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I had it in my thoughts, before I received the letter of this lady, to consider this dreadful passion in the mind of a woman: and the smart she seems to feel does not abate the inclination I had to recommend to husbands a more regular behaviour, than to give the love them, nay whose torments would be most exquisite of torments to those who abated if they did not love them.
It is wonderful to observe how little is
judge of your paper of the 15th instant, | am answered only: That I expose my own which is a master-piece; I mean that of reputation and sense if I appear jealous. I jealousy: but I think it unworthy of you to wish, good sir, you would take this into speak of that torture in the breast of a man, serious consideration, and admonish husand not to mention also the pangs of it in bands and wives, what terms they ought to the heart of a woman. You have very ju- keep towards each other. Your thoughts diciously, and with the greatest penetration on this important subject will have the imaginable, considered it as woman is the greatest reward, that which descends on creature of whom the diffidence is raised: such as feel the sorrows of the afflicted. but not a word of a man, who is so unmer- Give me leave to subscribe myself, your ciful as to move jealousy in his wife, and unfortunate humble servant, not care whether she is so or not. It is possible you may not believe there are such tyrants in the world; but, alas, I can tell you of a man who is ever out of humour in his wife's company, and the pleasantest man in the world every where else; the greatest sloven at home when he appears to none but his family, and most exactly welldressed in all other places. Alas, sir, is it of course, that to deliver one's self wholly into a man's power without possibility of appeal to any other jurisdiction but his own made of this inexpressible injury, and how reflections, is so little an obligation to a gen- easily men get into a habit of being least tleman, that he can be offended and fall agreeable, where they are most obliged to into a rage, because my heart swells tears be so. But this subject deserves a distinct into my eyes when I see him in a cloudy speculation, and I shall observe for a day mood? I pretend to no succour, and hope for no relief but from himself; and yet he or two the behaviour of two or three happy that has sense and justice in every thing tend to make a system of conjugal morality. pairs I am acquainted with, before I preelse, never reflects, that to come home only I design in the first place to go a few miles to sleep off an intemperance, and spend all the time he is there as if it were a punish-meet one who practises all the parts of a out of town, and there I know where to ment, cannot but give the anguish of a jeal-fine gentleman in the duty of an husband. ous mind. He always leaves his home as When he was a bachelor much business if he were going to court, and returns as if made him particularly negligent in his hahe were entering a jail. I could add to this, bit; but now there is no young lover living that from his company and his usual disso exact in the care of his person. One who course, he does not scruple being thought asked, Why he was so long washing his an abandoned man, as to his morals. Your mouth, and so delicate in the choice and own imagination will say enough to you wearing of his linen? was answered, "Beconcerning the condition of me his wife; and I wish you would be so good as to re-receive me kindly, and I think it incumcause there is a woman of merit obliged to present to him, for he is not ill-natured, bent upon me to make her inclination go and reads you much, that the moment I along with her duty." hear the door shut after him, I throw my
self upon my bed, and drown the child he think, he would not be so unreasonable as If a man would give himself leave to is so fond of with my tears, and often frighten to expect debauchery and innocence could it with my cries; that I curse my being; that live in commerce together; or hope that I run to my glass all over bathed in sorrows, flesh and blood is capable of so strict an aland help the utterance of my inward anlegiance as that a fine woman must go on to guish by beholding the gush of my own calamities as my tears fall from my eyes. improve herself till she is as good and imThis looks like an imagined picture to tell passive as an angel, only to preserve fideyou, but indeed this is one of my pastimes.lity to a brute and a satyr. The lady who Hitherto I have only told you the general desires me for her sake to end one of my temper of my mind, but how shall I give papers with the following letter, I am peryou an account of the distraction of it? suaded, thinks such a perseverance very it? impracticable. Could you but conceive how cruel I am one moment in my resentment, and at the enHUSBAND, Stay more at home. I know suing minute, when I place him in the con- where you visited at seven of the clock on dition my anger would bring him to, how Thursday evening. The colonel, whom you compassionate; it would give you some no-charged me to see no more, is in town.
tion how miserable I am, and how little I deserve it. When I remonstrate with the greatest gentleness that is possible against unhandsome appearances, and that married persons are under particular rules; when he is in the best humour to receive this, I
T. 'MARTHA HOUSEWIFE.'
No. 179.] Tuesday, September 25, 1711.
