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Since we have therefore such a treasury | produees more lasting and permanent im of words, so beautiful in themselves, and so pressions in the mind, than those which acproper for the airs of music, I cannot but company any transient form of words that wonder that persons of distinction should are uttered in the ordinary method of religive so little attention and encouragement | gious worship.
0. to that kind of music, which would have its foundation in reason, and which would improve our virtue in proportion as it raises our delight. The passions that are excited
| No. 406.] Monday, June 16, 1712. by ordinary compositions generally flow Hæc studia adolescentiam alunt, senectutem, oblecfrom such silly and absurd occasions, that a tant, secundas res ornant, adversis solatium et perfuman is ashamed to reflect upon them se
gium præbent ; delectant domi, non impediunt foris ;
pernoctant nobiscum, peregrinatur, rusticantur.- Tull. riously; but the fear, the love, the sorrow, the indignation, that are awakened in the
These studies nourish yonth; delight old age; are the
ornament of prosperity; the solacement and the refuge mind by hymns and anthems, make the of adversity ; they are delectable at home, and not burheart better, and proceed from such causes densome abroad; they gladden us at nights, and on our as are altogether reasonable and praisewor
journeys, and in the country. thy. Pleasure and duty go hand in hand, | The following letters bear a pleasing and the greater our satisfaction is, the image of the joys and satisfactions of a prigreater is our religion.
vate life. The first is from a gentleman to Music among those who are styled the a friend, for whom he has a very great rechosen people was a religious art. The spect, and to whom he communicates the songs of Sion, which we have reason to be satisfaction he takes in retirement; the other lieve were in high repute among the courts is a letter to me, occasioned by an ode writof the eastern monarchs, were nothing else ten by my Lapland lover: this corresponbut psalms and pieces of poetry that adored dent is so kind as to translate another of or celebrated the Supreme Being. The Scheffer's songs in a very agreeable mangreatest conqueror in the holy nation, after ner. I publish them together, that the the manner of the old Grecian lyrics, did young and old may find something in the not only compose the words of his divine same paper which may be suitable to their odes, but generally set them to music him- respective tastes in solitude; for I know no self: after which, his works, though they fault in the description of ardent desires, were consecrated to the tabernacle, became provided they are honourable. the national entertainment, as well as the devotion of the people.
DEAR SIR,You have obliged me with The first original of the drama was a re- a very kind letter; by which I find you ligious worship, consisting only of a chorus, shift the scene of your life from the town which was nothing else but a hymn to a to the country, and enjoy that mixed deity. As luxury and voluptuousness pre- state, which wise men both delight in and vailed over innocence and religion, this form are qualified for. Methinks most of the phiof worship degenerated into tragedies; in losophers and moralists have run too much which however the chorus so far remem- into extremes in praising entirely either sobered its first office, as to brand every thing litude or public life; in the former, men gethat was vicious, and recommend every nerally grow useless by too much rest; and, thing that was laudable, to intercede with in the latter, are destroyed by too much heaven for the innocent, and to implore its precipitation; as waters lying still putrify vengeance on the people.
and are good for nothing; and running vioHomer and Hesiod intimate to us how lently on, do but the more mischief in their this art should be applied, when they re- passage to others, and are swallowed up and present the Muses as surrounding Jupiter, I lost the sooner themselves. Those who, and warbling their hymns about his throne. I like you, can make themselves useful to all I might show, from innumerable passages states, should be like gentle streams, that in ancient writers, not only that vocal and not only glide through lonely vales and foinstrumental music were made use of in rests, amidst the flocks and shepherds, but their religious worship, but that their most visit populous towns in their course, and are favourite diversions were filled with songs at once of ornament and service to them. and hymns to their respective deities. Had But there is another sort of people who seem we frequent entertainments of this nature designed for solitude, those I mean who among us, they would not a little purify have more to hide than to show. As for and exalt our passions, give our thoughts a my own part, I am one of those whom Seproper turn, and cherish those divine im- neca says, “Tam umbratiles sunt, ut pupulses in the soul, which every one feels tent in turbido esse quicquid in luce est.' that has not stifled them by sensual and Some men like pictures, are fitter for a corimmoral pleasures.
