« PreviousContinue »
palaces of our grand monarch. When he has a mind to take the air, a party of us are commanded out by way of life-guard, and we march under as great restrictions as they do. If we meet a neighbouring king, we give or keep the way, according as we are out-numbered or not; and if the train of each is equal in number, rather than give battle, the superiority is soon adjusted by a desertion from one of them.
Now, the expulsion of these unjust rulers out of all societies would gain a man as everlasting a reputation as either of the Brutus's got for their endeavours to extirpate tyranny from among the Romans. I confess myself to be in a conspiracy against the usurper our club;
and to show my reading, as well as my merciful disposition, shall allow him until the ides of March to dethrone himself. If he seems to affect empire until that time, and does not gradually recede from the incursions he has made upon our liberties, he shall find a dinner dressed which he has no hand in, and shall be treated with an order, magnificence, and luxury, as shall break his proud heart; at the same time that he shall be convinced in his sto. mach he was unfit for his post, and a more mild and skilful prince receive the acclamations of the people, and be set up in his room : but, as Mil
"I am, sir, *Your most obedient humble servant.'
"I am a young woman at a gentleman's seat in the country, who is a particular friend of my father's, and came hither to pass away a month or two with his daughters. I have been entertained with the utmost civility by the whole family, and nothing has been omitted which can make my stay easy and agreeable on the part of the family; but there is a gentleman here, a visitant as I am, whose behaviour has given me great uneasiness. When I first arrived here, he used me with the utmost complaisance; but, forsooth, that was not with regard to my sex; and, since he has no designs upon me, he does not know why he should distinguish me from a man in things indifferent. He is, you must know, one of those familiar coxcoml's, who have observed some wellbred men with a good grace converse with women, and say no fine things, but yet treat them with that sort of respect which flows from the heart and the understanding, but is exerted in no professions or compliments. This puppy, to imitate this excellence, or avoid the contrary fault of being troublesome in complaisance, takes upon him to try his talent upon me, insomuch that he contradicts me upon all occasions, and one day told me I lied. If I had stuck him with my bodkin, and behaved myself like a man, since he will not treat me as a woman, I had, I think, served him right. I wish, sir, you would please to give him some maxims of behaviour in these points, and resolve me if all maids are not in point of conversation to be treated by all bachelors as their mistresses ?
If not so, are they not to be used as gently as their sisters? Is it sufferable that the fop of whom I complain should say that he would
rather have such-a-one without a groat, than me with the Indies? What right has any man to make suppositions of things not in his power, and then declare his will to the dislike of one that has never offended him ? I assure you these are things worthy your consideration, and I hope we shall have your thoughts upon them. I am, though a woman justly offended, ready to forgive all this, because I have no remedy but leaving very agreeable company sooner than I desire. This also is a heinous aggravation of his offence, that he is inflicting banishment upon me.
Your printing this letter may perhaps be an admonition to reform him: as soon as it appears I will write my name at the end of it, and lay it in his way: the making which just reprimand, I hope you will put in the power of,
Your constant reader,
and humble servant.'
No. 509. TUESDAY, OCT. 14, 1712.
Hominis frugi et temperantis functus officium.
TER. Heaut. Act iii. Sc. S. Discharging the part of a good economist.
The useful knowledge in the following letter shall have a place in my paper, though there is nothing in it which immeditely regards the polite or the learned world; I say immediately, for upon reflexion every man will find there is a remote influence upon his own affairs, in the prosperity or decay of the trading part of mankind. My present correspondent, I believe, was never in print before; but what he says well deserves a general attention, though delivered in his own homely maxims, and a kind of proverbial simplicity; which sort of learning has raised more estates, than ever were, or will be, from attention to Virgil, Horace, Tully, Seneca, Plutarch, or any of the rest, whom, I dare say, this worthy citizen would hold to be indeed ingenious, but unprofitable writers. But to the letter.
* MR. WILLIAM SPECTATOR.
Broad-street, Oct. 10, 1712.
discourses on the subject of money, which you have heretofore promised the public, but have not discharged yourself thereof. But, forasmuch as you seemed to depend upon advice from others what to do in that point, have sat down to write you the needful upon that subject. But, before I enter thereupon, I shall take this opportunity to observe to you, that the thriving frugal man shows it in every part of his
expense, dress, servants, and house; and I must, in the first place, complain to you, as Spectator, that in these particulars there is at this time, throughout the city of London, a lamentable change from that simplicity of manners, which is the true source of wealth and prosperity. I just now said, the man of thrift shows regularity in every thing; but you may, perhaps, laugh that I take notice of such a particular as I am going to do, for an instance that this city is declining if their ancient æconomy is not restored. The thing which gives me this prospect, and so much offence, is the neglect of the Royal Exchange. I mean the edifice so called, and the
walks appertaining thereunto. The Royal Exchange is a fabric that well deserves to be so called, as well to express that our monarch's highest glory and advantage consists in being the patron of trade, as that it is commodious for business, and an instance of the grandeur both of prince and people. But, alas! at present it hardly seems to be set apart for any such use or purpose. Instead of the assembly of honourable merchants, substantial tradesmen, and knowing masters of ships; the mumpers, the halt, the blind, and the lame; your venders of trash, apples, plums ; your raggamuffins, rake-shames, and wenches; have justled the greater number of the former out of that place. Thus it is, especially on the evening change : so that what with the din of squallings, oaths, and cries of beggars, men of the greatest consequence in our city absent themselves from the place. This particular, by the way, is of evil consequence, for, if the 'Change be no place for men of the highest credit to frequent, it will not be a disgrace for those of less abilities to absent. I remember the time when rascally company were kept out, and the unlucky boys with toys and balls were whipped away by a beadle. I have seen this done indeed of late, but then it has been only to chase the lads from chuck, that the beadle might seize their copper.
'I must repeat the admonition, that the walnuttrade is carried on by old women within the walks, which makes the place impassable by reason of shells and trash. The benches around are so filthy, that no one can sit down, yet the beadles and officers have the impudence at Christmas to ask for their box, though they deserve the strapado. I do not think it impertinent to have mentioned this, because it speaks a neg.