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also add, that the first acquisitions are generally attended with more satisfaction, and as good a conscience.

fumer in that city, and when any one came out who had been buying snuff, never failed to desire a taste of them: when he had got together a quantity made up of several differ- I must not however close this essay, withent sorts, he sold it again at a lower rate to out observing that what has been said is only the same perfumer, who finding out the trick, intended for persons in the common ways of called it Tabac de mille fleurs,' or 'Snuff of thriving, and is not designed for those men a thousand flowers.' The story farther tells who from low beginnings push themselves up us, that by this means he got a very com- to the top of states, and the most considerfortable subsistence, until making too much able figures of life. My maxim of saving is haste to grow rich, he one day took such an not designed for such as these, since nothing unreasonable pinch out of the box of a Swiss is more usual than for thrift to disappoint officer, as engaged him in a quarrel, and the ends of ambition; it being almost imposobliged him to quit this ingenious way of sible that the mind should be intent upon trilife. fles, while it is at the same time forming some great design.

Nor can I in this place omit doing justice to a youth of my own country, who, though he is scarce yet twelve years old, has with great industry and application attained to the art of beating the grenadiers march on his chin. I anı credibly informed that by this means he does not only maintain himself and his mother, but that he is laying up money every day, with a design, if the war continues, to purchase a drum at least, if not a pair of colours.

I may therefore compare these men to a great poet, who, as Longinus says, while he is full of the most magnificent ideas, is not always at leisure to mind the little beauties and niceties of his art.

I would, however, have all my readers take great care how they mistake themselves for uncommon geniuses, and men above rule, since it is very easy for them to be deceived in this particular.

Posthabui tamen illorum mea seria ludo.*


Virg. Ecl. vii 17.

I shall conclude these instances with the device of the famous Rabelais, when he was No. 284.] Friday, January 25, 1711-12. at a great distance from Paris, and without money to bear his expenses thither. The ingenious author being thus sharp-set, got together a convenient quantity of brick-dust, and having disposed of it into several papers, writ upon one, 'Poison for monsieur;' upon a second, Poison for the dauphin,' and on a third, Poison for the king.' Having made this provision for the Royal family of France, he laid his papers so that his landlord, who was an inquisitive man, and a good subject, might get a sight of thém.

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Their mirth to share, I bid my business wait. AN affected behaviour is without question a very great charm; but under the notion of being unconstrained and disengaged, people take upon them to be unconcerned in any duty of life. A general negligence is what they assume upon all occasions, and set up for an aversion to all manner of business and The plot succeeded as he desired. The host attention, I am the carelessest creature in the gave immediate intelligence to the secretary world, I have certainly the worst memory of of state. The secretary presently sent down any man living,' are frequent expressions in a special messenger, who brought up the trai- the mouth of a pretender of this sort. It is a tor to court, and provided him at the king's professed maxim with these people never to expense with proper accommodations on the think; there is something so solemn in reflecroad. As soon as he appeared, he was known tion, they, forsooth, can never give themto be the celebrated Rabelais, and his powder selves time for such a way of employing upon examination being found very innocent, the jest was only laughed at; for which a less eminent droll would have been sent to the galleys.

themselves. It happens often that this sort of man is heavy enough in his nature to be a good proficient in such matters as are attainable by industry; but, alas! he has such an Trade and commerce might doubtless be ardent desire to be what he is not, to be too still varied a thousand ways, out of which volatile, to have the faults of a person of spiwould arise such branches as have not yet rit, that he professes himself the most unfit been touched. The famous Doily is still fresh man living for any manner of application. in every one's memory, who raised a fortune When this humour enters into the head of a by finding out materials for such stuffs as female, she generally professes sickness upon might at once be cheap and genteel. I have all occasions, and acts all things with an inheard it affirmed, that had not he discovered disposed air. She is offended, but her mind this frugal method of gratifying our pride, is too lazy to raise her to anger, therefore we should hardly have been able to carry on she lives only as actuated by a violent spleen, the last war. and gentle scorn. She has hardly curiosity to I regard trade not only as highly advanta- listen to scandal of her acquaintance, and has geous to the commonwealth in general, but never attention enough to hear them comas the most natural and likely method of mended. This affectation in both sexes makes making a man's fortune; having observed since my being a Spectator in the world, greater estates got about 'Change, than at Whitehall or Saint James's. I believe I may VOL. I.

