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JOHN LORD SOMMERS,
B A R O N O F E V ESHA M,
M Y LO Ř D, I
Should not act the part of an impartial Spectator, if
I dedicated the following Papers to one who is not of the moft consummate and most acknowledged merit.
None but a person of a finished character, can be the proper patron of a work, which endeavours to cultivate and polish human life, by promoting virtue and knowledge, and by recommending whatsoever may be either useful or ornamental to society.
I know that the homage I now pay You, is offering a kind of violence to one who is as solicitous to Thun applause, as he is affiduous to deserve it. But, my Lord this is perhaps the only particular, in which your prudence will be always disappointed,
Whilft justice, candor, equanimity, a zeal for the good of your country, and the most persuasive eloquence in bringing over others to it, are valuable distinctions, You are not to expect that the Publick will so far comply with your inclinations, as to forbear celebrating such extraordinary qualities. It is in vain that you have endeavoured to conceal your share of merit, in the many national services which you have effected. Do what you will, the present age will be talking of your virtues, tho' pofterity alone will do them juftice.
Other men pass through oppositions and contending interest in the ways of ambition; but Your great abilities have been invited to power, and importuned to accept of advancement. Nor is it ftrange 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 moft exact knowledge of our own conftitution 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 faw, that of the arraignment of its prelates; 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 the publick has received from your adminiftration, would be a more proper work for an history than for an address of this nature,
Your Lordship appears as great in your private life, as in the most important offices which You have born. I would therefore rather choose to speak of the pleasure You afford all who are admitted into your conversation, of Your elegant tafte in all the polite parts of learning, of Your great humanity and complacency of manners, and of the surprising influence which is peculiar to You in making every one who converses with Your Lordship, prefer You to himself, without thinking the less meanly of his own talents. But if I should take notice of all that might be observed in Your Lordship, I should have nothing new to say upon any other character of Distinction.
I am, My LORD,
Τ Η Ε
S P E C T A T O R.
No .. THURSDAY, MARCH 1,1710-11. *publick exercises of the college, I scarce uttered
the quantity of an hundred words; and, indeed, Non fumum ex falgore, fed ex fumo dare lucem do not remember that I ever spoke three sentences Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat. together in my whole life. Whilft I was in
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 143. learned body, I applied myself with so muc'i One with a Haih begins, and ends in smoke; gence to my studies, that there are very few reThe other out of smoke brings glorious light,
brated books, either in the learned or the modern And (without raising expectation high)
tongues, which I am not acquainted with. Surprizes us with dazzling miracles. Roscommon. travel into foreign countries; and therefore left
Upon the death of my father, I was resolved to HAVE obferved, that a reader seldom peruses the university, with the character of an odd, un
a book with pleasure, till he knows whether accountable fellow, that had a great deal of learn. the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild ing, if I would but thew it. An insatiable thirst or choleric difpofition, married or a bachelor; after knowledge carried me into all the countries with other particulars of the like nature, that con of Europe, in which there was any thing new or duce very much to the right understanding of an strange to be seen; nay, to such a degree was my author. To gratify this curiosity, which is so na- curiosity raised, that having read the controversies tural to a reader, I design this paper and my next of some great men concerning the antiquities of das prefatory discourses to my following writings, Egypt, I made a voyage to Grand Cairo, on purand Thall give some account in them of the several' pose to take the measure of a pyramid ; and as 100n persons that are engaged in this work. As the chief as I had set myself right in that particular, retrouble of compiling, digesting, and correcting, turned to my native country with great satisfaction, will fall to my share, I inust do myself the justice I have passed my latter years in this city, where to open the work with my own history.
