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sour, "Hark ye, Sirrah, are not you paid your wages?" The poor creatures live in the most extreme misery together; the master knows not how to preserve respect, nor the servant how to give it. It seems this person is of so sullen a nature that he knows but little satisfaction in the midst of a plentiful fortune, and secretly frets to see any appearance of content in one that lives upon the hundredth part of his income, while he is unhappy in the possession of the whole. Uneasy persons, who cannot possess their own minds, vent their spleen upon all who depend upon them: which, I think, is expressed in a lively manner in the following letters:
August 2, 1711.
"I have read your Spectator of the third of the last month, and wish I had the happiness of being preferred to serve so good a master as Sir Roger. The character of my master is the very reverse of that good and gentle knight's. All his directions are given, and his mind revealed by way of contraries: as when anything is to be remembered, with a peculiar cast of face he cries, Be sure to forget now.' If I am to make haste back, Do not come these two hours; be sure to call by the way upon some of your companions.' Then another excellent way of his is, if he sets me anything to do, which he knows must necessarily take up half a day, he calls ten times in a quarter of an hour to know whether I have done yet. This is his manner; and the same perverseness runs through all his actions, according as the circumstances vary. Beside all this, he is so suspicious, that he submits himself to the drudgery of a spy. He is as unhappy himself as he makes his servants; he is constantly watching us, and we differ no more in pleasure and liberty than as a jailer and a prisoner. He lays traps for faults; and no sooner makes a discovery, but falls into such language, as I am more ashamed of for coming from him, than for being
directed to me.
This, Sir, is a short sketch of a
master I have served upward of nine years; and though I have never wronged him, I confess my despair of pleasing him has very much abated my endeavor to do it. If you will give me leave to steal a sentence out of my master's Clarendon, I shall tell you my case in a word, being used worse than I deserved, I cared less to deserve well than
I had done.'
"I am, Sir, your humble servant, "RALPH VALET."
“DEAR MR. SPECTER,
"I am the next thing to a lady's woman, and am under both my lady and her woman. I am so used by them both, that I should be very glad to see them in the Specter. My lady herself is of no mind in the world, and for that reason her woman is of twenty minds in a moment. My lady is one that never knows what to do with herself; she pulls on and puts off everything she wears twenty times before she resolves upon it for that day. I stand at one end of the room and reach things to her woman. When my lady asks for a thing, I hear, and have half brought it, when the woman meets me in the middle of the room to receive it, and at that instant she says, 'No, she will not have it.' Then I go back, and her woman comes up to her, and by this time she will have that and two or three things more in an instant. The woman and I run to each other; I am loaded and delivering the things to her, when my lady says she wants none of all these things, and we are the dullest creatures in the world, and she the unhap piest woman living, for she shall not be dressed in any time. Thus we stand, not knowing what
to do, when our good lady, with all the patience in the world, tells us as plain as she can speak, that she will have temper because we have no manner of understanding; and begins again to dress, and see if we can find out, of ourselves, what we are to do. When she is dressed she goes to dinner, and after she has disliked everything there she calls for her coach, then commands it in again, and then she will not go out at all, and then will go, too, and orders the chariot. Now, good Mr. Specter, I desire you would, in the behalf of all who serve froward ladies, give out in your paper that nothing can be done without allowing time for it, and that one cannot be back again with what one was sent for, if one is called back before one can go a step for what they want. And if you please, let them know that all mistresses are as like as all servants.
"I am your loving friend,
These are great calamities; but I met the other day in the Five fields, toward Chelsea, a pleasanter tyrant than either of the above represented. A fat fellow was puffing on in his open waistcoat; his cloak, upper-coat, hat, wig, and sword. The a boy of fourteen in a livery, carrying after him poor lad was ready to sink with the weight, and could not keep up with his master, who turned back every half furlong, and wondered what made the lazy young dog lag behind.
There is something very unaccountable, that people cannot put themselves in the condition of commands they give. But there is nothing more the persons below them, when they consider the common, than to see a fellow (who if he were reduced to it, would not be hired by any man living) lament that he is troubled with the most worthless dogs in nature.
