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pronounced vicious or virtuous before the conclusion of it.

estate was acquired, now much it was beholden to a marriage for the present circumstances of it: after all he could see noIt was upon this consideration that Epathing but a common man in his person, his minondas, being asked whether Chabrias breeding, or understanding. Iphicrates, or he himself, deserved most Thus, Mr. Spectator, this impertinent to be esteemed? You must first see us humour of diminishing every one who is die,' saith he, 'before that question can be produced in conversation to their advan-answered.'

tage, runs through the world; and I am, I As there is not a more melancholy conconfess, so fearful of the force of ill tongues, sideration to a good man than his being that I have begged of all those who are my obnoxious to such a change, so there is nowell-wishers never to commend me, for it thing more glorious than to keep up an will but bring my frailties into examination; uniformity in his actions, and preserve the and I had rather be unobserved, than_con- beauty of his character to the last. spicuous for disputed perfections. I am confident a thousand young people, who would have been ornaments to society, have, from fear of scandal, never dared to exert themselves in the polite arts of life. Their lives have passed away in an odious rusticity in spite of great advantages of person, genius, and fortune. There is a vicious terror of being blamed in some wellinclined people, and a wicked pleasure in suppressing them in others; both which I recommend to your spectatorial wisdom to animadvert upon; and if you can be successful in it, I need not say how much you will deserve of the town; but new toasts will owe to you their beauty, and new wits their fame. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant, T.


No. 349.] Thursday, April 10, 1712.

-Quos ille timorum

Maximus haud urget lethi metus: inde ruendi
In ferrum mens prona viris, animæque capaces
Lucan. Lib. i. 454.
Thrice happy they beneath their northern skies,
Who that worst fear, the fear of death, despise!
Hence they no cares for this frail being feel,
But rush undaunted on the pointed steel.
Provoke approaching fate, and bravely scorn

To spare that life which must so soon return.-Rowe. I AM very much pleased with a consolatory letter of Phalaris, to one who had lost a son that was a young man of great merit. The thought with which he comforts the afflicted father is, to the best of my memory as follows:-That he should consider death had set a kind seal upon his son's character, and placed him out of the reach of vice and infamy: that, while he lived, he was still within the possibility of falling away from virtue, and losing the fame of which he was possessed. Death only closes a man's reputation, and determines it as good or bad.

This, among other motives, may be one reason why we are naturally averse to the launching out into a man's praise till his head is laid in the dust. Whilst he is capable of changing, we may be forced to retract our opinion. He may forfeit the esteem we have conceived of him, and some time or other appear to us under a different light from what he does at present. In short, as the life of any man cannot be called happy, or unhappy, so neither can it be

The end of a man's life is often compared to the winding up of a well-written play, where the principal persons still act in character, whatever the fate is which they undergo. There is scarce a great person in the Grecian or Roman history, whose death has not been remarked upon by some writer or other, and censured or applauded according to the genius or principles of the person who has descanted on it. Monsieur de St. Evremond is very particular in setting forth the constancy and courage of Petronius Arbiter during his last moments, and thinks he discovers in them a greater firmness of mind and resolution than in the death of Seneca, Cato, or Socrates. There is no question but this polite author's af fectation of appearing singular in his re marks, and making discoveries which had escaped the observations of others, threw him into this course of reflection. It was Petronius's merit that he died in the same gaiety of temper, in which he lived; but as his life was altogether loose and dissolute, the indifference which he showed at the close of it is to be looked upon as a piece of natural carelessness and levity, rather than fortitude. The resolution of Socrates proceeded from very different motives, the consciousness of a well-spent life, and the prospect of a happy eternity. If the ingenious author above-mentioned was so pleased with gaiety of humour in a dying man, he might have found a much nobler instance of it in our countryman Sir Thomas More.

This great and learned man was famous for enlivening his ordinary discourses with wit and pleasantry; and as Erasmus tells him in an epistle dedicatory, acted in all parts of life like a second Democritus.

