as she could have Gleaned up in half the Countries of


[Footnote 1: At this date the news would just have reached England of
the death of the Emperor Joseph and accession of Archduke Charles to the
German crown. The Archduke's claim to the crown of Spain had been
supported as that of a younger brother of the House of Austria, in whose
person the two crowns of Germany and Spain were not likely to be united.
When, therefore, Charles became head of the German empire, the war of
the Spanish succession changed its aspect altogether, and the English
looked for peace. That of 1711 was, in fact, Marlborough's last
campaign; peace negotiations were at the same time going on between
France and England, and preliminaries were signed in London in October
of this year, 1711. England was accused of betraying the allied cause;
but the changed political conditions led to her withdrawal from it, and
her withdrawal compelled the assent of the allies to the general peace
made by the Treaty of Utrecht, which, after tedious negotiations, was
not signed until the 11th of April, 1713, the continuous issue of the
_Spectator_ having ended, with Vol. VII., in December, 1712.]

[Footnote 2: The custom was copied from the French _Precieuses_, at a
time when _courir les ruelles_ (to take the run of the bedsides) was a
Parisian phrase for fashionable morning calls upon the ladies. The
_ruelle_ is the little path between the bedside and the wall.]

[Footnote 3: _Balloon_ was a game like tennis played with a foot-ball;
but the word may be applied here to a person. It had not the sense which
now first occurs to the mind of a modern reader. Air balloons are not
older than 1783.]

[Footnote 4: Describing perhaps one form of reaction against the verbal
pedantry and _Phebus_ of the _Precieuses_.]

[Footnote 5: that]

[Footnote 6: with]

* * * * *

No 46. Monday, April 23, 1711. Addison

Non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum.


When I want Materials for this Paper, it is my Custom to go abroad in
quest of Game; and when I meet any proper Subject, I take the first
Opportunity of setting down an Hint of it upon Paper. At the same time I
look into the Letters of my Correspondents, and if I find any thing
suggested in them that may afford Matter of Speculation, I likewise
enter a Minute of it in my Collection of Materials. By this means I
frequently carry about me a whole Sheetful of Hints, that would look
like a Rhapsody of Nonsense to any Body but myself: There is nothing in
them but Obscurity and Confusion, Raving and Inconsistency. In short,
they are my Speculations in the first Principles, that (like the World
in its Chaos) are void of all Light, Distinction, and Order.

About a Week since there happened to me a very odd Accident, by Reason
of one of these my Papers of Minutes which I had accidentally dropped at
_Lloyd's_ [1] Coffee-house, where the Auctions are usually kept. Before
I missed it, there were a Cluster of People who had found it, and were
diverting themselves with it at one End of the Coffee-house: It had
raised so much Laughter among them before I had observed what they were
about, that I had not the Courage to own it. The Boy of the
Coffee-house, when they had done with it, carried it about in his Hand,
asking every Body if they had dropped a written Paper; but no Body
challenging it, he was ordered by those merry Gentlemen who had before
perused it, to get up into the Auction Pulpit, and read it to the whole
Room, that if any one would own it they might. The Boy accordingly
mounted the Pulpit, and with a very audible Voice read as follows.


Sir _Roger de Coverly's_ Country Seat--Yes, for I hate long
Speeches--Query, if a good Christian may be a
Conjurer--_Childermas-day_, Saltseller, House-Dog, Screech-owl,
Cricket--Mr. _Thomas Inkle of London_, in the good Ship called _The
Achilles_. _Yarico--AEgrescitique medendo_--Ghosts--The Lady's
Library--Lion by Trade a Taylor--Dromedary called
_Bucephalus_--Equipage the Lady's _summum bonum_--_Charles Lillie_ to
be taken notice of [2]--Short Face a Relief to Envy--Redundancies in
the three Professions--King _Latinus_ a Recruit--Jew devouring an Ham
of Bacon--_Westminster Abbey_--_Grand Cairo_--Procrastination--_April_
Fools--Blue Boars, Red Lions, Hogs in Armour--Enter a King and two
Fidlers _solus_--Admission into the Ugly Club--Beauty, how
improveable--Families of true and false Humour--The Parrot's
School-Mistress--Face half _Pict_ half _British_--no Man to be an Hero
of Tragedy under Six foot--Club of Sighers--Letters from Flower-Pots,
Elbow-Chairs, Tapestry-Figures, Lion, Thunder--The Bell rings to the
Puppet-Show--Old-Woman with a Beard married to a smock-faced Boy--My
next Coat to be turned up with Blue--Fable of Tongs and
Gridiron--Flower Dyers--The Soldier's Prayer--Thank ye for nothing,
says the Gally-Pot--_Pactolus_ in Stockings, with golden Clocks to
them--Bamboos, Cudgels, Drumsticks--Slip of my Landlady's eldest
Daughter--The black Mare with a Star in her Forehead--The Barber's
Pole--WILL. HONEYCOMB'S Coat-pocket--_Caesar's_ Behaviour and my own in
Parallel Circumstances--Poem in Patch-work--_Nulli gravis est
percussus Achilles_--The Female Conventicler--The Ogle Master.

