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Clarissa, whose letter is dated from Cornhill, desires to be eased in some scruples relating to the skill of astrologers.-Referred to the dumb man for
J. C. who proposes a love-case, as he calls it, to the love-casuist, is hereby desired to speak of it to the minister of the parish: it being a case of conscience.
The poor young lady, whose letter is dated October 26, who complains of a harsh guardian and an unkind brother, can only have my good wishes,' unless she pleases to be more particular.
The petition of a certain gentleman, whose name I have forgot, famous for renewing the curls of decayed periwigs, is referred to the censor of small
The remonstrance of T. C. against the profanation of the sabbath by barbers, shoe-cleaners, &c., had better be offered to the society of reformers.
A learned and laborious treatise upon the art of fencing, returned to the author.
To the gentleman of Oxford, who desires me to insert a copy of Latin verses, which were denied a place in the university books. Answer: Nonumque prematur in annum.
To my learned correspondent who writes against Master's gowns, and poke sleeves, with a word in defence of large scarfs. Answer: I resolve not to raise animosities amongst the clergy.
To the lady who writes with rage against one of her own sex, upon the account of party warmth. Answer: Is not the lady she writes against reckoned handsome?
I desire Tom Truelove (who sends me a sonnet upon his mistress, with a desire to print it immediately) to consider that it is long since I was in love.
I shall answer a very profound letter from my old friend the upholsterer, who is still inquisitive whether the king of Sweden be living or dead, by whispering him in the ear, that I believe he is alive.
Let Mr. Dapperwit consider, What is that long story of the cuckoldom to me?
At the earnest desire of Monimia's lover, who declares himself very penitent, he is recorded in my paper by the name of the faithful Castalio.
The petition of Charles Cocksure, which the petitioner styles "very reasonable," rejected.
The memorial of Philander, which he desires may be dispatched out of hand, postponed.
I desire S. R. not to repeat the expression "under the sun," so often in his next letter.
The letter of P. S., who desires either to have it printed entire, or committed to the flames; not to be printed entire. ?
No. 620. MONDAY, NOVEMBER, 15, 1714.
HAVING lately presented my reader with a copy of verses full of the false sublime, I shall here communicate to him an excellent specimen of the true: though it hath not been yet published, the judicious reader will readily discern it to be the work of a master; and if he hath read that noble poem on the prospect of peace, he will not be at a loss to guess at the author.
THE ROYAL PROGRESS
When Brunswick first appeared, each honest heart,
In golden chains the kings of India led,
By longing nations for the throne design'd.
Through stately towns, and many a fertile plain,
In Haga's towers he waits till eastern gales
Henceforth thy kingdoms shall remain confin'd
But see, to Britain's isle the squadrons stand.
Still is it thine; tho' now the cheerful crew
As in the flood he sails, from either side
A various scene the wide-spread landscape yields]
The sun now rolling down the western way,
Less thick the finny shoals, a countless fry,
Welcome, great stranger! to our longing eyes,
From that fair hill, where hoary sages boast To name the stars, and count the heavenly host, By the next dawn doth great Augusta rise, Proud town! the noblest scene beneath the skies. O'er Thames her thousand spires their lustre shed, And a vast navy hides his ample bedA floating forest! From the distant strand A line of golden cars strikes o'er the land: Britannia's peers in pomp and rich array, Before their king, triumphant lead the way. Far as the eye can reach, the gaudy train, A bright procession, shines along the plain.
So haply thro' the heav'n's wide pathless ways A comet draws a long-extended blaze;
From east to west burns through th' ethereal frame, And half heav'n's convex glitters with the flame.
Now to the regal towers securely brought, He plans Britannia's glories in his thought, Resumes the delegated power he gave, Rewards the faithful, and restores the brave. Whom shall the muse from out the shining throng Select, to heighten and adorn her song Thee, Halifax. To thy capacious mind, O man approv'd, is Britain's wealth consign'd. Her coin (while Nassau fought) debas'd and rude, By thee in beauty and in truth renew'd, An arduous work! again thy charge we see, And thy own care once more returns to thee. O! form'd in every scene to awe and please, Mix wit with pomp, and dignity with ease Tho' called to shine aloft, thou wilt not scorn To smile on arts thyself did once adorn: For this thy name succeeding time shall praise, And envy less thy garter than thy bays.
