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that fome little diftaftes I daily receive have loft their anguifh; and I did the other day, without the leaft difpleasure, overhear one fay of me, "That ftrange fel"low;" and another answer, "I have known the fellow's "face thefe twelve years, and fo muft you; but I believe you are the first ever afked me who he was." There are, I must confefs, many to whom my perfon is as well known as that of their nearest relations, who give themfelves no farther trouble about calling me by my name or quality, but fpeak cf me very currently by Mr. What d've call him.

To make up for thefe trivial difadvantages, I have the high fatisfaction of beholding all nature with an unprejudiced eye; and having nothing to do with men's paffions or interests, I can with the greatest fagacity confider their talents, manners, failings, and merits.

It is remarkable that thofe who want any one fense poffefs the others with greater force and vivacity. Thus my want of, or rather refignation of, fpeech, gives me all the advantage of a dumb man. I have, methinks, a a more than ordinary penetration in feeing; and flatter myfelf that I have looked into the higheft and lowest of mankind, and make fhrewd gueffes, without being admitted to their converfation, at the inmoft thoughts and reflections of all whom I behold. It is from hence that good or ill fortune has no manner of force towards affe&t-ing my judgment. I fee men flourishing in courts, and languifhing in jails, without being prejudiced from their circumftances to their favour or difadvantage; but from their inward manner of bearing their condition, often pity the profperous, and admire the unhappy.

Thofe who converfe with the dumb, know from the turn of their eyes, and the changes of their countenance, their fentiments of the objects before them. I have in-、 dulged my filence to fuch an extravagance, that the few who are intimate with me, anfwer my fmiles with concurrent fentences, and argue to the very point I flaked my head at, without my fpeaking. Will Honeycomb was very entertaining the other night at a play, to a Gentleman who fat on his right hand, while I was at his left. The Gentleman believed Will was talking

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to himself, when upon my looking with great approbation at a young thing in a box before us, he faid, "I am quite of another opinion. She has, I allow, a very pleafing afpect, but methinks that fimplicity in her "countenance is rather childith than innocent.' When I obferved her a fecond time, he faid, "I grant her drefs "is very becoming, but perhaps the merit of that choice "is owing to her mother; for though, continued he, I "allow a beauty to be as much to be commended for the elegance of her drefs, as a wit for that of his language; "yet if he has ftolen the colour of her ribbands from an"other, or had advice about her trimmings, I fhall not "allow her the praise of dress, any more than I would "call a plagiary an author." When I threw my eyes towards the next woman to her, Will fpoke what I looked, according to his romantic imagination, in the following manner.

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"Behold, you who dare, that charming virgin; behold "the beauty of her perfon chaftifed by the innocence of "her thoughts. Chaftity, good-nature, and affability, are "the graces that play in her countenance; fhe knows the "is handfome, but the knows the is good. Confcious beauty adorned with confcious virtuc! What a fpirit "is there in thofe eyes! What a bloom in thar perfon! How is the whole woman expreffed in her appearance! her air has the beauty of motion, and her look the "force of language."

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It was prudence to turn away my eyes from this object, and therefore I turned them to the thoughtless creatures who make up the lump of that fex, and move a knowing eye no more than the portraitures of infignificant people by ordinary painters, which are but pictures of pictures.

Thus the working of my own mind is the general entertainment of my life; I never enter in the commerce of difcourfe with any but my particular friends, and not in public even with them. Such an habit has perhaps raised in me uncommon reflections; but this effect I cannot communicate but by my writings. As my pleatures are almoft wholly confined to thofe of the fight, I take it



