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PRINTED BY T. BENSLEY;
For Meffrs. Payne, Rivington, Davis, Longman, Dodfley, White,
TO WILLIAM HONEYCOMB, Efq.
HE feven former volumes of the SPEC
TH TATOR having been dedicated to fome of
the most celebrated perfons of the leave to inscribe + this eighth and laft to you, as to a gentleman who hath ever been ambitious of appearing in the best company.
You are now wholly retired from the busy part of mankind, and at leisure to reflect, upon your past achievements; for which reafon I look upon you as a perfon very well qualified for a dedication.
I may poffibly difappoint my readers, and yourfelf too, if I do not endeavour on this occafion to make the world acquainted with your virtues. And here, Sir, I fhall not compliment you upon your birth, perfon, or fortune; nor any other the like perfections which you poffefs, whether you will or no: but fhall only touch upon thofe which are of your own acquiring, and in which every one must allow you have a real merit.
Your janty air and eafy motion, the volubility of your discourse, the fuddennefs of your laugh, the management of your fnuff-box, with the whiteness of your hands and teeth (which have justly gained you the envy of the most polite part
* Generally fuppofed to be Col. CLELAND. See STEELE'S "Epiftolary Correfpondence, 1787," Vol. I. p. 114. and Vol. II. p. 428.
+ This dedication is fufpected to have been written by EUSTACE BUDGELL, who might have better dedicated it to WILL. WIMBLE.
of the male world, and the love of the greatest beauties in the female) are entirely to be afcribed to your own perfonal genius and application.
You are formed for thefe accomplishments by a happy turn of nature, and have finished yourfelf in them by the utmost improvements of art. A man that is defective in either of these qualifications (whatever may be the fecret ambition of his heart) must never hope to make the figure you have done, among the fashionable part of his fpecies. It is therefore no wonder we fee fuch multitudes of afpiring young men fall short of you in all thefe beauties of your character, notwithstanding the ftudy and practice of them is the whole bufinefs of their lives. But I need not tell you that the free and difengaged behaviour of a fine gentleman makes as many aukward beaux, as the eafinefs of your favourite hath made infipid poets.
At present you are content to aim all your charms at your own fpoufe, without farther thought of mifchief to any others of the fex. I know you had formerly a very great contempt for that pedantic race of mortals who call themfelves Philofophers; and yet, to your honour be it spoken, there is not a Sage of them all could have better acted up to their precepts in one of the most important points of life: I mean, in that generous difregard of popular opinion which you thewed fome years ago, when you chofe for your wife an obfcure young woman, who doth not indeed pretend to an ancient family, but has certainly as many forefathers as any lady in the land, if the could but reckon up their names.
I must own, I conceived very extraordinary hopes of from the moment that you conyou feffed your age, and from eight-and-forty (where you had ftuck fo many years) very ingeniously stepped into your grand climacteric. Your deportment has fince been very venerable and becoming. If I am rightly informed you make a regular appearance every quarter-feffions among your brothers of the quorum; and, if things go on as they do, stand fair for being a colonel of the militia. I am told that your time paffes away as agreeably in the amufements of a country life, as it ever did in the gallantries of the town; and that you now take as much pleasure in the planting of young trees, as you did formerly in the cutting down of your old ones. In fhort, we hear from all hands that you are thoroughly reconciled to your dirty acres, and have not too much wit to look into your own eftate.
After having spoken thus much of my Patron, I must take the privilege of an Author in saying fomething of myfelf. I fhall therefore beg leave to add, that I have purposely omitted fetting those marks to the end of every Paper, which appeared in my former volumes, that you may have an opportunity of fhewing Mrs. Honeycomb the threwdnefs of your conjectures, by afcribing every Speculation to its proper author: though you know how often many profound Critics in ftyle and fentiments have very judiciously erred in this particular, before they were let into the fecret. Iam, Sir, your most faithful, humble fervant,