Изображения страниц

showed it to me. It is written by a country | of that little pert phraseology which I took wit, upon the occasion of the rejoicings on the day of the king's coronation.

Past two o'clock, and a frosty morning, ‘DEAR JACK,—I have just left the right worshipful and his myrmidons about a sneaker of five gallons. The whole magistracy was pretty well disguised before I gave them the slip. Our friend the alderman was half-seas over before the bonfire was out. We had with us the attorney, and two or three other bright fellows. The doctor plays least in sight.

At nine o'clock in the evening we set fire to the whore of Babylon. The devil acted his part to a miracle. He has made his fortune by it. We equipped the young dog with a tester a piece. Honest old Brown of England was very drunk, and showed his loyalty to the tune of a hundred rockets. The mob drank the king's health, on their marrow bones, in mother Day's double. They whipped us half a dozen hogsheads. Poor Tom Tyler had like to have been demolished with the end of a sky-rocket, that fell upon the bridge of his nose as he was drinking the king's health, and spoiled his tip. The mob was very loyal till about midnight, when they grew a little mutinous for more liquor. They had like to have dumbfounded the justice; but his clerk came in to his assistance, and

took them all down in black and white.

"When I had been huzzaed out of my seven senses, I made a visit to the women, who were guzzling very comfortably. Mrs. Mayoress clipped the king's English. Clack was the word.

'I forgot to tell thee, that every one of the posse had his hat cocked with a distich; the senators sent us down a cargo of riband and metre for the occasion.

'Sir Richard, to show his zeal for the Protestant religion, is at the expense of a tar-barrel and a ball. I peeped into the knight's great hall, and saw a very pretty bevy of spinsters. My dear relict was amongst them, and ambled in a country dance as notably as the best of them.

May all his majesty's liege subjects love him as well as his good people of this his ancient borough! Adieu.

No. 617.] Monday, November 8, 1714.

Torva Mimalloneis implerunt cornua bombis,
Et raptum vitulo caput ablatura superbo
Bassaris, et lyncem Mænas flexura corymbis,
Evion ingeminat: reparabilis adsonat echo.
Pers. Sat. i. 99.

Their crooked horns the Mimallonian crew
With blasts inspir'd; and Bassaris, who slew
The scornful calf, with sword advanc'd on high,
Made from his neck his haughty head to fly.
And Manas, when, with ivy-bridles bound,
She led the spotted lynx, then Evion rung around,
Evion from woods and floods repairing echo's sound.

THERE are two extremes in the style of humour, one of which consists in the use

notice of in my last paper; the other in the affectation of strained and pompous exguages. The first savours too much of the pressions, fetched from the learned lantown; the other of the college.

As nothing illustrates better than example, I shall here present my reader with a letter of pedantic humour, which was written by a young gentleman of the university to his friend, on the same occasion, and from the same place, as the lively epistle published in my last Spectator:

'DEAR CHUM,-It is now the third watch of the night, the greatest part of which I have spent round a capacious bowl of China, filled with the choicest products of both the Indies. I was placed at a quadrangular table, diametrically opposite to the mace-bearer. The visage of that venerable herald was, according to custom, most gloriously illuminated on this joyful occasion. The mayor and aldermen, those pillars of our constitution, began to totter; and if any one at the board could have so far articulated, as to have demanded intelligibly a re-inforcement of liquor, the whole assembly had been by this time extended under the table.

'The celebration of this night's solemnity was opened by the obstreperous joy of drummers, who, with their parchment thunder, gave a signal for the appearance of the mob under their several classes and denominations. They were quickly joined by the melodious clank of marrow-bones and cleavers, while a chorus of bells filled up the concert. A pyramid of stack-fagots cheered the hearts of the populace with the promise of a blaze: the guns had no sooner uttered the prologue, but the heavens were brightened with artificial meteors and stars of our own making: and all the High-street lighted up from one end to another with a galaxy of candles. We collected a largess for the multitude, who tippled eleemosynarv until they grew exceeding vociferous. There was a pasteboard pontiff, with a little swarthy demon at his elbow, who, by his diabolical whispers and insinuations, tempted his holiness into the fire, and then

