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But long ere our approaching, heard within
Adam then proceeds to give an account of his condition and sentiments immediately after his creation. How agreeably does he represent the posture in which he found himself, the beautiful landscapes that surrounded him, and the gladness of heart which grew up in him on that occasion!
-As new wak'd from soundest sleep,
Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture fed. Straight toward heaven my wond'ring eyes I turn'd, And gaz'd awhile the ample sky; till rais'd By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung, As thitherward endeavoring, and upright Stood on my feet. About me round I saw Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains, And liquid lapse of murmuring streams; by these, Creatures that liv'd and mov'd, and walk'd, or flew, Birds on the branches warbling; all things smil'd With fragrance, and with joy my heart o'erflow'd. Adam is afterward described as surprised at his own existence, and taking a survey of himself and of all the works of nature. He likewise is represented as discovering, by the light of reason, that he, and everything about him, must have been the effect of some Being infinitely good and powerful, and that this Being had a right to his worship and adoration. His first address to the Sun, and to those parts of the creation which made the most distinguished figure, is very natural and amusing to the imagination:
"Thou Sun," said I, "fair light,
And thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay,
His next sentiment, when upon his first going to sleep he fancies himself losing his existence, and falling away into nothing, can never be sufficiently admired. His dream, in which he still preserves the consciousness of his existence, together with his removal into the garden which was prepared for his reception, are also circumstances finely imagined, and grounded upon what is delivered in sacred story.
These and the like wonderful incidents in this part of the work, have in them all the beauties of novelty, at the same time that they have all the graces of nature.
They are such as none but a great genius could have thought of; though, upon the perusal of them, they seem to rise of themselves from the subject of which he treats. In a word, though they are natural, they are not obvious; which is the true character of all fine writing.
The impression which the interdiction of the tree of life left in the mind of our first parent is described with great strength and judgment; as the image of the several beasts and birds passing in review before him is very beautiful and lively:
-Each bird and beast behold
Approaching two and two, these cow'ring low
Adam, in the next place, describes a conference which he held with his Maker upon the subject of solitude. The poet here represents the Supreme Being as making an essay of his own work, and putting to the trial that reasoning faculty with which he had indued his creature. Adam urges, in this divine colloquy, the impossibility of his being happy though he was the inhabitant of Paradise, and lord of the whole creation, without the conversation and society of some rational creature who
should partake those blessings with him. This dialogue, which is supported chiefly by the beauty of the thoughts, without other poetical ornaments, is as fine a part as any in the whole poem. The more the reader examines the justness and delicacy of its sentiments, the more he will find himself pleased with it. The poet has wonderfully preserved the character of majesty and condescension in the Creator, and, at the same time, that of humility and adoration in the creature, as particularly in the following lines:
Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright,
As with a smile more brighten'd, thus replied, etc.
And humble deprecation, thus replied:
"Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly Power,
Adam then proceeds to give an account of his second sleep, and of the dream in which he beheld the formation of Eve. The new passion that was awakened in him at the sight of her is touched very finely:
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Adam's distress upon losing sight of this beautiful phantom, with his exclamations of joy and gratitude at the discovery of a real creature who resembled the apparition which had been presented to him in his dream; the approaches he makes to her, and his manner of conrtship, are all laid together in a most exquisite propriety of senti
Though this part of the poem is worked up with great warmth and spirit, the love which is described in it is every way suitable to a state of innocence. If the reader compares the description which Adam here gives of his leading Eve to the nuptial bower, with that which Mr. Dryden has made on the same occasion in a scene of his Fall of Man, he will be sensible of the great care which Milton took to avoid all thoughts on so delicate a subject that might be offensive to religion or good manners. The sentiments are chaste, but not cold; and convey to the mind ideas of the most transporting passion, and of the greatest purity. What a noble mixture of rapture and innocence has the author joined together, in the reflection which Adam makes on the pleasures of love, compared to those of sense!
Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought
Nor vehement desire; these delicacies
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers,
Far otherwise, transported I behold,
Authority and reason on her wait,
These sentiments of love in our first parent gave the angel such an insight into human nature, that he seems apprehensive of the evils which might befall the species in general, as well as Adam in particular, from the excess of this passion. He therefore fortifies him against it by timely admonitions; which very artfully prepare the mind of the reader for the occurrences of the next book, where the weakness, of which Adam here gives such distant discoveries, brings about that fatal event which is the subject of the poem. His discourse, which follows the gentle rebuke he received from the angel, shows that his love, however violent it might appear, was still founded in reason, and consequently not improper for Paradise:
Neither her outside form'd so fair, nor aught
Adam's speech, at parting with the angel, has in it a deference and gratitude agreeable to an inferior nature, and at the same time a certain dignity and greatness suitable to the father of mankind, in his state of innocence.
No. 346.] MONDAY, APRIL 7, 1712. Consuetudinem benignitatis largitioni munerum longe antepeno. Hæc est gravium hominum atque magnorum; illa quasi assentatorum populi, multitudinis levitatem voluptate quasi titillantium.-TULL.
I esteem a habit of benignity greatly preferable to munifiThe former is peculiar to great and distinguished persons; the latter belongs to flatterers of the people, who tickle the levity of the multitude with a kind of pleasure.
WHEN We consider the offices of human life, there is, methinks, something in what we ordinarily call generosity, which, when carefully examined, seems to flow rather from a loose and unguarded temper than an honest and liberal mind. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary that all liberality should have for its basis and support, frugality. By this means the beneficent spirit works in a man from the convictions of reason, not from the impulses of passion. The generous man in the ordinary acceptation, without respect of the demands of his own family, will soon find upon the foot of his account, that he has sacrificed to fools, knaves, flatterers, or the deservedly unhappy, all the opportunities of affording any future assistance where it ought to be. Let him therefore reflect, that if to bestow be in itself laudable, should not a man take care to secure an ability to do things praiseworthy as long as he lives? Or could there be a more cruel piece of raillery upon a man who should have reduced his fortune below the capacity of acting according to his natural temper, than to say of him, "That gentleman was generous?" My beloved author therefore has, in the sentence on the top of my paper, turned his eye with a certain satiety from beholding the addresses to the people by largesses and other entertainments, which he asserts to be in general vicious, and are always to be regulated according to the circumstances of time and a man's
own fortune. A constant benignity in commerce with the rest of the world, which ought to run through all a man's actions, has effects more useful to those whom you oblige, and is less ostentatious in yourself. He turns his recommendation of this virtue on commercial life: and, according to him, a citizen who is frank in his kindnesses, and abhors severity in his demands; he who, in buying, selling, lending, doing acts of good neighborhood, is just and easy; he who appears naturally averse to disputes, and above the sense of little sufferings; bears a noble character, and does much more good to mankind than any other man's fortune, without commerce, can possibly support. For the citizen, above all other men, has opportunities of arriving at "that highest fruit of wealth," to be liberal without the least expense of a man's own fortune. It is not to be denied but such a practice is liable to hazard; but this therefore adds to the obligation, that, among traders, he who obliges is as much concerned to keep the favor a secret as he who receives it. The unhappy distinctions among us in England are so great, that to celebrate the intercourse of commercial friendship (with which I am daily made acquainted) would be to raise the virtuous man so many enemies of the contrary party. I am obliged to conceal all I know of "Tom the Bounteous," who lends at the ordinary interest, to give men of less fortune opportunities of making greater advantages. He conceals, under a rough air and distant behavior, a bleeding compassion and womanish tenderness. This is governed by the most exact circumspection, that there is no industry wanting in the person whom he is to serve, and that he is guilty of no improper erpenses. This I know of Tom; but who dare say it of so known a tory? The same care I was forced to use some time ago, in the report of another's virtue, and said fifty instead of a hundred. because the man I pointed at was a whig. Actions of this kind are popular without being invidious: for every man of ordinary circumstances looks upon a man who has this known benignity in his nature as a person ready to be his friend upon such terms as he ought to expect it; and the wealthy, who may envy such a character, can do no injury to its interests, but by the imitation of it, in which the good citizens will rejoice to be rivaled. I know not how to form to myself a greater idea of human