It would, perhaps, be running too far out of of himself and his own passions, cannot be a common life to urge, that he who is not master proper master of another. Equanimity in a man's through his whole family. Pamphilio has the own words and actions, will easily diffuse itself happiest household of any man I know, and that proceeds from the humane regard he has to them in their private persons, as well as in respect that they are his servants. If there be any occasion, wherein they may in themselves be supposed to be unfit to attend to their master's concerns by reason of any attention to their own, he is so good as to place himself in their condition. I thought it very becoming in him, when at dinner the other day, he made an apology for want of is gone to the wedding of his sister, and the other more attendants. He said, "One of my footmen I do not expect to wait, because his father died but two days ago."-T.
No. 138.] WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 1711.
Utitur in re non dubia testibus non necessariis.-TULL. He uses unnecessary proofs in an indisputable point. ONE meets now and then with persons who are extremely learned and knotty in expounding clear cases. Tully tells us of an author that spent some pages to prove that generals could not perform the great enterprises which have made them so illustrious, if they had not had men. asserted also, it seems, that a minister at home, no more than a commander abroad, could do anything without other men were his instruments and assistants. On this occasion he produces the example of Themistocles, Pericles, Cyrus, and Alexander himself, whom he denies to have been capable of effecting what they did, except they
had been followed by others. It is pleasant enough to see such persons contend without opponents, and triumph without victory.
The author above-mentioned by the orator is placed forever in a very ridiculous light, and we meet every day in conversation such as deserve the same kind of renown, for troubling those with whom they converse with the like certainties. The persons that I have always thought to deserve the highest admiration in this kind are your ordinary story-tellers, who are most religiously careful of keeping to the truth in every particular circumstance of a narration, whether it concerns the main end or not. A gentleman whom I had the honor to be in company with the other day, upon some occasion that he was pleased to take, said, he remembered a very pretty repartee made by a very witty man in King Charles's time upon the like occasion. "I remember," said he, upon entering into the tale, "much about the time of Oates's plot, that a cousin-german of mine and I were at the Bear in Holborn. No, I am out, it was at the Cross-keys; but Jack Thomson was there, for he was very great with the gentleman who made the answer. But I am sure it was spoken somewhere thereabouts, for we drank a bottle in that neighborhood every evening; but no matter for all that, the thing is the same;
He was going on to settle the geography of the jest when I left the room, wondering at this odd turn of head, which can play away its words with uttering nothing to the purpose, still observing its own impertinences, and yet proceeding in them. I do not question but he informed the rest of his audience, who had more patience than I, of the birth and parentage, as well as the collateral alliances of his family who made the repartee, and of him who provoked him to it.
It is no small misfortune to any who have a just value for their time, when this quality of being so very circumstantial, and careful to be exact, happens to show itself in a man whose quality obliges them to attend his proofs that it is now day, and the like. But this is augmented when the same genius gets into authority, as it often does. Nay, I have known it more than once ascend the very pulpit. One of this sort taking it in his head to be a great admirer of Dr. Tillotson and Dr. Beveridge, never failed of proving out of these great authors, things which no man living would have denied him upon his own single authority. One day, resolving to come to the point in hand, he said, "According to that excellent divine" I will enter upon the matter, or in his words, in his fifteenth sermon of the folio edition, page 160,—
"I shall briefly explain the words, and then consider the matter contained in them."
This honest gentleman needed not, one would think, strain his modesty so far as to alter his design of "entering upon the matter," to that of "briefly explaining." But so it was, that he would not even be contented with that authority, but added also the other divine to strengthen his method, and told us, with the pious and learned Dr. Beveridge, page 4th of his ninth volume, "I shall endeavor to make it as plain as I can from the words which I have now read, wherein for that purpose we shall consider" This wiseacre was reckoned by the parish, who did not understand him, a most excellent preacher: but that he read too much, and was so humble that he did not trust enough to his own parts.
