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inos in Germany; commended the brothels at Ve nice; the freedom of conversation in France; and though I never was out of this dear town, and fifty miles about it, have been three nights together dogged by bravoes, for an intrigue with a cardinal's mistress at Rome.
. It were endless to give you particulars of this kind; but I can assure you, Mr. Spectator, there are about twenty or thirty of us in this town: I mean by this town the cities of London and Westminster;
there are in town a sufficient number of us to make a society among ourselves; and since we cannot be believed any longer, I beg of you to print this my letter, that we may meet together, and be under such regulation as there may be no occasion for belief or confidence among us.
If you think fit, we might be called “ the historians," for liar is become a very harsh word. And that a member of the society may not hereafter be ill received by the rest of the world, I desire you would explaiu a little this sort of men, and not let us historians be ranked, as we are in the imaginations of ordinary people, among common liars, make-bates, impostors, and incendiaries. For your instruction herein, you are to know that an historian in conversation is only a person of so pregnant a fancy, that he cannot be contented with ordinary occurrences.
I know a man of quality of our order, who is of the wrong side of forty-three, and has been of that age, according to Tully's jest, for some years since, whose vein is upon the roinantic. Give hiin the least occasion, and he will tell you something so very particular that happened in such a year, and in such company, where hy the by was present such a one, who was afterwards made such a thing-Out of all these circumstances, in the best language in the world, he will join together with such probable incidents
an account that shews a person of the deepest penetration, the honestest mind, and withal something so humble when he speaks of himself, that you would admire. Dear sir, why should this be lying! there is nothing so instructive. He has withal the gravest aspect; something so very venerable and great! Another of these historians is a young man whom we would take in, though he extremely wants parts; as people send children (before they can learn any thing) to school, to keep them out of harm's way.- He tells things which have nothing at all in them, and can neither please nor displease, but merely take up your time to no manner of purpose, no manner of delight; but he is good-natured, and does it because he loves to be saying something to you, and
* I could name you a soldier that hath done very great things without slaughter; he is prodigiously dull and slow of head, but what he can say is for ever false, so that we must have him.
Give me leave to tell you of one more, who is a lover; he is the most afflicted creature in the world, lest what happened between him and a great beauty should ever be known. Yet again he comforts himself “ Hang the jade her woman. If money can keep the slut trusty I will do it, though I mortgage every acre; Anthony and Cleopatra for that; all for love and the world well lost.”
* Then, sir, there is my little merchant, honest Indigo of the 'Change, there is my man for loss and gain ; there is tare and tret, there is lying all round the globe; he las such a prodigious intelligence, he knows all the French are doing, or what we intend or ought to intend, and has it from such hands. But, alas, whither am I running! while I complain, while I remonstrate to you, even all this is a lie, and there is not one such person of quality, lover, soldier, or merchant, as I have now described in the whole world, that I know of. But I will catch myself once in my life, and in spite of nature speak one truth, to wit, that I am, T.
Your humble servant, &c.'
N° 137. TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 1711.
At hæc etiam servis semper libera fuerunt, timerent, gauderent, dolerent, suo potius quam alterius arbitrio.
TULL. Epist. Even slaves were always at liberty to fear, rejoice, and grieve, at their own rather than another's pleasure.
It is no small concern to me, that I find so many complaints from that part of mankind whose portion it is to live in servitude, that those whom they depend upon will not allow them to be even as happy as their condition will admit of. There are, as these unhappy correspondents inform me, masters who are offended at a cheerful countenance, and think a servant is broke loose from them, if he does not preserve the utmost awe in their presence. There is one who says, if he looks satisfied, his master asks him, what makes him so pert this morning ;' if a
· Hark ye, sirrah, are not you paid your wages ! The poor creatures live in the most extreme misery together; the master knows not how to preserve respect, nor the servant how to give it. It seems this person is of so sullen a nature, that he knows but little satisfaction in the midst of a plentiful fortune, and secretly frets to see any appearance of content in one that lives upon the hundredth part of his income, while he is unhappy in the possession of the whole. Uneasy persons, who cannot possess their own minds, vent their spleen upon all who depend upon them; which, I think, is expressed in a lively manner in the following letters.
August 2, 1711. • I HAVE read your Spectator of the third of the last month, and wish I had the happiness of being preferred to serve so good a master as Sir Roger. The character of my master is the very reverse of that good and gentle knight's. All his directions are given, and his mind revealed by way of contraries : as when any thing is to be remembered, with a peculiar cast of face he cries « Be sure to forget now." If I am to make haste back,
" Do not come these two hours; be sure to call by the way upon some of your companions.” Then another excellent way of his is, if he sets me any thing to do, which he knows must necessarily take up half a day, he calls ten times in a quarter of an hour to know whether I have done yet.
This is his manner; and the same perverseness runs through all his actions, according as the circumstances vary. Besides all this, he is so suspicious, that he submits himself to the drudgery of a spy. He is as unhappy himself as he makes his servants: he is constantly watching us, and we differ no more in pleasure and liberty than as a gaoler and a prisoner. He lays traps for faults, and no sooner makes a discovery, but falls into such language, as I am more ashained of for coming from him, than for being directed to me. This, sir, is a short sketch of a master I have served upwards of nine years; and though I have never wronged him, I confess my despair of pleasing him has very much abated my endeavour to do it. If you
will give me leave to steal a sentence out of my master's
Clarendon, I shall tell you my case in a word, “ being used worse than I deserved, I cared less to deserve well than I had done."
I am, SIR,
DEAR MR. SPECTER,
• I AM the next thing to a lady's woman, and am under both my lady and her woman. so used by them both, that I should be very glad to see them in the Specter. My lady herself is of no mind in the world, and for that reason her woman is of twenty minds in a moment. My lady is one that never knows what to do with herself; she pulls on and puts off every thing she wears, twenty times, before she resolves upon it for that day. I stand at one end of the room, and reach things to her woman. When my lady asks for a thing, I hear, and have half brought it, when the woman meets me in the middle of the room to receive it, and at that instant she says, No, she will not have it.” Then I go back, and her woman comes up to her, and by this time she will have that, and two or three things more in an instant. The woman and I run to each other; I am loaded and delivering the things to her, when my lady says she wants none of all these things, and we are the dullest creatures in the world, and she the unhappiest woman living, for she shall not be drest in any time. Thus we stand not knowing what to do, when our good lady with all the patience in the world tells us as plain as she can speak, that she will have temper because we have no manner of understanding; and begins again to dress, and see if we can find out of ourselves what we are to do. When she is dressed she
goes Jinner, and after she has disliked every thing there,