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intend to endow very handsomely for a dozen superannuated husbandmen. It will be a great pleasure to me to say my prayers twice a-day with men of my own years, who all of them, as well as myself, may have their thoughts taken up how they shall die, rather than how they shall live. I remember an excellent saying that I learned at school, Finis coronat opus. You know best whether it be in Virgil or in Horace, it is my business to apply it. If your affairs will permit you to take the country air with me sometimes, you shall find an apartment fitted up for you, and shall be every day entertained with beef or mutton of my own feeding; fish out of my own ponds; and fruit out of my own gardens. You shall have free egress and regress about my house, without having any questions asked you; and, in a word, such a hearty welcome as you may expect from
"Your most sincere friend and humble servant, "ANDREW FREEPORT." The club of which I am a member being entirely dispersed, I shall consult my reader next week upon a project relating to the institution of a new one.
N° 550. MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1712.
Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu?
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 138.
In what will all this ostentation end?-RoSCOMMON.
INCE the late dissolution of the club, whereof I have often declared myself a member, there are very many persons who, by letters, petitions, and recommendations, put up for the next election. At the same time I must complain, that several indirect and underhand practices have been made use of upon this occasion. A certain country-gentleman began to tap upon the first information he received of Sir Roger's death; when he sent me up word that if I would get him chosen in the place of the deceased, he would present me with a barrel of the best October I had ever tasted in my life. The ladies are in great pain to know whom I intend to elect in the room of Will Honeycomb. Some of them indeed are of opinion
that Mr. Honeycomb did not take sufficient care of their interests in the club, and are therefore desirous of having in it hereafter a representative of their own sex. A citizen who subscribes himself Y. Z. tells me that he has one-andtwenty shares in the African company, and offers to bribe me with the odd one in case he may succeed Sir Andrew Freeport, which he thinks would raise the credit of that fund. I have several letters, dated from Jenny Man's, by gentlemen who are candidates for Captain Sentry's place; and as many from a coffee-house in Paul's churchyard of such who would fill up the vacancy occasioned by the death of my worthy friend the clergyman, whom I can never mention but with a particular respect.
Having maturely weighed these several particulars, with the many remonstrances that have been made to me on this subject, and considering how invidious an office I shall take upon me if I make the whole election depend upon my single voice, and being unwilling to expose myself to those clamours, which on such an occasion will not fail to be raised against me for partiality, injustice, corruption, and other qualities, which my nature abhors, I have formed to myself the project of a club as follows:
I have thoughts of issuing out writs to all and every of the clubs that are established in the cities of London and Westminster, requiring them to choose out of their respective bodies a person of the greatest merit, and to return his name to me before Lady-day, at which time I intend to sit upon business.
By this means, I may have reason to hope, that the club over which I shall preside will be the very flower and quintessence of all other clubs. I have communicated this my project to none but a particular friend of mine, whom I have celebrated twice or thrice for his happiness in that kind of wit which is commonly known by the name of a pun. The only objection he makes to it is, that I shall raise up enemies to myself if I act with so regal an air, and that my detractors, instead of giving me the usual title of Spectator, will be apt to call me the King of Clubs.
But to proceed on my intended project: it is very well known that I at first set forth in this work with the character of a silent man; and I think I have so well preserved my taciturnity, that I do not remember to have
violated it with three sentences in the space of almost two years. As a monosyllable is my delight, I have made very few excursions, in the conversations which I have related, beyond a Yes or a No. By this means, my readers have lost many good things which I have had in my heart, though I did not care for uttering them.
