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posing according to men's desert, or enquiring into it; for says he, that great man who has a mind to help me, has as many to break through to come at me, as I have to come at him : therefore he will conclude, that the man who would make a figure, especially in a military way, must get over all false modesty, and assist his patron against the importunity of other pretenders, by a proper assurance in his own vindication. He says it is a civil cowardice to be backward in asserting what you ought to expect, as it is a military fear to be flow in attacking when it is your duty. With this candour does the gentleman speak of himself and others. The fame frankness runs through all his conversation. The military part of his life has furnished him with many adventures, in the relation of which he is very agreeable to the company; for he is never overbearing, though accustomed to command men in the utmost degree below him; nor ever too obsequious, from an habit of obeying men highly above him.
But that our society may not appear a set of humourists, unacquainted with the gallantries and pleasures of the age, we have among us the gallant Will HONEYCOMB*, a gentleman who according to his years should be in the decline of his life, but having ever been very careful of his person, and always had a very easy for
* It has been said that a Colonel Cleland was supposed to have been the real person alluded to under this character. See the dedication of the eighth volume of the SPECTATOR, and Vote.
tune, time has made but very little impression, either by wrinkles on his forehead, or traces in his brain. His person is well turned, and of a good height. · He is very ready at that sort of discourse with which men usually entertain women. He has all his life dressed very well, and remembers habits as others do men. smile when one speaks to him, and laughs easily. He knows the history of every mode, and can inform you from which of the French king's wenches, our wives and daughters had this manner of curling their hair, that way of placing their hoods; whose frailty was covered by such a sort of petticoat, and whose vanity to shew her foot made that part of the dress so hort in such a year. In a word, all his conversation and knowledge has been in the female world. , As other men of his
will take notice to you what such a minister said
such and such an occasion, he will tell
when the Duke of Monmouth danced at court, such a woman was then smitten, another was taken with him at the head of his troop in the Park. In all these important relations, he has ever about the same time received a kind glance, or a blow of a fan, from some celebrated beauty, mother of the present Lord such-a-one. If you speak of a young commoner that said a lively thing in the house, he starts up, · He has good 'blood in his veins, Tom Mirable begot him, 'the rogue cheated me in that affair, that
young fellow's mother used me more like a dog than any woman I ever made advances to. This
way of talking of his, very much enlivens the conversation among us of a more sedate turn; and I find there is not one of the company, but myself, who rarely speak at all, but speaks of him'as of that sort of man, who is usually called a well bred fine gentleman. To conclude his character, where women are not concerned, he is an honest worthy man.
I cannot tell whether I am to account him whom I am next to speak of, as one of our company; for he visits us but seldom, but when he does, it adds to every man else a new enjoyment of himself. He is a clergyman, a very philosophic man, of general learning, great fanctity of life, and the most exact good breeding.
He has the misfortune to be of a very weak constitution, and consequently cannot accept of such cares and business as preferments in his function would oblige him to; he is therefore among divines, what a chamber-counsellor is among lawyers. The probity of his mind, and the integrity of his life, create him followers, as being eloquent or loud advances others. He seldom introduces the subject he speaks upon; but we are so far gone in years, that he observes when he is among us, an earnestness to have him fall on fome divine topic, which he always treats with much authority, as one who has no interests in this world, as one who is hastening to the object of all his wishes, and conceives hope from his decays and infirmities. These are my ordinary companions.
R* * By STEELE.
N° 3. Saturday, March 3, 1710-11.
Et quoi quisque ferè studio devinatus adhæret,
Lucr. l. iv. 959.
What studies please, what most delight, And fill men's thoughts, they dream them o'er at night.
N one of my late rambles, or rather Specula
tions, I looked into the great hall, where the bank is kept, and was not a little pleased to see the directors, secretaries, and clerks, with all the other members of that wealthy corporation, ranged in their several stations, according to the parts they act, in that just, and regular æconomy. This revived in my memory the many discourses which I had both read and heard, concerning the decay of public credit, with the methods of restoring it, and which in my opinion have always been defective, because they have always been made with an eye to separate interests, and party principles. The thoughts of the day gave my
mind employment for the whole night, so that I fell insensibly into a kind of methodical Dream, which disposed all my contemplations into a vision or Vol. I.
allegory, or what else the reader shall please to call it.
Methought I returned to the great hall, where I had been the morning before, but to my surprise, instead of the company that I left there, I saw towards the upper end of the hall, a beautiful virgin, feated on a throne of gold. Her name (as they told me) was Public CRE
The walls, instead of being adorned with pictures and maps, were hung with many acts of parliament written in golden letters. At the upper end of the hall was the MAGNA CHARTA, with the act of Uniformity on the right hand, and the act of Toleration on the left. At the lower end of the hall was the act of Settlement, which was placed full in the eye of the virgin that sat upon the throne. Both the Gides of the hall were covered with such acts of parliament as had been made for the establishment of public funds. The lady seemed to set an unspeakable value upon these several pieces of furniture, insomuch that the often refreshed her eye with them, and often smiled with a secret pleasure, as she looked upon them; but, at the same time, thewed a very particular uneasiness, if she faw any thing approaching that might hurt them. She appeared indeed infio nitely timorous in all her behaviour: and, whether it was from the delicacy of her constitution, or that she was troubled with vapours, as I was afterwards told by one, who I found was none of her well-wishers, the changed colour, and startled at every thing the heard. She was