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snapped his fingers with great ease to him- | for I am an ugly fellow, of great wit and self, and advantage to the public. sagacity. My father was a hale country The Spartans, though they acted with 'squire, my mother a witty beauty of no the spirit which I am here speaking of, fortune. The match was made by consent carried it much farther than what I pro- of my mother's parents against her own, pose. Among them it was not lawful for and I am the child of the rape on the wedthe father himself to bring up his children ding night; so that I am as healthy and as after his own fancy. As soon as they were homely as my father, but as sprightly and seven years old, they were all listed in se- agreeable as my mother. It would be of veral companies, and disciplined by the great ease to you, if you would use me unpublic. The old men were spectators of der you, that matches might be better their performances, who often raised quar-regulated for the future, and we might rels among them, and set them at strife have no more children of squabbles. I shall with one another, that by those early dis- not reveal all my pretensions until I receive coveries they might see how their several your answer: and I am, sir, your most talents lay, and, without any regard to their humble servant, quality, disposed of them accordingly, for MULES PALFREY.' the service of the commonwealth. By this means Sparta soon became the mistress of Greece, and famous through the whole world for her civil and military discipline.

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If you think this letter deserves a place among your speculations, I may perhaps trouble you with some other thoughts on the same subject. I am, &c.'

X.

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am one of those unfortunate men within the city-walls, who am married to a woman of quality, but her temper is something different from that of thoughts are spent in keeping up to the Lady Anvil. My lady's whole time and mode both in apparel and furniture. All the goods in my house have been changed three times in seven years. I have had seven children by her: and by our marriage-articles she was to have her apart

No. 308.] Friday, February 22, 1711-12. ment new furnished as often as she lay-in.

-Jam proterva

Fronte petet Lalage maritum.

Hor. Od. 5. Lib. ii. ver. 15.

-Lalage will soon proclaim

Her love, nor blush to own her flame.-Creech.

stood up above that time. My dear is of opinion that an old-fashioned grate consumes coals, but gives no heat. If she drinks out of glasses of the last year she cannot distinguish wine from small beer. Oh, dear sir, you may guess all the rest.

'Yours.

'P. S. I could bear even all this, if I were not obliged also to eat fashionably. I have a plain stomach, and have a constant loathing of whatever comes to my own table; for which reason I dine at the chophouse three days in a week; where the good company wonders they never see you of late. I am sure, by your unprejudiced discourses, you love broth better than soup.'

Nothing in our house is useful but that which is fashionable; my pewter holds out generally half a year, my plate a full twelve-month; chairs are not fit to sit in that were made two years since, nor beds 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I give you this trou-fit for any thing but to sleep in, that have ble in order to propose myself to you as an assistant in the weighty cares which you have thought fit to undergo for the public good. I am a very great lover of women, that is to say, honestly; and as it is natural to study what one likes, I have industriously applied myself to understand them. The present circumstance relating to them is, that I think there wants under you, as Spectator, a person to be distinguished and vested in the power and quality of a censor on marriages. I lodge at the Temple, and know, by seeing women come hither, and afterwards observing them conducted by their counsel to judges' chambers, that there is a custom, in case of making conveyance of a wife's estate, that she is carried to a judge's apartment, and left alone with him, to be examined in private, 'MR. SPECTATOR,-You may believe whether she has not been frightened or you are a person as much talked of as any sweetened by her spouse into the act she is man in town. I am one of your best friends going to do, or whether it is of her own free- in this house, and have laid a wager you will. Now if this be a method founded are so candid a man, and so honest a fellow, upon reason and equity, why should there that you will print this letter, though it is not be also a proper officer for examining in recommendation of a new paper called such as are entered into the state of matrimony, whether they are forced by parents on one side, or moved by interest only on the other, to come together, and bring forth such awkward heirs as are the product of half love and constrained compliances? There is nobody, though I say it myself, would be fitter for this office than I am:

'Will's, Feb. 19.

