You professed in several Papers your particular Endeavours in the Province of SPECTATOR, to correct the Offences committed by Starers, who disturb whole Assemblies without any Regard to Time, Place or Modesty. You complained also, that a Starer is not usually a Person to be convinced by Reason of the Thing, nor so easily rebuked, as to amend by Admonitions. I thought therefore fit to acquaint you with a convenient Mechanical Way, which may easily prevent or correct Staring, by an Optical Contrivance of new Perspective-Glasses, short and commodious like Opera Glasses, fit for short-sighted People as well as others, these Glasses making the Objects appear, either as they are seen by the naked Eye, or more distinct, though somewhat less than Life, or bigger and nearer. A Person may, by the Help of this Invention, take a View of another without the Impertinence of Staring; at the same Time it shall not be possible to know whom or what he is looking at. One may look towards his Right or Left Hand, when he is supposed to look forwards: This is set forth at large in the printed Proposals for the Sale of these Glasses, to be had at Mr. Dillons in Long-Acre, next Door to the White-Hart. Now, Sir, as your Spectator has occasioned the Publishing of this Invention for the Benefit of modest Spectators, the Inventor desires your Admonitions concerning the decent Use of it; and hopes, by your Recommendation, that for the future Beauty may be beheld without the Torture and Confusion which it suffers from the Insolence of Starers. By this means you will relieve the Innocent from an Insult which there is no Law to punish, tho it is a greater Offence than many which are within the Cognizance of Justice.
I am, SIR,
Your most humble Servant,
[Footnote 1: Apostle spoons and others with fancy heads upon their handles.]
[Footnote 2: The ox-eyed, venerable Juno.]
[Footnote 3: AEn. 12, v. 101.]
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No. 251. Tuesday, December 18, 1711. Addison.
—Lingua centum sunt, oraque centum.
There is nothing which more astonishes a Foreigner, and frights a Country Squire, than the Cries of London. My good Friend Sir ROGER often declares, that he cannot get them out of his Head or go to Sleep for them, the first Week that he is in Town. On the contrary, WILL. HONEYCOMB calls them the Ramage de la Ville, and prefers them to the Sounds of Larks and Nightingales, with all the Musick of the Fields and Woods. I have lately received a Letter from some very odd Fellow upon this Subject, which I shall leave with my Reader, without saying any thing further of it.