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X. None shall be admitted into the club that is of
the fame trade with any member of it.
XI. None of the club fhall have his clothes or shoes made or mended, but by a brother-member.
XII. No non-juror fhall be capable of being a mem
The morality of this little club is guarded by fuch wholesome laws and penalties, that I question not but my reader will be as well pleased with them, as he would have been with the Leges Convivales of Ben Jonson, the regulations of an old Roman club cited by Lipfius, or the rules of a Symposium in an ancient Greek author. C.
Monday, March 12.
Non aliter quàm qui adverfo vix flumine lembum
IT T is with much fatisfaction that I hear this great city inquiring day by day after these my papers, and receiving my morning lectures with a becoming ferioufnefs and attention. My publisher tells me, that there are already three thousand of them diftributed every day: fo that if I allow twenty readers to every paper, which I look upon as a modeft computation, I may reckon about threefcore thousand disciples in London and Weftminfter, who I hope will take care to diftinguish themfelves from the thoughtless herd of their ignorant and inattentive brethren. Since I have raised to myself so great an audience, I fhall fpare no pains to make their
inftruction agreeable, and their diverfion ufeful. For which reasons I fhall endeavour to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality, that my readers may, if poffible, both ways find their account in the fpeculation of the day. And to the end that their virtue and difcretion may not be fhort tranfient intermitting ftarts of thought, I have refolved to refresh their memories from day to day, till I have recovered them out of that defperate ftate of vice and folly into which the age is fallen. The mind that lies fallow but a fingle day fprouts up in follies that are only to be killed by a conftant and affiduous culture. It was faid of Socrates, that he brought philofophy down from heaven, to inhabit among men; and I fhall be ambitious to have it faid of me, that I have brought philofophy out of closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and affemblies, at tea-tables and in coffee-houses.
I would therefore in a very particular manner recommend these my speculations to all well-regulated families, that fet apart an hour in every morning for tea and bread and butter; and would earnestly advise them for their good to order this paper to be punctually ferved up, and to be looked upon as a part of the tea-equipage.
Sir Francis Bacon obferves, that a well-written book, compared with its rivals and antagonists, is like Mofes's ferpent, that immediately swallowed up and devoured thofe of the Egyptians. I fhall not be fo vain as to think, that where the SPECTATOR appears, the other public prints will vanish; but fhall leave it to my reader's confideration, whether it is not much better to be let into the knowledge of one's felf, than to hear what paffes in Mufcovy or Poland; and to amufe ourselves with fuch writings as tend to the wearing out of ignorance, paffion, and prejudice, than fuch as naturally conduce to inflame hatreds, and make enmities irreconcilable.
In the next place I would recommend this paper to ~ the daily perufal of those gentlemen whom I cannot but confider as my good brothers and allies, I mean the fraternity of fpectators, who live in the world without having any thing to do in it; and either by the affluence of their fortunes, or lazinefs of their difpofitions, have
no other business with the rest of mankind, but to look upon them. Under this class of men are comprehended all contemplative tradefmen, titular phyficians, fellows of the royal fociety, templars that are not given to be contentious, and statesmen that are out of bufinefs; in short, every one that confiders the world as a theatre, and defires to form a right judgment of those who are the actors on it.
There is another set of men that I must likewise lay a claim to, whom I have lately called the blanks of fociety, as being altogether unfurnished with ideas, till the business and converfation of the day has fupplied them. I have often confidered these poor fouls with an eye of great commiferation, when I have heard them afking the firft man they have met with, whether there was any news ftirring? and by that means gathering together materials for thinking. Thefe needy perfons do not know what to talk of, till about twelve o'clock in the morning; for by that time they are pretty good judges of the weather, know which way the wind fits, and whether the Dutch mail be come in. As they lie at the mercy of the first man they meet, and are grave and impertinent all the day long, according to the notions which they have imbibed in the morning, I would earneftly intreat them not to ftir out of their chambers till they have read this paper, and do promife them that I will daily inftil into them fuch found and wholefome fentiments, as fhall have a good effect on their conversation for the ensuing twelve hours.
But there are none to whom this paper will be more useful, than to the female world. I have often thought there has not been fufficient pains taken in finding out proper employments and diverfions for the fair ones. Their amufements feem contrived for them, rather as they are women, than as they are reasonable creatures; and are more adapted to the fex than to the fpecies. The toilet is their great fcene of business, and the right adjufting of their hair the principal employment of their lives. The forting of a fuit of ribbands is reckoned a very good morning's work; and if they make an excurfion to a mercer's or a toy-fhop, fo great a fatigue makes them unfit for any thing else all the day after.
Their more ferious occupations are fewing and embroidery, and their greateft drudgery the preparation of jellies and fweet-meats. This, I fay, is the ftate of ordinary women; though I know there are multitudes of thofe of a more elevated life and converfation, that move in an exalted sphere of knowledge and virtue, that join all the beauties of the mind to the ornaments of dress, and infpire a kind of awe and respect, as well as love, into their male beholders. I hope to increase the number of these by publishing this daily paper, which I fhall always endeavour to make an innocent if not an improving entertainment, and by that means at leaft divert the minds of my female readers from greater trifles. At the fame time, as I would fain give fome finishing touches to thofe which are already the most beautiful pieces in human nature, I fhall endeavour to point out all thofe imperfections that are the blemishes, as well as thofe virtues which are the embellishments, of the fex. In the mean while I hope these my gentle readers, who have fo much time on their hands, will not grudge throwing away a quarter of an hour in a day on this paper, fince they may do it without any hindrance to business.
I know feveral of my friends and well-wishers are in great pain for me, left I should not be able to keep up the Ipirit of a paper which I oblige myself to furnish every day but to make them eafy in this particular, I will promise them faithfully to give it over as foon as I grow dull. This I know will be matter of great raillery to the fmall wits; who will frequently put me in mind of my promife, defire me to keep my word, affure me that it high time to give over, with many other little pleafantries of the like nature, which men of a little smart genius cannot forbear throwing out against their best friends, when they have fuch an handle given them of being witty. But let them remember that I do hereby enter my caveat against this piece of raillery. C.
Tuesday, March 13.
Dat veniam corvis, vexat cenfura columbas.
Juv. Sat. 2. 1. 63. The doves are cenfur'd, while the crows are spar'd.
ARIETTA is vifited by all perfons of both fexes, who have any pretence to wit and gallantry. She is in that time of life which is neither affected with the follies of youth, or infirmities of age; and her converfation is fo mixed with gaiety and prudence, that she is agreeable both to the young and the old. Her behaviour is very frank, without being in the least blameable; and as fhe is out of the track of any amorous or ambitious purfuits of her own, her vifitants entertain her with accounts of themselves very freely, whether they concern their paffions or their interefts. I made her a vifit this afternoon, having been formerly introduced to the honour of her acquaintance, by my friend WILL HONEYCOMB, who has prevailed upon her to admit me fometimes into her affembly, as a civil inoffenfive man. I found her accompanied with one perfon only, a common-place talker, who, upon my entrance, arose, and after a very flight civility fat down again; then turning to Arietta, purfued his difcourfe, which I found was upon the old topic of conftancy in love. He went on with great facility in repeating what he talks every day of his life; and with the or naments of infignificant laughs and geftures, enforced his arguments by quotations out of plays and fongs, which allude to the perjuries of the Fair, and the general levity of women. Methought he ftrove to fhine more than ordinary in his talkative way, that he might infult my filence, and diftinguish himself before a woman of Arietta's tafte and understanding. She had often an inclination to interrupt him, but could find no opportunity, till the larum ceafed of itself; which it VOL. I.