Now in order to diversify my character, and to shew the world how well I can talk if I have a mind, I have thoughts of being very loquacious in the club which I have now under consideration. But that I may proceed the more regularly in this affair, I design, upon the first meeting of the said club, to have my mouth opened in form; intending to regulate myself in this particular by a certain ritual which I have by me, that contains all the ceremonies which are practised at the opening of the mouth of a cardinal. I have likewise examined the forms which were used of old by Pythagoras, when any of his scholars, after an apprenticeship of silence, was made free of his speech. In the mean time, as I have of late found my name in foreign gazettes upon less occasions, I question not but in their next articles from Great Britain they will inform the world, that "the Spectator's mouth is to be opened on the twenty-fifth of March next." I may perhaps publish a very useful paper at that time of the proceedings in that solemnity, and of the persons who shall assist at it. But of this more hereafter.
N° 551. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1712.
Sic honor et nomen divinis vatibus atque
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 400.
So ancient is the pedigree of verse,
And so divine a poet's function.-ROSCOMMON.
WHEN men of worthy and excelling geniuses
Whave obliged the world with beautiful and in
structive writings, it is in the nature of gratitude that praise should be returned them, as one proper consequent reward of their performances. Nor has mankind ever been so degenerately sunk but they have made this return, and even when they have not been wrought up by the
generous endeavour so as to receive the advantages designed by it. This praise, which arises first in the mouth of particular persons, spreads and lasts according to the merit of authors; and when it thus meets with a full success changes its denomination, and is called fame. They, who have happily arrived at this, are, even while they live, inflamed by the acknowledgments of others, and spurred on to new undertakings for the benefit of mankind, notwithstanding the detraction which some abject tempers would cast upon them: but when they decease, their characters being free from the shadow which envy laid them under, begin to shine out with the greater splen dour; their spirits survive in their works; they are admitted into the highest companies, and they continue pleasing and instructing posterity from age to age. Some of the best gain a character, by being able to shew that they are no strangers to them: and others obtain a new warmth to labour for the happiness and ease of mankind, from a reflection upon those honours which are paid to their memories.
"The thought of this took me up as I turned over those epigrams which are the remains of several of the wits of Greece, and perceived many dedicated to the fame of those who had excelled in beautiful poetic performances. Wherefore, in pursuance to my thought, I concluded to do something along with them to bring their praises into a new light and language, for the encouragement of those whose modest tempers may be deterred by the fear of envy or detraction from fair attempts, to which their parts might render them equal. You will perceive them, as they follow, to be conceived in the form of epitaphs, a sort of writing which is wholly set apart for a short-pointed method of praise.
ON ORPHEUS, WRITTEN BY ANTIPATER.
No longer, Orpheus, shall thy sacred strains
Lead stones, and trees, and beasts along the plains:
Or still the billows of the raging deep,
For thou art gone. The Muses mourn thy fall
"Observe here, that if we take the fable for granted, as it was believed to be in that age when the epigram was written, the turn appears to have piety to the gods, and a resigning spirit in its application. But if we consider the point with respect to our present knowledge, it will be less esteemed; though the author himself, because he believed it, may still be more valued than any one who should now write with a point of the same nature.
ON HOMER, BY ALPHEUS OF MYTILENE.
Still in our ears Andromache complains,
And still in sight the fate of Troy remains :
Still Ajax fights, still Hector's dragg'd along :
Such strange enchantment dwells in Homer's song;
"The thought in the first part of this is natural, and depending upon poesy; in the latter part it looks as if it would aim at the history of seven towns contending for the honour of Homer's birth-place; but when you expect to meet with that common story the poet slides by, and raises the whole world for a kind of arbiter, which is to end the contention amongst its several parts.
ON ANACREON, BY ANTIPATER.
"The poet here written upon is an easy gay author, and he who writes upon him has filled his own head with the character of his subject. He seems to love his theme so much, that he thinks of nothing but pleasing him as if he were still alive, by entering into his libertine spirit; so that the humour is easy and gay, resembling Anacreon in its air, raised by such images, and pointed with such a turn as he might have used. I give it a place here, because the author may have designed it for his honour; and I take an opportunity from it to advise others, that when they would praise they cautiously avoid every looser qualification, and fix only where there is a real foundation in