As we were the first that came into the House, so we were the last that went out of it; being resolved to have a clear Passage for our old Friend, whom we did not care to venture among the justling of the Crowd. Sir ROGER went out fully satisfied with his Entertainment, and we guarded him to his Lodgings in the same manner that we brought him to the Playhouse; being highly pleased, for my own part, not only with the Performance of the excellent Piece which had been presented, but with the Satisfaction which it had given to the good old Man.
[Footnote 1: This is a fourth puff (see Nos. 223, 229, 290) of Addison’s friend Ambrose Philips. The art of packing a house to secure applause was also practised on the first night of the acting of this version of Andromaque.]
[Footnote 2: The Committee, or the Faithful Irishman, was written by Sir Robert Howard soon after the Restoration, with for its heroes two Cavalier colonels, whose estates are sequestered, and their man Teg (Teague), an honest blundering Irishman. The Cavaliers defy the Roundhead Committee, and the day may come says one of them, when those that suffer for their consciences and honour may be rewarded. Nobody who heard this from the stage in the days of Charles II. could feel that the day had come. Its comic Irishman kept the Committee on the stage, and in Queen Anne’s time the thorough Tory still relished the stage caricature of the maintainers of the Commonwealth in Mr. Day with his greed, hypocrisy, and private incontinence; his wife, who had been cookmaid to a gentleman, but takes all the State matters on herself; and their empty son Abel, who knows Parliament-men and Sequestrators, and whose profound contemplations are caused by the constervation of his spirits for the nations good.]
* * * * *
No. 336. Wednesday, March 26, 1712. Steele.
—Clament periisse pudorem
Cuncti pene patres, ea cum reprehendere coner,
Quae gravis AEsopus, quae doctus Roscius egit:
Vel quia nil rectum, nisi quod placuit sibi, ducunt;
Vel quia turpe putant parere minoribus, et, quae
Imberbes didicere, senes perdenda fateri.
As you are the daily Endeavourer to promote Learning and good Sense, I think myself obliged to suggest to your Consideration whatever may promote or prejudice them.. There is an Evil which has prevailed from Generation to Generation, which grey Hairs and tyrannical Custom continue to support; I hope your Spectatorial Authority will give a seasonable Check to the Spread of the Infection; I mean old Mens overbearing the strongest Sense of their Juniors by the mere Force of Seniority; so that for a young Man in the Bloom of Life and Vigour of Age to give a reasonable Contradiction to his Elders, is esteemed an unpardonable Insolence, and regarded as a reversing