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most beautiful bosom imaginable, which heaved and fell with so
“I am, Sir,
This Peeper, using both fan and eyes, to be considered as a Pi and proceed accordingly.
KING LATINUS TO THE SPECTATOR, GREETING,
LATINUS, KING OF THE VOLSCIANS. *
Upon this my friend the Templar told Sir Andrew, that he Fondered 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 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 patronized 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 behaviour iu that particular.'
My good friend, Sir ROGER DE COVERLEY, wbo 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 friends,' says he,' attack every one that 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 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 condition of the good man that had one wife who took a dislike to his grey 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 advised. 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 are placed in high and conspicuous stations in life. He further 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 cir. cumstances. He afterwards proceeded to take 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,
who from the clearness of their heads deduce the pedigre Loungers from that great man (I think it was either Plato Socrates) who, after all his study and learning, professed, tha he then knew, was, that he knew nothing. You easily see thi but a shallow argument, and may be soon confuted.
“I have with great pains and industry made my observati from time to time, upon these sages; and, having now all m rials ready, am compiling a treatise, wherein I shall set forth rise and progress of this famous sect, together with their mas austerities, manner of living, &c. Having prevailed with a fri who designs shortly to publish a new edition of Diogenes Laer to add this treatise of mine by way of supplement; I shall non let the world see what may be expected from me (first begging SPECTATOR's leave that the world may see it) briefly touch u some of my chief observations, and then subscribe myself humble servant. In the first place I shall give you two or thre their maxims: the fundamental one, upon which their whole tem is built, is this, viz., “That time being an implacable ene to, and destroyer of all things, ought to be paid in his own c and be destroyed and murdered without mercy by all the w that can be invented.' Another favourite saying of theirs is, 'T business was only designed for knaves, and study for blockbea A third seems to be a ludicrous one, but has a great effect u their lives; and is this, “That the devil is at home.' Now their manner of living; and here I have a large field to expati in; but I shall reserve particulars for my intended discourse, now only mention one or two of their principal exercises. elder proficients employ themselves in inspecting mores homin multorum, in getting acquainted with all the signs and windows the town. Some are arrived to so great knowledge, that they tell every time any butcher kills a calf, every time an old wom cat is in the straw, and a thousand other matters as importa One ancient philosopher contemplates two or three hours ev day over a sun-dial; and is true to the dial,
"As the dial to the sun,
Although it be not shone upon.' Our young students are content to carry their speculations as no farther than bowling-greens, billiard-tables, and such i places. This may serve for a sketch of my design; in whici hope I shall have your encouragement.
“I am, Sir, yours. I must be so just as to observe, I have formerly seen of this s at our other university; though not distinguished by the appel
No. 35. TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 1711.
Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.
Nothing so foolish as the laugh of fools. Axong all kinds of writing, there is none in which authors are more apt to miscarry than in works of humour, as there is none in which they are more ambitious to excel. It is not an imagination that teems with monsters, an head that is filled with extravagant conceptions, which is capable of furnishing the world with diversions of this nature; and yet if we look into the productions of seFeral writers, who set up for men of humour, what wild irregular fancies, what unnatural distortions of thought do we meet with ? If they speak nonsense, they believe they are talking humour; and when they have drawn together a scheme of absurd, inconsistent ideas, they are not able to read it over to themselves without laughing. These poor gentlemen endeavour to gain themselves the reputation of wits and humourists, by such monstrous conceits as almost qualify them for Bedlam; not considering that humour should always lie under the check of reason, and that it requires the direction of the nicest judgment, by so much the more 23 it indulges itself in the most boundless freedoms. There is a kind of nature that is to be observed in this sort of compositions, as well as in all other; and a certain regularity of thought which must discover the writer to be a man of sense, at the same time that he appears altogether given up to caprice. For my part, when I read the delirious mirth of an unskilful author, I cannot be so barbarous as to divert myself with it, but am rather apt to pity the man, than laugh at anything he writes.
The deceased Mr. Sbadwell, who had himself a great deal of the talent which I am treating of, represents an empty rake, in one of his plays, as very much surprised to hear one say that breaking of windows was not humour; and I question not but several English readers will be as much startled to hear me affirm, that many of those raving incoherent pieces, which are often spread among us, under odd chimerical titles, are rather the offsprings of a distempered brain than works of humour.
It is indeed much easier to describe what is not humour, than what is; and very difficult to define it otherwise than as Cowley has done wit, by negatives. Were I to give iny own notions of it, I would deliver tbem after Plato's manner, in a kind of allegory, and by supposing Humour to be a person, deduce to him all his
qualifications, according to the following genealogy :-Truth was the founder of the family, and the father of Good Sense. Good Sepse was the father of Wit, who married a lady of collateral line called Mirth, by whom he has issue Humour. Humour therefore being the youngest of this illustrious family, and descended from parents of such different dispositions, is very various and unequal in his temper; sometimes you see him putting on grave looks and a solemn habit, sometimes airy in his behaviour and fantastic in his dress; insomuch that at different times he appears as serious as a judge, and as jocular as a Merry Audrew. But as he has a great deal of the mother in his constitution, whatever mood he is in, he never fails to make his company laugh.
But since there is an impostor abroad, who takes upon him the name of this young gentleman, and would willingly pass for him in the world; to the end that well-meaning persons may not be imposed upon by cheats, I would desire my readers, when they meet with this pretender, to look into his parentage, and to examine him strictly, whether or no he be remotely allied to Truth, and lineally descended from Good Sense; if not, they may conclude him a counterfeit. They may likewise distinguish him by a loud and excessive laughter, in which be seldom gets bis company to join with him. For as True Humour generally looks serious, while every body laughs about him: False Humour is always, laughing, whilst everybody about him looks serious. I shall only add, if he has not in him a mixture of both Parents, that is, if he would pass for the offspring of Wit without Mirth, or Mirth without Wit, you may conclude him to be altogether spurious and a cheat.
The impostor of whom I am speaking, descends originally from Falsehood, who was the mother of Nonsense, who was brought to bed of a son called Frenzy, who married one of the daughters of Folly, commonly known by the name of Laughter, on whom le begot that monstrous infant of which I have here been speaking. I shall set down at length the genealogical tuble of False Humour, and at the same time, place under it the genealogy of True Humour, that the reader may at one view behold their differeut pedigrees and relations.