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No. 1.) Thursday, March 1, 1710-11. it over in silence. I find, that during my
nonage, I had the reputation of a very sulNon fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula proniat.
len ycuth, but was always a favourite with
Hor. Ars Poet, ver. 143, my schoolmaster, who used to say, 'that One with a flash begins, and ends in smoke;
my parts were solid, and would wear well. Abother out of smoke brings glorious light,
I had not been long at the university, be-
fore I distinguished myself by a most pro
found silence; for during the space of I HAVE observed that a reader seldom eight years, excepting in the public exerperuises a book with pleasure, till he knows cises of the college, I scarce uttered the whether the writer of it be a black or a fair quantity of an hundred words; and indeed man, of a mild or choleric disposition, mar- do not remember that I ever spoke three ried or a bachelor, with other particulars sentences together in my whole life. of the like nature, that conduce very much Whilst I was in this learned body, I apto the right understanding of an author. plied myself with so much diligence to my To gratify this curiosity, which is so na- studies, that there are very few celebrated tural to a reader, I design this paper and books, either in the learned or the modern my next, as prefatory discourses to my fol- tongues, which I am not acquainted with. lowing writings, and shall give some ac- Upon the death of my father, I was recount in them of the several persons that are solved to travel into foreign countries, and engaged in this work. As the chief trouble therefore left the university, with the chaof compiling, digesting and correcting will racter of an odd, unaccountable fellow, that fall to my share, I must do myself the jus- had a great deal of learning, if I would but tice to open the work with my own history. show it. An insatiable thirst after know
I was born to a small hereditary estate, ledge carried me into all the countries of which according to the tradition of the vil- Europe, in which there was any thing new lage where it lies, was bounded by the or strange to be seen; nay, to such a desame hedges and ditches in William the gree was my curiosity raised, that having Conqueror's time that it is at present, and read the controversies of some great men has been delivered down from father to concerning the antiquities of Egypt, I son, whole and entire, without the loss or made a voyage to Grand Cairo, on puracquisition of a single field or meadow, pose to take the measure of a pyramid: during the space of six hundred years. and as soon as I had set myself right in that There runs a story in the family, that particular, returned to my native country when my mother was gone with child of with great satisfaction.* me about three months, she dreamt that I have passed my latter years in this city, she was brought to bed of a judge. Whe- where I am frequently seen in most public ther this might proceed from a lawsuit places, though there are not above half a which was then depending in the family, dozen of my select friends that know me; or my father's being a justice of the peace, of whom my next paper shall give a more I cannot determine; for I am not so vain particular account. There is no place of as to think it presaged any dignity that I general resort wherein I do not often should arrive at in my future life, though make my appearance; sometimes I am seen that was the interpretation which the thrusting my head into a round of politiDeighbourhood put upon it. The gravity cians at Will's, and listening with great atof my behaviour at my very first appear- tention to the narratives that are made in ance in the world, and all the time that I those little circular audiences. Sometimes sucked, seemed to favour my mother's I smoke a pipe at Child's,and whilst I dream : for, as she has often told me, I threw away my rattle before I was two months old, and would not make use of my astronomical professor at Oxford, who in 1646 publish
* This is, probably, an allusion to Mr. John Greaves. coral until they had taken away the bells ed a work entitled " Pyramidographia." from it.
† Child's coffee-house was in St. Paul's church.yard, As for the rest of my infancy, there be- and much frequented by the clergy;
St. James's is in ing nothing in it remarkable, I shall pass alley, and the Rose was on the west side of Temple-bar
seem attentive to nothing but the Post-is reasonable; but as for these three partiman, overhear the conversation of every culars, though I am sensible they might table in the room. I appear on Sunday tend very much to the embellishment of nights at St. James's coffee-house, and my paper, I cannot yet come to a resolusometimes join the little committee of po- tion of communicating them to the public. litics in the inner-room, as one who comes They would indeed draw me out of that obthere to hear and improve. My face is scurity which I have enjoyed for many likewise very well known at the Grecian, years, and expose me in public places to the Cocoa-tree, and in the theatres both of several salutes and civilities, which have Drury-lane and the Hay-market. I have been always very disagreeable to me; for been taken for a merchant upon the Ex- the greatest pain I can suffer, is the being change for above these ten years, and talked to, and being stared at. It is for sometimes pass for a Jew in the assembly this reason likewise, that I keep my comof stock-jobbers at Jonathan's. In short, plexion and dress as very great secrets; wherever I see a cluster of people, I al- though it is not impossible but I may make ways mix with them, though I never open discoveries of both in the progress of the my lips but in my own club.
