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passion for Leander. A man is in no danger of breaking his heart, who breaks his neck to prevent it. I know very well the wonders which ancient authors relate concerning this leap; and in particular, that very many persons who tried it, escaped not only with their lives but their limbs. If by this means they got rid of their love, though it may in part be ascribed to the reasons you give for it; why may not we suppose that the cold bath, into which they plunged themselves, had also some share in their cure? A leap into the sea, or into any creek of salt waters, very often gives a new motion to the spirits, and a new turn to the blood; for which reason we prescribe it in distempers which no other medicine will reach. I could produce a quotation out of a very venerable author, in which the frenzy produced by love is compared to that which is produced by the biting of a mad dog. But as this comparison is a little too coarse for your paper, and might look as if it were cited to ridicule the author who has made use of it, I shall only hint at it, and desire you to consider whether, if the frenzy produced by these two different causes be of the same nature, it may not very properly be cured by the same means. "I am, Sir, "Your most humble servant, and Well-wisher, "ESCULAPIUS."
"I am a young woman crossed in love. My
"P. S. My law-suits have brought me to London, but I have lost my causes; and so have made my resolutions to go down and leap before the frosts begin; for I am apt to take colds."
Ridicule, perhaps, is a better expedient against love than sober advice, and I am of opinion that Hudibras and Don Quixote may be as effectual to cure the extravagances of this passion, as any of the old philosophers. I shall therefore publish very speedily the translation of a little Greek manuscript, which is sent me by a learned friend. It appears to have been a piece of those records which were kept in the little temple of Apollo, that stood upon the promontory of Leucate. The reader will find it to be a summary account of several persons who tried the lover's leap, and of the success they found in it. As there seem to be in it some anachronisms, and deviations from the ancient orthography, I am not wholly satisfied myself that it is authentic, and not rather the production of one of those Grecian sophisters, who have imposed upon the world several spurious works of this nature. I speak this by way of precaution, because I know there are several writers of uncommon erudition, who would not fail to expose my ignorance, if they caught me tripping in a matter of so great moment.-C.
Percunctatorem fugito, nam garrulus idem est.
HOR. 1 Ep. xviii, 69.
story is very long and melancholy. To give you No. 228.] WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1711. the heads of it: A young gentleman, after having made his applications to me for three years together, and filled my head with a thousand dreams of happiness, some few days since married another. Pray tell me in what part of the world your promontory lies, which you call The Lover's Leap, and whether one may go to it by land? But, alas! I am afraid it has lost its virtue, and that a woman of our times would find no more relief in taking such a leap, than in singing a hymn to Venus. So that I must cry out with Dido in Dryden's Virgil:
Ah! cruel heav'n, that made no cure for love! "Your disconsolate Servant, "ATHENAIS."
My heart is so full of lofes and passions for Mrs. Gwinifrid, and she is so pettish and overrun with cholors against me, that if I had the good happiness to have my dwelling (which is placed by my creat cranfather upon the pottom of a hill) no farther distance but twenty mile from the Lofer's Leap, I would indeed indeafor to preak my neck upon it on purpose. Now, good Mister Spictatur of Creat Pritain, you must know it there is in Caernarvonshire a fery pig mountain, the clory of all Wales, which is named Penmainmaure, and you must also know, it is no great journey on foot from me; but the road is stony and bad for shoes. Now, there is upon the forehead of this mountain a very high rock (like a parish steeple), that cometh a huge deal over the sea; so when I am in my melancholies, and I do throw myself from it, I do desire my fery good friend to tell me in his Spictatur, if I shall be cure of my griefous lofes; for there is the sea clear as glass, and as creen as a leek. Then likewise if I be drown and preak my neck, if Mrs. Gwinifrid will not lofe me afterward. Pray be speedy in your answers, for I am in crete haste, and it is my tesires to do my pusiness without loss of time. I remain with cordial affections, your ever lofing friend,
"DAVYTH AP SHENKYN."
