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general having an eye to both front and rear, or a pious man taking a review and prospect of his past and future state at the same time.
"I must own, that the names, colours, qualities, and turns of eyes, vary almost in every head; for, not to mention the common appellations of the black, and the blue, the white, the gray, and the like; the most remarkable are those that borrow their titles from animals, by virtue of some particular quality of resemblance they bear to the eyes of the respective creatures; as that of a greedy rapacious aspect takes its name from the cat, that of a sharp piercing nature from the hawk, those of an amorous roguish look derive their title even from the sheep, and we say such a one has a sheep's-eye, not so much to denote the innocence, as the simple slyness, of the cast. Nor is this metaphorical inoculation a modern invention, for we find Homer taking the freedom to place the eye of an ox, bull, or cow, in one of his principal goddesses, by that frequent expression of
The ox-eyed venerable Junc.
lar endeavours in the province of Spectator, to correct the offences committed by Starers, who disturb whole assemblies without any regard to time, place, or modesty. You complained also, that a starer is not usually a person to be con vinced by the reason of the thing, nor so easily rebuked as to amend by admonitions. I thought therefore fit to acquaint you with a convenient mechanical way, which may easily prevent or correct staring, by an optical contrivance of new perspective-glasses, short and commodious like operaglasses, fit for short-sighted people as well as others, these glasses making the objects appear either as they are seen by the naked eye, or more distinct, though somewhat less than life, or bigger and nearer. A person may, by the help of this invention, take a view of another without the impertinence of staring; at the same time it shall not be possible to know whom or what he is looking at. One may look towards his right or left hand, when he is supposed to look forwards. This is set forth at large in the printed proposals for the sale of these glasses, to be had at Mr. Dillon's in Longacre, next door to the White Hart. Now, Sir, as your Spectator has occasioned the publishing of this invention for the benefit of modest spectators, the inventor desires your admonitions concerning the decent use of it; and hopes, by your recommendation, that for the future beauty may be be held without the torture and confusion which it suffers from the insolence of starers. By this means you will relieve the innocent from an insult which there is no law to punish, though it is a greater offence than many which are within the cognisance of justice."
"Now as to the peculiar qualities of the eye, that fine part of our constitution seems as much the receptacle and seat of our passions, appetites, and inclinations, as the mind itself; at least it is the outward portal to introduce them to the house within, or rather the common thoroughfare to let our affections pass in and out. Love, anger, pride, and avarice, all visibly move in those little orbs. I know a young lady that cannot see a certain gentleman pass by without showing a secret desire of seeing him again by a dance in her eye-balls; nay, she cannot, for the heart of her, help looking half a street's length after any man in a gay dress. You cannot behold a covetous spirit walk by a goldsmith's shop without casting a wishful eye at the heaps upon the counter. Does not a haughty person show the temper of his soul in the supercilious No. 251.] TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1711. roll of his eye? and how frequently in the height, of passion does that moving picture in our head start and stare, gather a redness and quick flashes. of lightning, and make all its humours sparkle with fire, as Virgil finely describes it,
"I am, Sir, your most humble servant,
Lingua centum sunt, oráque centum,
THERE is nothing which more astonishes a foCries of London. My good friend Sir Roger often reigner, and frights a country squire, than the declares that he cannot get them out of his head or go to sleep for them, the first week that he is in town. On the contrary, Will Honeycombe calls them the Ramage de la Ville, and prefers them to the sound of larks and nightingales, with all the music of fields and woods. I have lately received a letter from some very odd fellow upon this subject, which I shall leave with my reader, without saying any thing further of it.
A fiery stream, and sparkles from his eyes.-Dryden. "As for the various turns of the eye-sight, such as the voluntary or involuntary, the half or the whole leer, I shall not enter into a very particular account of them; but let me observe, that oblique vision, when natural, was anciently the mark of bewitchery and magical fascination, and to this day it is a malignant ill look; but when it is forced and affected, it carries a wanton design, and in playhouses, and other public places, this ocular in"I am a man out of all business, and would willtimation is often an assignation for bad practices. ingly turn my head to any thing for an honest liveliBut this irregularity in vision, together with such hood. I have invented several projects for raising enormities, as tipping the wink, the circumspective many millions of money without burdening the subroll, the side-peep through a thin hood or fan, must ject, but I cannot get the parliament to listen to me, be put in the class of Heteroptics, as all wrong who look upon me, forsooth, as a crack, and a pronotions of religion are ranked under the general,ector; so that despairing to enrich either myself name of Heterodox. All the pernicious applica- or my country by this public-spiritedness, I would tions of sight are more immediately under the direction of a Spectator, and I hope you will arm your readers against the mischiefs which are daily done by killing eyes, in which you will highly oblige your wounded unknown friend, "T. B." MR. SPECTATOR,
make some proposals to you relating to a design which I have very much at heart, and which may procure me a handsome subsistence, if you will be pleased to recommend it to the cities of London and Westminster.
