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small addition to his fame to have each
piece minuted with the exact number of
hours or days it cost him in the composi-
tion. He could taste no praise until he had
acquainted you in how short space of time
he had deserved it; and was not so much
led to an ostentation of his art, as of his

-Accipe, si vis,
Accipe jam tabulas; detur nobis locus, hora,
Custodes: videamus uter plus scribere possit.
Her. Lab. 1. Sat. iv. 1.
Here's pen and ink, and time, and place: let's try
Who can write most, and fastest, you or I.-Creech.

This was the whole of his ambition; and therefore I cannot but think the flights of this rapid author very proper to be opposed to those laborious nothings which you have observed were the delight of the German wits, and in which they so rapidly got rid of such a tedious quantity of their time.

'I have known a gentleman of another turn of humour, who despising the name of an author, never printed his works, but contracted his talent, and by the help of a very fine diamond which he wore on his little finger, was a considerable poet upon glass. He had a very good epigrammatic wit; and there was not a parlour or tavern window where he visited or dined for some years, which did not receive some sketches or memorials of it. It was his misfortune at last to lose his genius and his ring to a sharper at play, and he has not attempted to make a verse since.

I think the only improvement beyond this, would be that which the late Duke of Buckingham mentioned to a stupid pretender to poetry, as the project of a Dutch mechanic, viz. a mill to make verses. This being the most compendious method of all which have yet been proposed, may deserve the thoughts of our modern virtuosi, who are employed in new discoveries for the public good; and it may be worth the while to consider, whether in an island where few are content without being thought wits, it will not be a common be made cheap. I am, sir, your humble benefit, that wit as well as labour should servant, &c.'

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I often dine at a gentleman's house where there are two young ladies in themselves very agreeable, but very cold in their behaviour, because they understand me for a person that is to "break my mind," as the phrase is, very suddenly to one of them. But I take this way to acquaint them that I am not in love with either of them, in hopes they will use me with that agreeable freedom and indifference which they do all the rest of the world, and not to drink to one another only, but sometimes cast a kind look, with their service to, sir, your humble servant.'

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am a young gentleman, and take it for a piece of goodbreeding to pull off my hat when I see any whether I know her or not. I take care thing peculiarly charming in any woman, that there is nothing ludicrous or arch in my manner, as if I were to betray a woman into a salutation by way of jest or humour: and yet, except I am acquainted with her, I find she ever takes it for a rule, that she is to look upon this civility and homage I pay to her supposed merit, as an impertinence or forwardness which she is to observe and neglect. I wish, sir, you would settle the business of salutation; and please to inform me how I shall resist the sudden impulse I have to be civil to what gives an idea of merit; or tell these creatures how to behave themselves in return to the esteem I have for them. My affairs are such, that your decision will be a favour to me, if it be only to save the unnecessary expense of wearing out my hat so fast as I do at present. I am, sir, yours, T. D.'

But of all contractions or expedients for wit, I admire that of an ingenious projector whose book I have seen. This virtuoso being a mathematician, has according to his taste, thrown the art of poetry into a short problem, and contrived tables, by which any one without knowing a word of grammar or sense, may to his great comfort be able to compose, or rather to erect, Latin verses. His tables are a kind of poetical logarithms, which being divided into several squares, and all inscribed with so many incoherent words, appear to the eve somewhat like a fortune-telling screen. What a joy must it be to the unlearned operator to find that these words being carefully collected and writ down in order according to the problem, start of themselves into hexameter and pentameter verses? A friend of mine, who is a student in astrology, meeting with this book, performed the operation, by the rules there set down; he showed his verses to the next of his acquaintance, who happened to understand Latin; and being informed they described a tempest of wind, very luckily prefixed them, together with a translation, No. 221.] Tuesday, November 13, 1711, to an almanack he was just then printing, and was supposed to have foretold the last great storm.

* This erecter of Latin verses was a John Peter, who in 1673 published an 8vo. pamphlet, entitled Artificial Versifying, a new Way to make Latin verses. 1 November 26th, 1703.

'POSTSCRIPT. 'There are some that do know me, and won't bow to me.'

