« VorigeDoorgaan »
cations all that can be done in mufic: but left you should think fe dry a thing as an account of out propofal fhould be a matter unworthy your paper, which generally contains fomething of public ufe; give us leave to fay, that favouring our defign is no lefs than reviving an art, which ་ runs to ruin by the utmoft barbarifm under an • affectation of knowledge. We aim at establishing fome fettled notions of what is mufic, as recovering from neglect and want very many families, who depend upon it, at making all foreigners who pretend to fucceed in England to learn the language of it as we ourfelves have done, and not be fo infolent as to expect a whole nation, • a refined and learned nation, fhould fubmit to learn theirs. In a word, Mr. Spectator, with all <deference and humility, we hope to behave ourfelves in this undertaking in fuch a manner, that all English men who have any fkill in mufic may be furthered in it for their profit or diverfion by what new things we fhall produce; never pretending to furpafs others, or afferting that any thing which is a fcience is not attainable by all men of all nations who have proper genius for it: we fay, Sir, what we hope for is not expected will arrive to us by contemning others, but through the utmost diligence recommending our. felves.
We are. Sir,
Your most humble fervants,
Others you fhall find fo obfequious, and fo very courteous, as there is no efcaping their favours of this kind. Of this fort may be a man who is in the fifth or fixth degree of favour with a minifter; this good creature is refolved to fhew the world, that great honours cannot at all change his manners; he is the fame civil perfon he ever was; he will venture his neck to bow out of a coach in full fpeed, at once, to fhew he is full of bufiness, and yet is not fo taken up as to forget his old friend. With a man who is not fo well formed for courtship and elegant behaviour, fuch a gentleman as this feldom finds his account in the return of his compliments, but he will still go on, for he is in his own way; and must not omit; let the neglect fall on your fide, or where it will, his bufinefs is ftill to be well-bred to the end. I think I have read, in one of our English comedies, a defcription of a fellow that affected knowing every body, and for want of judgment in time and place, would bow and smile in the face of a judge fitting in the court, would fit in an oppofite gallery and fmile in the minifter's face as he came up into the pulpit, and nod as if he alluded to fome familiarities between them in another place. But now I happen to speak of falutation at church, I must take notice that feveral of my correfpondents have importuned me to confider that fubject, and fettle the point of decorum in that particular.
I do not pretend to be the best courtier in the world, but I have often on public occafions thought it a very great abfurdity in the company (during the royal prefence) to exchange falutations from all parts of the room, when certainly common fenfe fhould fuggeft, that all regards at that time fhould be engaged, and cannot be diverted to any other object, without disrespect to the fovereign. But as to the complaint of my correfpondents, it
N° 259. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27. Quod de et boneftum eft, & quod boneftum eft decet.
What is becoming is honourable, and what is ho- is not to be imagined what offence fome of them nourable is becoming.
take at the custom of faluting in places of worship.
HERE are fome things which cannot come under certain rules, but which one would think could not need them. Of this kind are outward civilities and falutations. Thefe one would imagine might be regulated by every man's common fenfe, without the help of an inftructor; but that which we call common fenfe fuffers under that word; for it fometimes implies no more than that faculty which is common to all men, but fometimes fignifies right reaton, and what all men fhould confent to. In this latter acceptation of the phrafe, it is no great wonder people err fo much against it, fince it is not every one who is poffeffed of it, and there are fewer, who, against common rules and fashions, dare obey its dictates. As to falutations, which I was about to talk of, I obferve, as 1 ftroll about town, there are great enormities committed with regard to this particular. You fhall fometimes fee a man begin the offer of a falutation, and obferve a forbidding air, or efcaping eye, in the perfon he is going to falute, and ftop fhort in the pole of his neck. This in the perfon who believed he could do it with a good grace, and was refufed the opportunity, is juttly refented with a coldness the whole enfuing feafon. Your great beauties, people in much favour, or by any means or for any purpofe over-flattered, are apt to practise this, which one may call the preventing afpect, and throw their attention another way, left they thould comer a bow or a courtefy upon a perfon who might not appear to deferve that dignity.