The muse, if fir'd with thy enliv`ning beams, Perhaps shall aim at more exalted themes. Record our monarch in a nobler strain And sing the op'ning wonders of his reign; Bright Carolina's heavenly beauties trace, Her valiant consort, and his blooming race. A train of kings their fruitful love supplies, A glorious scene to Albion's ravish'd eyes; Who sees by Brunswick's hand her sceptre sway'd, And through his line from age to age convey'd
No. 621.] WEDNESDAY, NOV. 17, 1714.
And under what a cloud of night we lay.-RowI. THE following letter having in it some observations out of the common road, I shall make it the entertainment of this day :
"The common topics against the pride of man, which are laboured by florid and declamatory writers, are taken from the baseness of his original, the imperfections of his nature, or the short duration of Flamstead-house,
those goods in which he makes his boast Though it be true that we can have nothing in us that ought to raise our vanity, yet a consciousness of our osa merit may be sometimes laudable. The folly sheefore lies here: we are apt to pride ourselves in worthless, or, perhaps, shameful things; and on the other hand count that disgraceful which is our truest glory.
"Hence it is, that the lovers of praise take wrong measures to attain it. Would a vain-man consult his own heart, he would find that if others knew his weaknesses as well as he himself doth, he could not have the impudence to expect the public esteem. Pride therefore flows from want of reflection and
ignorance of ourselves. Knowledge and humility come upon us together.
"The proper way to make an estimate of ourselves, is to consider seriously what it is we value or despise in others. A man who boasts of the goods of fortune, a gay dress, or a new title, is generally the mark of ridicule. We ought therefore not to admire in ourselves what we are so ready to l at in other men.
"Much less can we with reason pride ourselves in those things, which at some time of our life we shall certainly despise. And yet, if we will give ourselves the trouble of looking backward and forward on the several changes which we have already undergone, and hereafter must try, we shall find that the greater degrees of our knowledge and wisdom serve only to show us our own imperfections.
"As we rise from childhood to youth, we look with contempt on the toys and trifles which our hearts have hitherto been set upon. When we advance to manhood, we are held wise, in proportion to our shame and regret for the rashness and extravagance of youth. Old age fills us with mortifying reflections upon a life mispent in the pursuit of anxious wealth, or uncertain honour. Agreeable to this gradation of thought in this life, it may be reasonably supposed that, in a future state, the wisdom, the experience, and the maxims of old age, will be looked upon by a separate spirit in much the same light as an ancient man now sees the little follies and toyings of infants. The pomps, the honours, the policies, and arts, of mortal men, will be thought as trifling as hobby-horses, mock battles, or any other sports that now employ all the cunning and strength, and ambition of rational beings from four years old to nine or ten.
"If the notion of a gradual rise in beings from the meanest to the Most High be not a vain imagi. nation, it is not improbable that an angel looks down upon a man as a man doth upon a creature which approaches the nearest to the rational nature. By the same rule, if I may indulge my fancy in this particular, a superior brute looks with a kind of pride on one of an inferior species. If they could reflect, we might imagine, from the gestures of some of them, that they think themselves the sovereigns of the world, and that all things were made for them. Such a thought would not be more absurd in brute creatures than one which men are apt to entertain, namely, that all the stars in the firmament were created only to please their eyes and amuse their imaginations. Mr. Dryden, in his fable of the Cock and the Fox, makes a speech for his hero, the cock, which is a pretty instance for this purpose.
Then turning, said to Partlet, See, my dear,
"What I would observe from the whole is this, that we ought to value ourselves upon those things only which superior beings think valuable, since that is the only way for us not to sink in our own esteem hereafter."
No. 622.1 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1714.
Fallentis semita vitæ.-HOR. 1 Ep. xviii. 103. A safe private quiet, which betrays Itself to ease, and cheats away the days.-PeOLEY,
"In a former speculation you have observed, that true greatness doth not consist in that pomp and noise wherein the generality of mankind are apt to place it. You have there taken notice that virtue in obscurity often appears more illustrious in the eye of superior beings, than all that passes for grandeur and magnificence among men.
"When we look back upon the history of those who have borne the part of kings, statesmen, or commanders, they appear to us stripped of those outside ornaments that dazzle their contemporaries; and we regard their persons as great or little in proportion to the eminence of their virtues or vices. The wise sayings, generous sentiments, or disinterested conduct of a philosopher under mean circumstances of life, set him higher in our esteem than the mighty potentates of the earth, when we view them both through the long prospect of many ages. the memoirs of an obscure man, who lived up to the dignity of his nature, and according to the rules of virtue, to be laid before us, we should find nothing in such a character which might not set him on a level with men of the highest stations. The following extract out of the private papers of an honest country gentleman will set this matter in a clear light. Your reader will, perhaps, conceive a greater idea of him from these actions done in secret, and without a witness, than of those which have drawn upon them the admiration of multitudes.
