« VorigeDoorgaan »
When thou, O Lord, shall stand difclos'd
And fit in judgment on my foul,
But thou haft told the troubled mind,
And hear my Saviour's dying groans,
There is a noble hymn in French, Monfieur Bayle has celebrated for a 66 very fine "one," and which the famous author of the Art "of Speaking calls an admirable one," that turns upon a thought of the fame nature. If I could have done it juftice in English, I would have fent it to you tranflated; it was written by • Monfieur Des Barreaux, who had been one of the greatest wits and libertines in France, but in his last years was as remarkable a penitent.' GRAND Dieu, tes jugemens font remplis d'equité; Toujours tu prens plaifer à nous étre propice. Mais j'ai tant fait de mal, que jamais ta bonté Ne me pardonnera, fans choquer ta juftice. Oui, mon Dieu, la grandeur de mon impieté Ne laiffe à ton pouvoir que le choix du fupplice: Ton intereft s'oppose à ma felicité: Et ta clemence même attend que je perisse. Contente ton defir, puis qu'ilt'eft glorieux; Offenfe toy des pleurs qui coulent de mes yeux; Tonne, frappe, il eft tems, rens moi guerre pour guerre; Jadore en periljant la raisen qui t' aigrit. Mais deffus quel endroit tombera ton tonnere, Qui ne foit tout couvert du fang de Jefus Chrift?
If these thoughts may be ferviceable to you, I defire you would place them in a proper light, and am ever with great fincerity,
thould be more difpofed to reft. He is the au'thor whom I always choofe on fuch occafions, no one writing in fo divine, fo harmonious,
nor fo equal a ftrain, which leaves the mind compofed and foftened into an agreeable melancholy; the temper, in which, of all others, "I choose to close the day. The paffages I turned to were thofe beautiful raptures in his Georgics, where he profeffes himself intirely given up to the mufes, and fmit with the love of poetry, paffionately withing to be tranf ported to the cool fhades and retirements of the mountain Hæmus. I clofed the book and 'went to bed. What I had just before been 'reading made fo ftrong an impreffion on my 'mind, that fancy feemed almoft to fulfil to me the wish of Virgil, in prefenting to me the following vifion.
Methought I was on a fudden placed in the I plains of Boeotia, where at the end of the ho❝rizon I saw the mountain Parnaffus rifing be'fore me. The profpect was fo large an extent, that I had long wandered about to find a path which fhould directly lead me to it, had I not feen at some distance a grove of trees which in a plain that had nothing elfe remarkable enough in it to fix my fight, immediately determined me to go thither. When I arrived at it, I found it parted out into a great number of walks and alleys, which often widened into beautiful openings, as circles or ovals, fet round with yews and cypresses, with niches, grottoes, and caves placed on the fides, encompaffed with ivy. There was no 'found to be heard in the whole place, but only that of a gentle breeze paffing over the leaves of the foreft; every thing befide was buried in a profound filence. I was captiva'ted with the beauty and retirement of the place, and never fo much, before that hour, was pleased with the enjoyment of myself. Í indulged the humour, and fuffered myself to wander without choice or defign. At length at the end of a range of trees, I faw three 'figures feated on a bank of mofs, with a filent
• Mr. Speater,
Came home a little later than ufual the other night, and not finding myself inclined to sleep, I took up Virgil to divert me until I
brook creeping at their feet. I adored them ' as the tutelar divinities of the place, and itood ftill to take a particular view of each of them. The middlemoft, whose name was Solitude, fat with her arms across each other, and 'feemed rather penfive and wholly taken up with her own thoughts, than any ways grieved or difpleafed. The only companions which the admitted into that retirement, was the goddefs Silence, who fat on her right hand ' with her finger on, her mouth, and on her 'left Contemplation, with her eyes fixed upon
