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refreshed with the green fields of Britain, |plicity of thought, above that which I call at the same time that our palates are feasted with fruits that rise between the tropics. For these reasons there are not more useful members in a commonwealth than merchants. They knit mankind together in a mutual intercourse of good offices, distribute the gifts of nature, find work for the poor, add wealth to the rich, and magnificence to the great. Our English merchant converts the tin of his own country into gold, and exchanges its wool for rubies. The Mahometans are clothed in our British manufacture, and the inhabitants of the frozen zone warmed with the fleeces of our sheep.

When I have been upon the Change, I have often fancied one of our old kings standing in person, where is represented in effigy, and looking down upon the wealthy concourse of people with which that place is every day filled. In this case, how would he be surprised to hear all the languages of Europe spoken in this little spot of his former dominions, and to see so many private men, who in bis time would have been the vassals of some powerful baron, negotiating like princes for greater sums of money than were formerly to be met with in the royal treasury! Trade, without enlarging the British territories, has given us a kind of additional empire. It has multiplied the number of the rich, made our landed estates infinitely more valuable than they were formerly, and added to them an accession of other estates as valuable as the lands themselves.

C.

the Gothic manner of writing, than thisthat the first pleases all kinds of palates, and the latter only such as have formed to themselves a wrong artificial taste upon little fanciful authors and writers of epigrams. Homer, Virgil, or Milton, so far as the language of their poems is understood, will please a reader of plain common sense, who would neither relish nor comprehend an epigram of Martial, or a poem of Cowley; so, on the contrary, an ordinary song or ballad, that is the delight of the common people, cannot fail to please all such readers as are not unqualified for the entertainment by their affectation or ignorance; and the reason is plain, because the same paintings of nature, which recommend it to the most ordinary reader, will appear beautiful to the most refined.

The old song of Chevy-Chase is the favourite ballad of the common people of England, and Ben Jonson used to say, he had rather have been the author of it than of all his works. Sir Philip Sidney, in his discourse of poetry, speaks of it in the following words: 'I never heard the old song of Percy and Douglas, that I found not my heart more moved than with a trumpet; and yet it is sung by some blind crowder with no rougher voice than rude style, which being so evil apparelled in the dust and cobweb of that uncivil age, what would it work trimmed in the gorgeous eloquence of Pindar?' For my own part, I am so professed an admirer of this antiquated song, that I shall give my reader a critique upon it, without any further apology for so doing.*

No. 70.] Monday, May 21, 1711. The greatest modern critics have laid it down as a rule, that an heroic poem should Interdum vulgus rectum videtbe founded upon some important precept Hor. Lib. ii. Ep. i. 63. of morality, adapted to the constitution of Sometimes the vulgar see and judge aright. the country in which the poet writes. WHEN I travelled, I took a particular Homer and Virgil have formed their plans delight in hearing the songs and fables that in this view. As Greece was a collection are come from father to son, and are most of many governments, who suffered very in vogue among the common people of the much among themselves, and gave the countries through which I passed; for it is Persian emperor, who was their common impossible that any thing should be univer-enemy, many advantages over them by sally tasted and approved by a multitude, their mutual jealousies and animosities, though they are only the rabble of a nation, | Homer, in order to establish among them which hath not in it some peculiar aptness a union which was so necessary for their to please and gratify the mind of man. safety, grounds his poem upon the discords Human nature is the same in all reasona- of the several Grecian princes who were ble creatures; and whatever falls in with engaged in a confederacy against an Asiatic it, will meet with admirers amongst rea-prince, and the several advantages which ders of all qualities and conditions. Mo- the enemy gained by such discords. At the liere, as we are told by Monsieur Boileau, time the poem we are now treating of was used to read all his comedies to an old wo-written, the dissensions of the barons, man who was his house-keeper, as she sat with him at her work by the chimney-corner; and could foretel the success of his play in the theatre, from the reception it met with at his fire-side: for he tells us the audience always followed the old woman, and never failed to laugh in the same place. I know nothing which more shows the essential and inherent perfection of sim-consequence of it.

who were then so many petty princes, ran very high, whether they quarrelled among themselves, or with their neighbours, and

much admired by Sir Philip Sidney and Ben Jonson, *Mr. Addison was not aware that the old song so was not the same as that which he here so elegantly criticises, and which, in Dr. Percy's opinion, cannot be written after the eulogium of Sir Philip Sidney, or in

older than the time of Elizabeth; and was probably

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'God save the king, and bless the land
In plenty, joy, and peace;

And grant henceforth that foul debate

"Twixt noblemen may cease.'

