« AnteriorContinuar »
much by several letters, but the barbarous the fields, and gardens, without Philander, man has refused them all; so that I have afford no pleasure to the unhappy no way left of writing to him but by your
AMORET.' assistance. If you can bring him about once I must desire you, dear Mr. Spectator, more, I promise to send you all gloves and to publish this my letter to Philander as favours, and shall desire the favour of Sir
Sir soon as possible, and to assure him that I Roger and yourself to stand as godfathers know nothing at all of the death of his rich to my first boy. I am, sir, your most obe
uncle in Gloucestershire.'
X. dient humble servant,
No. 402.] Wednesday, June 11, 1712. Philander to Anioret.
-et quæ · MADAM, I am so surprised at the! Ipse sibi tradit Spectator.-
Hor Ars Poet. 1. 181 question you were pleased to ask me yesterday, that I am still at a loss what to say Sent by the Spectator to himself. to it. “At least my answer would be too long l WERE I to publish all the advertisements to trouble you with, as it would come from
"I receive from different hands, and pera person, who, it seems, is so very indiffer
sons of different circumstances and quality, ent to you. Instead of it, I shall only re
the very mention of them, without refleccommend to your consideration the opinion of one whose sentiments on these matters I
tions on the several subjects, would raise all
the passions which can be felt by human have often heard you say are extremely just.
minds. As instances of this, I shall give “A generous and constant passion,” says
you two or three letters; the writers of your favourite author, “ in an agreeable lover, where there is not too great a dispa
which can have no recourse to any legal
ispa: power for redress, and seem to have write rity in their circumstances, is the greatest blessing that can befal a person beloved;
ten rather to vent their sorrow than to reand if overlooked in one, may perhaps
ceive consolation. never be found in another.”
Mr SPECTATOR, -I am a young woman I do not, however, at all despair of being of beauty and quality, and suitably married very shortly much better beloved by you to a gentleman who doats on me. But this than Antenor is at present; since, when- person of mine, is the object of an unjust ever my fortune shall exceed his, you were / passion in a nobleman who is very intimate pleased to intimate, your passion would in- with my husband. This friendship gives crease accordingly.
him very easy access and frequent oppor. I The world has seen me shamefully lose tunities of entertaining me apart. My heart that time to please a fickle woman, which is in the utmost anguish, and my face is might have been employed much more to covered over with confusion, when I impart my credit and advantage in other pursuits. to you another circumstance, which is, that I shall therefore take the liberty to acquaint my mother, the most mercenary of all wos you, however harsh it may sound in a men, is gained by this false friend of my lady's ears, that though your love-fit should husband's to solicit me for him. Tam frehappen to return, unless you could contrive quently chid by the poor believing man, my a way to make your recantation as well husband, for showing an impatience of his known to the public as they are already friend's company; and I am never alone apprized of the manner with which you
with my mother, but she tells me stories of have treated me, you shall never more see
the discretionary part of the world, and PHILANDER.' such-a-one, and such-a-one, who are guilty
of as much as she advises me to. She laughs Amoret to Philander.
at my astonishment; and seems to hint to
me, that, as virtuous as she has always apSIR,-Upon reflection, I find the injury peared, I am not the daughter of her husI have done both to you and myself to be band. It is possible that printing this letter so great, that, though the part I now act may relieve me from the unnatural impormay appear contrary to that decorum usu- tunity of my mother, and the perfidious ally observed by our sex, yet I purposely courtship of my husband's friend. I have break through all rules, that my repentance an unfeigned love of virtue, and am resolved may in some measure equal my crime. I to preserve my innocence. The only way assure you, that in my present hopes of I can think of to avoid the fatal conserecovering you, I look upon Antenor's estate quences of the discovery of this matter, is with contempt. The fop was here yester- to fly away for ever, which I must do to day in a gilt chariot and new liveries, but I avoid my husband's fatal resentment against refused to see him.-Though I dread to the man who attempts to abuse him, and meet your eyes, after what has passed, I the shame of exposing a parent to infamy. flatter myself, that, amidst all their confu- | The persons concerned will know these cirsion, you will discover such a tenderness cumstances relate to them; and though the in mihe, as none can imitate but those who regard to virtue is dead in them, I have love. I shall be all this month at lady some hopes from their fear of shame upone D 's in the country; but the woods, I reading this in your paper; which I conjure you to publish, if you have any compassion, he was sorry he had made so little use of for injured virtue.
the unguarded hours we had been together
SYLVIA.' so remote from company; "as, indeed," • MR. SPECTATOR,-I am the husband
continued he, “ so we are at present." I of a woman of merit, but am fallen in love,
flew from him to a neighbouring gentleas they call it, with a lady of her acquaint
woman's house, and though her husband ance, who is going to be married to a gen
was in the room, threw myself on a couch, tleman who deserves her. I am in a trust
and burst into a passion of tears. My friend relating to this lady's fortune, which makes
desired her husband to leave the room.
