Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

end of the town; of whom I recovered enough to employ his thoughts on every 15,0001. which made me amends for what moment of the day; so that I cannot call to she had idly squandered, and put a silence mind, that in all the time I was a husband, to all my neighbours, taking off my re- which, off and on, was above twelve years, proach by the gain they saw I had by it. I ever once thought of my wives but in bed. The last died about two years after I mar- And, lastly, for religion, I have ever been ried her, in labour of three children, la constant churchman, both forenoons and conjecture they were begot by a country afternoons on Sundays, never forgetting to kinsman of hers, whom, at her recommen- be thankful for any gain or advantage I had dation, I took into my family, and gave had that day; and on Saturday nights, upon wages to as a journeyman. What this crea- casting up my accounts, I always was ture expended in delicacies and high diet grateful for the sum of my week's profits, with her kinsman (as well as I could com- and at Christmas for that of the whole pute by the poulterer's, fishmonger's, and year. It is true, perhaps, that my devogrocer's bills,) amounted in the said two tion has not been the most fervent; which, years to one hundred eighty-six pounds four I think, ought to be imputed to the evenshillings and five-pence half-penny. The fine ness and sedateness of my temper, which apparel, bracelets, lockets, and treats, &c. never would admit of any impetuosities of of the other, according to the best calcula- any sort: and I can remember, that in my tion, came, in three years and about three youth and prime of manhood, when my quarters, to seven hundred-forty four pounds blood ran brisker, I took greater pleasure seven shillings and nine pence. After this in religious exercises than at present, or I resolved never to marry more, and found many years past, and that my devotion I had been a gainer by my marriages, and sensibly declined as age, which is dull and thc damages granted me for the abuses of unwieldy, came upon me. my bed (all charges deducted) eight thou- 'I have, I hope, here proved, that the sand three hundred pounds, within a trifle. love of money prevents all immorality and

I come now to show the good effects of vice; which if you will not allow, you the love of money on the lives of men, to- must, that the pursuit of it obliges men to wards rendering them honest, sober, and the same kind of life as they would follow religious. When I was a young man, í had if they were really virtuous; which is all I a mind to make the best of my wits, and have to say at present, only recommending over-reached a country chap in a parcel of to you, that you would think of it, and turn unsound goods; to whom, upon his upbraid- ready wit into ready money as fast as you ing, and threatening to expose me for it, I can. I conclude, your servant, returned the equivalent of his loss; and T.

· ÉPHRAIM WEED.' upon his good advice, wherein he clearly demonstrated the folly of such artifices, which can never end but in shame, and the No. 451.1 Thursday, August 7, 1712. ruin of all correspondence, I never after transgressed. Can your courtiers, who take

-Jam savus a pertam bribes, or your lawyers or physicians in

In rabiam cæpit verti jocus, et per honestas

Ire minax impune domostheir practice, or even the divines who

Hor. Ep. i. Lib. 2. 148. intermeddle in worldly affairs, boast of

- Times corrupt, and nature ill inclin'd. making but one slip in their lives, and of Produc'd the point that left the sting behind; such a thorough and lasting reformation? Till, friend with friend, and families at strife, Since my coming into the world I do not

Triumphant malice rag'd through private life.- Pope remember I was ever overtaken in drink, THERE is nothing so scandalous to a gosave nine times, once at the christening of vernment, and detestable in the eyes of all my first child, thrice at our city feasts, and good men, as defamatory papers and pamfive times at driving of bargains. My re- phlets; but at the same time there is noformation I can attribute to nothing so thing so difficult to tame as a satirical much as the love and esteem of money, for author. An angry writer who cannot apI found myself to be extravagant in my pear in print, naturally vents his spleen in drink, and apt to turn projector, and make libels and lampoons. A gay old woman, rash bargains. As for women, I never says the fable, seeing all her wrinkles reknew any except my wives: for my reader presented in a large looking-glass, threw must know, and it is what he may confide it upon the ground in a passion, and broke in as an excellent recipe, that the love of it in a thousand pieces; but as she was business and money is the greatest mortifier afterwards surveying the fragments with a of inordinate desires imaginable, as em- spiteful kind of pleasure, she could not forploying the mind continually in the careful bear uttering herself in the following solioversight of what one has in the eager quest loquy: 'What have I got by this revengeful after more, in looking after the negligences blow of mine? I have only multiplied my and deceits of servants, in the due entering deformity, and see a hundred ugly faces, and stating of accounts, in hunting after where before I saw but one.' chaps, and in the exact knowledge of the It has been proposed, to oblige every state of markets; which things whoever person that writes a book, or a paper, to thoroughly attends to, will find enough and I swear himself the author of it, and enter

down in a public register his name and punishments, is under the direction and place of abode.