work I have undertaken. Thus I live in the world rather as a After having been thus particular upon Spectator of mankind, than as one of the myself, I shall in to-morrow's paper give species, by which means I have made my- an account of those gentlemen who are conself a speculative statesman, soldier, mer- cerned with me in this work; for, as I have chant, and artisan, without ever meddling before intimated, a plan of it is laid and with any practical part in life. I am very concerted (as all other matters of importwell versed in the theory of a husband, or ance are) in a club. However, as my a father, and can discern the errors in the friends have engaged me to stand in the economy, business, and diversion of others, front, those who have a mind to correbetter than those who are engaged in them; spond with me, may direct their letters to as standers-by discover blots, which are the Spectator, at Mr. Buckley's, in Little apt to escape those who are in the game. Britain. For I must further acquaint the I never espoused any party with violence, reader, that though our club meet only on and am resolved to observe an exact neu- Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have aptrality between the Whigs and Tories, un- pointed a committee to sit every night for less I shall be forced to declare myself by the inspection of all such papers as may the hostilities of either side. In short, I contribute to the advancement of the pubhave acted in all the parts of my life as a lic weal.
C. looker-on, which is the character I intend to preserve in this paper.
I have given the reader just so much of my history and character, as to let him see No. 2.] Friday, March 2, 1710-11. I am not altogether unqualified for the business I have undertaken. As for other par
Et plures, uno conclamant ore. - Jut. Sat. vii. 167. ticulars in my life and adventures, I shall insert them in following papers, as I shall
Six more at least join their consenting voice. see occasion. In the mean time, when I consider how much I have seen, read, and Worcestershire, of an ancient descent, a
The first of our society is a gentleman of heard, I begin to blame my own tacitur- baronet, his name is sir Roger de Coverly: nity; and since I have neither time nor in- His great grandfather was inventor of that clination, to communicate the fulness of my famous country-dance which is called after heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in him. All who know that shire are very writing, and to print myself out, if possi- well acquainted with the parts and the bie, before I die. I have been often told merits of sir Roger. He is a gentleman by my friends, that it is a pity so many that is very singular in his behaviour, but useful discoveries which I have made his singularities proceed from his good should be in the possession of a silent man. sense, and are contradictions to the manFor this
reason, therefore, I shall publish ners of the world, only as he thinks the a sheet full of thoughts every morning, for world is in the wrong. However, this huthe benefit of my contemporaries; and if I
mour creates him no enemies, for he does can any way contribute to the diversion, or nothing with sourness or obstinacy; and his improvement of the country in which I being unconfined to modes and forms, live, I shall leave it when I am summoned makes him but the readier and more capaout of it, with the secret satisfaction of ble to please and oblige all who know him. thinking that I have not lived in vain.
When he is in town, he lives in SohoThere are three yery material points square. * It is said, he keeps himself a which I have not spoken to in this paper; and which, for several important reasons, I must keep to myself, at least for some * Soho-square was at that time the genteelest part time: I mean an account of my name, my of the town. The handsome house, built by the unfor. age, and my lodgings. I must confess, 1 tunate Duke of Monmouth, occupied, until the year
1773, the whole of the ground on which Bateman's would gratify my reader in any thing that I buildings now stand.
