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fore, and being determined to have no more | Sappho, arrived at the promontory of Leuto do with her, leaped, and escaped with life.
Atalanta, an old maid, whose cruelty had several years before driven two or three despairing lovers to this leap; being now in the fifty-fifth year of her age, and in love with an officer of Sparta, broke her neck in the fall.
Hipparchus, being passionately fond_of his own wife, who was enamoured of Bathyllus, leaped, and died of his fall; upon which his wife married her gallant.
Tettyx, the dancing-master, in love with Olympia, an Athenian matron, threw himself from the rock with great agility, but was crippled in the fall.
Diagoras, the usurer, in love with his cook-maid; he peeped several times over the precipice: but his heart misgiving him,
cate that very evening, in order to take the leap upon her account: but hearing that Sappho had been there before him, and that her body could be no where found, he very generously lamented her fall, and is said to have written his hundred and twenty-fifth ode upon that occasion.
he went back and married her that evening. No. 234.] Wednesday, November 28, 1711.
Cinædus, after having entered his own name in the Pythian records, being asked the name of the person whom he leaped for, and being ashamed to discover it, he was set aside, and not suffered to leap.
Eunicia, a maid of Paphos, aged nineteen, in love with Eurybates. Hurt in the fall but recovered.
N. B. This was the second time of her leaping.
Hesperus, a young man of Tarentum, in love with his master's daughter. Drowned, the boats not coming in soon enough to his relief.
Sappho the Lesbian, in love with Phaon, arrived at the temple of Apollo habited like a bride in garments as white as snow. She wore a garland of myrtle on her head, and carried in her hand the little musical instrument of her own invention. After having sung an hymn to Apollo, she hung up her garland on one side of his altar, and her harp on the other. She then tucked up her vestments like a Spartan virgin, and amidst thousands of spectators, who were anxious for her safety, and offered up vows for her deliverance, marched directly forwards to the utmost summit of the promontory, where after having repeated a stanza of her own verses, which we could not hear, she threw herself off the rock with such an intrepidity as was never before observed in any who had attempted that dangerous leap. Many who were present related, that they saw her fall into the sea, from whence she never rose again; though there were others who affirmed that she never came to the bottom of her leap, but that she was changed into a swan as she fell, and that they saw her hovering in the air under that shape. But whether or no the whiteness and fluttering of her garments might not deceive those who looked upon her, or whether she might not really be metamorphosed into that musical and melancholy bird, is still a doubt among the Lesbians.
Alcæus, the famous lyric poet, who had for some time been passionately in love with
You very often hear people, after a story has been told with some entertaining circumstances, tell it over again with particulars that destroy the jest, but give light into the truth of the narration. This sort of veracity, though it is impertinent, has something amiable in it, because it proceeds from the love of truth even in frivolous occasions. If such honest amendments do not promise an agreeable companion, they do a sincere friend; for which reason one should allow them so much of our time, if we fall into their company, as to set us right in matters that can do us no manner of harm, whether the facts be one way or the other. Lies which are told out of arrogance and ostentation, a man should detect in his own defence, because he should not be triumphed over. Lies which are told out of malice he should expose, both for his own sake and that of the rest of mankind, because every man should rise against a common enemy: but the officious liar, many have argued, is to be excused, because it does some man good, and no man hurt. The man who made more than ordinary speed from a fight in which the Athenians were beaten, and told them they had obtained a complete victory, and put the whole city into the utmost joy and exultation, was checked by the magistrates for this falsehood; but excused himself by saying, 'O Athenians! am I your enemy because I gave you two happy days?' This fellow did to a whole people what an acquaintance of mine does every day he lives, in some eminent degree, to particular persons. He is ever lying people into good humour, and as Plato said it was allowable in physicians to lie to their patients to keep up their spirits, I am half doubtful whether my friend's behaviour is not as excusable. His manner is to express himself surprised
