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fellow templars on Thursday last, was getting up into his study at the bottom of Gray's-Inn Lane, in order, I suppose, to contemplate in the fresh air. Now, Sir, my request is, that the great modesty of these two gentlemen may be recorded as a pattern to the rest : and if you would but give them two or three touches with your own pen, though you might not perhaps prevail with them to desist entirely from their meditations, yet I doubt not but you would at least preserve them from being public spectacles of folly in our streets. I say, two or three touches with your own pen; for I have really observed, Mr. Spec, that those Spectators which are so prettily laced down the sides with little c's, how instructive soever they may be, do not carry with them that authority as the others. I do again there. fore desire, that for the sake of their dear necks, you would bestow one penful of your own ink upon them. I know you are loath to expose them; and it is, I must confess, a thousand pities that any young gentleman, who is come of honest parents, should be brought to public shame : and indeed I should be glad to have them handled a little tenderly at the first ; but if fair means will not prevail, there is then no other way to reclaim them, but by making use of some wholesome severities; and I think it is better that a dozen or two of such good. for-nothing fellows should be made examples of, than that the reputation of some hundreds of as hopeful young gentlemen as myself should suffer through their folly. It is not, however, for me to direct you what to do : but, in short, if our coachmen will drive on this trade, the very first of them that I do find meditating in the streets, I shall make bold to take the number of his chambers, together
with a note of his name, and dispatch them to you, that you may chastise him at your own discretion.
• I am, dear Spec,
• Esq. if you please.'
· P. S. Tom Hammercloth, one of our coachmen, is now pleading at the bar at the other end of the room, but has a little too much vehemence, and throws out his arms too much to take his audience with a good grace.'
To my loving and well-beloved John Sly, haberdasher of
hats, and tobacconist, between the cities of London and Westminster.
WHEREAS frequent disorders, affronts, and indignities, omissions, and trespasses, for which there are no remedies by any form of law, but which apparently disturb and disquiet the minds of men, happen near the place of your residence : and that you are, as well by your commodious situation, as the good parts with which you are endowed, properly qualified for the observation of the said offences; I do hereby authorise and depute you, from the hours of nine in the morning, until four in the afternoon, to keep a strict eye upon all persons and things that are conveyed in coaches, carried in carts, or walk on foot from the city of London to the city of Westminster, or from the city of Westminster to the city of London, within the said hours. You are there, fore not to depart from your observatory at the end of Devereux-Court during the said space of each day; but to observe the behaviour of all persons who are suddenly transported from stamping on pebbles to sit at ease in chariots, what notice they take of their foot acquaintance, and send me the speediest advice when they are guilty of overlooking, turning from, or appearing grave and distant to their old friends. When man and wife are in the same coach, you are to see whether they appear pleased or tired with each other, and whether they carry the due mean in the eye of the world, between fondness and coldness. You are carefully to behold all such as shall have addition of honour or riches, and report whether they preserve the countenance they had before such addition. As to persons on foot, you are to be attentive whether they are pleased with their condition, and are dressed suitable to it; but especially to distinguish such as appear discreet, by a low-heel shoe, with the decent ornament of a leather garter : to write down the names of such country gentlemen as, upon the approach of peace, have left the hunting for the military cock of the hat : of all who strut, make a noise, and swear at the drivers of coaches to make haste, · when they see it impossible they should pass : of all young gentlemen on coach-boxes, who labour at a perfection in what they are sure to be excelled by the meanest of the people. You are to do all that in you lies that coaches and passengers give way according to the course of business, all the morning in termtime towards Westminster, the rest of the year to. wards the Exchange. Upon these directions, together with other secret articles herein inclosed, you are to govern yourself, and give advertisement thereof to me at all convenient and spectatorial hours, when men of business are to be seen. Hereof you are not to fail. Given under my seal of office.
No. DXXVII. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4.
Facilè invenies & pejorem, & pejus moratam;
You will easily find a worse woman ; a better the sun never
I AM so tender of my women-readers, that I cannot defer the publication of any thing which concerns their happiness or quiet. The repose of a married woman is consulted in the first of the following letters, and the felicity of a maiden lady in the second. I call it a felicity to have the addresses of an agreeable man : and I think I have not any where seen a prettier application of a poetical story than that of his, in making the tale of Cephalus and Procris the history-picture of a fan in so gallant a manner as he addresses it. But see the letters.
“IT is now almost three months since I was in town about some business ; and the hurry of it being over, took coach one afternoon, and drove to see a relation, who inarried about six years ago a wealthy citizen. I found her at home, but her husband gone to the Exchange, and expected back within an hour at the farthest. After the usual salutations of kindness, and a hundred questions about friends in the country, we sat down to piquet, played two or three games, and drank tea. I should have told you that this was my second time of seeing her since marriage; but before she lived at the same town where I went to school ; so that the plea of a relation, added to the innocence of my youth, prevailed upon her good humour to indulge me in a freedom of conversation as often, and oftener, than the strict discipline of the
school would allow of. You may easily imagine after such an acquaintance we might be exceeding merry without any offence, as in calling to mind how many inventions I have been put to in deluding the master, how many hands forged for excuses, how many times been sick in perfect health; for I was then never sick but at school, and only then because out of her com. pany. We had whiled away three hours after this manner, when I found it past five : and not expect. ing her husband would return until late, rose up, told her I should go early next morning for the country : she kindly answered she was afraid it would be long before she saw me again; so I took my leave and parted. Now, Sir, I had not been got home a fortnight, when I received a letter from a neighbour of theirs, that ever since that fatal afternoon the lady had been most inhumanly treated, and the husband publicly stormed that he was made a member of two numerous a society. He had, it seems, listened most of the time my cousin and I were together. As jealous ears always hear double, so he heard enough to make him mad; and as jealous eyes always see through magnifying-glasses, so he was certain it could not be I whom he had seen, a beardless stripling, but fancied he saw a gay gentleman of the Temple, ten years older than myself; and for that reason, I presume, durst not come in, nor take any notice when I went out. He is perpetually asking his wife if she does not think the time long (as she said she should) until she see her cousin again. Pray, Sir, what can be done in this case? I have writ to him to assure him I was at his house all that afternoon expecting to see him : his answer is, it is only a trick of hers, and that he neither can nor will believe me. The parting kiss I find mightily nettles him, and confirms him in all his errors. Ben Jonson, as I remember, makes a foreigner in one of his comedies, admire the desperate valour of the bold English, who