the heavens. Before her lay a celestial globe, 'with feveral schemes of mathematical theorems. She prevented my speech with the greatest af fability in the world. Fear not, faid fhe, I know your request before you fpeak it; you would be led to the mountain of the mufes; the only way to it lies through this place, and no one is fo often employed in conducting 'perfons thither as myself. When he had thus fpoken, the rofe from her feat, and I imme diately placed myfelf under her direction; but whilft I paffed through the grove, I could not help enquiring of her who were the perfons admitted into that fweet retirement. Surely, faid I, there can nothing enter here but virtue and virtuous thoughts Hh 2
the whole • woed
wood feents defigned for the reception and reward of fuch perfons as have spent their lives according to the dictates of their confcience and the commands of the gods. You imagine right, faid the; affure yourself this place was at first defigned for no other: fuch it continued to be in the reign of Saturn, when none entered here but holy priests, deliverers of their country from oppreffion and tyranny, who repofed themfelves here after their labours, and those whom the ftudy and love of wisdom had fitted for divine converfa ⚫tion. But now it is become no lefs dangerous than it was before defirable: vice has learned fo to mimic virtue, that it often creeps in hither under its difguife. See there! juft before you, Revenge ftalking by, habited in the robe of Honour. Obferve not far from him Ambition ftanding alone; if you ask him his name, he will tell you it is Emulation or " Glory. But the most frequent intruder we have is Luft, who fucceeds now the Deity to whom in better days this grove was entirely devoted. Virtuous Love, with Hymen, and the graces attending him, once reigned in this • happy place; a whole train of virtues waited " on him, and no difhonourable thought durft prefume for admittance: but now, how is the whole profpect changed! and how feldom renewed by fome few who dare defpife fordid wealth, and imagine themselves fit companions for fo charming a divinity!
The Goddes had no fooner faid thus, but we were arrived at the utmost boundaries of the wood, which lay contiguous to a plain that ended at the foot of the mountain. Here I kept close to my guide, being folicited by feveral phantoms, who affured me they would fhew me a nearer way to the mountain of the mufes. Among the reft vanity was extremely importunate, having deluded infinite f numbers, whom I faw wandering at the foot of a hill. I turned away from this defpica ble troop with difdain, and addreffing myself to my guide, told her, that as I had fome hopes I fhould be able to reach up part of the afcent, fo I defpaired of having strength enough to attain the plain on the top. But f being informed by her that it was impoffible to stand upon the fides, and that if I did not proceed onwards, I fhould irrevocably fall down to the loweft verge, I refolved to hazard any labour and hardship in the attempt: fo great fa defire had I of enjoying the fatisfaction I hoped to meet with at the end of my enter• prize!
• proceed, and very few perfisted so long as to <arrive at the end they propofed. Befides thefe two paths, which at length feverally led to the top of the mountain, there was a third made up of these two, which a little after the entrance joined in one. This carried those happy 'few, whose good fortune it was to find it, di<rectly to the throne of Apollo. I do not know whether I fhould even now have had the refolution to have demanded entrance at either of thefe doors, had I not feen a peasant-like man (followed by a numerous and lovely train of youths of both sexes) infist upon entrance for all whom he led up. He put me in mind of the country clown who is painted in the map for leading Prince Eugene over the Alps. He had a bundle of papers in his hand, and producing feveral which, he said, were given to him by hands which he knew Apollo would allow as paffes; among which, methought I faw fome of my own writing. The whole affembly was admitted, and gave, by their prefence, a new beauty and pleasure to these hap'py manfions. I found the man did not pretend to enter himself, but served as a kind of < forefter in the lawns to direct paffengers, who by their own merit, or instructions he pro'cured for them, had virtue enough to travel that way. I looked very attentively upon this kind homely benefactor, and forgive me, Mr. Spectator, if I own to you I took him for yourfelf. We were no fooner entered, but we were sprinkled three times with the water of the fountain of Aganippe, which had power to deliver us from all harms, but only envy, which reacheth even to the end of our journey. We had not proceeded far in the middle 'path when we arrived at the fummit of the hill, where there immediately appeared to us two figures, which extremely engaged my attention; the one was a young nymph in the 'prime of her youth and beauty; fhe had wings on her fhoulders and feet, and was able to 'transport herfelf to the most distant regions in the smallest space of time. She was continually varying her drefs, fometimes into the moft 'natural and becoming habits in the world, and at others into the most wild and freakish garb that < can be imagined. There stood by her a man full
