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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
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 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 consideration and favour.
I am, Gentlemen, ,
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 myself to you, to beg your interest and recommendation to the ugly club. If my own word will not be taken (though in this case a woman's may), I can bring credible witnesses 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 to my right. I hope I am in all respects agreeable; and for humour and mirth, I will keep up to the president himself. All the favour I will pretend to is, that as I am the first woman who has appeared desirous of good company and agreeable conversation, I may take and keep the upper end of the table. And indeed I think they want a carver, which I can be, after as ugly a manner as they could 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; though 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 prythee make one for me that signifies all the deformity in the world. You understand Latin, but be sure bring it in with my being, in the sincerity of my heart, Your most frightful admirer and servant,
HECATISSA.” • MR. SPECTATOR,
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 them 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 extremely 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 high-heeled shoes, with a glazed 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 myself to wait upon them. A very sumptuous table, agreeable company, and kind reception, were but so many import inate additions to the torment I was in. A gentleman of the family observed my conditioni; and soon after the queen's health, he in the presence of the whole company, with his own hands, degraded me into an old pair of his own shoes. This operation before fine ladies, to me (who am by nature a coxcomb) was suffered with the same reluctance as they admit the help of men in their greatest extremity. The return of ease made me forgive the rough obligation laid on me, which at that time relieved my body from a distemper, and will my mind for ever from a folly. For the charity received, I return my thanks this way.
Your most humble servant.'
Epping, April 18. • We have your papers here the morning they come out, and we have been
well entertained with your
the false ornaments of persons who represent heroes in a tragedy. What made your speculation come very seasonably among us is, that we have now at this place a company of strollers, who are far from offending in the impertinent splendour of the drama. They are so far from falling into these false gallantries, that the stage is here in its original situation of a cart. Alexander the Great was acted by a fellow in a paper cravat. The next day the Earl of Essex seemed to have no distress but bis poverty; and my Lord Foppington the same morning wanted any better means to shew himself a fop, than by wearing stockings of different colours. In a word, though they have had a full barn for many days together, our itinerants are so wretchedly poor,
that without you can prevail to send us the furniture you forbid at the playhouse, the heroes appear only like sturdy beggars, and the heroines gipsies. We have had but one part which was performed and dressed with propriety, and that was Justice Clodpate. This was so well done, that it offended Mr. Justice Overdo, who, in the midst of our whole audience, was (like Quixote in the puppet-show) so highly provoked, that he told them, if they would move compassion, it should be in their own persons, and not in the characters of distressed princes and potentates. He told them, if they were so good at finding the way to people's hearts, they should do it at the end of bridges or church-porches, in their proper vocation of beggars. This, the justice says, they must expect, since they could not be contented to act heathen warriors, and such fellows as Alexander, but must presume to make a mockery of one
of the quorum.
N° 49. THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 1711.
-Hominem pagina nostra sapit.—MART.
It is very natural for a man who is not turned for mirthful meetings of men, or assemblies of the fair sex, to delight in that sort of conversation which we find in coffee-houses. Here a man of my temper is in his element; for if he cannot talk, he can still be more agreeable to his company, as well as pleased in himself, in being only a hearer. It is a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him. The latter is the more general desire, and I know very able flatterers that never speak a word in praise of the persons from whom they obtain daily favours, but still practise a skilful attention to whatever is uttered by those with whom they converse. We are very curious to observe the behaviour of great men and their clients ; but the same passions and interests move men in lower spheres ; and I (that have nothing else to do but make observations) see in every parish, street, lane, and alley, of this populous city, a little potentate that has his court and his flatterers, who lay snares for his affection and favour, by the same arts that are practised
upon men in higher stations. In the place I most usually frequent, men differ rather in the time of day in which they make a figure, than in any real greatness above one another. I, who am at the coffee-house at six in the morning, know that my friend Beaver, the haberdasher, has a levee of more undissembled friends and admirers, than most of the courtiers or generals of Great Britain. Every man about him has, perhaps, a newspaper in his hand; but none can pretend to guess what step will be taken in any one court of Europe, till Mr. Beaver has thrown down his pipe, and declares what measures the allies must enter into upon this new posture of affairs. Our coffeehouse is near one of the inns of court, and Beaver has the audience and admiration of his neighbours from six till within a quarter of eight, at which time he is interrupted by the students of the house; some of whom are ready dressed for Westminster at eight in a morning, with faces as busy as if they were retained in every cause there ; and others come in their