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public with their reflections and observations upon every piece of intelligence that is sent us from abroad. The text is given us by one set of writers, and the comment by another.
But notwithstanding we have the same tale told us in so many different papers, and, if occasion requires, in so many articles of the same paper; notwithstanding, in a scarcity of foreign posts, we hear the same story repeated by different advices from Paris, Brussels, the Hague, and from every great town in Europe; notwithstand ing the multitude of annotations, explanations, reflections, and various readings, which it passes through, our time lies heavy on our hands till the arrival of a fresh mail; we long to receive further particulars, to hear what will be the next step, or what will be the consequences of that which has been already taken. A westerly wind keeps the whole town in suspense, and puts a stop to con
of it be what it will; or, to speak more properly, they are men of a voracious appetite, but no taste. Now, Sir, since the great fountain of news, I mean the war, is very near being dried up; and since these gentlemen have contracted such an inextinguishable thirst after it; I have taken their case and my own into consideration, and have thought of a project which may turn to the advantage of us both. I have thoughts of publishing a daily paper, which shall comprehend in it all the most remarkable occurrences in every little town, village, and hamlet, that lie within ten miles of London, or, in other words, within the verge of the penny. post. I have pitched upon this scene of intelligence for two reasons; first because the carriage of letters will be very cheap; and, secondly, be cause I may receive them every day. By this means my readers will have their news fresh and fresh, and many worthy citizens, who cannot sleep with any satisfaction at present, for want of being informed how the world goes, may go to bed contentedly, it being my design to put out my paper every night at nine o'clock precisely. I have already established correspondences in these several places, and received very good intelligence.
By my last advices from Knightsbridge I hear that a horse was clapped into the pound on the third instant, and that he was not released when the letters came away.
This general curiosity has been raised and inflamed by our late wars, and, if rightly directed, might be of good use to a person who has such a thirst awakened in him. Why should not a man, who takes delight in reading everything that is new, apply himself to history, travels, and other writings of the same kind, where he will find perpetual fuel for his curiosity, and meet with much more pleasure and improvement than in these papers of the week? An honest tradesman, who languishes a whole summer in expectation of a batile, and perhaps is baulked at last, may here meet with half-a-dozen in a day. He may read the news of a whole campaign in less time than he now bestows upon the products of any single post Fights, conquests, and revolutions, lie thick together. The reader's curiosity is raised and satisfied every moment, and his passions disappointed or gratified, without being detained in a state of uncertainty from day to day, or lying at "By a fisherman who lately touched at Hamthe mercy of the sea and wind; in short, the mind mersmith, there is advice from Putney, that a ceris not here kept in perpetual gape after knowtain person well known in that place is like to ledge, nor punished with that eternal thirst which is the portion of all our modern newsmongers and coffee-house politicians.
All matters of fact, which a man did not know before, are news to him; and I do not see how any haberdasher in Cheapside is more concerned in the present quarrel of the Cantons, than he was in that of the League. At least, I believe every one will allow me it is of more importance to an Englishman to know the history of his ancestors than that of his cotemporaries who live upon the bank of the Danube or the Borysthenes. As for those who are of another mind, I shall recommend to them the following letter from a projector who is willing to turn a penny by this remarkable curiosity of his countrymen.
"You must have observed, that men who frequent coffee-houses, and delight in news, are pleased with everything that is matter of fact, so it be what they have not heard before. A victory, or a defeat, is equally agreeable to them. The shutting of a cardinal's mouth pleases them one post, and the opening of it another. They are glad to hear the French court is removed to Marli, and are afterward as much delighted with its return to Versailles. They read the advertisements with the same curiosity as the articles of public news; and are as pleased to hear of a piebald horse that is strayed out of a field near Islington, as of a whole troop that have been engaged in any foreign adventure. In sh they have a relish for everything that i he matter
"We are informed from Pankridge, that a dozen weddings were lately celebrated in the mother-church of that place, but are referred to their next letters for the names of the parties concerned.
"Letters from Brompton advise, that the widow Blight had received several visits from John Mildew, which affords great matter of speculation in those parts.
lose his election for churchwarden; but this being
"They advise from Fulham, that things remained there in the same state they were. They had intelligence, just as the letters came away, a tub of excellent ale just set abroach at Parson's Green; but this wanted confirmation.
