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silks of one whom he would not venture to feel his pulse. Vagellius is careful, studious, and obliging, but withal a little thicksculled; he has not a single client, but might have had abundance of customers. The misfortune is, that parents take a liking to a particular profession, and therefore desire their sons may be of it: whereas, in so great an affair of life, they should consider the genius and abilities of their children, more than their own inclinations.
It is the great advantage of a trading nation that there are very few in it so dull and heavy, who may not be placed in stations of life, which may give them an opportunity of making their fortunes. A well-regulated commerce is not, like law, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with hands; but on the contrary flourishes by multitudes, and gives employment to all its professors. Fleets of merchantmen are so many squadrons of floating shops, that vend our wares and manufactures in all the markets of the world, and find out chapmen under both the tropics. C.
No. 22.] Monday, March 26, 1710-11.
-Whatever contradicts my sense
boldens me, who am the wild boar that was
Your mest humble admirer,
This is to let you understand, that the playhouse is a representation of the world in nothing so much as in this particular, that no one rises in it according to his merit. I have acted several parts of householdstuff with great applause for many years: I am one of the men in the hangings in 'The Emperor of the Moon;' I have twice performed the third chair in an English opera; and have rehearsed the pump in
The Fortune-Hunters.' I am now grown old, and hope you will recommend me so effectually, as that I may say something before I go off the stage: in which you will do a great act of charity to
'Your most humble servant,
THE word Spectator being most usually understood as one of the audience at public representations in our theatres, I seldom fail of many letters relating to plays and operas. But indeed there are such monstrous things done in both, that if one had not been an eve-witness of them, one could not believe that such matters had really been exhibited. There is very little which concerns human life, or is a picture of nature, that is regarded by the greater part 'Understanding that Mr. Screene has of the company. The understanding is dis-writ to you, and desired to be raised from missed from our entertainments. Our mirth is the laughter of fools, and our admiration the wonder of idiots; else such improbable, monstrous, and incoherent dreams could not go off as they do, not only without the utmost scorn and contempt, but even with the loudest applause and approbation. But the letters of my correspondents will represent this affair in a more lively manner than any discourse of my own; I shall therefore give them to my reader with only this preparation, that they all come from players, and that the business of playing is now so managed, that you are not to be surprised when I say one or two of them are rational, others sensitive and vegetative actors, and others wholly inanimate. I shall not place these as I have named them, but as they have precedence in the opinion of their audiences.
dumb and still parts; I desire, if you give him motion or speech, that you would advance me in my way, and let me keep on in what I humbly presume I am a master, to wit, in representing human and still life together. I have several times acted cne of the finest flower-pots in the same opera wherein Mr. Screene is a chair; therefore, upon his promotion, request that I may succeed him in the hangings, with my hand in the orange-trees.
"Your humble servant,
'RALPH SIMPLE.' SIR, Drury-lane, March 24th, 1710-11. 'I saw your friend the Templar this evening in the pit, and thought he looked very little pleased with the representation of the mad scene of the Pilgrim.* I wish, sir, you would do us the favour to animadvert frequently upon the false taste the
vived at Drury Lane in 1700, with a new prologue and epilogue by Dryden.
*A comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher; it was re
town is in, with relation to plays as well as operas. It certainly requires a degree of understanding to play justly; but such is our condition, that we are to suspend our reason to perform our parts.
'As to scenes of madness, you know, sir, there are noble instances of this kind in
He has cured since his coming thither, in less than a two Turkish bassas, three nuns, and a morris-dancer. fortnight. four scaramouches, a mountebank doctor,
N. B. Any person may agree by the great, and be without pulling off your mask.
kept in repair by the year. The doctor draws teeth
Shakspeare; but then it is the disturbance No. 23.] Tuesday, March 27, 1711.
of a noble mind, from generous and humane resentments. It is like that grief which we have for the decease of cur friends. It is no diminution, but a recommendation of human nature, that in such incidents, passion gets the better of reason; and all we can think to comfort ourselves, is impotent against half what we feel. I will not mention that we had an idiot in the scene, and all the sense it is represented to have is that of lust. As for myself, who have long taken pains in personating the passions, I have to-night acted only an appetite. The part I played is Thirst, but it is represented as written rather by a drayman than a poet. I come in with a tub about me, that tub hung with quart pots, with a full gallon at my mouth. I am ashamed to tell you that I pleased very much, and this was introduced as a madness; but sure it was not human madness, for a mule or an ass may have been as dry as ever I was in my life. I am, Sir,
Your most obedient and humble servant.'
in the Strand.