“ But,” said he, “there is something so my concurrence in this matter necessary; but I have so irresistible a rage and envy
extraordinary in this, that I will partake in rise in me when I consider his future hap
the affliction; and be it what it will, she is piness, that against all reason, equity, and
so much your friend, she knows she may common justice, I am ever playing mean
command what services I can do her." tricks to suspend the nuptials. I have no
| The man sat down by me, and spoke so manner of hopes for myself; Emilia, for so
like a brother, that I told him my whole e'll call her, is a woman of the most strict
affliction. He spoke of the injury done me virtue; her lover is a gentleman whom of)
with so much indignation, and animated me all others I could wish my friend; but envy
against the love he said he saw I had for and jealousy, though placed so unjustly,
the wretch who would have betrayed me,
| with so much reason and humanity to my waste my very being; and, with the torment and sense of a demon, I am ever
weakness, that I doubt not of my persevercursing what I cannot but approve. I wish
ance. His wife and he are my comforters, it were the beginning of repentance, that I
and I am under no more restraint in their sit down and describe my present disposi
company than if I were alone; and I doubt tion with so hellish an aspect: but at pre
not but in a small time contempt and hatred sent the destruction of these two excellent
will take place of the remains of affection persons would be more welcome to me than
to a rascal. I am, sir, your affectionate their happiness. Mr. Spectator, pray let reader,
DORINDA.' me have a paper on these terrible ground MR. SPECTATOR, I had the misforless sufferings, and do all you can to ex-tune to be an uncle before I knew my orcise crowds who are in some degree nephews from my nieces: and now we are possessed as I am. CANIBAL.' grown up to better acquaintance, they deny •MR. SPECTATOR, I have no other
me the respect they owe. One upbraids means but this to express my thanks to one
me with being their familiar, another will man, and my resentment against another.
hardly be persuaded that I am an uncle, a My circumstances are as follow: I have
third calls me little uncle, and a fourth tells been for five years last past courted by a
me there is no duty at all due to an uncle. gentleman of greater fortune than I ought
I have a brother-in-law whose son will win to expect, as the market for women goes.
all my affection, unless you shall think this You must, to be sure, have observed people,
to worthy of your cognizance, and will be who live in that sort of way, as all their pl
If their pleased to prescribe some rules for our friends reckon it will be a match, and are
future reciprocal behaviour. It will be marked out by all the world for each other.
worthy the particularity of your genius to In this view we have been regarded for
lay down some rules for his conduct who some time, and I have above these three
was, as it were, born an old man; in which years loved him tenderly. As he is very
you will much oblige, sir, your most obecareful of his fortune, I always thought he
•CORNELIUS NEPOS.' lived in a near manner, to lay up what he thought was wanting in my fortune to make up what he might expect in another. Within these few months I have observed No. 403.) Thursday, June 12, 1712. his carriage very much altered, and he
Qui mores hominum multorum vidithas affected a certain air of getting me
Hor. Ars Poet. v. 142. alone, and talking with a mighty profusion of passionate words, how I am not to be re
of many men he saw the manners. sisted longer, how irresistible his wishes When I consider this great city in its are, and the like. As long as I have been several quarters and divisions, I look upon acquainted with him, I could not on such it as an aggregate of various nations disoccasions say downright to him, “ Youtinguished from each other by their respecknow you may make me yours when you tive customs, manners, and interests. The please.” But the other night he with great courts of two countries do not so much diffrankness and impudence explained to me, fer from one another, as the court and city, that he thought of me only as a mistress. in their peculiar ways of life and conversaI answered this declaration as it deserved; tion. In short, the inhabitants of St. James's, upon which he only doubled the terms on not withstanding they live under the same which he proposed my yielding. When laws, and speak the same language, are a my anger heightened upon him, he told mel distinct people from those of Cheapside,
who are likewise removed from those of y ral other poets, whom they regretted on the Temple on one side, and those of this occasion, as persons who would have Smithfield on the other, by several cli- obliged the world with very noble elegies mates and degrees in their way of thinking on the death of so great a prince, and so and conversing together.
