Obrázky na stránke


No. 1. turnity; and since I have neither Time nor Inclination Thursday, to communicate the Fulness of my Heart in Speech, I am March 1, resolved to do it in Writing; and to Print my self out, if possible, before I Die. I have been often told by my Friends that it is Pity so many useful Discoveries which I have made, should be in the Possession of a Silent Man. For this Reason therefore, I shall publish a Sheet-full of Thoughts every Morning, for the Benefit of my Contem poraries; and if I can any way contribute to the Diver sion or Improvement of the Country in which I live, I shall leave it, when I am summoned out of it, with the secret Satisfaction of thinking that I have not Lived in vain.

There are three very material Points which I have not spoken to in this Paper, and which, for several im portant Reasons, I must keep to my self, at least for some Time: I mean, an Account of my Name, my Age, and my Lodgings. I must confess I would gratifie my Reader in any thing that is reasonable; but as for these three Particulars, though I am sensible they might tend very much to the Embellishment of my Paper, I cannot yet come to a Resolution of communicating them to the Publick. They would indeed draw me out of that Obscurity which I have enjoyed for many Years, and expose me in Publick Places to several Salutes and Civilities, which have been always very disagreeable to me; for the greatest Pain I can suffer, is the being talked to, and being stared at. It is for this Reason likewise, that I keep my Complexion and Dress, as very great Secrets; tho' it is not impossible, but I may make Discoveries of both, in the Progress of the Work I have undertaken.

After having been thus particular upon my self, I shall in to-Morrow's Paper give an Account of those Gentlemen who are concerned with me in this Work. For, as I have before intimated, a Plan of it is laid and concerted (as all other Matters of Importance are) in a Club. However, as my Friends have engaged me to stand in the Front, those who have a mind to correspond with me, may direct their Letters To the SPECTATOR, at Mr Buckley's in Little Britain. For I must further acquaint the Reader, that tho' our Club meets only on Tuesdays and


Thursdays, we have appointed a Committee to sit every No. 1 Night, for the Inspection of all such Papers as may con Thursday, tribute to the Advancement of the Public Weal.


March 1, 1711

No. 2,

Friday, March 2,

Haec alii sex

Vel plures uno conclamant ore,—



HE first of our Society is a Gentleman of Worcester, shire, of antient Descent, a Baronet, his Name Sir ROGER DE COVERLY. His great Grandfather was Inventor of that famous Country Dance which is call'd after him. All who know that Shire are very well acquainted with the Parts and Merits of Sir ROGER He is a Gentleman that is very singular in his Behaviour, but his Singularities proceed from his good Sense, and are Contradictions to the Manners of the World, only as he thinks the World' is in the wrong, However, this Humour creates him no Enemies, for he does nothing with Sourness or Obstinacy; and his being unconfined to Modes and Forms, makes him but the readier and more capable to please and oblige all who know him. When he is in town he lives in Soho Square: It is said, he keeps himself a Batchelor by reason he was crossed in Love, by a perverse beautiful Widow of the next County to him. Before this Disappointment, Sir ROGER was what you call a fine Gentleman, had often supped with my Lord Rochester and Sir George Etherege, fought a Duel upon his first coming to Town, and kick'd Bully Dawson in a publick Coffee house for calling him Youngster.. But being ill used by the above-mentioned Widow, he was very serious for a Year and a half; and though, his Temper being naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew careless of himself, and never dressed afterwards; he continues to wear a Coat and Doublet of the same Cut that were in Fashion at the Time of his Repulse, which, in his merry Humours, he tells us, has been in and out twelve Times since he first wore it. 'Tis said Sir ROGER grew humble in his Desires after he had forgot this cruel Beauty, insomuch that it is reported


[blocks in formation]

he has frequently offended in Point of Chastity with Beggars and Gypsies: But this is look'd upon by his Friends rather as Matter of Raillery than Truth. He is now in his Fifty sixth Year, cheerful, gay, and hearty, keeps a good House both in Town and Country; a great Lover of Mankind; but there is such a mirthful Cast in his Behaviour, that he is rather beloved than esteemed: His Tenants grow rich, his Servants look satisfied, all the young Women profess Love to him, and the young Men are glad of his Company: When he comes into a House he calls the Servants by their Names, and talks all the way up Stairs to a Visit. I must not omit that Sir ROGER is a Justice of the Quorum ; that he fills the chair at a Quarter-Session with great Abilities, and three Months ago gain'd universal Ap plause by explaining a Passage in the Game-Act.