Centuriæ seniorum agitant expertia frugis:
Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci,
Old age is only fond of moral truth, Lectures too grave disgust aspiring youth; But he who blends instruction with delight, Wins every reader, nor in vain shall write.-P. I MAY cast my readers under two general divisions, the mercurial and the saturnine. The first are the gay part of my disciples; who require speculations of wit and humour, the others are those of a more solemn and sober turn, who find no pleasure but in papers of morality and sound sense. The former call every thing that is serious, stupid; the latter look upon every thing as impertinent that is ludicrous. Were I always grave, one half of my readers would fall off from me: were I always merry, I should lose the other. I make it therefore my endeavour to find out entertainments of both kinds, and by that means, perhaps, consult the good of both, more than I should do, did I always write to the particular taste of either. As they neither of them know what I proceed upon, the sprightly reader, who takes up my paper in order to be diverted, very often finds himself engaged unawares in a serious and profitable course of thinking; as, on the contrary, the thoughtful man, who perhaps may hope to find something solid, and full of deep reflection, is very often insensibly betrayed into a fit of mirth. In a word, the reader sits down to
my entertainment without knowing his bill of fare, and has therefore at least the pleasure of hoping there may be a dish to his palate.
I must confess, were I left to myself, I should rather aim at instructing than diverting; but if we will be useful to the world, we must take it as we find it. Authors of professed severity discourage the looser part of mankind from having any thing to do with their writings. A man must have virtue in him, before he will enter upon the reading of a Seneca or an Epictetus. The very title of a moral treatise has something in it austere and shocking to the careless and inconsiderate.
For this reason several unthinking persons fall in my way, who would give no attention to lectures delivered with a religious seriousness or a philosophic gravity. They are ensnared into sentiments of wisdom and virtue when they do not think of it; and if by that means they arrive only at such a degree of consideration as may dispose them to listen to more studied and elaborate discourses, I shall not think my speculations useless. I might likewise observe, that the gloominess in which sometimes the minds of the best men are involved, very often stands in need of such little incitements to mirth and laughter, as are apt to disperse melancholy, and put our faculties in good humour. To which some will add, that the British climate, more than any other makes entertainments of this nature in a manner necessary.
If what I have here said does not recommend, it will at least excuse, the variety of my speculations. I would not willingly laugh but in order to instruct, or if I sometimes fail in this point, when my mirth ceases to be instructive, it shall never cease to be innocent. A scrupulous conduct in this particular, has, perhaps, more merit in it than the generality of readers imagine; did they know how many thoughts occur in a point of humour, which a discreet author in modesty suppresses; how many strokes of raillery present themselves, which could not fail to please the ordinary taste of mankind, but are stifled in their birth by reason of some remote tendency which they carry in them to corrupt the minds of those who read them; did they know how many glances of ill-nature are industriously avoided for fear of doing injury to the reputation of another, they would be apt to think kindly of those writers who endeavour to make themselves diverting without being immoral. One may apply to these authors that passage in Waller:
Poets lose half the praise they would have got, Were it but known what they discreetly blot. with all the above-mentioned liberties, it As nothing is more easy than to be a wit, requires some genius and invention to appear such without them.
What I have here said is not only in re
gard to the public, but with an eye to my the following letter, which I have castrated particular correspondent, who has sent me in some places upon these considerations:
'SIR,-Having lately seen your discourse upon a match of grinning, I cannot forbear giving you an account of a whistling match, which with many others, I was entertained with about three years since at the Bath. The prize was a guinea, to be conferred upon the ablest whistler, that is, on him who could whistle clearest, and go through his tune without laughing, to which at the same time he was provoked by the antick postures of a merry-andrew, who was to stand upon the stage and play his tricks in the eye of the performer. There were three competitors for the guinea. The first was a ploughman of a very promising aspect; his features were steady, and his muscles composed in so inflexible a stupidity, that upon his first appearance every one gave the guinea for lost. The pickled herring however found the way to shake him; for upon his whistling a country jig, this unlucky wag danced to it with such variety of distortions and grimaces, that the countryman could not forbear smiling upon him, and by that means spoiled his whistle and lost the prize.
"The next that mounted the stage was an under-citizen of the Bath, a person remarkable among the inferior people of that place for his great wisdom, and his broad band. He contracted his mouth with much gravity, and that he might dispose his mind to
be more serious than ordinary, began the tune of The Children in the Wood. He went through part of it with good success, when on a sudden the wit at his elbow, who had appeared wonderfully grave and attentive for some time, gave him a touch upon the left shoulder, and stared him in the face with so bewitching a grin, that the whistler relaxed his fibres into a kind of simper, and at length burst out into an open laugh. The third who entered the lists was a footman, who in defiance of the merry-andrew and all his arts, whistled a Scotch tune, and an Italian sonata, with so settled a countenance that he bore away the prize, to the great admiration of some hundreds of persons, who, as well as myself, were present at this trial of skill. Now, sir, I humbly conceive, whatever you have determined of the grinners, the whistlers ought to be encouraged, not only as their art is practised without distortion, but as it improves country music, promotes gravity, and teaches ordinary people to keep their countenances, if they see any thing ridiculous in their betters: besides that it seems an entertainment very particularly adapted to the Bath, as it is usual for a rider to whistle to his horse when he would make his water pass. I am, sir, &c.
After having despatched these two important points of grinning and whistling, I hope you will oblige the world with some reflections upon yawning, as I have seen it practised on a twelfth-night, among other Christmas gambols, at the house of a very worthy gentleman, who always entertains his tenants at that time of the year. They yawn for a Cheshire cheese, and begin about midnight, when the whole company is disposed to be drowsy. He that yawns widest, and at the same time so naturally as to produce the most yawns among the spectators, carries home the cheese. If you handle this subject as you ought, I question not but your paper will set half the kingdom a-yawning, though I dare promise you it will never make any body fall asleep.
greatest conqueror of our age, till her majesty's armies had torn from him so many of his countries, and deprived him of the fruit of all his former victories. For my own part, if I were to draw his picture, I should be for taking him no lower than to the peace of Ryswick, just at the end of his triumphs, and before his reverse of fortune: and even then I should not forbear thinking his ambition had been vain, and unprofitable to himself and his people.
'As for himself, it is certain he can have gained nothing by his conquests, if they have not rendered him master of more subjects, more riches, or greater power. What I shall be able to offer upon these heads, I resolve to submit to your consideration.
To begin then with his increase of subjects. From the time he came of age, and has been a manager for himself, all the people he had acquired were such only as he had reduced by his wars, and were left in his possession by the peace; he had conquered not above one-third part of Flanders, and consequently no more than onethird part of the inhabitants of that province.
'About one hundred years ago the houses in that country were all numbered, and by a just computation the inhabitants of all sorts could not then exceed 750,000 souls.
And if any man will consider the desolation armies that have lived almost ever since at by almost perpetual wars, the numerous discretion upon the people, and how much of their commerce has been removed for little reason to imagine that their numbers more security to other places, he will have have since increased; and therefore with one-third part of that province that prince can have gained no more than one-third part of the inhabitants, or 250,000 new subjects, even though it should be supposed they were all contented to live still in their native country, and transfer their allegiance to a new master.
venient situation for trade and commerce, "The fertility of this province, its conits capacity for furnishing employment and subsistence to great numbers, and the vast armies that have been maintained here, make it credible that the remaining twothirds of Flanders are equal to all his other No. 180.] Wednesday, September 26, 1711. conquests; and consequently by all, he can
-Delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.
Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. ii. 14.
The monarch's folly makes the people rue.-P.
not have gained more than 750,000 new subjects, men, women, and children, espe cially if a deduction shall be made of such as have retired from the conqueror, to live under their old masters.
