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N° 19. THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 1710-11.
Di bene fecerunt, inopis me quodque pusilli
HOR. 1 Sat. iv. 17.
Thank heav'n that made me of a humble mind;
cuted, upon better information appears so altered in its circumstances, that the fame of it is divided among many, instead of being attributed to one. This is a secret satisfaction to these malignants; for the person whom they before could not but admire, they fancy is nearer their own condition as soon as his merit is shared among others. I remember some years ago there came out an excellent poem without the name of the author. The little wits, who were incapable of writing it, began to pull in pieces the supposed writer. When that would not OBSERVING one person behold another, who was do, they took great pains to suppress the opinion an utter stranger to him, with a cast of his eye, that it was his. That again failed. The next rewhich, methought, expressed an emotion of heart fuge was, to say it was overlooked by one man, very different from what could be raised by an ob- and many pages wholly written by another. ject so agreeable as the gentleman he looked at, I honest fellow who sat among a cluster of them in began to consider, not without some secret sorrow, debate on this subject, cried out, Gentlemen, if the condition of an envious man. Some have fan-you are sure none of you yourselves had a hand in died that envy has a certain magical force in it, it, you are but where you were, whoever writ it.' and that the eyes of the envious have by their But the most usual succour to the envious, in cases fascination blasted the enjoyments of the happy. of nameless merit in this kind, is to keep the proSir Francis Bacon says, some have been so curious perty, if possible, unfixed, and by that means to as to remark the times and seasons when the stroke hinder the reputation of it from falling upon any of an envious eye is most effectually pernicious, particular person. You see an envious man clear and have observed that it has been when the per-up his countenance, if in the relation of any man's son envied has been in any circumstance of glory great happiness in one point, you mention his unand triumph. At such a time the mind of the pros-easiness in another. When he hears such a one perous man goes, as it were, abroad, among things is very rich he turns pale, but recovers when you without him, and is more exposed to the malig-add that he has many children. In a word, the only nity. But I shall not dwell upon speculations so sure way to an envious man's favour, is not to deabstracted as this, or repeat the many excellent serve it. things which one might collect out of authors upon But if we consider the envious man in delight, it this miserable affection: but, keeping in the road is like reading of the seat of a giant in a romance; of common life, consider the envious man with re. the magnificence of his house consists in the many lation to these three heads, his pains, his reliefs, limbs of men whom he has slain. If any who proand his happiness. mised themselves success in any uncommon underThe envious man is in pain upon all occasions taking miscarry in the attempt, or he that aimed which ought to give him pleasure. The relish of at what would have been useful and laudable, his life is inverted; and the objects which adminis. meets with contempt and derision, the envious ter the highest satisfaction to those who are exempt man, under the colour of hating vain-glory, can from this passion, give the quickest pangs to per-smile, with an nward wantonness of heart, at the sons who are subject to it. All the perfections of ill effect it may have upon an honest ambition for their fellow-creatures are odious. Youth, beauty, the future.
valour, and wisdom are provocations of their dis- Having thoroughly considered the nature of this pleasure. What a wretched and apostate state is passion, I have made it my study how to avoid the this! to be offended with excellence, and to hate envy that may accrue to me from these my specua man because we approve him! The condition of lations; and if I am not mistaken in myself, I the envious man is the most emphatically misera. think I have a genius to escape it. Upon hearing ble; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in ano-in a coffee-house one of my papers commended, I ther's merit of success, but lives in a world wherein immediately apprehended the envy that would all mankind are in a plot against his quiet, by spring from that applause; and therefore gave a studying their own happiness and advantage. Will description of my face the next day; being reProsper is an honest tale-bearer. He makes it solved, as I grew in reputation for wit, to resign his business to join in conversation with envious my pretensions to beauty. This, I hope, may give men. He points to such an handsome young fel- some ease to those unhappy gentlemen who do me low, and whispers that he is secretly married to the honour to torment themselves upon the account great fortune. When they doubt, he adds cir- of this my paper. As their case is very deplorable, cumstances to prove it; and never fails to aggra- and deserves compassion, I shall sometimes be rate their distress, by assuring them, that, to his dull, in pity to them, and will from time to time knowledge, he has an uncle will leave him some administer consolations to them by further discothousands. Will has many arts of this kind to veries of my person. In the meanwhile, if any one torture this sort of temper, and delights in it. says the Spectator has wit, it may be some relief When he finds them change colour, and say faintly to them to think that he does not show it in com they wish such a piece of news is true, he has the pany. And if any one praises his morality, they malice to speak some good or other of every man may comfort themselves by considering thath of their acquaintance. face is none of the longest.
