ePub 版

" side than my right. I hope I am in all respects a

greeable; and for humour and mirth, I'll keep up "lo the president himself. All the favour I'll pretend ( to is, that as I am the first woman that 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 ; though 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, mny name is the only disagreeable pret(tiness about me; so pr’ythee make one for me that

signifies all the deformity in the world. You un• derstand Latin; but be sure bring it in with my be"ing, in the sincerity of my heart,

Your most frightful admirer,
and servant,


Mr. Spectator,

I READ your discourse upon affectation, and from the remarks made in it examined my own r heart so strictly, that I thought I had found out its

most secret avenues, with a resolution to be aware of s you for the future. But alas! to my sorrow I low I understand tl:at I have several follies which I do not « know the root of. I am an old fellow and extreme

ly 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 am mounted in high-heeled shoes with a glazed wax-leather instep. VOL. I.

• Two days after a severe fit, I was invited to a friend's

house in the city, where I believed I should see la. • dies; and with my usual complaisance crippled my6 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 pre• sence of the whole company, with his own hands, (degraded me into an old pair of his own shoes. This 6 operation, before fine ladies, to me, who am by na6 ture a coxcomb, was suffered with the same reluct• ance 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.'

1 SIR,

Epping, April 18. WE have your paper here the morning they 6 come out, and we have been very well entertained

with your last, upon the false ornaments of persons s who represent heroes in a tragedy. What made is your speculation come very seasonably among us is,

that we have now at this place a company of strol

lers, who are very far from offending in the imper. - tinent splendour 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 seemed to have no

distress but his poverty; and my Lord Foppington 6 the same morning wanted any better means to shew

« himself a fop, than by wearing stockings of different

colours. In a word, though 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 6 was performed and dressed with propriety, and that I was Justice Clodpate. This was so well done, that ! it offended Mr. Justice Overclo, who in the midst of

our whole audience, was, like Quixote in the puppet• show, so highly provoked, that he told them, if they I would move compassion, it should be in their own 6 persons, and not in the characters of distressed o princes and potentates; he told them, if they were - so good at finding the way to people's hearts, they 6 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 6 be contented to act heathen warriors, and such fel.

lows as Alexander, but must presume to make a ' mockery of one of the Quorum.

[blocks in formation]


......... Hominem pagina nostra sapit.


Men and their manners I describe.

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 coilee-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 him. , self, in being only a 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 koow very avle flatterers that never speak a word in praise of the persons from whom they obtain daily favours, but still practice 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 clie ents; but the same passions and interests move men in lower spheres; and I, that have nothing else to do but to 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 the morning, know that my friend Beaver the haberdasher, has a levee of more undissembled friends and admirers than most

of the courtiers or generals of Great Britain. Every man about him has, perhaps, a newspaper 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-dressed for Westminster at eight

in the inorning, with faces as busy as if they were re. "tained 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 those young fellows at the Grecian, Squire's, Searl's, 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 virtuosos 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 ano. Tether for their vestments. I have observed that the

superiority among these proceeds from an opinion of gallantry and fashion : the gentleman in the straw

berry sash, who presides so inuch over the rest, has, on it seems, subscribed to every opera this last winter,

and is supposed to receive favours from one of the actresses.

Whe the day grows too busy for these gentlemen' to enjoy any longer the pleasures of their dishabillé; 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 eitherto transact affairs or enjoy conversation. The persons to whose behaviour

« 上一頁繼續 »