learn to dance, that they may not misbehave themfelves at church; it is worth confidering whether, in regard to aukward people with fcrupulous confciences, a good chriftian of the best air in the world ought not rather to deny herself the opportunity of fhewing fo many graces, than keep a bashful profelyte without the pale of the church.
men's doing foolishly what it is folly to do at all. Dear Sir, this is my prefent ftate of mind: I hate thofe I fhould laugh at, and envy thofe I conThe time of youth and vigorous manhood, paffed the way in which I have difpofed of it, is attended with thefe confequences; but to ⚫ those who live and pafs away life as they ought, all parts of it are equally pleafant; only the memory of good and worthy actions is a feaft which must give a quicker relish to the foul than ever it could poffibly taste in the highest enjoyments or jollities of youth. As for me, if I fit down in my great chair and begin to ponder, the vaga. ries of a child are not more ridiculous than the ⚫ circumstances which are heaped up in my me
No 260. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28.
• Mr. Spectator,
Am now in the fixty-fifth year of my age, and having been the greater part of my days a man of pleasure, the decay of my faculties is a stagnation of my life. But how is it, Sir, that my appetites are increafed upon me with the lofs of power to gratify them? I write this, like a criminal, to warn people to enter upon what reformation they please to make in themfelves in their youth, and not expect they shall be capable of it from a fond opinion fome have often in their mouths, that if we do not leave our defires they will leave us. It is far otherwife; I am now as vain in my drefs, and as flippant if I fee
a pretty woman, as when in my youth I ftood upon a bench in the pit to furvey the whole circle of beauties. The folly is fo extravagant with me, and I went on little of my fires, or refignation of them, that I can affure " you, I very often, merely to entertain my own thoughts, fit with my fpectacles on, writing love-letters to the beauties that have been long fince in their graves. This is to warm my heart • with the faint memory of delights which were once agreeable to me! but how much happier would my life have been now, if I could have looked back on any worthy action done for my country? if I had laid out that which I profufedmit in luxury and wantonnefs, in acts of generosity or charity? I have lived a bachelor to this day; and inftead of a numerous offspring, with which, in the regular ways of life, I might poffibly have
Mr. Spectator, "OU will infinitely oblige a diftreffed lover, if you will infert in your very next paper, the following letter to my miftrefs. You must know, I am not a perfon apt to defpair, but she has got an odd humour of flopping fhort unaccountably, and, as the herself told a confident of her's, fhe has cold fits. Thefe fits fhall laft her a month or fix weeks together; and as fhe falls into them, without provocation, so it is to be ho ped the will return from them without the merit of new fervices. But life and love will not adof fuch intervals, therefore pray let her ba admonished as follows.
delighted myself, I have only to amufe myfelfove you, and I honour you; therefore pray
with the repetition of old stories and intrigues which no one will believe I ever was concerned in. I do not know whether you have ever treated of it or not; but you cannot fall on a better fubject, than that of the art of growing old. In fuch a lecture you must propofe, that · no one fets his heart upon what is tranfient; the beauty grows wrinkled while we are yet gazing at her. The witty man finks into an humourist imperceptibly, for want of reflecting that all things around him are in a flux, and continually changing: thus he is in the fpace of ten or fifteen years furrounded by a new fet of people, whofe manners are as natural to them as his delights, method of thinking, and mode of living, were formerly to him and his friends. But the mifchief is, he looks upon the fame kind of errors which he himself was guilty of with an eye of fcorn, and with that fort of ill-will which men entertain against each other for different opi- . nions: thus a crazy conftitution, and an uneafy • mind is fretted with vexatious paflions for young
tell me of decencies, forms, 'till humours are confulted and gratified. If you have that happy conftitution as to be indolent for ten weeks together, you should confi. der that all that while I burn with impatiences and fevers; but ftill you fay it will be tim enough, though I and you too grow older while we are yet talking.. Which do you think the more reafonable, that you should alter a ftate of indifference for happiness, and that to oblige me, or I live in torment, and that to lay no manner of obligation upon you? While I indulge your infenfibility I am doing nothing; If you favour my paffion, you are bestowing bright defires, gay hopes, generous cares, noble refolutions, and tranfporting raptures upon,
mory; fine gowns, country-dances, ends of tunes,
Your most humble fervant,
Your, moft devoted humble fervant.
