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No. 529. ranged in Company after the same manner as their Works
The most Minute Pocket Author hath beneath him 1712.
the Writers of all Pamphlets, or Works that are only stitched. As for the Pamphleteer, he takes place of none but of the Authors of single Sheets, and of that Fraternity who publish their Labours on certain Days, or on every Day of the Week. I do not find that the Precedency among the Individuals, in this latter Class of Writers, is yet settled.
For my own part, I have had so strict a Regard to the Ceremonial which prevails in the Learned World, that I never presumed to take place of a Pamphleteer till my daily Papers were gathered into those two first Volumes, which have already appeared. After which, I naturally jumped over the Heads not only of all Pamphleteers, but of every Octavo Writer in Great Britain, that had written but one Book. I am also informed by my Bookseller, that six Octavos have at all times been looked upon as an Equivalent to a Folio, which I take notice of the rather, because I would not have the Learned World surprized, if after the Publication of half a dozen Volumes I take my Place accordingly. When my scattered Forces are thus rallied, and reduced into Regular Bodies, I flatter my self that I shall make no despicable Figure at the Head of them.
Whether these Rules, which have been received time out of Mind in the Common-Wealth of Letters, were not originally established with an Eye to our Paper Manufacture, I shall leave to the Discussion of others, and shall only remark further in this place, that all Printers and Booksellers take the Wall of one another, according to the abovementioned Merits of the Authors to whom they respectively belong,
I come now to that point of Precedency which is settled among the three Learned Professions, by the Wisdom of our Laws, I need not here take Notice of the Rank which is allotted to every Doctor in each of these Professions, who are all of them, though_not so high as Knights, yet a Degree above 'Squires : This last Order of Men being the illiterate Body of the Nation,
are consequently thrown together into a Class below the No. 529, three Learned Professions. I mention this for the sake Thursday, of several Rural 'Squires, whose Reading does not rise Nov. 6,
1712. so high as to the present State of England, and who are often apt to usurp, that Precedency which by the Laws of their Country is not due to them. Their Want of Learning, which has planted them in this Station, may in some measure extenuate their Misdemeanour, and our Professors ought to pardon them when they offend in this Particular, considering that they are in a State of Ignorance, or as we usually say, do not know their Right Hand from their Left.
There is another Tribe of Persons who are Retainers to the Learned World, and who regulate themselves upon all Occasions by several Laws peculiar to their Body. I mean the Players or Actors of both Sexes. Among these it is a standing and uncontroverted Principle, that a Tragedian always takes Place of a Comedian; and 'tis very well known the merry Drolls who made us laugh are always placed at the lower end of the Table, and in every Entertainment give way to the Dignity of the Buskin. It is a Stage Maxim, Once a King and always a King. For this Reason it would be thought very absurd in Mr. Bullock, notwithstanding the Height and Graceful ness of his Person, to sit at the Right Hand of an Hero, though he were but five Foot high. The same Distinc tion is observed among the Ladies of the Theatre. Queens and Heroines preserve their Rank in private Conversation, while those who are waiting
Women and Maids of Honour upon the Stage keep their Distance also behind the Scenes.
I shall only add, that by a Parity of Reason, all Writers of Tragedy look upon it as their due to be seated, served, or saluted before Comick Writers: Those who deal in Tragi-Comedy, usually taking their Seats between the Authors of either side, There has been a long Dispute for Precedency between the Tragick and Heroick Poets. Aristotle would have the latter yield the Pas to the former, but Mr. Dryden and many others would never submit to this Decision. Burlesque Writers pay the same Deference to the Heroick,
No. 529. as Comic Writers to their Serious Brothers in the
By this short Table of Laws, Order is kept up, and
Fisday, November 7.
Saevo mittere cum joco.--Hor.
enter into the Fraternity which they have ridiculed, and to see their Raillery return upon their own Heads. I scarce ever knew a Woman-hater that did not, sooner or later, pay for it Marriage, which is a Blessing to another Man, falls upon such an one as a Judgment Mr. Congreve's Old Batchelor is set forth to us with much Wit and Humour, as an Example of this kind. In short, those who have most distinguished themselves by Railing at the Sex in general, very often make an honourable Amends, by chusing one of the most worth less Persons of it, for a Companion and Yoke-fellow. Hymen takes his Revenge in kind, on those who turn his Mysteries into Ridicule.
My Friend Will. Honeycomb, who was so unmercifully witty upon the Women, in a couple of Letters, which I lately communicated to the Publick, has given the Ladies ample Satisfaction by marrying a Farmer's Daughter; a piece of News which came to our Club by the last Post, The Templer is very positive that he has married a Dairy-maid But Will, in his Letter to me on this Occasion, sets the best Face upon the Matter that he can, and gives a more tollerable account of his Spouse. I must confess I suspected something more than ordinary, when upon opening the Letter I found that Will was fallen off from his former Gayety, having changed Dear Spec, which was his usual Salute at the Beginning of the Letter, into My Worthy Friend, and subscribed himself at the latter End of it at full length William Honeycomb. In short, the gay, the loud, the vain Will Honeycomb,
who had made Love to every great Fortune that has No. 530. appeared in Town for above thirty Years together, and Friday, boasted of Favours from Ladies whom he had never Nov. 4,
1712. seen, is at length wedded to a plain Country Girl.
His Letter gives us the Picture of a converted Rake. The sober Character of the Husband is dashed with the Man of the Town, and enlivened with those little Cant-phrases which have made my Friend Will often though very pretty Company, But let us hear what he says for himself.
My Worthy Friend, I question not but you, and the rest of my Acquaintance, wonder that I, who have lived in the Smoak and Gallantries of the Town for thirty Years together, should all on a sudden grow fond of a Country-life. Had not my Dog of a Steward run away as he did, without making up his Accounts, I had still been immersed in Sin and Sea-Coal. But since my late forced Visit to my Estate, I am so pleased with it, that I am resolved to live and die upon it. I am every Day abroad among my Acres, and can scarce forbear filling my Letter with Breezes, Shades, Flowers, Meadows, and purling Streams. The Simplicity of Manners, which I have heard you so often speak of, and which appears here in Perfection, charms me wonderfully. As an Instance of it, I must acquaint you, and by your means the whole Club, that I have lately married one of my Tenant's Daughters, She is born of honest Parents, and tho' she has no Portion she has a great deal of Virtue. The natural Sweetness and Innocence of her Behaviour, the Fresh ness of her Complection, the unaffected Turn of her Shape and Person, shot me through and through every time I saw her, and did more Execution upon me in Grogram, than the greatest Beauty in Town or Court had ever done in Brocade. In short, she is such an one as promises me a good Heir to my Estate, and if by her means I cannot leave to my Children what are falsely called the Gifts of Birth; high Titles and Alliances: I hope to convey to them the more real and valuable Gifts of Birth; strong Bodies and Healthy Constitutions. As IV.
No. 530. for your fine Women, I need not tell thee that I know Friday, them. I have had my share in their Graces, but no Nov. 7,
more of that. It shall be my. Business hereafter to live 1712.
the Life of an honest Man, and to act as becomes the
and Humble Servant,
WILLIAM HONEYCOMB.' No. 531 [ADDISON.]
Saturday, November 8.
Temperat horis ?
Nec viget quicquam simile aut secundum.-Hor.
what God was, desired a Day's time to consider of it before he made his Reply, When the Day was expired, he desired two Days; and afterwards, instead of returning his Answer, demanded still double the Time to consider of it. This great Poet and Philosopher, the more he contemplated the Nature of the Deity, found