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'Lord Percy sees my fall.'
-Vicisti, et victum tendere palmas
Earl Percy's lamentation over his enemy is generous, beautiful, and passionate: I must only caution the reader not to let the simplicity of the style, which one may well pardon in so old a poet, prejudice him against the greatness of the thought:
"Then leaving life, Earl Percy took
O Christ, my very heart doth bleed
The beautiful line, Taking the dead man by the hand,' will put the reader in mind of Æneas's behaviour toward Lausus, whom he himself had slain as he came to the rescue of his aged father:
At vero ut vultum vidit morientis, et ora,
The pious prince beheld young Lausus dead;
I shall take another opportunity to consider the other parts of this old song. C.
he makes him fall into the following scene, and shows its influence upon him so excellently, that it appears as natural as wonderful:
'It happen'd on a summer's holiday,
Tuesday, May 22, 1711.
But lest this fine description should be excepted against, as the creation of that great master Mr. Dryden, and not an acCount of what has really ever happened in the world, I shall give you, verbatim, the epistle of an enamoured footman in the country to his mistress. Their surnames shall not be inserted, because their passions demand a greater respect than is due to their quality. James is servant in a great family, and Elizabeth waits upon the daughter of one as numerous, some miles off her lover. James, before he beheld Betty, was vain of his strength, a rough wrestler, and quarrelsome cudgel-player; Betty a public dancer at May-poles, a romp at stool-ball: he always following idle women, she playing among the peasants: he a country bully, she a country coquette. But love has made her constantly in her mis
THE entire conquest of our passions is so difficult a work, that they who despair of it should think of a less difficult task, and only attempt to regulate them. But there is a third thing which may contribute not only to the ease, but also to the pleasure of our life; and that is refining our pas-tress's chamber, where the young lady sions to a greater elegance than we receive gratifies a secret passion of her own, by them from nature. When the passion is making Betty talk of James; and James is love, this work is performed in innocent, become a constant waiter near his master's though rude and uncultivated minds, by apartment, in reading, as well, as he can, the mere force and dignity of the object. romances. I cannot learn who Molly is, There are forms which naturally create who it seems walked ten miles to carry the respect in the beholders, and at once in- angry message, which gave occasion to flame and chastise the imagination. Such what follows: an impression as this gives an immediate ambition to deserve, in order to please. This cause and effect are beautifully decribed by Mr. Dryden in the fable of Cy-wounds Cupid made with the arrows he mon and Iphigenia. After he has repre- borrowed at the eyes of Venus, which is sented Cymon so stupid, that your sweet person.
May 14, 1711.
'MY DEAR BETTY,-Remember your bleeding lover, who lies bleeding at the
He whistled as he went for want of thought;"
By chance conducted, or by thirst constrain'd,
The fool of nature stood with stupid eyes,
that I cannot think you are in earnest. But the certainty given me in your message by Molly, that you do not love me, is what robs me of all comfort. She says you will not see me: if you can have so much cruelty, at least write to me, that I may kiss the impression made by your fair
Now, my dear, if I may not be permit-hand. I love you above all things, and, in ted to your sweet company, and to have my condition, what you look upon with inthe happiness of speaking with your sweet difference is to me the most exquisite pleaperson, I beg the favour of you to accept sure or pain. Our young lady and a fine of this my secret mind and thoughts, which gentleman from London, who are to marry hath so long lodged in my breast, the which for mercenary ends, walk about our garif you do not accept, I believe will go nigh dens, and hear the voice of evening nightto break my heart, ingales, as if for fashion sake they courted those solitudes, because they have heard lovers do so. Oh, Betty! could I hear those rivulets murmur, and birds sing, while you stood near me, how little sensible should I be that we are both servants, that there is any thing on earth above us! Oh! I could write to you as long as I love you, till JAMES.' death itself. N. B. By the words ill conditions, James means, in a woman coquetry, in a man inconstancy. R.
For, indeed, my dear, I love you above all the beauties I ever saw in my life.
"The young gentleman, and my master's daughter, the Londoner that is come down to marry her, sat in the arbour most part of last night. Oh, dear Betty, must the nightingales sing to those who marry for money, and not to us true lovers! Oh, my dear Betty, that we could meet this night where we used to do in the wood!
