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No. 230.] Friday, November 23, 1711.
Homines ad deos nulla re proprius accedunt, quam
salutem hominibus dando.-Tull.
Men resemble the gods in nothing so much as in doing good to their fellow-creatures.
'MR. SPECTATOR,—The reflections in of education now in use, have given birth some of your papers on the servile manner to an ambition, which, unless you discountenance it, will, I doubt, engage me in a ture. I am about to undertake, for the sake very difficult, though not ungrateful advenof the British youth, to instruct them in such a manner, that the most dangerous them with much pleasure, and with perpage in Virgil or Homer may be read by fect safety to their persons.
HUMAN nature appears a very deformed, or a very beautiful object, according to the different lights in which it is viewed. When we see men of inflamed passions, or of wicked designs, tearing one another to pieces by open violence, or undermining each other by secret treachery; when we observe base and narrow ends pursued by ignominious and dishonest means; when we behold men mixed in society as if it were for the destruction of it; we are even ashamed of our species, and out of humour 'Could I prevail so far as to be honoured with our own being. But in another light, with the protection of some few of them, when we behold them mild, good, and be- (for I am not hero enough to rescue many,) nevolent, full of a generous regard for the my design is to retire with them to an agreepublic prosperity, compassionating each able solitude, though within the neighbourother's distresses, and relieving each other's hood of a city, for the convenience of their wants, we can hardly believe they are being instructed in music, dancing, drawing, creatures of the same kind. In this view designing, or any other such accomplishthey appear gods to each other, in the ex-ments, which it is conceived may make as ercise of the noblest power, that of doing good; and the greatest compliment we have ever been able to make to our own being, has been by calling this disposition of mind humanity. We cannot but observe a pleasure arising in our own breast upon the seeing or hearing of a generous action, even when we are wholly disinterested in it. I cannot give a more proper instance of this, than by a letter from Pliny, in which he recommends a friend in the most handsome manner, and methinks it would be a great pleasure to know the success of this epistle, though each party concerned in it has been so many hundred years in his grave.
proper diversions for them, and almost as pleasant, as the little sordid games which dirty school-boys are so much delighted with. It may easily be imagined, how such neath themselves, and sometimes admita pretty society, conversing with none beted, as perhaps not unentertaining parties, caressed for their little performances, and amongst better company, commended and turned by such conversations to a certain gallantry of soul, might be brought early acquainted with some of the most polite English writers. This having given them some tolerable taste of books, they would make themselves masters of the Latin tongue by methods far easier than those in Lilly, with as little difficulty or reluctance What I should gladly do for any friend as young ladies learn to speak French, or of yours, I think I may now with confidence to sing Italian operas. When they had adrequest for a friend of mine. Arrianus Ma-vanced thus far, it would be time to form turius is the most considerable man of his country: when I call him so, I do not speak with relation to his fortune, though that is very plentiful, but to his integrity, justice, gravity, and prudence; his advice is useful to me in business, and his judgment in matters of learning. His fidelity, truth, and good understanding are very great; besides this, he loves me as you do, than which, I cannot say any thing that signifies a warmer affection. He has nothing that's aspiring; and, though he might rise to the highest order of nobility, he keeps himself in an inferior rank: yet I think myself bound to use my endeavours to serve and promote him; and would therefore find the means of adding something to his honours while he neither expects nor knows it, nay, though he should refuse it. Something, in short, I would have for him, that may be honourable, but not troublesome; and I entreat that you will procure him the first thing of this kind that offers, by which you
their taste something more exactly. One that had any true relish of fine writing, might with great pleasure both to himself and them, run over together with them the best Roman historians, poets, and orators, and point out their more remarkable beauties, give them a short scheme of chronology, a little view of geography, medals, astronomy, or what else might best feed the busy inquisitive humour so natural to that age. Such of them as had the least spark of genius, when it was once awakened by the shining thoughts and great sentiments of those admired writers, could not, I believe, be easily withheld from attempting that more difficult sister language, whose exalted beauties they would have heard so often celebrated as the pride and wonder of the whole learned world. In the mean while, it would be requisite to exercise their style in writing any little pieces that ask more of fancy than of judgment: and that frequently in their native lan
whose more than ordinary concern on her first appearance recommended her no less than her agreeable voice, and just performance. Mere bashfulness without merit is awkward; and merit without modesty insolent. But modest merit has a double claim to acceptance, and generally meets with as many patrons as beholders. I am, &c.
