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No. 551.] TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1712.
Sic honor et nomen divinis vatibus atque
So ancient is the pedigree of verse,
"WHEN men of worthy and excelling geniuses havé obliged the world with beautiful and instructive writings, it is in the nature of gratitude that praise should be returned them, as one proper consequent reward of their performances. Nor has mankind ever been so degenerately sunk but they have made this return, and even when they have not been wrought up by the generous endeavour so as to receive the advantages designed by it. This praise, which arises first in the mouth of particular persons, spreads and lasts according to the merit of authors; and when it thus meets with a full success 'changes its denomination, and is called fame. They, who have happily arrived at this, are, even while they live, inflamed by the acknowledgments of others, and spurred on to new undertakings for the benefit of mankind, notwithstanding the detraction which some abject tempers would cast upon them: but when they decease, their characters being free from the shadow which envy laid them under, begin to shine out with the greater splendour; their spirits survive in their works; they are admitted into the highest companies, and they continue pleasing and instructing posterity from age to age. Some of the best gain a character, by being able to show that they are no strangers to them: and others obtain a new warmth to labour for the happiness and ease of mankind, from a reflection upon those honours which are paid to their memories.
The thought of this took me up as I turned over those epigrams which are the remains of several of the wits of Greece, and perceived many dedicated to the fame of those who had excelled in beautiful poetic performances. Wherefore, in pursuance to my thought, I concluded to do something along with them to bring their praises into a new light and language, for the encouragement of those whose modest tempers may be deterred by the fear of envy or detraction from fair attempts, to which their paris might render them equal. You will perceive them, as they follow, to be conceived in the form of epitaphs, a sort of writing which is wholly set apart for a short-pointed method of praise.
ON ORPHEUS, WRITTEN BY ANTIPATER
• ON HOMER, BY ALPHEUS OF MYTILENE.
Whose birth could more than one poor realm adorn,
ON ANACREON, BY ANTIPATER.
If any pleasure reach the shades below.
Divine Euripides, this tomb we see,
ON SOPHOCLES, BY SIMONIDES.
"This epigram I have opened more than any of the former: the thought towards the latter end seemed closer couched, so as to require an explication. I fancied the poet aimed at the picture which is generally made of Apolio and the Muses, he sitting with his harp in the middle, and they around him. This looked beautiful to my thought; and because the image arose before me out of the words of the original as I was reading it, I ventured to explain them so.
ON MENANDER, THE AUTHOR UNNAMED.
Thus still you live, you make your Athers shine,
"This epigram has a respect to the character of
its subject for Menander writ remarkably with a justness and purity of language. It has also told the country he was born in, without either a set or a hidden manner, while it twists together the glory of the poet and his nation, so as to make the nation depend upon his for an increase of its own
I will offer no more instances at present to show, that they who deserve praise have it returned them from different ages; let these which have been laid down show men that envy will not always prevail. And to the end that writers may more successfully enliven the endeavours of one another, let them consider, in some such manner as I have attempted, what may be the justest spirit and art of praise. It is indeed very hard to come up to it. Our praise is trifling when it depends upon fable: it is false when it depends upon wrong qualifications; it means nothing when it is general; it is extremely difficult to hit when we propose to raise characters high, while we keep to them justly. I shall end this with transcribing that excellent epitaph of Mr. Cowley, wherein, with a kind of grave and philosophic humour, he very beautifully speaks of himself (withdrawn from the world and dead to all the interests of it) as of a man really deceased. At the same time it is an instruction how to leave the public with a good grace.
EPITAPHIUM VIVI AUTHORIS
Sorte, supervacuaque vita,
Non indecora pauperie nitens,
Vanoque dilectis popello
Divitus animosus hostis.
Possis ut illum dicere mortuum,
Terra sit illa levis, precare.
Hie sparge flores, sparge breves rosas,
Vatis adhuc cerem calentem.
