Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


ti 10Rs, untin not act the part of an impartial Speculy,if I dedicated the following papers to one who is not of the most consummate and most actowledged merit. None but a person of a finished character can to proper patron of a work which endeavours otole and polish human life, by promoting trut ind knowledge, and by recommending whatfor may be either useful or ornamental to sotoy, Iknow that the homage I now pay you, is offerof kind of violence to one who is as solicitous to Anophuse, as he is assiduous to deserve it. But, moni, hisisperhaps the only particular in which *Vience will be always disappointed. "kle justice, candour, equanimity, a zeal for *god of your country, and the most persuasive * in bringing over others to it, are valu. *isitions; you are not to expect that the * will so far comply with your inclinations, "forbear celebrating such extraordinary quali* It's in vain that you have endeavoured to

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


BARON of Evesh AM."

services which you have effected. Ilo what you will, the present age will be talking of your virtues, though posterity alone will do them justice. Other men pass through oppositions and contending interests in the ways of ambition; but your great abilities have been invited to power, and importuned to accept of advancement. Nor is it strange that this should happen to your lordship, who could bring into the service of your sovereign the arts and policies of ancient Greece and Rome; as well as the most exact knowledge of our own constitution in particular, and of the interests of Europe in general; to which I must also add, a certain dignity in yourself, that (to say the least of it) has been always equal to those great honours which have been conferred upon you. It is very well known how much the church owed to you, in the most dangerous day it ever saw, that of the arraignment of its prelates ;f and how far the civil power, in the late and present reign, has been indebted to your counsels and wisdom. But to enumerate the great advantages which

'***patriot, who has been justly said to have ‘dis. **by his life, and planned them for posterity, was *Wooter, 1651. He was educated at oxford, and after. **ted himself of the Middle Temple, where he studied ***httatvigour.judiciously blending it with polite lite. ** **u distinguished himself at the bar; and in 1681 *** share in a piece intituled, “A just and modest *** sh: two latt Parliaments. In 1688 he was of counsel * *mbolops at their trial, and argued with great learning '** against the dispenting power. In the convention * Prince woungoumous, Jan. 22,1688-0, he * Wortester; and was one of the managers for the *** ataconference with the house of lords, upon ****'. Soon after the accession of King william : "on to be throne, he was appointed solicitor-gene.

**tened the honour of knighthood. In 1692 he was made

"olyour share of merit in the many national the public has received from your administration,

lord high chancellor of England. In the beginning of 1700 he was removed from his post of lord chancellor; and the year after was impeached of high crimes and misdemeanors by the house of commons, of which he was acquitted upon trial by the house of lords. He then retired to a studious course of life, and was chosen president of the Royal Society. In 1706 he proposed a bill for the regulation of the law ; and the same year was one of the principal managers for the union between England and Scotland. In | 1708 he was made lord president of the council, from which post he was removed in 1710, upon the change of the ministry. In the latter end of Queen Anne's reign, his lordship grew very infirm in his health; which indisposition is supposed to have been the reason that he held no other post than a seat at the council table, after the accession of George I. He died of an apoplectic fit, April 26, 1716, Lord Somers, besides being a most incorrupt law. yer, and honest statesman, was a master-orator, a genius of the

on, and in 1603 advanced to the post of lord keeper finest taste, a great patron of men of parts and iearning, and was ****!orongland. In 1695 he proposed an expedient the person who redeemed Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost' from that ob. **** practice of clipping the coin; and the same year'scurity in which party-prejudice and hatred had suffered it long **ote of the lords justices of England during his to lie neglected. He wrote several pieces on the subject of poli. *...*.*h, wholewaem the two following years.ltics, and translated certain part of Plutarch and ova. " ***ated tortSomer, Baron of Evesham, and made t Trial of the seven bishops, June 29, 1889,


would be a more proper work for an history, than] himself, without thinking the less" meanly of h for an address of this nature. own talents. But if I should take notice of all th: Your lordship appears as great in your private] might be observed in your lordship, I should hav life, as in the most important offices which you have|nothing new to say upon any other character c borne. I would, therefore, rather choose to speak|distinction. I am, Mr Lond, of the pleasure you afford all who are admitted to Your lordship's most devoted, your conversation, of your elegant taste in all the Most obedient humble servant, polite arts of learning, of your great humanity and complacency of manners, and of the surprising in

fluence which is peculiar to you, in making eve p - you, - g "| " This must certainly be an error; and for less we should rest one who converses with your lordship prefer you to 'more.


[ocr errors]


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

| I HAVE observed, that a reader seldom peruses

shockwith pleasure, till he knows whether the voterofit be a black or a fair man, of a mild or thletic disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particulars of the like nature, that conduce rty much to the right understanding of an auther. Togntify this curiosity, which is so natural to a rider, I design this paper and my next as prefato discourses to my following writings, and shall for some account in them of the several persons little engaged in this work. As the chief trou. of compiling, digesting, and correcting, will hitomy share, I must do myself the justice to on the work with my own history.

