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could keep his poverty a secret, he should not feel the weight of it ; he improved this thought into an affectation of closeness and covetousness. Upon this one principle, he resolved to govern his future life; and in the thirty-sixth year of his age he repaired to Long-lane, and looked upon several dresses which hung there, deserted by their first masters, and exposed to the purchase of the best bidder. At this place he exchanged his gay shabbiness of clothes, fit for a much younger man, to warm ones that would be decent for a much older one. Irus came out, thoroughly equipped from head to foot, with a little oaken cane, in the form of a substantial man that did not mind his dress, turned of fifty. He had at this time fifty pounds in ready money; and in this habit, with this fortune, he took his present lodging in St. John-street, at the mansion-house of a tailor's widow, who washes, and can clear-starch his bands. From that time to this, he has kept the main stock, without alteration, under or over, to the value of five pounds. He left off all his old acquaintance to a man, and all his arts of life, except the play of back-gammon, upon which he has more than bore his charges. Irus has, ever since he came into this neighbourhood, given all the intimations he skilfully could of being a close hunks worth money : no body comes to visit him, he receives no letters, and tells his money morning and evening. He has from the public papers a knowledge of what generally passes, shuns all discourses of money, but shrugs his shoulder when you talk of securities; he denies his being rich with the air which all do who are vain of being so. He is the oracle of a neighbouring justice of peace, who meets him at the coffee-house. The hopes that what he has must come to somebody, and that he has no heirs, have that effect wherever he is known, that he
has every day three or four invitations to dine at different places, which he generally takes care to choose in such a manner, as not to seem inclined to the richer man. All the young men respect him, and say he is just the same man he was when they were boys. He uses no artifice in the world, but makes use of men's designs upon him to get a maintenance out of them. This he carries on by a certain peevishness, which he acts very well, that no one would believe could possibly enter into the head of a poor fellow. His mien, his dress, his carriage, and his language, are such, that you would be at a loss to guess whether in the active part of his life he had been a sensible citizen, or scholar that knew the world. These are the great circumstances in the life of Irus, and thus does he pass away his days a stranger to mankind ; and at his death, the worst that will be said of him will be, that he got, by every man who had expectations from him, more than he had to leave him.
I have an inclination to print the following letters; for that I have heard the author of them has somewhere or other seen me; and, by an excellent faculty in mimickry, my correspondents tell me, he can assume my air, and give my taciturnity a slyness which diverts more than any thing I could say if I were present. Thus I am glad my silence is atoned for to the good company in town. He has carried his skill in imitation so far, as to have forged a letter from my friend Sir Roger, in such a manner, that any one but I, who am thoroughly acquainted with him, would have taken it for genuine.
« MR. SPECTATOR, “ HAVING observed in Lilly's grammar how sweetly Bacchus and Apollo run in a verse ; I have, to preserve the amity between them, called in Bacchus to the aid of my profession of the theatre. So that, while some people of quality are bespeaking plays of me to be acted upon such a day, and others, hogsheads for their houses against such a time; I am wholly employed in the agreeable service of wit and wine. Sir, I have sent you Sir Roger de Coverley's letter to me, which pray comply with in favour of the Bumper tavern. Be kind, for you know a player's utmost pride is the approbation of the Spectator. “I am your admirer, though unknown,
“ RICHARD ESTCOURT.”
TO MR. ESTCOURT,
AT HIS HOUSE IN COVENT-GARDEN.
OLD COMICAL ONE,
The hogsheads of neat port came safe, and have gotten thee good reputation in these parts; and I am glad to hear, that a fellow who has been laying out his money ever since he was born, for the mere pleasure of wine, has bethought himself of joining profit and pleasure together. Our sexton, poor man! having received strength from thy wine since his fit of the gout, is hugely taken with it: he says it is given by nature for the use of families, that no steward's table can be without it ; that it strengthens digestion, excludes surfeits, fevers and physic; which green wines of any kind can't do. Pray get a pure snug room, and I hope next term to help fill your bumper with our people of the club; but you must have no bells stirring when the Spectator comes; I forbore ringing to dinner while he was down with me in the country. Thank you for the little hams and Portugal onions; pray keep some always by you. You know my supper is only good Cheshire cheese, best mustard, a golden pippin, attended with a pipe of John Sly's best. Sir Harry has stolen all your songs, and tells the story of the 5th of November to perfection.
Yours to serve you,
ROGER DE COVERLEY. 'Coverley, December the 18th, 1711.
· We have lost old John since you were here.'
No. 265. THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 1711-12.
Dixerit e multis aliquis, Quid virus in angues
OVID. ARS AX. iii, 7.
ONE of the Fathers, if I am rightly informed, has defined a woman to be woy Qizoróouoy, an animal that delights in finery. I have already treated of the sex in two or three papers conformably to this definition; and have in particular observed, that in all ages they have been more careful than the men to adorn that part of the head which we generally call the outside.
This observation is so very notorious, that when, in ordinary discourse, we say a man has a fine head, a long head, or a good head, we express ourselves metaphorically, and speak in relation to his understanding; whereas when we say of a woman, she has a fine, a long, or a good, head, we speak only in relation to her commode.
It is observed among birds, that nature has lavished all her ornaments upon the male, who very often appears in a most beautiful head-dress: whether it be a crest, a comb, a tuft of feathers, or a natural little plume, erected like a kind of pinnacle on the very top of the head. As nature on the contrary has poured out her charms in the greatest abundance upon the female part of our species ; so they are very assiduoiis in bestowing upon themselves the finest garnitures of art. The peacock, in all his pride, does not display half the colours that appear in the garments of a British lady, when she is dressed either for a ball or a birth-day.
But to return to our female heads. The ladies have been for some time in a kind of moulting season, with regard to that part of their dress, having cast great quantities of riband, lace, and cambrick, and, in some measure, reduced that part of the human figure, to the beautiful globular form which is natural to it. We have, for a great while, expected what kind of ornament would be substituted, in the place of those antiquated commodes. But our female projectors were all the last summer, so taken up with the improvement of their petticoats, that they had not time to attend to any thing else; but, having at length sufficiently adorned their lower parts, they now begin to turn their thoughts upon the other extremity, as well remembering the old kitchen proverb, that if you light the fire at both ends, the middle will shift for itself.'
I am engaged in this speculation by a sight which I lately met with at the opera. As I was standing