not fret and fume; it is my duty to tell you, that you are of an impatient spirit, and an impatient spirit is never without woe."-" Was ever any thing like this?""Yes, Sir, there have been many things like this: the loss is but a trifle; but your temper is wanton, and incapable of the least pain; there fore let me advise you, be patient; the book is lost, but do not you for that reason lose yourself.—T.*

presents what is indifferent. Nor is it to be doubted but that such ignominious wretches let their private passions into these their clandestine informations, and often wreak their particular spite or malice against the person whom they are set to watch. It is a pleasant scene enough, which an Italian author describes between a spy and a cardinal who employed him. The cardinal is represented as minuting down every thing that is told him. The spy begins with a low voice," Such a one, the ad. vocate, whispered to one of his friends, within my hearing, that your eminence was a very great poltroon ;" and, after having given his patrou time to take it down, adds, that another called him a mer. cenary rascal in a public conversation. The cardinal replies, "Very well," and bids him go on. The spy proceeds, and loads him with reports o. the same nature, till the cardinal rises in great wrath, calls him an impudent scoundrel, and kicks him out of the room.

No. 439.] THURSDAY, JULY 24, 1712. Hi narrata ferunt alio: mensuraque ficti Crescit; et auditis aliquid novus adjicit auctor. OVID, Metam. xii. 57. Some tell what they have heard, or tales devise; Each fiction still improv'd with added lies. OVID describes thplace of Fame as situated in the very centre of th niverse, and perforated with so many windows and avenues as gave her the sight of every thing that was done in the heavens, in the earth, and in the sea. The structure of it was contrived in so admirable a manner, that it echoed every word which was spoken in the whole compass of nature; so that the palace, says the poet, was always filled with a confused hubbub of low, dying sounds, the voices being almost spent and worn out before they arrived at this general ren-histories of Alexander and Cæsar are full of this kind dezvous of speeches and whispers.

I consider courts with the same regard to the governments which they superintend, as Ovid's palace of Fame with regard to the universe. The eyes of a watchful minister run through the whole people. There is scarce a murmur or complaint that does not reach his ears. They have news-gatherers and intelligencers, distributed into their several walks and quarters, who bring in their respective quotas, and make them acquainted with the discourse and conversation of the whole kingdom or commonwealth where they are employed. The wisest of kings, alluding to these invisible and unsuspected spies, who are planted by kings and rulers over their fellow-citizens, as well as to those voluntary informers that are buzzing about the ears of a great man, and making their court by such secret methods of intelligence, has given us a very prudent caution;+"Curse not the king, no not in thy thought, and curse not the ricb in thy bed-chamber; for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."

As it is absolutely necessary for rulers to make use of other people's eyes and ears, they should take particular care to do it in such a manner, that it may not bear too hard on the person whose life and conversation are inquired into. A man who is capable of so infamous a calling as that of a spy, is not very much to be relied upon. He can have no great ties of honour, or checks of conscience, to restrain him in those covert evidences, where the person accused has no opportunity of vindicating himself. He will be more industrious to carry that which is grateful than that which is true. There will be no occasion for him if he does not hear and see things worth discovery; so that he naturally inflames every word and circumstance, aggravates what is faulty, perverts what is good, and misre

By Steel. See No. 324, ad finem.

This scene passed in the shop of Mr. Vaillant, afterward Messrs. Payne and Mackinlay's, in the Strand; and the subJect of it was (for it is still in remembrance) a volume of Massillon's Sermons. The shop is now one of the last to which authors wish to have recourse, a trunk maker's! + Eccl. x. 20.

It is observed of great and heroic minds, that they have not only shown a particular disregard to those unmerited reproaches which have been cast upon them, but have been altogether free from that impertinent curiosity of inquiring after them, or the poor revenge of resenting them. The

of instances. Vulgar souls are of a quite contrary character. Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, had a dungeon which was a very curious piece of architecture; and of which, as I am informed, there are still to be seen some remains in that island. It was called Dionysius's Ear, and built with several little windings and labyrinths, in the form of a real ear. The structure of it made it a kind of whispering place, but such a one as gathered the voice of him who spoke into a funnel which was placed at the very top of it. The tyrant used to lodge all his state criminals, or those whom he supposed to be engaged together in any evil designs upon him, in this dungeon. He had at the same time an apartment over it, where he used to apply himself to the funnel, and by that means overheard every thing that was whispered in the dungeon. I believe one may venture to affirm, that a Cæsar or an Alexander would rather have died by the treason, than have used such disingenuous means for the detecting of it.

A man who in ordinary life is very inquisitive after every thing which is spoken ill of him, passes his time but very indifferently. He is wounded by every arrow that is shot at him, and puts it in the power of every insignificant enemy to disquiet him. Nay, he will suffer from what has been said of him, when it is forgotten by those who said or heard it. For this reason could never bear one of those officious friends, that would be telling every malicious report, every idle censure, that passed upon me. The tongue of man is so petulant, and his thoughts so variable, that one should not lay too great a stress upon any present speeches and opinions. Praise and obloquy proceed very frequently out of the same mouth upon the same person, and upon the same occasion. A generous enemy will sometimes bestow commendations, as the dearest friend cannot sometimes refrain from speaking ill. The man who is indifferent in either of those respects gives his opinion at random, and praises or disapproves as he finds himself in humour.

I shall conclude this essay with part of a character, which is finely drawn by the Earl of Clarendon, in the first book of his History, and which gives va

the lively picture of a great man teasing himself boobies about town. This you will say is a strange with an absurd curiosity.

"He had not that application and submission, and reverence for the queen, as might have been expected from his wisdom and breeding; and often crossed her pretences and desires with more rudeness than was natural to him. Yet he was impertinently solicitous to know what her majesty said of him in private, and what resentments she had towards him. And when by some confidants, who had their ends upon him from those offices, he was informed of some bitter expressions falling from her majesty, he was so exceedingly afflicted and tormented with the sense of it, that sometimes by passionate complaints and representations to the king, sometimes by more dutiful addresses and expostulations with the queen in bewailing his misfortune, he frequently exposed himself, and left his condition worse than it was before, and the éclaircissement commonly ended in the discovery of the persons from whom he had received his most secret intelligence."-C.


No. 440.1 FRIDAY, JULY 25, 1712. Vivere si recte nescis, decede peritis.-HOR. 2 Ep. ii. 213 Learn to live well, or fairly make your will.-POPE I HAVE already given my reader an account of set of merry fellows who are passing their summer together in the country, being provided of a great house, where there is not only a convenient apartment for every particular person, but a large infirmary for the reception of such of them as are any way indisposed or out of humour. Having lately received a letter from the secretary of this society, by order of the whole fraternity, which acquaints me with their behaviour during the last week, I shall here make a present of it to the public.


"We are glad to find that you approve the establishment which we have here made for the retrieving of good manners and agreeable conversation, and shall use our best endeavours so to improve ourselves in this our summer retirement, that we may next winter serve as patterns to the town But to the end that this our institution may be no less adVantageous to the public than to ourselves, we shall communicate to you one week of our proceedings, desiring you at the same time, if you see any thing faulty in them, to favour us with your admonitions; for you must know, Sir, that it has been proposed amongst us to choose you for our visitor; to which I must further add, that one of the college having declared last week he did not like the Spectator of the day, and not being able to assign any just reasons for such his dislike, he was sent to the infirmary nemine contradicente.

"On Monday the assembly was in very good humour, having received some recruits of French claret that morning: when, unluckily, towards the middle of the dinner, one of the company swore at his servant in a very rough manner for having put too much water in his wine. Upon which the president of the day, who is always the mouth of the company, after having convinced him of the impertinence of his passion, and the insult it had made upon the company, ordered his man to take him from the table, and convey him to the infirmary. There was but one more sent away that day; this was a gentleman, who is reckoned by some persons one of the greatest wits, and by others one of the greatest

character: but what makes it stranger yet, it is a very true one, for he is perpetually the reverse of himself, being always merry or dull to excess. We brought him hither to divert us, which he did very well upon the road, having lavished away as much wit and laughter upon the hackney-coachman as might have served him during his whole stay here, had it been duly managed. He had been lumpish for two or three days, but was so far connived at, in hopes of recovery, that we dispatched one of the briskest fellows among the brotherhood into the infirmary for having told him at table he was not merry. But our president observing that he indulged himself in this long fit of stupidity, and construing it as a contempt of the college, ordered him to retire into the place prepared for such companions. He was no sooner got into it, but his wit and mirth returned upon him in so violent a manner, that he shook the whole infirmary with the noise of it, and had so good an effect upon the rest of the patients, that he brought them all out to dinner with him the next day.

