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that since I was with him in the country, he had drawn many observations together out of his reading in Baker's Chronicle, and other authors, who always lie in his hall window, which very much redound to the honour of this prince.
Having passed away the greatest part of the morning in hearing the knight's reflections, which were partly private, and partly political, he asked me if I would smoke a pipe with him over a dish of coffee at Squire's. As I love the old man, I take a de
Dutch pensionary De Witt had been. Indeed the entire ciły was only to have escaped destruction and rapine by a miracle. It is here that the “Spectator" himself comes upon the scene. "The 'Spectator,' who ought to be but a looker on, was to have been an assistant; that, seeing London in a flame, he might have opportunity to paint after the life, and remark the behaviour of the people in the ruin of their country; so to have made a diverting 'Spectator.'” a
These were the coarse excuses which the Tories put forth for spoiling the show. At midnight on the 16th-17th of Nov. a posse of constables made forcible entry into the Drury Lane temple of the waxen images, and by force of arms seized the pope, the Pretender, the cardinals, the devil and all his works, a chariot to have been drawn by six of his imps, the cano pies, the bagpipes, the bulls, the pardons, the Protestant flails, the streamers,-in short the entire paraphernalia. At one fell swop the whole collection was carried off to the cock-pit at Whitehall, then the privy council office. That the city apprentices should not be wholly deprived of their expected treat, fifteen of the group were exhibited to the public gratis. " I saw to-day the pope, the devil, and the other figures of cardinals, &c., fifteen in all, which have made such a noise. I hear the owners of them are so impudent, that their design is to replevy them by law. The images are not worth forty pounds, so I stretched a little when I said a thousand. The Grub Street account of that tumult is published. The devil is not like lord treasurer; they were all in your odd antic masks bought in conmon shops.” Thus wrote Swift to Stella; yet to the public he either gave, or superintended, an account of the affair which was simply a string of all the mendacious exaggerations theu wilfully put about by his patrons. Such were the party tactics of Sir Roger's time.-—*
1 In Fulwood's Rents, leading from Holborn into Gray's Inn Gardens, as mentioned ante. It was much frequented by the benchers
"A true Relation of the several Facts and Circumstances of the intended Riot and Tumult on Queen Elizabeth's Birthday," &c., by an “ Understrapper " of Swift See his Journa!, Nov. 26, 1711.
light in complying with every thing that is agreeable to him, and accordingly waited on him to the coffee-house, where his vener. able figure drew upon us the eyes of the whole room.
He had no sooner seated himself at the upper end of the high table, but he called for a clean pipe, a paper of tobacco, a dish of coffee, a wax candle, and the Supplement, with such an air of cheerfulness and good humour, that all the boys in the coffee-room (who seemed to take pleasure in serving him) were at once employed on his several errands, insomuch that nobody else could come at a dish of tea, till the knight had got all his conveniences about him. L.
No. 271. THURSDAY, JANUARY 13.
Mille trahens varios adverso sole colores.
VIRG. Ex. iv. 701.
I receive a double advantage from the letters of my correspondents: first, as they shew me which of my papers are most acceptable to them; and in the next place, as they furnish me with materials for new speculations. Sometimes, indeed, I do not make use of the letter itself, but form the hints of it into plans of my own invention ; sometimes I take the liberty to change the language or thought into my own way of speaking and thinking, and always (if it can be done without prejudice to the sense) omit the many compliments and applauses which are usually bestowed upon me.
Besides the two advantages above-mentioned, which I receive from the letters that are sent me, they give me an opportunity of
and students of Gray's Inn. Squire was a “noted coffee man” who died in 1717.-*
lengthening out my paper by the skilful management of the subscribing part at the end of them, which perhaps does not a little conduce to the ease, both of myself and reader.
Some will have it, that I often write to myself, and am the only punctual correspondent I have. This objection would indeed be material, were the letters I communicate to the public stuffed with my own commendations, and if, instead of endeavouring to divert or instruct my readers, I admired in them the beauty of my own performances. But I shall leave these wise conjectures to their own imaginations, and produce the three following letters for the entertainment of the day.
“I was last Thursday in an assembly of ladies, where there were thirteen different coloured hoods.' Your Spectator of that day lying upon the table, they ordered me to read it to them, which I did with a very clear voice, till I came to the Greek verse at the end of it. I must confess, I was a little startled at its popping upon me so unexpectedly; however, I. covered my confusion as well as I could, and after having muttered two or three hard words to myself, laughed heartily, and cried, ' A very good jest, faith!' The ladies desired me to explain it to them; but I begged their pardon for that, and told them, that if it had been
proper for them to hear, they may be sure the author would not have wrapt it up in Greek. I then let drop several expressions, as if there was something in it that was not fit to be spoken before a company of ladies. Upon which the matron of the assembly, who was dressed in a cherry-coloured hood, commended the discretion of the writer, for having thrown his filthy thoughts into Greek, which was likely to corrupt but few of his readers.
At the same time, she declared herself very well pleased, that he had not given a decisive opinion upon the new-fashioned hoods; For to tell you truly, (says she, I was afraid he would have made us ashamed to shew our heads.' Now, sir, you must know since this unlucky accident happened to me in a company of ladies, among whom I passed for a most ingenious man, I have consulted one who is very well versed in the Greek language, and he assures me upon his word, that your late quotation means no more, than that 'manners, and not dress, are the ornaments of a woman. If this comes to the knowledge of my female admirers,
' I shall be very hard put to it to bring myself off handsomely. In the mean while I give you this account, that you may take care hereafter not to betray any of your well-wishers into the like inconveniences. It is in the number of these that I beg leave to subscribe myself,
6 Tom Trippit.”
"Mr. SPECTATOR, “ Your readers are so well pleased with your character of Sir Roger de Coverley, that there appeared a sensible joy in every coffee-house, upon hearing the old knight was come to town. am now with a knot of his admirers, who make it their joint request to you, that you would give us public notice of the window or balcony where the knight intends to make his appearance. He has already given great satisfaction to several who have seen him at Squire's Coffee-house. If you think fit to place your short face at Sir Roger's left elbow, we shall take the hint, and gratefully acknowledge so great a favour.
“I am, sir,
“KNOWING you are very inquisitive after every thing that is curious in nature, I will wait on you, if you please, in the dusk of the evening, with my show upon my back, which I carry about with me in a box, as only consisting of a man, a woman, and an horse. The two first are married, in which state the little cavalier has so well acquitted himself, that his lady is with child. The big-bellied woman and her husband, with their whimsical palfry, are so very light, that when they are put together into a scale, an ordinary man may weigh down the whole family. The little man is a bully in his nature; but when he grows choleric, I confine him to his box till his wrath is over, by which means I have hitherto prevented him from doing mischief. IIis horse is likevise very vicious, for which reason I am forced to tie him close to his manger with a packthread. The woman is a coquette: she struts as much as it is possible for a lady of two foot high, and would ruin me in silks, were not the quantity that goes to a large pincushion sufficient to make her a gown and petticoat. She told me the other day, that she heard the ladies wore coloured hoods, and ordered me to get her one of the finest blue. I am forced to comply with her demands while she is in her present condition, being very willing to have more of the same breed. I do not know what she may produce me, but provided it be a show I shall be very well satisfied. Such novelties should not, I think, be concealed from the British Spectator; for which reason, I hope you will excuse this presumption in “ Your most dutiful, most obedient,