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Mr. Stewart, of Dalguise, a gentleman of Perthshire, of very great respectability, who died near ninety, about twelve or fourteen years ago,1 informed us, that when, as usual in that country, the gentlemen met after church on Sunday, to discuss the news of the week, the Spectators were read as regularly as the Journal. He informs us also that he knew the perusal of them to be general through the country.
About seventeen months after the first publication of the Spectator, on the 1st of August, 1712, a stamp duty took place, and every single half-sheet paid one halfpenny to the Queen. The red stamp produced a mortality among the weekly authors, which is facetiously called the "fall of the leaf" (See Spectator, No. 445.) On the seventh day after the tax began to operate, Swift writing to a friend says, "the Observator is fallen; the Medleys are jumbled together with the Flying Post; the Examiner is deadly sick; the Spectator keeps up, and doubles its price," &c.
The Guardian being published daily during the interval between the seventh and eighth volumes of the Spectator, and subjected to the same stamp duty, was sold originally at the doubled price of the papers in the seventh, the eighth, and part of the sixth volumes of the Spectator; that is, at two pence each number.
SPRING-GARDEN, AFTERWARDS VAUXHALL.
THE Spring-garden mentioned by Mr. Addison in Spectator, No. 383, is now known only by the name of Fauxhall or Vauxhall, and was originally the habitation of Sir Samuel Morland, who built a fine room there in 1667. The house was afterwards rebuilt, and about the year 1730 Mr. Jonathan Tyers became the occupier of it; and from a large garden belonging to it, planted with stately trees, and laid out in shady walks, it obtained the name of Spring-garden. The house was converted into a tavern, a place of entertainment, and was much frequented by the votaries of pleasure. Mr. Tyers opened it in 1730, with an advertisement of a Ridotto al Fresco, a term which the people of this country had till that time been strangers to. The reputation and success of these summer entertainments encouraged the proprietor to make his garden a place of musical entertainment for every
1 This was written in 1803.
evening during the summer season. He decorated it with paintings, engaged a band of excellent musicians, issued silver tickets for admission at a guinea each, set up an organ in the orchestra; and in a conspicuous part of the garden erected a fine statue of Handel, the work of Roubillac.
IN Spectator, No. 173, Mr. Addison has, with inimitable humour, attempted to expose the folly of a contest which was advertised to take place in a distant county. The advertisement which specifies the diversion is as follows:
"On the 9th of October next will be run for upon Coleshill-heath, in Warwickshire, a plate of six guineas value, three heats, by any horse, mare, or gelding, that hath not won above the value of £3; the winning horse to be sold for £10; to carry ten stone weight, if fourteen hands high; if above or under, to carry or be allowed weight for inches; and to be entered Friday the 5th, at the Swan, in Coleshill, before six in the evening. Also a plate of less value to be run for by asses. The same day a gold ring to be grinned for by men!"
It is said this paper had such an effect, that immediately on publishing it the proposed grinning-match was laid aside : with such respect were the Spectator's admonitions received in those days, even in a distant county.
MOHOCKS, NICKERS, HAWKABITES, ETC.
SIR Roger de Coverley (Spectator, No. 335, Mar. 25, 1712,) asked "if there would not be some danger in coming home late, in case the Mohocks should be abroad ?”
"It had been for many previous years the favourite amusement of dissolute young men to form themselves into clubs and associations, for the cowardly pleasure of fighting and sometimes maiming harmless pedestrians and even defenceless women. They took various slang designations. At the Restoration they were Muns and Tityre-Tus; then Hectors. and Scourers; later still, Nickers, (whose delight it was to smash windows with showers of half-pence,) Hawkabites, and lastly, Mohocks. These last took their title from "a sort of cannibals in India, who subsist by plundering and devour
ing all the nations about them." Nor was the designation inapt; for if there was one sort of brutality on which they prided themselves more than another, it was in tattooing, or slashing people's faces with, as Gay wrote, "new invented wounds." Their other exploits were quite as savage as those of their predecessors, although they aimed at dashing their mischief with wit and originality. They began their evening at their clubs by drinking to excess in order to inflame what little courage they possessed. They then sallied forth sword in hand. Some enacted the part of "dancing-masters" by thrusting their rapiers between the legs of sober citizens in such a fashion as to make them cut the most grotesque capers. The hunt spoken of by Sir Roger was commenced by a view hallo! and as soon as the savage pack had run down their victim, they surrounded him, and formed a circle with the points of their swords. One gave a puncture in the rear, which naturally made him wheel about; then came a prick from another, and so they kept him spinning like a top till in their mercy they chose to let him go free. An adventure of this kind is narrated in No. 332 of the Spectator. Another savage diversion was thrusting women into barrels and rolling them down Snow or Ludgate Hill: Gay sings,
"their mischiefs done,
Where, from Snow Hill black steepy torrents run;
At the date of the present Spectator" the outrages of the Mohocks were so intolerable that they became the subject of a royal proclamation issued on the 18th of March, just a week before Sir Roger's visit to Drury Lane. Swift-who was horribly afraid of them-mentions some of their villanies. He writes two days previously, that "two of the Mohocks caught a maid of old Lady Winchelsea's at the door of her house in the Park with a candle, and had just lighted out somebody. They cut all her face, and beat her without any provocation."
