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One with a flash begins, and ends in smoke; Another out of smoke brings glorious light, And (without raising expectation high) Surprises us with dazzling miracles.—ROSCOMMON. I HAVE observed, that a reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure, till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the right understanding of an author. To gratify this curiosity, which is so natural in a reader, I design this paper and my next as prefatory discourses to my following writings, and shall give some account in them of the several persons that are engaged in this work. As the chief trouble of compiling, digesting, and correcting, will fall to my share, I must do my self the justice to open the work with my own history.

I was born to a small hereditary estate, which, according to the tradition of the village where it lies, was bounded by the same hedges and ditches in William the Conqueror's time that it is at present, and has been delivered down from father to son, whole and entire, without the loss or acquisition of a single field or meadow, during the space of six hundred years. There runs a story in the family, that, when my mother was gone with child of me about three months, she dreamed that she was brought to bed of a judge. Whether this might proceed from a law-suit which was then depending in the family, or my father's being a justice of the peace, I cannot determine; for I am not so vain as to think it presaged any dignity that I should arrive at in future life, though that was the interpretation which the neighborhood put upon it. The gravity of my behavior at my first appearance in the world, and at the time that I sucked, seemed to favor my mother's dream; for, as she has often told me, I threw away my rattle before I was two months old, and would not make use of my coral until they had taken away the bells from it.

As for the rest of my infancy, there being nothing in it remarkable, I shall pass over it in silence. find that during my nonage, I had the reputation of a very sullen youth, but was always a favorite of my schoolmaster, who used to say; "that my parts were solid, and would wear well." I had not been long at the university, before I distinguished myself by a most profound silence; for during the space of eight years, excepting in the public exercises of the college, I scarce uttered the quantity of a hundred words; and indeed do not remember that I ever spoke three sentences together in my whole life. While I was in this learned body, I applied myself with so much diligence to my studies, that there are few very celebrated books,

either in the learned or the modern tongues, which I am not acquainted with.

Upon the death of my father, I was resolved to travel into foreign countries, and therefore left the university with the character of an odd, unaccountable fellow, that had a great deal of learning, if I would but show it. An insatiable thirst after knowledge carried me into all the countries of Europe in which there was anything new or strange to be seen; nay, to such a degree was my curiosity raised, that having read the controversies of some great men concerning the antiquities of Egypt, I made a voyage to Grand Cairo on purpose to take the measure of a pyramid; and as soon as I had set myself right in that particular, returned to my native country with great satisfaction.*

I have passed my latter years in this city, where I am frequently seen in most public places, though there are not above half-a-dozen of my select friends that know me; of whom my next paper shall give a more particular account. There is no place of general resort wherein I do not often make my appearance. Sometimes I am seen thrusting my head into a round of politicians at Will's, and listening with great attention to the narratives that are made in those little circular audiences. Sometimes I smoke a pipe at Child's,t and while I seem attentive to nothing but the Postman, overhear the conversation of every table in the room. I appear on Sunday nights at St. James's coffee-house, and sometimes join the little committee of politics in the inner room, as one who comes there to hear and improve. My face is likewise very well known at the Grecian, the Cocoa-tree, and in the theaters both of Drury-lane and the Haymarket. I have been taken for a merchant upon the exchange for above these ten years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in the assembly of stock-jobbers at Jonathan's. In short, wherever I see a cluster of people, I always mix with them, though I never open my lips but in my own club.

Thus I live in the world rather as a Spectator of mankind than as one of the species, by which means I have made myself a speculative statesman, soldier, merchant, and artisan, without ever meddling with any practical part in life. I am very wnd can discern the errors in the economy, busiwell versed in the theory of a husband, or a father, ness, and diversions of others, better than those who are engaged in them; as standers-by discover blots, which are apt to escape those who are in the game. I never espoused any party with violence, and am resolved to observe a strict neutrality between the Whigs and Tories, unless I shall be forced to declare myself by the hostilities of either

* A sarcasm on Mr. Greaves, and his book entitled Pyrami dographia.

