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since I have neither time nor inclination, to communicate the fulness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out, if possible, before I die. I have been often told by my friends, that it is a pity so many useful discoveries which I have made should 5 be in the possession of a silent man.
For this reason, therefore, I shall publish a sheet-full of thoughts every morning, for the benefit of my contemporaries : and if I can any way contribute to the diversion or improvement of the country in which I live, I shall leave it when I am 10 summoned out of it, with the secret satisfaction of thinking that I have not lived in vain.
There are three very material points which I have not spoken to in this paper; and which, for several important reasons, I must keep to myself, at least for some 15 time : I mean, an account of my name, my age, and my lodgings. I must confess, I would gratify my reader in anything that is reasonable; but as for these three particulars, though I am sensible they might tend very much to the embellishment of my paper, I cannot yet 20 come to a resolution of communicating them to the public. They would indeed draw me out of that obscurity which I have enjoyed for many years, and expose me in public places to several salutes and civilities, which have been always very disagreeable to me; for the greatest 25 pain I can suffer, is the being talked to, and being stared at. It is for this reason likewise, that I keep my complexion and dress as very great secrets; though it is not impossible that I may make discoveries of both in the progress of the work I have undertaken.
After having been thus particular upon niyself, I shall,
in to-morrow's paper, give an account of those gentlemen who are concerned with me in this work; for, as I have before intimated, a plan of it is laid and concerted, as all other matters of importance are, in a club. How5 ever, as my friends have engaged me to stand in the front, those who have a mind to correspond with me may direct their letters to the Spectator, at Mr. Buckley's in Little Britain. For I must further acquaint the
reader, that, though our club meet, only on Tuesdays 1o and Thursdays, we have appointed a committee to sit
every night, for the inspection of all such papers as may contribute to the advancement of the public weal.
THE SPECTATOR'S CLUB. [STEELE.]
No. 2. — FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 1710-11.
Ast alii sex
Six more at least join their consenting voice.
The first of our society is a gentleman of Worcestershire, of ancient descent, a baronet, his name is Sir Roger de Coverley. His great grandfather was inventor of that famous country-dance which is called after him. All who know that shire are very well acquainted with 5 the parts and merits of Sir Roger. He is a gentleman that is very singular in his behaviour, but his singularities proceed from his good sense, and are contradictions to the manners of the world, only as he thinks the world is in the wrong. However, this humour creates to him no enemies, for he does nothing with sourness or obstinacy; and his being unconfined to modes and forms, makes him but the readier and more capable to please and oblige all who know him. When he is in town, he lives in Soho Square. It is said, he keeps himself a 15 bachelor, by reason he was crossed in love by a perverse beautiful widow of the next county to him. Before this disappointment, Sir Roger was what you call a fine gentleman, had often supped with my Lord Rochester and Sir George Etherege, fought a duel upon his first 20 coming to town, and kicked Bully Dawson in a public coffee house for calling him youngster. But, being ill used by the above mentioned widow, he was very serious for a year and a half; and though, his temper being 5 naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew careless of himself, and never dressed afterwards.
He continues to wear a coat and doublet of the same cut, that were in fashion at the time of his repulse, which, in his
merry humours, he tells us, has been in and out twelve 10 times since he first wore it. He is now in his fifty
sixth year, cheerful, gay, and hearty; keeps a good house both in town and country; a great lover of mankind : but there is such a mirthful cast in his behaviour,
that he is rather beloved than esteemed. His tenants 15 grow rich, his servants look satisfied, all the young
women profess love to him, and the young men are glad of his company; when he comes into a house, he calls the servants by their names, and talks all the way up
stairs to a visit. I must not omit, that Sir Roger is a 20 justice of the quorum; that he fills the chair at a quar
ter-sessions with great abilities, and three months ago, gained universal applause, by explaining a passage in the game-act.
The gentleman next in esteem and authority among 25 us, is another bachelor, who is a member of the Inner
Temple; a man of great probity, wit, and understanding; but he has chosen his place of residence rather to obey the direction of an old humoursome father, than in pur
suit of his own inclinations. He was placed there to 30 study the laws of the land, and is the most learned of
any of the house in those of the stage. Aristotle and Longinus are much better understood by him than Littleton or Coke. The father sends up every post questions relating to marriage articles, leases and tenures, in the neighbourhood; all which questions he agrees with an attorney to answer and take care of in the lump. He is 5 studying the passions themselves, when he should be inquiring into the debates among men which arise from them. He knows the argument of each of the orations of Demosthenes and Tully; but not one case in the reports of our own courts. No one ever took him for a 10 fool, but none, except his intimate friends, know he has a great deal of wit. This turn makes him at once both disinterested and agreeable ; as few of his thoughts are drawn from business, they are most of them fit for conversation. His taste of books is a little too just for the 15 age he lives in ; he has read all, but approves of very few. His familiarity with the customs, manners, actions, and writings of the ancients, makes him a very delicate observer of what occurs to him in the present world. He is an excellent critic, and the time of the play is his 20 hour of business ; exactly at five he passes through New Inn, crosses through Russell court, and takes a turn at Will's, till the play begins; he has his shoes rubbed, and his periwig powdered at the barber's as you go into the Rose. It is for the good of the audience when he is at a 25 play; for the actors have an ambition to please him.