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drawn out of the phrase of one tongue into that of | another, made the music appear very absurd in one tongue that was very natural in the other. I remember an Italian verse that ran thus, word for word: And turn'd my rage into pity.
which the English, for rhyme-sake, translated, And into pity turned my rage.
tendency to the refinement of human nature; I must confess I would allow it no better quarter than Plato has done, who banishes it out of his commonwealth.
At present our notions of music are so very uncertain, that we do not know what it is we like; only, in general, we are transported with anything that is not English: so it be of a foreign growth, let it be Italian, French, or High Dutch, it is the By this means the soft notes that were adapted to same thing. In short, our English music is quite pity in the Italian, fell upon the word rage in the rooted out, and nothing yet planted in its stead. English; and the angry sounds that were turned When a royal palace is burnt to the ground, to rage in the original, were made to express pity every man is at liberty to present his plan for a in the translation. It oftentimes happened like-new one; and though it be but indifferently put wise, that the finest notes in the air fell upon the most insignificant words in the sentence. I have known the word "and" pursued through the whole gamut, have been entertained with many a melodious "the," and have heard the most beautiful graces, quavers, and divisions bestowed upon "then," "for," and "from;" to the eternal honor of our English particles.
The next step to our refinement was the intro
together, it may furnish several hints that may be of use to a good architect. I shall take the same liberty, in a following paper, of giving my opinion upon the subject of music; which I shall lay down only in a problematical manner, to be considered by those who are masters in the art.-C.
Di bene fecerunt, inopis me quodque pusilli
ducing of Italian actors into our opera; who sang No. 19.] THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 1710-11. their parts in their own language, at the same time that our countrymen performed theirs in our native tongue. The king or hero of the play generally spoke in Italian, and his slaves answered him in English. The lover frequently made his court, and gained the heart of his princess, in a language which she did not understand. One would have thought it very difficult to have carried on dialogues after this manner, without an interpreter between the persons that conversed together; but this was the state of the English stage for about three years.
At length the audience grew tired of understanding half the opera; and therefore, to ease themselves entirely of the fatigue of thinking, have so ordered it at present, that the whole opera is performed in an unknown tongue. We no longer understand the language of our own stage; insomuch that I have often been afraid, when I have seen our Italian performers chattering in the vehemence of action, that they have been calling us names, and abusing us among themselves; but I hope, since we put such an entire confidence in them, they will not talk against us before our faces, though they may do it with the same safety as if it were behind our backs. In the meantime, I cannot forbear thinking how naturally a historian who writes two or three hundred years hence, and does not know the taste of his wise forefathers, will make the following reflections: "In the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Italian tongue was so well understood in England, that operas were acted on the public stage in that language."
One scarce knows how to be serious in the confutation of an absurdity that shows itself at first sight. It does not want any great measure of sense to see the ridicule of this monstrous practice; but what makes it the more astonishing, it is not the taste of the rabble, but of persons of the greatest politeness, which has established it.
If the Italians have a genius for music above the English, the English have a genius for other performances of a much higher nature, and capable of giving the mind a much nobler entertainment. Would one think it was possible (at a time when an author lived that was able to write the Phædra and Hippolitus), for a people to be so stupidly fond of the Italian opera, as scarce to give a third day's hearing to that admirable tragedy? Music is certainly a very agreeable entertainment: but if it would take the entire possession of our ears, if it would make us incapable of hearing sense, if it would exclude arts that have a much greater
Thank Heaven, that made me of an humble mind; To action little, less to words inclined! OBSERVING one person behold another, who was an utter stranger to him, with a cast of his eye, which methought expressed an emotion of heart very different from what could be raised by an object so agreeable as the gentleman he looked at, I began to consider, not without some secret sorrow, the condition of an envious man. Some have fancied that envy has a certain magical force in it, and that the eyes of the envious have, by their fascination, blasted the enjoyments of the happy. Sir Francis Bacon says, some have been so curious as to remark the times and seasons when the stroke of an envious eye is most effectually pernicious, and have observed that it has been when the person envied has been in any circumstance of glory and triumph. At such a time the mind of the prosperous man goes, as it were, abroad, among things without him, and is more exposed to the malignity. But I shall not dwell upon speculations so abstracted as this, or repeat the many excellent things which one might collect out of authors upon this miserable affection; but keeping the common road of life, consider the envious man with relation to these three heads, his pains, his reliefs, and his happiness.