ous eye at the hour of their nativity. The other way was guarded by Diligence, to whom s many of thofe perfons applied who had met with a denial the other way; but he was fo tedious in granting their requeft, and indeed after admittance the way was fo very intricate and laborious, that many, after they had made fame progrefs, chofe rather to return back than
aged and of great gravity, who corrected her 'inconfiftencies by fhewing them in this mirrour, and ftill flung her affected and unbecoming ornaments down the mountain, which fell in the plain below, and were gathered up and wore with great fatisfaction by thofe that inhabited it. The name of this nymph was Fancy, the daughter of Liberty, the moit beau<tiful of all the mountain nymphs. The other was Judgment, the offspring of Time, and the only child he acknowledged to be his. A youth, who fat upon a throne just between them, was their genuine offspring; his name
There were two paths, which led up by dif⚫ferent ways to the fummit of the mountain; the one was guarded by the Genius which prefides over the moment of our births. He had it in charge to examine the feveral pretenfions of those who defired to pafs that way, but to admit none excepting thofe only on ' was Wit, and his feat was compofed of the whom Melpomene had looked with a propiti-works of the most celebrated authors. I could
not but fee with a fecret joy, that though the Greeks and Romans made the majority, yet our own countrymen were the next both in number and dignity. I was now at liberty to take a full profpect of that delightful region. I was infpired with new vigour and life, and saw every thing in nobler and more pleafing views than before; I breathed a purer æther in a fky ( which
which was continued azure, gilded with per•petual fun-fhine, The two fummits of the mountain rose on each fide, and formed in the midst a most delicious vale, the habitation of the Mufes, and of fuch as had compofed works worthy of immortality. Apollo was feated · upon a throne of gold, and for a canopy an ⚫ aged laurel fpread its boughs and its shade over
his head. His bow and quiver lay at his feet. ⚫ He held his harp in his hand, whilft the Mufes 'round about him celebrated with hymns his victory over the ferpent Python, and fometimes fung in fofter notes the loves of Leucothoe and Daphnis. Homer, Virgil, and Milton < were feated the next to them. Behind were a great number of others, among whom I was furprised to see fome in the habit of Laplanders, who, notwithstanding the uncouthness of their drefs, had lately obtained a place upon "the mountain. I faw Pindar walking along, no one daring to accoft him, until Cowley < joined himself to him; but growing weary of
one who almoft walked him out of breath, he 6 left him for Horace and Anacreon, with whom he feemed infinitely delighted.
A little further I faw another groupe of figures; I made up to them, and found it was Socrates dictating to Xenophon, and the fpirit of Plato; but most of all Mufæus had the I was at too 'greatest audience about him. " great a distance to hear what he faid, or to difcover the faces of his hearers; only I thought I now perceived Virgil, who had 'joined them, and ftood in a pofture full of admiration at the harmony of his words.
as to procure from that intimate of hers one of her letters, which the writ to her when in the country. This epiftle of her own may ferve to alarm the world against all her ordinary life, as mine, I hope, did thofe, who fhall behold her at church. The letter was written laft winter to the lady who gave it me; and I doubt not but you will find it the foul of an , happy felf-loving dame, that takes all the ad miration the can meet with and returns none of it in love to her admirers.'