Molly brought me struck me to the heart,
"For she told me, if I came forty times to you, you would not speak with me, which words I am sure is a great grief
Now, my dear, if I may not have the blessing of kissing your sweet lips, I beg I may have the happiness of kissing your fair hand, with a few lines from your dear self, presented by whom you please or think fit. I believe, if time would permit me, I could write all day; but the time being short, and paper little, no more from your never failing lover till death,
No. 72.] Wednesday, May 22, 1711.
-Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum. Virg. Georg. iv. 208. Th' immortal line in sure succession reigns, The fortune of the family remains, And grandsires' grandsons the long list contains. Dryden. HAVING already given my reader an account of several extraordinary clubs both ancient and modern, I did not design to have troubled him with any moré narratives of this nature; but I have lately received information of a club which I can call neither ancient nor modern, that I dare say will be no less surprising to my reader than it was to myself; for which reason I shall communicate it to the pub
DEAR CREATURE,-Can you then neglect him who has forgot all his recreations and enjoyments to pine away his life in thinking of you? When I do so, you ap-lic as one of the greatest curiosities of its pear more amiable to me than Venus does in the most beautiful description that ever was made of her. All this kindness you return with an accusation, that I do not love you: but the contrary is so manifest,
Poor James! since his time and paper were so short, I that have more than I can use well of both, will put the sentiments of this kind letter (the style of which seems to be confused with scraps he had got in hearing and reading what he did not understand) into what he meant to express.
The writer of this loving epistle was James Hirst, a servant to the Hon. Edward Wortley, esq. In delivering a number of letters to his master, he gave him, by mistake, this which he had just written to his sweetheart, and in its stead kept one of his master's. James soon vered the error he ha committed, and returned to rectify it, but it was too late: the letter to Betty was the first which met Mr. Wortley's eye, and he had indulged his curiosity in reading the pathetic effusion of his love-lorn footman. James begged to have it returned: "No, James," said his master,
shall be a great man; and this letter must appear in the Spectator."
James at length succeeded in convincing Betty that he had no ill conditions," and obtained her cor.sent to marry him: the marriage, however, was un. fortunately prevented by her sudden death; and James, who seems to have been a good sort of soul, soon after married her sister. This sister was, most probably, the Molly who trudged so many miles to carry the angry message.
A friend of mine complaining of a tradesman who is related to him, after having represented him as a very idle, worthless fellow, who neglected his family, and spent most of his time over a bottle, told me, to conclude his character, that he was a member of the Everlasting Club. So very odd a title raised my curiosity to inquire into the nature of a club that had such a sounding name; upon which my friend gave me the the following account.
The Everlasting Club consists of a hundred members, who divide the whole twenty-four hours among them in such a manner, that the club sits day and night from one end of the year to another; no party presuming to rise till they are relieved by those who are in course to succeed them. By this means a member of the Everlasting Club never wants company; for though he is not upon duty himself,
he is sure to find some who are; so that if | clubs with an eye of contempt, and talks he be disposed to take a whet, a nooning, even of the Kit-Cat and October as of a an evening's draught, or a bottle after couple of upstarts. Their ordinary dismidnight, he goes to the club, and finds a course, (as much as I have been able to knot of friends to his mind. learn of it) turns altogether upon such ad
It is a maxim in this club, that the stew-ventures as have passed in their own asard never dies; for as they succeed one an-sembly; of members who have taken the other by way of rotation, no man is to quit glass in their turns for a week together, the great elbow-chair which stands at the without stirring out of the club; of others upper-end of the table, till his successor is who have smoked an hundred pipes at a in readiness to fill it: insomuch that there sitting; of others, who have not missed has not been a sede vacante in the memory their morning's draught for twenty years of man. together. Sometimes they speak in raptures of a run of ale in king Charles's reign; and sometimes reflect with astonishment upon games at whist, which have been miraculously recovered by members of the society, when in all human probability the case was desperate.
This club was instituted towards the end (or as some of them say, about the middle) of the civil wars, and continued without interruption till the time of the great fire, which burnt them out, and dispersed them for several weeks. The steward at that time maintained his post till he had like to have been blown up with a neighbouring house, (which was demolished in order to stop the fire;) and would not leave the chair at last, till he had emptied all the bottles upon the table, and received repeated directions from the Club to withdraw himself. This steward is frequently talked of in the club, and looked upon by every member of it as a greater man than the famous captain mentioned in my lord Clarendon, who was burnt in his ship because he would not quit it without orders. It is said, that towards the close of 1700, being the great year of jubilee, the club had it under consideration whether they should break up or continue their session; but after many speeches and debates, it was at length agreed to sit out the other No. 73.] Thursday, May 24, 1711. century. This resolution was passed in a general club nemine contradicente.