eminent a patron of learning. For this reason, when any public affair At a coffee-house near the Temple, I is upon the anvil, I love to hear the reflec- found a couple of young gentlemen engaged tions that arise upon it in the several dis- very smartly in a dispute on the succession tricts and parishes of London and West- to the Spanish monarchy. One of them minster, and to ramble up and down a seemed to have been retained as an advowhole day together, in order to make myself cate for the duke of Anjou, the other for acquainted with the opinions of my ingenious his imperial majesty. They were both for countrymen. By this means I know the regulating the title to that kingdom by the faces of all the principal politicians within statute laws of England; but finding them the bills of mortality; and as every coffee- going out of my depth, I passed forward to house has some particular statesinan be- St. Paul's church-yard, where I listened longing to it, who is the mouth of the street with great attention to a learned man, who where he lives, I always take care to place gave the company an account of the demyself near him, in order to know his plorable state of France during the minority judgment on the present posture of affairs. of the deceased king. The last progress that I made with this in- I then turned on my right hand into Fishtention was about three months ago, when street, where the chief politician of that we had a current report of the king of quarter, upon hearing the news, (after France's death. As I foresaw this would having taken a pipe of tobacco, and rumiproduce a new face of things in Europe, nated for some time,) •If,' says he, 'the and many curious speculations in our Bri- king of France is certainly dead, we shall tish coffee-houses, I was very desirous to have plenty of mackerel this season: our learn the thoughts of our most eminent fishery will not be disturbed by privateers, politicians on that occasion.
as it has been for these ten years past.' He That I might begin as near the fountain-afterwards considered how the death of head as possible, I first of all called in at St. this great man would affect our pilchards; James's, where I found the whole outward and by several other remarks infused a room in a buzz of politics. The specula- general joy into his whole audience. tions were but very indifferent towards the I afterwards entered a by-coffee-house; door, but grew finer as you advanced to that stood at the upper end of a narrow the upper end of the room, and were so lane, where I met with a nonjuror, engaged very much improved by a knot of theorists, very warmly with a lace-man who was the who sat in the inner room, within the great support of a neighbouring convensteams of the coffee-pot, that I there heard ticle. The matter in debate was, whether the whole Spanish monarchy disposed of, the late French king was most like Augusa and all the line of Bourbon provided for in tus Cæsar or Nero. The controversy was less than a quarter of an hour.
carried on with great heat on both sides; I afterwards called in at St. Giles's, where and as each of them looked upon me very I saw a board of French gentlemen sitting frequently during the couro of their deupon the life and death of their grand bate, I was under some apprehension that monarque. Those among them who had they would appeal to me, and therefore espoused the whig interest, very positively | laid down my penny at the bar, and made affirmed, that he departed this life about a the best of my way to Cheapside. week since, and therefore proceeded with I here gazed upon the signs for some out any further delay to the release of their time before I found one to my purpose: friends in the galleys, and to their own re- The first object I met in the coffee-room establishment; but, finding they could not was a person who expressed a great grief aree among themselves, I proceeded on for the death of the French king: but upon may intended progress.
explaining himself, I found his sorrow did Upon my arrival at Jenny Man's I saw an not arise from the loss of the monarch, but alerie young fellow that cocked his hat from his having sold out of the bank about upon a friend of his who entered just at the three days before he heard the news of it. same time with myself, and accosted him Upon which a haberdasher, who was the after the following manner: «Well, Jack, oracle of the coffee-house, and had his cir. the old prig is dead at last. Sharp's the cle of admirers about him, called several to word. Now or never, boy. Up to the walls witness that he had declared his opinion of Paris directly.' With several other deep above a week before, that the French king reflections of the same nature.