*The motto originally prefixed to this paper was Strenua nos exercet inertia. Hor' which is now that of No. 54.


them vain of being useless, and take a certain | sure you of it, pride in their insignificancy.

by taking pen, ink, and paper in my hand. Forgive this; you know I shall Opposite to this folly is another no less un-not often offend in this kind. I am very much

reasonable, and that is, the impertinence of being always in a hurry.' There are those who visit ladies, and beg pardon, before they are well seated in their chairs, that they just

'Your servant,


The fellow is of your country, pr'ythee


called in, but are obliged to attend business of send me word however whether he has so importance elsewhere the very next moment. great an estate.' Thus they run from place to place, professing Jan. 24, 1712. that they are obliged to be still in another 'I am clerk of the parish from whence company than that which they are in. These Mrs. Simper sends her complaint, in your persons who are just a going somewhere else Spectator of Wednesday last. I must beg of should never be detained; let all the world you to publish this as a public admonition to allow that business is to be minded, and their the aforesaid Mrs. Simper, otherwise all my affairs will be at an end. Their vanity is to be honest care in the disposition of the greens in importuned, and compliance with their multi- the church will have no effect: I shall thereplicity of affairs would effectually despatch fore, with your leave, lay before you the whole them. The travelling ladies, who have half matter. I was formerly, as she charges me, the town to see in an afternoon, may be par- for several years a gardener in the county of doned for being in a constant hurry but it is Kent: but I must absolutely deny that it is inexcusable in men to come where they have out of any affection I retain for my old emno business, to profess they absent themselves ployment that I have placed my greens so liwhere they have. It has been remarked by berally about the church, but out of a partisome nice observers and critics, that there is cular spleen I conceived against Mrs. Simper nothing discovers the true temper of a person (and others of the same sisterhood) some time so much "as his letters. I have by me two ago. As to herself, I had one day set the epistles, which are written by two people of hundredth psalm, and was singing the first the different humours above-mentioned. It is line in order to put the congregation into the wonderful that a man cannot observe upon tune; she was all the while courtesying to Sir himself when he sits down to write, but that Anthony, in so affected and indecent a manner, he will gravely commit himself to paper the that the indignation I conceived at it made same man that he is in the freedom of conver-me forget myself so far, as from the tune of sation. I have hardly seen a line from any of that psalm to wander into Southwell tune, these gentlemen but spoke them as absent from and from thence into Windsor tune, still unwhat they were doing, as they profess they are able to recover myself, until I had with the utwhen they come into company. For the folly most confusion set a new one. Nay, I have is, that they have persuaded themselves they often seen her rise up and smile, and courtesy really are busy. Thus their whole time is to one at the lower end of the church in the spent in suspense of the present moment to midst of a Gloria Patri; and when I have the next, and then from the next to the suc-spoken the assent to a prayer with a long Amen, ceeding, which to the end of life, is to pass uttered with decent gravity, she has been rolaway with pretence to many things, and exe-ling her eyes around about in such a manner, cution of nothing.

6 SIR,

'The post is just going out, and I have many other letters of very great importance to write this evening, but I could not omit making my compliments to you for your civilities It is my misfortune to be so full of business, that I cannot tell you a thousand things which I have to say to you. I must desire you to communicate the contents of this to no one living; but believe ine to be, with the greatest fidelity,

to me when I was last in town.



Your most obedient humble servant.'


as plainly showed, however she was moved, it was not towards an heavenly object. In fine, she extended her conquests so far over the males, and raised such envy in the females, that what between love of those, and the jealousy of these, I was almost the only person that looked in a prayer-book all church-time. I had several projects in my head to put a stop lived in Kent, and there often heard how the to this growing mischief; but as I have long Kentish men evaded the Conqueror, by carrying green boughs over their heads, it put me in mind of practising this device against Mrs. Simper. I find I have preserved many young men from her eye-shot by this means, therefore humbly pray the boughs may be fixed, until she shall give security for her peaceable intentions.


'Your humble servant,

I hate writing, of all things in the world; however, though I have drank the waters, and am told I ought not to use my eyes so much, I cannot forbear writing to you, to tell you I have been to the last degree hipped since I saw you. How could you entertain such a thought, No. 285.] Saturday, January 26, 1711-12.

as that I should hear of that silly fellow with patience? Take my word for it, there is nothing in it; and you may believe it when so lazy a creature as I am undergo the pains to as

Ne, quicunque Deus, quicunque adhibebitur heros,
Regali conspectus in auro nuper et ostro,
Migret in obscuras humili sermone tabernas:
Aut, dum vitat humum, nubes et inania captet,
Hor. Ars. Poet. ver. 227:

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HAVING already treated of the fable, the characters, and sentiments in the Paradise Lost, we are in the last place to consider the language; and as the learned world is very much divided upon Milton as to this point, I hope they will excuse me if I appear particular in any of my opinions, and incline to those who judge the most advantageously of the


Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars,
White, black, and gray, with all trumpery,
Here pilgrims roam

A while discourse they hold.

No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began
Our author

Who of all ages to succeed, but feeling
The evil on him brought by me, will curse
My head, ill fare our ancestor impure,
For this we may thank Adam.-

The great masters in composition know very well that many an elegant phrase becomes improper for a poet or an orator, when it has been debased by common use. For this reason the works of ancient authors, which are written in dead languages, have a great advantage over those which are written in lanIt is requisite that the language of an heroic guages that are now spoken. Were there any poem should be both perspicuous and sub-mean phrases or idioms in Virgil or Homer lime. In proportion as either of these two they would not shock the ear of the most dequalities are wanting, the language is imper-licate modern reader, so much as they would fect. Perspicuity is the first and most neces- have done that of an old Greek or Roman. sary qualification; insomuch that a good-na- because we never hear them pronounced in tured reader sometimes overlooks a little slip our streets, or in ordinary conversation. even in the grammar or syntax, where it is impossible for him to mistake the poet's sense. Of this kind is that passage in Milton, wherein he speaks of Satan:

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It is not therefore sufficient, that the language of an epic poem be perspicuous, unless it be also sublime. To this end it ought to deviate from the common forms and ordinary phrases of speech. The judgment of a poet very much discovers itself in shunning the common roads of expression, without falling into such ways of speech as may seem stiff and unnatural: he must not swell into a false sublime, by endeavouring to avoid the other exAmong the Greeks, Eschylus, and

It is plain, that in the former of these pas-treme. sages, according to the natural syntax, the di- sometimes Sophocles, were guilty of this fault; vine persons mentioned in the first line are re- among the Latins, Claudian and Statius; and presented as created beings; and that, in the among our own countrymen, Shakspeare and other, Adam and Eve are confounded with Lee. In these authors the affectation of greattheir sons and daughters. Such little blemishes ness often hurts the perspicuity of the style, as as these, when the thought is great and natural, in many others the endeavour after perspicuity we should, with Horace, impute to a pardona- prejudices its greatness. ble inadvertency, or to the weakness of human Aristotle has observed, that the idiomatic nature, which cannot attend to each minute style may be avoided, and the sublime formed particular, and give the last finishing to every by the following methods. First, by the use circumstance in so long a work. The ancient of metaphors; such are those of Milton

critics, therefore, who were actuated by a spirit of candour, rather than that of cavilling, invented certain figures of speech, on purpose to palliate little errors of this nature in the writings of those authors who had so many greater beauties to atone for them.

Imparadis'd in one another's arms.

-And in his hand areed
Stood waving tipt with fire.-
The grassy clods now calv'd-
Spangled with eyes-

In these, and innumerable other instances, If clearness and perspicuity were only to be the metaphors are very bold but just: I must consulted, the poet would have nothing else to however observe, that the metaphors are not do but to clothe his thoughts in the most plain so thick sown in Milton, which always savours and natural expressions. But since it often too much of wit: that they never clash with happens that the most obvious phrases, and one another, which, as Aristotle observes turns those which are used in ordinary conversation a sentence into a kind of an enigma or riddle; become too familiar to the ear, and contract and that he seldom has recourse to them where a kind of meanness by passing through the the proper and natural words will do as well. mouths of the vulgar: a poet should take par- Another way of raising the language, and ticular care to guard himself against idiomatic giving it a poetical turn, is to make use of the ways of speaking. Ovid and Lucan have many idioms of other tongues. Virgil is full of the poornessess of expression upon this account as Greek forms of speech, which the critics call taking up with the first phrases that offered Hellenisms, as Horace in his odes abounds with without putting themselves to the trouble of them much more than Virgil. I need not men. looking after such as would not only have been tion the several dialects which Homer has made natural, but also elevated and sublime. Mil-use of for this end. Milton, in conformity ton has but few failings in this kind, of which, however, you may meet with some instances, as in the following passages:

with the practice of the ancient poets, and with Aristotle's rule, has infused a great many Latinisms, as well as Græcisms, and sometimes

Hebraisms, into the language of his poem; as | vations out of Aristotle, will perhaps alleviate towards the beginning of it:

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Under this head may be reckoned the placing the adjective after the substantive, the transposition of words, the turning the adjective into a substantive, with several other foreign modes of speech which this poet has naturalized, to give his verse the greater sound, and throw it out of prose.

the prejudice which some have taken to his poem upon this account; though, after all I must confess that I think his style, though admirable in general, is in some places too much stiffened and obscured by the frequent use of those methods which Aristotle has prescribed for the raising of it.