The envious man is in pain upon all occasions which ought to give him pleasure. The relish of his life is inverted; and the objects which administer the higher satisfaction to those who are exempt from this passion, give the quickest pangs to persons who are subject to it. All the perfections of their fellow-creatures are odious. Youth, beauty, valor, and wisdom, are provocations of their displeasure. What a wretched and apostate state is this: to be offended with excellence, and to hate a man because we approve him! The condition of the envious man is the most emphatically miserable; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in another's merit or success, but lives in a world wherein all mankind are in a plot against his quiet, by studying their own happiness and advantage. Will Prosper is an honest tale-bearer; he makes it his business to join in conversation with envious men. He points to such a handsome young fellow, and whispers that he is secretly married to a great fortune. When they doubt, he adds circumstances to prove it; and never fails to
aggravate their distress by assuring them, that, to his knowledge, he has an uncle will leave him some thousands. Will has many arts of this kind to torture this sort of temper, and delights in it. When he finds them change color, and say faintly they wish such a piece of news is true, he has the malice to speak some good or other of every man of their acquaintance.
The reliefs of the envious man, are those little
blemishes and imperfections that discover them selves in an illustrious character. It is matter of great consolation to an envious person, when a man of known honor does a thing unworthy of himself, or when any action which was well ex ecuted, upon better information appears so altered in its circumstances, that the fame of it is divided among many, instead of being attributed to one. This is a secret satisfaction to these malignants: fancy is nearer their own condition as soon as his for the person whom they could not but admire, they merit is shared among others. I remember some years ago, there came out an excellent poem with out the name of the author. The little wits, who were incapable of writing it, began to pull in pieces the supposed writer. When that would not do, they took great pains to suppress the opinion that it was his. That again failed. The next refuge was, to say it was overlooked by one man, and many pages wholly written by another. An honest fellow, who sat among a cluster of them in debate on this subject, cried out, "Gentlemen, if you are sure none of you yourselves had a hand in it, you are but where you were, whoever wrote it." But the most usual succor to the envious, in cases of nameless merit in this kind, is to keep the property, if possible, unfixed, and by that means to hinder the reputation of it from falling upon any particular person. You see an envious man clear up his countenance, if, in the relation of any man's great happiness in one point, you mention his uneasiness in another. When he hears such a one is very rich, he turns pale, but recovers when you add that he has many children. In a word, the only sure way to an envious man's favor is not to deserve it.
But if we consider the envious man in delight, it is like reading of the seat of a giant in romance; the magnificence of his house consists in the many limbs of men whom he has slain. If any who promised themselves success in any uncommon undertaking miscarry in the attempt, or he that aimed at what would have been useful and laudable, meets with contempt and derision, the envious man, under the color of hating vain-glory, can smile with an inward wantonness of heart at the ill effect it may have upon an honest ambition for the future.
Having thoroughly considered the nature of this passion, I have made it my study how to avoid the envy that may accrue to me from these my speculations; and if I am not mistaken in myself, I think I have a genius to escape it. Upon hearing in a coffee-house one of my papers commended, I immediately apprehended the envy that would spring from that applause; and therefore gave a description of my face the next day; being resolved, as I grow in reputation for wit, to resign my pretensions to beauty. This, I hope, may give some ease to those unhappy gentlemen who do me the honor to torment themselves upon the account of this my paper. As their case is very deplorable, and deserves compassion, I shall sometimes be dull in pity to them, and will, from time to time, administer consolations to them by farther discoveries of my person. In the meanwhile, if any one says the Spectator has wit, it may be some relief to them to think that he does not show it in
company. And if any one praises his m they may comfort themselves by consideri his face is none of the longest.-R.
No. 20.] FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 171
Thou dog in forehead.-POPE, HOM. AMONG the other hardy undertakings have proposed to myself, that of the corred impudence is what I have very much at This in a particular manner is my prov Spectator; for it is generally an offense cor by the eyes, and that against such as the o would perhaps never have an opportunit juring any other way. The following let complaint of a young lady, who sets forth much spirit as sufficiently expresses her i pass of this kind, with that command of as befits beauty and innocence, and yet tion. The whole transaction is performe the eyes; and the crime is no less than em them in such a manner, as to divert the others from the best use they can make of even looking up to heaven.
"There never was (I believe) an acceptab but had some awkward imitators. Even si Spectator appeared, have I remarked a k men whom I choose to call Starers; that y any regard to time, place, or modesty, dis large company with their impertinent eyes. tators make up a proper assembly for a show or a bear-garden; but devout supp and attentive hearers are the audience one to expect in churches. I am, Sir, a memb small pious congregation near one of the gates of this city; much the greater part indeed are females, and used to behave ou in a regular attentive manner, till very late whole aisle has been disturbed by one of monstrous starers; he is the head taller tha one in the church; but for the greater adv of exposing himself, stands upon a hassoc commands the whole congregation, to the annoyance of the devoutest part of the aud for what with blushing, confusion, and ve we can neither mind the prayers nor sermon. animadversion upon this insolence would great favor to,
"Sir, your most humble servant, S.
I have frequently seen this sort of fellow do think there cannot be a greater aggravat an offense than that it is committed where t minal is protected by the sacredness of the which he violates. Many reflections of this sort be very justly made upon this kind of bel but a starer is not usually a person to be con by the reason of the thing; and a fellow t capable of showing an impudent front be whole congregation, and can bear being a spectacle, is not so easily rebuked as to ame admonitions. If, therefore, my corresponder not inform me, that within seven days afte date the barbarian does at least stand up own legs only, without an eminence, ty Will Prosper has promised to take a hasso posite to him, and stare against him in defe the ladies. I have given him directions, acc to the most exact rules of optics, to place hi in such a manner, that he shall meet his wherever he throws them. I have hopes when Will confronts him, and all the lad
*See Spect. No. 19, W. Prosper, an honest tale-beare
whose behalf he engages him, cast kind looks and wishes of success at their champion, he will have some shame, and feel a little of the pain he has so often put others to, of being out of countenance.
It has, indeed, been time out of mind generally remarked, and as often lamented, that this family of Starers have infested public assemblies. I know no other way to obviate so great an evil, except, in the case of fixing their eyes upon women, some male friend will take the part of such as are under the oppression of impudence, and encounter the eyes of the Starers wherever they meet them. While we suffer our women to be thus impudently attacked, they have no defense, but in the end to cast yielding glances at the Starers. In this case a man who has no sense of shame, has the same advantage over his mistress, as he who has no regard for his own life has over his adversary.While the generality of the world are fettered by rules, and move by proper and just methods, he who has no respect to any of them carries away the reward due to that propriety of behavior, with no other merit, but that of having neglected it.
I take an impudent fellow to be a sort of outlaw in good breeding, and therefore what is said of him no nation or person can be concerned for. For this reason one may be free upon him. I have put myself to great pains in considering this preFailing quality, which we call impudence, and have taken notice that it exerts itself in a different manner, according to the different soils wherein such subjects of these dominions as are masters of it were born. Impudence in an Englishman is sullen and insolent; in a Scotchman it is untractable and rapacious; in an Irishman absurd and fawning: as the course of the world now runs, the impudent Englishman behaves like a surly landlord, the Scot like an ill-received guest, and the Irishman like a stranger, who knows he is not welcome. There is seldom anything entertaining either in the impudence of a South or North Briton; but that of an Irishman is always comic. A true and genuine impudence is ever the effect of ignorance without the least sense of it. The best and most successful starers now in this town are of that nation; they have usually the advantage of the stature mentioned in the above letter of my correspondent, and generally take their stands in the eye of women of fortune insomuch that I have known one of them, three months after he came from the plow, with a tolerable good air, lead out a woman from a play, which one of our own breed, after four years at Oxford, and two at the Temple, would have been afraid to look at.
I cannot tell how to account for it, but these people have usually the preference to our own fools, in the opinion of the sillier part of womankind. Perhaps it is that an English coxcomb is seldom so obsequious as an Irish one; and when the design of pleasing is visible, an absurdity in the way toward it is easily forgiven.
But those who are downright impudent, and go on without reflection that they are such, are more to be tolerated, than a set of fellows among us who profess impudence with an air of humor, and think to carry off the most inexcusable of all faults in the world, with no other apology than saying in a gay tone, "I put an impudent face upon the matter. No: no man shall be allowed the advantages of impudence, who is conscious that he is such. If he knows he is impudent, he may as well be otherwise; and it shall be expected that he blush, when he sees he makes another do it. For nothing can atone for the want of modesty without which beauty is ungraceful, and wit detestable.-R.
No. 21.] SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 1710-11. -Locus est pluribus umbris.-HOR., 1 Ep., v, 28. There's room enough, and each may bring his friend. CREECH.
I AM sometimes very much troubled, when I reflect upon the three great professions of divinity, law, and physic; how they are each of them overburdened with practitioners, and filled with multitudes of ingenious gentlemen that starve one another.
We may divide the clergy, into generals, fieldofficers, and subalterns. Among the first we may reckon bishops, deans, and archdeacons. Among the second are doctors of divinity, prebendaries, and all that wear scarfs. The rest are comprehended under the subalterns. As for the first class, our constitution preserves it from any redundancy of incumbents, notwithstanding competitors are numberless. Upon a strict calculation, it is found that there has been a great exceeding of late years in the second division, several brevets having been granted for the converting subalterns into scarf-officers; insomuch, that within my memory the price of lutestring is raised above two-pence in a yard. As for the subalterns, they are not to be numbered. Should our clergy once enter into the corrupt practice of the laity by the splitting of their freeholds, they would be able to carry most of the elections in England.
The body of the law is no less incumbered with superfluous members, that are like Virgil's army, which he tells us was so crowded, many of them had not room to use their weapons. This prodigious society of men may be divided into the litigious and peaceable. Under the first are comprehended all those who are carried down in coach-fulls to Westminster-hall, every morning in term time. Martial's description of this species of lawyers is full of humor :
Iras et verba locant.
"Men that hire out their words and anger;" that are more or less passionate according as they are paid for it, and allow their client a quantity of wrath proportionable to the fee which they receive from him. I must, however, observe to the reader, that above three parts of those whom I reckon among the litigious are such as are only quarrelsome in their hearts, and have no opportunity of showing their passion at the bar. Nevertheless, as they do not know what strifes may arise, they appear at the hall every day, that they may show themselves in readiness to enter the lists, whenever there shall be occasion for them.
The peaceable lawyers are, in the first place, many of the benchers of the several inns of court, who seem to be the dignitaries of the law, and are endowed with those qualifications of mind that accomplish a man rather for a ruler than a pleader. These men live peaceably in their habitations, eating once a-day, and dancing once a year, for the honor of their respective societies.
Another numberless branch of peaceable lawyers, are those young men who, being placed at the inns of court in order to study the laws of their country, frequent the playhouse more than Westminster-hall, and are seen in all public assemblies except in a court of justice. I shall say nothing of those silent and busy multitudes that are employed within doors in the drawing up of writings and conveyances; nor of those greater numbers that palliate their want of business with a pretense to such chamber practice. If, in the third place, we look into the profes
* See Dugdale's Origines Juridiciales.
sion of physic, we shall find a most formidable body of men. The sight of them is enough to make a man serious, for we may lay it down as a maxim, that when a nation abounds in physicians it grows thin of people. Sir William Temple is very much puzzled to find out a reason why the Northern Hive, as he calls it, does not send out such prodigious swarms, and overrun the world with Goths and Vandals, as it did formerly; but had that excellent author observed that there were no students in physic among the subjects of Thor and Woden, and that this science very much flourishes in the north at present, he might have found a better solution for this difficulty than any of those he has made use of. This body of men in our own country may be described like the British army in Cæsar's time. Some of them slay in chariots, and some on foot. If the infantry do less execution than the charioteers, it is because they cannot be carried so soon into all quarters of the town, and dispatch so much business in so short a time. Beside this body of regular troops, there are stragglers, who, without being duly listed and enrolled, do infinite mischief to those who are so unlucky as to fall into their hands.
