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man of letters, than that immenfe erudition of all ages and languages, which a fkilful bookfeller, in conjunction with a painter, shall image < upon his column and the extremities of his fhop? The fame fpirit of maintaining a handfome appearance reigns among the grave and folid apprentices of the law, (here I could be particularly dull in proving the word apprentice to be fignificant of a barrister) and you may easily diftinguith who has moft lately made his pretenfions to bufinefs, by the whiteit and moft ornamental frame of his window: if indeed the chamber is a ground room, and has rails before it, the finery is of neceffity " more extended, and the pomp of bufinefs better maintained. And what can be a greater indi'cation of the dignity of drefs, than that burdenfome finery which is the regular habit of our judges, nobles, and bishops, with which upon certain days we fee them incumbered? And though it may be faid, this is awful, and neceffary for the dignity of the ftate, yet the wifeft of them have been remarkable, before they arrived at their prefent stations, for being 66 very well dreffed perfons." As to my own part, I am near thirty; and fince I left fchool, have not been idle, which is a modern phrafe for having fludied hard. I brought off a clean • fyitem of moral philofophy, and a tolerable jargon of metaphyfies from the univerfity; fince that, have been engaged in the clearing part of the perplexed file and matter of the law, which lo hereditarily defcends to all its pro⚫ feffors. To all which fevere ftudies I have • thrown in, at proper interims, the pretty learning of the claffics. Notwith landing which, I am what Shakespeare calls "a fellow of no mark or likelihood;" which makes me under
ftand the more fully, that ince the regular methods of making friends and a fortune by the mere force of a profeffion is fo very flow ‹ and uncertain, a man ihould take all reafenable • opportunities, by enlarging a good acquaintance,
to court that time and chance which is faid to happen to every man.' T
HAVE lately received the following letter from a country gentleman.
to ask questions of, and was forced to go out of
town early the next morning, I could not learn 'the fecret of this matter. What I would there'fore defire of you, is, to give me fome account
of this ftrange inftrument which I found the company called a cat-call; and particularly to let me know whether it be a piece of mufic lately come from Italy. For my own part, to be free with you, I would rather hear an English fiddle: : though I durit not fhew my diflike whilft I was in the play. houfe, it being my chance to fit the very next man to one of the 'performers. I am, Sir.
Your most affectionate friend and fervant,
John Shallow, Efq.'
The night before I left London I went
to fee a play called "The Humorous "Licutenant." Upon the rifing of the curtain I was very much furprifed with the great concert of cat-calls which was exhibited that even · ing and began to think with myfelf that I had f made a mistake, and gone to a mufic-meeting inftead of the play-boufe. It appeared indeed a little odd to me to fee fo many perfons of quality of both fexes affembled together at a kind of caterwawling; for I cannot look upon that performance to have been any thing better, whatever the mufic.ans themfelves might think As I had no acquaintance in the houfe
• of it.
In compliance with Squire Shallow's request, I defign this paper as a differtation upon the catcall. In order to make myself a master of the fubject, I purchased one the beginning of last week, though not without great difficulty, being had lately bought them all up. I have fince coninformed at two or three toyshops that the players fulted many learned antiquaries in relation to its original, and find them very much divided among the Royal Society, who is my good friend, and a themselves upon that particular. A fellow of concludes from the fimplicity of its make, and great proficient in the mathematical part of music, the uniformity of its found, that the cat-call is older than any of the inventions of Jubal. He obferves very well, that mufica inftruments took their firft rife from the notes of birds, and other melodious animals; and what, fays he, was more natural than for the first ages of mankind to imi
tate the voice of a cat that lived under the fame roof with them? He added, that the cat had con
tributed more to harmony than any other animal; inftrument, but for our ftring-mufic in general. as we are not only beholden to her for this wind
allow the cat-call to be older than Thefpis, and is Another virtuofo of my acquaintance will not apt to think it appeared in the world foon after the ancient comedy; for which reafon it has still a place in our dramatic entertainments. Nor must I here omit what a very curious gentleman, who is lately returned from his travels, has more than once affured me, namely, that there was lately dug up at Rome, the ftatue of a Momus, who holds an inftrument in his right hand very much refembling our modern cat-call.
