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OUR readers are fo well pleased with your character of Sir Roger de Coverley, that there appeared a fenfible joy in every coffee-houfe, upon hearing the old knight was come to town. I am now with a knot of his admirers, who make it their joint request to you, that you would give us public notice of the window or balcony where the knight intends to make his appearance. He has already given great fatisfaction to several who have seen ⚫ him at Squire's coffee-house. If you think fit to place your fhort face at Sir Roger's left elbow, we shall take the hint, and gratefully acknowledge fo great a favour. I am,
Knowing that you are very inquifitive after
every is curious in nature, I will wait on you, if you please, in the dusk of the evening, with my fhow upon my back, < which I carry about with me in a box, as only confifting of a man, a woman, and an horse. The two firft are married, in which state the little cavalier has fo well acquitted himself, that his lady is with child. The big-bellied woman, and her husband, with their whim'fical palfry, are so very light, that when they are put together into a scale, an ordinary man may weigh down the whole family. The little man is a bully in his nature; but when he grows choleric I confine him to his box until his wrath is over, by which means I have hitherto prevented him from doing mifchief. His horfe is likewife very vicious, for which reafon I am forced to tie him clofe < to his manger with a packthread. The woman is a coquette. She ftruts as much as it is poffible for a lady of two foot high, and 'would ruin me in filks, were not the quantity that goes to a large pin-cushion fufficient to make her a gown and petticoat. She told me the other day, that he heard the ladies wore coloured hoods, and ordered me to get her one of the finest blue. I am forced to comply with her demands whilft fhe is in her prefent "condition, being very willing to have more of the fame breed. I do not know what the may produce me, but provided it be a show 'I fhall be very well fatisfied. Such novelties 'fhould not, I think, be concealed from the British Spectator; for which reason I hope you will excufe this prefumption in
Your moft dutiful, moft obedient,
No 272. FRIDAY, JANUARY II.
Longa eft injuria, longee
HE occafion of this letter is of fo great
< my paffion I fhall let you understand as well as a difordered mind will admit. That cursed 'pick-thank Mrs. Jane! alas, I am railing at < one to you by her name as familiarly as if you were acquainted with her as well as myfelf: ' but I will tell you all, as faft as the alternate 'interruptions of love and anger will give me leave. There is a moft agreeable young wo· man in the world whom I am paffionately in 'love with, and from whom I have for fome 'fpace of time received as great marks of 'favour as were fit for her to give, or me to <defire. The fuccefsful progrefs of the affair ' of all others the most effential towards a man's happiness, gave a new life and spirit not only to my behaviour and difcourfe, but also a cer'tain grace to all my actions in the commerce of life in all things though never fo remote from love. You know the predominant paf'fion fpreads itself through all a man's tranfactions, and exalts or depreffes him according to the nature of fuch paffion. But alas! I have not yet begun my story, and what is making fentences and obfervations, when a 'man is pleading for his life? To begin then: this lady has correfponded with me under the names of love, fhe my Belinda, I her Cleanthes. Though I am thus well got into the account of my affair, I cannot keep in the thread of it fo much as to give you the character of Mrs. Jane, whom I will not hide under a borrowed name; but let you know that this creature has been fince I knew her very handfome, (though I will not allow her even what she has been for the future) and during the time of her bloom and beauty, was fo 'great a tyrant to her lovers, fo over-valued herself, and under-rated all her pretenders, that they have deferted her to a man; and fhe knows no comfort but that common one to all in her condition, the pleafure of interrupting the amours of others. It is im'poffible but you must have seen several of thefe volunteers in malice, who pass their whole time in the most laborious way of life, in getting intelligence, running from place to place with new whifpers, without reaping any other benefit but the hopes of making others as unhappy as themfelves. Mrs. Jane happened to be at a place where I, with many others well acquainted with my paffion for Belinda, paffed ' a Christmas-evening. There was among the reft a young lady, fo free in mirth, fo amiable in a just reserve that accompanied it; I wrong her to call it a referve, but there appeared in her a mirth or chearfulness which was not a forbearance of more immoderate joy, but the natural appearance of all which could flow 'from a mind poffeffed of an habit of innocenc
and purity. I must have utterly forgot Belinda, to have taken no notice of one who was 'growing up to the fame womanly virtues which hine to perfection in her, had I not diftinguished one who feemed to promife to the world the fame life and conduct with my faithful and lovely Belinda. When the company broke up, the fine young thing permitted me to take care of her home. Mrs. Jane faw my particular regard to her, and was informed of my attending her to her father's house. She came early to Belinda the next morning, and, asked her if Mrs. Such-a-one had been with her? No. If Mr. Such-a-one's lady? No.
