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side than my right. I hope I am in all respects a' greeable; and for humour and mirth, I'll keep up " to the president himself. All the favour I'll pretend ( to is, that as I am the first woman that has appeared • desirous of good company and agreeable conversation, ( I may take and keep the upper end of the table : 6 and indeed I think they want a carver, which I can
be after as ugly a manner as they can wish. I desire your thoughts of
my claim as soon as you can. Add 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 describred face, I would feign one; but, to my unspeakable ( misfortune, my name is the only disagreeable pret“ tiness about me; so pr’ythee make one for me that • signifies all the deformity in the world. You un• derstand Latin; but be sure bring it in with being, in the sincerity of my heart, • Your most frightful admirer, and servant,
1 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 you
for the future. But alas! to my sorrow I show ( understand that I have several follies which I do not I know the root of. I am an old fellow and extreme
ly 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 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 la• dies; and with my usual complaisance crippled my( self to wait upon them. A very sumptuous table,
agreeable company, and kind reception, were but so + many importunate additions to the torment I was in. ' A gentleman of the family observed my condition; • and, soon after the queen's health, he, in the pre
sence 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 na6 ture a coxcomb, was suffered with the same reluct
ance as they admit the help of men in their greatest 6 extremity. The return of ease made me forgive " the rough obligation laid upon me, which at that 6 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 paper here the morning they come out, and we have been very well entertained (with your last, upon 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 strol• lers, who are very far from offending in the imper• tinent splendour of the drama. They are so far from • falling into these false gallantrics, that the stage is • here in its original situation of a cart. Alexander 6 the Great was acted by a fellow in a paper cravat. - The next day, the Earl of Essex seemed to have no 6. distress but his poverty; and my Lord Foppington ? the same morning wanted any better means to shew
• himself a fop, than by wearing stockings of different I colours. In a word, though they have had a full
barn for many days together, our itinerants are still
so wretchedly poor, that, without you can prevail to 6.send us the furniture you forbid at the play-house,
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 fel(lows as Alexander, but must presume to make a
mockery of one of the Quorum.
- Your servant.'
No. XLIX. THURSDAY, APRIL 26.
.Hominem pagina nostra sapit.
Men and their manners I describe.
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 Hatterers that never speak a word in praise of the persons from whom they obtain daily favours, but still practice 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 to 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 coffee-house 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 the morning, with faces as busy as if they were retained in every cause there; and others come in their night-gowns to saunter away their time, as if they never designed to go thither. I do not know that I meet, in any of my walks, objects which move both my spleen and laughter so effectually as those young fel. lows at the Grecian, Squire's, Searl's, and all other coffee-houses adjacent to the law, who rise early for no other purpose but to publish their laziness. One would think these young virtuosos take a gay cap and slippers, with a scarf and party.coloured gown, to be ensigns of dignity; for the vain things approach each other with an air; which shews they regard one another for their vestments. I have observed that the superiority among these proceeds from an opinion of gallantry and fashion: the gentleman in the strawberry sash, who presides so much over the rest, has, it seems, subscribed to every opera this last winter, and is supposed to receive favours from one of the actresses.
Whe the day grows too busy for these gentlemen to enjoy any longer the pleasures of their dishabillé, with any manner of confidence, they give place to: men who have business or good sense in their faces, - and come to the coffee-house eitherto transact affairs or enjoy conversation. The persons to whose behaviour.