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must know I dined with her at a public table the day after I first saw her, and she helped me to some tansy in the eye of all the gentlemen in the country. She has certainly the finest hand of any woman in the world. I can assure you, Sir, were you to behold her, you would be in the same condition; for as her speech is music, her form is angelic. But I find I grow irregular while I am talking of her; but indeed it would be stupidity to be unconcerned at such perfection. Oh, the excellent creature! she is as inimitable to all women, as she is inaccessible to all men."
I found my friend begin to rave, and insensibly led him toward the house, that we might be joined by some other company; and am convinced that the widow is the secret cause of all that inconsistency which appears in some part of my friend's discourse; though he has so much command of himself as not directly to mention her, yet according to that of Martial, which one knows not how to render into English, dum tacet hanc loquitur. I shall end this paper with that whole epigram, which represents with much humor my honest friend's condition :
Quicquid agit Rufus, nihil est, nisi Nævia Rufo,
Nævia lux, inquit, Nævia numen, ave.-Epig. i, 69.
-The dread of nothing more Than to be thought necessitous and poor.-POOLY. ECONOMY in our affairs has the same effect upon our fortunes which good breeding has upon our conversation. There is a pretending behavior in both cases, which instead of making men esteemed, renders them both miserable and contemptible. We had yesterday, at Sir Roger's, a set of country gentlemen who dined with him and after dinner the glass was taken, by those who pleased, pretty plentifully. Among others I observed a person of a tolerable good aspect, who seemed to be more greedy of liquor than any of the company, and yet methought he did not taste it with delight. As he grew warm, he was suspicious of everything that was said, and as he advanced toward being fuddled, his humor grew worse. At the same time his bitterness seemed to be rather an inward dissatisfaction in his own mind, than any dislike he had taken to the company. Upon hearing his name, I knew him to be a gentleman of a considerable fortune in this country, but greatly in debt. What gives the unhappy man this peevishness of spirit is, that his estate is dipped, and is eating out with usury; and yet he has not the heart to sell any part of it. His proud stomach, at the cost of restless nights, constant inquietudes, danger of affronts, and a thousand nameless inconveniences, preserves this canker in his fortune, rather than it shall be said he is a man of fewer hundreds a year than he has been commonly reputed. Thus he endures the torment of poverty, to avoid the name of being less rich. If you go to his house, you see great plenty; but served in a manner that shows it is all unnatural, and that the master's mind is not at home. There is a certain waste and carelessness
in the air of everything, and the whol but a covered indigence, a magnificent That neatness and cheerfulness which a table of him who lives within compass ing, and exchanged for a libertine way in all about him.
This gentleman's conduct, though a mon way of management, is as ridiculo officer's would be, who had but few men command, and should take the charge tent of country rather than of a small pay for, personate, and keep in a man's greater estate than he really has, is of the most unpardonable vanity, and mu end reduce the man who is guilty of it or. Yet if we look round us in any Great Britain, we shall see many in error; if that may be called by so sof which proceeds from a false shame of what they really are, when the contrary would in a short time advance them to tion which they pretend to.
Laertes has fifteen hundred pound: which is mortgaged for six thousand po it is impossible to convince him, that if much as would pay off that debt, he w four shillings in the pound, which he the vanity of being the reputed master o if Laertes did this, he would perhaps b his own fortune; but then Irus, a fell terday, who has but twelve hundred a y be his equal. Rather than this should b goes on to bring well-born beggars into and every twelvemonth charges his esta least one year's rent more by the birth o
Laertes and Irus are neighbors, who living are an abomination to each other moved by the fear of poverty, and Laer shame of it. Though the motive of ad so near affinity in both, and may be res this, "that to each of them poverty is th of all evils," yet are their manners wid ent. Shame of poverty makes Laertes la unnecessary equipage, vain expense, a entertainments. Fear of poverty make low himself only plain necessaries, ap out a servant, sell his own corn, attend ers, and be himself a laborer. Shame makes Laertes go every day a step ne and fear of poverty stirs up Irus to m day some farther progress from it.