guage, which every one, methinks, should respect to an audience that can be. It is a be most concerned to cultivate, especially sort of mute eloquence, which pleads for letters, in which a gentleman must have so their favour much better than words could frequent occasions to distinguish himself. do; and we find their generosity naturally A set of genteel good-natured youths fallen moved to support those who are in so much into such a manner of life, would form al- perplexity to entertain them. I was exmost a little academy, and doubtless prove tremely pleased with a late instance of this no such contemptible companions, as might kind at the opera of Almahide, in the ennot often tempt a wiser man to mingle him-couragement given to a young singer,* self in their diversions, and draw them into such serious sports as might prove nothing less instructing than the gravest lessons. doubt not but it might be made some of their favourite plays, to contend which of them should recite a beautiful part of a poem or oration most gracefully, or sometimes to join in acting a scene of Terence, Sophocles, or our own Shakspeare. The cause of Milo might again be pleaded before more favourable judges, Cæsar a second time be taught to tremble, and annother race of Athenians be afresh enraged at the ambition of another Philip. Amidst these noble amusements, we could hope to see the early dawnings of their imagination daily brighten into sense, their innocence improve into virtue, and their unexperienced good-nature directed to a generous love of their country. I am, &c.' T.
himself to advantage in an assembly, wheIt is impossible that a person should exert ther it be his part either to sing or speak, who lies under too great oppressions of modesty. I remember, upon talking with a nunciation, our discourse led us into the enufriend of mine concerning the force of promeration of the several organs of speech which an orator ought to have in perfection, as the tongue, the teeth, the lips, the nose, the palate, and the windpipe. Upon which,' says my friend, you have omitted the most material organ of them all, and that is the forehead.'
But notwithstanding an excess of modesty obstructs the tongue, and renders it unfit for its offices, a due proportion of it is toricians have recommended it to their disthought so requisite to an orator, that rheciples as a particular in their art. Cicero tells us that he never liked an orator who did not appear in some little confusion at the beginning of his speech, and confesses that he himself never entered upon an oration without trembling and concern. It is indeed a kind of deference which is due to a great assembly, and seldom fails to raise a benevolence in the audience towards the
taken notice that the bravest men often appear timorous on these occasions, as indeed we may observe, that there is generally no creature more impudent than a coward; -Lingua melior, sed frigida bello
Virg. Æn. xi. 338.
-Bold at the council-board:
'MR. SPECTATOR,-You, who are no stranger to public assemblies, cannot but have observed the awe they often strike on such as are obliged to exert any talent be-person who speaks. My correspondent has fore them. This is a sort of elegant distress to which ingenuous minds are the most liable, and may therefore deserve some remarks in your paper. Many a brave fellow, who has put his enemy to flight in the field, has been in the utmost disorder upon making a speech before a body of his friends at home. One would think there was some kind of fascination in the eyes of a large circle of people, when darting all together upon one person. I have seen a new actor in a tragedy so bound up by it as to be scarce able to speak or move, and have expected he would have died above three acts before the dagger or cup of poison were brought in. It would not be amiss, if such a one were at first to be introduced as a ghost, or a statue, until he recovered his spirits, and grew fit for some living part.
'As this sudden desertion of one's self shows a diffidence which is not displeasing, it implies at the same time the greatest
A bold tongue and a feeble arm are the qualifications of Drances in Virgil; as Homer, to express a man_both_timorous and saucy, makes use of a kind of point, which is very rarely to be met with in his writings; namely, that he had the eyes of a dog, but the heart of a deer.†
A just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but sets off every great talent which a man can be possessed of. It heightens all the virtues which
sir John Hawkins's History of Music, vol. v. p. 156.
it accompanies; like the shades in paintings, it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colours more beautiful, though not so glaring as they would be without it.
Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue. It is a kind of quick and delicate feeling in the soul; which makes her shrink and withdraw herself from every thing that has danger in it. It is such an exquisite sensibility, as warns her to shun the first appearance of every thing which is hurtful.
a serious discourse, and would scarce be able to show his head, after having disclosed a religious thought. Decency of behaviour, all outward show of virtue, and abhorrence of vice, are carefully avoided by this set of shamed-faced people, as what would disparage their gayety of temper, and infallibly bring them to dishonour. This is such a poorness of spirit, such a despicable cowardice, such a degenerate abject state of mind, as one would think human nature incapable of, did we not meet with frequent instances of it in ordinary conversation.
I cannot at present_recollect either the place or time of what I am going to men- There is another kind of vicious modesty tion; but I have read somewhere in the which makes a man ashamed of his person, history of ancient Greece, that the women his birth, his profession, his poverty, or the of the country were seized with an un- like misfortunes, which it was not his choice accountable melancholy, which disposed to prevent, and is not in his power to rectify. several of them to make away with them- If a man appears ridiculous by any of the selves. The senate, after having tried afore-mentioned circumstances, he becomes many expedients to prevent this self-murder, which was so frequent among them, published an edict, that if any woman whatever should lay violent hands upon herself, her corpse should be exposed naked in the street, and dragged about the city in the most public manner. This edict immediately put a stop to the practice which was before so common. We may see in this instance the strength of female modesty, which was able to overcome the violence even of madness and despair. The No. 232.] Monday, November 26, 1711. fear of shame in the fair sex, was in those days more prevalent than that of death.
much more so by being out of countenance for them. They should rather give him occasion to exert a noble spirit, and to palliate those imperfections which are not in his power, by those perfections which are; or to use a very witty allusion of an eminent author, he should imitate Cæsar, who, because his head was bald, covered that defect with laurels.
Nihil largiundo gloriam adeptus est.
Sallust. Bell. Cat.
If modesty has so great an influence over our actions, and is in many cases so impregBy bestowing nothing he acquired glory. nable a fence to virtue; what can more un- My wise and good friend, Sir Andrew dermine morality than that politeness which Freeport, divides himself almost equally reigns among the unthinking part of man-between the town and the country. His time kind, and treats as unfashionable the most in town is given up to the public, and the ingenuous part of our behaviour; which re- management of his private fortune; and after commends impudence as good-breeding, every three or four days spent in this manand keeps a man always in countenance, ner, he retires for as many to his seat within not because he is innocent, but because he a few miles of the town, to the enjoyment is shameless? of himself, his family, and his friend. Thus Seneca thought modesty so great a check business and pleasure, or rather, in Sir Anto vice, that he prescribes to us the prac-drew, labour and rest, recommend each tice of it in secret, and advises us to raise it other. They take their turns with so quick in ourselves upon imaginary occasions, when a vicissitude, that neither becomes a habit, such as are real do not offer themselves; for this is the meaning of his precept, That when we are by ourselves, and in our greatest solitudes, we should fancy that Cato stands before us and sees every thing we do. In short, if you banish Modesty out of the world, she carries away with her half the virtue that is in it.
or takes possession of the whole man; nor is it possible he should be surfeited with either. I often see him at our club in good humour, and yet sometimes too with an air of care in his looks: but in his country retreat he is always unbent, and such a companion as I could desire; and therefore I seldom fail to make one with him when he is pleased to invite me.
After these reflections on modesty, as it is a virtue, I must observe, that there is a The other day, as soon as we were got vicious modesty which justly deserves to be into his chariot, two or three beggars on ridiculed, and which those persons very each side hung upon the doors, and solioften discover who value themselves most cited our charity with the usual rhetoric of upon a well-bred confidence. This happens a sick wife or husband at home, three or when a man is ashamed to act up to his four helpless little children all starving with reason, and would not upon any considera- cold and hunger. We were forced to part tion be surprised at the practice of those with some money to get rid of their imporduties, for the performance of which he tunity; and then we proceeded on our jourwas sent into the world. Many an impu-ney with the blessings and acclamations of dent libertine would blush to be caught in these people
'Well, then,' says Sir Andrew, we go off with the prayers and good wishes of the beggars, and perhaps too our healths will be drunk at the next ale-house: so all we shall be able to value ourselves upon, is, that we have promoted the trade of the victualler and the excises of the government. But how few ounces of wool do we see upon the backs of these poor creatures? And when they shall next fall in our way, they will hardly be better dressed; they must always live in rags to look like objects of compassion. If their families too are such as they are represented, it is certain they cannot be better clothed, and must be a great deal worse fed. One would think potatoes should be all their bread, and their drink the pure element; and then what goodly customers are the farmers like to have for their wool, corn, and cattle? Such customers, and such a consumption, cannot choose but advance the landed interest, and hold up the rents of the gentlemen.