I am frequently seen in moit public places, though I was born to a small hereditary estate, which, there are not above half a dozen of my select friends. according to the tradition of the village where it that know me; of whom my next paper fall give lies, was bounded by the same hedges and ditches a more particular account. There is 110 place of in William the Conqueror's time that it is at pre- general resort, wherein I do not often make my fent, and has been delivered down from father to appearance; sometimes I am seen thrusting my fon whcle and entire, without the loss or acqui. head into a round of politicians at Will's, and lifsition of a single field or meadow, during the space tening with great attention to the narratives that of six hundred years. There runs a story in the are made in those little circular audiences. Some. family, that when my mother was gone with child times I finoke a pipe at Child's, and whilft I seem of me about three months, the dreamt that the attentive to notlıing but the Portman, overhear the *as brought to bed of a judge: Whether tliis conversation of every table in the room. I appear might proceed from a law-suit which was then on Sunday nights at St. James's corfee-house; and depending in the family, or my father's being a sometimes join the little committee of politicks justice of the peace, I cannot determine; for I in the inner room, as one who comes there to hear am not so vain as to think it prefaged ary dignity and improve. My face is likewise very well known t'iat I should arrive at in my future life, though at the Grecian, the Cocoa-Tree, and in the clicaties that wa the interpretation wirich the neighbour- both of Drury-Lane and the Hay-Market. I have bood put upon it. The gravity of my behaviour been taken for a merchant upon the Exchange for at my very first appearance in the world, and all above these ten years, and fonetimes país los a the time that I fucked, seenied to favour my mo- Jew in the assembly of 1tock-jobbers at Jonathan's, ther's dream ; for, as she has often told me, I in mort, wherever I see a cluster of people, ! :threw away my rattle before I wis two incntlıs ways inix with them, though I never open niy öld, and would not inake use of my coral until lips bur in my own club. they had taken away the bells from it.
Thus I live in the world rather as a speciator of As for the rest of my infancy, there being 110. mankind, than as one of the fpecies by wcia thing in it remarkable, i' ihall pass it over in silence. rpeano I have made myself a fpeculativostutelma!, I find, ther, during my nonage, I had the reputa. ididier, merchant, and artii, without the met tion of a váry fullcn youtlı; but was always a sa- dling with any pract cal part in life. lam very vourite of my ichoolnaitcr, who used to say, “that well versed in the theory of a huband or a father, my parts were sclid, and would wear vell.” I and candiscernche error int.ccconomy.bufiner, hari not been long at the iniversity, before I dif- and diversion of others, better than thoi who are tingui el myself by a most; rofund silence; for engaged in them; as lianders--by discover blous, during the space of eigent yearò, excepting in the which are ap: to escape those who are its tie santé
I never espoused any party with violence, and am grand father was inventor of that famous counresolved to observe an exact neutrality between the try-dance which is called after him. All who Whigs and Tories, unless I thall be forced to declare know that shire are very well acquainted with myself by the hostilities of either fide. In short, I the parts and merits of Sir Roger. He is a have acted in all the parts of my life as a looker-on, gentleman that is very fingular in his behaviwhich is the character I intend to preserve in this our, but his fingularities proceed from his good paper.
sense, and are contradictions to the manners of I have given the reader just so much of my history the world, only as he thinks the world is in the and character, as to let him sec I am not altogether wrong. However, this humour creates him no unqualified for the business I have undertaken. As enemies, for he does nothing with fourness or obfor other particulars in my life and adventures, I ftinacy; and his being unconfined to modes and thall insert them in following papers I thall see forms makes him but the readier and more ca. occafion. In the mean time, when I consider how pable to please and oblige all who know him. much I have seen, read, and heard, I begin to blame When he is in town, he lives in Soho-Square. It my own taciturnity; and since I have neither time is said, he keeps himself a bachelor, by reason he nor inclination to communicate the fulness of my was crofled in love by a perverse beautiful widow heart in speech, I am refolved to do it in writing, of the next county to him. Before this disappoineand to print myself out, if possible, before I die.. ment, Sir Roger was what you call a fine gentleI have been often told by my friends, that it is pity man, had often supped with my Lord Rochelter and so many useful discoveries which I have made should Sir George Etherage, fought a duel upon his first be in the possession of a filent man. For this reason coming to town, and kicked Bully Dawson in a therefore, I Thall publish a sheet-full of thoughts public coffee-house for calling him youngster. But every morning, for the benefit of my contenapo- being ill-used by the above-mentioned widow, he raries ; and if I can any way contribute to the di was very serious for a year and a half; and though, version or improvement of the country in which I his temper being naturally jovial, he at last got live, I shall leave it, when I am fummoned out of over it, he grew careless of himself, and never it, with the secret satisfaction of thinking that I drefled afterwards. He continues to wear a coat have not lived in vain.
