but having loft it, retired to Rhedes. Eloquence was then the quality moft admired among men, and the magiftrates of that place having heard he had a copy of the fpeech of Demofthenes, defired him to repeat both their pleadings. After his own, he recited alfo the oration of his antagonist. The people expreffed their admiration of both, but more of that of Demofthenes. If you are, faid he, thus touched with hearing only what that great orator faid, how would you have been affected had you feen him fpeak? For he who hears Demofthenes only, lofes much the better part of that oration. Certain it is, that they, who fpeak gracefully, are very lamely reprefented in having their fpeeches read or repeated by unfkilful people; for there is fomething native to cachman, fo inherent to his thoughts and fentiments, which is hardly poffible for another to give a true idea of. You may obferve in common talk, when a sentence of any man's is repeat, an acquaintance of this thail immediately obferve, that is fo like him, meibinks I fee how he locked roten he jaid it.

But of all the people on the earth, there are none who puzzle me fo much as the clergy of Great Britain, who are, I believe, the most learned body of men now in the world; and yet this art of fpeaking, with the proper ornaments of voice and gefture, is wholly neglected among them; and I'll engage, were a deaf man to behold the greater part of them preach, he would rather think they were reading the contents only of fome difcourfe they intended to make, than actually in the body of an oration, even when they are upon matters of fuch a nature, as one would believe it were impoffible to think of without emotion.

I own there are exceptions to this general obfervation, and that the Dean we heard the other day together, is an orator. He has fo much regard to his congregation, that he commits to his memory what he is. to fay to them; and has fo foft and graceful a behaviour, that it must attract your attention. His perfon, it is to be confeffed, is no fmall recommendation; but he is to be highly commended for not lofing that advantage, and adding to the propriety of fpeech (which

might pafs the criticism of Longinus) an action which might have been approved by Demofthenes. He has a reculiar force in his way, and has many of his audience. who could not be intelligent hearers of his difcourfe, were there not explanation as well as grace in his action. This art of his is ufed with the most exact and honeft skill; he never attempts your paffions till he has convinced your reafon. All the objections which he can form, are laid open and difperfed, before he ufes the leaft vehemence in his fermon; but when he thinks he has your head, he very foon wins your heart; and never pretends to fhew the beauty of holinefs, till he hath convinced you of the truth of it.

Would every one of our clergymen be thus careful to recommend truth and virtue in their proper figures, and to fhew fo much concern for them as to give them all the additional force they were able, it is not poffi ble that nonfenfe fhould have fo many hearers as you find it has in diffenting congregations, for no reafon in the world, but becaufe it is fpoken extempore: For ordinary minds are wholly governed by their eyes and ears, and there is no way to come at their hearts, but by power over their imaginations.

There is my friend and merry companion Daniel. He knows a great deal better than he speaks, and can form a proper difcourfe as well as any orthodox neighbour. But he knows very well, that to bawl out, my beloved; and the words grace! regeneration! fanctification a new light! the day! the day! Ah, my beloved, the day! or rather the night! the night is coming! and judgment will come when we leaft think of it! and fo forth.-He knows, to be vehement is the only way to come at his audience. Daniel, when he fees my friend Greenhat come in, can give a good hint, and cry out, this is only for the faints! the regenerated! By this force of action, though mixed with all the incoherence and ribaldry imaginable, Daniel can laugh at his diocefan, and grow fat by voluntary fubfcription, while the parfon of the parifh goes to law for half his dues. Daniel will tell you, it is not the VOL. II.

A 2

fhepherd, but the fheep with the bell, which the flock,

Another thing very wonderful this learned body fhould omit, is learning to read; which is a most neceffary part of eloquence in one who is to ferve at the altar For there is no man but must be fenfible, that. the lazy tone, and inarticulate found of our common readers, depreciates the most proper form of words, that were ever extant in any nation or language, to fpeak their own wants, or his power from whom we afk relief.


