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myself, in the fresh air on the open heath that lies by my house, I find several other thoughts growing up in me. I am now of opinion, that a man of my age may find business enough on himself, by setting his mind in order, preparing it for another world, and reconciling it to the thoughts of death. I must therefore acquaint you, that besides those usual methods of charity, of which I have before spoken, I am at this very instant finding out a convenient place where I may build an almshouse, which I intend to endow very handsomely, for a dozen superannuated husbandmen. It will be a great pleasure to me to say my prayers twice a day with men of my own years, who all of them, as well as myself, may have their own thoughts taken up how they shall die, rather than how they shall live. I remember an excellent saying that I learned at school, finis coronat opus. You know best whether it be in Virgil or in Horace, it is my business to apply it. If your affairs will permit you to take the country air with me sometimes, you shall find an apartment fitted up for you, and shall be every day entertained with beef or mutton of my own feeding, fish out of my own ponds, and fruit out of my own gardens. You shall have free egress and regress about my house, without having any questions asked you, and, in a word, such a hearty welcome as you may expect from
"Your most sincere friend and humble servant,
ANDREW FREEPORT." The club, of which I am a member, being entirely dispersed, I shall consult my reader next week, upon a project relating to the institution of a new one.
No. 550. MONDAY, DECEMBER 1.
Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor Hiatu? SINCE the late dissolution of the club,' whereof I have often declared myself a member, there are very many per1 It was very injudicious (and certainly, therefore, not Mr. Addison's advice) to continue this paper, after the dissolution of the club. The drama was naturally at an end, when the characters disappeared: and much of the grace and spirit of this work depended on the dramatic air which those characters bestowed upon it. What should we think of a supplemental act to a play, when the story was concluded?
sons who, by letters, petitions, and recommendations, put up for the next election. At the same time I must complain that several indirect and underhand practices have been made use of upon this occasion. A certain country gentleman begun to tap upon the first information he received of Sir Roger's death; when he sent me up word, that if I would get him chosen in the place of the deceased,1 he would present me with a barrel of the best October I had ever drank in my life. The ladies are in great pain to know whom I intend to elect in the room of Will. Honeycomb. Some of them indeed are of opinion that Mr. Honeycomb did not take sufficient care of their interests in the club, and are therefore desirous of having in it hereafter a representative of their own sex. A citizen who subscribes himself Y. Z. tells me, that he has one and twenty shares in the African company, and offers to bribe me with the odd one in case he may succeed Sir Andrew Freeport, which he thinks would raise the credit of that fund. I have several letters, dated from Jenny Man's, by gentlemen who are candidates for Captain Sentry's place, and as many from a coffee-house in Paul's church-yard of such who would fill up the vacancy occasioned by the death of my worthy friend the clergyman, whom I can never mention but with a particular respect. Having maturely weighed these several particulars, with the many remonstrances that have been made to me on this subject, and considering how invidious an office I shall take upon me if I make the whole election depend upon my single voice, and being unwilling to expose myself to those clamours, which, on such an occasion, will not fail to be raised against me for partiality, injustice, corruption, and other qualities which my nature abhors, I have formed to myself the project of a club as follows.
I have thoughts of issuing out writs to all and every of
1 In the place of the deceased.] Better, into the place.
2 Of such who.] The correlative of such is sometimes who, but more frequently as. The form of expression, in either case, I take to be elliptical, and to be supplied thus-such as they are who: sometimes we connect the extremes, such-who, and omit the intermediate terms-as they are; sometimes, again, (and this more usually,) we take the two first terms, such as, and omit the following-they are who.-In all cases, I take it to be an error to consider as in the light of a relative, properly so called. It is a conjunction only; but is mistaken for a relative, because, in this construction, it implies one, though it be not expressed.
the clubs that are established in the cities of London and Westminster, requiring them to choose out of their respective bodies a person of the greatest merit, and to return his name to me before Lady-day, at which time I intend to sit upon business.
By this means I may have reason to hope, that the club over which I shall preside will be the very flower and quintessence of all other clubs. I have communicated this my project to none but a particular friend of mine, whom I have celebrated twice or thrice for his happiness in that kind of wit which is commonly known by the name of a pun. The only objection he makes to it is, that I shall raise up enemies to myself, if I act with so regal an air; and that my detractors, instead of giving me the usual title of SPECTATOR, Will be apt to call me the " King of Clubs."