He died upon a point of religion, and is respected as a martyr by that side for which he suffered. That innocent mirth, which had been so conspicuous in his life, did not forsake him to the last. He maintained the same cheerfulness of heart upon the scaffold which he used to show at his table; and upon laying his head on the block, gave instances of that good humour with which he had always entertained his friends in the most ordinary occurrences. His death was of a piece with his life. There was nothing in it new, forced, or affected. He did not look upon the severing his head

om his body as a circumstance that ought 2 produce any change in the disposition of Es mind; and as he died under a fixed and ettled hope of immortality, he thought any nusual degree of sorrow and concern imroper on such an occasion, as had nothing it which could deject or terrify him. There is no great danger of imitation om this example. Men's natural fears ill be a sufficient guard against it. I shall ly observe, that what was philosophy in is extraordinary man, would be phrensy one who does not resemble him as well the cheerfulness of his temper as in the anctity of his life and manners.

I shall conclude this paper with the inance of a person who seems to me to have own more intrepidity and greatness of bul in his dying moments than what we eet with among any of the most celerated Greeks and Romans. I met with is instance in the History of the Revoluons in Portugal, written by the abbot de


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CAPTAIN SENTRY was last night at a
club, and produced a letter from Ipswich,
which his correspondent desired him to
communicate to his friend the Spectator.
It contained an account of an engagement
between a French privateer, commanded
by one Dominic Pottiere, and a little ves-
sel of that place laden with corn, the mas-
ter whereof, as I remember, was one Good-
win. The Englishman defended himself
with incredible bravery, and beat off the
French, after having been boarded three
or four times. The enemy still came on
with great fury, and hoped by his number
of men to carry the prize; till at last the
Englishman, finding himself sink apace,
and ready to perish, struck: but the effect
which this singular gallantry had upon the
captain of the privateer was no other than
an unmanly desire of vengeance for the loss
he had sustained in his several attacks.

When Don Sebastian, king of Portugal, He told the Ipswich man in a speaking
ad invaded the territories of Muli Moluc, trumpet, that he would not take him aboard,
mperor of Morocco, in order to dethrone and that he stayed to see him sink. The
im, and set the crown upon the head of Englishman at the same time observed a
is nephew, Moluc was wearing away with disorder in the vessel, which he rightly
distemper which he himself knew was judged to proceed from the disdain which
curable. However, he prepared for the the ship's crew had of their captain's in-
eception of so formidable an enemy. He humanity. With this hope he went into
as, indeed, so far spent with his sickness, his boat, and approached the enemy. He
at he did not expect to live out the whole was taken in by the sailors in spite of their
ay when the last decisive battle was given; commander: but though they received him
ut knowing the fatal consequences that against his command, they treated him,
ould happen to his children and people, when he was in the ship, in the manner he
case he should die before he put an end directed. Pottiere caused his men to hold
that war, he commanded his principal Goodwin, while he beat him with a stick,
ficers, that if he died during the engage-till he fainted with loss of blood and rage
ent, they should conceal his death from of heart; after which he ordered him into
e army, and that they should ride up to irons, without allowing him any food, but
e litter in which his corpse was carried, such as one or two of the men stole to him
der pretence of receiving orders from him under peril of the like usage: and having
usual. Before the battle began, he was kept him several days overwhelmed with
arried, through all the ranks of his army the misery of stench, hunger, and sore-
an open litter, as they stood drawn up ness, he brought him into Calais. The
array, encouraging them to fight valiantly governor of the place was soon acquainted
defence of their religion and country. with all that had passed, dismissed Pot-
Ending afterwards the battle to go against tiere from his charge with ignominy, and
im, though he was very near his last ago- gave Goodwin all the relief which a man of
es, he threw himself out of his litter, honour would bestow upon an enemy bar-
llied his army, and led them on to the barously treated, to recover the imputation
arge: which afterwards ended in a com- of cruelty upon his prince and country.
Lete victory
on the side of the Moors. He
ad no sooner brought his men to the en-
gement, but, finding himself utterly
again replaced in his litter,
here, laying his finger on his mouth, to
join secrecy to his officers who stood
out him, he died in a few moments after

ent, he was

that posture.


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When Mr. Sentry had read his letter, full of many other circumstances which aggravate the barbarity, he fell into a sort of criticism upon magnanimity and courage, and argued that they were inseparable; and that courage, without regard to justice and humanity, was no other than the fierceness of a wild beast. A good and truly bold spirit,' continued he, 'is ever actuated by reason, and a sense of honour and duty. The affectation of such a spirit exerts itself in an impudent aspect, an overbearing confidence, and a certain negligence of giving offence. This is visible in all the cocking

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In te omnis domus inclinata recumbit.

Virg. En. xii. 59.