The Gentleman next in Esteem and Authority among us, is another Batchelor, who is a Member of the Inner Temple; a Man of great Probity, Wit, and Understand ing; but he has chosen his Place of Residence rather to obey the Direction of an old humoursom Father, than in pursuit of his own Inclinations. He was placed there to study the Laws of the Land, and is the most learned of any of the House in those of the Stage. Aristotle and Longinus are much better understood by him than Littleton or Cooke. The Father sends up every Post Questions relating to Marriage-Articles, Leases, and Tenures, in the Neighbourhood; all which Questions he agrees with an Attorney to answer and take care of in the Lump He is studying the Passions themselves, when he should be inquiring into the Debates among Men which arise from them. He knows the Argument of each of the Orations of Demosthenes and Tully, but not one Case in the Reports of our own Courts. No one ever took him for a Fool, but none, except his intimate Friends, know he has a great deal of Wit. This Turn makes him at once both disinterested and agreeable: As few of his Thoughts are drawn from Business, they are most of them fit for Conversation. His Taste of Books is a little too just for the Age he lives in; he has read all, but approves of very few. His Familiarity


with the Customs, Manners, Actions, and Writings of No. 2. the Antients, makes him a very delicate Observer of Friday,, what occurs to him in the present World. He is an March 2, excellent Critick, and the Time of the Play is his Hour of Business; exactly at five he passes thro' New Inn, crosses thro' Russel-Court, and takes a turn at Will's 'till the play begins; he has his Shooes rubbed and his Perriwig powder'd at the Barber's as you go into the Rose. It is for the Good of the Audience when he is at a Play, for the Actors have an Ambition to please him. The Person of next Consideration is Sir ANDREW FREEPORT, a Merchant of great Eminence in the City of London. A Person of indefatigable Industry, strong Reason, and great Experience. His Notions of Trade are noble and generous, and (as every rich Man has usually some sly Way of Jesting, which would make no great Figure were he not a rich Man) he calls the Sea the British Common. He is acquainted with Com merce in all its Parts, and will tell you that it is a stupid and barbarous Way to extend Dominion by Arms; for true Power is to be got by Arts and Industry. He will often argue, that if this Part of our Trade were well cultivated, we should gain from one Nation; and if another, from another, I have heard him prove, that Diligence makes more lasting Acquisitions than Valour, and that Sloth has ruined more Nations than the Sword. He abounds in several frugal Maxims, among which the greatest Favourite is, 'A Penny saved is a Penny got' A General Trader of good Sense, is pleasanter company than a general Scholar; and Sir ANDREW having a natural unaffected Eloquence, the Perspicuity of his Discourse gives the same Pleasure that Wit would in another Man. He has made his Fortunes himself; and says that England may be richer than other Kingdoms, by as plain Methods as he himself is richer than other Men; tho' at the same Time I can say this of him, that there is not a point in the Com pass but blows home a Ship in which he is an Owner.

Next to Sir ANDREW in the Club-room sits Captain SENTRY, a Gentleman of great Courage, good Under standing, but invincible Modesty. He is one of those that deserve very well, but are very awkward at putting their


No. 2,

Talents within the Observation of such as should take Notice of them. He was some Years a Captain, and behaved March 2, himself with great Gallantry in several Engagements, and


at several Sieges; but having a small Estate of his own,
and being next Heir to Sir ROGER, he has quitted a Way of
Life in which no Man can rise suitably to his Merit, who
is not something of a Courtier as well as a Soldier. I
have heard him often lament, that in a Profession where
Merit is placed in so conspicuous a View, Impudence
should get the better of Modesty. When he has talked to
this Purpose I never heard him make a sour Expression,
but frankly confess that he left the World, because he was
not fit for it. A strict Honesty and an even regular
Behaviour, are in themselves Obstacles to him that must
press through Crowds, who endeavour at the same End
with himself, the Favour of a Commander, He will
however in his Way of Talk excuse Generals, for not
disposing according to Mens Desert, or enquiring into it:
For, says he, that great Man who has a Mind to help me,
has as many to break through to come at me, as I have to
come at him: Therefore he will conclude, that the Man
who would make a Figure, especially in a military Way,
must get over all false Modesty, and assist his Patron
against the Importunity of other Pretenders, by a proper
Assurance in his own Vindication. He says it is a civil
Cowardice to be backward in asserting what you ought to
expect, as it is a military Fear to be slow in attacking
when it is your Duty, With this Candour does the
Gentleman speak of himself and others,
The same


Frankness runs through all his Conversation. military Part of his Life has furnish'd him with many Adventures, in the Relation of which he is very agreeable to the Company; for he is never over-bearing, though accustomed to command Men in the utmost Degree below him; nor ever too obsequious, from an Habit of obeying Men highly above him.

But that our Society may not appear a Set of Humourists unacquainted with the Gallantries and Pleasures of the Age, we have among us the gallant WILL. HONEYCOMB, a Gentleman who according to his Years should be in the Decline of his Life, but having

« PredošláPokračovať »