« VorigeDoorgaan »
vorm chok, shT
ent has fee, from the penalty of a wager, and confequently made it unprofitable to attend to them. However, good-breeding obliges a man to maintain the figure of the keenelt attention, the true pofture of which in a coffee-houfe I take to confift in leaning over a table, with the edge of it presfing hard upon your ftomach; for the more pain the narration is received with, the more gracious is your bending over. Befides that the narrator thinks you forget your pain, by the pleafure of hearing him.
Fort Knock has occafioned feveral very per'plexed and inelegant heats and animofities; and there was one the other day in a coffee-house where I was, that took upon him to clear that bufinefs to me, for he faid he was there. I knew him to be that fort of man that had not ftrength of capacity to be informed of any thing that depended merely upon his being an eyewitness, and therefore was fully fatisfied he could give me no information, for the very fame reafon he believed he could, for he was there. However, I heard him with the fame greedinefs as Shakespear defcribes in the following lines
are the wifeft and the bravest of mankind who
*'! 10 3643
No 521. WEDNESDAY, OCT. 28.
Vera redit facies, diffimulata perit,
tok I petek
ri zed+ 10
I remember when prince Eugene was here, there was no knowing his height or figure, un-i til you, Mr. Spectator, gave the public fatiffaction in that matter. In relations, the force of the expreffion lies very often more in the look, the <tone of voice, or the gesture, than the words them felves; which being repeated in any other manner by the undifcerning, bear a very different interpretation from their original meaning. I'
Having got a comfortable fum by this my oppofition to public report, I have brought mýfelf now to fo great a perfection in inattention, more especially to party relations, that at the fame time I feem with greedy ears to devour up the discourse, I certainly do not know one word of it, but pursue my own course of thought, ⚫ whether upon business or a musement, with much tranquillity: I fay inattention, because a late
I confefs of late 'I have not been fo much amazed at the declaimers in coffee-houses as formerly was being fatisfied that they expect to be rewarded for their vociferations. Of these liars there are two forts. The genius of the first confifts of much impudence and a strong memory: the others have added to thefe qual
4 must confess, I formerly have turned this hu-lifications a good understanding and smooth
mour of mine to a very good acount; for when-language.
These therefore have only certain
as to make him throw in a little of the marvel-what inference they drew from it with relation
lous, and then, if he has much fire, the next de$ gree is the impoffible. Now this is always the time for fixing the wager. But this requires the niceft management, otherwife very probably the difpute may arise to the old determination by battle. In these conceits I have been very fortunate, and have won föme wagers of thole who have profeffedly valued themselves upon intelligence, and have put themselves to great charge and expence to be mifinformed confiderably fooner than the reft of the world.
to the flocks at Jonathan's. I have had the honour to travel with this gentleman I fpeak of in fearch of one of his falfhoods; and have been present when they have defcribed the very man they have spoken to, as him who first reported it, tall or fhort, black or fair, a gentleman or a raggamuffin, according as they liked the intelligence. I have heard one of our ingenious writers of news fay, that when he has had a customer come with an advertisement of an apprentice or a wife run away, he has defired the advertiser to compofe himfelf a little, before he dictated the defcription of the offender: for when a per-fon is put into a public paper by a man who is angry with him, the real defcription of fuch 'perfon is the deformity with which the angry ⚫ man defcribed him: therefore this fellow always made his cuftomer defcribe him as he would the day before he offended, or elfe he was fure he would
N° 522. WEDNESDAY, OCT. 29.
-Adjuro nunquam eam me deferturum ; Non, fi cupiundos mibi fciam effe inimicos omnes homines., Hanc mihi expetivi,contigit: conveniunt mores: pereant, Qui inter nos difcidium volunt: banc nifi mors, mi adimet nemo. TER. Andr. A&t. 4. Sc. 2.* I fwear never to forsake her; no, though I were fure to make all men my enemies: her I defired; her I have obtained our humours agree: perith all those who would feparate us! Death alone fhall deprive me of her.
for with them every hour is heavy that is not joyful. But there is a fort of man of wit and fenfe, that can reflect upon his own make, and that of his partner with the eyes of reafon and honour, and who believes he offends against both thefe, if he does not look upon the woman (who chofe him to be under his protection in fickness. and health) with the utmoft gratitude, whether from that moment the is fhining or defective in perfon or mind: I fay, there are thofe who think themfelves bound to fupply with good-nature the failings of those who love them, and who always think thofe the objects of love and pity, who came to their arms the objects of joy and admiration.