life, than in what is the practice of some wealthy men whom I could name, that make no step to the improvement of their own fortunes, wherein they do not also advance those of other men, who would languish in poverty without that munificence. In a nation where there are so many public funds to be sup ported, I know not whether he can be called a good subject who does not embark some part of his fortune with the state, to whose vigilance be owes the security of the whole. This certainly is an immediate way of laying an obligation upon many, and extending your benignity the for best a man can possibly who is not engaged in co merce. But he who trades, beside giving the state some part of this sort of credit he gives les banker, may, in all occurrences of life, have la eye upon removing want from the door of the industrious, and defending the unhappy upris man from bankruptcy. Without this benignity, pride or vengeance will precipitate a man to chosa the receipt of half his demands from one whom he has undone, rather than the whole from one to whom he has shown mercy. This benignity is essential to the character of a fair trader, and any man who designs to enjoy his wealth with bene and self-satisfaction; nay, it would not be bard to maintain, that the practice of supporting good
and industrious men would carry a man further like those specters and apparitions which frighten even to his profit than indulging the propensity several towns and villages in her majesty's dominof serving and obliging the fortunate. My author ions, though they were never seen by any of the argues on this subject, in order to incline men's inhabitants. Others are apt to think that these minds to those who want them most, after this Mohocks are a kind of bull-beggars, first invented manner: "We must always consider the nature of by prudent married men, and masters of families, The in order to deter their wives and daughters from things, and govern ourselves accordingly. wealthy man, when he has repaid you, is upon a taking the air at unseasonable hours; and that balance with you; but the person whom you when they tell them the "Mohocks will catch favored with a loan, if he be a good man, will them," it is a caution of the same nature with that think himself in your debt after he has paid you. of our forefathers, when they bid their children The wealthy and the conspicuous are not oblig. have a care of Raw-head and Bloody-bones. ed by the benefits you do them: they think they conferred a benefit when they received one. Your good offices are always suspected, and it is with them the same thing to expect their favor as to receive it. But the man below you, who knows, in the good you have done him, you respected himself more than his circumstances, does not act like an obliged man only to him from whom he has received a benefit, but also to all who are capaAnd whatever little office ble of doing him one. he can do for you, he is so far from magnifying it that he will labor to extenuate it in all his actions and expressions. Moreover, the regard to what you do to a great man at best is taken notice of no further than by himself or his family; but what you do to a man of a humble fortune (provided always that he is a good and a modest man) raises the affections toward you of all men of that character (of which there are many) in the whole
There is nothing gains a reputation to a preacher so much as his own practice; I am therefore casting about what act of benignity is in the power of a Spectator. Alas! that lies but in a very narrow compass: and I think the most immediately under my patronage are either players, or such whose circumstances bear an affinity with theirs. All, therefore, I am able to do at this time of this kind, is to tell the town, that on Friday the 11th of this instant, April, there will be performed, in Yorkbuildings, a concert of vocal and instrumental music, for the benefit of Mr. Edward Keen, the father of twenty children; and that this day the haughty George Powell hopes all the good-natared part of the town will favor him, whom they applauded in Alexander, Timon, Lear, and Orestes, with their company this night, when he hazards all his heroic glory for their approbation in the humbler condition of honest Jack Falstaff.
No. 347.] TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 1712.
What blind, detested fury, could afford
I Do not question but my country readers have been very much surprised at the several accounts they have met with in our public papers, of that species of men among us, lately known by the name of Mohocks. I find the opinions of the learned, as to their origin and designs, are altogether various, insomuch that very many begin to doubt whether indeed there were ever any such society of men. The terror which spread itself over the whole nation some years since on account of the Irish is still fresh in most people's memories, though it afterward appeared there was not the least ground for that general consternation.
The late panic fear was, in the opinion of many deep and penetrating persons, of the same nature. These will have it, that the Mohocks are
For my own part, I am afraid there was too much reason for the great alarm the whole city has been in upon this occasion; though at the same time I must own, that I am in some doubt whether the following pieces are genuine and authentic; and the more so, because I am not fully satisfied that the name, by which the emperor subscribes himself, is altogether conformable to the Indian orthography.