The next point observed by the greatest heroic poets, hath been to celebrate persons and actions which do honour to their country: thus Virgil's hero was the founder of Rome, Homer's a prince of Greece; and for this reason Valerius Flaccus and Statius, who were both Romans, might be justly derided for having chosen the expedition of the Golden Fleece, and the wars of Thebes, for the subjects of their epic writings.

The poet before us has not only found out an hero in his own country, but raises the reputation of it by several beautiful incidents. The English are the first who take the field, and the last who quit it. The English bring only fifteen hundred to the battle, the Scotch two thousand. The English keep the field with fifty-three; the Scotch retire with fifty-five: all the rest on each side being slain in battle. But the most remarkable circumstance of this kind is the different manner in which the Scotch

and English kings receive the news of this fight, and of the great men's deaths who commanded in it:

"This news was brought to Edinburgh,
Where Scotland's king did reign,
That brave Earl Douglas suddenly,
Was with an arrow slain.

'O heavy news, king James did say,
Scotland can witness be,

I have not any captain more
Of such account as he.

'Like tidings to King Henry came
Within as short a space,
That Percy of Northumberland
Was slain at Chevy-Chase.

'Now God be with him, said our king,
Sith 'twill no better be,

I trust I have within my realm
Five hundred good as he.

'Yet shall not Scot nor Scotland say,
But I will vengeance take,

And be revenged on them all

For brave Lord Percy's sake.

This vow full well the king perform'd
After on Humble-down,

In one day fifty knights were slain,
With lords of great renown.
'And of the rest of small account
Did many thousands die,' &c.

At the same time that our poet shows a laudable partiality to his countrymen, he represents the Scots after a manner not unbecoming so bold and brave a people.

'Earl Douglas on a milk-white steed, Most like a baron bold, Rode foremost of the company, Whose armour shone like gold.' His sentiments and actions are every way suitable to an hero. One of us two, says he, must die. I am an earl as well as yourself, so that you can have no pretence for refusing the combat: however, says he, it is pity, and indeed would be a sin, that so many innocent men should perish for our sakes; rather let you and I end our quarrel in single fight:

'Ere thus I will out-braved be,
One of us two shall die;

I know thee well, an earl thou art,
Lord Percy, so am I.

But trust me, Percy, pity it were,
And great offence, to kill
Any of these our harmless men,
For they have done no ill.
'Let thou and I the battle try,
And set our men aside;
Accursed be he, Lord Percy said,

By whom it is deny'd.'

When these brave men had distinguished themselves in the battle, and in single combat with each other, in the midst of a generous parley, full of heroic sentiments, the Scotch earl falls; and with his dying words encourages his men to revenge his death, representing to them, as the most bitter circumstance of it, that his rival saw him fall:

'With that there came an arrow keen
Out of an English bow,

Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart
A deep and deadly blow.

'Who never spoke more words than these,
Fight on my merry-men all,
For why, my life is at an end,

Lord Percy sees my fall.'

Merry-men in the language of those times, is no more than a cheerful word for companions and fellow-soldiers. A passage in the eleventh book of Virgil's Æneid is very much to be admired, where Camilla, in her last agonies, instead of weeping over the wound she had received, as one might have expected from a warrior of her sex, considers only (like the hero of whom we are now speaking) how the battle should be continued after her death:

Tum sic expirans Accam ex æqualibus unam
Alloquitur; fida ante alias quæ sola Cammillæ.
Quicum partiri curas; atque hæc ita fatur:
Hactenus, Acca soror, potuí: nunc vulnus acerbum
Conficit, et tenebris nigrescunt omnia circum:
Effuge, et hæc Turno mandata novissima perfer;
Succedat pugnæ; Trojanosque arceat urbe:
Jamque vale.
En. xi. 820.

A gathering mist o'erclouds her cheerful eyes;
And from her cheeks the rosy colour flies,
Then turns to her, whom of her female train,
She trusted most, and thus she speaks with pain:
Acca, 'tis past! he swims before my sight,
Inexorable death; and claims his right.
Bear my last words to Turnus; fly with speed,
And bid him timely to my charge succeed,
Repel the Trojans, and the town relieve:
Farewell.-

Dryden.

Turnus did not die in so heroic a manner; though our poet seems to have had his eye upon Turnus's speech in the last

verse:

'Lord Percy sees my fall.'

Ausonii videre

-Vicisti, et victum tendere palmas

n. xii. 936.