+Child's coffee-house was in St. Paul's church-yard, and the resort of the clergy; St. James's stood then where it does now; Jonathan's was in Change-alley; and the Rose tavern was on the outside of Temple-bar.

side. In short, I have acted in all the parts of my life as a looker-on, which is the character I intend to preserve in this paper.

world is in the wrong. However, thi creates him no enemies, for he does noth sourness or obstinacy; and his being un to modes and forms makes him but the and more capable to please and oblige

I have given the reader just so much of my history and character, as to let him see I am not altogether unqualified for the business I have un-know him. When he is in town he lives dertaken. As for other particulars in my life and adventures I shall insert them in following papers, as I shall see occasion. In the meantime, when I consider how much I have seen, read, and heard, I begin to blame my own taciturnity; and since I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fullness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself 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 cotemporaries; and if I can in any way contribute to the diversion 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.


square.* It is said, he keeps himself a by reason he was crossed in love by a beautiful widow of the next county to h fore this disappointment, Sir Roger was call a fine gentleman, had often supped Lord Rochester and Sir George Ethereg a duel upon his first coming to town an bully Dawsont in a public coffee-house fo him youngster. But being ill-used by th mentioned widow, he was very serious fo and a-half; and though, his temper bei rally jovial, he at last got over it, he of himself, and never dressed afterward. tinues to wear a coat and doublet of the that were in fashion at the time of his which, in his merry humors, he tells us, in and out twelve times, since he first wo is said Sir Roger grew humble in his des he had forgot his cruel beauty, insomuch There are three very material points which I reported he has frequently offended in have not spoken to in this paper and which, for chastity with beggars and gipsies: bu several important reasons, I must keep to myself, looked upon, by his friends, rather as at least for some time: I mean an account of my raillery than truth. He is now in his fi name, age, and lodgings. I must confess, I would year, cheerful, gay and hearty; keeps a go gratify my reader in anything that is reasonable; both in town and country; a great lover but as for these three particulars, though I am kind; but there is such a mirthful cas sensible they might tend very much to the embel-behavior, that he is rather beloved lishment of my paper, I cannot yet come to a resolution of communicating them to the public. They would indeed draw me out of that obscurity which I have enjoyed for many years, and expose me in public 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; though it is not impossible but I may make discoveries of both in the progress of the work I have undertaken.


His tenants grow rich, his servants lo fied, all the young women profess love and the young men are glad of his c When he comes into a house he calls the by their names, and talks all the way upa visit. I must not omit, that Sir Roger tice of the quorum; that he fills the ch quarter-session with great abilities, a months ago gained universal applause plaining a passage in the game act.

After having been thus particular upon myself, 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. Buck-ginus are much better understood by 1 ley's, in Little Britain. For I must further quaint the reader, that though our club meets only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have appointed a committee to sit every night for the inspection of all such papers as may contribute to the advancement of the public weal.-C.

No. 2.] FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 1710-11.

-Ast alii sex


The gentleman next in esteem and a among us is another bachelor, who is a of the Inner Temple, a man of great pro and understanding; but he has chosen of residence rather to obey the direction humorsome father, than in pursuit of his clinations. He was placed there to study of the land, and is the most learned of a house in those of the stage. Aristotle Littleton or Coke. The father sends post, questions relating to marriage-article and tenures in the neighborhood; a questions he agrees with an attorney to and take care of in the lump. He is stud passions themselves, when he should be into the debates among men which ar them. He knows the argument of eac orations of Demosthenes and Tully, but case in the reports of our own courts. ever took him for a fool; but none, e intimate friends, know he has a great de This turn makes him at once both disi and agreeable: as few of his thoughts a from business, they are most of them fi

Et plures, uno conclamant ore. Juv., Sat. vii, 167. Six more, at least, join their consenting voice. THE first of our society is a gentleman of Worcestershire, of an ancient descent, a baronet, his name Sir Roger de Coverley. His great-grandfa-versation. His taste for books is a littl ther was inventor of that famous country-dance which is called 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 behavior, but his singularities proceed from his good sense, and are contradictions to the manners of the world only as he thinks the

for the age he lives in; he has read approves of very few. His familiarity customs, manners, actions, and writing

* At that time the genteelest part of the town.

bauchee about town, at the time here pointed o This fellow was a noted sharper, swaggere well known in Blackfriars, and its then infamous

ancients, makes him a very delicate observer of what occurs to him in the present world. He is an excellent critic, and the time of the play is his hour of business; exactly at five he passes through New-Inn, crosses through Russell-court, and takes a turn at Will's till the play begins; he has his shoes rubbed and his perriwig powdered 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.