These different motives produce the which men are guilty of in the negliger provision for themselves. Usury, stoc extortion, and oppression, have their s dread of want: and vanity, riot, and p from the shame of it; but both these ex infinitely below the pursuit of a reason ture. After we have taken care to con much as is necessary for maintaining ou the order of men suitable to our characte of superfluities is a vice no less extrava the neglect of necessaries would have be
Certain it is, that they are both out when she is followed by reason and go It is from this reflection that I always Cowley with the greatest pleasure. His imity is as much above that of other co men, as his understanding; and it is a tinguishing spirit in the elegant author lished his works, to dwell so much upon per of his mind and the moderation of h By this means he has rendered his friend ble as famous. That state of life which
Viz: the land tax.
face of poverty with Mr. Cowley's great vulgar,* | which it is composed, and to give their solid parts is admirably described: and it is no small satis- a more firm and lasting tone. Labor or exercise faction to those of the same turn of desire, that ferments the humors, casts them into their proper he produces the authority of the wisest men of channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nathe best age of the world, to strengthen his opin- ture in those secret distributions, without which ion of the ordinary pursuits of mankind. the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
It would methinks be no ill maxim of life, if, according to that ancestor of Sir Roger whom I lately mentioned, every man would point to himself what sum he would resolve not to exceed. He might by this means cheat himself into a tranquillity on this side of that expectation, or convert what he should get above it to nobler uses than his own pleasures or necessities. This temper of mind would exempt a man from an ignorant envy of restless men above him, and a more inexcusasable contempt of happy men below him. This would be sailing by some compass, living with some design; but to be eternally bewildered in prospects of future gain, and putting on unnecessary armor against improbable blows of fortune, is a mechanic being which has not good sense for its direction, but is carried on by a sort of acquired instinct toward things below our consideration, and unworthy our esteem. It is possible that the tranquillity I now enjoy at Sir Roger's may have created in me this way of thinking, which is so abstracted from the common relish of the world: but as I am now in a pleasing arbor surrounded with a beautiful landscape, I find no inclination so strong as to continue in these mansions so remote from the ostentatious scenes of life; and am at this present writing philosopher enough to conclude with Mr. Cowley:
If e'er ambition did my fancy cheat
JUV., Sat. x, 356.
No. 115.] THURSDAY, JULY 12, 1711. -Ut sit mens sana in corpore sano. Pray for a sound mind in a sound body. BODILY labor is of two kinds,-either that which a man submits to for his livelihood, or that which he undergoes for his pleasure. The latter of them generally changes the name of labor for that of exercise, but differs only from ordinary labor as it rises from another motive.
A country life abounds in both these kinds of labor-and for that reason gives a man a greater stock of health, and consequently a more perfect enjoyment of himself, than any other way of life. I consider the body as a system of tubes and glands, or, to use a more rustic phrase, a bundle of pipes and strainers, fitted to one another after so wonderful a manner as to make a proper engine for the soul to work with. This description does not only comprehend the bowels, bones, tendons, veins, nerves, and arteries, but every muscle, and every ligature, which is a composition of fibers, that are so many imperceptible tubes or pipes interwoven on all sides with invisible glands
This general idea of a human body, without considering it in the niceties of anatomy, lets us see how absolutely necessary labor is for the right preservation of it. There must be frequent motions and agitations, to mix, digest, and separate the juices contained in it, as well as to clear and cleanse that infinitude of pipes and strainers of
Hence, ye profane, I hate ye all,
I might here mention the effects which this has upon all the faculties of the mind, by keeping the understanding clear, the imagination untroubled, and refining those spirits which are necessary for the proper exertion of our intellectual faculties, during the present laws of union between soul and body. It is to a neglect in this particular that we must ascribe the spleen, which is so frequent in men of studious and sedentary tempers, as well as the vapors, to which those of the other sex are so often subject.