SHOULD efteem myself a very happy man, if my fpeculations could in the least contribute to the rectifying the conduct of my readers in one of the most important affairs of life, to wit, their choice in marriage. This ftate is the foundation of community, and the chief band of fociety and I do, not think I can be too frequent on fubjects which may give light to my unmarried readers in a particular which is fo effential to their following hap pinefs or mifery. A virtuous difpofition, a good understanding, an agreeable perfon, and an eafy fortune, are the things which thould be chiefly regarded on this occafion. Because my prefent view is to direct a young lady, who, I think, is now in doubt whom to take of many lovers, I thall talk at this time to my female reader. The advantages, as I was going to fay, of fenfe, beauty, and riches, are what are certainly the chief motives to a prudent young woman of fortune for changing her condition; but as she is to have her eye upon each of thefe, the is to atk herfelf whether the man who has moft of thele recommendations in the lump is not the most defirable. He that has excellent talents, with a moderate eftate, and an agreeable perfon, is preferable to him who is only rich, if it were only that good faculties may purchase riches, but riches cannot purchafe worthy Endowments. I do not mean that wit, and a capacity to entertain, is what thould be highly va lued, except it is founded upon good-nature and humanity. There are many ingenious men, whofe abilities do little else but make themfelves and thofe about them uneafy: fuch are those who are far gone in the pleasures of the town, who cannot fupport life without quick fenfations and gay reflections, and are ftrangers to tranquillity, to right reafon, and a calm motion of fpirits with out tranfport or dejection. Thefe ingenious men, of all men living, are mot to be avoided by her who would be happy in a hulband. They are immediately fated with poleffion, and mult neceffarily fly to new acquifitions of beauty, to pafs away the whiling moments and intervals of life;
Of this latter fort is Lyfander, a man of wit, learning, fobriety, and good-nature, of birth and eftate below no woman to accept, and of whom it might be faid, fhould he fucceed in his prefent withes, his miftrefs raised his fortune, but not that the made it. When a woman is deliberating with herfelf whom the thall choose of many near each other in other pretenfions, certainly he of beft understanding is to be preferred. Life hangs heavily in the repeated converfation of one who has no imagination to be fired at the feveral occafions and objects which come before him, or who cannot strike out of his reflections new paths of pleafing difcourfe. Honett Will Thrash and his wife, though not married above four months, have fearce had a word to fay to each other this fix weeks; and one cannot form to one's felf a fillier picture than thefe two creatures in folemn pomp and plenty unable to enjoy their fortunes, and at a full ftop among a crowd of fervants, to whofe tafte of life they are beholden for the little fatisfactions by which they can be underfood to be fo much as barely in being. The hours of the day, the diftinctions of noon and night, dinner and fupper, are the greatest notices they are capable of. This is perhaps reprefenting the life of a very modest woman, joined to a dull fellow, more infipid than it really deferves; but I
am fure it is not to exalt the commerce with an ingenious companion too high, to say that every new accident or object, which comes into fuch a gentleman's way, gives his wife new pleasures and fatisfactions. The approbation of his words and actions is a continual new feat to her, nor can the enough applaud her good-fortune in having her life varied every hour, her mind more im proved, and her heart more glad from every cir cumftance which they meet with. He will lay out his invention in forming new pleafures and amufements, and make the fortune the has brought him fubfervient to the honour and reputation of her and hers. A man of fenfe who is thus obligede is ever contriving the happiness of her who did him fo great a diftinction; while the fool is ungrateful without vice, and never returns a favour because he is not fenfible of it. I would, methinks, have fo much to fay for myself, that if I fell in to the hands of him who treated me ill, he thould be fenfible when he did fo: his confcience should be of my fide, whatever became of his inclination. I do not know but it is the infipid choice which has been made by thofe who have the care of young women, that the marriage-ftate itself has been liable to fo much ridicule, "But a well chofen love, moved by paffion on both fides, and perfected by the generofity of one party, must be adorned with fo many handfome incidents on the other fide, that every particular couple would be an example
ample in many circumstances to all the rest of
Y counfel has perufed the inventory of your eftate, and confidered what estate you have, which it feems, is only yours, and to the male heirs of your body; but, in default of fuch iffue, to the right heirs of your Uncle Edward for ever. Thus, Madam, I am advised you cannot (the remainder not being in you) dock the entail; by which means my eftate, which is fee-fimple, will come by the fettlement propofed to your children begotten by me, whether they are males or females: < but my children begotten upon you will not inherit your lands, except I beget a fon. Now, Madam, fince things are fo, you are a woman of that prudence, and understand the world fo well, as not to expect I should give you more than you can give me.
