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It was Petronius's merit, that he died in the fame gaiety of temper in which he lived; but as his life was altogether loofe and diffolute, the indifference which he fhewed at the clofe of it is to be looked upon as a piece of natural carelefinefs and levity, rather than fortitude. The refolution of Socrates proceeded from very different motives, the confcioufiefs of a well-fpent life, and the profpect of a happy eternity. If the ingenious author above-mentioned was fo pleafed with gaiety of humour in a dying man, he might have found a much nobler inftance of it in our countryman
Sir Thomas More.
This great and learned man was famous for enlivening his ordinary difcourfes with wit and pleafantry; and, as Erafmus tells him in an epifle dedicatory, acted in all parts of life like a fecond Democritus.
He died upon a point of religion, and is refpected as a martyr by that fide for which he fuffered. That innocent mirth, which had been fo confpicuous in his life, did not forfake him to the laft: he maintained the fame chearfulness of heart upon the fcaffold, which he ufed to fhew at his table; and upon laying his head on the block, gave inftances of that good-humour with which he had always entertained his friends in the most ordinary occurrences. His death was of a piece with his life. There was nothing in it new, forced, or affected. He did not look upon the fevering his head from his body, as a circumftance that ought to produce any change in the difpofition of his mind; and as he died under a fixed and fettled hope of immortality, he thought any unafual degree of forrow and concern improper, on fuch an occation as had nothing in it which could deject or terrify him.
There is no great danger of imitation from this example. Men's natural fears will be a fufficient guard against it. I fhall only obferve, that what was philofophy in this extraordinary man, would be frenzy in one who does not refemble him as well in the chearfulness of his temper, as in the fancity of his life and manners.
I fhall conclude this paper with an inftance of a perfon who feems to me to have thewn more intrepidity and greatnefs ef foul in his dying moments, than what we meet with among any of the most celebrated Greeks and Romans. I met with this inftance in the Hiftory of the Revolutions in Portugal, written by the Abbot de
When Don Sebaftian, King of Phrtugal, had invaded the territories of Muli Moluc, Emperor of Morocco, in order to dethrone him, and fet his crown upon the head of his nephew, Moluc was wearing away with a diftemper which he himfelf knew was incurable. However, he prepared for the reception of fo formidable an enemy. He was indeed fo far spent with his fick nefs, that he did not expect to live out the whole day, when the last decifive battle was given; but knowing the fatal confequences that would happen to his children and people, in cafe he fhould die before he put an end to that war, he commanded his principal officers, that if he died during the engagement, they should conceal his death from the army, and that they fhould ride up to the litter in which his corpfe was carried, under pretence of receiving orders from him as ufual. Before the battle begun, he was carried through all the ranks of his army in an open litter, as they ftood drawn up in árray, encou
raging them to fight valiantly, in defence of their religion and country. Finding afterwards the battle to go against him, though he was very near his laft agonics, he threw himself out of his litter, rallied his army, and led them on to the charge; which afterwards ended in a complete victory on the fide of the Moors. He had no fconer brought his men to the engagement, but finding himself utterly spent, he was again replaced in his litter, where laying his finger on his mouth, to enjoin fecrecy to his officers, who food about him, he died a few moments after in that posture.
No 350. FRIDAY, APRIL 11.
Ea animi clatio quæ cernitur in periculis, fi juftitia vacat pugnatque pro fuis commodis, in vitio eft.
That courage and intrepidity of mind, which diftinguishes itself in dangers, if it is void of all regard to juftice, and fupports a man only in the pursuit of his own intereft, is vicious. SENTRY was laft at the
Cclub, and produced a letter from Ipfwich,
which his correfpondent defired him to communicate to his friend the Spectator. It contained an account of an engagement between a French privateer commanded by one Dominick Pottiere, and a little veffel of that place laden with corn, the mafter whereof, as I remember, was one Goodwin. The Englishman defended himself with incredible bravery, and beat off the French, after having been boarded three or four times. The enemy ftill came on with greater fury, and hoped by his number of men to carry the prize, till at last the Englishman finding himfelf fink apace, and ready to perifh, ftruck: but the effect which this fingular gallantry had upon the captain of the privateer, was no other than an unmanly defire of vengeance for the lofs he had fuftained in his feveral attacks. He told the Ipswich man in a speaking-trumpet, that he would not take him aboard, and that he flaid to fee him fink. The Englishman at the fame time obferved a diforder in the veffel, which he rightly judged to proceed from the difdain which the ship's crew had of their captain's inhumanity: with this hope he went into his boat, and approached the enemy. He was taken in by the failors in fpite of their commander; but though they received him against his command, they treated him when he was in the fhip in the manner he directed. Pottiere caufed his men to hold Goodwin, while he beat him with a flick until he fainted with lofs of blood, and rage of heart; after which he ordered him into irons, without allowing him any food, but fuch as one or two of the men ftole to him under peril of the like ufage: after having kept him feveral days overwhelmed with the mifery of fench hunger, and foreness, he brought him into Calais. The governor of the place was foon acquainted with all that had paffed, difmiffed Pottiere from his charge with ignomony, and gave Goodwin all the relief which a man of honour would bestow on an enemy barbaroufly treated, to recover the imputation of cruelty upon his prince and country.