"I have here, Sir, given you a specimen of the news with which I intend to entertain the town, and which, when drawn up regularly in the form of a newspaper, will, I doubt not, be very acceptable to many of those public spirited readers who take more delight in acquainting themselves with other people's business than their own. I hope a paper of this kind, which lets us know what is done near home, may be more useful to us than those which are filled with advices from Zug and Bender, and make some amends for that dearth of intelli gence, which we may justly apprehend in times of peace. If I find that you receive this project fa vorably, I will shortly trouble you with one of two more; and in the meantime am, most worthy Sir, with all due respect,
No weak, no common wing shall bear
My rising body through the air.-CREECH. THERE is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. It is not like the practice of many other virtues, difficult and painful, but attended with so much pleasure, that were there no positive command which enjoined it, nor any recompense laid up for it hereafter, a generous mind would indulge in it, for the natural gratification that accompanies it.
If gratitude is due from man to man, how much more from man to his Maker? The Supreme Being does not only confer upon us those bounties, which proceed more immediately from his hand, but even those benefits which are conveyed to us by others. Every blessing we enjoy, by what means soever it may be derived upon us, is the gift of him who is the great Author of good, and Father of mercies.
If gratitude, when exerted toward one another, naturally produces a very pleasing sensation in the mind of a grateful man; it exalts the soul into rapture, when it is employed on this great object of gratitude, on this beneficent Being who has given us everything we already possess, and from whom we expect everything we yet hope for.
Most of the works of the pagan poets were either direct hymns to their deities, or tended indirectly to the celebration of their respective attributes and perfections. Those who are acquainted with the works of the Greek and Latin poets which are still extant, will, upon reflection, find this observation so true, that I shall not enlarge upon it. One would wonder that more of our Christian poets have not turned their thoughts this way, especially if we consider that our idea of the Supreme Being is not only infinitely more great and noble than what could possibly enter into the hear of a heathen, but filled with everything that can raise the imagination, and give an opportunity for the sublimest thoughts and conceptions.
Plutarch tells us of a heathen who was singing a hymn to Diana, in which he celebrated her for her delight in human sacrifices, and other instances of cruelty and revenge; upon which a poet who was present at this piece of devotion, and seems to have had a truer idea of the divine nature, told the votary, by way of reproof, that, in recompense for his hymn, he heartily wished he might have a daughter with the same temper with the goddess he celebrated. It was indeed impossible to write the praises of one of those false deities, according to the pagan creed, without a mixture of impertinence and absurdity.
The Jews, who, before the time of Christianity, were the only people who had any knowledge of the true God, have set the Christian world an example how they ought to employ this divine talent of which I am speaking. As that nation produced men of great genius, without considering them as inspired writers, they have transmitted to us many hymns and divine odes, which excel those that are delivered down to us by the ancient Greeks and Romans, in the poetry, as much as in the subject to which it was consecrated. This, I think, might easily be shown, if there were occasion for it.
I have already communicated to the public some pieces of divine poetry; and, as they have met with a very favorable reception, I shall, from time to time, publish any work of the same nature,
which has not yet appeared in print, and may be acceptable to my readers.
When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys; Transported with the view, I'm lost In wonder, love, and praise:
O how shall words with equal warmth The gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravish'd heart? But thou canst read it there.
Thy providence my life sustain'd, And all my wants redress'd When in the silent womb I lay, And hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries, Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt To form themselves in pray'r.
Unnumber'd comforts to my soul,
Thy tender care bestow'd, Before my infant heart conceiv'd From whom those comforts flow'd.
When in the slipp'ry paths of youth
Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths, It gently clear'd my way,
And through the pleasing snares of vice. More to be fear'd than they.
When worn with sickness, oft hast Thou
Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
Nor is the least a cheerful heart,
Through every period of my life
When nature fails, and day and night
Through all eternity to Thee
No. 454.] MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 1712.
Sine me, vacivum tempus ne quod dem mihi Laboris. TER. Heaut. act. i. sc. 1. Give me leave to allow myself no respite from labor. Ir is an inexpressible pleasure to know a little of the world, and be of no character or signifi cancy in it.
To be ever unconcerned, and ever looking on ing men into love for they know not whom, who new objects with an endless curiosity, is a delight are fled they know not where. This sort of woman known only to those who are turned for specula-is usually a janty slattern; she hangs on her tion: nay, they who enjoy it must value things only as they are the objects of speculation, without drawing any worldly advantage to themselves from them, but just as they are what contribute to their amusement, or the improvement of the mind. I lay one night last week at Richmond; and being restless, not out of dissatisfaction, but a certain busy inclination one sometimes has, I rose at four in the morning, and took boat for London, with a resolution to rove by boat and coach for the next four-and-twenty hours, till the many objects I must needs meet with should tire my imagination, and give me an inclination to a repose more profound than I was at that time capable of. I beg people's pardon for an odd humor I am guilty of, and was often that day, which is saluting any person whom I like, whether I know him or not. This is a particularity would be tolerated in me, if they considered that the greatest pleasure I know I receive at my eyes, and that I am obliged to an agreeable person for coming abroad into my view, as another is for a visit of conversation at their own houses.
