« VorigeDoorgaan »
( one continued struggle, and Heaven has educated him by adverfity to a quick fenfe of the diftreffes and miferies of mankind, which he ' was born to redress: in juft fcorn of the trivial glories and light oftentations of power, that glorious inftrument of Providence moves, like that, in a teddy, calm, and filent courfe, independent either of applaufe or calumny; which renders him, if not in a political, yet in a moral, a philofophic, an heroic, and a christian fenfe, an abfolute monarch; who, fatisfied with this unchangeable, juft, and ample glory, muft needs turn all his regards from himself to the <fervice of others; for he begins his enterprises with his own fhare in the fuccefs of them; for integrity bears in itself its reward, nor can that which depends not on event ever know disap ⚫pointment.
With the undoubted character of a glorious captain, and (what he much more values than 'the most fplendid titles) that of a fincere and honeft man, he is the hope and stay of Europe, an univerfal good not to be ingroffed by us only; for diftant potentates implore his friendship, and injured empires court his affiftance. He rules the world, not by an invafion of the people of the earth, but the addrefs of its princes; and if that world Thould be again roufed from the repofe which his prevailing arms had given it, why should we not hope that there is an Almighty, by whofe influence the terrible enemy that thinks himfelf prepared for battle, may find he is but ripe for deftruction? and that there may be in the womb of time great incidents, which may make the catastrophe of a profperous life as unfortunate as the particular fcenes of it were fuccefsful? for there does not ⚫ want a fkilful eye and refolute arm to obferve and grafp the occafion: a prince, who from
-Fuit Ilium & ingens Gloria-
VIRG. Æn. 2. ver. 325. Troy is no more, and Ilium was a town. · Dryden.'
N° 517. THURSDAY, OCT. 23.
particulars to the honour of the good old man. I have likewife a letter from the butler, who took fo much care of me laft fummer when I was at the knight's house. As my friend the butler mentions, in the fimplicity of his heart, feveral circumftances the others have paffed over in filence, I fhall give my reader a copy of his letter, without any alteration or diminution.
Mirrour of ancient faith!
E last night received a piece of ill news at our club, which very fenfibly afflicted every one of us. I question not but my readers themselves will be troubled at the hearing of it. To keep them no longer in fufpence, Sir Roger de Coverley is dead. He departed this life at his house in the country, after a few weeks sickness. Sir Andrew Freeport has a letter from one of his correfpondents in those parts, that informs him the old man caught a cold at the county-feffions, as he was very warmly promoting an addrefs of his own penning, in which he fucceeded according to his wifhes. But this particular comes from a whig juftice of peace, who was always Sir Roger's enemy and antagonist. I have letters both from the chaplain and captain Sentry which mention nothing of it, but are filled with many 6
lady whom he had made love to the forty laft years of his life; but this only proved a light'ning before death. He has bequeathed to this lady, as a token of his love, a great pearl necklace, and a couple of filver bracelets fet with 'jewels, which belonged to my good old lady his mother: he has bequeathed the fine white gelding, that he ufed to ride a hunting upon, to his chaplain, because he thought he would be kind to him, and has left you all his books. • He has, moreover, bequeathed to the chaplain
a very pretty tenement with good lands about it. It being a very cold day when he made his will, he left for mourning, to every man in the parish, a great frize-coat, and to every woman a black riding-hood. It was a most moving fight to fee him take leave of his poor fervants, commending us all for our fidelity, whilft we were not able to speak a word for weeping. VIRG. Æn. 6. ver. 878. As we most of us are grown grey-headed in our dear mafter's fervice, he has left us penfions and legacies, which we may live very comfortably upon the remaining part of our ' days. He has bequeathed a great deal more in charity, which is not yet come to my knowledge, and it is peremptorily faid in the parish, that he has left money to build a steeple to the 'church; for he was heard to say some time ago, that if he lived two years longer, Coverley 'church should have a steeple to it. The chaplain tells every body that he made a very good end, and never fpeaks of him without tears. He was buried according to his own directions, among the family of the Coverleys, on the left hand of his father Sir Arthur. The coffin was carried by fix of his tenants, and the pall held up by fix of the quorum: the whole parish followed the corpfe with heavy hearts, and in 'their mourning suits, the men in frize, and the women in riding-hoods. Captain Sentry, my mafter's nephew, has taken poffeflion of the
