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. But now that good heart bursts, and he | I never fail of being highly diverted or imis at rest.-With that breath expired a soul proved. The variety of your subjects surwho never indulged a passion unfit for the prises me as much as a box of pictures did place he is gone to. Where are now thy formerly, in which there was only one face, plans of justice, of truth, of honour? Of that by pulling some pieces of isinglass over what use the volumes thou hast collated, it, was changed into a grave senator or a the arguments thou hast invented, the ex- Merry-Andrew, a patched lady or a nun, amples thou hast followed? Poor were the a beaú or a blackamoor, a prude or a coexpectations of the studious, the modest, quette, a country, 'squire or a conjurer, and the good, if the reward of their labours with many other different representations were only to be expected from man. No, very entertaining, (as you are,) though still my friend, thy intended pleadings, thy in- the same at the bottom. This was a childish tended good offices to thy friends, thy in- amusement, when I was carried away with tended services to thy country, are already outward appearance, but you make a deeper performed (as to thy concern in them) impression, and affect the secret springs of in his sight, before whom, the past, pre- the mind; you charm the fancy, soothe the sent, and future appear at one view. While passions, and insensibly lead the reader to others with thy talents were tormented that sweetness of temper that you so well with ambition, with vain-glory, with envy, describe; you rouse generosity with that with emulation, how well didst thou turn spirit, and inculcate humanity with that thy mind to its own improvement in things ease, that he must be miserably stupid that out of the power of fortune; in probity, in is not affected by you. I cannot say, inintegrity, in the practice and study of jus- deed, that you have put impertinence to tice! How silent thy passage, how private silence, or vanity out of countenance; but, thy journey, how glorious thy end! *Many methinks you have bid as fair for it as any have I known more famous, some more man that ever appeared upon a public knowing, not one so innocent." R. stage; and offer an infallible cure of vice
and folly, for the price of one penny; And
since it is usual for those who receive benefit No. 134.) Friday, August 3, 1711.
by such famous operators, to publish an
advertisement, that others may reap the -Opiferque per orbem
same advantage, I think myself obliged to Ovid, Met. Lib. i. 521.
declare to all the world, that having for a And am the great physician call'd below.-Dryden.
long time been splenetic, ill-natured, froDuring my absence in the country, ward, suspicious, and unsociable, by the several packets have been left for me, application of your medicines, taken only which were not forwarded to me, because with half an ounce of right Virginia tobacco, I was expected every day in town. The for six successive mornings, I am become author of the following letter, dated from open, obliging, officious, frank and hospitaTower-hill, having sometimes been enter-ble. I am, your humble servant and great tained with some learned gentlemen in admirer, GEORGE TRUSTY.' plush doublets,* who have vended their wares from a stage in that place, has plea- The careful father and humble petitioner santly enough addressed to me, as no less a hereafter-mentioned, who are under diffisage in morality than those are in physic. culties about the just management of fans, To comply with his kind inclination to will soon receive proper advertisements make my cures famous, I shall give you relating to the professors in that behalf, his testimonial of my great abilities at large with their places of abode and methods of in his own words.
teaching •Tower-hill, July 5, 1711.
July 5, 1711. “SIR,_Your saying the other day there “SIR,-In your Spectator of June 27th, is something wonderful in the narrowness you transcribe a letter sent to you from a of those minds which zan be pleased, and new sort of muster-master, who teaches be barren of bounty to those who please ladies the whole exercise of the fan; I have them, makes me in pain that I am not a a daughter just come to town, who though man in power. If I were, you should soon she has always held a fan in her hand at see how much I approve your speculations. proper times, yet she knows no more how In the mean time, I beg leave to supply to use it according to true discipline than that inability with the empty tribute of an an awkward school-boy does to make use honest mind, by telling you plainly I love of his new sword. I have sent for her on and thank you for your daily refreshments. purpose to learn the exercise, she being I constantly peruse your paper as I smoke already very well accomplished in all other my morning's pipe," (though I cannot for- arts which are necessary for a young lady bear reading the motto before I fill and to understand; my request is, that you will light,) and really it gives a grateful relish speak to your correspondent on my behalf, to every whiff; each paragraph is fraught and in your next paper let me know what either with useful or delightful notions, and he expects, either by the month or the
quarter, for teaching: and where he keeps Quack Doctors.
his place of rendezvous. I have a son, too,
whom I would fain have taught to gallant our writings is thrown much closer together, fans, and should be glad to know what the and lies in a narrower compass than is usual gentleman will have for teaching them both, in the works of foreign authors: for, to faI finding fans for practice at my own ex-vour our natural taciturnity, when we are pence. This information will in the highest obliged to utter our thoughts, we do it in manner oblige, sir, your most humble ser- the shortest way we are able, and give as vant, WILLIAM WISEACRE. quick a birth to our conceptions as possible.
