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attempt, or he that aimed at what would have been use. ful and laudable, meets with contempt and derision, the envious man, under the colour of hating vainglory, can smile with an inward wantonness of heart at the ill effect it may have upon an honest ambition for the future.
Having thoroughly considered the nature of this pafsion, I have made it my study to avoid the envy that may accrue to me from these my speculations; and if I am not mistaken in myself, I think I have a genius to escape it. Upon hearing in a coffee-house one of my papers commended, I immediately apprehended the envy that would spring from that applause, and therefore gave a description of my face the next day; being resolved, as I grow in reputation for wit, to resign my pretensions to beauty. This, I hope, may give some ease to those unhappy gentlemen who do me the honour to torment themselves upon the account of this my paper. As their case is very deplorable, and deserves compaffion, I shall fometimes be dull, in pity to them; and will, from time to time, administer confolations to them, by further discoveries on my person. In the mean while, if any one says the Spectator has wit, it may be fome relief to them to think that he does not fhew it in company; and if any one praises his morality, they may comfort themselves by considering that his face is none of the longest.
FRIDAY, MARCH 23.
-Κυν© όμματ έχων------
Hom. Thou dog in forehead!
РОРЕ. A MONG the other hardy undertakings which I have
proposed to myself, that of the correction of impudence is what I have very much at heart. This, in a particular manner, is my province as Spectator; for it is generally an offence committed by the eyes, and that against such as the offenders would perhaps never have
an opportunity of injuring any other way. The following letter is a complaint of a young lady, who fets forth a trespass of this kind with that command of herself as befits beauty and innocence, and yet wiih so much fpirit as susficiently expresses her indignation. The whole transaction is performed with the eyes; and the crime is no less than employing them in such a manner as to divert the eyes of others from the best use they can make of them, even looking up to heaven.
' THERE never was, I believe, an acceptable man . but had foine awkward imitators. Ever since the
Spectator appeared have I remarked a kind of men, ' whom I choose to call Starers; that, without any re
gard to time, place, or modesty, disturb a large company with their impertinent eyes. Spectators make up
a proper assembly for puppet-show or a bear-garden ; .but devout supplicants and attentive hearers are the • audience one ought to expect in churches. I am, Sir, • member of a small pious congregation, near one of the ' north gates of this city; much the greater part of us • indeed are females, and used to behave ourselves in a • regular attentive manner, till very lately one whole aisle • has been disturbed with one of these monitrous Starers: • he's the head taller than any one in the church; but, • for the greater advantage of exposing himself, stands
upon a hassoc, and commands the whole congregation,
to the great annoyance of the devourest part of the au. ditory; for what with blushing, confusion, and vexa- tion, we can neither mind the prayers nor sermon. • Your animadversion upon this infolence would be a
great favour to,
I have frequently seen of this sort of fellows, and do not think there can be a greater aggravation of an offence, than that it is committed where the criminal is protected by the sacredness of the place which he violates. Many refections of this fort might be very justly made upon this kind of behaviour, but a Starer is not usually a person to be convinced by the reason of the thing; and a fellow that is capable of thewing an impudent front before a whole congregation, and can bear being a public spectacle, is not so easily rebuked as to amend by admonitions. If therefore my correspondent does not inform me, that within seven days after this date the bar. barian does not at least stand upon his own legs only, without an eminence, my friend, Will Prosper, has promised to take an haffoc opposite to him, and stare againk him, in defence of the ladies. I have given him directions, according to the most exact rules of optics, to place himself in fuch a manner that he shall meet his eyes whereever he throws them; I have hopes that when Will confronts him, and all the ladies, in whose behalf he engages him, cast kind looks and wishes of success at their chanrpion, he will have some fhame, and feel a little of the pain he has so often put others to, of being out of
It has indeed been time out of mind generally remarked, and as often lamented, that this family of Starers have infested public allemblies; and I know no other way to obviate so great an evil, except, in the case of fixing their eyes upon women, fome male friend will take the part of such as are under the oppression of iinpudence, and encounter the eyes of the Starers whereever they meet them. While we fuffer our women to be thus impudently attacked, they have no defence, but in the end to cait yielding glances at the Starers; and, in this case, a man who has no sense of shame has the fame advantage over his mistress as he who has no regard for his own life over his adversary. While the generality of the world are fettered by rules, and move by proper and juft methods, he, who has no respect to any of thcm, carries away the reward due to that propriety
of behaviour, with no other merit than that of having neglected it.
I take an impudent fellow to be a sort of outlaw in good-breeding, and therefore what is faid of him no nation or person can be concerned for: for this reason, one may be free upon him. I have put inyfelf to great pains in considering this prevailing quality ivhich we call impudence, and have taken notice that it exerts itself in a different manner according to the different foils wherein such subjects of these dominions, as are masters of it, were born. Impudence in an Englishman is fullen and infolent; in a Scotchman it is untractable and rapacious; in an Irishman absurd and fawning: as the course of the world now runs, the impudent Englishman behaves like a surly landlord, the Scot like an ill-received guest, and the Irishman like a stranger who knows he is not wela
There is seldom any thing entertaining either in the impudence of a South or North Briton; but that of an Irishman is always comic. A true and genuine impudence is ever the effect of ignorance, without the leaft sense of it; the best and most successful ftarers now in this town, are of that nation; they have usually the advantage of the stature mentioned in the above letter of my correspondent, and generally take their stands in the eye of women of fortune; infomuch that I have known one of them, three months after he came from plough, with a tolerable good air lead vut a woman from a play, which one of our own breed, after four years at Oxford and two at the Temple, would have been afraid to look at.
I cannot tell how to account for it; but these people have usually the preference to our own fools, in the opinion of the fillier part of womankind. Perhaps it is, that an English coxcomb is seldom so obsequious as an Irish one; and when the design of pleasing is visible, an absurdity in the way toward it is easily forgiven.
But those who are downright impudent, and go on without reflection that they are fuch, are more to be tolerated than a set of fellows among us who profess impudence with an air of humour, and think to carry off
the most inexcuseable of all faults in the world, with no other apology than saying in a gay tone, “ I put an “ impudent face upon the matter.” No: no man shall be allowed the advantages of impudence who is conscious that he is such; if he knows he is impudent he may as well be otherwise; and it shall be expected that he blush when he sees he makes another do it: for nothing can atone for the want of modesty; without which beauty is ungraceful, and wit deteftable
No. XXI. SATURDAY, MARCH 24.
Locus eft & pluribus umbris.
HOR. There's room enough, and each may bring his friend.
AM fometimes very much troubled when I reflect
upon the three great professions,—of Divinity, Law, and Physic; how they are each of them overburdened with practitioners, and filled with multitudes of ingenious gentlemen that ftarve one another.
We may divide the clergy into generals, field officers, and subalterns. Among the first we may reckon bithops, deans, and archdeacons: among the second are doctors of divinity, prebendaries, and all that wear scarves: the rest are comprehended under the fubalterns. As for the first class, our constitution preserves it from dancy of incumbents, notivithstanding competitors are numberless. Upon a strict calculation it is found that there has been a great exceeding of late years in the lecond division, several brevets having been granted for the converting of subalterns into scarf-officers; infimuch that within my memory the price of lutestring is raised above two-pence in a yard. . As for the fubalterns, they are not to be numbered. Should our clergy once enter into the corrupt practice of the laity, by the splitting of