« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
'MR. SPECTATOR,-I have been out of town, so did not meet with your paper, dated September the 28th, wherein you, to my heart's desire, expose that cursed vice of ensnaring poor young girls, and drawing them from their friends. I assure you with
this reasonable delight in the following manner: The prude,' says he, as she acts always in contradiction, so she is gravely sullen at a comedy, and extravagantly gay at a tragedy. The coquette is so much taken up with throwing her eyes around the audience, and considering the effect of them, that she cannot be expected to ob-out flattery it has saved a 'prentice of mine serve the actors but as they are her rivals, from ruin; and in token of gratitude, as well and take off the observation of the men as for the benefit of my family, I have put from herself. Besides these species of wo- it in a frame and glass, and hung it behind men, there are the examples, or the first my counter. I shall take care to make my of the mode. These are to be supposed too young ones read it every morning, to fortify well acquainted with what the actor was them against such pernicious rascals. 1 going to say to be moved at it. After these know not whether what you writ was matone might mention a certain flippant set of ter of fact, or your own invention; but this females who are mimics, and are wonder- I will take my oath on, the first part is so fully diverted with the conduct of all the exactly like what happened to my 'prenpeople around them, and are spectators tice, that had I read your paper then, 1 only of the audience. But what is of all the should have taken your method to have most to be lamented, is the loss of a party secured a villain. Go on and prosper. Your whom it would be worth preserving in their most obliged humble servant.' right senses upon all occasions, and these are those whom we may indifferently call the innocent, or the unaffected. You may sometimes see one of these sensibly touched with a well-wrought incident; but then she is immediately so impertinently observed by the men, and frowned at by some insensible derwritten;) which, whoever shall bring to superior of her own sex, that she is asham- you, shall receive satisfaction. Let me beg ed, and loses the enjoyment of the most of you not to fail, as you remember the laudable concern, pity. Thus the whole passion you had for her to whom you lately audience is afraid of letting fall a tear, and ended a paper: shun as a weakness the best and worthiest part of our sense.
'MR. SPECTATOR,-Without raillery, I desire you to insert this word for word in your next, as you value a lover's prayers. You see it is a hue and cry after a stray heart, (with the marks and blemishes un
'Noble, generous, great and good,
'Pray settle what is to be a proper notification of a person's being in town, and how that differs according to people's quality.'
SIR,-As you are one that doth not only pretend to reform, but affect it amongst people of any sense; makes me (who am one of the greatest of your admirers,) give you this trouble to desire you will settle the method of us females knowing when one another is in town: for they have now got a trick of never sending to their acquaintance when they first come; and if one does not visit them within the week which they stay at home, it is a mortal quarrel. Now, dear Mr. Spec, either command them to put it in the advertisement of your paper, which is generally read by our sex, or else order them to breathe their THERE are no authors I am more pleased saucy footmen (who are good for nothing with than those who show human nature in else,) by sending them to tell all their ac- a variety of views, and describe the several quaintance. If you think to print this, prayages of the world in their different manners. put it into a better style as to the spelling A reader cannot be more rationally enterpart. The town is now filling every day, tained, than by comparing the virtues and and it cannot be deferred, because people vices of his own times with those which take advantage of one another by this prevailed in the times of his forefathers; means, and break off acquaintance, and and drawing a parallel in his mind between are rude. Therefore, pray put this in your his own private character and that of other paper as soon as you can possibly, to pre- persons, whether of his own age or of the vent any future miscarriages of this nature. ages that went before him. The contemI am, as I ever shall be, dear Spec, your plation of mankind under these changeable most obedient humble servant, colours is apt to shame us out of any particular vice, or animate us to any particular virtue; to make us pleased or displeased with ourselves in the most proper points, and to clear our minds of prejudice and prepossession, and rectify that narrowness
Of earthly goods, the best is a good wife;
209.] Tuesday, October 30, 1711.