Had not exercise been absolutely necessary for our well-being, nature would not have made the body so proper for it, by giving such an activity to the limbs, and such a pliancy to every part as necessarily produce those compressions, extensions, contortions, dilations, and all other kinds of motions that are necessary for the preservation of such a system of tubes and glands as has been before mentioned. And that we might not want inducements to engage us in such an exercise of the body as is proper for its welfare, it is so ordered that nothing valuable can be procured without it. Not to mention riches and honor, even food and raiment are not to be come at without the toil of the hands and the sweat of the brows. Providence furnishes materials, but expects that we should work them up ourselves. The earth must be labored before it gives its increase; and when it is forced into its several products, how many hands must they pass through before they are fit for use? Manufactures, trade, and agriculture, naturally employ more than nineteen parts of the species in twenty; and as for those who are not obliged to labor, by the condition in which they are born, they are more miserable than the rest of mankind, unless they indulge themselves in that voluntary labor which goes by the name of exercise.
My friend Sir Roger has been an indefatigable man in business of this kind, and has hung several parts of his house with the trophies of his former labors. The walls of his great hall are covered with the horns of several kinds of deer that he has killed in the chase, which he thinks the most valuable furniture of his house, as they afford him frequent topics of discourse, and show that he has not been idle. At the lower end of the hall is a large otter's skin stuffed with hay, which his mother ordered to be hung up in that manner, and the knight looks upon it with great satisfaction, because it seems he was but nine years old when his dog killed him. A little room adjoining to the hall is a kind of arsenal filled with guns of several sizes and inventions, with which the knight has made great havoc in the woods, and destroyed many thousands of pheasants, partridges, and woodcocks. His stable-doors are patched with noses that belonged to foxes of the knight's own hunting down. Sir Roger showed me one of them that for distinction sake has a brass nail struck through it, which cost him about fifteen hours riding, carried him through half a dozen counties, killed him a brace of geldings, and lost above half his dogs. This the knight looks upon as one of the greatest exploits of his life, The perverse widow, whom I have given some account of, was the death of several foxes; for Sir Roger has told me, that in the course of his amours he patched the western door of his
abounds in; and which seem to be extre
stable. Whenever the widow was cruel, the foxes were sure to pay for it. In proportion as his pas-suited to that laborious industry a ma sion for the widow abated and old age came on, he left off fox-hunting; but a hare is not yet safe that sits within ten miles of his house.
There is no kind of exercise which I would so recommend to my readers of both sexes as this of riding, as there is none which so much conduces to health, and is every way accommodated to the body, according to the idea which I have given of it. Doctor Sydenham is very lavish in its praises; and if the English reader would see the mechanical effects of it described at length, he may find them in a book published not many years since, under the title of Medicina Gymnastica. For my own part, when I am in town, for want of these opportunities, I exercise myself an hour every morning upon a dumb-bell that is placed in a corner of my room, and it pleases me the more because it does everything that I require of it in the most profound silence. My landlady and her daughters are so well acquainted with my hours of exercise, that they never come into my room to disturb me while I am ringing.
serve here in a far greater degree than and cities. I have before hinted at so friend's exploits: he has in his youthful forty coveys of partridges in a season; many a salmon with a line consisting single hair. The constant thanks and g of the neighborhood always attended h count of his remarkable enmity towa having destroyed more of these verm year, than it was thought the whole cou have produced. Indeed the knight doe ple to own among his most intimate fri in order to establish his reputation th has secretly sent for great numbers of th other countries, which he used to turn 1 the country by night, that he might signalize himself in their destruction the His hunting horses were the finest and aged in all these parts. His tenants ar of the praises of a gray stone-horse th pily staked himself several years since buried with great solemnity in the orch Sir Roger being at present too old for his beagles and got a pack of stop-houn these want in speed, he endeavors to ma for by the deepness of their mouths an riety of their notes, which are suited manner to each other, that the whole up a complete concert. He is so nice in ticular, that a gentleman having made h sent of a very fine hound the other day, returned it by the servant with a great
When I was some years younger than I am at present, I used to employ myself in a more labo-ing, to keep himself in action, has di rious diversion, which I learned from a Latin treatise of exercises that is written with great erudition:+ it is there called the fighting with a man's own shadow, and consists in the brandishing of two short sticks grasped in each hand, and loaden with plugs of lead at either end. This opens the chest, exercises the limbs, and gives a man all the pleasure of boxing, without the blows. I could wish that several learned men would lay out that time which they employ in controversies and dis-pressions of civility; but desired him putes about nothing, in this method of fighting with their own shadows. It might conduce very much to evaporate the spleen, which makes them uneasy to the public as well as to themselves.
