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o. 437.] Tuesday, July 22, 1712.
■ne impune hæc facias? Tune hic homines adolescen
first regulations, when criminals only | instigation of Flavilla's mother, brought ught before the people. Crudele gladia- about the match for the daughter; and the rum spectaculum et inhumanum nonnullis reputation of this, which is apparently, in deri solet, et haud scio annon ita sit ut point of fortune, more than Flavilla could inc fil; cum vero sontes ferro depugna- expect, has gained her the visits and frent, auribus fortasse multa, oculis quidem quent attendance of the crowd of mothers, ulla, poterat esse fortior contra dolorem et who had rather see their children miserortem disciplina. The shows of gladia- able in great wealth, than the happiest of rs may be thought barbarous and inhu-the race of mankind in a less conspicuous an, and I know not but it is so as now state of life. When Sempronia is so well actised; but in those times when only acquainted with a woman's temper and iminals were combatants, the ear per circumstances, that she believes marriage ps might receive many better instruc- would be acceptable to her, and advanns, but it is impossible that any thing tageous to the man who shall get her, her hich affects our eyes should fortify us so next step is to look out for some one, whose ell against pain and death.' condition has some secret wound in it, and wants a sum, yet, in the eye of the world, not unsuitable to her. If such is not easily had, she immediately adorns a worthless fellow with what estate she thinks convenient, and adds as great a share of good humour and sobriety as is requisite. After this is settled, no importunities, arts, and devices, are omitted, to hasten the lady to her happiness. In the general, indeed, she is a person of so strict justice that she marries a poor gallant to a rich wench, and a moneyless girl to a man of fortune. But then she has no manner of conscience in the disparity, when she has a mind to impose a poor rogue for one of an estate: she has no remorse in adding to it, that he is illiterate, ignorant, and unfashioned; but makes these imperfections arguments of the truth of his wealth; and will on such an occasion, with a very grave face, charge the people of condition with negligence in the education of their children. Exception being made the other day against an ignorant booby of her own clothing, whom she was putting off for a rich heir: Madam,' said she, 'you know there is no making of children, who know they have estates, attend their books.'
peritos rerum, eductos libere, in fraudem illicis?
ses, draw them in to marry harlots?
THE other day passed by me in her cha-
Sempronia, by these arts, is loaded with presents, importuned for her acquaintance, and admired by those who do not know the first taste of life, as a woman of exemplary good breeding. But sure to murder and rob are less iniquities, than to raise profit by abuses as irreparable as taking away life; but more grievous as making it lastingly unhappy. To rob a lady at play of half her fortune, is not so ill as giving the whole and herself to an unworthy husband. But Sempronia can administer consolation to an unhappy fair at home, by leading her to an agreeable gallant elsewhere. She then can preach the general condition of all the married world, and tell an unexperienced young woman the methods of softening her affliction, and laugh at her simplicity and want of knowledge, with an 'Oh! my dear, you will know better.'
The wickedness of Sempronia, one would think, should be superlative: but I cannot but esteem that of some parents equal to it: I mean such as sacrifice the greatest endowments and qualifications to base bargains.
A parent who forces a child of a liberal and | man deserves the least indulgence imagi ingenious spirit into the arms of a clown or a blockhead, obliges her to a crime too odious for a name. It is in a degree the unnatural conjunction of rational and brutal beings. Yet what is there so common, as the bestowing an accomplished woman with such a disparity? And I could name crowds who lead miserable lives for want of knowledge in their parents of this maxim. That good sense and good-nature always go together. That which is attributed to fools, and called good-nature, is only an inability of observing what is faulty, which turns, in marriage, into a suspicion of every thing as such, from a consciousness of that inability.
