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N° 623. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1714.
Sed mihi vel tellus optem prius ima dehiscat,
But first let yawning earth a passage rend,
Mrs. Sarah Dainty, relict of Mr. John Dainty, who was the greatest prude in the parish, came next in the procession. She at first made some dif ficulty of taking the tail in her hand; and was observed, in pronouncing the form of penance soften the two most emphatical words into clincan clancum: but the steward took care to make her speak plain English before he would let her have her land again.
'The third widow that was brought to this worldly shame, being mounted upon a vicious ram, had the misfortune to be thrown by him; upon which she hoped to be excused from going through the rest of the ceremony: but the steward, being well versed in the law, observed very wisely upon this occasion, that the breaking of the rope does not hinder the execution of the criminal.
" MR. SPECTATOR,
The fourth lady upon record was the widow Ogle, a famous coquette, who had kept half score young fellows off and on for the space two years; but having been more kind to her car ter John, she was introduced with the huzzas of all her lovers about her.
You may remember that I lately transmitted to you an account of an ancient custom in the manors
of East and West Enborne, in the county of Berks, 'Mrs. Sable appearing in her weeds, which
commits incontinency she forfeits her estate; yet
Another, who had been summoned to make her
'Mrs. Quick, having nothing to object against
I AM obliged to my friend, the love-casuist, for the following curious piece of antiquity, which I shall communicate to the public in his own words.
"Here I am,
Riding upon a black ram,
And for my crincum crancum,
membered that she made the same excuse the yer
done this worldly shame;
The widow Fidget, being cited into court, it sisted that she had done no more since the death her husband than what she used to do in his life
Therefore I pray you, Mr. Steward, let me have my her husbal withal desired Mr. Steward to come
his own wife's case if he should chance to die be
she might have further occasion for it, she pur
* See Nos. 591, 602, 605, 614, and 625.
† See No. 614.
June 11th; nearly the longest day in the year
The next in order was a dowager of a ver
After having informed you that my Lord Coke ob-fore her.
The widow Maskwell, a woman who had lo
estates, by a crafty old steward, he found that that revengeful creature brought in upon the bla
many of the lands of the manor were, by default ram nine times the same day.
Several widows of the neighbourhood, be
nefit of the ram." The steward, after having pe-ingly. rused their several pleas, adjourned the court to
A pretty young creature who closed the p
Barnaby-bright, that they might have day enough cession came ambling in with so bewitching an
that the steward was observed to cast a sheep'ser
concourse of people, who came from all parts to the death of his wife. see the the first who entered was the
The court being set, and filled with a great upon her, and married her within a month af
widow Frontly, who had made her appearance in summons, but had nothing laid to her charge of
'N. B. Mrs. Touchwood appeared, according
the last year's cavalcade. The register observes, ing lived irreproachable since the decease of that, finding it an easy pad-ram, and foreseeing husband, who left her a widow in the sixty-n
year of her age.
"I am, sin, &c.'
therefor snce th Ishall n a long short s idleness The either the othe pleasure
of avar their op
greatest their c Course o most am and narr that men
ous than of losing have bee his reper
his sorrow proving directed t
may appl catalogue in perils Among fa
ness, in w
he 'lay u
if I may ir of a grea
In the s ambition those of a trouble is
power and words, we obtain it
Cardinal Wolsey's complaint, Had I served God with the same application wherewith I served my
N° 624. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1714. king, he would not have forsaken me in my old
age.' The cardinal here softens his ambition by the specious pretence of serving his king' whereas his words, in the proper construction, imply, that, if instead of being acted by ambition he had been acted by religion, he should now have felt the comforts of it, when the whole world turned its back upon him.
Audire, atque togam jubeo componere, quisquis
HOR. Sat. iii. 1. 2. ver. 77.
Sit still, and hear, those whom proud thoughts do swell,
Thirdly, let us compare the pains of the sensual with those of the virtuous, and see which are heavier in the balance. It may seem strange, at the first view, that the men of pleasure should be advised to change their course, because they lead a painful life. Yet when we see them so active and vigilant in quest of delight; under so many dis
MANKIND is divided into two parts, the busy and the idle. The busy world may be divided into the virtuous and the vicious. The vicious again into the covetous, the ambitious, and the sensual. The idle part of mankind are in a state inferior to any one of these. All the other are engaged in the quiets, and the sport of such various passions; let pursuit of happiness, though often misplaced, and them answer, if they can, if the pains they underare therefore more likely to be attentive to such go do not outweigh their enjoyments. The infimeans as shall be proposed to them for that end. delities on the one part between the two sexes, The idle, who are neither wise for this world nor and the caprices on the other, the debasement of the next, are emphatically called by Doctor Tillot-reason, the pangs of expectation, the disappointson fools at large. They propose to themselves ments in possession, the stings of remorse, the va no end, but run adrift with every wind. Advice nities and vexations attending even the most rebe therefore would be but thrown away upon them, fined delights, that make up this business of life, since they would scarce take the pains to read it. render it so silly and uncomfortable, that no man I shall not fatigue any of this worthless tribe with is thought wise until he hath got over it, or a long harangue; but will leave them with this happy, but in proportion as he hath cleared himshort saying of Plato, that labour is preferable to self from it. idleness, as brightness to rust.'
The sum of all is this. Man is made an active The pursuits of the active part of mankind are being. Whether he walks in the paths of virtue either in the paths of religion and virtue; or, on or vice, he is sure to meet with many difficulties to the other hand, in the roads to wealth, honours, or prove his patience and excite his industry. The pleasure. I shall, therefore, compare the pursuits same, if not greater labour, is required in the serof avarice, ambition, and sensual delight, with vice of vice and folly as of virtue and wisdom; and their opposite virtues; and shall consider which he hath this easy choice left him, whether, with of these principles engages men in a course of the the strength he is master of, he will purchase hapgreatest labour, suffering, and assiduity. Most men, piness or repentance. in their cool reasonings, are willing to allow that a course of virtue will in the end be rewarded the most amply; but represent the way to it as rugged and narrow. If therefore it can be made appear, that men struggle through as many troubles to be miserable, as they do to be happy, my readers may perhaps be persuaded to be good when they find they shall lose nothing by it.
N° 625. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 1714.
De tenero meditatur ungui.
First, for avarice. The miser is more industrious than the saint: the pains of getting, the fears of losing, and the inability of enjoying his wealth, have been the mark of satire in all ages. Were his repentance upon his neglect of a good bargain, THE love-casuist hath referred to me the followhis sorrow for being overreached, his hope of iming letter of queries, with his answers to each proving a sum, and his fear of falling into want, considered the several matters therein contained, question, for my approbation. I have accordingly directed to their proper objects, they would make so many different Christian graces and virtues. He and hereby confirm and ratify his answers, and may apply to himself a great part of Saint Paul's require the gentle querist to conform herself Catalogue of sufferings. In journeyings often; n perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils mong false brethren. In weariness and painful. SIR,
ness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in Was thirteen the 9th of November last, and
tain it. The ambitious man should remember
HOR. Od. vi. 1. 3. ver. 23.
+ See Nos, 591, 602, 605, 614, and 623.
of verses; for he is one of the greatest wits in been an hour in the air. I love, if I may so speak,
When Mr. Fondle looks upon me for half an
May not I be certain he will be a kind husband, that has promised me half my portion in pin-money, and to keep me a coach and six in the bargain?
Whether I, who have been acquainted with him this whole year almost, am not a better judge of his merit than my father and mother, who never heard him talk but at table?'
Should not I be a very barbarous creature
'Yours, in haste,
No 626. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1714
Dulcique animos novitate tenebo.
With sweet novelty your taste I'll please.
'Whether I am not old enough to choose for myself?'
I HAVE Seen a little work of a learned man, con No. 'Whether it would not have been rude in me their birth to the most trifling occurrences sisting of extemporary speculations, which owed to refuse a lock of his hair?' No.
His usual method was, to write down any sudden
Whether you would not advise me to run away box, would flourish eloquently upon a tucker o with the poor man!' pair of ruffles, and draw practical inferences from Whether you do not think, that if I will not mention, by way of excuse for my ingenious a full-bottomed periwig. This I thought have him, he will drown himself?" respondent who hath introduced the follow What shall I say to him the next time he asks him, is too ridiculous in so serious and noble letter by an image which, I will beg leave to tel me if I will marry him?'
since which objec terly
depen What hances spires
that lo itself is
as by cli
plain a gether w
tion nor answer.
