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enough for a villany of much more pernicious consequence than the trifles for which he was to have been indicted? Should not you, and all men of any parts or honour, put things upon so right a foot, as that such a rascal should not laugh at the imputation of what he was really guilty, and dread being accused of that for which he was arrested.
to them in an open and direct manner. As fables took their birth in the very infancy of learning, they never flourished more than when learning was at its greatest height. To justify this assertion, I shall put my reader in mind of Horace, the greatest wit and critic in the Augustan age; and of Boileau, the most correct poet among the moderns; not to mention La Fontaine, who by this way of writing is come more into vogue than any other author of our I times.
"In a word, Sir, it is in the power of you, and such as I hope you are, to make it as infamous to rob a poor creature of her honour as her clothes. leave this to your consideration, only take leave (which I cannot do without sighing) to remark to you that if this had been the sense of mankind thirty years ago, I should have avoided a life spent in poverty and shame.
"I am, Sir, your most humble servant,
The fables I have here mentioned are raised altogether upon brutes and vegetables, with some of our own species mixed among them, when the moral hath so required. But besides this kind of fable, there is another in which the actors are passions, virtues, vices, and other imaginary persons of the like nature. Some of the ancient critics will have "MR. SPECTATOR, Round House, Sept. 9. it, that the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer are fables "I am a man of pleasure about town, but by the and heroes are nothing else but the affections of of this nature; and that the several names of gods stupidity of a dull rogue of a justice of peace, and the mind in a visible shape and character. Thus an insolent constable, upon the oath of an old har- they tell us, that Achilles, in the first Iliad, reridan, am imprisoned here for theft, when I designed only fornication. The midnight magistrate as he presents anger, or the irascible part of human naconveyed me along had you in his mouth, and said perior in a full assembly, Pallas is only another ture; that upon drawing his sword against his suthis would make a pure story for the Spectator. I hope, Sir, you won't pretend to wit, and take the that occasion; and at her first appearance touches name for reason, which checks and advises him upon part of dull rogues of business. The world is so al him upon the head, that part of the man being looked tered of late years, that there was not a man who would knock down a watchman in my behalf, but I the poem. As for the Odyssey, I think it is plain upon as the seat of reason. And thus of the rest of was carried off with as much triumph as if I had that Horace considered it as one of these allegorical been a pickpocket. At this rate there is an end of fables, by the moral which he has given us of seall the wit and humour in the world. The time was, veral parts of it. The greatest Italian wits have when all the honest whoremasters in the neigh- applied themselves to the writing of this latter kind bourhood would have rose against the cuckolds in my rescue. If fornication is to be scandalous, series of them from the beginning to the end of that of fables. Spenser's Fairy-Queen is one continued half the fine things that have been writ by most of the wits of the last age may be burned by the com- authors of antiquity, such as Cicero, Plato, Xenoadmirable work. If we look into the finest prose mon hangman. Harkee, Mr. Spec., do not be phon, and many others, we shall find that this was queer: after having done some things pretty well, likewise their favourite kind of fable. I shall only don't begin to write at that rate that no gentleman further observe upon it, that the first of this sort that can read thee. Be true to love, and burn your Se-made any considerable figure in the world, was that neca. You do not expect me to write my name from hence, but I am,
"Your unknown humble servant," &c.
of Hercules meeting with Pleasure and Virtue; which was invented by Prodicus, who lived before Socrates, and in the first dawnings of philosophy. He used to travel through Greece by virtue of this fable, which procured him a kind reception in all
No. 183.] SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1711. the market towns, where he never failed telling it as
Sometimes fair truth in fiction we disguise;
Sometimes present her naked to men's eyes.-POPE'S HOM. FABLES were the first pieces of wit that made their appearance in the world, and have been still highly valued not only in times of the greatest simplicity, but among the most polite ages of mankind. Jotham's fable of the trees is the oldest that is extant, and as beautiful as any which have been made since that time. Nathan's fable of the poor man and his lambt is likewise more ancient than any that is extant, besides the above mentioned, and had so good an effect, as to convey instruction to the ear of a king, without offending it, and to bring a man after God's own heart to a right sense of his guilt and his duty. We find Esop in the most distant ages of Greece; and if we look into the very beginnings of the commonwealth of Rome, we see a mutiny among the common people appeased by a fable of the belly and the limbs, which was indeed very proper to gain the attention of an incensed rabble, at a time when perhaps they would have torn to pieces any man who had preached the same doctrine
soon as he had gathered an audience about him.
such materials as my memory does at present sugAfter this short preface, which I have made up of gest to me, before I present my reader with a fable of this kind, which I design as the entertainment of the present paper, I must in a few words open the occasion of it.
versation and behaviour of Socrates, the morning In the account which Plato gives us of the conhe was to die, he tells the following circumstance:
When Socrates "his" fetters were knocked off
(as was usual to be done on the day that the condemned person was to be executed), being seated in the midst of his disciples, and laying one of his legs over the other, in a very unconcerned posture, he began to rub it where it had been galled by the iron; and whether it was to show the indifference with which he entertained the thoughts of his approaching death, or (after his usual manner), to take every occasion of philosophizing upon some useful subject, he observed the pleasure of that sensation which now arose in those very parts of his leg, that just before had been so much pained by the fetter. Upon this he reflected on the nature
of pleasure and pain in general, and how constantly answer the intention of Jupiter in sending them they succeed one another. To this he added, that if among mankind. To remedy, therefore, this ma man of a good genius for a fable were to represent convenience, it was stipulated between them by the nature of pleasure and pain in that way of writ-article, and confirmed by the consent of each faing, he would probably join them together after mily, that notwithstanding they here possessed the such a manner, that it would be impossible for the species indifferently; upon the death of every sin one to come into any place without being followed gle person, if he was found to have in him a certain by the other. proportion of evil, he should be dispatched into the infernal regions by a passport from Pain, there to dwell with Misery, Vice, and the Furies. Or, on the contrary, if he had in him a certain proportion of good, he should be dispatched into heaven by a passport from Pleasure, there to dwell with Happiness, Virtue, and the Gods."
It is possible, that if Plato had thought it proper at such a time to describe Socrates launching out into a discourse which was not of a piece with the business of the day, he would have enlarged upon this hint, and have drawn it out into some beautiful allegory or fable. But since he has not done it, I shall attempt to write one myself in the spirit of
that divine author.
"There were two families which from the beginning of the world were as opposite to each other as light and darkness. The one of them lived in heaven, and the other in hell. The youngest descendant of the first family was Pleasure, who was the daughter of Happiness, who was the child of Virtue, who was the offspring of the Gods. These, as I said before, had their habitation in heaven. The youngest of the opposite family was Pain, who was the son of Misery, who was the child of Vice, who was the offspring of the Furies. The habitation of this race of beings was in hell.
"The middle station of nature between these two opposite extremes was the earth, which was inhabited by creatures of a middle kind, neither so virtuous as the one, nor so vicious as the other, but partaking of the good and bad qualities of these two opposite families. Jupiter considering that the species, commonly called man, was too virtuous to be miserable, and too vicious to be happy; that he might make a distinction between the good and the bad, ordered the two youngest of the above-mentioned families, Pleasure, who was the daughter of Happiness, and Pain, who was the son of Misery, to meet one another upon this part of nature which lay in the half-way between them, having promised to settle it upon them both, provided they could agree upon the division of it, so as to share mankind between them.
Pleasure and Pain were no sooner met in their new habitation, but they immediately agreed upon this point, that Pleasure should take possession of the virtuous, and Pain of the vicious part of that species which was given up to them. But upon examining to which of them any individual they met with belonged, they found each of them had a right to him for that, contrary to what they had seen in their old places of residence, there was no person so vicious who had not some good in him, nor any person so virtuous who had not in him some evil. The truth of it is, they generally found upon search, that in the most vicious man Pleasure might lay claim to a hundredth part, and that in the most virtuous man Pain might come in for at least twothirds. This they saw would occasion endless disputes between them, unless they could come to some accommodation. To this end there was a marriage proposed between them, and at length concluded. By this means it is that we find pleasure and pain are such constant yoke-fellows; and that they either make their visits together, or are never far asunder. If Pain comes into a heart, he is quickly followed by Pleasure; and if Pleasure enters, you may be sure Pain is not far off. "But notwithstanding this marriage was very convenient for the two parties, it did not seem to
-Who labours long may be allowed sleep.
mour, it often carries him much further than he
Nicnolas Hart, who slept last year in St. Bartholomew's Hospital, intends to sleep this year at the Cock and Bottle in Little-Britain."
"Having since inquired into the matter of fact,
On the first of that month he grew dull;
On the seventh, turned himself in his bed;
On the tenth, about midnight, awaked;
"This account I have extracted out of the jour nal of this sleeping worthy, as it has been faithfully kept by a gentleman of Lincoln's-inn, who has undertaken to be his historiographer. I have sent it to you, not only as it represents the actions of Nicholas Hart, but as it seems a very natural picture of the life of many an honest English gentleman, whose whole history very often consists of yawning, nodding, stretching, turning, sleeping, drinking,
have gone so far as to say it would have been for the benefit of mankind if it had never been reckoned in the catalogue of virtues. It is certain, where it is once laudable and prudential, it is a hundred times criminal and erroneous: nor can it be otherwise, if we consider that it operates with equal violence in all religions, however opposite they may be to one another, and in all the subdivisions of each religion in particular.
and the like extraordinary particulars. I do not question, Sir, that if you pleased, you could put an advertisement not unlike the above mentioned, of several men of figure; that Mr. John Such-a-one, gentleman, or Thomas Such-a-one, esquire, who slept in the country last summer, intends to sleep in town this winter. The worst of it is, that the drowsy part of our species is chiefly made up of very honest gentlemen, who live quietly among their neighbours, without ever disturbing the public peace. They are drones without stings. I could the first murder was occasioned by a religious conWe are told by some of the Jewish rabbins, that heartily wish, that several turbulent, restless, ambi-troversy; and if we had the whole history of zeal tious spirits, would for a while change places with from the days of Cain to our own times, we should these good men, and enter themselves into Nicholas see it filled with so many scenes of slaughter and Hart's fraternity. Could one but lay asleep a few bloodshed, as would make a wise man very careful busy heads which I could name, from the first of how he suffers himself to be actuated by such a November next to the first of May ensuing, I principle when it only regards matters of opinion question not but it would very much redound to the and speculation. quiet of particular persons, as well as to the benefit of the public.
"But to return to Nicholas Hart: I believe, Sir, you will think it a very extraordinary circumstance for a man to gain his livelihood by sleeping, and that rest should procure a man sustenance as well as industry; yet so it is, that Nicholas got last year enough to support himself for a twelvemonth. I am likewise informed that he has this year had a very comfortable nap. The poets value themselves very much for sleeping on Parnassus, but I never heard they got a groat by it. On the contrary, our friend Nicholas gets more by sleeping than he could by working, and may be more properly said, than ever Homer was, to have had golden dreams. Juvenal indeed mentions a drowsy husband who raised an estate by snoring, but then he is represented to have slept what the common people call a dog's sleep; or if his sleep was real, his wife was awake, and about her business. Your pen, which loves to moralize upon all subjects, may raise something, methinks, on this circumstance also, and point out to us those set of men, who, instead of growing rich by an honest industry, recommend themselves to the favours of the great, by making themselves agreeable companions in the participations of luxury and pleasure.
"I must further acquaint you, Sir, that one of the most eminent pens in Grub-street is now employed in writing the dream of this miraculous sleeper, which I hear will be of a more than ordinary length, as it must contain all the particulars that are supposed to have passed in his imagination during so long a sleep. He is said to have gone already through three days and three nights of it, and to have comprised in them the most remarkable passages of the four first empires of the world. If he can keep free from party-strokes, his work may be of use; bat this I much doubt, having been informed by one of his friends and confidants, that he has spoken some things of Nimrod with too great freedom.