THE following letter has so much weight and good sense, that I cannot forbear inserting it, though it relates to a hardened sinIt is time now to set his loss against his ner whom I have very little hopes of re-profit, and to show for the new subjects he forming, viz. Lewis XIV. of France. had acquired, how many old ones he had lost in the acquisition. I think that in his MR. SPECTATOR,-Amidst the variety wars he has seldom brought less into the of subjects of which you have treated, I field in all places than 200,000 fighting could wish it had fallen in your way, to ex-men, besides what have been left in garripose the vanity of conquests. This thought sons: and I think the common computation would naturally lead one to the French is, that of an army, at the end of a camking, who has been generally esteemed the paign, without sieges or battles, scarce four
fifths can be mustered of those that came | Lewis? This the immortal man, the tout into the field at the beginning of the year. puissant, or the almighty, as his flatterers His wars at several times, until the last have called him? Is this the man that is so peace, have held about twenty years; and celebrated for his conquests? For every if 40,000 yearly lost, or a fifth part of his subject he has acquired, has he not lost armies, are to be multiplied by twenty, he three that were his inheritance? Are not cannot have lost less than 800,000 of his his troops fewer, and those neither so well old subjects, and all able-bodied men; a fed, clothed, or paid, as they were formerly, greater number than the new subjects he though he has now so much greater cause had acquired. to exert himself? and what can be the reason of all this, but that his revenue is a great deal less, his subjects are either poorer, or not so many to be plundered by constant taxes for his use?
'But this loss is not all. Providence seems to have equally divided the whole mass of mankind into different sexes, that every woman may have her husband, and that both may equally contribute to the continuance of the species. It follows then, that for all the men that have been lost, as many women must have lived single, and it were but charity to believe, they have not done all the service they were capable of doing in their generation. In so long a course of years great part of them must have died, and all the rest must go off at last, without leaving any representatives behind. By this account he must have lost not only 800,000 subjects, but double that number, and all the increase that was reasonably to be expected from it.
'It is said in the last war there was a famine in his kingdom, which swept away two millions of his people. This is hardly credible. If the loss was only of one-fifth part of that sum, it was very great. But it is no wonder there should be famine, where so much of the people's substance is taken away for the king's use, that they have not sufficient left to provide against accidents; where so many of the men are taken from the plough to serve the king in his wars, and a great part of the tillage is left to the weaker hands of so many women and children. Whatever was the loss, it must undoubtedly be placed to the account of his
'It is well for him he had found out a way to steal a kingdom;* if he had gone on conquering as he did before, his ruin had been long since finished. This brings to my mind a saying of King Pyrrhus, after he had a second time beat the Romans in a pitched battle, and was complimented by his generals: "Yes," says he, "such another victory and I am quite undone." And since I have mentioned Pyrrhus I will end with a very good, though known, story of this ambitious madman. When he had shown the utmost fondness for his expedition against the Romans, Cyneas, his chief minister, asked him what he proposed to himself by this war? "Why," says Pyrrhus, "to conquer the Romans, and reduce all Italy to my obedience." "What then?" says Cyneas. "To pass over into Sicily," says Pyrrhus, "and then all the Sicilians must be our subjects.' "And what does your majesty intend next?" "Why truly," says the king, "to conquer Carthage, and make myself master of all Africa." And what, sir," says the minister, "is to be the end of all your expeditions?" "Why then," says the king, "for the rest of our lives we will sit down to good wine." "How, sir," replied Cyneas, "to better than we have now before us? Have we not already as much as
"How should there be industry in a country where all property is precarious? What subject will sow his land, that his prince
'Riot and excess are not the becoming characters of princes; but if Pyrrhus and Lewis had debauched like Vitellius, they had been less hurtful to their people. Your humble servant,
may reap the whole harvest? Parsimony No. 181.] Thursday, September 27, 1711.
His lacrymis vitam damus, et miserescimus ultro.
and frugality must be strangers to such a people; for will any man save to-day, what he has reason to fear will be taken from him to-morrow? And where is the encouragement for marrying? Will any man think of raising children, without any assurance of clothing for their backs, or so much as food for their bellies? And thus by his fatal ambition, he must have lessened 'SIR,-Among all the distresses which the number of his subjects, not only by happen in families, I do not remember that slaughter and destruction; but by prevent-you have touched upon the marriage of ing their very births, he has done as much children without the consent of their paas was possible towards destroying posterity rents. I am one of these unfortunate per
Is this then the great, the invincible * The kingdom of Spain, seized by Louis XIV. in 1701.