The following letter requires neither introduc- WHEN I have seen young puss playing her wantin gambols, and with a thousand antic shapes exprespetually her own gaiety at the same time that she moved mine, while the old grannum hath set by with depths o
there is n rified spi
· MR. SPECTATOR,
"I WONDER that in the present situation of affairs, most exemplary gravity, unmoved at all that p
state of t
but by ite
ance of 1 God, the fills them found awe he first of
means I am capable of doing you great services in with their condition; for, besides that to a
We may see
sit sometimes for a whole day, and have the news the mirth of the boy but a little punishment or essays of E as it comes from court fresh and fresh. In short, finement. The youth must have more violent sir, I spare no pains to know how the world goes sures to employ his time; the man loves the be A piece of news loseth its flavour when it hath of an active life, devoted to the pursuits of weak
Truth whatever do it. In Tantage o and chang
the sublim Some obsc for new no
or ambition; and, lastly, old age, having lost its tired of health, because not enlivened with altercapacity for these avocations, becomes its own in-nate pain; and prefer the first reading of an indifsupportable burthen. This variety may in part be ferent author to the second or third perusal of one accounted for by the vivacity and decay of the whose merit and reputation are established faculties; but I believe is chiefly owing to this, that the longer we have been in possession of being, the less sensible is the gust we have of it; and the more it requires of adventitious amusements to relieve us from the satiety and weariness it brings along with it.
"Our being thus formed serves many useful purposes in the present state. It contributes not a little to the advancement of learning; for, as Cicero takes notice, that which makes men willing to undergo the fatigues of philosophical disquisitions, is not so much the greatness of objects as
And as novelty is of a very powerful, so is it of their novelty. It is not enough that there is field a most extensive influence. Moralists have long and game for the chase, and that the understand-* since observed it to be the source of admiration, ing is prompted with a restless thirst of knowledge, which lessens in proportion to our familiarity with effectually to rouse the soul, sunk into the state of objects, and upon a thorough acquaintance is ut- sloth and indolence; it is also necessary that there terly extinguished. But I think it hath not been be an uncommon pleasure annexed to the first apso commonly remarked, that all the other passions pearance of truth in the mind. This pleasure bedepend considerably on the same circumstances. ing exquisite for the time it lasts, but transient, it What is it but novelty that awakens desire, en- hereby comes to pass that the mind grows into an hances delight, kindles anger, provokes envy, in-indifference to its former notions, and passes on spires horror? To this cause we must ascribe it, after new discoveries, in hope of repeating the dethat love languishes with fruition, and friendship light. It is with knowledge as with wealth, the itself is recommended by intervals of absence: pleasure of which lies more in making endless adhence monsters, by use, are beheld without loath-ditions than in taking a review of our old store. ing, and the most enchanting beauty without rap-There are some inconveniences that follow this ture. That emotion of the spirits, in which passion temper, if not guarded against, particularly this, consists, is usually the effect of surprise, and, as that through a too great eagerness of something long as it continues, heightens the agreeable or new, we are many times impatient of staying long disagreeable qualities of its object; but as this emo-enough upon a question that requires some time to tion ceases (and it ceases with the novelty) things resolve it; or, which is worse, persuade ourselves appear in another light, and affect us even less than that we are masters of the subject before we are might be expected from their proper energy, for so, only to be at the liberty of going upon a fresh having moved us too much before." scent; in Mr. Locke's words, "we see a little, presume a great deal, and so jump to the conclusion." 'A further advantage of our inclination for novelty, as at present circumstantiated, is, that it
'It may not be an useless inquiry, how far the love of novelty is the unavoidable growth of nature, and in what respects it is peculiarly adapted to the present state. To me it seems impossible annihilates all the boasted distinctions among manthat a reasonable creature should rest absolutely kind. Look not up with envy to those above thee! satisfied in any acquisitions whatever, without en- Sounding titles, stately buildings, fine gardens, gilddeavouring further; for, after its highest improve-ed chariots, rich equipages, what are they? They ments, the mind hath an idea of an infinity of dazzle every one but the possessor: to him that is things still behind, worth knowing, to the know-accustomed to them they are cheap and regardless ledge of which therefore it cannot be indifferent; things: they supply him not with brighter images, as by climbing up a hill in the midst of a wide or more sublime satisfactions, than the plain man plain a man hath his prospect enlarged, and, to- may have, whose small estate may just enable him gether with that, the bounds of his desires. Upon to support the charge of a simple unencumbered this account, I cannot think he detracts from the life. He enters heedless into his rooms of state, as state of the blessed, who conceives them to be per- you or I do under our poor sheds. The noble paintpetually employed in fresh searches into nature, ings and costly furniture are lost on him; he sees and to eternity advancing into the fathomless them not as how can it be otherwise, when by depths of the divine perfections. In this thought custom, a fabric, infinitely more grand and finished, here is nothing but what doth honour to these glo- that of the universe, stands unobserved by the inified spirits, provided still it be remembered, that habitants, and the everlasting lamps of