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' in my fortune to make up what he might
expect in another. Within these few months 'I have obferved his carriage very much altered, and he has affected a certain air of getting me alone, and talking with a mighty profufion of paffionate words, how I am not to be refifted longer, how irrefiftible his wishes are, and the like. As long as I have been acquainted with him, I could not on fuch occafions fay 'downright to him, you know you may make
my mother, but he tells me ftories of the difcretionary part of the world, and fuch a one, and fuch ⚫ a one who are guilty of as much as the advifes me to. She laughs at my aftonishment; and feems to hint to me, that as virtuous as the has always appeared, I am not the daughter of her husband. It is poffible that printing this letter may relieve me from the unnatural importunity of my mother, and the perfidious courtship of my husband's friend. I have an ⚫ unfeigned love of virtue, and am refolved to " preferve my innocence. The only way I can think of to avoid the fatal confequences of the discovery of this matter, is to fly away for < ever, which I must do to avoid my husband's fatal refentment against a man who attempts to abuse him, and the fhame of expofing a pa' rent to infamy. The perfons concerned will 'know thefe circumstances relate to them; and tho' the regard to virtue is dead in them, I have fome hopes from their fear of fhame upon reading this in your paper; which I conjure you to infert, if you have any compaffion for injured virtue.
me yours when you pleafe. But the other night he with great frankness and impudence explained to me, that he thought of me only as a mistress. I anfwered this declaration as it deferved; upon which he only doubled the terms on which he propofed my yielding. When my anger heightened upon him, he told me he was forry he had made fo little ufe of "the unguarded hours we had been together fo remote from company, as indeed continued he, fo we are at prefent. I flew from him to a "neighbouring gentlewoman's house, and tho* her husband was in the room threw myself on a couch and burst into a paffion of tears. My friend defired her husband to leave the room: but, faid he, there is fomething fo extraordinary in this, that I will partake in the affiction; and be it what it will, the is fo much your friend, that she knows you may command what fervices I can do her. The man fat down by me, and fpoke fo like a brother, that I told him my whole affliction. He spoke of the injury done me with fo much indignation, and animated me against the love he faid he faw I had for the wretch who would have betrayed me, with fo much reafon and humanity to my weakness, that I doubt not of my perfeverance. His wife and he are my comforters, ⚫ and I am under no more restraint in their company than if I were alone; and I doubt not but in a small time contempt and hatred will take place of the remains of affection to
• Mr. Spectator,
Am the husband of a woman of merit, but " am fallen in love, as they call it, with a lady of her acquaintance who is going to be married to a gentleman who deferves her. I . am in a trust relating to this lady's fortune, which makes my concurrence in this matter neceffary; but I have fo irrefiftible a rage and 6 envy rife in me when I confider his future hap pinefs, that against all reason, equity, and com· mon juftice,I am ever playing mean tricks to Tufpend the nuptials. I have no manner of hopes for myfelf; Emilia, for fo I will call her, is a woman of the moft ftrict virtue; her lover is a gentleman whom of all others I could with my friend; but envy and jealoufy, though placed fo unjustly, waft my very being, and with the torment and fenfe of a demon, I am 5 ever curfing what I cannot but approve. I wish it were the beginning of repentance, that I fit down and defcribe my prefent difpofition with fo hellish an afpect; but at prefent the deftruction of these two excellent perfons
to me I
tune, I always thought he lived in a near man
ner, to lay up what he thought was wanting
¿ pinefs. Mr. Spectator, pray let me have a < paper on thefe terrible groundless fufferings, and do all you can to exercife crowds who are in fome degree poffeffed as I am.
• Mr. Spectator,
Have no other means but this to exprefs my thanks to one man, and my refentment against another, My circumftances are as follow. I have been for five years laft paft courted by a gentleman of greater fortune than I ought to expect, as the market for women • goes. You must to be fute have obferved people who live in that fort of way, as all their ⚫ friends reckon it will be a match, and are marked out by all the world for each other. T In this view we have been regarded for fome time, and I have above these three years loved him tenderly. As he is very careful of his for
'I am, SIR,
Had the misfortune to be an uncle before I knew my nephews from my nieces, and now we are grown up to better acquaintance they deny me the refpect they owe. One upbraids me with being their familiar, another will hardly be perfuaded that I am an uncle,
a third calls me little uncle, and a fourth tells me there is no duty at all due to an uncle. I have a brother-in-law whofe fon will win all my affection, unless you fhall think this worthy of your cognizance, and will be pleased to prescribe some rules for our future reciprocal behaviour. It will be worthy the particularity of your genius to lay down rules for his conduct, who was, as it were, born an old man, in which you will much oblige,
Your affectionate reader,
• Your most obedient fervant, CORNELIUS Nepos,"
N° 403. THURSDAY, JUNE 12.
HEN I confider this great city in its feveral quarters and divifions, I look upon it as an aggregate of various nations diftinguished from each other by their respective cuftoms, manners, and interefts. The courts of two countries do not fo much differ from one another as the court and city in their peculiar ways of life and converfation. In fhort, the inhabitants of St. James's, notwithstanding they live under the fame laws, and fpeak the fame language, are ad iftinct people from thofe of Cheapude, who are likewife removed from thofe of the Temple on the one fide, and thofe of Smithfield on the other, by feveral climates and degrees in their way of thinking and converfing together.
For this reafon, when any public affair is upon the anvil, I love to hear the reflections that arife upon it in the feveral diftricts and parishes of London and Westminster, and to ramble up and down a whole day together, in order to make myfelf acquainted with the opinions of my ingenous countrymen. By this means I know the faces of all the principal politicians within the bills of mortality; and as every coffee-houfe has fome particular statefiman belonging to it, who is the mouth of the street where he lives, I always take care to place myself near him, in order to know his judgment on the prefent pofture of affairs. The last progrefs that I made with this intention, was about three months ago, when we had a current report of the king of France's death. As I forefaw this would produce a new face of things in Europe, and many curious fpesulations in our British coffee-houtes, I was very defirous to learn the thoughts of our moft emi. nent politicians on that occafion.
That I might begin as near the fountain-head as poffible, I first of all called in at St. James's, where I found the whole outward room in a buz of politics. The fpeculations were but very indifferent towards the door, but grew finer as you advanced to the upper end of the room, and were fo very much improved by a knot of theorifts, who fat in the inner room, within the fteams of the coffee pot, that I there heard the whole Spanish monarchy difpofed of, and all the line of Bourbon provided for in lefs than a quarser of an hour.
66 never, boy. Up to the walls of Paris direc "ly." With feveral other deep reflections of the fame nature.
I afterwards called in at Giles's, where faw a board of French gentlemen fitting upon the life and death of their Grand Monarque, Thofe among them who had efpoufed the whig intereft, very pofitively affirmed, that he depart ed this life about a week fince, and therefore proceeded without any further delay to the redeafe of their friends in the gallies, and to their own re-establishment; but finding they could not agree among themfelyes, I proceeded on my intended progrefs.
Upon my arrival at Jenny Man's, I saw an alert young fellow that cock'd his hat upon a friend of his who entered juft at the fame time with myself, and accofted him after the following manner. "Well, Jack, the old prig is dead at laft, Sharp's the word. Now or
I met with very little variation in the politics between Charing-Crofs and Covent-Garden. And upon my going into Will's, I found their difcourfe that of Monfieur Boileau, Racine, Corneille, and was gone off from the death of the French king to feveral other poets, whom they regretted on this occafion, as perfons who would have obliged the world with very noble elegies on the death of so great a prince, and fo eminent a patron of learning.
At a coffee-houfe near the Temple, I found a couple of young gentlemen engaged very fmartly in a difpute on the fucceffion to the Spanish monarchy. One of them feemed to have been retained as advocate for the Duke of Anjou, the other for his Imperial Majefty. They were both for regulating the title of that kingdom by the ftatute laws of England; but finding them going out of my depth, I paffed forward to Paul's church-yard, where I liftened with great attention to a learned man who gave the company an account of the deplorable ftate of France during the minority of the deceased King.
I then turned on my right hand into Fishstreet, where the chief politician of that quarter, upon hearing the news, (after having taken a pipe of tobacco, and ruminated for fome time) If, fays he, the king of France is certainly dead, we hall have plenty of mackerel this feafon : our fishery will not be disturbed by privateers, as it has been for thefe ten years paft. He afterwards confidered how the death of this great man would affect our pilchards, and by feveral other remarks infufed a general joy into his whole audience.