"On Tuesday we were no sooner sat down, but one of the company complained that his head ached; upon which another asked him, in an insolent manner, what he did there then? This insensibly grew into some warm words; so that the president, in order to keep the peace, gave directions to take them both from the table, and lodge them in the infirmary. Not long after, another of the company telling us he knew, by a pain in his shoulder, that we should have some rain, the president ordered him to be removed, and placed as a weather-glass in the apartment above mentioned.

"On Wednesday, a gentleman, having received a letter written in a woman's hand, and changing colour twice or thrice as he read it, desired leave to retire into the infirmary. The president consented, but denied him the use of pen, ink, and paper, till such time as he had slept upon it. One of the company being seated at the lower end of the table, and discovering his secret discontent, by finding fault with every dish that was served up, and refusing to laugh at any thing that was said. the president told him, that he found he was in an uneasy seat, and desired him to accommodate himself better in the infirmary. After dinner, a very honest fellow chancing to let a pun fall from him; his neighbour cried out, To the infirmary;’ at the same time pretending to be sick at it, as having the same natural antipathy to a pun which some have to a cat. This produced a long debate. Upon the whole, the punster was acquitted, and his neighbour sent off.

[ocr errors]

"On Thursday there was but one delinquent. This was a gentleman of strong voice, but weak understanding. He had unluckily engaged himself in dispute with a man of excellent sense, but of a modest elocution. The man of heat replied to every answer of his antagonist with a louder note than ordinary, and only raised his voice when he should have enforced his argument. Finding himself at length driven to an absurdity, he still reasoned in a more clamorous and confused manner; and, to make the greater impression upon his hearers, concluded with a loud thump upon the table. The president immediately ordered him to be carried off, and dieted with water-gruel, till such time as he should be sufficiently weakened for conversation.

"On Friday there passed very little remarkable, saving only, that several petitions were read of the

persons in custody, desiring to be released from their confinement, and vouching for one another's good behaviour for the future.

"On Saturday we received many excuses from persons who had found themselves in an unsociable temper, and had voluntarily shut themselves up. The infirmary was, indeed, never so full as on this day, which I was at some loss to account for, till, upon my going abroad, I observed that it was an easterly wind. The retirement of most of my friends has given me opportunity and leisure of writing you this letter, which I must not conclude without assuring you, that all the members of our college, as well those who are under confinement as those who are at liberty, are your very humble servants, though -none more than," &c.-C.

[blocks in formation]

But, without considering the supernatural bless ing which accompanies this duty, we may observe that it has a natural tendency to its own reward, or, in other words, that this firm trust and confidence in the great Disposer of all things, contributes very much to the getting clear of any affliction, or to the bearing it manfully. A person who believes he has his succour at hand, and that he acts in the sight of his friend, often exerts himself beyond his abilities, and does wonders that are not to be matched by one who is not animated with such a confidence of success. I could produce instances from history, of generals, who, out of a belief that they were un der the protection of some invisible assistant, did not only encourage their soldiers to do their utmost, but have acted themselves beyond what they would have done had they not been inspired by such a belief. I might in the same manner show how such a trust in the assistance of an Almighty Being natu rally produces patience, hope, cheerfulness, and all other dispositions of the mind that alleviate those calamities which we are not able to remove.

