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gentleman who has told her he does not care a farthing for her. All I hope for is, that the fair lady will make use of the first light night to show B. T. she understands a marriage is not to be considered as a common bargain. T.
No. 523.] Thursday, October 30, 1712.
Nunc Lycie sortes, nunc et Jove missus ab ipso
Virg. n. iv. 376.
I AM always highly delighted with the discovery of any rising genius among my countrymen. For this reason I have read over, with great pleasure, the late miscellany published by Mr. Pope, in which there are many excellent compositions of that ingenious gentleman. I have had a pleasure of the same kind in perusing a poem that is just published, On the Prospect of Peace;* and which, I hope, will meet with such a reward from its patrons as so noble a performance deserves. I was particularly well pleased to find that the author had not amused himself with fables out of the pagan theology, and that when he hints at any thing of this nature he alludes to it only as to a fable.
founded in truth, or at least in that which passes for such.
In mock heroic poems the use of the heathen mythology is not only excusable, but graceful, because it is the design of such compositions to divert, by adapting the fabulous machines of the ancients to low subjects, and, at the same time, by ridiculing such kinds of machinery in modern writers. If any are of opinion that there is a necessity of admitting these classical legends into our serious compositions, in order to give them a more poetical turn, I would recommend to their consideration the paştorals of Mr. Phillips. One would have thought it impossible for this kind of poetry to have subsisted without fawns and satyrs, wood-nymphs and water-nymphs, with all the tribe of rural deities. But we see he has given a new life and a more natural beauty to this way of writing, by substituting in the place of these antiquated fables, the superstitious mythology which prevails among the shepherds of our own country.
Virgil and Homer might compliment their heroes by interweaving the actions of deities with their achievements; but for a Christian author to write in the pagan creed, to make prince Eugene a favourite of Mars, or to carry on a correspondence between Bellona and the Marshal de Villars, would be downright puerility, and unpardonable in a poet that is past sixteen. It is want of sufficient elevation in a genius to describe realities, and place them in a shining light, that makes him have recourse to such trifling antiquated fables; as a man may write a fine description of Bacchus or Apollo that does not know how to draw the character of any of his contemporaries.
In order therefore to put a stop to this absurd practice, I shall publish the following edict, by virtue of that spectatorial authority with which I stand invested.
Whereas the time of a general peace is, in all appearance, drawing near, being informed that there are several ingenious persons who intend to show their talents on so happy an occasion, and being willing, as much as in me lies, to prevent that effusion of nonsense which we have good cause to
Many of our modern authors, whose learning very often extends no farther than Ovid's Metamorphoses, do not know how to celebrate a great man, without mixing a parcel of school-boy tales with the recital of his actions. If you read a poem on a fine woman among the authors of this class, you shall see that it turns more upon Venus or Helen than on the party concerned. I have known a copy of verses on a great hero highly commended; but, upon asking to hear some of the beautiful passages, the admirer of it has repeated to me a speech of Apollo, or a description of Polypheme. At other times, when I have searched for the actions of a great man, who gave a sub-apprehend; I do hereby strictly require ject to the writer, I have been entertained every person who shall write on this subwith the exploits of a river god, or have ject, to remember that he is a Christian, been forced to attend a Fury in her mis- and not to sacrifice his catechism to his chievous progress, from one end of the poetry. In order to it, I do expect of him poem to the other When we are at school, in the first place to make his own poem, it is necessary for us to be acquainted with without depending upon Phoebus for any the system of pagan theology; and we may part of it, or calling out for aid upon any be allowed to enliven a theme, or point an one of the Muses by name. I do likewise epigram, with a heathen god; but when we positively forbid the sending of Mercury could write a manly panegyric that should with any particular message or despatch carry in it all the colours of truth, nothing relating to the peace, and shall by no means can be more ridiculous than to have re- suffer Minerva to take upon her the shape course to our Jupiters and Junos. of any plenipotentiary concerned in this great work. I do farther declare, that I shall not allow the Destinies to have had a hand in the deaths of the several thousands who have been slain in the late war, being
No thought is beautiful which is not just; and no thought can be just which is not
* By Mr. Thomas Tickle.
of opinion that all such deaths may be very | which I have owned to have been written well accounted for by the Christian system by other hands. I shall add a dream to of powder and ball. I do therefore strictly these which comes to me from Scotland, forbid the Fates to cut the thread of man's by one who declares himself of that counlife upon any pretence whatsoever, unless try; and, for all I know, may be secondit be for the sake of the rhyme. And sighted. There is, indeed, something in it whereas I have good reason to fear that of the spirit of John Bunyan; but at the Neptune will have a great deal of business same time a certain sublime which that on his hands, in several poems which we author was never master of. I shall pubmay now suppose are upon the anvil, I do lish it, because I question not but it will also prohibit his appearance, unless it be fall in with the taste of all my popular done in metaphor, simile, or any very short readers, and amuse the imaginations of allusion; and that even here he be not per- those who are more profound; declaring, mitted to enter but with great caution and at the same time, that this is the last dream circumspection. I desire that the same rule which I intend to publish this season. may be extended to his whole fraternity of heathen gods; it being my design to condemn every poem to the flames in which Jupiter thunders, or exercises any other act of authority which does not belong to him: in short, I expect that no pagan agent shall be introduced, or any fact related, which a man cannot give credit to with a good conscience. Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to several of the female poets in this nation, who shall be still left in full possession of their gods and goddesses, in the same manner as if this paper had never been written.’ 0.
WHEN I first of all took it into my head to write dreams and visions, I determined to print nothing of that nature which was not of my own invention. But several laborious dreamers have of late communicated to me works of this nature, which, for their reputations and my own, I have hitherto suppressed. Had I printed every one that came into my hands, my book of speculations would have been little else but a book of visions. Some of my correspondents have indeed been so very modest as to offer as an excuse for their not being in a capacity to dream better. I have by me, for example, the dream of a young gentleman not passed fifteen: I have likewise by me the dream of a person of quality, and another called The Lady's Dream. In these, and other pieces of the same nature, it is supposed the usual allowances will be made to the age, condition, and sex of the dreamer. To prevent this, inundation of dreams, which daily flows in upon me, I shall apply to all dreamers of dreams the advice which Epictetus has couched, after his manner, in a very simple and concise precept. Never tell thy dream,' says that philosopher; 'for though thou thyself mayest take a pleasure in telling thy dream, another will take no pleasure in hearing it.' After this short preface, I must do justice to two or three visions which I have lately published, and
'SIR,-I was last Sunday in the evening led into a serious reflection on the reasona bleness of virtue, and great folly of vice, from an excellent sermon I had heard that afternoon in my parish church. Among other observations, the preacher showed us that the temptations which the tempter proposed are all on a supposition, that we are either madmen or fools, or with an intention to render us such; that in no other affair we would suffer ourselves to be thus imposed upon, in a case so plainly and clearly against our visible interest. His illustrations and arguments carried so much persuasion and conviction with them, that they remained a considerable while fresh, and working in my memory; until at last the mind, fatigued with thought, gave way to the forcible oppressions of slumber and sleep; whilst fancy, unwilling yet to drop the subject, presented me with the following vision.
Methought I was just awoke out of a sleep that I could never remember the beginning of; the place where I found myself to be was a wide and spacious plain, full of people that wandered up and down through several beaten paths, whereof some few were straight, and in direct lines, but most of them winding and turning like a labyrinth; but yet it appeared to me afterwards that these last all met in one issue, so that many that seemed to steer quite contrary courses, did at length meet and face one another, to the no little amazement of many of them.
In the midst of the plain there was a great fountain: they called it the spring of Self-love; out of it issued two rivulets to the eastward and westward: The name of the first was Heavenly-Wisdom; its water was wonderfully clear, but of a yet more wonderful effect: the other's name was World ly-Wisdom; its water was thick, and yet far from being dormant or stagnating, for it was in a continual violent agitation; which kept the travellers, whom I shall mention by and by, from being sensible of the foulness and thickness of the water; which had this effect, that it intoxicated those who drank it, and made them mistake every object that lay before them. Both rivulets were parted near their springs into so many
others, as there were straight and crooked paths, which attended all along to their respective issues.