The post I would aim at, is to be comptroller"You professed in several papers your particu-general of the London Cries, which are at present
under no manner of rules or discipline. I think I and are in my opinion much more tuneable than the am pretty well qualified for this place, as being a former. The cooper in particular swells his last man of very strong lungs, of great insight into all note in a hollow voice, that is not without its harthe branches of our British trades and manufac-mony; nor can I forbear being inspired with a most tures, and of a competent skill in music.
"The Cries of London may be divided into vocal and instrumental. As for the latter, they are at present under a very great disorder. A freeman of London has the privilege of disturbing a whole street for an hour together, with a twanking of a brass kettle or frying-pan. The watchman's thump at midnight startles us in our beds as much as the breaking in of a thief. The sowgelder's horn has indeed something musical in it, but this is seldom heard within the liberties. I would therefore propose, that no instrument of this nature should be made use of, which I have not tuned and licensed, after having carefully examined in what manner it may affect the ears of her majesty's liege subjects. "Vocal cries are of a much larger extent, and indeed so full of incongruities and barbarisms, that we appear a distracted city to foreigners, who do not comprehend the meaning of such enormous outcries. Milk is generally sold in a note above E-la, and in sounds so exceedingly shrill, that it often sets our teeth on edge. The chimney-sweeper is confined to no certain pitch; he sometimes utters himself in the deepest bass, and sometimes in the sharpest treble; sometimes in the highest, and sometimes in the lowest, note of the gamut. The same observation might be made on the retailers of small-coal, not to mention broken glasses, or brick-dust. In these, therefore, and the like cases, it should be my care to sweeten and mellow the voices of these itinerant tradesmen, before they make their appearance in our streets, as also to accommodate their cries to their respective wares; and to take care in particular, that those may not make the most noise, who have the least to sell, which is very observable in the venders of cardmatches, to whom I cannot but apply that old proverb of 'Much cry, but little wool.'
"Some of these last-mentioned musicians are so very loud in the sale of these trifling manufactures, that an honest splenetic gentleman of my acquaintance bargained with one of them never to come into the street where he lived. But what was the effect of this contract? Why the whole tribe of card-matchmakers which frequent that quarter passed by his door the very next day, in hopes of being bought off after the same manner.
agreeable melancholy, when I hear that sad and solemn air with which the public are very often asked, if they have any chairs to mend? Your own memory may suggest to you many other lamentable ditties of the same nature, in which the music is wonderfully languishing and melodious.
"I am always pleased with that particular time of the year which is proper for the pickling of dill and cucumbers; but alas! this cry, like the song of the nightingale, is not heard above two months. It would therefore be worth while to consider, whether the same air might not in some cases be adapted to other words.
"It might likewise deserve our most serious consideration, how far, in a well-regulated city, those humourists are to be tolerated, who, not contented with the traditional cries of their forefathers, have invented particular songs and tunes of their own: such as was, not many years since, the pastry-man, commonly known by the name of the Colly-MollyPuff:* and such as is at this day the vender of powder and wash-balls, who, if I am rightly informed, goes under the name of Powder-Wat.
"I must not here omit one particular absurdity which runs through this whole vociferous generation, and which renders their cries very often not only incommodious, but altogether useless to the public. I mean, that idle accomplishment which they all of them aim at, of crying so as not to be understood. Whether or no they have learned this from several of our affected singers, I will not take upon me to say; but most certain it is, that people know the wares they deal in rather by their tunes than by their words; insomuch that I have sometimes seen a country boy run out to buy apples of a bellowsmender, and gingerbread from a grinder of knives and scissars. Nay, so strangely infatuated are some very eminent artists of this particular grace in a cry, that none but their acquaintance are able to guess at their profession; for who else can know, that work if I had it' should be the signification of a corn-cutter?
