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T H E
Bookseller to the Reader.
N the Six hundred and thirty fea
cond Spectator, the Reader will find an Account of the Rise of this Eighth. and Last Volume.
I have not been able to prevail upon the several Gentlemen who were concerned in this work, to let me acquaint the World with their Names.
Perhaps it will be unnecesary to inform the Reader, that no other Pan pers, which have appeared under the Title of Spectacor, since the closing of this Éighth Volume, were written by any of those Gentlemen who had á Hand in this, or the former Vo.. lumes.
No.556. Friday, June; 8. 1714.
Qualis ubi in lucem coluber, mala gramina pasius,
PON laying down the Office of Spec-
Design of electing a new Club, and of opening my Mouth in it after a most folemn Manner. Both the Election and
the Ceremony are now paft ; but not finding it so easy as I at first imagined, to break thro' a: Fifty Years Silence, I would not venture into the World under the Character of a Man who pretends to talk like other People, till I had arrived at a full Freedom of Speech.
I shall reserve for another time the History of such Club or Clubs of which I am now a Talkative but unworthy Member; and shall here givè an Account of this
surprising surprising Change which has been produced in me, and which I look upon to be as remarkable an Accident as any: recorded in History, since that which happened to the Son of Cræfus, after having been many Years as much Tongue-tied as my self.
UPON. the first opening of my Mouth, I made a Speech consisting of about half a Dozen well-turned Periods ;- but grew. fo very hoarse upon it, that for three Days together, instead of finding the use of my Tongue,
I was afraid that I had quite loft it. Besides, the unusual . + Extension of my Muscles on this Occasion, made my
Face ake on both sides to such a Degree, that nothing but an invincible Resolution and Perseverance could have prevented me from falling back to my Monofyllables.
I afterwards made several Essays towards speaking ; ; and that I might not be startled at my own Voice, which has happen'd to me more than once, I used to read aloud in my Chamber, and have often stood in the Middle of the Street to calla Coach, when I knew there was none. within hearing.
"WHEN I was thus grown pretty well acquainted with my own Voice, I laid hold of all opportunities to exert it. Not caring, however to speak much by my self, and to draw upon me the whole Attention of those I conversed with, I used, for some time, to walk. every Morning in the Mall, and talk in Chorus with a Parcel of Frenchmen. I found my Modesty greatly relieved by the communicative Temper of this Nation, who are so very fociable, as to think they are never better Company, than when they are all opening at the same time.
I then fancied I might receive great Benefit from Female Conversation, and that I should have a Convenience of talking with the greater Freedom, when I was not under any Impediment of thinking : I therefore threw my self into an Assembly of Ladies, but could not for my Life get in a Word among them ; and found that if I did not change my Company, I was in Danger of be. ing reduced to my primitive Taciturnity.
The Coffee-houses have ever since been my chief Places of Resort, where I have made the greatest Improvements; in order to which I have taken a particular : Care never to be of the fame Opinion with the. Man I conversed with. I was a Tory at Button's, and a Whig: at Child's; a Friend to the Englishman, or an Advocate for the Examiner, as it best served my Turn ; fome fancy me a great Enemy to the French King, though in reality, I only make use of him for a Help to Discourse. In short, I wrangle and dispute for Exercise ; and have carried this Point so far that I was once like to have been . run through the Body for making a little too free with my Betters.
In a Word, I am quite another Man to what I was..
Nil fuit unquam
My old Acquaintance scarce. know me; nay I was asked the other Day by a few at Jonathan's, whether I was not related to a dumb Gentleman, who used to come to that Coffee-house? But I think I never was better. . pleased in my Life than about a Week ago, when, as I was battling it across the Table with a young 'Templar, his Companion gave him a Pull by the Sleeve, begging him to come away, for that the old Prig would talk him to Death.
BEING now a very good Proficient in Discourse, I shall appear in the World with this Addition to my Character, that my Countrymen may reap the Fruits of my newacquired Loquacity.
Those who have been present at publick Disputes in the University, know that it is usual to maintain Herefies, for Argument's fake. I have heard a Man a most impudent Socinian for half an Hour, who has been an Orthodox Divine all his Life after. I have taken the fame Method to accomplish my self in the Gift of Utterance, having talked above a Twelve-month, not so much for the Benefit of my Hearers as of my self. But fince I have now gained the Faculty I have been fo long endeavouring after, I intend to make a right Use