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immediately stand corrected not by the | me by the prevailing brightness of her virseverity, but the decency of her virtue.tues. So rare a pattern of female excellence That sweetness and good-humour, which ought not to be concealed, but should be is so visible in her face, naturally diffuses set out to the view and imitation of the itself into every word and action: a man world; for how amiable does virtue appear, must be a savage, who, at the sight of Emi- thus, as it were, made visible to us, in so lia, is not more inclined to do her good, fair an example! than gratify himself. Her person as it is thus studiously embellished by nature, thus adorned with unpremeditated graces, is a fit lodging for a mind so fair and lovely: there dwell rational piety, modest hope, and cheerful resignation.
Many of the prevailing passions of mankind do undeservedly pass under the name of religion; which is thus made to express itself in action, according to the nature of the constitution in which it resides; so that were we to make a judgment from appearances, one would imagine religion in some is little better than sullenness and reserve, in many fear, in others the despondings of a melancholy complexion, in others the formality of insignificant unaffecting observances, in others severity, in others ostentation. In Emilia it is a principle founded in reason, and enlivened with hope; it does not break forth into irregular fits and sallies of devotion, but is a uniform and consistent tenour of action: it is strict without severity, compassionate without weakness; it is the perfection of that good-humour which proceeds from the understanding, not the effect of an easy constitution.
Honoria's disposition is of a very different turn: her thoughts are wholly bent upon conquests and arbitrary power. That she has_some_wit and beauty nobody denies, and therefore has the esteem of all her acquaintance as a woman of an agreeable person and conversation; but (whatever her husband may think of it) that is not sufficient for Honoria: she waives that title to respect as a mean acquisition, and demands veneration in the right of an idol; for this reason her natural desire of life is continually checked with an inconsistent fear of wrinkles and old age.
Emilia cannot be supposed ignorant of her personal charms, though she seems to be so; but she will not hold her happiness upon so precarious a tenure, whilst her mind is adorned with beauties of a more exalted and lasting nature. When in the full bloom of youth and beauty we saw her surrounded with a crowd of adorers, she took no pleasure in slaughter and destruction, gave no false deluding hopes which might increase the torments of her disappointed lovers; but having for some time given to the decency of a virgin coyBy a generous sympathy in nature, we ness, and examined the merit of their sefeel ourselves disposed to mourn when any veral pretensions, she at length gratified of our fellow-creatures are afflicted: but her own, by resigning herself to the ardent injured innocence and beauty in distress is passion of Bromius. Bromius was then an object that carries in it something inex-master of many good qualities and a modepressibly moving: it softens the most manly heart with the tenderest sensations of love and compassion, until at length it confesses its humanity, and flows out into tears.
Were I to relate that part of Emilia's life which has given her an opportunity of exerting the heroism of Christianity, it would make too sad, too tender a story; but when I consider her alone in the midst of her distresses, looking beyond this gloomy vale of affliction and sorrow, into the joys of heaven and immortality, and when I see her in conversation thoughtless and easy, as if she were the most happy creature in the world, I am transported with admiration. Surely never did such a philosophic soul inhabit such a beauteous form! For beauty is often made a privilege against thought and reflection; it laughs at wisdom, and will not abide the gravity of its instructions.
Were I able to represent Emilia's virtues in their proper colours, and their due proportions, love or flattery might perhaps be thought to have drawn the picture larger than life; but as this is but an imperfect draught of so excellent a character, and as I cannot, I will not hope to have any interest in her person, all that I can say of her is but impartial praise, extorted from
rate fortune, which was soon after unexpectedly increased to a plentiful estate. This for a good while proved his misfortune, as it furnished his unexperienced age with the opportunities of evil company, and a sensual life. He might have longer wandered in the labyrinths of vice and folly, had not Emilia's prudent conduct won him over to the government of his reason. Her ingenuity has been constantly employed in humanizing his passions, and refining his pleasures. She has showed him by her own example, that virtue is consistent with decent freedoms, and good humour, or rather that it cannot subsist without them. Her good sense readily instructed her, that a silent example, and an easy unrepining behaviour, will always be more persuasive than the severity of lectures and admonitions; and that there is so much pride interwoven into the make of human nature, that an obstinate man must only take the hint from another, and then be left to advise and correct himself. Thus by an artful train of management, and unseen persuasions, having at first brought him not to dislike, and at length to be pleased with that which otherwise he would not have bore to hear of, she then knew how to press and secure this advantage, by approving
it as his thought, and seconding it as his proposal. By this means she has gained an interest in some of his leading passions, and made them accessary to his reformation.
