Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

L.

By this means their countrymen (whom parts of Milton's poem; and hope that they principally propose to themselves for what I shall there advance, as well as what their readers) were particularly attentive | I have already written, will not only serve to all the parts of their story, and sympa- as a comment upon Milton, but upon Aristhized with their heroes in all their ad-totle. ventures. A Roman could not but rejoice in the escapes, successes, and victories of Æneas, and be grieved at any defeats, mis- No. 274.] Monday, January 14, 1711-12. fortunes, or disappointments that befel him; as a Greek must have had the same regard for Achilles. And it is plain, that each of those poems have lost this great advantage, among those readers to whom their heroes are as strangers, or indifferent persons.

I shall subjoin as a corollary to the foregoing remark, an admirable observation out of Aristotle, which has been very much misrepresented, in the quotations of some modern critics; If a man of perfect and consummate virtue falls into a misfortune, it raises our pity, but not our terror, because we do not fear that it may be our own case, who do not resemble the suffering person.' But, as that great philosopher adds, if we see a man of virtue mixed with infirmities, fall into any misfortune, it does not only raise our pity but our terror; because we are afraid that the like misfortunes may happen to ourselves, who resemble the character of the suffering person.

Audire est operæ pretium, procedere recte
Qui mœchis non vultis-

Hor. Sat. ii. Lib. 1. 37.

All you, who think the city ne'er can thrive
Till every cuckold-maker's flay'd alive,
Attend.-

Pope.

I HAVE Upon several occasions (that have Milton's poem is admirable in this re-occurred since I first took into my thoughts spect, since it is impossible for any of its the present state of fornication) weighed readers, whatever nation, country, or peo- with myself in behalf of guilty females, the ple he may belong to, not to be related to impulses of flesh and blood, together with the persons who are the principal actors in the arts and gallantries of crafty men; and it; but what is still infinitely more to its ad-reflect with some scorn that most part of vantage, the principal actors in this poem what we in our youth think gay and polite, are not only our progenitors, but our repre- is nothing else but a habit of indulging a sentatives. We have an actual interest in pruriency that way. It will cost some laevery thing they do, and no less than our bour to bring people to so lively a sense of utmost happiness is concerned, and lies at this, as to recover the manly modesty in stake in all their behaviour. the behaviour of my men readers, and the bashful grace in the faces of my women; but in all cases which come into debate, there are certain things previously to be done before we can have a true light into the subject matter: therefore it will, in the first place, be necessary to consider the impotent wenchers and industrious hags, who are supplied with, and are constantly supplying, new sacrifices to the devil of lust. You are to know, then, if you are so happy as not to know it already, that the great havock which is made in the habitations of beauty and innocence, is committed by such as can only lay waste and not enjoy the soil. When you observe the present state of vice and virtue, the offenders are such as one would think should have no impulse to what they are pursuing; as in business, you see sometimes fools pretend to be knaves, so in pleasure, you will find old men set up for wenchers. This latter sort of men are the great basis and fund of iniquity in the kind we are speaking of; you shall have an old rich man often receive scrawls from the several quarters of the town, with descriptions of the new wares in their hands, if he will please to send word when he will be waited on. This interview is contrived, and the innocent is brought to such indecencies as from time to time banish shame and raise desire. In this, and some other very few in- With these preparatives the hags break stances, Aristotle's rules for epic poetry their wards by little and little, until they (which he had drawn from his reflections are brought to lose all apprehensions of upon Homer) cannot be supposed to quad- what shall befal them in the possession of rate exactly with the heroic poems which younger men. It is a common postscript of have been made since his time; since it a hag to a young fellow whom she invites is plain his rules would still have been to a new woman, She has, I assure you, more perfect, could he have perused the seen none but old Mr. Such-a-one.' Eneid, which was made some hundred pleases the old fellow that the nymph is years after his death. brought to him unadorned, and from his In my next, I shall go through other bounty she is accommodated with enough to

I shall take another opportunity to observe that a person of an absolute and consummate virtue should never be introduced in tragedy, and shall only remark in this place, that the foregoing observation of Aristotle, though it may be true in other occasions, does not hold in this; because in the present case, though the persons who fall into misfortune are of the most perfect and consummate virtue, it is not to be considered as what may possibly be, but what actually is our own case; since we are embarked with them on the same bottom, and must be partakers of their happiness or misery.