Ast alii sex
bachelor by reason he was crossed in love but not one case in the reports of our own by a perverse beautiful widow of the next courts. No one ever took him for a fool; county to him. Before this disappoint- but none, except his intimate friends, know ment, sir Roger was what you call a fine he has a great deal of wit. This turn gentleman, had often supped with my Lord makes him at once both disinterested and Rochester and sir George Etherege, fought agreeable. As few of his thoughts are a duel upon his first coming to town, and drawn from business, they are most of them kicked bully Dawson* in a public coffee- fit for conversation. His taste for books house for calling him youngster. But be- is a little too just for the age he lives in; inz ill used by the abovementioned widow, he has read all, but approves of very few. he was very serious for a year and a half; His familiarity with the customs, manners, and though, his temper being naturally jo- actions and writings of the ancients, makes vial, he at last got over it, he grew careless him a very delicate observer of what ocof himself, and never dressed afterwards. curs to him in the present world. He is an He continues to wear a coat and doublet of excellent critic, and the time of the play the same cut that were in fashion at the is his hour of business; exactly at five he time of his repulse, which, in his merry passes through New-Inn, crosses through humours, he tells us, has been in and out Russel-court, and takes a turn at Will's twelve times since he first wore it. It is till the play begins; he has his shoes rubsaid Sir Roger grew humble in his desires bed and his periwig powdered at the barafter he had forgot his cruel beauty, inso- ber's as you go into the Rose. It is for much that it is reported he has frequently the good of the audience when he is at cffended in point of chastity with beggars a play, for the actors have an ambition to and gypsies: but this is looked upon, by his please him. friends, rather as a matter of raillery than The person of next consideration is Sir truth. He is now in his fifty-sixth year, Andrew Freeport, a merchant of great cheerful, gay, and hearty; keeps a good eminence in the city of London; a person house both in town and country; a great of indefatigable industry, strong reason, brer of mankind: but there is such a and great experience. His notions of trade mirthful cast in his behaviour, that he is are noble and generous, and (as every rich rather beloved than esteemed. His tenants man has usually some sly way of jesting, gTow rich, his servants look satisfied, all which would make no great figure were he the prung women profess love to him, and not a rich man) he calls the sea the British the young men are glad of his company. Common. He is acquainted with comWhen he comes into a house, he calls the merce in all its parts, and will tell you that servants by their names, and talks all the it is a stupid and barbarous way to extend Fay up stairs to a visit. I must not omit, dominion by arms; for true power is to be that Sir Roger is a justice of the quorum; got by arts and industry. He will often that he fills the chair at a quarter-sessions argue, that if this part of our trade were with great abilities, and three months ago well cultivated, we should gain from one gained universal applause, by explaining nation; and if another, from another. I a passage in the game-act.
have heard him prove, that diligence The gentleman next in esteem and au- makes more lasting acquisitions than vathority among us is another bachelor, who lour, and that sloth has ruined more nais a member of the Inner Temple, a man tions than the sword. He abounds in seof great probity, wit and understanding; veral frugal maxims, amongst which the but he has chosen his place of residence greatest favourite is, “A penny saved is a rather to obey the direction of an old hu- penny got.' A general trader of good sense moursome father, than in pursuit of his is pleasanter company than a general schoown inclinations. He was placed there to lar; and Sir Andrew having a natural unstudy the laws of the land, and is the most affected eloquence, the perspicuity of his learned of any of the house in those of the discourse gives the same pleasure that wit stage. Aristotle and Longinus are much would in another man. He has made his better understood by him than Littleton or fortune himself; and says that England Coke. The father sends up every post may be richer than nther kingdoms, by as questions relating to marriage-articles, plain methods as he himself is richer than leases and tenures, in the neighbourhood; other men; though at the same time I can all which questions he agrees with an at- say this of him, that there is not a point in torney to answer and take care of in the the compass, but blows home a ship in lump. He is studying the passions them- which he is an owner. selves when he should be inquiring into the Next to Sir Andrew in the club-room debates among men which arise from sits Captain Sentry, a gentleman of great them. He knows the argument of each of courage, good understanding, but invincithe orations of Demosthenes and Tully, ble modesty. He is one of those that de
serve very well but are very awkward at debauchee about town, at the time bere pointed out; of such as should take notice of them. He
This fellow was a noted sharper, swaggerer, and putting their talents within the observation he was well known in Blackfriars and its then infa. mous purlieus.