The practice of this virtue administers great comfort to the mind of man in times of poverty and affliction, but most of all in the hour of death. When the soul is hovering in the last moments 64 its separation, when it is just entering on another state of existence, to converse with scenes, and ob

And stand secure amidst a falling world.-ANON. MAN, considered in himself, is a very helpless and a very wretched being. He is subject every moment to the greatest calamities and misfortunes. He is beset with dangers on all sides; and may be-jects, and companions, that are altogether new,— come unhappy by numberless casualties, which he could not foresee, nor have prevented had he foreseen them.

what can support her under such tremblings of thought, such fears, such anxiety, such apprehen sions, but the casting of all her cares upon him who It is our comfort, while we are obnoxious to so first gave her being, who has conducted her through many accidents, that we are under the care of One one stage of it, and will be always with her, to who directs contingencies, and has in his hands the guide and comfort her in her progress through management of every thing that is capable of an-eternity? noying or offending us; who knows the assistance David has very beautifully represented this steady we stand in need of, and is always ready to bestow | reliance on God Almighty in his twenty-third psaim, it on those who ask it of him. which is a kind of pastoral hymn, and filled with The natural homage which such a creature bears those allusions which are usual in that kind of to so infinitely wise and good a Being, is a firm re-writing. As the poetry is very exquisite, I shail liance on him for the blessings and conveniences of present my reader with the following translation life, and a habitual trust in him for deliverance out of it:of all such dangers and difficulties as may befal us.

The man who always lives in this disposition of mind, has not the same dark and melancholy views of human nature, as he who considers himself abstractedly from this relation to the Supreme Being. At the same time that he reflects upon his own weakness and imperfection, he comforts himself with the comtemplation of those divine attributes which are employed for his safety and his welfare. He finds his want of foresight made up by the Omniscience of him who is his support. He is not sensible of his own want of strength, when he knows that his helper is almighty. In short, the person who has a firm trust on the Supreme Being is powerful in his power, wise by his wisdom, happy by his happiness. He reaps the benefit of every divine attribute, and loses his own insufficiency in the fulness of infinite perfection.

To make our lives more easy to us, we are commanded to put our trust in him, who is thus able to relieve and succour us: the divine goodness having made such a reliance a duty, notwithstanding we should have been miserable had it been forbidden us.

Among several motives which might be made use of to recommend this duty to us, I shall only take notice of these that follow:

The first and strongest is, that we are promised he will not fail those who put their trust in him.



[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

No. 442.] MONDAY, JULY 28, 1712. Scribimus indocti doctique HoR. 2 Ep. i. 117

Those who cannot write, and those who can, All rhyme, and scrawl, and scribble, to a man.-POPE. I Do not know whether I enough explained myself to the world, when I invited all men to be assistant to me in this my work of speculation; for I have not yet acquainted my readers, that besides the letters and valuable hints I have from time to time received from my correspondents, I have by me several curious and extraordinary papers sent with a design (as no one will doubt when they are published) that they might be printed entire, and without any alteration, by way of Spectator. I must acknowledge also, that I myself, being the first projector of the paper, thought I had a right to make them my own, by dressing them in my own style, by leaving out what would not appear like mine, and by adding whatever might be proper to adapt them to the character and genius of my paper, with which it was almost impossible these could exactly correspond, it being certain that hardly two men think alike; and, therefore, so many men so many Spectators. Besides, I must own my weakness for glory is such, that, if I consulted that only, I might be so far swayed by it, as almost to wish that no one could write a Spectator besides myself; nor can I deny, but upon the first perusal of those papers, I felt some secret inclinations of ill-will towards the persons who wrote them. This was the impression I had upon the first reading them; but upon a late review (more for the sake of entertainment than use), regarding them with another eye than I had done at first (for by converting them as well as I could to my own use, I thought I had utterly disabled them from ever offending me again as Spectators), I found ayself moved by a passion very different from that of envy; sensibly touched with pity, the softest and most generous of all passions, when I reflected what a cruel disappointment the neglect of those papers must needs have been to the writers who impatiently longed to see them appear in print, and who, no doubt, triumphed to themselves in the hopes of having a share with me in the applause of the public; a pleasure so great, that none but those who have experienced it can have a sense of it. In this manner of viewing those papers, I really found I had not done them justice, there being something so extremely natural and peculiarly good in some of them, that I will appeal to the world whether it was possible to alter a word in them without doing them a manifest hurt and violence; and whether they can ever appear rightly, and as they ought, but in their own native dress and colours. And therefore I think I should not only wrong them, but deprive the world of a considerable satisfaction, should I any longer delay the making them public.

can be need of it) that it is none of mine; and if the authors think fit to subscribe their names, I will add them.