It

Her

'MY LORD, I having a great esteem for your honour, and a better opinion of you than of any of the quality, makes me acquaint you of an affair that I hope will oblige you to know. I have a niece that came to town about a fortnight ago. parents being lately dead, she came to me expecting to have found me in so good a condition as to set her up in a milliner's shop. Her father gave fourscore pound with her for five years: her time is out, and she is not sixteen: as pretty a black gentlewoman as ever you saw; a little woman, which I know your lordship likes; well shaped, and as fine a complexion for red and white as ever I saw; I doubt not but your lordship will be of the same opinion. She designs to go down about a month hence, except I can provide for her, which I cannot at present. Her father was one with whom all he had died with him, so there is four children left destitute: so if your lordship thinks proper to make an appointment where I shall wait on you with my niece, by a line or two, I stay for your answer; for I have no place fitted up since

dress her for other lovers. This is the most ordinary method of bringing beauty and poverty into the possession of the town: but the particular cases of kind keepers, skilful pimps, and all others who drive a separate trade, and are not in the general society or commerce of sin, will require distinct consideration. At the same time that we are thus severe on the abandoned, we are to represent the case of others with that mitigation as the circumstances demand. Calling names does no good; to speak worse of any thing than it deserves, does only take off from the credit of the accuser, and has implicitly the force of an apology in the behalf of the person accused. We shall, therefore, according as the circumstances differ, vary our appellations of these criminals: those who offend only against themselves, and are not scandals to society, but out of deference to the sober part of the world, have so much good left in them as to be ashamed, must not be huddled in the common word due to the worst of women; but regard is to be had to their circumstances when they fell, to the uneasy perplexity under which they lived under sense-I left my house, fit to entertain your honour. less and severe parents; to the importunity of poverty; to the violence of a passion in its beginning well grounded, and all other alleviations which make unhappy women resign the characteristic of their sex, modesty. To do otherwise than this, would be to act like a pedantic Stoic, who thinks all crimes alike, and not like an impartial Spectator, who looks upon them with all the circumstances that diminish or enhance the guilt. I am in hopes, if this subject be well pursued, women will hereafter from their infancy be treated with an eye to their future state in the world; and not have their No. 275.] Tuesday, January 15, 1711-12. tempers made too untractable from an improper sourness, or pride, or too complying from familiarity or forwardness contracted at their own houses. After these hints on this subject, I shall end this paper with the following genuine letter; and desire all who think they may be concerned in future speculations on this subject, to send in what they have to say for themselves for some incidents in their lives, in order to have proper allowances made for their conduct.

Jan. 5, 1711-12. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-The subject of your yesterday's paper, is of so great importance, and the thorough handling of it may be so very useful to the preservation of many an innocent young creature, that I think every one is obliged to furnish you with what lights he can to expose the pernicious arts and practices of those unnatural women called bawds. In order to this, the enclosed is sent to you, which is verbatim the copy of a letter written by a bawd of figure in this town to a noble lord. I have concealed the names of both, my intention being not to expose the persons but the thing. I am, sir, your humble servant.'

I told her she should go with me to see a gentleman, a very good friend of mine; so I desire you to take notice of my letter, by reason she is ignorant of the ways of the town. My lord, I desire if you meet us to come alone; for upon my word and honour you are the first that I ever mentioned her to. So I remain your lordship's most humble servant to command.

'I beg of you to burn it when you've read it.' T.

-tribus Anticyris caput insanabile-
Hor. Ars Poet. v. 300.

A head, no hellebore can cure.

I WAS yesterday engaged in an assembly of virtuosos, where one of them produced many curious observations which he had lately made in the anatomy of a human body. Another of the company communicated to us several wonderful discoveries which he had also made on the same subject, by the help of very fine glasses. This gave birth to a great variety of uncommon remarks, and furnished discourse for the remaining part of the day.

The different opinions which were started on this occasion presented to my imagination so many new ideas, that by mixing with those which were already there, they employed my fancy all the last night, and composed a very wild extravagant dream.

I was invited, methought, to the dissection of a beau's head, and a coquette's heart, which were both of them laid on a table before us. An imaginary operator opened the first with a great deal of nicety, which upon a cursory and superficial view, appeared like the head of another man;

but upon applying our glasses to it, we made a very odd discovery, namely, that what we looked upon as brains, were not such in reality, but a heap of strange materials wound up in that shape and texture, and packed together with wonderful art in the several cavities of the skull. For, as Homer tells us, that the blood of the gods is not real blood, but only something like it; so we found that the brain of a beau was not real brain, but only something like it.

The pineal gland, which many of our modern philosophers suppose to be the seat of the soul, smelt very strong cf essence and orange-flower water, and was encompassed with a kind of horny substance, cut into a thousand little faces or mirrors, which were imperceptible to the naked eye, insomuch that the soul, if there had been any here, must have been always taken up in contemplating her own beauties.

We observed a large antrum or cavity in the sinciput, that was filled with ribands, lace, and embroidery, wrought together in a most curious piece of net-work, the parts of which were likewise imperceptible to the naked eye. Another of these antrums or cavities was stuffed with invisible billetdoux, love-letters, pricked dances, and other trumpery of the same nature. In another we found a kind of powder, which set the whole company a sneezing, and by the scent discovered itself to be right Spanish. The several other cells were stored with commodities of the same kind, of which it would be tedious to give the reader an exact inventory.

must have been entirely deprived of the faculty of blushing.

The os cribriforme was exceedingly stuffed, and in some places damaged with snuff. We could not but take notice in particular of that small muscle which is not often discovered in dissections, and draws the nose upward when it expresses the contempt which the owner of it has, upon seeing any thing he does not like, or hearing any thing he does not understand. I need not tell my learned reader, this is that muscle which performs the motion so often mentioned by the Latin poets, when they talk of a man's cocking his nose, or playing the rhinoceros.

We did not find any thing very remarkable in the eye, saving only, that the musculi amatorii, or, as we may translate it into English, the ogling muscles, were very much worn and decayed with use; whereas, on the contrary, the elevator, or the muscle which turns the eye towards heaven, did not appear to have been used at all.

I have only mentioned in this dissection such new discoveries as we were able to make, and have not taken any notice of those parts which are to be met with in common heads. As for the skull, the face, and indeed the whole outward shape and figure of the head, we could not discover any difference from what we observe in the heads of other men. We were informed that the person to whom this head belonged, had passed for a man above five and thirty years: during which time he eat and drank like other people, dressed well, talked loud, laughed frequently, and on particular occasions had acquitted himself tolerably at a ball or an assembly; to which one of the company added that a certain knot of ladies took him for a wit. He was cut off in the flower of his age by the blow of a paring-shovel, having been surprised by an eminent citizen, as he was tendering some civilities to his wife.

There was a large cavity on each side of the head, which I must not omit. That on the right side was filled with fictions, flatteries, and falsehoods, vows, promises, and protestations; that on the left with oaths and imprecations. There issued out a duct from each of these cells, which ran into the root of the tongue, where both joined together, and passed forward in one com- When we had thoroughly examined this mon duct to the tip of it. We discovered head with all its apartments, and its seveseveral little roads or canals running from ral kinds of furniture, we put up the brain, the ear into the brain, and took particular such as it was, into its proper place, and care to trace them out through their seve- laid it aside under a broad piece of scarlet ral passages. One of them extended itself cloth, in order to be prepared, and kept in to a bundle of sonnets and little musical in- a great repository of dissections; our opestruments. Others ended in several blad-rator telling us that the preparation would ders, which were filled either with wind or froth. But the large canal entered into a great cavity of the skull, from whence there went another canal into the tongue. This great cavity was filled with a kind of spongy substance, which the French anatomists call galimatias, and the English,

nonsense.

The skins of the forehead were extremely tough and thick, and what very much surprised us, had not in them any single bloodvessel that we were able to discover, either with or without our glasses; from whence we concluded, that the party when alive

not be so difficult as that of another brain, for that he had observed several of the little pipes and tubes which ran through the brain were already filled with a kind of mercurial substance, which he looked upon to be true quicksilver.

He applied himself in the next place to the coquette's heart, which he likewise laid open with great dexterity. There occurred to us many particulars in this dissection: but being unwilling to burden my reader's memory too much, I shall reserve this subject for the speculation of another day.

L.

No. 276.] Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1711-12.
Errori nomen virtus posuisset honestum.

I mean here to say to you is, that the most free person of quality can go no further than being a kind woman; and you should never say of a man of figure worse than that he knows the world. I am, sir, your most humble servant,

'FRANCIS COURTLY."

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am a woman of unspotted reputation, and know nothing I have ever done which should encourage such insolence; but here was one the other day, and he was dressed like a gentleman too, who took the liberty to name the words not but you will resent it in behalf of, sir, "lusty fellow" in my presence. I doubt CELIA.' your humble servant,

Hor. Sat. iii. Lib. 1. 45. Misconduct screen'd behind a specious name. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I hope you have philosophy enough to be capable of hearing the mention of your faults. Your papers which regard the fallen part of the fair sex, are, I think, written with an indelicacy which makes them unworthy to be inserted in the writings of a moralist who knows the world. I cannot allow that you are at liberty to observe upon the actions of mankind with the freedom which you seem to resolve upon; at least, if you do so, you should take along with you the distinction of the manners of the world, according to 'MR. SPECTATOR,-You lately put out the quality and way of life of the persons a dreadful paper, wherein you promise a concerned. A man of breeding speaks full account of the state of criminal love; of even misfortune among ladies, without and call all the fair who have transgressed giving it the most terrible aspect it can in that kind by one very rude name, which bear: and this tenderness towards them is I do not care to repeat: but I desire to know much more to be preserved when you speak of you whether I am or am not one of those? of vices. All mankind are so far related, My case is as follows: I am kept by an old that care is to be taken, in things to which bachelor who took me so young that I know all are liable, you do not mention what not how he came by me. He is a bencher concerns one in terms which shall disgust of one of the inns of court, a very gay another. Thus to tell a rich man of the in- healthy old man, which is a very lucky digence of a kinsman of his, or abruptly thing for him; who has been, he tells me, to inform a virtuous woman of the lapse of a scowerer, a scamperer, a breaker of winone who until then was in the same degree dows, an invader of constables, in the days of esteem with herself, is a kind of involv- of yore, when all dominion ended with the ing each of them in some participation of day, and males and females met helter those disadvantages. It is therefore ex- skelter, and the scowerers drove before pected from every writer, to treat his ar- them all who pretended to keep up order gument in such a manner as is most proper or rule to the interruption of love and hoto entertain the sort of readers to whom his nour. This is his way of talk, for he is very discourse is directed. It is not necessary gay when he visits me; but as his former when you write to the tea-table, that you knowledge of the town has alarmed him should draw vices which carry all the hor- into an invincible jealousy, he keeps me in ror of shame and contempt: if you paint an a pair of slippers, neat bodice, warm pettiimpertinent self-love, an artful glance, an coats, and my own hair woven in ringlets, assumed complexion, you say all which after a manner, he says, he remembers. Í you ought to suppose they can be possibly am not mistress of one farthing of money, guilty of. When you talk with this limita- but have all necessaries provided for me, tion, you behave yourself so as that you under the guard of one who procured for may expect others in conversation may him while he had any desires to gratify. I second your raillery; but when you do it in know nothing of a wench's life, but the rea style which every body else forbears in putation of it: I have a natural voice, and respect to their quality, they have an easy a pretty untaught step in dancing. His remedy in forbearing to read you, and hear- manner is to bring an old fellow who has ing no more of their faults. A man that is been his servant from his youth, and is now and then guilty of an intemperance is gray-headed. This man makes on the vionot to be called a drunkard; but the rule of lin a certain jiggish noise to which I dance; polite raillery is to speak of a man's faults and when that is over I sing to him some as if you loved him. Of this nature is what loose air that has more wantonness than was said by Cæsar: when one was railing music in it. You must have seen a strange with an uncourtly vehemence, and broke windowed house near Hyde Park, which is out with, "What must we call him who so built that no one can look out of any of was taken in an intrigue with another man's the apartments; my rooms are after this wife?" Cæsar answered very gravely, "Amanner, and I never see man, woman, or careless fellow." This was at once a re- child, but in company with the two persons primand for speaking of a crime which in above-mentioned. He sends me in all the those days had not the abhorrence attending it as it ought, as well as an intimation that all intemperate behaviour before superiors loses its aim, by accusing in a method unfit for the audience. A word to the wise. All

books, pamphlets, plays, operas, and songs that come out; and his utmost delight in me, as a woman, is to talk over his old amours in my presence, to play with my neck, say “the time was,” give me a kiss,

and bid me be sure to follow the directions | tain, that their first attempts were without of my guardian, (the above-mentioned lady,) success, to the no small disappointment of and I shall never want. The truth of my our whole female world; but as their concase is, I suppose, that I was educated for stancy and application, in a matter of so a purpose he did not know he should be great importance, can never be sufficiently unfit for when I came to years. Now, sir, commended, so I am glad to find, that in what I ask of you as a casuist, is to tell me spite of all opposition, they have at length how far, in these circumstances, I am inno- carried their point, of which I received cent, though submissive: he guilty, though advice by the two following letters: impotent? I am, sir, your constant reader, 'PUCELLA.'