The Latian chiefs have seen me beg my life.

Dryden. Earl Percy's lamentation over his enemy is generous, beautiful, and passionate: I must only caution the reader not to let the simplicity of the style, which one may well pardon in so old a poet, prejudice him against the greatness of the thought:

"Then leaving life, Earl Percy took
The dead man by the hand,
And said, Earl Douglas, for thy life
Would I have lost my land.

'O Christ, my very heart doth bleed
With sorrow for thy sake:
For sure a more renowned knight
Mischanee did never take.'

The beautiful line, Taking the dead man
by the hand,' will put the reader in mind
of Æneas's behaviour toward Lausus, whom
he himself had slain as he came to the res-
cue of his aged father:

At vero ut vultum vidit morientis, et ora,
Ora modis Anchisiades pallentia miris;
Ingemuit, miserans graviter, dextramque tetendit.
Jn. x. 822.

He trudg'd along, unknowing what he sought,
And whistled as he went for want of thought.

'By chance conducted, or by thirst constrain'd,
The deep recesses of the grove he gain'd;
Where in a plain, defended by the wood,
Crept through the matted grass a chrystal flood,
By which an alabaster fountain stood:
And on the margin of the fount was laid
(Attended by her slaves) a sleeping maid,
Like Dian and her nymphs, when tir'd with sport,
To rest by cool Eurotas they resort;
The dame herself the goddess well express'd,
Not more distinguish'd by her purple vest,
Than by the charming features of her face,
And e'en in slumber a superior grace:
Her comely limbs compos'd with decent care,
Her body shaded with a slight cymar;
Her bosom to the view was only bare:
The fanning wind upon her bosom blows;
To meet the fanning wind her bosom rose;
The fanning wind and purling streams continue her
repose.

"The fool of nature stood with stupid eyes,
And gaping mouth that testify'd surprise;
Fix'd on her face, nor could remove his sight,
New as he was to love, and novice in delight:
Long mute he stood, and leaning on his staff,
His wonder witness'd with an idiot laugh;
Then would have spoke, but by his glimm'ring sense
First found his want of words, and fear'd offence:
Doubted for what he was he should be known,
By his clown-accent and his country-tone.'

But lest this fine description should be excepted against, as the creation of that great master Mr. Dryden, and not an ac

The pious prince beheld young Lausus dead;
He griev'd, he wept, then grasp'd his hand, and said, count of what has really ever happened in

&c.

Dryden.

I shall take another opportunity to consider the other parts of this old song. C.

No. 71.] Tuesday, May 22, 1711.

-Scribere jussit amor. Ovid. Ep. iv. 10.

Love bade me write.

the world, I shall give you, verbatim, the epistle of an enamoured footman in the country to his mistress. Their surnames shall not be inserted, because their passions demand a greater respect than is due to their quality. James is servant in a great family, and Elizabeth waits upon the daughter of one as numerous, some miles off her lover. James, before he beheld THE entire conquest of our passions is wrestler, and quarrelsome cudgel-player; Betty, was vain of his strength, a rough so difficult a work, that they who despair Betty a public dancer at May-poles, a romp of it should think of a less difficult task, at stool-ball: he always following idle woand only attempt to regulate them. But men, she playing among the peasants: he a there is a third thing which may contribute country bully, she a country coquette. But not only to the ease, but also to the plea- love has made her constantly in her missure of our life; and that is refining our pas-tress's chamber, where the young lady sions to a greater elegance than we receive them from nature. When the passion is love, this work is performed in innocent, though rude and uncultivated minds, by the mere force and dignity of the object. There are forms which naturally create respect in the beholders, and at once inflame and chastise the imagination. Such an impression as this gives an immediate ambition to deserve, in order to please. 'May 14, 1711. 'MY DEAR BETTY,-Remember your This cause and effect are beautifully de- bleeding lover, who lies bleeding at the cribed by Mr. Dryden in the fable of Cy-wounds Cupid made with the arrows he mon and Iphigenia. After he has repre- borrowed at the eyes of Venus, which is sented Cymon so stupid, that your sweet person.