-O Dea certe! Virg. n. i. 328. O goddess! for no less you seem.
IT is very strange to consider, that a creature like man, who is sensible of so many weaknesses and imperfections, should be actuated by a love of fame: that vice and ignorance, imperfection and misery, should contend for praise, and endeavour as much as possible to make themselves objects of admiration.
But notwithstanding man's essential perfection is but very little, his comparative perfection may be very considerable. If he looks upon himself in an abstracted light, he has not much to boast of; but if he con
It appears by their books in general, that since their first institution, they have smoked fifty tons of tobacco, drank thirty thousand butts of ale, one thousand hogsheads of red port, two hundred barrels of brandy, and a kilderkin of small beer. There has been likewise a great consump-siders himself with regard to others, he tion of cards. It is also said, that they ob- may find occasion of glorying, if not in his serve the law in Ben Jonson's club,† which own virtues, at least in the absence of anorders the fire to be always kept in (focus other's imperfections. This gives a difperennis esto) as well for the convenience ferent turn to the reflections of the wise of lighting their pipes, as to cure the damp-man and the fool. The first endeavours to ness of the club-room. They have an old shine in himself, and the last to outshine woman in the nature of a vestal, whose others. The first is humbled by the sense business it is to cherish and perpetuate the of his own infirmities, the last is lifted up fire, which burns from generation to gene- by the discovery of those which he observes ration, and has seen the glass-house fires in in other men. The wise man considers and out above an hundred times. what he wants, and the fool what he The Everlasting Club treats all other abounds in. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation, and the fool when he recommends himself to the applause of those about him.
Having given this short account of the institution and continuation of the Everlasting Club, I should here endeavour to say something of the manners and characters of its several members, which I shall do according to the best lights I have received in this matter.
↑ See the Leges Convivales of this club, in Lang. haine's Lives of English Poets, &c. Art. Ben Jonson.
They delight in several old catches, which they sing at all hours, to encourage one another to moisten their clay, and grow immortal by drinking; with many other edifying exhortations of the like nature.
There are four general clubs held in a year, at which times they fill up vacancies, appoint waiters, confirm the old firemaker, or elect a new one, settle contributions for coals, pipes, tobacco, and other necessaries.
The senior member has outlived the whole club twice over, and has been drunk with the grandfathers of some of the sent sitting members.
But however unreasonable and absurd | smiles make men happy; their frowns drive this passion for admiration may appear in them to despair. I shall only add under such a creature as man, it is not wholly to this head, that Ovid's book of the Art of be discouraged; since it often produces very Love is a kind of heathen ritual, which good effects, not only as it restrains him contains all the forms of worship which are from doing any thing which is mean and made use of to an idol. contemptible, but as it pushes him to actions which are great and glorious. The principle may be defective or faulty, but the consequences it produces are so good, that for the benefit of mankind, it ought not to be extinguished.
It would be as difficult a task to reckon up these different kinds of idols, as Milton's was to number those that were known in Canaan, and the lands adjoining. Most of them are worshipped like Moloch in fires and flames. Some of them, like Baal, love to see their votaries cut and slashed, and shedding their blood for them. Some of them, like the idol in the Apocrypha, must have treats and collations prepared for them every night. It has indeed been known, that some of them have been used by their incensed worshippers like the Chinese idols, who are whipped and scourged when they refuse to comply with the prayers that are offered to them.
I must here observe that those idolaters who devote themselves to the idols I am here speaking of, differ very much from all other kinds of idolaters. For as others fall out because they worship different idols, these idolaters quarrel because they worship the same.
The passion for praise, which is so very vehement in the fair sex, produces excellent effects in women of sense, who desire to be admired for that only which deserves admiration; and I think we may observe, without a compliment to them, that many of them do not only live in a more uniform course of virtue, but with an infinitely greater regard to their honour, than what we find in the generality of our own sex. How many instances have we of chastity, fidelity, devotion! How many ladies distin- The intention therefore of the idol is quite guish themselves by the education of their contrary to the wishes of the idolater: as children, care of their families, and love of the one desires to confine the idol to himtheir husbands, which are the great quali- self, the whole business and ambition of the ties and achievements of womankind! as other is to multiply adorers. This humour the making of war, the carrying on of traffic, of an idol is prettily described in a tale of the administration of justice, are those by Chaucer. He represents one of them sitting which men grow famous, and get them-at a table with three of her votaries about selves a name. her, who are all of them courting her favour, and paying their adorations. She smiled upon one, drank to another, and trod upon the other's foot which was under the table. Now which of these three, says the old bard, do you think was the favourite? In troth, says he, not one of all the three.
