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death. He tells us soon after, through a small mistake of sorrow for rage, that during the whole action he was so very sorry, that he thinks he could have attacked half a score of the fiercest Mohocks in the excess of his grief. I cannot but look upon it as an unhappy accident, that a man who is so bloody-minded in his affliction was diverted from this fit of outrageous melancholy. The valour of this gentleman in his distress brings to one's memory the Knight of the sorrowful Countenance, who lays about him at such an unmerciful rate in an old romance. I shall readily grant him that his soul, as he himself says, would have made a very ridiculous figure, had it quitted the body, and descended to the poetical shades, in such an encounter.
arose very much from the circumstance of my own life, who am a soldier, and ex pect every day to receive orders, which will oblige me to leave behind me a wife that is very dear to me, and that very de servedly. She is at present, I am sure, no way below your Asteria for conjugal affec tion: but I see the behaviour of some wo men so little suited to the circumstances wherein my wife and I shall soon be, that it is with a reluctance, I never knew be fore, I am going to my duty. What puts me to present pain is the example of young lady, whose story you shall have as well as I can give it you. Hortensius, an officer of good rank in his majesty's ser vice, happened, in a certain part of Eng land, to be brought to a country gentleman's As to his conceit of tacking a tragic head house, where he was received with that with a comic tail, in order to refresh the more than ordinary welcome with which audience, it is such a piece of jargon, that men of domestic lives entertain such few I do not know what to make of it. soldiers whom a military life, from the va The elegant writer makes a very sud-riety of adventures, has not rendered over den transition from the playhouse to the church, and from thence to the gallows. 'As for what relates to the church, he is of opinion that these epilogues have given occasion to those merry jigs from the organloft, which have dissipated those good thoughts and dispositions he has found in himself, and the rest of the pew, upon the singing of two staves culled out by the judicious and diligent clerk.
bearing, but humane, easy, and agreeable Hortensius staid here some time, and had easy access at all hours, as well as unavoid able conversation, at some parts of the day, with the beautiful Sylvana, the gentleman's daughter. People who live in cities are wonderfully struck with every little coun try abode they see when they take the air and it is natural to fancy they could live in every neat cottage (by which they pass) much happier than in their present cir cumstances. The turbulent way of life which Hortensius was used to, made him reflect with much satisfaction on all the In the mean time, sir, this gloomy advantages of a sweet retreat one day; and, writer, who is so mightily scandalized at a among the rest, you will think it not im gay epilogue after a serious play, speaking probable it might enter into his thought, of the fate of those unhappy wretches who that such a woman as Sylvana would conare condemned to suffer an ignominious summate the happiness. The world is so death by the justice of our laws, endeavours debauched with mean considerations, that to make the reader merry on so improper Hortensius knew it would be received as an an occasion, by those poor burlesque ex- act of generosity, if he asked for a woman pressions of tragical dramas and monthly of the highest merit, without further ques performances. I am, sir, with great re-tions, of a parent who had nothing to add spect, your most obedient, most humble to her personal qualifications. The wed PHILOMEDES,' ding was celebrated at her father's house When that was over, the generous hus band did not proportion his provision fa her to the circumstances of her fortune but considered his wife as his darling, hi pride, and his vanity; or, rather, that i was in the woman he had chosen that with an excuse, and therefore adorned he man of sense could show pride or vanity did not, however, omit to admonish her with rich habits and valuable jewels. H that he did his very utmost in this; that i was an ostentation he could not be guilty of but to a woman he had so much pleasure in, desiring her to consider it as such; and begged of her also to take these matters rightly, and believe the gems, the gowns, the laces, would still become her better, it her air and behaviour was such, that it might appear she dressed thus rather in compliance to his humour that way,
He fetches his next thought from Tyburn: and seems very apprehensive lest there should happen any innovations in the tragedies of his friend Paul Lorrain.
No. 342.] Wednesday, April 2, 1712.
Justice consists in doing no injury to men: decency,
in giving them no offence.
As regard to decency is a great rule of life in general, but more especially to be consulted by the female world, I cannot overlook the following letter, which describes an egregious offender.
MR. SPECTATOR,-I was this day looking over your papers, and reading, in that of December the 6th, with great delight, the amiable grief of Asteria for the absence of her husband; it threw me into a great deal of reflection, I cannot say but this
at of any value she herself had for the tri-
addition to what is truly commendable,
th, though that supply is purchased with No. 343.] Thursday, April 3, 1712. less difficulty than the hazard of his
-Errat, et illinc
Huc venit, hinc illuc, et quoslibet occupat artus
Ovid. Met. Lib. xv. 165.