for a peculiar happiness that have always had an eafy and familiar admittance to the fair fex. If I never praised or flattered, I never belyed or contradicted them. As thefe compofe half the world, and are, by the juft complaifance and gallantry of our nation, the more powerful part of our people, I hall dedicate a confiderable share of thefe my fpeculations to their fervice, and fhall lead the young through all the becoming duties of virginity, marriage, and widowhood. When it is a woman's day, in my works, I fhall endeavour at a ftile and air fuitable to their understanding. When I fay this, I must be understood to mean, that I fhall not lower but exalt the subjects I treat upon. Difcourfe for their entertainment, is not to be debafed but refined. A man may appear learned without talking sentences, as in his ordinary gesture he difcovers he can dance though he does not cut capers. In a word, I fhall take it for the greatcft glory of my work, if among reasonable ivomen this paper may furnish TeaTable Talk. In order to it, I fhall treat on matters which relate to females, as they are concerned to approach or fly from the other fex, or as they are tied to them by blood, intereft, or affection. Upon this occafion I think it but reasonable to declare, that whatever skill I may have in fpeculation, I fhall never betray what the eyes of lovers fay to each other in my prefence. At the fame time I fhall not think myfelf obliged, by this promife, to conceal any falfe proteftations which I obferve made by glances in public affemblies; but endeavour to make both fexes appear in their conduct what they are in their hearts. By this means, love, during the time of my fpeculations, fhall be carried on with the fame fincerity as any other affairs of lefs confideration. is the greatest concern, men fall be from henceforth liable to the greateft reproach for mifbehaviour in it. Falfehood in love fhall hereafter bear a blacker afpect, than infidelity in friendship, or villany in bufinefs. For this great and good end, all breaches against that noble paffion, the cement of fociety, fhall be feverely examined. But this, and all other matters loofely hinted at now, and in my former papers, fhall have their proper place in my following

As this

following difcourfes; the prefent writing is only to admonifh the world, that they shall not find me an idle but a bufy Spectator.



Spectatum admiffi rifum teneatis?


Admitted to the fight, wou'd you not laugh?

AN Opera may be allowed to be extravagantly lavish in it's decorations, as it's only defign is to gratify the fenfes, and keep up an indolent attention in the audience. Common fenfe however requires, that there fhould be nothing in the fcenes and machines which may appear childish and abfurd. How would the wits of King Charles's time have laughed to have feen Nicolini expofed to a tempeft in robes of ermine, and failing in an open boat upon a fea of pafteboard? What a field of raillery would they have been let into, had they been entertained with painted dragons fpitting wild-fire, enchanted chariots drawn by Flanders mares, and real cafcades in artificial landfkips? A little skill in criticism would inform us, that fhadows and realities ought not to be mixed together in the fame piece; and, that the scenes which are defigned as the reprefentations of nature, fhould be filled with refemblances, and not with the things themselves. If one would represent a wide champain country filled with herds and flocks, it would be ridiculous to draw the country only upon the fcenes, and to croud feveral parts of the ftage with theep and oxen. This is joining together inconfiftences, and making the decoration partly real and partly imaginary. I would recommend what I have faid here to the directors, as well as the admirers of our modern Opera.

As I was walking in the streets about a fortnight ago, I faw an ordinary fellow carrying a cage full of little birds upon his fhoulder; and, as I was wondering with


myfelf what use he would put them to, he was met very luckily by an acquaintance, who had the fame curiosity. Upon his afking him what he had upon his fhoulder, he told him that he had been buying fparrows for the opera. Sparrows for the opera, fays his friend, licking his lips, what, are they to be roafted? No, no, fays the other, they are to enter towards the end of the firit act, and to fly about the ftage.

This ftrange dialogue awakened my curiofity fo far, that I immediately bought the opera, by which means I perceived that the fparrows were to act the part of finging-birds in a delightful grove; though upon a nearer inquiry I found the fparrows put the fame trick upon the audience, that Sir Martin Mar-all practifed upon his miftrefs; for though they flew in fight, the mufic proceeded from a confort of flagelets and birdscalls which were planted behind the fcenes. At the fame time I made this difcovery, I found by the difcourfe of the actors, that there were great defigns on foot for the improvement of the opera; that it had been propofed to break down a part of the wall, and to furprise the audience with party of an hundred horfe, and that there was actually a project of bringing the NewRiver into the house, to be employed in jetteaus and water-works. This project, as I have face heard, is poftponed till the fummer-feafon; when it is thought the coolness that proceeds from fountains and cascades will be more acceptable and refreshing to people of quality. In the mean time, to find out a more agreeable entertainment for the winter-feafon, the opera of Rinaldo is filled with thunder and lightning, illuminations and fire-works; which the audience may look upon without catching cold, and indeed, without much danger of being burnt; for there are feveral engines filled with water, and ready to play at a minute's warning, in cafe any fuch accident fhould happen. However, as I have a very great friendship for the owner of this theatre, I hope that he has been wife enough to infure his houfe before he would let this opera be acted in it.

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