The reliefs of the envious man are those little blemishes and imperfections that discover themselves in an illustrious character. It is a matter of great consolation to an envious person, when a man of known honour does a thing unworthy himself; or when any action which was well exe
* See No, 20.
directions, according to the most exact rules of optics, to place himself in such a manner, that he shall meet his eyes wherever he throws them. I have hopes, that when Will confronts him, and all the ladies, in whose behalf he engages him, cast kind looks and wishes of success at their champion, he will have some shame, and feel a little of the pain he has so often put others to, of being out of countenance.
AMONG the other hardy undertakings which I have It has indeed been, time out of mind, generally proposed to myself, that of the correction of im-remarked, and as often lamented, that this family pudence is what I have very much at heart. This of starers have infested public assemblies: and I in a particular manner is my province as Spec- know no other way to obviate so great an evil, tator; for it is generally an offence committed by except, in the case of fixing their eyes upon wo the eyes, and that against such as the offenders men, some male friend will take the part of such would perhaps never have an opportunity of in- as are under the oppression of impudence, and juring any other way. The following letter is a encounter the eyes of the starers wherever they complaint of a young lady, who sets forth a tres- meet them. While we suffer our women to be thus pass of this kind, with that command of herself as impudently attacked, they have no defence, but befits beauty and innocence, and yet with so much in the end to cast yielding glances at the starers. spirit as sufficiently expresses her indignation. In this case, a man who has no sense of shame, The whole transaction is performed with the eyes; has the same advantage over his mistress, as he and the crime is no less than employing them in who has no regard for his own life has over his such a manner, as to divert the eyes of others from adversary. While the generality of the world are the best use they can make of them, even looking up to Heaven:
THERE never was (I believe) an acceptable man but had some awkward imitators. Ever since the
fettered by rules, and move by proper and just methods; he who has no respect to any of them, carries away the reward due to that propriety of behaviour, with no other merit but that of having neglected it.
I take an impudent fellow to be a sort of outSpectator appeared, have I remarked a kind of law in good-breeding, and therefore what is said men, whom I choose to call Starers; that without of him no nation or person can be concerned for. any regard to time, place, or modesty, disturb a For this reason one may be free upon him. I have large company with their impertinent eyes. Spec- put myself to great pains in considering this pretators make up a proper assembly for a puppet- vailing quality which we call impudence, and have show or a bear-garden; but devout supplicants and taken notice that it exerts itself in a different attentive hearers, are the audience one ought to manner, according to the different soils wherein expect in churches. I am, sir, member of a small such subjects of these dominions, as are masters of pious congregation near one of the north gates of it, were born. Impudence in an Englishman is this city; much the greater part of us indeed are sullen and insolent; in a Scotchman it is untracta females, and used to behave ourselves in a regular ble and rapacious; in an Irishman, absurd and attentive manner, till very lately one whole aisle fawning: as the course of the world now runs, the has been disturbed by one of these monstrous impudent Englishman behaves like a surly landstarers: he is the head taller than any one in the lord, the Scot like an ill-received guest, and the church; but for the greater advantage of exposing Irishman like a stranger who knows he is not himself, stands upon a hassock, and commands the welcome. There is seldom any thing entertaining whole congregation, to the great annoyance of either in the impudence of a South or North Brithe devoutest part of the auditory; for what with ton; but that of an Irishman is always comic. A blushing, confusion, and vexation, we can neither true and genuine impudence is ever the effect of mind the prayers nor sermon. Your animadversion upon this insolence would be a great favour to,
'Your most humble servant,
have known one of them, three months after he came from plough, with a tolerable good air, lead out a woman from a play, which one of our own breed, after four years at Oxford and two at the Temple, would have been afraid to look at.
ignorance without the least sense of it. The best and most successful starers now in this town are of that nation; they have usually the advantage of the stature mentioned in the above letter of my correspondent, and generally take their stands in I have frequently seen of this sort of fellows, the eye of women of fortune; insomuch that I and do think there cannot be a greater aggravation of an offence, than that it is committed where the criminal is protected by the sacredness of the place which he violates. Many reflections of this sort might be very justly made upon this sort of behaviour, but a starer is not usually a person to I cannot tell how to account for it, but these be convinced by the reason of the thing; and a people have usually the preference to our own fellow that is capable of showing an impudent fools, in the opinion of the sillier part of womanfront before a whole congregation, and can bear kind. Perhaps it is that an English coxcomb is being a public spectacle, is not so easily rebuked as to amend by admonitions. If, therefore, my correspondent does not inform me, that within seven days after this date the barbarian does not at least stand upon his own legs only, without an eminence, my friend Will Prosper has promised to take an hassock opposite to him, and stare against him in defence of the ladies. I have given him
• See No. 19.
seldom so obsequious as an Irish one; and when the design of pleasing is visible, an absurdity in the way toward it is easily forgiven.
But those who are downright impudent, and go on without reflection that they are such, are more to be tolerated, than a set of fellows among us who profess impudence with an air of humour, and think to carry off the most inexcusable of all faults in the world, with no other apology than saying in a gay tone, I put an impudent face upon the
matter.' No; no man shall be allowed the ad- Another numberless branch of peaceable lawyers vantages of impudence, who is conscious that he is are those young men who, being placed at the inns such. If he knows he is impudent, he may as well of court in order to study the laws of their country, be otherwise; and it shall be expected that he frequent the playhouse more than Westminsterblush, when he sees he makes another do it. For Hall, and are seen in all public assemblies, except nothing can atone for the want of modesty; with-in a court of justice. I shall say nothing of those out which beauty is ungraceful, and wit detestable. silent and busy multitudes that are employed within doors in the drawing up of writings and conveyances; nor of those greater numbers that palliate their want of business with a pretence to such chamber practice.
No 21. SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 1710-11.
· Locus est et pluribus umbris.
HOR. 1 Ep. v. 28.
If, in the third place, we look into the profession of physic, we shall find a most formidable body of men. The sight of them is enough to make a man serious; for we may lay it down as a maxim, that when a nation abounds in physicians, I AM sometimes very much troubled, when I reflect it grows thin of people. Sir William Temple is upon the three great professions of divinity, law, very much puzzled to find out a reason why the and physic; how they are each of them overbur. Northern Hive, as he calls it, does not send out dened with practitioners, and filled with multitudes such prodigious swarms, and overrun the world of ingenious gentlemen that starve one another. with Goths and Vandals, as it did formerly; but may divide the clergy into generals, field- had that excellent author observed that there were officers, and subalterns. Among the first we may no students in physic among the subjects of Thor reckon bishops, deans, and arch-deacons. Among and Woden, and that this science very much flouthe second are doctors of divinity, prebendaries, rishes in the north at present, he might have found and all that wear scarfs. The rest are compre. a better solution for this difficulty than any of those bended under the subalterns. As for the first class, he has made use of. This body of men in our own our constitution preserves it from any redundancy country may be described like the British army in of incumbents, notwithstanding competitors are Cæsar's time. Some of them slay in chariots, and numberless. Upon a strict calculation, it is found some on foot. If the infantry do less execution that there has been a great exceeding of late years than the charioteers, it is because they cannot be in the second division, several brevets having been carried so soon into all quarters of the town, and granted for the converting of subalterns into scarf. dispatch so much business in so short a time. Beofficers; insomuch, that within my memory the sides this body of regular troops, there are stragprice of lustring is raised above two-pence in a glers, who, without being duly listed and enrolled, yard. As for the subalterns, they are not to be do infinite mischief to those who are so unlucky numbered. Should our clergy once enter into the as to fall into their hands. corrupt practice of the laity, by the splitting of their freeholds, they would be able to carry most of the elections in England.