'He whistled as he went for want of thought;"

he makes him fall into the following scene,
and shows its influence upon him so excel-
lently, that it appears as natural as won-
derful:

'It happen'd on a summer's holiday,
That to the greenwood-shade he took his way;
His quarter-staff, which he could ne'er forsake,
Hung half before, and half behind his back,

gratifies a secret passion of her own, by making Betty talk of James; and James is become a constant waiter near his master's apartment, in reading, as well as he can, romances. I cannot learn who Molly is, who it seems walked ten miles to carry the angry message, which gave occasion to what follows:

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Nay more, with the token you sent me sweet person; which was your base refor my love and service offered to your there is no ill conditions in me, but quite spects to my ill conditions; when, alas! contrary; all love, and purity, especially to your sweet person; but all this I take as a jest.

But the sad and dismal news which

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Now, my dear, if I may not be permitted to your sweet company, and to have the happiness of speaking with your sweet person, I beg the favour of you to accept of this my secret mind and thoughts, which hath so long lodged in my breast, the which if you do not accept, I believe will go nigh to break my heart.

For, indeed, my dear, I love you above all the beauties I ever saw in my life.

'The young gentleman, and my master's daughter, the Londoner that is come down to marry her, sat in the arbour most part of last night. Oh, dear Betty, must the nightingales sing to those who marry for money, and not to us true lovers! Oh, my dear Betty, that we could meet this night where we used to do in the wood!

Now, my dear, if I may not have the blessing of kissing your sweet lips, I beg I may have the happiness of kissing your fair hand, with a few lines from your dear self, presented by whom you please or think fit. I believe, if time would permit me, I could write all day; but the time being short, and paper little, no more from your never failing lover till death,

'JAMES

*

Poor James! since his time and paper were so short, I that have more than I can use well of both, will put the sentiments of this kind letter (the style of which seems to be confused with scraps he had got in hearing and reading what he did not understand) into what he meant to express.

that I cannot think you are in earnest. But the certainty given me in your message by Molly, that you do not love me, is what robs me of all comfort. She says you will not see me: if you can have so much cruelty, at least write to me, that I may kiss the impression made by your fair hand. I love you above all things, and, in my condition, what you look upon with indifference is to me the most exquisite pleasure or pain. Our young lady and a fine gentleman from London, who are to marry for mercenary ends, walk about our gardens, and hear the voice of evening nightingales, as if for fashion sake they courted those solitudes, because they have heard lovers do so. Oh, Betty! could I hear those rivulets murmur, and birds sing, while you stood near me, how little sensible should I be that we are both servants, that there is any thing on earth above us! Oh! I could write to you as long as I love you, till death itself. JAMES.'

N. B. By the words ill conditions, James means, in a woman coquetry, in a man inconstancy.

No. 72.] Wednesday, May 22, 1711.

R.

-Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos
Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum.
Virg. Georg. iv. 208.

Th' immortal line in sure succession reigns,
The fortune of the family remains,
And grandsires' grandsons the long list contains.
Dryden.

HAVING already given my reader an account of several extraordinary clubs both ancient and modern, I did not design to have troubled him with any more narratives of this nature; but I have lately received information of a club which I can call neither ancient nor modern, that I DEAR CREATURE,-Can you then ne- dare say will be no less surprising to my glect him who has forgot all his recrea- reader than it was to myself; for which tions and enjoyments to pine away his life reason I shall communicate it to the pubin thinking of you? When I do so, you ap-lic as one of the greatest curiosities of its pear more amiable to me than Venus does in the most beautiful description that ever was made of her. All this kindness you return with an accusation, that I do not love you: but the contrary is so manifest,

*The writer of this loving epistle was James Hirst, a servant to the Hon. Edward Wortley, esq. In de by mistake, this which he had just written to his sweetheart, and in its stead kept one of his master's. James soon discovered the error he had committed, and

livering a number of letters to his master, he gave him,

returned to rectify it, but it was too late: the letter to

Betty was the first which met Mr. Wortley's eye, and he had indulged his curiosity in reading the pathetic effusion of his love-lorn footman. James begged to have it returned: "No, James," said his master, You shall be a great man; and this letter must appear in

the Spectator."

that he had no "ill conditions," and obtained her

kind.

A friend of mine complaining of a tradesman who is related to him, after having represented him as a very idle, worthless fellow, who neglected his family, and spent most of his time over a bottle, told me, to conclude his character, that he was a member of the Everlasting Club. So very odd a title raised my curiosity to inquire into the nature of a club that had such a sounding name; upon which my friend gave me the the following account.