Γυναικος ουδέ χρημ' ανήρ ληίζεται
of temper which inclines us to think amiss | of those who differ from us.—
The souls of one kind of women were formed out of those ingredients which compose a swine. A woman of this make is a slut in her house and a glutton at her table. She is uncleanly in her person, a slattern in her dress, and her family is no better than a dung-hill.
If we look into the manners of the most remote ages of the world, we discover human nature in her simplicity; and the more we come downward towards our own times, may observe her hiding herself in artifices and refinements, polished insensibly out of her original plainness, and at length entirely lost under form and ceremony, and (what we call) good-breeding. Read the accounts of men and women as they are given us by the most ancient writers, both sacred and profane, and you would think you were reading the history of another species.
'A second sort of female soul was formed out of the same materials that enter into the composition of a fox. Such a one is what we call a notable discerning woman, who has an insight into every thing whether it be good or bad. In this species of females there are some virtuous and some vicious.
'A third kind of women were made up of canine particles. These are what we commonly call scolds, who imitate the animals out of which they were taken, that are always busy and barking, that snarl at every one who comes in their way, and live in perpetual clamour.
The fourth kind of women were made out of the earth. These are your slug
Among the writers of antiquity there are none who instruct us more openly in the manners of their respective times in which they lived, than those who have employed themselves in satire, under what dress soever it may appear; as there are no other authors whose province it is to enter so directly into the ways of men, and set their miscarriages in so strong a light. Simonides, a poet famous in his genera-gards, who pass away their time in indotion, is, I think, author of the oldest satire fence and ignorance, hover over the fire a that is now extant; and, as some say, of the whole winter, and apply themselves with first that was ever written. This poet alacrity to no kind of business but eating. flourished about four hundred years after the siege of Troy; and shows, by his way of writing, the simplicity, or rather coarseness, of the age in which he lived. I have taken notice in my hundred and sixty-first | speculation, that the rule of observing what the French call the Bienseance in an allusion, has been found out of later years; and that the ancients, provided there was a likeness in their similitudes, did not much trouble themselves about the decency of the comparison. The satire or iambics of Simonides, with which I shall entertain my readers in the present paper, are a re-ceeding slothful, but upon the husband's markable instance of what I formerly ad- exerting his authority, will live upon hard vanced. The subject of this satire is woman. fare, and do every thing to please him. He describes the sex in their several cha- They are, however, far from being averse racters, which he derives to them from a to venereal pleasure, and seldom refuse a fanciful supposition raised upon the doc-male companion. trine of pre-existence. He tells us that 'The cat furnished materials for a seventh the gods formed the souls of women out species of women, who are of a melancholy, of those seeds and principles which com-froward, unamiable nature, and so repugpose several kinds of animals and elements; nant to the offers of love, that they fly in the and that their good or bad dispositions arise face of their husband when he approaches in them according as such and such seeds them with conjugal endearments. This and principles predominate in their con- species of women are likewise subject to stitutions. I have translated the author little thefts, cheats, and pilferings. very faithfully, and if not word for word, (which our language would not bear,) at least so as to comprehend every one of his sentiments, without adding any thing of my own. I have already apologised for this author's want of delicacy, and must further premise, that the following satire affects only some of the lower part of the sex, and not those who have been refined by a polite education, which was not so common in the age of this poet.
In the beginning God made the souls of womankind out of different materials, and in a separate state from their bodies.
"The fifth species of females were made out of the sea. These are women of variable uneven tempers, sometimes all storm and tempest, sometimes all calm and sunshine. The stranger who sees one of these in her smiles and smoothness would cry her up for a miracle of good humour; but on a sudden her looks and words are changed; she is nothing but fury and outrage, noise and hurricane.
"The sixth species were made up of the ingredients which compose an ass, or a beast of burden. These are naturally ex
'The mare with a flowing mane, which was never broke to any servile toil and labour, composed an eighth species of women. These are they who have little regard for their husbands, who pass away their time in dressing, bathing, and per fuming; who throw their hair into the nicest curls, and trick it up with the fairest flowers and garlands. A woman of this species is a very pretty thing for a stranger to look upon, but very detrimental to the owner, unless it be a king or a prince who takes a fancy to such a toy.