There are, besides the above-mentioned, innumerable retainers to physic, who, for want of other patients, amuse themselves with the stifling of cats The body of the law is no less encumbered within an air-pump, cutting up dogs alive, or impaling superfluous members, that are like Virgil's army, of insects upon the point of a needle for microswhich he tells us was so crowded, many of them copical observation; besides those that are emhad not room to use their weapons. This prodigious ployed in the gathering of weeds, and the chase of society of men may be divided into the litigious butterflies: not to mention the cockleshell-merand peaceable. Under the first are comprehended chants and spider-catchers. all those who are carried down in coach-fulls to Westminster Hall, every morning in term time. Martial's description of this species of lawyers is
est fall of humour:
'Iras et verba locant?
When I consider how each of these professions are crowded with multitudes that seek their livelihood in them, and how many men of merit there are in each of them, who may be rather said to be of the science than the profession; I very much Men that hire out their words in anger;' that wonder at the humour of parents, who will not are more or less passionate according as they are rather choose to place their sons in a way of life paid for it, and allow their client a quantity of where an honest industry cannot but thrive, than wrath proportionable to the fee which they receive in stations where the greatest probity, learning, he from him. I must, however, observe to the reader and good sense may miscarry. How many men ad that above three parts of those whom I reckon are country curates, that might have made themamong the litigious are such as are only quarrel-selves aldermen of London by a right improvement me in their hearts, and have no opportunity of of a smaller sum of money than what is usuall showing their passion at the bar. Nevertheless, laid out upon a learned education? A sober frug they do not know what strifes may arise, they person, of slender parts and a slow apprehensi appear at the hall every day, that they may show might have thrived, in trade, though he star ad themselves in a readiness to enter the lists, when- upon physic: as a man would be well eno ever there shall be occasion for them. pleased to buy silks of one, whom he would The peaceable lawyers are, in the first place, venture to feel his pulse. Vagellius is ca any of the benchers of the several inns of court, studious, and obliging, but withal a little o seem to be the dignitaries of the law, and are skulled; he has not a single client, but migh godowed with those qualifications of mind that ac had abundance of customers. The misfor complish a man rather for a ruler than a pleader. that parents take a liking to a particular These men live peaceably in their habitations, eat-sion, and therefore desire their sons may Its nour of their respective societies. g once a day, and dancing once a year, for the whereas, in so great an affair of life, the consider the genius and abilities of their more than their own inclinations.
*See Dugdale's Origines Juridicales, folio, 156
It is the great advantage of a tradit
that there are very few in it so dull and heavy, who may not be placed in stations of life, which THIS is to let you understand, that the playhouse may give them an opportunity of making their is a representation of the world in nothing so much fortunes. A well-regulated commerce is not, like as in this particular, that no one rises in it accordlaw, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with ing to his merit. I have acted several parts of hands; but, on the contrary, flourishes by multi- household-stuff with great applause for many years: tudes, and gives employment to all its professors. I am one of the men in the hangings in The EmFleets of merchantmen are so many squadrons of peror of the Moon; I have twice performed the floating shops, that vend our wares and manufac-third chair in an English opera; and have retures in all the markets of the world, and find out hearsed the pump in The Fortune-Hunters. I am chapmen under both the tropics.
No 22. MONDAY, MARCH 26, 1711.
Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus òdi.
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 188.
-Whatever contradicts my sense I hate to see, but never can believe.
now grown old, and hope you will recommend me so effectually, as that I may say something be. fore I go off the stage: in which you will do a great act of charity to
'Your most humble servant,
'Drury-Lane, March 24, 1710-11.