"Forasmuch, therefore, as persons of this rank. are seldom men of genius or capacity I think it would be very proper that some men of good sense and sound judgment should preside over these public cries, who should permit none to lift up their voices "It is another great imperfection in our London in our streets, that have not tuneable throats, and Cries, that there is no just time nor measure ob- are not only able to overcome the noise of the crowd, served in them. Our news should indeed be pub- and the rattling of coaches, but also to vend their lished in a very quick time, because it is a commo- respective merchandises in apt phrases, and in the dity that will not keep cold. It should not, how-most distinct and agreeable sounds. I do therefore ever, be cried with the same precipitation as fire. Yet this is generally the case. A bloody battle alarms the town from one end to another in an instant. Every motion of the French is published in so great a hurry, that one would think the enemy were at our gates. This likewise I would take upon me to regulate in such a manner, that there should be some distinction made between the spreading of a victory, a march, or an encampment, à Dutch, a Portugal, or a Spanish mail. Nor must I omit under this head those excessive alarms with which several boisterous rustics infest our streets in turnip season; and which are more inexcusable, because they are wares which are in no danger of cooling upon their hands.
"There are others who affect a very slow time,
humbly recommend myself as a person rightly quali-
This little man was but just able to support the basket of pastry which he carried on his head, and sung in a very peculiar tone the cant words which passed into his name CollyMolly-Puff. There is a half-sheet print of him in the Set of London Cries, M. Lauron, del. P. Tempest, exc. Granger's Biographical History of England.
No. 252.] WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1711. this is heathen Greek to those who have not con
Erranti, passimque oculos per cuncta ferenti.
versed by glances. This, Sir, is a language in
"I have a sot of a husband that lives a very scandalous life; who wastes away his body and fortune in debaucheries; and is immoveable to all the arguments I can urge to him. I would gladly know whether in some cases a cudgel may not be allowed as a good figure of speech, and whether it may not be lawfully used by a female orator. "Your humble Servant,
"I AM very sorry to find by your discourse upon the eye, that you have not thoroughly studied the nature and force of that part of a beauteous face. Had you ever been in love, you would have said ten thousand things, which it seems did not occur to you. Do but reflect upon the nonsense it makes men talk; the flames which it is said to kindle, the transport it raises, the dejection it causes in the bravest men, and if you do believe those things are expressed to an extravagance, yet you will own, that the influence of it is very great, which moves men to that extravagance. Certain it is, that the whole strength of the mind is sometimes seated there; that a kind look imparts all that a year's discourse could give you, in one moment. What matters it what she says to you? 'see how she looks,' is the language of all who know what love is. When the mind is thus summed up, and expressed in a glance, did you never observe a sudden joy arise in the "Though I am a practitioner in the law of some countenance of a lover? Did you never see the at-standing, and have heard many eminent pleaders tendance of years paid, overpaid in an instant? in my time, as well as other eloquent speakers of You a Spectator, and not know that the intelligence both universities, yet I agree with you, that women of affection is carried on by the eye only; that good- are better qualified to succeed in oratory than the breeding has made the tongue falsify the heart, and men, and believe this is to be resolved into natural act a part of continual restraint, while nature has causes. You have mentioned only the volubility preserved the eyes to herself, that she may not be of their tongues; but what do you think of the disguised or misrepresented. The poor bride can silent flattery of their pretty faces, and the persua give her hand, and say, 'I do,' with a languishing sion which even an insipid discourse carries with it air, to the man she is obliged by cruel parents to when flowing from beautiful lips, to which it would take for mercenary reasons, but at the same time be cruel to deny any thing? It is certain, too, that she cannot look as if she loved; her eye is full of they are possessed of some springs of rhetoric which sorrow, and reluctance sits in a tear, while the of men want, such as tears, fainting fits, and the like, fering of a sacrifice is performed in what we call which I have seen employed upon occasion, with the marriage ceremony. Do you never go to plays? good success. You must know that I am a plain Cannot you distinguish between the eyes of those man, and love my money; yet I have a spouse who who go to see, from those who come to be seen? I is so great an orator in this way, that she draws am a woman turned of thirty, and am on the obser- from me what sum she pleases. Every room in my vation a little; therefore, if you or your corre- house is furnished with trophies of her eloquence, spondent had consulted me in your discourse on the rich cabinets, piles of china, japan screens, and eye, I could have told you that the eye of Leonora costly jars; and if you were to come into my great is slily watchful while it looks negligent; she looks parlour, you would fancy yourself in an India wareround her without the help of the glasses you speak house. Besides this she keeps a squirrel, and I am of, and yet seems to be employed on objects directly doubly taxed to pay for the china he breaks. She before her. This eye is what affects chance-medley, is seized with periodical fits about the time of the and on a sudden, as if it attended to another thing, subscriptions to a new opera, and is drowned in turns all its charms against an ogler. The eye of tears after having seen any woman there in finer Lusitania is an instrument of premeditated murder; clothes than herself. These are arts of persuasion but the design being visible, destroys the execution purely feminine, and which a tender heart cannot of it; and with much more beauty than that of Leo- resist. What I would therefore desire of you, is, to nora, it is not half so mischievous. There is a brave prevail with your friend who has promised to dissoldier's daughter in town, that by her eye has been sect a female tongue, that he would at the same the death of more than ever her father made fly be-time give us the anatomy of a female eye, and exfore him. A beautiful eye makes silence eloquent, a kind eye makes contradiction an assent, an enraged eye makes beauty deformed. This little member gives life to every other part about us, and I believe the story of Argus implies no more, than that the eye is in every part; that is to say, every other part would be mutilated, were not its force represented more by the eye than even by itself. But
plain the springs and sluices which feed it with such
No. 253] THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1711. they are placed in so beautiful a light, and illus
Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse
I feel my honest indignation rise,
THERE is nothing which more denotes a great mind than the abhorrence of envy and detraction. This passion reigns more among bad poets than any other set of men.