This humour shows itself in several re*As soon as my son is perfect in this art, (which I hope will be in a year's time, for marks that we may make upon the English the boy is pretty apt,) I design he shall language. As first of all by its abounding learn to ride the great horse, (although he in monosyllables, which gives us an opis not yet above twenty years old,) if his portunity of delivering our thoughts in few
sounds. This indeed takes off from the mother, whose darling he is, will venture him.'
elegance of our tongue, but at the same time • To the Spectator.
expresses our ideas in the readiest manner,
and consequently answers the first design of •The humble Petition of BENJAMIN
speech better than the multitude of syllaEASY, Gent. showeth,
bles, which make the words of other lan•That it was your petitioner's misfortune guages more tunable and sonorous. The to walk to Hackney church last Sunday, sounds of our English words are commonly where, to his great amazement, he met like those of string music, short and tranwith a soldier of your own training; she sient, which rise and perish upon a single furls a fan, recovers a fan, and goes through touch; those of other languages are like the the whole exercise of it to admiration. This notes of wind instruments, sweet and swellwell-managed officer of your's has, to my ing, and lengthened out into variety of knowledge, been the ruin of above five modulation. young gentlemen besides myself, and still In the next place we may observe, that goes on laying waste wheresoever she where the words are not monosyllables, we comes, whereby the whole village is in often make them so, as much as lies in our great danger. Our humble request is, power, by our rapidity of pronunciation; as Therefore, that this bold Amazon be or- it generally happens in most of our long dered immediately to lay down her arms, words which are derived from the Latin, or that you would issue forth an order, that where we contract the length of the syllawe who have been thus injured may meet bles that gives them a grave and solemn at the place of general rendezvous, and air in their own language, to make them there be taught to manage our snuff-boxes more proper for despatch, and more conin such a manner as we may be an equal formable to the genius of our tongue. This match for her. And your petitioner shall we may find in a multitude of words, as ever pray, &c.'
• liberty, conspiracy, theatre, orator,' &c.
The same natural aversion to loquacity
has of late years made a very considerable No. 135.] Saturday, August 4, 1711.
alteration in our language, by closing in one
syllable the termination of our præterperEst brevitate opus, ut currat sententia
fect tense, as in these words, drown'd,
walk'd, arriv'd,' for 'drowned, walked, Let brevity despatch the rapid thought.
arrived,' which has very much disfigured I HAVE somewhere read of an eminent the tongue, and turned a tenth part of our person, who used in his private offices of smoothest words into so many clusters of devotion to give thanks to heaven that he consonants. This is the more remarkable, was born a Frenchman: for my own part, because the want of vowels in our language I look upon it as a peculiar blessing that I has been the general complaint of our was born an Englishman. Among many politest authors, who nevertheless are the other reasons, I think myself very happy men that have made these retrenchments, in my country, as the language of it is won- and consequently very much increased our derfully adapted to a man who is sparing former scarcity. of his words, and an enemy to loquacity. This reflection on the words that end in
As I have frequently reflected on my ed, I have heard in conversation, from one good fortune in this particular, I shall com- of the greatest geniuses this age has
promunicate to the public my speculations duced. * I think we may add to the foreupon the English Tongue, not doubting going observation, the change which has but they will be acceptable to all my cu- happened in our language, by the abbrerious readers.
viation of several words that are terminated The English delight in silence more than in eth, by substituting an 8 in the room of any other European nation, if the remarks the last syllable, as in .drowns, walks, arwhich are made on us by foreigners are rives,' and innumerable other words, which true. Our discourse is not kept up in conversation, but falls into more pauses and
* This was probably Dean Swift, who has made the intervals than in our neighbouring coun-Jing, and ascertaining the English Tongue, &c.-Seo
same observation in his proposal for correcting, improv. tries; as it is observed, that the matter of Swift's Works,
Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. x. 9.
in the pronunciation of our forefathers were whether they may have admission or not; 'drowneth, walketh, arriveth.' This has and will never be decided until we have wonderfully multiplied a letter which was something like an academy, that by the best before too frequent in the English tongue, authorities and rules drawn from the analogy and added to that hissing in our language, of languages shall settle all controversies which is taken so much notice of by foreign- between grammar and idiom. ers; but at the same time humours our I have only considered our language as it taciturnity, and eases us of many superflu- shows the genius and natural temper of the ous syllables.