There are others who afcribe this invention to Orpheus, and look upon the cat-call to be one of thole inftruments which that famous musician made ufe of to draw the beafts about him. It is certain, that the roasting of a cat does not call to gether a greater audience of that species than this inftrument, if dexterously played upon in proper time and place.
But notwithstanding these various and learned conjectures, I cannot forbear thinking that the cat-call is originally a piece of English mufic. Its refemblance to the voice of fome of our Britih fongflers, as well as the ufe of it, which is peculiar to our nation, confirms me in this opinion. It has at leaft received great improvements among us, whether we confider the inftrument itfelf, or thofe feveral quavers and graces which are thrown into the playing of it. Every one might be fenfible of this, who heard that remarkable over-grown cat-call which was placed in the centre of the pit, and prefided over all the reft at the celebrated performance lately exhibited in Drury-lane, Having
Having faid thus much concerning the original of the cat ball, we are in the next place to confider the use of it: The cat-call exerts itself to most advantage in the British theatre: it very much improves the found of nonfenfe, and often goes along with the voice of the actor who pronounces it, as the violin or harpsichord accompanies the Italian recitativo.
-It has often fupplied the place of the ancient chorus, in the words of Mr. ***. In fhort a bad poet has as great an antipathy to a cat-call, as many people have to a real cat.
Mr. Collier, in his ingenious effay upon mufic has the following paffage.
I believe it is poffible to invent an inftrument that shall have quite a contrary effect to thofe martial ones now in ufe: an inftrument that shall fink the fpirits, and shake the nerves, and curdle the blood, and infpire despair, and cowardice and confternation, at a furprifing It is probable the roaring of lions, the warbling of cats and fcreech-owls, together with a mixture of the howling of dogs, judiciously imitated and compounded, might go a great way in this invention. Whether fuch anti-mufic as this might not be of fervice in a camp, I shall leave to the military men to • confider.
What this learned gentleman fuppofes in fpeculation, I have known actually verified in practice. The cat-call has ftruck a damp into generals, and frighted heroes off the ftage. At the first found of it I have feen a crowned head tremble, and a princess fall into fits. The Humorous Lieutenant himfclf could not ftand it; nay, I am told that even Almanzor looked like a moufe, and trembled at the voice of this terrifying inftrument.
As it is of a dramatic nature, aud peculiarly appropriated to the ftage, I can by no means approve the thought of that angry lover, who, af ter an unfuccessful purfuit of fome years, took leave of his miftrefs in a ferenade of cat-calls.
I must conclude this paper with the account I have lately received of an ingenious artist, who has long ftudied this inftrument, and is very well verfed in all the rules of the drama. He teaches to play on it by book, and to exprefs by it the whole art of criticifm. He has his bafs and his treble cat-call; the former for tragedy, the lat ter for comedy; only in tragi-comedies they may both play together in concert. He has a particular fqueak to denote the violation of each of the unities, and has different founds to thew whether he aims at the poet or the player. In fhort, be teaches the fmut-note, the fuftian-note, the ftupid-note, and has compofed a kind of air that may ferve as an act-tune to an incorrigible play, and which takes in the whole compass of a cat-call, L
with more glaffes than we could have dispens ed with, had we not been beholden to Brooke and Hellier. In gratitude therefore to thote good citizens, 1 am, in the name of the company, to accufe you of great negligence in overlooking their merit, who have imported 'true and generous wine, and taken care that it 'fhould not be adulterated by the retailers be
fore it comes to the tables of private families, or the clubs of honeft fellows. I cannot ima gine how a Spectator can be supposed to do his duty, without frequent refumption of fuch 'fubjects as concern our health, the first thing ( to be regarded, if we have a mind to relish any thing elfe. It would therefore very well become your fpectatorial vigilance, to give it in orders to your officer for infpecting figns, that in his march he would look into the itine