The reading of this Paper made the whole Coffee-house very merry; some
of them concluded it was written by a Madman, and others by some Body
that had been taking Notes out of the Spectator. One who had the
Appearance of a very substantial Citizen, told us, with several politick
Winks and Nods, that he wished there was no more in the Paper than what
was expressed in it: That for his part, he looked upon the Dromedary,
the Gridiron, and the Barber's Pole, to signify something more than what
is usually meant by those Words; and that he thought the Coffee-man
could not do better than to carry the Paper to one of the Secretaries of
State. He further added, that he did not like the Name of the outlandish
Man with the golden Clock in his Stockings. A young [_Oxford_ Scholar
[3]], who chanced to be with his Uncle at the Coffee-house, discover'd
to us who this _Pactolus_ was; and by that means turned the whole Scheme
of this worthy Citizen into Ridicule. While they were making their
several Conjectures upon this innocent Paper, I reach'd out my Arm to
the Boy, as he was coming out of the Pulpit, to give it me; which he did
accordingly. This drew the Eyes of the whole Company upon me; but after
having cast a cursory Glance over it, and shook my Head twice or thrice
at the reading of it, I twisted it into a kind of Match, and litt my
Pipe with it. My profound Silence, together with the Steadiness of my
Countenance, and the Gravity of my Behaviour during this whole
Transaction, raised a very loud Laugh on all Sides of me; but as I had
escaped all Suspicion of being the Author, I was very well satisfied,
and applying myself to my Pipe, and the _Post-man_, took no [further]
Notice of any thing that passed about me.

My Reader will find, that I have already made use of above half the
Contents of the foregoing Paper; and will easily Suppose, that those
Subjects which are yet untouched were such Provisions as I had made for
his future Entertainment. But as I have been unluckily prevented by this
Accident, I shall only give him the Letters which relate to the two last
Hints. The first of them I should not have published, were I not
informed that there is many a Husband who suffers very much in his
private Affairs by the indiscreet Zeal of such a Partner as is hereafter
mentioned; to whom I may apply the barbarous Inscription quoted by the
Bishop of _Salisbury_ in his Travels; [4] _Dum nimia pia est, facta est


'I am one of those unhappy Men that are plagued with a Gospel-Gossip,
so common among Dissenters (especially Friends). Lectures in the
Morning, Church-Meetings at Noon, and Preparation Sermons at Night,
take up so much of her Time, 'tis very rare she knows what we have for
Dinner, unless when the Preacher is to be at it. With him come a
Tribe, all Brothers and Sisters it seems; while others, really such,
are deemed no Relations. If at any time I have her Company alone, she
is a meer Sermon Popgun, repeating and discharging Texts, Proofs, and
Applications so perpetually, that however weary I may go to bed, the
Noise in my Head will not let me sleep till towards Morning. The
Misery of my Case, and great Numbers of such Sufferers, plead your
Pity and speedy Relief, otherwise must expect, in a little time, to be
lectured, preached, and prayed into Want, unless the Happiness of
being sooner talked to Death prevent it.

I am, &c. R. G.

The second Letter relating to the Ogling Master, runs thus.


'I am an Irish Gentleman, that have travelled many Years for my
Improvement; during which time I have accomplished myself in the whole
Art of Ogling, as it is at present practised in all the polite Nations
of _Europe_. Being thus qualified, I intend, by the Advice of my
Friends, to set up for an Ogling-Master. I teach the Church Ogle in
the Morning, and the Play-house Ogle by Candle-light. I have also
brought over with me a new flying Ogle fit for the Ring; which I teach
in the Dusk of the Evening, or in any Hour of the Day by darkning one
of my Windows. I have a Manuscript by me called _The Compleat Ogler_,
which I shall be ready to show you upon any Occasion. In the mean
time, I beg you will publish the Substance of this Letter in an
Advertisement, and you will very much oblige,

Yours, &c.

[Footnote 1: _Lloyd's Coffee House_ was first established in Lombard
Street, at the corner of Abchurch Lane. Pains were taken to get early
Ship news at Lloyd's, and the house was used by underwriters and
insurers of Ships' cargoes. It was found also to be a convenient place
for sales. A poem called 'The Wealthy Shopkeeper', printed in 1700, says
of him,

Now to Lloyd's Coffee-house he never fails,
To read the Letters, and attend the Sales.

It was afterwards removed to Pope's Head Alley, as 'the New Lloyd's
Coffee House;' again removed in 1774 to a corner of the Old Royal
Exchange; and in the building of the new Exchange was provided with the
rooms now known as 'Lloyd's Subscription Rooms,' an institution which
forms part of our commercial system.]