English, which is modest, thoughtful, and I might here observe, that the same sin- sincere, and which, perhaps, may recomgle letter on many occasions does the office mend the people, though it has spoiled the of a whole word, and represents the ‘his' tongue. We might, perhaps, carry the and “her' of our forefathers. There is no same thought into other languages, and dedoubt but the ear of a foreigner, which is duce a great part of what is peculiar to the best judge in this case, would very them from the genius of the people who much disapprove of such innovations, which speak them. It is certain, the light talkaindeed we do ourselves in some measure, tive humour of the French has not a little by retaining the old termination in writing, infected their tongue, which might be shown and in all the solemn offices of our religion. by many instances; as the genius of the
As in the instances I have given we have Italians, which is so much addicted to music epitomized many of our particular words to and ceremony, has moulded all their words the detriment of our tongue, so on other oc- and phrases to those particular uses.
The casions we have drawn two words into one, stateliness and gravity of the Spaniards which has likewise very much untuned our shows itself to perfection in the solemnity language, and clogged it with consonants, as of their language; and the blunt honest
mayn't, can't, shan't, won't,' and the like, humour of the Germans sounds better in for • may not, can not, shall not, will not,' the roughness of the High-Dutch, than it &c.
would in a politer tongue.
C. It is perhaps this humour of speaking no more than we needs must, which has so miserably curtailed some of our words, that No. 136.] Monday, August 6, 1711, in familiar writings and conversations they often lose all but their first syllables, as in
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. i. 112. mob. rep. pos. incog.' and the like; and as all ridiculous words make their first entry
A greater liar Parthia never bred. into a language by familiar phrases, I dare ACCORDING to the request of this strange not answer for these, that they will not in fellow, I shall print the following letter: time be looked upon as a part of our tongue. We see some of our poets have been so in
•Mr. SPECTATOR,- I shall without any discreet as to imitate Hudibras's doggrel manner of preface or apology acquaint you, expressions in their serious compositions,
that I am, and ever have been from my by throwing out the signs of our substan- youth upward one of the greatest liars this tives, which are essential to the English island has produced. I have read all the language. Nay, this humour of shortening moralists upon the subject, but could never our language had once run so far,
find any effect their discourses had upon of our celebrated authors, among whom we me, but to add to my misfortune by new may reckon Sir Roger L'Estrange in par- thoughts and ideas, and making me more ticular, began to prune their words of all ready in my language, and capable of somesuperfluous letters, as they termed them, times mixing seeming truths with my imin order to adjust the spelling to the pro- probabilities. With this strong passion tonunciation; which would have confounded wards falsehood in this kind, there does not all our etymologies, and have quite de- live an honester man, or a sincerer friend; stroyed our tongue.
but my imagination runs away with me, We may here likewise observe that our and whatever is started, I have such a proper names when familiarized in English, scene of adventures appears in an instant generally dwindle to monosyllables, whereas before me, that I cannot help uttering them, in other modern languages they receive a
though to my immediate confusion, I cansofter turn on this occasion, by the addition not but know I am liable to be detected by of a new syllable.—Nick in Italian is Nico- the first man I meet. lina; Jack in French Janot; and so of the
•Upon occasion of the mention of the rest.
battle of Pultowa, * I could not forbear There is another particular in our lan- giving an account of a kinsman of mine, a guage which is a great instance of our fru- young merchant who was bred at Moscow, gality of words, and that is, the suppressing that had too much mettle to attend books of several particles which must be pro
of entries and accounts, when there was so duced in other tongues to make a sentence intelligible. This often perplexes the best
* Fought July 8, 1709, between Charles XII. of Swe. writers, when they find the relatives,
den and Peter L. emperor of Russia: wherein Charles
was entirely defeated, and compelled to seek refuge in whom, which,' or 'they,' at their mercy, I Turkey.