I think the best way of promoting this generous and useful design will be by giving out subjects or themes of all kinds whatsoever, on which (with a preamble of the extraordinary benefit and advan tage that may accrue thereby to the public) I will invite all manner of persons, whether scholars, citizens, courtiers, gentlemen of the town or country, and all beaux, rakes, smarts, prudes, coquettes, housewives, and all sorts of wits, whether male or female, and however distinguished, whether they be true wits, whole or half wits, or whether arch, dry, natural, acquired, genuine, or depraved wits; and persons of all sorts of tempers and complexions, whether the severe, the delightful, the impertinent, the agreeable, the thoughtful, busy or careless, the serene or cloudy, jovial or melancholy, untowardly or easy, the cold, temperate, or sanguine; and of what manners or dispositions soever, whether the ambitious or humble-minded, the proud or pitiful, ingenuous or base-minded, good or ill-natured, public-spirited or selfish; and under what fortune or circumstance soever, whether the contented or miserable, happy or unfortunate, high or low, rich or poor (whether so through want of money, or desire of more), healthy or sickly, married or single; nay, whether tall or short, fat or lean; and of what trade, occupation, profession, station, country, faction, party, persuasion, quality, age, or condition soever; who have ever made thinking a part of their business or diversion, and have any thing worthy to impart on these subjects to the world according to their several and respective talents or geniuses; and, as the subjects given out hit their tempers, humours, or circumstances, or may be made profitable to the public by their particular knowledge or experience in the matter proposed, to do their utmost on them by such a time, to the end they may receive the inexpressible and irresistible pleasure of seeing their essays allowed of and relished by the rest of mankind.

I will not prepossess the reader with too great expectation of the extraordinary advantages which must redound to the public by these essays, when the different thoughts and observations of all sorts of persons, according to their quality, age, sex, education, professions, humours, manners, and conditions, &c. shall be set out by themselves in the clearest and most genuine light, and as they themselves would wish to have them appear to the world.

The thesis proposed for the present exercise of the adventurers to write Spectators is Money; on which subject all persons are desired to send in their thoughts within ten days after the date hereof.-T.

No. 443.] TUESDAY, JULY 29, 1712.
Sublatam ex oculis quærimus invidi.-HOR. 3 Od. xxiv. 32.
Snatch'd from our sight, we eagerly pursue,
And fondly would recall her to our view.

After I have published a few of these Spectators, I doubt not but I shall find the success of them to CAMILLA TO THE SPECTATOR. equal, if not surpass, that of the best of my own. An anthor should take all methods to humble himself "MR. SPECTATOR, Venice, July 10, N.S. in the opinion he has of his own performances. When "I TAKE it extremely ill, that you do not reckon those papers appear to the world, I doubt not but they will be followed by many others; and I shall conspicuous persons of your nation are within your not repine, though I myself shall have left me but cognizance, though out of the dominions of Great Britain. I little thought, in the green years of my a very few days to appear in public; but, pre-life, that I should ever call it a happiness to be out ferring the general weal and advantage to any considerations of myself, I am resolved for the future of dear England; but as I grew to woman, I found to publish any Spectator that deserves it entire, and Mrs. Tofts, who played the part of Camilla in the opera of without any alteration; assuring the world (if there that name.