was some years a captain, and behaved himself with great gallantry in several en- | a word, all his conversation and knowledge gagements and at several sieges; but hav- has been in the female world. As other mg a small estate of his own, and being men of his age will take notice to you what next heir to Sir Roger, he has quitted a way such a minister said upon such and such an of life in which no man can rise suitably to occasion, he will tell you, when the duke nis merit, who is not something of a cour- of Monmouth danced at court, such a wotier as well as a soldier. I have heard him man was then smitten, another was taken often lament, that in a profession where with him at the head of his troop in the merit is placed in so conspicuous a view, Park. In all these important relations, he impudence should get the better of modes- has ever about the same time received a ty. When he has talked to this purpose, kind glance, or a blow of a fan from some I never heard him make a sour expression, celebrated beauty, mother of the present but frankly confess that he left the world, lord Such-a-one. If you speak of a young because he was not fit for it. A strict ho- commoner, that said a lively thing in the nesty and an even regular behaviour, are house, he starts up, He has good blood in in themselves obstacles to him that must his vein; Tom Mirable begot him; the press through crowds who endeavour at rogue cheated me in that affair; that young the same end with himself, the favour of a fellow's mother used me more like a dog commander. He will however in his way than any woman I ever made advances of talk excuse generals, for not disposing to.' This way of talking of his, very much according to men's desert, or inquiring into enlivens the conversation amongst us of a it; for, says he, that great man who has more sedate turn; and I find there is not a mind to help me, has as many to break one of the company, but myself, who rarethrough to come at me, as I have to come ly speak at all, but speaks of him as of that at him: therefore he will conclude, that the sort of man, who is usually called a wellman who would make a figure, especially bred fine gentleman. To conclude his chain a military way, must get over all false racter, where women are not concerned, modesty, and assist his patron against the he is an honest worthy man. importunity of other pretenders, by a pro- I cannot tell whether I am to account per assurance in his own vindication. He him, whom I am next to speak of, as onc says it is a civil cowardice to be backward in of our company; for he visits us but seldom, asserting what you ought to expect, as it is but when he does, it adds to every man a military fear to be slow in attacking else a new enjoyment of himself. He is a when it is your duty. With this candour clergyman, a very philosophic man, of ge does the gentleman speak of himself and neral learning, great sanctity of life, and others. The same frankness runs through the most exact good breeding. He has the all his conversation. The military part misfortune to be of a very weak constituof his life has furnished him with many tion, and consequently cannot accept of such adventures, in the relation of which he is cares and business as preferments in his very agreeable to the company; for he is function would oblige him to; he is therefore never overbearing, though accustomed to among divines what a chamber-counsellor command men in the utmost degree below is among lawyers. The probity of his mind, him; nor ever too obsequious, from a habit and the integrity of his life, create him of obeying men highly above him. followers, as being eloquent or loud ad
But that our society may not appear a set vances others. He seldom introduces the of humourists, unacquainted with the gal subject he speaks upon; but we are so far lantries and pleasures of the age, we have gone in years, that he observes when he is amongst us the gallant Will Honeycomb; among us, an earnestness to have him fall a gentleman who, according to his years, on some divine topic, which he always should be in the decline of his life; but treats with much authority, as one who having ever been very careful of his per- has no interest in this world, as one who son, and always had a very easy fortune, is hastening to the object of all his wishes, time has made but a very little impression, and conceives hope from his decays and ineither by wrinkles on his forehead, or firmities. These are my ordinary comtraces on his brain. His person is well panions.
R. turned, and of a good height. He is very ready at that sort of discourse with which men usually entertain women. He has all No. 3.] Saturday, March 3, 1710-11. his life dressed very well, and remembers habits as others do men. He can smile Et quoi quisque fere studio devinctus adhæret, when one speaks to him, and laughs easily. Arque in qua ratione fuit contenta magis mens,
Aut quibus in rebus multum sumus ante morati, He knows the history of every mode, and in somnis eadem plerumque videmur obire. can inform you from which of the French King's wenches, our wives and daughters
What studies please, what most delight, nad this manner of curling their hair, that And fill men's thoughts, they dream them o'er at night. way of placing their hoods; whose frailty was covered by such a sort of petticoat, and In one of my rambles, or rather specuwhose vanity to show her foot made that lations, I looked into the great hall, where part of the dress so short in such a year. In the bank is kept, and was not a little pleased
Lucr. I. iv. 959.