-Ab ovo
Usque ad mala-
Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. iii. &
From eggs, which first are set upon the board,
To apples ripe, with which it last is stor`d.
WHEN I have finished any of my specu-
lations, it is my method to consider which

of the ancient authors have touched upon | adding however such explications to it as the subject that I treat of. By this means he thought might be for the benefit of his I meet with some celebrated thought upon people. He afterwards entered upon As in it, or a thought of my own expressed in bet- Præsenti, which he converted in the same ter words, or some similitude for. the illus- manner to the use of his parishioners. This tration of my subject. This is what gives in a very little time thickened his audience, birth to the motto of a speculation, which I filled his church, and routed his antagonist. rather choose to take out of the poets than the prose writers, as the former generally gives a finer turn to a thought than the latter, and by couching it in few words and in harmonious numbers, make it more portable to the memory.

My reader is therefore sure to meet with at least one good line in every paper, and very often finds his imagination entertained by a hint that awakens in his memory some beautiful passage of a classic author.

The natural love to Latin, which is so prevalent in our common people, makes me think that my speculations fare never the worse among them for that little scrap which appears at the head of them; and what the more encourages me in the use of quotations in an unknown tongue, is, that I hear the ladies, whose approbation I value more than that of the whole learned world, declare themselves in a particular manner pleased with my Greek mottos.

It was a saying of an ancient philoso- Designing this day's work for a dissertapher, which I find some of our writers tion upon the two extremities of my papers, have ascribed to Queen Elizabeth, who and having already despatched my motto, I perhaps might have taken occasion to re-shall, in the next place, discourse upon peat it, that a good face is a letter of re- those single capital letters, which are placed commendation. It naturally makes the at the end of it, and which have afforded beholders inquisitive into the person who great matter of speculation to the curious. is the owner of it, and generally prepos- I have heard various conjectures upon this sesses them in his favour. A handsome subject. Some tell us that C is the mark motto has the same effect. Besides that it of those papers that are written by the always gives a supernumerary beauty to a clergyman, though others ascribe them to paper, and is sometimes in a manner neces- the club in general: that the papers marked sary, when the writer is engaged in what with R were written by my friend Sir Roger: may appear a paradox to vulgar minds, as that L signifies the lawyer, whom I have it shows, that he is supported by good au-described in my second speculation; and thorities, and is not singular in his opinion. that T stands for the trader or merchant. I must confess, the motto is of little use to But the letter X, which is placed at the end an unlearned reader, for which reason I con- of some few of my papers, is that which has sider it only as a word to the wise.' But as puzzled the whole town, as they cannot for my unlearned friends, if they cannot re-think of any name which begins with that lish the motto, I take care to make provision for them in the body of my paper. If they do not understand the sign that is hung out, they know very well by it that they may meet with entertainment in the house; and I think I was never better pleased than with a plain man's compliment, who upon his friends telling him that he would like the Spectator much better if he understood the motto, replied, that 'good wine needs no bush.'t

letter, except Xenophon and Xerxes, who can neither of them be supposed to have had any hand in these speculations.

In answer to these inquisitive gentlemen, who have many of them made inquiries of me by letter, I must tell them the reply of an ancient philosopher, who carried something hidden under his cloak. A certain acquaintance desiring him to let him know what it was he covered so carefully: 'I cover it,' says he, on purpose that you should not know.' I have made use of these obscure marks for the same purpose. They are, perhaps, little amulets or charms to preserve the paper against the fascination and malice of evil eyes: for which reason I would not have my reader surprised if hereafter he sees any of my papers marked with a Q, a Z, Y, an &c. or with the word Abracadabra.

I have heard of a couple of preachers in a country town, who endeavoured which should outshine one another, and draw together the greatest congregation. One of them being well versed in the Fathers, used to quote every now and then a Latin sentence to his illiterate hearers, who it seems found themselves so edified by it, that they flocked in greater numbers to this learned man than to his rival. The other finding I shall, however, so far explain myself to his congregation mouldering every Sunday, the reader, as to let him know that the letand hearing at length what was the occa-ters C, L, and X, are cabalistical, and carry sion of it, resolved to give his parish a little Latin in his turn; but being unacquainted with any of the Fathers, he digested into his sermons the whole book of Quæ Genus,

* Aristotle, or, according to some, Diogenes. See Diogenes Laertius, lib. 5. cap. 1. n. 11.

