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the body, while the other is sweetening the blood and rectifying the conftitution. To speak truly, the young people of both sexes are so wonderfully apt to shoot out into long swords or sweeping trains, bushy head-dresses or full-bottomed periwigs, with several other incumbrances of dress, that they stand in need of being pruned very frequently, left they should be oppressed with ornaments, and over-run with the luxuriancy of their habits. I am much in doubt, whether I should give the preference to a quaker that is'trimmed close and almost cut to the quick, or to a beau that is loaden with such a redundance of excrescences. I must therefore desire my correspondents to let me know how they approve my project, and whether they think the erecting of such a petty censorship 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 correspondents to whom I must address myself in the second place; I mean such as fill their letters with private scandal and black accounts of particular persons and families. The world is so full of ill-nature, that I have lampoons sent me by people who cannot spell, and satires composed by those who scarce know how to write. By the last poft in particular I received a packet of scandal which is not legible ; and have a whole bundle of letters in womens hands that are full of blots and calumnies, insomuch, that when I fee the name Cælia, Phillis, Pastora, or the like, at the bottom of a scrawl, I conclude on course that it brings me some account of a fallen virgin, a faithless wife, or an amorous widow. I must therefore inform these my correspondents, that it is not my design to be a publisher of intrigues and cuckoldoms, or to bring little infamous stories out of their present lurking-holes into broad day-light. If I attack the vicious, I shall only set upon them in a body; and will not be provoked by the worst usage I can receive from others, to make an example of any particular criminal. In short, I have so much of a Drawcanfir in me, that I snall pass over a single foe to charge whole armies. It is not Lais nor Slenus, but the harlot and the drunkard, whom I shall endeavour to expose ; and shall consider 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 same time I am very sensible, that nothing spreads a paper like private calumny and defamation ; but as my speculations are not under this necessity, they are not exposed to this temptation.
In the next place I must apply myfelf to my party correspondents, who are continually teazing me to take notice of one another's proceedings. How often am I alked by both sides, if it is possible for me to be an unconcerned spectator of the rogueries that are committed by the party which is opposite to him that writes the letter? About two days since I was reproached with an old Grecian law, that forbids any man to stand as a neuter or a looker-on in the divisions of his country. However, as I am very sensible my paper would lose its whole effect, should it run into the outrages of a party, I shall 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 shall apply myself to it with my utmost endeavours; but will never let my heart reproach me, with having done any thing towards increasing those feuds and animofities that extinguish religion, deface government, and make a nation miserable.
What I have said under the three foregoing heads, will, I am afraid, very much retrench the number of my correspondents : I shall therefore acquaint my reader, that if he has started any hint which he is not able to pursue, if he has met with any surprising story which he does not know how to tell, if he has discovered any epidemical vice which has escaped my observation, or has heard of any uncommon virtue which he would desire to publish ; in short, if he has any materials that can furnish out an innocent diversion, I shall promise him my best aslistance in the working of them up for a public entertainment.
This paper my reader will find was intended for an answer to a multitude of correspondents ; but I hope he will pardon me if I single out one of them in particular who has made me lo very humble a request, that I cannot forbear complying with it.
To the SPECTATOR. 5 IR,
March 15, 1710-11. I AM at present so unfortunate, as to have nothing ' to do but to mind my own business; and therefore
beg of you that you will be pleased to put me into • some small poft under you. I observe that you have • appointed your printer and publisher to receive letters ' and advertisements for the city of London ; and shall • 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 promise to fill such an employinent ' with sufficient abilities, I will endeavour to make up ' with industry and fidelity what I want in parts and genius.
Your most obedient servant, C.
Tuesday, March 20.
Tetrum ante omnia vuitum.
Juv. Sat. 10. 1. 191. -A visage rough, Deform'd, unfeatur'd.
our persons are not of our own, making, when they are such as appear defective or uncomely, it is, methinks, an honest and laudable fortitude to dare to be ugly ; at least to keep ourselves from being abashed with a consciousness of imperfections which we cannot help, and in which there is no guilt. I would not defend an haggard beau, for passing away much time at a glass, and giving softnesses and languishing graces to deformity : all I intend is, that we ought to be contented with our countenance and shape, so far, as never to give ourselves an uneasy reflection on that subject. It is to the ordinary people who are not accustomed to make very proper remarks on any occasion, matter of great jest, if a man enters with a prominent pair of shoulders into an assembly, or is distinguished by an expansion of mouth, or obliquity of aspect. It is happy for a man, that has any of these oddnesses about him if he can be as merry upon himself, as others are apt to be upon that occasion : when he can possess himself with such 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 jest upon himself for them.
Madam Maintenon's first husband was an hero in this kind, and has drawn many pleasantries from the irregularity of his shape, which he describes as very much resembling the letter Z. He diverts himself likewise 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 best 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-presser, and Hill of Fles; Harry, a Starveling, an Elves-skin, a Sheath, a Buw-case, and a Tuck. There is in several incidents of the conversation between them, the jest still kept up upon the person. Great tenderness and fenfibility in this point is one of the greatest weaknesses of self-love. For
niy own part, I am a little unhappy in the mould of my face, which is not quite so long as it is broad : Whether this might not partly arise from my opening my mouth much seldomer than other people, and by consequence not so much lengthening the fibres of my Voj. I.
visage, I am not at leisure to determine. However it be, I have been often put out of countenance by the shortness 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 shorter, 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 profounil Sir, - HAVING been very well entertained, in the last
your speculations that I have yet feen, by your specimen upon clubs, which I therefore hope you ' will .continue, I shall take the liberty to furnish you
with a brief account of such a one as perhaps you have
not seen in all your travels, unless it was your fortune • to touch upon some of the woody parts of the African
continent, in your voyage to or from Granil Cairo.
There have arose in this university (long since you "left us without saying any thing) leveral of these in• ferior hebdomadal societies, as the Punning club, the
Willy club, and amongit the reft, the Handsome club; ** as a burlesque upon which, a certain merry species, " that seem to have come into the world in masquerade, * for some years last past have associated themselves to
gether, and assumed the name of the Ugly club: this ill-favoured fraternity consist of a president and twelve fellows; the choice of which is not confined by pa
tent to any particular foundation, (as St. John's men * would have the world believe, and have therefore
erected a separate society within themselves) but liberty is left to elect from any school in Great-Britain, provided the candidates be within the rules of the club, as set forth in a table, intitled, The act of deformity. A clause or two of which I shall transmit
• I. That no person whatsoever fhall be admitted * without a visible quearity in his aspect, or peculiar