fuch, that I know you will but think it just to infert it, in preference of all other matters that can prefent themfelves to your confideration. I need not, after I have faid this, tell you that I am in love. The circumstances of
No. Nor your coufin Such-a-one? No. Lord,
fays Mrs. Jane, what is the friendship of wo-Nay, they may well laugh at it. And did no one tell you any thing of the behaviour of your lover Mr. What-d'ye-call last night? But perhaps it is nothing to you that he is to be married to young Mrs. · Tuesday next? Belinda was here ready to die with rage and jealoufy. Then Mrs. Jane goes on: I have a young kinsman who is clerk to a great conveyancer, who fhall fhew you the rough draught of the marriage-fettlement. The world fays, her father gives him two thoufand pounds more than he could have with you. I went innocently to wait on Belinda as ufual, but was not admitted; I writ to her, and my letter was fent back unopened. Poor Betty her maid, who is on my fide, has been here just now blubbering, and told me the whole matter. She fays he did not think I could be fo bafe; and that he is now fo odious to her mistress for having so often spoke well of me, that the dare not mention me more. All our hopes are placed in having thefe circumstances fairly reprefented in the Spectator, which Betty fays he dare not but bring up as foon as it is brought in; and has * promised when you have broke the ice to own this was laid between us and when I can come to an hearing, the young lady will fup€ port what we fay by her teftimony, that I never faw her but that once in my whole life. < Dear Sir, do not omit this true relation, nor think it too particular; for there are crowds of forlorn coquettes who intermingle themfelves with other ladies, and contract familiarities out of malice, and with no other defign but to blaft the hopes of lovers, the expectation of parents, and the benevolence of kindred. I doubt not but I fhall be,
N° 273. SATURDAY, JANUARY 12. -Notandi funt tibi mores.
Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 156.
Note well the manners.
The correfpondent is defired to say which chcek the offender turned to him.
From the parish-veftry, January 9
"All ladies who come to church in the new"fashioned hoods, are defired to be there before "divine fervice begins, left they divert the at"tention of the congregation.
let us in the next place confider the actors. This is Ariftotle's method of confidering, first the fable, and fecondly the manners; or, as we generally call them in English, the fable and the characters.
Homer has excelled all the heroic poets that ever wrote in the multitude and variety of his characters: every god that is admitted into his poem, acts a part which would have been fuitable to no other deity. His princes are as much diftinguished by their manners, as by their dominions; and even thofe among them, whose characters feem wholly made up of courage, differ from one another as to the particular kinds of courage in which they excel. In short, there is fcarce a fpeech or action in the Iliad, which the reader may not afcribe to the perfon that fpeaks or acts, without feeing his name at the head of it.
Homer does not only outshine all other poets in the variety, but also in the novelty of his characters. He has introduced among his Grecian princes a perfon who had lived thrice the age of man, and converfed with Thefeus, Hercules, Polyphemus, and the first race of heroes. His principal actor is the fon of a goddess, not to mention the offspring of other deities, who have likewife a place in his poem, and the venerable Trojan prince, who was the father of fo many kings and heroes. There is in thefe feveral characters of Homer, a certain dignity as well as novelty, which adapts them in a more peculiar manner to the nature of an heroic poem. Though at the fame time, to give them the greater variety, he has defcribed a vulcan, that is a buffoon among his gods, and a Therfites among his mortals.
Virgil falls infinitely fhort of Homer in the characters of his poem, both as to their variety and novelty. Æneas is indeed a perfe& character, but as for Achates, though he is ftiled the hero's friend, he does nothing in the whole poem which may deferve that title. Gyas, Mneftheus, Sergeftus and Cloanthus, are all of them men of the fame stamp and character.
-Fortemque Gyan, fortemque Cloanthum."
There are indeed feveral natural incidents in the part of Afcanius; as that of Dido cannot be fufficiently admired. I do not fee any thing new or particular in Turnus. Pallas and Evander are remote copies of Hector and Priam, as Laufus and Mezentius are almost parallels to Pallas and Evander. The characters of Nifus and Euryalus are beautiful, but common. We must not forget the parts of Sinon, Camilla, and fome few others, which are fine improvements on the Greek poet. In short, there is neither that variety nor novelty in the perfons of the Æneid, which we meet with in thofe of the Iliad.
