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Who, in a fix'd unalterable state,
And scorn alike her friendship and her hate
I HAVE more than once had occasion to mention a noble saying of Seneca the philosopher, that a virtuous person struggling with misfortunes, and rising above them, is an object on which the gods themselves may look down with delight. I shall therefore set before my reader a scene of this kind of distress in private life, for the speculation of this day.
I do not intend marriage, but if you are wise, you
This letter came to the hands of Amanda's mother. She opened and read it with great surprise and concern. She did not think it proper to explain herself to the messenger, but, desiring him to call again the next morning, she wrote to her daughter as follows:
"Your father and I have just received a letter from a gentleman who pretends love to you, with a proposal that insults our misfortunes, and would throw us to a lower degree of misery than any thing which is come upon us. How could this barbarous man think that the tenderest of parents would be tempted to supply their wants by giving up the best of children to infamy and ruin? It is a mean and cruel artifice to make this proposal at a time when he thinks our necessities must com pel us to anything; but we will not eat the bread of shame; and therefore we charge thee not to think of us, but to avoid the snare which is laid for thy virtue. Beware of pitying us: it is not so bad as you perhaps have been told. All things will yet be well, and I shall write my child better
An eminent citizen, who had lived in good fashion and credit, was, by a train of accidents, and by an unavoidable perplexity in his affairs, reduced to a low condition. There is a modesty usually attending faultless poverty, which made him rather choose to reduce his manner of living to his present circumstances, than solicit his friends in order to support the show of an estate when the substance was gone. His wife, who was a woman of sense and virtue, behaved herself on this occasion with uncommon decency, and never appeared so amiable in his eyes as now. Instead of upbraiding him with the ample fortune she had brought, or the many great offers she had refused for his sake, she redoubled all the instances of her affection, while her husband was continually pouring out his heart to her in complaints that he had ruined the best woman in the world. He news. sometimes came home at a time when she did not "I have been interrupted; I know not how I expect him, and surprised her in tears, which she was moved to say things would mend. As I was endeavored to conceal, and always put on an air going on, I was startled by the noise of one that of cheerfulness to receive him. To lessen their knocked at the door, and hath brought us an unexpense, their eldest daughter (whom I shall call expected supply of a debt which has long been Amanda) was sent into the country, to the house owing. Oh! I will now tell thee all. It is some of an honest farmer, who had married a servant days I have lived almost without support, having of the family. This young woman was appre- conveyed what little money I could raise to your hensive of the ruin which was approaching, and poor father. Thou wilt weep to think where he had privately engaged a friend in the neighbor-is, yet be assured he will be soon at liberty. That hood to give her an account of what passed from cruel letter would have broke his heart, but I have time to time in her father's affairs. Amanda was concealed it from him. I have no companion at in the bloom of her youth and beauty; when the present beside little Fanny, who stands watching lord of the manor, who often called in at the farm- my looks as I write, and is crying for her sister. er's house, as he followed his country sports, fell She says she is sure you are not well, having dis passionately in love with her. He was a man of covered that my present trouble is about you. But great generosity, but, from a loose education, had do not think I would thus repeat my sorrows to contracted a hearty aversion to marriage. He grieve thee. No; it is to entreat thee not to make therefore entertained a design upon Amanda's vir- them insupportable, by adding what would be tue, which at present he thought fit to keep private. worse than all. Let us bear cheerfully an afflic The innocent creature, who never suspected his tion which we have not brought on ourselves, and intentions, was pleased with his person; and, remember there is a Power who can better deliver having observed his growing passion for her, us out of it than by the loss of thy innocence. hoped by so advantageous a match she might Heaven preserve my dear child! quickly be in a capacity of supporting her impoverished relations. One day, as he called to see her, he found her in tears, over a letter she had
just received from her friend, which gave an account that her father had lately been stripped of everything by an execution. The lover, who with some difficulty found out the cause of her grief, took this occasion to make her a proposal. It is impossible to express Amanda's confusion when she found his pretensions were not honorable. She was now deserted of all her hopes, and had no power to speak, but, rushing from him in the utmost disturbance, locked herself up in her chamber. He immediately dispatched a messenger to her father with the following letter:
"Thy affectionate Mother,