But of all men living, we merchants, who live by buying and selling, ought never to encourage beggars. The goods which we export are indeed the product of the lands, but much the greater part of their value is the labour of the people: but how much of these people's labour shall we export whilst we hire them to sit still? The very alms they receive from us are the wages of idleness. I have often thought that no man should be permitted to take relief from the parish, or to ask it in the street, until he has first purchased as much as possible of his own livelihood by the labour of his own hands; and then the public ought only to be taxed to make good the deficiency. If this rule was strictly observed we should see every where such a multitude of new labourers, as would in all probability, reduce the prices of all our manufactures. It is the very life of merchandise to buy cheap and sell dear. The merchant ought to make his outset as cheap as possible, that he may find the greater profit upon his returns; and nothing will enable him to do this like the reduction of the price of labour upon all our manufactures. This too would be the ready way to increase the number of our foreign markets. The abatement of the price of the manufacture would pay for the carriage of it to more distant countries; and this consequence would be equally beneficial both to the landed and trading interests. As so great an addition of labouring hands would produce this happy consequence both to the merchant and the gentleman, our liberality to common beggars, and every other obstruction to the increase of labourers, must be equally pernicious to both.'
Sir Andrew then went on to affirm, that the reduction of the prices of our manufactures by the addition of so many new hands, would be no inconvenience to any man; but observing I was something startled at the assertion, he made a short pause, and then
resumed the discourse. It may seem,' says he, a paradox, that the price of labour should be reduced without an abatement of wages, or that wages can be abated without any inconvenience to the labourer, and yet nothing is more certain than that both these things may happen. The wages of the labourers make the greatest part of the price of every thing that is useful; and if in proportion with the wages the price of all other things should be abated, every labourer with less wages would still be able to purchase as many necessaries of life; where then would be the inconvenience? But the price of labour may be reduced by the addition of more hands to a manufacture, and yet the wages of persons remain as high as ever. The admirable Sir William Petty has given examples of this in some of his writings: one of them, as I remember, is that of a watch, which I shall endeavour to explain so as shall suit my present purpose. It is certain that a single watch could not be made so cheap in proportion by only one man, as a hundred watches by a hundred; for as there is a vast variety in the work, no one person could equally suit himself to all the parts of it: the manufacture would be tedious, and at last but clumsily performed. But if a hundred watches were to be made by a hundred men, the cases may be assigned to one, the dials to another, the wheels to another, the springs to another, and every other part to a proper artist. As there would be no need of perplexing any one person with too much variety, every one would be able to perform his single part with greater skill and expedition; and the hundred watches would be finished in one-fourth part of the time of the first one, and every one of them at onefourth part of the cost, though the wages of every man were equal. The reduction of the price of the manufacture would increase the demand of it, all the same hands would be still employed, and as well paid. The same rule will hold in the clothing, the shipping, and all other trades whatsoever. And thus an addition of hands to our manufactures will only reduce the price of them; the labourer will still have as much wages, and will consequently be enabled to purchase more conveniences of life, so that every interest in the nation would receive a benefit from the increase of our working people.
'Besides I see no occasion for this charity to common beggars, since every beggar is an inhabitant of a parish, and every parish is taxed to the maintenance of their own poor. For my own part I cannot be mightily pleased with the laws which have done this, which have provided better to feed than employ the poor. We have a tradition from our forefathers, that after the first of those laws was made, they were insulted with that famous song:
Hang sorrow and cast away care,
maintain them without work, they can do no less in return than sing us "The merry Beggars."