active a scene in the country where he re-consequently been subject to the more ridisided, and followed the Czar as a volunteer. cule. I once endeavoured to cure myself of This warm youth (born at the instant the this impertinent quality, and resolved to thing was spoke of) was the man who un- hold my tongue for seven days together; I horsed the Swedish general, he was the did so, but then I had so many winks and occasion that the Muscovites kept their fire unnecessary distortions of my face upon in so soldier-like a manner, and brought up what any body else said, that I'found I only those troops which were covered from the forbore the expression, and that I still lied eneny at the beginning of the day; besides in my heart to every man I met with. You this, he had at last the good fortune to be are to know one thing, (which I believe you the man who took Count Piper. * With all will say is a pity, considering the use I this fire I knew my cousin to be the civilest should have made of it,) I never travelled creature in the world. He never made any in my life; but I do not know whether I impertinent show of his valour, and then he could have spoken of any foreign country had an excellent genius for the world in with more familiarity than I do at present, every other kind. I had letters from him in company who are strangers to me. I (here I felt in my pockets) that exactly have cursed the inns in Germany; comspoke the Czar's character, which I knew mended the brothels at Venice; the freeperfectly well; and I could not forbear con- dom of conversation in France; and though cluding, that I lay with his imperial majesty I never was out of this dear town, and fifty twice or thrice a week all the while he miles about it, have been three nights tolodged at Deptford. †, What is worse than gether dogged by bravos, for an intrigue all this, it is impossible to speak to me, but with a cardinal's mistress at Rome. you give me some occasion of coming out • It were endless to give you particulars with one lie or other, that has neither wit, of this kind; but I can assure you, Mr. Spechumour, prospect of interest, or any other tator, there are about twenty or thirty of motive that I can think of in nature. The us in this town: I mean, by this town, the other day, when one was commending an cities of London and Westminster; I say eminent and learned divine, what occasion there are in town a sufficient number of us in the world had I to say, Methinks he to make a society among ourselves; and would look more venerable if he were not since we cannot be believed any longer, I so fair a man?' I remember the company beg of you to print this my letter, that we smiled. I have seen the gentleman since, may meet together, and be under such and he is coal-black. I have intimations regulation as there may be no occasion for every day in my life that nobody believes belief or confidence among us. If you think me, yet I am never the better. I was say- fit, we might be called "The Historians," ing something the other day to an old friend for liar is become a very harsh word. And at Will's coffee-house, and he made no that a member of the society may not heremanner of answer; but told me that an ac- after be ill received by the rest of the world, quaintance of Tully the orator having two I desire you would explain a little this sort or three times together said to him, with-of men, and not let us historians be ranked, cut receiving any answer, “that upon his as we are in the imagination of ordinary honour he was but that very month forty people, among common liars, make-bates, years of age;" Tully answered, “Surely impostors, and incendiaries. For your inyou think me the most incredulous man in struction herein, you are to know that an the world, if I do not believe what you have historian in conversation is only a person of told me every day these ten years. The so pregnant a fancy, that he cannot be conmischief of it is, I find myself wonderfully tented with ordinary occurrences. I know inclined to have been present at every oc- a man of quality of our order, who is of the currence that is spoken of before me; this wrong side of forty-three, and has been of has led me into many inconveniences, but that age, according to Tully's jest, for some indeed they have been the fewer, because years since, whose vein is upon the romanI am no ill-natured man, and never speak tic. Give him the least occasion, and he things to any man's disadvantage. I never will tell you something so very particular directly defame, but I do what is as bad in that happened in such a year, and in such the consequence, for I have often made a company, where by the by was present such man say such and such a lively expression, a one, who was afterwards made such a who was born a mere elder brother. When thing. Out of all these circumstances, in one has said in my hearing, “Such a one is the best language of the world, he will join no wiser than he should be," I immediately together, with such probable incidents, an have replied, “Now, 'faith, I cannot see account that shows a person of the deepest that, he said a very good thing to my lord penetration, the honestest mind, and withal Such-a-One, upon such an occasion, and something so humble when he speaks of the like.” Such an honest dolt as this has himself, that you would admire. Dear sir, been watched in every expression he utter- why should this be lying! There is nothing ed, upon my recommendation of him, and so instructive. He has withal the gravest
aspect; something so very venerable and * Prime Minister of Charles XII.
great! Another of these historians is In the spring of the year 1698.
young man whom we would take in, thougl.