MR. SPECTATOR,-I am entirely of your opinion with relation to the equestrian females, who affect both the masculine and feminine air at the same time; and cannot forbear making a presentment against another order of them, who grow very nu. merous and powerful; and since our language is not very capable of good compound words, I must be contented to call them only "the naked-shouldered." These beauties are not contented to make lovers wherever they appear, but they must make rivals at the same time. Were you to see Gatty walk the Park at high mall, you would expect those who followed her and those who met her would immediately draw their swords for her. I hope, sir, you will provide for the future, that women may stick to their faces for doing any farther mischief, and not allow any but direct traders in beauty to expose more than the fore-part of the neck, unless you please to allow this after-game to those who are very defective in the charms of the countenance. I can say, to my sorrow, the present practice is very unfair, when to look back is death; and it may be said of our beauties, as a great poet did of bullets,
They kill and wound, like Parthians, as they fly." I submit this to your animadversion; and am, for the little while I have left, your humble servant, the languishing
nable. It is said, it is soon over; that is, all the mischief he does is quickly despatched, which, I think, is no great recommendation to favour. I have known one of those goodnatured passionate men say in a mixed company, even to his own wife or child, such things as the most inveterate enemy of his family would not have spoken, eren in imagination. It is certain that quick sensibility is inseparable from a ready understanding; but why should not that good understanding call to itself all its force on such occasions, to master that sudden incli nation to anger? One of the greatest souls now in the world is the most subject by na ture to anger, and yet so famous for a con quest of himself this way, that he is the and command of a man's self. To contain known example when you talk of temper the spirit of anger, is the worthiest disci pline we can put ourselves to. When & frivolous fellow in a passion is to him as man has made any progress this way, a contemptible as a froward child. It ought to be the study of every man, for his own quiet and peace. When he stands comthat touches him, life is as uneasy to himbustible and ready to flame upon every thing self as it is to all about him. Syncropius leads, of all men living, the most ridiculous life; he is ever offending and begging par don. If his man enters the room without what he was sent for That blockhead, begins he-Gentlemen, I ask your par don, but servants now-a-days'-The wrong plates are laid, they are thrown into the middle of the room: his wife stands by in pain for him, which he sees in her face, and answers as if he had heard all she was thinking: Why? what the devil! Why don't you take care to give orders in these things? His friends sit down to a tasteless plenty of every thing, every minute expect sions. In a word, to eat with, or visit Sy ing new insults from his impertinent pas cropius, is no other than going to see him exercise his family, exercise their patience, and his own anger.
It is monstrous that the shame and con fusion in which this good-natured ang he thus lays about him, does not give hin man must needs behold his friends, while so much reflection as to create an amend ment. This is the most scandalous disuse of reason imaginable; all the harmless part of him is no more than that of a bull-dog they are tame no longer than they are not offended. One of these good-natured ang men shall, in an instant, assemble together so many allusions to secret circumstances as are enough to dissolve the peace of the families and friends he is acquainted with, in a quarter of an hour, and yet next moment be the best natured man the world. If you would see passion in purity, without mixture of reason, behol
represented in a mad hero, drawn by a ad poet. Nat. Lee makes his Alexander y thus:
Away! begone! and give a whirlwind room, Dr I will blow you up like dust! Avaunt! Madness but meanly represents my toil, Eternal discord!
lost, and I know not to whom I lent it, it is
you grow warm; I tell you the book is lost;
Fury! revenge! disdain and indignation!
Thursday, July 24, 1712.
the poet, was always filled with a confused
See No. 324, ad finem.
