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No. 581.

Monday, August 16.

I

Sunt bona, funt quædam mediocria, funt mala plura
Qui legis.
Mart.

AM at prefent fitting with a Heap of Letters before me, which I have received under the Character of SPECTATOR; I have Complaints from Lovers, Schemes from Projectors, Scandal from Ladies, Congratulations, Compliments, and Advice in abundance.

I have not been thus long an Author, to be infenfible of the natural Fondness every Person must have for their own Productions; and I begin to think I have treated my Correfpondents a little too uncivilly in ftringing them all together on a File, and letting them lye fo long unregarded. I fhall therefore, for the future, think my felf at leaft obliged to take fome Notice of fuch Letters as I receive, and may poffibly do it at the End of every Month.

In the mean time, I intend my prefent Paper as a fhort Answer to most of those which have been already fent me.

THE Publick however is not to expect I should let them into all my Secrets; and though I appear abftruse to moft People, it is fufficient if I am understood by my particular Correspondents.

My Well-wisher Van Nath is very arch, but not quite enough fo to appear in Print.

PHILADELPHUS will, in a little Time, fee his Query fully answered by a Treatise which is now in the Prefs.

It was very improper at that Time to comply with Mr. G.

Miss Kitty muft excuse me.

THE

THE Gentleman who fent me a Copy of Verses on his Miftrefs's Dancing, is I believe too thoroughly in Love to compofe correctly.

I have too great a Refpect for both the Universities to praise one at the Expence of the other.

TOM Nimble is a very honest Fellow, and I defire him to prefent my humble Service to his Coufin Fill Bumper.

I am obliged for the Letter upon Prejudice.

I may Grumble.

in due Time animadvert on the Cafe of Grace

THE Petition of P. S. granted.

THAT of Sarah Loveit, refufed.

THE Papers of A. S. are returned.

I thank Ariftippus for his kind Invitation.

My Friend at Woodstock is a bold Man, to undertake for all within Ten Miles of him.

I am afraid the Entertainment of Tom Turnover will hardly be relished by the good Cities of London and Westminster.

I must confider further of it, before I indulge W. F. in thofe Freedoms he takes with the Ladies Stockings.

I am obliged to the ingenious Gentleman, who sent me an Ode on the Subject of a late SPECTATOR, and fhall take particular Notice of his laft Letter.

WHEN the Lady who wrote me a Letter, dated July the 20th, in relation to fome Paffages in a Lover, will be more particular in her Directions, I fhall be fo in my Answer.

THE poor Gentleman, who fancies my Writings could reclaim an Husband who can abufe fuch a Wife as he describes, has I am afraid too great an Opinion of my Skill.

PHILANTHROPOS is, I dare fay, a very wellmeaning Man, but is a little too prolix in his Compofi

tions.

CONSTANTIUS himself must be the beft Judge in the Affair he mentions.

THE Letter dated from Lincoln is received. ARETHUSA and her Friend may hear further from me.

CELIA is a little too hafty.

HARRIOT is a good Girl, but must not curte to Folks fhe does not know.

I must ingenuously confefs my Friend Sampson Bentftaff has quite puzzled me, and writ me a long Letter which I cannot comprehend one Word of.

COLLIDAN must also explain what he means by his Drigelling.

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I think it beneath my Spectatorial Dignity, to concern my felf in the Affair of the boiled Dumpling.

I fhall confult fome Litterati on the Project fent me for the Discovery of the Longitude.

I know not how to conclude this Paper better, than by inferting a couple of Letters which are really genuine, and which I look upon to be two of the smartest Pieces I have received from my Correfpondents of either Sex.

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Brother SPEC.

W HILE you are furveying every Object that

falls in your way, I am wholly taken up with one. Had that Sage, who demanded what Beauty was, lived to fee the dear Angel I love, he would not "have asked fuch a Queftion. Had another feen her, he would himself have loved the Perfon in whom Heaven has made Virtue vifible; and were you your self to be in her Company, you could never, with all your Loquacity, fay enough of her good Humour and Sense.. I fend you the Outlines of a Picture, which I can no 6 more finish than I can fufficiently admire the dear Original, I am,

s.

Your most affectionate Brother,

Conftantio Spec.

Good Mr. Pert,

I
Will allow you nothing till you refolve me the fol-
lowing Queftion. Pray what's the Reafon that
while you only talk now upon Wednesdays, Fri-
days and Mondays, you pretend to be a greater Tatler,

⚫ than

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than when you spoke every Day as you formerly used to do? If this be your plunging out of your Taciturnity, pray let the Length of your Speeches compenfate for the Scarceness of them.

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HERE is a certain Diftemper, which is mentioned neither by Galen nor Hippocrates, nor to be met with in the London Difpenfary. Juvenal, in the Motto of my Paper terms it a Cacoethes ; which is a hard Word for a Disease called in plain English, the Itch of Writing. This Cacoethes is as epidemical as the Small-1 -pox, there being very few who are not feized with it fome Time or other in their Lives. There is, however, this Difference in these two Diftempers, that the first, after having indifpofed you for a Time, never returns again, whereas this I am speaking of, when it is once got into the Blood, feldom comes out of it. The British Nation is much afflicted with this Malady, and tho' very very many Remedies have been applied to Perfons infected with it, few of them have ever proved fuccessful. Some have been cauteriz'd with Satyrs and Lampoons, but have received little or no Benefit from them; others have had their Heads faftned for an Hour together between a Cleft Board, which is made use of as a Cure for the Disease when it appears in its greatest Malignity. There is indeed one kind of this Malady which has been sometimes

removed,

No. 582. removed, like the biting of a Tarantula, with the Sound of a mufical Inftrument, which is commonly known by the Name of a Cat-call. But if you have a Patient of this kind under your Care, you may affure yourself there is no other way of recovering him effectually, but by forbidding him the Ufe of Pen, Ink and Paper.

BUT to drop the Allegory, before I have tired it out, there is no Species of Scribblers more offenfive, and more incurable than your Periodical Writers, whofe Works return upon the Publick on certain Days and at stated Times. We have not the Confolation in the Perufal of these Authors, which we find at the reading of all others (namely) that we are fure if we have but Patience, we may come to the End of their Labours. I have often admired a humorous Saying of Diogenes, who reading a dull Author to feveral of his Friends, when every one began to be tired, finding he was almost come to a blank Leaf at the End of it, cried, Courage, Lads, I fee Land. On the contrary, our Progrefs through that kind of Writers I am now fpeaking of is never at an End. One Day makes Work for another, we do not know when to promise our felves Reft.

It is a melancholy Thing to confider, that the Art of Printing, which might be the greatest Bleffing to Mankind, fhould prove detrimental to us, and that it fhould be made ufe of to scatter Prejudice and Ignorance thro' a People, inftead of conveying to them Truth and Knowledge.

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I was lately reading a very whimsical Treatife, entitled, William Ramfey's Vindication of Aftrology. This profound Author, among many myftical Paffages, has the following one: The Abfence of the Sun is not the Caufe of Night, forafmuch as his Light is fo great that it may illuminate the Earth all over at once as clear as broad Day; but there are tenebrificous and dark Stars, by ⚫ whose Influence Night is brought on, and which do ray out Darkness and Obfcurity upon the Earth, as the Sun does Light.

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I confider Writers in the fame View this fage Aftrologer does the heavenly Bodies. Some of them are Stars that fcatter Light, as others do Darkness. I could men

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