I am very loth to come to Extremities with the young Gentlemen mention'd in the following Letter, and do not care to chastise them with my own Hand, till I am forc'd by Provocations too great to be suffer'd without the absolute Destruction of my Spectatorial Dignity. The Crimes of these Offenders are placed under the Observation of one of my chief Officers, who is posted just at the entrance of the Pass between London and Westminster. As I have great Confidence in the Capacity, Resolution and Integrity of the Person deputed by me to give an Account of Enormities, I doubt not but I shall soon have before me all proper Notices which are requisite for the Amendment of Manners in Publick, and the Instruction of each Individual of the Human Species in what is due from him, in respect to the whole Body of Mankind. The present Paper shall consist only of the above-mentioned Letter, and the Copy of a Deputation which I have given to my trusty Friend Mr. John Sly; wherein he is charged to notify to me all that is necessary for my Animadversion upon the Delinquents mentioned by my Correspondent, as well as all others described in the said Deputation.
To the SPECTATOR-GENERAL of Great Britain.
'I grant it does look a little familiar, but I must call you
'Being got again to the farther End of the Widow's Coffeehouse, I shall from hence give you some account of the Behaviour of our Hackney-Coachmen since my last. These indefatigable Gentlemen, without the least Design, I dare say, of Self-Interest or Advantage to themselves, do still ply as Volunteers Day and Night for the Good of their Country. I will not trouble you with enumerating many Particulars, but I must by no means omit to inform you of an Infant about six foot high, and between twenty and thirty Years of Age, who was seen in the Arms of a Hackney Coach-man driving by Will's Coffee-house in Covent-Garden, between the Hours of four and five in the Afternoon of that very Day, wherein you publish'd a Memorial against them. This impudent young Cur, tho' he could not sit in a Coach-box without holding, yet would he venture his Neck to bid defiance to your Spectatorial Authority, or to any thing that you countenanced. Who he was I know not, but I heard this Relation this Morning from a Gentleman who was an Eye-Witness of this his Impudence; and I was willing to take the first opportunity to inform you of him, as holding it extremely requisite that you should nip him in the Bud. But I am my self most concerned for my Fellow-Templers, Fellow-Students, and Fellow-Labourers in the Law, I mean such of them as are dignified and distinguish'd under the Denomination of Hackney-Coachmen. Such aspiring Minds have these ambitious young Men, that they cannot enjoy themselves out of a Coach-Box. It is however an unspeakable Comfort to me, that I can now tell you, that some of them are grown so bashful as to study only in the Nighttime, or in the Country. The other Night I spied one of our young Gentlemen very diligent at his Lucubrations in Fleet-Street; and by the way, I should be under some concern, lest this hard Student should one time or other crack his Brain with studying, but that I am in hopes Nature has taken care to fortify him in proportion to the great Undertakings he was design'd for. Another of my Fellow-Templers, on Thursday last, was getting up into his Study at the Bottom of Grays-Inn-Lane, in order, I suppose, to contemplate in the fresh Air. Now, Sir, my Request is, that the great Modesty of these two Gentlemen may be recorded as a Pattern to the rest; and if you would but give them two or three Touches with your own Pen, tho' you might not perhaps prevail with them to desist entirely from their Meditations, yet I doubt not but you would at least preserve them from being publick Spectacles of Folly in our Streets. I say, two or three Touches with your own Pen; for I have really observed, Mr. SPEC, that those Spectators which are so prettily laced down the sides with little c's, how instructive soever they may be, do not carry with them that Authority as the others. I do again therefore desire, that for the sake of their dear Necks, you will bestow one Penful of your own Ink upon them. I know you are loth to expose them; and it is, I must confess, a thousand Pities that any young Gentleman, who is come of honest Parents, should be brought to publick Shame: And indeed I should be glad to have them handled a little tenderly at the first; but if fair means will not prevail, there is then no other Way to reclaim them, but by making use of some wholesome Severities; and I think it is better that a Dozen or two of such good-for-nothing Fellows should be made Examples of, than that the Reputation of some Hundreds of as hopeful young Gentlemen as my self should suffer thro' their Folly. It is not, however, for me to direct you what to do; but, in short, if our Coachmen will drive on this Trade, the very first of them that I do find meditating in the Street, I shall make Bold to take the Number of his Chambers, together with a Note of his Name, and dispatch them to you, that you may chastise him at your own Discretion.
I am, Dear SPEC. For ever Yours, Moses Greenbag, Esq., if you please.
P. S. 'Tom Hammercloth, one of our Coachmen, is now pleading at the Bar at the other end of the Room, but has a little too much Vehemence, and throws out his Arms too much to take his Audience with a good Grace.
To my Loving and Well-beloved John Sly, Haberdasher of Hats and Tobacconist, between the Cities of London _and _Westminster.
Whereas frequent Disorders, Affronts, Indignities, Omissions, and Trespasses, for which there are no Remedies by any Form of Law, but which apparently disturb and disquiet the Minds of Men, happen near the Place of your Residence; and that you are, as well by your commodious Situation as the good Parts with which you are endowed, properly qualified for the Observation of the said Offences; I do hereby authorize and depute you from the hours of Nine in the Morning, till Four in the Afternoon, to keep a strict Eye upon all Persons and Things that are convey'd in Coaches, carried in Carts, or walk on Foot from the City of London to the City of Westminster, or from the City of Westminster to the City of London, within the said Hours. You are therefore not to depart from your Observatory at the end of Devereux-Court during the said space of each Day; but to observe the Behaviour of all Persons who are suddenly transported from stamping on Pebbles to sit at ease in Chariots, what Notice they take of their Foot-Acquaintance, and send me the speediest Advice, when they are guilty of overlooking, turning from, or appearing grave and distant to their old Friends. When Man and Wife are in the same Coach, you are to see whether they appear pleased or tired with each other, and whether they carry the due Mein in the Eye of the World between Fondness and Coldness. You are carefully to behold all such as shall have Addition of Honour or Riches, and Report whether they preserve the Countenance they had before such Addition. As to Persons on Foot, you are to be attentive whether they are pleased with their Condition, and are dress'd suitable to it; but especially to distinguish such as appear discreet, by a low-heel Shoe, with the decent Ornament of a Leather-Garter: To write down the Name of such Country Gentlemen as, upon the Approach of Peace, have left the Hunting for the Military Cock of the Hat: Of all who strut, make a Noise, and swear at the Drivers of Coaches to make haste, when they see it impossible they should pass: Of all young Gentlemen in Coach-boxes, who labour at a Perfection in what they are sure to be excelled by the meanest of the People. You are to do all that in you lies that Coaches and Passengers give way according to the Course of Business, all the Morning in Term-Time towards Westminster, the rest of the Year towards the Exchange. Upon these Directions, together with other secret Articles herein inclosed, you are to govern your self, and give Advertisement thereof to me at all convenient and spectatorial Hours, when Men of Business are to be seen. Hereof you are not to fail. Given under my Seal of Office.
T.Translation of motto: