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cut off in the flower of his age by the blow of a paring-shovel, having been furprised by an eminent citizen, as he was tendering fome civilities to his wife.
pect others in converfation may fecond your raillery; but when you do it in a file which every body elfe forbears in refpect to their quality, they have an easy remedy in forbearing to read you, and hearing no more of their faults. A man that is now and then guilty of an intemperance is not to be called a drunkard; but the rule of polite raillery,
is to fpeak of a man's faults as if you loved him. Of this nature is what was faid by Cæfar: when, one was railing with an uncourtly vehemence, and broke out, What muft we call him who was taken in an intrigue with another man's wife? Cæfar anfwered very gravely," a carelefs fellow." This was at once a reprimand for speaking of a crime which in thofe days had not the abhorrence attending it as it ought, as well as an intimation that all intemperate beha'viour before fuperiors lofes its aim, by ac
cufing in a method unfit for the audience. A 'word to the wife. All I mean here to say to you is, that the most free person of quality can go no farther than being a kind woman; and you fhould never fay of a man of figure worfe, than that he knows the • world.
When we had thoroughly examined this head with all its apartments, and its feveral kinds of furniture, we put up the brain, fuch as it was, into its proper place, and laid it afide under a broad piece of fcarlet cloth, in order to be prepared, and kept in a great repofitory of diffections; our operator telling us that the preparation would not be fo difficult as that of another brain, for that he had obferved feveral of the little pipes and tubes which ran through the brain were already filled with a kind of mercurial fubftance, which he looked upon to be true quick-filver.
He applied himself in the next place to the coquette's heart, which he likewife laid open with great dexterity. There occurred to us many particularities in this diffection; but being unwilling to burthen my reader's memory too much, I fhall referve this fubject for the fpeculation of another day.
N° 276. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16.
to be car pable of bearing the mention, of your faults. Your papers which regard the fallen part of the fair fex, are, I think, written, 'with an indelicacy which makes them unworthy to be inferted in the writings of a moralift who knows the world. I cannot allow that you are at liberty to obferve upon the actions of mankind with the freedom which
you feem to refolve upon; at least if you do fo, you should take along with you the diftinction of manners of the world, according · to the quality and way of life of the perfons ' concerned. A man of breeding fpeaks of
< even misfortunes among ladies, without giv-by
ing it the moft terrible afpect it can bear: and this tendernefs towards them, is much more to be preserved when you fpeak of vices. All mankind are so far related, that care is to be taken, in things to which all are liable, < you do not mention what concerns one in
Am a woman of an unspotted reputation, and know nothing I have ever done which 'fhould encourage such infolence; but here was one the other day, and he was dreffed like a ' gentleman too, who took the liberty to name the words, lufty fellow, in my prefence. I doubt not but you will refent it in behalf of, Sir, your humble fervant, 'Celia.'
" terms which fhall difguft another. Thus to 'tell a rich man of the indigence of a kinfman
of his, or abruptly inform a virtuous wo
" man of the lapfe of one who until then
OU lately put out a dreadful paper, wherein you promife a full account of the ftate of criminal love; and call all the fair who have tranfgreffed in that kind
one very rude name which I do not care
· was in the fame degree of esteem with herself, is in a kind involving each of them in fome participation of thofe difadvantages. It is therefore expected from every writer, to treat his argument in fuch a manner, as is moft < proper to entertain the fort of readers to whom his difcourfe is directed. It is not neceffary when you write to the tea-table, that · you should draw vices which carry all the horror of fhame and contempt: if you paint an impertinent felf-love, an artful glance, an affumed complexion, you fay all which you ought to fuppofe they can be poffibly guilty When you talk with this limitation, you behave yourself fo as that you may ex3
to repeat but I defire to know of you whether I am or am not one of thofe ? My cafe ' is as follows. I am kept by an old bachelor, who took me fo young, that I knew not how he came by me: he is a bencher of one of the inns of court, a very gay I healthy old man; which is a very lucky thing for him, who has been, he tells me, a fcowerer, a scamperer, a breaker of windows, and invader of conftables, in the days of yore, when all dominion ended with the day, and males and females met helter fkelter, and the fcowerers drove before them all 'who pretended to keep up order or rule to 'the interruption of love and honour. This is his way of talk, for he is very gay when he vifits me; but as his former knowledge of the town has alarmed him into an invincible jealoufy, he keeps me in a pair of flipC. pers, neat boddice, warm petticoats, and my own hair woven in ringlets, after a manner, he fays, he remembers. I am not miftrefs of one farthing of money, but have all neceffaries provided for me, under the guard of one who procured for him while he had
· any defires to gratify. I know nothing of a
* I am, Sir,
Órafmuch as at the birth of thy labour, thou didst promife upon thy word, that letting alone the vanities that do abound, thou wouldst only endeavour to strengthen the crooked morals of this our Babylon, I gave credit to thy fair fpeeches, and admitted one of thy papers, every day fave Sunday, into my houfe, for the edification of my daughter Tabitha, and to the end that Sufannah the wife of my bofom might profit thereby. But alas! my friend, I find that thou art a liar, and that the truth is not in thee; elfe why didft thou in a paper which thou didst lately " put forth, make mention of thofe vain coverings for the heads of our females, which thou loveft to liken unto tulips, and which are lately fprung up among us? Nay, why didft thou make mention of them in fuch a feeming, as if thou didst approve the invention, infomuch that my daughter Tabitha beginneth to wax wanton, and to luft after thefe foolish' vanities? Surely thou doft fee with the eyes of the flesh. Verily therefore, unlefs thou dost speedily amend and leave off following thine own imaginations, I will leave off thee.
• Thy friend,
as hereafter thou doft demean thyfelf,
N° 277. THURSDAY, JAN. 17.
fas eft & ab boste doceri. Ovid. Met. lib. 4. ver. 428. Receive instruction from an enemy,
Prefume I need not inform the polite part
ence with France was unhappily interrupted by the war, our ladies had all their fashions from thence; which the milliners took care to furnifh them with by means of a jointed baby, that came regularly over once a month, habited. after the manner of the most eminent toasts in Paris.
I am credibly informed, that even in the hotteft time of the war, the fex made feveral efforts; and raifed large contributions towards the importation of this wooden Madamoiselle.
Whether the veffel they fet out was loft or taken, or whether its cargo was seized on by the officers of the custom-houfe as a piece of contraband goods, I have not yet been able to learn; it is, however, certain, their first attempts were without fuccefs, to the no fmall difappointment of our whole female world; but as their conftancy and application, in a matter of fo great importarice, can never be fufficiently commended, I am glad to find, that in fpite of all oppofition, they have at length carried their point, of which I received advice by the two following letters.
As I was taking my leave, the mllliner farther informed me, that with the affiftance of a watch-maker, who was her neighbour, and the ingenious Mr. Powel, the had alfo contrived another puppet, which by the help of feveral little fprings to be wound up within it, could move all its limbs, and that the had fent it over I received another from the owner of the pup- various leanings and bendings of the head, the to her correfpondent in Paris to be taught the
Within an hour after I had read this letter
rifings of the bofom, the courtesy and recovery, the genteel trip, and the agreeable jet, as they are now practised at the court of France.
I thought fit, however, to give this notice, "that you may not be surprised at my appearing à la mode de Paris on the next birth-night. 'I am, Sir,
Sunday laft, being the 12th inftant, there arrived at my house in King-street, < Covent-Garden, a French baby for the year 1712. I have taken the utmost care to have ⚫ her dreffed by the moft celebrated tire-women • and mantua-makers in Paris, and do not find that I have any reason to be forry for the expence I have been at in her cloaths and importation: however, as I know no perfon ⚫ who is fo good a judge of dress as yourself, if · you please to call at my houfe in your way to the city, and take a view of her, I promife to amend whatever you fhall difapprove in < your next paper, before I exhibit her as a • pattern to the public.
'I am, Sir,
"Your most humble admirer,
As I am willing to do any thing in reafon for the fervice of my countrywomen, and had much rather prevent faults. than find them, I went last night to the house of the above-mentioned Mrs. Crofs-ftitch. As foon as I entered, the maid of the shop, who, I fuppofe, was prepared for my coming, without asking me any questions, introduced me to the little damfel, and ran away to call her mistress.
