Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

"And his neighbours shall make oath, that they trust verily he hath said truly. And if it be found by his neighbours beforenamed, that he be a freeman, there shall be delivered to him half a quarter of wheat and a cheese; and if he be a villain, he shall have half a quarter of rye without cheese. And then shall Knightleye, the lord of Rudlow, be called for, to carry all these things tofore rehearsed; and the said corn shall be laid on one horse, and the bacon above it: and he to whom the bacon appertaineth shall ascend upon his horse, and shall take the cheese before him, if he have a horse. And if he have none, the lord of Whichenovre shall cause him to have one horse and saddle, to such time as he be passed his lordship: and so shall they depart the manor of Whichenovre with the corn and the bacon, tofore him that hath won it, with trumpets, taborets, and other manner of minstrelsy. And all the free tenants of Whichenovre shall conduct him to be passed the lordship of Whichenovre. And then shall they all return except him to whom appertaineth to make the carriage and journey without the county of Stafford, at the costs of his lord of Whichenovre."

No. 608.] Monday, October 18, 1714.

-Perjuria ridet amantum.

Ovid Ars Amor. Lib. i. 633.

|haviour of her consort, adding withal that she doubted not but he was ready to attest the like of her, his wife; whereupon he, the said Stephen, shaking his head, she turned short upon him, and gave him a box on the ear.

"Philip de Waverland, having laid his hand upon the book, when the clause, were I sole and she sole,' was rehearsed, found a secret compunction rising in his mind, and stole it off again.

"Richard de Loveless, who was a courtier, and a very well-bred man, being observed to hesitate after the words, after our marriage,' was thereupon required to explain himself. He replied, by talking very largely of his exact complaisance while he was a lover; and alleged that he had not in the least disobliged his wife for a | year and a day before marriage, which he hoped was the same thing.

Rejected.

"Joceline Jolley, esq. making it appear, by unquestionable testimony, that he and his wife had preserved full and entire affection for the space of the first month, commonly called the honey-moon, he had, in consideration thereof, one rasher bestowed upon him."

After this, says the record, many years passed over before any demandant appeared at Whichenovre-hall; insomuch that one would have thought that the whole country were turned Jews, so little was their affection to the flitch of bacon.

-Forgiving with a smile The perjuries that easy maids beguile.-Dryden. The next couple enrolled had like to MR. SPECTATOR,-According to my have carried it, if one of the witnesses had promise I herewith transmit to you a list of not deposed, that, dining on a Sunday with several persons, who from time to time de- the demandant, whose wife had sat below manded the flitch of bacon of Sir Philip de the squire's lady at church, she, the said Somervile, and his descendants; as it is pre- wife, dropped some expressions, as if she served in an ancient manuscript, under the thought her husband deserved to be knighttitle of "The Register of Whichenovre-ed; to which he returned a passionate pish! hall, and of the bacon-flitch there maintained."

'In the beginning of this record is recited the law or institution in form, as it is already printed in your last paper: to which are added two bye-laws, as a comment upon the general law, the substance whereof is, that the wife shall take the same oath as the husband, mutatis mutandis; and that the judges shall, as they think meet, interrogate or cross-examine the witnesses. After this proceeds the register in manner following:

"Aubry de Falstaff, son of Sir John Falstaff, knight, with dame Maude his wife, were the first that demanded the bacon, he having bribed twain of his father's companions to swear falsely in his behoof, whereby he gained the flitch: but he and his said wife falling immediately into a dispute how the said bacon should be dressed, it was, by order of the judges, taken from him, and hung up again in the hall.

The judges, taking the premises into consideration, declared the aforesaid behaviour to imply an unwarrantable ambition in the wife, and anger in the husband.

'It is recorded as a sufficient disqualification of a certain wife, that, speaking of her husband, she said, "God forgive him."

'It is likewise remarked, that a couple were rejected upon the deposition of one of their neighbours, that the lady had once told her husband, that "It was her duty to obey;" to which he replied, “O my dear! you are never in the wrong!"

'The violent passion of one lady for her lap-dog; the turning away of the old housemaid by another; a tavern bill torn by the wife, and a tailor's by the husband; a quarrel about the kissing-crust; spoiling of dinners, and coming in late of nights; are so many several articles which occasioned the reprobation of some scores of demandants, whose names are recorded in the aforesaid register.