"I am ever, Sir," &c.
No. 185.] TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1711.
-Tantæne animis cœlestibus iræ ?-VIRO. Æn. i. 15. And dwells such fury in celestial breasts? THERE is nothing in which men more deceive themselves than in what the world calls zeal. There are so many passions which hide themselves under it, and so many mischiefs arising from it, that some
• The time in which the parliament usually sits.
I would have every zealous man examine his
-Video meliora proboque,
OVID, Met. vii. 20.
I see the right, and I approve it too; On the contrary, it is certain, if our zeal were true Condemn the wrong, and yet the wrong pursue.-TATE a sinner than a heretic; since there are several and genuine, we should be much more angry with Judge, but none which can excuse the former. cases which may excuse the latter before his great
man on persecution under the colour of zeal. Interest is likewise a great inflamer and sets a this reason we find none are so forward to promote the true worship by fire and sword, as those who find their present account in it. But I shall extend the word interest to a larger meaning than what is generally given it, as it relates to our spiritual safety and welfare, as well as to our temporal. A man is glad to gain numbers on his side, as they serve to strengthen him in his private opinions. Every proselyte is like a new argument for the establishment of his faith. It makes him believe that his principles carry conviction with them, and are the more likely to be true, when he finds they are conformable to the reason of others, as well as to his own.
And that this temper of mind deludes a man very often into an opinion of his zeal, may apwho maintains and spreads his opinions with as pear from the common behaviour of the atheist, much heat as those who believe they do it only out of a passion for God's glory.
Ill-nature is another dreadful imitator of zeal.— Many a good man may have a natural rancour and malice in his heart, which has been in some mea
lently oppose. Let me therefore advise this gme ration of wranglers, for their own and for the public good, to act at least so consistently with themselves, as not to burn with zeal for irreligion, and with bigotry for nonsense.-C.
sure quelled and subdued by religion: but if it finds | of faith, than any set of articles which they so viopretence of breaking out, which does not seem to him inconsistent with the duties of a Christian, it throws off all restraint, and rages in full fury. Zeal is, therefore, a great ease to a malicious man, by making him believe he does God service, whilst he is gratifying the bent of a perverse, revengeful temper. For this reason we find, that most of the massacres and devastations which have been in the world, have taken their rise from a furious pretended zeal.
I love to see a man zealous in a good matter, and especially when his zeal shows itself for advancing morality, and promoting the happiness of mankind. But when I find the instruments he works with are racks and gibbets, galleys and dungeons: when he imprisons men's persons, confiscates their estates, ruins their families, and burns the body to save the soul, I cannot stick to pronounce of such a one, that (whatever he may think of his faith and religion), his faith is vain, and his religion unprofitable.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1711. Cœlum ipsum petimus stultitia-HoR. 3 Od. i. 38. High Heaven itself our impious rage assails-P. UPON my return to my lodgings last night, I found a letter from my worthy friend the clergyman, whom I have given some account of in my former papers. He tells me in it that he was particularly pleased with the latter part of my yesterday's specu lation; and at the same time enclosed the following essay, which he desires me to publish as the sequel of that discourse. It consists partly of uncommon reflections, and partly of such as have been already used, but now set in a stronger light.
by such a conversion.
"A believer may be excused by the most harAfter having treated of these false zealots in reli- dened atheist for endeavouring to make him a gion, I cannot forbear mentioning a monstrous spe- convert, because he does it with an eye to both cies of men, who one would not think had any ex- their interests. The atheist is inexcusable who istence in nature, were they not to be met with in tries to gain over a believer, because he does not ordinary conversation-I mean the zealots in athe-propose the doing himself or the believer any good ism. One would fancy that these men, though they fall short, in every other respect, of those who make a profession of religion, would at least outshine them in this particular, and be exempt from that single fault which seems to grow out of the imprudent fervours of religion. But so it is, that infidelity is propagated with as much fierceness and contention, wrath and indignation, as if the safety of mankind depended upon it. There is something so ridiculous and perverse in this kind of zealots, that one does not know how to set them out in their proper colours. They are a sort of gamesters who are eternally upon the fret, though they play for nothing. They are perpetually teazing their friends to come over to them, though at the same time they allow that neither of them shall get any thing by the bargain. In short, the zeal of spreading atheism is, if possible, more absurd than atheism itself.