The Historian. I have read it carefully, and find it written with skill, good sense, modesty, and fire. You must allow the town is kinder to you than you deserve; and I doubt not but you have so much sense of the world's change of humour, and instability of all human things, as to understand, that the only way to preserve favour

is to communicate it to others with good
nature and judgment. You are so generally
read, that what you speak of will be read.
This with men of sense and taste, is all that
is wanting to recommend The Historian.
'I am, sir, your daily advocate,

'READER GENTLE.'

I was very much surprised this morning that any one should find out my lodging, and know it so well, as to come directly to my closet door, and knock at it, to give me the following letter. When I came out I opened it, and saw, by a very strong pair of shoes, and a warm coat the bearer had on, that he walked all the way to bring it me, though dated from York. My misfortune is that I cannot talk, and I found the messenger had so much of me, that he could think better than speak. He had, I observed, a polite discerning, hid under a shrewd rusticity. He delivered the paper

with a Yorkshire tone and a town leer.

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I HAVE before observed in general, that the persons whom Milton introduces into his poem always discover such sentiments and behaviour as are in a peculiar manner conformable to their respective characters, Every circumstance in their speeches and actions is with great justice and delicacy adapted to the persons who speak and act. As the poet very much excels in this consistency of his characters, I shall beg leave book in this light. That superior greatto consider several passages of the second ness and mock-majesty, which is ascribed to the prince of the fallen angels, is admirably preserved in the beginning of this book. His opening and closing the debate; his taking on himself that great enterprise, at the thought of which, the whole infernal assembly trembled; his encountering the hideous phantom who guarded the gates of hell, and appeared to him in all his terrors; are instances of that proud and daring mind which could not brook submission, even to Omnipotence!

Satan was now at hand, and from his seat
The monster moving onward came as fast
With horrid strides, hell trembled as he strode,
Th' undaunted fiend what this might be admir'd,
Admir'd, not fear'd.-

MR. SPECTATOR.-The privilege you have indulged John Trot has proved of very bad consequence to our illustrious assembly, which besides the many excellent maxims it is founded upon, is remarkable for the extraordinary decorum always observed in it. One instance of which is that the carders (who are always of the first quality) never begin to play until the French dances are finished, and the country dances begin: but John Trot, having now got your commission in his pocket, (which every one here has a profound respect for) has the assurance to set up for a minuetdancer. Not only so, but he has brought The same boldness and intrepidity of bedown upon us the whole body of the Trots, haviour discovers itself in the several adwhich are very numerous, with their aux-ventures which he meets with, during his iliaries the hobblers and the skippers, by passage through the regions of unformed which means the time is so much wasted, matter, and particularly in his address to that, unless we break all rules of govern- those tremendous powers who are described ment, it must redound to the utter subveras presiding over it. sion of the brag-table, the discreet members of which value time as Fribble's wife does her pin-money. We are pretty well assured that your indulgence to Trot was only in relation to country-dances; however, we have deferred issuing an order of council upon the premises, hoping to get you to join with us, that Trot, nor any of his clan, presume for the future to dance any but country dances, unless a hornpipe upon a festival day. If you will do this you will oblige a great many ladies, and particularly your most humble servant,

'ELIZ. SWEEPSTAKES.

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The part of Moloch is likewise, in all its circumstances, full of that fire and fury which distinguish this spirit from the rest of the fallen angels. He is described in the first book as besmeared with the blood of human sacrifices, and delighted with the tears of parents, and the cries of children. In the second book he is marked out as the fiercest spirit that fought in heaven: and if we consider the figure which he makes in the sixth book, where the battle of the angels is described, we find it every way answerable to the same furious, enraged

character:

-Where the might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array
Of Moloch, furious king, who him defy'd,
And at his chariot-wheels to drag him bound,
Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of heaven
Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous: but anon
Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing.