at the cheerful countenance of a man whom | hood two days ago one of your gay gentlemen he observes diffident of himself; and gene- of the town, who being attended at his entry rally by that means make his lie a truth. with a servant of his own, besides a counHe will, as if he did not know any thing of tryman he had taken up for a guide, exthe circumstance, ask one whom he knows cited the curiosity of the village to learn at variance with another, what is the mean- whence and what he might be. The couning that Mr. Such-a-one, naming his ad- tryman (to whom they applied as most versary, does not applaud him with that easy of access) knew little more than that heartiness which formerly he has heard the gentleman came from London to travel him? He said, indeed,' continues he, "I and see fashions, and was, as he heard say, would rather have that man for my friend a free-thinker. What religion that might than any man in England; but for an ene- be, he could not tell: and for his own part, my! This melts the person he talks if they had not told him the man was a to, who expected nothing but downwright free-thinker, he should have guessed, by raillery from that side. According as he his way of talking, he was little better sees his practice succeed, he goes to the than a heathen; excepting only that he had opposite party, and tells him, he cannot been a good gentleman to him, and made imagine how it happens that some people him drunk twice in one day, over and above know one another so little; You spoke what they had bargained for. with so much coldness of a gentleman who 'I do not look upon the simplicity of this, said more good of you, than, let me tell and several odd inquiries with which I shall you, any man living deserves.' The suc- not trouble you, to be wondered at, much cess of one of these incidents was, that the less can I think that our youths of fine next time one of the adversaries spied the wit, and enlarged understandings, have any other, he hems after him in the public reason to laugh. There is no necessity street, and they must crack a bottle at the that every 'squire in Great Britain should next tavern, that used to turn out of the know what the word free-thinker stands for; other's way to avoid one another's eye- but it were much to be wished, that they shot. He will tell one beauty she was com- who value themselves upon that conceited mended by another, nay, he will say she title, were a little better instructed in what gave the woman he speaks to, the prefer- it ought to stand for; and that they would rence in a particular for which she herself not persuade themselves a man is really is admired. The pleasantest confusion ima- and truly a free-thinker, in any tolerable ginable is made through the whole town by sense, merely by virtue of his being an my friend's indirect offices. You shall have atheist, or an infidel of any other distinca visit returned after half a year's absence, tion. It may be doubted with good reason, and mutual railing at each other every whether there ever was in nature a more abday of that time. They meet with a thou-ject, slavish, and bigoted generation than sand lamentations for so long a separation, the tribe of beaux-esprits, at present so each party naming herself for the greatest prevailing in this island. Their pretension delinquent, if the other can possibly be so to be free-thinkers, is no other than rakes good as to forgive her, which she has no have to be free-livers, and savages to be reason in the world, but from the know-free-men; that is, they can think whatever ledge of her goodness, to hope for. Very often a whole train of railers of each side tire their horses in setting matters right which they have said during the war between the parties; and a whole circle of acquaintances are put into a thousand pleasing passions and sentiments, instead of the pangs of anger, envy, detraction, and malice.
The worst evil I ever observed this man's falsehood occasion, has been, that he turned detraction into flattery. He is well skilled in the manners of the world, and by overlooking what men really are, he grounds his artifices upon what they have a mind to be. Upon this foundation, if two distant friends are brought together and the cement seems to be weak, he never rests until he finds new appearances to take off all remains of ill-will, and that by new misunderstandings they are thoroughly recon
they have a mind to, and give themselves up to whatever conceit the extravagancy of their inclination, or their fancy, shall suggest; they can think as wildly as they talk and act, and will not endure that their wit should be controlled by such formal things as decency and common sense. Deduction, coherence, consistency, and all the rules of reason they accordingly disdain, as too precise and mechanical for men of a liberal education.
This as far as I could ever learn from their writings, or my own observation, is a true account of the British free-thinker. Our visitant here, who gave occasion to this paper, has brought with him a new system of common sense, the particulars of which I am not yet acquainted with, but will lose no opportunity of informing myself whether it contains any thing worth Mr. Spectator's notice. In the mean time, sir, I cannot but think it would be for the good of mankind, if you would take this subject into your consideration, and convince the hopeful youth of our nation, that 'SIR,-There arrived in this neighbour-licentiousness is not freedom; or, if such a
"To the Spectator.
