[Footnote 1: Fought April 25 (O.S. 14), 1707, between the English, under Lord Galway, a Frenchman, with Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish allies, and a superior force of French and Spaniards, under an Englishman, the Duke of Berwick, natural son of James II. Deserted by many of the foreign troops, the English were defeated.]
[Footnote 2: cleaning]
[Footnote 3: that]
[Footnote 4: that]
* * * * *
No. 8. Friday, March 9, 1711. Addison.
obscuro gradientes aere sepsit,
Et multo Nebulae circum Dea fudit amictu,
Cernere ne quis eos ...’
I shall here communicate to the World a couple of Letters, which I believe will give the Reader as good an Entertainment as any that I am able to furnish [him ] with, and therefore shall make no Apology for them.
’To the SPECTATOR, &c.
I am one of the Directors of the Society for the Reformation of Manners, and therefore think myself a proper Person for your Correspondence. I have thoroughly examined the present State of Religion in Great-Britain, and am able to acquaint you with the predominant Vice of every Market-Town in the whole Island. I can tell you the Progress that Virtue has made in all our Cities, Boroughs, and Corporations; and know as well the evil Practices that are committed in Berwick or Exeter, as what is done in my own Family. In a Word, Sir, I have my Correspondents in the remotest Parts of the Nation, who send me up punctual Accounts from time to time of all the little Irregularities that fall under their Notice in their several Districts and Divisions.
I am no less acquainted with the particular Quarters and Regions of this great Town, than with the different Parts and Distributions of the whole Nation. I can describe every Parish by its Impieties, and can tell you in which of our Streets Lewdness prevails, which Gaming has taken the Possession of, and where Drunkenness has got the better of them both. When I am disposed to raise a Fine for the Poor, I know the Lanes and Allies that are inhabited by common Swearers. When I would encourage the Hospital of Bridewell, and improve the Hempen Manufacture, I am very well acquainted with all the Haunts and Resorts of Female Night-walkers.
After this short Account of my self, I must let you know, that the Design of this Paper is to give you Information of a certain irregular Assembly which I think falls very properly under your Observation, especially since the Persons it is composed of are Criminals too considerable for the Animadversions of our Society. I mean, Sir, the Midnight Masque, which has of late been frequently held in one of the most conspicuous Parts of the