The puppet was dreffed in a cherry-coloured gown and petticoat, with a short working apron over it, which difcovered her fhape to the most advantage. Her hair was cut and divided very prettily, with feveral ribbons stuck up and down in it. The milliner affured me, that her complexion was fuch as was worn by all the ladies of the best fashion in Paris. Her head was extremely high, on which fubject having long fince declared my fentiments, I fhall fay nothing more to it at prefent. I was alfo offended at a small patch the wore on her breaft, which I cannot fuppofe is placed there with any good defign.
Her necklace was of an immoderate length, being tied before in fuch a manner, that the two ends hung down to her girdle; but whether thefe fupply the place of kifling-strings in our enemy's country, and whether our British ladies have any occafion for them, I fhall leave to their ferious confideration.
After having obferved the particulars of her drefs, as I was taking a view of it altogether, the fhop-maid, who is a pert wench, told me that Madanioifelle had fomething very curious in the tying of her garters; but as I pay a due respect even to a pair of sticks when they are under petticoats, I did not examine into that particular.
Upon the whole I was well enough pleafed with the appearance of this gay lady, and the more fo because the was not talkative, a quality very rarely to be met with in the reft of her nountrywomen,
She added, that the hoped fhe might depend upon having my encouragement as foon as it arrived; but as this was a petition of too great importance to be answered extempore, I left her without reply, and made the best of my way to Will Honeycomb's lodgings, without whofe advice I never communicate any thing to the public of this nature.
No 278. FRIDAY, JANUARY 18.
OUR having done confiderable fervicesin this great city, by rectifying the dif ' orders of families, and feveral wives having 'preferred your advice and directions to thofe
of their husbands, emboldens me to apply 'to you at this time.
I am a shop-keeper, and though but a young man, I find by experience that nothing but 'the utmost diligence both of husband and wife,
among trading people, can keep affairs in any tolerable order. My wife at the beginning of our establishment fhewed herself very aflifting to me in my business as much as could lie in her way, and I have reafon to believe it was with her inclination; but of late fhe has got acquainted with a fchoolman, who values himself for his great knowledge in the Greek 'tongue. He entertains her frequently in the 'fhop with difcourfes of the beauties and ex
cellencies of that language; and repeats to ' her feveral paffages out of the Greek poets, wherein he tells her there is unspeakable har
mony and agreeable founds that all other languages are wholly unacquainted with. has fo infatuated her with his jargon, that in'ftead of using her former diligence in the fhop, 'fhe now neglects the affairs of the house, and
is wholly taken up with her tutor in learning by heart scraps of Greek, which the vents She told me fome days all occafions. upon ago, that whereas I ufe fome Latin infcriptions ' in my fhop, the advised me with a great deal of concern to have them changed into Greek; 'it being a language lefs understood, would be more conformable to the mystery of my pro⚫ feffion; that our good friend would be affifting to us in this work; and that a certain faculty of gentlemen would find themfelves fo much obliged to me, that they would infallibly make my fortune: in fhort, her frequent importunities upon this and other imperti
Hor. Ep 1. lib. 2. ver. 250 I rather choose a low and creeping stile. • Mr. Spectator,
nencies of the like náture make me very unT eafy; and if your remonftrances have no more effect upon her than mine, I am afraid I fhalljuftify me.'
be obliged to ruin myfelf to procure her a fettlement at Oxford with her tutor, for the is already too mad for Bedlam. Now, Sir, you fee the danger my family is expofed to, and the likelihood of my wife's becoming both troublesome and ufelefs, unless her reading herself in your paper may make her reflect. She is fo very learned that I cannot pretend by word of mouth to argue with her. She laughed out at your ending a paper in Greek, and faid it was a hint to women of literature, and very civil not to tranflate it to expose them to the vulgar. You see how it is with, Sir, your humble fervant.'