It may be worth while to observe, that
Milton has represented this violent impetu-
T.ous spirit, who is hurried on by such pre-

cipitate passions, as the first that rises in that assembly to give his opinion upon their present posture of affairs. Accordingly, he declares himself abruptly for war, and appears incensed at his companions for losing so much time as even to deliberate upon it. All his sentiments are rash, audacious, and desperate. Such is that of arming themselves with their tortures, and turning their punishments upon him who inflicted them:

-No, let us rather choose,

Arm'd with hell flames and fury, all at once
O'er heav'n's high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the tort'rer; when to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine he shall hear

And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar,
Mustering their rage, and heav'n resembles hell!
As he our darkness, cannot we his light
Imitate when we please? This desert soil
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold;
Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can heav'n show more?

Beelzebub, who is reckoned the second in dignity that fell, and is, in the first book, the second that awakens out of the trance, and confers with Satan upon the situation of their affairs, maintains his rank in the book now before us. There is a wonderful majesty described in his rising up to speak. He acts as a kind of moderator between the two opposite parties, and proposes a third undertaking, which the whole assembly gives into. The motion he makes of detaching one of their body in search of a new world is grounded upon a project deHis preferring annihilation to shame or vised by Satan, and cursorily proposed by misery is also highly suitable to his charac-him in the following lines of the first book: ter; as the comfort he draws from their disturbing the peace of heaven, that if it be not victory it is revenge, is a sentiment truly diabolical, and becoming the bitterness of this implacable spirit.

Infernal thunder, and for lightning see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his angels: and his throne itself
Mix'd with Tartarian sulphur, and strange fire,
His own invented torments.

Belial is described in the first book as the idol of the lewd and luxurious. He is in the second book, pursuant to that description, characterized as timorous and slothful; and if we look into the sixth book, we find him celebrated in the battle of angels for nothing but that scoffing speech which he makes to Satan, on their supposed advantage over the enemy. As his appearance is uniform, and of a piece in these three several views, we find his sentiments in the infernal assembly every way conformable to his character. Such are his apprehensions of a second battle, his horrors of annihilation, his preferring to be miserable, rather than not to be.' I need not observe, that the contrast of thought in this speech, and that which precedes it, gives an agreeable variety to the debate. Mammon's character is so fully drawn in the first book, that the poet adds nothing to it in the second. We were before told, that he was the first who taught mankind to ransack the earth for gold and silver, and that he was the architect of Pandemonium, or the infernal palace, where the evil spirits were to meet in council. His speech in this book is every way suitable to so depraved a character. How reflection of their being unable to taste the happiness of heaven, were they actually there, in the mouth of one, who, while he was in heaven, is said to have had his mind dazzled with the outward pomps and glories of the place, and to have been more intent on the riches of the pavement than on the beatific vision. I shall also leave the reader to judge how agreeable the following senti

proper

ments are to the same character:

-This deep world

is that

Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth heav'n's all-ruling sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscur'd,

Space may produce new worlds, whereof so rife
There went a fame in heav'n, that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the sons of heav'n;
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor th' abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature:-

It is on this project that Beelzebub grounds his proposal :

-What if we find

Some easier enterprise? There is a place,
(If ancient and prophetic fame in heav'n
Err not,) another world, the happy seat
Of some new race call'd man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less
In pow'r and excellence, but favour'd more
Of him who rules above; so was his will
Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath,
That shook heav'n's whole circumference, confirm'd,

The reader may observe how just it was, not to omit in the first book the project upon which the whole poem turns; as also that the prince of the fallen angels was the only proper person to give it birth, and that the next to him in dignity was the fittest to second and support it.

There is besides, I think, something wonderfully beautiful, and very apt to affect the reader's imagination, in this ancient prophecy or report in heaven, concerning the creation of man. Nothing could more show the dignity of the species, than this tradition which ran of them before their existence. They are represented to have been the talk of heaven before they were created. Virgil, in compliment to the Roman comin their state of pre-existence; but Milton monwealth, makes the heroes of it appear does a far greater honour to mankind in general, as he gives us a glimpse of them even before they are in being.

