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he has such Objects of Derision before his Eyes. Mr. No. 47, Dennis has very well expressed this in a Couple of Tuesday, humorous Lines, which are part of a Translation of April 24, Satyr in Monsieur Boileau.

Thus one Fool lolls his Tongue out at another,
And shakes his empty Noddle at his Brother,

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Mr. Hobbs's Reflection gives us the Reason why the insignificant People above-mentioned are Stirrers up of Laughter among Men of a gross Taste: But as the more understanding Part of Mankind do not find their Risibility affected by such ordinary Objects, it may be worth the while to examine into the several Provocatives of Laughter in Men of superior Sense and Know ledge.

In the first Place I must observe, that there is a Sett of merry Drolls, whom the common People of all Countries admire, and seem to love so well, that they could eat them, according to the old Proverb: I mean those circumforaneous Wits whom every Nation calls by the Name of that Dish of Meat which it loves best. In Holland they are termed Pickled Herrings; in France, Jean Pottages; in Italy, Maccaronies; and in Great Britain, Jack Puddings. These merry Wags, from whatsoever Food they receive their Titles, that they may make their Audiences laugh, always appear in a Fool's Coat, and commit such Blunders and Mis takes in every step they take, and every Word they utter, as those who listen to them would be ashamed of,

But this little Triumph of the Understanding, under the Disguise of Laughter, is no where more visible than in that Custom which prevails every where among us on the first Day of the present Month, when every Body takes it in his Head to make as many Fools as he can. In proportion as there are more Follies discovered, so there is more Laughter raised on this Day than on any other in the whole Year. A Neighbour of mine, who is a Haberdasher by Trade, and a very shallow conceited Fellow, makes his Boasts that for these ten Years suc cessively he has not made less than an hundred April

Fools

1711,

No. 47.

1711,

Fools. My Landlady had a falling out with him about Tuesday, a Fortnight ago, for sending every one of her Children April 24, upon some Sleeveless Errand, as she terms it. Her eldest Son went to buy an Half-penny worth of Inkle at a Shoe-maker's; the eldest Daughter was dispatched half a Mile to see a Monster; and in short, the whole Family of innocent Children made April Fools. Nay, my Landlady her self did not escape him. This empty Fellow has laughed upon these Conceits ever since,

This Art of Wit is well enough, when confined to one Day in a Twelve-month; but there is an ingenious Tribe of Men sprung up of late Years, who are for making April Fools every Day in the Year. These Gentlemen are commonly distinguished by the Name of Biters; a Race of Men that are perpetually employed in laughing at those Mistakes which are of their own Production

Thus we see, in proportion as one Man is more refined than another, he chuses his Fool out of a lower or higher Class of Mankind; or, to speak in a more Philosophical Language, That secret Elation and Príde of Heart which is generally called Laughter, arises in him from his comparing himself with an Object below him, whether it so happens that it be a Natural or an Artificial Fool. It is indeed very possible, that the Persons we laugh at may in the main of their Char acters be much wiser Men than our selves; but if they would have us laugh at them, they must fall short of us in those Respects which stir up this Passion.

I am afraid I shall appear too Abstracted in my Speculations, if I shew that when a Man of Wit makes us laugh, it is by betraying some Oddness or Infirmity in his own Character, or in the Representation which he makes of others; and that when we laugh at a Brute or even at an inanimate thing, it is at some Action or Incident that bears a remote Analogy to any Blunder or Absurdity in reasonable Creatures,

But to come into common Life: I shall pass by the Consideration of those Stage Coxcombs that are able to shake a whole Audience, and take notice of a particular sort of Men who are such Provokers of Mirth in Con

versation

1711,

versation, that it is impossible for a Club or Merry, No. 47. meeting to subsist without them; I mean, those honest Tuesday, Gentlemen that are always exposed to the Wit and April 24, Raillery of their Well-wishers and Companions; that are pelted by Men, Women, and Children, Friends, and Foes, and, in a word, stand as Butts in Conversation, for every one to shoot at that pleases, I know several of these Butts who are Men of Wit and Sense, though by some odd Turn of Humour, some unlucky Cast in their Person or Behaviour, they have always the Mis fortune to make the Company merry, The Truth of it is, a Man is not qualified for a Butt, who has not good deal of Wit and Vivacity, even in the ridiculous Side of his Character. A stupid Butt is only fit for the Conversation of ordinary People: Men of Wit require one that will give them Play, and bestir himself in the absurd Part of his Behaviour. A Butt with these Accomplishments frequently gets the Laugh of his Side, and turns the Ridicule upon him that attacks him, Sir John Falstaff was an Hero of this Species, and gives a good Description of himself in his Capacity of a Butt, after the following manner; Men of all sorts (says that merry Knight) take a Pride to gird at me, The Brain of Man is not able to invent any thing that tends to Laughter more than I invent, or is invented on me, I am not only Witty in my self, but the Cause that Wit is in other Men,

No. 48,
[STEELE,]

MY

Wednesday, April 25,

-Per multas aditum sibi saepe figuras

Repperit

-Ovid.