the crooked paths, who came up to me, bid me go along with them, and presently fell to singing and dancing: they took me I observed from the several paths many by the hand, and so carried me away along now and then diverting, to refresh and with them. After I had followed them a otherwise qualify themselves for their jour- considerable while, I perceived I had lost ney, to the respective rivulets that ran near the black tower of light, at which I greatly them: they contracted a very observable wondered; but as I looked and gazed round courage and steadiness in what they were about me and saw nothing, I began to fancy about, by drinking these waters. At the my first vision had been but a dream, and end of the perspective of every straight there was no such thing in reality; but then path, all which did end in one issue and I considered that if I could fancy to see point, appeared a high pillar, all of dia- what was not, I might as well have an allumond, casting rays as bright as those of the sion wrought on me at present, and not see sun into the paths; which rays had also what was really before me. I was very certain sympathizing and alluring virtues much confirmed in this thought, by the in them, so that whosoever had made some effect I then just observed the water of considerable progress in his journey on-Worldly-Wisdom had upon me; for as I wards towards the pillar, by the repeated had drank a little of it again, I felt a very impression of these rays upon him, was sensible effect in my head; methought it wrought into an habitual inclination and distracted and disordered all there; this conversion of his sight towards it, so that it made me stop of a sudden, suspecting some grew at last in a manner natural to him to charm or enchantment. As I was casting look and gaze upon it, whereby he was about within myself what I should do, and kept steady in the straight paths, which whom to apply to in this case, I spied at alone led to that radiant body, the behold- some distance off me a man beckoning, and ing of which was now grown a gratification making signs to me to come over to him. I to his nature. cried to him, I did not know the way. He then called to me, audibly, to step at least out of the path I was in; for if I stayed there any longer I was in danger to be catched in a great net that was just hanging over me, and ready to catch me up; that he wondered I was so blind, or so distracted, as not to see so imminent and visible a danger; assuring me, that as soon as I was out of that way, he would come to me to lead me into a more secure path. This I did, and he brought me his palmfull of the water of Heavenly-Wisdom, which was of very great use to me, for my eyes were straight cleared, and I saw the great black tower just before me: but the great net which I spied so near me cast me in such a terror, that I ran back as far as I I could in one breath without looking behind me. Then my benefactor thus bespoke me: "You have made the wonderfullest escape in the world; the water you used to drink is of a bewitching nature; you would else have been mightily shocked at the deformities and meanness of the place; for besides the set of blind fools, in whose company you was, you may now behold many others who are only bewitched after another no less dangerous manner. Look a little that way, there goes a crowd of passengers; they have indeed so good a head as not to suffer themselves to be blinded by this bewitching water; the black tower is not vanished out of their sight, they see it
"They would sometimes cast their nets towards the right paths to catch the stragglers, whose eyes, for want of drinking at the brook that run by them, grew dim, whereby they lost their way: these would sometimes very narrowly miss being catch-whenever they look up to it: but see how ed away, but I could not hear whether any they go sideways, and with their eyes of these had ever been so unfortunate, that downwards, as if they were mad, that they had been before very hearty in the straight thus may rush into the net, without being paths. beforehand troubled at the thought of so miserable a destruction. Their wills are so perverse, and their hearts so fond of the pleasures of the place, that rather than
'I considered all these strange sights with great attention, until at last I was interrupted by a cluster of the travellers in
At the issue of the crooked paths there was a great black tower, out of the centre of which streamed a long succession of flames, which did rise even above the clouds, it gave a very great light to the whole plain, which did sometimes outshine the light, and oppressed the beams of the adamantine pillar; though by the observation I made afterwards, it appeared that it was not from any diminution of light, but that this lay in the travellers, who would sometimes step out of straight paths, where they lost the full prospect of the radiant pillar, and saw it but sideways: but the great light from the black tower, which was somewhat particularly scorching to them, would generally light and hasten them to their proper climate again.
Round about the black tower there were, methought, many thousands of huge mis-shapen ugly monsters; these had great nets which they were perpetually plying and casting towards the crooked paths, and they would now and then catch up those that were nearest to them: these they took up straight, and whirled over the walls into the flaming tower, and they were no more seen nor heard of.
forego them they will run all hazards, and | cetious companions; that he need not own venture upon all the miseries and woes be- he married only to plunder an heiress of fore them. her fortune, nor pretend that he uses her ill, to avoid the ridiculous name of a fond husband.