! was born to a small hereditary estate, which, wording to the tradition of the village where it **asboundedbythe same hedges and ditches in Wom the Conqueror's time that it is at present, and has been delivered down from father to son, * and entire, without the loss or acquisition of singlefield or meadow, during the space of six oted years. There runs a story in the family, to when my mother was gone with child of me *t three months, she dreamt that she was trot to bed of a judge. Whether this might

[ocr errors]

intesimily, or my father's being a justice of the **, Itannot determine; for I am not so vain *think it presaged any dignity that I should **In my future life, though that was the inotation which the neighbourhood put upon it,

The gravity of my behaviour at my very first

*itance in the world, and at the time that I

*t, seemed to favour my mother's dream: for, **lus often told me, I threw away my rattle be. *I was two months old, and would not make *of my coral until they had taken away the

[ocr errors]

As the rest of my infancy; there being no*; in it remarkablé, I shali pass it over in si* I find that, during my nonage, I had the *tion of a very sullen youth, but was always loote of my schoolmaster, who used to say, * my parts were solid, and would wear well.” **been long at the university before I disolished myself by a most profound silence; for, of the space of eight years, excepting in the Poexercises of the college, Iscarce uttered the ; and indeed do not *er that I ever spoke three sentencestore

* of a hundred wo

ther in my whole life. Whilst I was in this learn

[ocr errors]

books, eitherin the learned or the modern tongues, which I am not acquainted with. Upon the death of my father I was resolved to travel into foreign countries, and therefore left the university, with the character of an odd unaccountable fellow, that had a great deal of learning, if I would but show it. An insatiable thirst after knowledge carried me into all the countries of Europe, in which there was anything new or strange to be seen; nay, to such a degree was my curiosity raised, that, having read the controversies of some great men concerning the antiquities of Egypt, I made a voyage to Grand Cairo, on purpose to take the measure of a pyramid; and, as soon as I had set myself right in that particular, returned to my native country with great satisfaction.” I have passed my latter years in this city, where I am frequently seen in most public places, though there are not above half a dozen of my select friends that know me of whom my next paper shall give a more particular account. There is no place of general resort wherein I do not often make my appearance: sometimes I am seen thrusting my head into a round of politicians at Will's, and listening with great attention to the narratives that are made in those little circular audiences; sometimes I smoke a pipe at Child’s,t and, while I seem attentive to nothing but the Post. man, overhear the conversation of every table in the room. I appear on Sun'ay night at St. James's coffee-house, and sometimes join the little committee of politics in the inner room, as one who comes there to hear and improve. My face is likewise very well known at the Grecian, the Cocoa-Tree, and in the theatres both of Drury Ilane and the Haymarket. I have been taken for a merchant upon the Exchange for above these ten years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in the assembly of stock-jobbers at Jonathan's. In short, wherever I see a cluster of people, I always mix with them, though I never open my lips but in my own club. Thus I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species; by which means I have made myself a speculative statesman, soldier, merchant, and artizan, without ever meddling with any practical part in life. I am very well versed in the theory of a husband or a father, and can discern the errors in the economy, busi. ness, and diversion of others, better than those who are engaged in them; as standers-by discover blots, which are apt to escape those who are in the game. I never espoused any part with violence, and am resolved to observe an exact neutrality be. tween the whigs and tories, unless I shall be forced to declare myself by the hostilities of either side. In short, I have acted in all the parts of my life as a looker-on, which is the character I intend to preserve in this paper.

• An allusion, no doubt, to Mr. John Greaves, a mathema. |tician and antiquary, who, after visiting Egypt, published a book - entitled “Pyramidographia.”

+ This coffeehouse, in 8t, Paul's Church-yard, was the resort of the clergy.

# In 'Chauge Alley,

[ocr errors]

* I have given the reader just so much of my his. tory and character, as to let him see I am not altogether unqualified for the business I have undertaken. As for other particolars in my life and adventures, I shall insert them in following papers, as I shall see occasion. In the mean time, when I consider how much I have seen, read, and heard, I begin to blame my own taciturnity; and since I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fulness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out, if possible, before I die. I have been often told by my friends, that it is pity, so many useful discoveries which I have made should be in the possession of a silent man. For this reason, therefore, I shall publish a sheet-full of thoughts every morning for the benefit of my contemporaries; and if I can any way contribute to the diversion or improvement of the country in which I live, I shall leave it, when I am summoned out of it, with the secret satisfaction of thinking that I have not lived in wain.