The hours of the day and night are taken up in the cities of London and Westminster, by people as different from each other as those who are born in different centuries. Men of six o'clock give way to those of nine, they of nine to the generation of twelve; and they of twelve disappear, and make room for the fashionable world, who have made two o'clock the noon of the day,
When we first put off from shore, we soon fell in with a fleet of gardeners, bound for the several market ports of London; and it was the most pleasing scene imaginable to see the cheerfulness with which those industrious people plied their way to a certain sale of their goods. The banks on each side are as well peopled, and beautified with as agreeable plantations, as any spot on the earth; but the Thames itself, loaded with the product of each shore, added very much to the landscape. It was very easy to observe their sailing, and the countenances of the ruddy virgins, who were supercargoes, the parts of the town to which they were bound. There was an air in the purveyors for Covent-garden, who frequently converse with morning rakes, very unlike the seeming sobriety of those bound for Stocks-market.
clothes, plays her head, varies her posture, and changes place incessantly, and all with an appearance of striving at the same time to hide herself, and yet give you to understand she is in humor to laugh at you. You must have often seen the coachmen make signs with their fingers, as they drive by each other, to intimate how much they have got that day. They can carry on that lan guage to give intelligence where they are driving, In an instant my coachman took the wink to pur sue; and the lady's driver gave the hint that he was going through Long-acre toward St. James's; while he whipped up James-street, we drove for King-street, to save the pass at St. Martin's-lane. The coachmen took care to meet, jostle, and threa ten each other for way, and be entangled at the end of Newport-street and Long-acre. The fright, you must believe, brought down the lady's coachdoor, and obliged her, with her mask off, to inquire into the bustle,-when she sees the man she would avoid. The tackle of the coach-window is 80 bad she cannot draw it up again, and she drives on, sometimes wholly discovered, and sometimes half escaped, according to the accident of carriages in her way. One of these ladies keeps her seat in a hackney-coach, as well as the best rider does on a managed horse. The laced shoe on her left foot, with a careless gesture, just appearing on the op posite cushion, held her both firm, and in a proper attitude to receive the next jolt.
As she was an excellent coach-woman, many were the glances at each other which we had for an hour and a half, in all parts of the town, by the skill of our drivers; till at last my lady was conveniently lost, with notice from her coachman to ours to make off, and he should hear where she went. This chase was now at an end: and the fellow who drove her came to us, and discovered that he was ordered to come again in an hour, for that she was a silk-worm. I was surprised with this phrase, but found it was a cant among the hackney fraternity for their best customers, women who ramble twice or thrice a week from shop to shop, to turn over all the goods in town without buying anything. The silk-worms are, it seems, indulged by the tradesmen; for, though they never buy, they are ever talking of new silks, laces, and ribbons, and serve the owners in getting them customers, as their common dunners do in making them pay.
Nothing remarkable happened in our voyage; but I landed with ten sail of apricot-boats, at Strand-bridge, after having put in at Nine-Elms, The day of people of fashion began now to and taken in melons consigned by Mr. Cuffe, of break, and carts and hacks were mingled with that place to Sarah Sewell and Company, at their equipages of show and vanity; when I resolved stall in Covent garden. We arrived at Strand- to walk it, out of cheapness; but my unhappy bridge at six of the clock, and were unloading, curiosity is such, that I find it always my interest when the hackney-coachmen of the foregoing night to take coach; for some odd adventure among took their leave of each other at the Dark-house, beggars, ballad-singers, or the like, detains and to go to bed before the day was too far spent. throws me into expense. It happened so imme Chimney-sweepers passed by us as we made up diately: for at the corner of Warwick street, as I to the market, and some raillery happened be- was listening to a new ballad, a ragged rascal, a tween one of the fruit-wenches and those black beggar who knew me, came up to me, and begat men about the Devil and Eve, with allusion to to turn the eyes of the good company upon me, their several professions. I could not believe by telling me he was extremely poor, and should any place more entertaining than Covent-garden; die in the street for want of drink, except I imme where I strolled from one fruit-shop to another, diately would have the charity to give him sir with crowds of agreeable young women around pence to go into the next ale-house and save his me, who were purchasing fruit for their respective life. He urged, with a melancholy face, that all families. It was almost eight of the clock before his family had died of thirst. All the mob have I could leave that variety of objects. I took humor, and two or three began to take the jest; coach and followed a young lady, who tripped into another just before me, attended by her maid. I saw immediately she was of the family of the Vain-loves. There are a set of these, who, of all hings, affect the play of Blindman' huff, and lead
by which Mr. Sturdy carried his point, and let me
No. 455.] TUESDAY, AUGUST 12, 1712.