What then? Am I against all acts of charity? God forbid! I know of no virtue in the gospel that is in more pathetic expressions recommended to our practice. "I was hungry and ye gave me no meat, thirsty and ye gave me no drink, naked and ye clothed me not, a stranger and ye took me not in, sick and in prison and ye visited me not. Our blessed Saviour treats the exercise or neglect of charity towards a poor man, as the performance or breach of this duty towards himself. I shall endeavour to obey the will of my lord and master: and therefore if an industrious man shall submit to the hardest labour and coarsest fare, rather than endure the shame of taking relief from the parish, or asking it in the street, that is the hungry, the thirsty, the naked; and I ought to believe, if any man is come hither for shelter against persecution or oppression, this is the stranger, and I ought to take him in. If any countryman of our own is fallen into the hands of infidels, and lives in a state of miserable captivity, this is the man in prison, and I should contribute to his ransom. I ought to give to an hospital of invalids, to recover as many useful subjects as I can: but I shall bestow none of my bounties upon an almshouse of idle people; and for the same reason I should not think it a reproach to me if I had withheld my charity from those common beggars. But we prescribe better rules than we are able to practise; we are ashamed not to give into the mistaken manners of our country: but at the same time, I cannot but think it a reproach worse than that of common swearing, that the idle and the abandoned are suffered in the name of heaven and all that is sacred to extort from
christian and tender minds a supply to a profligate way of life, that is always to be supported, but never relieved.' Z.
No. 233.] Tuesday, November 27, 1711.
As if by these, my sufferings I could ease; Or by my pains the god of love appease.-Dryden. I SHALL in this paper discharge myself of the promise I have made to the public, by obliging them with a translation of the little Greek manuscript, which is said to have been a piece of those records that were preserved in the temple of Apollo, upon the promontory of Leucate. It is a short history of the Lover's Leap, and is inscribed, An account of persons, male and female, who offered up their vows in the temple of the Pythian Apollo in the forty-sixth Olympiad, and leaped from the promontory of Leucate into the Ionian Sea, in order to cure themselves of the passion of love.'
This account is very dry in many parts, as only mentioning the name of the lover who leaped, the person he leaped for, and relating in short, that he was either cured, or killed, or maimed by the fall. It indeed gives the names of so many who died by it, that it would have looked like a bill of mortality, had I translated it at full length; I have therefore made an abridgment of it, and only extracted such particular passages as have something extraordinary, either in the case or in the cure, or in the fate of the person who is mentioned in it. After this short preface take the account as follows:
Battus, the son of Menalcas the Sicilian, leaped for Bombyca the musician: got rid of his passion with the loss of his right leg and arm, which were broken in the fall. Melissa, in love with Daphnis, very much bruised, but escaped with life.
Cynisca, the wife of Eschines, being in love with Lycus; and Æschines her husband being in love with Eurilla; (which had made this married couple very uneasy to one another for several years) both the husband and the wife took the leap by consent; they both of them escaped, and have lived very happily together ever since.
Larissa, a virgin of Thessaly, deserted by Plexippus, after a courtship of three years; she stood upon the brow of the promontory for some time, and after having thrown down a ring, a bracelet, and a little picture, with other presents which she had received from Plexippus, she threw herself into the sea, and was taken up alive.
N. B. Larissa before she leaped made an offering of a silver Cupid in the temple of Apollo.
Simatha, in love with Daphnis the Myndian; perished in the fall.
Charixus, the brother of Sappho, in love with Rhodope the courtesan, having spent his whole estate upon her, was advised by his sister to leap in the beginning of his amour, but would not hearken to her until he was reduced to his last talent; being forsaken by Rhodope, at length resolved to take the leap. Perished in it.
Aridæus, a beautiful youth of Epirus, in love with Praxinoe, the wife of Thespis; escaped without damage, saving only that two of his fore-teeth were struck out and his nose a little flatted.
Cleora, a widow of Ephesus, being inconsolable for the death of her husband, was resolved to take this leap in order to get rid of her passion for his memory; but being arrived at the promontory, she there met with Dimachus the Milesian, and after a short conversation with him, laid aside the thoughts of her leap, and married him in the temple of Apollo.
N. B. Her widow's weeds are still seen hanging up in the western corner of the temple.
Olphis, the fisherman, having received a box on the ear from Thestylis the day be