he extremely wants parts; as people send / together; the master knows not how to prechildren (before they can learn any thing,) serve respect, nor the servant how to give to school, to keep them out of harni's way. it. It seems this person is of a sullen na
He tells things which have nothing at ture, that he knows but little satisfaction all in them, and can neither please nor dis- in the midst of a plentiful fortune, and please, but merely take up your time to no secretly frets to see any appearance of conmanner of purpose, no manner of delight; tent in one that lives upon the hundredth but he is good-natured, and does it because part of his income, while he is unhappy in he loves to be saying something to you, and the possession of the whole. Uneasy perentertain you.
sons, who cannot possess their own minds, 'I could name you a soldier that hath vent their spleen upon all who depend upon done very great things without slaughter; them; which, I think, is expressed in a he is prodigiously dull and slow of head, lively manner in the following letters. but what he can say is for ever false, so that
*August 2, 1711. we must have him.
“SIR, I have read your Spectator of the "Give me leave to tell you of one more, third of the last month, and wish I had the who is a lover; he is the most afflicted crea- happiness of being preferred to serve so ture in the world, lest what happened be- good a master as Sir Roger. The character tween him and a great beauty should ever of my master is the very reverse of that be known. Yet again he comforts himself. good and gentle knight's. All his direc-“Hang the jade, her woman. If money tions are given, and his mind revealed, by can keep the slut trusty I will do it, though way of contraries: as when any thing is to I mortgage every acre; Anthony and Cleo- be remembered, with a peculiar cast of face patra for that; all for love and the world he cries, “ Be sure to forget now.” If I am well lost." "Then, sir, there is my little merchant, two hours; be sure to call by the way upon
to make haste back, “ Do not come these honest Indigo, of the 'Change, there is my some of your companions.' Then another man for loss and gain; there is tare and tret, excellent way of his is, if he sets me any there is lying all round the globe; he has thing to do, which he knows must necessasuch a prodigious intelligence, he knows all rily take up half a day, he calls ten times the French are doing, or what we intend in a quarter of an hour to know whether I or our ht to intend, and has it from such have done yet. This is his manner; and hands. -But, alas, whither am I running! the same perverseness runs through all his while I complain, while I remonstrate to actions, according as the circumstances you, even all this is a lie, and there is not vary. Besides all this, he is so suspicious, one such person of quality, lover, soldier, that he submits himself to the drudgery of or merchant, as I have now described in a spy. He is as unhappy himself as he the whole world, that I know of. But I will makes his servants: he is constantly watchcatch myself once in my life, and in spite ing us, and we differ no more in pleasure of nature speak one truth, to wit, that I am and liberty than as a jailer and a prisoner. your humble servant, &c.'
He lays traps for faults, and no sooner makes
as I am more ashamed of for coming from No. 137.] Tuesday, August 7, 1711. him, than for being directed to me. This,
At hæc etiam servis semper libera fuerunt, timerent, sir, is a short sketch of a niaster I have gauderent, dolerent, suo potius quam alterius arbitrio served upwards of nine years, and though
I have never wronged him, Í confess my Even slaves were always at liberty to fear, rejoice, despair of pleasing him has very much and grieve, at their own rather than another's pleasures. abated my endeavour to do it. If you will
It is no small concern to me, that I find give me leave to steal a sentence out of my so many complaints from that part of man- master's Clarendon, I shall tell you my kind whose portion it is to live in servitude, case in a word—“Being used worse than I that those whom they depend upon will deserved, I cared less to deserve well than not allow them to be even as happy as their I had done.” I am, sir, your humble sercondition will admit of. There are, as these vant,
RALPH VALET.' unhappy correspondents inform me, mas
Dear Mr. SPECTER, I am the next ters who are offended at a cheerful counte- thing to a lady's woman, and am under both nance, and think a servant has broke loose from them, if he does not preserve the ut- them both, that I should be very glad to
my lady and her woman. I am so used by most awe in their presence. There is one see them both in the Specter. My lady who says, if he looks satisfied, his master herself is of no mind in the world, and for asks him, What makes him so pert this that reason her woman is of twenty minds morning?' if a little sour, ‘Hark ye, sirrah, in a moment. My lady is one that never are not you paid your wages?' The poor knows what to do with herself ; she pulls on creatures live in the most extreme misery and puts off every thing she wears twenty
times before she resolves upon it for that *This is an allusion to Dryden's play of All for Love, or the World well Lost. It is generally considered the day. I stand at one end of the room, and best dramatic production of that great man.
reach things to her woman, When my