This redundancy of those several ways of speech which Aristotle calls "foreign language' and with which Milton has so very much enriched, and in some places darkened the language of his poem, was the more proper for his use, because his poem is written in blank verse, Rhyme, without any other assistance, throws the language off from prose, and very often makes an indifferent phrase pass unregarded; but where the verse is not built upon rhymes, there pomp of sound and energy of expression are indispensably necessary to support the style and keep it from falling into the fatness of prose.

The third method mentioned by Aristotle, is what agrees with the genius of the Greek language more than with that of any other tongue, and is therefore more used by Homer Those who have not a taste for this eleva than by any other poot, I mean the lengthen- tion of style, and are apt to ridicule a poet ing of a phrase by the addition of words, which when he departs from the common forms of may either be inserted or omitted, as also by expression, would do well to see how Aristotle the extending or contracting of particular has treated an ancient author called Euclid, words by the insertion or omission of certain for his insipid mirth upon this occasion. Mr. syllables. Milton has put in practice this Dryden used to call these sort of men his method of raising his language, as far as the prose-critics. nature of our tongue will permit, as in the I should, under this head of the language, passage above-mentioned, eremite, for what is consider Milton's numbers, in which he has hermit in common discourse. If you observe made use of several elisions, that are not custhe measure of his verse, he has with great tomary among other English poets, as may judgment suppressed a syllable in several be particularly observed in his cutting off the words, and shortened those of two syllables letter Y, when it precedes a vowel. This, and into one; by which method, besides the above- some other innovations in the measure of his mentioned advantage, he has given a greater verse, has varied his numbers in such a manvariety to his numbers. But this practice is ner as makes them incapable of satiating the more particularly remarkable in the names of ear, and cloying the reader, which the same persons and of countries, as Beelzebub, Hes-uniform measure would certainly have done, sebon, and in many other particulars, wherein and which the perpetual returns of rhyme nehe has either changed the name, or made use ver fail to do in long narrative poems. I shall of that which is not the most commonly known that he might the better deviate from the language of the vulgar.

The same reason recommended to him several old words, which also makes his poem appear the more venerable, and gives it a greater air of antiquity.

close these reflections upon the language of
Paradise Lost, with observing, that Milton has
copied after Homer rather than Virgil in the
length of his periods, the copiousness of his
phrases, and the running of his verses into one

Nomina honesta prædenduntur vitiis.

I must likewise take notice, that there are No. 286.] Monday, January 28, 1711-12. in Milton several words of his own coining, as 'cerberean, miscreated, hell-doomed, embryon atoms' and many others. If the reader is offended at this liberty in our English Poet, I would recommend to him a discourse in Plutarch, which shows us how frequently Homer has made use of the same liberty.

Tacit. Ann. Lib. xiv. c.AR Specious names are lent to cover vices.

York, Jan. 18, 1711-12.


Milton, by the above-mentioned helps, and 'I PRETEND not to inform a gentleman of so by the choice of the noblest words and phrases much taste, whenever he pleases to use it; which our tongue would afford him, has carried but it may not be amiss to inform your reaour language to a greater height than any of ders, that there is a false delicacy, as well as the English poets have ever done before or a true one. True delicacy, as I take it, conafter him, and made the sublimity of his style sists in exactness of judgment and dignity of equal to that of his sentiments. sentiment, or, if you will, purity of affection, I have been the more particular in these as this is opposed to corruption and grossness. observations on Milton's style, because it is in There are pedants in breeding, as well as in that part of him in which he appears the most learning. The eye that cannot bear the light singular. The remarks I have here made up-is not delicate, but sore. A good constitution on the practice of other poets, with my obser- appears in the soundness and vigour of the