The rising of this great assembly is described in a very sublime and poetical

manner:

Their rising all at once was as the sound
Of thunder heard remote:-

The diversions of the fallen angels, with the particular account of their place of habitation, are described with great pregnancy of thought, and copiousness of invention. The diversions are every way suitable to beings who had nothing left them but strength and knowledge misapplied. Such are their contentions at the race and in feats of arms, with their enter-likewise very strong, and full of sublime tainment in the following lines:

this quotation. He will likewise observe how naturally the three persons concerned in this allegory are tempted by one common interest to enter into a confederacy together, and how properly Sin is made the portress of hell, and the only being that can open the gates to that world of tortures.

Others with vast Typhæan rage more fell
Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air
In whirlwind, hell scarce holds the wild uproar.

Their music is employed in celebrating their own criminal exploits, and their discourse in sounding the unfathomable depths of fate, free-will, and foreknowledge.

The several circumstances in the description of hell are finely imagined; as the four rivers which disgorge themselves into the sea of fire, the extremes of cold and heat, and the river of oblivion. The monstrous animals produced in that infernal world are represented by a single line, which gives us a more horrid idea of them than a much longer description would have done:

-Nature breeds,

Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
Abominable, inutterable, and worse

Than fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd,
Gorgons and hydras, and chimeras dire.

This episode of the fallen spirits and their place of habitation, comes in very happily to unbend the mind of the reader from its attention to the debate. An ordinary poet would indeed have spun out so many circumstances to a great length, and by that means have weakened, instead of illustrated the principal fable.

The flight of Satan to the gates of hell is finely imaged.

I have already declared my opinion of the allegory concerning Sin and Death, which is, however, a very finished piece in its kind, when it is not considered as a part of an epic poem. The genealogy of the several persons is contrived with great delicacy. Sin is the daughter of Satan, and Death the offspring of Sin. The incestuous mixture between Sin and Death produces those monsters and hell-hounds which from time to time enter into their mother, and tear the bowels of her who gave them birth.

These are the terrors of an evil conscience, and the proper fruits of Sin, which naturally rise from the apprehensions of Death. This last beautiful moral is, I think, clearly intimated in the speech of Sin, where, complaining of this her dreadful issue, she adds:

Before mine eyes in opposition sits

Grim Death, my son and foe, who sets them on,
And me his parent would full soon devour,
For want of other prey, but that he knows
His end with mine involv'd.-

I need not mention to the reader the beautiful circumstance in the last part of

The descriptive part of this allegory is ideas. The figure of Death, the regal crown upon his head, his menace of Satan, his advancing to the combat, the outcry at his birth, are circumstances too noble to be to this king of terrors. I need not mention past over in silence, and extremely suitable the justness of thought which is observed in the generation of these several symbo

lical

the first revolt of Satan, that Death appersons; that Sin was produced upon peared soon after he was cast into hell, and that the terrors of conscience were conceived at the gate of this place of torments. The description of the gates is very poetical, as the opening of them is full of Milton's spirit:

-On a sudden open fly

With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
Of Erebus. She open'd, but to shut
Excell'd her pow'r; the gates wide open stood,
That with extended wings a banner'd host
Under spread ensigns marching might pass through
With horse and chariots rank'd in loose array;
So wide they stood, and like a furnace mouth
Cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame.

In Satan's voyage through the chaos there are several imaginary persons described, as residing in that immense waste of matter. This may perhaps be conformable to the taste of those critics who are pleased with nothing in a poet which has not life and manners ascribed to it; but for my own part, I am pleased most with those passages in this description which carry in them a greater measure of probability, and are such as might possibly have happened. Of this kind is his first mounting in the smoke that rises from the infernal pit, his falling into a cloud of nitre, and the like combustible materials, that by their explosion still hurried him forward in his voyage; his springing upward like a pyramid of fire, with his laborious passage through that confusion of elements which the poet calls

The womb of nature, and perhaps her grave.

chaos from the utmost verge of the creaThe glimmering light which shot into the tion, with the distant discovery of the earth fully beautiful and poetical. that hung close by the moon, are wonder

L.

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heartily; and my father and mother were for it a great while, but now they say I can do better; but I think I cannot. They bid me not love him, and I cannot unlove him. What must I do? Speak quickly.