sons. I was about fifteen when I took the liberty to choose for myself; and have ever since languished under the displeasure of an inexorable father, who, though he sees me happy in the best of husbands, and blessed with very fine children, can never be prevailed upon to forgive me. He was so kind to me before this unhappy accident that indeed it makes my breach of duty, in some measure, inexcusable; and at the same time creates in me such a tenderness towards him, that I love him above all things, and would die to be reconciled to him. Í have thrown myself at his feet, and besought him with tears to pardon me; but he always pushes me away, and spurns me from him. I have written several letters to him, but he will neither open nor receive them. About two years ago I sent my little boy to him, dressed in a new apparel; but the child returned to me crying, because he said his grandfather would not see him, and had ordered him to be put out of his house. My mother is won over to my side, but dares not mention me to my father, for fear of provoking him. About a month ago he lay sick upon his bed, and in great danger of his life: I was pierced to the heart at the news, and could not forbear going to inquire after his health. My mother took this opportunity of speaking in my behalf: she told him, with abundance of tears, that I was come to see him, that I could not speak to her for weeping, and that I should certainly break my heart if he refused at that time to give me his blessing, and be reconciled to me. He was so far from relenting towards me, that he bid her speak no more of me, unless she had a mind to disturb him in his last moments; for, sir, you must know that he has the reputation of an honest and religious man, which makes my misfortune so much the greater. God be thanked he is since recovered: but his severe usage has given me such a blow, that I shall soon sink under it, unless I may be relieved by any impressions which the reading of this in your paper may make upon him. I am, sir, &c.
species of brute creatures, as indeed the whole animal creation subsists by it.
This instinct in man is more general and uncircumscribed than in brutes, as being enlarged by the dictates of reason and duty. For if we consider ourselves attentively, we shall find that we are not only inclined to love those who descend from us, but that we bear a kind of σropy, or natural affection, to every thing which relies upon us for its good and preservation. Dependence is a perpetual call upon humanity, and a greater incitement to tenderness and pity, than any other motive whatsoever.
The man, therefore, who, notwithstanding any passion or resentment, can overcome this powerful instinct, and extinguish natural affection, debases his mind even below brutality; frustrates, as much as in him lies, the great design of Providence, and strikes out of his nature one of the most divine principles that is planted in it.
Among innumerable arguments which might be brought against such an unreasonable proceeding, I shall only insist on one. We make it the condition of our forgiveness that we forgive others. In our very prayers we desire no more than to be treated by this kind of retaliation. The case therefore before us seems to be what they call a case in point;' the relation between the child and father, being what comes nearest to that between a creature and its Creator. If the father is inexorable to the child who has offended, let the offence be of never so high a nature, how will he address himself to the Supreme Being, under the tender appellation of a Father, and desire of him such a forgiveness as he himself refuses to grant?
To this I might add many other religious, as well as many prudential considerations; but if the last-mentioned motive does not prevail, I despair of succeeding by any other, and shall therefore conclude my paper with a very remarkable story, which is recorded in an old chronicle published by Freher, among the writers of the German history.
Eginhart, who was secretary to Charles Of all hardnesses of heart there is none so the Great, became exceeding popular by inexcusable as that of parents towards their his behaviour in that post. His great abilichildren. An obstinate, inflexible, unfor- ties gained him the favour of his master, giving temper is odious upon all occasions; and the esteem of the whole court. Imma, but here it is unnatural. The love, tender- the daughter of the emperor, was so pleased ness, and compassion, which are apt to with his person and conversation, that she arise in us towards those who depend upon fell in love with him. As she was one of us, is that by which the whole world of life the greatest beauties of the age, Eginhart is upheld. The Supreme Being, by the answered her with a more than equal retranscendent excellency and goodness of turn of passion. They stifled their flames his nature, extends his mercy towards all for some time, under apprehension of the his works; and because his creatures have fatal consequences that might ensue. Egnot such a spontaneous benevolence, and inhart at length, resolved to hazard all, compassion towards those who are under rather than live deprived of one whom their care and protection, he has implanted his heart was so much set upon, conveyed in them an instinct, that supplies the place himself one night into the princess's apartof this inherent goodness. I have illus-ment, and knocking gently at the door, was trated this kind of instinct in former papers, admitted as a person who had something to and have shown how it runs through all the communicate to her from the emperor. He