I afterwards entered a by-coffee-houfe that food at the upper end of a narrow lane, where I met with a nonjuror engaged very warmly with a faceman who was the great support of a neighbouring conventicle. The matter in debate was, whether the late French King was molt like Auguftus Cæfar or Nero. The controverfy was carried on with great heat on both fides, and as each of them looked upon me very fre quently during the courfe of their debate, I was under fome apprehenfion that they would appeal to me, and therefore laid down my penny at the bar, and made the best of my way to Cheapfide.
I here gazed upon the figns for some time be fore I found one to my purpofe. The first object I met in the coffee-room, was a perfon who expreffed a great grief for the death of the French King; but upon his explaining himself, I found his forrow did not arife from the lofs of the mo narch, but for his having fold out of the Bank about three days before he heard the news of it. Upon which a haberdafher, who was the oracle of the coffee-hcufe, and had his circle of admirers about him, called feveral to witness that he had declared his opinion above a week before, that the French King was certainly dead; to which he added, that confidering the late advices we had received from France, it was impoffible that it could be otherwife. As he was laying thefe together, and dictating to his hearers with great authority, there came in a gentleman from Garraway's, who told us that there were feveral letters from France just come in, with advice that the king was in good health,
of a man's own making, by applying his talents otherwife than nature defigned, who ever bears a high refentment for being put out of her course, and never fails of taking her revenge on thofe that do fo. Oppofing her tendency in the application of a man's parts, has the fame fuccefs a declining from her courfe in the production of vegetables: by the affiftance of art and an hotbed, we may poffibly extort an unwilling plant, or an untimely fallad; but how weak, how taftelefs and infipid? Juft as infipid as the poetry of Valerio: Valerio had an univerfal character, was genteel, had learning, thought justly, spoke correctly; it was believed there was nothing in which Valerio did not excel; and it was fo far true, that there was but one; Valerio had no genius for poetry, yet he is refolved to be a poet; vince the town, that Valerio is not that extraor he writes verfes, and takes great pains to condinary perfon he was taken for.
If men would be content to graft upon nature, and affift her operations, what mighty effects might we expect? Tully would not stand so much alone in oratory, Virgil in poetry, or Cæfar in war. To build upon nature, is laying the foundation upon a rock; every thing difpofes itself into order as it were of courfe, and the whole work is half done as foon as undertaken. Cicero's genius inclined him to oratory, Virgil's to follow the train of the Mufes; they pioufly obeyed the admonition, and were rewarded. Had Virgil attended the bar, his modest and ingenuous virtue would furely have made but a very indifferent figure; and Tully's declamatory inclination would have been as ufelefs in poetry. Nature, if left to herself, leads us on in the best course, but will do nothing by compulfion or conftraint; and if we are not fatisfied to go her way, we are always the greatest fufferers by it.
Wherever Nature defigns a production, the always difpofes feeds proper for it, which are as abfolutely neceffary to the formation of any moral or intellectual excellence, as they are to the being and growth of plants; and I know not by what fate and folly it is, that men are taught not to reckon him equally abfurd that will write verfes in fpite of nature, with that gardener that should undertake to raise a jonquil or tulip without the help of their refpective feeds.
As there is no good or bad quality that does not affect both fexes, fo it is not to be imagined but the fair fex must have suffered by an affectation of this nature, at least as much as the other. The ill effect of it is in none fo confpicuous as in the two oppofite characters of Cælia and Iras: Cælia has all the charms of perfon, together with an abundant sweetness of nature, but wants wit, and has a very ill voice: Iras is ugly and ungenteel, but has wit and good fenfe: if Cælia would be filent, her beholders would adore her; If Iras would talk, her hearers admire her; but Cælia's tongue runs inceffantly, while Iras gives herfelf filent airs and foft languors, fo that it is difficult to perfuade one's felf that Cælia has beauty, and Iras wit: each neglects her own excellence, and is ambitious of the other's character; Iras would be thought to have as much beauty as Cælia, and Cælia as much wit as
and was gone out a hunting the very morning the poft came away. Upon which the haberdafher ftole off his hat that hung upon a wooden peg by him, and retired to his fhop with great confufion. This intelligence put a stop to my travels, which I had profecuted with fo much fatisfaction; not being a little pleafed to hear fo many different opinions upon fo great an event, and to obferve how naturally upon fuch a piece of news every one is apt to confider it with regard to his particular interest and advantage.