| distribution of the magistrate, and not of This indeed would have effectually sup- any private person. Accordingly we learn, pressed all printed scandal, which generally from a fragment of Cicero, that though appears under borrowed names, or under there were very few capital punishments none at all. But it is to be feared that such in the twelve tables, a libel or lampoon, an expedient would not only destroy scan- which took away the good name of andal, but learning. It would operate pro- other, was to be punished by death. But miscuously, and root up the corn and tares this is far from being our case. Our satire together. Not to mention some of the most is nothing but ribaldry and billingsgate. celebrated works of piety, which have Scurrility passes for wit; and he who proceeded from anonymous authors, who can call names in the greatest variety have made it their merit to convey to us so of phrases, is looked upon to have the great a charity in secret; there are few shrewdest pen. By this means the honour works of genius that come out at first with of families is ruined; the highest posts and the author's name. The writer generally the greatest titles are rendered cheap and makes a trial of them in the world before vile in the sight of the people; the noblest he owns them; and, I believe, very few, virtues and most exalted parts exposed to who are capable of writing, would set pen the contempt of the vicious and the ignoto paper, if they knew beforehand that rant. Should a foreigner, who knows nothey must not publish their productions thing of our private factions, or one who is but on such conditions. For my own part, to act his part in the world when our preI must declare, the papers I present the sent heats and animosities are forgotpublic are like fairy favours, which shall | should, I say, such a one form to himself last no longer than while the author is con a notion of the greatest men of all sides in cealed.

the British nation, who are now living, That which makes it particularly dif- from the characters which are given them ficult to restrain these sons of calumny and in some or other of those abominable writdefamation is, that all sides are equally ings which are daily published among us, guilty of it, and that every dirty scribbler what a nation of monsters must we appear! is countenanced by great names, whose in- As this cruel practice tends to the utter terests he propagates by such vile and subversion of all truth and humanity among infamous methods. I have never yet heard us, it deserves the utmost detestation and of a ministry who have inflicted an exem- discouragement of all who have either the plary punishment on an author that has love of their country, or the honour of their supported their cause with falsehood and religion at heart. I would therefore eartscandal, and treated, in a most cruel man- estly recommend it to the consideration of ner, the names of those who have been those who deal in these pernicious arts of looked upon as their rivals and antagonists. writing, and of those who take pleasure in Would a government set an everlasting the reading of them. As for the first, ! mark of their displeasure upon one of those have spoken of them in former papers, and infamous writers, who makes his court to have not stuck to rank them with the murthem by tearing to pieces the reputation derer and assassin. Every honest man sets of a competitor, we should quickly see an as high a value upon a good name, as upon end put to this race of vermin, that are a life itself: and I cannot but think that those scandal to government, and a reproach to who privily assault the one, would destroy human nature. Such a proceeding would the other, might they do it with the same make a minister of state shine in history, security and impunity. and would fill all mankind with a just ab- As for persons who take pleasure in the horrence of persons who should treat him reading and dispersing such detestable liunworthily, and employ against him those bels, I am afraid they fall very little short arms which he scorned to make use of of the guilt of the first composers. By a against his enemies.