• Mr. Spectator,
F you have that humanity and compassion in
Befides the particular obligation you will lay on me, by giving this fubject room in one of · your papers, it is poffible it may be of use to fome others of my fex, who will be as grateful for the favour as,
Sir, your humble servant,
P. S. To tell you the truth, I am married to him already, but pray fay fomething to
• Mr. Spectator,
YOU will forgive us profeffors of mufic if we make a second application to you, ' in order to promote our design of exhibiting 'entertainments of mufic in York-buildings. 'It is industriously infinuated that our intention is to destroy operas in general, but we beg of " you to infert this plain explanation of our'felves in your paper. Our purpofe is only to
improve our circumftances, by improving the art which we profefs. We fee it utterly de'ftroyed at prefent, and as we were the perfons who introduced operas, we think it a 'groundless imputation that we fhould fet up against the opera itself. What we pretend to affert is, that the fongs of different authors 'injudiciously put together, and a foreign tone and manner which are expected in every thing · now performed amongst us, has put mufic itfelf to a ftand; infomuch that the ears of 'the people cannot now be entertained with · any thing but what has an impertinent gai7ety, without any juft fpirit, or a lànguish· ment of notes, without any paffion or comt mon fenfe. We hope thofe perfons of fense
make one think you have, you will not deny your advice to a diftreffed damfel, who intends to be determined by your judgment in a matter of great importance to her. You must < know then, there is an agreeable young fellow to whofe perfon, wit, and humour no body 'makes any objection, that pretends to have 'been long in love with me. To this I must
add, whether it proceeds from the vanity of my nature, or the feeming fincerity of my lover, I will not pretend to fay, that I verily believe he has a real value for me; which, if 'true, you will allow may justly augment his
merit with his miftrefs. In short, I am fo * fenfible of his good qualities, and what I · owe to his paffion, that I think I could fooner\ refolve to give up my liberty to him than any body elfe, were there not an objection to be made to his fortunes, in regard they do not anfwer the utmost mine may expect, and are not fufficient to fecure me from undergoing ⚫ the reproachful phrafe, fo commonly used, that he has played the fool. Now, though I am one of thofe few who heartily defpife equi" page, diamonds, and a coxcomb, yet fince fuch oppofite notions from mine prevail in the world, even amongst the best, and such as are esteemed the most prudent people, I cannot find in my heart to refolve upon incurring the cenfure of thofe wife folks, which I am confcious I fhall do, if when I enter into a
married state, I difcover a thought beyond WE
that of equalling, if not
my forUnder this difficulty I now labour, not being in the leaft determined whether I 'fhall be governed by the vain world, and the frequent examples I met with, or hearken to the voice of my lover, and the motions I find in my heart in favour of him. Sir, your opinion and advice in this affair, is the only thing I know can turn the balance; and which I earnestly entreat I may receive foon; for until I have your thoughts upon it, I am engaged not to give my fwain a final dif⚫ charge.
and quality who have done us the honour to
Your most obedient fervants,
There will be no performance in Yorkbuildings until after that of the subscription.'
N° 279. SATURDAY, JANUARY 19.
Reddere perfonae fcit convenientia cuique,
Hor. Ars Poet, ver. He knows what beft befits each character.
E have already taken a general furvey of the fable and characters of Milton's Paradife Loft. The parts which remain to be confidered, according to Ariftotle's method, are the fentiments and language. Before I enter upon the first of thefe, I must advertise my reader, that it is my defign, as foon as I have finished my general reflexions on these four several heads, to give particular inftances out of the poem which is now before us of beauties. and imperfections which may be obferved under each of them, as alfo of fuch other particulars as may not properly fall under any of them. This I thought fit to premife, that the reader may not judge too haftily of this picce of criticifm, or look upon it as imperfect, before he has feen the whole extent of it.
The fentiments in an epic poem are the thoughts and behaviour which the author afcribes to the perfons whom he introduces, and
are just when they are conformable to the cha racters of the feveral perfons. The fentiments have likewife a relation to things as well as perfons, and are then perfect when they are fuch as are adapted to the fubject. If in either of thefe cafes the poet endeavours to argue or cxplain, to magnify or diminish, to raife love or hatred, pity or terror, or any other paffion, we ought to confider whether the fentiments he makes ufe of are proper for thofe ends. Homer is cenfured by the critics for his defect as to this particular in feveral parts of the Iliad and Odyffey, though at the fame time thofe, who have treated this great poet with candour, have attributed this defect to the times in which he lived. It was the fault of the age, and not of Homer, if there wants that delicacy in fome of his fentiments, which now appears in the works of men of a much inferior genius. Be fides, if there are blemishes in any particular thoughts, there is an infinite beauty in the greateft part of them. In fhort, if there are many poets who would not have fallen into the meanness of fome of his fentiments, there are none who could have rifen up to the greatnefs of others. Virgil has excelled all others in the propriety of his fentiments. Milton fhines likewife very much in this particular; nor muft we omit one confideration which adds to his honour and reputation. Homer and Vir gil introduced perfons whofe characters are commonly known among men, and fuch as are to be met with either in history, or in ordinary converfation. Milton's characters, most of. them lie out of nature, and were to be formed purely by his own invention. It fhews a great er genius in Shakespear to have drawn his Calyban, than his Hotipur or Julius Cæfar: the ene was to be fupplicd cut of his own imagination, whereas the other might have been formed upon tradition, history and obfervation. It was much easier therefore for Homer to find proper fentiments for an affembly of Grecian generals, than for Milton to diverfify his infernal council with proper characters, and infpire them with a variety of fentiments. The loves of Dido and Æneas are only copies of what has paffed between other perfons. Adam and Eve, before the fall, are a different fpecies from that of mankind, who are defcended from them; and none but a poet of the most unbounded invention, and the most exquifite judgment could have filled their converfation and behaviour with fo many apt circumstances during their state of innocence.