There cannot be a greater inftance of the power
action than in little parfon Dapper, who is the common.
relief of all the lazy pulpits in town. This fmart youth
has a very good memory, a quick eye, and a clean hand-
kerchief. Thus equipped, he opens his text, fhuts his
book fairly, fhews he has no notes in his bible, opens:
both pfalms, and fhews all is fair there too. Thus
with a decifive air, my young man goes on without
hesitation; and though from the beginning to the end.
of his pretty difcourfe he has not used one proper gef
ture, yet at the conclufion, the churchwarden pulls his
gloves from off his hands: Pray, who is this extraordina
ry young man? Thus the force of action is fuch, that it
is more prevalent, even when improper, than all the
reafon and argument in the world without it. This
gentleman concluded his difcourfe by faying, I do not
doubt but if our preachers would learn to fpeak, and:
our readers to read, within fix months time we fhould
not have a diffenter within a mile of a church in Great
TATLER, Vol. II. No. 66.

EMILIA-Her Character.


[ocr errors]


"F this paper has the good fortune to be honouredi
with a place in your writings, I fhall be the more pleaf--
ed, because the character of Emilia is not an imagina-
ry, but a real one. I have industriously obfcured the

the whole by the addition of one or two circumftan-ces of no confequence, that the perfon it is drawn from might ftill be concealed; and that the writer of it might not be in the leaft fufpected, and for fome other: reafons, I choose not to give it the form of a letter : But, if befides the faults of the compofition, there be any thing in it more propet for a correfpondent than › the Spectator himself to write, I fubmit it to your better? judgment, to receive any other model you think fit. Iam, SIR


Your very humble Servant.

There is nothing which gives one lo pleafing a profpect of human nature, as the contemplation of wifdom and beauty: The latter is the peculiar portion of that fex which is therefore called fair; but the happy concurrence of both thefe excellencies in the fame perfon, is a character too celeftial to be frequently met with. Beauty is an over-weening felf-fufficient thing, carelefs of providing itfelf any more fubftantial ornaments; my,fo little does it confult its own interefts, that it too often defeats itself by betraying that innocence which renders-it lovely and defirable.. As therefore virtue makes a beautiful woman appear more beautiful, fo beauty makes a virtuous woman really more virtuous.. Whilst I am confidering thefe two perfections glorionly united in one perfon, I cannot help reprefenting to my mind the image of Emilia..

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Who ever beheld the charming Emilia, without feeling in his breaft at once the glow of love and the ter- · derness of virtuous friendship? The unftudied graces of her behaviour,and the pleafing accents of her tongue, infenfibly draw you on to with for a nearer enjoyment. of them; but even her fmiles carry in them a filent reproof to the impulfies of licentious love. Thus tho the attractions of her beauty play moft irrcfiftibly upon you and create defire, you immediately ftand correct ed, not by the feverity, but the decency, of her virtue. That fweetnefs and good-humour which is fo vifible in her face, naturally diffufes itself into every word and action: A man must be a favage, who, at the fight of

Emilia, is not more inclined to do her good than gratify himself. Her perfon, as it is thus ftudioufly embellished by nature, thus adorned with unpremeditated graces, is a fit lodging for a mind fo fair and lovely ; there dwell rational piety, modeft hope, and cheerful refignation.


Many of the prevailing paffions of mankind do undefervedly pafs under the name of religion; which is thus made to exprefs itfelf in action, according to the nature of the conftitution in which it refides. that were we to make a judgment from appearances, one would imagine religion in fome is little better than fullennefs and referve; in many, fear; in others the defpondings of a melancholy complexion; in others the formality of infignificant, unaffecting obfervances; in others feverity; in others oftentation. In Emilia it is a principle founded in reafon, and enlivened with hope; it does not break forth into irregular fits and fallies of devotion, but is an uniform and confiftent tenor of action: it is ftrict without feverity; compaffionate without weaknefs; it is the perfection of that good-humour which proceeds from the understanding, not the effects of an eafy conftitution.

By a generous fympathy in nature, we feel ourfelves difpofed to mourn when any of our fellow-creatures are afflicted; but injured innocence and beauty in diftrefs, is an object that carries in it fomething inexpreffibly moving it foftens the most manly heart with the tendereft fenfations of love and compaffion, till at length it confeffes its humanity, and flows out in

to tears.

Were I to relate that part of Emilia's life which has given her an opportunity of exerting the heroifm of her chriftianity, it would make too fad, too tender a ftory: But when I confider her alone in the midst of her diftreffes, looking beyond this gloomy vale of affliction and forrow, into the joys of Heaven and immortality, and when I fee her in converfation thoughtlefs and eafy, as if he were the most happy creature in the world, I am tranfported with admiration. Surely never did fuch a philofophic foul inhabit fuch a

« VorigeDoorgaan »