[Footnote 2: Charles Lillie, the perfumer in the Strand, at the corner
of Beaufort Buildings--where the business of a perfumer is at this day
carried on--appears in the 16th, 18th, and subsequent numbers of the
'Spectator', together with Mrs. Baldwin of Warwick Lane, as a chief
agent for the sale of the Paper. To the line which had run

'LONDON: Printed for _Sam. Buckley_, at the _Dolphin_ in _Little
Britain_; and Sold by _A. Baldwin_ in _Warwick-Lane_; where
Advertisements are taken in;'

there was then appended:

'as also by _Charles Lillie_, Perfumer, at the Corner of
_Beaufort-Buildings_ in the _Strand_'.

Nine other agents, of whom complete sets could be had, were occasionally
set forth together with these two in an advertisement; but only these
are in the colophon.]

[Footnote 3: Oxonian]

[Footnote 4: Gilbert Burnet, author of the 'History of the Reformation,'
and 'History of his own Time,' was Bishop of Salisbury from 1689 to his
death in 1715. Addison here quotes:

'Some Letters containing an Account of what seemed most remarkable in
Travelling through Switzerland, Italy, some parts of Germany, &c., in
the Years 1685 and 1686. Written by G. Burnet, D.D., to the Honourable
R. B.'

In the first letter, which is from Zurich, Dr. Burnet speaks of many
Inscriptions at Lyons of the late and barbarous ages, as 'Bonum
Memoriam', and 'Epitaphium hunc'. Of 23 Inscriptions in the Garden of
the Fathers of Mercy, he quotes one which must be towards the barbarous
age, as appears by the false Latin in 'Nimia' He quotes it because he
has 'made a little reflection on it,' which is, that its subject, Sutia
Anthis, to whose memory her husband Cecalius Calistis dedicates the
inscription which says

'quaedum Nimia pia fuit, facta est Impia'

(who while she was too pious, was made impious),

must have been publicly accused of Impiety, or her husband would not
have recorded it in such a manner; that to the Pagans Christianity was
Atheism and Impiety; and that here, therefore, is a Pagan husband's
testimony to the better faith, that the Piety of his wife made her a

* * * * *

No. 47. Tuesday, April 24, 1711. Addison.

'Ride si sapis.'


Mr. _Hobbs_, in his Discourse of Human Nature, [1] which, in my humble
Opinion, is much the best of all his Works, after some very curious
Observations upon Laughter, concludes thus:

'The Passion of Laughter is nothing else but sudden Glory arising from
some sudden Conception of some Eminency in ourselves by Comparison
with the Infirmity of others, or with our own formerly: For Men laugh
at the Follies of themselves past, when they come suddenly to
Remembrance, except they bring with them any present Dishonour.'

According to this Author, therefore, when we hear a Man laugh
excessively, instead of saying he is very Merry, we ought to tell him he
is very Proud. And, indeed, if we look into the bottom of this Matter,
we shall meet with many Observations to confirm us in his Opinion. Every
one laughs at some Body that is in an inferior State of Folly to
himself. It was formerly the Custom for every great House in _England_
to keep a tame Fool dressed in Petticoats, that the Heir of the Family
might have an Opportunity of joking upon him, and diverting himself with
his Absurdities. For the same Reason Idiots are still in Request in most
of the Courts of _Germany_, where there is not a Prince of any great
Magnificence, who has not two or three dressed, distinguished,
undisputed Fools in his Retinue, whom the rest of the Courtiers are
always breaking their Jests upon.

The _Dutch_, who are more famous for their Industry and Application,
than for Wit and Humour, hang up in several of their Streets what they
call the Sign of the _Gaper_, that is, the Head of an Idiot dressed in a
Cap and Bells, and gaping in a most immoderate manner: This is a
standing Jest at _Amsterdam_.

Thus every one diverts himself with some Person or other that is below
him in Point of Understanding, and triumphs in the Superiority of his
Genius, whilst he has such Objects of Derision before his Eyes. Mr.
_Dennis_ has very well expressed this in a Couple of humourous Lines,
which are part of a Translation of a Satire in Monsieur Boileau. [2]

Thus one Fool lolls his Tongue out at another,
And shakes his empty Noddle at his Brother.

Mr. _Hobbs's_ Reflection gives us the Reason why the insignificant
People above-mentioned are Stirrers up of Laughter among Men of a gross
Taste: But as the more understanding Part of Mankind do not find their
Risibility affected by such ordinary Objects, it may be worth the while
to examine into the several Provocatives of Laughter in Men of superior
Sense and Knowledge.

In the first Place I must observe, that there is a Set of merry Drolls,
whom the common People of all Countries admire, and seem to love so
well, _that they could eat them_, according to the old Proverb: I mean
those circumforaneous Wits whom every Nation calls by the Name of that
Dish of Meat which it loves best. In _Holland_ they are termed _Pickled
Herrings_; in _France, Jean Pottages_; in _Italy, Maccaronies_; and in
_Great Britain, Jack Puddings_. These merry Wags, from whatsoever Food
they receive their Titles, that they may make their Audiences laugh,
always appear in a Fool's Coat, and commit such Blunders and Mistakes in
every Step they take, and every Word they utter, as those who listen to
them would be ashamed of.

