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be more serious than ordinary, began the tune of The Children in the Wood. He went through part of it with good success, when on a sudden the wit at his elbow, who had appeared wonderfully grave and attentive for some time, gave him a touch upon the left shoulder, and stared him in the face with so bewitching a grin, that the whistler relaxed his fibres into a kind of simper, and at length burst out into an open laugh. The third who entered the lists was a footman, who in defiance of the merry-andrew and all his arts, whistled a Scotch tune, and an Italian sonata, with so settled a countenance that he bore away the prize, to the great admiration of some hundreds of persons, who, as well as myself, were present at this trial of skill. Now, sir, I humbly conceive, whatever you have determined of the grinners, the whistlers ought to be encouraged, not only as their art is practised without distortion, but as it improves country music, promotes gravity, and teaches ordinary people to keep their countenances, if they see any thing ridiculous in their betters: besides that it seems an entertainment very particularly adapted to the Bath, as it is usual for a rider to whistle to his horse when he would make his water pass. I am, sir, &c.
greatest conqueror of our age, till her majesty's armies had torn from him so many of his countries, and deprived him of the fruit of all his former victories. For my own part, if I were to draw his picture, I should be for taking him no lower than to the peace of Ryswick, just at the end of his triumphs, and before his reverse of fortune: and even then I should not forbear thinking his ambition had been vain, and unprofitable to himself and his people.
'As for himself, it is certain he can have gained nothing by his conquests, if they have not rendered him master of more subjects, more riches, or greater power. What shall be able to offer upon these heads, I resolve to submit to your consideration.
'To begin then with his increase of subjects. From the time he came of age, and has been a manager for himself, all the people he had acquired were such only as he had reduced by his wars, and were left in his possession by the peace; he had conquered not above one-third part of Flanders, and consequently no more than onethird part of the inhabitants of that province.
-Delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.
THE following letter has so much weight and good sense, that I cannot forbear inserting it, though it relates to a hardened sinner whom I have very little hopes of forming, viz. Lewis XIV, of France.
About one hundred years ago the houses in that country were all numbered, and by a just computation the inhabitants of all sorts could not then exceed 750,000 souls. And if any man will consider the desolation by almost perpetual wars, the numerous
armies that have lived almost ever since at
'After having despatched these two important points of grinning and whistling, hope you will oblige the world with some reflections upon yawning, as I have seen it practised on a twelfth-night, among other Christmas gambols, at the house of a very worthy gentleman, who always entertains his tenants at that time of the year. They yawn for a Cheshire cheese, and begin about midnight, when the whole company is disposed to be drowsy. He that yawns widest, and at the same time so naturally spectators, carries home the cheese. If you to a new master. as to produce the most yawns among the handle this subject as you ought, I question
not but your paper will set half the king-venient situation for trade and commerce, 'The fertility of this province, its condom a-yawning, though I dare promise you it will never make any body fall asleep.'
its capacity for furnishing employment and subsistence to great numbers, and the vast armies that have been maintained here, make it credible that the remaining twothirds of Flanders are equal to all his other
No. 180.] Wednesday, September 26, 1711. conquests; and consequently by all, he cannot have gained more than 750,000 new subjects, men, women, and children, especially if a deduction shall be made of such as have retired from the conqueror, to live under their old masters.