There are beside the above-mentioned, innumerable retainers to physic who, for want of other patients, amuse themselves with the stifling of cats in an air-pump, cutting up dogs alive, or impaling of insects upon the point of a needle for microscopical observations; beside those that are employed in the gathering of weeds, and the chase of butterflies: not to mention the cockleshell-merchants and spider-catchers.
When I consider how each of these professions are crowded with multitudes that seek their livelihood in them, and how many men of merit there are in each of them, who may be rather said to be of the science, than the profession; I very much wonder at the humor of parents, who will not rather choose to place their sons in a way of life where an honest industry cannot but thrive, than in stations where the greatest probity, learning, and good sense may miscarry. How many men are country curates, that might have made themselves aldermen of London, by a right improvement of a smaller sum of money than what is usually laid out upon a learned education? A sober, frugal person, of slender parts and a slow apprehension, might have thrived in trade, though he starves upon physic; as a man would be well enough pleased to buy silks of one whom he would not venture to feel his pulse. Vagellius is careful, studious, and obliging, but withal a little thick-skulled; he has not a single client, but might have had abundance of customers.
misfortune is, that parents take a liking to a particular profession, and therefore desire their sons may be of it: whereas, in so great an affair of life, they should consider the genius and abilities of their children more than their own inclinations.
It is the great advantage of a trading nation, that there are very few in it so dull and heavy, who may not be placed in stations of life, which may give them an opportuity of making their fortunes. A well-regulated commerce is not, like law, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with hands; but on the contrary flourishes by multitudes, and gives employment to all its professors. Fleets of merchant-men are so many squadrons of floating shops, that vend our wares and manufactures in all the markets of the world, and find out chapmen under both the tropics.-C.
No. 22.] MONDAY, MARCH 26, 1711
Whatever contradicts my sense
I hate to see, and never can believe.-RoscoM
THE word Spectator being most usually stood as one of the audience at public repre tions in our theaters, I seldom fail of many relating to plays and operas. But indeed the such monstrous things done in both, that had not been an eye-witness of them, one cou believe that such matters had really been bited. There is very little which concerns h life, or is a picture of nature, that is regard the greater part of the company. The standing is dismissed from our entertain Our mirth is the laughter of fools, and our ration the wonder of idiots; else such im ble, monstrous, and incoherent dreams cou go off as they do, not only without the scorn and contempt, but even with the l applause and approbation. But the letters correspondents will represent this affair in a lively manner than any discourse of my o shall therefore give them to my reader with this preparation, that they all come from p and that the business of playing is now so ged, that you are not to be surprised when one or two of them are rational, others ser and vegetative actors, and others wholly inan I shall not place these as I have named the as they have precedence in the opinion o audiences.
"Your having been so humble as to take| of the epistles of other animals, embolde who am the wild boar that was killed by Tofts, to represent to you, that I think hardly used in not having the part of the Hydaspes given to me. It would have be a natural step for me to have personate noble creature, after having behaved my satisfaction in the part above-mentioned. of a lion is too great a character for one tha trod the stage before but upon two legs. the little resistance which I made, I hope i be excused, when it is considered that th was thrown at me by so fair a hand; I mu fess I had but just put on my brutality; a milla's charms were such, that beholding he mien, hearing her charming voice, and asto with her graceful motion, I could not ke my assumed fierceness, but died like a man "I am, Sir, your most humble admi "THOMAS P
"This is to let you understand, that the house is a representation of the world in n so much as in this particular, that no one r it according to his merit. I have acted parts of household-stuff with great appla many years: I am one of the men in the ha in The Emperor of the Moon; I have twic formed the third chair in an English opera have rehearsed the pump in The Fortune-H I am now grown old, and hope you will mend me so effectually, as that I may say thing before I go off the stage; in which yo do a great act of charity to
Your most humble servan "WILLIAM SCREE
"Understanding that Mr. Screene has writ you, and desired to be raised from dumb an
parts; I desire, if you give him motion or speech, that you would advance me in my way, and let me keep on in what I humbly presume I am master, to wit, in representing human and still life together. I have several times acted one of the finest flower-pots in the same opera wherein Mr. Screene is a chair; therefore, upon his promotion, request that I may succeed him in the hangings, with my hand in the orange-trees.