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 candor does the gentleman speak of himself and others. The same frankness runs through all his conversation. The military part of his life has furnished him with many adventures, in the relation of which he is very agreeable to the company; for he is never overbearing, though accustomed to command men in the utmost degree below him; nor ever too obsequious, from a habit of obeying men highly above 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 But that our society may not appear a set of human has usually some sly way of jesting, which morists, unacquainted with the gallantries and would make no great figure were he not a rich pleasures of the age, we have among us the galman) he calls the sea the British Common. He is lant Will Honeycomb, a gentleman who, accordacquainted with commerce in all its parts, and ind to his years, should be in the decline of his will tell you that it is a stupid and barbarous way life, but having been very careful of his person, to extend dominion by arms: for true power is to and always had a very easy fortune, time has made be got by arts and industry. He will often argue, but very little impression, either by wrinkles on that if this part of our trade were well cultivated, his forehead, or traces on his brain. His person we should gain from one nation; and if another, is well turned, and of a good height. He is very from another. I have heard him prove, that dili-ready at that sort of discourse with which men gence makes more lasting acquisitions than valor, usually entertain women. He has all his life and that sloth has ruined more nations than the dressed very well, and remembers habits as others sword. He abounds in several frugal maxims, do men. He can smile when one speaks to him, among which the greatest favorite is, "A penny and laughs easily. He knows the history of every saved is a penny got." A general trader of good mode, and can inform you from which of the sense is pleasanter company than a general French king's wenches our wives and daughters scholar; and Sir Andrew having a natural unaf- had this manner of curling their hair, that way of fected eloquence, the perspicuity of his discourse placing their hoods-whose frailty was covered gives the same pleasure that wit would in another by such a sort of petticoat, and whose vanity to He has made his fortune himself; and says show her foot made that part of the dress so short that England may be richer than other kingdoms, in such a year. In a word, all his conversation by as plain methods as he himself is richer than and knowledge has been in the female world. As other men: though at the same time I can say other men of his age will take notice to you what this of him, that there is not a point in the com- such a minister said upon such an occasion, he pass, but blows home a ship in which he is an will tell you, when the Duke of Monmouth danced at court, such a woman was then smitten-another was taken with him at the head of his troop in the Park. In all these important relations, he has ever about the same time received a kind glance, or a blow of a fan from some celebrated beauty, mother of the present Lord Such a-one. If you speak of a young commoner that said a lively thing in the house, he starts up, "He has good blood in his veins, Tom Mirable begot him; the rogue cheated me in that affair; that young fellow's mother used me more like a dog than any woman I ever made advances to." This way of talking of his very much enlivens the conversation among us of a more sedate turn; and I find there is not one of the company, but myself, who rarely speak at all, but speaks of him as of that sort of man, who is usually called a well-bred fine gentleman. To conclude his character, where women are not concerned, he is an honest, worthy man.



Next to Sir Andrew in the club-room sits Captain Sentry, a gentleman of great courage, good understanding, but invincible modesty. He is one of those that deserve very well, but are very awkward at putting their talents within the observation of such as should take notice of them. He was some years a captain, and behaved 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 had 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 behavior, are in themselves obstacles to him that must press through crowds, who endeavor at the same end with himself, the favor of a commander. He will, however, in his way of talk excuse generals, for not disposing according to men's desert, or inquiring 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 patrou against the importunity of other pretenders,

*It has been said, that the real person alluded to under this name was C. Kempenfelt, father of the Admiral Kempefit who deplorably lost his life, when the Royal George of 100 guns sank at Spithead, Aug. 29, 1782.


I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom am next to speak of, as one of our company; for he visits us but seldom; but when he does, it adds to every man else a new enjoyment of himself. He is a clergyman, a very philosophic man, of general learning, great sanctity of life, and the most exact good breeding. He has the misfortune to be of a very weak constitution, and consequently, cannot accept of such cares and business as preferments in his function would oblige him to; he is therefore among divines what a chambercounselor is among lawyers. The probity of his mind, and the integrity of his life, create him followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others. He seldom introduces the subject he speaks upon;

*It has been said that Colonel Cleland was supposed to have been the real person alluded to under this character.

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-What studies please, what most delight,
And fill men's thoughts, they dream them o'er at night.

IN one of my rambles, or rather speculations, I looked into the great hall, where the bank is kept, and was not a little pleased to see the directors, secretaries, and clerks, with all the other members of that wealthy corporation, ranged in their several stations, according to the parts they act in that just and regular economy. This revived in my memory the many discourses which I had both read and heard concerning the decay of public credit, with the methods of restoring it, and which, in my opinion, have always been defective, because they have always been made with an eye to separate interests and party principles.

The thoughts of the day gave my mind employment for a whole night, so that I fell insensibly into a kind of methodical dream, which disposed all my contemplations into a vision, or allegory, or what else the reader shall please to call it.