If we look into the characters of Milton, we fhall find that he has introduced all the variety his fable was capable of receiving. The whole fpecies of mankind was in two perfons at the time to which the fubject of his poem is confined. We have, however, four distinct charac
ters in these two perfons. We fee man and woman in the highest innocence and perfection, and in the most abject state of guilt and infirmity. The two laft characters are, indeed, very common and obvious, but the two firft are not only more magnificent, but more new than any characters either in Virgil or Homer, or indeed in the whole circle of nature.
Milton was fo fenfible of this defect in the fubject of his poem, and of the few characters it would afford him, that he has brought into it two actors of a shadowy and fictitious nature, in the perfons of Sin and Death, by which means he has wrought into the body of his fable a very beautiful and well-invented allegory. But notwithstanding the fineness of this allegory may atone for it in fome measure, I cannot think that perfons of fuch a chimerical existence are proper actors in an epic poem; because there is not that measure of probability annexed to them, which is requifite in writings of this kind, as I fhall fhew more at large hereafter.
Virgil has, indeed, admitted Fame as an actrefs in the Eneid, but the part fhe acts is very fhort, and none of the most admired circumftances in that divine work. We find in mock-heroic poems, particularly in the Difpenfary and the Lutrin, feveral allegorical perfons of this nature, which are very beautiful in those compofitions, and may perhaps be used as an argument, that the authors of them were of opinion, fuch characters might have a place in an epic work. For my own part I fhould be glad the reader would think fo, for the fake of the poem I am now examining; and muft further add, that if fuch empty unfubftantial beings may be ever made ufe of on this occafion, never were any more nicely imagined, and employed in more proper actions, than thofe of which I am now fpeaking.
Another principal actor in this poem is the great enemy of mankind. The part of Ulyffes in Homer's Odyffey is very much admired by Ariftotle, as perplexing that fable with very agreeable plots and intricacies, not only by the many adventures in his voyage, and the fubtilty of his behaviour, but by the various concealments and difcoveries of his perfon in feveral parts of that poem. But the crafty being I have how mentioned, makes a much longer voyage than Ulyffes, puts in practice many more wiles and ftratagems, and hides himself under a greater variety of shapes and appearances, all of which are feverally detected, to the great delight and furprise of the reader.
We may likewise observe with how much art the poet has varied several characters of the perfons that speak in his infernal affembly. On the contrary, how has he represented the whole Godhead exerting itself towards man in its full benevolence under the three-fold diftinction of a -Creator, a Redeemer, and a Comforter!
Nor must we omit the perfon of Raphael, who, amidst his tenderness and friendship for man, fhews fuch a dignity and condefcenfion in all his fpeesh and behaviour, as are fuitable to a fuperior nature. The angels are indeed as much diverfified in Milton, and distinguished by their proper parts, as the gods are in Homer or Virgil. The reader will find nothing afcribed to Uriel, Gabriel, Michael, or Raphaci, which is not in a particular manner fuitable to their respective characters.
There is another circumftance in the principal actors of the Iliad and neid, which gives a peculiar beauty to thofe two poems, and was therefore contrived with very great judgment. I mean the authors having chofen, for their heroes, perfons who were fo nearly related to the people for whom they wrote. Achilles was a Greek, and Eneas the remote founder of Rome. By this means their countrymen, whom they principally propofed to themfelves for their readers, were particularly attentive to all the parts of their story, and sympathized with their heroes in all their adventures. A Roman could not but rejoice in the efcapes, fucceffes and victories of Æneas, and be grieved at any defeats, misfortunes or disappointments that befel him; as a Greek must have had the fame regard for Achilles. And it is plain that each of thofe poems have loft this great advantage, among those readers to whom their heroes are as ftrangers, or indifferent perfons.
Milton's poem is admirable in this respect, fince it is impoffible for any of its readers, whatever nation, country or people he may belong to, not to be related to the perfons who are the principal actors in it; but what is ftill infinitely more to its advantage, the principal actors in this poem are not only our progenitors, but our reprefentatives. We have an actual intereft in every thing they do, and no lefs than our utmoft happiness is concerned, and lies at stake in all their behaviour.