discretion upon the people, and how much of their commerce has been removed for little reason to imagine that their numbers more security to other places, he will have have since increased; and therefore with one-third part of that province that prince can have gained no more than one-third part of the inhabitants, or 250,000 new subjects, even though it should be supposed they were all contented to live still in their native country, and transfer their allegiance
'It is time now to set his loss against his re-profit, and to show for the new subjects he had acquired, how many old ones he had lost in the acquisition. I think that in his wars he has seldom brought less into the field in all places than 200,000 fighting
'MR. SPECTATOR,-Amidst the variety of subjects of which you have treated, I could wish it had fallen in your way, to ex-men, besides what have been left in garripose the vanity of conquests. This thought sons: and I think the common computation would naturally lead one to the French is, that of an army, at the end of a camking, who has been generally esteemed the paign, without sieges or battles, scarce four
fifths can be mustered of those that came | Lewis? This the immortal man, the tout into the field at the beginning of the year. puissant, or the almighty, as his flatterers His wars at several times, until the last have called him? Is this the man that is so peace, have held about twenty years; and celebrated for his conquests? For every if 40,000 yearly lost, or a fifth part of his subject he has acquired, has he not lost armies, are to be multiplied by twenty, he three that were his inheritance? Are not cannot have lost less than 800,000 of his his troops fewer, and those neither so well old subjects, and all able-bodied men; a fed, clothed, or paid, as they were formerly, greater number than the new subjects he though he has now so much greater cause had acquired. to exert himself? and what can be the reason of all this, but that his revenue is a great deal less, his subjects are either poorer, or not so many to be plundered by constant taxes for his use?
'But this loss is not all. Providence seems to have equally divided the whole mass of mankind into different sexes, that every woman may have her husband, and that both may equally contribute to the continuance of the species. It follows then, that for all the men that have been lost, as many women must have lived single, and it were but charity to believe, they have not done all the service they were capable of doing in their generation. In so long a course of years great part of them must have died, and all the rest must go off at last, without leaving any representatives behind. By this account he must have lost not only 800,000 subjects, but double that number, and all the increase that was reasonably to be expected from it.
"It is said in the last war there was a famine in his kingdom, which swept away two millions of his people. This is hardly credible. If the loss was only of one-fifth part of that sum, it was very great. But it is no wonder there should be famine, where so much of the people's substance is taken away for the king's use, that they have not sufficient left to provide against accidents; where so many of the men are taken from the plough to serve the king in his wars, and a great part of the tillage is left to the weaker hands of so many women and children. Whatever was the loss, it must undoubtedly be placed to the account of his ambition.
'It is well for him he had found out a way to steal a kingdom;* if he had gone on conquering as he did before, his ruin had been long since finished. This brings to my mind a saying of King Pyrrhus, after he had a second time beat the Romans in a pitched battle, and was complimented by his generals: "Yes," says he, "such another victory and I am quite undone." And since I have mentioned Pyrrhus I will end with a very good, though known, story of this ambitious madman. When he had shown the utmost fondness for his expedition against the Romans, Cyneas, his chief minister, asked him what he proposed to himself by this war? "Why," says Pyrrhus, "to conquer the Romans, and reduce all Italy to my obedience. "What then?" says Cyneas. "To pass over into Sicily," says Pyrrhus, "and then all the Sicilians must be our subjects.' "And what does your majesty intend next?" "Why truly," says the king, "to conquer Carthage, and make myself master of all Africa." "And what, sir," says the minister, "is to be the end of all your expeditions?" "Why then," says the king, "for the rest of our lives we will sit down to good wine." "How, sir," replied Cyneas, "to better than we have now before us? Have we not already as much as we can drink?"
'And so must also the destruction or banishment of 3 or 400,000 of his reformed subjects; he could have no other reasons for valuing those lives so very cheap but only to recommend himself to the bigotry of the Spanish nation.
How should there be industry in a country where all property is precarious? What subject will sow his land, that his prince
may reap the whole harvest? Parsimony No. 181.] Thursday, September 27, 1711. and frugality must be strangers to such a people; for will any man save to-day, what he has reason to fear will be taken from him to-morrow? And where is the encouragement for marrying? Will any man think of raising children, without any assurance of clothing for their backs, or so much as food for their bellies? And thus by his fatal ambition, he must have lessened the number of his subjects, not only by slaughter and destruction; but by preventing their very births, he has done as much as was possible towards destroying posterity itself.
'Is this then the great, the invincible * The kingdom of Spain, seized by Louis XIV. in 1701.
'Riot and excess are not the becoming characters of princes; but if Pyrrhus and Lewis had debauched like Vitellius, they had been less hurtful to their people. Your humble servant,
His lacrymis vitam damus, et miserescimus ultro.