WILL HONEYCOMB, who loves to show upon occasion all the little learning he has picked up, told us yesterday at the club, that he thought there might be a great deal said for the transmigration of souls; and that the eastern parts of the world believed in that doctrine to this day. 'Sir Paul Rycaut,' says he, gives us an account of several well-disposed Mahometans that purchase the freedom of any little bird they see confined to a cage, and think they merit as much by it as we should do here by ransoming any of our countrymen from their captivity at Algiers. You must know,' says Will, the reason is, because they consider every animal as a brother or sister in disguise; and therefore think themselves obliged to extend their charity to them, though under such mean circumstances. They'll tell you,' says Will, that the soul of a man, when he dies, immediately passes into the body of another man, or of some brute, which he resembled in his humour, or his fortune, when he was one of us.'
Now, Mr. Spectator, would it not be a rk becoming your office, to treat this iminal as she deserves? You should give the severest reflections you can. ould tell women, that they are more acuntable for behaviour in absence, than er death. The dead are not dishonoured their levities; the living may return, and laughed at by empty fops, who will not to turn into ridicule the good man, who So unseasonable as to be still alive, and me and spoil good company. I am, sir, ur most obedient humble servant." All strictness of behaviour is so unmercily laughed at in our age, that the other ach worse extreme is the more common ly. But let any woman consider, which the two offences a husband would the ore easily forgive, that of being less entaining than she could to please compaor raising the desires of the whole room his disadvantage; and she will easily be le to form her conduct. We have indeed ried women's characters too much into blic life, and you shall see them now-ays affect a sort of fame: but I cannot help turing to disoblige them for their sere, by telling them, that the utmost of man's character is contained in domestic ; she is blameable or praiseworthy acding as her carriage affects the house of As I was wondering what this profusion father or her husband. All she has to of learning would end in, Will told us, that in this world, is contained within the Jack Freelove, who was a fellow of whim, ties of a daughter, a sister, a wife, and made love to one of those ladies who throw ther. All these may be well performed, away all their fondness on parrots, monkeys, ugh a lady should not be the very finest and lap-dogs. Upon going to pay her a visit man at an opera or an assembly. They one morning, he writ a very pretty epistle likewise consistent with a moderate upon this hint. Jack,' says he, was conre of wit, a plain dress, and a modest ducted into the parlour, where he diverted But when the very brains of the sex himself for some time with her favourite turned, and they place their ambition monkey, which was chained in one of the circumstances, wherein to excel is no windows; till at length observing a pen and
ink lie by him, he writ the following letter to his mistress in the person of the monkey, and upon her not coming down so soon as he expected, left it in the window, and went about his business.
The lady soon after coming into the parlour and seeing her monkey look upon a paper with great earnestness, took it up, and to this day is in some doubt,' says Will, whether it was written by Jack or the monkey.
cessful in two or three chases, he gave me such a confounded gripe in his anger that died of it.
My soul then entered into a flying-fish, and in that state led a most melancholy life for the space of six years. Several fishes of prey pursued me when I was in the water; and if I betook myself to my wings, it was ten to one but I had a flock of birds aiming at me. As I was one day flying amidst a fleet of English ships, I observed a huge sea-gull whetting his bill, and ho vering just over my head; upon my dipping into the water to avoid him, I fell into the mouth of a monstrous shark, that swallowed me down in an instant.
'In my next transmigration, I was again set upon two legs, and became an Indian tax-gatherer; but having been guilty great extravagances, and being married an expensive jade of a wife, I ran so cursedly in debt, that I durst not show my head. could no sooner step out of my house but I was arrested by somebody or other that lay in wait for me. As I ventured abroad one 'MADAM,-Not having the gift of speech, night in the dusk of the evening, I was taken I have a long time waited in vain for an op-up and hurried into a dungeon, where I died portunity of making myself known to you; a few months after. and having at present the convenience of pen, ink, and paper, by me, I gladly take the occasion of giving you my history in writing, which I could not do by word of mouth. You must know, madam, that about a thousand years ago I was an Indian brachman, and versed in all those mysterious secrets which your European philosopher, called Pythagoras, is said to have learned from our fraternity. I had so ingratiated myself, by my great skill in the occult sciences, with a demon whom I used to converse with, that he promised to grant me whatever I should ask of him. I de'I was some years afterwards, to my sired that my soul might never pass into great surprise, an eminent banker in Lom the body of a brute creature; but this, he bard-street; and, remembering how I had told me, was not in his power to grant me. formerly suffered for want of money, be I then begged, that, into whatever creature came so very sordid and avaricious, that I should chance to transmigrate, I should the whole town cried shame of me. I was still retain my memory, and be conscious a miserable little old fellow to look upon; that I was the same person who lived in for I had in a manner starved myself, and different animals. This, he told me, was was nothing but skin and bone when I died. in his power, and accordingly promised, on the word of a demon, that he would grant me what I desired. From that time forth, I lived so unblameably, that I was made president of a college of brachmans, an office which I discharged with great integrity until the day of my death.