Indeed, if I may speak my opinion of great part of the writings which once prevailed among us under the notion of "hu
"See there that other company; though they should drink none of the bewitching water, yet they take a course bewitching and deluding. See how they choose the crookedest paths, whereby they have often the black tower behind them, and some-mour, they are such as would tempt one to times see the radiant column sideways, think there had been an association among which gives them some weak glimpse of it! the wits of those times to rally legitimacy These fools content themselves with that, out of our island. A state of wedlock was not knowing whether any other have any the common mark of all the adventurers in more of its influence and light than them- farce and comedy, as well as the essayers selves: this road is called that of Supersti-in lampoon and satire, to shoot at; and notion or Human Invention: they grossly thing was a more standing jest, in all clubs overlook that which the rules and laws of of fashionable mirth and gay conversation. the place prescribe to them, and contrive It was determined among those airy critics, some other scheme, and set off directions that the appellation of a sober man should and prescriptions for themselves, which signify a spiritless fellow. And I am apt they hope will serve their turn." He to think it was about the same time that showed me many other kinds of fools, good-nature, a word so peculiarly elegant which put me quite out of humour within our language, that some have affirmed it the place. At last he carried me to the cannot well be expressed in any other, right paths, where I found true and solid came first to be rendered suspicious, and pleasure, which entertained me all the in danger of being transferred from its way, until we came in closer sight of the original sense to so distant an idea as that pillar, where the satisfaction increased to of folly. that measure that my faculties were not able to contain it: in the straining of them I was violently waked, not a little grieved at the vanishing of so pleasing a dream. 'Glasgow, Sept. 29.'
No. 525.] Saturday, November 1, 1712.
That love alone, which virtue's laws control,
It is my custom to take frequent opportunities of inquiring, from time to time, what success my speculations meet with in the town. I am glad to find, in particular, that my discourses on marriage have been well received. A friend of mine gives me to understand from Doctor's-commons, that more licenses have been taken out there of late than usual. I am likewise informed of several pretty fellows, who have resolved to commence heads of families by the first favourable opportunity. One of them writes me word that he is ready to enter into the bonds of matrimony, provided will give it him under my hand (as I now do) that a man may show his face in good company after he is married, and that he need not be ashamed to treat a woman with kindness who puts herself in his power for life.
I have other letters on this subject, which say that I am attempting to make a revolution in the world of gallantry, and that the consequence of it will be that a great deal of the sprightliest wit and satire of the last age will be lost; that a bashful fellow, upon changing his condition, will be no longer puzzled how to stand the raillery of his fa
I must confess it has been my ambition, in the course of my writings to restore, as well as I was able, the proper ideas of things. And as I have attempted this already on the subject of marriage in several papers, I shall here add some farther observations which occur to me on the same head.
Nothing seems to be thought, by our fine gentlemen, so indispensable an ornament in fashionable life, as love. A knight-errant," says Don Quixote, without a mistress, is like a tree without leaves;' and a man of mode among us who has not some fair one to sigh for, might as well pretend to appear dressed without his periwig. We have lovers in prose innumerable. All our pretenders to rhyme are professed inamoratos: and there is scarce a poet good or bad, to be heard of, who has not some real or sup posed Saccharissa to improve his vein.
If love be any refinement, conjugal love must be certainly so in a much higher degree. There is no comparison between the frivolous affectations of attracting the eyes of women with whom you are only captivated by way of amusement, and of whom perhaps you know nothing more than their features; and a regular and uniform endeavour to make yourself valuable, both as a friend and lover, to one whom you have chosen to be the companion of your life. The first is the spring of a thousand fopperies, silly artifices, falsehoods, and perhaps barbarities; or at best rises no higher than to a kind of dancing-school breeding, to give the person a more sparkling air. The lat ter is the parent of substantial virtues and agreeable qualities, and cultivates the mind while it improves the behaviour. The passion of love to a mistress, even where it
is most sincere, resembles too much the flame of a fever: that to a wife is like the vital heat.