There are three very material points which I have not spoken to in this paper; and which, for several important reasons, I must keep to myself, at least for some time ; I mean, an account of my mame, my age, and my lodgings. I must confess, I would gratify my reader in anything that is reasonable; but as for these three particulars, though I am sensible they might tend very much to the em. bellishment of my paper, I cannot yet come to a resolution of communicating them to the public. They would indeed draw me out of that obscurity which I have enjoyed for many years, and expose me in public places to several salutes and civilities, which have been always very disagreeable to me; for the greatest pain I can suffer, is the being talked to, and being stared at. It is for this reasom, likewise, that I keep my complexion and dress as very great secrets; though it is not impossible but I may make discoveries of both in the pro

gress of the work I have undertaken. After having been thus particular upon myself, I shall in to-morrow’s paper give an account of those gentlemen who are concerned with me in this work; for, as I have before intimated, a plan of it is laid and concerted (as all other matters of importance are) in a club. However, as my friends have engaged me to stand in the front, those who have a mind to correspond with me may direct their letters to the Spectator, at Mr. Buckley's, in Little Britain; for I must further acquaint the reader, that though our club meets only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have appointed a committee, to sit every night for the inspection of all such papers as may contribute to the advancement of the pub

lic weal. Appisox." C. --M, 2. FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 1710-11. Ast ahi ser

Et plures, uno conclamant oré- JUV.Sat. vii. 167.

Six more at least join their consenting voice.

The first of our society is a gentleman of Worcestershire, of an ancient descent, a baronet, his name Sir Roger de Coverleyf His great grandfather

• His papers in the Spectator are all marked by some one of the letters composing the word CLIO. See No. 555.

+ This character is said by Mr. Tyers to have been drawn for sir John Packington of Worcestershire; a tory, not with. out good sense, but abounding in absurdities. But this may,

among us is another bachelor, who is a member of the Inner-Temple ; a man of great probity, wit, and understanding; but he has chosen his place of residence rather to obey the direction of an old humorsome father, than in pursuit of his own inclinations. He was placed there to study the laws of the land, and is the most learned of any of the house in those of the stage. Aristotle and Longinus are much better understood by him than Littleton or Coke. The father sends up every post questions relating to marriage-articles, leases, and tenures, in the neighbourhood; all which questions he agrees with an attorney to answer and take care of in

probably, have been only a vague report. Mr. Tickell seem: to huve {.. of opinion, in: the account of the Spectator and the club are altogether fictitions. * Then the most fashionable † Dr. Johnson said it appeared to him, “that the story of the widow was intended to have ... "...o. upon it; but the superstructure did not come.” rwell's Life of Johnson, vol. ii. p. 376, 3d edit. # A noted sharper, swaggerer, and debauchee, well known in Black Friars and its then infamous purlieus; , to expose whom, it has been said, the character of Captain Hackum, in Shadwell's comedy called The Squire of Alsatia, was drawn.

was inventor of that famous country-dance which is called after him. All who know that shire are very well acquainted with the parts and merits of Sir Roger. He is a gentleman that is very singular in his behaviour, but his singularities proceed from his good sense, and are contradictions to the manners of the world, only as he thinks the world is in the wrong. However, this humour creates him no enemies, for he does nothing with sourness or obstinacy; and his being unconfined to modes and forms, makes him but the readier and more capable to please and oblige all who know him. When he is in town, he lives in Soho Square." It is said, he keeps himself a bachelor by reason he was crossed in love by a perverse beautiful widowf of the next county to him. Before this disappointment Sir Roger was what you call a fine gentleman, had often supped with my Lord Rochester and Sir George Etheridge, fought a duel upon his first coming to town, and kicked bully Dawson; in a public coffee-house, for calling him youngster. But being ill used by the above-mentioned widow, he was very serious for a year and a half: and though, his temper being naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew careless of himself, and never dressed afterwards. He continues to wear a coat and doublet of the same cut that were in fashion at the time of his repulse, which, in his merry humours, he tells us, has been in and out twelve times since he first wore it. It is said Sir Roger grew humble in his desires after he had forgot his cruel beauty, insomuch that it is reported he has frequently offended in point of chastity with beggars and gip. sies; but this is looked upon, by his friends, rather as matter of raillery than truth. He is now in his fifty-sixth year, cheerful, gay and hearty; keeps a good house both in town and country; a great lover of mankind; but there is such a mirthful cast in his behaviour, that he is rather beloved than esteemed. \,; His tenants grow rich, his servants look satisfied, all the young women profess love to him, and the young men are glad of his company. When he comes into a house he calls the servants by their names, and talks all the way up stairs to a visit, I must not omit, that Sir Roger is a justice of the quorum; that he fills the chair at a quarter-session with great abilities : and three months ago gained universal applause by explaining a passage in the game-act. .) The gentleman next in esteem and authority

rt of the town.


« ZurückWeiter »