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fired his imagination. The fame folly hinders a man from fubmitting his behaviour to his age, and makes Clodius, who was a celebrated dancer at five and twenty, ftill love to hobble in á minuet, though he is paft threefcore. It is this, in a word, which fills the town with elderly fops, and fuperannuated coquettes.
Canidia, a lady of this latter fpecies, paffed by me yesterday in her coach. Canidia was an haughty beauty of the laft age, and was followed by crowds of adorers, whofe paffions only pleafed her, as they gave her opportunities of playing the tyrant. She then contracted that awful caft of the eye and forbidding frown, which he has not yet laid afide, and has still all the infolence of beauty without its charms. If the now attracts the eyes of any beholders, it is only by being remarkably ridiculous; even her own fex laugh at her affectation; and the men, who always enjoy an ill-natured pleasure in feeing an imperious beauty humbled and neglected, regard her with the fame fatisfaction that a free, nation fees a tyrant in difgrace
Will Honeycomb, who is a great admirer of the gallantries in king Charles the fecond's reign, lately communicated to me a letter written by a wit of that age to his mistress, who it feems was a lady of Canidia's humour; and though I do not always approve of my friend Will's tafte, I Liked this letter fo well, that I took a copy of it, with which I fhall here prefent my reader.
To CAL O E.
INCE my waking thoughts have never been able to influence you in my favour, I am refolved to try whether my dreams can make any impreffion on you. To this end I fhall give you an account of a very odd one which my fancy prefented to me last night, within a few hours after I left you
Methought I was unaccountably conveyed into the moft delicious place mine eyes ever beheld it was a large valley divided by a river of the pureft water I had ever feen. The ground on each fide of it rofe by an easy afcent, and was covered with flowers of an infinite variety, which as they were reflected in the water doubled the beauties of the place, or rather formed an imaginary fcene more beautiful than the real. On each fide of the river was a range of lofty trees, whofe boughs were loaded with almost as many birds as leaves. Every tree was full of harmony.
I had not gone far in this pleafant valley, when I perceived that it was terminated by moft magnificent temple. The ftructure was $ ancient, and regular. On the top of it was figured the god Saturn, in the fame shape and drefs that the poets ufually reprefent Time.
feeing them, it left me at leifure to contemplate feveral other charms, which difappear when your eyes are open. I could not but admire the tranquillity you flept in, especially when I confidered the uneafinefs you produce in fo many others.
While I was wholly taken up in thefe reflexions, the doors of the temple flew open, with a very great noife; and lifting up my eyes, I faw two figures, in human fhape, coming into the valley. Upon a nearer furvey, I found them to be Yourb and Love. The firft was incircled with a kind of purple light, that spread a glory over all the place; the other held a flaming torch in his hand. I could obferve, that all the way as they came towards us, the colours of the flowers appeared more lively, the trees fhot out in bloffoms, the birds threw themselves into pairs, and ferenaded them as they paffed: the whole face of nature glowed with new beauties. They were no fooner arrived at the place 'where you lay, when they feated themselves on each fide of you. On their approach, methought I faw a new bloom arise in your face, and new charms diffuse themselves over your whole perfon. You appeared more than mortal; but, to my great furprise, continued faft afleep, though the two deities made feveral gentle efforts to awaken you.
As I was advancing to fatisfy my curiofity by a nearer view, I was ftopped by an object far more beautiful than any I had before difcovered in the whole place. I fancy, madam, you will eafily guefs that this could hardly be any thing but yourfelf; in reality it was fo; you lay extended on the flowers by the fide of the river, fo that your hands, which were thrown in a negligent pofture, almoft touched the water. Your eyes were clofed, but if your fleep deprived me of the fatisfaction of
After a fhort time, Youth difplaying a pair of wings, which I had not before taken notice of, flew off. Love ftill remained, and holding the torch which he had in his hand before your face, you ftill appeared as beautiful as ever. The glaring of the light in your eyes at length awakened you; when, to my great furprife, inftead of acknowledging the favour of the ' deity, you frowned upon him, and struck the torch out of his hand into the river. The god, after having regarded you with a look that spoke at once his pity and displeasure, flew away. Immediately a kind of gloom overfpread the whole place. At the fame time I 'faw an hideous fpectre enter at one end of the valley. His eyes were funk into his head, his face was pale and withered, and his fkin puckered up in wrinkles. As he walked on the fides of the bank the river froze, the flowers faded, the trees fhed their bloffoms, the birds dropped from off the boughs, and fell dead at his feet. By thefe marks I knew him to be Old-Age. You were feized with the ut'most horror and amazement at his approach. You endeavoured to have fled, but the phantom caught you in his arms. You may easily guefs at the change you fuffered in this embrace. For my own part, though I am still too full of the dreadful idea, I will not shock you with a defcription of it. I was fo ftartled at the fight that my fleep immediately left me, and I found myself awake, at leifure to confider of a dream which feems too extraordinary to be without a meaning. I am, madam, with the greatest passion,
N° 302. FRIDAY, FEB. 15.