Grata carpentis thyma per laborem
HOR. 4 Od. ii. 27.
-My timorous Muse
Unambitious tracks pursues;
Does with weak unballast wings,
Like the laborious bee,
For little drops of honey fly,
satisfaction increased as I moved toward the city; | and gay signs, well-disposed streets, magnificent public structures, and wealthy shops adorned with contented faces, made the joy still rising till we came into the center of the city, and center of the world of trade, the Exchange of London. other men in the crowds about me were pleased with their hopes and bargains, I found my account in observing them, in attention to their several interests. I, indeed, looked upon myself as the richest man that walked the Exchange that day; for my benevolence made me share the gains of every bargain that was made. It was not the least THE following letters have in them reflections of my satisfaction in my survey, to go up stairs, which will seem of importance both to the learned and pass the shops of agreeable females; to ob- world and to domestic life. There is in the first serve so many pretty hands busy in the folding an allegory so well carried on, that it cannot but of ribbons, and the utmost eagerness of agreeable be very pleasing to those who have a taste of good faces in the sale of patches, pins, and wires, on writing: and the other billets may have their use each side of the counters, was an amusement in in common life : which I could longer have indulged myself, had
And there with humble sweets contents her industry.
not the dear creatures called to me, to ask what I"MR. SPECTATOR, wanted, when I could not answer, only "To look "As I walked the other day in a fine garden, at you." I went to one of the windows which and observed the great variety of improvements opened to the area below, where all the several Voices lost their distinction, and rose up in a confused humming; which created in me a reflection that could not come into the mind of any but of one a little too studious; for I said to myself with a kind of pun in thought, "What nonsense is all the hurry of this world to those who are above it?" In these, or not much wiser thoughts, I had like to have lost my place at the chop-house, where every man, according to the natural bashfulness or sullenness of our nation, eats in a public room a mess of broth, or chop of meat, in dumb silence, as if they had no pretense to speak to each other on the foot of being men, except they were of each other's acquaintance.
in plants and flowers, beyond what they otherwise would have been, I was naturally led into a reflection upon the advantages of education, of modern culture: how many good qualities in the mind are lost, for want of the like due care in nursing and skillfully managing them; how many virtues are choked by the multitude of weeds which are suffered to grow among them; how excellent parts are often starved and useless, by being planted in a wrong soil; and how very seldom do these moral seeds produce the noble fruits which might be expected from them by a neglect of proper manuring, necessary pruning, and an artful management of our tender inclinations and first spring of life. These obvious speculations made me at length I went afterward to Robin's, and saw people, conclude, that there is a sort of vegetable princiwho had dined with me at the tive-penny ordinary ple in the mind of every man when he comes into just before, give bills for the value of large estates; the world. In infants, the seeds lie buried and and could not but behold with great pleasure, undiscovered, till after a while they sprout forth property lodged in, and transferred in a moment in a kind of rational leaves, which are words; and from, such as would never be masters of half as in due season the flowers begin to appear in much as is seemingly in them, and given from variety of beautiful colors, and all the gay pictures them, every day they live. But before five in the of youthful fancy and imagination; at last the afternoon I left the city, came to my common scene fruit knits and is formed, which is green perhaps of Covent-garden, and passed the evening at Will's at first, sour and unpleasant to the taste, and not in attending the discourses of several sets of fit to be gathered: till, ripened by due care and people, who relieved each other within my hearing application, it discovers itself in all the noble proon the subjects of cards, dice, love, learning, and ductions of philosophy, mathematics, close reasonpolitics. The last subject kept me till I heard the ing, and handsome argumentation. These fruits, streets in the possession of the bellman, who had when they arrive at a just maturity, and are of a now the world to himself, and cried, "Past two good kiud, afford the most vigorous nourishment o'clock." This roused me from my seat; and I to the minds of men. I reflected further on the went to my lodgings, led by a light, whom I put intellectual leaves before-mentioned, and found into the discourse of his private economy, and almost as great a variety among them, as in the made him give me an account of the charge, hazard, vegetable world. I could easily observe the smooth profit, and loss, of a family that depended upon a shining Italian leaves, the nimble French aspen link, with a design to end my trivial day with the always in motion, the Greek and Latin evergreens, generosity of six-pence, instead of a third part of the Spanish myrtle, the English oak, the Scotch that sum. When I came to my chambers, I wrote thistle, the Irish shambrogue, the prickly German down these minutes; but was at a loss