No. 362. Friday, April 25, 1712. Steele.

Laudibus arguitur Vini vinosus--

Temple, Apr. 24.


Several of my Friends were this Morning got together over a Dish of Tea in very good Health, though we had celebrated Yesterday with more Glasses than we could have dispensed with, had we not been beholden to Brooke and Hillier. In Gratitude therefore to those good Citizens, I am, in the Name of the Company, to accuse you of great Negligence in overlooking their Merit, who have imported true and generous Wine, and taken care that it should not be adulterated by the Retailers before it comes to the Tables of private Families, or the Clubs of honest Fellows. I cannot imagine how a SPECTATOR can be supposed to do his Duty, without frequent Resumption of such Subjects as concern our Health, the first thing to be regarded, if we have a mind to relish anything else. It would therefore very well become your Spectatorial Vigilance, to give it in Orders to your Officer for inspecting Signs, that in his March he would look into the Itinerants who deal in Provisions, and enquire where they buy their several Wares. Ever since the Decease of [Cully [1]]- Mully-Puff [2] of agreeable and noisy Memory, I cannot say I have observed any thing sold in Carts, or carried by Horse or Ass, or in fine, in any moving Market, which is not perished or putrified; witness the Wheel-barrows of rotten Raisins, Almonds, Figs, and Currants, which you see vended by a Merchant dressed in a second-hand Suit of a Foot Soldier. You should consider that a Child may be poisoned for the Worth of a Farthing; but except his poor Parents send to one certain Doctor in Town, [3] they can have no advice for him under a Guinea. When Poisons are thus cheap, and Medicines thus dear, how can you be negligent in inspecting what we eat and drink, or take no Notice of such as the above-mentioned Citizens, who have been so serviceable to us of late in that particular? It was a Custom among the old Romans, to do him particular Honours who had saved the Life of a Citizen, how much more does the World owe to those who prevent the Death of Multitudes? As these Men deserve well of your Office, so such as act to the Detriment of our Health, you ought to represent to themselves and their Fellow-Subjects in the Colours which they deserve to wear. I think it would be for the publick Good, that all who vend Wines should be under oaths in that behalf. The Chairman at a Quarter Sessions should inform the Country, that the Vintner who mixes Wine to his Customers, shall (upon proof that the Drinker thereof died within a Year and a Day after taking it) be deemed guilty of Wilful Murder: and the Jury shall be instructed to enquire and present such Delinquents accordingly. It is no Mitigation of the Crime, nor will it be conceived that it can be brought in Chance-Medley or Man-Slaughter, upon Proof that it shall appear Wine joined to Wine, or right Herefordshire poured into Port O Port; but his selling it for one thing, knowing it to be another, must justly bear the foresaid Guilt of wilful Murder: For that he, the said Vintner, did an unlawful Act willingly in the false Mixture; and is therefore with Equity liable to all the Pains to which a Man would be, if it were proved he designed only to run a Man through the Arm, whom he whipped through the Lungs. This is my third Year at the Temple, and this is or should be Law. An ill Intention well proved should meet with no Alleviation, because it [out-ran [4]] it self. There cannot be too great Severity used against the Injustice as well as Cruelty of those who play with Mens Lives, by preparing Liquors, whose Nature, for ought they know, may be noxious when mixed, tho innocent when apart: And Brooke and Hillier, [5] who have ensured our Safety at our Meals, and driven Jealousy from our Cups in Conversation, deserve the Custom and Thanks of the whole Town; and it is your Duty to remind them of the Obligation. I am, SIR, Your Humble Servant, Tom. Pottle.


I am a Person who was long immured in a College, read much, saw little; so that I knew no more of the World than what a Lecture or a View of the Map taught me. By this means I improved in my Study, but became unpleasant in Conversation. By conversing generally with the Dead, I grew almost unfit for the Society of the Living; so by a long Confinement I contracted an ungainly Aversion to Conversation, and ever discoursed with Pain to my self, and little Entertainment to others. At last I was in some measure made sensible of my failing, and the Mortification of never being spoke to, or speaking, unless the Discourse ran upon Books, put me upon forcing my self amongst Men. I immediately affected the politest Company, by the frequent use of which I hoped to wear off the Rust I had contracted; but by an uncouth Imitation of Men used to act in publick, I got no further than to discover I had a Mind to appear a finer thing than I really was.