I am, Madam,
Have given in my eftate to your counfel, and defired my own lawyer to infift upon no terms which your friends can propofe for · your certain ease and advantage: for indeed I have no notion of making difficulties of pre⚫ fenting you with what cannot make me happy
(with great refpect)
Your most obedient humble fervant,
'I am, Madam,
You must know the relations have met upon this, and the girl being mightily taken with the latter epiftle, he is laughed at, and uncle Edward is to be dealt with to make her a fuitable match to the worthy gentleman who has told her he does not care a farthing for her. All I hope for is that the lady fair will make use of the first light night to fhow B. T. fhe understands a marriage is not to be confidered as a common bargain.
Your most devoted humble fervant,
Am always highly delighted with the discovery of any rifing genius among my countrymen. fure, the late mifcellany published by Mr. Pope, For this reafon I have read over, with great plea in which there are many excellent compofitions I have had a of that ingenious gentleman. pleasure of the fame kind in perufing a poem and which, I hope, will meet with fuch a rethat is just published "on the profpect of peace." ward from its patrons, as fo noble a performance that the author had not amufed himself with deferves. I was particularly well pleafed to find fables out of the Pagan Theology, and that when it only as to a fable, he hints at any thing of this nature he alludes to
Many of our modern authors, whofe learning very often extends no farther than Ovid's Metamorphofes, do not know how to celebrate a great man, without mixing a parcel of school-boy tales with the recital of his actions. If you read a poem on a fine woman, among the authors of this clafs, you fhall fee that it turns more upon Venus or Helen, than on the party concerned. I have known a copy of verfes on a great hero highly commended; but upon asking to of it has repeated to me hear fome of the beautiful paffages, the admirer fpeech of Apollo, or a defcription of Polypheme. At other times when I have fearched for the actions of a great been entertained with the exploits of a river man, who gave a fubject to the writer, I have god, or have been forced to attend a fury in her mifchievous progrefs, from one end of the poem to the other. When we are at fchool it is neceffary for us to be acquainted with the system of Pagan theology, and may be allowed to enliven a theme, or point an epigram with a heathen god; but when we would write a manly panegyric, that fhould carry in it all the colours of truth, nothing can be more ridiculous than to have recourfe to our Jupiters and Junos.:
No thought is beautiful which is not juft, and no thought can be just which is not founded in truth, or at least in that which paffes for fach.
In mock heroic poems, the ufe of the heathen mythology is not only excufable but graceful, because it is the defign of fuch compofitions to divert, by adapting the fabulous machines of the ancients to low fubjects, and at the fame time by ridiculing fuch kinds of machinery in modern writers. If any are of opinion, that there is a neceffity of admitting thefe claffical legends into our ferious compofitions in order to give them a more poetical turn; I would recommend to their confideration the paftorals of Mr. Phillips. One would have thought it impoffible for this kind of poetry, to have fubfifted without fauns and Caryes, wood-nymphs and water-nymphs,
with all the tribe of rural deities. But we fee he has given a new life, and a more natural beauty to this way of writing, by Tubftituting in the place of thefe antiquated fables, the fuperftitious mythology which prevails among the fhepherds of our own country.
Virgil and Hömer might compliment their he roes, by interweaving the actions of Deities with their atchievements; but for a Chriftian author to write in the Pagan creed, to make Prince Eugene a favourite of Mars; or to carry on a correfpondence between Bellona and the Marthal de Villars, would be downright puerility and unpardonable in a poet that is paft fixteen. It is want of fufficient elevation in a genius to defcribe realities, and place them in a fhining light, that makes him have recourfe to fuch trifing antiquated fables; as a man may write a fine defcription of Bacchus or Apollo, that does not know how to draw the character of his contemporaries.