But this little Triumph of the Understanding, under the Disguise of
Laughter, is no where more visible than in that Custom which prevails
every where among us on the first Day of the present Month, when every
Body takes it in his Head to make as many Fools as he can. In proportion
as there are more Follies discovered, so there is more Laughter raised
on this Day than on any other in the whole Year. A Neighbour of mine,
who is a Haberdasher by Trade, and a very shallow conceited Fellow,
makes his Boasts that for these ten Years successively he has not made
less than an hundred _April_ Fools. My Landlady had a falling out with
him about a Fortnight ago, for sending every one of her Children upon
some _Sleeveless Errand_, as she terms it. Her eldest Son went to buy an
Halfpenny worth of Inkle at a Shoe-maker's; the eldest Daughter was
dispatch'd half a Mile to see a Monster; and, in short, the whole Family
of innocent Children made _April_ Fools. Nay, my Landlady herself did
not escape him. This empty Fellow has laughed upon these Conceits ever

This Art of Wit is well enough, when confined to one Day in a
Twelvemonth; but there is an ingenious Tribe of Men sprung up of late
Years, who are for making _April_ Fools every Day in the Year. These
Gentlemen are commonly distinguished by the Name of _Biters_; a Race of
Men that are perpetually employed in laughing at those Mistakes which
are of their own Production.

Thus we see, in proportion as one Man is more refined than another, he
chooses his Fool out of a lower or higher Class of Mankind: or, to speak
in a more Philosophical Language, That secret Elation and Pride of
Heart, which is generally called Laughter, arises in him from his
comparing himself with an Object below him, whether it so happens that
it be a Natural or an Artificial Fool. It is indeed very possible, that
the Persons we laugh at may in the main of their Characters be much
wiser Men than ourselves; but if they would have us laugh at them, they
must fall short of us in those Respects which stir up this Passion.

I am afraid I shall appear too Abstracted in my Speculations, if I shew
that when a Man of Wit makes us laugh, it is by betraying some Oddness
or Infirmity in his own Character, or in the Representation which he
makes of others; and that when we laugh at a Brute or even [at] an
inanimate thing, it is at some Action or Incident that bears a remote
Analogy to any Blunder or Absurdity in reasonable Creatures.

But to come into common Life: I shall pass by the Consideration of those
Stage Coxcombs that are able to shake a whole Audience, and take notice
of a particular sort of Men who are such Provokers of Mirth in
Conversation, that it is impossible for a Club or Merry-meeting to
subsist without them; I mean, those honest Gentlemen that are always
exposed to the Wit and Raillery of their Well-wishers and Companions;
that are pelted by Men, Women, and Children, Friends and Foes, and, in a
word, stand as _Butts_ in Conversation, for every one to shoot at that
pleases. I know several of these _Butts_, who are Men of Wit and Sense,
though by some odd Turn of Humour, some unlucky Cast in their Person or
Behaviour, they have always the Misfortune to make the Company merry.
The Truth of it is, a Man is not qualified for a _Butt_, who has not a
good deal of Wit and Vivacity, even in the ridiculous side of his
Character. A stupid _Butt_ is only fit for the Conversation of ordinary
People: Men of Wit require one that will give them Play, and bestir
himself in the absurd Part of his Behaviour. A _Butt_ with these
Accomplishments frequently gets the Laugh of his side, and turns the
Ridicule upon him that attacks him. Sir _John Falstaff_ was an Hero of
this Species, and gives a good Description of himself in his Capacity of
a _Butt_, after the following manner; _Men of all Sorts_ (says that
merry Knight) _take a pride to gird at me. The Brain of Man is not able
to invent any thing that tends to Laughter more than I invent, or is
invented on me. I am not only Witty in my self, but the Cause that Wit
is in other Men_. [3]


[Footnote 1: Chap. ix. Sec. 13. Thomas Hobbes's 'Human Nature' was
published in 1650. He died in 1679, aged 91.]

[Footnote 2: Boileau's 4th satire. John Dennis was at this time a
leading critic of the French school, to whom Pope afterwards attached
lasting ridicule. He died in 1734, aged 77.]

[Footnote 3: 'Henry IV Part II' Act I Sec. 2.]

* * * * *

No. 48. Wednesday, April 25, 1711. Steele.

... Per multas aditum sibi saepe figuras
Repperit ...


My Correspondents take it ill if I do not, from Time to Time let them
know I have received their Letters. The most effectual Way will be to
publish some of them that are upon important Subjects; which I shall
introduce with a Letter of my own that I writ a Fortnight ago to a
Fraternity who thought fit to make me an honorary Member.

To the President and Fellows of the _Ugly Club_.

_May it please your Deformities_,

I have received the Notification of the Honour you have done me, in
admitting me into your Society. I acknowledge my Want of Merit, and
for that Reason shall endeavour at all Times to make up my own
Failures, by introducing and recommending to the Club Persons of more
undoubted Qualifications than I can pretend to. I shall next Week come
down in the Stage-Coach, in order to take my Seat at the Board; and
shall bring with me a Candidate of each Sex. The Persons I shall
present to you, are an old Beau and a modern _Pict_. If they are not
so eminently gifted by Nature as our Assembly expects, give me Leave
to say their acquired Ugliness is greater than any that has ever
appeared before you. The Beau has varied his Dress every Day of his
Life for these thirty Years last past, and still added to the
Deformity he was born with. The _Pict_ has still greater Merit towards
us; and has, ever since she came to Years of Discretion, deserted the
handsome Party, and taken all possible Pains to acquire the Face in
which I shall present her to your Consideration and Favour.

