compliment; and when the fellow seemed to think that could hardly be, added with a more decisive look, that it was too great an honor for any man under a duke; but told him at the same time, that it might be altered with a very few touches, and that he himself would be at the charge of it. Accordingly they got a painter, by the knight's directions, to add a pair of whiskers to the face, and by a little aggravation to the features to change it to the Saracen's Head. I should not have known this story, had not the inn-keeper, upon Sir Roger's alighting, told him in my hearing that his honor's head was brought last night with the alterations that he had ordered to be made in it. Upon this, my friend, with his usual cheerfulness, related the particulars above-mentioned, and ordered the head to be brought into the room. I could not forbear discovering greater expressions of mirth than ordinary upon the appearance of this monstrous face, under which, notwithstanding it was made to frown and stare in a most extraordinary manner, I could still discover a distant resemblance of my old friend. Sir Roger, upon seeing me laugh, desired me to tell him truly if I thought it possible for people to know him in that disguise. I at first kept my usual silence; but upon the knight's conjuring me to tell him whether it was not still more like himself than a Saracen, I composed my countenance in the best manner I could, and replied, "that much might be said on both


These several adventures, with the knight's behavior in them, gave me as pleasant a day as ever I met with in any of my travels.-L.

No. 123.] SATURDAY, JULY 21, 1711.

transmit their lands and houses in a li posterity.

This makes me often think on a story I heard of two friends, which I shall giv readers at large, under feigned names. moral of it may, I hope, be useful, though are some circumstances which make it appear like a novel, than a true story. Eudoxus and Leontine began the world small estates. They were both of them of good sense and great virtue. They secuted their studies together in their years, and entered into such a friendship as to the end of their lives. Eudoxus, at his fir ting out in the world, threw himself into a where by his natural endowments and h quired abilities, he made his way from on to another, until at length he had raised considerable fortune. Leontine, on the con sought all opportunities of improving his by study, conversation, and travel. He wa only acquainted with all the sciences, but the most eminent professors of them throu Europe. He knew perfectly well the intere its princes, with the customs and fashions o courts, and could scarce meet with the name extraordinary person in the Gazette whom not either talked to or seen. In short, he well mixed and digested his knowledge o and books, that he made one of the most a plished persons of his age. During the course of his studies and travels he kept punctual correspondence with Eudoxus often made himself acceptable to the pri men about court, by the intelligence wh received from Leontine. When they wer turned of forty (an age in which, accord Mr. Cowley, "there is no dallying with they determined, pursuant to the resolutio had taken in the beginning of their li retire, and pass the remainder of their d the country. In order to this, they both_o married much about the same time. Le with his own and wife's fortune, bought of three hundred a year, which lay with neighborhood of his friend Eudoxus, wh purchased an estate of as many thousands. were both of them fathers about the same Eudoxus having a son born to him, and L a daughter; but to the unspeakable grief latter, his young wife (in whom all his hap was wrapt up) died in a few days after th of her daughter. His affliction would hav insupportable, had not he been comforted daily visits and conversations of his frien they were one day talking together wit usual intimacy, Leontine, considering how pable he was of giving his daughter a education in his own house, and Eudoxus ing on the ordinary behavior of a so knows himself to be the heir of a great they both agreed upon an exchange of cl namely, that the boy should be bred u Leontine as his son, and that the girl shot with Eudoxus as his daughter, until the each of them arrived at years of discretion The truth of it is, since my residing in these wife of Eudoxus, knowing that her son parts, I have seen and heard innumerable in- not be so advantageously brought up as un stances of young heirs and elder brothers, who, care of Leontine, and considering at th either from their own reflecting upon the estates time that he would be perpetually under 1 they are born to, and therefore thinking all other eye, was by degrees prevailed upon to fall accomplishments unnecessary, or from hearing the project. She therefore took Leonilla, 1 these notions frequently inculcated to them by was the name of the girl, and educated her the flattery of their servants and domestics, or own daughter. The two friends on each s from the same foolish thought prevailing in those wrought themselves to such an habitual ten who have the care of their education, are of no for the children who were under their di manner of use but to keep up their families, and | that each of them had the real passion of a

Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam,
Rectique cultus pectora roborant:
Utcunque defecere mores,