This scene passed in the shop of Mr. Vaillant, now
of Mr. James Payne, in the Strand; and the subject of
it was (for it is still in remembrance) a volume of Mas
not reach his ears. They have news-1 poor revenge of resenting them. The his gatherers and intelligencers distributed into tories of Alexander and Cæsar are full d their several walks and quarters, who this kind of instances. Vulgar souls are of bring in their respective quotas, and make a quite contrary character. Dionysius, the them acquainted with the discourse and tyrant of Sicily, had a dungeon which was conversation of the whole kingdom or com- a very curious piece of architecture; and of monwealth where they are employed. The which, as I am informed, there are still to wisest of kings, alluding to these invisible be seen some remains in that island. It and unsuspected spies, who are planted by was called Dionysius's Ear, and built with kings and rulers over their fellow-citizens, several little windings and labyrinths in the as well as to those voluntary informers that form of a real ear. The structure of it are buzzing about the ears of a great man, made it a kind of whispering place, but such and making their court by such secret a one as gathered the voice of him who methods of intelligence, has given us a very spoke into a funnel, which was placed at prudent caution:* 'Curse not the king, no the very top of it. The tyrant used to not in thy thought, and curse not the rich lodge all his state criminals, or those whom in thy bed-chamber; for a bird of the air he supposed to be engaged together in any shall carry the voice, and that which hath evil design upon him, in this dungeon. He wings shall tell the matter.' had at the same time an apartment over it, where he used to apply himself to the funnel, and by that means overheard every thing that was whispered in the dungeon I believe one may venture to affirm, that a Cæsar or an Alexander would have rather died by the treason than have used such disingenuous means for the detecting of it.
As it is absolutely necessary for rulers to make use of other people's eyes, they should take particular care to do it in such a manner that it may not bear too hard on the person whose life and conversation are inquired into. A man who is capable of so infamous a calling as that of a spy, is not very much to be relied upon. He can have no great ties of honour or checks of conscience, to restrain him in those covert evidences, where the person accused has no opportunity of vindicating himself. He will be more industrious to carry that which is grateful than that which is true. There will be no occasion for him if he does not hear and see things worth discovery; so that he naturally inflames every word and circumstance, aggravates what is faulty, perverts what is good, and misrepresents what is indifferent. Nor is it to be doubted but that such ignominious wretches let their private passions into these their clandestine informations, and often wreak their particular spite and malice against the person whom they are set to watch. It is a pleasant scene enough, which an Italian author describes between a spy and a cardinal who employed him. The cardinal is represented as minuting down every thing that is sold him. The spy begins with a low voice, 'Such a one, the advocate, whispered to one of his friends, within my hearing, that your eminence was a very great poltroon;' and after having given his patron time enough to take it down, adds, that another called him a mercenary rascal in a public conversation. The cardinal replies, Very well,' and bids him go on. The spy proceeds and loads him with reports of the same nature, till the cardinal rises in great wrath, calls him an impudent scoundrel, and kicks him out of the room.
It is observed of great and heroic minds, that they have not only shown a particular disregard to those unmerited reproaches which have been cast upon them, but have been altogether free from that impertinent curiosity of inquiring after them, or the
Eccl. x. 20.
A man who in ordinary life is very inqui sitive after every thing which is spoken ill of him, passes his time but very indiffe rently. He is wounded by every arrow that is shot at him, and puts it in the power of every insignificant enemy to disquiet him. Nay, he will suffer from what has been said of him, when it is forgotten by those who said or heard it. For this reason I could never bear one of those officious friends, that would be telling every malicious report, every idle censure, that passed upon me. The tongue of man is so petulant, and his thoughts so variable, that one should not lay too great a stress upon any present speeches and opinions. Praise and obloquy proceed very frequently out of the same mouth upon the same person; and same occasion. A generous enemy will sometimes bestow commendations, as the dearest friend cannot sometimes refrain from speaking ill. The man who is indif ferent in either of these respects, gives his opinion at random, and praises or disapproves as he finds himself in humour.
I shall conclude this essay with part of character, which is finely drawn by the earl of Clarendon, in the first book of his History, which gives us the lively picture of a great man teasing himself with an ab surd curiosity.