To conclude, as I am a compound of soul and body, I consider myself as obliged to a double scheme of duties; and think I have not fulfilled the business of the day when I do not thus employ the one in labor and exercise, as well as the other in study and contemplation.
No. 116.] FRIDAY, JULY 13, 1711.
THOSE Who have searched into human nature ob. serve that nothing so much shows the nobleness of the soul, as that its felicity consists in action. Every man has such an active principle in him, that he will find out something to employ himself upon, in whatever place or state of life he is posted. I have heard of a gentleman who was under close confinement in the Bastile seven years, during which time he amused himself in scatter. ing a few small pins about his chamber, gathering them up again, and placing them in different figures on the arm of a great chair. He often told his friends afterward, that unless he had found out this piece of exercise, he verily believed he
should have lost his senses.
After what has been said, I need not inform my readers that Sir Roger, with whose character I hope they are at present pretty well acquainted, has in his youth gone through the whole course of those rural diversions which the country
master that the dog he had sent was inde
My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind
Sir Roger is so keen at this sport, th
After we had ridden about a mile fr began to beat. They had done so for s we came upon a large heath, and the when, as I was at a little distance from the company, I saw a hare pop out from ed the way she took, which I endeavore furze-brake almost under my horse's feet. but to no purpose, till Sir Roger, who k the company sensible of by extending cant, rode up to me and asked me if none of my extraordinary motions are mediately called in the dogs, and put t gone that way? Upon my answering y the scent. As they were going off, I of the country fellows muttering to his co * Mouthed, chapped.
† Marked with s
"that 'twas a wonder they had not lost all their sport, for want of the silent gentleman's crying, Stole away."
This, with my aversion to leaping hedges, made me withdraw to a rising ground, from whence I could have the pleasure of the whole chase, without the fatigue of keeping in with the hounds. The hare immediately threw them above a mile behind her; but I was pleased to find that, instead of running straight forward, or, in hunter's language, flying the country," as I was afraid she might have done, she wheeled about, and described a sort of circle round the hill where I had taken my station, in such a manner as gave me a very distinct view of the sport. I could see her first pass by, and the dogs some time afterward unraveling the whole track she had made, and following her through all her doubles, I was at the same time delighted in observing that deference which the rest of the pack paid to each particular hound, according to the character he had acquired among them. If they were at fault, and an old hound of reputation opened but once, he was immediately followed by the whole cry; while a raw dog, or one who was a noted liar, might have yelped his heart out, without being taken
The hare now, after having squatted two or three times, and being put up again as often, came still nearer to the place where she was at first started. The dogs pursued her, and these were followed by the jolly knight, who rode upon a white gelding, encompassed by his tenants and servants, and cheering his hounds with all the gayety of five-and-twenty. One of the sportsmen rode up to me, and told me, that he was sure the chase was almost at an end, because the old dogs, which had hitherto lain behind, now headed the pack. The fellow was in the right. Our hare took a large field just under us, followed by the full cry in view. I must confess the brightness of the weather, the cheerfulness of everything around me, the chiding of the hounds, which was returned upon us in a double echo from two neighboring hills, with the hallooing of the sportsmen, and the sounding of the horn, lifted my spirits into a most lively pleasure, which I freely indulged because I was sure it was innocent. If I was under any concern, it was on account of the poor hare, that was now quite spent, and almost within the reach of her enemies; when the huntsman getting forward, threw down his pole before the dogs. They were now within eight yards of that game which they had been pursuing for almost as many hours; yet on the signal before-mentioned they all made a sudden stand, and though they continued opening as much as before, durst not once attempt to pass beyond the pole. At the same time Sir Roger rode forward, and alighting, took up the hare in his arms; which he soon after delivered up to one of his servants with an order if she could be kept alive, to let her go in his great orchard; where it seems he has several of these prisoners of war, who live together in a very comfortable captivity. I was highly pleased to see the discipline of the pack, and the good-nature of the knight, who could not find in his heart to murder a creature that had given him so much diversion.