I ner than a full light; and I believe such as Music, when thus applied, raises noble have a natural bent to solitude are like wahints in the mind of the hearer, and fills it ters, which may be forced into fountains, with great conceptions. It strengthens de- and, exalted to a great height, may make a votion, and advances praise into rapture, much nobler figure, and a much louder lengthens out every act of worship, and | noise, but after all run more smoothly,
equally, and plentifully in their own natural
IV. course upon the ground. The considera
" Each moment from the charmer I'm confin'd.
My breast is tortur'd with impatient fires; tion of this would make me very well con Fly, my rein-deer, fly swifter than the wind. tented with the possession only of that quiet Thy tardy feet wing with my fierce desires. which Cowley calls the companion of ob
V. scurity; but whoever has the muses too for * Our pleasing toil will then be soon o'erpaid, his companions can never be idle enough to
And thou, in wonder lost, shalt view my fair;
Admire each feature of the lovely maid, be uneasy. Thus, sir, you see I would
Her artless charms, her bloom, her sprightly air. flatter myself into a good opinion of my own
VI. way of living: Plutarch just now told me,
" But lo! with graceful motion there she swims, that it is in human life as in a game at ta
Gently removing each ambitious wave; bles: one may wish he had the highest cast;/ The crowding waves transported clasp her limbs ; but, if his chance be otherwise, he is even
When, when, oh I when shall I such freedoms have ! to play it as well as he can, and make the
VII. best of it. I am, sir, your most obliged and
“In vain, ye envious streams, so fast ve flow,
To hide her from her lover's ardent gaze : most humble servant,'
From every touch you more transparent grow,
And all reveal'd the beauteous wanton plays." MR. SPECTATOR,—The town being so well pleased with the fine picture of artless love, which nature inspired the Laplander
| No. 407.] Tuesday, June 17, 1712. to paint in the ode you lately printed, we were in hopes that the ingenious translator
abest facundis gratia dictis. would have obliged it with the other also
Ovid. Met. Lib. xiii. 197. which Scheffer has given us: but since he Eloquent words a graceful manner want. T. has not, a much inferior hand has ventured to send you this.
Most foreign writers, who have given It is a custom with the northern lovers any character of the English nation, whatto divert themselves with a song, whilst ever vices they ascribe to it, allow, in gethey journey through the fenny moors to neral, that the people are naturally mopay a visit to their mistresses. This is ad-dest. It proceeds, perhaps, from this our dressed by the lover to his rein-decr, which national virtue, that our orators are observed is the creature that in that country supplies to make use of less gesture or action than the want of horses. The circumstances those of other countries. Our preachers which successively present themselves to stand stock still in the pulpit, and will not him in his way, are, I believe you will think, so much as move a finger to set off the best naturally interwoven. The anxiety of ab sermon in the world. We meet with the sence, the gloominess of the roads, and his same speaking statues at our bars, and in resolution of frequenting only those, since all public places of debate. Our words those only can carry him to the object of his flow from us in a smooth continued stream, desires; the dissatisfaction he expresses without those strainings of the voice, moeven at the greatest swiftness with which tions of the body, and majesty of the hand, he is carried, and his joyful surprise at an which are so much celebrated in the oraunexpected sight of his mistress as she is tors of Greece and Rome. We can talk of bathing, seem beautifully described in the life and death in cold blood, and keep our original.
temper in a discourse which turns upon If those pretty images of rural nature every thing that is dear to us. Though our are lost in the imitation, yet possibly you zeal breaks out in the finest tropes and may think fit to let this supply the place of figures, it is not able to stir a limb about us, a long letter, when want of leisure, or indis- I have heard it observed more than once, by position for writing, will not permit our be- those who have seen Italy, that an untraing entertained by your own hand. I pro- velled Englishman cannot relish all the pose such a time, because, though it is beauties of Italian pictures, because the posnatural to have a fondness for what one does tures which are expressed in them are often oneself, yet, I assure you, I would not have such as are peculiar to that country. One any thing of mine displace a single line of who has not seen an Italian in the pulpit, will yours.
not know what to make of that noble ges.
ture in Raphael's picture of St. Paul's “Haste, my rein-deer, and let us nimbly go
preaching at Athens, where the apostle is Our ain'rous journey through this dreary waste; represented as lifting up both his arms, and Haste, my rein-deer! still, still thou art too slow,
pouring out the thunder of his rhetoric Impetuous love demands the lightning's haste.
amidst an audience of pagan philosophers " Around us far the rushy moors are spread :
It is certain that proper gestures and ve Soon will the sun withdraw his cheerful ray:
hement exertions of the voice cannot be too Darkling and tir'd we shall the marshes tread, much studied by a public orator. They are No lay unsung to cheat the tedious way.
a kind of comment to what he utters, and III.
enforce every thing he says, with weak 4 The wat'ry length of these unjoyous moorg
hearers, better than the strongest argument Does all the flow'ry meadows' pride excel; Through these I fly to her my soul adores ;
| he can make use of. They keep the auYe flow'ry meadows, empty pride, farewell. | dience awake, and fix their attention to what
is delivered to them, at the same time that stole it from him one day in the midst of his they show the speaker is in earnest, and af- pleading; but he had better have let it fected himself with what he so passionately alone, for he lost his cause by his jest. recommends to others. Violent gesture and I have all along acknowledged myself to vociferation naturally shake the hearts of be a dumb man, and therefore may be the ignorant, and fill them with a kind of thought a very improper person to give religious horror. Nothing is more frequent rules for oratory; but I believe every one than to see women weep and tremble at the will agree with me in this, that we ought sight of a moving preacher, though he is either to lay aside all kinds of gesture placed quite out of their hearing; as in (which seems to be very suitable to the geEngland we very frequently see people nius of our nation) or at least to make use lulled to sleep, with solid and elaborate of such only as are graceful and expressive. discourses of piety, who would be warmed
0. and transported out of themselves by the bellowing and distortions of enthusiasm.
If nonsense, when accompanied with such | No. 408.] Wednesday, June 18, 1712. an emotion of voice and body, has such an influence on men's minds, what might we
Decet affectus animi neque se nimium erigere, nec
subjacere, serviliter.-Tull. de Finibus. not expect from many of those admirable
The affections of the heart ought not to be too much discourses which are printed in our tongue,
| indulged, nor servilely depressed. were they delivered with a becoming fervour, and with the most agreeable graces
MR. SPECTATOR,-I have always been of voice and gesture!
a very great lover of your speculations, as We are told that the great Latin orator well in regard to the subject as to your manvery much impaired his health by the late ner of treating it. Human nature I always rum contentio, the vehemence of action, thought the most useful object of human with which he used to deliver himself. The reason; and to make the consideration of it Greek orator was likewise so very famous pleasant and entertaining, I always thought for this particular in rhetoric, that one of the best employment of human wit: other his antagonists, whom he had banished from parts of philosophy may perhaps make us Athens, reading over the oration which had wiser, but this not only answers that end, procured his banishment, and seeing his but makes us better too. Hence it was that friends admire it, could not forbear asking the oracle pronounced Socrates the wisest them, if they were so much affected by the of all men living, because he judiciously bare reading of it, how much more they made choice of human nature for the object would have been alarmed, had they heard of his thoughts; an inquiry into which, as him actually throwing out such a storm of much exceeds all other learning, as it is of eloquence?
more consequence to adjust the true nature How cold and dead a figure, in compari and measures of right and wrong, than to son of these two great men, does an orator settle the distances of the planets, and comoften make at the British bar, holding up pute the time of their circumvolutions. his head with the most insipid serenity, and One good effect that will immediately stroking the sides of a long wig that reaches arise from a near observation of human down to his middle! The truth of it is, there nature, is, that we shall ccase to wonder at is often nothing more ridiculous than the those actions which mer are used to reckon gestures of an English speaker: you see wholly unaccountable; for, as nothing is some of them running their hands into their produced without a cause, so by observing pockets as far as ever they can thrust them, I the nature and course of the passions, we and others looking with great attention on a shall be able to trace every action from its piece of paper that has nothing written on first conception to its death. We shall no it; you may see many a smart rhetorician more admire at the proceedings of Catiline turning his hat in his hands, moulding it or Tiberius, when we know the one was into several different cocks, examining some actuated by a cruel jealousy, the other by times the lining of it, and sometimes the a furious ambition: for the actions of men button, during the whole course of his follow their passions as naturally as light harangue. A deaf man would think he was does heat, or as any other effect flows from its cheapening a beaver, when perhaps he is cause; reason must be employed in adjusttalking of the fate of the British nation I ing the passions, but they must ever remain remember, when I was a young man, and the principles of action. used to frequent Westminster-hall, there “The strange and absurd variety that is was a counsellor who never pleaded with so apparent in men's actions, shows plainly out a piece of pack-thread in his hand, they can never proceed immediately from which he used to twist about a thumb or a reason; so pure a fountain emits no such finger all the while he was speaking: the troubled waters: they must necessarily arise wags of those days used to call it 'the from the passions, which are to the mind as thread of his discourse,' for he was unable the winds to a ship; they can only move it, to utter a word without it. One of his and they too often destroy it: if fair and clients, who was more merry than wise, I gentle, they guide it into the harbour; if
contrary and furious, they overset it in the the gentle gales of the passions, which may waves. In the same manner is the mind preserve it from stagnating and corruption; assisted or endangered by the passions ; for they are necessary to the health of the reason must then take the place of pilot, mind, as the circulation of the animal spiand can never fail of securing her charge rits is to the health of the body: they keep if she be not wanting to herself. The it in life, and strength, and vigour; nor is it strength of the passions will never be ac- possible for the mind to perform its offices cepted as an excuse for complying with without their assistance. These motions are them: they were designed for subjection; given us with our being; they are little spiand if a man suffers them to get the upper rits that are born and die with us; to some hand, he then betrays the liberty of his own they are mild, easy, and gentle; to others, soul.