Such I was, and such was my Condition, when I became an ardent Lover, and passionate Admirer of the beauteous Belinda: Then it was that I really began to improve. This Passion changed all my Fears and Diffidences in my general Behaviour, to the sole Concern of pleasing her. I had not now to study the Action of a Gentleman, but Love possessing all my Thoughts, made me truly be the thing I had a Mind to appear. My Thoughts grew free and generous, and the Ambition to be agreeable to her I admired, produced in my Carriage a faint Similitude of that disengaged Manner of my Belinda. The way we are in at present is, that she sees my Passion, and sees I at present forbear speaking of it through prudential Regards. This Respect to her she returns with much Civility, and makes my Value for her as little a Misfortune to me, as is consistent with Discretion. She sings very charmingly, and is readier to do so at my Request, because she knows I love her: She will dance with me rather than another, for the same Reason. My Fortune must alter from what it is, before I can speak my Heart to her; and her Circumstances are not considerable enough to make up for the Narrowness of mine. But I write to you now, only to give you the Character of Belinda, as a Woman that has Address enough to demonstrate a Gratitude to her Lover, without giving him Hopes of Success in his Passion. Belinda has from a great Wit, governed by as great Prudence, and both adorned with Innocence, the Happiness of always being ready to discover her real Thoughts. She has many of us, who now are her Admirers; but her Treatment of us is so just and proportioned to our Merit towards her, and what we are in our selves, that I protest to you I have neither Jealousy nor Hatred toward my Rivals. Such is her Goodness, and the Acknowledgment of every Man who admires her, that he thinks he ought to believe she will take him who best deserves her. I will not say that this Peace among us is not owing to Self-love, which prompts each to think himself the best Deserver: I think there is something uncommon and worthy of Imitation in this Ladys Character. If you will please to Print my Letter, you will oblige the little Fraternity of happy Rivals, and in a more particular Manner,

SIR, Your most humble Servant, Will. Cymon.


[Footnote 1: [Mully]

[Footnote 2: See No. 251. He was a little man just able to bear on his head his basket of pastry, and who was named from his cry. There is a half-sheet print of him in the set of London Cries in Granger's Biographical History of England.]

[Footnote 3: Who advertised that he attended patients at charges ranging from a shilling to half-a-crown, according to their distance from his house.]

[Footnote 4: [out-run]]

[Footnote 5: Estcourt, it may be remembered, connected the advertisement of his Bumper tavern with the recommendation of himself as one ignorant of the wine trade who relied on Brooke and Hellier, and so ensured his Customers good wine. Among the advertisers in the Spectator Brooke and Hellier often appeared. One of their advertisements is preceded by the following, evidently a contrivance of their own, which shows that the art of puffing was not then in its infancy:

'This is to give Notice, That Brooke and Hellier have not all the New Port Wines this Year, nor above one half, the Vintners having bought 130 Pipes of Mr. Thomas Barlow and others, which are all natural, and shall remain Genuine, on which all Gentlemen and others may depend. Note.--Altho' Brooke and Hellier have asserted in several Papers that they had 140 Pipes of New Oporto Wines coming from Bristol, it now appears, since their landing, that they have only 133 Pipes, I Hhd. of the said Wines, which shews plainly how little what they say is to be credited.'

Then follows their long advertisement, which ends with a note that Their New Ports, just landed, being the only New Ports in Merchants Hands, and above One Half of all that is in London, will begin to be sold at the old prices the I2th inst. (April) at all their Taverns and Cellars.]

Translation of motto:
HOR. 1 Ep. xix. 6.
'He praises wine; and we conclude from thence,
He liked his glass on his own evidence.'