"Alison, the wife of Stephen Freckle, Without enumerating other particular brought her said husband along with her, persons, I shall content myself with observand set forth the good conditions and being that the sentence pronounced against

one Gervase Poacher is, that "he might | pendence, I do not know, but he was so have had bacon to his eggs, if he had not kind as to leave my wearing of it to my own hitherto scolded his wife when they were discretion; and, not having any just title to overboiled." And the deposition against Dorothy Dolittle runs in these words, "that she had so far usurped the dominion of the coal fire (the stirring whereof her husband claimed to himself,) that by her good-will she never would suffer the poker out of her hand."

'I find but two couples in this first century that were successful; the first was a sea-captain and his wife, who since the day of their marriage had not seen one another until the day of the claim. The second was an honest pair in the neighbourhood; the husband was a man of plain good sense, and a peaceable temper; the woman was dumb.'

No. 609.] Wednesday, October 20, 1714.
-Farrago libelli.-Juv. Sat. i. 86.

it from my degrees, I am content to be without the ornament. The privileges of our nobility to keep a certain number of chaplains are undisputed, though perhaps not one in ten of those reverend gentlemen have any relation to the noble families their scarfs belong to; the right generally of creating all chaplains, except the domestic (where there is one,) being nothing more than the perquisite of a steward's place, who, if he happens to outlive any considerable number of his noble masters, shall probably, at one and the same time, have fifty chaplains, all in their proper accoutrements, of his own creation; though perhaps there hath been neither grace nor prayer said in the family since the introduction of the first coronet. I am, &c.'

'MR. SPECTATOR,-I wish you would write a philosophical paper about natural The miscellaneous subjects of my book. antipathies, with a word or two concerning 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I have for some time the strength of imagination. I can give you desired to appear in your paper, and have a list upon the first notice, of a rational therefore chosen a day* to steal into the china cup, of an egg that walks upon two Spectator, when I take it for granted you legs, and a quart-pot that sings like a nightwill not have many spare minutes for specu- ingale. There is in my neighbourhood a lations of your own. As I was the other very pretty prattling shoulder of veal, that day walking with an honest country gen-squalls out at the sight of a knife. Then, tleman, he very often was expressing his as for natural antipathies, I know a general astonishment to see the town so mightily officer who was never conquered but by a crowded with doctors of divinity; upon smothered rabbit; and a wife that domiwhich I told him he was very much mis- neers over her husband by the help of a taken if he took all those gentlemen he saw breast of mutton. A story that relates to in scarfs to be persons of that dignity; for myself on this subject may be thought not that a young divine, after his first degree in unentertaining, especially when I assure the university, usually comes hither only to you that it is literally true. I had long show himself; and, on that occasion, is apt made love to a lady, in the possession of to think he is but half equipped with a whom I am now the happiest of mankind, gown and cassock for his public appear- whose hand I should have gained with ance, if he hath not the additional orna- much difficulty without the assistance of a ment of a scarf of the first magnitude to cat. You must know then that my most entitle him to the appellation of Doctor dangerous rival had so strong an aversion to from his landlady, and the boy at Child's. this species, that he infallibly swooned Now, since I know that this piece of garni- away at the sight of that harmless creature is looked upon as a mark of vanity or ture. My friend, Mrs. Lucy, her maid, affectation, as it is made use of among having a greater respect for, me and my some of the little spruce adventurers of the purse than she had for my rival, always town, I should be glad if you would give it took care to pin the tail of a cat under the a place among those extravagances you gown of her mistress, whenever she knew have justly exposed in several of your pa- of his coming; which had such an effect, pers: being very well assured that the that every time he entered the room, he main body of the clergy, both in the coun- looked more like one of the figures in Mrs. try and the universities, who are almost to Salmon's wax-work,+ than a desirable lover. a man untainted with it, would be very In short, he grew sick of her company; well pleased to see this venerable foppery which the young lady taking notice of (who well exposed. When my patron did me no more knew why than he did,) she sent the honour to take me into his family (for I me a challenge to meet her in Lincoln's-inn must own myself of this order,) he was chapel, which I joyfully accepted; and pleased to say he took me as a friend and have, amongst other pleasures, the satiscompanion; and whether he looked upon faction of being praised by her for my the scarf like the lace and shoulder-knot of stratagem. I am, &c. a footman, as a badge of servitude and de- From the Hoop.

TOM NIMBLE.'

† An exhibition then to be seen near St. Dunstan's *The 20th of October, 1714, was the day of the coro-church, Fleet-Street, but which, about fifteen years ago, nation of king George L was moved to the opposite side of the street.

MR.SPECTATOR,-The virgins of Great | those who come out and draw upon themselves the eyes and admiration of mankind. Virgil would never have been heard of, had not his domestic misfortunes driven him out of his obscurity, and brought him to Rome.