Becoming forrows, and a virtuous mind
Read what I give for the entertainment of this day with a great deal of pleafure, and publish it just as it came to my hands. I fhall be very glad to find there are many gueffed at for Emilia.
F this paper has the good fortune to be
unpremeditated graces, is a fit lodging for a mind fo fair and lovely; there dwell rational piety, modeft hope, and chearful refignation.
Many of the prevailing paffions of mankind do undefervedly pafs under the name of religion; which is thus made to exprefs itfelf in action, according to the nature of the constitution in
which it refides: fo that were we to make a judgment from appearances, one would imagine religion in fome is little better than fullennefs and referve, in many fear, in others the defpondings of a melancholy complexion, in others the formality of infignificant unaffecting obfervances, in others feverity, in others oftentation. In Emilia it is a principle founded in reafon and enlivened with hope; it does not break forth into irregular fits and fallies of devotion, but is an uniform and confiftent tenour of action: it is
I honoured with a place in your writings, I ftrict without feverity, companionate without
hall be the more pleafed, because the character of Emilia is not an imaginary but a real one: I have industriously obfcured the whole by the addition of one or two circumftances of no confequence, that the perfon it is drawn from might still be concealed; and that the writer ⚫ of it might not be in the leaft fufpected, and ⚫ for fome other reasons, I choose not to give it the form of a letter: but if, befides the faults of the compofition, there be any thing in it < more proper for a correfpondent then the • Spectator himself to write, I fubmit it to your better judgment, to receive any other model you think fit.
"I am, Sir,
Your very humble fervant.'
There is nothing which gives one so pleasing a profpect of human nature, as the contemplation of wifdom and beauty: the latter is the peculiar portion of that fex which is therefore called fair; but the happy concurrence of both thefe excellencies in the fame perfon, is a character too celeftial to be frequently met with. Beauty is an over-weaning self-fufficient thing, careless of providing itself any more fubftantial ornaments; nay fo little does it confult its own interefts, that it too often defeats itfelf by betraying that innocence which renders it lovely and defirable. As therefore virtue makes a beautiful woman appear more beautiful, fo beauty makes a virtuous woman really more virtuous. Whilft I am confidering these two perfections gloriously united in one perfon, I cannot help representing to my mind the image of Emilia.
Who ever beheld the charming Emilia, without feeling in his breaft at once the glow of love and the tenderness of virtuous friendship? The unftudied graces of her behaviour, and the pleafing accents of her tongue, infenfibly draw you on to wifh for a nearer enjoyment of them; but even her fmiles carry in them a filent reproof to the impulfes of licentious love. Thus, though the attractives of her beauty play almost irresistibly upon you and create defire, you immediately ftand corrected not by the severity but the decency of her virtue. That sweetness and good humour which is fo vifible in her face, naturally diffufes itself into every word and action: a man must be a favage, who at the fight of Emilia, is not more inclined to do her good than gratify himself. Her perfon, as it is thus ftudioudly embellished by nature, thus adorned with
weakness; it is the perfection of that good-humour which proceeds from the understanding, not the effect of an easy constitution.
By a generous fympathy in nature, we feel ourfelves difpofed to mourn when any of our fellow-creatures are afflicted; but injured innocence and beauty in distress, is an object that carries in it something inexpreffibly moving it foftens the most manly heart with the tendereft fenfations of love and compaffion, until at length it confeffes its humanity, and flows out into tears.