law of the emperors Valentinian and Va. 'I cannot think that any one will be so lens, it was made death for any person not unjust as to imagine, what I have here said only to write a libel, but, if he met with one is spoken with respect to any party or fac- by chance, not to tear or burn it. But beo tion. Every one who has in him the senti- cause I would not be thought singular in my ments either of a Christian or a gentleman, opinion of this matter, I shall conclude my cannot but be highly offended at this wick-paper with the words of Monsieur Bayle, ed and ungenerous practice, which is so who was a man of great freedom of thought, much in use among us at present, that it is as well as of exquisite learning and judge become a kind of national crime, and dis- ment. tinguishes us from all the governments that I cannot imagine that a man who dislie about us. I cannot but look upon the perses a libel, is less desirous of doing finest strokes of satire which are aimed at mischief than the author himself. But particular persons, and which are support- what shall we say of the pleasure which a ed even with the appearances of truth, to man takes in the reading of a defamatory be the marks of an evil mind, and highly libel? Is it not a heinous sin in the sight criminal in themselves. Infamy, like other of God? We must distinguish in this point. This pleasure is either an agreeable sensa-, of cooking it is so very different, that there tion we are affected with, when we meet is no citizen, who has an eye to the public with a witty thought which is well ex- good, that can leave the coffee-house, with pressed, or it is a joy which we conceive a peace of mind, before he has given every from the dishonour of the person who is one of them a reading. These several dishes defamed. I will say nothing to the first of of news are so very agreeable to the palate these cases; for perhaps some would think of my countrymen, that they are not only that my morality is not severe enough, if pleased with them when they are served I should affirm that a man is not master of up hot, but when they are again set cold those agreeable sensations, any more than before them, by those penetrating politiof those occasioned by sugar or honey, cians who oblige the public with their rewhen they touch his tongue; but as to the flections and observations upon every piece second, every one will own that pleasure to of intelligence that is sent us from abroad. be a heinous sin. The pleasure in the first This text is given us by one set of writers, case is of no continuance; it prevents our and the comment by another. . reason and reflection, and may be imme- But notwithstanding we have the same diately followed by a secret grief, to see tale told us in so many different papers, and our neighbour's honour blasted. If it does if occasion requires, in so many articles not cease immediately, it is a sign that we of the same paper; notwithstanding, in a are not displeased with the ill nature of the scarcity of foreign posts, we hear the same satirist, but are glad to see him defame his story repeated by different advices from enemy by all kinds of stories; and then París, Brussels, the Hague, and from every we deserve the punishment to which the great town in Europe; notwithstanding the writer of the libel is subject. I shall here multitude of annotations, explanations, readd the words of a modern author. St. flections, and various readings which it Gregory, upon excommunicating those passes through, our time lies heavy on our writers who had dishonoured Castorius, hands till the arrival of a fresh mail: we does not except those who read their long to receive farther particulars, to hear works; because, says he, if calumnies have what will be the next step, or what will be always been the delight of their hearers, the consequences of that which we have aland a gratification of those persons who ready taken. A westerly wind keeps the have no other advantage over honest men, whole town in suspense, and puts a stop to is not he who takes pleasure in reading conversation. them as guilty as he who composed them? This general curiosity has been raised It is an uncontested maxim, that they who and inflamed by our late wars, and if rightly approve an action, would certainly do it if directed, might be of good use to a person they could; that is, if some reason of self- who has such a thirst awakened in him, love did not hinder them. There is no dif- Why should not a man, who takes delight ference, says Cicero, between advising a in reading every thing that is new, apcrime, and approving it when committed. Iply himself to history, travels, and other The Roman law confirmed this maxim, writings of the same kind, where he will having subjected the approvers and authors find perpetual fuel for his curiosity, and of this evil to the same penalty. We may meet with much more pleasure and imtherefore conclude, that those who are i provement than in these papers of the pleased with reading defamatory libels, so week? An honest tradesman, who lanfar as to approve the authors and dis- guishes a whole summer in expectation of persers of them, are as guilty as if they a battle, and perhaps is baulked at last, had composed them; for, if they do not may here meet with half a dozen in a day, write such libels themselves, it is because He may read the news of a whole campaign they have not the talent of writing, or be- in less time than he now bestows upon the cause they will run no hazard.'

products of a single post. Fights, conquests, The author produces other authorities to and revolutions, lie thick together. The confirm his judgment in this particular, reader's curiosity is raised and satisfied

C. every moment, and his passions disap

pointed or gratified, without being detained

in a state of uncertainty from day to day, No. 452.] Friday, August 8, 1712. or lying at the mercy of the sea and wind;

in short, the mind is not here kept in a Est natura hominum novitatis avida.

perpetual gape after knowledge, nor puPlin. apud Lilium.

nished with that eternal thirst, which is Human nature is fond of novelty.

the portion of all our modern newsmongers THERE is no humour in my countrymen, and coffee-house politicians. which I am more inclined to wonder at, All matters of fact, which a man did not than their general thirst after news. There know before, are news to him; and I do not are about half a dozen ingenious men, who see how any haberdasher in Cheapside is live very plentifully upon this curiosity of more concerned in the present quarrel of their fellow-subjects. They all of them re- the Cantons, than he was in that of the ceive the same advices from abroad, and League. At least, I believe, every one will very often in the same words; but their way I allow me, it is of more importance to an Vol. II,

