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look into the bottom of this matter, we every body takes it into his head to make shall meet with many observations to con- as many fools as he can. In proportion as firm us in this opinion. Every one laughs there are more follies discovered, so there at somebody that is in an inferior state of is more laughter raised on this day than on folly to himself. It was formerly the cus- any other in the whole year. A neighbour tom for every great house in England to of mine, who is a haberdasher by trade, keep a tame fool dressed in petticoats, that and a very shallow conceited fellow, makes the heir of the family might have an op- his boast that for these ten years succesportunity of joking upon him, and diverting sively he has not made less than a hunhimself with his absurdities. For the dred April fools. My landlady had a fallsame reason, idiots are still in request in ing out with him about a fortnight ago, for most of the courts of Germany, where sending every one of her children upon there is not a prince of any great magnifi- some sleeveless errand, as she terms it. cence, who has not two or three dressed, Her eldest son went to buy a half-pennydistinguished, undisputed fools in his reti-worth of inkle at a shoemaker's; the eldnue, whom the rest of the courtiers are est daughter was despatched half a mile to always breaking their jests upon.
see a monster, and, in short, the whole faThe Dutch, who are more famous for mily of innocent children made April fools. their industry and application, than for Nay, my landlady herself did not escape wit and humour, hang up in several of him. This empty fellow has laughed upon their streets what they call the sign of the these conceits ever since. Gaper, that is, the head of an idiot dress. This art of wit is well enough, when coned in a cap and bells, and gaping in a most fined to one day in a twelvemonth: but immoderate manner. This is a standing there is an ingenious tribe of men sprung jest at Amsterdam.
up of late years, who are for making April Thus every one diverts himself with fools every day in the year. These gentlesome person or other that is below him in men are commonly distinguished by the point of understanding, and triumphs in the name of Biters: a race of men that are superiority of his genius, whilst he has perpetually employed in laughing at those such objects of derision before his eyes. mistakes which are of their own producMr. Dennis has very well expressed this tion. in a couple of humorous lines, which are Thus we see, in proportion as one man is part of a translation of a satire in Monsieur more refined than another, he chooses his Boileau:
fool out of a lower or higher class of manThus one fool lolls his tongue out at another,
kind, or to speak in a more philosophical And shakes his empty noddle at his brother.'' language, that secret elation or pride of
Mr. Hobbs's reflection gives us the rea- heart, which is generally called laughter, son why the insignificant people above- arises in him, from his comparing himself mentioned are stirrers-up of laughter with an object below him, whether it so among men of a gross taste: but as the happens that it be a natural or an artificial more understanding part of mankind do fool. It is, indeed, very possible, that the not find their risibility affected by such or- persons we laugh at may in the main of dinary objects, it may be worth the while their characters be much wiser men than to examine into the several provocatives of ourselves; but if they would have us laugh laughter, in men of superior sense and at them, they must fall short of us in those knowledge.
respects which stir up this passion. In the first place I must observe, that I am afraid I shall appear too abstracted there is a set of merry drolls, whom the in my speculations, if I show, that when a common people of all countries adinire, man of wit makes us laugh, it is by betrayand seem to love so well, that they coulding some oddness or infirmity in his own eat them;' according to the old proverb: Icharacter, or in the representation which mean those circumforaneous wits whom he makes of others; and that when we every nation calls by the name of that dish laugh at a brute, or even at an inanimate of meat which it loves best: in Holland thing, it is at some action or incident that they are termed Pickled Herrings; in bears a remote analogy to any blunder or France, Jean Pottage; in Italy, Macaro-absurdity in reasonable creatures. nies; and in Great Britain, Jack Puddings. But to come into common life: I shall
These merry wags, from whatsoever food pass by the consideration of those stage they receive their titles, that they may make coxcombs that are able to shake a whole their audiences laugh, always appear in a audience, and take notice of a particular fool's coat, and commit such blunders and sort of men who are such provokers of mistakes in every step they take, and every mirth in conversation, that it is impossible word they utter, as those who listen to for a club or merry meeting to subsist withthem would be ashamed of.
out them; I mean those honest gentlemen But this little triumph of the understand that are always exposed to the wit and ing under the disguise of laughter, is no raillery of their well-wishers and compawhere more visible than in that custom nions; that are pelted by men, women, and which prevails every where among us on children, friends and foes, and, in a word, the first day of the present month, when I stand as butts in conversation, for every
one to shoot at that pleases. I know several staken all possible pains to acquire the face of these butts who are men of wit and sense, in which I shall present her to your conthough by some odd turn of humour, some sideration and favour. I am, gentlemen, unlucky cast in their person or behaviour, your most obliged humble servant, they have always the misfortune to make
THE SPECTATOR. the company merry. The truth of it is, | P, S. I desire to know whether you ada man is not qualified for a butt, who has mit people of quality,' not a good deal of wit and vivacity, even in the ridiculous side of his character. A stu
* April 17.