deliver this letter to Amanda, carried it first to his The messenger, notwithstanding he promised to master, who he imagined would be glad to have self. His master was impatient to know the success an opportunity of giving it into her hands him of his proposal, and therefore broke open the let little moved at so true a picture of virtue in dis ter privately to see the contents. He was not a tress; but at the same time was infinitely surprised to find his offers rejected. However, he resolved up again, and carried it to Amanda. All his not to suppress the letter, but carefully sealed it deavors to see her were in vain till she was assured he brought a letter from her mother. He would not part with it but upon condition that she would "I have heard of your misfortunes, and have read it without leaving the room. While she was offered your daughter, if she will live with me, to perusing it, he fixed his eyes on her face with the settle on her four hundred pounds a-year, and to deepest attention. Her concern gave a new soft lay down the sum for which you are now dis-ness to her beauty, and, when she burst into tears, tressed. I will be so ingen he could no longer refrain from bearing a part in
to tell you that
her sorrow, and telling her, that he too had read
"I am full of shame, and will never forgive myself if I have not your pardon for what I lately wrote. It was far from my intention to add trouble to the afflicted; nor could anything but my being a stranger to you have betrayed me into a fault, for which, if I live, I shall endeavor to make you amends as a son. You cannot be unhappy while Amanda is your daughter; nor shall be, if anything can prevent it which is in the power of,
My friend gave me the history; and interrupted my commendation of the man, by telling me the livelihood of these two animals is purchased rather by the good parts of the goose than of the leader; for it seems the peripatetic who walked before her was a watchman in that neighborhood; this tone, out of her natural vigilance, not only and the goose of herself, by frequently hearing observed, but answered it very regularly from time to time. The watchman was so affected with it, that he bought her, and has taken her in partto day. The town has come into it, and they live ner, only altering their hours of duty from night very comfortably. This is the matter of fact. Now I desire you, who are a profound philosopher, to consider this alliance of instinct and reason. Your speculation may turn very naturally upon the force the superior part of mankind may have upon the spirits of such as, like this watchThis letter he sent by his steward, and soon man, may be very near the standard of geese. after went up to town himself to complete the And you may add to this practical observation, nerous act he had now resolved on. By his friend-how, in all ages and times, the world has been ship and assistance Amanda's father was quickly carried away by odd unaccountable things, which in a condition of retrieving his perplexed affairs. one would think would pass upon no creature To conclude, he married Amanda, and enjoyed which had reason; and under the symbol of this the double satisfaction of having restored a worthy goose, you may enter into the manner and method family to their former prosperity, and of making thick and thin, for they know not what, they of leading creatures with their eyes open through himself happy by an alliance to their virtues. know not why.
"Your most obedient, humble Servant,
No. 376.] MONDAY, MAY, 16, 1712.
-Pavone ex Pythagoræo.
"I HAVE observed that the officer you some time ago appointed as inspector of signs, has not done his duty so well as to give you an account of very many strange occurrences in the public streets, which are worthy of, but have escaped, your notice. Among all the oddnesses which I have ever met with, that which I am now telling you gave me most delight. You must have observed that all the cries in the street attract the attention of the passengers, and of the inhabitants in the several parts, by something very particular in their tone itself, in the dwelling upon a note, or else making themselves wholly unintelligible by a scream. The person I am so delighted with has nothing to sell, but very gravely receives the bounty of the people, for no other merit but the homage they pay to his manner of signifying to them that he wants a subsidy. You must sure have heard speak of an old man who walks about the city, and that part of the suburbs which lies beyond the Tower, performing the office of a dayWatchman, followed by a goose, which bears the bob of his ditty, and confirms what he says with a Quack, quack.' I gave little heed to the mention of this known circumstance till, being the other day in those quarters, I passed by a decrepid old fellow, with a pole in his hand, who just then was bawling out, 'Half an hour after one o'clock!' and immediately a dirty goose behind made her response, Quack, quack.' I could not forbear attending this grave procession for the length of half a street, with no small amazement to find the whole place so familiarly acquainted with a melancholy midnight voice at roon-day, giving them the hour, and exhorting them of the departure of time, with a bounce at their doors. While I was full of this novelty, I went into a friend's house, and told him how I was diverted with their whimsical monitor and his equipage.
"All which is humbly submitted to your spec. tatorial wisdom by,
"6 'MICHAEL GANDER."
