« ZurückWeiter »
is no wonder to see people endeavouring after it. But at the same time it is so very hard to hit, when it is not born with us, that people often make themselves ridiculous in attempting it.
A very ingenious French author tells us, that the ladies of the court of France in his time thought it ill-breeding, and a kind of female pedantry, to pronounce a hard word right; for which reason they took frequent occasion to use hard words, that they might shew a politeness in murdering them. He farther adds, that a lady of some quality at court, having accidentally made use of a hard word in a proper place, and pronounced it right, the whole assembly was out of countenance for her.
I must however be so just to own, that there are many ladies who have travelled several thousands of miles without being the worse for it, and have brought home with them all the modesty, discretion, and good sense, that they went abroad with. As on the contrary, there are great numbers of travelled ladies, who have lived all their days within the smoke of London. I have known a woman that never was out of the parish of St. James's betray as many foreign fopperies in her carriage, as she could have gleaned up in half the countries of Europe.
No 46. MONDAY, APRIL 23, 1711.
Non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum.
Ovid. Met. l. i. ver. 9.
it is my custom to go abroad in quest of game; and when I
meet any proper subject, I take the first opportunity of setting down a hint of it upon paper. At the same time I look into the letters of my correspondents, and if I find any thing suggested in them that may afford matter of speculation, I likewise enter a minute of it in my collection of materials. By this means I frequently carry about me a whole sheetful of hints, that would look like a rhapsody of nonsense to any body but myself. There is nothing in them but obscurity and confusion, raving and inconsistency. In short, they are my speculations in the first principles, that like the world in its chaos) are void of all light, distinction, and order.
About a week since there happened to me a very odd accident, by reason of one of these my papers of minutes which I had accidentally dropped at Lloyd's coffee-house, where the auctions are usually kept. Before I missed it, there were a cluster of people who had found it, and were diverting themselves with it at one end of the coffee-house. It had raised so much laughter among them before I had observed what they were about, that I had not the courage to own it. The boy of the coffee-house, when they had done with it, carried it about in his hand, asking every body if they had dropped a written paper; but nobody challenging it, he was ordered by those merry gentlemen who had before perused it, to get up into the auction pulpit, and read it to the whole room, that if any one would own it, they might. The boy accordingly mounted the pulpit, and with a very audible voice read as follows:
Sir Roger de Coverley's country-seat-Yes, for I hate long speeches-Query, if a good Christian may be a conjurer—Childermas-day, saltseller, housedog, screech-owl, cricket-Mr. Thomas Incle of London, in the good ship called the Achilles. Yarico- Ægrescitque medendo-Ghosts—The Lady's Library-Lion by trade a tailor-Dromedary called Bucephalus—Equipage the lady's summum bonumCharles Lillie to be taken notice of Short face a relief to envy-Redundancies in the three professions-King Latinus a recruit-Jew devouring a ham of bacon-Westminster-abbey-Grand Cairo-Procrastination-April fools-Blue boars, red lions, hogs in armour-Enter a King and two Fiddlers solus=Admission into the Ugly club—Beauty how improvable-Families of true and false humour The parrot's school-mistress-Face half Pict half British-No man to be a hero of a tragedy under six foot-Club of sighers-Letters from flower-pots, elbow-chairs, tapestry-figures, lion, thunder - The bell rings to the puppet-show-old woman with a beard married to a smock-faced boy-My next coat to be turned up with blue-Fable of tongs and gridiron-Flower dyers—The soldier's prayer
Thank ye for nothing, says the gallipotPactolus in stockings with golden clocks to themBamboos, cudgels, drum-sticks—Slip of my landlady's eldest daughter, The black mare with a star in her forehead-The barber's pole—Will Honeycomb's coat-pocket-Cæsar's behaviour and my own in parallel circumstances—Poem in patch-workNulli gravis est percussus Achilles—The female conyenticler—The ogle-master.
The reading of this paper made the whole coffeehouse very merry; some of them concluded it was written by a madman, and others by somebody that had been taking notes out of the Spectator. One who had the appearance very
substantial citizen, told us, with several political winks and nods, that he wished there was no more in the
than what was expressed in it: that for his part, he looked
upon the dromedary, the gridiron, and the barber's pole, to signify something more than what was usually meant by those words: and that he thought the coffee-man could not do better than to carry the paper to one of the secretaries of state. He farther added, that he did not like the name of the outlandish man with the golden clock in his stockings. A young Oxford scholar, who chanced to be with his uncle at the coffee-house, discovered to us who this Pactolus was: and by that means turned the whole scheme of this worthy citizen into ridicule. While they were making their several conjectures upon this innocent paper, I reached out my arm to the boy as he was coming out of the pulpit, to give it me; which he did accordingly. This drew the eyes of the whole company upon me; but after having cast a cursory glance over it, and shook my head twice or thrice at the reading of it, I twisted it into a kind of match, and lighted my pipe with it. My profound silence, together with the steadiness of my countenance, and the gravity of my behaviour during this whole transaction, raised a very loud laugh on all sides of me; but as I had escaped all suspicion of being the author, I was very well satisfied, and applying myself to my pipe and the Postman, took no farther notice of any thing that had passed about me.
My reader will find, that I have already made use of above half the contents of the foregoing paper; and will easily suppose, that those subjects which are yet untouched were such provisions as I had made for his future entertainment. But as I have been unluckily prevented by this accident, I shall only give him the letters which related to the two last hints. The first of them I should not have published, were I not informed that there is many a husband who suffers very much in his private affairs by
the indiscreet zeal of such a partner as is hereafter mentioned ; to whom I may apply the barbarous inscription quoted by the Bishop of Salisbury in his travels; • Dum nimia pia est, facta est impia:' Through too much piety she became impious.'
• SIR, 'I am one of those unhappy men that are plagued with a gospel-gossip, so common among dissenters (especially friends). Lectures in the morning, churchmeetings at noon, and preparation-sermons at night, take up so much of her time, it is very rare she knows what we have for dinner, unless when the preacher is to be at it. With him come a tribe, all brothers and sisters it seems; while others, really such, are deemed no relations. If at any time I have her company alone, she is a mere sermon pop-gun, repeating and discharging texts, proofs, and applications so perpetually, that however weary I may go to bed, the noise in my head will not let me sleep till towards morning. The misery of my case, and great numbers of such
sufferers, plead your pity and speedy relief; otherwise must expect, in a little time, to be lectured, preached, and prayed into want, unless the happiness of being sooner talked to death prevent it.
I am, &c.
The second letter, relating to the ogling-master, runs thus :
• MR. SPECTATOR, • I am an Irish gentleman that have travelled many years for my improvement; during which time I have accomplished myself in the whole art of ogling, as it is at present practised in the polite nations of Europe. Being thus qualified, I intend, by the advice of my friends, to set up for an ogling-master. I teach the church ogle in the morning, and the play