•Mr. SPECTATOR,-To show you there pid butt is only fit for the conversation of ordinary people: men of wit require one
are among us of the vain weak sex, some that will give them play, and bestir him
that have honesty and fortitude enough to
dare to be ugly, and willing to be thought self in the absurd part of his behaviour. A butt with these accomplishments frequent-11
so, I apply myself to you, to beg your in
terest and recommendation to the Ugly ly gets the laugh of his side, and turns the
Club. If my own word will not be taken ridicule upon him that attacks him. Sir John Falstaff was a hero of this species, li
(though in this case a woman's may) I can
bring credible witnesses of my qualifications and gives a good description of himself in
for their company, whether they insist upon his capacity of a butt, after the following
hair, forehead, eyes, cheeks, or chin; to manner: Men of all sorts,' says that merry
which I must add, that I find it easier to knight, take a pride to gird at me. The
lean to my left side, than to my right. I brain of man is not able to invent any thing
hope I am in all respects agreeable, and that tends to laughter more than I invent,
for humour and mirth, I will keep up to the or is invented on me. I am not only witty
president himself. All the favour I will in myself, but the cause that wit is in other
I pretend to is, that as I am the first woman men.
who has appeared desirous of good company and agreeable conversation, I may take and
keep the upper end of the table. And inNo. 48.] Wednesday, April 25, 1711. deed I think they want a carver, which I
can be, after as ugly a manner as they could - Per multas aditum, sibi sæpe figuras
Oroid, Met. xiv. 652.
wish. I desire your thoughts of my claim
as soon as you can. Add to my features the Through various shapes he often finds accesg.
| length of my face, which is full half-yard; My correspondents take it ill if I do not, though I never knew the reason of it till from time to time, let them know I have you gave one for the shortness of yours. If received their letters. The most effectual I knew a name ugly enough to belong to way will be to publish some of them that the above described face, I would feign one; are upon important subjects; which I shall but, to my unspeakable misfortune, my introduce with a letter of my own that I name is the only disagreeable prettiness writ a fortnight ago to a fraternity who about me; so prythee make one for me that thought fit to make me an honorary mem- signifies all the deformity in the world. You ber.
understand Latin, but be sure bring it in • To the President and Fellows of the Ugly with my being, in the sincerity of my heart, Club.
your most frightful admirer, and servant, •MAY IT PLEASE YOUR DEFORMITIES,
HECATISSA.' I have received the notification of the Mr. SPECTATOR,- I read your discourse honour you have done me, in admitting me upon affectation, and from the remarks made into your society. I acknowledge my want in it, examined my own heart so strictly, of merit, and for that reason shall endea- that I thought I had found out its most seyour at all times to make up my own fail- cret avenues, with a resolution to be aware ures, by introducing and recommending to of them for the future. But, alas! to my the club persons of more undoubted quali- sorrow I now understand that I have sefications than I can pretend to. I shall next veral follies which I do not know the root week come down in the stage-coach, in or- of. I am an old fellow, and extremely der to take my seat at the board; and shall troubled with the gout; but having always bring with me a candidate of each sex. a strong vanity towards being pleasing in The persons I shall present to you, are an the eyes of women, I never have a moold beau and a modern Pict. If they are ment's ease, but I am mounted in high-heeled not so eminently gifted by nature as our as- shoes, with a glazed wax-leather instep. sembly expects, give me leave to say their Two days after a severe fit, I was invited acquired ugliness is greater than any that to a friend's house in the city, where I behas ever appeared before you. The beau lieved I should see ladies; and with my has varied his dress every day of his life usual complaisance, crippled myself to wait for these thirty years past, and still added upon them. A very sumptuous table, agreeto the deformity he was born with. The able company, and kind reception, were but Pict has still greater merit towards us, and so many importunate additions to the torhas, ever since she came to years of discre- ments I was in. A gentleman of the family tion, deserted the handsome party, and observed my condition; and soon after the
queen's health, he in the presence of the fee-houses. Here a man of my temper is whole company, with his own hands, de- in his element; for if he cannot talk, he can graded me into an old pair of his own shoes. still be more agreeable to his company, as This operation before fire ladies, to me well as pleased in himself, in being only a (who am by nature a coxcomb) was suf-hearer. It is a secret known but to few, fered with the same reluctance as they ad- yet of no small use in the conduct of life, mit the help of men in their greatest ex- that when you fall into a man's conversatremity. The return of ease made metion, the first thing you should consider is, forgive the rough obligation laid on me, whether he has a greater inclination to hear which at that time relieved my body from a you, or that you should hear him. The distemper, and will my mind for ever from latter is the more general desire, and I a folly. For the charity received, I return know very able fatterers that never speak my thanks this way. Your most humble a word in praise of the persons from whom servanti'