sports comes from the same reason, and is particularly severe upon hunting. "What," says he, "unless it be to drown thought, can make them throw away so much time and pains upon a silly animal, which they might buy cheaper in the market?" The foregoing reflection is certainly just, when a man suffers his whole mind to be drawn into his sports, and altogether loses himself in the woods; but does not affect those who propose a far more laudable end from this exercise, I mean the preservation of health, and keeping all the organs of the soul in a condition to execute her orders. Had that incomparable person whom I last quoted been a little more indulgent to himself in this point, the world might probably have enjoyed him much longer; whereas, through too great an application to his studies in his youth, he contracted that ill habit of body, which, after a tedious sickness, carried him off in the fortieth year of his age; and the whole history we have of his life till that time, is but one continued account of the behavior of a noble soul struggling under innumerable pains and distempers.
For my own part, I intend to hunt twice a week during my stay with Sir Roger; and shall prescribe the moderate use of this exercise to all my country friends, as the best kind of physic for mending a bad constitution, and preserving a good one.
I cannot do this better, than in the following lines out of Mr. Dryden:
The first physicians by debauch were made;
No. 117] SATURDAY, JULY 14, 1711.
-Ipsi sibi somnia fingunt.-VIRG., Ecl. viii, 108. With voluntary dreams they cheat their minds. THERE are some opinions in which a man should stand neuter, without engaging his assent to one side or the other. Such a hovering faith as this, which refuses to settle upon his determination, is absolutely necessary in a mind that is careful to avoid errors and prepossessions. When the arguments press equally on both sides in matters that are indifferent to us, the safest method is to give up ourselves to neither.
It is with this temper of mind that I consider the subject of witchcraft. Whenever I hear the relations that are made from all parts of the world, not only from Norway and Lapland, from the East and West Indies, but from every particular nation in Europe, I cannot forbear thinking that there is such an intercourse and commerce with evil spirits, as that which we express by the name of witchcraft. But when I consider that the ignorant and credulous parts of the world abound most in these relations, and the persons among us, who are supposed to engage in such an infernal commerce, are people of a weak understanding and crazed imagination-and at the same time As we were returning home, I remembered that reflect upon the many impostures and delusions Monsieur Paschal, in his most excellent discourse of this nature that have been detected in all ages, on the Misery of Man, tells us, that all our endea- I endeavor to suspend my belief till I hear more vors after greatness proceed from nothing but a certain accounts than any which have yet come desire of being surrounded by a multitude of per- to my knowledge. In short, when I consider the Bons and affairs that may hinder us from looking question, whether there are such persons in the into ourselves, which is a view we cannot bear. world as those we call witches, my mind is diHe afterward goes on to show that our love of|vided between two opposite opinions, or rather
(to speak my thoughts freely) I believe in general that there is, and has been, such a thing as witchcraft; but at the same time can give no credit to any particular instance of it.
I am engaged in this speculation, by some occurrences that I met with yesterday, which I shall give my reader an account of at large. As I was walking with my friend Sir Roger by the side of one of his woods, an old woman applied herself to me for my charity. Her dress and figure put me in mind of the following description in Ot
In a close lane, as I pursu'd my journey,
I spied a wrinkled hag, with age grown double,
king children spit pins, and giving n nightmare; and that the country people tossing her into a pond and trying ex with her every day, if it was not for hir chaplain.
I have since found upon inquiry that was several times staggered with the re had been brought him concerning this ol and would frequently have bound her o county sessions, had not his chaplain v ado persuaded him to the contrary.