"The ninth species of females were taken
out of the ape. These are such as are both ugly and ill-natured, who have nothing beautiful in themselves, and endeavour to detract from or ridicule every thing which appears so in others.
The tenth and last species of women were made out of the bee; and happy is the man who gets such a one for his wife. She is altogether faultless and unblameable. Her family flourishes and improves by her good management. She loves her husband, and is beloved by him. She brings him a race of beautiful and virtuous children. She distinguishes herself among her sex. She is surrounded with graces. She never sits among the loose tribe of women, nor passes away her time with them in wanton discourses. She is full of virtue and prudence, and is the best wife that Jupiter can bestow on man.
I shall conclude these iambics with the motto of this paper, which is a fragment of the same author; A man cannot possess any thing that is better than a good woman, nor any thing that is worse than a bad one. As the poet has shown a great penetra-sense concurring with the proofs of our own tion in his diversity of female characters, he has avoided the fault which Juvenal and Monsieur Boileau are guilty of, the former in his sixth, and the other in his last satire, where they have endeavoured to expose the sex in general, without doing justice to the valuable part of it. Such levelling satires are of no use to the world; and for this reason I have often wondered how the French author above-mentioned, who was a man of exquisite judgment, and a lover of virtue, could think human nature a proper subject for satire in another of his celebrated pieces, which is called The Satire upon Man. What vice or frailty can a discourse correct, which censures the whole species alike, and endeavours to show by some superficial strokes of wit, that brutes are the most excellent creatures of the two? A satire should expose nothing but what is corrigible, and make a due discrimination between those who are, and those who are not the proper objects of it. L.
No. 210.] Wednesday, October 31, 1711.
Nescio quomodo inhæret in mentibus quasi sæculorum quoddam augurium futurorum; idque in maximis in geniis altissimisque animis et existit maxime, et apparet facillime. Cic. Tusc. Quæst. There is, I know not how, in minds a certain presage as it were, of a future existence; and this takes the deep est root, and is most discoverable in the greatest ge
niuses and most exalted souls.
To the Spectator.
SIR,-I am fully persuaded that one of the best springs of generous and worthy actions, is the having generous and worthy thoughts of ourselves. Whoever has a mean opinion of the dignity of his nature, will act in no higher a rank than he has allotted himself in his own estimation. If he considers his being as circumscribed by the
uncertain term of a few years, his designs will be contracted into the same narrow span he imagines is to bound his existence. How can he exalt his thoughts to any thing great and noble, who only believes that, after a short turn on the stage of this world, he is to sink into oblivion, and to lose his consciousness for ever?
For this reason I am of opinion, that so useful and elevated a contemplation as that of the soul's immortality cannot be resumed too often. There is not a more improving exercise to the human mind, than to be frequently reviewing its own great privileges and endowments; nor a more effectual means to awaken in us an ambition raised above low objects and little pursuits, than to value ourselves as heirs of eternity.
'It is a very great satisfaction to consider the best and wisest of mankind in all nations and ages, asserting as with one voice this their birthright, and to find it ratified by an express revelation. At the same time if we turn our thoughts inward upon ourselves, we may meet with a kind of secret
'You have, in my opinion, raised a good presumptive argument from the increasing appetite the mind has to knowledge, and to the extending its own faculties, which cannot be accomplished, as the more restrained perfection of lower creatures may, in the limits of a short life. I think another probable conjecture may be raised from our appetite to duration itself, and from a reflection on our progress through the several stages of it. We are complaining," as you observed in a former speculation, "of the shortness of life, and yet are perpetually hurrying over the parts of it, to arrive at certain little settlements or imaginary points of rest, which are dispersed up and down in it."