I shall only further inform my readers, that it was some time since I received the following letter and manifesto, though, for particular reasons, I did not think fit to publish them till now.
"TO THE SPECTATOR.
"Finding that our earnest endeavors for the good of mankind have been basely and maliciously represented to the world, we send you inclosed our imperial manifesto, which it is our will and pleasure that you forthwith communicate to the public, by inserting it in your next daily paper. We do not doubt of your ready compliance in this particular, and therefore bid you heartily farewell. (Signed)
"TAW WAW EBEN ZAN KALADAR,
"The Manifesto of Taw Waw Eben Zan Kaladar,
"Whereas we have received information, from sundry quarters of this great and populous city, of several outrages committed on the legs, arms, noses, and other parts of the good people of England, by such as have styled themselves our subjects; in order to vindicate our imperial dignity from those false aspersions which have been cast on it, as if we ourselves might have encouraged or abetted any such practices, we have, by these presents, thought fit to signify our utmost abhorrence and detestation of all such tumultuous and irregular proceedings; and do hereby further give notice, that if any person or persons has or have suffered any wound, hurt, damage, or detriment, in his or their limb or limbs, otherwise than shall be hereafter specified, the said person or persons, upon applying themselves to such as we shall appoint for the inspection and redress of the grievances aforesaid, shall be forthwith committed to the care of our principal surgeon, and be cured at our own expense, in some one or other of those hospitals which we are now erecting for that purpose.
"And to the end that no one may, either through ignorance or inadvertency, incur those penalties which we have thought fit to inflict on persons of loose and dissolute lives, we do hereby notify to the public, that if any man be knocked down or assaulted while he is employed in his lawful business, at proper hours, that it is not done by our order; and we do hereby permit and allow any such person, so knocked down or assaulted, to rise again, and defend himself in the best manner that he is able.
"We do also command all and every our good subjects, that they do not presume, upon any pretext whatsoever, to issue and sally forth from their respective quarters till between the hours of eleven and twelve. That they never tip the lion upon man, woman, or child, till the clock at St. Dun
stan's shall have struck one.
"That the sweat be never given but between the hours of one and two; always provided, that our hunters may begin to hunt a little after the close of the evening, anything to the contrary herein notwithstanding. Provided also, that if ever they are reduced to the necessity of pinking, it shall always be in the most fleshy parts, and such as are least exposed to view.
"It is also our iniperial will and pleasure, that our good subjects the sweaters do establish their huminums in such close places, alleys, nooks, and corners, that the patient or patients may not be in danger of catching cold.
"That the tumblers, to whose care we chiefly commit the female sex, confine themselves to Drury-lane, and the purlieus of the Temple; and that every other party and division of our subjects do each of them keep within the respective quarters we have allotted to them. Provided, nevertheless, that nothing herein contained shall in anywise be construed to extend to the hunters, who have our full license and permission to enter into any part of the town wherever their game shall lead them.