"In my twenty-second year I found a violent affection for my cousin Charles's wife growing upon me, wherein I was in danger of succeeding, if I had not upon that account begun my travels into foreign countries.
"A little after my return into England, at a private meeting with my uncle Francis, I refused the offer of his estate, and prevailed upon him not to disinherit his son Ned.
"Mem. Never to tell this to Ned, lest he should think hardly of his deceased father: though he continues to speak ill of me for that very reason.
"Prevented a scandalous lawsuit betwixt my nephew Harry and his mother, by allowing her underhand, out of my own pocket, so much money yearly as the dispute was about.
Procured a benefice for a young divine, who is sister's son to the good man who was my tutor, and hath been dead twenty years.
"Gave ten pounds to poor Mrs.
-, my friend
"Mem. To retrench one dish at my table, until
I have fetched it up again.
sheep that were pounded, by night; but not to let his fellow-servants know it.
"Prevailed upon M. T. Esq. not to take the law of the farmer's son for shooting a partridge, and to give him his gun again.
"Paid the apothecary for curing an old woman that confessed herself a witch.
"Gave away my favourite dog, for biting a beggar. "Made the minister of the parish and a whig justice of one mind, by putting them upon explaining their notions to one another.
"Mem. To turn off Peter for shooting a doe while she was eating acorns out of his hand.
"When my neighbour John, who hath often injured me, comes to make his request to-morrow: "Mem. I have forgiven him.
"Laid up my chariot, and sold my horses, to relieve the poor in a scarcity of corn.
"In the same year remitted to my tenants a fifth part of their rents.
"As I was airing to-day I fell into a thought that warmed my heart, and shall, I hope, be the better for it as long as I live.
"Mem. To charge my son in private to erect no monument for me; but not to put this in my last will."
No, 623.] MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1714.
But first let yawning earth a passage rend,
I AM obliged to my friend the love-casuist for the following curious piece of antiquity, which I shall communicate to the public in his own words:
"You may remember that I lately transmitted to you an account of an ancient custom in the manors of East and West Enborne, in the county of Berks, and elsewhere. If a customary tenant die, the widow shall have what the law calls her free bench, in all his copyhold lands dum sola et casta fuerit; that is, while she lives single and chaste; but if she commit incontinency, she forfeits her estate; yet if she will come into the court riding backward upon a black ram, with his tail in her hand, and say the words following, the steward is bound by the custom to re-admit her to her free bench :
• Here I am,
Riding upon a black ram,
Have done this worldly shame
Therefore, I pray, you Mr. Steward, let me have my land again.
"After having informed you that my Lord Coke observes, that this is the most frail and slippery te"Mem. To repair my house and finish my gar-nure of any in England, I shall tell you, since the dens, in order to employ poor people after harvest-writing that letter, I have, according to my promise,
"Ordered John toet out goodman D
been of great pains in searching out the records of 's the black ram; and have at last met with the pro
"Several widows of the neighbourhood, being brought upon their trial, they showed that they did not hold of the manor, and were discharged accord. ingly.
"A pretty young creature who closed the procession, came ambling in, with so bewitching an air, that the steward was observed to cast a sheep's eye upon her, and married her within a month after the death of his wife.
ceedings of the court-baron, held in that behalf, for the space of a whole day. The record saith, that a strict inquisition having been made into the right of the tenants to their several estates, by a crafty old steward, he found that many of the lands of the manor were, by default of the several widows, forfeited to the lord, and accordingly would have entered on the premises; upon which the good women demanded the benefit of the ram.' The steward, after having perused their several pleas, "N. B. Mrs. Touchwood appeared according to adjourned the court to Barnaby bright, that they summons, but had nothing laid to her charge; har. might have day enough before them. ing lived irreproachably since the decease of her "The court being set, and filled with a great con-husband, who left her a widow in the sixty-ninth course of people, who came from all parts to see the year of her age. solemnity: the first who entered was the widow Frontly, who had made her appearance in the last year's cavalcade. The register observes that finding it an easy pad-ram, and foresceing she might have further occasion for it, she purchased it of the steward.