+ The mottos in the original publication were not translated.

more in them than it is proper for the world to be acquainted with. Those who are versed in the philosophy of Pythagoras, and swear by the Tetrachtys, that is the number four, will know very well that the

*See Stanley's Lives of the Philosophers, page 527, 2nd edition, 1687, folio.

number ten, which is signified by the letter X, (and which has so much perplexed the town,) has in it many particular powers: that it is called by Platonic writers the complete number; that one, two, three, and four put together make up the number ten; and that ten is all. But these are not mysteries for ordinary readers to be let inte. A man must have spent many years in hard study before he can arrive at the knowledge of them.

morals, as a monstrous birth in naturals; with this difference only, which greatly aggravates the wonder, that it happens much more frequently; and what a blemish does it cast upon wit and learning in the general account of the world' and in how disadvantageous a light does it expose them to the busy class of mankind, that there should be so many instances of persons who have so conducted their lives in spite of these transcendent advantages, as neither We had a rabbinical divine in England, to be happy in themselves nor useful to who was chaplain to the Earl of Essex, in their friends; when every body sees it was Queen Elizabeth's time, that had an admi- entirely in their own power to be eminent rable head for secrets of this nature. Upon in both these characters? For my part, I his taking the doctor of divinity's degree, think there is no reflection more astonishhe preached before the university of Cam-ing, than to consider one of these gentlebridge, upon the first verse of the first men spending a fair fortune, running in chapter of the first book of Chronicles, in every body's debt without the least apprewhich,' says he, you have the three fol-hension of a future reckoning; and at last lowing words:

"Adam, Seth, Encsh."

He divided this short text into many parts,
and by discovering several mysteries in
each word, made a most learned and elabo-
rate discourse. The name of this profound
preacher was Dr. Alabaster, of whom the
reader may find a more particular account
in Dr. Fuller's book of English Worthies.
This instance will, I hope, convince my
readers that there may be a great deal of
fine writing in the capital letters which
bring up the rear of my paper, and give
them some satisfaction in that particular.
But as for the full explication of these
matters, I must refer them to time, which
discovers all things.

No. 222.] Wednesday, November 14, 1711.

Cur alter fratrum cessare, et ludere, et ungi,
Præferat Herodis palmetis pinguibus-

leaving not only his own children, but possibly those of other people, by his means, in starving circumstances; while a fellow, whom one would scarce suspect to have a human soul, shall perhaps raise a vast estate out of nothing, and be the founder of a family capable of being very considerable in their country, and doing many illustrious services to it. That this observation is just, experience has put beyond all dispute. But though the fact be so evident and glaring, yet the causes of it are still in the dark; which makes me persuade myself, that it would be no unacceptable piece of entertainment to the town, to inquire into the hidden sources of so unaccountable an evil. I am, sir, your most humble servant.'

What this correspondent wonders at, has been matter of admiration ever since there was any such thing as human life. Horace reflects upon this inconsistency very agreeHer. Lib. 2 Ep. ii. 183. ably in the character of Tigellius whom he Why, of two brothers, one his pleasure loves, makes a mighty pretender to economy, and Prefers his sports to Herod's fragrant groves-Creech tells you, you might one day hear him speak MR. SPECTATOR,-There is one thing the most philosophic things imaginable conI have often looked for in your papers, and cerning being contented with a little, and have as often wondered to find myself dis- his contempt of every thing but mere neappointed; the rather, because I think it a cessaries; and in half a week after spend a subject every way agreeable to your design, thousand pounds. When he says this of and by being left unattempted by others, him with relation to expense, he describes seems reserved as a proper employment him as unequal to himself in every other for you; I meana disquisition, from whence it circumstance of life; and, indeed, if we conproceeds, that men of the brightest parts, sider lavish men carefully, we shall find it and most comprehensive genius, completely always proceeds from a certain incapacity furnished with talents for any province in of possessing themselves, and finding enhuman affairs; such as by their wise les-joyment in their own minds. Mr. Dryden sons of economy to others, have made it has expressed this very excellently in the evident that they have the justest notions character of Zimri: of life, and of true sense in the conduct of it; from what unhappy contradictious cause it proceeds, that persons thus finished by nature and by art, should so often fail in the management of that which they so well understand, and want the address to make a right application of their own rules. This is certainly a prodigious inconsistency in behaviour, and makes such a figure in

"A man so various, that he seemed to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome.
Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong,
Was every thing by starts, and nothing long!
But in the course of one revolving moon.
Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.
Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking.
Besides ten thousand freaks, that died in thinking;
Bless'd madman, who could every hour employ
In something new to wish, or to enjoy!
In squandering wealth was his peculiar art,
Nothing went unrewarded but desert."