Dedecorant bene nata culpæ.-HOR. 4, Od. iv, 33.
Yet the best blood by learning is refin'd,
And virtue arms the solid mind;
While vice will stain the noblest race,

And the paternal stamp efface.-OLDISWORTH.
As I was yesterday taking the air with my
friend Sir Roger, we were met by a fresh-colored
ruddy young man who rode by us full speed, with a
couple of servants behind him. Upon my inquiry
who he was, Sir Roger told me he was a young
gentleman of a considerable estate, who had been
educated by a tender mother that lived not many
miles from the place where we were. She is a
very good lady, says my friend, but took so much
care of her son's health, that she has made him
good for nothing. She quickly found that read-
ing was bad for his eyes, and that writing made
his head ache. He was let loose among the
woods as soon as he was able to ride on horse-
back, or to carry a gun upon his shoulder. To
be brief, I found, by my friend's account of him,
that he had got a great stock of health, and
nothing else; and that if it were a man's business
only to live, there would not be a more accom-
plished young fellow in the whole country.

you did before you possessed it. I have left your mother in the next room. Her heart yearns toward you. She is making the same discoveries to Leonilla which I have made to yourself." Florio was so overwhelmed with this profusion of happiness, that he was not able to make a reply, but threw himself down at his father's feet, and, amidst a flood of tears, kissed and embraced his knees, asking his blessing, and expressing in dumb show those sentiments of love, duty, and gratitude, that were too big for utterance. To conclude, the happy pair were married, and half Eudoxus's estate settled upon them. Leontine and Eudoxus passed the remainder of their lives together: and receiving in the dutiful and affectionate behavior of Florio and Leonilla the just recompense, as well as the natural effects, of that care which they had bestowed upon them in their education.-L.

where the title was but imaginary. Florio, the Continue only to deserve it in the same manner name of the young heir that lived with Leontine, though he had all the duty and affection imaginable for his supposed parent, was taught to rejoice at the sight of Eudoxus, who visited his friend very frequently, and was dictated by his natural affection, as well as by the rules of prudence, to make himself esteemed and beloved by Florio. The boy was now old enough to know his supposed father's circumstances, and that therefore he had to make his way in the world by his own industry. This consideration grew stronger in him every day, and produced so good an effect, that he applied himself with more than ordinary attention to the pursuits of everything which Leontine recommended to him. His natural abilities, which were very good, assisted by the directions of so excellent a counselor, enabled him to make a quicker progress than ordinary through all the parts of his education. Before he was twenty years of age, having finished his studies and exercises with great applause, he was removed from the university to the inns of court, where there are very few that make themselves considerable proficients in the studies of the place, who know they shall arrive at great estates without them. This was not Florio's case; he found that three hundred a year was but a poor estate for Leontine and himself to live upon, so that he studied without intermission till he gained a very good insight into the constitution and laws of his country.

I should have told my reader that, while Florio lived at the house of his foster-father, he was always an acceptable guest in the family of Eudoxus, where he became acquainted with Leonilla from her infancy. His acquaintance with her by degrees grew into love, which in a mind trained up in all the sentiments of honor and virtue became a very uneasy passion. He despaired of gaining an heiress of so great a fortune and would rather have died than attempted it by any indirect methods. Leonilla, who was a woman of the greatest beauty, joined with the greatest modesty, entertained at the same time a secret passion for Florio, but conducted herself with so much prudence that she never gave him the least intimation of it. Florio was now engaged in all those arts and improvements that are proper to raise a man's private fortune and give him a figure in his country, but secretly tormented with that passion which burns with the greatest fury in a virtuous and noble heart, when he received a sudden summons from Leontine to repair to him in the country the next day: for it seems Eudoxus was so filled with the report of his son's reputation, that he could no longer withhold making himself known to him. The morning after his arrival at the house of his supposed father, Leontine told him that Eudoxus had something of great importance to communicate to him; upon which the good man embraced him, and wept. Florio was no sooner arrived at the great house that stood in his neighborhood, but Eudoxus took him by the hand, after the first salutes were over, and conducted him into his closet. He there opened to him the whole secret of his parentage and education, concluding after this manner: I have no other way left of acknowledging my gratitude to Leontine, than by marrying you to his daughter. He shall not lose the pleasure of being your father by the discovery I have made to you. Leonilla, too, shall be still my daughter: her filial piety, though misplaced, has been so exemplary, that it deserves the greatest reward I can confer upon it. You shall have the pleasure of seeing a great estate fall to you, which you would have lost the relish of had you known yourself born to it.