On thee the fortunes of our house depend. IF we look into the three great heroic poems which have appeared in the world, we may observe that they are built upon very slight foundations. Homer lived near 300 years after the Trojan war; and, as the writing of history was not then in use among the Greeks, we may very well suppose that the tradition of Achilles and Ulysses had brought down but very few particulars to his knowledge; though there is no question but he has wrought into his two poems such of their remarkable adventures as were still talked of among his contemporaries.

youths you see about this town, who are | No. 351.] Saturday, April 12, 1712.
noisy in assemblies, unawed by the pre-
sence of wise and virtuous men; in a word,
insensible of all the honours and decencies
of human life. A shameless fellow takes
advantage of merit clothed with modesty
and magnanimity, and, in the eyes of little
people, appears sprightly and agreeable:
while the man of resolution and true gal-
lantry is overlooked and disregarded, if not
despised. There is a propriety in all things;
and I believe what you scholars call just
and sublime, in opposition to turgid and
bombast_expression, may give you an idea
of what I mean, when I say modesty is the
certain indication of a great spirit, and im-
pudence the affectation of it. He that
writes with judgment, and never rises into
improper warmths, manifests the true force
of genius; in like manner, he who is quiet
and equal in his behaviour is supported in
that deportment by what we may call true
courage. Alas! it is not so easy a thing to
be a brave man as the unthinking part of
mankind imagine. To dare is not all there
is in it. The privateer we were just now
talking of had boldness enough to attack
his enemy, but not greatness of mind enough
to admire the same quality exerted by that
enemy in defending himself. Thus his base
and little mind was wholly taken up in the
sordid regard to the prize of which he
failed, and the damage done to his own
vessel; and therefore he used an honest
man, who defended his own from him, in
the manner as he would a thief that should

rob him.

The story of Æneas, on which Virgil founded his poem, was likewise very bare of circumstances, and by that means af forded him an opportunity of embellishing it with fiction, and giving a full range to his own invention. We find, however, that he has interwoven, in the course of his fable, the principal particulars, which were generally believed among the Romans, of Eneas's voyage and settlement in Italy.

The reader may find an abridgment of the whole story, as collected out of the ancient historians, and as it was received among the Romans, in Dionysius Halicarnassus.

Since none of the critics have considered Virgil's fable with relation to this history of Æneas, it may not perhaps be amiss to examine it in this light, so far as regards He was equally disappointed, and had my present purpose. Whoever looks into not spirit enough to consider, that one case the abridgment above-mentioned, will find would be laudable, and the other criminal. that the character of Æneas is filled with Malice, rancour, hatred, vengeance, are piety to the gods, and a superstitious obwhat tear the breasts of mean men in fight; servation of prodigies, oracles, and predic but fame, glory, conquests, desire of oppor- tions. Virgil has not only preserved his tunities to pardon and oblige their opposers, character in the person of Æneas, but has are what glow in the minds of the gallant.' given a place in his poem to those particu The captain ended his discourse with a lar prophecies which he found recorded of specimen of his book-learning; and gave us him in history and tradition. The poet to understand that he had read a French took the matters of fact as they came down author on the subject of justness in point of to him, and circumstanced them after his gallantry. I love,' said Mr. Sentry a own manner, to make them appear the critic who mixes the rules of life with anno- more natural, agreeable, or surprising. Ibe tations upon writers. My author,' added lieve very many readers have been shocked he, in his discourse upon epic poems, at that ludicrous prophecy which one of the takes occasion to speak of the same quality harpies pronounces to the Trojans in the of courage drawn in the two different cha- third book; namely, that before they had racters of Turnus and Æneas. He makes built their intended city they should be re tables courage the chief and greatest ornament duced by hunger to eat their of of Turnus; but in Æneas there are many But, when they hear that this was one others which outshine it; among the rest the circumstances that had been transmitted that of piety. Turnus is, therefore, all to the Romans in the history of Æneas, they along painted by the poet full of ostentation, will think the poet did very well in taking his language haughty and vain-glorious, as notice of it. The historian above-mentioned placing his honour in the manifestation of acquaints us, that a prophetess had foretold his valour; Æneas speaks little, is slow to Æneas, that he should take his voyage action, and shows only a sort of defensive westward, till his companions should eat courage. If equipage and address make their tables; and that accordingly, upon his Turnus appear more courageous than landing in Italy, as they were eating their Æneas, conduct and success prove Æneas flesh upon cakes of bread for want of other T. conveniences, they afterwards fed on the

more valiant than Turnus.




cakes themselves: upon which one of the company said merrily, 'We are eating our tables. They immediately took the hint, says the historian, and concluded the prophecy to be fulfilled. As Virgil did not think it proper to omit so material a particular in the history of Æneas, it may be worth while to consider with how much judgment he has qualified it, and taken off every thing that might have appeared improper for a passage in a heroic poem. The prophetess who foretells it is a hungry harpy, as the person who discovers it is young Ascanius:


'Heus etiam mensas consumimus, inquit Iulus!'

n. vii. 116.