Next to these ingenious gentlemen, who argue for what nobody can deny them, are to be ranked a sort of people who do not indeed attempt to
prove insignificant things, but are ever laborit raise arguments with you about matters you give up to them without the least controv One of these people told a gentleman who sa saw Mr. Such-a-one go this morning at nine o clock toward the Gravel-pits: "Sir, I must your pardon for that, for though I am very to have any dispute with you, yet I must tak liberty to tell you it was nine when I saw h St. James's."" When men of this geniu pretty far gone in learning, they will put y prove that snow is white, and when you are that topic can say that there is really no thing as color in nature; in a word, they car what little knowledge they have into a capacity of raising doubts; into a capaci being always frivolous and always unanswe It was of two disputants of this impertinen laborious kind that the cynic said, "one of fellows is milking a ram, and the other hol pail."
"The exercise of the snuff-box, accordi the most fashionable airs and motions, in o tion to the exercise of the fan, will be taugh the best plain or perfumed snuff, at Charle lie's, perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort's ings, in the Strand, and attendance given f benefit of the young merchants about the Exc for two hours every day at noon, except Satu at a toy-shop near Garraway's coffee-house. will be likewise taught the ceremony of the box, or rules for offering snuff to a stran friend, or a mistress, according to the degr familiarity or distance, with an explanation careless, the scornful, the politic, and the pinch, and the gestures proper to each of th
"N. B. The undertaker does not questio in a short time to have formed a body of r snuff boxes ready to meet and make head a all the regiment of fans which have been disciplined, and are now in motion."—T.
No. 139.] THURSDAY, AUGUST 9,
Vera gloria radices agit, atque etiam propagatu omnia celeriter, tanquam flosculi, decidunt, nec sim potest quidquam esse diuturnum.-TULL.
True glory takes root, and even spreads; all fa tenses, like flowers, fall to the ground; nor can any feit last long.
Of all the affections which attend huma the love of glory is the most ardent. Acc as this is cultivated in princes, it produc greatest good or the greatest evil. Where eigns have it by impressions received from tion only, it creates an ambitious rather noble mind: where it is the natural bent prince's inclination, it prompts him to the of things truly glorious. The two greate now in Europe (according to the common a tion of the word great) are Lewis King of and Peter Emperor of Russia. As it is that all fame does not arise from the prac virtue, it is, methinks, no unpleasing amu to examine the glory of these potentates, a tinguish that which is empty, perishing a volous, from what is solid, lasting, and imp
Lewis of France had his infancy atten crafty and worldly men, who made extent ritory the most glorious instance of powe mistook the spreading of fame for the acqu of honor. The young monarch's hearty such conversation easily deluded into a fo for vain glory, and upon these unjust pri
Though men may impose upon themselves what they please by their corrupt imaginations, truth will ever keep its station: and as glory is nothing else but the shadow of virtue, it will certainly disappear at the departure of virtue. But how carefully ought the true notions of it to be preserved, and how industrious should we be to encourage any impulses toward it! The Westminster school-boy that said the other day he could not sleep or play for the colors in the hall,* ought to be free from receiving a blow forever.
to form or fall in with suitable projects of inva- noble and barbarous, the good prince only resion, rapine, murder, and all the guilts that at-nowned and glorious. tend war when it is unjust. At the same time this tyranny was laid, sciences and arts were encouraged in the most generous manner, as if men of higher faculties were to be bribed to permit the massacre of the rest of the world. Every superstructure which the court of France built upon their first designs, which were in themselves vicious, was suitable to its false foundation. The ostentation of riches, the vanity of equipage, shame of poverty, and ignorance of modesty, were the common arts of life; the generous love of one woman was changed into gallantry for all the sex, and friendships among men turned into commerces of interest, or mere professions. "While these were the rules of life, perjuries in the prince, and a general corruption of manners in the subject, were the snares in which France has entangled all her neighbors." With such false colors have the eyes of Lewis been enchanted, from the debauchery of his early youth to the superstition of his present old age. Hence it is, that he has the patience to have statues erected to his prowess, his valor, his fortitude, and in the softness and luxury of a court to be applauded for magnanimity and enterprise in military achievements.