'I was afterwards very much troubled and amazed to find myself dwindled into an emmet. I was heartily concerned to make so insignificant a figure, and did not know but some time or other I might be reduced to a mite, if I did not mend my manners. I therefore applied myself with great dili gence to the offices that were allotted me, and was generally looked upon as the notablest ant in the whole mole-hill. I was at last picked up as I was groaning under a burden, by an unlucky cock-sparrow that lived in the neighbourhood, and had before made great depredations upon our
I was then shuffled into another human body, and acted my part so well in it, that I became first minister to a prince who reigned upon the banks of the Ganges. I here lived in great honour for several years, but by degrees lost all the innocence of the brachman, being obliged to rifle and oppress the people to enrich my sovereign; commonwealth. till at length I became so odious, that my 'I then bettered my condition a little, and master, to recover his credit with his sub-lived a whole summer in the shape of a jects, shot me through the heart with an arrow, as I was one day addressing myself to him at the head of his army.
Upon my next remove, I found myself in the woods under the shape of jackal, and soon listed myself in the service of a lion. I used to yelp near his den about midnight, which was his time of rousing and seeking after prey. He always followed me in the rear, and when I had run down a fat buck, a wild goat, or a hare, after he had feasted very plentifully upon it himself, would now and then throw me a I bone that was but half-picked, for my encouragement; but, upon my being unsuc
bee; but being tired with the painful and penurious life I had undergone in my two last transmigrations, I fell into the other extreme, and turned drone. As I one day headed a party to plunder a hive, we were received so warmly by the swarm which defended it, that we were most of us left dead upon the spot.
"I might tell you of many other transmi grations which I went through: how I wa a town-rake, and afterwards did penance in a bay gelding for ten years; as also how was a tailor, a shrimp, and a tom-tit.! the last of these my shapes, I was shot in the Christmas holidays by a young jacka
apes, who would needs try his new gun
But I shall pass over these and several ther stages of life, to remind you of the oung beau who made love to you about six ears since. You may remember, madam, ow he masked, and danced, and sung, nd played a thousand tricks to gain you; nd how he was at last carried off by a cold at he got under your window one night in serenade. I was that unfortunate young llow to whom you were then so cruel. ot long after my shifting that unlucky ody, I found myself upon a hill in Ethioa, where I lived in my present grotesque ape, till I was caught by a servant of the nglish factory, and sent over into Great ritain. I need not inform you how I came to your hands. You see, madam, this is ot the first time that you have had me in chain: I am, however, very happy in this y captivity, as you often bestow on me hose kisses and caresses which I would ave given the world for when I was a man. hope this discovery of my person will not end to my disadvantage, but that you will ill continue your accustomed favours to Our most devoted humble servant,
in his way, and withal so very merry during the whole entertainment, that he insensibly betrayed me to continue his competitor, which in a little time concluded in a complete victory over my rival; after which, by way of insult, I ate a considerable proportion beyond what the spectators thought me obliged in honour to do. The effect, however, of this engagement, has made me resolve never to eat more for renown; and I have, pursuant to this resolution, compounded three wagers I had depending on the strength of my stomach, which happened very luckily, because it had been stipulated in our articles either to play or pay. How a man of common sense could be thus engaged is hard to determine; but the occasion of this is, to desire you to inform several gluttons of my acquaintance, who look on me with envy, that they had best moderate their ambition in time, lest infamy or death attend their success. I forgot to tell you, sir, with what unspeakable pleasure I received the acclamations and applause of the whole board, when I had almost eat my antagonist into convulsions. It was then that I returned his mirth upon him with such success, as he was hardly able to swallow, though prompted by a desire of fame, and a passionate fond'P. S. I would advise your little shock-ness for distinction. I had not endeavoured Og to keep out of my way; for as I look on him to be the most formidable of my vals, I may chance one time or other to ve him such a snap as he won't like.'
