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Our minds should be opened to great conceptions, and inflamed with glorious sentiments by what the actor speaks, more than by what he appears. Can all the trappings or equipage of a king or hero give Brutus half that pomp and majesty which he receives from a few lines in Shakspeare? C.

** At Drury-lane, for the benefit of Mrs. Porter, Love's Last Shift; or, The Fool in Fashion: Sir Novelty, Mr. Cibber; Sir W. Wisewoud, Mr. Johnson; Loveless, Mr. Wilks; Worthy, Mr. Mills; Snap, Mr. Pinkethman; Sly, Mr. Bullock; Amanda, Mrs. Porter; Narcissa, Mrs. Oldfield; and Hilaria, Mrs. Bicknell.-Spect. in folio.

No. 43. THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 1711.

Hæ tibi erunt artes; pacisque imponere morem,

Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos.

VIRG. En. vi. 854.

Be these thy arts; to bid contention cease,
Chain up stern wars and give the nations peace;
O'er subject lands extend thy gentle sway,
And teach with iron rod, the haughty to obey.

THERE are crowds of men, whose great misfortune it is that they were not bound to mechanic arts or trades; it being absolutely necessary for them to be led by some continual task or employment. These are such as we commonly call dull fellows; persons, who for want of something to do, out of a certain vacancy of thought, rather than curiosity, are ever meddling with things for which they are unfit. I cannot give you a notion of them better than by presenting you with a letter from a gentleman, who belongs to a society of this order of men, residing at Oxford.

By Addison, dated, it seems, from Chelsea. See No. 7.

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'IN some of your late speculations, I find some sketches towards an history of clubs: but you seem to me to show them in somewhat too ludicrous a light. I have well weighed that matter, and think, that the most important negotiations may be best carried on in such assemblies. I shall therefore, for the good of mankind (which, I trust, you and I are equally concerned for), propose an institution of that nature for example sake.

'I must confess the design and transactions of too many clubs are trifling, and manifestly of no consequence to the nation or public weal. Those I'll give you up. But you must do me then the justice to own, that nothing can be more useful or laudable than the scheme we go upon. To avoid nicknames and witticisms, we call ourselves The Hebdomadal Meeting. Our president continues for a year at least, and sometimes four or five: we are all grave, serious, designing men in our way: we think it our duty, as far as in us lies, to take care the constitution receives no harm-Ne quid detrimenti res capiat publica-to censure doctrines or facts, persons or things, which we don't like; to settle the nation at home, and to carry on the war abroad, where and in what manner we see fit. If other people are not of our opinion, we can't help that: 'twere better they were. Moreover we now and then condescend to direct, in some measure, the little affairs of our own university.

'Verily, Mr. Spectator, we are much offended at the act for importing French wines. A bottle or two of good solid edifying port at honest George's, made a night cheerful, and threw off reserve. But this plaguy French claret will not only cost us more

money, but do us less good. Had we been aware of it, before it had gone too far, I must tell you, we would have petitioned to be heard upon that subject. But let that pass.

'I must let you know likewise, good Sir, that we look upon a certain northern prince's march, in conjunction with infidels, to be palpably against our good-will and liking; and, for all Monsieur Palmquist, a most dangerous innovation; and we are by no means yet sure, that some people are not at the bottom on't. At least my own private letters leave room for a politician, well versed in matters of this nature, to suspect as much, as a penetrating friend of mine tells me.

'We think we have at last done the business with the malecontents in Hungary, and shall clap up a peace there.

What the neutrality army is to do, or what the army in Flanders, and what two or three other princes, is not yet fully determined among us; and we wait impatiently for the coming in of the next Dyer's, who you must know is our authentic intelligence, our Aristotle in politics. And 'tis indeed but fit there should be some dernier resort, the absolute decider of all controversies.

'We were lately informed, that the gallant trained-bands had patrolled all night long about the streets of London. We indeed could not imagine any occasion for it; we guessed not a tittle on't aforehand; we were in nothing of the secret: and that city tradesmen, or their apprentices, should do duty or work during the holidays, we thought absolutely impossible. But Dyer being positive in it, and some letters from other people, who had talked with some who had it from those who should know,

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giving some countenance to it, the chairman reported from the committee appointed to examine into that affair, that 'twas possible there might be something in't. I have much more to say to you, but my two good friends and neighbours, Dominic and Slyboots, are just come in, and the coffee's ready. I am, in the mean time,

เ MR. SPECTATOR,

'Your admirer and humble servant,

'ABRAHAM FROTH."

You may observe the turn of their minds tends only to novelty, and not satisfaction in any thing. It would be disappointment to them to come to certainty in any thing, for that would gravel them, and put an end to their inquiries, which dull fellows do not make for information, but for exercise. I do not know but this may be a very good way of accounting for what we frequently see, to wit, that dull fellows prove very good men of business." Business relieves them from their own natural heaviness, by furnishing them with what to do; whereas business to mercurial men is an interruption from their real existence and happiness. Though the dull part of mankind are harmless in their amusements, it were to be wished they had no vacant time, because they usually undertake something that makes their wants conspicuous, by their manner of supplying them. You shall seldom find a dull fellow of good education, but if he happens to have any leisure upon his hands, will turn his head to one of those two amusements for all fools of eminence, politics, or poetry. The former of these arts is the study of all dull people in general; but when dul

• See No. 222, note, and No. 469.

ness is lodged in a person of a quick animal life, it generally exerts itself in poetry. One might here mention a few military writers, who give great entertainment to the age, by reason that the stupidity of their heads is quickened by the alacrity of their hearts. This constitution in a dull fellow gives vigour to nonsense, and makes the puddle boil, which would otherwise stagnate. The British Prince, that celebrated poem which was written in the reign of king Charles the Second, and deservedly called by the wits of that age incomparable, was the effect of such an happy genius as we are speaking of. From among many other distichs no less to be quoted on this account, I cannot but recite the two following lines:

'A painted vest prince Voltager had on,
Which from a naked Pict his grandsire won.'

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Here, if the poet had not been vivacious, as well as stupid, he could not, in the warmth and hurry of nonsense, have been capable of forgetting that neither prince Voltager, nor his grandfather, could strip a naked man of his doublet; but a fool of a colder constitution would have staid to have flead the Pict, and made buff of his skin, for the wearing of the conqueror.

To bring these observations to some useful purpose of life, what I would propose should be, that we imitated those wise nations, wherein every man learns some handicraft-work. Would it not employ a beau prettily enough, if, instead of eternally playing with a snuff-box, he spent some part of his time in making one? Such a method as this would very

The Hon. Edward Howard. See Tat. No. 68, note on Ned Softly; see also Tat. Nos. 17, 21, and notes.

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