The Everlasting Club consists of a hundred members, who divide the whole twenty-four hours among them in such a manner, that the club sits day and night from one end of the year to another; no

James at length succeeded in convincing Betty consent to marry him: the marriage, however, was un-party presuming to rise till they are refortunately prevented by her sudden death; and James, lieved by those who are in course to sucwho seems to have been a good sort of soul, soon ceed them. By this means a member of after married her sister. This sister was, most proba the Everlasting Club never wants compably, the Molly who trudged so many miles to carry the angry message. ny; for though he is not upon duty himself,

he is sure to find some who are; so that if | clubs with an eye of contempt, and talks he be disposed to take a whet, a nooning, even of the Kit-Cat and October as of a an evening's draught, or a bottle after couple of upstarts. Their ordinary dismidnight, he goes to the club, and finds a course, (as much as I have been able to knot of friends to his mind. learn of it) turns altogether upon such adIt is a maxim in this club, that the stew-ventures as have passed in their own asard never dies; for as they succeed one an-sembly; of members who have taken the other by way of rotation, no man is to quit the great elbow-chair which stands at the upper-end of the table, till his successor is in readiness to fill it: insomuch that there has not been a sede vacante in the memory of man.

glass in their turns for a week together, without stirring out of the club; of others who have smoked an hundred pipes at a sitting; of others, who have not missed their morning's draught for twenty years together. Sometimes they speak in raptures of a run of ale in king Charles's reign; and sometimes reflect with astonishment upon games at whist, which have been miraculously recovered by members of the society, when in all human probability the case was desperate.

This club was instituted towards the end (or as some of them say, about the middle) of the civil wars, and continued without interruption till the time of the great fire,* which burnt them out, and dispersed them for several weeks. The steward at that time maintained his post till he had like to have been blown up with a neighbouring house, (which was demolished in order to stop the fire;) and would not leave the chair at last, till he had emptied all the bottles upon the table, and received re-ture. peated directions from the Club to withdraw himself. This steward is frequently talked of in the club, and looked upon by every member of it as a greater man than the famous captain mentioned in my lord Clarendon, who was burnt in his ship because he would not quit it without orders. It is said, that towards the close of 1700, being the great year of jubilee, the club had it under consideration whether they should break up or continue their session; but after many speeches and debates, it was at length agreed to sit out the other No. 73.] Thursday, May 24, 1711. century. This resolution was passed in a general club nemine contradicente.

They delight in several old catches, which they sing at all hours, to encourage one another to moisten their clay, and grow immortal by drinking; with many other edifying exhortations of the like na

There are four general clubs held in a year, at which times they fill up vacancies, appoint waiters, confirm the old firemaker, or elect a new one, settle contributions for coals, pipes, tobacco, and other necessaries.

The senior member has outlived the whole club twice over, and has been drunk with the grandfathers of some of the sent sitting members.

-O Dea certe!

Cre

Virg. Æn. i. 328.

O goddess! for no less you seem. Having given this short account of the Ir is very strange to consider, that a institution and continuation of the Ever-creature like man, who is sensible of so lasting Club, I should here endeavour to many weaknesses and imperfections, should say something of the manners and charac-be actuated by a love of fame: that vice ters of its several members, which I shall and ignorance, imperfection and misery, do according to the best lights I have re- should contend for praise, and endeavour ceived in this matter. as much as possible to make themselves objects of admiration.

It appears by their books in general, that since their first institution, they have But notwithstanding man's essential persmoked fifty tons of tobacco, drank thirty fection is but very little, his comparative thousand butts of ale, one thousand hogs- perfection may be very considerable. If he heads of red port, two hundred barrels of looks upon himself in an abstracted light, brandy, and a kilderkin of small beer. he has not much to boast of; but if he conThere has been likewise a great consump- siders himself with regard to others, he tion of cards. It is also said, that they ob- may find occasion of glorying, if not in his serve the law in Ben Jonson's club,† which own virtues, at least in the absence of anorders the fire to be always kept in (focus other's imperfections. This gives a difperennis esto) as well for the convenience ferent turn to the reflections of the wise of lighting their pipes, as to cure the damp-man and the fool. The first endeavours to ness of the club-room. They have an old shine in himself, and the last to outshine woman in the nature of a vestal, whose others. The first is humbled by the sense business it is to cherish and perpetuate the fire, which burns from generation to generation, and has seen the glass-house fires in and out above an hundred times.

The Everlasting Club treats all other

* Anno 1666.

of his own infirmities, the last is lifted up by the discovery of those which he observes in other men. The wise man considers what he wants, and the fool what he abounds in. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation, and the fool when he recommends himself to the ap

↑ See the Leges Convivales of this club, in Lang plause of those about him.

haine's Lives of English Poets, &c. Art. Ben Jonson.

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