O! wish that earth may lightly lay,
And sweets around the poet strow,
"I am a gentleman of a pretty good fortune, and of a temper impatient of any thing which I think an injury. However, I always quarrelled according to law, and instead of attacking my adversary by the dangerous method of sword and pistol, I made my assaults by that more secure one of writ or warrant I cannot help telling you, that either by the justice of my causes or the superiority of my counsel, I have been generally successful; and to my great satisfaction I can say it, that by three actions of slander, and half-a-dozen trespasses, I have for several years enjoyed a perfect tranquillity in my reputation and estate: by these means, also, I have been made known to the judges; the serjeants of our circuit are my intimate friends; and the ornamental counsel pay a very profound respect to one who has made so great a figure in the law. Affairs of consequence having brought me to town, I had the curiosity the other day to visit Westminster-hall; and, having placed myself in one of the courts, expected to be most agreeably entertained. After the court and counsel were with due ceremony seated, up stands a learned gentleman, and began, When this matter was last "stirred" before your Lord. ships; the next humbly moved to "quash" an indictment; another complained that his adversary had "snapped" a judgment; the next informed the court that his client was stripped of his possession; another begged leave to acquaint his lordship that they had been "saddled" with costs. At last up got a grave serjeant, and told us his client had beci
hung up" a whole term by a writ of error. A this I could bear it no longer, but came hither, an resolved to apply myself to your honour to interpos with these gentlemen, that they would leave off such low and unnatural expressions: for surely though the lawyers subscribe to hideous French and false Latin, yet they should let their clients have a little decent and proper English for their money. What man that has a value for a good name would like to have it said in a public court, that Mr. Such-a-one Having read over in your paper, No. 551, some of the epigrams made by the Grecian wits, in com- has escaped your spectatorial observation, be pleased was stript, saddled, or hung-up? This being what mendation of their celebrated poets, I could not for- to correct such an illiberal cant among professed bear sending you another, out of the same collec-speakers, and you will infinitely oblige, tion; which I take to be as great a compliment to Homer as any that has yet been paid him.
* The translation of Cowley's epitaph, and all that follows, except the concluding letter signed Philonicus, was not printed in the Spect, in folio, but added in the 8vo edition of 1712
"Your humble Servant,
"Joe's Coffee-house, Nov. 28."
* No. 551 is not lettered in the Spect. in folio, nor has it any signature in the 8vo or 12mo, editions of 1712.
No. 552.] WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1712. lic, by acquainting them with his proposals for a
Qui prægravat artes
pair of new globes. After this preamble, he proinises in the said proposals that,
IN THE CELESTIAL GLOBE,
"Care shall be taken that the fixed stars be placed according to their true longitude and latitude, from the many and correct observations of Hevelius, Cassini, Mr. Flamstead, reg. astonomer; Dr. Halley, Savilian professor in geometry in Oxon; and from whatever else can be procured to render the globe more exact, instructive, and useful.
"That all the constellations be drawn in a curi
just, distinct, and conspicuous a proportion, that its true magnitude may be readily known by bare inspection, according to the different light and sizes of the stars. That the track or way of such comets as have been well observed, but not hitherto expressed in any globe, be carefully delineated in this."
IN THE TERRESTRIAL GLOBE,
Infra se positas, extinctus amabitur idem-HoR. 2 Ep. i. 13. For those are hated that excel the rest, Although, when dead, they are belov'd and blest.-CREECH. As I was tumbling about the town the other day in a hackney-coach, and delighting myself with busy scenes in the shops on each side of me, it came into my head, with no small remorse, that I had not been frequent enough in the mention and recommendation of the industrious part of mankind. It very naturally upon this occasion touched my conscience in particular, that I had not acquitted my-ous, new, and particular manner; each star in so self to my friend Mr. Peter Motteux. That industrious man of trade, and formerly brother of the quill, has dedicated to me a poem upon tea. It would injure him, as a man of business, if I did not let the world know that the author of so good verses writ them before he was concerned in traffic. In order to expiate my negligence towards him, I immediately resolved to make him a visit. I found his spacious warehouses filled and adorned with tea, China, and India-ware. I could observe a beautiful ordonnance of the whole; and such different and considerable branches of trade carried on in the same house, I exulted in seeing disposed by a poetical head. In one place were exposed to view silks of various shades and colours, rich brocades, and the wealthiest product of foreign looms. Here you might see the finest laces held up by the fairest hands; and there, examined by the beauteous eyes of the buyers, the most delicate cambrics, muslins, and linens. I could not but congratulate my friend on the humble, but I hope beneficial, use he had made of his talents, and wished I could be a patron to his trade, as he had been pleased to make me of his poetry, The honest man has I know that modest desire of gain which is peculiar to those who understand better things than riches; and I dare say he would be contented with much less than what is called wealth in that quarter of the town which he inhabits, and will oblige all his customers with demands agreeable to the moderation of his desires.
