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people, more virtuous than polite, rose up all to a man, and with the greatest respect received him among them. The Athenians being suddenly touched with

a sense of the Spartan virtue and their own degen5 eracy, gave a thunder of applause; and the old man

cried out, The Athenians understand what is good, but the Lacadæmonians practice it."

No. 4. Sir Roger at the Club
SPECTATOR No. 34. Monday, April 9, 1711

-parcit Cognatis maculis similis feral

Juv. Sat. xv. 159.

10 ways

THE club of which I am a member, is very luckily composed of such persons as are engaged in different

of life, and deputed as it were out of the most conspicuous classes of mankind. By this means I am furnished with the greatest variety of hints and materials, and know everything that passes in the

different quarters and divisions, not only of this 15 great city, but of the whole kingdom. My readers

too have the satisfaction to find that there is no rank or degree among them who have not their representative in this club, and that there is always

somebody present who will take care of their respec20 tive interests, that nothing may be written or

published to the prejudice or infringement of their just rights and privileges,


I last night sat very late in company with this select body of friends, who entertained me with several remarks which they and others had made upon these my speculations, as also with the various success which they had met with among their several 5 ranks and degrees of readers. Will Honeycomb told me, in the softest 2 manner he could, that there were some ladies (but for your comfort, says Will, they are not those of the most wit) that were offended at the liberties I had taken with the opera and the 10 puppet-show; 8 that some of them were likewise very much surprised, that I should think such serious points as the dress and equipage 4 of persons of quality, proper subjects for raillery.

He was going on, when Sir Andrew Freeport took 15 him up short, and told him that the papers he hinted at, had done great good in the city, and that all their wives and daughters were the better for them; and further added, that the whole city thought themselves very much obliged to me for declaring 20 my generous intentions to scourge vice and folly as they appear in a multitude, without condescending to be a publisher of particular intrigues and cuckoldoms. “In short," says Sir Andrew, "if you avoid that foolish beaten road of falling upon aldermen 25 and citizens, and employ your pen upon the vanity and luxury of courts, your paper must needs be of general use."

Upon this my friend the Templar 5 told Sir An

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drew, that he wondered to hear a man of his sense talk after that manner; that the city had always been the province for satire; and that the wits of

King Charles's time jested upon nothing else during 5 his whole reign. He then showed, by the examples

of Horace, Juvenal,Boileau, and the best writers of every age, that the follies of the stage and court had never been accounted too sacred for ridicule,

how great soever the persons might be that patron10 ized them. “But after all," says he, "I think your

raillery has made too great an excursion, in attacking several persons of the inns of court; and I do not believe you can show me any precedent for your

behavior in that particular.” 15 My good friend Sir Roger de Coverley, who had

said nothing all this while, began his, speech with a pish! and told us, that he wondered to see so many men of sense so very serious

upon fooleries.

“ Let our good friend," says he, "attack every one that 20 deserves it; I would only advise you, Mr. Spectator,"

applying himself to me, "to take care how you meddle with country 'squires. They are the ornaments of the English nation; men of good heads

and sound bodies! and, let me tell you, some of 25 them take it ill of you, that you mention fox-hunters with so little respect.”;

Captain Sentry spoke very sparingly on this occasion. What he said was only to commend my prudence in not touching upon the army, and


advised me to continue to act discreetly in that point.

By this time I found every subject of my speculations was taken away from me, by one or other of the club: and began to think myself in the con- 5 dition of the good man that had one wife who took a dislike to his gray hairs, and another to his black, till by their picking out what each of them had an aversion to, they left his head altogether bald and naked.

While I was thus musing with myself, my worthy friend the clergyman, who, very luckily for me, was at the club that night, undertook my cause. He told us, that he wondered any order of persons should think themselves too considerable to be ad- 15 vised. That it was not quality, but innocence, which exempted men from reproof. That vice and folly ought to be attacked wherever they could be met with, and especially when they were placed in high and conspicuous stations of life. He further 20 added, that my paper would only serve to aggravate the pains of poverty, if it chiefly exposed those who are already depressed, and in some measure turned into ridicule, by the meanness of their conditions and circumstances. He afterward proceeded to take 25 notice of the great use this paper might be of to the public, by reprehending those vices which are too trivial for the chastisement of the law, and too fantastical for the cognizance of the pulpit. He

then advised me to prosecute my undertaking with cheerfulness, and assured me, that whoever might be displeased with me, I should be approved by all

those whose praises do honor to the persons on 5 whom they are bestowed.

The whole club pay a particular deference to the discourse of this gentleman, and are drawn into what he says, as much by the candid ingenuous

manner with which he delivers himself, as by the 10 strength of argument and force of reason which he

makes use of. Will Honeycomb immediately agreed that what he had said was right; and that, for his part, he would not insist upon the quarter which he

had demanded for the ladies. Sir Andrew gave up 15 the city with the same frankness. The Templar

would not stand out, and was followed by Sir Roger and the Captain; who all agreed that I should be at liberty to carry the war into what quarter I pleased;

provided I continued to combat with criminals in a 20 body, and to assault the vice without hurting the person.

This debate, which was held for the good of mankind, put me in mind of that which the Roman

triumvirate' were formerly engaged in for their 25 destruction. Every man at first stood hard for his

friend, till they found that by this means they should spoil their proscription; and at length, making a sacrifice of all their acquaintance and relations, furnished out a very decent execution.

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