wayward and unruly, yet never too strong "As nature has framed the several spe- for the reins of reason and the guidance of cies of being as it were in a chain, so man judgment. seems to be placed as the middle link be- We may generally observe a pretty nice tween angels and brutes. Hence he par- proportion between the strength of reason ticipates both of flesh and spirit by an and passion; the greatest geniuses have admirable tie, which in him occasions per-commonly the strongest affections, as, on petual war of passions; and as man inclines the other hand, the weaker understandings to the angelic or brute part of his constitu- have generally the weaker passions; and it tion, he is then denominated good or bad, ) is fit the fury of the coursers should not be virtuous or wicked; if love, mercy, and too great for the strength of the charioteer. good-nature prevail, they speak him of the Young men, whose passions are not a little angel: if hatred, cruelty, and envy pre- unruly, give small hopes of their ever being dominate, they declare his kindred to the considerable: the fire of youth will of course brute. Hence it was that some of the an- abate, and is a fault, if it be a fault, that cients imagined, that as men in this life mends every day; but, surely, unless a man inclined more to the angel or the brute, so, has fire in his youth, he can hardly have after their death, they should transmigrate warmth in old age. We must therefore be into the one or the other; and it would very cautious, lest, while we think to rebe no unpleasant notion to consider the gulate the passions, we should quite extinseveral species of brutes, into which we guish them, which is putting out the light may imagine that tyrants, misers, the of the soul; for to be without passion, or to proud, malicious, and ill-natured, might be be hurried away with it, makes a man changed.
equally blind. The extraordinary severity As a consequence of this original, all used in most of our schools has this fatal passions are in all men, but appear not in effect, it breaks the spring of the mind, and all; constitution, education, custom of the most certainly destroys more good geniuses country, reason, and the like causes, may than it can possibly improve. And surely improve or abate the strength of them ; it is a mighty mistake that the passions but still the seeds remain, which are ever should be so entirely subdued: for little irready to sprout forth upon the least en-| regularities are sometimes not only to be couragement. I have heard a story of a borne with, but to be cultivated too, since good religious man, who having been bred they are frequently attended with the with the milk of a goat, was very modest greatest perfections. All great geniuses in public, by a careful reflection he made have faults mixed with their virtues, and on his actions; but he frequently had an resemble the flaming bush which has hour in secret, wherein he had his frisks thorns amongst lights. and capers; and if we had an opportunity "Since, therefore, the passions are the of examining the retirement of the strictest principles of human actions, we must endea philosophers, no doubt but we should find vour to manage them so as to retain their perpetual returns of those passions they so vigour, yet keep them under strict comartfully conceal from the public. I remela- mand; we must govern them rather like ber Machiavel observes, that every state free subjects than slaves, lest, while we inshould entertain a perpetual jealousy of its tend to make them obedient, they become neighbours, that so it should never be un- abject, and unfit for those great purposes provided when an emergency happens; in to which they were designed. For my part, like manner should reason be perpetually I must confess I could never have any reon its guard against the passions, and never gard to that sect of philosophers who so suffer them to carry on any design that may much insisted upon an absolute indifference be destructive of its security: yet, at the and vacancy from all passion; for it seems same time, it must be careful that it do not to me a thing very inconsistent, for a man so far break their strength as to render to divest himself of humanity in order to them contemptible, and consequently itself acquire tranquillity of mind; and to eradiunguarded.