'If you can read it with dry eyes, I give you this trouble to acquaint you that I am the unfortunate King Latinus, and I believe I am the first prince that dated from this palace since John of Gaunt. Such is the uncertainty of all human greatness, that I, who lately never moved without a guard, am now pressed as a common soldier, and am to sail, with the first fair wind, against my brother Lewis of France. It is a very hard thing to put off a character which one has appeared in with applause. This I experienced since the less of my diadem; for upon quarrelling with another recruit, I spoke my indignation out of my part in recitativo;
-Most audacious slave,
Dar'st thou an angry monarch's fury brave?"
The words were no sooner out of my mouth, when a sergeant knocked me down, and asked me if I had a mind to mutiny, in talking things nobody understood. You see, sir, my unhappy circumstances: and if by your mediation you can procure a subsidy for a prince (who never failed to make all that beheld him merry at his appearance) you will merit the thanks of your friend,
'THE KING OF LATIUM.' ADVERTISEMENT.
For the good of the Public. Within two doors of the masquerade lives an eminent Italian chirurgeon, arrived from the carnival at Venice, of great experience in private cures. Accommodations are provided, and persons admitted in their masking habits.
Sevit atrox Volscens, nec teli conspicit usquam Autorem, nec quo se ardens immittere possit. Virg. En. ix. 420. Fierce Volscens foams with rage, and gazing round, Desery'd not him who gave the fatal wound: Nor knew to fix revenge.——— Dryden. THERE is nothing that more betrays a base ungenerous spirit than the giving of secret stabs to a man's reputation; lampoons and satires, that are written with wit and spirit, are like poisoned darts, which not only inflict a wound, but make it incurable. For this reason I am very much troubled when I see the talents of humcur and ridicule in the possession of an ill-natured man. There cannot be a greater gratification to a barbarcus and inhuman wit, than to stir up sorrow in the heart of a private person, to raise uneasiness among near relations, and to expose whole families to derision, at the same time that he remains unseen and undiscovered. If, besides the accomplishments of being witty and ill-natured, a man is vicicus into the bargain, he is one of the most mischievous creatures than can enter into a civil society. His satire will then chiefly fall upon those who cught to be the most exempt from it. Virtue, merit, and every thing that is praiseworthy, will be made the subject of ridicule and buffoonery. It is impossible to enumerate the evils which arise from these arrows that fly in the dark, and I know no other excuse that is or can be made for them, than that the wounds they give are only imaginary, and produce nothing more than a secret shame or sorrow in the mind of the suffering person. It must indeed be confessed, that a lampoon or a satire do not carry in them robbery or murder; but at the same time how many are there that
would not rather lose a considerable sum of money, or even life itself, than be set up as a mark of infamy and derision? and in this case a man should consider, that an injury is not to be measured by the notions of him that gives, but of him who receives it.
Those who can put the best countenance upon the cutrages of this nature which are offered them, are not without their secret anguish. I have observed a passage in Socrates' behaviour at his death, in a light wherein none of the critics have considered it. That excellent man entertaining his friends, a little before he drank the bowl of poison, with a discourse on the immortality of the soul, at his entering upon it, says, that he does not believe any the most
* It has been said that this was intended as a character of Dean Swift.
comic genius can censure him for talking their reproaches, and consequently that upon such a subject at such a time. This passage, I think, evidently glances upon Aristophanes, who writ a comedy on purpose to ridicule the discourses of that divine philosopher. It has been observed by many writers, that Socrates was so little moved at this piece of buffoonery, that he was several times present at its being acted upon the stage, and never expressed the least resentment of it. But with submission, I think the remark I have here made shows us, that this unworthy treatment made an impression upon his mind, though he had been too wise to discover it.