See we devour the plates on which we fed!' Dryden. Such an observation, which is beautiful in the mouth of a boy, would have been idiculous from any other of the company. am apt to think that the changing of the Trojan fleet into water-nymphs, which is he most violent machine in the whole Eneid, and has given offence to several Eritics, may be accounted for the same way. Virgil himself, before he begins that relaon, premises, that what he was going to ell appeared incredible, but that it was ustified by tradition. What further conrms me that this change of the fleet was celebrated circumstance in the history of Eneas, is, that Ovid has given a place to he same metamorphosis in his account of e heathen mythology.

None of the critics I have met with have onsidered the fable of the Aneid in this ght, and taken notice how the tradition on hich it was founded authorizes those parts it which appear most exceptionable. I ope the length of this reflection will not ake it unacceptable to the curious part my readers.


dents, than any other in the whole poem.
Satan's traversing the globe, and still keep-
ing within the shadow of the night, as fear-
ing to be discovered by the angel of the
sun, who had before detected him, is one
of those beautiful imaginations with which
he introduces this his second series of ad-
ventures. Having examined the nature of
every creature, and found out one which
was the most proper for his purpose, he
again returns to Paradise; and to avoid dis-
covery, sinks by night with a river that
ran under the garden, and rises up again
through a fountain that issued from it by
the tree of life. The poet, who, as we
have before taken notice, speaks as little
as possible in his own person, and, after the
example of Homer, fills every part of his
work with manners and characters, intro-
duces a soliloquy of this infernal agent,
who was thus restless in the destruction of
man. He is then described as gliding
through the garden, under the resemblance
of a mist, in order to find out the creature
in which he designed to tempt our first
rents. This description has something in it
very poetical and surprising:

So saying, through each thicket dank or dry,
Like a black mist low creeping, he held on
His midnight search, where soonest he might find
The serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found,
In labyrinth of many a round self-roll'd
His head the midst, well stor'd with subtil wiles.


The author afterwards gives us a description of the morning which is wonderfully suitable to a divine poem, and peculiar to that first season of nature. He represents the earth before it was cursed, as a great altar, breathing out its incense from all parts, and sending up a pleasant savour to the nostrils of its Creator; to which he adds a noble idea of Adam and Eve, as offering their morning worship, and filling up the universal concert of praise and adoration:

Now when a sacred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flowers, that breath'd
Their morning incense; when all things that breathe
From th' earth's great altar send up silent praise
To the Creator, and his nostrils fill

With grateful smell; forth came the human pair,
And join'd their vocal worship to the choir
Of creatures wanting voice.-

The history which was the basis of Miln's poem is still shorter than either that the Iliad or Æneid. The poet has likeise taken care to insert every circumance of it in the body of his fable. nth book, which we are here to consider, raised upon that brief account in scripre, wherein we are told that the serpent as more subtle than any beast of the field; at he tempted the woman to eat of the The dispute which follows between our rbidden fruit; that she was overcome by two first parents is represented with great is temptation, and that Adam followed art. It proceeds from a difference of judgr example. From these few particulars ment, not of passion, and is managed with ilton has formed one of the most entertain- reason, not with heat. It is such a dispute fables that invention ever produced. as we may suppose might have happened e has disposed of these several circum-in Paradise, had man continued happy and nces among so many agreeable and na-innocent. There is a great delicacy in al fictions of his own, that his whole the moralities which are interspersed in ry looks only like a comment upon sacred Adam's discourse, and which the most orit, or rather seems to be a full and com- dinary reader cannot but take notice of. te relation of what the other is only an That force of love which the father of mantome. I have insisted the longer on this kind so finely describes in the eighth book, sideration, as I look upon the disposi- and which is inserted in my last Saturday's and contrivance of the fable to be the paper, shows itself here in many fine inncipal beauty of the ninth book, which stances: as in those fond regards he casts to3 more story in it, and is fuller of inci-wards Eve at her parting from him:

Her long with ardent took his eye pursu'd
Delighted, but desiring more her stay,
Oft he to her his charge of quick return
Repeated; she to him as oft engaged
To be return'd by noon amid the bow'r.

it, are conceived with a wonderful imagina tion, and described in very natural senti


When Dido, in the fourth Æneid, yielded

In his impatience and amusement during to that fatal temptation which ruined her, her absence:

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Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee
Certain my resolution is to die:

How can I live without thee? how forego
Thy sweet converse and love so dearly join'd
To live again in these wild woods forlorn?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart; no, no! I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

Virgil tells us the earth trembled, the hea-
vens were filled with flashes of lightning,
and the nymphs howled upon the mountain
tops. Milton, in the same poetical spirit,
has described all nature as disturbed upon
Eve's eating the forbidden fruit.

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour,
Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck'd, she eat,
Earth felt the wound, and Nature, from her seat
Sighing, through all her works gave signs of woe
That all was lost.-

Upon Adam's falling into the same guilt, the whole creation appears a second time in convulsions.

-He scrupled not to eat Against his better knowledge; not deceiv'd But fondly overcome with female charm, Earth trembled from her entrails, as again


pangs, and Nature gave a second groan; Sky lower'd, and, muttering thunder, some sad drops Wept at completing of the mortal sin.

As all nature suffered by the guilt of our first parents, these symptoms of trouble and consternation are wonderfully imagined, not only as prodigies, but as marks of her sympathizing in the fall of man.

The beginning of this speech, and the preparation to it, are animated with the same spirit as the conclusion, which I have here quoted. Adam's converse with Eve, after having The several wiles which are put in prac-eaten the forbidden fruit, is an exact copy tice by the tempter, when he found Eve se- of that between Jupiter and Juno in the four parated from her husband, the many pleas- teenth Iliad. Juno there approaches Jupi ing images of nature which are intermixed ter with the girdle which she had received in this part of the story, with its gradual and from Venus: upon which he tells her, that regular progress to the fatal catastrophe, she appeared more charming and desirable are so very remarkable, that it would be than she had ever done before, even when superfluous to point out their respective their loves were at the highest. The poet afterwards describes them as reposing on a summit of Mount Ida, which produced under them a bed of flowers, the lotus, the


I have avoided mentioning any particular similitudes in my remarks on this great work, because I have given a general account of them in my paper on the first book. There is one, however, in this part of the poem which I shall here quote, as it is not only very beautiful, but the closest of any in the whole poem; I mean that where the serpent is described as rolling forward in all his pride, animated by the evil spirit, and conducting Eve to her destruction, while Adam was at too great a distance from her to give her his assistance. These several particulars are all of them wrought into the following similitude:

-Hope elevates, and joy

Brightens his crest; as when a wandering fire
Compact of unctious vapour, which the night
Condenses, and the cold environs round,
Kindled through agitation to a flame,
(Which oft, they say, some evil spirit attends)
Hovering and blazing with delusive light,
Misleads th' amaz'd night-wanderer from his way
To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or pool,
There swallow'd up and lost from succour far.

Crocus, and the hyacinth; and concludes bis description with their falling asleep.

Let the reader compare this with the fol lowing passage in Milton, which begins with Adam's speech to Eve:

For never did thy beauty since the day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd,
With all perfections, so inflame my sense
With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever, bounty of this virtuous tree.'

So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of amorous intent, well understood
Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he seiz'd, and to a shady bank,
Thick overhead with verdant roof embower'd,
He led her nothing loth; flowers were the couch,
Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,
And hyacinth, Earth's freshest softest lap.
There they their fill of love and love's disport
Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal,
The solace of their sin, till dewy sleep
Oppress'd them.-

As no poet seems ever to have studied Homer more, or to have more resembled The secret intoxication of pleasure, with him in the greatness of genius, than Milton, all those transient flushings of guilt and joy, I think I should have given but a very im which the poet represents in our first pa-perfect account of its beauties, if I had not rents upon their eating the forbidden fruit, observed the most remarkable passages to those flaggings of spirit, damps of sor- which look like parallels in these two great row, and mutual accusations which succeed authors. I might, in the course of these

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