Peter Alexovitz of Russia, when he came to years of manhood, though he found himself emperor of a vast and numerous people, master of an endless territory, absolute commander of the lives and fortunes of his subjects, in the midst of this unbounded power and greatness, turned his thoughts upon himself and people with sorrow. Sordid ignorance and a brute manner of life, this generous prince beheld and contemned, from the light of his own genius. His judgment suggested this to him, and his courage prompted him to amend it. In order to this, he did not send to the nation from whence the rest of the world has borrowed its politeness, but himself left his diadem to learn the true way to glory and honor, and application to useful arts, wherein to employ the laborious, the simple, the honest part of his people. Mechanic employments and operations were very justly the first objects of his favor and observation. With this glorious intention he traveled into foreign nations in an obscure manner, above receiving little honors where he sojourned, but prying into what was of more consequence, their arts of peace and of war. By this means has this great prince laid the foundation of a great and lasting fame, by personal labor, personal knowledge, personal valor. It would be injury to any of antiquity to name them with him. Who but himself ever left a throne to learn to sit in it with more grace? Who ever thought himself mean in absolute power, till he had learned to use it?
If we consider this wonderful person, it is perplexity to know where to begin his encomium. Others may in a metaphorical or philosophic sense be said to command themselves, but this emperor is also literally under his own command. How generous and how good was his entering his own name as a private man in the army he raised, that none in it might expect to outrun the steps with which he himself advanced! By such measures this god-like prince learned to conquer, learned to use his conquests. How terrible has he appeared in battle, how gentle in victory! Shall then the base arts of the Frenchman be held polite, and the honest labors of the Russian barbarous ? No; barbarity is the ignorance of true honor, or placing anything instead of it. The unjust prince is ig
But let us consider what is truly glorious according to the author I have to-day quoted in the front of my paper.
The perfection of glory, says Tully, consists in these three particulars: That the people love us; that they have confidence in us; that being af fected with a certain admiration toward us, they think we deserve honor." This was spoken of greatness in the commonwealth. But if one were to form a consummate glory under our constitution, one must add to the above-mentioned felicities a certain necessary inexistence, and disrelish of all the rest, without the prince's favor. He should, methinks, have riches, power, honor, command, glory; but riches, power, honor, command, and glory, should have no charms, but as accompanied with the affection of his prince. He should, methinks, be popular because a favorite, and a favorite because popular. Were it not to make the character too imaginary, I would give him sovereignty over some foreign territory, and make him esteem that an empty addition without the kind regards of his own prince. One may merely have an idea of a man thus composed and circumstantiated, and if he were so made for power without an incapacity+ of giving jealousy, he would be also glorious without possibility of receiving disgrace. This humility and this importance must make his glory immortal.
These thoughts are apt to draw me beyond the usual length of this paper; but if I could suppose such rhapsodies could outlive the common fate of ordinary things, I would say these sketches and faint images of glory were drawn in August, 1711, when John, Duke of Marlborough, made that memorable march wherein he took the French lines without bloodshed.—T.
No. 140.] FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 1711.
This way and that the anxious mind is torn.
"I have lost so much time already, that I desire, upon the receipt hereof, you will sit down immediately and give me your answer. And I would know of you whether a pretender of mine really loves me." As well as I can, I will describe his
*The colors taken at Blenheim, in 1704, were fixed up in Westminster-hall, after having been carried in procession through the city. †The sense seems to require "without a capacity," but all the copies read as here.
manners. When he sees me he is always talking of constancy, but vouchsafes to visit me but once a fortnight, and then is always in haste to begone. When I am sick, I hear he says he is mightily concerned, but neither comes nor sends, because, as he tells his acquaintance with a sigh, he does not care to let me know all the power I have over him, and how impossible it is for him to live without me. When he leaves the town, he writes once in six weeks, desires to hear from me, complains of the torment of absence, speaks of flames, tortures, languishings, and extasies. He has the cant of an impatient lover, but keeps the pace of a lukewarm one. You know I must not go faster than he does, and to move at this rate is as tedious as counting a great clock. But you are to know he is rich, and my mother says, as he is slow he is sure; he will love me long, if he love me little; but I appeal to you whether he loves at all. Your neglected, humble servant,
"All these fellows who have money are extremely saucy and cold; pray, Sir, tell them of it."
"I have been delighted with nothing more through the whole course of your writings, than the substantial account you lately gave of wit, and I could wish you would take some other opportunity to express further the corrupt taste the age is run into; which I am chiefly apt to attribute to the prevalency of a few popular authors, whose merit in some respects has given a sanction to their faults in others. Thus the imitators of Milton seem to place all the excellency of that sort of writing either in the uncouth or antique words, or something else which was highly vicious, though pardonable in that great man.* The admirers of what we call point, or turn, look upon it as the particular happiness to which Cowley, Ovid, and others, owe their reputation, and therefore endeavor to imitate them only in such instances. What is just, proper, and natural, does not seem to be the question with them, but by what means a quaint antithesis may be brought about, how one word may be made to look two ways, and what will be the consequence of a forced allusion. Now, though such authors appear to me to resemble those who make themselves fine, instead of being well-dressed, or graceful: yet the mischief is, that these beauties in them, which I call blemishes, are thought to proceed from luxuriance of fancy and overflowing of good sense. word, they have the character of being too witty; but if you would acquaint the world they are not witty at all, you would, among others, oblige, Sir, "Your most benevolent reader,
"I must needs tell you there are several of y papers I do not much like. You are often so there is no enduring you, and so learned the no understanding you. What have you to with our petticoats? Your humble servant, PARTHENOPE
"Last night, as I was walking in the Park, 1 a couple of friends. Prithee, Jack,' says of them, let us go and drink a glass of v for I am fit for nothing else.' This put me t reflecting on the many miscarriages which ha in conversations over wine, when men go to bottle to remove such humors as it only stir and awakens. This I could not attribute mo anything than to the humor of putting comp upon others which men do not like themse Pray, Sir, declare in your papers, that he who troublesome companion to himself, will not t agreeable one to others. Let people reason t selves into good humor before they impose t selves upon their friends. Pray, Sir, be as quent as you can upon this subject, and do hu life so much good, as to argue powerfully, th is not every one that can swallow who is f drink a glass of wine.
"Your most humble servant."
"I this morning cast my eye upon your F concerning the expense of time. You are obliging to the women, especially those who not young and past gallantry, by touchin gently upon gaming: therefore I hope you do think it wrong to employ a little leisure tim that diversion; but I should be glad to hear say something upon the behavior of some of female gamesters.
"I have observed ladies, who in all othe spects are gentle, good-humored, and the pinks of good breeding; who, as soon as ombre-table is called for, and sit down to business, are immediately transmigrated int veriest wasps in nature.
"You must know I keep my temper, and their money; but am out of countenance to it, it makes them so very uneasy. Be ple dear Sir, to instruct them to lose with a t grace, and you will oblige, Yours,
"Your kindness to Leonora in one of you pers, has given me encouragement to do m the honor of writing to you. The great r you have so often expressed for the instru and improvement of our sex will, I hope, in own opinion, sufficiently excuse me from m any apology for the impertinence of this The great desire I have to embellish my mind some of those graces which you say are so b ing, and which you assert reading helps us t made me uneasy until I am put in a capaci attaining them. This, Sir, shall never myself in, until you shall be pleased to mend some author or authors to my perusal.
"I thought indeed, when I first cast my ey Leonora's letter, that I should have had no sion for requesting it of you; but to my great concern, I found on the perusal of that tator, I was entirely disappointed, and a much at a loss how to make use of my tim that end as ever. Pray, Sir, oblige me at with one scene, as you were pleased to ent
So Philips in his Cyder is careful to misspell the words Leonora with your prologue. I write to yo
"orchat, sovran," after Milton, etc.
only my own sentiments, but also those of se
the utmost degree severe against what is excep-
others of my acquaintance, who are as little to perform the like. The author of the following pleased with the ordinary manner of spending letter, it seems, has been of the audience at one of one's time as myself: and if a fervent desire after these entertainments, and has accordingly comknowledge, and a great sense of our present ig-plained to me upon it: but I think he has been to norance, may be thought a good presage and earnest of improvement, you may look upon your time you shall bestow in answering this request not thrown away to no purpose. And I cannot but add that, unless you have a particular and more than ordinary regard for Leonora, I have a better title to your favor than she: since I do not content myself with a tea-table reading of your papers, but it is my entertainment very often when alone in my closet. To show I am capable of improvement, and hate flattery, I acknowledge I do not like some of your papers; but even there I am readier to call in question my own shallow understanding than Mr. Spectator's profound judgment.