When Julius Cæsar was lampooned by Catullus, he invited him to a supper, and treated him with such a generous civility, that he made the poet his friend ever after. Cardinal Mazarine gave the same kind of treatment to the learned Quillet, who had reflected upon his eminence in a famous Latin poem. The cardinal sent for him, and after some kind expostulations upon what he had written, assured him of his esteem, and dismissed him with a promise of the next good abbey that should fall, which he accordingly conferred upon him a few months after. This had so good an effect upon the author, that he dedicated the second edition of his book to the cardinal, after having expunged the passages which had given him offence.
Sextus Quintus was not of so generous and forgiving a temper. Upon his being made pope, the statue of Pasquin was one night dressed in a very dirty shirt, with an excuse written under it, that he was forced to wear foul linen, because his laundress was made a princess. This was a reflection upon the pope's sister, who, before the promotion of her brother, was in these mean circumstances that Pasquin represented her. As this pasquinade made a great noise in Rome, the pope offered a considerable sum of money to any person that should discover the author of it. The author relying upon his holiness's generosity, as also on some private overtures which he had received from him, made the discovery himself; upon which the pope gave him the reward he had promised, but at the same time to disable the satirist for the future, ordered his tongue to be cut out, and both his hands to be chopped off. Aretine is too trite an instance. Every one knows that all the kings of Europe were his tributaries. Nay, there is a letter of his extant, in which he makes his boasts that he had laid the Sophi of Persia under contribution.
Though in the various examples which I have here drawn together, these several great men behaved themselves very differently towards the wits of the age who had reproached them; they all of them plainly showed that they were very sensible of
*Peter Aretine, commonly called the Scourge of
Princes, infamous for his writings, died in 1556. 7
they received them as very great injuries. For my own part, I would never trust a man that I thought was capable of giving these secret wounds; and cannot but think that he would hurt the person, whose reputation he thus assaults, in his body or in his fortune, could he do it with the same security. There is, indeed, something very barbarous and inhuman in the ordinary scribblers of lampoons. An innocent young lady shall be exposed for an unhappy feature. A father of a family turned to ridicule, for some domestic calamity. A wife be made uneasy all her life for a misinterpreted word or action. Nay, a good, a temperate, and a just man shall be put out of countenance by the representation of those qualities that should do him honour. So pernicious a thing is wit, when it is not tempered with virtue and humanity.
I have indeed heard of heedless inconsiderate writers, that without any malice have sacrificed the reputation of their friends and acquaintance to a certain levity of temper, and a silly ambition of distinguishing themselves by a spirit of raillery and satire; as if it were not infinitely more honourable to be a good-natured man than a wit. Where there is this little petulant humour in an author, he is often very mischievous without designing to be so. For which reason I always lay it down as a rule, that an indiscreet man is more hurtful than an ill-natured one; for as the latter will only attack his enemies, and those he wishes ill to; the other injures indifferently both friends and foes. I cannot forbear, on this occasion, transcribing a fable out of Sir Roger l'Estrange, which accidentally lies before me. A company of waggish boys were watching of frogs at the side of a pond, and still as any of them put up their heads, they would be pelting them down again with stones. Children,' says one of the frogs, you never consider that though this may be play to you it is death to us.
As this week is in a manner set apart and dedicated to serious thoughts, I shall indulge myself in such speculations as may not be altogether unsuitable to the season; and in the mean time, as the settling in ourselves a charitable frame of mind is a work very proper for the time, I have in this paper endeavoured to expose that particufar breach of charity which has been generally overlooked by divines, because they are but few who can be guilty of it. C.
No. 24.] Wednesday, March 28, 1711.