myself less acceptable in proportion to the in-rage. Let not good fortune be imposed on the crease of my menit. Their ears in Italy are so world for good management, nor poverty be called differently formed from the make of yours in Eng. folly; impute not always bankruptcy to extrava land, that I never come upon the stage, but a gene-gance, nor an estate to foresight. Niggardliness is ral satisfaction appears in every countenance of the not good husbandry, nor generosity profusion. whole people. When I dwell upon a note, I behold "Honestus is a well-meaning and judicious trader, all the men accompanying me with heads inclining, hath substantial goods, and trades with his own and falling of their persons on one side, as dying stock, husbands his money to the best advantage, away with me. The women too do justice to my without taking all the advantages of the necessities merit, and no ill-natured worthless creature cries, of his workmen, or grinding the face of the poor. 'The vain thing,' when I am rapt up in the per- Fortunatus is stocked with ignorance, and conseformance of my part, and sensibly touched with the quently with self-opinion; the quality of his goods effect my voice has upon all who hear me, I live cannot but be suitable to that of his judgment. here distinguished as one whom nature has been Honestus pleases discerning people, and keeps their liberal to in a graceful person, and exalted mien, custom by good usage; makes modest profit by mo and heavenly voice. These particularities in this dest means, to the decent support of his family; strange country are arguments for respect and ge- whilst Fortunatus, blustering always, pushes on, nerosity to her who is possessed of them. The Ita-promising much and performing little; with obselians see a thousand beauties I am sensible I have quiousness offensive to people of sense, strikes at no pretence to, and abundantly make up to me the all, catches much the greater part, and raises a injustice I received in my own country, of disallow-considerable fortune by imposition on others, to the ing me what I really had. The humour of hissing, discouragement and ruin of those who trade in the which you have among you, I do not know any same way. thing of; and their applauses are uttered in sighs, and bearing a part at the cadences of voice with the persons who are performing. I am often put in mind of those complaisant lines of my own countryman, when he is calling all his faculties together to hear Arabella.

[ocr errors]

Let all be hush'd, each softest motion cease,
Be ev'ry loud tumultuous thought at peace;
And ev'ry ruder gasp of breath

Be calm as in the arms of death:

And thou, most fickle, most uneasy part,

Thou restless wanderer, my heart,

Be still; gently, ah! gently leave,

Thou busy, idle thing, to heave:

Stir not a pulse; and let my blood,
That turbulent, unruly flood,

Be softly staid :

Let me be all, but my attention, dead

"I give here but loose hints, and beg you to be very circumspect in the province you have now un dertaken: if you perform it successfully, it will be a very great good; for nothing is more wanting than that mechanic industry were set forth with the freedom and greatness of mind which ought always to accompany a man of a liberal education. "Your humble Servant,

"From my shop under
the Royal Exchange, July 24."

"R. C.

"MR. SPECTATOR, July 24, 1712. "Notwithstanding the repeated censures that your spectatorial wisdom has passed upon people more remarkable for impudence than wit, there are yet some remaining, who pass with the giddy part The whole city of Venice is as still when I am have but the former qualification to recomof mankind for sufficient sharers of the latter, who singing as this polite hearer was to Mrs. Hunt. But mend them. when they break that silence, did you know the solutely necessary: be pleased, therefore, once for Another timely animadversion is abpleasure Í am in, when every man utters his ap all, to let these gentlemen know, that there is plause by calling me aloud,The dear creature! neither mirth nor good-humour in hooting a young The angel! The Venus! What attitude she moves fellow out of countenance; nor that it will ever conwith-Hush, she sings again! We have no bois-stitute a wit, to conclude a tart piece of buffoonery the public peace merely to show they dare. Mr. inform them again, that to speak what they know What makes you blush?' Pray please to Spectator, I write this to you thus in haste, to tell is shocking proceeds from ill-nature and a sterility you I am so very much at ease here, that I know of brain; especially when the subject will not adnothing but joy; and I will not return, but leave you in England to hiss all merit of your own growth off the stage. I know, Sir, you were always my admirer, and therefore I am yours,

terous wits who dare disturb an audience, and break

with a

mit of raillery, and then discourse has no pretension I should be very glad, too, if you would take notice, to satire but what is in their design to disoblige. that a daily repetition of the same overbearing insolence is yet more insupportable, and a confirmation "P. S. I am ten times better dressed than ever I of very extraordinary dulness. The sudden publiwas in England.".



"The project in yours of the 11th instant, of furthering the correspondence and knowledge of that considerable part of mankind, the trading world, cannot but be highly commendable. Good lectures to young traders may have very good effects on their conduct: but beware you propagate no false notions of trade: let none of your correspondents impose on the world by puting forth base methods in a good light, and glazing them over with improper terms. I would have no means of profit set for copies to others, but such as are laudable in themselves. Let not noise be called industry, nor impudence cou

Mr. Congreve,

cation of this may have an effect upon a notorious
offender of this kind, whose reformation would re
dound very much to the satisfaction and quiet of
"Your most humble Servant,
"F. B.


[blocks in formation]
« VorigeDoorgaan »