"I have for several years had under my care the government and education of young ladies, which trust I have endeavored to discharge with due regard to their several capacities and fortunes. I have left nothing undone to imprint in every one of them a humble courteous mind, accompanied with a graceful becoming mien, and have made them pretty much acquainted with the household part of family affairs; but still I find there is something very much wanting in the air of my ladies, different from what I have observed in those who are esteemed your fine-bred women. Now, Sir, I must own to you, I never suffered my girls to learn to dance: but since I have read your discourse of dancing, where you have described the beauty and spirit there is in regular motion, I own myself your convert, and resolve for the future to give my young ladies that accomplishment. But upon imparting my design to their parents, I have been made very uneasy for some time, because several of them have declared, that if I did not make use of the master they recommended, they would take away their children. There was Colonel Jumper's lady, a colonel of the trainbands, that has a great interest in her parish; she recommends Mr. Trot for the prettiest master in town; that no man teaches a jig like him, that she has seen him rise six or seven capers together with the greatest ease imaginable; and that his scholars twist themselves more ways than the scholars of any master in town; beside, there is Madam Prim, an alderman's lady, recommends a master of their own name, but she declares he is not of their family, yet a very extraordinary man in his way; for, beside a very soft air he has in dancing, he gives them a particular behavior at a tea-table, and in presenting their snuff-box; teaches to twirl, slip, or flirt a fan, and how to place patches to the best advantage, either for fat or lean, long or oval faces; for my lady says there is more in these things than the world imagines. But I must confess, the major part of those I am
No. 377.] TUESDAY, MAY 13, 1712.
Quid quisque vitet, nunquam homini satis
HOR. 2 Od., xiii, 13. What each should fly, is seldom known; We unprovided, are undone.-CREECH. LOVE was the mother of poetry, and still produces, among the most ignorant and barbarous, a thousand imaginary distresses and poetical complaints. It makes a footman talk like Oroondates, and converts a brutal rustic into a gentle swain. The most ordinary plebeian or mechanic in love bleeds and pines away with a certain elegance and tenderness of sentiments which this passion naturally inspires.
These inward languishings of a mind infected with this softness have given birth to a phrase which is made use of by all the melting tribe, from the highest to the lowest-I mean that of "dying for love."
Romances, which owe their very being to this passion, are full of these metaphorical deaths. Heroes and heroines, knights, 'squires, and damsels, are all of them in a dying condition. There is the same kind of mortality in our modern tragedies, where every one gasps, faints, bleeds, and dies. Many of the poets, to describe the execution which is done by this passion, represent the fair sex as basilisks, that destroy with their eyes; but I think Mr. Cowley has, with great justness of thought, compared a beautiful woman to a porcupine, that sends an arrow from every part.
I have often thought that there is no way so effectual for the cure of this general infirmity, as a man's reflecting upon the motives that produce it. When the passion proceeds from the sense of any virtue or perfection in the person beloved, I would by no means discourage it; but if a man considers that all his heavy complaints of wounds and deaths rise from some little affectations of coquetry, which are improved into charms by his own fond imagination, the very laying before himself the cause of his distemper may be sufficient to effect the cure of it.
It is in this view that I have looked over the several bundles of letters which I have received from dying people, and composed out of them the following bill of mortality, which I shall lay before my reader without any further preface, as hoping that it may be useful to him in discovering those several places where there is most danger, and those fatal arts which are made use of to destroy the heedless and unwary:
Lysander, slain at a puppet-show on the third of September.
Thyrsis, shot from a casement in Piccadilly. T. S. wounded by Zelinda's scarlet stocking, as she was stepping out of a coach.
Will Simple, smitten at the opera by the glance of an eye that was aimed at one who stood by him.
W. W. killed by an unknown hand, that was playing with the glove off upon the side of the front box in Drury-lane.
Sir Christopher Crazy, Bart., hurt by the brush of a whalebone petticoat.
Sylvius, shot through the sticks of a fan at St. James's church.
Damon, struck through the heart by a diamond necklace.
Thomas Trusty, Francis Goosequill, William Meanwell, Edward Callow, Esqrs., standing in a row, fell all four at the same time, by an ogle of the Widow Trapland.
Tom Rattle, chancing to tread upon a lady's tail as he came out of the playhouse, she turned full upon him, and laid him dead upon the spot.
Dick Tastewell, slain by a blush from the queen's box in the third act of the Trip to the Jubilee.
Samuel Felt, haberdasher, wounded in his walks to Islington, by Mrs. Susannah Cross-stitch, as she was clambering over a stile.
R. F. T. W. S. I. M. P., etc., put to death in the last birthday massacre.
Roger Blinko, cut off in the twenty-first year of his age by a white-wash.
Musidorus, slain by an arrow that flew out of a dimple, in Belinda's left cheek.
Ned Courtly, presenting Flavia with her glove (which she had dropped on purpose), she received it, and took away his life with a courtsey.
John Gosselin, having received a slight hurt from a pair of blue eyes, as he was making his escape, was dispatched by a smile.
Strephon, killed by Clarinda as she looked down into the pit.
Charles Careless, shot flying by a girl of fifteen, who unexpectedly popped her head upon him out of a coach.
Josiah Wither, aged threescore and three, sent to his long home by Elizabeth Jetwell, spinster. Jack Freelove, murdered by Melissa in her hair. William Wiseacre, Gent., drowned in a flood of tears by Moll Common.
John Pleadwell, Esq., of the middle Temple, barrister-at-law, assassinated in his chambers the sixth inst. by Kitty Sly, who pretended to come to him for his advice.-I.
No. 378.] WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 1712
Mature in years, to ready honors move.-DRYDEN,
I WILL make no apology for entertaining the reader with the following poem, which is whtien by a great genius, a friend of mine in the cou try, who is not ashamed to employ his wit in the praise of his Maker.
* Pope. See No. 534.
A SACRED ECLOGUE,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Composed of several passages of Isaiah the prophet. See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
Written in Imitation of Virgil's Pollio.
YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong, The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades, The dreams of Pindus, and th' Aonian maids, Delight no more-0 Thou my voice inspire, Who touched Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire! Rapt into future times, the bard begun: A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son! Isa. xi. 4. From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies; Th' ethereal Spirit o'er its leaves shall move, And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring: III. 2. See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance. See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise, And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the skies! zl.3, 4. Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers; Prepare the way! a God, a God appears: A God! a God! the vocal hills reply, The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity. Lo earth receives him from the bending skies! Sink down, ye mountains: and ye valleys, rise! With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay; Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way! The SAVIOR Comes! by ancient bards foretold! Hear him, ye deaf: and all ye blind, behold!
xv. 5, 6, He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day.
"Tis He th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear, And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear: The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego, And leap exulting like the bounding roe: No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear, From every face he wipes off every tear; In adamantine chains shall death be bound, And hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound. As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care, Seeks freshest pastures and the purest air, Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, By day o'ersees them, and by night protects, The tender Lamb he raises in his arms, Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms: Mankind shall thus his guardian care engage, The promised Father of the future age. No more shall nation against nation rise, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er, The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more: But useless lances into scythes shall bend, And the broad falchion in a plow-share end. 17. 21, 22. Then palaces shall rise: the joyful son
I. 6. L. 4.
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed,
ti. 6, 7, 8. The lambs with woods shall grace the verdant
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead:
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise!
And heap'd with products of Sabæan springs.
Isa, Ix. 3.
lx. 19, 20.
li. 6. and liv. 10,
No. 379.] THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1712.
-Science is not science till reveal'd.-DRYDEN.
I HAVE often wondered at that ill-natured position which has sometimes been maintained in the schools, and is comprised in an old Latin verse, namely, that "A man's knowledge is worth nothing if he communicates what he knows to any one beside." There is certainly no more sensible pleasure to a good-natured man, than if he can by any means gratify or inform the mind of another. I might add, that this virtue naturally carries its own reward along with it, since it is almost impossible it should be exercised without the improvement of the person who practices it. The reading of books, and the daily occurrences of life, are continually furnishing us with matter for thought and reflection. It is extremely natural for us to desire to see such of our thoughts put in the dress of words, without which, indeed,we can scarce have a clear and distinct idea of them ourselves. When they are thus clothed in expressions, nothing so truly shows us whether they are just or false, as those effects which they produce in the minds of others.
I am apt to flatter myself, that, in the course of these my speculations, I have treated of several subjects, and laid down many such rules for the conduct of a man's life, which my readers were either wholly ignorant of before, or which at least those few who were acquainted with them, looked upon as so many secrets they have found out for the conduct of themselves, but were resolved never to have made public.
I am the more confirmed in this opinion from my having received several letters, wherein I am censured for having prostituted Learning to the embraces of the vulgar, and made her, as one of my correspondents phrases it, a common strumpet. I am charged by another with laying open the arcana or secrets of prudence to the eyes of every
The narrow spirit which appears in the letters of these my correspondents is the less surprising, as it has shown itself in all ages: there is still extant an epistle written by Alexander the Great to his tutor Aristotle, upon that philosopher's publishing some part of his writings; in which the prince complains of his having made known to all the world those secrets in learning which he had before communicated to him in private lectures: concluding, that he had rather excel the rest of mankind in knowledge than in power.
Louisa de Padilla, a lady of great learning, and countess of Aranda, was in like manner angry with the famous Gratian, upon his publishing his
treatise of the Discreto, wherein she fancied that he had laid open those maxims to common readers which ought only to have been reserved for the knowledge of the great.
These objections are thought by many of so much weight, that they often defend the abovementioned authors by affirming they have affected such an obscurity in their style and manner of writing, that, though every one may read their works, there will be but very few who can comprehend their meaning.
any man's entering, naturally produced that which had happened."