Accurrit quidam notus mihi nomine tantum ;
of insignificant people, who are by no means THERE are in this town a great number
fit for the better sort of conversation, and because so many impertinents will break yet have an impertinent ambition of ap-in upon me, and come withcut appointpearing with those to whom they are not ment? Clinch of Barnet has a nightly meetwelcome. If you walk in the Park, cne ing, and shows to every one that will come of them will certainly join with you, though in and pay; but then he is the only actor. you are in company with ladies! If you Why should people miscal things? If his is drink a bottle they will find your haunts allowed to be a concert, why may not mine What makes such fellows the more bur-be a lecture? However, sir, I submit it to densome is, that they neither offend nor you, and am, Sir, your most obedient &c. please so far as to be taken notice of for THOMAS KIMBOW.’ either. It is, I presume, for this reason, that my correspondents are willing by my means to be rid of them. The two followYou and I were pressed against each ing letters are writ by persons who suffer other last winter in a crowd, in which unby such impertinence. A worthy old bach-easy posture we suffered together for alelor, who sets in for a dose of claret every most half an hour. I thank you for all night, at such an hour, is teased by a your civilities ever since, in being of my swarm of them; who, because they are acquaintance wherever you meet me. But 'sure of room and good fire, have taken it the other day you pulled off your hat to me in their heads to keep a scrt of club in his in the Park, when I was walking with my company; though the scber gentleman mistress. She did not like your air, and himself is an utter enemy to such meetings, said she wondered what strange fellows I was acquainted with. Dear sir, consider it is as much as my life is worth, if she should think we were intimate: therefore I earnestly entreat you for the future to take no manner of notice of, Sir, your cbliged humble servant,
The aversion I for some years have had to clubs in general, gave me a perfect relish for your speculation on that subject; but I have since been extremely mortified, by the malicious world's ranking me amongst the supporters of such impertinent assemblies. I beg leave to state my case fairly; and that done, I shall expect redress from your judicious pen.
A like impertinence is also very troublesome to the superior and more intelligent part of the fair sex. It is, it seems, a great inconvenience, that these of the meanest capacities will pretend to make visits, though indeed they are qualified rather to add to the furniture of the house (by filling they come into when they visit. A friend an empty chair) than to the conversation of mine hopes for redress in this case, by the publication of her letter in my paper; which she thinks those she would be rid of will take to themselves. It seems to be written with an eye to one of these pert, giddy, unthinking girls, who, upon the reand a fashionable air, take themselves to commendation only of an agreeable person, be upon a level with women of the greatest
‘I am, sir, a bachelor of some standing, and a traveller; my business, to consult my own humour, which I gratify without controlling other people's: I have a room and a whole bed to myself; and I have a dog, a fiddle, and a gun; they please me, and injure no creature alive. My chief meal is a supper, which I always make at a tavern. I am constant to an hour, and not ill-humoured; for which reasons though I invite nobody, I have no sooner supped, than I have a crowd about me of that sort of good company that know not whither else to go. It is true every man pays his share; yet as they are intruders, I have an undoubted right to be the only speaker, or at least the loudest; which I maintain, and that to the great emolument of my audience. I some- I take this way to acquaint you with times tell them their own in pretty free what common rules and forms would language; and sometimes divert them with never permit me to tell you otherwise; to merry tales, according as I am in humour. wit, that you and I, though equals in qualI am one of those who live in taverns to a ity and fortune, are by no means suitable great age, by a sort of regular intempe- companions. You are, it is true, very pretrance; I never go to bed drunk, but always ty, can dance, and make a very good figure flustered; I wear away very gently; am in a public assembly; but, alas, madam, apt to be peevish, but never angry. Mr. you must go no further; distance and siSpectator, if you have kept various com- lence are your best recommendations, pany, you know there is in every tavern in therefore let me beg of you never to make town some old humourist or other, who is me any more visits. You come in a literal master of the house as much as he that sense to see one, for you have nothing to keeps it. The drawers are all in awe of say. I do not say this, that I would by any nim; and all the customers who frequent means lose your acquaintance; but I would his company, yield him a sort of comical keep it up with the strictest forms of goodobedience. I do not know but I may be breeding. Let us pay visits, but never see such a fellow as this myself. But I appeal one another. If you will be so good as to to you, whether this is to be called a club, I deny yourself always to me, I shall return
the obligation, by giving the same orders to my servants. When accident makes us meet at a third place, we may mutually lament the misfortune of never finding one another at home, go in the same party to a benefit play, and smile at each other, and put down glasses as we pass in our coaches. Thus we may enjoy as much of each other's friendship as we are capable: for there are some people who are to be known only by sight, with which sort of friendship I hope you will always honour, Madam, your most obedient humble servant,