'Devonshire, Nov. 14, 1711.
paradox will not be understood, that a pre- | timed that the most judicious critic could judice towards atheism is not impartiality. I am, sir, your most humble servant,
never except against it. As soon as any shining thought is expressed in the poet, or any uncommon grace appears in the actor, he smites the bench or the wainscot. If the audience does not concur with him, he
No. 235.] Thursday, November 29, 1711. smites a second time: and if the audience
is not yet awakened, looks round him with great wrath, and repeats the blow a third time, which never fails to produce the clap. He sometimes lets the audience begin the clap of themselves, and at the conclusion of their applause ratifies it with a single
THERE is nothing which lies more with-thwack. in the province of a Spectator than public shows and diversions; and as among these there are none which can pretend to vie with those elegant entertainments that are exhibited in our theatres, I think it particularly incumbent on me to take notice of every thing that is remarkable in such numerous and refined assemblies.
He is of so great use to the play-house, that it is said, a former director of it, upon his not being able to pay his attendance by reason of sickness, kept one in pay to officiate for him until such time as he recovered; but the person so employed, though he laid about him with incredible violence, did it in such wrong places, that the audience soon found out that it was not their old friend the trunk-maker.
It has been remarked, that he has not yet exerted himself with vigour this season. He sometimes plies at the opera; and upon Nicolini's first appearance was said to have demolished three benches in the fury of his applause. He has broken half a dozen oaken plants upon Dogget,* and seldom goes away from a tragedy of Shakspeare, without leaving the wainscot extremely shattered.
The players do not only connive at his obstreperous approbation, but very cheerfully repair at their own cost whatever damages he makes. They once had a thought of erecting a kind of wooden anvil for his use, that should be made of a very sounding plank, in order to render his strokes more deep and mellow; but as this might not have been distinguished from the music of a kettle-drum, the project was laid aside.
It is observed, that of late years there has been a certain person in the upper gallery of the playhouse, who when he is pleased with any thing that is acted upon the stage, expresses his approbation by a loud knock upon the benches or the wainscot, which may be heard over the whole theatre. The person is commonly known by the name of the Trunk-maker in the upper gallery.' Whether it be that the blow he gives on these occasions resembles that which is often heard in the shops of such artisans, or that he was supposed to have been a real trunk-maker, who, after the finishing of his day's work, used to unbend his mind at these public diversions with his hammer in his hand, I cannot certainly tell. There are some, I know, who have been foolish enough to imagine it is a spirit which haunts the upper gallery, and from time to time makes those strange noises; and the rather, because he is observed to be louder than ordinary every time the ghost of Hamlet appears. Others have reported, In the meanwhile, I cannot but take nothat, it is a dumb man, who has chosen tice of the great use it is to an audience, this way of uttering himself when he is that a person should thus preside over their transported with any thing he sees or heads like the director of a concert, in orOthers will have it to be the play-der to awaken their attention, and beat time house thunderer, that exerts himself after to their applauses; or, to raise my simile, I this manner in the upper gallery when he have sometimes fancied the trunk-maker has nothing to do upon the roof. in the upper gallery to be like Virgil's ruler of the winds, seated upon the top of a mountain, who when he struck his sceptre upon the side of it, roused a hurricane, and set the whole cavern in an uproar.†
It is certain the trunk-maker has saved many a good play, and brought many a graceful actor into reputation, who would not otherwise have been taken notice of. It is very visible, as the audience is not a little
But having made it my business to get the best information I could in a matter of this moment, I find that the trunk-maker, as he is commonly called, is a large black man, whom nobody knows. He generally leans forward on a huge oaken plant with great attention to every thing that passes upon the stage. He never is seen to smile, but upon hearing any thing that pleases him, he takes up his staff with both hands, *Thomas Dogget, a celebrated comic actor, many and lays it upon the next piece of timber that stands in his way with exceeding ve-in 1721, leaving a legacy to provide a coat and badge years joint manager of Drury-lane Theatre. He died hemence; after which he composes himself to be rowed for, from London Bridge to Chelsea, by six in his former posture, till such time as watermen yearly, on the first of August, the day of the accession of George I. There is a particular account something new sets him again at work. of him in Cibber's Apology.