BIDDY DOW-BAKE.'

'Feb. 19, 1712.

'DEAR SPEC,—I have loved a lady entirely for this year and a half, though for a great part of the time (which has contributed not a little to my pain) I have been debarred the liberty of conversing with her. The grounds of our difference was this; that when we had enquired into each other's circumstances, we found that at our first setting out into the world, we should owe five hundred pounds more than her fortune would pay off. My estate is seven hundred pounds a-year, besides the benefit of tin mines. Now, dear Spec, upon this state of the case, and the lady's positive declaration that there is still no other objection, I beg you will not fail to insert this, with your opinion, as soon as possible, whether this ought to be esteemed a just cause or impediment why we should not be joined; and you will for ever oblige yours sincerely, DICK LOVESICK.'

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Sir, if I marry this lady by the assistance of your opinion, you may expect a favour for it.'

able regard to you, but as it is, I beg we
may be strangers for the future. Adieu.
'LYDIA.'

This great indifference on this subject, and the mercenary motives for making alliances, is what I think lies naturally before you, and I beg of you to give me your thoughts upon it. My answer to Lydia was as follows, which I hope you will approve; for you are to know the woman's family affect a wonderful ease on these occasions, though they expect it should be painfully received on the man's side.

'MADAM,-I have received yours, and knew the prudence of your house so well, that I always took care to be ready to obey your commands, though they should be to see you no more. Pray give my service to all the good family. Adieu. 'CLITOPHON. 'The opera subscription is full.'

MEMORANDUM.

The censor of marriage to consider this letter and report the common usages on such treaties, with how many pounds or acres are generally esteemed sufficient reason for preferring a new to an old pretender; with his opinion what is proper to be determined in such cases for the future. See No. 308, let. 1.

'MR. SPECTATOR,-There is an elderly 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I have the misfor-person lately left off business and settled in tune to be one of those unhappy men who our town, in order, as he thinks, to retire are distinguished by the name of discarded from the world; but he has brought with lovers; but I am the less mortified at my him such an inclination to tale-bearing, disgrace, because the young lady is one of that he disturbs both himself and all our those creatures who set up for negligence neighbourhood. Notwithstanding this frailof men, are forsooth the most rigidly virtu- ty, the honest gentleman is so happy as to ous in the world, and yet their nicety will have no enemy: at the same time he has permit them at the command of parents to not one friend who will venture to acquaint go to bed to the most utter stranger that him with his weakness. It is not to be can be proposed to them. As to me myself, doubted, but if this failing were set in a proI was introduced by the father of my mis- per light, he would quickly perceive the tress; but find I owe my being at first re- indecency and evil consequences of it. ceived to a comparison of my estate with Now, sir, this being an infirmity which I that of a former lover, and that I am now hope may be corrected, and knowing that in like manner turned off to give way to an he pays much deference to you, I beg that humble servant still richer than I am. when you are at leisure to give us a specuWhat makes this treatment the more ex-lation on gossiping, you would think of my travagant is, that the young lady is in the management of this way of fraud, and obeys her father's orders on those occasions without any manner of reluctance, but does it with the same air that one of your men of the world would signify the necessity of affairs for turning another out of office. When I came home last night, I found this letter from my mistress:

'SIR,-I hope you will not think it is any manner of disrespect to your person or merit, that the intended nuptials between us are interrupted. My father says he has a much better offer for me than you can make, and has ordered me to break off the treaty between us. If it had proceeded, I should have behaved myself with all suit

neighbour. You will hereby oblige several who will be glad to find a reformation in their grey-haired friend: and how becoming will it be for him, instead of pouring forth words at all adventures, to set a watch before the door of his mouth, to refrain his tongue, to check its impetuosity, and guard against the sallies of that little pert, forward, busy person; which, under member of society! In compliance with a sober conduct, might prove a useful those intimations, I have taken the liberty to make this address to you. I am, sir, your

most obscure servant,

PHILANTHROPOS.'

'MR. SPECTATOR,-This is to petition you in behalf of myself, and many more of

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