When Mr. Sentry had read his letter, full of many other circumftances which aggravate the barbarity, he fell into a fort of criticism upon magnanimity and courage, and argued that they
were infeparable; and that courage, without regard to juftice and humanity, was no other than the fiercenefs of a wild beast. A good and truly bold fpirit, continued he, is ever actuated by reafon and a fenfe of honour aad duty: the affectation of fuch a fpirit exerts itself in an impudent afpect, an overbearing confidence, and a certain negligence of giving offence. This is visible in all the cocking youths you fee about this town who are noify in affemblies, unawed by the prefence of wife and virtuous men; in a word, infenfible of all the honours and decencies of human life. A thameless fellow takes advantage of merit clothed with modesty and magnanimity, and in the eyes of little people appears sprightly and agreeable; while the man of refolution and true gallantry is overlooked and difregarded, if not defpifed. There is a propriety in all things; and I believe what you scholars call just and sublime, in oppofition to turgid and bombaft expreffion, may give you an idea of what I mean, when I fay modefty is the certain indication of a great fpirit, and impudence the affectation of it. He that writes with judgment, and never rifes into improper warmths, manifefts the true force of genius; in like manner, he who is quiet and equal in his behaviour, is fupported in that deportment by what we may call true courage. Alas, it is not fo eafy a thing to be a brave man as the unthinking part of mankind imagine: to dare, is not all that there is in it. The privateer we were juft now talking of, had boldnef's enough to attack his enemy, but not greatness of mind enough to admire the fame quality exerted by that enemy in defending himfelf. Thus his bafe and little mind was wholly taken up in the fordid regard to the prize, of which he failed, and the damage done to his own veffel! and therefore he used an honeft man, who defended his own from him, in the manner as he would a thief that should rob him.
N° 351. SATURDAY, APRÍL 12.
On thee the fortunes of our houfe depend.
F we look into the three great heroic poems which have appeared in the world, we may obferve that they are built upon very flight foundations. Homer lived near 300 years after the Trojan war; and, as the writing of history was not then in ufe among the Greeks, we may very well fuppofe, that the tradition of Achilles and Ulyffes had brought down but a very few particulars to his knowledge; though there is no queftion but he has wrought into his two poems fuch of their remarkable adventures, as were still talked of among his contemporaries.
He was equally disappointed, and had not spirit enough to confider that one cafe would be laudable, and the other criminal. Malice, rancour, hatred, vengeance, are what tear the breafts of mean men in fight; but fame, glory, conquefts, defires of opportunties to pardon and oblige their oppofers, are what glow in the minds of the gallant. The captain ended his difcourfe with a fpecimen of his book learning; and gave us to unde fand that he had read a French author on the fubject of juftness in point of gallantry. I love, faid Mr. Sentry, a critic who mixes the rules of life with annotations upon writers. My author, added he, in his difcourfe upon epic poem, takes occafion to speak of the fame quality of courage drawn in the two different characters of Turnus and Æneas: He makes courage the chief ard greatest ornament of Turnus; but in Eneas there are many others which outshine it, amongst the rest that of piety. Turnus is therefore all along painted by the poet full of oftentation, his language haughty and vain-glorious, as placing his honour in the manifeftation of his valour; Aneas fpeaks little, is flow to action, and fhews only a fort of defenfive courage. If equipage and addrefs make Turnus appear more courageous than Æneas, conduct and success prove Aneas more valiant than Turnus,
The ftory of Æneas on which Virgil foundeď his poem, was likewife very bare of circumstances, and by that means afforded him an opportunity of embellishing it with fiction, and giving a full range to his own invention. We find, however, that he has interwoven, in the course of his fable, the principal particulars, which were generally believed among the Romans, of Æneas's voyage and fettlement in Italy.
