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kind, instead of being pleasing. Witty men | cause he just now saw her. But I think I are apt to imagine they are agreeable as need not dwell on this subject, since I have such, and by that means grow the worst acknowledged there can be no rules made companions imaginable; they deride the for excelling this way; and precepts of this absent or rally the present in a wrong man- kind fare like rules for writing poetry, ner, not knowing that if you pinch or tickle which, it is said, may have prevented ill a man till he is uneasy in his seat, or un-poets, but never made good ones. gracefully distinguished from the rest of the company, you equally hurt him.
Quid pure tranquillet
I was going to say, the true art of being No. 387.] Saturday, May 24, 1712. agreeable in company (but there can be no such thing as art in it) is to appear well pleased with those you are engaged with, and rather to seem well entertained, than to bring entertainment to others. A man thus disposed is not indeed what we ordinarily call a good companion, but essentially is such, and in all the parts of his conversation has something friendly in his behaviour, which conciliate men's minds more than the highest sallies of wit or starts of humour can possibly do. The feebleness of age in a man of this turn has something which should be treated with respect even in a man no otherwise venerable. The forwardness of youth, when it proceeds from alacrity and not insolence, has also its allowances. The companion who is formed for such by nature, gives to every character of life its due regards, and is ready to account for their imperfections, and receive their accomplishments as if they were his own. It must appear that you receive law from, and not give it to, your company, to make you agreeable.
Hor. Ep. xviii. Lib. 102. What calms the breast and makes the mind serene.
IN my last Saturday's paper, I spoke of cheerfulness as it is a moral habit of the mind, and accordingly mentioned such moral motives as are apt to cherish and keep alive this happy temper in the soul of man. I shall now consider cheerfulness in its natural state, and reflect on those motives to it which are indifferent either as to virtue or vice.
Cheerfulness is, in the first place, the best promoter of health. Repinings, and secret murmurs of heart, give imperceptible strokes to those delicate fibres of which the vital parts are composed, and wear out the machine insensibly; not to mention those violent ferments which they stir up in the blood, and those irregular disturbed motions which they raise in the animal spirits. I scarce remember, in my own observation, to have met with many old men, or with such, who (to use our English I remember Tully, speaking, I think, of phrase,) wear well, that had not at least a Antony, says, that, In eo facetiæ erant, quæ certain indolence in their humour, if not a nulla arte tradi possunt: 'He had a witty more than ordinary gayety and cheerfulmirth, which could be acquired by no art. ness of heart. The truth of it is, health This quality must be of the kind of which and cheerfulness mutually beget each other, I am now speaking; for all sorts of beha-with this difference, that we seldom meet viour which depend upon observation and knowledge of life are to be acquired; but that which no one can describe, and is apparently the act of nature, must be every where prevalent, because every thing it meets is a fit occasion to exert it; for he who follows nature can never be improper or unseasonable.
How unaccountable then must their behaviour be, who, without any manner of consideration of what the company they have now entered are upon, give themselves the air of a messenger, and make as distinct relations of the occurrences they last met with, as if they had been despatched from those they talk to, to be punctually exact in a report of those circumstances! It is unpardonable to those who are met to enjoy one another, that a fresh man shall pop in, and give us only the last part of his own life, and put a stop to ours during the history. If such a man comes from 'Change, whether you will or not, you must hear how the stocks go; and, though you are never so intently employed on a graver subject, a young fellow of the other end of the town will take his place, and tell you, Mrs. Such-a-one is charmingly handsome, be
with a great degree of health which is not attended with a certain cheerfulness, but very often see cheerfulness where there is no great degree of health.
Cheerfulness bears the same friendly regard to the mind as to the body. It banishes all anxious care and discontent, soothes and composes the passions, and keeps the soul in a perpetual calm. But having already touched on this last consideration, I shall here take notice, that the world in which we are placed is filled with innumerable objects that are proper to raise and keep alive this happy temper of mind.
If we consider this world in its subserviency to man, one would think it was made for our use; but if we consider it in its natural beauty and harmony, one would be apt to conclude it was made for our pleasure. The sun, which is as the great soul of the universe, and produces all the necessaries of life, has a particular influence in cheering the mind of man, and making the heart glad.
Those several living creatures which are made for our service or sustenance, at the same time either fill the woods with their music, furnish us with game, or raise pleas
ing ideas in us by the delightfulness of their appearance. Fountains, lakes, and rivers, are as refreshing to the imagination, as to the soil through which they pass.