N° 404. FRIDAY, JUNE 13.
-Non omnia poffumus omnes. VIRG. Ecl. v. 63. With different talents form'd, we variously excel. ATURE does nothing in vain: the Creator of the univerfe has appointed every thing to a certain ufe and purpofe, and determined it to a fettled courfe and fphere of action, from which if it in the leaft deviates, it becomes unfit to anfwer those ends for which it was defigned. In like manner it is in the difpofitions of fociety, the civil economy is formed in a chain as well as the natural: and in either cafe the breach of but one link puts the whole in fome diforder. It is, I think,pretty plain, that moft of the abfurdity and ridicule we meet with in the world, is generally owing to the impertinent af fectation of excelling in characters men are not fit for, and for which Nature never defigned
Every man has one or more qualities which may make him useful both to himself and others: nature never fails of pointing them out, and while the infant continues under her guardianfhip, fhe brings him on in his way, and then offers herfelf for a guide in what remains of the journey; if he proceeds in that courfe, he can hardly mifcarry: nature makes good her engagements; for as the never promifes what the is not able to perform, fo the never fails of performing what the promifes. But the misfortune is, men defpife what they may be mafters of,and af. fect what they are not fit for; they reckon them. felves already poffeffed of what their genius inclimed them to, and fo bend all their ambition to excel in what is out of their reach. Thus they destroy the use of their natural talents, in the same manner as covetous men do their quiet and repofe: they can enjoy no fatisfaction in what they have, becaufe of the abfurd inclination they are poffeffed with for what they have not.
Cleanthes had good fenfe, a great memory, and a conftitution capable of the clofeft application. In a word, there was no profeffion in which Cleanthes might not have made a very good figure; but this would not fatisfy him, he takes up an unaccountable fondnefs for the character of a fine gentleman; all his thoughts are bent upon this inftead of attending to diffection, frequenting the courts of juftice, or studying the fathers, Cleanthes reads plays, dances, dreffes, and fpends his time in drawing-rooms; inftead of being a good lawyer, divine, or phyfician, Cleanthes is a downright coxcomb, and will remain to all that know him a contemptible example of talents mifapplied. It is to this affectation the world owes its whole race of coxcombs: nature in her whole drama never drew fuch a part; the *has fometimes made a fool, but a coxcomb is
The great misfortune of this affectation is, that men not only lofe a good quality, but alfo contract a bad one: they not only are unfit for what they were defigned, but they affign them0 2 felve
felves to what they are not fit for; and instead of making a very good figure one way, make a very ridiculous one another. If Semanthe would have been fatisfied with her natural complexion, The might fill have been celebrated by the name of the olive beauty; but Semanthe has taken up an affectation to white and red, and is now diftinguished by the character of the lady that paints fo well. In a word, could the world be reformed to the obedience of that famed dictate, Follow Nature, which the oracle of Delphos pronounced to Cicero when he confulted what courfe of studies he should purfue, we should fee almost every man as eminent in his proper fphere as Tully was in his, and should in a very short time find impertinence and affectation banished from among the women, and coxcombs and falfe characters from among the men. For my part, I could never confider this prepofterous repugnancy to nature any otherwife, than not only as the greatest folly, but also one of the moft heinous crimes, fince it is a direct oppofition to the difpofition of Providence, and (as Tully expreffes it) like the fin of the giants, an actual rebellion against heaven./
N° 405. SATURDAY: JUNE 14.
language, and convey our thoughts in more ardent and intenfe phrafes, than any that are to be met with in our own tongue. There fomething fo pathetic in this kind of diction, that it often fets the mind in a flame, and makes our hearts burn within us. How cold and dead does a prayer appear, that is compofed in the most elegant and polite forms of fpeech, which are natural to our tongue, when it is not heightened by that folemnity of phrafe, which may be drawn from the Sacred Writings. It has been faid by fome of the ancients, that if the Gods were to talk with men, they would certainly fpeak in Plato's ftile but I think we may fay, with juftice, that when mortals converfe with their Creator, they cannot do it in fo proper a ftile as in that of the Holy Scriptures,
If any one would judge of the beauties of poetry that are to be met with in the divine writings, and examine how kindly the Hebrew manners of fpeech mix and incorporate with the English language; after having perufed the book of Pfalmis, let him read a literal tranflation of Horace or Pindar. He will find in these two last such an abfurdity and confufion of ftile with fuch a comparative poverty of imagination, as will make him very fenfible of what I have been here advancing.