I desire to know whether you admit People of Quality.

I am, Gentlemen,
Your most obliged
Humble Servant,

April 7.


To shew you there are among us of the vain weak Sex, some that have
Honesty and Fortitude enough to dare to be ugly, and willing to be
thought so; I apply my self to you, to beg your Interest and
Recommendation to the Ugly Club. If my own Word will not be taken,
(tho' in this Case a Woman's may) I can bring credible Witness of my
Qualifications for their Company, whether they insist upon Hair,
Forehead, Eyes, Cheeks, or Chin; to which I must add, that I find it
easier to lean to my left Side than my right. I hope I am in all
respects agreeable: And for Humour and Mirth, I'll keep up to the
President himself. All the Favour I'll pretend to is, that as I am the
first Woman has appeared desirous of good Company and agreeable
Conversation, I may take and keep the upper End of the Table. And
indeed I think they want a Carver, which I can be after as ugly a
Manner as they can wish. I desire your Thoughts of my Claim as soon as
you can. Add to my Features the Length of my Face, which is full half
Yard; tho' I never knew the Reason of it till you gave one for the
Shortness of yours. If I knew a Name ugly enough to belong to the
above-described Face, I would feign one; but, to my unspeakable
Misfortune, my Name is the only disagreeable Prettiness about me; so
prithee make one for me that signifies all the Deformity in the World:
You understand Latin, but be sure bring it in with my being in the
Sincerity of my Heart,
_Your most frightful Admirer,
and Servant_,


I Read your Discourse upon Affectation, and from the Remarks made in
it examined my own Heart so strictly, that I thought I had found out
its most secret Avenues, with a Resolution to be aware of you for the
future. But alas! to my Sorrow I now understand, that I have several
Follies which I do not know the Root of. I am an old Fellow, and
extremely troubled with the Gout; but having always a strong Vanity
towards being pleasing in the Eyes of Women, I never have a Moment's
Ease, but I am mounted in high-heel'd Shoes with a glased Wax-leather
Instep. Two Days after a severe Fit I was invited to a Friend's House
in the City, where I believed I should see Ladies; and with my usual
Complaisance crippled my self to wait upon them: A very sumptuous
Table, agreeable Company, and kind Reception, were but so many
importunate Additions to the Torment I was in. A Gentleman of the
Family observed my Condition; and soon after the Queen's Health, he,
in the Presence of the whole Company, with his own Hand degraded me
into an old Pair of his own Shoes. This operation, before fine Ladies,
to me (who am by Nature a Coxcomb) was suffered with the same
Reluctance as they admit the Help of Men in their greatest Extremity.
The Return of Ease made me forgive the rough Obligation laid upon me,
which at that time relieved my Body from a Distemper, and will my Mind
for ever from a Folly. For the Charity received I return my Thanks
this Way.
_Your most humble Servant.
Epping, April 18._


We have your Papers here the Morning they come out, and we have been
very well entertained with your last, upon the false Ornaments of
Persons who represent Heroes in a Tragedy. What made your Speculation
come very seasonably amongst us is, that we have now at this Place a
Company of Strolers, who are very far from offending in the
impertinent Splendor of the Drama. They are so far from falling into
these false Gallantries, that the Stage is here in its Original
Situation of a Cart. _Alexander_ the Great was acted by a Fellow in a
Paper Cravat. The next Day, the Earl of Essex [1] seemed to have no
Distress but his Poverty: And my Lord Foppington [2] the same Morning
wanted any better means to shew himself a Fop, than by wearing
Stockings of different Colours. In a Word, tho' they have had a full
Barn for many Days together, our Itinerants are still so wretchedly
poor, that without you can prevail to send us the Furniture you forbid
at the Play-house, the Heroes appear only like sturdy Beggars, and the
Heroines Gipsies. We have had but one Part which was performed and
dressed with Propriety, and that was Justice Clodpate: [3] This was so
well done that it offended Mr. Justice Overdo; [4] who, in the midst
of our whole Audience, was (like Quixote in the Puppet-Show) so
highly provok'd, that he told them, If they would move compassion, it
should be in their own Persons, and not in the Characters of
distressed Princes and Potentates: He told them, If they were so good
at finding the way to People's Hearts, they should do it at the End of
Bridges or Church-Porches, in their proper Vocation of Beggars. This,
the Justice says, they must expect, since they could not be contented
to act Heathen Warriors, and such Fellows as _Alexander_, but must
presume to make a Mockery of one of the _Quorum_.
Your Servant.


[Footnote 1: In 'The Unhappy Favourite', or the Earl of Essex, a Tragedy
of John Banks, first acted in 1682.]