Methought I returned to the great hall, where I had been the morning before; but to my surprise, instead of the company that I left there, I saw to ward the upper end of the hall a beautiful virgin, seated on a throne of gold. Her name (as they told me was Public Credit. The walls, instead of being adorned with pictures and maps, were hung with many acts of parliament written in golden letters. At the upper end of the hall was the magna charta, with the act of uniformity on the right hand, and the act of toleration on the left. At the lower end of the hall was the act of settlement, which was placed full in the eye of the virgin that sat upon the throne. Both the sides of the ball were covered with such acts of parliament as had been made for the establishment of public funds. The lady seemed to set an unspeakable value upon these several pieces of furniture, insomuch that she often refreshed her eye with them, and often smiled with a secret pleasure, as she looked upon them; but, at the same time, showed a very particular uneasiness, if she saw anything approaching that might hurt them. She appeared, indeed, infinitely timorous in all her behavior; and whether it was from the delicacy of her constitution, or that she was troubled with vapors, as I was afterward told by one who I found was none of her well-wishers, she changed color, and startled at everything she heard. She was likewise (as I afterward found) a greater valetudinarian than any I had ever met with even in her own sex, and subject to such momentary consumptions, that, in the twinkling of an eye, she should fall away from the most florid complexion, and most healthful state of body, and wither into a skeleton. Her recoveries were often as sudden as her decays, insomuch that she would revive in a moment out of a wasting distemper, into a habit of the highest health and vigor.

I had very soon an opportunity of observing

these quick turns and changes in her cons There sat at her feet a couple of secretar received every hour letters from all part world, which the one or the other of th perpetually reading to hor; and according news she heard, to which she was exce attentive, she changed color, and discovere symptoms of health or sickness.

Behind the throne was a prodigious_ bags of money, which were piled upon one so high that they touched the ceiling. T on her right hand and on her left, was with vast sums of gold, that rose up in p on either side of her. But this I did not wonder at, when I heard, upon inquiry, 1 had the same virtue in her touch which th tell us a Lydian king was formerly posse and that she could convert whatever she into that precious metal.

After a little dizziness, and confused 1 thought, which a man often meets with in methought the hall was alarmed, the do open, and there entered half a dozen of t hideous phautoms that I had ever seen (e dream) before that time. They came in two, though matched in the most dissocial ner, and mingled together in a kind of da would be too tedious to describe their hal persons, for which reason I shall only inf reader, that the first couple were Tyra Anarchy, the second were Bigotry and A the third the Genius of the commonw young man of about twenty-two years whose name I could not learn. He had in his right hand, which in the dance

brandished at the act of settlement; and a who stood by me, whispered in my ear, saw a sponge in his left hand. The dan many jarring natures put me in mind of t moon, and earth in the Rehearsal, that da gether for no other end but to eclipse one

The reader will easily suppose, by w been before said, that the lady on the thron have been almost frightened to distraction, seen but any one of these specters; wh must have been her condition when she sa all in a body? She fainted and died awa sight,

Et neque jam color est misto candore rubori:
Nec vigor, et vires, et quæ modo visa placebant,
Nec corpus remanet.- -OVID MET., iii, 491.

-Her spirits faint,

Her blooming cheeks assume a pallid taint,
And scarce her form remains.

There was a great change in the hill of bags, and the heaps of money, the former ing and falling into so many empty bags now found not above a tenth part of th been filled with money.

The rest that took up the same space, an the same figure, as the bags that were real with money, had been blown up with called into my memory the bags full o which Homer tells us his hero received as sent from Eolus. The great heaps of either side the throne now appeared to heaps of paper, or little piles of notched bound up together in bundles, like Bath fa

While I was lamenting this sudden de that had been made before me, the whol vanished... In the room of the frightful s there now entered a second dance of app very agreeably matched together, and mad

*James Stuart, the pretended Prince of Wales, b 10, 1688.-See Tat., No. 187.

To wipe out the national debt.

very amiable phantoms. The first pair was Liberty with Monarchy at her right hand. The second was Moderation leading in Religion; and the third a person whom I had never seen, with the Genius of Great Britain. At the first entrance the lady revived, the bags swelled to their former bulk, the pile of fagots and heaps of paper changed into pyramids of guineas: and for my own part I was so transported with joy that I awaked, though I must confess I would fain have fallen asleep again to have closed my vision, if I could have done it.-C.

No. 4.] MONDAY, MARCH 5, 1710-11.
Egregii mortalem altique silentii?
HOR., 2 Sat., vi, 58.

One of uncommon silence and reserve.