Among other omissions of which I have been also guilty, with relation to men of industry of a superior order, I must acknowledge my silence towards a proposal frequently enclosed to me by Mr. Renatus Harris, organ-builder. The ambition of this artificer is to erect an organ in St. Paul's cathedral, over the west door, at the entrance into the body of the church, which in art and magnificence shall transcend any work of that kind ever before invented. The proposal in perspicuous language sets forth the honour and advantage such a performance would be to the British name, as well as that it would apply the power of sounds in a manner more amazingly forcible than perhaps has yet been known, and I am sure to an end much more worthy. Had the vast sums which have been laid out upon operas without skill or conduct, and to no other purpose but to suspend or vitiate our understandings, been disposed this way, we should now perhaps have had an engine so formed as to strike the minds of half a people at once in a place of worship, with a forgetfulness of present care and calamity, and a hope of endless rapture, joy, and hallelujah hereafter.
"That by reason the descriptions formerly made, both in the English and Dutch great globes, are erroneous, Asia, Africa, and America, be drawn in a manner wholly new; by which means it is to be noted that the undertakers will be obliged to alter the latitude of some places in ten degrees, the longitude of others in twenty degrees; besides which great and necessary alterations, there be many remarkable countries, cities, towns, rivers, and lakes, omitted in other globes, inserted here according to the best discoveries made by our late navigators. Lastly, that the course of the trade-winds, the monsoons, and other winds periodically shifting between the tropics, be visibly expressed.
"Now, in regard that this undertaking is of so universal use, as the advancement of the most necessary parts of the mathematics, as well as tending to the honour of the British nation, and that the charge of carrying it on is very expensive, it is desired that all gentlemen who are willing to promote so great a work will be pleased to subscribe on the following conditions:
"I, The undertakers engage to furnish each subscriber with a celestial and terrestrial globe, each of thirty inches diameter, in all respects curiously adorned, the stars gilded, the capital cities plainly distinguished, the frames, meridians, horizons, hour circles, and indexes, so exactly finished up, and accurately divided, that a pair of these globes will really appear, in the judgment of any disinterested and intelligent person, worth fifteen pounds more than will be demanded for them by the undertakers.
"II. Whosoever will be pleased to subscribe and pay twenty-five pounds in the manner following for a pair of the globes, either for their own use, or to present them to any college in the universities, or any public library or schools, shall have his coat of arms, name, title, seat, or place of residence, &c. inserted in some convenient place of the globe.
"III. That every subscriber do at first pay down the sum of ten pounds, and fifteen pounds more upon the delivery of each pair of globes perfectly fitted up. And that the said globes be delivered within twelve months after the number of thirty subscribers be completed; and that the subscribers be served with globes in the order in which they subscribed. "IV. That a pair of these globes shall not hereafter be sold to any person but the subscribers unde
When I am doing this justice, I am not to forget the best mechanic of my acquaintance, that useful servant to sciences and knowledge, Mr. John Row-thirty pounds. ley; but think I lay a great obligation on the pub- "V. That, if there be not thirty subscribers within
four months after the first of December 1712, the money paid shall be returned on demand by Mr. John Warner, goldsmith, near Temple-bar, who shall receive and pay the same according to the above-mentioned articles."-T.
it is sent me from gentlemen who belong to a bod which I shall always honour, and where (I canne speak it without a secret pride) my speculations have met with a very kind reception. It is usual for poets, upon the publishing of their works, to print before them such copies of verses as have been made in their praise. Not that you must imagine
No. 553.] THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1712. they are pleased with their own commendation, but
Nec lusisse pudet, sed non incidere ludum.
HOR. I Ep. xiv. 35.
THE project which I published on Monday last has brought me in several packets of letters. Among the rest, I have received one from a certain projector, wherein, after having represented, that in all probability the solemnity of opening my mouth will draw together a great confluence of beholders, he proposes to me the hiring of Stationers'-hall for the more convenient exhibiting of that public ceremony. He undertakes to be at the charge of it himself, provided he may have the erecting of galleries on every side, and the letting of them out upon that occasion. I have a letter also from a bookseller, petitioning me in a very humble manner that he may have the printing of the speech which I shall make to the assembly upon the first opening of my mouth. I am informed from all parts that there are great canvassings in the several clubs about town, upon the choosing of a proper person to sit with me on those arduous affairs to which I have summoned them. Three clubs have already proceeded to election, whereof one has made a double return. If I find that my enemies shall take advantage of my silence to begin hostilities upon me, or if any other exigency of affairs may so require, since I see elections in so great a forwardness, we may possibly meet before the day appointed; or, if matters go on to my satisfaction, I may perhaps put off the meeting to a further day; but of this public notice shall be given.
because the elegant compositions of their friends should not be lost. I must make the same apology for the publication of the ensuing letter, in which I have suppressed no part of those praises that are given my speculations with too lavish and good. natured a hand; though my correspondents can wit ness for me, that at other times I have generally blotted out those parts in the letters which I have received from them.