Am very forry to find, by the opera bills for this day, that we are likely to lofe the greateft performer in dramatic mufic that is now living, or that perhaps ever appeared upon a ftage. I reed not acquaint my reader, that I am fpeaking, of Signor Nicolini. The town is highly obliged to that excellent artift, for having fhewn us the Italian mufic in its perfection, as well as for that generous approbation he lately gave to an opera of our own country, in which the compofer endeavoured to do juftice to the beauty of the words, by tollowing that noble example, which has been fet him by the greatest foreign mafters in that art.
I could heartily with there was the fame application and endeavours to cultivate and improve our church-music, as have been lately beftowed on that of the ftage. Our compofers have one very great incitement to it: they are fure to meet with excellent words, and at the fame time, a wonderful variety of them. There is no paffion that is pot finely expreffed in thofe parts of the infpired writings, which are proper for divine fongs and anthems.
There is a certain coldness and indifference in the phrafes of our European languages, when they are compared with the oriental forms of speech; and it happens very luckily, that the Hebrew idioms run into the English tongue with a particular grace and beauty. Our language has received innumerable elegancies and improvements, from that infufion of Hebraifms, which are derived to it out of the poetical pafages in Holy Writ. They give a force and ener gy to our expreffion, waps and animate our こ
Since we have therefore fuch a treasury of words, fo beautiful in themselves, and fo proper for the airs of mufic, I cannot but wonder that perfons of diftinction fhould give fo little attention and encouragement to that kind of mufic, which would have its foundation in reafon, and which would improve our virtue in proportion as it raised our delight. The paffions that are excited by ordinary compofitions generally flow from fuch filly and abfurd occafions, that a man is afhamed to reflect upon them feriously; but the fear, the love, the forrow, the indignation that are awakened in the mind by. hymns and anthems, make the heart better, and proceed from fuch caufes as are altogether reafonable and praife-worthy. Pleasure and duty go hand in hand, and the greater our fatisfa&tion is, the greater is our religion.
Mufic among those who were stiled the chofen people was a religious art. The fongs of Sion, which we have reafon to believe were in high repute among the courts of the eaftern monarchs, were nothing else but pfaims and pieces of poetry that adored or celebrated the Supreme Being. The greatest conqueror in this holy nation, after the manner of the old Grecian lyrics, did not only compofe the words of his divine odes, but generally fet them to mufic himself: After which, his works, though they were confecrated to the tabernacle, became the national entertainment, as well as the devotion of his people.
The first original of the drama was a religious worship confifting only of a chorus, which was nothing elfe but a hymn to a deity. As luxury and voluptuoufnefs prevailed over innocence and religion, this form of worship degenerated into tragedies; in which however the chorus fo far remembered its first, office, as to brand every thing that was vicious, and recommend every thing that was laudable, to intercede with heaven for the innocent, and to implore its vengeance on the criminal,
Homer and Hefiod intimate to us how this art fhould be applied, when they reprefent the Mufes as furrounding Jupiter, and warbling their hymns
hymns about his throne. I might shew from innumerable paffages in ancient writers, not only that vocal and inftrumental mufic were made ufe of in their religious worship, but that their most favourite diverfions were filled with fongs and hymns to their respective deities. Had we frequent entertainments of this nature among us, they would not a little purify and exalt our paffions, give our thoughts a proper turn, and cherifh those divine impulfes in the foul, which every one feels that has not ftifled them by fenfual and immoderate pleasures.
Mufic, when thus applied, raifes noble hints in the mind of the hearer, and fills it with great conceptions. It ftrengthens devotion, and advances praise into rapture, it lengthens out every act of worship, and produces more lafting and permanent impreffions in the mind, than thofe which accompany any tranfient form of words that are uttered in the ordinary method of religious worship.