was old mafter's
friend, I could not forbear fending you the melancholy news of his death, which has afflicted the whole country, as well as his poor fervants, who, loved him, I may fay, better than we did our lives. I am afraid he caught his death the laft county-feffions, where he 'would go to fee juftice done to a poor widow
woman, and her fatherlefs children, that had 'been wronged by a neighbouring gentleman; 'for you know, Sir, my good mafter was always the poor man's friend. Upon his coming home, the first complaint he made was, that he had loft his roaft-beef ftomach, not being able to touch a firloin, which was ferved up according to custom: and you know he used to take great delight in it. From that time forward he grew worfe and worse, but still kept a good heart to the laft. Indeed we were once in great hope of his recovery, upon a kind 'meffage that was fent him from the widow
ball-house, and the whole estate. When my old mafter faw him a little before his death, he fhook him by the hand, and wished him joy of the eftate which was falling to him, defiring him only to make a good ufe of it, and to pay the feveral legacies, and the gifts of charity which he told him he had left as quit rents upon the estate. The captain truly feems a courteous man, though he fays but little. He $ makes much of thofe whom my mafter loved, and fhews great kindness to the old house-dog, that you know my poor mafter was fo fond of It would have gone to your heart to have heard the moans the dumb creature made on the day of my master's death. He has never joyed himfelf fince; no more has any of us. It was the melancholieft day for the poor people that ever happened in Worcestershire. This is all from,
Your most forrowftil fervant,
P. S. My mafter defired, fome weeks be-
This letter, notwithstanding the poor butler's manner of writing it, gave us fuch an idea of our good old friend, that upon the reading of it there was not a dry eye in the club. Sir Andrea opening the book, found it to be a collection of acts of parliament. There was in particular the Act of Uniformity, with fome paffages in it marked by Sir Roger's own hand. Sir Andrew found that they related to two or three points, which he had difputed with Sir Roger the last time he appeared at the club. Sir Andrew, who would have been merry at fuch an incident on another occafion, at the fight of the old man's handwriting burst into tears, and put the book into his pocket. Captain Sentry informs me, that the knight has left rings and mourning for every one in the club. O
Miferum eft aliena incumbere fame,
'Tis poor relying on another's fame:
club with as worthy and diverting a member. I question not but you will receive many recommendations from the public of fuch as will appear candidates for that poft.
Since I am talking of death, and have mentioned an epitaph, I must tell you, Sir, that I have made discovery of a church-yard in which I believe you might spend an afternoon, with great pleasure to yourself and to the public: it belongs to the church of Stebon-heath, com
monly called Stepney. Whether or no it be that the people of that parish have a particular genius for an epitaph, or that there be fome poet among them who undertakes that work by the great, I cannot tell, but there are more remarkable infcriptions in that place, than in any other I have met with; and I may fay without vanity, that there is not a gentleman in England better read in tomb-ftones than myfelf, my ftudies having laid very much in church-yards. I fhall beg leave to send you a couple of epitaphs, for a fample of those I have just now mentioned. They are written diffused and luxuriant, the fecond in the clofe in a different manner; the firft being in the 6 contracted file. The first has much of the
" fimple and pathetic; the fecond is fomething
light, but nervous. The first is thus .~
I will not difmifs you, whilft I am upon this fubject, without fending a fhort epitaph which I once met with, though I cannot poffibly recollect the place. The thought of it is ferious, Juv. Sat. 8. vet. 76. and in my opinion, the fineft that I ever met with upon this occafion."
it is ufual, after having told you know, Sir,
name of the
perfon who lies interred, t
fome time before his death.
3 37 ?
"Here Thomas Sapper lies interr'd. Ab why! ·
Have 911 whe
The fecond is as follows:
* 9.1 mi 9010
¿ No 518, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24.