• Mr. Spectator,
ERE is a gentlewoman lodges in the fame houfe with me, that I never did any in jury to in my whole life; and the is always rail
ing at me to thofe fhe knows will tell me of it.
ftate agreeable, but often determine our happiness to all eternity. Where the choice is left to friends, the chief point under confideration is an eftate where the parties choose for themselves, their thoughts turn moft upon the perfon. They T. B. have both their reafons. The firft would procure many conveniences and pleasures of life to the party
• Mr. Spectator,
love with the houfe-maid. We were all at hot cockles laft night in the hall these holidays; when I lay down and was blinded, the pulled off her shoe, and hit me with the heel fuch a rap, as almoft broke my head to pieces. Pray, Sir, was this love or spite?"
Am a footman in a great family, and am in whole interefts they efpoufe; and at the fame time may hope that the wealth of their friend will turn to their own credit and advantage. The others are preparing for themselves a perpetual feat. A good perfon does not only raife, but continue love, and breeds a fecret pleasure and complacency in the beTholder, when the first heats of defire are extinguished. It puts the wife or husband in countenance both among friends and ftrangers, and generally fills the family with a healthy and beautiful
N° 261. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29. race of children.
Γάμος γὰρ ἀνθρώποισιν εὐκλαῖον κακὸν.
Frag. vét. Poet. Wedlock's an ill, men eagerly embrace.
"Y father, whom I mentioned in my fifft
MY fpeculation, and whom I must always name
with honour and gratitude, has very frequently talked to me upon the fubject of marriage. I was in my younger years engaged, partly by his advice, and partly by my own inclinations, in the courtship of a perfon who had a great deal of beauty, and did not at my first approaches feem to have any averfion to me; but as my natural taciturnity hindered me from fhewing myfelf to the beft advantage, the by degrees began to look upon me as a very filly fellow, and being refolved to regard merit more than any thing elfe in the perfons who made their applications to her, the married a captain of dragoons who happened to be beating up for recruits in thofe parts.
This unlucky accident has given me an averfion to pretty fellows ever fince, and difcouraged me from trying my fortune with the fair fex. The obfervations which I made in this conjuncture, and the repeated advices which I received at that time from the good old man above-mentioned, have produced the following effay upon Love and Marriage.
The pleasantest part of a man's life is generally that which paffes in courtship, provided his paffion be fincere, and the party beloved kind with difcretion. Love, defire, hope, all the pleafing motions of the foul rife in the purfuit.
It is easier for an artful man who is not in love, to perfuade his mistress he has a paflion for her, and to fucceed in his purfuits, than for one who loves with the greatest violence. True love has : ten thousand griefs, impatiences, and refentments, that render a man unamiable in the eyes of the perfon whofe affection he folicits; befides, that it finks his figure, gives him fears, apprehenfions and poornefs of fpirit, and often makes him appear ridiculous where he has a mind to recommend him. Telf.
I should prefer a woman that is agreeable in my own eye, and not deformed in that of the world, to a celebrated beauty. If you marry one remarkably beautiful, you must have a violent paffion for her, or you have not the proper taste of her charms; and if you have fuch a paflion for her, it is odds but it would be imbittered with fears and jealoufies.