There are writers of great distinction, who have made it an argument for Providence, that the whole earth is covered with green rather than with any other colour, as being such a right mixture of light and shade, that it comforts and strengthens the eye, instead of weakening or grieving it. For this reason several painters have a green cloth hanging near them to ease the eye upon, after too great an application to their colouring. A famous modern philosopher* accounts for it in the following manner. All colours that are more luminous, overpower and dissipate the animal spirits which are employed in sight; on the contrary, those that are more obscure do not give the animal spirits a sufficient exercise; whereas, the rays that produce in us the idea of green, fall upon the eye in such a due proportion, that they give the animal spirits their proper play, and, by keeping up the struggle in a just balance, excite a very pleasing and agreeable sensation. Let the cause be what it will, the effect is certain; for which reason, the poets ascribe to this particular colour the epithet of cheerful.
To consider further this double end in the works of nature, and how they are at the same time both useful and entertaining, we find that the most important parts in the vegetable world are those which are the most beautiful. These are the seeds by which the several races of plants are propagated and continued, and which are always lodged in the flowers or blossoms. Nature seems to hide her principal design, and to be industrious in making the earth gay and delightful, while she is carrying on her great work, and intent upon her own preservation. The husbandman, after the same manner, is employed in laying out the whole country into a kind of garden or landscape, and making every thing smile about him, whilst in reality he thinks of nothing but of the harvest, and the increase which is to arise from it.
We may further observe how Providence has taken care to keep up this cheerfulness in the mind of man, by having formed it after such a manner as to make it capable of conceiving delight from several objects which seem to have very little use in them; as from the wildness of rocks and deserts, and the like grotesque parts of nature. Those who are versed in philosophy may still carry this consideration higher, by observing, that if matter had appeared to us endowed only with those real qualities which it actually possesses, it would have made but a very joyless and uncomfortable figure; and why has Providence given it a power of producing in us such imaginary
*Sir Isaac Newton.
qualities, and tastes and colours, sounds and smells, heat and cold, but that man, while he is conversant in the lower stations of nature, might have his mind cheered and delighted with agreeable sensations? In short, the whole universe is a kind of theatre filled, with objects that either raise in us pleasure, amusement, or admiration. The reader's own thoughts will suggest to him the vicissitude of day and night, the change of seasons, with all that variety of scenes which diversify the face of nature, and fill the mind with a perpetual succession of beautiful and pleasing images.
I shall not here mention the several entertainments of art, with the pleasures of friendship, books, conversation, and other accidental diversions of life, because I would only take notice of such incitements to a cheerful temper as offer themselves to persons of all ranks and conditions, and which may sufficiently show us that Providence did not design this world should be filled with murmurs and repinings, or that the heart of man should be involved in gloom and melancholy.
I the more inculcate this cheerfulness of temper, as it is a virtue in which our countrymen are observed to be more deficient than any other nation. Melancholy is a kind of demon that haunts our island, and often conveys herself to us in an easterly wind. A celebrated French novelist, in opposition to those who begin their romances with the flowery season of the year, enters on his story thus, 'In the gloomy month of November, when the people of England hang and drown themselves, a disconsolate lover walked out into the fields,' &c.
Every one ought to fence against the temper of his climate or constitution, and frequently to indulge in himself those considerations which may give him a serenity of mind, and enable him to bear up cheerfully against those little evils and misfortunes which are common to human nature, and which, by a right improvement of them, will produce a satiety of joy, and an uninterrupted happiness.
At the same time that I would engage my reader to consider the world in its most agreeable lights, I must own there are many evils which naturally spring up amidst the entertainments that are provided for us; but these, if rightly considered, should be far from overcasting the mind with sorrow, or destroying that cheerfulness of temper which I have been recommending. This interspersion of evil with good, and pain with pleasure, in the works of nature, is very truly ascribed by Mr. Locke, in his Essay on Human Understanding, to a moral reason, in the following words.
'Beyond all this, we may find another reason why God hath scattered up and down several degrees of pleasure and pain, in all the things that environ and affect us, and blended them together, in almost all
that our thoughts and senses have to do with; that we, finding imperfection, dissatisfaction, and want of complete happiness, in all the enjoyments which the creatures can afford us, might be led to seek it in the enjoyment of Him with whom "there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore. L.
No. 288.] Monday, May 26, 1712.
-Tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
For thee, I dare unlock the sacred spring, And arts disclos'd by ancient sages sing. 'MR. SPECTATOR, -It is my custom, when I read your papers, to read over the quotations in the authors from whence you take them. As you mentioned a passage lately out of the second chapter of Solomon's Song, it occasioned my looking into it; and, upon reading it, I thought the ideas so exquisitely soft and tender, that I could not help making this paraphrase of it: which, now it is done, I can as little forbear sending to you. Some marks of your approbation, which I have already received, have given me so sensible a taste of them, that I cannot forbear endeavouring after them as often as I can with any appearance of success. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant.'