I AM more pleased with a letter that is filled with touches of nature than of wit. The following one is of this kind;
'SIR,-Among all the distresses which happen in families, I do not remember that you have touched upon the marriage of children without the consent of their parents. I am one of these unfortunate per
sons. I was about fifteen when I took the liberty to choose for myself; and have ever since languished under the displeasure of an inexorable father, who, though he sees me happy in the best of husbands, and blessed with very fine children, can never be prevailed upon to forgive me. He was so kind to me before this unhappy accident that indeed it makes my breach of duty, in some measure, inexcusable; and at the same time creates in me such a tenderness towards him, that I love him above all things, and would die to be reconciled to him. I have thrown myself at his feet, and besought him with tears to pardon me; but he always pushes me away, and spurns me from him. I have written several letters to him, but he will neither open nor receive them. About two years ago I sent my little boy to him, dressed in a new apparel; but the child returned to me crying, because he said his grandfather would not see him, and had ordered him to be put out of his house. My mother is won over to my side, but dares not mention me to my father, for fear of provoking him. About a month ago he lay sick upon his bed, and in great danger of his life: I was pierced to the heart at the news, and could not forbear going to inquire after his health. My mother took this opportunity of speaking in my behalf: she told him, with abundance of tears, that I was come to see him, that I could not speak to her for weeping, and that I should certainly break my heart if he refused at that time to give me his blessing, and be reconciled to me. He was so far from relenting towards me, that he bid her speak no more of me, unless she had a mind to disturb him in his last moments; for, sir, you must know that he has the reputation of an honest and religious man, which makes my misfortune so much the greater. God be thanked he is since recovered: but his severe usage has given me such a blow, that I shall soon sink under it, unless I may be relieved by any impressions which the reading of this in your paper may make upon him. I am, sir, &c.'
The man, therefore, who, notwithstanding any passion or resentment, can overcome this powerful instinct, and extinguish natural affection, debases his mind even below brutality; frustrates, as much as in him lies, the great design of Providence, and strikes out of his nature one of the most divine principles that is planted in it.
Among innumerable arguments which might be brought against such an unreasonable proceeding, I shall only insist on one. We make it the condition of our forgiveness that we forgive others. In our very prayers we desire no more than to be treated by this kind of retaliation. The case therefore before us seems to be what they call a 'case in point;' the relation between the child and father, being what comes nearest to that between a creature and its Creator. If the father is inexorable to the child who has offended, let the offence be of never so high a nature, how will he address himself to the Supreme Being, under the tender appellation of a Father, and desire of him such a forgiveness as he himself refuses to grant?
To this I might add many other religious, as well as many prudential considerations; but if the last-mentioned motive does not prevail, I despair of succeeding by any other, and shall therefore conclude my paper with a very remarkable story, which is recorded in an old chronicle published by Freher, among the writers of the German history.
Of all hardnesses of heart there is none so inexcusable as that of parents towards their children. An obstinate, inflexible, unforgiving temper is odious upon all occasions; but here it is unnatural. The love, tenderness, and compassion, which are apt to arise in us towards those who depend upon us, is that by which the whole world of life is upheld. The Supreme Being, by the transcendent excellency and goodness of his nature, extends his mercy towards all his works; and because his creatures have not such a spontaneous benevolence, and compassion towards those who are under their care and protection, he has implanted in them an instinct, that supplies the place
Eginhart, who was secretary to Charles the Great, became exceeding popular by his behaviour in that post. His great abilities gained him the favour of his master, and the esteem of the whole court. Imma, the daughter of the emperor, was so pleased with his person and conversation, that she fell in love with him. As she was one of the greatest beauties of the age, Eginhart answered her with a more than equal return of passion. They stifled their flames for some time, under apprehension of the fatal consequences that might ensue. Eginhart at length, resolved to hazard all, rather than live deprived of one whom his heart was so much set upon, conveyed himself one night into the princess's apart
trated this kind of instinct in former papers, and have shown how it runs through all the