As there are none more ambitious of fame than those who are conversant in poetry, it is very natural for such as have not succeeded in it, to depreciate those who have. For since they cannot raise themselves to the reputation of their fellow-writers, they must endeavour to sink that to their own pitch, if they would still keep themselves upon a level with them.
The greatest wits that ever were proauced in one age, lived together in so good an understanding, and celebrated one another with so much generosity, that each of them receives an additional lustre from his contemporaries, and is more famous for having lived with men of so extraordinary a genius, than if he had himself been the sole wonder of the age. I need not tell my reader, that I here point at the reign of Augustus; and I believe he will be of my opinion, that neither Virgil nor Horace would have gained so great a reputation in the world, had they not been the friends and admirers of each other. Indeed all the great writers of that age, for whom singly we have so great an esteem, stand up together as vouchers for one another's reputation. But at the same time that Virgil was celebrated by Gallus, Propertius, Horace, Varius, Tucca, and Ovid, we know that Bavius and Mævius were his declared foes and calumniators.
In our own country a man seldom sets up for a poet, without attacking the reputation of all his brothers in the art. The ignorance of the moderns, the scribblers of the age, the decay of poetry, are the topics of detraction with which he makes his entrance into the world: but how much more noble is the fame that is built on candour and ingenuity, according to those beautiful lines of Sir John Denham, in his poem on Fletcher's works:
But whither am I stray'd? I need not raise,
I am sorry to find that an anthor, who is very justly esteemed among the best judges, has admitted some strokes of this nature into a very fine poem; I mean the Art of Criticism, which was published some months since, and is a master-piece in its kind. The observations follow one another like those in Horace's Art of Poetry, without that methodical regularity which would have been requisite in a prose author. They are some of them uncommon,t but such as the reader must assent to, when he sees them explained with that elegance and perspicuity in which they are delivered. As for those which are the most known, and the most received,
trated with such apt allusions, that they have in them all the graces of novelty, and make the reader who was before acquainted with them, still more convinced of their truth and solidity. And here give me leave to mention what Monsieur Boileau has so very well enlarged upon in the preface to his works, that wit and fine writing do not consist giving things that are known an agreeable turn. so much in advancing things that are new, as in It is impossible for us, who live in the latter ages of the world, to make observations in criticism, moratouched upon by others. We have little else left lity, or in any art or science, which have not been us, but to represent the common sense of mankind in more strong, more beautiful, or more uncommon lights. Poetry, he will find but very few precepts in it, If a reader examines Horace's Art of which he may not meet with in Aristotle, and which were not commonly known by all the poets of the ing them, not his invention of them, is what we are Augustan age. His way of expressing and applychiefly to admire.
world so tiresome as the works of those critics who For this reason I think there is nothing in the write in a positive dogmatic way, without either language, genius, or imagination. If the reader would see how the best of the Latin critics wrote, he may find their manner very beautifully described in the characters of Horace, Petronius, Quintilian, and Longinus, as they are drawn in the essay of which I am now speaking.
reflections has given us the same kind of sublime,
These equal syllables alone require,
expletive "do" in the third, and the ten monosyl-
A needless Alexandrine ends the song.
That like a wounded snake drags its slow length along.
"Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
lines puts me in mind of a description in Homer's
scribed in the number of these verses; as in the four
I turn'd my eye, and as I turn'd survey'd
It would be endless to quote verses out of Virgil which have this particular kind of beauty in the numbers; but I may take an occasion in a future paper, to show several of them which have escaped
the observations of others.
in any public places with your husband, and never to saunter about St. James's-park together: if you presume to enter the ring at Hyde-park together, you are ruined for ever: nor must you take the least notice of one another, at the playhouse, o. opera, unless you would be laughed at for a very loving couple, most happily paired in the yoke of wedlock. I would recommend the example of an acquaintance of ours to your imitation; she is the most negligent and fashionable wife in the world; husband, and if they happen to meet, you would she is hardly ever seen in the same place with her think them perfect strangers; she was never heard to name him in his absence, and takes care he shall never be the subject of any discourse that she has a share in. I hope you will propose this lady as a I cannot conclude this paper without taking notice that we have three poems in our tongue, which pattern, though I am very much afraid you will be are of the same nature, and each of them a master-wives, much brighter examples. I wish it may so silly as to think Portia, &c. Sabine and Roman piece in its kind; the Essay on Translated Verse, never come into your head to imitate those anti the Essay on the Art of Poetry, and the Essay upon quated creatures so far as to come into public in the habit, as well as air, of a Roman matron. You make already the entertainment at Mrs. Modish's tea-table: she says, she always thought you a discreet person, and qualified to manage a family with admirable prudence; she dies to see what demure and serious airs wedlock has given you, but she says, she shall never forgive your choice of so gallant a man as Bellamour, to transform him into a mere sober husband; it was unpardonable. You see, my dear, we all envy your happiness, and no person more than
No. 254.] FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1711
WHEN I consider the false impressions which are received by the generality of the world, I am troubled at none more than a certain levity of thought, which many young women of quality have entertained, to the hazard of their characters, and the certain misfortune of their lives. The first of the following letters may best represent the faults I would now point at; and the answer to it, the temper of mind in a contrary character.
"MY DEAR HARRIET,
"Your humble Servant
"Be not in pain, good madam, for my appearance in town; I shall frequent no public places, or make "If thou art she, but oh how fallen, how changer, any visits where the character of a modest wife is what an apostate! how lost to all that is gay and ridiculous. As for your wild raillery on matrimony, agreeable! To be married I find is to be buried it is all hypocrisy; you, and all the handsome young alive; I cannot conceive it more dismal to be shut women of your acquaintance, show yourselves to no up in a vault to converse with the shades of my other purpose, than to gain a conquest over some ancestors, than to be carried down to an old manor- man of worth, in order to bestow your charms and house in the country, and confined to the conversa- fortune on him. There is no indecency in the contion of a sober husband, and an awkward chamber- fession; the design is modest and honourable, and maid. For variety I suppose you may entertain all your affectation cannot disguise it. yourself with madam in her grogram gown, the "1 am married, and have no other concern but spouse of your parish vicar, who has by this time, I to please the man I love; he is the end of every am sure, well furnished you with receipts for mak-care I have; If I dress, it is for him; If I read a ing salves and possets, distilling cordial waters, making syrups, and applying poultices,
poem, or a play, it is to qualify myself for a conversation agreeable to his taste; he is almost the "Blest solitude! I wish thee joy, my dear, of end of my devotions; half my prayers are for his thy loved retirement, which indeed you would per- happiness. I love to talk of him, and never hear suade me is very agreeable, and different enough him named but with pleasure and emotion. I am from what I have here described: but, child, I am your friend, and wish you happiness, but am sorry afraid thy brains are a little disordered with ro-to see, by the air of your letter, that there are a set mances and novels. After six months' marriage of women who are got into the common-place railto hear thee talk of love, and paint the country lery of every thing that is sober, decent, and proper: scenes so softly, is a little extravagant; one would matrimony and the clergy are the topics of people think you lived the lives of sylvan deities, or roved of little wit and no understanding. I own to you, among the walks of paradise, like the first happy I have learned of the vicar's wife all you tax me pair. But pray thee leave these whimsies, and with. She is a discreet, ingenious, pleasant, pious come to town in order to live and talk like other womar; I wish she had the handling of you and mortals. However, as I am extremely interested Mrs. Modish; you would find, if you were too in your reputation, I would willingly give you a free with her, she would soon make you as charmlittle good advice at your first appearance under ing as ever you were; she would make you blush the character of a married woman.” It is a little in- as much as if you never had been fine ladies. solent in me, perhaps, to advise a matron; but I am The vicar, madam, is so kind as to visit my hus so afraid you will make so silly a figure as a fond band, and his agreeable conversation has brought wife, that I cannot help warning you not to appear him to enjoy many sober happy hours when even I am shut out, and my dear master is entertained only with his own thoughts. These things, dear madam,
• By the earl of Roscommon.