Britain are very much obliged to you for putting them upon such tedious drudgeries in needle-work as were fit only for the Hilpas and the Nilpas that lived before the flood. Here is a stir indeed, with your histories in embroidery, your groves with shades of silk and streams of mohair! I would have you to know, that I hope to kill a hundred lovers before the best housewife in England can stitch out a battle; and do not fear but to provide boys and girls much faster than your disciples can embroider them. I love birds and beasts as well as you, but am content to fancy them when they are really made. What do you think of gilt leather for furniture? There is your pretty hangings for your chamber!* and, what is more, our own country is the only place in Europe where work of that kind is tolerably done. Without minding your musty lessons, I am this minute going to St. Paul's church-yard to bespeak a screen and a set of hangings; and am resolved to encourage the manufacture of my country. Yours, CLEORA.'

No. 610.] Friday, October 22, 1714.

Sic, cum transierint mei
Nullo cum strepitu dies,
Plebeius moriar senex,
Illi mors gravis incubat,
Qui, notus nimis omnibus,
Ignotus moritur sibi.-Seneca.

Thus, when my fleeting days at last,
Unheeded, silently are past,
Calmly I shall resign my breath,
In life unknown, forgot in death;
While he, o'ertaken unprepar'd,
Finds death an evil to be fear'd,
Who dies, to others too much known,
A stranger to himself alone.

I HAVE often wondered that the Jews should contrive such worthless greatness for the Deliverer whom they expected, as to dress him up in external pomp and pageantry, and represent him to their imaginations as making havoc among his creatures, and actuated with the poor ambition of a Cæsar or an Alexander. How much more illustrious does he appear in his real character, when considered as the author of universal benevolence among men, as refining our passions, exalting our nature, giving us vast ideas of immortality, and teaching us a contempt of that little showy grandeur wherein the Jews made the glory

of their Messiah to consist!

If we suppose that there are spirits, or angels, who look into the ways of men, as it is highly probable there are, both from reason and revelation, how different are the notions which they entertain of us, from those which we are apt to form of one another! Were they to give us in their catalogue of such worthies as are now living, how different would it be from that which any of our own species would draw up!

We are dazzled with the splendour of titles, the ostentation of learning, the noise of victories: they, on the contrary, see the philosopher in the cottage, who possesses his soul in patience and thankfulness, under the pressures of what little minds call poverty and distress. They do not look for great men at the head of armies, or among the pomps of a court, but often find them out in shades and solitudes, in the private walks and by-paths of life. The evening's walk of a wise man is more illustrious in their sight than the march of a general at the head of a hundred thousand men. A contemplation of God's works; a voluntary act of justice to our own detriment: a generous concern for the good of mankind; tears that are shed in silence for the misery of others; a private desire or resentment broken and subdued; in short, an unfeigned exercise of humility, or any other virtue, are such actions as are glorious in their sight, and denominate men great and reputable. The most famous among us are often looked upon with pity, with contempt, or with indignation; whilst those who are most obscure among their own species are regarded with love, with approbation, and

esteem.

The moral of the present speculation amounts to this; that we should not be led away by the censures and applauses of men, but consider the figure that every person will make at that time, when Wisdom shall be justified of her children,' and nothing pass for great or illustrious, which is not an ornament and perfection to human

nature.

monarch, is a memorable instance to our The story of Gyges, the rich Lydian 'Nothing,' says Longinus, can be great, present purpose. The oracle being asked the contempt of which is great.' The pos-plied, Aglaus. Gyges, who expected to by Gyges, who was the happiest man, resession of wealth and riches cannot give a man a title to greatness, because it is looked upon as a greatness of mind to contemn these gifts of fortune, and to be above the desire of them. I have therefore been inclined to think that there are greater men who lie concealed among the species, than

There was about this time a celebrated manufactory of tapestry at Chelsea.

have heard himself named on this occasion, was much surprised, and very curious to know who this Aglaus should be. After much inquiry, he was found to be an obscure countryman, who employed all his time in cultivating a garden, and a few

acres of land about his house.

Cowley's agreeable relation of this story shall close this day's speculation.

Thus Aglaus (a man unknown to men,
But the gods knew, and therefore lov'd him then)
Thus liv'd obscurely then without a name,
Aglaus, now consign'd t' eternal fame.
For Gyges, the rich king, wicked and great,
Presum'd at wise Apollo's Delphic seat,
Presum❜d to ask, O thou, the whole world's eye,
Seest thou a man that happier is than I?
The god, who scorn'd to flatter man, reply'd,
Aglaus happier is. But Gyges cry'd,

In a proud rage,. Who can that Aglaus be?
We've heard as yet of no such king as he.