« Here lies the body of Daniel Sauf,
HIS being a day of business with me, I
3 in ind 110236 adi
The following letter is dated from Cambridge
bo Mr. Spectator,
wit astean has moni
read your fpeculations, an effay upon phyfiognomy, I canHome The ancient not but think that if you made a vifit to this I 26 Avid otal 201863 10 molly sado mes
Hic jacet R. C. in expectatione dei fupremi. Qualis erat dies ifte indicabit.
V 18, T
Here lieth R. C. in expectation of the last day. What fort of a man he was, that day DSALG will difcover?
"I am, Sir, &c.
ancient univerfity, you might receive very confiderable lights upon that fubject, there being ⚫ foarce a young fellow in it who does not give ⚫ certain indications of his particular humour and difpofition conformable to the rules of 4 that art. In courts and cities every body lays a constraint upon his countenance, and endeavours to look like the rest of the world; but the youth of this place, having not yet formed ⚫ themselves by conversation, and the knowledge ⚫ of the world, give their limbs and features their 'full play.
As you have confidered human nature in all its lights, you must be extremely well apprifed, that there is a very clofe correfpondence ⚫ between the outward and the inward man; that scarce the leaft dawning, the leaft parturiency towards a thought can be stirring in the ⚫ mind of man, without producing a fuitable re⚫volution in his exteriors, which will eafily difcover itself to an adept in the theory of the phiz. Hence it is, that the intrinfic worth and merit ⚫ of a fon of Alma Mater is ordinarily calculated from the caft of his visage, the contour of his perfon, the mechanism of his drefs, the difpofition of his limbs, the manner of his gait and air, with a number of circumstances of equal confequence and information: the practitioners in this art often make ufe of a gentleman's eyes to give them light into the pofture of his brains; take a handle from his nofe, to judge of the size of his intellects; and interpret the ⚫ over much vifibility and pertness of one ear, as an infallible mark of reprobation, and a fign the owner of fo faucy a member fears neither • God nor man. In conformity to this fcheme, a contracted brow, a lumpith down-caft look, a fober fedate pace, with both hands dangling quiet and steady in lines exactly parallel to each lateral pocket of the galligafkins, is logic, metaphyfics and mathematics in perfection. So likewife the Belles Lettres are typified by a faunter in the gait, a fall of one wing of the peruke backward, an infertion of one hand in the fob, and a negligent fwing of the other, with a pinch of right and fine Barcelona be• tween finger and thumb, a due quantity of the fame upon the upper lip, and a noddle cafe loaden with pulvil. Again, a grave folemn ⚫ftalking pace is heroic poetry, and politics; an unequal one, a genius for the ode, and the modern ballad; and an open breaft, with an audacious display of the holland thirt, is contrued a fatal tendency to the art of military.
has fo curioufly wrought the mafs of dead mat-
I might be much larger upon thefe hints, but I know whom I write to. If you can graft any fpeculation upon them, or turn them to the advantage of the perfons concerned in them, you will do a work very becoming the British Spectator, and oblige
Your very humble fervant, Tom Tweer.' N° 519. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25. Inde bominum pecudumque genus, vitæque volantum, Et qua marmoreo feret monftra fub æquore pontus. VIRG. Æn. 6. ver. 728. •Hence men and beafts the breath of life obtain, And birds of air, and monsters of the main..
13 t 2
If we confider thofe parts of the material world which lie the nearest to us, and are therefore fubject to our obfervations and inquiries, it is amazing to confider the infinity of animals with which it is stocked. Every part of matter is peopled; every green leaf fwarms with inhabitants. There is scarce a fingle humour in the body of a man, or of any other animal, in which our glasses do not discover myriads of living creatures. The furface of animals is alfo covered with other animals, which are in the fame manner the basis of other animals that live upon it; nay, we find in the most solid bodies, as in marble itself, innumerable cells and cavities that are crouded with fuch imperceptible inhabitants, as are too little for the naked eye to discover. On the other hand, if we look into the more bulky parts of nature, we fee the feas, lakes and rivers teeming with numberlefs kinds of living creatures: we find every mountain and marth, wildernefs and wood, plentifully stocked with birds and beafts, and every part of matter affording proper neceffaries and conveniencies for the livelihood of multitudes which inhabit it.