It has been observed, his blow is so well
† Æneid, i. 85.
dispositions are strangely averse to conjugal friendship) but no one, I believe, is by his own natural complexion prompted to tease and torment another for no reason but being nearly allied to him. And can there be any thing more base, or serve to sink a man so much below his own distinguishing charac
abashed, if they find themselves betrayed into a clap, when their friend in the upper gallery does not come into it; so the actors do not value themselves upon the clap, but regard it as a mere brutum fulmen, or empty noise, when it has not the sound of the oaken plant in it. I know it has been given out by those who are enemies to the|teristic, (I mean reason,) than returning evil trunk-maker, that he has sometimes been bribed to be in the interest of a bad poet, or a vicious player; but this is a surmise which has no foundation: his strokes are always just, and his admonitions seasonable; he does not deal about his blows at random, but always hits the right nail upon the head. The inexpressible force wherewith he lays them on sufficiently shows the evidence and strength of his conviction. His zeal for a good author is indeed outrageous, and breaks down every fence and partition, every board and plank, that stands within the expression of his applause.
As I do not care for terminating my thoughts in barren speculations, or in reports of pure matter of fact, without drawing something from them for the advantage of my countrymen, I shall take the liberty to make an humble proposal, that whenever the trunk-maker shall depart this life, or whenever he shall have lost the spring of his arm by sickness, old age, infirmity, or the like, some able-bodied critic should be advanced to this post, and have a competent salary settled on him for life, to be furnished with bamboos for operas, crabtree cudgels for comedies, and oaken plants for tragedy, at the public expense. And to the end that this place should be always disposed of according to merit, I would have none preferred to it, who has not given convincing proofs both of a sound judgment, and a strong arm, and who could not, upon occasion, either knock down an ox, or write a comment upon Horace's Art of Poetry. In short, I would have him a due composition of Hercules and Apollo, and so rightly qualified for this important office, that the trunk-maker may not be missed by our posterity. C.
No. 236.] Friday, November 30, 1711.
-Dare jura maritis.-Hor. Ars Poct. v. 398. With laws connubial tyrants to restrain.
'MR. SPECTATOR,-You have not spoken in so direct a manner upon the subject of marriage, as that important case deserves. It would not be improper to observe upon the peculiarity in the youth of Great Britain of railing and laughing at that institution; and when they fall into it, from a profligate habit of mind, being insensible of the satisfaction in that way of life, and treating their wives with the most barbarous disrespect. 'Particular circumstances, and cast of temper, must teach a man the probability of mighty uneasiness in that state; (for unquestionably some there are whose very
for good in so open a manner, as that of treating a helpless creature with unkindness, who has had so good an opinion of him as to believe what he said relating to one of the greatest concerns of life, by delivering her happiness in this world to his care and protection? Must not that man be abandoned even to all manner of humanity, who can deceive a woman with appearances of affection and kindness, for no other end but to torment her with more ease and authority? Is any thing more unlike a gentleman than when his honour is engaged for the performing his promises, because nothing but that can oblige him to it, to become afterwards false to his word, and be alone the occasion of misery to one whose happiness he but lately pretended was dearer to him than his own? Ought such a one to be trusted in his common affairs? or treated but as one whose honesty consisted only in his incapacity of being otherwise?