I have been the more particular in this because I hear there is scarcely a village in that has not a Moll White in it. Wh woman begins to doat, and grow charg parish, she is generally turned into a w fills the whole country with extravagan imaginary distempers, and terrifying dre the meantime, the poor wretch that is the occasion of so many evils, begins to be f herself, and sometimes confesses secret c and familiarities that her imagination f delirious old age. This frequently cuts from the greatest objects of compassion spires people with a malevolence tow poor decrepid parts of our species, in man nature is defaced by infirmity and d
As I was musing on this description, and comparing it with the object before me, the knight told me, that this very old woman had the reputation of a witch all over the country; that her lips were observed to be always in motion; and that there was not a switch about her house which her neighbors did not believe had carried her several hundreds of miles. If she chanced to stumNo. 118.] MONDAY, JULY 16, 1 ble, they always found sticks or straws that lay in the figure of a cross before her. If she made Hæret lateri lethalis arundo.-VIRG., EI any mistake at church, and cried amen in a wrong -The fatal dart place, they never failed to conclude that she was Sticks in his side, and rankles in his heart.saying her prayers backward. There was not a THIS agreeable seat is surrounded with maid in the parish that would take a pin of her, pleasing walks, which are struck out o though she should offer a bag of money with it. in the midst of which the house stands She goes by the name of Moll White, and has can hardly be weary of rambling from made the country ring with several imaginary ex- rinth of delight to another. To one used ploits which are palmed upon her. If the dairy-the city, the charms of the country are so maid does not make her butter come so soon as she would have it, Moll White is at the bottom of the churn. If a horse sweats in the stable, Moll White has been upon his back. If a hare makes an unexpected escape from the hounds, the hunts-mur of waters, the whisper of breezes, man curses Moll White. "Nay," says Sir Roger, "I have known the master of the pack, upon such an occasion, send one of his servants to see if Moll White had been out that morning."
This account raised my curiosity so far, that I begged my friend Sir Roger to go with me into her hovel, which stood in a solitary corner under the side of the wood. Upon our first entering, Sir Roger winked to me, and pointed to something that stood behind the door, which, upon looking that way, I found to be an old broom-staff. At the same time he whispered me in the ear to take notice of a tabby cat that sat in the chimney corner, which, as the old knight told me, lay under as bad a report as Moll White herself; for beside that Moll is said often to accompany her in the same shape, the cat is reported to have spoken twice or thrice in her life, and to have played several pranks above the capacity of an ordinary
I was secretly concerned to see human nature in so much wretchedness and disgrace, but at the same time could not forbear smiling to hear Sir Roger, who is a little puzzled about the old wo man, advising her as a justice of peace to avoid all communication with the devil, and never to hurt any of her neighbor's cattle. We concluded our visit with a bounty which was very acceptable.
In our return home Sir Roger told me that old Moll had been often brought before him for ma
that the mind is lost in a certain transp raises us above ordinary life, and yet is enough to be inconsistent with tranquilli state of mind was I in-ravished with
ing of birds; and whether I looked up t vens, down on the earth, or turned to the around me, still struck with new sens sure; when I found by the voice of m who walked by me, that we had insensib into the grove sacred to the widow. man," says he, "is of all others the mos ligible: she either designs to marry or she What is the most perplexing of all is. doth not either say to her lovers she ha olution against that condition of life in or that she banishes them; but conscio own merit, she permits their addresses fear of any ill consequence, or want o from their rage or despair. She has that pect against which it is impossible to o man whose thoughts are constantly bent agreeable an object, must be excused if the occurrences in conversation are below tion. I call her indeed perverse, but, a do I call her so ?-because her superio such, that I cannot approach her witho that my heart is checked by too much e am angry that her charms are not more a that I am more inclined to worship th her. How often have I wished her unha I might have an opportunity of serving how often troubled in that very imagi giving her the pain of being obliged! have led a miserable life in secret upon her but fancy she would have condescended