coach, and bidding the driver go where he 'knew. I could not leave her fo, but dogged her, as hard as the drove, to Paul's churchyard, where there was a ftop of coaches attending company coming out of the cathedral. This gave me an opportunity to hold up a crown to her coachman. who gave me the fignal, that he would hurry on, and make no hafte, as you know the way is when they favour a chace. By his many kind blunders, 'driving against other coaches, and flipping off fome of his tackle, I could keep up with him, and lodged my fine lady in the parish of St. James's. As I gueffed when I first faw her at church, her bufinefs is to win hearts and 'throw them away, regarding nothing but the triumph. I have had the happiness by tracing her through all with whom I heard the was ac quainted, to find one who was intimate with a friend of mine, and to be introduced to her notice. I have made fo good ufe of my time,
• Mr. Spectator,
Am obliged to you for printing the account I lately fent you of a coquette who difturbed a fober congregation in the city of Lon. don. That intelligence ended at her taking a
Am glad to find you are likely to be dif
I your ap"probation as you tell me. You fay you are "afraid only of me, for I fhall laugh at your "fpoufe's airs. I beg of you not to fear it, for "I am too nice a difcerner to laugh at any, but "whom most other people think fine fellows; "fo that your dear may bring you hither as foon "as his horfes are in cafe enough to appear in
town, and you will be very fafe against any "raillery you may apprehend from me; for I "am furrounded with coxcombs of my own "making, who are all ridiculous in a manner your good-man, I prefume, cannot exert him"felf. As men who cannot raise their fortunes, and are uneafy under the incapacity of fhining in courts, rail at ambition; fo do aukward and infipid women, who cannot warm the "hearts and charm the eyes of men, rail at af
«fectation: but he that has the joy of feeing "a man's heart leap into his eyes at beholding "her, is in no pain for want of esteem among "a crew of that part of her own fex, who have "no fpirit but that of envy, and no language "but that of malice. I do not in this, I hope, ex"prefs myself infenfible of the merit of Leoda"cia, who lowers her beauty to all but her huf"band, and never fpreads her charms but to "gladden him who has a right in them; I say, "I do honour to those who can be coquettes,
and are not fuch; but I defpife all who would "be fo, and in despair of arriving at it them"felves, hate and vilify all thofe who can. But,
be that as it will, in anfwer to your defire of "knowing my hiftory: one of my chief prefent "pleafures is in country dances; and, in obe"dience to me, as well as the pleasure of com"ing up to me with a good grace, fhewing
· 'Laftly, at the very brink of the hill I faw Boccalini fending difpatches to the world be'low of what happened upon Parnaffus: but 'I perceived he did it without leave of the Mufes, and by ftealth, and was unwilling to have them revifed by Apollo. I could now ⚫ from this height and ferene sky behold the infinite cares and anxieties with which mortals below, fought out their way through the maze of life. I faw the path of virtue lie ftraight before them, whilst interest, or fome malicious Demon, ftill hurried them out of the way. I was at once touched with plea-« fure at my own happiness, and compassion at the fight of their inextricable errors. Here the two contending paffions rofe fo high, that they were inconfiftent with the fweet repofe enjoyed, and awaking with a fudden start, the only confolation I could admit of for my lofs, was the hopes that this relation of my dream will not displease you.'
No 515. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21.
Pudet me & miferet, qui barum mores cantabat mihi,
"themfelves in their addrefs to others in my "one who has a genius no higher than to think prefence, and the like opportunities, they are "of being a very good housewife in a country all proficients that way and I had the hap-gentleman's family. The care of poultry and
pigs are great enemies to the countenance; the "vacant look of a fine lady is not to be pre"ferved, if fhe admits any thing to take her thoughts but her own dear perfon. But I in"terrupt you too long from your cares, and "myfelf from my conquefts. "I am, Madam,
"Your moft humble fervant."
pinefs of being the other night where we made fix couple, and every woman's partner a profeffed lover of mine. The wildeft imagination cannot form to itfelf on any occafion, higher delight than I acknowledge myfelf to have been in all that evening. I chofe * out of my admirers a fet of men who most love me, and gave them partners of fuch of my own fex who moft envied me. "My way is, when any man who is my admirer pretends to give himself airs of merit, as at this time a certain gentleman you know did, to mortify him by favouring in his prefence the most infignificant creature I can « find. At this ball I was led into the company by pretty Mr. Fanfly, who, you know, is the most obfequious, well-fhaped, well-bred a woman's' man in town. I at firft entrance « declared him my partner if I danced at all; which put the whole affembly into a grin, as forming no terrors from fuch a rival. But we had not been long in the room, before I over. heard the meritorious gentleman abovementioned fay with an oath, There is no raillery in the thing, he certainly loves the puppy. My <<< gentleman, when we were dancing, took an occafion to be very foft in his oglings upon a lady he danced with, and whom he knew of all women I love moft to outfhine. The conteft began who fhould plague the other « moft. I, who do not care a farthing for him "had no hard task to out-vex him. I made Fanfly, with a very little encouragement, cut capers coupée, and then fink with all the air <and tenderness imaginable. When he per<< formed this, I obferved the gentleman you "know of fall into the fame way, and imitate
as well as he could the defpifed Fanfly. I cannot well give you, who are fo grave a country lady, the idea of the joy we have when we fce a ftubborn heart breaking, or a "nian of fenfe turning fool for our fakes; but this happened to our friend, and I expect his attendance whenever I go to church, to court, to the play, or the park. This is a facrifice due to us women of genius, who have the "eloquence of beauty, an eafy mien. I mean
Give me leave, Mr. Spectator, to add her 'friend's answer to this epiftle, who is a very difcreet ingenious woman.'
