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the roaring of a lion, the warbling of cats and screech-owls, together with a mixture of the howling of dogs, judiciously imitated and compounded, might go a great way in this invention. Whether such anti-music as this might not be of service in a camp, I shall leave to the military men to con.
What this learned gentleman supposes in speculation, I have known actually verified in practice. The cat-call has struck a damp into generals, and frighted heroes off the stage. At the first sound of it I have seen a crowned head tremble, and a princess fall into fits. The humorous lieutenant himself could not stand it; nay, I am told that even Almanzor looked like a mouse, and trembled at the voice of this terrifying instrument.
As it is of a dramatic nature, and peculiarly appropriated to the stage, I can by no means approve the thought of that angry lover, who, after an unsuccessful pursuit of some years, took leave of his mistress in a serenade of cat-calls.
I must conclude this paper with the account I have lately received of an ingenious artist, who has long studied this in. strument, and is very well versed in all the rules of the drama. He teaches to play on it by book, and to express by it the whole art of criticism. He has his base and his treble cat. call; the former for tragedy, the latter for comedy; only in tragi-comedies they may both play together in consort. He bas a particular squeak to denote the violation of each of the unities, and has different sounds to show whether be aims at the poet or the player. In short, he teaches the smut-note, the fustian-note, the stupid-note, and has composed a kind of air that may serve as an act-tune to an incorrigible play, and which takes in the whole compass of the cat-call.
No. 367. THURSDAY, MAY 1.
-Perituræ parcite chartæ. Juv. I HAVE often pleased myself with considering the two kinds of benefits which accrue to the public from these my Specu. lations, and which, were I to speak after the manner of logi. cians, I would distinguish into the material and the formal. By the la:ter I understand those advantages which my readers receive, as their minds are either improved or delighted by these my daily labours : but having already several times descanted on my endeavours in this light, I shall at present
I wholly confine myself to the consideration of the former. By the word material I mean those benefits which arise to the public from these my Speculations, as they consume a considerable quantity of our paper manufacture, employ our artisans in printing, and find business for great numbers of indigent persons.
Our paper-manufacture takes into it several mean materials which could be put to no other use, and affords work for several hands in the collecting of them, which are incapable of any other employment. Those poor retailers, whom we see so busy in every street, deliver in their respective gleanings to the merchant. The merchant carries them in loads to the paper-mill, where they pass through a fresh set of hands, and give life to another trade. Those who have mills on their estates by this means considerably raise their rents, and the whole nation is in a great measure supplied with a manufacture, for which formerly she was obliged to her neighbours.
The materials are no sooner wrought into paper, but they are distributed
among the presses, where they again set innumerable artists at work, and furnish business to another mystery. From hence, accordingly as they are stained with news or politics, they fly through the town in Post-men, Post-boys, Daily Courants, Reviews, Medleys, and Examiners. Men, women, and children contend who shall be the first bearers of them, and get their daily sustenance by spreading them. In short, when I trace in my mind a bundle of rags to a quire of Spectators, I find so many hands employed in every step they take through their whole progress, that while I am writing a Spectator, I fancy myself providing bread for a multitude.
If I do not take care to obviate some of my witty readers, they will be apt to tell me, that my paper, after it is thus printed and published, is still beneficial to the public on several occasions. I must confess I have lighted my pipe with my own works for this twelvemonth past: my landlady often sends up her little daughter to desire some of my old Spectators, and has frequently told me, that the paper they are printed on is the best in the world to wrap spice in They likewise make a good foundation for a mutton-pie, as ]
have more than once experienced, and were very much sought for last Christmas by the whole neighbourhood.
It is pleasant enough to consider the changes that a linen fragment undergoes, by passing through the several hands above-mentioned
The finest pieces of Holland, when torn to tatters, assume a new whiteness more beautiful than their first, and often return in the shape of letters to their native country. A lady's shift may be metamorphosed into billet
x, and come into her possession a second time. A beau may peruse his cravat after it is worn out, with greater pleasure and advantage than ever he did in a glass. In a word, a piece of cloth, after having officiated for some years as a towel or a napkin, may by this means be raised from a dunghill, and become the most valuable piece of furniture in a prince's cabinet.
