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lop Aap, the knotted cravat, and made a fair push for the filver-clocked stocking.
A few months after I brought up the modifh "jacket, or the coat with clofe fleeves. I ftruck this at firft in a plain Doily; but that failing I * ftruck it a second time in blue camblet; and repeated the froke in feveral kinds of cloth, until at laft it took effect. There are two or three young fellows at the other end of the town, who have always their eye upon me, and answer me ftroke for ftroke. I was once fo unwary as to mention my fancy in relation to a new-fashioned furtout before one of these gentlemen, who was difingenuous enough to • fteal my thought, and by that means prevented my intended stroke.
I have a defign this fpring to make very confiderable innovations in the waistcoat; and have already begun with a coup à effai upon the fleeves, which has fucceeded very well.
I muft further inform you, if you will promise to encourage, or at least connive at me, that it is my design to ftrike fuch a stroke the beginning of the next month, as fhail furprise the whole town.
I do not think it prudent to acquaint you with all the particulars of my intended drefs; but will only tell you as a fample of it, that I 'fhall very speedily appcar at White's in a cherry-coloured hat. I took this hint from the ladies hoods, which I look upon as theme, there were a certain fet of women of boldest stroke that fex has ftruck for these hundred years last past. "I am, Sir,
me, I am more coxcomb than fool, and I
Your moft obedient,
fashion, whereof the number of fix made a committee, who fat thrice a week, under the title of the inquifition on maids and bachelors. It seems, whenever there comes fuch an un, thinking gay thing as myfelf to town, he must want all manner of neceffaries, or be put into the inquifition by the first tradesman he employs. They have conftant intelligence with cane-fhops, perfumers, toymen, coach-makers, and china-houses. From these feveral places these undertakers for marriages have as conftant and regular correfpondence, as the funerai-men have with vintners and apothecaries. All bachelors are under their immediate infpection, and my friend produced to me a report given into their board, wherein an old uncle of mine who came to town with me, and myself, where inferted, and we ftood thus; the uncle fmoky, rotten, poor; the 'nephew raw, but no fool, found at prefent, < very rich. My information did not end here,
impartial, pray be fo honeft as to print the in'formation I now give you, of a certain set of women who never coquet for the matter, but with an high hand marry whom they please to whom they pleafe. As for my part, I fhould not have concerned myself with them, but that I understand I am pitcked upon, by them to be married, against my will, to one I never faw in my life. It has been my misfortune, Sir very innocently, to rejoice in a plentiful fortune, of which I am mafter, to bespeak a fine chariot, to give direction for two or three handfome fnuff-boxes, and as many fuits of fine clothes; but before any of thefe were ready, I heard reports of my being to be married to two or three different young women, Upon my taking notice of it to a young gentleman who is often in my company, he told me finiling, I was in the inquifition. You may believe I was not a little startled at what he meant, and more fo when he asked me if I had bespoke any thing of late that was fine, I told him feveral; upon which he produced
I have not time at prefent to make any reRexions on this letter, but muft not however omit, that having fhewn it to Will Honeycomb, he defires to be acquainted with the gentleman who writ it. X
FRIDAY, MARCH 7.
non pronuba Juno, Non Hymenæus adeft, non illi gratia leo: Eumenides ftravere torum
༦་“་་་་ Ovid. Met. lib. 6. ver. 428.
a defcription of my perfon, from the tradef men whom I had employed, and told me that they had certainly informed against me. Mr. Spectator, Whatever the world may think of
but my friend's advices are fo good, that he 'could fhew me a copy of the letter fent to the young lady who is to have me; which I ing clofe to you.