of this inherent goodness. I have illus-ment, and knocking gently at the door, was admitted as a person who had something to communicate to her from the emperor. He
was with her in private most part of the respondents, two of which you shall have night; but upon his preparing to go away as follows: about break of day, he observed that there had fallen a great snow during his stay with the princess. This very much perplexed him, lest the prints of his feet in the snow might make discoveries to the king, who often used to visit his daughter in the morning. He acquainted the princess Imma with his fears; who, after some consultations upon the matter, prevailed upon him to let her carry him through the snow upon her own shoulders. It happened, that the emperor, not being able to sleep, was at that time up and walking in his chamber, when upon looking through the window he perceived his daughter tottering under her burden, and carrying his first minister across the snow; which she had no sooner done, but she returned again with the utmost speed to her own apartment. The emperor was extremely troubled and astonished at this accident: but resolved to speak nothing of it until a proper opportunity. In the mean time, Eginhart knowing that what he had done could not be long a secret, determined to retire from court; and in order to it, begged the emperor that he would be pleased to dismiss him, pretending a kind of discontent at his not having been rewarded for his long services. The emperor would not give a direct answer to his petition, but told him he would think of it, and appointed a certain day when he would let him know his pleasure. He then called together the most faithful of his counsellors, and acquainting them with his secretary's crime, asked them their advice in so delicate an affair. The most of them gave their opinion, that the person could not be too severely punished, who had thus dishonoured his master. Upon the whole debate, the emperor declared it was his opinion, that Eginhart's punishment would rather increase than diminish the shame of his family, and that therefore he thought it the most advisable to wear out the memory of the fact, by marrying him to his daughter. Accordingly, Eginhart was called in, and acquainted by the emperor, that he should no longer have any pretence of complaining his services were not rewarded, for that the princess Imma should be given him in marriage, with a dower suitable to her quality; which was soon after performed accordingly. L.
No. 182.] Friday, September 28, 1711.
Plus aloes quam mellis habet-
As all parts of human life come under my observation, my reader must not make uncharitable inferences from my speaking knowingly of that sort of crime which is at present treated of. He will, I hope, suppose I know it only from the letters of cor
'MR. SPECTATOR,-It is wonderful to me that among the many enormities which you have treated of, you have not mentioned that of wenching, and particularly the ensnaring part. I mean that it is a thing very fit for your pen, to expose the villany of the practice of deluding women. You are to know, sir, that I myself am a woman who have been one of the unhappy that have fallen into this misfortune, and that by the insinuation of a very worthless fellow who served others in the same manner, both before my ruin, and since that time. I had, as soon as the rascal left me, so much indignation and resolution, as not to go upon the town, as the phrase is, but took to work for my living in an obscure place, out of the knowledge of all with whom I was before acquainted.
It is the ordinary practice and business of life, with a set of idle fellows about this town, to write letters, send messages, and form appointments with little raw unthinking girls, and leave them after possession of them, without any mercy, to shame, infamy, poverty, and disease. Were you to read the nauseous impertinences which are written on these occasions, and to see the silly creatures sighing over them, it could not but be matter of mirth as well as pity.. A little 'prentice girl of mine has been for some time applied to by an Irish fellow, who dresses very fine, and struts in a laced coat, and is the admiration of seamstresses who are under age in town. Ever since I have had some knowledge of the matter, I have debarred my 'prentice from pen, ink, and paper. But the other day he bespoke some cravats of me: I went out of the shop, and left his mistress to put them up in a band-box, in order to be sent to him when his man called. When I came into the shop again, I took occasion to send her away, and found in the bottom of the box written these words, "Why would you ruin a harmless creature that loves you?" Then in the lid, "There is no resisting Strephon." I searched a little further, and found in the rim of the box, "At eleven o'clock at night come in a hackney-coach at the end of our street." This was enough to alarm me; I sent away the things, and took my measures accordingly. An hour or two before the appointed time I examined my young lady, and found her trunk stuffed with impertinent letters and an old scroll of parchment in Latin, which her lover had sent her as a settlement of fifty pounds a year. Among other things, there was also the best lace I had in my shop to make him a present for cravats, I was very glad of this last circumstance, because I could very conscientiously swear against him that he had enticed my servant away, and was her accomplice in robbing me: I procured a warrant against him accordingly. Every