The politest nations of Europe have endeavoured to vie with one another for the reputation of the finest printing : absolute governments, as well as republics, have encouraged an art which seems to be the noblest and most beneficial that was ever invented among the sons of men. The present king of France, in his pursuits after glory, has particularly distinguished himself by the promoting of this useful art, insomuch that several books have been printed in the Louvre at his own expense, upon which he sets so great a value, that he considers them as the noblest presents he can make to foreign princes and ambassadors. If we look into the commonwealths of Holland and Venice, we shall find that in this particular they have made themselves the envy of the greatest monarchies. Elzevir and Aldus are more frequently mentioned than any pensioner of the one or doge of the other.
The several presses which are now in England, and the encouragement which has been given to learning for some years last past, has made our own nation as glorious upon this account, as for its late triumphs and conquests. The new edition which is given us of Cæsar's Commentaries, has already been taken notice of in foreign gazettes, and is a work that does honour to the English press. It is no won. der that an edition should be very correct, which has passed through the hands of one of the most accurate, learned, and judicious writers this age has produced. The beauty of the Laper, of the character, and of the several cuts with which this noble work is illustrated, makes it the finest book that I have ever seen; and is a true instance of the English genius, which, though it does not come the first into any art, generally carries it to greater heights than any other country in the world. I am particularly glad that this author comes from a British printing-house in so great a magnificence, as he is the first who has given us any tolerable account of our country.
My illiterate readers, if any such there are, will be surprised to hear me talk of learning as the glory of a nation, and of printing as an art that gains a reputation to a people among whom it flourishes. When men's thoughts are taken up with avarice and ambition, they cannot look upon anything as great or valuable which does not bring with it an extraordinary power or interest to the person who is con. cerned in it. But as I shall never sink this paper so far as to engage with Goths and Vandals, I shall only regard such kind of reasoners with that pity which is due to so deplorable a degree of stupidity and ignorance.
No. 371. TUESDAY, MAY 6.
Jamne igitur laudas quod de sapientibus unus
Juv. I SHALL communicate to my reader the following letter for the entertainment of this day.
You know very well that our nation is more famous for that sort of men who are called Whims and Humourists, than
any other country in the world; for which reason it is observed that our English comedy excels that of all other nations in the novelty and variety of its characters.
Among those innumerable sets of Whims which our country produces, there are none whom I have regarded with more curiosity than those who have invented any particular kind of diversion for the entertainment of themselves or their friends. My letter shall single out those who take de light in sorting a company that has something of burlesque and ridicule in its appearance. I shall make myself under. stood by the following example. One of the wits of the last age, who was a man of a good estate, thought he never laid out his money better than in a jest. As he was one year at the Bath, observing that in the great confluence of fine people, there were several among them with long chins, a part of the visage by which he himself was very much distinguished, he invited to dinner half a score of these remarkable persons who had their mouths in the middle of their faces. They had no sooner placed themselves about the table, but they began to stare upon one another, not being able to imagine what had brought them together. Our English proverb says,
'Tis merry in the hall,
When beards wag all. It proved so in an assembly I am now speaking of, who seeing so many peaks of faces agitated with eating, drinking, and discourse, and observing all the chins that were present meeting together very often over the centre of the table, every one grew sensible of the jest, and came into it with so much good-humour, that they lived in strict friendship and alliance from that day forward.
“The same gentleman some time after packed together a set of oglers, as he called them, consisting of such as had an unlucky cast in their eyes. His diversion on this occasion was to see the cross bows, mistaken signs, and wrong connivances that passed amidst so many broken and refracted rays of sight.
“ The third feast which this merry gentleman exhibited was to the stammerers, whom he got together in a sufficient body to fill his table. He had ordered one of his servants, who was placed behind a screen, to write down their tabletalk, which was very easy to be done without the help of short-hand. It appears by the notes which were taken, that though their conversation never fell, there were not above twenty words spoken during the first course; that upon serving up
the second, one of the company was a quarter of an hour in telling them, that the ducklins and sparrow-grass was very good; and that another took up the same time in declaring hiniself of the same opinion. This jest did not, however, go off so well as the former; for one of the guests being a brave man, and fuller of resentment than he knew how to express, went out of the room, and sent the facetious