Take your raillery in very good part, and am obliged to you for the free air with "which you fpeak of your own gaieties. But "this is but a barren fuperficial pleafure. Indeed, "Gatty, we are made for man, and in ferious "fadness I must tell you, whether you yourself "know it or no, all thefe gallantries tend to no "other end but to be a wife and mother as "faft as you can.
"I am, Madam,
by an eafy mien, one which can be on occa"fion eafily affected: for I must tell you, dear Jenny, I hold one maxim, which is an un"common one, to wit, That our greatest "charms are owing to affectation. It is to that our arms can lodge fo quietly juft over our hips, and the fan can play without any force or motion but juft of the wrift. It is to af"fectation we owe the penfive attention of "Deidamia at a tragedy, the fcornful appro"bation of Dulcimara at a comedy, and the "lowly afpect of Lanquicelfa at a fermon.
"To tell you the plain truth, I know no "pleafure but in being admired, and have yet "never failed of attaining the approbation of "the man whofe regard I had a mind to. You "fee all the men who make a figure in the "world (as wife a look as they are pleafed to put upon the matter) are moved by the fame vanity as i am. What is there in ambition, but "to make other people's wills depend upon "your's? This indeed is not to be aimed at by
"Your moft obedient fervant."
Immortale odium & nunquam fanabile vulnus.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 22.
Juv. Sat. 15, ver. 34
A grudge, time out of mind, begun, And mutually bequeath'd from fire to fon: Religious fpite, and pious fpleen bred first The quarrel, which fo long the bigots nurft: Each calls the other's God a fenfeless stock; His own, divine.
F all the monstrous paffions and opinions which have crept into the world, there is none fo wonderful as that thofe who profefs the common name of Chriftians, should pursue each other with rancour and hatred for differences in their way of following the example of their Saviour. It feems fo natural that all who purfue the fteps of any leader fhould form themselves after his manner, that it is impoffible to account for effects fo different from what we might expect from thofe who profefs themfelves followers of the higheft pattern of meeknefs and charity, but by afcribing fuch effects to the ambition and corruption of those who are fo audacious, with fouls full of fury, to ferve at the altars of the God of peace.
The maffacres to which the church of Rome has animated the ordinary people, are dreadful inftances of the truth of this obfervation; and whoever reads the hiftory of the Irish rebellion, and the cruelties which enfued thereupon, will be fufficiently convinced to what rage poor ignorants may be worked up by thofe who profefs holiness, to become incendiaries, and, under the difpenfation of grace, promote evils abhorrent to nature.
This fubject and cataftrophe, which deferve fo well to be remarked by the proteftant world,
will, I doubt not, be confidered by the reverend and learned prelate that preaches to-morrow before many of the defcendents of thofe who perifhed on that lamentable day, in a manner fuitable to the occafion, and worthy his own great virtue and eloquence,
I fhall not dwell upon it any further, but only transcribe out of a little tract, called, the Christian Hero, published in 1701, what I find there in honour of the renowned Hero, William III. who refcued that nation from the repetition of the fame difafters. His late Majefty, of glorious memory, and the moft Chriftian King, are confidered at the conclufion of that treatife as heads of the Proteftant and Roman Catholic world in the following manner."