25

Englishman to know the history of his an- 1 Letters from Brumpton advise, that the cestors, than that of his contemporaries who widow Blight had received several visits live upon the banks of the Danube or the from John Mildew; which affords great Borysthenes. As for those who are of matter of speculation in those parts. another mind, I shall recommend to them By a fisherman who lately touched at the following letter from a projector, who Hammersmith, there is advice from Putis willing to turn a penny by this remarka-ney, that a certain person well known in ble curiosity of his countrymen.

that place, is like to lose his election for

church warden; but this being boat-news, MR. SPECTATOR,– You must have ob

we cannot give entire credit to it. served that men who frequent coffee-houses,

Letters from Paddington bring little and delight in news, are pleased with every

more than that William Squeak, the sowthing that is matter of fact, so it be what

gelder, passed through that place the fifth they have not heard before. A victory or

1 victory or instant. a defeat are equally agreeable to them.

They advise from Fulham that things The shutting of a cardinal's mouth pleases

| remained there in the same state they were. them one post, and the opening of it an- | They had intelligence, just as the letters other. They are glad to hear the French

came away, of a tub of excellent ale just court is removed to Marli, and are after

set abroach at Parson's Green; but this wards as much delighted with its return to wanted confirmation. Versailles. They read the advertisements

I have here, sir, given you a specimen with the same curiosity as the articles of

of of the news with which I intend to entertain public news; and are as pleased to hear of the town, and which, when drawn up rea pie-bald horse that is strayed out of al gularly in the form of a newspaper, will, I field near Islington, as of a whole troop that I doubt not, be very acceptable to many of have been engaged in any foreign adven- I those public-spirited readers who take more ture. In short, they have a relish for every I delight in acquainting themselves with other thing that is news, let the matter of it be people's business than their own. I hope a what it will; or, to speak more properly, I paper of this kind, which lets us know what they are men of a voracious appetite, but is done near home. may be more useful to no taste. Now, sir, since the great fountain|us than those which are filled with advices of news, I mean the war, is very near being from Zug and Bender, and make some dried up; and since these gentlemen have amends for that dearth of intelligence which contracted such an inextinguishable thirst we may justly apprehend from times of after it, I have taken their case and my l peace. "If I find that you receive this proown into consideration, and have thought iect favourably, I will shortly trouble you of a project which may turn to the ad- with one or two

with one or two more; and in the mean vantage of us both. I have thoughts of

ughts of time am, most worthy sir, with all due publishing a daily paper, which shall com

respect, your most obedient and humble prehend in it all the most remarkable oc- |

servant.' currences in every little town, village, and hamlet, that lie within ten miles of London, or, in other words, within the verge of the penny-post. I have pitched upon No. 453.7 Saturday, August 9, 1712. this scene of intelligence for two reasons; first, because the carriage of letters will be

Non usitata nec tenui ferar very cheap; and, secondly, because I may

Penna

Hor. Od. xx. Lib. 2 1. receive them every day. By this means

No weak, no common wing shall bear my readers will have their news fresh and My rising body through the air.-Creeck. fresh, and many worthy citizens, who cannot sleep with any satisfaction at present,

THERE is not a more pleasing exercise of

the mind than gratitude. for want of being informed how the world

It is accompagoes, may go to bed contentedly, it being

nied with such an inward satisfaction, that my design to put out my paper every night

the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the at nine o'clock precisely. I have already

performance. It is not like the practice of established correspondences in these seve

many other virtues, difficult and painful, ral places, and received very good intelli

but attended with so much pleasure, that

were there no positive command which engence. By my last advices from Knightsbridge,

joined it, nor any recompence laid up for it I hear that a horse was clapped into the

hereafter, a generous mind would indulge pound on the third instant, and that he

in it, for the natural gratification that acwas not released when the letters came

companies it.

If gratitude is due from man to man, how away. We are informed from Pankridge,* that

much more from man to his Maker! The a dozen weddings were lately celebrated in

Supreme Being does not only confer upon the mother-church of that place, but are

us those bounties, which proceed more imreferred to their next letters for the names

mediately from his hand, but even those of the parties concerned.

benefits which are conveyed to us by others.