Nor is it fufficient for an epic poem to be filled with fuch thoughts as are natural, unless it abound alfo with fuch as are fublime. Virgil in this particular falls fhort of Homer. He has not indeed to many thoughts that are low and vulgar: but at the fame time has not fo many thoughts that are fublime and noble. The truth of it is, Virgil feidom rifes into very aftonishing fentiments, where he is not fired by the Iliad. He every where charms and pleafes us by the force of his own genius; but feldom elevates and tranfports us where he does not fetch his hints from Homer.
umphs over all the poets both modern and ancient, Homer only excepted. It is impoffible for the imagination of man to diftend itself with greater ideas, than thofe which he has laid together in his firft, fecond, and fixth books. The feventh, which defcribes the creation of the world, is likewife wonderfully fublime, though not fo apt to ftir up emotion in the mind of the reader, nor confequently fo perfect in the epic way of writing, because it is filled with lefs action. Let the judicious reader compare what Longinus has obferved on feveral paffages in Homer, and he will find parallels, for most of them in the Paradife Loft.
From what has been faid we may infer, that as there are two kinds of fentiments, the natural and the fublime, which are always to be purfued in an heroic poem, there are also two kinds of thoughts which are carefully to be avoided. The first are fuch as are affected and unnatural; the fecond fuch as are mean and vulgar. As for the firft kind of thoughts, we meet with little or nothing that is like them in Virgil: he has none of those trifling points and puerilities that are fo often to be met with in Ovid, none of the epigrammatic turns of Lucan, none of thofe fwelling fentiments which are fo frequent in Statius and Claudian, none of those mixed einbellishments of Taffo. Every thing is just and natural. His fentiments fhew that he had a perfect infight into human nature, and that he knew every thing which was the most proper to affect it.
Mr. Dryden has in fome places, which I may hereafter take notice of, mifreprefented Virgil's way of thinking as to this particular, in the tranflation he has given us of the Æneid. I do not remember that Homer any where falls into the faults above mentioned, which were indeed the falfe refinements of later ages. Milton, It must be confeft, has fometimes erred in this refpect, as I fhall fhow more at large in ano. ther paper; though confidering how all the poets of the age in which he writ were infected with this wrong way of thinking, he is rather to be admired that he did not give more into it, than that he did fometimes comply with the vicious tafte which ftill prevails fo much among modern writers.
But fince feveral thoughts may be natural which are low and groveling, an epic poet fhould not only avoid fuch fentiments as are unnatural or affected, but alfo fuch as are mean and vulgar. Homer has opened a great field of raillery to men of more delicacy than greatnefs of genius, by the homeliness of fome of his fentiments. But, as I have before faid, thefe are rather to be imputed to the fimplicity of the age in which he lived, to which I may also add, of that which he described, than to any imperfection in that divine poet. Zoilus, among the ancients, and Monfieur Perrault, among the moderns, pufhed their ridicule very far upon him, on account of fome fuch fentiments. There is no blemish to be observed in Virgil under this head, and but a very few in Milton.
I fhall give but one inftance of this impropriety of thought in Homer, and at the fame time compare it with an inftance of the fame nature, both in Virgil and Milton. Sentiments, which raife laughter, can very feldom be admitted with any decency into an heroic poem, whofe bufinefs it is to excite paffions of a much nobler na