what and Dutch holly, the Polish and Russian nettle, instruction I should propose to my reader from beside a vast number of exotics imported from the enumeration of so many insignificant matters Asia, Africa, and America. I saw several barren and occurrences; and I thought it of great use, if plants, which bore only leaves, without any hopes they could learn with me to keep their minds open of flower or fruit. The leaves of some were frato gratification, and ready to receive it from any grant and well-shaped, of others ill-scented and thing it meets with. This one circumstance will irregular. I wondered at a set of old whimsical make every face you see give you the satisfaction botanists, who spent their whole lives in the conyou now take in beholding that of a friend; will templation of some withered Egyptian, Coptic, make every object a pleasing one; will make all Armenian, or Chinese leaves; while others made the good which arrives to any man, an increase of it their business to collect, in voluminous herbals, happiness to yourself.-T. all the several leaves of some one tree. The flowers afforded a most diverting entertainment, in a wonderful variety of figures, colors, and scents; however, most of them withered soon, or at best
"I desire you will print this in italic, so as it may be generally taken notice of. It is designed only to admonish all persons, who speak either at the bar, pulpit, or any public assembly whatsoever, how they discover their ignorance in the use of similes. There are, in the pulpit itself, as well as in other places, such gross abuses in this kind, that I give this warning to all I know. I shall bring them for the future before your spectatorial authority. On Sunday last, one, who shall be nameless, reproving several of his congregation for standing at prayers, was pleased to say, One would think, like the elephant, you had no knees. Now I, myself, saw an elephant, in Bartholomew. fair, kneel down to take on his back the ingenious Mr. William Penkethman.
"Your most humble Servant."
No. 456.] WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 1712. De quo libelli in celeberrimis locis proponuntur, buie s perire quidem tacite conceditur.
The man whose conduct is publicly arraigned is not suffered even to be undone quietly.
are but annuals. Some professed florists make "MR. SPECTATOR,
indifference, I shall rest satisfied.
"Your very humble Servant."
OTWAY, in his tragedy of Venice Preserved, has described the misery of a man whose effects are in the hands of the law, with great spirit. The bit terness of being the scorn and laughter of base minds, the anguish of being insulted by men hatdened beyond the sense of shame or pity, and the injury of a man's fortune being wasted, under pretense of justice, are excellently aggravated in the following speech of Pierre to Jaffier:
I pass'd this very moment by thy doors, And found them guarded by a troop of villains; The sons of public rapine were destroying, They told me, by the sentence of the law. They had commission to seize all thy fortune; Nay, more, Priuli's cruel hand had signed it. Here stood a ruffian with a horrid face, Lording it o'er a pile of massy plate, Tumbled into a heap for public sale; There was another making villainous jests At thy undoing. He had ta'en possession Of all thy ancient most domestic ornaments; Rich hangings intermix'd and wrought with gold; The very bed, which on thy wedding night Received thee to the arms of Belviders, The scene of all thy joys, was violated By the coarse hands of filthy dungeon villains, And thrown among the common lumber. Nothing, indeed, can be more unhappy than the condition of bankruptcy. The calamity which happens to us by ill fortune, or by the injury of others, has in it some consolation; but what arises from our own misbehavior, or error, is the state of the most exquisite sorrow. When a man con "P. S. I must do the poor girl the justice to siders not only an ample fortune, but even the let you know that this match was none of her own choosing (or indeed of mine either); in consider- very necessaries of life, his pretense to food itself, at the mercy of his creditors, he cannot but look ation of which, I avoid giving her the least prov. ocation; and, indeed, we live better together than upon himself in the state of the dead, with his usually folks do who hated one another when they formed by his adversaries instead of his friends case thus much worse, that the last office is per were first joined. To evade the sin against pa- From this hour the cruel world does not only take rents, or at least to extenuate it, my dear rails at possession of his whole fortune, but even of every my father and mother, and I curse hers for making thing else which had no relation to it. All bis indifferent actions have new interpretations put upon them; and those whom he has favored in his former life, discharge themselves of their obliga tions to him, by joining in the reproaches of his enemies. It is almost incredible that it should be so; but it is too often seen that there is a pride mixed with the impatience of the creditor; and there are who would rather recover their o by the downfall of a prosperous man, than be die charged to the common satisfaction of themselves and the ditors. The wretched man,
August 8, 1712.
"I like the theme you lately gave out extremely, and should be as glad to handle it as any man living. But I find myself no better qualified to write about money than about my wife; for, to tell you a secret, which I desire may go no further, I am master of neither of those subjects. "Y