Were I to relate that part of Emilia's life which has given her an opportunity of exerting the heroifm of chriftianity, it would make too fad, too tender a story: but when I confider her alone inthe midft of her diftreffes, looking beyond this gloomy vale of affliction and forrow into the joys of heaven and immortality, and when I fee her in converfation thoughtless and eafy as if the were the most happy creature in the world, I am tranfported with admiration. Surely never did fuch a philofophic foul inhabit fuch a beauteous form! For beauty is often made a privilege against thought and reflexion; it laughs at wif dom, and will not abide the gravity of its inftructions.
Where I able to reprefent Emilia's virtues in their proper colours and their due proportions, love or flattery might perhaps be thought to have drawn the picture larger than light; but as this is but an imperfect draught of fo excellent a character, and as I cannot, will not hope to have any intereft in her perfon, all that I can say of her is but impartial praife extorted from me by the prevailing brightness of her virtues. So raro a pattern of female excellence ought not to be concealed, but fhould be fet out to the view and imitation of the world; for how amiable does virtue appear thus as it were made visible to us in fo fair an example!
Honoria's difpofition is of a very different turn her thoughts are wholly bent upon conqueft and arbitrary power. That he has fome wit and beauty no body denies, and therefore has the esteem of all her acquaintance as a woman of an agreeable perfon and conversation; but, whatever her husband may think of it, that is not fufficient for Honoria: the waves that title to refpect as a mean acquifition, and demands veneration in the right of an idol; for this reafon her natural defire of life is continually checked with an inconfiftent fear of wrinkles and old age.
Emilia cannot be fuppofed ignorant of her perfonal charms, though the feems to be fo; but The will not hold her happinefs upon fo precarious a tenure, whilft her mind is adorned with beauties of a more exalted and lafting nature. When in the full bloom of youth and, beauty we faw her furrounded with a crowd of adorers, the took no pleasure in flaughter and deftruction, gave no falfe deluding hopes which might increase the torments of her difappointed lovers; but having for fome time given to the decency of a virgin coynefs, and examined the merit of their feveral pretenfions, the at length gratified her own, by refigning herfelf to the ardent paffion of Bromius. Bromius was then mafter of many good qualities and a moderate fortune, which was foon after unexpectedly increased to á plentiful eftate. This for a good while proved his misfortune, as it furnished his unexperienced age with the opportunities of evil company and a fenfual life. He might have longer wandered in the labyrinths of vice and folly, had not Emilia's prudent conduct won him over to the government of his reafon. Her ingenuity has been conftantly employed in humanizing his paffions and refining his pleasures. She has thewed him by her own example, that virtue is confiftent with decent freedoms and good-humour, or rather, that it cannot subsist without them. Her good fenfe readily inftructed her, that a filent example and an eafy unrepined behaviour, will always be more perfuafive than the feverity of lectures and admonitions; and that there is fo much pride interwoven into the make of human nature, that an obftinate man muft only take the hint from another, and then be left to advife and correct himfelf. Thus by an artful train of management and unfeen perfuafions, having at firft brought him not to diflike, and at length to be pleafed with that which otherwife he would not have bore to hear of, fhe then knew how to prefs and fecure this advantage, by approving it as his thought, and feconding it as his propofal. By this means the has gained an intereft in fome of his leading paffions, and made them acceffary to his reformation.
There is another particular of Emilia's conduct which I cannot forbear mentioning: to fome perhaps it may at first fight appear but a trifling inconfiderable circumftance; but for my part, I think it highly worthy of obfervation, and to be recommended to the confideration of the fair-fex. I have often thought wrapping gowns and dirty linen, with all that huddled ceconomy of drefs which paffes under the general name of a mob, the bane of conjugal love, and one of the readieft means imaginable to alienate the affection of an husband, especially a fond one. I have heard fome ladies, who have been furprifed by company in fuch a difhabille, apologize for it after this manner; "Truly I am ashamed to be caught in this "pickle; but my husband and I were fitting all alone by ourselves, and I did not expect "to fee fuch good company." -This by the way is a fine compliment to the good man, which it is ten to one but he returns in dogged anfwers and churlish behaviour, without knowing what it is that puts him out of humour.
Emilia's obfervation teaches her, that as little inadvertencies and neglects caft a blemish upon a great character; fo the neglect of ap
parel, even among the most intimate friends, does infenfibly leffen their regards to each other, by creating a familiarity too low and contemptible. She understands the importance of thofe things which the generality account trifles; and confiders every thing as a matter of confequence, that has the leaft tendency towards keeping up or abating the affection of her husband; him the efteems as a fit object to employ her ingenulty in pleafing, because he is to be pleafed for life.