The proclamation had little effect. On the very day after our party went to the play, we find Swift exclaiming, "They 1 Spectator, No. 324.
go on still, and cut people's faces every night! but they shan't cut mine ;—I like it better as it is."
Wills. Roger de Coverley.
METAMORPHOSIS OF CHARLES THE SECOND'S STATUE.
IN Spectator, No. 462, an amusing account is given of the entertainment of this merry monarch, on his coming into the city, by Sir Robert Viner, who was then Mayor, and who afterwards erected a statue of the King in Stocks Market. Of this statue is told the following anecdote :
The equestrian statue of Charles II. in Stocks Market, erected at the sole charge of Sir Robert Viner, was originally made for John Sobieski, King of Poland; but by some accident it had been left on the workman's hands. To save time and expense, the Polander was converted into a Briton, and the Turk underneath his horse into Oliver Cromwell, to complete the compliment. Unfortunately, the turban on the Turk's head was overlooked, and left an undeniable proof of this story.
This equestrian statue of white marble was erected on a conduit in 1675; but when in 1735 the City Council fixed on Stocks Market for the site of a house of residence for the Lord Mayors of London, the statue was removed to make way for the Mansion-house, the first stone of which was laid. October 25, 1739, by Micajah Perry, Esq., then Lord Mayor.
SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY.
AMONG all the characters in the Spectator, that of Sir Roger de Coverley was the favourite with Addison. Steele, in one of his Spectators, most injudiciously made the old knight pick up a loose woman in the Temple Cloisters. Addison was so heartily vexed when he read this paper, that he immediately called a coach, went to his friend Sir Richard, and would not leave him till he had promised that he would meddle no more with Sir Roger's character. Foreseeing a little before he laid down the Spectator that some one might catch up his pen the moment he had quitted it, he said to an intimate friend, with an unusual warmth in his expression— “By heavens,1 I'll kill Sir Roger, that nobody else may mur
1 In Budgell's version of this story, given in 'The Bee,' (1733,) Addi. son is made to say, 'By God.'
der him." Accordingly the whole Spectator, No. 517, sists of nothing else but an account of the old knight's death, and some moving circumstances that attended it.
CONTINUATION OF THE SPECTATOR.
WHEN the old Spectator was laid down by those hands which at first composed it, the paper was immediately set on foot again by some of the greatest wits in England; several of whose writings, of different kinds, had been received with the utmost applause by the public; yet even these gentlemen, to their great surprise, found the thing would not do; and had the good sense, not only to drop their design, but to conceal their names. Addison said, upon this occasion, that he looked upon the undertaking to write Spectators to be like the attempt of Penelope's lovers to shoot with the bow of Ulysses; who soon found that nobody could shoot well in that bow but the hand which used to draw it.
CURIOUS ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE SPECTATOR.
THE following, advertisements are inserted in the 537th No. of the Spectator, in folio, November 15th, 1712:
"Continued to be sold, neat French brandy, full proof and of fine flavour, at £94 per tun, and at 8s. a gallon for any quantity less than half a hogshead."
An incomparable pleasant tincture to restore the sense of smelling, though lost for many years. A few drops snuffed up the nose infallibly cures those who have lost their smell, let it proceed from what cause soever.”
In No. 546, dated the 25th of the same month, is advertised, "At Punch's Theatre, the Blind Beggar of BethnalGreen. No persons to be admitted with masks or ridinghoods." Then follows a distinction as to women of the town.
TRANSLATIONS OF THE SPECTATOR, TATLER, &C.
THE Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian have been translated into most of the European languages, and have given birth to several papers, in imitation of them, in foreign countries. The French had for some time their Babillard, or Tatler; the Dutch their Spectator; and the Germans had for several
1 The Spectator, vol. ix., was commenced January 3rd, 1715, and dropped at the 63rd number.