MR. SPECTATOR, 'UNDERSTANDING that Mr. Screne has writ to you, and desired to be raised from dumb and still parts; I desire, if you give him motion or speech, that THE Word Spectator being most usually understood you would advance me in my way, and let me as one of the audience at public representations in keep on in what I humbly presume I am a master, our theatres, I seldom fail of many letters relating to wit, in representing human and still life togeto plays and operas. But indeed there are such ther. I have several times acted one of the finest monstrous things done in both, that if one had not flower-pots in the same opera wherein Mr. Screne been an eye-witness of them, one could not believe is a chair; therefore, upon his promotion, request that such matters had really been exhibited. There that I may succeed him in the hangings, with my is very little which concerns human life, or is a hand in the orange-trees. picture of nature, that is regarded by the greater "Your humble servant, part of the company. The understanding is dis'RALPH SIMPLE.' missed from our entertainments. Our mirth is the laughter of fools, and our admiration the wonder of idiots; else such improbable, monstrous, and incoherent dreams could not go off as they do, not SAW your friend the Templar this evening in only without the utmost scorn and contempt, but the pit, and thought he looked very little pleased even with the loudest applause and approbation. with the representation of the mad scene of The But the letters of my correspondents will represent Pilgrim. I wish, sir, you would do us the favour this affair in a more lively manner than any dis- to animadvert frequently upon the false taste the course of my own; I shall therefore give them to town is in, with relation to plays as well as operas. my reader with only this preparation, that they all It certainly requires a degree of understanding to come from players, and that the business of play-play justly; but such is our condition, that we are ing is now so managed that you are not to be sur-to suspend our reason to perform our parts. As prised when I say one or two of them are rational, to scenes of madness, you know, sir, there are others sensitive and vegetative actors, and others noble instances of this kind in Shakspeare; but wholly inanimate. I shall not place these as 1 have named them, but as they have precedence in the opinion of their audiences.
then it is the disturbance of a noble mind, from generous and humane resentments. It is like that grief which we have for the decease of our friends. It is no diminution, but a recommendation of human nature, that in such incidents passion gets the "YOUR having been so humble as to take notice better of reason; and all we can think to comfort of the epistles of other animals, emboldens me ourselves, is impotent against half what we feel. who am the wild boar that was killed by Mrs. I will not mention that we had an idiot in the Tofts, to represent to you that I think I was scene, and all the sense it is represented to have, hardly used in not having the part of the lion in is that of lust. As for myself, who have long taken Hydaspes given to me. It would have been but pains in personating the passions, I have to-night a natural step for me to have personated that acted only an appetite. The part I played is noble creature, after having behaved myself to Thirst, but it is represented as written rather by ai satisfaction in the part above-mentioned. That of drayman than a poet. I come in with a tub about a lion is too great a character for one that never me, that tub hung with quart pots, with a ful trod the stage before but upon two legs. As for gallon at my mouth. I am ashamed to tell yo the little resistance which I made, I hope it may that I pleased very much, and this was introduce bbe excused, when it is considered that the dart was as a madness; but sure it was not human madnes fr hrown at me by so fair a hand. I must confess I for a mule or an ass may have been as dry as eve d but just put on my brutality; and Camilla's I was in my life. beitarms were such, that beholding her erect mien,
as tering her charming voice, and astonished with corre graceful motion, I could not keep up to my seven ed fierceness, but died like a man.
at leas eminen to take a
him in d
'I am, SIR,
I am, SIR,
'Your most obedient and humble servant."
'From the Savoy in the Strand.
IF you can read it with dry eyes, I give you this trouble to acquaint you, that I am the unfortunate king Latinus, and I believe I am the first prince
close of No. 108, he desires his renders to compare that dated from this palace since John of Gaunt.
at is said there:
Such is the uncertainty of all human greatness, that
I who lately never moved without a guard, am
satire will then chiefly fall upon those who ought to be the most exempt from it. Virtue, merit, and every thing that is praiseworthy, will be made the subject of ridicule and buffoonery. It is impossible to enumerate the evils which arise from these arrows that fly in the dark, and I know no other excuse that is or can be made for them, than that the wounds they give are only imaginary, and produce nothing more than a secret shame or sorrow in the mind of the suffering person. It must indeed be confessed, that a lampoon or a satire do The words were no sooner out of my mouth, when not carry in them robbery or murder; but at the a serjeant knocked me down, and asked me if I same time how few are there that would not rahad a mind to mutiny, in talking things nobody ther lose a considerable sum of money, or even life understood. You see, sir, my unhappy circum- itself, than be set up as a mark of infamy and deristances; and if by your mediation you can pro-sion? and in this case a man should consider, that cure a subsidy for a prince (who never failed to an injury is not to be measured by the notions of make all that beheld him merry at his appearance) him that gives, but of him that receives it. you will merit the thanks of
Dar'st thou an angry monarch's fury brave !"