• Mr. Serator, have
many hints in
Ypapers to the difadvantage of perfons of
your own fex, who lay plots upon women., Among other hard words you have published the term male-coquets, and been very fevere upon fuch as give themselves the liberty of a little dalliance of heart, and playing faft and loofe, between love and indifference, until perhaps an eafy young girl is reduced to fighs, dreams, and tears; and languifhes away her life for a carelefs coxcomb, who looks aftonished, and wonders' at fuch an effect from what in him was all but common civility. Thus you have treated the men who were irrefolute în marriage; but if you defign to be
• Corinna.' What makes my correfpondent's cafe the more deplorable, is, that as I find by the report from my cenfor of marriages, the friend he fpeaks of is employed by the inquifition to take him in, as the phrafe is. After all that is told him, he has information only of one woman that is laid for him,
him, and that the wrong one; for the lady commiffioners have devoted him to another than the perfon against whom they have employed their agent his friend to alarm him. The plot is laid fo well about this young gentleman, that he, has no friend to retire to, no place to appear in, or part of the kingdom to fly into, but he muft fall into the notice, and be fubject to the power of the inquifition. They have their emiffaries and fubftitutes in all parts of this united kingdom. The first step they usually take, is to find from a correfpondence, by their meffengers and whifperers, with fome domeftic of the bachelor, who is to be hunted into the toils they have laid for him, what are his manners, his familiarities, his good qualities or vices; not as the good in him is a recommendation, or the ill a diminution, but as they affect or contribute to the main inquiry, What eftate he has in him? When this point is well reported to the board, they can take in a wild roaring fox-hunter, as eafily as a foft, gentle young fop of the town. The way is to make all places uneafy to him, but the fcenes in which they have allotted him to act. His brother huntímen, bottle-companions, his fraternity of fops, fhall be brought into the confpiracy against him. Then this matter is not laid in fo barefaced a manner before him as to have it intimated, Mrs. Such-a one would make him a very proper wife; but by the force of their correfpondence they fhall make it, as Mr. Waller faid of the marriage of the dwarfs, as impracticable to have any woman befdes her they defign him, as it would have been in Adam to have refufed Eve. The man named by the com-, miflion for Mrs. Such-a-one, fhall neither be in fashion, nor dare ever to appear in company, fhould he attempt to evade their determination.
The female fex wholly govern domeftic life; and by this means, when they think fit, they can fow diffenfions between the dearest friends, nay make father and fon irreconcileable enemies in fpite of all the ties of gratitude on one part, and the duty of protection to be paid on the other. The ladies of the inquifition understand this perfectly well; and where love is not a motive to a man's choofing one whom they allot, they 'can with very much art, infinuate ftories to the difadvantage of his honefty or courage, until the creature is too much difpirited to bear up against a general ill reception, which he every where meets with, and in due time falls into their appointed wedlock for fhelter. I have a long letter bearing date the fourth inftant, which gives me a large account of the policies of this court; and find there is now before them a very refractory perfon, who has escaped all their machinations for two last but have prevented two fucceffive matches which were of his own inclination, the one by a report that his mistress was to be married, and the very day appointed, wedding-clothes bought, and all things ready for her being given to another; the fecond time by infinuating to all his mistress's friends and acquaintance, that he had been falfe to feveral other women, and the like. The poor man is now reduced to profefs he defigns to lead a fingle life; but the inquifition give out to all his acquaintance, that nothing is intended but the gentleman's own welfare and happinefs. When this is urged, he talks ftill more humbly, and protefts he aims only at a life without pain or reproach; pleasure, honour, and riches, are
things for which he has no tafte. But notwithftanding all this, and what elfe he may defend himfelf with, as that the lady is too old or too young, of a fuitable humour, or the quite contrary, and that it is impoffible they can ever do other than wrangle from June to January, every body tells him all this is fpleen, and he muft have a wife; while all the members of the inquifition are unanimous in a certain woman for him, and they think they all together are better able to judge, than he or any other private perfon whatfoever.
Temple, March 3, 1711.
OUR fpeculation this day on the fubject of idleness has employed me, ever fince 6 I read it, in forrowful reflexions on my having loitered away the term, or rather the vacation,
of ten years in this place, and unhappily fuffered a good chamber and study to lie idle as long. My books, except those I have taken
to fleep upon, have been totally neglected, and ، my Lord Coke and other venerable authors were never fo flighted in their lives. I fpend 'moft of the day at a neighbouring coffee-houfe, where we have what I may call a lazy club. We generally come in night-gowns, with our 6 ftockings about our heels, and fometimes but 'one on. Our falutation at entrance is a yawn
and a stretch, and then without more ceremony we take our place at the lolling-table, where · our difcourfe is, what I fear you would not 'read out, therefore fhall not infert. But I affure you, Sir, I heartily lament this lofs of time, and am now refolved, if poffible, with 'double diligence, to retrieve it, being effec 'tually awakened by the arguments of Mr. Slack out of the fenfelefs ftupidity that has fo long poffeffed me. And to demonftrate that 'penitence accompanies my confeffion, and con'ftancy my refolutions, I have locked my door for a year, and defire you would let my com'panions know I am not within. I am with great repect,
Sir, your moft obedient fervant,
No 321, SATURDAY, MARCH 8,
Nec fatis eft pulchra effe poemata, dulcia funto.