There is another particular of Emilia's conduct which I cannot forbear mentioning: to some, perhaps, it may at first sight appear but a trifling inconsiderable circumstance: but, for my part, I think it highly worthy of observation, and to be recommended to the consideration of the fair sex. I have often thought wrapping-gowns and dirty linen, with all that huddled economy of dress which passes under the general name of a mob,' the bane of conjugal love, and one of the readiest means imaginable to alienate the affection of a husband, especially a fond one. I have heard some ladies, who have been surprised by company in such a dishabille, apologize for it after this manner: Truly, I am ashamed to be caught in this pickle: but my husband and I were sitting all alone by ourselves, and I did not expect to see such good company.'-This, by the way, is a fine compliment to the good man, which it is ten to one but he returns in dogged answers and a churlish behaviour, without knowing what it is that puts him out of humour.
Emilia's observation teaches her, that as little inadvertencies and neglects cast a blemish upon a great character; so the neglect of apparel, even among the most intimate friends, does insensibly lessen their regards to each other, by creating a familiarity too low and contemptible. She understands the importance of those things which the generality account trifles; and considers every thing as a matter of consequence, that has the least tendency towards keeping up or abating the affection of her husband; him she esteems as a fit object to employ her ingenuity in pleasing, because he is to be pleased for life.
By the help of these, and a thousand other nameless arts, which it is easier for her to practise than for another to express, by the obstinacy of her goodness and unprovoked submission, in spite of all her afflictions and ill usage, Bromius is become a man of sense and a kind husband, and Emilia a happy wife.
-Some choose the clearest light,
And boldly challenge the most piercing eye.
I HAVE seen, in the works of a modern philosopher, a map of the spots in the sun. My last paper of the faults and blemishes in Milton's Paradise Lost may be considered as a piece of the same nature. To pursue the allusion: as it is observed, that among the bright parts of the luminous body abovementioned, there are some which glow more intensely, and dart a stronger light than others; so, notwithstanding I have already shown Milton's poem to be very beautiful in general, I shall now proceed to take notice of such beauties as appear to me more exquisite than the rest. Milton has proposed the subject of his poem in the following verses:
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
These lines are, perhaps, as plain, simple, and unadorned, as any of the whole poem, in which particular the author has conformed himself to the example of Homer, and the precept of Horace.
His invocation to a work, which turns in world, is very properly made to the Muse a great measure upon the creation of the who inspired Moses in those books from whence our author drew his subject, and to the Holy Spirit who is therein represented as operating after a particular manner in the first production of nature. This whole exordium rises very happily into noble language and sentiments, as I think the transition to the fable is exquisitely beautiful and natural.
The nine days' astonishment, in which the angels lay entranced after their dreadful overthrow and fall from heaven, before they could recover either the use of thought or speech, is a noble circumstance, and very finely imagined. The division of hell into seas of fire, and into firm ground impregnated with the same furious element, with that particular circumstance of the exclusion of Hope from those infernal regions, are instances of the same great and fruitful invention.
Ye guardian angels, to whose care heaven has intrusted its dear Emilia, guide her still forward in the paths of virtue, defend her scription of Satan, who is one of the princiThe thoughts in the first speech and defrom the insolence and wrongs of this un-pal actors in this poem, are wonderfully discerning world: at length when we must proper to give us a full idea of him. His no more converse with such purity on earth, pride, envy, and revenge, obstinacy, delead her gently hence, innocent and unre-spair, and impenitence, are all of them provable, to a better place, where, by an easy transition from what she now is, she may shine forth an angel of light.
No. 303.] Saturday, Feb. 16, 1711-12.
very artfully interwoven. In short, his first speech is a complication of all those passions which discover themselves separately in several other of his speeches in the poem. The whole part of this great enemy of mankind is filled with such incidents as are very apt to raise and terrify the reader's imagination. Of this nature, in the book now before us, is his being the first that awakens
out of the general trance, with his posture | whom he had involved in the same guilt on the burning lake, his rising from it, and and ruin with himself:
the description of his shield and spear:
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate,
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale.
-His pond'rous shield
Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
To which we may add his call to the fallen angels that lay plunged and stupified in the sea of fire:
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
But there is no single passage in the whole poem worked up to a greater sublimity, than that wherein his person is described in those celebrated lines:
We shall be free! th' Almighty hath not built Here for his envy; will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure; and in my choice To reign is worth ambition, though in hell: Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n. Amidst those impieties which this enraged spirit utters in other places of the poem, the author has taken care to introduce none that is not big with absurdity, and incapable of shocking a religious reader; his words, as the poet himself describes them, bearing only a 'semblance of worth, not substance.' He is likewise with great art described as owning his adversary to be Almighty. Whatever perverse interpretation he puts on the justice, mercy, and other attributes of the Supreme Being, he frequently confesses his omnipotence, that being the perfection he was forced to allow him, and the only consideration which could support his pride under the shame of his defeat.
Nor must I here omit that beautiful circumstance of his bursting out into tears, upon his survey of those innumerable spirits
He now prepar'd
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend, From wing to wing, and half enclose him round With all his peers: attention held them mute. Thrice he essay'd, and thrice, in spite of scorn, Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth
The catalogue of evil spirits has abundance of learning in it, and a very agreeable turn of poetry, which rises in a great measure from its describing the places where they were worshipped, by those beautiful marks of rivers so frequent among the ancient poets. The author had doubtless in this place Homer's catalogue of ships, and Virgil's list of warriors, in his view. The characters of Moloch and Belial prepare the reader's mind for their respective speeches and behaviour in the second and sixth book. The account of Thammuz is finely romantic, and suitable to what we read among the ancients of the worship which was paid to that idol:
-Thammuz came next behind,
The reader will pardon me if I insert as a note on this beautiful passage, the account given us by the late ingenious Mr. Maundrell of this ancient piece of worship, and probably the first occasion of such a superstition. We came to a fair large riverdoubtless the ancient river Adonis, so famous for the idolatrous rites performed here in lamentation of Adonis. We had the fortune to see what may be supposed to be the occasion of that opinion which Lucian relates concerning this river, viz. That this stream, at certain seasons of the year, especially about the feast of Adonis, is of a bloody colour; which the heathens looked upon as proceeding from a kind of sympathy in the river for the death of Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar in the mountains, out of which this stream rises. Something like this we saw actually come to pass; for the water was stained to a surprising redness; and, as we observed in travelling, had discoloured the sea a great way into a reddish hue, occasioned doubtless by a sort of minium, or red earth, washed into the river by the violence of the rain, and not by any stain from Adonis's blood."
The passage in the catalogue, explaining the manner how spirits transform themselves by contraction or enlargement of their dimensions, is introduced with great judgment, to make way for several surprising accidents in the sequel of the poem. There follows one at the very end of the first book, which is what the French critics call marvellous, but at the same time pro
Dable by reason of the passage last mentioned. As soon as the infernal palace is finished, we are told the multitude and rabble of spirits immediately shrunk themselves into a small compass, that there might be room for such a numberless assembly in this capacious hall. But it is the poet's refinement upon this thought which I most admire, and which is indeed very noble in itself. For he tells us, that notwithstanding the vulgar among the fallen spirits contracted their forms, those of the first rank and dignity still preserved their natural dimensions:
There are also several noble similes and allusions in the first book of Paradise Lost. And here I must observe, that when Milton alludes either to things or persons, he never quits his simile until it rises to some very great idea, which is often foreign to the occasion that gave birth to it. The resemblance does not, perhaps, last above a line or two, but the poet runs on with the hint until he has raised out of it some glorious image or sentiment, proper to inflame the mind of the reader, and to give it that sublime kind of entertainment which is suitable to the nature of an heroic poem. Those who are acquainted with Homer's and Virgil's way of writing, cannot but be pleased with this kind of structure in Milton's similitudes. I am the more particular on this head, because ignorant readers, who have formed their taste upon the quaint similes and little turns of wit, which are so much in vogue among modern poets, cannot relish these beauties which are of a much higher nature, and are therefore apt to censure Milton's comparisons, in which they do not There are several other strokes in the see any surprising points of likeness. Monfirst book wonderfully poetical, and in-sieur Perrault was a man of this vitiated stances of that sublime genius so peculiar to the author. Such is the description of Azazel's stature, and the infernal standard which he unfurls; as also of that ghastly light by which the fiends appear to one another in their place of torments:
Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms
The character of Mammon, and the description of the Pandemonium are full of
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimm'ring of those livid flames
relish, and for that very reason has endeavoured to turn into ridicule several of Homer's similitudes, which he calls 'comparaisons à longue queue,' 'long-tailed comparisons.' I shall conclude this paper on the first book of Milton with the answer which Monsieur Boileau makes to Perrault on this occasion: Comparisons,' says he, ' in odes and epic poems, are not introduced
The shout of the whole host of fallen an- only to illustrate and embellish the disgels when drawn up in battle array.
-The universal host up sent
A shout that tore hell's concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
course, but to amuse and relax the mind of the reader, by frequently disengaging him from too painful an attention to the principal subject, and by leading him into
The review, which the leader makes of other agreeable images. Homer, says he,
his infernal army:
He through the armed files
Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views, their order due,
Their visages and stature as of gods,
Their number last he sums; and now his heart
Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength
excelled in this particular, whose comparisons abound with such images of nature as are proper to relieve and diversify his subjects. He continually instructs the reader, and makes him take notice even in objects which are every day before his eyes, of such circumstances as he should not other
The flash of light which appeared upon wise have observed.' To this he adds, as the drawing of their swords:
He spake and to confirm his words out flew
Far round illumin'd hell.
a maxim universally acknowledged, 'that it is not necessary in poetry for the points of the comparison to correspond with one another exactly, but that a general resemblance is sufficient, and that too much
The sudden production of the Pandemo- nicety in this particular savours of the nium:
rhetorician and epigrammatist.
