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rents; and yet it is certain, that none of all these things could be done by him without the exercise of his skill in numbers,
This is the economy of the merchant ; and the conduct of the gentleman must be the same, unless by scorning to be the steward, he resolves the steward shall be the gentleman. The gentleman, no more than the merchant, is able, without the help of numbers, to account for the success of any action, or the prudence of any adventure. If, for instance, the chace is his whole adventure, his only returns must be the stag's horns in the great hall, and the fox's nose upon the stable door. Without doubt Sir Rogerknows the full value of these returns ; and if beforehand he had computed the charges of the chace, a gentleman of his discretion would certainly have hanged up all his dogs, he would never have brought back so many fine horses to the kennel, he would never have gone so often, like a blast, over fields of corn. If such too had been the conduct of all his ancestors, he might truly have boasted at this day, that the antiquity of his family had never been sullied by a trade ; a merchant had never been permitted with his whole estate to purchase a room for his picture in the gallery of the Coverleys, or to claim his descent from the maid of honour. But it is very happy for Sir Roger that the merchant paid so dear for his ambition. It is the misfortune of many other gentlemen to turn out of the seats of their ancestors, to make way for such new masters as have been more exact in their accounts than themselves; and certainly he deserves the estate a great deal better, who has got it by his industry, than he who has lost it by his negligence.
No. CLXXV. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20.
Proximus à tectis ignis defenditur ægrè :
Ovid. To save your house from neighb’ring fire is hard. TATE.
I SHALL this day entertain my readers with two or three letters I have received from my correspondents: the first discovers to me a species of females which have hitherto escaped my notice, and is as follows:
• Mr. Spectator, • I AM a young gentleman of a competent fortune, ? and a sufficient taste of learning to spend five or six
hours every day very agreeably among my books. " That I might have nothing to divert me from my studies, and to avoid the noises of coaches and chairmen, I have taken lodgings in a very narrow street, • not far from Whitehall; but it is my misfortune to be so posted, that my lodgings are directly opposite to those of a Jezebel. You are to know, Sir, that
a Jezebel, (so called by the neighbourhood, from "displaying her pernicious charms at her window)
appears constantly dressed at her sash, and has a thousand little tricks and fooleries, to attract the eyes of all the idle young fellows in the neighbour"hood. I have seen more than six persons at once • from their several windows observing the Jezebel I
am now complaining of. I at first looked on her my(self with the highest contempt, could divert myself
with her airs for half an hour, and afterwards take - up my Plutarch with great tranquillity of mind; but
was a little vexed to find, that, in less than a 6 month, she had considerably stolen upon my time,
so that I resolved to look at her no more. But the • Jezebel, who, as I suppose, might think it a diminu(tion to her honour, to have the number of her gazers
lessened, resolved not to part with me so, and began to play so many new tricks at her window, that it was
* impossible for me to forbear observing her. I verily • believe she put herself to the expence of a new wax baby on purpose to plague me; she used to dandle
and play with this figure as impertinently as if it had • been a real child : sometimes she would let fall a
glove or a pin-cushion in the street, and shut or open • her casement three or four times in a minute. When • I had almost weaned myself from this, shecame in her shift sleeves, and dressed at the window. I had no
left but to let down my curtains, which I submitted to, though it considerably darkened my room, 6 and was pleased to think that I had at last got the better of her; but was surprised the next morning to hear her talking out of her window quite cross the street, with another woman that lodges over me: • I am since informed that she made her a visit, and 'got acquainted with her within three hours after the • fall of my window-curtains.
“Sir, I am plagued every moment in the day, one way or another, in my own chambers; and the Jeo zebel has the satisfaction to know, that though I am
not looking at her, I am listening to her impertinent • dialogues that pass over my head. I would imme• diately change my lodgings, but that I think it might
look like a plain confession that I am conquered; and 6 besides this, I am told that most quarters of the town • are infested with these creatures. If they are so, I am sure it is such an abuse, as a lover of learning and silence ought to take notice of.
• I am, Sir,
I am afraid, by some lines in this letter, that my young student is touched with a distemper which he hardly seems to dream of, and is too far gone in it to receive advice. However, I shall animadvert in due time on the abuse which he mentions, having myself observed a nest of Jezebels near the Temple, who make
it their diversion to draw up the eyes of young Ternplars, that at the same time they may see them stumble in an unlucky gutter which- runs under the window.
Mr. Spectator, "I HAVE lately read the conclusion of your forty• seventh speculation upon Butts with great pleasure, 6 and have ever since been thoroughly persuaded that
one of those gentlemen is extremely necessary to enliven conversation. I had an entertainment last week s upon the water, for a lady to whom I make my ad• dresses, with several of our friends of both sexes. To
divert the company in general, and to shew my misstress in particular, my genius for raillery, I took one
of the most celebrated Butts in town along with me. " It is with the utmost shame and confusion that I must • acquaint you with the sequel of my adventure: as • soon as we were got into the boat, I played a sen• tence or two at my Butt which I thought very smart,
when my ill genius, who I verily believed inspired • him purely for my destruction, suggested to him such
a reply, as got all the laughter on his side. I was • dashed at so unexpected a turn, which the Butt perceiving, resolved not to let me recover myself, and pursuing his victory, rallied and tossed me in a most . unmerciful and barbarous manner, until we came to « Chelsea. I had some small success while we were
eating cheese-cakes; but coming home, he renewed o his attacks with his former good fortune, and equal diversion to the whole company. In short, Sir, I must ingenuously own that I was never so handled in all my life; and, to complete my misfortune, I am since told that the Butt, flushed with his late victory, has made a visit or two to the dear object of
es, so that I am at once in danger of losing all my 6 pretensions to wit, and my mistress into the bargain. This, Sir, is a true account of my present troubles,
which you are the more obliged to assist me in, as you were yourself, in a great measure, the cause of them, by recommending to us an instrument, and not instructing us at the same time how to play up• I have been thinking whether it might not be highly convenient that all Butts should wear an inscription • affixed to some part of their bodies, shewing on which side they are to be come at, and that if any of them are persons of unequal tempers, there should be some 6 method taken to inform the world at what time it is safe to attack them, and when you had best let them alone. But, submitting these matters to your more • serious consideration,
I am, Sir,
I have, indeed, seen and heard of several young gentlemen under the same misfortune with my present correspondent. The best rule I can lay down for them to avoid the like calamities for the future, is thoroughly to consider not only “ Whether their companions are of weak,” but “ Whether themselves are wits."
The following letter comes to me from Exeter, and being credibly informed that what it contains is matter of fact, I shall give it my reader as it was sent me.
• EXETER, Sep. 7. Mr. Spectator, • YOU were pleased in a late speculation to take notice of the inconvenience we lie under in the country, in not being able to keep pace with the fashion: • but there is another misfortune which we are sub*ject to, and is no less grievous than the former, which • has hitherto escaped your observation. I mean, the having things palmed upon us for London fashions, which were never once heard of there.