This loose state of the soul hurries the extravagant from one pursuit to another; One here and there floats on the vast abyss. and the reason that his expenses are greater than another's, is, that his wants are also there is none whose fragments are so beauAmong the mutilated poets of antiquity more numerous. But what makes so many tiful as those of Sappho. They give us a go on in this way to their lives' end, is, that they certainly do not know how contempti- taste of her way of writing, which is perble they are in the eyes of the rest of man-character we find of her in the remarks of fectly conformable with that extraordinary kind, or rather, that indeed they are not so contemptible as they deserve. Tully says, with her works when they were entire.. those great critics who were conversant it is the greatest of wickedness to lessen One may see by what is left of them, that your paternal estate. And if a man would she followed nature in all her thoughts, thoroughly consider how much worse than banishment it must be to his child, to ride without descending to those little points, by the estate which should have been his, conceits, and turns of wit with which many had it not been for his father's injustice to fected. Her soul seems to have been made of our modern lyrics are so miserably inhim, he would be smitten with reflection more deeply than can be understood by any in all its warmth, and described it in all its up of love and poetry. She felt the passion but one who is a father. Sure there can be nothing more afflicting, than to think it symptoms. She is called by ancient auhad been happier for his son to have been thors the tenth muse; and by Plutarch is born of any other man living than himself. compared to Cacus the son of Vulcan, who It is not perhaps much thought of, but it know by the character that is given of her breathed out nothing but flame. I do not is certainly a very important lesson, to learn how to enjoy ordinary life, and to be works, whether it is not for the benefit of able to relish your being without the trans- mankind that they are lost. They were some appetite. For want of this capacity, to have given them a reading. port of some passion, or gratification of filled with such bewitching tenderness and rapture, that it might have been dangerous the world is filled with whetters, tipplers, cutters, sippers, and all the numerous train of those who for want of thinking, are forced to be ever exercising their feeling, or tasting It would be hard on this occasion to mention the harmless smokers of tobacco, and takers of snuff.

sioned great calamities to this poetical lady. An inconstant lover called Phaon, occaShe fell desperately in love with him, and took a voyage into Sicily, in pursuit of him, he having withdrawn himself thither on purpose to avoid her. It was in that island, The slower part of mankind, whom my have made the Hymn to Venus, with a and on this occasion, she is supposed to correspondent wonders should get estates, are the more immediately formed for that translation of which I shall present my pursuit. They can expect distant things procuring that happiness which she prayed reader. Her Hymn was ineffectual for without impatience, because they are not carried out of their way either by violent for in it. Phaon was still obdurate, and passion or keen appetite to any thing. To Sappho so transported with the violence of men addicted to delights, business is an in- her passion, that she was resolved to get terruption; to such as are cold to delights, rid of it at any price.

O suavis anima! qualem te dicam bonam,
Antehac fuisse, tales cum sint reliquæ!
Phædr. Lib. 3. Fab. i. 5.

O sweet soul! how good must you have been hereto fore when your remains are so delicious.si

WHEN I reflect upon the various fate of those multitudes of ancient writers who flourished in Greece and Italy, I consider time as an immense ocean, in which many Sappho, so far as it regards the following After having given this short account of noble authors are entirely swallowed up, many very much shattered and damaged, Ode, I shall subjoin the translation of it as some quite disjointed and broken into it was sent me by a friend, whose admirapieces, while some have wholly escaped ble Pastorals and Winter-pieces have been the common wreck; but the number of the already so well received. The reader will last is very small.

Ambrose Philips.

find in it that pathetic simplicity which is
so peculiar to him, and so suitable to the
ode he has here translated. This ode in
the Greek (besides those beauties observed
by Madam Dacier,) has several harmo-
nious turns in the words, which are not lost
in the English. I must farther add, that
the translation has preserved every image
and sentiment of Sappho, notwithstanding
it has all the ease and spirit of an original.
In a word, if the ladies have a mind to
know the manner of writing practised by
the so much celebrated Sappho, they may No. 224.] Friday, November 16, 1711.
here see it in its genuine and natural beauty,
without any foreign or affected ornaments.

that these two finished pieces have never
been attempted before by any of our own
countrymen. But the truth of it is, the
compositions of the ancients, which have
not in them any of those unnatural witti-
cisms that are the delight of ordinary
readers, are extremely difficult to render
into another tongue, so as the beauties of
the original may not appear weak and faded
in the translation.