Good-nature and evennefs of temper will give you an eafy companion for life; virtue and good fenfe, an agreeable friend; love and conftancy, a good wife or hufband. Where we meet one perfon with all these accomplishments, we find an hundred without any one of them. The world, notwithftanding, is more intent on trains and equipages, and all the fhowy parts of life; we love rather to dazzle the multitude, than confult our proper interefts; and, as I have elsewhere obferved, it is one of the moft unaccountable paffions of human nature, that we are at greater pains to appear easy and happy to others, than really to make ourselves fo. Of all difparities, that in humour makes the most unhappy marriages, yet fearce enters into our thoughts at the contracting of them. Several that are in this refpect unequally yoked, and uneafy for life, with a perfon of a particular character, might have been pleased and happy with a perfon cf a contrary one, notwithstanding they are both perhaps equally virtuous and laudable in their kind.
Before marriage we cannot be too inquifitive and difcerning in the faults of the perfon beloved, nor after it too dim-fighted and fuperficial. However perfect and accomplished the perfon appears to you at a diftance, you will find many blemishes and imperfections in her humour, upon a more intimate acquaintance, which you never difcovered, or perhaps fufpected. Here therefore difcretion and goodnature are to fhew their strength; the firft will hinder your thoughts from dwelling on what is difagreeable, the other will raife in you all the tenderness of compaffion and humanity, and by degrees foften thofe very imperfections into beauties.
Marriage enlarges the fcene of our happinefs and miferies. A marriage of love is pleafant; a marriage of intereft eafy; and a marriage, where both meet, happy. A happy marriage has in it all the pleafures of friendship, all the enjoyments of fenfe and reafon, and indeed, all the fweets of life. Nothing is a greater mark of a degenerate and vicious age, than the common ridicule which pafles on this state of life. It is, indeed, only happy in thofe who can look down with fcorn or neglect on the impieties of the times, and tread the paths of life together in a conftant uniform course of virtue.. No.
therefore fcorn to divert my reader at the expence of any private man.
As I have been thus tender of every particular perfon's reputation, fo, I have taken more than Ovid. Trift. 1. 2. v. 566. ordinary care not to give offence to thofe who appear in the higher figures of life. I would not make myself merry even with a piece of paste.. board that is invefted with a public character; for which reafon I have never glanced upon the late defigned proceffion of his holiness and his attendants, notwithstanding it might have afforded matter to many ludicrous fpeculations. Among thofe advantages, which the public may reap from this paper, it is not the least, that it draws men's minds off from the bitterness of party, and furnishes them with fubjects of difcourfe that may be treated without warmth or paffion. This is faid to have been the first defign of thofe gentlemen who fet on foot the Royal Society; and had then a very good effect, as it turned many of the greatest geniuses of that age to the difquifitions of natural knowledge, who, if they had engaged in politics with the fame parts and application, might have fet their country in a flame. The air-pump, the barometer, the quadrant, and the like inventions, were thrown out to thofe bufy fpirits, as tubs and barrels are to a whale, that he may let the fhip fail on without difturbance, while he diverts himfelf with thofe innocent amusements.
No 262, MONDAY, DECEMBER 31.
Satirical reflexions I avoid.
Think myself highly obliged to the public for their kind acceptance of a paper which vifits them every morning, and has in it none of thofe feafonings that recommend fo many of the writings which are in vogue among us.
As, on the one fide, my paper has not in it a fingle word of news, a reflexion in politics, nor a ftroke of party; fo on the other, there are no fathionable touches of infidelity, no obfcene ideas, no fatires upon priesthood, marriage, and the like popular topics of ridicule; no private fcandal, nor any thing that may tend to the defamation of particular perfons, families, or focieties.