Rosicrusius, say his disciples, made use of this method to show the world that he had re-invented the ever-burning lamps of the ancients, though he was resolved no one should reap any advan tage from the discovery.-X.
No. 380.] FRIDAY, MAY 16, 1712.
Persius, the Latin satirist, affected obscurity for another reason; with which, however, Mr. OVID, Ars. Am., ii, 633 Cowley is so offended, that, writing to one of his With patience bear a rival in thy love. friends, "You," says he, tell me, that you do not know whether Persius be a good poet or no, Thursday, May 8, 1712. because you cannot understand him; for which "THE character you have in the world of be very reason I affirm that he is not so.' ing the ladies' philosopher, and the pretty adHowever, this art of writing unintelligibly has vice I have seen you give to others in your pa been very much improved, and followed by sev-pers, make me address myself to you in this ab eral of the moderns, who, observing the general inclination of mankind to dive into a secret, and the reputation many have acquired by concealing their meaning under obscure terms and phrases, resolve, that they may be still more abstruse, to write without any meaning at all. This art, as it is at present practiced by many eminent authors, consists in throwing so many words at a venture into different periods, and leaving the curious reader to find out the meaning of them.
rupt manner, and to desire your opinion of what in this age a woman may call a lover. I have lately had a gentleman that I thought made pretensions to me, insomuch that most of my friends took notice of it, and thought we were really married. I did not take much pains to undeceive them, and especially a young gentle woman of my particular acquaintance, who was then in the country. She coming to town, and seeing our intimacy so great, gave herself the liberty of taking me to task concerning it genuously told her we were not married, but I did not know what might be the event. soon got acquainted with the gentleman, and was pleased to take upon her to examine him about it Now, whether a new face had made a greater con quest than the old I will leave you to judge. I am informed that he utterly denied all pretensions to courtship, but withal professed a sincere friendship for me; but, whether marriages are proposed by way of friendship or not, is what I desire to know, and what I may really call a lover? There I shall conclude this paper with the story of are so many who talk in a language fit only for that Rosicrusius's sepulcher. I suppose I need not in-character, and yet guard themselves against speak form my readers, that this man was the foundering in direct terms to the point, that it is impos of the Rosicrucian sect, and that his disciples still pretend to new discoveries, which they are never to communicate to the rest of mankind.*
The Egyptians, who made use of hieroglyphics to signify several things, expressed a man who confined his knowledge and discoveries altogether within himself by the figure of a dark lantern closed on all sides; which, though it was illuminated within, afforded no manner of light or advantage to such as stood by it. For my own part, as I shall from time to time communicate to the public whatever discoveries I happen to make, I should much rather be compared to an ordinary lamp, which consumes and wastes itself for the benefit of every passenger.
"A certain person having occasion to dig somewhat deep in the ground, where this philosopher lay interred, met with a small door, having a wall on each side of it. His curiosity, and the hopes of finding some hidden treasure, soon prompted him to force open the door. He was immediately surprised by a sudden blaze of light, and discovered a very fair vault. At the upper end of it was a statue of a man in armor, sitting by a table, and leaning on his left arm. He held a truncheon in his right hand, and had a lamp burning before
him. The man had no sooner set one foot within the vault than the statue erected itself from its
leaning posture, stood bolt upright, and upon the fellow's advancing another step, lifted up the truncheon in his right hand. The man still ventured a third step, when the statue, with a furious blow, broke the lamp into a thousand pieces, and left his guest in a sudden darkness.
sible to distinguish between courtship and con-
"Sir, your most obedient Servant,
April 28, 1712 "Your observations on persons that have be haved themselves irreverently at church 1 dak not, have had a good effect on some that bart
read them but there is another fault which has hitherto escaped your notice, I mean of sued sons as are there very zealous and punctual a perform an ejaculation that is only preparaty B Upon the report of this adventure, the country in the service itself. There is an instance of the the service of the church, and yet neglect to s people soon came with lights to the sepulcher, and discovered that the statue, which was made in a friend of Will Honeycomb's, who sus oppe He seldom comes in till the pese of brass, was nothing more than a piece of clock-site to me. work; that the floor of the vault was all loose, are about half over; and when he has ed and underlaid with several springs, which upon
See Compte de Gabalis, par l'Abbe Villars, 1742, 2 vols., in 12mo., and Pope's Works, ed. of Warb., vol. i, b. 109, 12mo. 1770, 6 vola.
tion) he devoutly holds his hat before his face i his seat (instead of joining with the congregt
three or four moments, then bows to al: 1quaintance, sits down, takes a pinch of sudil it be the evening service perhaps takes a top)