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the body, while the other is fweetening the blood and rectifying the conftitution. To fpeak truly, the young people of both fexes are fo wonderfully apt to fhoot out into long fwords or fweeping trains, bufhy head-dreffes or full-bottomed periwigs, with feveral other incumbrances of drefs, that they ftand in need of being pruned very frequently, left they should be oppreffed with ornaments, and over-run with the luxuriancy of their habits. I am much in doubt, whether I fhould give the preference to a quaker that is trimmed close and almoft cut to the quick, or to a beau that is loaden with fuch a redundance of excrefcences. I muft therefore defire my correfpondents to let me know how they approve my project, and whether they think the erecting of fuch a petty cenforship may not turn to the emolument of the public; for I would not do any thing of this nature rafhly and without advice.
There is another set of correfpondents to whom I must address myself in the fecond place; I mean fuch as fill their letters with private scandal and black accounts of particular perfons and families. The world is fo full of ill-nature, that I have lampoons fent me by people who cannot fpell, and fatires compofed by those who scarce know how to write. By the laft poft in particular I received a packet of fcandal which is not legible; and have a whole bundle of letters in womens hands that are full of blots and calumnies, infomuch, that when I fee the name Cælia, Phillis, Paftora, or the like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I conclude on courfe that it brings me fome account of a fallen virgin, a faithlefs wife, or an amorous widow. I muft therefore inform these my correfpondents, that it is not my defign to be a publisher of intrigues and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous ftories out of their prefent lurking-holes into broad day-light. If I attack the vicious, I fhall only fet upon them in a body; and will not be provoked by the worft ufage I can receive from others, to make an example of any particular criminal. In fhort, I have fo much of a Drawcanfir in me, that I fall pafs over a fingle foe to charge whole armies. It is not Lais nor Slenus, but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I shall endeavour to expofe; and fhall confider the crime as it
appears in a species, not as it is circumstanced in an individual. I think it was Caligula, who wished the whole city of Rome had but one neck, that he might behead them at a blow. I fhall do out of humanity, what that emperor would have done in the cruelty of his temper, and aim every stroke at the collective body of offenders. At the fame time I am very sensible, that nothing fpreads a paper like private calumny and defamation; but as my fpeculations are not under this neceffity, they are not exposed to this temptation.
In the next place I muft apply myfelf to my party correfpondents, who are continually teazing me to take notice of one another's proceedings. How often am I asked by both fides, if it is poffible for me to be an unconcerned fpectator of the rogueries that are committed by the party which is oppofite to him that writes the letter? About two days fince I was reproached with an old Grecian law, that forbids any man to ftand as a neuter or a looker-on in the divifions of his country. However, as I am very fenfible my paper would lofe its whole effect, should it run into the outrages of a party, I fhall take care to keep clear of every thing which looks that way. If I can any way affuage private inflammations, or allay public ferments, I fhall apply myself to it with my utmoft endeavours; but will never let my heart reproach me, with having done any thing towards increafing thofe feuds and animofities that extinguish religion, deface government, and make a nation miferable.
What I have faid under the three foregoing heads, will, I am afraid, very much retrench the number of my correfpondents: I fhall therefore acquaint my reader, that if he has started any hint which he is not able to purfue, if he has met with any furprifing ftory which he does not know how to tell, if he has difcovered any epidemical vice which has escaped my observation, or has heard of any uncommon virtue which he would defire to publish; in fhort, if he has any materials that can furnish out an innocent diverfion, I fhall promise him my beft affiftance in the working of them up for a public entertainment.
This reader will find was intended for an paper my anfwer to a multitude of correfpondents; but I hope he will pardon me if I fingle out one of them in particular who has made me fo very humble a request, that I cannot forbear complying with it.
To the SPECTATOR.
March 15, 1710-11.
I AM at present fo unfortunate, as to have nothing to do but to mind my own business; and therefore beg of you that you will be pleafed to put me into fome fmall poft under you. I observe that you appointed your printer and publisher to receive letters and advertisements for the city of London; and fhall think myself very much honoured by you, if you will appoint me to take in letters and advertisements for the city of Westminster and the dutchy of Lancaster. Though I cannot promife to fill fuch an employment with fufficient abilities, I will endeavour to make up with industry and fidelity what I want in parts and genius. I am,
Your moft obedient fervant,
Tuesday, March 20.