P. S. I subscribe myself by the name of the day I keep, that my supernumerary friends may know who I am.'
To prevent all mistakes that may happen among gentlemen of the other end of the town, who come but once a week to St. James's coffee-house, either by miscalling the servants, or requiring such things from them as are not properly within their respective provinces; this is to give notice, that Kidney, keeper of the book debts of the outlying customers, and observer of those who go off without paying, having resigned that employment, is succeeded by John Sowton; to whose place of enterer of messages and first coffee grinder, William Bird is promoted; and Samuel Burdock comes as shoe-cleaner in the room of the said Bird.
Virg. En. xii. 46.
And sickens by the very means of health.
THE following letter will explain itself, and needs no apology.
'SIR-I am one of that sickly tribe who are commonly known by the name of valetudinarians; and do confess to you, that I first contracted this ill habit of body, or rather of mind, by the study of physic. I no sooner began to peruse books of this nature, but I found my pulse was irregular; and scarce ever read the account of any disease that I did not fancy myself afflicted with. Dr. Sydenham's learned treatise of fevers threw me into a lingering hectic, which hung upon me all the while I was reading that excellent piece. I then applied myself to the study of several authors, who have written upon phthisical distempers, and by that means fell into a consumption; till at length, growing very fat, I was in a manner shamed out of that imagination. Not long after this I found in myself all the symptoms of the gout, except pain; but was cured of it by a treatise upon the gravel, written by a very ingenious author, who, (as it is usual for physicians to convert one distemper into another) eased me of the gout by giving me the stone. I at length studied myself into a complication of distempers; but, accidently taking into my hand that ingenious discourse written by Sanctorius, I was resolved to direct myself by a scheme of rules, which I had collected from his observations. The learned world
are very well acquainted with that gentleman's invention; who, for the better carrying on his experiments, contrived a certain mathematical chair, which was so artificially hung upon springs, that it would weigh any thing as well as a pair of scales. By this means he discovered how many cunces of his food passed by perspiration, what quantity of it was turned into nourishment, and how much went away by the other channels and distributions of nature.
'Having provided myself with this chair, I used to study, eat, drink, and sleep in it; insomuch that I may be said, for these last three years, to have lived in a pair of scales. to be precisely two hundred weight, fallI compute myself, when I am in full health, ing short of it about a pound after a day's fast, and exceeding it as much after a very full meal; so that it is my continual employment to trim the balance between these two volatile pounds in my constitution. In my ordinary meals I fetch myself up to two hundred weight and half a pound; and if, after having dined, I find myself fall short of it, I drink just so much small beer, or eat such a quantity of bread, as is sufficient to make me weight. In my greatest excesses I do not transgress more than the other half pound; which, for my health's sake, I do the first Monday in every month. As soon as I find myself duly poised after dinner, I walk till I have perspired five ounces and four scruples; and when I discover, by my chair, that I am so far reduced, I fall to my books, and study away three ounces more. As for the remaining parts of the pound, I keep no account of them. I do not dine and sup by the clock, but by my chair; for when that informs me my pound of food is exhausted, I conclude myself to be hungry, and lay in another with all diligence. In my days of abstinence I lose a pound and a half, and on solemn fasts am two pounds lighter than on the other days in the year.
'I allow myself, one night with another, a quarter of a pound of sleep, within a few grains more or less; and if, upon my rising, I find that I have not consumed my whole quantity, I take cut the rest in my chair. Upon an exact calculation of what I expended and received the last year, which I always register in a book, I find the medium to be two hundred weight, so that I cannot discover that I am impaired one ounce in my health during a whole twelvemonth. And yet, sir, notwithstanding this my great care to ballast myself equally every day, and to keep my body in its proper poise, so it is, that I find myself in a sick and languishing condition. My complexion is grown very sallow, my pulse low, and my body hydropical. Let me, therefore, beg you, sir, to consider me as your patient, and to give me more certain rules to walk by than those I have already observed, and you will very much oblige
Your humble servant,”