By the help of these, and a thousand other nameless arts, which it is easier for her to prac tife than for another to exprefs, by the obftinacy of her goodnefs and unprovoked fubmiffion, in fpite of all her afflictions and ill usage, Bromius is become a man of fense and a kind husband, and Emilia a happy wife.
Ye guardian angels, to whofe care heaven has intrufted its dear Emilia, guide her still forward in the paths of virtue, defend her from the infolence and wrongs of this undifcerning world; at length when we muft no more converfe with fuch purity on earth, lead her gently hence innocent and unreprovable to a better place, where by an eafy tranfition from what the now is, fhe may fhine forth an Angel of light.
volet hæc fub luce videri, Judicis argutum quæ non formidat acumen. Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 363.
Some choose the cleareft light, And boldly challenge the most piercing eye. ROSCOMMON.
Have feen, in the works of a modern philofo
the fame nature.
paper of the faults and blemishes in Milton's
Of man's firft difobedience, and the fruit
Thefe lines are perhaps as plain, fimple, and unadorned, as any of the whole poem, in which particular the author has conformed himself to the example of Homer and the precept of Horace.
His invocation to a work which turns in a great meafure upon the creation of the world, is very properly made to the mufe who inspired Mofes in thofe books from whence our author drew his fubject, and to the Holy Spirit who is therein represented as operating after a particular manner in the first production of nature. This whole exordium rifes very happily into
'noble language and fentiment, as I think the transition to the fable is exquifitely beautiful and
The nine days aftonishment, in which the angels lay entranced after their dreadful overthrow and fall from heaven, before they could recover either the ufe of thought or fpeech, is a noble circumftance, and very finely imagined. The divifion of hell into feas of fire, and into firm ground impregnated with the fame furious element, with that particular circumftance of. the exclufion of hope from thofe infernal regions, are inftances of the fame great and fruitful invention.
The thoughts in the firft fpeech and defcription of Satan, who is one of the principal actors in this poem, are wonderfully proper to give us a full idea of him. His pride, envy and revenge, obftinacy, defpair and impenitence, are all of them very artfully interwoven. In fhort, his first speech is a complication of all thofe paffions which difcover themfelves feparately in feveral other of his fpeeches in the poem. The whole part of this great enemy of mankind is filled with fuch incidents as are very apt to raife and terrify the reader's imagination. Of this nature, in the book now before us, is his being the first that awakens out of the general trance, with his pofture on the burning lake, his rifing from it, and the description of his shield and fpear.
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate,
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale.
his pond'rous fhield
Ethereal temper, maffy, large and round,
Through optic glafs the Tufcan artists view
Of fome great admiral, were but a wane,
To which we may add his call to the fallen angels that lay plunged and stupified in the fea of
His fentiments are every way answerable to his character, and fuitable to a created being of the most exalted and moft depraved nature. Such is that in which he takes poffeffion of his place of
Hail horrors! hail
Infernal world! and thou profoundest hell Receive thy new poffeffor, one who brings A mind not to be chang'd by place or time, And afterwards,
-Here at least,
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign fecure; and in my choice To reign is worth ambition, tho' in hell : Better to reign in hell, than ferve in heav'n.
Amidst thofe impieties which this enraged fpirit utters in other places of the poem, the author has taken care to introduce none that is not big with abfurdity, and incapable fhocking a religious reader; his words, as the poet defcribes them, bearing only a femblance of worth, not fubftance. He is likewise with great art defcribed as owning his adversary to be almighty. Whatever perverse interpretation he puts on the justice, mercy, and other attributes of the Supreme Being, he frequently confeffes his omnipotence, that being the perfection he was forced to allow him, and the only confideration which could fupport his pride under the fhame of his defeat.
Nor muft I here omit that beautiful circumftanee of his bursting out into tears, upon his furvey of those innumerable fpirits whom he had involved in the fame guilt and ruin with him
-He now prepar'd
To fpeak; whereat their double ranks they' bend
From wing to wing, and half inclofe him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute. Thrice he affay'd, and thrice in fpite of fcorn Tears, fuch as angels weep, burst forth
The catalogue of evil fpirits has abundance of learning in it, and a very agreeable turn of poetry, which rifes in a great measure from its defcribing the places where they were worfhipped, by thofe beautiful marks of rivers fo frequent among the ancient poets. The author had doubtlefs in this place Homer's catalogue of fhips, and Virgil's lift of warriors, in his view. The characters of Moloch and Belial prepare the reader's mind for their refpective fpeeches and behaviour in the fecond and fixth book. The account of Thammuz is finely romantic, and fuitable to what we read among the ancients of the worship which was paid to that idol.