"And whereas we have nothing more at our imperial heart than the reformation of the cities of London and Westminster, which to our unspeakable satisfaction we have in some measure already effected, we do hereby earnestly pray and exhort all husbands, fathers, housekeepers, and masters of families, in either of the aforesaid cities, not only to repair themselves to their respective habitations at early and seasonable hours, but also to keep their wives and daughters, sons, servants, and apprentices, from appearing in the streets at those times and seasons which may expose them to military discipline, as it is practiced by our good subjects the Mohocks; and we do further promise on our imperial word, that as soon as the reformation aforesaid shall be brought about, we will forthwith cause all hostilities to
"I HAVE not seen you lately at any of the places where I visit, so that I am afraid you are wholly unacquainted with what passes among my part of the world, who are, though I say it, without controversy, the most accomplished and best bred of the town. Give me leave to tell you, that I am extremely discomposed when I hear scandal, and am an utter enemy to all manner of detraction, and think it the greatest meanness that people of distinction can be guilty of. However, it is hardly possible to come into company where you do not find them pulling one another to pieces, and that from no other provocation but that of hearing any one commended. Merit, both as to wit and beauty, is become no other than the possession of a few trifling people's favor, which you cannot possibly arrive at, if you have really anything in you that
is deserving. What they would bring to pass is, to make all good and evil consist in report, and with whispers, calumnies, and impertinences, to have the conduct of those reports. By this means, innocents are blasted upon their first appearance in town; and there is nothing more required to make a young woman the object of envy and hatred, than to deserve love and admiration. This abominable endeavor to suppress or lessen everything that is praiseworthy is as frequent among the men as the women. If I can remember what passed at a visit last night, it will serve as an instance that the sexes are equally inclined to defa mation, with equal malice and impotence. Jack Triplett came into my Lady Airy's about eight of the clock. You know the manner we sit at a visit, and I need not describe the circle; but Mr. Triplett came in, introduced by two tapers supported by a spruce servant, whose hair is under a cap till my lady's candles are all lighted up, and the hour of ceremony begins; I say Jack Triplett came in, and singing (for he is really good com pany) Every feature, charming creature-he went on, 'It is a most unreasonable thing, that people cannot go peaceably to see their friends, but these murderers are let loose. Such a shape! such an air! what a glance was that as her chariot passed by mine!'-My lady herself interrupted him; Pray, who is this fine thing?' I warrant,' says another, 'tis the creature I was telling your ladyship of just now. You were telling of?' says Jack; I wish I had been so happy as to have come in and heard you; for I have not words to say what she is; but if an agreeable height, a modest air, a virgin shame, and impatience of being beheld amid a blaze of ten thousand charms
-The whole room flew out'Oh, Mr. Triplett !'- -When Mrs. Lofty, a known prude, said she knew whom the gentleman meant; but she was indeed, as he civilly represented her, impatient of being beheld- Then turning to the lady next to her-The most unbred creature you ever saw!' Another pursued the discourse: As unbred, madam, as you may think her, she is extremely belied if she is the novice she appears; she was last week at a ball till two in the morn ing; Mr. Triplett knows whether he was the happy man that took care of her home; but'—This was followed by some particular exception that each woman in the room made to some peculiar grace or advantage; so that Mr. Triplett was beaten from one limb and feature to another, till he was forced to resign the whole woman. In the end, I took notice Triplett recorded all this malice in his heart; and saw in his countenance, and a certain waggish shrug, that he designed to repeat the con versation: I therefore let the discourse die, and soon after took an occasion to recommend a cer tain gentleman of my acquaintance for a person of singular modesty, courage, integrity, and withal as a man of an entertaining conversation, to which advantages he had a shape and manner pe culiarly graceful. Mr. Triplett, who is a woman's man, seemed to hear me with patience enough commend the qualities of his mind. He never heard, indeed, but that he was a very honest man, and no fool; but for a finer gentleman, he must ask pardon. Upon no other foundation than this, Mr. Triplett took occasion to give the gentleman' pedigree, by what methods some part of the es tate was acquired, how much it was beholden to marriage for the present circumstances of it: a all, he could see nothing but a comman man his person, his breeding, or understanding,
"Thus, Mr. Spectator, this impertinent humor of diminishing every one who is produced in con versation to their advantage, runs through the
world; and I am, I confess, so fearful of the force | great person in the Grecian or Roman history, of ill tongues, that I have begged of all those whose death has not been remarked upon by some who are my well-wishers never to commend writer or other, and censured or applauded acme, for it will but bring my frailties into exami-cording to the genius or principles of the person nation; and I had rather be unobserved, than con- who has descanted on it. Monsieur de St. Evrespicuous for disputed perfections. I am confident mond is very particular in setting forth the cona thousand young people, who would have been stancy and courage of Petronius Arbiter during his ornaments to society, have, from fear of scandal, last moments, and thinks he discovers in them never dared to exert themselves in the polite arts greater firmness of mind and resolution than in the of life. Their lives have passed away in an odious death of Seneca, Cato, or Socrates. There is no quesrusticity, in spite of great advantages of person, tion but this polite author's affectation of appeargenius, and fortune. There is a vicious terror ofing singular in his remarks, and making discoverbeing blamed in some well-inclined people, and a ies which had escaped the observations of others, wicked pleasure in suppressing them in others; threw him into this course of reflection. It was Peboth which I recommend to your spectatorial tronius's merit that he died in the same gayety of wisdom to animadvert upon; and if you can be temper in which he lived: but as his life was altosuccessful in it, I need not say how much you will gether loose and dissolute, the indifference which he deserve of the town; but new toasts will owe to showed at the close of it is to be looked upon as a you their beauty, and new wits their fame. piece of natural carelessness and levity, rather than "I am, Sir, fortitude. The resolution of Socrates proceeded from very different motives, the consciousness of a well-spent life, and the prospect of a happy eternity. If the ingenious author above-mentioned was so pleased with gayety of humor in a dying man, he might have found a much nobler instance of it in our countryman Sir Thomas More.
