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ther of a family turned to ridicule, for fome domestic calamity. A wife be made uneafy all her life, for a mifinterpreted word or action. Nay, a good, a temperate, and a juft man, fhall be put out of countenance by the representation of thofe qualities that fhould do him honour. So pernicious a thing is wit, when it is not tempered with virtue and humanity.

I have indeed heard of heedlefs inconfiderate writers, that without any malice have facrificed the reputation of their friends and acquaintance, to a certain levity of temper, and a filly ambition of diftinguishing themfelves by a fpirit of raillery and fatire; as if it were not infinitely more honourable to be a good-natured man, than a wit. Where there is this little petulant humour in an author, he is often very mifchievous without defigning to be so. For which reafon I always lay it down as a rule, that an indifcreet man is more hurtful than an ill-natured one; for as the latter will only attack his enemies, and those he wishes ill to, the other injures indifferently both friends and foes. I cannot forbear, on this occafion, transcribing a fable out of Sir Roger l'Eftrange, which accidentally lies before me.. A company of waggifh boys were watching of frogs at the fide of a pond, and ftill as any of 'em put up their heads, they'd be pelting thein down again with stones. Children, fays one of the frogs, you never confider that though this may be play to you, 'tis death to us.'

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As this week is in a manner fet apart and dedicated to ferious thoughts, I fhall indulge myself in fuch fpeculations as may not be altogether unfuitable to the feason; and in the mean time, as the fettling in ourselves a charitable frame of mind is a work very proper for the time, I have in this paper endeavoured to expofe that particular breach of charity which has been generally overlooked by divines, because they are but few who can be guilty of it.




N° 24

Wednesday, March 28.

Accurrit quidam notus mihi nomine tantùm ;
Arreptâque mana, Quid agis, dulciffime rerum?
HOR. Sat. I. ix. 3.

Comes up a fop (I knew him but by fame)
And feiz'd my hand, and call'd me by my name-
-My Dear!

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how doft?

HERE are in this town a great number of infignificant people, who are by no means fit for the better fort of converfation, and yet have an impertinent ambition of appearing with thofe to whom they are not welcome. If you walk in the Park, one of them will certainly join with you, though you are in company with Jadies; if you drink a bottle, they will find your haunts. What makes fuch fellows the more burdenfome, is, that they neither offend nor pleafe fo far as to be taken notice of for either. It is, I prefume, for this reafon, that my correfpondents are willing by my means to be rid of them. The two following letters are writ by perfons who fuffer by fuch impertinence. A worthy old bachelor, who fets in for his dofe of claret every night at fuch an hour, is teazed by a fwarm of them; who, because they are fure of room and good fire, have taken it in their heads to keep a fort of club in his company; though the fober gentleman himself is an utter enemy to fuch meetings.

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HE averfion I for fome years have had to clubs in general, gave me a perfect relish for your fpeculation on that fubject; but I have fince been extremely mortified, by the malicious world's ranking me amongit the fupporters of fuch impertinent affemblies. I beg leave to ftate my cafe fairly; and that done, I fhall expect redrefs from your judicious pen.

• I am,

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I am, Sir, a bachelor of fome ftanding, and a tra veller; my business, to confult my own humour, which I gratify without controlling other people's; I have a room and a whole bed to myfelf; and I have a dog, a fiddle, and a gun; they please me, and injure no creature alive. My chief meal is a fupper, which I always 'make at a tavern. I am conftant to an hour, and not ill-humoured; for which reafons, though I invite nobody, I have no fooner fupped, than I have a crowd about me of that fort of good company that know not whither elfe to go. It is true every man pays his 'fhare; yet as they are intruders, I have an undoubted right to be the only speaker, or at leaft the loudeft; ' which I maintain, and that to the great emolument of my audience. I fometimes tell them their own in pretty free language; and fometimes divert them with · merry tales, according as I am in humour. I am one of thofe who live in taverns to a great age, by a fort of regular intemperance; I never go to bed drunk, but always fluftered; I wear away very gently, am apt to be peevish, but never angry. Mr. Spectator, if you have kept various company, you know there is in every tavern in town fome old humourift or other, who is mafter of the houfe as much as he that keeps it. The drawers are all in awe of him; and all the cuf tomers, who frequent his company, yield him a fort of comical obedience. I do not know but I may be fuch a fellow as this myfelf. But I appeal to you, whether this is to be called a club, becaufe fo many impertinents will break in upon me, and come without appointment? Clinch of Barnet has a nightly meeting, and fhows to every one that will come in and pay; but then he is the only actor. Why fhould people mifcal things? If his is allowed to be a concert, why main't mine be a lecture? However, Sir, I fubmit it to you, and am,


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Good Sir,


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OU and I were prefs'd against each other laft winter in a crowd, in which uneafy posture we fuffer'd together for almost half an hour. I thank you ́ for all your civilities ever fince, in being of my acquaintance wherever you meet ine. But the other day you pull'd off your hat to me in the Park when I was walking with my miftrefs. She did not like your air, and faid fhe wondered what ftrange fellows I was acquainted with. Dear Sir, confider it is as much as my life is worth, if the fhould think we were intimate; 'therefore I earnestly intreat you for the future to take · no manner of notice of,

• Sir,

Your obliged humble servant,

A like impertinence is alfo very troublesome to the fuperior and more intelligent part of the fair fex. It is, it feems, a great inconvenience, that thofe of the meanest capacities will pretend to make vifits, tho' indeed they are qualified rather to add to the furniture of the house, by filling an empty chair, than to the converfation they come into when they vifit. A friend of mine hopes for redress in this cafe, by the publication of her letter in my paper; which the thinks thofe she would be rid of will take to themfelves. It feems to be written with an eye to one of those pert giddy unthinking girls, who upon the recommendation only of an agreeable perfon, and a fashionable air, take themselves to be upon a level with women of the greatest merit.


TAKE this

to acquaint you with what com

Imon rules and forms would never permit me to tell

vou otherwife; to wit, that you and I, tho' equals in quality and fortune, are by no means fuitable compa⚫nions. You are, 'tis true, very pretty, can dance, and make a very good figure in a public affembly;

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but alas, Madam, you must go no further; distance and filence are your beft recommendations; therefore let me beg of you never to make me any more vifits. You come in a literal fenfe to fee one, for you have nothing to fay. I do not fay this, that I would by any means lofe your acquaintance; but I would keep it up with the ftricteft forms of good-breeding. Let us pay vifits, but never fee one another. If you will be fo good as to deny yourself always to me, I fhall return the obligation by giving the fame orders to my fervants. When accident makes us meet at a third " place, we may mutually lament the misfortune of never finding one another at home, go in the fame party to a benefit-play, and smile at each other, and put down glaffes as we pafs in our coaches. Thus we may enjoy as much of each other's friendship as we are capable: for there are fome people who are to be known only by fight, with which fort of friendship I hope you will always honour,

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Your most obedient humble fervant,

P. S. I fubfcribe myself by the name of the day I keep, that my fupernumerary friends may know whe I am.'


"To prevent all mistakes, that may happen among "gentlemen of the other end of the town, who come "but once a week to St. James's coffee-house, either by "mifcalling the fervants, or requiring fuch things from

them as are not properly within their refpective pro"vinces; this is to give notice, that Kidney, keeper of "the book-debts of the outlying customers, and obferver "of those who go off without paying, having refign'd "that employment, is fucceeded by John Sowton; to "whofe place of enterer of meffages and firft coffee.


grinder William Bird is promoted; and Samuel Bur"dock comes as shoe-cleaner in the room of the faid Bird."

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