The reader may find an abridgment of the whole ftory as collected out of the ancient hiftorians, and as it was received among the Romans, in' Dionyfius Halicarnaffeus.
Since none of the critics have confidered Virgil's fable, with relation to this hiftory of Eneas; it may not perhaps be amifs to examine it in this light, fo far as regards my present purpose. Whoever looks into the abridgment abovementioned, will find that the character of Æneas is filled with piety to the Gods, and a fuperftitious obfervation of prodigies, oracles, and predictions, Virgil has not only preferved this character in the perfon of Æneas, but has given a place in his poem to thofe particular prophecies which he found recorded of him in hiftory and tradition. The poet took the matters of fact as they came down to him, and circumftanced them after his own manner, to make them appear the more natural, agreeable, or furprifing. I bel'eve very many readers have been fhocked at that ludicrous prophecy, which one of the Harpies pronounces to the Trojans in the third book, namely, that, before they had built their intended city, they should be reduced by hunger to eat their very tables. But when they hear that this was one of the circumftances that had been tranfmitted to the Romans in the hif tory of Æneas, they will think the poet did very well in taking notice of it. The hiftorian abovementioned acquaints us, a prophetefs had foretold Æneas, that he should take his voyage weftward, till his companions fhould eat their tables; and that accordingly, upon his landing in Italy, as they were eating their fleth upon cakes of bread for want of other conveniences, they afterwards fed on the cakes themfelves; upon which one of the company faid merrily, "We are eating our tables." They immediately took the hint, fays the hiftorian, and concluded the prophecy to be ful6lled. As Virgil did not think it proper to Tomit fo material a particular in the hiftory of
neas, it may be worth while to confider with how much judgment he has qualified it, and taken off every thing that might have appeared improper
per for a paffage in an heroic poem. The prophetefs who foretells it, is an hungry Harpy, as the person who difcovers it is young Afcanius.
Heus etiam menfas confumimus, inquit Iulus!
Such an obfervation, which is beautiful in the mouth of a boy, would have been ridiculous from any other of the company. I am apt to think that the changing of the Trojan fleet into Waternymphs, which is the most violent machine in the whole Æneid, and has given offence to feveral critics, may be accounted for the fame way. Virgil himfelf, before he begins that relation, premiYes, that what he was going to tell appeared incredible, but that it was juftified by tradition. What further confirms me that this change of the fleet was a celebrated circumftance in the history of Æneas, is, that Ovid has given a place to the fame metamorphofis in his account of the heathen mythology.
None of the critics I have met with have confidered the fable of the Eneid in this light, and taken notice how the tradition, on which it was founded, authorifes thofe parts in it which appear most exceptionable; I hope the length of this reAlexien will not make it unacceptible to the curious part of my readers.
under the refemblance of a mift, in order to find out that creature in which he defigned to tempt our first parents. This defcription has fomething in it very poetical and surprising.
The hiftory, which was the bafis of Milton's poem, is ftill fhorter than either that of the Iliad, or Æneid. The poet has likewife taken care to infert every circumftance of it in the body of his fable. The ninth book, which we are here to confider, is raifed upon that brief account in Scripture, wherein we are told that the ferpent was more fubtle than any beast of the field, that he tempted the woman to eat of the forbidden fruit, that he was overcome by this temptation, and that Adam followed her example. From thefe few particulars, Milton has formed one of the most entertaining fables that invention ever produced. He has difpofed of these several circumstances among fo many beautiful and natural fictions of his own, that his whole story looks only like like a comment upon facred writ, or rather feems to be a full and complete relation of what the other is only an epitome. I have infifted the longer on this confidertion, as I look upon the difpofition and contrivance of the fable to be the principal beauty of the ninth book, which has more story in it, and is fuller of incidents, than any other in the whole poem. Satan's traverfing the globe, and ftill keeping within the fhadow of the night, as fearing to be discovered by the angel of the fun, who had before detected him, is one of those beautiful imaginations with which he introduces this his fecond feries of adventures. Having examined the nature of every creature, and found out one which was the moft proper for his purpose, he again returns to Paradife; and to avoid difcovery, finks by night with a river that ran under the garden, and rifes up again through a fountain that iffued from it by the tree of life. The poet, who, as we have before taken notice, fpeaks as little as poffible in his own person, and, after the example of Homer, fills every part of his work with manners and characters, introduces a foliloquy of this infernal agent, who was thus reftlefs in the deftruction of man. He
is then defcribed as gliding through the garden,
The difpute which follows between our two firft parents is reprefented with great art: it proceeds from à difference of judgment,not of paffion, and is managed with reafon, not with heat: it is fuch a difpute as we may fuppofe might have happened in Paradise, had man continued happy and There is a great delicacy in the moralities which are interfperfed in Adam's difcourse, and which the most ordinary reader cannot but take notice of. That force of love which the father of mankind fo finely defcribes in the eighth book, and which is inferted in my last Saturday's paper, fhews itself here in many fine inftances as in thofe fond regards he cafts towards Eve at her parting from him.
Another rib afford, yet lofs of thee
The beginning of this fpeech, and the tion to it, are animated with the fame spirit as the
conclufion, which I have here quoted.
The feveral wiles which are put in practice by the tempter, when he found Eve feparated from her husband, the many pleasing images of nature which are intermixed in this part of the story, ith its gradual and regular progrefs to the fatal catastrophe, are fo very remarkable, that it would be fuperfluous to point out their respective beauties.
I have avoided mentioning any particular fimilitudes in my remarks on this great work, becaufe I have given a general account of them in my paper on the first book. There is one, however, in this part of the poem, which I fhall here quote, as it is not only very beautiful, but the clofeit of any in the whole poem; I mean that where the ferpent is defcribed as rolling forward in all his pride, animated by the evil fpirit, and conducting Eve to her deftruction, while Adam was at too great a distance from her to give her his affiftance. The fe feveral particulars are all of them wrought into the following fimilitude.
-Hope elevates, and joy
Brightens his creft; as when a wand'ring fire,
That fecret intoxication of pleasure, with all thofe tranfient fufhings of guilt and joy, which the poet reprefents in our first parents upon cating the forbidden fruit, to thofe flaggings of fpirit, damps of forrow, and mutual accufations which fucceed it, are conceived with a wonderful imagination, and described in very natural fentiments.
When Dido, in the fourth Æneid, yielded to that fatal temptation which ruined her, Virgil tells us the earth trembled, the heavens were filled with flashes of lightning, and the nymphs howled upon the mountain tops. Milton, in the fame poetical fpirit, has defcribed all nature as difturbed upon Eve's eating the forbidden fruit.
So faying, her rafh hand in evil hour
Torth reaching to the fruit, fhe pluck'd, fhe eat: Earth felt the wound, and nature from her feat Sighing, through all her works gave figns of woe That all was loft
nation are wonderfully imagined, not only as prodigies, but as marks of her fympathifing in the fall of man.
Adam's converfe with Eve, after having eaten the forbidden fruit, is an exact copy of that hetween Jupiter and Juno in the fourteenth Iliad, Juno there approaches Jupiter with the girdle
which the had received from Venus; upon which he tells her, that the appeared more charming and defirable than fhe had ever done before, even when their loves were at the higheft. The poct afterwards describes them as repofing on a fummit of mount Ida, which produced under them a bed of flowers, the lotcs, the crocus, and the hyacinth; and concludes his defcription with their falling aЛleep.
As all nature fuffered by the guilt of our first parents, theft fymptoms of trouble and confter
Let the reader compare this with the following paffage in Milton, which begins with Adam's fpeech to Eve.
For never did thy beauty, fince the day
So faid he, and forbore not glance or toy
As no poet feems ever to have ftudied Homer more, or to have more refembled him in the greatnefs of genius than Milton, I think I should have given but a very imperfect account of its beauties, if I had not obferved the most remarkable paffages which look like parallels in these two great authors. I might, in the courfe of thefe criticisms, have taken notice of many particular lines and expreffions which are tranflated from the Greek poet, but as I thought this would have appeared too minute and over-curious, I have purposely omitted them. The greater incidents, however, are not only fet off by being fhewn in the fame light with feveral of the fame nature in Homer, but by that means may alfo be guarded against the cavils of the tastelefs or ignorant.
new, because not mentioned by any fatyrist or moralift in any age: men, faid he, grow knaves fooner than they ever did fince the creation of the world before. If you read the tragedies of the laft age, you find the artful men, and perfons of intrigue, are advanced very far in years, and beyond the pleasures and fallies of youth; but now Will obferves, that the young have taken in the vices of the aged, and you shall have a man of five and twenty crafty, falfe, and intriguing, not afhamed to over-reach, côzen, and beguile. My friend adds, that till about the latter end of King Charles's reign, there was not a rascal of any eminence under forty: in the places of refort for converfation, you now hear nothing but what relates to the improving men's fortunes, without regard to the methods toward it. This is fo fashionable, that young men form themselves upon a certain neglect of every thing that is candid, fimple, and worthy of true efteem; and effect being yet worse than they are, by acknowledging in their general turn of mind and difcourfe, that they have not any remaining value for true honour and honefty: preferring the capacity of being artful to gain their ends, to the merit of defpifing thofe ends when they come in competition with their honefty. All this is due to the very filly pride that generally prevails, of being valued for the ability of carrying their point; in a word, from the opinion that fhallow and unexperienced people entertain of the fhortlived force of cunning. But I fhall, before I enter upon the various faces which folly, covered with artifice, puts on to impofe upon the unthinking, produce a great authority for afferting, that nothing but truth and ingenuity has any lafting good effect, even upon a man's fortune and interest.
a falfe foundation, which continually ftands in 'need of props to fhore it up, and proves at laft 6 more chargeable, than to have raised a fubftantial building at firft upon a true and folid foundation; for fincerity is firm and fubftantial, and there is nothing hollow and unfound in it, and because it is plain and open, fears no difcovery; of which the crafty man is always in danger, and when he thinks he walks in the dark, all his pretences are fo transparent that he that runs may read them; he is the laft man that finds himfelf to be found out, and whilft he takes it for granted that he makes fools of others, he renders himfelf ridiculous.
Add to all this, that fincerity is the most compendious wifeom, and an excellent inftrument for the fpeedy difpatch of bufinefs: it creates confidence in thofe we have to deal with, faves the labour of many inquiries, and brings things to an iffue in a few words: It is like travelling in a plain beaten road, which 'commonly brings a man focner to his journey's end than bye-ways, in which men often lefe themfelves. In a word, wha fover convenien ces may be thought to be in falfhood and diffimulation, it is foon over; but the inconveni
Truth and reality have all the advantages of C appearance, and many more. If the fhew of any thing be good for any thing, I am fure fincerity is better; for why does any man diffcmble, or feem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have fuch a quality as he pretends to? For to counterfeit or diffemble, is to put on the appearance of fome real excellency. Now the best way in the worldence of it is perpetual, because it brings a man
for a man to feem to be any thing, is really to be what he would feem to be. Befides that it is many times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality, as to have it; and if a man have it not, it is ten to one but he is <difcovered to want it, and then all his pains and labour to feem to have it is loft There is fomething unnatural in painting, which a skilful eye will eafily difcern from native beauty and complexion.
under an everlafting jealoufy and futpicion, fo that he is not believed when he fpeaks truth, nor trusted perhaps when he means honeftly. When a man has once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, he is fet faft, and nothing will then ferve his turn, neither truth nor falfhood.
It is hard to perfonate and act a part long; where truth is not as the bottom, nature will always be endeavouring to return, and will • peep out and betray herself one time or other. Therefore if any man think it convenient to feem good, let him be fo indeed, and then his goodness will appear to every body's fatisfaction; fo that upon all accounts fincerity is true wisdom. Particularly as to the affairs of this ' world, integrity hath many advantages over all the fine and artificial ways of diffimulation and deceit; it is much the plainer and cafier, much the fafer and more fecure way of dealing in the world; it has lefs of trouble and difficulty, of intanglement and perplexity, of danger and
hazard in it; it is the fhorteft and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line, and will hold out and laft longeft. The arts of deceit and cunning do continually grow weaker and lefs effectual and ferviceable to them that ufe them; whereas integrity gains ftrength by ufe, and the more and longer any man practifeth it, the greater fervice it does him, by confirming his reputation and encouraging thefe with whom he has to do, to repofe the greatest truft and confidence in him, which is an unfpeakable advantage in the business and affairs
Truth is always confiftent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, and fits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware; whereas a lye is troublesome, and fets a man's invention upon the rack, and one trick needs a great many more to make it good. It is like building upon
And I have often thought, that God hath in his great wifdom hid from men of falfe and dif honeft minds the wonderful advantages of truth and integrity to the profperity even of cur worldly affairs; thefe men are fo blinded by their covetoufnefs and ambition, that they cannot lock beyond a prefent advantage, nor forbear to feize upon it, though by ways never fo indirect; they cannot fee fo far as to the remoteft confequence of a steady integrity, and the vaft benefit and advantages which it will bring a man at last. < Were but this fort of men wife and clear-fighted enough to difcern this, they would be honeft out of very knavery, not out of any love to honefty and virtue, but with a crafty defign to promote and advance more effectually their own interefts; and therefore the juftice of the Divine. Providence hath hid this trucft point of wifgem from their eyes, that bad men might not be upSp