"Mrs. Sarah Dainty, relict of Mr. John Dainty, who was the greatest prude of the parish, came next in the procession. She at first made some difficulty of taking the tail in her hand; and was observed, in pronouncing the form of penance, to soften the two most emphatical words into clincum clancum ; but the steward took care to make her speak plain English before he would let her have her land again. "The third widow that was brought to this worldly shame, being mounted upon a vicious ram, had the misfortune to be thrown by him: upon which she hoped to be excused from going through the rest of the ceremony; but the steward being well versed in the law, observed very wisely upon this occasion, that the breaking of the rope does not hinder the execution of the criminal.
"The fourth lady upon record was the widow Ogle, a famous coquette, who had kept half-a-score young fellows off and on for the space of two years: but having been more kind to her carter John, she was introduced with the huzzas of all her lovers about her.
"Mrs. Sable appearing in her weeds, which were very new and fresh, and of the same colour with her whimsical palfrey, made a very decent figure in the solemnity.
"Another, who had been summoned to make her appearance, was excused by the steward, as well knowing in his heart that the good 'squire himself had qualified her for the ram.
'I am, Sir," &c.
No. 624.] WEDNESDAY, NOV. 24, 1714.
HOR. 2 Sat. iii. 77.
Sit still, and hear, those whom proud thoughts do swell,
MANKIND is divided into two parts, the busy and the idle. The busy world may be divided into the virtuous and the vicious. The vicious again into the covetous, the ambitious, and the sensual. The idle part of mankind are in a state inferior to any one of these. All the other are engaged in the pursuit of happiness, though often misplaced, and are therefore more likely to be attentive to such means as shall be proposed to them for that end. The idle, who are neither wise for this world nor the next, at large." They propose to themselves no end, but are emphatically called by Doctor Tillotson, "fools run adrift with every wind. would be but thrown away upon them, since they Advice, therefore, would scarce take the pains to read it. I shall not fatigue any of this worthless tribe with a long ha of Plato, that "labour is preferable to idleness, as rangue; but will leave them with this short saying brightness to rust.”
The pursuits of the active part of mankind are other hand, in the roads to wealth, honours, or either in the paths of religion and virtue; or, on the pleasure. I shall, therefore, compare the pursuits of avarice, ambition, and sensual delight, with their "Mrs. Quick, having nothing to object against principles engages men in a course of the greatest opposite virtues; and shall consider which of these the indictment, pleaded her belly. But it was re-labour, suffering, and assiduity. Most men in their membered that she made the same excuse the year before. Upon which the steward observed, that she might so contrive it, as never to do the service of
cool reasonings are willing to allow that a course of virtue will in the end be rewarded the most amply; but represent the way to it as rugged and narrow, "The widow Fidget being cited into court, in-gle through as many troubles to be miserable, as If, therefore, it can be made appear, that men strug sisted that she had done no more since the death of they do to be happy, my readers may, perhaps, be her husband than what she used to do in his lifetime; persuaded to be good when they find they shall lose and withal desired Mr. Steward to consider his own nothing by it. wife's case if he should chance to die before her.
"The next in order was a dowager of a very corpulent make, who would have been excused as not finding any ram that was able to carry her; upon which the steward commuted her punishment, and ordered her to make her entry upon a black ox.
"The widow Maskwell, a woman who had long lived with a most unblemished character, having turned off her old chamber-maid in a pet, was by that revengeful creature brought in upon the black ram nine times the same day.
Then the eleventh, now the twenty-second of June, being one of the longest days in the year,
than the saint: the pains of getting, the fears of First, for avarice. The miser is more industrious losing, and the inability of enjoying his wealth, have been the mark of satire in all ages. Were his repentance upon his neglect of a good bargain, his a sum, and his fear of falling into want, directed to sorrow for being over-reached, his hope of improving their proper objects, they would make so many different Christian graces and virtues. He may apply to himself a great part of St. Paul's catalogue of sufferings. "In journeyings often; in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watch
In the second place, if we look upon the toils of ambition in the same light as we have considered those of avarice, we shall readily own that far less trouble is requisite to gain lasting glory than the power and reputation of a few years; or, in other words, we may with more ease deserve honour than obtain it. The ambitious mau should remember Cardinal Wolsey's complaint, "Had I served God with the same application wherewith I served my king, he would not have forsaken me in my old age." The cardinal here softens his ambition by the specious pretence of "serving his king;" whereas his words, in the proper construction, imply, that, if instead of being acted by ambition, he had been acted by religion, he should have now felt the comforts of it, when the whole world turned its back upon him.