Every blessing we enjoy, by what means • St. Pancras, then a fashionable place for weddings. | soever it may be derived upon us, is the

II.

VI.

VIII.

gift of Him who is the great Author of good, i and Father of mercies.

O how shall words with equal warmth

The gratitude declare, If gratitude, when exerted towards one That glows within my ravish'd heart ? another, naturally produces a very pleasing

But thou canst read it there. sensation in the mind of a grateful man, it exalts the soul into rapture, when it is em

Thy providence my life sustain'd, ployed on this great object of gratitude, on

And all my wants redrest,

When in the silent womb I lay, this beneficent Being, who has given us every

And hung upon the breast. thing we already possess, and from whom

IV. we expect every thing we yet hope for. I

"To all my weak complaints and cries Most of the works of the pagan poets Thy mercy lent an ear, were either direct hymns to their deities, Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learn'd or tended indirectly to the celebration of

To form the uselves in pray'r. their respective attributes and perfections.

v. Those who are acquainted with the works

Unnumber'd comforts to my soul

Thy tender care bestow'd, of the Greek and Latin poets which are Before my infant heart conceiv'd still extant, will, upon reflection, find this From whom those comforts flow'd. observation so true that I shall not enlarge upon it. One would wonder that more of When in the slipp'ry paths of youth, our Christian poets have not turned their

With heedless steps I ran,

Thine arın unseen convey'd me safe, thoughts this way, especially if we consider

And led me up to man. that our idea of the Supreme Being is not

VII. only infinitely more great and noble than

* Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths, what could possibly enter into the heart of It gently cleard my way, a heathen, but filled with every thing that And through the pleasing shares of vice, can raise the imagination, and give an op

More to be fear'd than they. portunity for the sublimest thoughts and

When worn with sickness of hast Thou conceptions.

With health renew'd my face, Plutarch tells us of a heathen who was

And when in sins and sorrows sunk, singing a hymn to Diana, in which he cele Reviv'd my soul with grace. brated her for her delight in human sacri- |

IX. fices, and other instances of cruelty and • Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss revenge; upon which, a poet who was pre

Has made my cup run o'er,

And in a kind and faithful friend sent at this piece of devotion, and seems to Has doubled all my store have had a truer idea of the divine nature,

X. told the votary, by way of reproof, that,

"Ten thousand thousand precious gifts in recompense for his hymn, he heartily My daily thanks employ; wished he might have a daughter of the Nor is the least a cbeerful heart,

That tastes those gifts with joy. same temper with the goddess he celebrated. It was impossible to write the praises of one of those false deities, accord

•Through every period of my life

Thy goodness I'll pursue; ing to the pagan creed, without a mixture And after death, in distant worlds of impertinence and absurdity.

The glorious theme renew. The Jews, who before the time of Chris

XII. tianity were the only people who had the • When nature fails and day and night

Divide thy works no more, knowledge of the true God, have set the

My ever grateful heart, O Lord, Christian world an example how they

Thy mercy shall adore. ought to employ this divine talent of which

XIII. I am speaking. As that nation produced

. Through all eternity to Thee men of great genius, without considering A joyful song I'll raise ; them as inspired writers, they have trans

For oh! eternity's too short

To utter all thy praise.' mitted to us many hymns and divine odes, which excel those that are delivered down to us by the ancient Greeks and Romans,

No. 454.] Monday, August, 11, 1712. in the poetry, as much as in the subject to which it was consecrated. This I think Sine me, vacivum tempus ne quod dem mihi

Ter. Heaut. Act. i. Sc. i. might easily be shown if there were occa

Laboris. sion for it.

Give me leave to allow myself no respite from labour. I have already communicated to the pub- It is an inexpressible pleasure to know a lic some pieces of divine poetry; and, as little of the world, and be of no character they have met with a very favourable re- or significancy in it. ception, I shall from time to time publish To be ever unconcerned, and ever lookany work of the same nature, which has ing on new objects with an endless curinot yet appeared in print, and may be ac osity, is a delight known only to those who ceptable to my readers.

are turned for speculation: nay, they who I.

enjoy it, must value things only as they are • When all thy mercies, O my God,

the objects of speculation, without drawing My rising soul surveys; Transported with the view. I'm lost

any worldly advantage to themselves from In wonder, love, and praise :

| them, but just as they are what contribute

"Ten daily thana cheerful with joy.

XI.

« AnteriorContinuar »