'Tis not enough a poem's finely writ;
HOSE, who know how many volumes have been written on the poems of Homer and Virgil, will easily pardon the length of my difcourfe upon Milton. The Paradife Loft is looked upon by the best judges, as the greatest production, or at least the nobleft work of genius in our language, and therefore deferves to be fet before an English reader in its full beauty. For this reafon, though I have endeavoured to give a general idea of its graces and imperfections in my fix first papers, I thought myself obliged to beftow one upon every book in particular. The first three books I have already difpatched, and am now entering upon the fourth. I need not acquaint my reader that there are multitudes of beauties in this great author, efpecially in the
defcriptive parts of this poem, which I have not touched upon, it being my intention to point out thofe only, which appear to me the most exquisite, or those which are not fo obvious to ordinary readers. Every one that has read the critics who have written upon the Odyffey, the Iliad, and the Aneid, knows very well, that though they agree in the opinions of the great beauties in thofe poems, they have neverthelefs each of them difcovered feveral mafter-ftrokes, which have efcaped the obfervation of the reft. In the fame manner, I question not but any writer, who fhall treat of this fubject after me, may find several beauties in Milton, which I have not taken notice of. I muft likewife obferve, that as the greatest mafters of critical learning differ.among one another, as to fome particular points in an epic poem, I have not bound myself fcrupuloufly to the rules which any one of them has laid down upon that art, but have taken the liberty fometimes to join with one, and fometimes with another, and fometimes to differ from all of them, when I have thought that the reason of the thing was on my fide.
We may confider the beauties of the fourth book under three heads. In the firft are those pictures of ftill life, which we meet with in the defcription of Eden, Paradife, Adam's bower,
In the next are the machines, which comprehend the fpeeches and behaviour of the good and bad angels. In the laft is the conduct of Adam and Eve, who are the principal actors in
In the defcription of Paradife, the poet has obferved Ariftotle's rule of lavishing all the ornaments of diction on the weak unactive parts of the fable, which are not fupported by the beauty of fentiments and characters. Accordingly the reader may obferve, that the expreflions are more florid and elaborate in these defcriptions, than in most other parts of the poem. I muft further add, that though the drawings of gardens, rivers, rainbows, and the like dead pieces of nature are justly cenfured in an heroic poem, when they run out into an unnecessary length; the defcription of Paradife would have been faulty, had not the poet been very particular in it, not only as it is the fcene of the principal action, but as it is requifite to give us an idea of that happiness from which our first parents fell. The plan of it is wonderfully beautiful, and formed upon the fhort sketch which we have of it in holy writ. Milton's exuberance of imagination has poured forth fuch a redundancy of ornaments on this feat of happiness and innocence, that it would be endless to point out each particular.
We are in the next place to confider the machincs of the fourth book. Satan being now within profpect of Eden, and looking round upon the glories of the creation, is filled with fentiments different from thofe which he discovered whilft he was in hell. The place infpires him with thoughts more adapted to it: he reflects upon the happy condition from whence he fell, and breaks forth into a fpeech that is foftened with feveral tranfient touches of remorfe and selfaccufation; but at length he confirms himself in impenitence, and in his defign of drawing man into his own ftate of guilt and mifery. This conflict of paffions is raifed with a great deal of art, as the opening of his fpeech to the fun isvery bold and noble.
I must not quit this head, without further obferving, that there is scarce a speech of Adam or Eve in the whole poem, wherein the fentiments
and allufions are not taken from this their delightful habitation. The reader, during their whole courfe of action, always finds himself in the walks of Paradife. In fhort, as the critics have remarked, that in thofe poems wherein fhepherds are actors, the thoughts ought always to take a tincture from the woods, fields, and rivers, fo we may cbferve, that our first parents feldom lofe fight of their happy ftation in any thing they speak or do; and if the reader will five me leave to ufe the expreffion, that their boughts are always Paradifiacal,
"O thou that with furpaffing glory crown'd, "Look'ft from thy fole dominion like the God "Of this new world; at whofe fight all the stars "Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, "But with no friendly voice; and add thy name "O fun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, "That bring to my remembrance from what ftate
"I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere!”.
This fpeech is, I think, the fineft that is afcribed to Satan in the whole poem. The evil fpirit afterwards proceeds to make his discoveries concerning our first parents, and to learn after what manner they may be best attacked. His bounding over the walls of Paradise; his fitting in the fhape of a cormorant upon the tree of life, which stood in the center of it, and over. topped all the other tress of the garden; his alighting among the herd of animals, which are fo beautifully reprefented as playing about Adam and Eve, together with his transforming himself into different fhapes, in order to hear their conable furprise to the reader and are devised with verfation; are circumstances that give an agree great art, to connect that feries of adventures in which the poet has engaged this artificer of fraud.