rants who deal in provifions, and inquire where they buy their feveral wares. Ever since the deceafe of Cully-Mully-Puff of agreeable and noify memory. I cannot fay I have obferved any thing fold in carts or carried by horfe or afs, or in fine, in any moving market, which ' is not perished or putrified; witness the wheelbarrows of rotten raifins, almonds, figs, and 'currants, which you fee vended by a merchant dreffed in a fecond-hand fuit of a foot foldier. You fhould confider that a child may be poifoned for the worth of a farthing; but except his poor parents fend to one certain doctor in town, they can have no advice for him under a guinea. When poifons are thus cheap, and • medicines thus dear, how can you be negligent in infpecting what we eat and drink, or take no notice of fuch as the above mentioned citizens, who have been fo ferviceable to us of late in that particular? It was a custom among the old Romans, to do him particular 'honours who had faved the life of a citizen; how much more does the world owe to thofe 'who prevent the death of multitudes? As thefe men deferve well of your office, fo fuch as at to the detriment of our health, you ought to reprefent to themselves and their fellow fubjects in the colours which they deferve 'to wear. I think it would be for the public
good, that all who vend wines fhall be under, oaths in that behalf. The chairman at the quarter-feffions fhould inform the country, that the vintner, who mixes wine to his customers, fhall upon proof that the drinker thereof died within a year and a day after taking it) be deemed guilty of wilful murder, and the jury fhall be inftructed to inquire and prefent fuch delinquents accordingly. It is no, mitigation of the crime, nor will it be conceived that it can be brought in chance. medley or man-flaughter, upon proof that it shall appear wine joined to wine, or right Herefordthire poured into Port O Port; but his felling it for one thing, knowing it to be another, muft justly bear the forefaid guilt of wilful murder: for that he the faid vintner, did an unlawful act willingly in the falfe mixture, and is therefore with equity liable to all the pains to which a man would be, if it were proved he only defigned to run a man through the arm, whom he whipped through the lungs. This is my third year at the Temple, and this is or fhould be law. An ill intention well ' proved fhould meet with no alleviation, because it out ran itfelf. There cannot be too great
great feverity ufed against the injuftice as well as cruelty of those who play with men's lives, by preparing liquors, whofe nature, for ought · they know, may be noxious when mixed, though innocent when apart: and Brooke and Hellier, who have infured our fafety at our meals, and driven jealoufy from our cups in converfation, deferve the cuftom and thanks of the whole town; and it is your duty to ⚫ remind them of the obligation.
'I am, Sir,
'tioned to our merit towards her, and what we are in ourselves, that I proteft to you, I have neither jealoufy nor hatred towards my rivals. Such is her goodness, and the acknowledgment of every man who admires her, that he 'thinks he ought to believe he will take him 'who best deserves her. I will not fay that this
peace among us is not owing to felf-love, which prompts each to think himself the beft ' deferver: think there is fomething uncom" mon and worthy of imitation in this lady's 'character. If you will pleafe to print my letter, you will oblige the little fraternity of happy rivals, and in a more particular manner, SIR,
Your humble fervant
• Mr. Spectator
Am a person who was long immured in a college, read much, faw little; fo that I knew no more of the world than what a lecture or view of the map taught me. By this
means I improved in my study, but became, N° 363. SATURDAY, APRIL 26.
< unpleasant in converfation. By converfing generally with the dead, I grew almost unfit for the focicty of the living; fo by a long confine< ment I contracted an ungainly averfion to con-. • verfation, and ever difcourfed with pain to myflf, and little entertainment to others. At laft I was in fome mcafure made fenfible of my failing, and the mortification of never being fucke to, or fpeaking unlefs the difcourfe ran upen books, put me upon forcing myself amorg& min. I immediately affected the po<litet company, by the frequent ufe of which I hoped to wear off the ruft I had contracted; but by an uncouth imitation of men ufed to act in public, I got no further than to difcover I had a mind to appear a finer thing than I really was.