The author of the Plurality of Worlds draws a very good argument from this confideration, for the peopling of every planet; as indeed it feems very probable from the analogy of reason, that if no part of matter, which we are acquainted with, lies wafte and ufelefs, thofe great bodies, which are at fuch a distance from us, fhould not be defart and unpeopled, but rather that they fhould be furnished with beings adapted to their refpective fituations.
Existence is a bleffing to thofe beings only which are endowed with perception, and is in a manner thrown away upon dead matter, any farther than as it is fubfervient to beings which are confcious of their existence. Accordingly we find, from the bodies which lie under our observation, that matter is only made as the bafis and fupport of animals, and that there is no more of the one, than what is neceffary for the existence of the other.
Infinite goodness is of fo communicative a nature, that it seems to delight in the conferring of exiftence upon every degree of perceptive being. As this is a fpeculation, which I have often purfued with great pleasure to myself, I hall enlarge farther upon it, by confidering that part of the scale of beings which comes within our knowledge.
32 & 4
There are fome living creatures which are raifed but just above dead matter. To mention only that fpecies of fhell-fish, which are formed of feveral rocks, and immediately die upon their in the fashion of a cone, that grow to the surface There are many other creatures but one remove being fevered from the place where they grow. from thefe, which have no other fenfe befides that of feeling and taste. Others have oftill can additional one of heating others of fmell, and Tcontemplating the material world, by which by what a gradual progrefs the world of life ad
Hough there It is
I mean that fyftem of bodies into which nature
vances through a prodigious variety of fpecies, before a creature is formed that is complete in all its fenfes, and even among these there is fuch" are allowed them on fish days. There are
"the water; whofe blood is cold as fishes, and "their fleth fo like in tafte, that the fcrupulous
"animals fo near of kin both to birds and "beafts, that they are in the middle between "both: amphibious animals link the terrestrial "and aquatic together: feals live at land and "at fea, and porpoifes have the warm blood and
a different degree of perfection in the fenfe which one animal enjoys beyond what appears in another, that though the fenfe in different animals be diftinguished by the fame common denomination, it seems almoft of a different nature. If after this we look into the several inward perfec-"entrails of a hog; not to mention what is contions of cunning and fagacity, or what we gene- "fidently reported of mermaids or fea-men. rally call instinct, we find them rifing after the "There are fome brutes, that seem to have as fame manner imperceptibly one above another, "much knowledge and reason, as fome that are and receiving additional improvements, accord- "called men; and the animal and vegetable ing to the fpecies in which they are implanted. " kingdoms are fo nearly joined, that if you This progrefs in nature is fo very gradual, that will take the lowest of one, and the highest of the most perfect of an inferior fpecies comes very "the other, there will scarce be perceived any near to the most imperfect of that which is immediately above it.
great difference between them; and fo on un"til we come to the lowest and the most inor"ganical parts of matter, we fhall find every "where that the feveral fpecies are linked toge
The exuberant and overflowing goodness of the Supreme Being, whofe mercy extends to all his works, is plainly feen, as I have before hint-ther, and differ but in almost infenfible deed, from his having made fo very little matter, at least what falls within our knowledge, that does not swarm with life: nor is his goodnefs lefs feen in the diverfity, than in the multitude" of living creatures. Had he only made one fpecies of animals, none of the reft would have enjoyed the happiness of existence; he has, there. fore, fpecified in his creation every degree of life, every capacity of being. The whole chafm in nature, from a plant to a man, is filled up with diverfe kinds of creatures, rifing one over another, by fuch a gentle and eafy afcent, that the little transitions and deviations from one fpecies to another, are almost infenfible. This intermediate space is fo well hufbanded and managed, that there is fcarce a degree of perception which does not appear in fome one part of the world of life. Is the goodness or wifdom of the Divine Being more manifefted in this his proceeding?