thing was now prepared, and the tender hour of love approaching, I who had acted for myself in my youth the same senseless part, knew how to manage accordingly; therefore, after having locked up my maid, and not being so much unlike her in height and shape, as in a huddled way not to pass for her, I delivered the bundle designed to be carried off, to her lover's man, who came with the signal to receive them. Thus I followed after to the coach, where, when I saw his master take them in, I cried out, Thieves! Thieves! and the constable with his attendants seized my expecting lover. I kept myself unobserved until I saw the crowd sufficiently increased, and then appeared to declare the goods to be mine; and had the satisfaction to see my man of mode put into the round-house, with the stolen wares by him, to be produced in evidence against him the next morning. This matter is notoriously known to be fact; and I have been contented to save my 'prentice, and to take a year's rent of this mortified lover, not to appear farther in the matter. This was some penance; but, sir, is this enough for villany of much more pernicious consequence than the trifles for which he was to have been indicted? Should not you, and all men of any parts or honour, put things upon so right a foot, as that such a rascal should not laugh at the imputation of what he was really guilty, and dread being accused of that for which he was arrested?
dalous, half the fine things that have been
In a word, sir, it is in the power of you, and such as I hope you are, to make it as infamous to rob a poor creature of her honour as her clothes. I leave this to your consideration, only take leave (which I cannot do without sighing,) to remark to you, that if this had been the sense of mankind thirty years ago, I should have avoided a life spent in poverty and shame. I am, sir, your humble servant,
No. 183.] Saturday, September 29, 1711.
FABLES were the first pieces of wit that made their appearance in the world, and have been still highly valued, not only in times of the greatest simplicity, but among the most polite ages of mankind. Jotham's fable of the trees is the oldest that is extant, and as beautiful as any which have been made since that time. Nathan's fable of the poor man and his lambf likewise more ancient than any that is extant, besides the above-mentioned, and had so good an effect, as to convey instruction to the ear of a king without offending it, and to bring the man after God's own heart to a right sense of his guilt and his duty. We find
sop in the most distant ages of Greece; and if we look into the very beginning of the commonwealth of Rome, we see a mutiny among the common people appeased by a fable of the belly and the limbs, attention of an incensed rabble, at a time which was indeed very proper to gain the when perhaps they would have torn to pieces any man who had preached the same doctrine to them in an open and direct
manner. As fables took their birth in the very infancy of learning, they never flourished more than when learning was at its greatest height. To justify this assertion, I shall put my reader in mind of Horace, the greatest wit and critic in the Augustan age; and of Boileau, the most correct poet among the moderns; not to mention La Fontaine, who by this way of writing is come more into vogue than any other author of our times.
The fables I have here mentioned are
'Round-house, Sept. 9. MR. SPECTATOR,-I am a man of pleasure about town, but by the stupidity of a dull rogue of a justice of peace, and an insolent constable, upon the oath of an old harridan, am imprisoned here for theft, when I designed only fornication. The midnight magistrate as he conveyed me along, had you in his mouth, and said, this would make a pure story for the Spectator. I hope, sir, you won't pretend to wit, and take the part of dull rogues of business. The world is so altered of late years, that there was not a man who would knock down a watchman in my behalf, but I was carried off with as much triumph as if I had been a pick-pocket. At this rate, there is an end of all the wit and humour in the world. The time was when all the honest whoremongers in the neighbour-mind in a visible shape and character. hood would have rose against the cuckolds in my rescue. If fornication is to be scan
raised altogether upon brutes and vegetables, with some of our own species mixed among them, when the moral hath so required. But besides this kind of fable, there is another in which the actors are passions, Virtues, vices, and other imaginary persons of the like nature. Some of the ancient critics will have it, that the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer are fables of this nature; and that the several names of gods and heroes are nothing else but the affections of the
*Judges ix. 8-15.