[Footnote 2: Lord Foppington is in the Colley Cibber's 'Careless
Husband', first acted in 1794.]

[Footnote 3: Justice Clodpate is in the Shadwell's 'Epsons Wells', first
acted in 1676.]

[Footnote 4: Adam Overdo is the Justice of the Peace, who in Ben
Jonson's 'Bartholomew Fair' goes disguised 'for the good of the Republic
in the Fair and the weeding out of enormity.']

* * * * *

No. 49. Thursday, April 26, 1711. Steele.

... Hominem pagina nostra sapit.


It is very natural for a Man who is not turned for Mirthful Meetings of
Men, or Assemblies of the fair Sex, to delight in that sort of
Conversation which we find in Coffee-houses. Here a Man, of my Temper,
is in his Element; for if he cannot talk, he can still be more agreeable
to his Company, as well as pleased in himself, in being only an Hearer.
It is a Secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the Conduct of
Life, that when you fall into a Man's Conversation, the first thing you
should consider is, whether he has a greater Inclination to hear you, or
that you should hear him. The latter is the more general Desire, and I
know very able Flatterers that never speak a Word in Praise of the
Persons from whom they obtain daily Favours, but still practise a
skilful Attention to whatever is uttered by those with whom they
converse. We are very Curious to observe the Behaviour of Great Men and
their Clients; but the same Passions and Interests move Men in lower
Spheres; and I (that have nothing else to do but make Observations) see
in every Parish, Street, Lane, and Alley of this Populous City, a little
Potentate that has his Court, and his Flatterers who lay Snares for his
Affection and Favour, by the same Arts that are practised upon Men in
higher Stations.

In the Place I most usually frequent, Men differ rather in the Time of
Day in which they make a Figure, than in any real Greatness above one
another. I, who am at the Coffee-house at Six in a Morning, know that my
Friend _Beaver_ the Haberdasher has a Levy of more undissembled Friends
and Admirers, than most of the Courtiers or Generals of _Great-Britain_.
Every Man about him has, perhaps, a News-Paper in his Hand; but none can
pretend to guess what Step will be taken in any one Court of _Europe_,
'till Mr. _Beaver_ has thrown down his Pipe, and declares what Measures
the Allies must enter into upon this new Posture of Affairs. Our
Coffee-house is near one of the Inns of Court, and _Beaver_ has the
Audience and Admiration of his Neighbours from Six 'till within a
Quarter of Eight, at which time he is interrupted by the Students of the
House; some of whom are ready dress'd for _Westminster_, at Eight in a
Morning, with Faces as busie as if they were retained in every Cause
there; and others come in their Night-Gowns to saunter away their Time,
as if they never designed to go thither. I do not know that I meet, in
any of my Walks, Objects which move both my Spleen and Laughter so
effectually, as these young Fellows at the _Grecian, Squire's,
Searle's_, [1] and all other Coffee-houses adjacent to the Law, who rise
early for no other purpose but to publish their Laziness. One would
think these young _Virtuoso's_ take a gay Cap and Slippers, with a Scarf
and Party-coloured Gown, to be Ensigns of Dignity; for the vain Things
approach each other with an Air, which shews they regard one another for
their Vestments. I have observed, that the Superiority among these
proceeds from an Opinion of Gallantry and Fashion: The Gentleman in the
Strawberry Sash, who presides so much over the rest, has, it seems,
subscribed to every Opera this last Winter, and is supposed to receive
Favours from one of the Actresses.

When the Day grows too busie for these Gentlemen to enjoy any longer the
Pleasures of their _Deshabile_, with any manner of Confidence, they give
place to Men who have Business or good Sense in their Faces, and come to
the Coffee-house either to transact Affairs or enjoy Conversation. The
Persons to whose Behaviour and Discourse I have most regard, are such as
are between these two sorts of Men: Such as have not Spirits too Active
to be happy and well pleased in a private Condition, nor Complexions too
warm to make them neglect the Duties and Relations of Life. Of these
sort of Men consist the worthier Part of Mankind; of these are all good
Fathers, generous Brothers, sincere Friends, and faithful Subjects.
Their Entertainments are derived rather from Reason than Imagination:
Which is the Cause that there is no Impatience or Instability in their
Speech or Action. You see in their Countenances they are at home, and in
quiet Possession of the present Instant, as it passes, without desiring
to quicken it by gratifying any Passion, or prosecuting any new Design.
These are the Men formed for Society, and those little Communities which
we express by the Word _Neighbourhoods_.

The Coffee-house is the Place of Rendezvous to all that live near it,
who are thus turned to relish calm and ordinary Life. _Eubulus_ presides
over the middle Hours of the Day, when this Assembly of Men meet
together. He enjoys a great Fortune handsomely, without launching into
Expence; and exerts many noble and useful Qualities, without appearing
in any publick Employment. His Wisdom and Knowledge are serviceable to
all that think fit to make use of them; and he does the office of a
Council, a Judge, an Executor, and a Friend to all his Acquaintance, not
only without the Profits which attend such Offices, but also without the
Deference and Homage which are usually paid to them. The giving of
Thanks is displeasing to him. The greatest Gratitude you can shew him is
to let him see you are the better Man for his Services; and that you are
as ready to oblige others, as he is to oblige you.