The thought of Satan's transformation into a cormorant, and placing himself on the tree of life, feems raised upon that paffage in the Iliad, where two deities are defcribed, as perching on the top of an oak in the fhape of vultures. the form of a toad, in order to produce va His planting himself at the ear of Eve under dreams and imaginations, is a circumftance of the fame nature; as his ftarting up in his own form is wonderfully fine, both in the literal defcription, and in the moral which is concealed under it. His anfwer upon his being discovered, and demanded to give an account of himself, is conformable to the pride and intrepidity of his
« Know ye not them, faid Satan, fill'd with fcorn,
"Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate "For you, there fitting where you durft not fear; «The loweft of your throng”"Not to know me argues yourselves unknown,
Zephon's rebuke, with the influence it had on Satan, is exquifitely graceful and moral. Satan is afterwards led away to Gabriel, the chief of the guardian angels, who kept watch in Paradife. His difdainful behaviour on this occafion
occafion is fo remarkable a beauty that the most ordinary reader cannot but take notice of it. Gabriel's discovering his approach at a diftance, is drawn with great ftrength and liveliness of imagination.
the fun as in his coming from it, is a prettiness that might have been admired in a little fanciful poet, but feems below the genius of Milton. The defcription of the hoft of armed angels walking their nightly round in Paradife, is of another spirit.
"O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet,
I must however observe in this place, that the breaking off the combat between Gabriel and Satan, by the hanging out of the golden fcales in heaven, is a refinement upon Homer's thought, who tells us, that before the battle between Hector and Achilles, Jupiter weighed the event of it in a pair of fcales. The reader may fee the whole paffage in the 22d Iliad.
Virgil, before the laft decifive combat, defcribes Jupiter in the fame manner, as weighing the fates of Turnus and Æneas. Milton, though he fetched this beautiful circumftance from the Iliad and Æneid, does not only infert it as a poetical embellishment, like the authors abovementioned; but makes an artful ufe of it for the proper carrying on his fable, and for the breaking off the combat between the two warriors, who were upon the point of engaging. To this we may further add, that Milton is the more justified in this paffage, as we find the fame noble allegory in holy writ, where a wickprince, fome few hours before he was affaulted and flain, is faid to have been "weighed in the "fcales, and to have been found wanting."
I muft here take notice, under the head of the machines, that Uriel's gliding down to the earth upon a fun-beam, with the poet's device to make him defcend, as well as his return to
"Two of far nobler shape erect and tall, "God-like erect! with native honour clad "In naked majefty, feem'd lords of all; "And worthy feem'd: for in their looks divine "The image of their glorious Maker fhone, "Truth, wifdom, fanctitude fevere and pure; "Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd: "For contemplation he and valour form'd, "For foftnefs the and sweet attractive grace; "He for God only, the for God in him. "His fair large front, and eye fublime, declar'd "Abfolute rule: and Hyacinthin locks "Round from his parted forelock manly hung "Cluft'ring, but not beneath his fhoulders broad.
"She, as a veil, down to a flender waist "Her unadorned golden treffes wore "Dif-fhevel'd, but in wanton ringlets wav'd. "So pafs' they naked on, nor fhun'd the fight "Of God or angel, for they thought no ill: "So hand in hand they pafs'd, the lovelieft pair "That ever fince in love's embraces met."
There is a fine fpirit of poetry in the lines which follow, wherein they are defcribed as fitting on a bed of flowers by the fide of a fountain, amidst a mixt affembly of animals.
The fpeeches of these two first lovers flow equally from paffion and fincerity. The pro feffions they make to one another are full of warmth; but at the fame time founded on truth. In a word they are the gallantries of Paradise.
"So far the happier lot, enjoying thes "Pre-eminent by fo much odds, which thou "Like confort to thyfelf can'ft no where find, &c. The remaining part of Eve's fpeech, in which the gives an account of herfelf upon her first creation, and the manner in which she was brought to Adam, is, I think, as beautiful a paffage as any in Milton, or perhaps in any other poet whatfoever. Thefe paffages are all worked off with fo much art, that they are capable of pleafing the most delicate reader, without offending the most severe.
"This day I oft remember, when from fleep, &c."
A poet of lefs judgment and invention than this great author, would have found it very difficult to have filled thefe tender parts of the poem with fentiments proper for a state of innocence; to have defcribed the warmth of love, and the profeffions of it, without artifice or hyperbole ; to have made the man fpeak the moft endearing things, without defcending from his natural dignity, and the woman receiving them without departing from the modefty of her character; in a word, to adjust the prerogative of wifdom and beauty, and make each appear to the other in its proper force and lovelinefs. This mutual fubordination of the two fexes is wonderfully kept up in the whole poem, as particularly in the speech of Eve I have before mentioned, and upon the conclufion of it in following
"Naked met his under the flowing gold "Of her loofe treffes hid; he in delight "Both of her beauty and fubmiffive charms "Smil'd with fuperior love."
"So fpake our general mother, and with eyes Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd, "And meek furrender, half embracing lean'd "On our first father: half her fwelling breast