THE SECOND CHAPTER OF SOLOMON'S SONG.
"As when in Sharon's field the blushing rose Does its chaste bosom to the morn disclose, Whilst all around the Zephyrs bear
The fragrant odours through the air,
Or as the lily in the shady vale
Does o'er each flow'r with beauteous pride prevail,
Then fairest flow'rs with studious art combine,
And their united charms are less than mine.
"As much as fairest lilies can surpass A thorn in beauty, or in height the grass; So does my Love, among the virgins shine, Adorn'd with graces more than half divine: Or as a tree, that, glorious to behold, Is hung with apples all of ruddy gold, Hesperian fruit, and, beautifully high, Extends its branches to the sky;
So does my Love the virgins' eyes invite; 'Tis he alone can fix their wand'ring sight, Among ten thousand eminently bright.
"Beneath his pleasing shade My wearied limbs at ease I laid,
And on his fragrant boughs reclin'd my head,
"I faint! I die! my lab'ring breast
And pain convey'd to every part.
Through all my veins the passion flies,
And paleness dwells upon my face:
"I charge you, nymphs of Sion, as you go
Be only gentle Zephyrs there
To keep off each intruding sound.
And when the balmy slumber leaves his eyes, May he to joys, unknown till then, arise!
"But see! he comes! with what majestic gait
Now through the lattice he appears,
My love admits of no delay,
"Already, see! the teeming earth
Brings forth the flow'rs, her beauteous birth,
The spreading vines with blossoms swell,
"As to its mate the constant dove
Shall damp the sound of thy melodious voice; Where I may gaze, and mark each beauteous grace: For sweet thy voice, and lovely is thy face.
was sold for thirty pounds. As it was writ- | brated, since our adversaries challenge all ten by one Jordanus Brunus, a professed those, as men who have too much interest atheist, with a design to depreciate religion, in this case to be impartial evidences. every one was apt to fancy, from the extravagant price it bore, that there must be something in it very formidable.
I must confess that, happening to get a sight of one of them myself, I could not forbear perusing it with this apprehension; but found there was so very little danger in it, that I shall venture to give my reader a fair account of the whole plan upon which this wonderful treatise is built.
But what has been often urged as a consideration of much more weight, is not only the opinion of the better sort, but the general consent of mankind to this great truth; which I think could not possibly have come to pass, but from one of the three following reasons: either that the idea of a God is innate and co-existent with the mind itself; or that this truth is so very obvious, that it is discovered by the first exertion of reason in persons of the most ordinary capacities; or lastly, that it has been delivered down to us through all ages by a tradition from the first man.
The atheists are equally confounded, to whichever of these three causes we assign it; they have been so pressed by this last argument from the general consent of mankind, that after great search and pains they pretend to have found out a nation of atheists, I mean that polite people the Hottentots.
The author pretends that Jupiter once upon a time, resolved upon a reformation of the constellations: for which purpose, having summoned the stars together, he complains to them of the great decay of the worship of the gods, which he thought so much the harder, having called several of those celestial bodies by the names of the heathen deities, and by that means made the heavens as it were a book of the pagan theology. Momus tells him that this is not to be wondered at, since there were so many scandalous stories of the deities. Upon I dare not shock my readers with the dewhich the author takes occasion to cast re-scription of the customs and manners of flections upon all other religions, concluding these barbarians, who are in every respect that Jupiter, after a full hearing, discarded scarce one degree above brutes, having no the derties out of heaven, and called the language among them but a confused gabstars by the names of the moral virtues. ble, which is neither well understood by themselves nor others.
The short fable, which has no pretence in it to reason or argument, and but a very small share of wit, has however recommended itself, wholly by its impiety, to those weak men who would distinguish themselves by the singularity of their opinions.
It is not, however, to be imagined how much the atheists have gloried in these their good friends and allies.
If we boast of a Socrates or a Seneca, they may now confront them with these great philosophers the Hottentots.
Though even this point has, not without reason, been several times controverted, I see no manner of harm it could do to religion, if we should entirely give them up this elegant part of mankind.