they obtain daily favours, but still practise 'Epping, April 18. a skilful attention to whatever is uttered by “SIR,_We have your papers here the those with whom they converse. We are morning they come out, and we have been very curious to observe the behaviour of very well entertained with your last, upon great men and their clients: but the same the false ornaments of persons who repre-passions and interests move men in lower sent heroes in a tragedy. What made spheres; and I (that have nothing else to your speculation come very seasonably do but make observations) see in every paamong us is, that we have now at this placerish, street, lane, and alley of this populous a company of strollers, who are far from city, a little potentate that has his court and offending in the impertinent splendour of his flatterers, who lay snares for his affecthe drama. They are so far from falling tion and favour, by the same arts that are into these false gallantries, that the stage is practised upon men in higher stations. here in its original situation of a cart. Alex- In the place I most usually frequent, men ander the Great was acted by a fellow in a differ rather in the time of day in which paper cravat. The next day the Earl of they make a figure, than in any real greatEssex seemed to have no distress but his ness above one another. I, who am at the poverty; and my Lord Foppington the coffee-house at six in the morning, know same morning wanted any better means to that my friend Beaver, the haberdasher, show himself a fop, than by wearing stock-has a levee of more undissembled friends ings of different colours. In a word, though and admirers, than most of the courtiers or they have had a full barn for many days generals of Great Britain. Every man about together, our itinerants are so wretchedly him has, perhaps, a newspaper in his hand; poor, that without you can prevail to send but none can pretend to guess what step us the furniture you forbid at the play- will be taken in any one court of Europe, house, the heroes appear only like sturdy | till Mr. Beaver has thrown down his pipe, beggars, and the heroines gypsies. We and declares what measures the allies must have had but one part which was performed enter into upon this new posture of affairs. and dressed with propriety, and that was Our coffee-house is near one of the inns of justice Clodpate. This was so well done, court, and Beaver has the audience and adthat it offended Mr. Justice Overdo, who miration of his neighbours from six till in the midst of our whole audience, was within a quarter of eight, at which time he (like Quixote in the puppet-show) so highly is interrupted by the students of the house; provoked, that he told them, if they would some of whom are ready dressed for Westmove compassion, it should be in their own minster at eight in the morning, with faces persons, and not in the characters of dis-as busy as if they were retained in every tressed princes and potentates. He told cause there; and others come in their nightthem if they were so good at finding the gowns to saunter away their time, as if they way to people's hearts, they should do it at never designed to go thither. I do not know the end of bridges or church porches, in that I meet in any of my walks, objects their proper vocation of beggars. This, the which move both my spleen and laughter justice says, they must expect, since they so effectually, as those young fellows at the could not be contented to act heathen war-Grecian, Squire's, Searle's, and all other riors, and such fellows as Alexander, but coffee-houses adjacent to the law, who rise must presume to make a mockery of one early for no other purpose but to publish of the quorum. Your servant.'
their laziness. One would think these young virtuosos take a gay cap and slippers, with a
scarf and party-coloured gown, to be enNo. 49.] Thursday, April 26, 1711.
signs of dignity; for the vain things approach
each other with an air, which shows they - Hominem pagina nostra sapit.--Mart. regard one another for their vestments. I Men and their manners I describe.
have observed that the superiority among It is very natural for a man who is not these proceeds from an opinion of gallantry turned for mirthful meetings of men, or as- and fashion. The gentleman in the strawsemblies of the fair sex, to delight in that berry sash, who presides so much over the sort of conversation which we find in cof-1 rest, has, it seems, subscribed to ercry opera this last winter, and is supposed to receive wise in his sentences, and are no sooner sat favours from one of the actresses.
down at their own tables, but they hope or When the day grows too busy for these fear, rejoice or despond, as they saw him gentlemen to enjoy any longer the pleasures do at the coffee-house. In a word, every of their dishabille, with any manner of con- man is Eubulus as soon as his back is turned. fidence, they give place to men who have Having here given an account of the sebusiness or good sense in their faces, and veral reigns that succeed each other from come to the coffee-house either to transact day-break till dinner-time, I shall mention affairs, or enjoy conversation. The per- the monarchs of the afternoon on another sons to whose behaviour and discourse I occasion, and shut up the whole series of have most regard, are such as are between them with the history of Tom the Tyrant;* these two sorts of men; such as have not who, as the first minister of the coffee-house, spirits too active to be happy and well takes the government upon him between the pleased in a private condition, nor com- hours of eleven and twelve at night, and plexions too warm to make them neglect gives his orders in the most arbitrary manthe duties and relations of life. Of these ner to the servants below him, as to the dissort of men consist the worthier part of position of liquors, coals, and cinders. mankind; of these are all good fathers, generous brothers, sincere friends, and faithful subjects. Their entertainments are derived rather from reason than imagination; No, 50.] Friday, April 27, 1711. which is the cause that there is no impatience or instability in their speech or ac
Nunquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia dixit.