There is one cause of this usage no less absurd than common, which takes place among the more unthinking men; and that is, the desire to appear to their friends free and at liberty, and without those trammels they have so much ridiculed. To avoid this they fly into the other extreme, and grow tyrants that they may seem masters. Because an uncontrollable command of their own actions is a certain sign of entire dominion, they will not so much as recede from the government even in one muscle of their faces. A kind look they believe would be fawning, and a civil answer yielding the superiority. To this we must attribute an austerity they betray in every action. What but this can put a man out of humour in his wife's company, though he is so dintinguishingly pleasant every where else? The bitterness of his replies, and the severity of his frowns to the tenderest of wives, clearly demonstrate that an ill-grounded fear of being thought too submissive, is at the bottom of this, as I am willing to call it, affected moroseness; but if it be such, only put on to convince his acquaintance of his entire dominion, let him take care of the consequence, which will be certain and worse than the present evil; his seeming indifference will by degrees grow into real contempt, and if it doth not wholly alienate the affections of his wife for ever from him, make both him and her more miserable than if it really did so.
"However inconsistent it may appear, to be thought a well-bred person has no small share in this clownish behaviour. A discourse therefore relating to good-breeding towards a loving and a tender wife, would
ance some people give to others at church,
be of great use to this sort of gentlemen. | yet taken any notice of it: if you mention it Could you but once convince them, that to in your paper, it may perhaps have a very be civil at least is not beneath the character good effect. What I mean is, the disturbof a gentleman, nor even tender affection towards one who would make it reciprocal, betrays any softness or effeminacy that the most masculine disposition need be ashamed of; could you satisfy them of the generosity | of voluntary civility, and the greatness of soul that is conspicuous in benevolence without immediate obligations; could you recommend to people's practice the saying of the gentleman quoted in one of your speculations, "That he thought it incumbent upon him to make the inclinations of a woman of merit go along with her duty;" could you, I say, persuade these men of the beauty and reasonableness of this sort of behaviour, I have so much charity, for some of them at least, to believe you would convince them of a thing they are only ashamed to allow. Besides, you would recommend that state in its truest, and consequently its most agreeable colours: and the gentlemen, who have for any time been such professed enemies to it, when occasion should serve, would return you their thanks for assisting their interest in prevailing over their prejudices. Marriage in general would by this means be a more easy and comfortable condition; the husband would be no where so well satisfied as in his own parlour, nor the wife so pleasant as in the company of her husband. A desire of being agreeable in the lover would be increased in the husband, and the mistress be more amiable by becoming the wife. Besides all which, I am apt to believe we should find the race of men grow wiser as their progenitors grew kinder, and the affection of their parents would be conspicuous in the wisdom of their children; in short, men would in general be much better humoured than they are, did they not so frequently exercise the worst turns of their temper where they ought to exert the best.'
No. 237.] Saturday, December 1, 1711.
They that are dim of sight see truth by halves.
It is not impossible, on the contrary, that part of the punishment of such as are excluded from bliss, may consist not only in their being denied this privilege, but in having their appetites at the same time vastly increased without any satisfaction afforded to them. In these, the vain pur
'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am a woman who left the admiration of the whole town to throw myself (for love of wealth) into the arms of a fool. When I married him, I could have had any one of several men of sense who languished for me; but my case is just. I believed my superior understand-suit of knowledge shall, perhaps, add to ing would form him into a tractable crea- their infelicity, and bewilder them into ture. But, alas! my spouse has cunning and labyrinths of error, darkness, distraction, suspicion, the inseparable companions of and uncertainty of every thing but their little minds; and every attempt I make to own evil state. Milton has thus represented divert, by putting on an agreeable air, a the fallen angels reasoning together in a sudden cheerfulness, or kind behaviour, he kind of respite from their torments, and looks upon as the first act towards an insur-creating to themselves a new disquiet amidst rection against his undeserved dominion over me. Let every one who is still to choose, and hopes to govern a fool, rememTRISTISSA.'
'St. Martin's, Nov. 25. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-This is to complain of an evil practice which I think very well deserves a redress, though you have not as
their very amusements; he could not properly have described the sport of condemned spirits, without that cast of horror and melancholy he has so judiciously mingled with them:
Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high