The behaviour of this old idol in Chaucer, puts me in mind of the beautiful Clarinda,
But as this passion for admiration, when it works according to reason, improves the beautiful part of our species in every thing that is laudable; so nothing is more destructive to them when it is governed by vanity and folly. What I have therefore here to say, only regards the vain part of the sex, whom for certain reasons, which the reader will hereafter see at large, I shall distin-one of the greatest idols among the moderns. guish by the name of idols. An idol is She is worshipped once a week by candlewholly taken up in the adorning of her per- light, in the midst of a large congregation, son. You see in every posture of her body, generally called an assembly. Some of the air of her face, and motion of her head, gayest youths in the nation endeavour to that it is her business and employment to plant themselves in her eye, while she sits gain adorers. For this reason your idols in form with multitudes of tapers burning appear in all public places and assemblies, about her. To encourage the zeal of her in order to seduce men to their worship. idolaters, she bestows a mark of her favour The playhouse is very frequently filled upon every one of them, before they go out with idols; several of them are carried in of her presence. She asks a question of one, procession every evening about the ring tells a story to another, glances an ogle and several of them set up their worship upon a third, takes a pinch of snuff from even in churches. They are to be accosted the fourth, lets her fan drop by accident to in the language proper to the deity. Life give the fifth an occasion of taking it up. and death are in their power: joys of hea- In short, every one goes away satisfied with ven and pains of hell, are at their disposal; his success, and encouraged to renew his paradise is in their arms, and eternity in devotions on the same canonical hour that every moment that you are present with day seven-night. them. Raptures, transports, and ecstacies are the rewards which they confer; sighs and tears, prayers and broken hearts, are the offerings which are paid to them. Their
It is observed by Cicero, that men of the greatest and the most shining parts are the most actuated by ambition; and if we look into the two sexes, I believe we shall find this principle of action stronger in women than in men.
An idol may be undeified by many accidental causes. Marriage in particular is a kind of counter-apotheosis, or a deification inverted.-When a man becomes familiar
with his goddess, she quickly sinks into a
Old age is likewise a great decayer of your idol. The truth of it is, there is not a more unhappy being than a superannuated idol, especially when she has contracted such airs and behaviour as are only graceful when her worshippers are about her.
Considering therefore that in these and many other cases the woman generally outlives the idol, I must return to the moral of this paper, and desire my fair readers to give a proper direction to their passion for being admired; in order to which, they must endeavour to make themselves the objects of a reasonable and lasting admiration. This is not to be hoped for from beauty, or dress, or fashion, but from those inward ornaments which are not to be defaced by time or sickness, and which appear most amiable to those who are most acquainted with them. C.
No. 74.] Friday, May 25, 1711.
—Pendent opera interrupta-
In my last Monday's paper I gave some general instances of those beautiful strokes which please the reader in the old song of Chevy-Chase; I shall here, according to my promise, be more particular, and show that the sentiments in that ballad are extremely natural and poetical, and full of the majestic simplicity which we admire in the greatest of the ancient poets: for which reason I shall quote several passages of it, in which the thought is altogether the same with what we meet in several passages of the Eneid; not that I would infer from thence that the poet (whoever he was) proposed to himself any imitation of those passages, but that he was directed to them in general by the same kind of poetical genius, and by the same copyings after
will see in several of the following quota
Had this old song been filled with epigrammatical turns and points of wit, it might perhaps have pleased the wrong taste of some readers; but it would never have become the delight of the common people, nor have warmed the heart of Sir Philip Sidney like the sound of a trumpet; it is only nature that can have this effect, and please those tastes which are the most unprejudiced, or the most refined. I must however beg leave to dissent from so great an authority as that of Sir Philip Sidney, in the judgment which he has passed as to the rude style and evil apparel of this antiquated song; for there are several parts in it where not only the thought but the language is majestic, and the numbers sonorous; at least the apparel is much more gorgeous than many of the poets made use of in Queen Elizabeth's time, as the reader
Adversi campo apparent, hastasque reductis
n. xi. 60...vii. 682, 712.