In order therefore to put a stop to this abfurd practice, 1 fhall publish the following edict, by virtue of that Spectatorial authority with which I ftand invested.
to extend, to feveral of the female poets in this nation, who fhall ftill be left in full poffeffion of their gods and goddeffes in the fame Sitten, manner as if this paper had never been
HEREAS the time of a general peace
being informed that there are feveral ingenious perfons who intend to fhew their talents on fo happy an occafion, and being willing, as much as in me lies, to prevent that effufion of nonfenfe, which we have good caufe to apprehend; I do hereby ftrictly require every perfon, who fhall write on this fubject, to remember that he is a Chriftian, and not to facrifice his catechifm to his poetry. In order to it, I do expect of him in the first place to make his own poem, without depending upon Phoebus for any part of it, or calling out for aid upon any one of the Mufes by name. I do likewife pofitively forbid the fending of Mercury with any particular meffage or difpatch relating to the peace, and fhall by no means fuffer Minerva to take upon her the fhape of any plenipotentiary concerned in this great work." I do further declare, that I fhall not allow the Deftinies to have had a hand in the deaths of the feveral thoufands who have been flain in the late war, being of opinion that all fuch deaths may be very well accounted for by the Chriftian fyftem of powder and ball. I do therefore ftrictly forbid the Fates to cut the thread of man's life upon any pretence whatfoever, unless it be for the fake of the rhyme, And whereas I have good reafon to fear, that Neptune will have a great deal of bufinefs on his hands, in feveral poems which we may now fuppofe are upon the anvil, I do alfo prohibit his appearance, unlefs it be done in metaphor, fimile, or any very fhort allufion, and that even here he be not permitted to enter but with great caution and circumfpection. I defire that the fame rule may be extended to his whole fraternity of heathen gods, it being my defign to condemn every poem to the flames in which Jupiter thunders, or exercifes any other act of authority which does not belong to him in short, I expect that no Pagan agent fhall be introduced, or any fact related which a man cannot give credit too with a good confcience. Provided always that nothing herein contained måll extend, or be conftrued
HEN I first of all took it in my head to write dreams and vifions, I determined to print nothing of that nature, which was not of my own invention. But feveral laborious dreamers have of late communicated to me works of this nature, which, for their reputations and my own, I have hitherto fuppreffed. Had I printed every one that came to my hands, my book of fpeculations would have been little elfe but a book of vifions. Some of my correspond ents have indeed been fo very modeft, as to offer at an excufe for their not being in a capacity to dream better. I have by me, for example, the dream of a young gentleman not past fifteen.. I
quality, and another called the lady's dream. In thefe, and other pieces of the fame nature, it is fuppofed the ufual allowances will be made to the age, condition and fex of the dreamer. To prevent this inundation of dreams, which daily flows in upon me, I shall apply to all dreamers of dreams, the advice which Epictetus has couched, after his manner, in a very simple and concife precept. "Never tell thy dream," fays that philofopher," for though thou thyfelf may"eft take a pleafure in telling thy dream, ano"ther will take no pleasure in hearing it." After this thort preface, I must do juftice to two or three vifions which I have lately published, and which I have owned to have been written by other hands. I fhall add a dream to thefe, which comes to me from Scotland, by one who declares himself of that country, and for all I know may be fecond-fighted. There is, indeed, fomething in it of the fpirit of John Bunyan; but at the fame time a certain fublime, which that author was, never master of. I shall publish it because I question not but it will fall in with the talte of all my popular readers, and amuse the imaginations of thofe who are more profound declaring at the fame time, that this is the laft dream which I intend to publish this feafon.
Nos populo damus
As the world leads, we follow!
Was laft Sunday in Iferious, reflexion, on the reafonableness of virtue, and great folly of vice, from, an excellent fermon I had heard that afternoon in my parith-church. Among other obfervations, the preacher fhewed us that the temptations which the tempter propofed, were all on a fuppofition, that we are either madmen or fools, or with an intention to render us fuch; that in no other affair we would fuffer ourselves to be thus impofed upon, in a case so plainly and clearly against our visible interest. His illuftrations and arguments carried fo much perfuafion and conviction with them, that they remained a 'confiderable while fresh, and working in my memory; until at last the mind, fatigued with thought
" thought, gave way to the forcible oppreffions
Methought I was just awoke out of a fleep, that I could never remember the beginning of; the place where I found myself to be, was a • wide and spacious plain, full of people that wandered up and down through feveral beaten paths, whereof fome few were ftraight, and in direct lines, but most of them winding and turning like a labyrinth; but yet it appeared to me afterwards, that thefe laft all met in one iffue, fo that many that feemed to steer quite contrary courfes, did at length meet and face one another, to the no little amazement of many of them.
would generally light and haften them to their proper climate again..
Round about the black tower there were, 'methought, many thousands of huge mishapen ugly monsters; thefe had great nets, which they were perpetually plying and cafting to'wards the crooked paths, and they would now and then catch up thofe that were nearest to them thefe they took up ftraight, and whirled over the walls into the flaming tower, and they were no more feen nor heard of.
