No. 609. Wednesday, October 20, 1714.

--Farrago libelli--'


'I have for some Time desired to appear in your Paper, and have therefore chosen a Day [1] to steal into the SPECTATOR, when I take it for granted you will not have many spare Minutes for Speculations of your own. As I was the other Day walking with an honest Country-Gentleman, he very often was expressing his Astonishment to see the Town so mightily crowded with Doctors of Divinity: Upon which I told him he was very much mistaken if he took all those Gentlemen he saw in Scarfs to be Persons of that Dignity; for, that a young Divine, after his first Degree in the University, usually comes hither only to show himself; and on that Occasion is apt to think he is but half equipp'd with a Gown and Cassock for his publick Appearance, if he hath not the additional Ornament of a Scarf of the first Magnitude to intitle him to the Appellation of Doctor from his Landlady and the Boy at Childs. Now since I know that this Piece of Garniture is looked upon as a Mark of Vanity or Affectation, as it is made use of among some of the little spruce Adventurers of the Town, I should be glad if you would give it a Place among those Extravagancies you have justly exposed in several of your Papers: being very well assured that the main Body of the Clergy, both in the Country and the Universities, who are almost to a Man untainted with it, would be very well pleased to see this Venerable Foppery well exposed. When my Patron did me the Honour to take me into his Family, (for I must own my self of this Order) he was pleased to say he took me as a Friend and Companion; and whether he looked upon the Scarf like the Lace and Shoulder-knot of a Footman, as a Badge of Servitude and Dependance, I do not know, but he was so kind as to leave my wearing of it to my own Discretion; and not having any just Title to it from my Degrees, I am content to be without the Ornament. The Privileges of our Nobility to keep a certain Number of Chaplains are undisputed, though perhaps not one in ten of those reverend Gentlemen have any Relation to the noble Families their Scarfs belong to; the Right generally of creating all Chaplains except the Domestick, where there is one, being nothing more than the Perquisite of a Steward's Place, who, if he happens to out-live any considerable Number of his noble Masters, shall probably, at one and the same Time, have fifty Chaplains, all in their proper Accoutrements, of his own Creation; though perhaps there hath been neither Grace nor Prayer said in the Family since the Introduction of the first Coronet.'

I am, &c.


'I wish you would write a Philosophical Paper about Natural Antipathies, with a Word or two concerning the Strength of Imagination. I can give you a List upon the first Notice, of a Rational China Cup, of an Egg that walks upon two Legs, and a Quart Pot that sings like a Nightingale. There is in my Neighbourhood a very pretty prattling Shoulder of Veal, that squawls out at the Sight of a Knife. Then as for Natural Antipathies, I know a General Officer who was never conquered but by a smother'd Rabbit; and a Wife that domineers over her Husband by the Help of a Breast of Mutton. A Story that relates to my self on this Subject may be thought not unentertaining, especially when I assure you that it is literally true. I had long made Love to a Lady, in the Possession of whom I am now the happiest of Mankind, whose Hand I shou'd have gained with much Difficulty without the Assistance of a Cat. You must know then, that my most dangerous Rival had so strong an Aversion to this Species, that he infallibly swooned away at the Sight of that harmless Creature. My Friend Mrs. Lucy, her Maid, having a greater Respect for me and my Purse than she had for my Rival, always took Care to pin the Tail of a Cat under the Gown of her Mistress, whenever she knew of his coming; which had such an Effect, that every Time he entred the Room, he looked more like one of the Figures in Mrs. Salmon's Wax-work, than a desirable Lover. In short, he grew Sick of her Company; which the young Lady taking Notice of, (who no more knew why, than he did) she sent me a Challenge to meet her in Lincoln's-Inn Chappel, which I joyfully accepted, and have (amongst other Pleasures) the Satisfaction of being praised by her for my Stratagem, I am, &c.'

From the Hoop.

Tom. Nimble.


'The Virgins of Great Britain are very much oblig'd to you for putting them upon such tedious Drudgeries in Needlework as were fit only for the Hilpa's and the Nilpa's that lived before the Flood. Here's a stir indeed with your Histories in Embroidery, your Groves with Shades of Silk and Streams of Mohair! I would have you to know, that I hope to kill a hundred Lovers before the best Housewife in England can stitch out a Battel, and do not fear but to provide Boys and Girls much faster than your Disciples can embroider them. I love Birds and Beasts as well as you, but am content to fancy them when they are really made. What do you think of Gilt Leather for Furniture? There's your pretty Hangings for a Chamber; [2] and what is more, our own Country is the only Place in Europe where Work of that kind is tolerably done. Without minding your musty Lessons: I am this Minute going to Paul's Church-Yard to bespeak a Skreen and a Set of Hangings; and am resolved to encourage the Manufacture of my Country.'



[Footnote 1: Oct. 20, 1714, was the day of the Coronation of George I.]

[Footnote 2: There was at this time a celebrated manufactory of tapestry at Chelsea.]

Translation of motto:
JUV. Sat. i. 86.
'The miscellaneous subjects of my book.'