I fhall fubjoin as a corollary to the foregoing remark, an admirable obfervation out of Ariftotle, which hath been very much misrepresented in the quotations of fome modern critics. "If "a man of perfect and confummate virtue falls "into a misfortune, it raifes our pity, but not
our terror, because we do not fear that it may "be our own cafe, who do not resemble the "fuffering perfon." But as, that great philofopher adds, "If we fee a man of virtue mixt "with infirmities, fall into any misfortune, it "does not only raise our pity but our terror; "because we are afraid that the like misfortune "may happen to ourselves, who refemble the "character of the fuffering perfon."
I fhall take another opportunity to obferve, that a perfon of an abfolute and confummate virtue fhould never be introduced in tragedy, and fhall only remark in this place, that the foregoing obfervation of Ariftotle, though it may be true in other occafions, does not hold in this; because in. the prefent cafe, though the perfons who fall into misfortune are of the most perfect and confummate virtue, it is not to be confidered as what may poffibly be, but what actually is our own cafe; fince we are embarked with them on the fame bottom, and must be partakers of their happiness or misery.
In this, and fome other very few inftances, Ariftotle's, rules for epic poetry, which he had drawn from his reflexions upon Homer, cannot be supposed to quadrate exa&ly with the heroic poems which have been made fince his time; fince it is plain his rules would still have been more perfect, could he have perused the Æneid which was made fome hundred years after his death.
In my next, I fhall go through other parts of Milton's poem; and hope that what I fhall there advance, as well as what I have already written, will not only ferve as a comment upon Milton, but upon Arifstotle.
N° 274. MONDAY, JANUARY 14.
Hor. Sat. 2. lib. 1. ver. 37. All you, who think the city ne'er can thrive, Till ev'ry cuckold-maker's flay'd alive, Attend.
the force of an apology in the behalf of the per-
Have upon several occafions, that have ocI curred fince I first took into my thoughts the prefent ftate of fornication, weighed with myfelf in behalf of guilty females, the impulfes of fleth and blood, together with the arts and gallantries of crafty men; and reflect with fome fcorn that most part of what we in our youth think gay and polite, s nothing elfe but an habit of indulging a pruriency that way. It will coft fome labour to bring people to fo lively a fense of this, as to recover the manly modefty in the behaviour of my men readers, and the bafhful grace in the faces of my women; but in all cafes which come into debate, there are certain things previously to be done before we can have a true light into the subject matter; therefore it will, in the first place, be neceifary to confider the impotent wenchers and induftrious hags, who are fupplied with, and are conftantly fupplying, new facrifices to the devil of luft. You are to know then, if you are to happy as not to know it already, that the great havock which is made in the habitations of beauty and innocence, is committed by fuch as can only lay waste and not enjoy the foil. When you obferve the prefent state of vice and virtue,
· My Lord,
the offenders are fuch as one would think should
• Mr. Spectator,
Jan. 5, 1711. ◄HE fubject of your yesterday's paper is of fo great importance, and the tho rough handling of it may be fo very useful, to the prefervation of many an innocent young creature, that I think every one is obliged to furnish us with what lights he can, to expofe the pernicious arts and practices of thofe unnatural women called bawds. In order to this the inclofed is fent you, which is verbatim the copy of a letter written by a bawd of 'figure in this town to a noble Lord. I have concealed the names of both, my intention being not to expofe the perfons but the thing, I am, Sir,
Your humble Servant,"
ago. Her parents being lately dead fhe came
to me, expecting to have found me in fo good
a condition as to fet her up in a milliner's shop. Her father gave fourfcore pounds with her for five years: her time is out, and 'fhe is not fixteen: as pretty a black gentlewoman as ever you faw; a little woman, which, I know your Lordship likes: well fhaped, and as fine a complexion for red and white as ever 1 faw; I doubt not but your Lordship will be of the fame opinion. She defigns to go down about a month hence, except I can provide for her, which I cannot at prefent: her father
was one with whom all he had, died with him,
fo there is four children left deftitute: fo if your Lordship thinks fit to make an appoint" ment where I fhall wait on you with my ' niece, by a line or two, I stay for your answer; for I have no place fitted up fince I left my houfe, fit to entertain your honour. I told her the fhould go with me to fee a gen'tleman, a very good friend of mine; fo I de'fire you to take no notice of my letter, by reafon fhe is ignorant of the ways of the town. My Lord, I defire if you meet us to come alone; for upon my word and honour you are So I
the first that ever I mentioned her to.