He had not that application and submission, and reverence for the queen, might have been expected from his wisdom and breeding; and often crossed her pre tences and desires with more rudeness than was natural to him. Yet he was imperti nently solicitous to know what her majesty said of him in private, and what resent ments she had towards him. And when by some confidants, who had their ends upon him from those offices, he was in formed of some bitter expressions falling
Friday, July 25, 1712.
rom her majesty, he was so exceedingly | from the table, and convey him to the infflicted and tormented with the sense of firmary. There was but one more sent , that sometimes by passionate complaints away that day; this was a gentleman who nd representations to the king, sometimes is reckoned by some persons one of the y more dutiful addresses and expostula- greatest wits, and by others one of the ions with the queen in bewailing his mis- greatest boobies about town. This you will ortune, he frequently exposed himself, and say is a strange character; but what makes eft his condition worse than it was before, it stranger yet, is a very true one, for he is nd the éclaircissement commonly ended in perpetually the reverse of himself, being he discovery of the persons from whom he always merry or dull to excess. We brought ad received his most secret intelligence.' him hither to divert us, which he did O. very well upon the road, having lavished away as much wit and laughter upon the hackney coachman as might have served during his whole stay here, had it been duly managed. He had been lumpish for two or three days, but was so far connived at, in hopes of recovery, that we despatched one of the briskest fellows among the brotherhood into the infirmary for having told I HAVE already given my reader an ac-him at table he was not merry. But our unt of a set of merry fellows who are president observing that he indulged himassing their summer together in the coun- self in this long fit of stupidity, and cony, being provided with a great house, struing it as a contempt of the college, -here there is not only a convenient apart-ordered him to retire into the place preent for every particular person, but a rge infirmary for the reception of such of em as are any way indisposed or out of umour. Having lately received a letter om the secretary of the society, by order the whole fraternity, which acquaints e with their behaviour during the last eek, I shall here make a present of it to e public.
Vivere si recte nescis, discede peritis.
pared for such companions. He was no sooner got into it, but his wit and mirth returned upon him in so violent a manner, that he shook the whole infirmary with the noise of it, and had so good an effect upon the rest of the patients, that he brought them all out to dinner with him the next day.
'On Tuesday we were no sooner sat down, but one of the company complained that his head ached; upon which, another asked him in an insolent manner, what he did there then? This insensibly grew into some warm words; so that the president, in order to keep the peace, gave directions to take them both from the table, and lodge them in the infirmary. Not long after, another of the company telling us he knew, by a pain in his shoulder, that we should have some rain, the president ordered him to be removed, and placed at a weatherglass in the apartment above-mentioned.
'MR. SPECTATOR,-We are glad to find at you approve the establishment which e have here made for the retrieving of od manners and agreeable conversation, d shall use our best endeavours so to imove ourselves in this our summer retireent, that we may next winter serve as tterns to the town. But to the end that is our institution may be no less advantaous to the public than to ourselves, we all communicate to you one week of our oceedings, desiring you at the same time, 'On Wednesday a gentleman having reYou see any thing faulty in them, to favour ceived a letter written in a woman's hand, with your admonitions: for you must and changing colour twice or thrice as he ow, sir, that it has been proposed amongst read it, desired leave to retire into the into choose you for our visitor; to which I firmary. The president consented, but dest farther add, that one of the college nied him the use of pen, ink, and paper, ving declared last week he did not like till such time as he had slept upon it. One Spectator of the day, and not being of the company being seated at the lower e to assign any just reasons for such dis- end of the table, and discovering his secret e, he was sent to the infirmary nemine discontent, by finding fault with every dish tradicente. that was served up, and refusing to laugh On Monday the assembly was in very at any thing that was said, the president d humour, having received some re-told him, that he found he was in an units of French claret that morning; when, easy seat, and desired him to accommodate uckily, towards the middle of the din- himself better in the infirmary. After din , one of the company swore at his ser-ner, a very honest fellow chanced to let a it in a very rough manner for having put pun fall from him; his neighbour cried out, much water in his wine. Upon which,To the infirmary;" at the same time prepresident of the day, who is always the tending to be sick at it, as having the same uth of the company, after having con- natural antipathy to a pun which some ced him of the impertinence of his pas- have to a cat. This produced a long de, and the insult he had made upon the bate. Upon the whole, the punster was pany, ordered his man to take him acquitted, and his neighbour sent off. CL. II.