"I am, Sir, your already (and in hopes of being more your) obliged servant,
"Upon a report that Moll White had followed you to town, and was to act a part in the Lancashire Witches, I went last week to see that play. It was my fortune to sit next to a country justice of the peace, a neighbor (as he said) of Sir Roger's, who pretended to show her to us in one of the dances. There was witchcraft enough in the entertainment almost to incline me to believe him; Ben Jonson was almost lamed; young Bullock+ This last letter is written with so urgent and narrowly saved his neck: the audience was astoserious an air, that I cannot but think it incum-nished; and an old acquaintance of mine, a person bent upon me to comply with her commands, which I shall do very suddenly.-T.
No. 141.] SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 1711.
Taste, that eternal wanderer, that flies
From head to ears, and now from ears to eyes.-POPE. Is the present emptiness of the town, I have several applications from the lower part of the players, to admit suffering to pass for acting. They in very obliging terms desire me to let a fall on the ground, a stumble, or a good slap on the back, be reckoned a jest. These gambols I shall tolerate for a season, because I hope the evil cannot continue longer than until the people of condition and taste return to town. The method, some time ago, was to entertain that part of the audience who have no faculty above that of eyesight with rope-dancers, and tumblers; which was a way discreet enough, because it prevented confusion and distinguished such as could show all the postures which the body is capable of, from those who were to represent all the passions to which the mind is subject. But though this was prudently settled, corporeal and intellectual actors ought to be kept at a still wider distance than to appear on the same stage at all; for which reason I must propose some methods for the improvement of the bear-garden, by dismissing all bodily actors to that quarter.
In cases of greater moment, where men appear in public, the consequence and importance of the thing can bear them out. And though a pleader or preacher is hoarse or awkward, the weight of his matter commands respect and attention; but in theatrical speaking, if the performer is not exactly proper and graceful, he is utterly ridiculous. In cases where there is little else expected but the pleasure of the ears and eyes, the least diminution of that pleasure is the highest offense. In acting, barely to perform the part is not commendable, but to be the least out is contemptible. To avoid these difficulties and delicacies, I am informed, that while I was out of town, the actors have flown in the air, and played such pranks, and run such hazards, that none but the servants of the fire-office, tilers, and masons, could have been able
of worth, whom I would have bowed to in the pit, at two yards distance, did not know me.
"If you were what the country people reported you-a white witch-I could have wished you had been there to have exercised that rabble of broomsticks with which we were haunted for above three hours. I could have allowed them to set Clod in the tree, to have scared the sportsmen, plagued the justice, and employed honest Teague with his holy water. This was the proper use of them in comedy, if the author had stopped here; but I cannot conceive what relation the sacrifice of the black lamb, and the ceremonies of their worship to the devil, have to the business of mirth and
"The gentleman who wrote this play, and has drawn some characters in it very justly, appears to have been misled in his witchcraft by an unwary following the inimitable Shakspeare. The incantations in Macbeth have a solemnity admirably adapted to the occasion of that tragedy, and fill the mind with a suitable horror; beside that the witches are a part of the story itself, as we find it very particularly related in Hector Boetius, from whom he seems to have taken it. This therefore is a proper machine where the business is dark, horrid, and bloody; but it is extremely foreign from the affair of comedy. Subjects of this kind, which are in themselves disagreeable, can at no time become entertaining, but by passing through an imagination like Shakspeare's to form them; for which reason Mr. Dryden would not allow even Beaumont and Fletcher capable of imitating him.
But Shakspeare's magic could not copied be:
"I should not, however, have troubled you with these remarks, if there were not something else in this comedy, which wants to be exercised more than the witches: I mean the freedom of some passages, which I should have overlooked if I had not observed that those jests can raise the loudest mirth, though they are painful to right sense, and an outrage upon modesty.
"We must attribute such liberties to the taste of that age: but indeed by such representations a
* Alluding to Shadwell's comedy of the Lancashire Witches, which had been lately acted several times, and was adver
tised for the very night in which this Spectator is dated.
The names of two actors then upon the stage.