left him to shift for himself. The mobile were very sarcastic with their clubs, and gave the old gentleman several thumps upon his triple head-piece.* Tom Tyler's phiz is something damaged by the fall of a rocket, which hath almost spoiled the gnomon of his countenance. The mirth of the commons grew so very outrageous, that it found work for our friend of the quorum, who, by the help of his amanuensis, took down all their names and their crimes, with a design to produce his manuscript at the next quarter sessions, &c. &c.

I shall subjoin to the foregoing piece of a letter the following copy of verses translated from an Italian poet, who was the

*The Pope's tiara, or triple mitre.

-Neque enim concludere versum Dixeris esse satis: neque siquis scribat, uti nos, Sermoni propriora, putes hunc esse poetam. Hor. Sat. iv. Lib. 1. 40.

'Tis not enough the measur'd feet to close; Nor will you give a poet's name to those Whose humble verse, like mine, approaches prose.

Cleveland of his age, and had multitudes | No. 618.] Wednesday, November 10, 1714, of admirers. The subject is an accident that happened under the reign of Pope Leo, when a fire-work, that had been prepared upon the castle of St. Angelo, began to play before its time, being kindled by a flash of lightning. The author has written a poem in the same kind of style as that I have already exemplified in prose. Every line in it is a riddle, and the reader must be forced to consider twice or thrice, before he will know that the Cynic's tenement is a tub, and Bacchus's cast-coat a hogshead, &c.

'MR. SPECTATOR,-You have in your two last Spectators given the town a couple of remarkable letters in different styles: I take this opportunity to offer to you some remarks upon the epistolary way of writing in verse. This is a species of poetry by itself; and has not so much as been hinted

*Twas night, and heaven, a Cyclops all the day, at in any of the Arts of Poetry that have

An Argus now, did countless eyes display;
In every window Rome her joy declares,
All bright and studded with terrestrial stars.
A blazing chain of lights her roof entwines,
And round her neck the mingled lustre shines:
The Cynic's rolling tenement conspires
With Bacchus his cast-coat to feed the fires.

The pile, still big with undiscover'd shows,
The Tuscan pile did last its freight disclose,
Where the proud tops of Rome's new Etna rise,
Whence giants sally and invade the skies.

'Whilst now the multitude expect the time, And their tir'd eyes the lofty mountain climb, As thousand iron mouths their voices try, And thunder out a dreadful harmony; In treble notes the small artillery plays, The deep-mouth'd cannon bellows in the bass; The lab'ring pile now heaves, and having given Proofs of its travail, sighs in flames to heaven. 'The clouds envelop'd heaven from human sight; Quench'd ev'ry star, and put out ev'ry light; Now real thunder grumbles in the skies, And in disdainful murmurs Rome defies; Nor doth its answered challenge Rome decline; But, whilst both parties in full concert join, While heav'n and earth in rival peals resound, The doubtful cracks the hearers sense confound; Whether the claps of thunderbolts they hear, Or else the burst of cannon wounds their ear: Whether clouds rag'd by struggling metals rent, Or struggling clouds in Roman metals spent: But, O my Muse, the whole adventure tell, As ev'ry accident in order fell.

'Tall groves of trees the Hadrian tower surround, Fictitious trees with paper garlands crown'd. These know no spring, but when their bodies sprout

In fire, and shoot their gilded blossoms out;
When blazing leaves appear above their head,
And into branching flames their bodies spread.
Whilst real thunder splits the firmament,

And heav'n's whole roof in one vast cleft is rent,
The three-fork'd tongue amidst the rupture lolls,
Then drops, and on the airy turret falls.
The trees now kindle, and the garland burns,
And thousand thunderbolts for one returns:
Brigades of burning archers upward fly,
Bright spears and shining spearmen mount on high,
Flash in the clouds, and glitter in the sky.
A seven-fold shield of spheres doth heav'n defend,
And back again the blunted weapons send;
Unwillingly they fall, and, dropping down,
Pour out their souls, their sulph'rous souls, and groan.
With joy, great sir, we view'd this pompous show,
While Heav'n, that sat spectator still till now,
Itself turn'd actor, proud to pleasure you:
And so, 'tis fit, when Leo's fires appear,
That Heav'n itself should turn an engineer;
That Heav'n itself should all its wonder's show,
And orbs above consent with orbs below.'