There were not ever, before the entrance of the chriftian name into the world, men who have maintained a more renowned carriage, than the two great rivals who poffefs the full fame of the prefent age, and will be the theme and examination of the future. They are exactly formed by nature for thofe ends to which heaven feems to have fent them us : among both animated with reftlefs defire of glory, but purfue it by different means, and with different motives. To one it confifts in an extenfive undisputed < empire over his fubjects, to the other in their ⚫rational and voluntary; obedience: one's lap
piness is founded in their want of power, the other's in their want of defire to oppofe him, The one enjoys the fummit of fortune with the luxury of a Perfian, the other with the moderation of a Spartan: one is made to opprefs, the other to relieve the oppreffed: the one is fatisfied with the pomp and oftentation of power to prefer and debafe his inferiors, the other delighted only with the caufe and foundation of it to cherish and protect them. To one therefore religion. is but a convenient difguife, to the other a vigorous motive of
For without fuch ties of real and folid honour, there is no way of forming a monarch, but 'after the Machiavelian fcheme, by which · a prince must ever seem to have all virtues, but really to be mafter of none; but is, to be liberal, merciful and juft, only as they ferve his interefts; while, with the noble art of hypocrify, empire would be to be extended, and new conquefts be made by new devices, by which prompt addrefs his creatures might infenfibly give law in the bufinefs of life, by leading men in the entertainment of it.
Thus when words and show are apt to pafs for the fubftantial things they are only to ex• prefs, there would need no more to enflave
a country but to adorn a court; for while · every man's vanity makes him believe himself
capable of becoming luxury, enjoyments are a ready bait for fufferings, and the hopes of ⚫ preferment invitations to fervitude; which flavery would be coloured with all the agréements, as they call it, imaginable. The no⚫bleft arts and artifts, the fineft pens and most elegant minds, jointly employed to fet it off, with the various embellishments of fumptuous entertainments, charming affemblies, and polifhed difcourfes; and thofe apoftate abilities of men, the adored monarch might profusely and skilfully encourage, while they flatter his
virtue, and gild his vice at fo high a rate, that he, without fcorn of the one or love of the other, would alternately and occafionally ufo both fo that his bounty fhould fupport him in his rapines, his mercy in his cruelties.
Nor is it to give things a more fevere look than is natural, to fuppofe fuch must be the confequences of a prince's having no other purfuit than that of his own glory; for if we confider an infant born into the world, and beholding itfelf the mightiest thing in it, itfelf the prefent admiration and future profpect of a fawning people, who profefs themfelves great or mean, according to the figure he is to make amongst them, what fancy would not be debauched to believe they were but what they profeffed themfelves, his mere creatures, and ufe them as fuch by purchafing with their lives a boundless renown, which he, for want of a more juft profpe&, would place in the number of his flaves, and the extent of his territories? Such undoubtedly would be the tragical effects of a prince's living with no religion, which are not to be furpaffed but by his having a falfe one.
If ambition were fpirited with zeal, what would follow, but that his people fhould be converted into an army, whofe fwords can make right in power, and fole controverfy in belief? and if men fhould be ftiff necked to the doctrine of that vifible church, let them be contented with an oar and a chain, in the midft of ftripes and anguish, to contemplate on him," whofe yeke is eafy, and whofe burden is light."
With a tyranny begun on his own fubjects,. and indignation that others draw their breath independent of his frown or fmile, why thouid he not proceed to the feizure of the world? and if nothing but the thirst of fway were the motive of his actions, why fhould treaties be other than mere words, or folemn national compacts be any thing but an halt in the march of that army, who are never to lay down their arms, until all men are reduced to the neceffity of hanging their lives on his wayward will; who might fupinely, and at leifure, expiate his own fins by other mens fufferings, while he daily meditates new flaughter, and new conqueft?
For mere man, when giddy with unbridled power, is an infatiate idol, not to be appeared 'with myriads offered to his pride, which may be puffed up by the adulation of a bafe and proftrate world, into an opinion that he is fomething more than human, by being fomething lefs: 'and, alas! what is there that mortal man, will not believe of himself, when complimented with the attributes of God? He can then conceive thoughts of a power as omniprefent as his. But fhould there be such a foe of mankind now upon earth, have our fins fo far provoked Heaven, that we are left utterly naked to his fury? Is there no power, no leader, no genius, that can conduct and animate us to our death or our defence? Yes; our great God never gave one to reign by his 'permiffion, but he gave to another alfo to reign by his grace.
All the circumftances of the illuftrious life of our prince, feem to have confpired to make him the check and bridle of tyranny; for his mind has been ftrengthened and confirmed by