was certainly dead; to which he added, I met with very little variation in the that, considering the late advices we had politics between Charing-cross and Covent-received from France, it was impossible garden. And upon my going into Will's, Ithat it could be otherwise. As he was found their discourse was gone off from the laying these together, and dictating to his death of the French king to that of mon-hearers with great authority, there came in sieur Boileau, Racine, Corneille, and seve- a gentleman from Garraway's, who told us
that there were several letters from France, fondness for the character of a fine gentlejust come in, with advice that the king was man; all his thoughts are bent upon this; in good health, and was gone out a-hunting instead of attending a dissection, frequenta the very morning the post came away: / ing the courts of justice, or studying the upon which the haberdasher stole off his fathers, Cleanthes reads plays, dances, hat that hung upon a wooden peg by him, dresses, and spends his time in drawingand retired to his shop with great confusion, rooms; instead of being a good lawyer, diThis intelligence put a stop to my travels, vine, or physician, Cleanthes is a downright which I had prosecuted with so much satis- coxcomb, and will remain to all that know faction; not being a little pleased to hear so him a contemptible example of talents mismany different opinions upon so great an applied. It is to this affectation the world event, and to observe how naturally upon owes its whole race of coxcombs. Nature such a piece of news every one is apt to in her whole drama never drew such a part; consider it with regard to his particular she has sometimes made a fool, but a coxinterest and advantage,
comb is always of a man's own making, by applying his talents otherwise than Nature
designed, who ever bears a high resentment No. 404.] Friday, June 13, 1712.
for being put out of her course, and never
fails of taking her revenge on those that do - Non omnia possumus omnes.-Virg. Ecl. viii. 63. so. Opposing her tendency in the applicaWith different talents form'd, we variously excel.
tion of a man's parts has the same success
as declining from her course in the produc NATURE does nothing in vain: the Creator tion of vegetables, by the assistance of art of the universe has appointed every thing to and a hot-bed. We may possibly extort an a certain use and purpose, and determined unwilling plant, or an untimely salad; but it to a settled course and sphere of action, how weak, how tasteless and insipid. Just from which if it in the least deviates, it be- as insipid as the poetry of Valerio. Valerio comes unfit to answer those ends for which had an universal character, was genteel, it was designed. In like manner it is in the had learning, thought justly, spoke cordispositions of society, the civil economy is rectly; it was believed there was nothing formed in a chain as well as the natural: in which Valerio did not excel; and it was and in either case the breach but of one link so far true, that there was but one; Valerio puts the whole in some disorder. It is, I had no genius for poetry, yet he is resolved think, pretty plain, that most of the ab- to be a poet; he writes verses, and takes surdity and ridicule we meet with in the great pains to convince the town that Valeworld, is generally owing to the imperti- rio is not that extraordinary person he was nent affectation of excelling in characters taken for men are not fit for, and for which nature If men would be content to graft upon never designed them.
Nature, and assist her operations, what Every man has one or more qualities mighty effects might we expect! Tully which may make him useful both to him- would not stand so much alone in oratory, self and others. Nature never fails of Virgil in poetry, or Cæsar in war. To pointing them out; and while the infant build upon Nature, is laying a foundation continues under her guardianship, she upon a rock; every thing disposes itself into brings him on in his way, and then offer's order as it were of course, and the whole herself as a guide in what remains of the work is half done as soon as undertaken. journey; if he proceeds in that course he Cicero's genius inclined him to oratory, can hardly n..scarry. Nature makes good Virgil's to follow the train of the Muses; her engagements: for, as she never pro- they piously obeyed the admonition, and mises what she is not able to perform, so were rewarded. 'Had Virgil attended the she never fails of performing what she pro- bar, his modest and ingenuous virtue would mises. But the misfortune is, men despise surely have made but a very indifferent what they may be masters of, and affect figure; and Tully's declamatory inclination what they are not fit for; they reckon would have been as useless in poetry. Nathemselves already possessed of what their ture, if left to herself, leads us on in the best genius inclined them to, and so bend all course, but will do nothing by compulsion their ambition to excel in what is out of and constraint; and if we are not always their reach. Thus they destroy the use of satisfied to go her way, we are always the their natural talents, in the same manner greatest sufferers by it. as covetous men do their quiet and repose: Wherever nature designs a production, they can enjoy no satisfaction in what they she always disposes seeds proper for it, have, because of the absurd inclination they which are as absolutely necessary to the are possessed with for what they have not. formation of any moral or intellectual ex
Cleanthes has good sense, a great memo- cellence, as they are to the being and ry, and a constitution capable of the closest growth of plants, and I know not by what application. In a word, there was no pro- fate and folly it is, that men are taught not fession in which Cleanthes might not have to reckon him equally absurd that will write made a very good figure; but this won't verses in spite of Nature, with that garsatisfy him; he takes up an unaccountable dener that should undertake to raise a jon
quilor tulip without the help of their respec-1 I AM very sorry to find, by the opera bills tive seeds.