Juo. Sat. xiv. 321. tion. You see in their countenances they
Good taste and nature always speak the same. are at home, and in quiet possession of the present instant as it passes, without desir- ! WHEN the four Indian kings were in this ing to quicken it by gratifying any passion. I country, about a twelvemonth ago, I often or prosecuting any new design. These are mixed with the rabble and followed them the men formed for society, and those little a whole day, together:
a whole day together, being wonderfully communities which we express by the word struck with the sight of every thing that is neighbourhood.
new or uncommon. I have, since their deThe coffee-house is the place of ren-parture, employed a friend to make many dezvous to all that live near it. who are inquiries of their landlord the upholsterer, thus turned to relish calm and ordinary relating to their manners and conversation, life. Eubulus presides over the middle as also concerning the remarks which they hours of the day, when this assembly of made in this country: for, next to the formmen meet together. He enjoys a great for- | ing a right notion of such strangers, I should june handsomely, without launching into be desirous of learning what ideas they have expense; and exerts many noble and useful conceived of us. qualities, without appearing in any public. The upholsterer finding my friend very employment. His wisdom and knowledge inquisitive about these his lodgers, brought are serviceable to all that think fit to make him some time since a little bundle of pause of them; and he does the office of a pers, which he assured him were written counsel, a judge, an executor, and a friend by king Sa Ga Yean Qua Rash Tow, and, to all his acquaintance, not only without the as he supposes, left behind by some misprofits which attend such offices, but also take. These papers are now translated, without the deference and homage which and contain abundance of very odd observaare usually paid to them. The giving of tions, which I find this little fraternity of thanks is displeasing to him. The greatest kings made during their stay in the isle of gratitude you can show him, is to let him Great Britain. I shall present my reader see you are a better man for his services: with a short specimen of them in this paand that you are as ready to oblige others. I per, and may perhaps communicate more as he is to oblige you.
to him hereafter. In the article of London In the private exigencies of his friends, are the following words, which without he lends at legal value considerable sums doubt are meant of the church of St. Paul: which he might highly increase by rolling |
On the most rising part of the town in the public stocks. He does not consider there stands a huge house, big enough to in whose hands his money will improve contain
contain the whole nation of which I am most, but where it will do most good.
king. Our good brother E Tow O Koam, Eubulus has so great an authority in his king of the Rivers, is of opinion it was made little diurnal audience, that when he shakes by the hands of that great God to whom it his head at any piece of public news, they is consecrated. The kings of Granajah and all of them appear deiected: and on the of the Six Nations believe that it was contrary, go home to their dinners with a created with the earth, and produced on good stomach and cheerful aspect when the same day with the sun and moon. But Eubulus seems to intimate that things go for my own part, by the best information well. Nay, their veneration towards him that I could get of this matter, I am apt to is so great, that when they are in other
* The waiter of that coffee-house, frequently nickcompany they speak and act after him: are l named Sir Thomas.
think that this prodigious pile was fashioned pick out from the discourse of our interpre-
The queen of the country appointed two They let the hair of their heads grow to a men to attend us, that had enough of our great length; but as the men make a great language to make themselves understood in show with heads of hair that are none of some few particulars. But we soon per- their own, the women, who they say have ceived these two were great enemies to one very fine heads of hair, tie it up in a knot, another, and did not always agree in the and cover it from being seen. The women same story. We could make shift to gather look like angels, and would be more beautiout of one of them, that this island was very ful than the sun, were it not for little black much infested with a monstrous kind of spots that are apt to break out in their animals, in the shape of men, called whigs, faces, and sometimes rise in very odd and he often told us, that he hoped we figures. I have observed that those little should meet with none of them in our way, blemishes wear off very soon; but when for that if we did, they would be apt to they disappear in one part of the face, they knock us down for being kings.
are very apt to break out in another, insoOur other interpreter used to talk very much that I have seen a spot upon the foremuch of a kind of animal called a tory, that head in the afternoon, which was upon the was as great a monster as the whig, and chin in the morning.' would treat us as ill for being foreigners. The author then proceeds to show the These two creatures, it seems are born absurdity of breeches and petticoats, with with a secret antipathy to one another, and many other curious observations, which I engage when they meet as naturally as the shall reserve for another occasion. I cannot elephant and the rhinoceros. But as we however conclude this paper without tak. saw none of either of these species, we are ing notice, that amidst these wild remarks apt to think that our guides deceived us there now and then appears something very with misrepresentations and fictions, and reasonable. I cannot likewise forbear obamused us with an account of such mon- serving, that we are all guilty in some measters as are not really in their country. sure of the same narrow way of thinking
• These particulars we made a shift tol which we meet with in this abstract of the