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THE

Bookfeller to the Reader.

INS

N the Six hundred and thirty fecond 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 acquaint 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 clofing of this Eighth Volume, were written by any of thofe Gentlemen who had a Hand in this or the former Volumes.

THE

THE

SPECTATOR.

VOL. VIII.

No 556. Friday, June 18. 1714.

Qualis ubi in lucem coluber, mala gramina paftus,
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 SPEC TATOR, I acquainted the World with my Defign of electing a new Club, and of opening my Mouth in it after a moft 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.

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

furprifing

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 felf.

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UPON the first 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, instead of finding the ufe of my Tongue, I was afraid that I had quite loft it. Befides, the unufual Extenfion of my Muscles on this Occafion, made my Face ake on both Sides to fuch a Degree, that nothing but an invincible Refolution and Perfeverance could have prevented me from falling back to my Monofyllables.

I afterwards made feveral Effays towards fpeaking; and that I might not be ftartled 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 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 fpeak much by my felf, and to draw upon me the whole Attention of those I converfed with, I ufed, for forme 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 fame

time.

I then fancied I might receive great Benefit from Female Converfation, 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 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

THE Coffee-houfes 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 same 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 use of him for a Help to Difcourfe. In fhort, 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,

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MY old Acquaintance fcarce know me; nay I was asked the other Day by a Jew 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 pleased 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 Difcourse, I hall appear in the World with this Addition to my Character, that my Countrymen may reap the Fruits of my new-acquired 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 moft 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 felf 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 Use

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