In the private Exigencies of his Friends he lends, at legal Value,
considerable Sums, which he might highly increase by rolling in the
Publick Stocks. He does not consider in whose Hands his Mony will
improve most, but where it will do most Good.

_Eubulus_ has so great an Authority in his little Diurnal Audience, that
when he shakes his Head at any Piece of publick News, they all of them
appear dejected; and on the contrary, go home to their Dinners with a
good Stomach and cheerful Aspect, when _Eubulus_ seems to intimate that
Things go well. Nay, their Veneration towards him is so great, that when
they are in other Company they speak and act after him; are Wise in his
Sentences, and are no sooner sat down at their own Tables, but they hope
or fear, rejoice or despond as they saw him do at the Coffee-house. In a
word, every Man is _Eubulus_ as soon as his Back is turned.

Having here given an Account of the several Reigns that succeed each
other from Day-break till Dinner-time, I shall mention the Monarchs of
the Afternoon on another Occasion, and shut up the whole Series of them
with the History of _Tom_ the Tyrant; who, as first Minister of the
Coffee-house, takes the Government upon him between the Hours of Eleven
and Twelve at Night, and gives his Orders in the most Arbitrary manner
to the Servants below him, as to the Disposition of Liquors, Coal and


[Footnote 1: The 'Grecian' (see note [Footnote 10 of No. 1], p. 7,
'ante',) was by the Temple; 'Squire's', by Gray's Inn; 'Serle's', by
Lincoln's Inn. 'Squire's', a roomy, red-brick house, adjoined the gate
of Gray's Inn, in Fulwood's Rents, Holborn, then leading to Gray's Inn
Walks, which lay open to the country. Squire, the establisher of this
coffee-house, died in 1717. 'Serle's' was near Will's, which stood at
the corner of Serle Street and Portugal Street, Lincoln's Inn.

* * * * *

No. 50. Friday, April 27, 1711. [1] Addison.

'Nunquam aliud Natura, aliud Sapientia dixit.'


When the four _Indian_ Kings were in this Country about a Twelvemonth
ago, [2] I often mixed with the Rabble, and followed them a whole Day
together, being wonderfully struck with the Sight of every thing that is
new or uncommon. I have, since their Departure, employed a Friend to
make many Inquiries of their Landlord the Upholsterer, relating to their
Manners and Conversation, as also concerning the Remarks which they made
in this Country: For, next to the forming a right Notion of such
Strangers, I should be desirous of learning what Ideas they have
conceived of us.

The Upholsterer finding my Friend very inquisitive about these his
Lodgers, brought him some time since a little Bundle of Papers, which he
assured him were written by King _Sa Ga Yean Qua Rash Tow_, and, as he
supposes, left behind by some Mistake. These Papers are now translated,
and contain abundance of very odd Observations, which I find this little
Fraternity of Kings made during their Stay in the Isle of _Great
Britain_. I shall present my Reader with a short Specimen of them in
this Paper, and may perhaps communicate more to him hereafter. In the
Article of _London_ are the following Words, which without doubt are
meant of the Church of St. _Paul_.

'On the most rising Part of the Town there stands a huge House, big
enough to contain the whole Nation of which I am King. Our good
Brother _E Tow O Koam_, King of the _Rivers_, is of opinion it was
made by the Hands of that great God to whom it is consecrated. The
Kings of _Granajah_ and of the _Six Nations_ believe that it was
created with the Earth, and produced on the same Day with the Sun and
Moon. But for my own Part, by the best Information that I could get of
this Matter, I am apt to think that this prodigious Pile was fashioned
into the Shape it now bears by several Tools and Instruments of which
they have a wonderful Variety in this Country. It was probably at
first an huge mis-shapen Rock that grew upon the Top of the Hill,
which the Natives of the Country (after having cut it into a kind of
regular Figure) bored and hollowed with incredible Pains and Industry,
till they had wrought in it all those beautiful Vaults and Caverns
into which it is divided at this Day. As soon as this Rock was thus
curiously scooped to their Liking, a prodigious Number of Hands must
have been employed in chipping the Outside of it, which is now as
smooth as [the Surface of a Pebble; [3]] and is in several Places hewn
out into Pillars that stand like the Trunks of so many Trees bound
about the Top with Garlands of Leaves. It is probable that when this
great Work was begun, which must have been many Hundred Years ago,
there was some Religion among this People; for they give it the Name
of a Temple, and have a Tradition that it was designed for Men to pay
their Devotions in. And indeed, there are several Reasons which make
us think that the Natives of this Country had formerly among them some
sort of Worship; for they set apart every seventh Day as sacred: But
upon my going into one of [these [4]] holy Houses on that Day, I could
not observe any Circumstance of Devotion in their Behaviour: There was
indeed a Man in Black who was mounted above the rest, and seemed to
utter something with a great deal of Vehemence; but as for those
underneath him, instead of paying their Worship to the Deity of the
Place, they were most of them bowing and curtisying to one another,
and a considerable Number of them fast asleep.