There is a confequence, befides those I have already mentioned, which feems very naturally deducible from the foregoing confiderations. If the fcale of being rifes by such a regular progrefs, fo high as man, we may by a parity of reafon fuppofe that it ftill proceeds gradually through thofe beings which are of a fuperior nature to him; fince there is an infinitely greater space and room for different degrees of perfection, between the Supreme Being and man, than between man and the most despicable infect. The confequence of fo great a variety of beings which are fuperior to us, from that variety which is inferior to us, is made by Mr. Locke, in a paffage which I shall here fet down, after having premifed, that notwithstanding there is fuch infinite room between we man and his Maker for the creative power to exert itself in, it is impoffible that it should ever be filled up, fince there will be ftill an infinite gap or distance between the highest created being, and the Power which produced him.
"That there should be more fpecies of intel"ligent creatures above us, than there are of "fenfible and material below us, is probable to "me from hence; That in all the visible cor"poreal world, we fee no chafms, or no gaps. "All quite down from us,. the defcent is by "eafy steps, and a continued series of things, "that in each remove differ very little one from "the other. There are fishes that have wings, "and are not strangers to the airy region and "there are fome birds, that are inhabitants of
<c grees. And when we confider the infinite "power and wildom of the Maker, we have reafon to think that it is fuitable to the mag-> nificent harmony of the universe, and the great defign and infinite goodness of the architect, "that the fpecies of creatures should also by "gentle degrees afcend upward from us toward
his infinite perfection, as we see they gradual"ly defcend from us downward: which if it be "probable, we have reafon then to be perfuaded "that there are far more fpecies of creatures "above us, than there are beneath; we being in " degrees of perfection much more remote from "the infinite being of God, than we are from "the lowest ftate of being, and that which ap "proaches nearest to nothing. And yet of all "thofe diftinet fpecies, we have no clear distinct "ideas."
In this fyftem of being, there is no creature fo wonderful in its nature, and which so much deferves our particular attention as man, who fills up the middle space between the animal and intellectual nature, the visible and the invisible world, and is that link in the chain of beings, which has been often termed the Nexus utriufque mundi. So'that he who in one refpect is affociated with angels and arch-angels, may look upon a being of infinite perfection as his father, and the highest order of spirits as his brethren, may in another respect fay to corruption, “ Thou art my father." and to the worm, "Thou art my mother and my sister.”
"HE juft value you have expreffed for the
is that I
now venture to write to you, without fear of I being ridiculous; and confefs to you, that though it is three months fince I loft a very agreeable woman, who was my wife, my forrow is ftill fresh; and I am often, in the midi? of company, upon any circumftance that re
vives her memory, with a reflexión what she would fay or do on fuch occafion: I fay, upon, any cccurrence of that nature, which I can give you a fenfe of, though I cannot exprefs it, wholly, I am all over foftnefs, and am obliged to retire, and give way to a few fighs and tears, before 1 can be eafy. I cannot but recommend the fubject of male widowhood to you, and beg < of you to touch upon it by the first opportunity.
ding day. The good girl ftrives to comfort me; but how fhall I let you know that all the comfort the gives me is to make my tears flow more eafily? The child knows the quickens my forrows, and rejoices my heart at the fame time, Oh, ye learned! tell me by what word to fpeak a motion of the foul, for whch there is no name. When the kneels and bids me be comforted, • she is my child; when I take her in my arms and bid her fay no more, he is my very wife; and is the very comforter I lament the lofs of I banish her the room, and weep aloud that I have loft her mother, and that I have her.