'Now let us consider what happens to us when we arrive at these imaginary points of rest. Do we stop our motion and sit down satisfied in the settlement we have gained? or are we not removing the boundary, and marking out new points of rest, to which we press forward with the like eagerness, and which cease to be such as fast as we attain them? Our case is like that of a traveller upon the Alps, who should fancy that the top of the next hill must end his journey, because it terminates his prospect; but he no sooner arrives at it, than he sees new ground and other hills beyond it, and continues to travel on as be
'This is so plainly every man's condition in life, that there is no one who has observed any thing, but may observe, that as fast as his time wears away, his appetite to something future remains. The use therefore I would make of it is, that since nature (as some love to express it,) does nothing in vain, or, to speak properly, since the Author of our being has planted no wan
dering passion in it, no desire which has not | a certain gravity which these thoughts have its object, futurity is the proper object of given me, I reflect upon some things people the passion so constantly exercised about say of you, (as they will of men who distinit; and this restlessness in the present, this guish themselves,) which I hope are not assigning ourselves over to farther stages true, and wish you as good a man as you are of duration, this successive grasping at an author. I am, sir, your most obedient somewhat still to come, appears to me humble servant, T. D.' (whatever it may to others,) as a kind of T. instinct or natural symptom which the mind of man has of its own immortality.
'I take it at the same time for granted, that the immortality of the soul is sufficiently established by other arguments: and if so, this appetite, which otherwise would be very unaccountable and absurd, seems very reasonable, and adds strength to the conclusion. But I am amazed when I consider there are creatures capable of thought, who in spite of every argument, can form to themselves a sullen satisfaction in thinking otherwise. There is something so pitifully mean in the inverted ambition of that man
No. 211.] Thursday, November 1, 1711.
who can hope for annihilation, and please in another paper the many vicious charac-
not be so.
This brings me back to my first observation, and gives me occasion to say fur-theus made his man of clay, in the kneadther, that as worthy actions spring from worthy thoughts, so worthy thoughts are likewise the consequence of worthy actions. But the wretch who has degraded himself below the character of immortality, is willing to resign his pretensions to it, and to substitute in its room a dark negative happiness in the extinction of his being.
ing up of the heart, he seasoned it with some furious particles of the lion. But upon turning this plan to and fro in my thoughts, observed so many unaccountable humours in man, that I did not know out of what animals to fetch them. Male souls are diversified with so many characters, that the world has not variety of materials sufficient to furnish out their different tempers and The creation, with all its animals and elements, would not be large enough to supply their several extravagances.
The admirable Shakspeare has given us a strong image of the unsupported condition of such a person in his last minutes, in the second part of King Henry the Sixth, where Cardinal Beaufort, who had been concerned in the murder of good Duke Humphrey, is represented on his death-bed. After some short confused speeches, which show an imagination disturbed with guilt, just as he is expiring, King Henry, standing by him full of compassion, says,
"Lord Cardinal! if thou think'st on heaven's bliss,
The despair which is here shown, without a word or action on the part of a dying person, is beyond what could be painted by the most forcible expressions whatever.
'I shall not pursue this thought farther, but only add, that as annihilation is not to be had with a wish, so it is the most abject thing in the world to wish it. What are honour, fame, wealth, or power, when compared with the generous expectation of a being without end, and a happiness adequate to that being?