There is not one of these above-mentioned fubjects that would not fell a very indifferent paper, could I think of gratifying the public by fuch mean and base methods. But notwithstanding I have rejected every thing that favours of party, every thing that is loofe and immoral, and every thing that might create uneafinefs in the minds of particular perfons, I find that the demand for my papers has increafed every month fince their firft appearance in the world. This does not perhaps reflect fo much honour upon myself, as on my readers, who give a much greater attention to difcourfes of virtue and morality, than ever I expected, or indeed could hope.
When I broke loose from that great body of writers who have employed their wit and parts in propagating vice and irreligion, I did not queftion but I fhould be treated as an odd kind of fellow, that had a mind to appear fingular in my way of writing: but the general reception I have found, convinces me that the world is not fo corrupt as we are apt to imagine; and that if those men of parts who have been employed in vitiating the age had endeavoured to rectify and amend it, they needed not have facrificed their good fenfe and virtue to their fame and reputation. No man is fo funk in vice and ignorance, but there are still fome hidden feeds of goodness and knowledge in him; which give him a relifh of fuch reflexions and fpeculations as have an aptnefs to improve the mind, and make the heart bet
I have been fo very fcrupulous in this particular of not hurting any man's reputation that I have forborn mentioning even fuch authors as I could not name with honour. This I must confefs to have been a piece of very great felf denial: for as the public relishes nothing better than the ridicule which turns upon a writer of any eminence, fo there is nothing which a man that has but a very ordinary talent in ridicule may execute with greater eafe, One might raise laughter for a quarter of a year together upon the works of a person who has published but a very few volumes, For which reafon I am aftonished, that those who have appeared against this paper have made fo very little of it. The criticifms which I have hitherto published, have been made with an intention rather to difcover beauties and excellencies in the writers of my own time, than to publifh any of their faults and imperfections. In the mean while I fhould take it for a very great favour from forne of my underhand detractors, if they would break all measures with me fo far, as to give me a pretence for examining their performances with an impartial eye: nor fhall I look upon it as any breach of charity to criticife the author, fo long as I keep clear of the perfon.
I have fhewn in a former paper, with how much care I have avoided all fuch thoughts as are loofe, obfcene, or immoral; and I believe my reader would ftill think the better of me, if he knew the pains I am at in qualifying what I write after fuch a manner, that nothing may be interpreted as aimed at private perfons. For this reafon when I draw any faulty character, I confider all thofe perfons to whom the malice of the world may poffibly apply it, and take care to dash it with fuch particular circumftances as may prevent all fuch ill-natured applications. If I write any thing on a black man, I run over in my mind all the eminent perfons in the nation who are of that complexion: when I place an imaginary name at the head of a character, I examine every fyllable and letter of it, that it may not bear any refemblance to one that is real. I know very well the value which every man fets upon putation, and how painful it is to be expofed to the mirth and derision of the public, and should
In the mean while, until I am provoked to fuch hoftilities, I fhall from time to time endeavour to do juftice to those who have diftinguished them. felves in the politer parts of learning, and to point out fuch beauties in their works as may have efcaped the obfervation of others.
As the firft place among our English poets is due to Milton; and as I have drawn more quotations out of him than from any other, I fhall enter into a regular criticifm upon his Paradife Loft, which I fhall publish every Saturday until I have given my thoughts upon that poem. I shall not however prefume to impofe upon others my own particular judgment on this author, but only deliver it as my private opinion. Criticifm is of a very large extent, and every particular master in
If you have made any better remarks of your own, communicate them with candour; if not, make use of these I prefent you with.'