"The prospect of a future state is the secret comfort and refreshment of my soul; it is that which makes nature look gay about me; it doubles all my pleasures, and supports me under all my afflictions. I can look at disappointments and mis fortunes, pain and sickness, death itself, and what is worse than death, the loss of those who are dearest to me, with indifference, so long as I keep in view the pleasures of eternity, and the state of being in which there will be no fears nor apprehensions, pains nor sorrows, sickness nor separation. Why will any man be so impertinently officious as to tell me all this is only fancy and delusion? Is there any merit in being the messenger of ill news? If it is a dream, let me enjoy it, since it makes me both the happier and better man.
"I must confess I do not know how to trust a man who believes neither heaven nor hell, or in other words, a future state of rewards and punish
Not only natural self love, but reason, directs us to promote our own interests above all things. It can never be for the interest of a believer to do me a mischief, because he is sure upon the balance of accounts to find himself a loser by it. On the contrary, if he considers his own welfare in his behaviour towards me, it will lead him to do me all the good he can, and at the same time restrain him from doing me any injury. An unbeliever does not act like a reasonable creature, if he favours me contrary to his present interest, or does not distress me when it turns to his present advantage. Honour and good-nature may indeed tie up his hands; but as these would be very much strengthened by reason and principle, so without them they are only instincts, or wavering unsettled notions, which rest on no foundation.
Since I have mentioned this unaccountable zeal which appears in atheists and infidels, I must further observe, that they are likewise in a most par-ments. ticular manner possessed with the spirit of bigotry. They are wedded to opinions full of contradiction and impossibility, and at the same time look upon the smallest difficulty in an article of faith as a sufficient reason for rejecting it. Notions that fall in with the common reason of mankind, that are conformable to the sense of all ages, and all nations, not to mention their tendency for promoting the happiness of societies, or of particular persons, are exploded as errors and prejudices; and schemes erected in their stead that are altogether monstrous and irrational, and require the most extravagant credulity to embrace them. I would fain ask one of these bigoted infidels, supposing all the great points of atheism, as the casual or eternal formation of the world, the materiality of a thinking substance, the mortality of the soul, the fortuitous organization of the body, the motions and gravitation of matter, with the like particulars, were laid together and formed into a kind of creed, according to the opinions of the most celebrated atheists; I say, supposing such a creed as this were formed, and imposed upon any one people in the world, whether it would not require an infinitely greater measure
"Infidelity has been attacked with so good success of late years, that it is driven out of.all its outworks. The atheist has not found his post tenable. and is therefore retired into deism, and a disbeliei of revealed religion only. But the truth of it is, the greatest number of this set of men are those who, for want of a virtuous education, or examining the grounds of religion, know so very little of the mat
ter 15 question, that their infidelity is but another term for their ignorance.
"As folly and inconsiderateness are the foundations of infidelity, the great pillars and supports of it are either a vanity of appearing wiser than the rest of mankind, or an ostentation of courage in despising the terrors of another world, which have so great an influence on what they call weaker minds; or an aversion to a belief that must cut them off from many of those pleasures they propose to themselves, and fill them with remorse for many of those they have already tasted.
of a submissive deference to the established worship of his country. Xenophon tells us, that his prince (whom he sets forth as a pattern of perfection), when he found his death approaching, offered sacrifices on the mountains to the Persian Jupiter. and the Sun, according to the custom of the Persians;' for those are the words of the historian. Nay, the Epicureans and atomical philosophers showed a very remarkable modesty in this particular; for though the being of a God was entirely repugnant to their schemes of natural philosophy, they contented themselves with the denial of a Providence, asserting at the same time the existence of gods in general; because they would not shock the common belief of mankind, and the religion of their country."-L.
HOR. 1. Od. v. 2.