Th' inquisitive will blab; from such refrain: Their leaky ears no secret can retain.-SHARD. THERE is a creature who has all the organs of speech, a tolerably good capacity for conceiving what is said to it, together with a pretty proper behavior in all the occurrences of common life; but naturally very vacant of thought in itself, and therefore forced to apply itself to foreign assistances. Of this make is that man who is very inquisitive. You may often observe, that though he speaks as good sense as any man upon anything with which he is well acquainted, he cannot trust to the range of his own fancy to entertain himself upon that foundation, but goes on still to new inquiries. Thus, though you know he is fit for the most polite conversation, you shall see him very well contented to sit by a jockey, giving an account of the many revolutions in his horse's health, what potion he made him take, how that agreed with him, how afterward he came to his stomach and his exercise, or any the like impertinence; and be as well pleased as if you talked to him on the most important truths. This humor is far from making a man unhappy, though it may subject him to raillery; for he generally falls in with a person who seems to be born for him, which is your talkative fellow. It is so ordered, that there is a secret bent, as natural as the meeting of different sexes, in these two characters, to supply each other's wants. I had the honor the other day to sit in a public room, and saw an inquisitive man look with an air of satisfaction upon the approach of one of these talkers. The man of ready utterance sat down by him, and rubbing his head, leaning on his arm, and making an uneasy countenance he began: "There is no manner of news to-day. I cannot tell what is the matter with me, but I slept very ill last night; whether I caught cold or no, I know not, but I fancy I do not wear shoes thick enough for the weather, and I have coughed all this week. It must be so, for the custom of washing my head winter and sum
mer with cold water, prevents any injury from the | were to know, from the man of the first quality season entering that way; so it must come in at my feet; but I take no notice of it: as it comes so it goes. Most of our evils proceed from too much tenderness; and our faces are naturally as little able to resist the cold as other parts. The Indian answered very well to a European, who asked him how he could go naked: 'I am all face.""
I observed this discourse was as welcome to my general inquirer as any other of more consequence could have been; but somebody calling our talker to another part of the room, the inquirer told the next man who sat by him, that Mr. Such-a-one, who was just gone from him, used to wash his head in cold water every morning; and so repeated almost verbatim all that had been said to him. The truth is, the inquisitive are the funnels of conversation; they do not take in anything for their own use, but merely to pass it to another. They are the channels through which all the good and evil that is spoken in town are conveyed. Such as are offended at them, or think they suffer by their behavior, may themselves mend that inconvenience, for they are not a malicious people, and if you will supply them, you may contradict anything they have said before by their own mouths. A further account of a thing is one of the gratefulest goods that can arrive to them; and it is seldom that they are more particular than to say, "The town will have it, or I have it from a good hand;" so that there is room for the town to know the matter more particularly, and for a better hand to contradict what was said by a good
I have not known this humor more ridiculous than in a father, who has been earnestly solicitous to have an account how his son has passed his leisure hours; if it be in a way thoroughly insignificant, there cannot be a greater joy than an inquirer discovers in seeing him follow so hopefully his own steps. But this humor among men is most pleasant when they are saying something which is not wholly proper for a third person to hear, and yet is in itself indifferent. The other day there came in a well-dressed young fellow, and two gentlemen of this species immediately fell a whispering his pedigree. I could overhear by breaks, She was his aunt;" then an answer, "Aye, she was, of the mother's side;" then again, in a little lower voice, "His father wore generally a darker wig;" answer, Not much, but this tleman wears higher heels to his shoes." As the inquisitive, in my opinion, are such merely from a vacancy in their own imaginations, there is nothing, methinks, so dangerous as to communicate secrets to them; for the same temper of inquiry makes them as impertinently communicative; but no man, though he converses with them, need put himself in their power, for they will be contented with matters of less moment as well. When there is fuel enough, no matter what it is. Thus the ends of sentences in the newspapers, as "This wants confirmation,"-"This
the meanest servant, the different intrigues, se
"Plutarch tells us, that Caius Gracchus, Roman, was frequently hurried by his passi into so loud and tumultuous a way of speak and so strained his voice, as not to be able to ceed. To remedy this excess, he had an ing ous servant, by name Licinius, always attend him with a pitch-pipe, or instrument to regu the voice; who, whenever he heard his ma begin to be high, immediately touched a soft n at which, 'tis said, Caius would presently al and grow calm.