-Tetrum ante omnia vultum.
-A vifage rough,
Juv. Sat. 10. 1. 191.
SINCE our perfons are not of our own making,
when they are fuch as appear defective or uncomely, it is, methinks, an honeft and laudable fortitude to dare to be ugly; at least to keep ourselves from being abashed with a confcioufnefs of imperfections which we
cannot help, and in which there is no guilt. I would not defend an haggard beau, for paffing away much time at a glass, and giving foftneffes and languishing graces to deformity: all I intend is, that we ought to be contented with our countenance and shape, fo far, as never to give ourselves an uneafy reflection on that subject. It is to the ordinary people who are not accustomed to make very proper remarks on any occafion, matter of great jeft, if a man enters with a prominent pair of houlders into an affembly, or is diftinguished by an expanfion of mouth, or obliquity of afpect. It is happy for a man, that has any of these oddneffes about him if he can be as merry upon himself, as others are apt to be upon that occafion: when he can poffefs himself with fuch a chearfulness, women and children, who are at firft frighted at him, will afterwards be as much pleased with him. As it is barbarous in others to rally him for natural defects, it is extremely agreeable when he can jeft upon himself for them.
Madam Maintenon's first hufband was an hero in this kind, and has drawn many pleasantries from the irregularity of his fhape, which he defcribes as very much resembling the letter Z. He diverts himself likewife by representing to his reader the make of an engine and pully, with which he used to take off his hat. When there happens to be any thing ridiculous in a vifage, and the owner of it thinks it an aspect of dignity, he must be of very great quality to be exempt from raillery: the beft expedient therefore is to be pleasant upon himself. Prince Harry and Falstaff, in Shakespeare, have carried the ridicule upon fat and lean as far as it will go. Falstaff is humorously called Woolfack, Bed-preffer, and Hill of Flefb; Harry, a Starveling, an Elves-fkin, a Sheath, a Bow-cafe, and a Tuck. There is in feveral incidents of the converfation between them, the jeft ftill kept up upon the perfon. Great tenderness and fenfibility in this point is one of the greatest weakneffes of felf-love. For my own part, I am a little unhappy in the mould of my face, which is not quite fo long as it is broad: Whether this might not partly arife from my opening my mouth much feldomer than other people, and by confequence not fo much lengthening the fibres of my VOL. I.
vifage, I am not at leisure to determine. However it be, I have been often put out of countenance by the fhortnefs of my face, and was formerly at great pains in concealing it by wearing a periwig with an high foretop, and letting my beard grow. But now I have thoroughly got over this delicacy, and could be contented with a much fhorter, provided it might qualify me for a member of the merry club, which the following letter gives me an account of. I have received it from Oxford, and as it abounds with the spirit of mirth and good-humour which is natural to that place, I shall set it down word for word as it came to me.
Moft profound Sir,
HAVING been very well entertained, in the laft of your fpeculations that I have yet feen, by your fpecimen upon clubs, which I therefore hope you will continue, I fhall take the liberty to furnish you with a brief account of fuch a one as perhaps you have not feen in all your travels, unless it was your fortune " to touch upon fome of the woody parts of the African continent, in your voyage to or from Grand Cairo. There have arofe in this univerfity (long fince you left us without faying any thing) feveral of these inferior hebdomadal focieties, as the Punning club, the Witty club, and amongst the reft, the Handfome club; as a burlefque upon which, a certain merry fpecies, that feem to have come into the world in masquerade, for fome years laft paft have affociated themselves together, and affumed the name of the Ugly club: this ill-favoured fraternity confift of a prefident and twelve fellows; the choice of which is not confined by patent to any particular foundation, (as St. John's men would have the world believe, and have therefore erected a separate fociety within themfelves) but liberty is left to elect from any fchool in Great-Britain, provided the candidates be within the rules of the club, as fet forth in a table, intitled, The act of deformity. A claufe or two of which I fhall tranfmit
I. That no perfon whatfoever fhall be admitted without a vifible qucarity in his aspect, or peculiar