"In spite of your invincible silence you have found out the method of being the most agreeable companion in the world: that kind of conversation which you hold with the town has the good fortune of being always pleasing to the men of taste and leisure, and never offensive to those of hurry and business. You are never heard but at what Horace calls dextro tempore, and have the happiness to ob serve the politic rule which the same discerning au thor gave his friend, when he enjoined him to deli ver his book to Augustus:
Si validus, si lætus erit, si denique poscet.-1 Ep. xiii. 3. ———When vexing cares are fled,
When well, when merry, when he asks to read.-CREECH. You never begin to talk but when people are desirous to hear you; and I defy any one to be out of humour until you leave off. But I am led unaware into reflections foreign to the original design of this epistle; which was to let you know, that some unfeigned admirers of your inimitable papers, whe In the mean time, I must confess that I am not a could, without any flattery, greet you with the sala little gratified and obliged by that concern which tation used to the eastern monarchs, viz. O Specs, appears in this great city upon my present design live for ever,' have lately been under the same ap of laying down this paper. It is likewise with much prehensions with Mr. Philo-Spec.; that the haste satisfaction that I find some of the most outlying you have made to dispatch your best friends por parts of the kingdom alarmed upon this occasion, tends no long duration to your own short visage. having received letters to expostulate with me about We could not, indeed, find any just grounds for it from several of my readers of the remotest complaint in the method you took to dissolve that boroughs of Great Britain. Among these I am very venerable body; no, the world was not worthy of well pleased with a letter dated from Berwick-upon- your divine. Will Honeycomb could not, with any Tweed, wherein my correspondent compares the reputation, live single any longer. It was high office, which I have for some time executed in these time for the Templar to turn himself to Coke; and realms, to the weeding of a great garden; "which," Sir Roger's dying was the wisest thing he ever did says he, "it is not sufficient to weed once for all, in his life. It was, however, matter of great grief and afterwards to give over, but that the work must to us, to think that we were in danger of losing so be continued daily or the same spots of ground elegant and valuable an entertainment. And we which are cleared for a while will in a little time be could not, without sorrow, reflect that we were likely overrun as much as ever." Another gentleman lays to have nothing to interrupt our sips in the morning, before me several enormities that are already sprout- and to suspend our coffee in mid-air, between our ing, and which he believes will discover themselves lips and right ear, but the ordinary trash of news in their full growth immediately after my disappear- papers. We resolved, therefore, not to part with ance. "There is no doubt," says he, "but the you so. But since, to make use of your own allladies' heads will shoot up as soon as they know sion, the cherries began now to crowd the market, they are no longer under the Spectator's eye; and and their season was almost over, we consulted our I have already seen such monstrous broad-brimmed future enjoyments, and endeavoured to make the hats under the arms of foreigners, that I question exquisite pleasure that delicious fruit gave our taste not but they will overshadow the island within a as lasting as we could, and by drying them, protract month or two after the dropping of your paper." But, among all the letters which are come to my hands, there is none so handsomely written as the following one, which I am the more pleased with as
their stay beyond its natural date. We own that thus they have not a flavour equal to their juicy bloom; but yet, under this disadvantage, they pique the palate, and become a salver better than any
other fruit at its first appearance. To speak plain, there are a number of us who have b gun your works afresh, and meet two nights in the week in order to give you a re-hearing. We never come together without drinking your health, and as seldom part without general expressions of thanks to you for our night's improvement. This we conceive to be a more useful institution than any other club whatever, not excepting even that of Ugly Faces. We have one manifest advantage over that renowned Society, with respect to Mr. Spectator's company. For though they may brag that you sometimes make your personal appearance amongst them, it is impossible they should ever get a word from you, whereas you are with us the reverse of what Phadria would have his mistress be in his rival's company, present in your absence.' We make you talk as much and as long as we please; and, let me tell you, you seldom hold your tongue for the whole evening. I promise myself you will look with an eye of favour upon a meeting which owes its original to a mutual emulation among its members, who shall show the most profound respect for your paper; not but we have a very great value for your person: and I dare say you can no where find four more sincere Admirers, and humble Servants, than
"T. F. G. S. J. T. E. F."