But to proceed on my intended project, it is very well known that I at first set forth in this work with the character of a silent man; and I think I have so well preserved my taciturnity, that I do not remember to have violated it1 with three sentences in the space of almost two years. As a monosyllable is my delight, I have made very few excursions, in the conversations which I have related, beyond a yes or a no. By this means my readers have lost many good things which I have had in my heart, though I did not care for uttering them.
Now, in order to diversify my character, and to show the world how well I can talk if I have a mind, I have thoughts of being very loquacious in the club which I have now under consideration. But that I may proceed the more regularly in this affair, I design upon the first meeting of the said club to have my mouth opened in form; intending to regulate myself, in this particular, by a certain ritual which I have by me, that contains all the ceremonies which are practised at the opening the mouth of a cardinal. I have likewise examined the forms which were used of old by Pythagoras, when any of his scholars, after an apprenticeship of silence,
Violated it.] There is no pronouncing-ed and it, when they come together, especially when the accent, as here, does not fall on ed, but is even thrown back as far as vi, in violated. But the author allowed himself to commit this fault (for we may be sure his ear admonished him of it) rather than part with violated, the most happily chosen word, in this place, that ever was.
was made free of his speech. In the mean time, as I have of late found my name in foreign gazettes upon less occasions, I question not but in their next articles from Great Britain, they will inform the world, that the Spectator's mouth is to be opened on the twenty-fifth of March next. I may, perhaps, publish a very useful paper at that time, of the proceedings in that solemnity, and of the persons who shall assist at it.
But of this more hereafter.
No. 556. FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 1714.
Qualis ubi in lucem coluber, mala gramina pastus,
Arduus ad solem, et linguis micat ore trisulcis.
UPON laying down the office of SPECTATOR, I acquainted the world with my design of electing a new club, and of opening my mouth in it after a most solemn manner. Both the election and the ceremony are now past; but not finding it so easy as I at first imagined, to break through a fifty years' silence, I would not venture into the world under the character of a man who pretends to talk like other people, until I had arrived at a full freedom of speech.
I shall reserve for another time the history of such club or clubs of which I am now a talkative but unworthy member; and shall here give an account of this surprising change which has been produced in me, and which I look upon be as remarkable an accident as any recorded in history, since that which happened to the son of Croesus, after having been many years as much tongue-tied as myself.
Upon the first opening of my mouth, I made a speech consisting of about half a dozen well-turned periods; but grew so very hoarse upon it, that for three days together, instead
1 A new club would never be endured, after the old one: and without a club, to what end is his mouth opened? Everything shows that Mr. Addison was much embarrassed in contriving how to protract this paper beyond its natural term. We find him, therefore, after much expense of humour in describing this ceremony of opening his mouth, obliged to proceed in his old way, that is, of formal essay, instead of conversation. See the conclusion of this paper.
of finding the use of my tongue, I was afraid that I had quite lost it. Besides, the unusual extension of my muscles on this occasion made my face ache on both sides to such a degree, that nothing but an invincible resolution and perseverance could have prevented me from falling back to my monosyllables.
I afterwards made several essays towards speaking; and that I might not be startled at my own voice, which has happened to me more than once, I used to read aloud in my chamber, and have often stood in the middle of the street to call a coach, when I knew there was none within hearing.
When I was thus grown pretty well acquainted with my own voice, I laid hold of all opportunities to exert it. Not caring, however, to speak much by myself, and to draw upon me the whole attention of those I conversed with, I used, for some time, to walk every morning in the Mall, and talk in chorus with a parcel of Frenchmen. I found my modesty greatly relieved by the communicative temper of this nation, who are so very sociable as to think they are never better company than when they are all opening at the same time.
I then fancied I might receive great benefit from female conversation, and that I should have a convenience of talking with the greater freedom, when I was not under any impediment of thinking: I therefore threw myself into an assembly of ladies, but could not, for my life, get in a word among them; and found, that if I did not change my company, I was in danger of being reduced to my primitive taciturnity.
The coffee-houses have, ever since, been my chief places of resort, where I have made the greatest improvements; in order to which, I have taken a particular care never to be of the same opinion with the man I conversed with. I was a Tory at Button's, and a Whig at Child's; a friend to the Englishman, or an advocate for the Examiner, as it best served my turn: some fancy me a great enemy to the French king, though, in reality, I only make use of him for a help to discourse. In short, I wrangle and dispute for exercise; and have carried this point so far, that I was once like to have been run through the body for making a little too free with my betters.