Such I was, and fuch was my condition, when I became an ardent lover, and paffionate admirer of the beauteous Belinda: then it was that I really began to improve. This paffion changed all my fears and diffidences in my general behaviour to the fole concern of pleafing her. I had not now to ftudy the action of a gentleman; but love poffeffing all my thoughts, made me truly be the thing I had a mind to appear. My thoughts grew free and generous, and the ambition to be agreeable to her I ad mired, produced in my carriage a faint fimilitude of that difengaged manner of my Belinda. The way we are in at prefent is, that the fees · my paffion, and fees I at prefent forbear speaking of it through prudential regards. This refpect to her the returns with much civility, and makes my value for her as little a misfortune to me as is confiftent with difcretion. She 'fings very charmingly, and is readier to do fo at my requcft, because she knows I love her 'fhe will dance with me rather than another for the fame reason. My fortune must alter from what it is, before I can fpeak my heart to her; and her circumftances are not confiderable enough to make up for the narrownefs of mine. But I write to you now, only to give you the character of Belinda, as a woman that has addrefs enough to demonftrate a gratitude to her lover, without giving him hopes of fuccefs in his paffion. Belinda has from a great wit, governed by as great prudence, and both adorned with innocence, the happiness of always ⚫ being ready to discover her real thoughts. She has many of us who are now her admirers; <but her treatment of us is so just and propor
Your most humble fervant,
ILTON has fhewn a wonderful art in de
M'feribing that variety of paffions, which
arife in our firft parents upon the breach of the commandment that had been given them. We fee them gradually paffing from the triumph of their guilt through remorfe, thame, def air, contrition, prayer and hope, to a perfect and complete repentance. At the end of the tenth book they are reprefented as proftrating themfelves upon the ground, and watering the earth with their tears to which the poet joins this beautiful circumftance, that they offered up their penitential prayers, on the very place where their judge appeared to them when he pronounced their fentence.
-They forthwith to the place
Watering the ground.——————
There is a beauty of the fame kind in a tragedy of Sophocles, where Oedipus, after having put out his own eyes, inftead of breaking his neck from the palace battlements (which furnishes fo elegant an entertainment for our English audience) defires that he may be conducted to mount Citharon, in order to end his life in that very place where he was expofed in his infancy, and where he thould then have died, had the will of his parents been executed.
As the author never fails to give a poetical turn to his fentiments, he defcribes in the beginning of this book the acceptance which these their prayers met with, in a fhort allegory, formed upon that beautiful paffage in Holy Writ: And another angel came and ftood at the altar, having a golden cenfor; and there was given unto him much incenfe, that he fhould offer it with the prayers, of all faints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne: and the fmoke of the incenfe, which came with the prayers of the faints, afcended up before God,
-To heav'n their prayers
Flew up, nor mifs'd their way, by envious winds
The conference of Adam and Eve is full of moving fentiments. Upon their going abroad after the melancholy night which they had paffed together, they difcover the lion and the eagle purfuing each of them their prey towards the eaftern gates of Paradise. There is a double beauty in this incident, not only as it prefents great and juft omens, which are always agreeable in poetry, but as it expreffes that enmity which was now produced in the animal creation. The poet to fhew the like changes in nature, as well as to grace his fable with a noble prodigy, reprefents the fun in an eclipfe. This particular incident has likewife a fine effect upon the imagination of the reader, in regard to what follows; for at the fame time that the fun is under an eclipfe, a bright cloud defcends in the western quarter of the heavens, filled with an hoft of angels, and more luminous than the fun itself. The whole theatre of nature is darkened, that this glorious machine may appear in all its luftre and magnifi
-Why in the east Darkness ere day's mid-courfe? and morning light
More orient in yon western cloud that draws
He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly bands
I need not obferve how properly this author, who always fuits his parts to the actors whom he
introduces, has employed Michael in the expulfion of our first parents from Paradife. The archangel on this occafion neither appears in his proper fhape, nor in that familiar manner with which Raphael, the fociable fpirit, entertained the father of mankind before the fall. His perfon, his port, and behaviour, are fuitable to a fpirit of the highest rank, and exquisitely defcribed in the following paffage.
-Th' archangel foon drew nigh, Not in his fhape celestial; but as man Clad to meet man: over his lucid arms A military veft of purple flow'd Livelier than Melibean, or the grain Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old, In time of truce: Iris had dipt the woof: His ftarry helm, unbuckled, fhew'd him prime In manhood where youth ended; by his fide, As in a gliftering zodiac hung the fword, Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the fpear. Adam bow'd low, he kingly from his flate Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declared.