MR. SPECTATOR,-I think it has not et fallen into your way to discourse on tle ambition, or the many whimsical ways en fall into to distinguish themselves nong their acquaintance. Such observaons, well pursued, would make a pretty story of low life. I myself am got into a eat reputation, which arose (as most exaordinary occurrences in a man's life seem do,) from a mere accident. I was some ys ago unfortunately engaged among a t of gentlemen, who esteem a man accordg to the quantity of food he throws down a meal. Now I, who am ever for disguishing myself according to the notions superiority which the rest of the comny entertain, ate so immoderately, for eir applause, as had like to have cost me life. What added to my misfortune was, at having naturally a good stomach, and ving lived soberly for some time, my dy was as well prepared for this contenas if it had been by appointment. I quickly vanquished every glutton in mpany but one who was such a prodigy VOL. II. 7
to excel so far, had not the company been so loud in their approbation of my victory. I don't question but the same thirst after glory has often caused a man to drink quarts without taking breath, and prompted men to many other as difficult enterprises: which, if otherwise pursued, might turn very much to a man's advantage. This ambition of mine was indeed extravagantly pursued; however, I cannot help observing, that you hardly ever see a man commended for a good stomach, but he immediately falls to eating more, (though he had before dined,) as well to confirm the person that commended him in his good opinion of him, as to convince any other at the table, who may have been unattentive enough not to have done justice to his character. I am, sir, your humble servant,
'MR. SPECTATOR,-I have wrote to you three or four times, to desire you would take notice of an impertinent custom the women, the fine women, have lately fallen into, of taking snuff. This silly trick is attended with such a coquette air in some ladies, and such a sedate masculine one in others, that I cannot tell which most to complain of: but they are to me equally disagreeable. Mrs. Santer is so impatient of being without it, that she takes it as often as she does salt at meals: and as she affects a wonderful ease and negligence in all her manner, an upper lip mixed with snuff and the sauce, is what is presented to the observation of all who have the honour to eat with her. The pretty creature, her
So spake our sire, and by his countenance seem'd
Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd,
niece, does all she can to be as disagreeable | book, which is filled with Adam's accoun as her aunt; and if she is not as offensive to of his passion and esteem for Eve, would the eye, she is quite as much to the ear, have been improper for her hearing, and and makes up all she wants in a confident has therefore devised very just and beauti air, by a nauseous rattle of the nose, when ful reasons for her retiring: the snuff is delivered, and the fingers make the stops and closes on the nostrils. This, perhaps, is not a very courtly image in speaking of ladies; that is very true: but where arises the offence? Is it in those who commit, or those who observe it? As for my part, I have been so extremely disgusted with this filthy physic hanging on the lip, that the most agreeable conversation, or person, has not been able to make up for it. As to those who take it for no other end but to give themselves occasion for pretty action, or to fill up little intervals of discourse, I can bear with them; but then they must not use it when another is speaking, who ought to be heard with too much respect, to admit of offering at that time from hand to hand the snuff-box. But Flavilla is so far taken with her behaviour in this kind, that she pulls out her box (which is indeed full of good Brazil,) in the middle of the sermon; and, to show she has the audacity of a well-bred woman, she offers it to the men as well as to the women who sit near her: but since by this time all the world knows she has a fine hand, I am in hopes she may give herself no further trouble in this matter. On Sunday was sevennight, when they came about for the offering, she gave her charity with a very good air, but at the same time asked the church-warden if he would take a pinch. Pray, sir, think of these things in time, and you will oblige, your humble servant.
No. 345.] Saturday, April 5, 1712.
Sanctius his animal, mentisque capacius altæ
A creature of a more exalted kind
THE accounts which Raphael gives of the battle of angels, and the creation of the world, have in them those qualifications which the critics judge requisite to an episode. They are nearly related to the principal action, and have a just connexion with
The eighth book opens with a beautiful description of the impression which this discourse of the archangel made on our first parents. Adam afterwards, by a very natural curiosity, inquires concerning the motions of those celestial bodies which make the most glorious appearance among the six days' work. The poet here, with a great deal of art, represents Eve as withdrawing from this part of their conversation, to amusements more suitable to her sex. He well knew that the episode in this
The angel's returning a doubtful answer to Adam's inquiries, was not only proper for the moral reason which the poet assigns but because it would have been highly absurd to have given the sanction of an archangel to any particular system of philo sophy. The chief points in the Ptolemaic and Copernican hypotheses are described with great conciseness and perspicuity, and at the same time dressed in very pleasing and poetical images.
Adam, to detain the angel, enters afterwards upon his own history, and relates to him the circumstances in which he found himself upon his creation; as also his con versation with his Maker, and his first meeting with Eve. There is no part the poem more apt to raise the attention of the reader than this discourse of our great ancestor; as nothing can be more surprising and delightful to us, than to hear the sent ments that arose in the first man, while he was yet new and fresh from the hands of his Creator. The poet has interwoven every thing which is delivered upon this subject in holy writ with so many beautiful imagi nations of his own, that nothing can be con ceived more just and more natural than this whole episode. As our author knew this subject could not but be agreeable to his reader, he would not throw it into the relation of the six days' work, but reserved it for a distinct episode, that he might have an op portunity of expatiating upon it more at large. Before I enter upon this part of the poem, I cannot but take notice of two shining passages in the dialogue between Adam and the angel. The first is that wherein our ancestor gives an account of the plea sure he took in conversing with him, which contains a very noble moral.
For while I sit with thee, I seem in heaven,