And true it was, through the whole earth around,
No king of such a name was to be found.
Is some old hero of that name alive,
Who his high race does from the gods derive?
Is it some mighty gen'ral that has done
Wonders in fight, and godlike honours won?
Is it some man of endless wealth? said he.
None, none of these. Who can this Aglaus be?
After long search, and vain inquiries past,
In an obscure Arcadian vale at last,
(Th' Arcadian life has always shady been)
Near Sopho's town, which, he but once had seen,
This Aglaus, who monarchs' envy drew,
Whose happiness the gods stood witness to,
This mighty Aglaus was lab'ring found,
With his own hands, in his own little ground.
'So, gracious God, if it may lawful be
Among those foolish gods to mention thee,
So let me act, on such a private stage,
The last dull scenes of my declining age;
After long toils and voyages in vain,
This quiet port let my toss'd vessel gain;
Of heavn'ly rest this earnest to me lend,
Let my life sleep, and learn to love her end."

No. 611.] Monday, October 25, 1714.
Perfide! sed duris genuit te cautibus horrens
Caucasus, Hyrcanæque admorunt ubera tigres.
Virg. Æn. iv. 366.

Perfidious man! thy parent was a rock,
And fierce Hyrcanian tigers gave thee suck.

I AM willing to postpone every thing, to do any the least service for the deserving and unfortunate. Accordingly I have caused the following letter to be inserted in my paper the moment that it came to my hands, without altering one tittle in an account which the lady relates so handsomely

herself.

MR. SPECTATOR,-I flatter myself you will not only pity, but, if possible, redress a misfortune myself and several others of my sex lie under. I hope you will not be offended, nor think I mean by this to justify my own imprudent conduct, or expect you should. No: I am sensible how severely, in some of your former papers, you have reproved persons guilty of the like mismanagement. I was scarce sixteen, and I may say, without vanity, handsome, when courted by a false perjured man; who, upon promise of marriage, rendered me the most unhappy of women. After he had deluded me from my parents, who were people of very good fashion, in less than three months he left me. My parents would not see nor hear from me; and, had it not been for a servant who had lived in our family, I must certainly have perished for want of bread. However, it pleased Providence, in a very short time, to alter my miserable condition. A gentleman saw me, liked me, and married me. My parents were reconciled; and I might be as

happy in the change of my condition, as I was before miserable, but for some things, that you shall know, which are insupportable to me; and I am sure you have so much honour and compassion as to let those persons know, in some of your papers, how much they are in the wrong. I have been married near five years, and do not know that in all that time I ever went abroad without my husband's leave and approbation. I am obliged, through the importunities of several of my relations, to go abroad oftener than suits my temper. Then it is I labour under insupportable agonies. That man, or rather monster, haunts every place I go to. Base villain! by reason I will not admit his nauseous wicked visits and appointments, he strives all the ways he can to ruin me. He left me destitute of friend or money, nor ever thought me worth inquiring after, until he unfortunately happened to see me in a front-box sparkling with jewels. Then his passion returned. Then the hypocrite pretended to be a penitent. Then he practised all those arts that helped before to undo me. I am not to be deceived a second time by him. I hate and abhor his odious passion; and as he plainly perceives it, either out of spite or diversion he makes it his business to expose me. I never fail seeing him in all public company, where he is always most industriously spiteful. He hath, in short, told all his acquaintance of our unhappy affair; they tell theirs; so that it is no secret among his They companions, which are numerous. to be very familiar. If they bow to me, to whom he tells it, think they have a title and I out of good manners return it, then I am pestered with freedoms that are no ways agreeable to myself or company. If I ed, they sour upon it, and whisper the next turn my eyes from them, or seem displeasperson; he his next; until I have at last the eyes of the whole company upon me. Nay they report abominable falsehoods, under that mistaken notion, "She that will grant favours to one man will to a hundred." I beg you will let those who are guilty know how ungenerous this way of proceeding is. I am sure he will know himself the person aimed at, and perhaps put a stop to the insolence of others. Cursed is the fate of unhappy women! that men may boast and glory in those things that we must think of with shame and horror! You have the art of making such odious customs appear detestable. For my sake, and, I am sure, for the sake of several others who dare not own it, but, like me, lie under the same misfortunes, make it as infamous for a man to boast of favours, or expose our sex, as it is to take the lie, or a box on the ear, and not resent it. Your constant reader and admirer, LESBIA.