AN author, when he first appears in the world, is very apt to believe it has nothing to think of but his performances. With a good share of this vanity in my heart, I made it my business these three days to listen after my own fame; and as I have sometimes met with circumstances which did not displease me, I have been encountered by others which gave me much mortification. It is incredible to think how empty I have in this time observed some part of the species to be, what mere blanks they are when they first come abroad in the morning, how utterly they are at a stand until they are set a-going by some paragraph in a newspaper. Such persons are very acceptable to a young author, for they desire no more in anything but to be new, to be agreeable. If I found consolation among such, I was as much disquieted by the incapacity of others. These are mortals who have a certain curiosity without power of reflection, and perused my papers like spectators rather than readers. But there is so little pleasure in inquiries that so nearly concern ourselves (it being the worst way in the world to fame, to be too anxious about it) that upon the whole I resolved for the future to go on in my ordinary way; and without too much fear or hope about the business of reputation, to be very careful of the design of my actions, but very negligent of the consequences

of them.

It is an endless and frivolous pursuit to act by any other rule, than the care of satisfying our own minds in what we do. One would think a silent man, who concerned himself with no one breathing, should be very little liable to misrepresentations; and yet I remember I was once taken up for a Jesuit, for no other reason than my profound taciturnity. It is from this misfortune, that, to be out of harm's way, I have ever since affected crowds. He who comes into assemblies only to gratify his curiosity, and not to make a figure, enjoys the pleasures of retirement in a more exquisite degree than he possibly could in his closet; the lover, the ambitious, and the miser, are followed thither by a worse crowd than any they can withdraw from. To be exempt from the passions with which others are tormented, is the only pleasing solitude. I can very justly say with the sage, "I am never less alone than when alone."

As I am insignificant to the company in public places, and as it is visible I do not come thither as most do, to show myself, I gratify the vanity of all who pretend to make an appearance, and have often as kind looks from well dressed gentlemen and ladies, as a poet would bestow upon one of his audience. There are so many gratifications attend this public sort of obscurity, that

* The Elector of Hanover, afterward George I.

some little distastes I daily receive have lost their anguish; and I did, the other day, without the least displeasure, overhear one say of me, "that strange fellow;" and another answer, "I have known the fellow's face these twelve years, and so must you; but I believe you are the first ever asked who he was." There are, I must confess, many to whom my person is as well known as that of their nearest relations, who give themselves no further trouble about calling me by my name or quality, but speak of me very currently by the appellation of Mr. What-d'ye-call-him.

To make up for these trivial disadvantages, I have the highest satisfaction of beholding all nature with an unprejudiced eye; and having nothing to do with men's passions or interests, I can, with the greater sagacity, consider their talents, manners, failings, and merits.

It is remarkable, that those who want any one sense, possess the others with greater force and vivacity. Thus my want of, or rather resignation of speech, gives me the advantages of a dumb man. I have, methinks, a more than ordinary penetration in seeing; and flatter myself that I have looked into the highest and lowest of mankind, and made shrewd guesses without being admitted to their conversation, at the inmost thoughts and reflections of all whom I behold. It is from hence that good or ill fortune has no manner of force toward affecting my judgment. I see men flourishing in courts, and languishing in jails, without being prejudiced, from their circumstances, to their favor or disadvantage; but from their inward manner of bearing their condition, often pity the prosperous, and admire the unhappy.

Those who converse with the dumb, know from the turn of their eyes, and the changes of their countenance, their sentiments of the objects before them. I have indulged my silence to such an extravagance that the few who are intimate with me answer my smiles with concurrent sentences, and argue to the very point I shaked my head at, without my speaking. Will Honeycomb was very entertaining the other night at a play, to a gentleman who sat on his right hand, while I was at his left. The gentleman believed Will was talking to himself, when upon my looking with great approbation at a young thing in a box before us, he said, "I am quite of another opinion. She has, I will allow, a very pleasing aspect, but, methinks, that simplicity in her countenance is rather childish than innocent." When I observed her a second time, he said, "I grant her dress 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 dress, as a wit for that of his language, yet if she has stolen the color of her ribbons from another, or had advice about her trimmings, I shall not allow her the praise of dress, any more than I would call a plagiary an author." When I threw my eye toward the next woman to her, Will spoke 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 person chastized by the innocence of her thoughts. Chastity, good-nature, and affability, are the graces that play in her countenance; she knows she is handsome, but she knows she is good. Conscious beauty adorned with conscious virtue! What a spirit is there in those eyes! What a bloom in that person! How is the whole woman expressed in her appearance! Her air has the beauty of motion, and her look the force of language.'

It was prudence to turn my eyes away from this

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