At the iffue of the crooked paths there was a great black tower, out of the center of which ftreamed a long fuccefion of flames, which did rife even above the clouds; it gave a very great light to the whole plain, which did fometimes outfhine the light, and oppreffed the beams of the adamantine pillar; though by the obfervation I made afterwards, it appeared that it was not for any diminution of light, but that this lay in the travellers, who would fometimes ftep out of thefe ftraight paths, where they loft the full profpect of the radiant pillar, and saw it but fide-ways: but the great light from the black tower, which was fomewhat particularly scorching to them,
They would fometimes caft their nets towards the right paths to catch the ftragglers, 'whofe eyes for want of frequent drinking at the brook that ran by them grew dim, whereby 'they loft their way; thefe would fometimes very narrowly mifs being catched away, but I could not hear whether any of thefe had ever been fo unfortunate, that had been before very hearty in the straight paths.
I confidered all thefe ftrange fights with great attention, until at laft I was interrupted by a cluster of the travellers in the crooked paths, who came up to me, bid me go along with 'them, and prefently fell to finging and dancing; they took me by the hand, and fo carried me away along with them. After I had followed them a confiderable while, I perceived I had loft the black tower of light, at which I great
wondered; but I looked and gazed round about me, and faw nothing. I began to fancy my first vision had been but a dream, and there was no fuch thing in reality: but then I con'fidered that if I could fancy to fee what was
not, I might as well have an illufion wrought on me at prefent, and not fee what was really before me. I was very much confirmed in this thought, by the effect I then juft obferved the water of Worldly Wisdom had upon me; for as 1 had drank a little of it again, I felt a very fenfible effect in my head; methought it diftracted and difordered all there; this made me ftop of a fudden, fufpe&ting some charm or inchantment. As I was cafting about within myself what I fhould do, and whom 'to apply to in this cafe, I efpied at fome diffotance off me a man beckoning, and making 'figns to me to come over to him. I cried to
him, "I did not know the way.' He then called to me audibly, to ftep at leaft out of the path I was in; for if I ftaid there any longer I was in danger to be catched in a great 'net that was just hanging over me, and ready to catch me up; that he wondered I was fo blind, or fo diftracted, as not to fee fo imminent and visible a danger, affuring me, that as foon as I was out of that way, he would come to me to lead me into a more fecure path. This I did; and he brought me his palm full of the water of Heavenly-Wisdom,which was of very great ufe to me, for my eyes were straight cleared, and I faw the great black tower just before me; but the great net which I spied fo near me, caft me in fuch a terror, that I ran 'back as far as I could in one breath without looking behind me: then my benefactor thus bespoke me: you have made the wonderfulleft efcape in the world, the water you used to drink is of a bewitching nature, you would elfe ' have been mightily fhocked at the deformities and meanness of the place; for beside the set of blind fools in whofe company you was, you may now behold many others who are only be Kk witched
In the midft of the plain there was a great fountain: they called it the fpring of Self-love; out of it iffued two rivulets to the eastward ⚫ and weftward; the name of the first was Heavenly-Wisdom, its water was wonderfully clear, but of a yet more wonderful effect; the other's ' name was Worldly-Wifdom, its water was thick, ⚫ and yet far from being dormant or stagnating, forit was in a continual violent agitation; which kept the travellers, whom I fhall mention by and by, from being fenfible of the foulnefs and thickness of the water, which had this effect, that it intoxicated thofe who drank it,ly • and made them mistake every object that lay before them: both rivulets were parted near their fprings into fo many others, as there, were straight and crooked paths, which they attended all along to their respective iffues.
I obferved from the feveral paths many now and then diverting, to refresh and otherwife qualify themselves for their journey, to the refpective rivulets that ran near them; they ⚫ contracted a very obfervable courage and fteadinefs in what they were about, by drinking thefe waters. At the end of the perspective of every straight path, all which did end in one iffue and point, appeared a high pillar, all of diamond, cafting rays as bright as thofe of the fun into the paths; which rays had also certain fympathizing and alluring virtues in them, that whofoever had made fome confiderable ' progress in his journey onwards towards the pillar, by the repeated impreffion of these rays upon him, was wrought into an habitual inclination and converfion of his fight towards it, fo that it grew at laft in a manner natural to him to look and gaze upon it, whereby he · was kept steady in the ftraight paths, which alone led to that radiant body, the beholding of which was now grown a gratification to his · nature.