N° 263. TUESDAY, JAN. 1, 1712.
cannot now go into the parlour to him, and make his heart glad with an account of a matter which was of no confequence, but that I told it, and acted in it. The good man and woman are long fince in their graves, who used to fit and plot the welfare of us their children, while, perhaps, we were fometimes laughing at the old 'folks at another end of the houfe. The truth of it is, were we merely to follow nature in thefe great duties of life, though we have a ftrong instinct toward the performing of them, we should be on both fides very deficient. Age is fo unwelcome to the generality of mankind, "and growth towards manhood fo defirable to all, that refignation to decay is too difficult a task in the father; and deference, amidst the im
pulfe of gay defires, appears unreasonable to the fon. There are fo few who can grow old with " a good grace, and yet fewer who can come flow " enough into the world, that a father, were he
• Mr. Spectator,
Am the happy father of a very towardly fon, in whom I do not only fee my life, but also my manner of life, renewed. It would be extremely beneficial to fociety, if you would frequently refume fubjects which ferve to bind thefe fort of relations fafter, and endear the ties of blood with thofe of good-will, protection, obfervance, indulgence, and veneration, 'I would, methinks, have this done after an un< common method, and do not think any one, who is not capable of writing a good play, fit to undertake a work wherein there will neceffarily occur fo many fecret inftincts, and biaffes of human nature which would pass unobserved · by common eyes. I thank heaven I have no outrageous offence against my own excellent parents to answer for; but when I am now and then alone, and look back upon my paft life, from my earlieft infancy to this time, there are many faults which I committed that did not appear to me, even until I myself became a father. I had not until then a notion of the ¿ yearnings of heart, which a man has when he fees his child do a laudable thing, or the fudden damp which feizes him when he fears he will act fomething unworthy. It is not to be imagined, what a remorfe touched me for a long train of childish negligences of my mother, when I faw my wife the other day look out of the window, and turn as pale as afhes upon feeing my younger boy fliding upon the ice. These flight intimations will give you to underftand, that there are numberlefs little crimes which children take no notice of while they are doing, which, upon reflexion, when they fhall them< felves become fathers, they will look upon with the utmoft forrow and contrition, that they did not regard, before thofe whom they offended < were to be no more feen. How many thousand things do I remember, which would have highly pleafed my father, and I omitted for no other reafen, but that I thought what he proposed the effect, of humour and old age, which I am now convinced had reafon and good fenfe in it. I
to be actuated by his defires, and a fon, were he to confuit himself only, could neither of them ' behave himself as he ought to the other. But, when reafon interpofes against inftinct, where it would carry either out of the interefts of the other, there arifes that happieft intercourfe of good offices between thofe deareft relations of human life. The father, according to the op· portunities which are offered to him, is throwing down bleffings on the fon, and the fon endeavouring to appear the worthy offspring of 'fuch a father. It is after this manner that Ca'millus and his first-born dwell together. Camillus enjoys a pleafing and indolent old age, in which paffion is fubdued, and reafon exalted. He waits the day of his diffolution with a re 'fignation mixed with delight, and the fon fears "the acceffion of his father's fortune with diff'dence, left he should not enjoy or become it as well as his predeceffor. Add to this, that the father knows he leaves a friend to the children of his friends, an eafy landlord to his tenants, and an agreeable companion to his acquain tance. He believes his fon's behaviour will make him frequently remembered, but never wanted. This commerce is fo well cemented, that without the pomp of faying, "Son, be a friend to fuch a one when I am gone," Camillus knows, being in his favour, is direction enough to the grateful youth who is to fucceed him, without the admonition of his mentioning it.Thefe gentlemen are honoured in all their neighbourhood, and the fame effect which the court has on the manners of a kingdom, their characters have on all who live within the influence of them.
My fon and I are not of fortune to communi· cate our good actions or intentions to fo many
as thefe gentlemen do; but I will be bold to fay, my fon has, by the applaufe and approbation which his behaviour towards me has gained him, occafioned that many an old man, befides myself, has rejoiced. Other men's children follow the example of mine, and I have the inex'preffible happiness of overhearing our neigh bours, as we ride by, point to their children, and fay, with a voice of joy,, there they
You cannot, Mr. Spefator, pafs your time better than in infinuating the delights which thefe relations well regarded bestow upon each • other. Ordinary paffages are no longer fuch, but mutual love gives an importance to the most indifferent