Upon recollecting this story, I have freque wondered that this useful instrument should b been so long discontinued; especially since find that this good office of Licinius has preser his memory for many hundred years, which, thinks, should have encouraged some one to vive it, if not for the public good, yet for his credit. It may be objected, that our loud tall are so fond of their own noise, that they wo not take it well to be checked by their serva But granting this to be true, surely any of t hearers have a very good title to play a soft in their own defense. To be short, no Lici appearing, and the noise increasing, I was resol to give this late long vacation to the good of country; and I have at length, by the assista of an ingenious artist (who works for the R Society), almost completed my design, and s be ready in a short time to furnish the public what number of these instruments they ple either to lodge at coffee-houses, or carry for t own private use. In the meantime I shall that respect to several gentlemen, who I know be in danger of offending against this instrum to give them notice of it by private letters which I shall only write, get a Licinius.'
"I should now trouble you no longer, but must not conclude without desiring you to cept one of these pipes, which shall be left for with Buckley; and which I hope will be servi ble to you, since as you are silent yourself, are most open to the insults of the noisy.
"I am, Sir, etc.,
"I had almost forgot to inform you, that as improvement in this instrument, there will particular note, which I shall call a hushand that is to be made use of against a long st swearing, obsceneness, and the like."
occasions many speculations," and " Time will No. 229.] THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1 discover the event," are read by them, and considered not as mere expletives.
One may see now and then this humor accompanied with an insatiable desire of knowing what passes without turning it to any use in the world but merely their own entertainment. A mind which is gratified this way is adapted to humor and pleasantry, and formed for an unconcerned character in the world; and, like myself, to be a mere Spectator. This curiosity, without malice or self-interest, lays up in the imagination a magazine of circumstances which cannot but entertain when they are produced in conversation. If one
-Spirat adhuc amor,
Eoliæ fidibus puellæ.-HOR. 4 Od. ix, 4.
AMONG the many famous pieces of antiq which are still to be seen at Rome, there is trunk of a statue which has lost the arms, 1 and head; but discovers such an exquisite w manship in what remains of it, that Michael gelo declared he had learned his whole art from
Indeed he studied it so attentively, that he made most of his statues, and even his pictures, in that gusto, to make use of the Italian phrase; for which reason this maimed statue is still called Michael Angelo's school.
A fragment of Sappho, which I design for the subject of this paper, is in as great reputation among the poets and critics, as the mutilated figure above-mentioned is among the statuaries and painters. Several of our countrymen, and Mr. Dryden in particular, seem very often to have copied after it in their dramatic writings, and in their poems upon love.
Whatever might have been the occasion of this ode, the English reader will enter into the beauties of it, if he supposes it to have been written in the person of a lover sitting by his mistress. I shall set to view three different copies of this beautiful original; the first is a translation by Catullus, the second by Monsieur Boileau, and the last by a gentleman whose translation of the Hymn to Venus has been so deservedly admired.*
My learned reader will know very well the reason why one of these verses is printed in Italic letters; and if he compares this translation with the original, will find that the three first stanzas are rendered almost word for word, and not only with the same elegance, but with the same short turn of expression which is so remarkable in the Greek, and so peculiar to the Sapphic ode. I cannot imagine for what reason Madam Dacier has told us, that this ode of Sappho is preserved entire in Longinus, since it is manifest to any one who looks into that author's quotation of it, that there must at least have been another stanza, which is not transmitted to us.
The second translation of this fragment which
Heureux! qui pres de toi, pour toi seule soupire:
Un nuage confus se repand sur ma vue,
Je n'entens plus, je tombe en de douces langueurs; Et pale, sans haleine, interdite, esperdue, Un frisson me saisit, je tremble, je me meurs. The reader will see that this is rather an imitation than a translation. The circumstances do not lie so thick together and follow one another with that vehemence and emotion as in the original. In short, Monsieur Boileau has given us all the poetry, but not all the passion of this famous fragment. I shall, in the last place, present my reader with the English translation.
Blest as th' immortal gods is he,
"Twas this depriv'd my soul of rest,
My bosom glow'd; the subtile flame
In dewy damps my limbs were chill'd;
I fainted, sank, and died away.
Instead of giving any character of this last translation, I shall desire my learned reader to look into the criticisms which Longinus has made upon the original. By that means he will know to which of the translations he ought to give the preference. I shall only add, that this translation is written in the very spirit of Sappho, and as near the Greek as the genius of our language will possibly suffer.
Longinus has observed, that this description of love in Sappho is an exact copy of nature, and that all the circumstances, which follow one another in such a hurry of sentiments, notwithstanding they appear repugnant to each other, are really such as happen in the frenzies of love.
I wonder that not one of the critics or editors, through whose hands this ode has passed, has taken occasion from it to mention a circumstance related by Plutarch. That author, in the famous story of Antiochus, who fell in love with Stratonice, his mother-in-law, and (not daring to discover his passion) pretended to be confined to his bed by sickness, tells us, that Erasistratus, the physician, found out the nature of his distemper by those symptoms of love which he had learned from Sappho's writings. Stratonice was in the room of the love-sick prince, when these symp toms discovered themselves to his physician; and it is probable that they were not very different from those which Sappho here describes in a lover sitting by his mistress. The story of Antiochus, is so well known, that I need not add the sequel of it, which has no relation to my present subject.-C.
No. 230.] FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1711. Homines ad deos nulla re propius accedunt, quam salutem hominibus dando.-TULL.
Men resemble the gods in nothing so much, as in doing good to their fellow-creatures.
HUMAN nature appears a very deformed, or a very beautiful object, according to the different lights in which it is viewed. When we see men of inflamed passions, or of wicked designs, tearing one another to pieces by open violence, or undermining each other by secret treachery; when we observe base and narrow ends pursued by ignominious and dishonest means; when we behold men mixed in society as if it were for the destruction of it; we are even ashamed of our species, and out of humor with our own being. But in another light, when we behold them mild, good, and benevolent, full of a generous regard for the public prosperity, compassionating each other's distresses, and relieving each other's wants, we can hardly believe they are creatures of the same kind. In this view they appear gods to each other, in the exercise of the noblest power, that of doing good; and the greatest compliment we have ever been able to make to our own being,
form their taste something more exactly. that had any true relish for fine writing, with great pleasure both to himself and ther over together with them the best Roman rians, poets, and orators, and point out their remarkable beauties; give them a short sche chronology, a little view of geography, m astronomy, or what else might best feed the inquisitive humor so natural to that age.
has been by calling this disposition of mind humanity. We cannot but observe a pleasure arising in our own breast upon the seeing or hearing of a generous action, even when we are wholly disinterested in it. I cannot give a more proper instance of this, than by a letter from Pliny, in which he recommends a friend in the most handsome manner, and methinks it would be a great pleasure to know the success of this epistle, though each party concerned in it has been so many hun-of them as had the least spark of genius, w dred years in his grave.
"What I should gladly do for any friend of yours, I think I may now with confidence request for a friend of mine. Arrianus Maturius is the most considerable man in his country: when I call him so, I do not speak with relation to his fortune, though that is very plentiful, but to his integrity, justice, gravity, and prudence; his advice is useful to me in business, and his judgment in matters of learning. His fidelity, truth, and good understanding, are very great; beside this, he loves me as you do, than which I cannot say anything that signifies a warmer affection. He has nothing that's aspiring; and, though he might rise to the highest order of nobility, he keeps himself in an inferior rank: yet I think myself bound to use my endeavors to serve and promote him; and would therefore find the means of adding something to his honors while he neither ex pects nor knows it, nay, though he should refuse it. Something, in short, I would have for him that may be honorable, but not troublesome; and I entreat that you will procure him the first thing of this kind that offers, by which you will not only oblige me, but him also; for though he does not covet it, I know he will be as grateful in acknowledging your favor as if he had asked
“The reflections in some of your papers on the servile manner of education now in use, have given birth to an ambition, which, unless you discountenance it, will, I doubt, engage me in a very difficult, though not ungrateful adventure. I am about to undertake, for the sake of the British youth, to instruct them in such a manner, that the most dangerous page in Virgil or Homer may be read by them with much pleasure, and with perfect safety to their persons.