parts, not in the squeamishness of the sto- who were offered to Moloch. The unchaste are mach; and a false delicacy is affectation, not provoked to see their vice exposed, and the politeness. What then can be the standard chaste cannot rake into such filth without of delicacy, but truth and virtue? Virtue, danger of defilement, but a mere spectator which as the satirest long since observed, is real may look into the bottom, and come off withhonour; whereas the other distinctions among out partaking in the guilt. The doing so will mankind are merely titular. Judging by that convince us you pursue public good, and not rule, in my opinion, and in that of many of merely your own advantage; but if your zeal your virtuous female readers, you are so far slackens, how can one help thinking that from deserving Mr. Courtly's accusation, that Mr. Courtly's letter is but a feint to get off you seem too gentle, and to allow too many from a subject in which either your own, or excuses for an enormous crime, which is the the private and base ends of others to whom reproach of the age, and is in all its branches you are partial, or those of whom you are and degrees expressly forbidden by that reli-afraid, would not endure a reformation?' gion we pretend to profess; and whose laws, in a nation that calls itself Christian, one would think should take place of those rules which men of corrupt minds, and those of weak understandings, follow. I know not any thing more pernicious to good manners, than the giving fair names to foul actions: for this con'It is my fortune to have a chamber-fellow, founds vice and virtue, and takes off that na- with whom, though I agree very well in many tural horror we have to evil. An innocent sentiments, yet there is one in which we are creature, who would start at the name of strumpet, may think it pretty to be called a mistress, especially if her seducer has taken care to inform her, that an union of hearts is the principal matter in the sight of heaven,

and that the business at church is a mere idle

'I am, Sir,

'Your humble servant and admirer, so long as you tread in the paths of truth, virtue, and honour.'

Trin. Coll. Cantab. Jan. 12, 1711-12. MR. SPECTATOR,

as contrary as light and darkness. We are both in love. His mistress is a lovely fair, and mine a lovely brown. Now as the praise of our mistresses' beauty employs much of our time, we have frequent quarrels in entering upon that subject, while each says all he can ceremony. Who knows not that the difference to defend his choice. For my own part, I have between obscene and modest words expressing racked my fancy to the utmost; and sometimes the same action, consists only in the accessary with the greatest warmth of imagination have idea, for there is nothing immodest in letters told him, that night was made before day, and and syllables. Fornication and adultery are modest words; because they express an evil effect; nay, last night I could not forbear saymany more fine things, though without any action as criminal, and so as to excite horror ing with more heat than judgment, that the and aversion; whereas words representing devil ought to be painted white. Now my dethe pleasure rather than the sin, are, for this sire is, sir, that you would be pleased to give reason, indecent and dishonest. Your papers us in black and white your opinion in the would be chargeable with something worse matter of dispute between us: which will either than indelicacy, they would be immoral, did furnish me with fresh and prevailing arguments you treat the detestable sins of uncleanness to maintain my own taste, or make me with in the same manner as you rally an imper- less repining allow that of my chamber-fellow. tinent self-love, and an artful glance as I know very well that I have Jack Cleveland ⚫those laws would be very unjust that should and Bond's Horace on my side; but then he chastise murder and petty larceny with the has such a band of rhymers and romance-wri. same punishment. Even delicacy requires that the pity shown to distressed indigent wicked-ters, with which he opposes me, and is so con-ness, first betrayed into and then expelled the tinually chiming to the tune of golden tresses, yellow locks, milk, marble, ivory, silver, harbours of the brothel, should be changed to detestation, when we consider pampered vice knows what: which he is always sounding swans, snow, daisies, doves, and the Lord in the habitations of the wealthy. The most with so much vehemence in my ears, that he free person of quality, in Mr. Courtly's phrase, often puts me into a brown study how to anthat is, to peak properly, a woman of figure who has forgot her birth and breeding, disho-swer him; and I find that I am in a fair way noured her relations and herself, abandoned assistance afforded to, to be quite confounded, without your timely her virtue and reputation, together with the natural modesty of her sex, and risked her very soul, is so far from deserving to be treated with no worse character than that of a kind wo man, which is, doubtless, Mr. Courtly's mean- No. 287.] ing, (if he has any) that one can scarce be too severe on her, inasmuch as she sins against greater restraints, is less exposed, and liable to fewer temptations, than beauty in poverty and distress. It is hoped, therefore, sir, that you will not lay aside your generous design of exposing that monstrous wickedness of the town, whereby a multitude of innocents are sacrificed in a more barbarous manner than those Festival," p. 1.



'Your humble servant,

Tuesday, January 29, 1711-12.
Ω φιλτάτη γῆ μῆτες, ὡς σεμνὸν σφόδρ' εἰ
Τοῖς νῦν ἔχεσι κιμα

Dear native land, how do the good and wise
The happy clime and countless blessings prize!
I LOOK upon it as a peculiar happiness, that
were I to choose of what religion I would be,

* See Cleveland's Poems 1623, 24mo. The "Senses

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