Thammuz came next behind,
His eye furvey'd the dark idolatries
The reader will pardon me if I infert as note on this beautiful paffage, the account giv en us by the late ingenious Mr. Maundrell of this ancient piece of worfhip, and probably the firft occafion of fuch a fuperftition. "We "came to a fair large river-doubtlefs the an"cient river Adonis, fo famous for the idola
trous rites performed here in lamentation of "Adonis. We had the fortune to fee what may "be fuppofed to be the occafion of that opini"on which Lucian relates concerning this ri66 ver, viz. That this ftream, at certain feafons "of the year, especially about the feaft of A"donis, is of a bloody colour; which the hea"thens looked upon as proceeding from a kind "of fympathy in the river for the death of A"donis, who was killed by a wild boar in the "mountains, out of which this ftream rifes. "Something like this we saw actually come to pafs; for the water was ftained to a surprising "redness; and, as we obferved in travelling,
had difcoloured the fea a great way into a "reddish hue, occafioned doubtlefs by a fort of "minium, or red earth, washed into the river "by the violence of the rain, and not by any
"ftain from Adonis's blood."
The paffage in the catalogue, explaining the manner how fpirits transform themselves by contraction or enlargement of their dimenfions, is introduced with great judgment, to make way for feveral furprifing accidents in the fequel of the pocm. There follows one, at the very end of the first book, which is what the French critics call marvellous, but at the fame time probable by reason of the paffage last mentioned. As foon as the infernal palace is finished, we are told the multitude and rabble of fpirits immediately fhrunk themselves into a fmall compafs that there might be room for fuch a numberlefs affembly in this capacious hall. But it is the poet's refinement upon this thought which I most admire, and which is indeed very noble in itself. For he tells us, that notwithstanding the vulgar among the fallen fpirits, contracted their forms, thofe of the first rank and dignity ftill preferved their natural dimensions.
Thus incorporeal fpirits to smallest forms
Though without number, still amidst the hall
The character of Mammon, and the defcrip
Cafts pale and dreadful
The fhout of the whole host of fallen angels when drawn up in battle array:
-The univerfal hoft up fent
A fhout that tore hell's concave, and beyond Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. The review, which the leader makes of his infernal army;
-He thro' the armed files
Darts his experienc'd eye, and foon traverse
Their number laft he fums; and now his heart
The flash of light which appeared upon the drawing up of their swords;
He fpake; and to confirm his words out flew
Of mighty Cherubim; the fudden blaze
The fudden production of the Pandemonium;
tion of the Pandemonium, are full of beauties.
The feat of defolation, void of light,
-From the arched roof
Pendent by fubtle magic, many a row
There are alfo feveral noble fimiles and allufions in the first book of Paradife Loft: and here I muft obferve, that when Milton alludes either to things or perfons, he never quits his fimile until it rifes to fome very great idea, which is often foreign to the occafion that gave birth to it. The refemblance does not, perhaps laft above a line or two, but the poet runs on with the hint until he has raifed out of it fome glorious image or fentiment, proper to inflame the mind of the reader, and to give it that fublime kind of entertainment, which is fuitable to the nature of an heroic poem. Thofe, who of writing, cannot but be pleased with this kind are acquainted with Homer's and Virgil's way of ftructure in Milton's fimilitudes. I am the more particular on this head, because ignorant readers, who have formed their tafte upon the quaint fimiles and little turns of wit, which are fo much in vogue among modern poets, cannot relish thefe beauties which are of a much Milton's comparisons in which they do not fee higher nature, and are therefore apt to cenfure any furprising points of likeness. Monfieur Perrault was a man of this vitiated relish, and for that very reafon has endeavoured to turn into ridicule feveral of Homer's fimilitudes, which he calls Comparaisons à longue queue, "long-tail'd "comparifons." I fhall conclude this paper on the first book of Milton with the answer which Monfieur Boileau makes to Perrault on this occafion; "Comparifons," fays he, " in "odes and epic poems, are not introduced only "to illustrate and embellish the discourse, but