C

Y Correspondents take it ill if I do not, from time to time, let them know I have received their Letters, The most effectual way will be to publish some of them that are upon important Subjects; which I shall introduce with a Letter of my own, that I writ a Fortnight ago to a Fraternity who thought fit to make me an honorary Member.

M

'To

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'To the President and Fellows of the UGLY CLUB. May it please your Deformities,

I have received the Notification of the Honour you have done me, in admitting me into your Society, I acknowledge my Want of Merit, and for that Reason shall endeavour at all times to make up my own Failures, by introducing and recommending to the Club Persons of more undoubted Qualifications than I can pretend to. I shall next Week come down in the Stage Coach, in order to take my Seat at the Board; and shall bring with me a Candidate of each Sex. The Persons I shall present to you, are an old Beau and a modern Pict. If they are not so eminently gifted by Nature as our Assembly expects, give me Leave to say, their acquired Ugliness is greater than any that has ever appeared before you. The Beau has varied his

Dress every Day of his Life for these thirty Years last
past, and still added to the Deformity he was born with.
The Pict has still greater Merit_towards us; and has,
ever since she came to Years of Discretion, deserted the
handsome Party, and taken all possible Pains to acquire
the Face in which I shall present her to your Considera-
tion and Favour, I am, Gentlemen,

Your most Obliged Humble Servant,
The SPECTATOR,
P. S. I desire to know whether you admit People of
Quality,'

'Mr. SPECTATOR,

April 17.

To shew you there are among us of the vain weak Sex, some that have Honesty and Fortitude enough to dare to be ugly, and willing to be thought so; I apply my self to you, to beg your Interest and Recommendation to the Ugly Club. If my own Word will not be taken, (tho' in this Case a Woman's may) I can bring credible Witness of my Qualifications for their Company, whether they insist upon Hair, Forehead, Eyes, Cheeks, or Chin to which I must add, that I find it easier to lean to my left Side, than my Right. I hope I am in all Respects agreeable: And for Humour and Mirth, I'll keep up to

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day,

the President himself. All the Favour I'll pretend to No. 48.
is, that as I am the first Woman has appeared desirous Wednes
of good Company and agreeable Conversation, I may April 25,
take and keep the upper End of the Table,
And in 1711.
deed I think they want a Carver, which I can be after
as ugly a Manner as they can wish.
I desire your
Thoughts of my Claim as soon as you can.
Add to my
Features the Length of my Face, which is full half Yard;
tho' I never knew the Reason of it till you gave one for
the Shortness of yours. If I knew a Name ugly enough
to belong to the above described Face, I would feign one;
but, to my unspeakable Misfortune, my Name is the only
disagreeable Prettiness about me; so prithee make one
for me, that signifies all the Deformity in the Worlds
You understand Latin, but be sure bring it in with my
being, in the Sincerity of my Heart,

Your most frightful Admirer,
and Servant,

'Mr. SPECTATOR,

Hecatissa.'

I read your Discourse upon Affectation, and from the Remarks made in it examined my own Heart so strictly, that I thought I had found out its most secret Avenues, with a Resolution to be aware of you for the future. But alas! to my Sorrow I now understand, that I have several Follies which I do not know the Root of I am an old Fellow, and extreamly troubled with the Gout; but having always a strong Vanity towards being pleasing in the Eyes of Women, I never have a Moment's Ease, but I am mounted in highheel'd Shoes with a glased Wax-leather Instep. Two Days after a severe Fit I was invited to a Friend's House in the City, where I believed I should see Ladies; and with my usual Complaisance crippled my self to wait upon them: A very sumptuous Table, agreeable Com pany, and kind Reception, were but so many importunate Additions to the Torment I was in. A Gentleman of the Family observed my Condition; and soon after the Queen's Health, he, in the Presence of the whole Company, with his own Hands degraded me into an

old

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