"Your most obedient, humble Servant, T. "MARY."
No. 349.] THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 1712.
I AM very much pleased with a consolatory letter of Phalaris, to one who had lost a son that was a young man of great merit. The thought with which he comforts the afflicted father is, to the best of my memory, as follows:-That he should consider death had set a kind of seal upon his son's character, and placed him out of the reach of vice and infamy: that, while he lived, he was still within the possibility of falling away from virtue, and losing the fame of which he was possessed. Death only closes a man's reputation, and determines it as good or bad.
"This, among other motives, may be one reason why we are naturally averse to the launching out into a man's praise till his head is laid in the dust. While he is capable of changing, we may be forced to retract our opinions. He may forfeit the esteem we have conceived of him, and some time or other appear to us under a different light from what he does at present. In short, as the life of any man cannot be called happy or unhappy, so neither can it be pronounced vicious or virtuous before the conclusion of it.
It was upon this consideration that Epaminondas, being asked whether Chabrias, Iphicrates, or he himself, deserved most to be esteemed? "You must first see us die," saith he, "before that question can be answered."
As there is not a more melancholy consideration to a good man than his being obnoxious to such a change, so there is nothing more glorious than to keep up a uniformity in his actions, and preserve the beauty of his character to the last.
The end of a man's life is often compared to the winding up of a well-written play, where the principal persons still act in character, whatever the fate is which they undergo. There is scarce a
The reader hardly needs to be told, that the authenticity of the epistles of Phalaris has been suspected, and is suspi cious; but if the letters are good, it is of little consequence who wrote them.
This great and learned man was famous for enlivening his ordinary discourses with wit and pleasantry; and as Erasmus tells him, in an epistle dedicatory, acted in all parts of life like a second Democritus.
He died upon a point of religion, and is respected as a martyr by that side for which he suffered. That innocent mirth, which had been so conspicuous in his life, did not forsake him to the last. He maintained the same cheerfulness of heart upon the scaffold which he used to show at his table; and upon laying his head on the block, gave instances of that good humor with which he had always entertained his friends in the most ordinary occurrences. His death was of a piece with his life. There was nothing in it new, forced, or affected. He did not look upon the severing his head from his body as a circumstance that ought to produce any change in the disposition of his mind; and as he died under a fixed and settled hope of immortality, he thought any unusual degree of sorrow and concern improper on such an occasion, as he had nothing in it which could deject or terrify him.
There is no great danger of imitation from this example. Men's natural fears will be sufficient guard against it. I shall only observe, that what was philosophy in this extraordinary man would be frenzy in one who does not resemble him as well in the cheerfulness of his temper as in the sanctity of his life and manners.
I shall conclude this paper with the instance of a person who seems to me to have shown more intrepidity and greatness of soul in his dying moments than what we meet with among any of the most celebrated Greeks and Romans. I met with this instance in the History of the Revolutions in Portugal, written by the Abbot de Vertot.
When Don Sebastian, king of Portugal, had invaded the territories of Muli Moluc, emperor of Morocco, in order to dethrone him, and set the crown upon the head of his nephew, Moluc was wearing away with a distemper which he himself knew was incurable. However, he prepared for the reception of so formidable an enemy. He was, indeed, so far spent with his sickness, that he did not expect to live out the whole day, when the last decisive battle was given; but, knowing the fatal consequences that would happen to his children and people, in case he should die before he put an end to that war, he commanded his princi