No. 554] FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1712.
of after-ages, who should proceed upon his notices or conjectures.
"The excellent Mr. Boyle was the person who seems to have been designed by nature to succeed to the labours and inquiries of that extraordinary genius I have just mentioned. By innumerable experiments, he in a great measure filled up those plans and outlines of science, which his predecessor had sketched out. His life was spent in the pursuit of nature through a great variety of forms and changes, and in the most rational as well as devout adoration of its divine Author.
"It would be impossible to name many persons who have extended their capacities so far as these two, in the studies they pursued; but my learned readers on this occasion will naturally turn their thoughts to a third, who is yet living, and is likewise the glory of our own nation. The improvements which others had made in natural and mathematical knowledge has so vastly increased in his hands, as to afford at once a wonderful instance how great the capacity is of a human soul, and how inexhaustible the subject of its inquiries: so true is that remark in holy writ, that though a wise man seek to find out the works of God from the beginning to the end, yet shall he not be able to do it.'
"I cannot help mentioning here one character more of a different kind indeed from these, yet such a one as may serve to show the wonderful force of nature and of application, and is the most singular instance of a universal genius I have ever met with. The person I mean is Leonardo de Vinci, an Italian painter, descended from a noble family in Tuscany, New ways I must attempt, my grovelling name about the beginning of the sixteenth century. In To raise aloft, and wing my flight to fame.-Dryden. his profession of history-painting he was so great a I AM obliged for the following essay, as well for master, that some have affirmed he excelled all who that which lays down rules out of Tully for pronun- went before him. It is certain that he raised the ciation and action, to the ingenious author of a poem envy of Michael Angelo, who was his contemporary, just published, entitled An Ode to the Creator of the and that from the study of his works Raphael himWorld, occasioned by the Fragments of Orpheus. self learned his best manner of designing. He was "It is a remark, made as I remember by a cele- a master too in sculpture and architecture, and brated French author, that no man ever pushed his skilful in anatomy, mathematics, and mechanics. capacity as far as it was able to extend. I shall not The aqueduct from the river Adda to Milan is meninquire whether this assertion be strictly true. It tioned as a work of his contrivance. He had learned may suffice to say, that men of the greatest applica- several languages, and was acquainted with the tion and acquirements can look back upon many studies of history, philosophy, poetry, and music. vacant spaces, and neglected parts of time, which Though it is not necessary to my present purpose, have slipped away from them unemployed; and I cannot but take notice, that all who have writ of there is hardly any one considering person in the him mention likewise his perfection of body. The world but is apt to fancy with himself, at some time or instances of his strength are almost incredible. He other, that if his life were to begin again he could is described to have been of a well-formed person, fill it up better. and a master of all genteel exercises. And, lastly, "The mind is most provoked to cast on itself this we are told that his moral qualities were agreeable ingenuous reproach, when the examples of such to his natural and intellectual endowments, and men are presented to it as have far outshot the gene- that he was of an honest and generous mind, rality of their species in learning, arts, or any valu-adorned with great sweetness of manners. I might able improvements.
"Oue of the most extensive and improved geniuses we have had any instance of in our own nation, or in any other, was that of Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam. This great man, by an extraordinary force of nature, compass of thought, and indefatiga ble study, had amassed to himself such stores of knowledge as we cannot look upon without amazement. His capacity seemed to have grasped all that was revealed in books before his time; and, not satisfied with that, he began to strike out new tracts of science, too many to be travelled over by any one man in the compass of the longest life. Paese therefore he could only mark down, like imperfect coastings in maps, on supposed points of land, to be further discovered and ascertained by the industry
break off the account of him here, but I imagine it will be an entertainment to the curiosity of my readers, to find so remarkable a character distinguished by as remarkable a circumstance at his death. The fame of his works having gained him a universal esteem, he was invited to the court of France, where, after some time, he fell sick; and Francis the First coming to see him, he raised himself in his bed to acknowledge the honour which was done him by that visit. The king embraced him, and Leonardo, fainting in the same instant, expired in the arms of that great monarch.
"It is impossible to attend to such instances as these without being raised into a contemplation on
Air Isaac Newton. He was born in 1445, and died in 1520.