O Venus, beauty of the skies,
To whom a thousand temples rise,
Gaily false in gentle smiles,
Full of love perplexing wiles;
O goddess' from my heart remove
The wasting cares and pains of love.
If ever thou hast kindly heard
A song in soft distress preferr'd,
Propitious to my tuneful vow,
O gentle goddess! hear me nOW,
Descend, thou bright, immortal guest,
In all thy radiant charms confess'd.
Thou once didst leave almighty Jove,
And all the golden roofs above;
The car thy wanton sparrows drew,
Hovring in air they lightly flew;
As to my bower they wing'd their way,
I saw their quiv'ring pinions play.
The birds dismiss'd (while you remain)
Bore back their empty car again;
Then you with looks divinely mild,
In ev'ry heavenly feature smil'd,

And ask'd what new complaints I made,
And why I call'd you to my aid?

What frenzy in my bosom rag'd,
And by what cure to be assuag'd?
What gentle youth I would allure,
Whom in my artful toils secure?
Who does thy tender heart subdue,
Tell me, my Sappho, tell me, who?

Though now he shuns thy longing arms,
He soon shall court thy slighted charms;
Though now thy off rings he despise,
He soon to thee shall sacrifice;
Though now he freeze, he soon shall burn,
And be thy victim in his turn.

Celestial visitant, once more
Thy needful presence I implore!
In pity come and ease my grief,
Bring my distemper'd soul relief,
Favour thy suppliant's hidden fires,
And give me all my heart desires.

Madam Dacier observes, there is some thing very pretty in that circumstance of this ode, wherein Venus is described as sending away her chariot upon her arrival at Sappho's lodgings, to denote that it was not a short transient visit which she intended to make her. This ode was preserved by an eminent Greek critic, who inserted it entire in his works, as a pattern of perfection in the structure of it.

Longinus has quoted another ode of this great poetess, which is likewise admirable in its kind, and has been translated by the same hand with the foregoing one. I shall oblige my reader with it in another paper. In the meanwhile, I cannot but wonder

-Fulgente trahit constrictos gloria curru
Non minus ignotos generosis

Hor. Lib. 1. Sat. vi. 2 Chain'd to her shining car. Fame draws along With equal whirl the great and vulgar throng. If we look abroad upon the great multitude of mankind, and endeavour to trace out the principles of action in every individual, it will, I think, seem highly probable that ambition runs through the whole species, and that every man in proportion to the vigour of his complexion is more or less actuated by it. It is indeed no uncommon thing to meet with men, who, by the natural bent of their inclinations, and without the discipline of philosophy, aspire not to the heights of power and grandeur; who never set their hearts upon a numerous train of clients and dependencies, nor other gay appendages of greatness; who are contented with a competency, and will not molest their tranquillity to gain an abundance. But it is not therefore to be concluded that such a man is not ambitious; his desires may have cut out another channel, and determined him to other pursuits; the motive however may be still the same; and in these cases likewise the man may be equally pushed on with the desire of distinction.

Though the pure consciousness of worthy actions, abstracted from the views of popular applause, be to a generous mind an ample reward, yet the desire of distinction was doubtless implanted in our natures as an additional incentive to exert ourselves in virtuous excellence.

This passion, indeed, like all others, is frequently perverted to evil and ignoble purposes; so that we may account for many of the excellences and follies of life upon the same innate principle, to wit, the desire of being remarkable; for this, as it has been differently cultivated by education, study, and converse, will bring forth suitable effects as it falls in with an ingenuous disposition, or a corrupt mind. It does accordingly express itself in acts of magnanimity or selfish cunning, as it meets with a good or a weak understanding. As it has been employed in embellishing the mind, or adorning the outside, it renders the man eminently praiseworthy or ridiculous. Ambition therefore is not to be confined only to one passion or pursuit; for as the same humours in constitutions otherwise different, affect the

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