No. 124.] MONDAY, JULY 23, 1711.
A great book is a great evil.

A MAN who publishes his works in a volume, has an infinite advantage over one who communicates his writings to the world in loose tracts and single pieces. We do not expect to meet with anything in a bulky volume, till after some heavy preamble, and several words of course, to prepare the reader for what follows. Nay, authors have established it as a kind of rule, that a man ought to be dull sometimes; as the most severe reader makes allowances for many rests and noddingplaces in a voluminous writer. This gives occasion to the famous Greek proverb which I have chosen for my motto, that, "a great book is a great evil.”

On the contrary, those who publish their thoughts in distinct sheets, and as it were by piecemeal, have none of these advantages. We must immediately fall into our subject, and treat every part of it in a lively manner, or our papers are thrown by as dull and insipid. Our matter must lie close together, and either be wholly new in itself, or in the turn it receives from our expressions. Were the books of our best authors thus to be retailed by the public, and every page submitted to the taste of forty or fifty thousand readers, I am afraid we should complain of many flat expressions, trivial observations, beaten topics, and common thoughts, which go off very well in the lump. At the same time, notwithstanding some papers may be made up of broken hints and irregular sketches, it is often expected that every sheet should have been a kind of treatise, and make out in thought what it wants in bulk; that a point of humor should be worked up in all its parts; and a subject touched upon in its most essential articles, without the repetitions, tautologies, and enlargements, that are indulged in longer labors. The ordinary writers of morality prescribe to their readers after the Galenic way; their medicines are made up in large quantities. An essay-writer must practice in the chemical method, and give the virtue of a full draught in a few drops. Were all books reduced thus to their quintessence, many a bulky author would make his appearance in a penny-paper. There would be scarce such a thing in nature as a folio; the works of an age would be contained on a few shelves; not to mention millions of volumes that would be utterly annihilated.

I cannot think that the difficulty of furnishing out separate papers of this nature has hindered authors from communicating their thoughts to the

world after such a manner: though I must confess I am amazed that the press should be only made use of in this way by news-writers, and the zealots of parties: as if it were not more advantageous to mankind, to be instructed in wisdom and virtue, than in politics; and to be made good fathers, husbands and sons, than counselors and statesmen. Had the philosophers and great men of antiquity, who took so much pains in order to instruct mankind, and leave the world wiser and better than they found it; had they, I say, been possessed of the art of printing, there is no question but they would have made such an advantage of it, in dealing out their lectures to the public. Our common prints* would be of great use were they thus calculated to diffuse good sense through the bulk of a people, to clear up their understandings, animate their minds with virtue, dissipate the sorrows of a heavy heart, or unbend the mind from its more severe employments, with innocent amusements. When knowledge, instead of being bound up in books, and kept in libraries and retirements, is thus obtruded upon the public; when it is canvassed in every assembly, and exposed upon every table, I cannot forbear reflecting upon that passage in the Proverbs: "Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates. In the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning? And fools hate knowledge?"

[blocks in formation]

My worthy friend Sir Roger, when we are ing of the malice of parties, very frequently us an accident that happened to him when h a school-boy which was at the time when the ran high between the Round-heads and Cav This worthy knight, being then but a stri had occasion to inquire which was the w St. Anne's-lane; upon which the person he spoke, instead of answering the que called him a young popish cur, and aske who had made Anne a saint? The boy be some confusion, inquired of the next he which was the way to Anne's-lane; but was a prick-eared cur for his pains, and instead ing shown the way, was told that she had saint before he was born, and would be on he was hanged. Upon this," says Sir "I did not think fit to repeat the former que The many letters which come to me from per- but going into every lane of the neighbo sons of the best sense in both sexes (for I may asked what they called the name of that pronounce their characters from their way of wri- By which ingenious artifice he found o ting) do not a little encourage me in the prosecu-place he inquired after, without giving off tion of this my undertaking: beside that my bookseller tells me, the demand for these my papers increases daily. It is at his instance that I shall continue my rural speculations to the end of | this month; several having made up separate sets of them, as they have done of those relating to wit, to operas, to points of morality, or subjects

of humor.