N° 406. MONDAY, JUNE 16.
These studies improve youth: delight old age; are the ornament of profperity and refuge of adverfity; please at home; are no incumbrance abroad; lodge with us; travel with us, and retire into the country with us.
HE following letters bear a pleafing image of the joys and fatisfactions of a private life. The first is from a gentleman to a friend, for whom he has a very great refpect, and to whom he communicates the fatisfaction he takes in retirement; the other is a letter to me occafioned by an ode written by my Lapland lover; this correfpondent is fo kind as to translate another of Scheffer's fongs in a very agreeable manner. I publish them together, that the young and old may find fomething in the fame paper which may be suitable to their respective taftes in folitude; for I know no fault in the defcription of ardent defires, provided they are honourable.
OU have obliged me with a very kind letter; by which I find you fhift the fcene of your life from the town to the country, and enjoy that mixt ftate which wife men both delight in, and are qualified for. Methinks most of the philofophers and moralifts have run too much into extremes, in praifing entirely either folitude or public life; in the former, men generally grow ufelefs by too much reft, and in the latter, are deftroyed by too much precipitation: as waters, lying fill, putrify and are good for nothing; and running violently on, do but the more mifchief in their paffage to others, and are fwallowed up and loft the fooner themfelves. Thofe who, like you, can make themselves ufeful to all fiates, fhould be like gentle freams, that not only glide through lonely vales and forefis amid the flocks and fhepherds, but vifit $ populous towns in their courfe, and are at once of ornament and fervice to them. But there is
another fort of people who feem defigned for folitude, thofe I mean who have more to hide than to fhew: As for my own part, I am one of thofe of whom Seneca fays, Tam umbratiles funt, ut putent in turbido effe quicquid in luce eft. Some men, like pictures, are fitter for a corner than a full light; and I believe fuch as have a natural bent to folitude, are like waters which may be 'forced into fountains, and exalted to a great
height, may make a much nobler figure, and a a much louder noife,but after all run more fmoothly, equally and plentifully, in their own natural courfe upon the ground. The confideration of this would make me very well contented with the poffeffion only of that quiet which Cowley calls the companion of obfcurity; but whoever ha; the Mufes too for his companions, can never be idle enough to be uneafy. Thus, Sir, you fee I would flatter myself into a good opinion of my own way of living: Plutarch just now told me, • that it is in human life as in a game at tables, one may with he had the highest caft, but if his chance be otherwife he is even to play it as well as he can, and make the best of it. 'I am, SIR,
Your moft obliged,
HE town being fo well pleafed with the fine TH Nature infpired the Laplander to paint in the ode you lately printed; we were in hopes that the ingenious tranflator would have obliged it with the other alfo which Scheffer has given us, but fince he has not, a much inferior hand has ventured to • fend you this.
It is a custom with the northern lovers to divert themselves with a fong, whilst they journey through the fenny moors to pay a visit to their mittreffes. This is addreffed by the lover to his rain-deer, which is the creature that in that country fupplies the want of horfes. The circumftances which fucceffively present themselves to him in his way, are, I believe you will think, naturally interwoven. The anxiety of abfence, the gloominefs of the roads, and his refolution of frequenting only thofe, fince thefe only can Carry him to the object of his defires; the diffatisfaction he expreffes even at the greatest swiftnefs with which he is carried, and his joyful furprise at an unexpected fight of his mistress as the is bathing, feem beautifully described in the • original.
If all those pretty images of rural nature are loft in the imitation, yet poffibly you may think fit to let this fupply the place of a long letter, when want of leifure or indifpofition for writing will not permit our being entertained by your own hand, I propofe fuch a time, because though it is natural to have a fondness for what one does one's felf, yet I affure you I would not have any thing of mine difplace a fingle line of yours.'
and most humble fervant."
"Hafte, my rain-deer, and let us nimbly go
"Our am'rous journey through this dreary ❝ waste;
"Haft my rain-deer! ftill ftill thou art too flow.
Around us far the rufhy moors are fpread: "Soon will the fun withdraw his chearful ray: "Darkling and tir'd we thall the marshes tread, “No lay unfung to cheat the tedious way. MI. « The