How does the character Will Honeycomb represent eighteenth-century society?

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The character of Will Honeycomb, urbane, sophisticated, and at home in high society, represents the city gentleman in eighteenth-century England.

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Will Honeycomb, one of the members of the fictional Spectator Club, represents the views of the city-bred gentlemen in eighteenth-century British society. He is described as an older man, but one who has taken such good care of his appearance that he has few wrinkles. He is well dressed and a pleasing conversationalist to the ladies because of his ability at remembering fashion details. His conversation pleases men because he knows all sorts of political gossip and can tell or hint at a risqué story. He is well-to-do, well connected, and has had an easy, urbane life. He is a smooth but trustworthy good old boy who may deceive women but is honest with the men.

A skillful and sophisticated conversationalist and man around town, Honeycomb is a keen observer of other people. He sums up a woman he and two others see at a play as follows:

She knows she is handsome, but she knows she is good. Conscious Beauty adorned with conscious Virtue! What a Spirit is there in those Eyes! What a Bloom in that Person! How is the whole Woman expressed in her Appearance!

Many short episodes in the Spectator concern Honeycomb's interactions with various ladies around town.

As we learn in Spectator 77, Will can be absent minded. For example, he once threw his watch into the Thames instead of a pebble he had picked up and then put the pebble into his watch case.

Overall, however, he is a man who has been schooled in and gained hard won knowledge of city life through getting into many scrapes and adventures as a young man, which taught him the ways of the world. Social, witty, debonair, and one who has seen it all, he can be relied on for his good manners, wit, and good conversation.

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