heaven are heir desire of more proceeds not from their disrel-lighted up in vain, for any notice that mortals take shing what they possess; and the pleasure of a new of them! Thanks to indulgent nature, which not enjoyment is not with them measured by its novel-only placed her children originally upon a level, y (which is a thing merely foreign and accidental) but still, by the strength of this principle, in a ut by its real intrinsic value. After an acquaint- great measure preserves it, in spite of all the care nce of many thousand years with the works of of man to introduce artificial distinctions. od, the beauty and magnificence of the creation To add no more-is not this fondness for noIls them with the same pleasing wonder and pro- velty, which makes us out of conceit with all we und awe which Adam felt himself seized with as already have, a convincing proof of a future state? e first opened his eyes upon this glorious scene. Either man was made in vain, or this is not the ruth captivates with unborrowed charms, and only world he was made for: for there cannot be a hatever hath once given satisfaction will always greater instance of vanity than that to which man is o it. In all which they have manifestly the ad-liable, to be deluded from the cradle to the grave ntage of us who are so much governed by sickly with fleeting shadows of happiness. His pleasures, d changeable appetites, that we can with the and those not considerable neither, die in the poseatest coldness behold the stupendous display of session, and fresh enjoyments do not rise fast enough nnipotence, and be in transports at the puny to fill up half his life with satisfaction. When I says of human skill; throw aside speculations of see persons sick of themselves any longer than they è sublimest nature and vastest importance into are called away by something that is of force to ne obscure corner of the mind, to make room chain down the present thought; when I see them new notions of no consequence at all, are even hurry from country to town, and then f
town back again into the country, continually shift- I promise ten thousand satisfactions to myself i ing postures, and placing life in all the different your conversation. I already take my evenings lights they can think of; "surely," say I to my-turn in it, and have worn a path upon the edge d self, "life is vain, and the man beyond expression this little alley, while I soothed myself with the stupid or prejudiced, who from the vanity of life thought of your walking by my side. I have hel cannot gather that he is designed for immorta-many imaginary discourses with you in this retire lity." ment; and when I have been weary have sat dov with you in the midst of a row of jessamines. The many expressions of joy and rapture I use in thes silent conversations have made me for some time the talk of the parish; but a neighbouring your f exist
of this are, b self tom Comor
N° 627. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1714. fellow, who makes love to the farmer's daughte bath found me out, and made my case known the whole neighbourhood.
Tantum inter densas umbrosa cacumina fagos
"In planting of the fruit-trees, I have not forg the peach you are so fond of. I have made a va of elms along the river side, and intend to so the place about with cowslips, which I hope you will like as well as that I have heard you talk of by your father's house in the country.
"Oh! Zelinda, what a scheme of delight havel
THE following account, which came to my hands
"How could you break off so abruptly in y last, and tell me you must go and dress for th
"I am, &c."
A FRIEND of mine died of a fever last week, which play? If you loved as I do, you would find
of the deceased, the following piece of history
'I am, &c'
VIRG. Ecl. ii. ver. 3.
He, underneath the beechen shade alone,
No 628. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1714
Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis avum.
"A LONG month's absence would be insupport able to me, if the business I am employed in were not for the service of my Zelinda, and of such a nature as to place her every moment in my mind. I have furnished the house exactly according to your fancy, or, if you please, my own; for I have long since learned to like nothing but what you do. The apartment designed for your use is so exact a copy of that which you live in, that I often think myself in your house when I step into it, but sigh when I find it without its proper inhabitant. You Your readers will perhaps receive greater pl will have the most delicious prospect from your since we have every one of us a concern in sure from this view of eternity than the forme closet-window that England affords: I am sure I should think it so, if the landscape that shows such which is to come: whereas a speculation on t variety did not at the same time suggest to me the which is past is rather curious than useful. greatness of the space that lies between us. Besides, we can easily conceive it possibl
THERE are none of your speculations which ples me more than those upon infinitude and etern You have already considered that part of eter which is past, and I wish you would give us thoughts upon that which is to come.
"The gardens are laid out very beautifully; I successive duration never to have an end; thoug have dressed up every hedge in woodbines, sprin- as you have justly observed, that eternity kled bowers and arbours in every corner, and never had a beginning is altogether incompres made a little paradise around me; yet I am still sible; that is, we can conceive an eternal duri like the first man in his solitude, but half blessed use the which may be, though we cannot an eternal d without a partner in my happiness. I have directed one walk to be made for two persons, where sophical terms, we may apprehend a pote though not an actual eternity.
This notion of a future eternity, which is
* See Nos. 565, 571, 580, and 590,
* Dr. Johnson thought this essay one of the finest pieces in the English language. Boswell's Life of Johnson, vol. iii. p. 32, 3d
things, which, manner SEA Or
nce tha gine ou 80
had a be
ave an 'But
This w head master und Dean of kan, and ac to Latin was sent to for the sake of Bland. Tra elit. I