'THE KING OF LATIUM."*
For the good of the public.
Those who can put the best countenance upon the outrages of this nature which are offered them are not without their secret anguish. I have often observed a passage in Socrates's behaviour at his death, in a light wherein none of the critics have considered it. That excellent man entertaining his friends, a little before he drank the bowl of Within two doors of the masquerade lives an eminent poison, with a discourse on the immortality of the Italian chirurgeon, arrived from the carnival at Ve-soul, at his entering upon it says, that he does not nice, of great experience in private cures. Accommo-believe any the most comic genius can censure him dations are provided, and persons admitted in their for talking upon such a subject at such a time. marquing habits. This passage, I think, evidently glances upon Aris. tophanes, who writ a comedy on purpose to ridicule the discourses of that divine philosopher. It has been observed by many writers, that Socrates was so little moved at this piece of buffoonery, that he was several times present at its being acted sentment of it. But, with submission, I think the upon the stage, and never expressed the least reremark I have here made shows us, that this unworthy treatment made an impression upon his mind, though he had been too wise to discover it.
He has cured since his coming hither, in less than a fortnight, four scaramouches, a mountebank doctor, Turkish bassas, three nuns, and a morris-dancer.
'Venienti occurrite morbo.'
NB. Any person may agree by the great, and be kept in repair by the year. The doctor draws teeth without pulling off your mask.
No 23. TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 1711.
Seit atrox Volscens, nec teli conspicit usquam
VIRG. En. ix. 420.
Fierce Volscens foams with rage, and, gazing round,
When Julius Cæsar was lampooned by Catullus, he invited him to supper, and treated him with such a generous civility, that he made the poet his friend ever after. Cardinal Mazarine gave the same kind of treatment to the learned Quillet, who had reflected upon his eminence in a famous Latin poem. The cardinal sent for him, and, after some kind expostulations upon what he had written, assured him of his esteem, and dismissed him with a promise of the next good abbey that should fall, which he accordingly conferred upon him in a few Et is nothing that more betrays a base unge. months after. This had so good an effect upon the erous spirit, than the giving of secret stabs to author, that he dedicated the second edition of his n's reputation; lampoons and satires, that are book to the cardinal, after having expunged the ten with wit and spirit, are like poisoned passages which had given him offence. which not only inflict a wound, but make it Sextus Quintus was not of so generous and forable. For this reason I am very much trou-giving a temper. Upon his being made pope, the then I see the talents of humour and ridicule statue of Pasquin was one night dressed in a very possession of an ill-natured man. There dirty shirt, with an excuse written under it, that he be a greater gratification to a barbarous was forced to wear foul linen, because his launjuman wit, than to stir up sorrow in the dress was made a princess. This was a reflectior fa private person, to raise uneasiness among upon the pope's sister, who, before the promotio relations, and to expose whole families to of her brother, was in those mean circumstanc ision, at the same time that he remains unseen that Pasquin represented her. As this pasquing and undiscovered. If, besides the accomplishments made a great noise in Rome, the pope offere of being witty and ill-natured, a man is vicious considerable sum of money to any person to the bargain, he is one of the most mischievous should discover the author of it. The author, creatures that can enter into a civil society. His ing upon his holiness's generosity, as also on private overtures which he had received fro See an opera, entitled 'Camilla,' written by Owen Mac made the discovery himself; upon which th gave him the reward he had promised, by same time, to disable the satirist for the fye, in dered his tongue to be cut out, and both which
Swiney, 4to. 1706.
efnd ariele has been said to have been levelled at Swift, and that there was a coolness between ten levelled Swift pasage in Swift's Works, vol. iv, 240, and XV. 75, edit. 1801.