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attempt, or he that aimed at what would have been ufeful and laudable, meets with contempt and derifion, the envious man, under the colour of hating vainglory, can fmile with an inward wantonnefs of heart at the ill effect it may have upon an honeft ambition for the future.
Having thoroughly confidered the nature of this paffion, I have made it my ftudy to avoid the envy that may accrue to me from thefe my fpeculations; and if I am not mistaken in myself, I think I have a genius to efcape it. Upon hearing in a coffee-houfe one of my papers commended, I immediately apprehended the envy that would fpring from that applaufe, and therefore gave a defcription of my face the next day; being refolved, as I grow in reputation for wit, to refign my pretenfions to beauty. This, I hope, may give fome eafe to those unhappy gentlemen who do me the honour to torment themfelves upon the account of this my paper. As their cafe is very deplorable, and deferves compaffion, I fhall fometimes be dull, in pity to them; and will, from time to time, adminifter confolations to them, by further dif coveries on my perfon. In the mean while, if any one fays 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 themfelves by confidering that his face is none of the longeft.
No. XX. FRIDAY, MARCH 23.
Κυν©· ὅμματ ἔχων
Thou dog in forehead!
AMONG 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 fuch 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 trefpafs of this kind with that command of herself as befits beauty and innocence, and yet with fo much spirit as fufficiently expreffes her indignation. The whole tranfaction is performed with the eyes; and the crime is no less than employing them in fuch a manner as to divert the eyes of others from the beft ufe they can make of them, even looking up to heaven.
THERE never was, I believe, an acceptable man but had fone awkward imitators. Ever fince the Spectator appeared have I remarked a kind of men, whom I choofe to call Starers; that, without any re'gard to time, place, or modefty, difturb a large company with their impertinent eyes. Spectators make up a proper affembly for puppet-show or a bear-garden; but devout fupplicants and attentive hearers are the audience one ought to expect in churches. I am, Sir, ⚫ member of a fmall 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 difturbed with one of these monftrous Starers: he's the head taller than any one in the church; but, for the greater advantage of expofing himself, ftands upon a haffoc, and commands the whole congregation, to the great annoyance of the devoutest part of the auditory; for what with blufhing, confufion, and vexation, we can neither mind the prayers nor fermon. Your animadverfion upon this infolence would be a " great favour to,
Your most humble fervant,
I have frequently feen of this fort 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 facrednefs of the place which he violates. Many reflections of this fort might be very juftly made upon this kind of behaviour, but a Starer is not usually a perfon to be convinced by the reason of the thing; and a fellow that is capable of fhewing an impudent front before a whole congregation, and can bear being a public fpectacle, is not fo eafily rebuked as to amend by admonitions. If therefore my correfpondent does not inform me, that within seven days after this date the barbarian does not at leaft ftand upon his own legs only, without an eminence, my friend, Will Profper, has promifed to take an hafsoc oppofite to him, and stare agains him, in defence of the ladies. I have given him directions, according to the most exact rules of optics, to place himfelf 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 whofe behalf he engages him, caft kind looks and wifhes of fuccefs at their champion, he will have fome fhame, and feel a little of the pain he has fo 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 infefted public affemblies; and I know no other way to obviate fo great an evil, except, in the cafe of fixing their eyes upon women, fome male friend will take the part of such as are under the oppreffion of impudence, 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 caft yielding glances at the Starers; and, in this cafe, a man who has no fenfe of fhame has the fame advantage over his miftrefs as he who has no regard for his own life over his adverfary. While the generality of the world are fettered by rules, and move by proper and juft methods, he, who has no refpect to any of them, 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 fort of outlaw in good-breeding, and therefore what is faid of him no nation or perfon can be concerned for: for this reason, one
may be free upon him. I have put myself to great pains in confidering this prevailing quality which we call impudence, and have taken notice that it exerts itfelf in a different manner according to the different foils wherein fuch subjects of thefe 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 abfurd and fawning: as the course of the world now runs, the impudent Englishman behaves like a furly landlord, the Scot like an ill-received gueft, and the Irishman like a ftranger who knows he is not welcome. There is feldom 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 fenfe of it; the best and most fuccessful starers now in this town, are of that nation; they have ufually the advantage of the ftature mentioned in the above letter of my correfpondent, and generally take their ftands 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 out 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 thefe people have ufually the preference to our own fools, in the opinion of the fillier part of womankind. Perhaps it is, that an English coxcomb is feldom fo obfequious as an Irish one; and when the design of pleafing is visible, an abfurdity 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 fet of fellows among us who profefs impudence with an air of humour, and think to carry off
the most inexcufeable of all faults in the world, with no other apology than faying in a gay tone, I put an "impudent face upon the matter." No: no man fhall be allowed the advantages of impudence who is conscious that he is fuch; if he knows he is impudent he may as well be otherwife; and it fhall be expected that he blush when he fees 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.
There's room enough, and each may bring his friend.
AM fometimes very much troubled when I reflect upon the three great profeffions,-of Divinity, Law, and Phyfic; 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 fubalterns. Among the first we may reckon bishops, deans, and archdeacons: among the fecond are doctors of divinity, prebendaries, and all that wear fcarves: the reft are comprehended under the fubalterns. As for the firft clafs, our conftitution preferves it from any redundancy of incumbents, notwithstanding competitors are numberless. Upon a ftrict calculation it is found that there has been a great exceeding of late years in the fecond divifion, feveral brevets having been granted for the converting of fubalterns into scarf-officers; infomuch that within my memory the price of luteftring 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 fplitting of