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No. 046 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

No 46
Monday, April 23, 1711. Addison

Non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum.


When I want Materials for this Paper, it is my Custom to go abroad in quest of Game; and when I meet any proper Subject, I take the first Opportunity of setting down an Hint of it upon Paper. At the same time I look into the Letters of my Correspondents, and if I find any thing suggested in them that may afford Matter of Speculation, I likewise enter a Minute of it in my Collection of Materials. By this means I frequently carry about me a whole Sheetful of Hints, that would look like a Rhapsody of Nonsense to any Body but myself: There is nothing in them but Obscurity and Confusion, Raving and Inconsistency. In short, they are my Speculations in the first Principles, that (like the World in its Chaos) are void of all Light, Distinction, and Order.

About a Week since there happened to me a very odd Accident, by Reason of one of these my Papers of Minutes which I had accidentally dropped at Lloyd’s [1] Coffee-house, where the Auctions are usually kept. Before I missed it, there were a Cluster of People who had found it, and were diverting themselves with it at one End of the Coffee-house: It had raised so much Laughter among them before I had observed what they were about, that I had not the Courage to own it. The Boy of the Coffee-house, when they had done with it, carried it about in his Hand, asking every Body if they had dropped a written Paper; but no Body challenging it, he was ordered by those merry Gentlemen who had before perused it, to get up into the Auction Pulpit, and read it to the whole Room, that if any one would own it they might. The Boy accordingly mounted the Pulpit, and with a very audible Voice read as follows.


Sir Roger de Coverly’s Country Seat–Yes, for I hate long Speeches–Query, if a good Christian may be a Conjurer–Childermas-day, Saltseller, House-Dog, Screech-owl, Cricket–Mr. Thomas Inkle of London, in the good Ship called The Achilles. Yarico–AEgrescitique medendo–Ghosts–The Lady’s Library–Lion by Trade a Taylor–Dromedary called Bucephalus–Equipage the Lady’s summum bonumCharles Lillie to be taken notice of [2]–Short Face a Relief to Envy–Redundancies in the three Professions–King Latinus a Recruit–Jew devouring an Ham of Bacon–Westminster AbbeyGrand Cairo–Procrastination–April Fools–Blue Boars, Red Lions, Hogs in Armour–Enter a King and two Fidlers solus–Admission into the Ugly Club–Beauty, how improveable–Families of true and false Humour–The Parrot’s School-Mistress–Face half Pict half British–no Man to be an Hero of Tragedy under Six foot–Club of Sighers–Letters from Flower-Pots, Elbow-Chairs, Tapestry-Figures, Lion, Thunder–The Bell rings to the Puppet-Show–Old-Woman with a Beard married to a smock-faced Boy–My next Coat to be turned up with Blue–Fable of Tongs and Gridiron–Flower Dyers–The Soldier’s Prayer–Thank ye for nothing, says the Gally-Pot–Pactolus in Stockings, with golden Clocks to them–Bamboos, Cudgels, Drumsticks–Slip of my Landlady’s eldest Daughter–The black Mare with a Star in her Forehead–The Barber’s Pole–WILL. HONEYCOMB’S Coat-pocket–Caesar’s Behaviour and my own in Parallel Circumstances–Poem in Patch-work–Nulli gravis est percussus Achilles–The Female Conventicler–The Ogle Master.

The reading of this Paper made the whole Coffee-house very merry; some of them concluded it was written by a Madman, and others by some Body that had been taking Notes out of the Spectator. One who had the Appearance of a very substantial Citizen, told us, with several politick Winks and Nods, that he wished there was no more in the Paper than what was expressed in it: That for his part, he looked upon the Dromedary, the Gridiron, and the Barber’s Pole, to signify something more than what is usually meant by those Words; and that he thought the Coffee-man could not do better than to carry the Paper to one of the Secretaries of State. He further added, that he did not like the Name of the outlandish Man with the golden Clock in his Stockings. A young [Oxford Scholar [3]], who chanced to be with his Uncle at the Coffee-house, discover’d to us who this Pactolus was; and by that means turned the whole Scheme of this worthy Citizen into Ridicule. While they were making their several Conjectures upon this innocent Paper, I reach’d out my Arm to the Boy, as he was coming out of the Pulpit, to give it me; which he did accordingly. This drew the Eyes of the whole Company upon me; but after having cast a cursory Glance over it, and shook my Head twice or thrice at the reading of it, I twisted it into a kind of Match, and litt my Pipe with it. My profound Silence, together with the Steadiness of my Countenance, and the Gravity of my Behaviour during this whole Transaction, raised a very loud Laugh on all Sides of me; but as I had escaped all Suspicion of being the Author, I was very well satisfied, and applying myself to my Pipe, and the Post-man, took no [further] Notice of any thing that passed about me.