For the good of the Public.
Within two doors of the masquerade lives an eminent Italian chirurgeon, arrived from the carnival of Venice, of great experience in private cures. Accommodations are provided, and persons admitted in their masking habits.
He has cured since his coming hither, in less than a fortnight, four scaramouches, a mountebank doctor, two Turkish bassas, three nuns, and a morris-dancer.
N. B. Any person may agree by the great, and be kept in repair by the year. The doctor draws teeth without pulling off your mask.-R.
No. 23.] TUESDAY, MARCH 27; 1711.
THERE is nothing that more betrays a base un
"Your humble servant, "RALPH SIMPLE." "Drury-lane, March 24, 1710-11. "I saw your friend the Templar this evening in the pit, and thought he looked very little pleased with the representation of the mad scene of The Pilgrim. I wish, Sir, you would do us the favor to animadvert frequently upon the false taste the town is in, with relation to plays as well as operas. It certainly requires a degree of understanding to play justly: but such is our condition, that we are to suspend our reason to perform our parts. As to scenes of madness, you know, Sir, there are noble instances of this kind in Shakspeare: but then it is the disturbance of a noble mind, from generous and humane resent-generous spirit than the giving of secret stabs to a ments. It is like that grief which we have for the decease of our friends. It is no diminution, but a recommendation of human nature, that in such incidents, passion gets the better of reason; and all we can think to combat ourselves, is impotent against half what we feel. I will not mention that we had an idiot in the scene, and all the sense it is represented to have is that of lust. As for myself, who have long taken pains in personating the passions, I have to-night acted only an appetite. The part I played is Thirst, but it is represented as written rather by a drayman than a poet. I come in with a tub about me, that tub hung with quart pots, with a full gallon at my mouth. I am ashamed to tell you that I pleased very much, and this was introduced as a madness; but sure it was not human madness, for a mule or an ass may have been as dry as ever I was in my life.
man's reputation; lampoons and satires, that are written with wit and spirit, are like poisoned darts, which not only inflict a wound, but make it incurable. For this reason I am very much troubled when I see the talents of humor and ridicule in the possession of an ill-natured man. There cannot be a greater gratification to a barbarous and inhuman wit, than to stir up sorrow in the heart of a private person, to raise uneasiness among near relations, and to expose whole families to derision, at the same time that he remains unseen and undiscovered. If beside the accomplishments of being witty and ill-natured, a man is vicious into the bargain, he is one of the most mischievous creatures that can enter into a civil society. His satire will then chiefly fall upon those who ought to be the most exempt from it. Virtue, merit, and everything that is praiseworthy, will be made the subject of ridicule and buffoonery. It is impossible to enumerate the evils which arise from these arrows that fly in the dark; and I From the Savoy, in the Strand. know no other excuse that is or can be made for
"I am Sir, your most obedient
"and humble servant."
"If you can read this with dry eyes, I give you this trouble to acquaint you, that I am the unfortunate King Latinus, and I believe I am the first prince that dated from this palace since John of Gaunt. Such is the uncertainty of all human greatness, that I, who lately never moved without a guard, am now pressed as a common soldier, and am to sail with the first fair wind against my brother Louis of France. It is a very hard thing to put off a character which one has appeared in with applause. This I experienced since the loss of my diadem; for, upon quarreling with another recruit, I spoke my índignation out of my part in recitativo;
-Most audacious slave,
The words were no sooner out of my mouth,
"Your friend, THE KING OF Latium."
them, than that the wounds they give are only imaginary, and produce nothing more than a secret shame or sorrow in the mind of the suffering person. It must indeed be confessed, that a lampoon or a satire do not carry in them robbery or murder; but at the same time how many are there that would not rather lose a considerable sum of money, or even life itself, than be set up as a mark of infamy and derision? and in this case a man should consider, that an injury is not to be measured by the notions of him that gives, but of him that receives it.
Those who can put the best countenance upon the outrages of this nature which are offered them, are not without their secret anguish. I have of ten observed a passage in Socrates's behavior at his death, in a light wherein none of the critics have considered it. That excellent man enter