The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 3,418 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
have heard Dr. S—­e [2] say in his Pulpit, of the Common-prayer, that, at least, it was as perfect as any thing of Human Institution:  If the Gentlemen who err in this kind would please to recollect the many Pleasantries they have read upon those who recite good Things with an ill Grace, they would go on to think that what in that Case is only Ridiculous, in themselves is Impious.  But leaving this to their own Reflections, I shall conclude this Trouble with what Caesar said upon the Irregularity of Tone in one who read before him, Do you read or sing?  If you sing, you sing very ill. [3]

[Footnote 1:  The Rec.  Philip Stubbs, afterwards Archdeacon of St. Alban’s.]

[Footnote 2:  Smalridge?]

[Footnote 3: 

  Si legis cantas; si cantas, male cantas.

The word Cant is rather from ‘cantare’, as a chanting whine, than from the Andrew Cants, father and son, of Charles the Second’s time.]

* * * * *

No. 148 Monday, August 20, 1711 Steele

      ‘Exempta juvat spinis e pluribus una.’


My Correspondents assure me that the Enormities which they lately complained of, and I published an Account of, are so far from being amended, that new Evils arise every Day to interrupt their Conversation, in Contempt of my Reproofs.  My Friend who writes from the Coffee-house near the Temple, informs me that the Gentleman who constantly sings a Voluntary in spite of the whole Company, was more musical than ordinary after reading my Paper; and has not been contented with that, but has danced up to the Glass in the Middle of the Room, and practised Minuet-steps to his own Humming.  The incorrigible Creature has gone still further, and in the open Coffee-house, with one Hand extended as leading a Lady in it, he has danced both French and Country-Dances, and admonished his supposed Partner by Smiles and Nods to hold up her Head, and fall back, according to the respective Facings and Evolutions of the Dance.  Before this Gentleman began this his Exercise, he was pleased to clear his Throat by coughing and spitting a full half Hour; and as soon as he struck up, he appealed to an Attorney’s Clerk in the Room, whether he hit as he ought Since you from Death have saved me? and then asked the young Fellow (pointing to a Chancery-Bill under his Arm) whether that was an Opera-Score he carried or not?  Without staying for an Answer he fell into the Exercise Above-mentioned, and practised his Airs to the full House who were turned upon him, without the least Shame or Repentance for his former Transgressions.

I am to the last Degree at a Loss what to do with this young Fellow, except I declare him an Outlaw, and pronounce it penal for any one to speak to him in the said House which he frequents, and direct that he be obliged to drink his Tea and Coffee without Sugar, and not receive from any Person whatsoever any thing above mere Necessaries.

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