Friday, August 3, 1711.
‘… Opiferque per Orbem
During my Absence in the Country, several Packets have been left for me, which were not forwarded to me, because I was expected every Day in Town. The Author of the following Letter, dated from Tower-Hill, having sometimes been entertained with some Learned Gentlemen in Plush Doublets, who have vended their Wares from a Stage in that Place, has pleasantly enough addressed Me, as no less a Sage in Morality, than those are in Physick. To comply with his kind Inclination to make my Cures famous, I shall give you his Testimonial of my great Abilities at large in his own Words.
‘Your saying t’other Day there is something wonderful in the Narrowness of those Minds which can be pleased, and be barren of Bounty to those who please them, makes me in pain that I am not a Man of Power: If I were, you should soon see how much I approve your Speculations. In the mean time, I beg leave to supply that Inability with the empty Tribute of an honest Mind, by telling you plainly I love and thank you for your daily Refreshments. I constantly peruse your Paper as I smoke my Morning’s Pipe, (tho’ I can’t forbear reading the Motto before I fill and light) and really it gives a grateful Relish to every Whif; each Paragraph is freight either with useful or delightful Notions, and I never fail of being highly diverted or improved. The Variety of your Subjects surprizes me as much as a Box of Pictures did formerly, in which there was only one Face, that by pulling some Pieces of Isinglass over it, was changed into a grave Senator or a Merry Andrew, a patch’d Lady or a Nun, a Beau or a Black-a-moor, a Prude or a Coquet, a Country ‘Squire or a Conjurer, with many other different Representations very entertaining (as you are) tho’ still the same at the Bottom. This was a childish Amusement when I was carried away with outward Appearance, but you make a deeper Impression, and affect the secret Springs of the Mind; you charm the Fancy, sooth the Passions, and insensibly lead the Reader to that Sweetness of Temper that you so well describe; you rouse Generosity with that Spirit, and inculcate Humanity with that Ease, that he must be miserably Stupid that is not affected by you. I can’t say indeed that you have put Impertinence to Silence, or Vanity out of Countenance; but methinks you have bid as fair for it, as any Man that ever appeared upon a publick Stage; and offer an infallible Cure of Vice and Folly, for the Price of One Penny. And since it is usual for those who receive Benefit by such famous Operators, to publish an Advertisement, that others may reap the same Advantage, I think my self obliged to declare to all the World, that having for a long time been splenatick, ill natured, froward, suspicious, and unsociable, by the Application of your Medicines, taken only with half an Ounce of right Virginia Tobacco, for six successive Mornings, I am become open, obliging, officious, frank, and hospitable.
I am, Your Humble Servant, and great Admirer,
July 5, 1711.
This careful Father and humble Petitioner hereafter mentioned, who are under Difficulties about the just Management of Fans, will soon receive proper Advertisements relating to the Professors in that behalf, with their Places of Abode and Methods of Teaching.
July the 5th, 1711.
‘In your Spectator of June the 7th you Transcribe a Letter sent to you from a new sort of Muster-master, who teaches Ladies the whole Exercise of the Fan; I have a Daughter just come to Town, who tho’ she has always held a Fan in her Hand at proper Times, yet she knows no more how to use it according to true Discipline, than an awkward School-boy does to make use of his new Sword: I have sent for her on purpose to learn the Exercise, she being already very well accomplished in all other Arts which are necessary for a young Lady to understand; my Request is, that you will speak to your Correspondent on my behalf, and in your next Paper let me know what he expects, either by the Month, or the Quarter, for teaching; and where he keeps his Place of Rendezvous. I have a Son too, whom I would fain have taught to gallant Fans, and should be glad to know what the Gentleman will have for teaching them both, I finding Fans for Practice at my own Expence. This Information will in the highest manner oblige,
SIR, Your most humble Servant,
As soon as my Son is perfect in this Art (which I hope will be in a Year’s time, for the Boy is pretty apt,) I design he shall learn to ride the great Horse, (altho’ he is not yet above twenty Years old) if his Mother, whose Darling he is, will venture him.
To the SPECTATOR.
The humble Petition of Benjamin Easie, Gent.
‘That it was your Petitioner’s Misfortune to walk to Hackney Church last Sunday, where to his great Amazement he met with a Soldier of your own training: she furls a Fan, recovers a Fan, and goes through the whole Exercise of it to Admiration. This well-managed Officer of yours has, to my Knowledge, been the Ruin of above five young Gentlemen besides my self, and still goes on laying waste wheresoever she comes, whereby the whole Village is in great danger. Our humble Request is therefore that this bold Amazon be ordered immediately to lay down her Arms, or that you would issue forth an Order, that we who have been thus injured may meet at the Place of General Rendezvous, and there be taught to manage our Snuff-Boxes in such manner as we may be an equal Match for her:
And your Petitioner shall ever Pray, etc.