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No 473 Tuesday, September 2.
V. I 2.
Quid ? fi quis vultu torvo ferus & pede nudo,
Hor. Ep. 19. 1. 1. V
CR ВЕСн. .
: I ,
To the SPECTATOR.
read. Your paper comes constantly down to me, « and it affects me so much, that I find my thoughts
run into your way ; and I recommend to you a subject upon which you have not yet touched, and that • is the satisfaction fome nien seem to take in their
imperfections: I think one may call it glorying in their • in fufficiency. A certain great author is of opinion it • is the contrary to envy, tho' perhaps it may proceed • from it. Nothing is so common as to hear men of • this fort, speaking of themselves, add to their own • merit (as they think) by impairing it, in praising • themselves for their defects, freely allowing they com• mit some few frivolous errors, in order to be eileemed
persons of uncommon talents and great qualifications. • They are generally profeffing an injudicious neglect • of dancing, fencing and riding, as also an unjust
contempt for travelling and the modern languages;
as for their part (they say) they never valued or trou• bled their heads about them. This panegyrical satire
• on themselves certainly is worthy of your animadver
fion. I have known one of these gentlemen think • himself obliged to forget the day of an appointment, • and sometimes even that you spoke to him, and when
you fee 'em, they hope you'll pardon 'em, for they • have the worst memory in the world. One of 'em • started up t'other day in lome confusion and faid, Now ' I think on't, I am to meet Mr. Nortmain the attorney • about some business, but whether it is to.day, or to
morrow, faith, I can't tell. Now to my certain knowledge he knew his time to a moment, and was there accordingly. These forgetful persons have, to heighten their crime, generally the best memories of
any people, as I have found out by their remembring • sometimes through inadvertency. Two or three of • 'em that I know can say most of our modern tragedies
by heart. I ask'd a gentleman the other day that is • famous for a good carver, (at which acquisition he is
out of countenance, imagining it may detract from • some of his more essential qualifications) to help me to
something that was near him ; but he excused himself, • and blushing told me, Of all things he could never
carve in his life; though it can be proved upon him ' that he cuts up, disjoints, and uncafes with incom• parable dexterity. I would not be understood as if I • thought it laudable for a man of quality and fortune
to rival the acquisitions of artificers, and endeavour
to excel in little handy qualities ; no, I argue only • against being alham’d at what is really praise-worthy.
As these pretences to ingenuity fhew themselves several ways, you'll often see a man of this temper afham'd to be clean, and setting up for wit only from negligence in his habit. Now I am upon this head, I can't • help observing also upon a very different folly proceed
ing from the same cause. As these above mentioned • arise from affecting an equality with men of greater • talents from having the same faults, there are others • that would come at a parallel with those above them, • by possessing little advantages which they want. Í • heard a young man not long ago, who has sense, • comfort himself in his ignorance of Greek, Hebrew, • and the Orientals : At the same time that he pub
* Jithed his aversion to those languages, he said that the
knowledge of them was rather a diminution than an • advancement of a man's character : tho’ at the same • time I know he languishes and repines he is not master • of them himself. Whenever I take any of these fine • persons thus detracting from what they don't under • itand, I tell them I will complain to you, and say I am
sure you will not allow it an exception against a thing, • that he who contemos it is an ignorant in it.
I am, SIR,
Your most humble servant,
Am a man of a very good estate, and am honour. - ultimate purpose is honeft, there may be, without • trespass against innocence, fome toying by the way.
People of condition are perhaps too distant and formal
on those occasions; but however that is, I am to con• fess to you that I have writ fome verses to atone « for my 'offence. You prefefs’d authors are a little • severe upon us, who write like gentlemen : But if you
are a friend to love, you will insert my poem. You • cannoi imagine how much service it would do me with
my fair one as well as reputation with all my friends, to have something of mine in the Speziator. My crime
that I snatch'd a kiss, and my poetical excuse follows
The bee flies loaded to its cell ;
Sweeter than their ambrosial dew;
In spite of your unkind reserve,
I am, SIR,
Your humble servant,
Aug. 23, 1712: AVING a little time upon my hands, I could
not think of bestowing it better, than in writ. ing an epistle to the SPECTATOR, which I now do,
SIR, your humble servant,
P.S. If you approve of my file, I am likely • enough to become your correspondent. I desire your
opinion of it. I defign it for that way of writing • called by the judicious the familiar.
ACETUS, his character, Number 422.
Admiration, a pleasing motion of the mind, N. 413. Affectation, the misfortune of it, N. 404, Described,
460. Almighty, his power over the imagination, N. 421.
Aristotle's saying of his being, 465; Allegories, like light to a discourse, N. 421. Eminent
writers faulty in them, ibid. Allusions the great art of a writer, N. 421. Amazons, their commonwealth, N. 433. How they
educated their children, 434. Their wars, ibid, They
marry tbeir male-allies, ibid. Americans used painting instead of writing, N. 416. Amity between agreeable persons of different sexes dan
gerous, N. 400. Amoret the jilt reclaimed by Philander, N. 401. Anne Boleyne's last letter to King Henry VIII. N. 397. Ancients in the East, their way of living, N. 415. Appearances. Things not to be trusted for them, N.
464. Applause (publick) its pleasure, N. 442. April (month of) described, N. 425. Árabella, verses on her finging, N. 443: Architecture, the ancients perfection in it, N. 415.
The greatness of the manner how it strikes the fancy, ibid. Of the manner of both ancients and