'P. S. I am the more impatient under this misfortune, having received fresh provocation, last Wednesday, in the Abbey.'

I entirely agree with the amiable and unfortunate Lesbia, that an insult upon a woman in her circumstances is as infamous in a man, as a tame behaviour when the lie or a buffet is given: which truth I shall beg leave of her to illustrate by the following observation.

It is a mark of cowardice passively to forbear resenting an affront, the resenting of which would lead a man into danger; it is no less a sign of cowardice to affront a creature that hath not power to avenge itself. Whatever name therefore this ungenerous man may bestow on the helpless lady he hath injured, I shall not scruple to give him, in return for it, the appellation of

coward.

was surprised to find it open, and a glimmering light in the church. He had the courage to advance towards the light; but was terribly startled at the sight of a woman in white, who ascended from a grave with a bloody knife in her hand. The phantom marched up to him, and asked him what he did there. He told her the truth, without reserve, believing that he had met a ghost; upon which she spoke to him in the following manner: 'Stranger, thou art in my power: I am a murderer as thou art. Know then that I am a nun of a noble family. A base perjured man undid me, and boasted of it. I soon had him despatched; but not content with the murder, I have bribed the sexton to let me enter his grave, and have now plucked out his false heart from his body; and thus I use a traitor's heart.' At these words she tore it in pieces and trampled it under her feet.

A man that can so far descend from his dignity, as to strike a lady, can never recover his reputation with either sex, because no provocation is thought strong enough to justify such treatment from the powerful towards the weak. In the circumstances in which poor Lesbia is situated, she can appeal to no man whatsoever No. 612.] Wednesday, October 27, 1714.

to avenge an insult more grievous than a blow. If she could open her mouth, the base man knows that a husband, a brother, a generous friend, would die to see her righted.

Murranum hic, atavos et avorum antiqua sonantem
Nomina, per regesque actum genus omne Latinos,
Præcipitem scopulo, atque ingentis turbine saxi
Excutit effunditque solo- Virg. Æn. xii. 529.
Murranus, boasting of his blood, that springs
From a long royal race of Latin kings,
Is by the Trojan from his chariot thrown,
Crush'd with the weight of an unwieldy stone.

Dryden.

A generous mind, however enraged against an enemy, feels its resentments sink and vanish away when the object of its wrath falls into its power. An estranged IT is highly laudable to pay respect to friend, filled with jealousy and discontent men who are descended from worthy antowards a bosom acquaintance, is apt to cestors, not only out of gratitude to those overflow with tenderness and remorse, who have done good to mankind, but as it when a creature that was once dear to him is an encouragement to others to follow undergoes any misfortune. What name then their example. But this is an honour to be shall we give to his ingratitude, (who for-received, not demanded, by the descendants getting the favours he solicited with of great men; and they who are apt to reness, and received with rapture) can insult mind us of their ancestors only put us upon the miseries that he himself caused, and making comparisons to their own disadvanmake sport with the pain to which he tage. There is some pretence for boasting owes his greatest pleasure? There is but of wit, beauty, strength, or wealth, because one being in the creation whose province it the communication of them may give pleais to practise upon the imbecilities of frail sure or profit to others; but we can have creatures, and triumph in the woes which no merit, nor ought we to claim any rehis own artifices brought about; and we spect, because our fathers acted well, whewell know those who follow his example ther we would or no.

will receive his reward.

eager

The following letter ridicules the folly I have mentioned in a new, and I think, not disagreeable light.

Leaving my fair correspondent to the direction of her own wisdom and modesty; and her enemy, and his mean accomplices, 'MR. SPECTATOR,-Were the genealogy to the compunction of their own hearts; I of every family preserved, there would shall conclude this paper with a memora-probably be no man valued or despised on ble instance of revenge, taken by a Spanish account of his birth. There is scarce a lady upon a guilty lover, which may serve beggar in the streets, who would not find to show what violent effects are wrought by the most tender passion, when soured into hatred; and may deter the_young and unwary from unlawful love. The story, however romantic it may appear, I have heard affirmed for a truth.

himself lineally descended from some great man; nor any one of the highest title, who would not discover several base and indigent persons among his ancestors. It would be a pleasant entertainment to see one pedigree of men appear together, under the Not many years ago an English gentle- same characters they bore when they acted man, who, in a rencounter by night in the their respective parts among the living. streets of Madrid, had the misfortune to Suppose, therefore, a gentleman, full of his kill his man, fled into a church-porch for illustrious family, should in the same mansanctuary. Leaning against the door, helner Virgil makes Æneas look over his de

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »