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Bookfeller to the Reader..


N the Six hundred and thirty fe cond Spectator, the Reader will find an Account of the Rife of this Eighth and Laft Volume.

I have not been able to prevail upon the feveral Gentlemen who were concerned in this Work, to let me ac.. quaint the World with their Names.

Perhaps it will be unnecessary to inform the Reader, that no other Pa-pers, which have appeared under the Title of Spectator, fince the closing of this Eighth Volume, were written by any of those Gentlemen who had: a Hand in this, or the former Vo-· lumes.





No. 556. Friday, June, 8. 1714.

Qualis ubi in lucem coluber, mala gramina pafus,
Frigida fub terra tumidum quem bruma tegebat;
Nunc pofitis novus exuviis nitidufque juventa,
Lubrica convolvit fublato pectore terga

Arduus ad folem, et linguis micat ore trifulcis. Virg.

PON laying down the Office of SPECTATOR, I acquainted the World with my Defign of electing a new Club, and of opening my Mouth in it after a most folemn Manner. Both the Election and the Ceremony are now paft; but not finding it fo eafy as I at first imagined, to break thro' a Fifty Years Silence, I would not venture into the World under the Character of a Man who pretends to talk like other People, till I had arrived at a full Freedom of Speech.

I fhall referve for another time the Hiftory of fuch Club or Clubs of which I am now a Talkative but unworthy Member; and shall here givè an Account of this


furprifing Change which has been produced in me, and which I look upon to be as remarkable an Accident as any recorded in History, fince that which happened to the Son of Crafus, after having been many Years as much Tongue-tied as my self.

UPON the firft opening of my Mouth, I made a Speech confifting of about half a Dozen well-turned Periods; but grew. fo very hoarfe upon it, that for three Days together, inftead of finding the ufe of my Tongue, I was afraid that I had quite loft it. Befides, the unufsual. → Extenfion of my Mufcles on this Occafion, made my Face ake on both Sides to fuch a Degree, that nothing. but an invincible Resolution and Perfeverance could have prevented me from falling back to my Monofyllables..

I afterwards made feveral Effays towards speaking;; and that I might not be startled at my own Voice, which has happen'd to me more than once, I used to read aloud in my Chamber, and have often ftood in the Middle of the Street to calla Coach, when I knew there was none within hearing.

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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 fpeak much by my felf, and to draw upon me the whole Attention of those I conversed with, I used, for fome time, to walk every Morning in the Mall, and talk in Chorus with a Parcel of Frenchmen. I found my Modefty greatly relieved by the communicative Temper of this Nation, who are fo very fociable, as to think they are never better Company, than when they are all opening at the same


I then fancied I might receive great Benefit from Female Conversation, and that I fhould have a Convenience of talking with the greater Freedom, when I was not under any Impediment of thinking: I therefore threw my felf into an Affembly of Ladies, but could not for Life get in a Word among them; and found that if I did not change my Company, I was in Danger of be ing reduced to my primitive Taciturnity.



THE Coffee-houses have ever fince been my chief Places of Refort, where I have made the greatest Improvements; in order to which I have taken a particular Care never to be of the fame Opinion with the Man I converfed 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 beft ferved my Turn; fome fancy me a great Enemy to the French King, though in reality, I only make ufe of him for a Help to Discourse. In short, I wrangle and difpute for Exercife; and have carried this Point fo far that I was once like to have been run through the Body for making a little too free with my Betters.

IN a Word, I am quite another Man to what I was.. Nil fuit unquam

Tam difpar fibi

My old Acquaintance scarce know me; nay I was asked the other Day by a Jezu at Jonathan's, whether I was not related to a dumb Gentleman, who used to come to that Coffee-houfe? But I think I never was better pleafed in my Life than about a Week ago, when, as I was battling it across the Table with a young 'Templar, his Companion gave him a Pull by the Sleeve, begging him to come away, for that the old Prig would talk him to Death.

BEING now a very good Proficient in Discourse, I fhall appear in the World with this Addition to my Character, that my Countrymen may reap the Fruits of my newacquired Loquacity.

THOSE who have been prefent at publick Disputes in the University, know that it is ufual to maintain Herefies, for Argument's fake. I have heard a Man a most impudent Socinian for half an Hour, who has been an Orthodox Divine all his Life after. I have taken the fame Method to accomplish my self in the Gift of Utterance, having talked above a Twelve-month, not fo much for the Benefit of my Hearers as of my felf. But fince I have now gained the Faculty I have been fo long endeavouring after, I intend to make a right Ufe


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