Ah wretched they! whom Pyrrha's smile And unsuspected arts beguile !-DUNCOME. THE intelligence given by this correspondent is so important and useful, in order to avoid the persons he speaks of, that I shall insert his letter at length.
"The great received articles of the Christian religion have been so clearly proved, from the authority of that divine revelation in which they are delivered, that it is impossible for those who have ears to hear, and eyes to see, not to be convinced of them.. But were it possible for any thing in the Christian faith to be erroueous, I can find no ill No. 187. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1711. consequences in adhering to it. The great points of the incarnation and sufferings of our Saviour produce naturally such habits of virtue in the mind of man, that, I say, supposing it were possible for us to be mistaken in them, the infidel himself must at least allow, that no other system of religion could so effectually contribute to the heightening of morality. They give us great ideas of the dignity of human nature, and of the love which the Supreme Being bears to his creatures, and consequently engage us in the highest acts of duty towards our Creator, our neighbour, and ourselves. How many noble arguments has St. Paul raised from the chief articles of our religion, for the advancing of morality in its three great branches! To give a single example in each kind. What can be a stronger motive to a firm trust and reliance on the mercies of our Maker, than the giving us his Son to suffer for us? What can make us love and esteem even the most inconsiderable of mankind, more than the thought that Christ died for him? Or what dispose us to set a stricter guard upon the purity of our own hearts, than our being members of Christ, and a part of the society of which that immaculate person is the head? But these are only a specimen of those admirable enforcements of morality, which the apostle has drawn from the history
of our blessed Saviour.
"If our modern infidels considered these matters with that candour and seriousness which they deserve, we should not see them act with such a spirit of bitterness, arrogance, and malice. They would not be raising such insignificant cavils, doubts, and scruples, as may be started against every thing that is not capable of mathematical demonstration; in order to unsettle the mind of the ignorant, disturb the public peace, subvert morality, and throw all things into confusion and disorder. If none of these reflections can have any influence on them, there is one that perhaps may, because it is adapted to their vanity, by which they seem to be guided much more than their reason. I would therefore have them consider, that the wisest and best of men, in all ages of the world, have been those who lived up to the religion of their country, when they sa nothing in it opposite to morality, and to the best lights they had of the divine nature. Pythagoras's first rule directs us to worship the gods as it is ordained by law,' for that is the most natural interpretation of the precept. Socrates, who was the most renowned among the heathens, both for wisdom and virtue, in his last moments desires his friends to offer a cock to Esculapius: doubtless out
"I do not know that you have ever touched upon a certain species of women, whom we ordinary call jilts. You cannot possibly go upon a more useful work, than the consideration of these dangerous animals. The coquette is indeed one degree towards the jilt; but the heart of the former is bent upon admiring herself, and giving false hopes to her lovers; but the latter is not contented to be extremely amiable, but she must add to that advantage a certain delight in being a torment to others Thus when her lover is in full expectation of success, the jilt shall meet him with a sudden indif ference and admiration in her face at his being surprised that he is received like a stranger, and a cast of her head another way with a pleasant scorn of the fellow's insolence. It is very probable the lover goes home utterly astonished and dejected, sits down to his scrutoire, sends her word in the most abject terms, that he knows not what he has done, that all which was desirable in this life is so suddenly vanished from him, that the charmer of his soul should withdraw the vital heat from the heart which pants for her. He continues a mournful absence for some time, pining in secret, and out of humour with all things that he meets with. At length he takes a resolution to try his fate, and ex plains with her resolutely upon her unaccountable carriage. He walks up to her apartment, with a thousand inquietudes, and doubts in what manner he shall meet the first cast of her eye; when upon his first appearance she flies towards him, wonders where he has been, accuses him of his absence, and treats him with a familiarity as surprising as her former coldness. This good correspondence continues until the lady observes the lover grows happy in it, and then she interrupts it with some new inconsistency of behaviour. For (as I just now said) the happiness of a jilt consists only in the power of making others uneasy. But such is the folly of this sect of women, that they carry on this pretty skittish behaviour, until they have no