There are two considerations which have 'been often urged against atheists, and which they never yet could get over. The first is, that the greatest and most eminent persons of all ages have been against them, and always complied with the public forms of Methinks nothing more shows the weakworship established in their respective coun-ness of their cause, than that no division of tries, when there was nothing in them either derogatory to the honour of the Supreme Being, or prejudicial to the good of mankind. The Platos and Ciceros among the ancients; the Bacons, the Boyles, and the Lockes, among our own countrymen; are all instances of what I have been saying; not to mention any of the divines, however cele
Mr. Joseph Ames, of Sir Peter Thompson, and of M. C. Tutet, esq. among whose books it was lately sold by auction, at Mr. Gerrard's in Litchfield-street. The author of this book, Giordano Bruno, was a native of Nola, in the kingdom of Naples, and burnt at Rome by order of the inquisition in 1600. Morhoff, speaking of atheists, says, Jordanum tamen Brunum huic classi non annumerarem-manifesto in illo atheismi vestigia non deprehendo. Polyhist. i. 1. 8. 22. Bruno published many
other writings said to be atheistical. The book spoken
of here was printed, not at Paris, as is said in the titlepage, nor in 1544, but at London, and in 1584, 12mo. dedicated to sir Philip Sidney. It was for some time so little regarded, that it was sold with five other books of the same author, for 25 pence French, at the sale of Mr. Bigor's library in 1706; but it is now very scarce, and has been sold at the exorbitant price of 50%. Niceron. Hommes Illust. tom. xvii. p. 211. There was an edition of it in English in 1713.
their fellow-creatures join with them but those among whom they themselves own reason is almost defaced, and who have but little else but their shape which can entitle them to any place in the species.
Besides these poor creatures, there have now and then been instances of a few crazy people in several nations who have denied the existence of a deity.
The catalogue of these is, however, very short; even Vanina, the most celebrated champion for the cause, professed before his judges that he believed the existence of a God: and, taking up a straw which lay before him on the ground, assured them that alone was sufficient to convince him of it: alleging several arguments to prove that it was impossible nature alone could create any thing.
I was the other day reading an account of Casimir Lyszynski, a gentleman of Poland, who was convicted and executed for this crime. The manner of his punishment was very particular. As soon as his body was
burnt, his ashes were put into a cannon, and shot into the air towards Tartary.
I am apt to believe, that if something like this method of punishment should prevail in England (such is the natural good sense of the British nation,) that whether we rammed an atheist whole into a great gun, or pulverized our infidels, as they do in Pofand, we should not have many charges.
I should, however, premise, while our ammunition lasted, that, instead of Tartary, we should always keep two or three cannons ready pointed towards the Cape of Good Hope, in order to shoot our unbelievers into the country of the Hottentots.
their own behaviour so unhappily, that there indeed lies some cause of suspicion upon them. It is certain, that there is no authority for persons who have nothing else to do, to pass away hours of conversation upon the miscarriages of other people; but since they will do so, they who value their reputation should be cautious of appearances to their disadvantage: but very often our young women, as well as the middleaged, and the gay part of those growing old, without entering into a formal league for that purpose, to a woman, agree upon a short way to preserve their characters, and go on in a way that at best is only not vicious. The method is, when an ill-natured or talkative girl has said any thing that bears hard upon some part of another's carriage, this creature, if not in any of their little cabals, is run down for the most censorious, dangerous body in the world. Thus they There is indeed a great objection against guard their reputation rather than their this manner of treating them. Zeal for re-modesty; as if guilt lay in being under the ligion is of so effective a nature that it seldom knows where to rest: for which reason I am afraid, after having discharged our atheists, we might possibly think of shooting off our sectaries; and as one does not foresee the vicissitudes of human affairs, it might one time or other come to a man's own turn to fly out of the mouth of a demiculverin.
In my opinion, a solemn judicial death is too great an honour for an atheist; though I must allow the method of exploding him, as it is practised in this ludicrous kind of martyrdom, has something in it proper enough to the nature of his offence.
If any of my readers imagine that I have treated these gentlemen in too ludicrous a manner, I must confess, for my own part, I think reasoning against such unbelievers, upon a point that shocks the common sense of mankind, is doing them too great an honour, giving them a figure in the eye of the world, and making people fancy that they have more in them than they really have.
As for those persons who have any scheme | of religious worship, I am for treating such with the utmost tenderness, and should endeavour to show them their errors with the greatest temper and humanity; but as these miscreants are for throwing down religion in general, for stripping mankind of what themselves own is of excellent use in all great societies, without once offering to establish any thing in the room of it, I think the best way of dealing with them, is to retort their own weapons upon them, which are those of scorn and mockery. X.
imputation of a fault, and not in a commis-
The best,' said he, that I can you advise,
Shun secresy, and talk in open sight;
Instead of this care over their words and actions, recommended by a poet in old queen Bess's days, the modern way is to say and do what you please, and yet be the prettiest sort of woman in the world. If fathers and brothers will defend a lady's honour, she is quite as safe as in her own innocence. Many of the distressed, who suffer under the malice of evil tongues, are so harmless, that they are every day they live asleep till twelve at noon; concern themselves with nothing but their own persons till two; take their necessary food between that time and four; visit, go to the