was once awakened by the shining thought great sentiments of those admired writers, not, I believe, be easily withheld from atter that more difficult sister language, whose e beauties they would have heard so often cele as the pride and wonder of the whole 1 world. In the meanwhile, it would be re to exercise their style in writing any little that ask more of fancy than of judgmen that frequently in their native language; every one methinks should be most concer cultivate, especially letters, in which a gen must have so frequent occasions to disti himself. A set of genteel good-natured fallen into such a manner of life, would fo most a little academy, and doubtless pr such contemptible companions, as might no tempt a wiser man to mingle himself in versions, and draw them into such serious as might prove nothing less instructing th gravest lessons. I doubt not but it might b some of their favorite plays, to contend wi them should recite a beautiful part of a p oration most gracefully, or sometimes to acting a scene in Terence, Sophocles, or of Shakspeare. The cause of Milo might as pleaded before more favorable judges, second time be taught to tremble, and anot of Athenians be afresh enraged at the ambi another Philip. Amidst these noble amus we could hope to see the early dawnings imagination daily brighten into sense, the cence improve into virtue, and their in enced good nature directed to a generous their country.
"I am," etc.
No. 231.] SATURDAY, NOV. 24, 1
"Could I prevail so far as to be honored with the protection of some few of them (for I am not LOOKING Over the letters which I hav hero enough to rescue many), my design is to re- received from my correspondents, I met w tire with them to an agreeable solitude, though following one, which is written with such within the neighborhood of a city, for the conve- of politeness, that I could not but be ver nience of their being instructed in music, danc- pleased with it myself, and question no ing, drawing, designing, or any other such accom-will be as acceptable to the reader. plishments, which it is conceived may make as proper diversions for them, and almost as pleasant, as the little sordid games which dirty schoolboys are so much delighted with. It may easily be imagined, how such a pretty society, conversing with none beneath themselves, and sometimes admitted, as perhaps not unentertaining parties, among better company commended and caressed for their little performances, and turned by such conversations to a certain gallantry of soul, might be brought early acquainted with some of the most polite English writers. This having given them some tolerable taste of books, they would make themselves masters of the Latin tongue by methods far easier than those in Lilly, with as little difficulty or reluctance as young ladies learn to speak French, or to sing Italian operas. When they had advanced thus far it would be time to
"You, who are no stranger to public ass cannot but have observed the awe they oft on such as are obliged to exert any talen them. This is a sort of elegant distress, 1 ingenuous minds are the most liable, a therefore deserve some remarks in your Many a brave fellow, who has put his e flight in the field, has been in the utmost upon making a speech before a body of his at home. One would think there was so of fascination in the eyes of a large circle ple, when darting all together upon one I have seen a new actor in a tragedy so b by it as to be scarce able to speak or m have expected he would have died abov acts before the dagger or cup of poiso
brought in. It would not be amiss, if such a one and withdraw herself from everything that has were at first introduced as a ghost or statue, until danger in it. It is such an exquisite sensibility, he recovered his spirits, and grew fit for some liv-as warns her to shun the first appearance of everying part. thing which is hurtful.
"As this sudden desertion of one's self shows a I cannot at present recollect either the place or diffidence, which is not displeasing, it implies at time of what am going to mention; but I have the same time the greatest respect to an audience read somewhere in the history of ancient Greece, that can be. It is a sort of mute eloquence, which that the women of the country were seized with pleads for their favor much better than words an unaccountable melancholy, which disposed could do; and we find their generosity naturally several of them to make away with themselves. moved to support those who are in so much per- The senate, after having tried many expedients to plexity to entertain them. I was extremely prevent this self-murder, which was so frequent pleased with a late instance of this kind at the among them, published an edict, that if any woopera of Almahide, in the encouragement given man whatever should lay violent hands upon to a young singer, whose more than ordinary herself, her corpse should be exposed naked in the concern on her first appearance, recommended her street, and dragged about the city in the most no less than her agreeable voice and just perform- public manner. This edict immediately put a ance. Mere bashfulness without merit is awk-stop to the practice which was before so common. ward; and merit without modesty insolent. But We may see in this instance the strength of female modest merit has a double claim to acceptance, modesty, which was able to overcome even the vioand generally meets with as many patrons as be-lence of madness and despair. The fear of shame holders. "I am," etc. in the fair sex was in those days more prevalent than that of death.