cate the very principles of action, because • The understanding, being of itself too it is possible they may produce ill effects, slow and lazy to exert itself into action, it I am, sir, your affectionate admirer, s necessary it should be put in motion byl Z,
No. 409.] Thursday, June 19, 1712. | thoughts, he ought to conclude, not (as is
too usual among tasteless readers,) that the - Musæo contingere cuncta lepore.
author wants those perfections which have Lucr. Lib. i. 933.
been admired in him, but that he himself To grace each subjoct with enliv'ning wit.
wants the faculty of discovering them. GRATIAN very often recommends fine. He should, in the second place, be very taste as the utmost perfection of an accom-careful to observe, whether he tastes the plished man.
distinguishing perfections, or, if I may be alAs this word arises very often in conver- lowed to call them so, the specific qualities sation, I shall endeavour to give some ac- of the author whom he peruses; whether count of it, and to lay down rules how we he is particularly pleased with Livy, for may know whether we are possessed of it, his manner of telling a story, with Sallust, and how we may acquire that fine taste of for entering into those internal principles writing, which is so much talked of among of action which arise from the characters the polite world.
and manners of the person he describes, Most languages make use of this meta- or, with Tacitus, for displaying those outphor, to express that faculty of the mind ward motives of safety and interest which which distinguishes all the most concealed gave birth to the whole series of transacfaults and nicest perfections in writing. We tions which he relates. may be sure this metaphor would not have He may likewise consider how differently been so general in all tongues, had there she is affected by the same thought which not been a very great conformity between presents itself in a great writer, from what that mental taste, which is the subject of he is when he finds it delivered by a perthis paper, and that sensitive taste which son of an ordinary genius; for there is as gives us a relish of every different flavour much difference in apprehending a thought that affects the palate. Accordingly we clothed in Cicero's language, and that of a find there are as many degrees of refine- common author, as in seeing an object by ment in the intellectual faculty as in the | the light of a taper, or by the light of the sun. sense, which is marked out by this common It is very difficult to lay down rules for denomination.
the acquirement of such a taste as that I I knew a person who possessed the one am here speaking of. The faculty must in in so great a perfection, that, after having some degree be born with us; and it very tasted ten different kinds of tea, he would often happens, that those who have other distinguish, without seeing the colour of it, qualities in perfection are wholly void of the particular sort which was offered him; this. One of the most eminent mathemaand not only so, but any two sorts of them ticians of the age has assured me, that the that were mixed together in an equal pro- greatest pleasure he took in reading Virgil portion; nay, he has carried the experi was in examining Æneas's voyage by the ment so far, as, upon tasting the composition map; as I question not but many a modern of three different sorts, to name the parcels compiler of history would be delighted with from whence the three several ingredients little more in that divine author than the were taken. A man of fine taste in writing bare matters of fact. will discern, after the same manner, not But, notwithstanding this faculty must in only the general beauties and imperfections, some measure be born with us, there are bf an author, but discover the several ways several methods for cultivating and imbf thinking and expressing himself, which proving it, and without which it will be diversify him from all other authors, with very uncertain, and of little use to the perthe several foreign infusions of thought and son that possesses it. The post natural /language, and the particular authors from method for this purpose is to be conversant whom they were borrowed.
| among the writings of the most polite auAfter having thus far explained what is thors. A man who has any relish for fine generally meant by a fine taste in writing, writing, either discovers new beauties, or and shown the propriety of the metaphor receives stronger impressions, from the which is used on this occasion, I think I masterly strokes of a great author every may define it to be that faculty of the soul time he peruses him; besides that he natuwhich discerns the beauties of an author rally wears himself into the same manner, with pleasure, and the imperfections with of speaking and thinking. dislike.' If a man would know whether he Conversation with men of a polite genius is possessed of this faculty, I would have is another method for improving our natural him read over the celebrated works of an-taste. It is impossible for a man of the tiquity, which have stood the test of so i greatest parts to consider any thing in its many different ages and countries, or those whole extent, and in all its variety of lights, works among the moderns which have the Every man besides those general observasanction of the politer part of our contem- tions which are to be made upon an author, poraries. If, upon the perusal of such writ-forms several reflections that are peculiar ings, he does not find himself delighted in to his own manner of thinking; so that conan extraordinary manner, or if, upon read- versation will naturally furnish us with ing the admired passages in such authors, hints which we did not attend to, and make he finds a coldness and indifference in his / us enjoy other men's parts and reflections