I have often thought, if the letters written by men of good-nature to their wives were to be compared with those written by men of gallantry to their mistresses, the former, notwithstanding any inequality of style, would appear to have the advantage. Friendship, tenderness, and constancy, dressed in a simplicity of expression, recommend themselves by a more native elegance, than passionate raptures, extravagant encomiums, and slavish adoration. If we were admitted to search the cabinet of the beautiful Narcissa, among heaps of epistles from several admirers, which are there preserved with equal care, how few should we find but would make any one sick in the reading, except her who is flattered by them? But in how different a style must the wise Benevolus, who converses with that good sense and good humour among all his friends, write to a wife who is the worthy object of his utmost affection? Benevolus, both in public and private, and all occasions of life, appears to have every good quality and desirable ornament. Abroad he is reverenced and esteemed; at home beloved and happy. The satisfaction he enjoys there settles into an habitual complacency, which shines in his countenance, enlivens his wit, and seasons his conversation. Even those of his acquaintance, who have never seen him in his retirement, are sharers in the happiness of it; and it is very much owing to his being the best and best beloved of husbands, that he is the most steadfast of friends, and the most agreeable of companions.
There is a sensible pleasure in contemplating such beautiful instances of domestic life. The happiness of the conjugal state
Pliny to Hispulla.
'As I remember the great affection which was between you and your excellent brother, and know you love his daughter as your own, so as not only to express the tenderness of the best of aunts, but even to supply that of the best of fathers; I am sure it will be a pleasure to you to hear that she proves worthy of her father, worthy
of you, and of your and her ancestors. Her ingenuity is admirable; her frugality extraordinary. She loves me; the surest pledge of her virtue; and adds to this a wonderful disposition to learning, which she has acquired from her affection to me. She reads my writings, studies them, and even gets them by heart. You would smile to see the concern she is in when I have a cause to plead, and the joy she shows when it is over. She finds means to have the first news brought her of the success I meet with in court, how I am heard, and what decree is made. If I recite any thing in public, she cannot refrain from placing herself privately in some corner to hear, where, with the utmost delight, she feasts upon my applauses. Sometimes she sings my verses; and accompanies them with the lute, without any master except love, the best of instructors. From these instances I take the most certain omens of our perpetual and increasing happiness; since her affection is not founded on my youth and person, which must gradually decay, but she is in love with the immortal part of me, my glory and reputation. Nor indeed could less be expected from one who had the happiness to receive her education from you, who in your house was accustomed to every thing that was virtuous and decent, and even began to love me, by your recommendation. For, as you had always the greatest respect for my mother, you were pleased from my infancy to form me, to commend me, and kindly to presage I should be one day what my wife fancies I am. Accept therefore our united thanks; mine, that you have bestowed her on me; and hers, that you have given me to her, as a mutual grant of joy and felicity.
appears heightened to the highest degree No. 526.] Monday, November 3, 1712. it is capable of when we see two persons accomplished minds not only united in the same interests and affections, but in their taste of the same improvements and diversions. Pliny, one of the finest gentlemen and politest writers of the age in which he lived, has left us, in his letter to Hispulla, his wife's aunt, one of the most agreeable family pieces of this kind I have ever met with. I shall end this discourse with a translation of it, and I believe the reader will be of my opinion, that conjugal love is drawn in it with a delicacy which makes it appear to be, as I have represented it, an ornament as well as a virtue.
-Fortius utere loris. Ovid Met. Lib. ii. 127.
Keep a stiff rein.-Addison.
I AM very loath to come to extremities with the young gentlemen mentioned in the following letter, and do not care to chastise them with my own hand, until I am forced by provocation too great to be suffered without the absolute destruction of my spectatorial dignity. The crimes of these offenders are placed under the observation of one of my chief officers, who is posted just at the entrance of the pass between London and Westminster. As I have great confidence in the capacity, resolution, and integrity of the person deputed by me to give an account of enormities, I doubt not but I shall soon have before me all proper notices which are requisite for the amendment of manners in public, and the instruction of each individual of the human species in what is due from him in respect to the whole body of mankind. The present paper shall consist only of the above-men