[blocks in formation]

Black night inwraps them in her gloomy shade. To these I must apply the fable of the mole that, after having consulted many oculists for the bettering of his sight, was at last provided with a good pair of spectacles; but upon his endeavoring to make use of them, his mother told him very prudently, "That spectacles, though they might help the eye of a man, could be of no use to a mole. It is not therefore for the benefit of moles that I publish these my daily essays.


But beside such as are moles through ignorance, there are others who are moles through envy. As it is said in the Latin proverb, "That one man is a wolf to another;" so, generally speaking, one author is a mole to another. It is impossible for them to discover beauties in one another's works; they have eyes only for spots and blemishes: they can indeed see the light, as it is said of the animals which are their namesakes, but the idea of it is painful to them; they immediately shut their eyes upon it, and withdraw themselves into a willful obscurity. I have already caught two or


[ocr errors]

any party. Sir Roger generally closes thi rative with reflections on the mischief tha ties do in the country; how they spoil good borhood, and make honest gentlemen ha another; beside that they manifestly tend prejudice of the land-tax, and the destruct the game.

There cannot be a greater judgment b country than such a dreadful spirit of divi rends a government into distinct peopl makes them greater strangers and more av one another, than if they were actually two ent nations. The effects of such a divisi pernicious to the last degree, not only with to those advantages which they give the c enemy, but to those private evils which the duce in the heart of almost every particul son. This influence is very fatal, both to morals and their understandings; it sin virtue of a nation, and not only so, but d even common sense.

A furious party spirit, when it rages in violence, exerts itself in civil war and bloo and when it is under its greatest restraints ally breaks out in falsehood, detraction, ca and a partial administration of justice. word, it fills a nation with spleen and and extinguishes all the seeds of goodcompassion, and humanity.

Plutarch says very finely, "that a man not allow himself to hate even his enemi cause," says he, "if you indulge this pas: some occasions, it will rise of itself in oth you hate your enemies, you will contract vicious habit of mind, as by degrees will out upon those who are your friends, or the are indifferent to you." I might here obser admirably this precept of morality (which the malignity of hatred from the passion and not from its object) answers to that rule which was dictated to the world :

hundred years before this philosopher wrote; but | instead of that, I shall only take notice, with a real grief of heart, that the minds of many good men among us appear soured with party principles, and alienated from one another in such a manner as seems to me altogether inconsistent with the dictates either of reason or religion. Zeal for a public cause is apt to breed passions in the hearts of virtuous persons, to which the regard of their own private interest would never have betrayed them.

For my own part, I could heartily wish that all honest men would enter into an association, for the support of one another against the endeavors of those whom they ought to look upon as their common enemies, whatsoever side they may belong to. Were there such an honest body of neutral forces, we should never see the worst of men in great figures of life, because they are useful to a party; nor the best unregarded, because they are above practicing those methods which would be grateful to their faction. We should then single every criminal out of the herd, and hunt him down, however formidable and overgrown he might appear: on the contrary, we should shelter distressed innocence, and defend virtue, however beset with contempt or ridicule, envy or defamation. In short, we should not any longer regard our fellow-subjects as whigs or tories, but should make the man of merit our friend, and the villain our enemy.-C