It is impossible that a person should exert himself to advantage in an assembly, whether it be his part either to sing or speak, who lies under too great oppressions of modesty. I remember, upon talking with a friend of mine concerning the force of pronunciation, our discourse led us into the enumeration of the several organs of speech which an orator ought to have in perfection, as the tongue, the teeth, the lips, the nose, the palate, and the windpipe. Upon which, says my friend, "You have omitted the most material organ of them all, and that is the forehead."
But notwithstanding an excess of modesty obstructs the tongue and renders it unfit for its offices, a due proportion of it is thought so requisite to an orator, that rhetoricians have recommended it to their disciples as a particular in their art. Cicero tells us that he never liked an orator who did not appear in some little confusion at the beginning of his speech, and confesses that he himself never entered upon an oration without trembling and concern. It is indeed a kind of deference which is due to a great assembly, and seldom fails to raise a benevolence in the audience toward the person who speaks. My correspondent has taken notice that the bravest men often appear timorous on these occasions, as indeed we may observe, that there is generally no creature more impudent than a coward:
-Lingua melior, sed frigida bello
Dextera VIRG. Æn., xi, 338.
-Bold at the council-board;
But cautious in the field he shunn'd the sword.
A bold tongue and a feeble arm are the qualifications of Drances in Virgil; as Homer, to express a man both timorous and saucy, makes use of a kind of point, which is very rarely to be met with in his writings, namely, that he had the eyes of a dog, but the heart of a deer.t
A just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but sets off every great talent which a man can be possessed of. It heightens all the virtues which it accompanies; like the shades in paintings, it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colors more beautiful, though not so glaring as they would be without it. Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue. It is a kind of quick and delicate feeling in the soul which makes her shrink
Mrs. Barbier. See a curious account of this lady, in Sir
If modesty has so great an influence over our actions, and is in many cases so impregnable a fence to virtue: what can more undermine morality than that politeness which reigns among the unthinking part of mankind, and treats as unfashionable the most ingenuous part of our behavior; which recommends impudence as good-breeding, and keeps a man always in countenance, not because he is innocent, but because he is shameless?
Seneca thought modesty so great a check to vice, that he prescribes to us the practice of it in secret, and advises us to raise it in ourselves upon imaginary occasions, when such as are real do not offer themselves; for this is the meaning of his precept, That when we are by ourselves, and in our greatest solitudes, we should fancy that Cato stands before us and sees everything we do. In short, if you banish modesty out of the world, she carries away with her half the virtue that is in it.
After these reflections on modesty, as it is a virtue; I must observe, that there is a vicious modesty which justly deserves to be ridiculed, and which those persons very often discover who value themselves most upon a well-bred confidence. This happens when a.man is ashamed to act up to his reason, and would not upon any consideration be surprised at the practice of those duties, for the performance of which he was sent into the world. Many an impudent libertine would blush to be caught in a serious discourse, and would scarce be able to show his head after having disclosed a religious thought. Decency of behavior, all outward show of virtue, and abhorrence of vice are carefully avoided by this set of shamefaced people, as what would disparage their gayety of temper, and infallibly bring them to dishonor. This is such a poorness of spirit, such a despicable cowardice, such a degenerate, abject state of mind, as one would think human nature incapable of, did we not meet with frequent instances of it in ordinary conversation.
There is another kind of vicious modesty which makes a man ashamed of his person, his birth, his profession, his poverty, or the like misfortunes, which it was not in his choice to prevent, and is not in his power to rectify. If a man appears ridiculous by any of the afore-mentioned circumstances, he becomes much more so by being out of countenance for them. They should rather give him occasion to exert a noble spirit, and to palliate those imperfections which are not in his power, by those perfections which are; or to use a