Зображення сторінки


advised me to continue to act discreetly in that point.

By this time I found every subject of my speculations was taken away from me, by one or other of the club: and began to think myself in the con- 5 dition of the good man that had one wife who took a dislike to his gray hairs, and another to his black, till by their picking out what each of them had an aversion to, they left his head altogether bald and naked.

While I was thus musing with myself, my worthy friend the clergyman, who, very luckily for me, was at the club that night, undertook my cause. He told us, that he wondered any order of persons should think themselves too considerable to be ad- 15 vised. That it was not quality, but innocence, which exempted men from reproof. That vice and folly ought to be attacked wherever they could be met with, and especially when they were placed in high and conspicuous stations of life. He further 20 added, that my paper would only serve to aggravate the pains of poverty, if it chiefly exposed those who are already depressed, and in some measure turned into ridicule, by the meanness of their conditions and circumstances. He afterward proceeded to take 25 notice of the great use this paper might be of to the public, by reprehending those vices which are too trivial for the chastisement of the law, and too fantastical for the cognizance of the pulpit. He

then advised me to prosecute my undertaking with cheerfulness, and assured me, that whoever might be displeased with me, I should be approved by all

those whose praises do honor to the persons on 5 whom they are bestowed.

The whole club pay a particular deference to the discourse of this gentleman, and are drawn into what he says, as much by the candid ingenuous

manner with which he delivers himself, as by the 10 strength of argument and force of reason which he

makes use of. Will Honeycomb immediately agreed that what he had said was right; and that, for his part, he would not insist upon the quarter which he

had demanded for the ladies. Sir Andrew gave up 15 the city with the same frankness. The Templar

would not stand out, and was followed by Sir Roger and the Captain; who all agreed that I should be at liberty to carry the war into what quarter I pleased;

provided I continued to combat with criminals in a 20 body, and to assault the vice without hurting the person.

This debate, which was held for the good of mankind, put me in mind of that which the Roman

triumvirate' were formerly engaged in for their 25 destruction. Every man at first stood hard for his

friend, till they found that by this means they should spoil their proscription; and at length, making a sacrifice of all their acquaintance and relations, furnished out a very decent execution.

Having thus taken my resolutions to march on boldly in the cause of virtue and good sense, and to annoy their adversaries in whatever degree or rank of men they may be found; I shall be deaf for the future to all the remonstrances that shall be 5 made to me on this account. If Punch 10

grows extravagant, I shall reprimand him very freely: if the stage becomes a nursery of folly and impertinence, I shall not be afraid to animadvert upon it. In short, if I meet with anything in city, court, or 10 country, that shocks modesty or good manners, I shall use my utmost endeavors to make an example of it. I must, however, entreat every particular person, who does me the honor to be a reader of this paper, never to think himself, or any of his 15 friends, or enemies, aimed at in what is said: for I promise him, never to draw a faulty character which does not fit at least a thousand people; or to publish a single paper, that is not written in the spirit of benevolence, and with a love of mankind.


No. 5. A Lady's Library
SPECTATOR No. 37. Thursday, April 12, 1711

Non illa colo calathisve Minervæ
Fæmineas assueta manus

Virg. Æn. vii. 805.


SOME months ago, my friend, Sir Roger being in the country, enclosed a letter to me, directed to a

certain lady whom I shall here call by the name of Leonora, and as it contained matters of consequence, desired me to deliver it to her with my own hand.

Accordingly I waited upon her ladyship pretty early 5 in the morning, and was desired by her woman to

walk into her lady's library, till such time as she was in readiness to receive me. The very sound of a lady's library gave me a great curiosity to see it;

and as it was some time before the lady came to me, 10 I had an opportunity of turning over a great many

of her books, which were ranged together in a very beautiful order. At the end of the folios (which were finely bound and gilt) were great jars of china 3

placed one above another in a very noble piece of 15 architecture. The quartos were separated from the

octavos by a pile of smaller vessels, which rose in a delightful pyramid. The octavos were bounded by tea-dishes of all shapes, colors, and sizes, which were

so disposed on a wooden frame, that they looked 20 like one continued pillar indented with the finest

strokes of sculpture, and stained with the greatest variety of dies. That part of the library which was designed for the reception of plays and pamphlets,

and other loose papers, was enclosed in a kind of 25 square, consisting of one of the prettiest grotesque

works that I ever saw, and made up of scaramouches,' lions, monkeys, mandarins, trees, shells, and a thousand other odd figures in china ware. In the midst of the room was a small japan table, with

a quire of gilt paper upon it, and on the paper a silver snuff-box made in the shape of a little book. I found there were several other counterfeit books upon the upper shelves, which were carved in wood, and served only to fill up the numbers like fagots 5 5 in the muster of a regiment. I was wonderfully pleased with such a mixed kind of furniture, as seemed very suitable both to the lady and the scholar, and did not know at first whether I should fancy myself in a grotto, or in a library.

Upon my looking into the books, I found there were some few which the lady had bought for her own use, but that most of them had been got together, either because she had heard them praised, or because she had seen the authors of them. 15 Among several that I examined, I very well remember these that follow:



Ogleby's Virgil.
Dryden's Juvenal.?
Sir Isaac Newton's 9 Works.
The Grand Cyrus; 10 with a pin stuck in one of the

middle leaves. Pembroke's Arcadia. 11 Locke 12 on Human Understanding; with a paper of

patches 13 in it.


« НазадПродовжити »