'I shall trouble you no farther; but with
of Simonides, I shall observe, that as he has Instead therefore of pursuing the thought exposed the vicious part of women from the doctrine of pre-existence, some of the ancient philosophers have in a manner satirized the vicious part of the human species in general, from a notion of the soul's postexistence, if I may so call it; and that as Simonides describes brutes entering into the composition of women, others have represented human souls as entering into brutes. This is commonly termed the doctrine of transmigration, which supposes that human souls, upon their leaving the body, become the souls of such kinds of brutes as they most resemble in their manners; or, to give an account of it as Mr. Dryden has described in his translation of Pythagoras's speech in the fifteenth book of Ovid, where that philosopher dissuades his hearers from eating flesh:
Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies,
By time, or force, or sickness dispossess'd,
Then let not piety be put to flight,
Plato, in the vision of Erus the Armenian, which I may possibly make the subject of a future speculation, records some beautiful transmigrations; as that the soul of Orpheus, who was musical, melancholy, and a woman-hater, entered into a swan; the soul of Ajax, which was all wrath and fierceness, into a lion; the soul of Agamem-grimalkin.' non, that was rapacious and imperial, into an eagle; and the soul of Thersites, who was a mimic and a buffoon, into a monkey. Mr. Congreve, in a prologue to one of his comedies, has touched upon this doctrine with great humour:
Thus Aristotle's soul of old that was,
mane, and a skin as soft as silk. But, sir, she passes half her life at her glass, and almost ruins me in ribands. For my own part, I am a plain handicraft man, and in danger of breaking by her laziness and expensiveness. Pray, master, tell me in your next paper whether I may not expect of her so much drudgery as to take care of her family, and curry her hide in case of refusal. Your loving friend,
I shall fill up this paper with some letters which my last Tuesday's speculation has produced. My following correspondents will show, what I there observed, that the speculation of that day affects only the lower part of the sex.
'Wapping, Oct. 31, 1711. 'SIR,-Ever since your Spectator of Tuesday last came into our family, my husband is pleased to call me his Oceana, because the foolish old poet that you have translated says, that the souls of some women are made of sea-water. This it seems has encouraged my sauce-box to be witty upon me. When I am angry, he cries, "Pr'ythee, my dear, be calm;" when I chide one of my servants, "Pr'ythee, child, do not bluster." He had the impudence about an hour ago to tell me, that he was a seafaring man, and must expect to divide his life between storm and sunshine. When I bestir myself with any spirit in my family, From my house in the Strand, Oct. 30. it is "high sea" in his house; and when MR. SPECTATOR,-Upon reading your sit still without doing any thing, his affairs Tuesday's paper, I find by several symp-forsooth are "wind-bound. When I ask toms in my constitution that I am a bee. My shop, or if you please to call it so, my cell, is in that great hive of females which goes by the name of the New Exchange; where I am daily employed in gathering together a little stock of gain from the finest Howers about the town, I mean the ladies and the beaux. I have a numerous swarm of children, to whom I give the best education I am able. But, sir, it is my misfor-would make us a parcel of poor-spirited tune to be married to a drone, who lives tame insipid creatures; but, sir, I would upon what I get, without bringing any thing have you to know, we have as good pasinto the common stock. Now, sir, as on the sions in us as yourself, and that a woman one hand I take care not to behave myself was never designed to be a milk-sop. towards him like a wasp, so likewise I would MARTHA TEMPEST.' not have him look on me as an humble-bee; for which reason I do all I can to put him
him whether it rains, he makes answer, "It is no matter, so that it be fair weather within doors." In short, sir, I cannot speak my mind freely to him, but I either swell or rage, or do something that is not fit for a civil woman to hear. Pray, Mr. Spectator, since you are so sharp upon other women, let us know what materials your wife is made of, if you have one. I suppose you
upon laying up provisions for a bad day, No. 212.] Friday, November 2, 1711. and frequently represent to him the fatal effects his sloth and negligence may bring upon us in our old age. I must beg that you will join with me in your good advice upon this occasion, and you will for ever oblige your humble servant,
'BARNABY BRITTLE.' 'Cheapside, Oct. 30. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am mightily pleased with the humour of the cat; be so kind as to enlarge upon that subject. Yours till death, JOSIAH HENPECK. 'P. S. You must know I am married to a
'Piccadilly, Oct. 31, 1711. 'SIR,-I am joined in wedlock for my sins to one of those fillies who are described in the old poet with that hard name you gave us the other day. She has a flowing
'MR. SPECTATOR,-I never look upon my dear wife, but I think of the happiness Sir Roger de Coverley enjoys, in having such a friend as you to expose in proper colours the cruelty and perverseness of his mistress. I have very often wished you visited in our family, and were acquainted