To thofe who have not lived like husband's during the lives of their fpoufes, this would be a taftelefs jumble of words; but to fuch (of whom there are not a few) who have enjoyed that state with, the fentiments proper for it, you will have every line, which hits the forrow, attended with a tear of pity, and confolation. For I know not by what goodness of Providence it is, that every guth of paffion is a step towards the relief of it; and there is a certain comfort in the very act of forrow, which, I fuppofe, arifes from. a fecret confcioufnefs in the mind, that the affliction it is under flows from a virtuous caufe, My concern is not indeed fo outrageous as at the. firit tranfport; for I think it has fubfided rather. into a fober ftate of mind, than any actual pertur bation of fpirit. There might be rules formed for mens behaviour on this great incident, to bring them from that misfortune into the condition I am at prefent, which is, I think, that myreck nefs, good-nature and complacency: has converted all roughness of temper. but indeed, when in a ferious and lonely hour. 1 prefent my departed confort to my imagina. 6 tion, with that air of perfuafion in her counte..is, nance when I have been in paffion, that fweet affability when I have been in good humour, that tender compaffion when I have had any thing which gave me uneafraefs; I confefs to you I am inconfolable, and my eyes gufh with grief as if I had feen her but jufl, then, expire. In this condition I am broken in upon by a charming young woman, my daughter, who
is the picture of what her mother was on her wed-down with a defign to put you upon giving us
rules how to overcome fuch griefs as thefe, but Ţ hould rather advise you to teach men to be ca pable of them.
Mr. Spectator, I wish it were poffible for you to have a fenfe of thefe pleafing perplexities; 6. you might communicate to the guilty part of
all the knew that concerned us in this world; but the defired to be alone, that in the prefence of God only the might, without interruption, do her laft duty to me, of thanking me for all my kindness to her; adding, that the hoped in my laft moments I fhould feel the fame comfort for my goodness to her, as he did in that the had acquitted herfelf with honour truth and vir tue to me.
mankind, that they are incapable of the hap pinefs which is in the very forrows of the vir
I curb myfelf, and will not tell you that this kindness cut my heart in twain, when I expected an accufation for fome passionate starts of mine,, in fome parts of our time together, to fay nothing but thank me for the good, if there was any good fuitable to her own excel lence! All that I had ever faid to her, all the circumftances of forrow and joy between us, crowded upon my mind in the fame instant; and when immediately after I faw the pangs of death come upon that dear body which I had often embraced with tranfport, when I faw thofe cherishing eyes begin to be ghastly, and their laft ftruggle to be to fix themselves on me, how did I lofe all patience! She expired in my arms, and in my distraction I thought I saw her bofom ftill heave. There was certainly life yet, ftill left; I cried, the just now spoke to me; but alas! I grew giddy, and all things moved about me from the distemper of my own head; for the best of women was breathlefs, and gone for
You men of letters have what you call the fine tafte in your apprehenfions of what is pro perly done or faid; there is fomething like this 4. deeply grafted in the foul of him who is honeft, and faithful in all his thoughts and actions. Every thing which is falfe, vicious or unworthy, is defpicable to him, though all the world fhould approve it. At the fame time he has the most lively fenfibility in all enjoyments and fufferings which it is proper for him to have, where any duty of life is concerned. To want forrow when you in decency and truth fhould be afflicted, is, I fhould think, a greater inftance of a man's being a blockhead, than not to know the beauty of any paffage in Virgil. You have not yet obferved, Mr. Spectator, that the fine genBut pray fpare me a little longer; give me tlemen of this age fet up for hardness of heart, leave to tell you the manner of her death. She ‹ and humanity has very little fiare in their pretook leave of all her family, and bore the vaintences. He is a brave fellow who is always application of medicines with the greatest pati-ready to kill a man he hates, but he does not
ence imaginable. When the phyfician told her the must certainly die, the defired, as well as fhe could, that all who were prefent, except myfelf, might depart the room. She faid he had nothing to fay, for the was refigned, and I knew
ftand in the fame degree of efteem who laments for a woman he loves. I fhould fancy you might work up a thousand pretty thoughts, by reflecting upon the perfons moft fufceptible of the fort of forrow I have spoken of, and I dare
Now the doctrine I would, methinks, have you raise from this account I have given you, That there is a certain equanimity in thofe who are good and just, which runs into their very forrow, and difappoints the force of it. Though they must pass through afflictions in common with all who are in human nature, yet their confcious integrity fhall undermine their affliction; nay, that very affliction fhall add force to their integrity, from a reflection of the ufe of virtue in the hour of affliction. I sat