and doublet of the same cut that were in fashion at There are three very material points which I have the time of his repulse, which, in his merry hupot spoken to in this paper; and which, for several mours, he tells us, has been in and out twelve important reasons, I must keep to myself, at least times since he firit wore it. It is said Sir Roger for some time : I mean, an account of my name, grew humble in his defires after he had forgot this my age, and my lodgings. I must confess, I would cruel beauty, insomuch, that it is reported he has gratify my Reader in any thing that is reasonable; frequently offended in point of chastity with beggars but as for these three particulars, though I am sen- and gypsies: but this is looked upon by his friends fible they might tend very much to the embellish- rather as a matter of raillery than cruth. He is ment of my paper, I cannot yet come to a resolution now in the fixty-sixth year, chearful, gay and hearty ; of communicating them to the Public. They would keeps a good house both in town and country; a indeed draw me out of that obfcurity which I have great lover of mankind; but there is such a mirthenjoyed for many years, and exposé me in public ful cast in his behaviour, that he is rather beloved places to several falutes and civilities, which have than esteemed. His tenants grow rich, his serbeen always very disagrecable to me; for the
vants look satisfied, all the young women profess greatest pain I can suffer is, the being talked to, love to him, and the young men are glad of his and being stared at. It is for this reason likewise, company; when he comes into a houle, he calls that I keep my complexion and dress as very great the fervants by their names, and talks all the way secrets; though it is not impossible, but I may make up-stairs to a visit. I must not omit, that sie discoveries of both, in the progreis of the work I Roger is a justice of the Quorum; that he hills the have undertaken.
chair at a quarter-feflion with great abilities, and After having been thus particular upon myself, I three months ago gained universal applause by exfhall in to-morrow's paper give an account of those plaining a pafrage in the game-act. Gentlemen who are concerned with me in this
The Gentleman next in eltcem and authority work; for, as I have before intimated, a plan of it among us, is another bachelor, who is a is laid and concerted, as all other matters of im
ber of the Inner-Temple; a man of great probity, portance are, in a club. However, as my friends wit, and understanding; but he has chosen his have engaged me zo stand in the front, those, who piace of refidence, rather to obey the direction of an have a mind to correspond with me, may direct old humoursome father, than in purluit of his own their letters to the Speziator, at Mr. Buckley's, in inclinations. He was placed there to study the Lircle-Britain. For I must further acquaint the laws of the land, and is the most learned of any reader, that though our club meets only on Tuef- of the house in those of the stage. Aristotle and days and Thursdays, we have appointed a committee Longinus aro much betees underitood by him tban to dit every night for the inspection of all such pa.
Littleton or Coke. The father fends up evepers as may contribute to the advancement of the ry post questions relating to marriage-articles, public weal.
teafds, aos tenures, in the neighburhood; all which questions ho agrees with an attorney to an
swer and take care of in the lump, He is ftudying FRIDAY, MARCH 2,
the passions themselves, when he should be enFf alii sex
quiring into the debates among men which arise Et plures uno conclament ore----Juv. Cat. 7. v. 167. from them. · He knows the argument of each of
the orations of Demosthenes and Tully; but nat Six more at leat join their confenting voice.
one case lo the reports of our own courts. No one T Worcesters of ancient de recently a Batoa UE firit of our society
and Gentleman of
ever took him for a tool, but none, exceps his met, wis name Sir Roger de Coocring. His vtent This turn mico him ae orice bollen, ditama terelted