hath the blackest eyes and whitest teeth you ever saw. Though he is but a younger brother, he dresses like a man of quality, and nobody comes into a room like him. I know he hath refused great offers, and if he cannot marry me he will never have anybody else. But my father hath forbid him the house, because he sent me a copy of verses; for he is one of the greatest wits in town. My eldest sister, who with her good will would call me miss as long as I live, must be married before me, they say. She tells them that Mr. Fondle makes a fool of me, and will spoil the child, as she calls me, like a confident thing as she is. In short, I am resolved to marry Mr. Fondle, if it be but to spite her. But because I would do nothing that is imprudent, I beg of you to give me your answers to some questions I will write down, and desire you to get them printed in the Spectator, and I do not doubt but you will give such advice as, I am sure, I shall follow.
"When Mr. Fondle looks upon me for half an hour together, and calls me angel, is he not in love?" Answer. No.
Thirdly, let us compare the pains of the sensual with those of the virtuous, and see which are heavier in the balance. It may seem strange, at the first view, that the men of pleasure should be advised to change their course, because they lead a painful life. Yet when we see them so active and vigilant in quest of delight; under so many disquiets, and the sport of such various passions; let them answer, as they can, if the pains they undergo do not outweigh their enjoyments. The infidelities on the one part between the two sexes, and the caprices on the other, the debasement of reason, the pangs of ex-refuse a lock of his hair?"-No. pectation, the disappointments in possession, the stings of remorse, the vanities and vexations attend ing even the most refined delights that make up this business of life, render it so silly and uncomfortable, that no man is thought wise until he hath got over it, or happy, but in proportion as he hath cleared himself from it.
May not I be certain he will be a kind husband, that has promised me half my portion in pinmoney, and to keep me a coach and six in the bargain?"-No.
"Whether I, who have been acquainted with him this whole year almost, am not a better judge of his merit, than my father and mother, who never heard him talk but at table ?"-No.
"Whether I am not old enough to choose for myself?"-No.
The sum of all is this. Man is made an active being. Whether he walks in the paths of virtue or vice, he is sure to meet with many difficulties to prove his patience and excite his industry. The same if not greater labour, is required in the service of vice and folly as of virtue and wisdom; and he hath this easy choice left him, whether, with the strength he is master of, he will purchase happiness or repentance.
No. 625.] FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 1714.
De tenero meditatur ungui.-HOR. 3 Od. vi. 23. Love, from her tender years, her thoughts employ'd THE love-casuist hath referred to me the following letter of queries, with his answers to each question, for my approbation. I have accordingly considered the several matters therein contained, and hereby confirm and ratify his answers, and require the gentle querist to conform herself thereunto.
"SIR, "I was thirteen the 9th of November last, and must now begin to think of settling myself in the world: and so I would humbly beg your advice, what I must do with Mr. Fondle, who makes his He is a very pretty man, and
addresses to me.
"Whether it would not have been rude in me to
"Should not I be a very barbarous creature, if I did not pity a man that is always sighing for my sake?"-No.
"Whether you would not advise me to run away with the poor man ?"-No.
"Whether you do not think, that if I will not have him, he will not drown himself?"-No. "What shall I say to him the next time he asks me if I will marry him?"—No.
The following letter requires neither introduction nor answer:
"I wonder that, in the present situation of affairs, you can take pleasure in writing any thing but news; for, in a word, who minds any thing else? The pleasure of increasing in knowledge, and learning something new every hour of life, is the noblest entertainment of a rational creature. I have a very good ear for a secret, and am naturally of a communicative temper; by which means I am capable of doing you great services in this way. In order to make myself useful, I am early in the anti-chamber, where I thrust my head into the thick of the press, and catch the news at the opening of the door, while it is warm. Sometimes I stand by the beefeaters, and take the buzz as it passes by me. At other times I lay my ear close to the wall, and suck in many a valuable whisper, as it runs in a straight line from corner to corner. When I am weary with standing, I repair to one of the neighbouring coffeehouses, where I sit sometimes for a whole day, and have the news as it comes from court fresh and fresh. In short, Sir, I spare no pains to know how the world goes. A piece of news loses its flavour when it hath been an hour in the air. I love, if I may so speak,