for this day, that we are likely to lose the As there is no good or bad quality that greatest performer in dramatic music that does not affect both sexes, so it is not to be is now living, or that perhaps ever appeared imagined but the fair sex must have suf- upon a stage. I need not acquaint my reafered by an affectation of this nature, at ders that I am speaking of signior Nicolini. least as much as the other. The ill effect The town is highly obliged to that excelof it is in none so conspicuous as in the two | lent artist, for having shown us the Italian opposite characters of Calia and Iras; Cælia music in its perfection, as well as for that has all the charms of person, together with generous approbation he lately gave to an an abundant sweetness of nature, but wants opera of our own country, in which the wit, and has a very ill voice; Iras is ugly composer endeavoured to do justice to the and ungenteel, but has wit and good sense. beauty of the words, by following that noble If Cælia would be silent, her beholders example, which has been set him by the would adore her; if Iras would talk, her greatest foreign masters in that art. hearers would admire her; but Cælia's I could heartily wish there was the same tongue runs incessantly, while Iras gives application and endeavours to cultivate and herself silent airs and soft languors, so that improve our church-music as have been it is difficult to persuade oneself that Cælia | lately bestowed on that of the stage. Our has beauty, and Iras wit: each neglects her composers have one very great incitement own excellence, and is ambitious of the to it. They are sure to meet with excelother's character; Iras would be thought to lent words, and at the same time a wonderhave as much beauty as Cælia, and Cælia as ful variety of them. There is no passion much wit as Iras.
that is not finely expressed in those parts The great misfortune of this affectation of the inspired writings, which are proper is, that men not only lose a good quality, but also contract a bad one. They not only There is a certain coldness and indifferare unfit for what they were designed, but ence in the phrases of our European lanthey assign themselves to what they are guages, when they are compared with the not fit for; and, instead of making a very oriental forms of speech; and it happens good figure one way, make a very ridi- very luckily, that the Hebrew idioms run culous one another. If Semanthe would into the English tongue with a particular have been satisfied with her natural com-grace and beauty. Our language has replexion, she might still have been cele- ceived innumerable elegances and improvebrated by the name of the olive beauty; ments, from that infusion of Hebraisms, but Semanthe has taken up an affectation which are derived to it out of the poetical to white and red, and is now distinguished passages in holy writ. They give a force by the character of the lady that paints so and energy to our expression, warm and aniwell. In a word, could the world be re- mate our language, and convey our thoughts formed to the obedience of that famed dic- in more ardent and intense phrases, than tate, Follow Nature,' which the oracle of any that are to be met with in our own Delphos pronounced to Cicero, when he tongue. There is something so pathetic in consulted what course of studies he should this kind of diction, that it often sets the pursue, we should see almost every man as mind in a flame, and makes our hearts burn eminent in his proper sphere as Tully was within us. How cold and dead does a in his, and should in a very short time find prayer appear, that is composed in the impertinence and affectation banished from most elegant and polite forms of speech, among the women, and coxcombs and false which are natural to our tongue, when it is characters from among the men. For my not heightened by that solemnity of phrase part I could never consider this preposter- which may be drawn from the sacred writous repugnancy to Nature any otherwise, ings! It has been said by some of the anthan not only as the greatest folly, but also cients, that if the gods were to talk with one of the most heinous crimes, since it is a men, they would certainly speak in Plato's direct opposition to the disposition of Pro-style; but I think we may say with justice, vidence, and (as Tully expresses it) like that when mortals converse with their Crethe sin of the giants, an actual rebellion ator, they cannot do it in so proper a style against heaven. "
as in that of the holy scriptures.
If any one would judge of the beauties of poetry that are to be met with in the divine
writings, and examine how kindly the HeNo. 405.] Saturday, June 14, 1712. brew manners of speech mix and incorpo
rate with the English language; after having Οι δε ανημέριοι μολπη Θεον ιλασκόντο
perused the book of Psalms; let him read Καλον ας ιδοντες Παιη να κουροι Αχαιων,
a literal translation of Horace or Pindar. Hom. Miod. i. 472.
He will find in these two last such an ab
surdity and confusion of style, with such a With hymns divine the joyous banquet ends; comparative poverty of imagination, as will The paans lengthen'd till the sun descende; The Greeks restor'd the grateful notes prolong;
make him very sensible of what I have been Apollo listens and approves the song.- Pope.