to see the directors, secretaries, and clerks, 1 letters from all parts of the world, which with all the other members of that weal- the one or the other of them was perpetuthy corporation, ranged in their several ally reading to her; and, according to the stations, according to the parts they act news she heard, to which she was exceedin that just and regular economy. "This ingly attentive, she changed colour, and revived in my memory the many discourses discovered many symptoms of health or which I had both read and heard, concern- sickness. ing the decay of public credit, with the Behind the throne was a prodigious heap methods of restoring it, and which in my of bags of money, which were piled upon opinion, have always been defective, be- one another so high that they touched the cause they have always been made with ceiling. The floor on her right hand, and an eye to separate interests, and party on her left, was covered with vast sums of principles.
gold that rose up in pyramids on either The thoughts of the day gave my mind side of her. But this I did not so much employment for the whole night, so that wonder at, when I heard upon inquiry, that I fell insensibly into a kind of methodical she had the same virtue in her touch, which dream, which disposed all my contempla- the poets tell us a Lydian king was formerly tions into a vision or allegory, or what else possessed of: and that she could convert the reader shall please to call it.
whatever she pleased into that precious Methought I returned to the great hall, metal. where I had been the morning before, but After a little dizziness, and confused to my surprise, instead of the company that hurry of thought, which a man often meets I left there, I saw, towards the upper end with in a dream, methought the hall was of the hall, a beautiful virgin seated on a alarmed, the doors flew open and there enthrone of gold. Her name (as they told tered half a dozen of the most hideous me) was Public Credit. The walls, in- phantoms that I had ever seen (even in a stead of being adorned with pictures and dream) before that time. They came in maps, were hung with many acts of par- two by two, though matched in the most liament written in golden letters. At the up- dissociable manner, and mingled together per end of the hall was the Magna Charta, in a kind of dance. It would be tedious to with the Act of Uniformity on the right describe their habits and persons, for which hand, and the Act of Toleration on the left. reason I shall only inform my reader, that At the lower end of the hall was the Act the first couple were Tyranny and Anarof Settlement, which was placed full in the chy, the second were Bigotry and Atheism, eye of the virgin that sat upon the throne. and the third the genius of a commonwealth, Both the sides of the hall were covered and a young man of about twenty-two years with such acts of parliament as had been of age,* whose name I could not learn. He made for the establishment of public funds. had a sword in his right hand, which in the The lady seemed to set an unspeakable dance he often brandished at the Act of Falue upon these several pieces of furni- Settlement; and a citizen, who stood by me, ture, insomuch that she often refreshed her whispered in my ear, that he saw a sponge eye with them, and often smiled with a se- in his left hand. The dance of so many cret pleasure, as she looked upon them; jarring natures put me in mind of the sun, but, at the same time, showed a very par- moon, and earth, in the Rehearsal, that ticular uneasiness, if she saw any thing danced together for no other end but to approaching that might hurt them. She eclipse one another. appeared, indeed, infinitely timorous in all The reader will easily suppose, by what her behaviour: and whether it was from has been before said, that the lady on the the delicacy of her constitution, or that she throne would have been almost frighted to was troubled with vapours as I was after- distraction, had she seen but any one of wards told by one, who I found was none these spectres; what then must have been of her well-wishers, she changed col vur, her condition when she saw them all in a and startled at every thing she heard. Shé body? She fainted and died away at the was likewise (as I afterwards found) a sight. greater valetudinarian than any I had ever met with, even in her own sex, and subject
"Et neque jam color est misto candore rubori;
Nec vigor, et vires, et quæ modò visa placebant; to such momentary consumptions, that in Nec corpus remanet
Ovid, Met. iii. 49. the twinkling of an eye, she would fall away
Her spirits faint, from the florid complexion, and most Her blooming cheeks assume a pallid teint, healthful state of body, and wither into a skeleton. Her recoveries were often as sudden as her decays, insomuch that she There was as great a change in the hill would revive in a moment out of a wasting of money-bags, and the heaps of money; distemper, into a habit of the highest health the former shrinking and falling into so and vigour.
many empty bags, that I now found not I had very soon an opportunity of observing these quick turns and changes in her constitution. There sat at her feet a couple June 10, 1688. See Tat. No. 187,
* James Stuart, the pretended Prince of Wales, born of secretaries, who received every hour To wipe out the national debt.
And scarce her form remains.'