In short, if we look into the conduct of Homer, Virgil, and Milton, as the great fable is the soul of each poem, so, to give their works an agreeable variety, their episodes are so many short fables, and their similes so many short episodes; to which you may add, if you please, that their metaphors are so many short similes. If the reader considers the comparisons in the first book of Milton, of the sun in an eclipse,
* Cresset, i. c. a blazing light set on a beacon; in of the sleeping leviathan, of the bees swarmFrench, croissete, because beacons formerly had crosses on their tops. Johnson.
ing about their hive, of the fairy dance, in
the view wherein I have here placed them, he will easily discover the great beauties that are in each of those passages. L.
No. 304.] Monday, February 18, 1711-12.
A latent fire preys on his fev'rish veins.
reason to fancy my mistress has any regard for me, but from a very disinterested value which I have for her. If from any hint in any future paper of yours she gives me the least encouragement, I doubt not but I shall surmount all other difficulties; and inspired by so noble a motive for the care of my fortune, as the belief she is to be concerned in it, I will not despair of receiving her one day from her father's own hand. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
To his Worship the Spectator. 'The humble petition of Anthony Titlepage, stationer, in the centre of Lincoln's-Inn Fields;
THE circumstances of my correpondent, whose letter I now insert, are so frequent, that I cannot want compassion so much as to forbear laying it before the town. There is something so mean and inhuman in a direct Smithfield bargain for children, that if this lover carries his point, and observes the rules he pretends to follow, I do not only wish him success, but also that it may animate others to follow his example. I 'That your petitioner, and his forefathers, know not one motive relating to this life have been sellers of books for time immewhich could produce so many honourable morial: that your petitioner's ancestor, and worthy actions, as the hopes of obtain- Crouchback Title-page, was the first of ing a woman of merit. There would ten that vocation in Britain; who, keeping his thousand ways of industry and honest am- station (in fair weather,) at the corner of bition be pursued by young men, who be- Lothbury, was, by way of eminency, called lieved that the persons admired had value "The Stationer," a name which, from him enough for their passion, to attend the event all succeeding booksellers have affected to of their good fortune in all their applica- bear: that the station of your petitioner and tions, in order to make their circumstances his father has been in the place of his prefall in with the duties they owe to them-sent settlement ever since that square has selves, their families, and their country. All these relations a man should think of who intends to go into the state of marriage, and expects to make it a state of pleasure and satisfaction.
MR. SPECTATOR,-I have for some years indulged a passion for a young lady of age and quality suitable to my own, but very much superior in fortune. It is the fashion with parents (how justly, I leave you to judge,) to make all regards give way to the article of wealth. From this one consideration it is that I have concealed the ardent love I have for her; but I am beholden to the force of my love for many advantages which I reaped from it towards the better conduct of my life. A certain complacency to all the world, a strong desire to oblige wherever it lay in my power, and a circumspect behaviour in all my words and actions, have rendered me more particularly acceptable to all my friends and acquaintance. Love has had the same good effect upon my fortune, as I have increased in riches in proportion to my advancement in those arts which make a man agreeable and amiable. There is a certain sympathy which will tell my mistress from these circumstances, that it is I who writ this for her reading, if you will please to insert it. There is not a downright enmity, but a great coldness between our parents; so that if either of us declared any kind sentiments for each other, her friends would be very backward to lay an obligation upon our farmily, and mine to receive it from hers. Under these delicate circumstances it is no easy matter to act with safety. I have no
been built: that your petitioner has formerly had the honour of your worship's custom, and hopes you never had reason to complain of your penny-worths: that particularly he sold you your first Lilly's Grammar, and at the same time a Wit's Commonwealth, almost as good as new: moreover, that your first rudimental essays in spectatorship, were made in your petitioner's shop, where you often practised for hours together; sometimes on his books upon the rails, sometimes on the little hieroglyphics, either gilt, silvered, or plain, which the Egyptian woman on the other side of the shop had wrought in gingerbread, and sometimes on the English youths, who in sundry places there, were exercising themselves in the traditional sports of the field.
'From these considerations it is, that your petitioner is encouraged to apply himself to you, and to proceed humbly to acquaint your worship, that he has certain intelligence that you receive great numbers of defamatory letters designed by their authors to be published, which you throw aside and totally neglect: Your petitioner therefore prays, that you will please to bestow on him those refuse letters, and he hopes by printing them to get a more plentiful provision for his family; or, at the worst, he may be allowed to sell them by the pound weight to his good customers the pastry-cooks of London and Westminster. 'And your petitioner shall ever pray, &c.'
To the Spectator. "The humble petition of Bartholomew Lady-Love, of Round-court, in the