If this party-spirit has so ill an effect on our morals, it has likewise a very great one upon our judgments. We often hear a poor insipid paper or pamphlet cried up, and sometimes a noble piece deprecated, by those who are of a different principle from the author. One who is actuated by this spirit is almost under an incapacity of discerning either real blemishes or beauties. A man of merit in a different principle, is like an object seen in two different mediums, that appears crooked or broken, however straight and entire it may be in itself. For this reason there is scarce a No. 126. ] WEDNESDAY, JULY 25, 1711. person of any figure in England, who does not go Tros Rutulusve fuat, nullo discrimine habebo. by two contrary characters, as opposite to one VIRG. Æn., x, 108. another as light and darkness. Knowledge and Rutulians, Trojans, are the same to me.-DRYDEN, learning suffer in a particular manner from this In my yesterday's paper I proposed, that the strange prejudice, which at present prevails among honest men of all parties should enter into a kind all ranks and degrees in the British nation. As of association for the defense of one another, and men formerly became eminent in learned societies the confusion of their common enemies. As it is by their parts and acquisitions, they now dis- designed this neutral body should act with a retinguished themselves by the warmth and violence gard to nothing but truth and equity, and divest with which they espouse their respective parties.-themselves of the little heats and prepossessions Books are valued upon the like considerations. that cleave to parties of all kinds, I have prepared An abusive, scurrilous style passes for satire, and for them the following form of an association, a dull scheme of party notions is called fine writing. which may express their intentions in the most There is one piece of sophistry practiced by plain and simple manner: both sides-and that is, the taking any scandalous story that has been ever whispered or invented of a private man for a known undoubted truth, and raising suitable speculations upon it. Calumnies that have never been proved, or have been often refuted, are the ordinary postulatums of these infamous scribblers, upon which they proceed as upon first principles granted by all men, though in their hearts they know they are false, or at best very doubtful. When they have laid these foundations of scurrility, it is no wonder that their superstructure is every way answerable to them. If this shameless practice of the present age endures much longer, praise and reproach will cease to be motives of action in good men.

There are certain periods of time in all governments, when this inhuman spirit prevails. Italy was long torn in pieces by the Guelfs and Ghibellines, and France by those who were for and against the League: but it is very unhappy for a man to be born in such a stormy and tempestuous season. It is the restless ambition of artful men that thus breaks a people into factions, and draws several well-meaning persons to their interest by a specious concern for their country. How many honest minds are filled with uncharitable and barbarous notions, out of their zeal for the public good? What cruelties and outrages would they not commit against men of an adverse party, whom, they would honor and esteem, if, instead of considering them as they are represented, they knew them as they are? Thus are persons of the greatest probity seduced into shameful errors and prejudices, and made bad men even by that noblest of principles, "the love of their country." I cannot here forbear mentioning the famous Spanish proverb, "If there were neither fools nor knaves in the world, all people would be of one mind."

Viz: by Jesus Christ. See Luke, vi, 27–32, etc.

"We whose names are hereunto subscribed do solemnly declare, that we do in our consciences believe two and two make four; and that we shall adjudge any man whatsoever to be our enemy who endeavors to persuade us to the contrary. We are likewise ready to maintain with the hazard of all that is near and dear to us, that six is less than seven in all times and in all places; and that ten will not be more three years hence than it is at present. We do also firmly declare, that it is our resolution as long as we live to call black black, and white white. And we shall upon all occasions oppose such persons that upon any day of the year shall call black white, or white black, with the utmost peril of our lives and fortunes."

Were there such a combination of honest men, who without any regard to places would endeavor to extirpate all such furious zealots as would sacrifice one half their country to the passion and interest of the other; as also such infamous hypocrites that are for promoting their own advantage under color of the public good; with all the profligate immoral retainers to each side, that have nothing to recommend them but an implicit submission to their leaders: we should soon see that furious party-spirit extinguished, which may in time expose us to the derision and contempt of all the nations about us.

A member of this society that would thus carefully employ himself in making room for merit, by throwing down the worthless and depraved part of mankind from those conspicuous stations of life to which they have been sometimes advanced, and all this without any regard to his private interest, would be no small benefactor to his country.

I remember to have read in Diodorus Siculus an account of a very active little animal, which I think he calls the ichneumon, that makes it the whole business of his life to break the eggs of the

crocodile, which he is always in search after. | nary; but was much surprised that, notwith This instinct is the more remarkable, because the ing he was a very fair better, nobody woul ichneumon never feeds upon the eggs he has him up. But upon inquiry, I found that broken, nor any other way finds his account in one who had given a disagreeable vote in a them. Were it not for the incessant labors of parliament, for which reason there was not this industrious animal, Egypt, says the historian, upon the bowling green who would have sc would be overrun with crocodiles; for the Egyp-correspondence with him as to win his mo tians are so far from destroying those pernicious creatures, that they worship them as gods.

If we look into the behavior of ordinary partisans, we shall find them far from resembling this disinterested animal; and rather acting after the example of the wild Tartars, who are ambitious of destroying a man of the most extraordinary parts and accomplishments, as thinking that upon his decease the same talents, whatever post they qualified him for, enter of course into his destroyer.

As in the whole train of my speculations I have endeavored, as much as I am able, to extinguish that pernicious spirit of passion and prejudice which rages with the same violence in all parties, I am still the more desirous of doing some good in this particular, because I observe that the spirit of party reigns more in the country than in the town. It here contracts a kind of brutality and rustic fierceness, to which men of a politer conversation are wholly strangers. It extends itself even to the return of the bow and the hat; and at the same time that the heads of parties preserve toward one another an outward show of goodbreeding, and keep up a perpetual intercourse of civilities, their tools that are dispersed in these outlying parts will not so much as mingle together at a cock-match. This humor fills the country with several periodical meetings of Whig jockeys and Tory fox-hunters; not to mention the innumerable curses, frowns, and whispers it produces at a quarter-sessions.

I do not know whether I have observed in any of my former papers that my friends Sir Roger de Coverley and Sir Andrew Freeport are of different principles-the first of them inclined to the landed and the other to the monied interest. This humor is so moderate in each of them, that it proceeds no farther than to an agreeable raillery, which very often diverts the rest of the club. I find, however, that the knight is a much stronger Tory in the country than in town, which, as he has told me in my ear, is absolutely necessary for the keeping up his interest. In all our journey from London to his house, we did not so much as bait at a Whig inn; or if by chance the coachman stopped at a wrong place, one of Sir Roger's servants would ride up to his master full speed, and whisper to him that the master of the house was against such a one in the last election. This often betrayed us into hard beds and bad cheer; for we were not so inquisitive about the inn as the innkeeper; and provided our landlord's principles were sound, did not take any notice of the staleness of his provisions. This I found still the more inconvenient, because the better the host was, the worse generally were his accommodations; the fellow knowing very well that those who were his friends would take up with coarse diet and a hard lodging. For these reasons, all the while I was upon the road I dreaded entering into a house of any one that Sir Roger had applauded for an honest man.

Since my stay at Sir Roger's in the country, I daily find more instances of this narrow party humor. Being upon the bowling-green at a neighboring market-town the other day (for that is the place where the gentlemen of one side meet once a week), I observed a stranger among them of a better presence and genteeler behavior than ordi


Among other instances of this nature, not omit one which concerns myself. Wil ble was the other day relating several stories that he had picked up, nobody where, of a certain great man; and upon n ing at him, as one that was surprised to he things in the country-which had never much as whispered in the town-Will short in the thread of his discourse, and af ner asked my friend Sir Roger in his ear if sure that I was not a fanatic.

It gives me a serious concern to see such of dissension in the country; not only a stroys virtue and common sense, and ren in a manner barbarians toward one anot as it perpetuates our animosities, wide breaches, and transmits our present passi prejudices to our posterity. For my own am sometimes afraid that I discover the se civil war in these our divisions; and theref not but bewail, as in their first princip miseries and calamities of our children.—

No. 127.] THURSDAY, JULY 26,

-Quantum est in rebus inane!-PERS. Sat How much of emptiness we find in things! Ir is our custom at Sir Roger's, upon t ing in of the post, to sit about a pot of co hear the old knight read Dyer's Letter; w does with his spectacles upon his nose, a audible voice, smiling very often at tho strokes of satire which are so frequent writings of that author. I afterward ce cate to the knight such packets as I recei the quality of Spectator. The followin chancing to please him more than ordinar publish it at his request.


"You have diverted the town almost month at the expense of the country; it high time that you should give the cour revenge. Since your withdrawing fr place, the fair sex are run into great gances. Their petticoats, which began and swell before you left us, are now b into a most enormous concave, and rise e more and more. In short, Sir, since ou know themselves to be out of the eye of tator, they will be kept within no compa praised them a little too soon, for the m their head-dresses; for as the humor of a son is often driven out of one limb into their superfluity of ornaments, instead entirely banished, seems only fallen fr heads upon their lower parts. What t lost in height they make up in breadth, trary to all rules of architecture, widen dations at the same time that they sh superstructure. Were they, like Spanish to impregnate by the wind, they could thought on a more proper invention. do not hear any particular use in this pethat it contains anything more than what posed to be in those of scantier mak wonderfully at a loss about it.

"The women give out in defense of t

« VorigeDoorgaan »