Eve's complaint upon hearing that she was to derfully beautiful: the fentiments are not only be removed from the garden of Paradise, is wonproper to the fubject, but have fomething in them particularly foft and womanish.
Muft I then leave thee, Paradife? thus leave
Adam's fpeech abounds with thoughts which are equally moving, but of a more mafculine and elevated turn. Nothing can be conceived more fublime and poetical than the following paffage in it.
This most afflicts me, that departing hence, As from his face I fhall be hid, depriv'd His bleffed count'nance; here I could frequent, With worship, place by place where he vouchfaf'd Prefence divine; and to my fons relate, On this mount he appear'd, under this tree Stood visible, among these pines his voice I heard; here with him at this fountain talk'd : So many grateful altars I would rear Of graffy turf, and pile up every stone Of luftre from the brook, in memory Or monument to ages, and thereon Offer fweet-fmelling gums and fruits and flow'rs, In yonder nether world, where shall I feek His bright appearances, or footsteps trace ? For though I fled him angry, yet recall'd To life prolong'd, and promis'd race, I now Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts Of glory, and far off his fteps adore
The angel afterwards leads Adam to the higheft mount of Paradife, and lays before him a whole hemifphere, as a proper stage for those vi
fions which were to be reprefented on it. I have before obferved how the plan of Milton's poem is in many particulars greater than that of the Iliad or Eneid. Virgil's hero in the laft of thefe poems, is entertained with a fight of all thofe who are to defcend from him; but though that epifode is justly admired as one of the nobleft defigns in the whole neid, every one must allow that this of Milton is of a much higher nature. Adam's vifion is not confined to any particular tribe of mankind, but exrends to the whole fpecies. In this great review which Adam takes of all his fons and daughters, the firit objects he is prefented with exhibit to him the ftory of Cain and Abel, which is drawn together with much clofenefs and propriety of expreffion. That curiofity and natural horror which arifes in Adam at the fight of the firft dying man, is touched with great beauty.
But have I now feen death? Is this the way
Ignobly, to the trains and to the fimiles Of thefe fair atheifts
The next vifion is quite of a contrary nature, and filled with the horrors of war. Adam at
the fight of it melts into tears, and breaks out in that paffionate speech
O what are thefe,
Death's minifters, not men, who thus deal death
Milton, to keep up an agreeable variety in his vifions, after having raifed in the mind of his reader the feveral ideas of terror which are conformable to the defcription of war, paffes on to thofe fofter images of triumphs and festivals, in that vifion of lewdnefs and luxury which ushers in the flood.
As it is vifible that the poet had his eye upon Ovid's account of the univerfal deluge, the reader may obferve with how much judgment he has avoided every thing that is redundant or puerile in the latin poet. We do not here fee the wolf fwimming among the theep, nor any of thofe wanton imaginations, which Seneca found fault with, as unbecoming the great catrastophe of nature. If our poet has imitated that verse in which Ovid tells us there was nothing but fea, and that this fea had no fhore to it, he has not
fet the thought in fuch a light as to incur the cenfure which critics had paffed upon it. The latter part of that verfe in Ovid is idle and superfluous, but juft and beautiful in Milton. Jamque mare & tellus nullum difcrimen babebant, Nil nifi pontus erat, deerant quoque littora panto OVID. Met. 1. ver. 291.
And in their palaces, Where luxury late reign'd, fea-monster's whelp'd And stabled
than that in Ovid, where we are told that the feacalf lay in thofe places where the goats were ufed to browfe?, the reader may find several other parallel paffages in the Latin and English defcription of the deluge, wherein our poet has vifibly the advantage. The fky's being overcharged with clouds, the defcending of the rains, the rifing of the feas, and the appearance of the rainbow, are fuch defcriptions as every one must take notice of. The circumftance relating to Paradife is fo finely imagined, and fuitable to the opinions of many learned authors, that I cannot forbear giving it a place in this paper.