• read it.'
with invifible billet-doux, love-letters, pricked dances, and other trumpery of the fame nature. In another we found a kind of powder, which fet the whole company a fneezing, and by the fcent discovered itself to be right Spanish. The feveral other cells were ftored with commodities of the fame kind, of which it would be tedious to give the reader an exact inventory.
There was a large cavity on each fide of the head, which I must not omit. That on the right fide was filled with fictions, flatteries, and falfhoods, vows, promises, and proteftations; that on the lett with oaths and imprecations. There iffued out a duct from each of thefe cells, which ran into the root of the tongue, where both joined together, and passed forward in one common duct to the tip of it. We difcovered feveral little roads or canals running from the ear into the brain, and took particular 15. care care to trace them out through their several paffages. One of them extended itself to a bundle of fonnets and little mufical inftruments. Others Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 300. ended in feveral bladders which were filled either with wind or froth. But the large canal entered into a great cavity of the skull, from whence there went another canal into the tongue. This great cavity was filled with a kind of spungy fubftance, which the French anatomists call galimatis, and the English nonsense.
The fkins of the forehead were extremely tough and thick, and, what very much furprifed us, had not in them any fingle bloodveffel that we were able to difcover, either with or without our glaffes; from whence we concluded, that the party when alive must have ing. been intirely deprived of the faculty of blush
1 most humble fervant to command. I beg of you to burn it when you have
N° 275, TUESDAY, JANUARY -tribus Anticyris caput infanabile
A head, no helebore can cure.
Was yesterday engaged in an affembly of virtuofos, where one of them produced many curious obfervations which he had lately made in the anatomy of a human body. Another of the company communicated to us several wonderful discoveries, which he had alfo made on the fame fubject, by the help of very fine glaffes. This gave birth to a great variety of uncommon remarks, and furnished difcourfe for the remaining part of the day.
The different opinions which were started on this occafion, prefented to my imagination fo many new ideas, that by mixing with those which were already there, they employed my fancy all the last night, and compofed a very wild extravagant dream.
I was invited, methought, to the diffection of a beau's head, and of a coquet's heart, which were both of them laid on a table before us. An Imaginary operator opened the first with a great deal of nicety, which, upon a curfory and fuperficial view, appeared like the head of another man; but upon applying our glaffes to it, we made a very odd discovery, namely, that what we looked upon as brains, were not such in reality, but an heap of ftrange materials wound up in that shape and texture, and packed together with wonderful art in the feveral cavities of the skull. For, as Homer tells us, that the blood of the gods is not real blood, but only fomething like it: fo we found that the brain of a beau is not a real brain, but only fomething like it,
The pineal gland, which many of our modern philofophers fuppofe to be the feat of the foul, fmelt very strong of effence and orangeflower water, and was encompaffed with a kind of horny substance, cut into a thousand little faces or mirrors, which were imperceptible to the naked eye, infomuch that the foul, if there had been any here, muft have been always taken up in contemplating her own beauties.
We obferved a large antrum or cavity in the finciput, that was filled with ribbons, lace, and embroidery, wrought together in a moft curious piece of net-work, the parts of which were likewife imperceptible to the naked eye. Ano❤ ther of thefe antrums or cavities was ftuffed Y y 2
The os cribriforme was exceedingly stuffed, and in fome places damaged with fnuff. We could not but take notice in particular of that fmall mufcle which is not often difcovered in diffections, and draws the nofe upwards, when it expreffes the contempt which the owner of it has, upon feeing any thing he does not like, ftand. I need not tell my learned reader, this or hearing any thing he does not under- . is that muscle which performs the motion fo often mentioned by the Latin poets, when they talk of a man's cocking his nofe, or playing the rhinoceros.
We did not find any thing very remarkable in the eye, faving only, that the mufculi amatorii, mufcles, were very much worn and decayed or as we may translate it into English, the ogling with ufe; whereas on the contrary, the elevator, or the muscle which turns the eye towards heaven, did not appear to have been used at all.
I have only mentioned in this diffection fuch new discoveries as we were able to make, and have not taken any notice of those parts which are to be met with in common heads. fkull, the face, and indeed the whole outward As for the hape and figure of the head, we could not difthe heads of other men. cover any difference from what we obferve in that the perfon to whom this head belonged, We were informed, had paffed for a man above five and thirty years; during which time he eat and drank like other people, dreffed well, talked loud, laughed frequently, and on particular occafions had acquitted himself tolerably at a ball or an affembly; gain knot of ladies took him for a wit. He was to which one of the company added, that a cer