The Queen of the Country appointed two Men to attend us, that had
enough of our Language to make themselves understood in some few
Particulars. But we soon perceived these two were great Enemies to one
another, and did not always agree in the same Story. We could make a
Shift to gather out of one of them, that this Island was very much
infested with a monstrous Kind of Animals, in the Shape of Men, called
_Whigs;_ and he often told us, that he hoped we should meet with
none of them in our Way, for that if we did, they would be apt to
knock us down for being Kings.

Our other Interpreter used to talk very much of a kind of Animal
called a _Tory_, that was as great a Monster as the _Whig_,
and would treat us as ill for being Foreigners. These two Creatures,
it seems, are born with a secret Antipathy to one another, and engage
when they meet as naturally as the Elephant and the Rhinoceros. But as
we saw none of either of these Species, we are apt to think that our
Guides deceived us with Misrepresentations and Fictions, and amused us
with an Account of such Monsters as are not really in their Country.

These Particulars we made a shift to pick out from the Discourse of
our Interpreters; which we put together as well as we could, being
able to understand but here and there a Word of what they said, and
afterwards making up the Meaning of it among ourselves. The Men of the
Country are very cunning and ingenious in handicraft Works; but withal
so very idle, that we often saw young lusty raw-boned Fellows carried
up and down the Streets in little covered Rooms by a Couple of
Porters, who are hired for that Service. Their Dress is likewise very
barbarous, for they almost strangle themselves about the Neck, and
bind their Bodies with many Ligatures, that we are apt to think are
the Occasion of several Distempers among them which our Country is
entirely free from. Instead of those beautiful Feathers with which we
adorn our Heads, they often buy up a monstrous Bush of Hair, which
covers their Heads, and falls down in a large Fleece below the Middle
of their Backs; with which they walk up and down the Streets, and are
as proud of it as if it was of their own growth.

We were invited to one of their publick Diversions, where we hoped to
have seen the great Men of their Country running down a Stag or
pitching a Bar, that we might have discovered who were the [Persons of
the greatest Abilities among them; [5]] but instead of that, they
conveyed us into a huge Room lighted up with abundance of Candles,
where this lazy People sat still above three Hours to see several
Feats of Ingenuity performed by others, who it seems were paid for it.

As for the Women of the Country, not being able to talk with them, we
could only make our Remarks upon them at a Distance. They let the Hair
of their Heads grow to a great Length; but as the Men make a great
Show with Heads of Hair that are not of their own, the Women, who they
say have very fine Heads of Hair, tie it up in a Knot, and cover it
from being seen. The Women look like Angels, and would be more
beautiful than the Sun, were it not for little black Spots that are
apt to break out in their Faces, and sometimes rise in very odd
Figures. I have observed that those little Blemishes wear off very
soon; but when they disappear in one Part of the Face, they are very
apt to break out in another, insomuch that I have seen a Spot upon the
Forehead in the Afternoon, which was upon the Chin in the Morning. [6]'

The Author then proceeds to shew the Absurdity of Breeches and
Petticoats, with many other curious Observations, which I shall reserve
for another Occasion. I cannot however conclude this Paper without
taking notice, That amidst these wild Remarks there now and then appears
something very reasonable. I cannot likewise forbear observing, That we
are all guilty in some Measure of the same narrow way of Thinking, which
we meet with in this Abstract of the _Indian_ Journal; when we fancy the
Customs, Dress, and Manners of other Countries are ridiculous and
extravagant, if they do not resemble those of our own.


[Footnote 1: Swift writes to Stella, in his Journal, 28th April,

'The SPECTATOR is written by Steele, with Addison's help; 'tis often
very pretty. Yesterday it was made of a noble hint I gave him long ago
for his Tatlers, about an Indian, supposed to write his travels into
England. I repent he ever had it. I intended to have written a book on
that subject. I believe he has spent it all in one paper, and all the
under hints there are mine too; but I never see him or Addison.'

The paper, it will be noticed, was not written by Steele.]

[Footnote 2: The four kings Te Yee Neen Ho Ga Prow, Sa Ga Yean Qua Rash
Tow, E Tow O Koam, and Oh Nee Yeath Ton Now Prow, were chiefs of the
Iroquois Indians who had been persuaded by adjacent British colonists to
come and pay their respects to Queen Anne, and see for themselves the
untruth of the assertion made among them by the Jesuits, that the
English and all other nations were vassals to the French king. They were
said also to have been told that the Saviour was born in France and
crucified in England.]

[Footnote 3: polished Marble]

[Footnote 4: those]

[Footnote 5: Men of the greatest Perfections in their Country]

[Footnote 6: There was, among other fancies, a patch cut to the pattern
of a coach and horses. Suckling, in verses 'upon the Black Spots worn by
my Lady D. E.,' had called them her

... Mourning weeds for Hearts forlorn,
Which, though you must not love, you could not scorn,]

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