'To the Man called the Spectator. FRIEND,—Forasmuch as at the birth of thy labour, thou didst promise upon thy word, that letting alone the vanities that do abound, thou wouldest only endeavour to straighten the crooked morals of this our Babylon, I gave credit to thy fair speeches, and admitted one of thy papers, every day save Sunday, into my house, for the edification of my daughter Tabitha, and to the end that Susanna the wife of my bosom might profit thereby. But, alas! my friend, I find that thou art a liar, and that the truth is not in thee; else why didst thou in a paper which thou didst lately put forth, make mention of those vain coverings for the heads of our females, which thou lovest to liken unto tulips, and which are lately sprung up among us? Nay, why didst thou make mention of them in such a seeming, as if thou didst approve the invention, insomuch that my daughter Tabitha beginneth to wax wanton, and to lust after these foolish vanities? Surely thou dost see with the eyes of the flesh. Verily, therefore, unless thou dost speedily amend, and leave off following thine own imaginations, I will leave off thee.

Thy friend, as hereafter thou dost demean thyself,

T. "HEZEKIAH BROADBRIM.'

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am so great a lover of whatever is French, that I lately discarded an humble admirer, because he neither spoke that tongue nor drank claret. I have long bewailed in secret the calamities of my sex during the war, in all which time we have laboured under the insupportable inventions of English tire-women, who, though they sometimes copy indifferently well, can never compose with that "goût" they do in France.

I was almost in despair of ever more seeing a model from that dear country, when last Sunday I overheard a lady in the next_pew to me whisper another, that at the Seven Stars, in King-street, Coventgarden, there was a mademoiselle completely dressed, just come from Paris.

'I was in the utmost impatience during the remaining part of the service, and as soon as ever it was over, having learnt the milliner's "addresse," I went directly to her house in King-street, but was told that the French lady was at a person of quality's in Pall-mall, and would not be back again until very late that night. I was therefore obliged to renew my visit very early this morning, and had then a full view of the dear moppet from head to foot.

You cannot imagine, worthy sir, how ridiculously I find we have been trussed up during the war, and how infinitely the French dress excels ours.

'The mantua has no lead in the sleeves, and I hope we are not lighter than the

No. 277.] Thursday, January 17, 1711-12. French ladies, so as to want that kind of

-fas est et ab hoste doceri.

Ovid. Met. Lib. iv. 428. Receive instruction from an enemy.

I PRESUME I need not inform the polite part of my readers, that before our correspondence with France was unhappily interrupted by the war, our ladies had all their fashions from thence; which the milliners took care to furnish them with by means of a jointed baby, that came regularly over once a month, habited after the manner of the most eminent toasts in Paris.

I am credibly informed, that even in the hottest time of the war, the sex made several efforts, and raised large contributions towards the importation of this wooden mademoiselle.

Whether the vessel they sent out was lost or taken, or whether its cargo was seized on by the officers of the custom-house as a piece of contraband goods, I have not yet been able to learn; it is however cer

ballast; the petticoat has no whalebone, but sits with an air altogether gallant and degagé: the coiffure is inexpressibly pretty; and, in short, the whole dress has a thousand beauties in it, which I would not have as yet made too public.

"I thought fit, however, to give you this notice, that you may not be surprised at my appearing a la mode de Paris on the next birth-night. I am, sir, your humble ser

vant,

TERAMINTA.'

Within an hour after I had read this let

ter, I received another from the owner of the puppet.

'SIR,-On Saturday last, being the 12th instant, there arrived at my house in Kingstreet, Covent-Garden, a French baby for the year 1712. I have taken the utmost care to have her dressed by the most celebrated tire-women and mantua-makers in Paris, and do not find that I have any reason to be sorry for the expense I have been

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »