[blocks in formation]

such an occasion, will not fail to be raised against me for partiality, injustice, corruption, and other qualities which my nature abhors, I have formed to myself the project of a club as follows.

I have thoughts of issuing out writs to all and every of the clubs that are established in the cities of London and Westminster, requiring them to chuse out of their respective bodies a person of the greatest merit, and to return his name to me

before Lady-day, at which time I intend to sit upon business. 10 By this means I may have reason to hope, that the club over

which I shall preside, will be the very flower and quintessence of all other clubs. I have communicated this my project to none but a particular friend of mine, whom I have celebrated twice or thrice for his happiness in that kind of wit which is commonly known by the name of a pun. The only objection he makes to it is, that I shall raise up enemies to myself if I act with so regal an air, and that my detractors, instead of giving me the usual title of Spectator, will be apt to call me the King of Clubs.

But to proceed on my intended project: it is very well known 20 that I at first set forth in this work with the character of a silent

man; and I think I have so well preserved my taciturnity, that I do not remember to have violated it with three sentences in the space of almost two years. As a monosyllable is my delight, I have made a very few excursions in the conversations which I have related, beyond a yes or a no. By this means my readers have lost many good things which I have had in my heart though I did not care for uttering them.

Now, in order to diversify my character, and to shew the world how well I can talk if I have a mind, I have thoughts of 30 being very loquacious in the club which I have now under con

sideration. But that I may proceed the more regularly in this affair, I design upon the first meeting of the said club, to have my mouth opened in form ; intending to regulate myself in this particular by a certain ritual which I have by me, that contains all the ceremonies which are practised at the opening the mouth of a Cardinal n. I have likewise examined the forms which were used of old by Pythagoras, when any of his scholars, after an apprenticeship of silence, was made free of his speech". In

the mean time, as I have of late found my name in foreign 40 gazettes upon less occasions, I question not but in their next

articles from Great Britain, they will inform the world that the Spectator's mouth is to be opened on the twenty-fifth of March next. I may perhaps publish a very useful paper at that time of the proceedings in that solemnity, and of the persons who shall assist at it. But of this more hereafter.-O.



No. 10. Great success of the Spectator'; its large circulation ;

what sort of persons ought to read it; it is especially recommended to female readers.

Non aliter quam qui adverso vix flumine lembum
Remigiis subigit : si brachia forte remisit,
Atque illum in præceps prono rapit alveus amni.

Virg. Georg. 1. 201.
So the boat's brawny crew the current stem,
And slow advancing, struggle with the stream;
But if they slack their hands, or cease to strive,
Then down the flood with headlong haste they drive.


It is with much satisfaction that I hear this great city inquiring, day by day, after these my papers, and receiving my morning lectures with a becoming seriousness and attention. My publisher tells me that there are already three thousand of them distributed every day, so that if I allow twenty readers to every paper, which I look upon as a modest computation, I may reckon about threescore thousand disciples in London and Westminster, who I hope will take care to distinguish themselves from the

thoughtless herd of their ignorant and unattentive brethren. 10 Since I have raised to myself so great an audience, I shall spare

no pains to make their instruction agreeable, and their diversion useful. For which reasons I shall endeavour to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality, that my readers may, if possible, both ways find their account in the speculation of the day. And to the end that their virtue and discretion may not be short, transient, intermitting starts of thought, I have resolved to refresh their memories from day to day, till I have recovered them out of that desperate state of vice and folly into which the

age is fallen. The mind that lies fallow but a single day, sprouts up in follies that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous culture. It was said of Socrates that he brought philosophy down from heaven, to inhabit among men; and I shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have brought philosophy out of closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables, and in coffee-houses.

I would, therefore, in a very particular manner, recommend these my speculations to all well-regulated families, that set apart 1o an hour in every morning for tea and bread and butter; and

would earnestly advise them for their good, to order this paper to be punctually served up, and to be looked upon as a part of the tea-equipage.

Sir Francis Bacon observes, that a well written book, compared with its rivals and antagonists, is like Moses's serpent, that immediately swallowed up and devoured those of the Egyptians . I shall not be so vain as to think, that where the SPECTATOR appears, the other public prints will vanish; but shall leave it to

my reader's consideration, whether it is not much better to be 20 let into the knowledge of one's self, than to hear what passes in

Muscovy or Poland ; and to amuse ourselves with such writings as tend to the wearing out of ignorance, passion, and prejudice, than such as naturally conduce to inflame hatreds, and make enmities irreconcileable.

In the next place, I would recommend this paper to the daily perusal of those gentlemen whom I cannot but consider as my good brothers and allies, I mean the fraternity of spectators, who live in the world without having anything to do in it; and either

by the affluence of their fortunes, or laziness of their dispositions, 30 have no other business with the rest of mankind but to look

upon them. Under this class of men are comprehended all contemplative tradesmen, titular physicians, fellows of the Royal Society, Templars that are not given to be contentious, and statesmen that are out of business; in short, every one that considers the world as a theatre, and desires to form a right judgment of those who are the actors on it.

There is another set of men that I must likewise lay a claim to, whom I have lately called the blanks of society, as being

altogether unfurnished with ideas, till the business and conver40 sation of the day has supplied them. I have often considered



these poor souls with an eye of great commiseration, when I have heard them asking the first man they have met with, whether there was any news stirring? and, by that means, gathering together materials for thinking. These needy persons do not know what to talk of till about twelve o'clock in the morning; for, by that time, they are pretty good judges of the weather, know which way the wind sits, and whether the Dutch mail be come in. As they lie at the mercy of the first man

they meet, and are grave or impertinent all the day long, accord10 ing to the notions which they have imbibed in the morning, I

would earnestly intreat them not to stir out of their chambers till they have read this paper, and do promise them that I will daily instil into them such sound and wholesome sentiments, as shall have a good effect on their conversation for the ensuing twelve hours.

But there are none to whom this paper will be more useful than to the female world. I have often thought there has not been sufficient pains taken in finding out proper employments

and diversions for the fair ones. Their amusements seem con20 trived for them, rather as they are women, than as they are

reasonable creatures, and are more adapted to the sex than to the species. The toilet is their great scene of business, and the right adjusting of their hair the principal employment of their lives. The sorting of a suit of ribbons is reckoned a very good morning's work; and if they make an excursion to a mercer's or a toy-shop, so great a fatigue makes them unfit for anything else all the day after. Their more serious occupations are sewing and embroidery, and their greatest drudgery the preparation of jellies

and sweet-meats. This, I say, is the state of ordinary women; 30 though I know there are multitudes of those of a more elevated

life and conversation, that move in an exalted sphere of knowledge and virtue, that join all the beauties of the mind to the ornaments of dress, and inspire a kind of awe and respect, as well as love, into their male beholders. I hope to increase the number of these by publishing this daily paper, which I shall always endeavour to make an innocent, if not an improving entertainment, and by that means at least divert the minds of my female readers from greater trifles. At the same time, as I would fain

give some finishing touches to those which are already the most 40 beautiful pieces of human nature, I shall endeavour to point out

« ForrigeFortsett »