* These verses are translated from the Latin in Strada's Prolusiones Academicæ, &c. and are an imitation originally of the style and manner of Camello Querno, surnamed the Arch-poet. His character and his writ ings were equally singular; he was poet and buffoon to Leo X. and the common butt of that facetious pontiff and his courtiers. See Strada Prolusiones, Oxon. 1745,

Bayle's Dictionary, art. Leo X. and Seward's Anecdotes,

vol. iii.

ever fallen into my hands: neither has it in any age, or in any nation, been so much cultivated as the other several kinds of poesy. A man of genius may, if he pleases, write letters in verse upon all manner of subjects that are capable of being embellished with wit and language, and may render them new and agreeable by giving the proper turn to them. But in speaking at present of epistolary poetry, I would be understood to mean only such writings in this kind as have been in use among the ancients, and have been copied from them by some moderns. These may be reduced into two classes: in the one I shall range love-letters, letters of friendship, and letters upon mournful occasions; in the other I shall place such epistles in verse as may properly be called familiar, critical, and moral; to which may be added letters of mirth and humour, Ovid for the first, and Horace for the latter, are the best originals we have left.

'He that is ambitious of succeeding in the Ovidian way, should first examine his heart well, and feel whether his passions (especially those of the gentle kind,) play easy; since it is not his wit, but the delicacy and tenderness of his sentiments, that will affect his readers. His versification likewise should be soft, and all his numbers flowing and querulous.

[ocr errors]


The qualifications requisite for writing epistles, after the model given us by Horace, are of a quite different nature. that would excel in this kind must have a good fund of strong masculine sense: to this there must be joined a thorough knowledge of mankind, together with an insight into the business and the prevailing humours of the age. Our author must have his mind well seasoned with the finest precepts of morality, and be filled with nice reflections upon the bright and dark sides of human life; he must be a master of refined raillery, and understand the delicacies as well as the absurdities of conversation. He must have a lively turn of wit, with an easy and conCise manner of expression: every thing he says must be in a free and disengaged manner. He must be guilty of nothing that betrays the air of a recluse, but appear a man of the world throughout. His illus

trations, his comparisons, and the greatest | styles, sentiments, and informations, which part of his images, must be drawn from are transmitted to me, would lead a very common life. Strokes of satire and criti- curious, or very idle reader, insensibly cism, as well as panegyric, judiciously along through a great many pages. thrown in, (and as it were by the by,) give I know some authors who would pick up a wonderful life and ornament to composi-a secret history out of such materials, and tions of this kind. But let our poet, while he writes epistles, though never so familiar, still remember that he writes in verse, and must for that reason have a more than ordinary care not to fall into prose, and a vulgar diction, excepting where the nature and humour of the thing does necessarily require it. In this point, Horace has been thought by some critics to be sometimes careless, as well as too negligent of his versification; of which he seems to have been sensible himself.

'All I have to add is, that both these manners of writing may be made as entertaining, in their way, as any other species of poetry, if undertaken by persons duly qualified; and the latter sort may be managed so as to become in a peculiar manner instructive. I am, &c.'

I shall add an observation or two to the remarks of my ingenious correspondent; and, in the first place, take notice, that subjects of the most sublime nature are often treated in the epistolary way with advantage, as in the famous epistle of Horace to Augustus. The poet surprises us with his pomp, and seems rather betrayed into his subject than to have aimed at it by design. He appears like the visit of a king incognito, with a mixture of familiarity and grandeur. In works of this kind, when the dignity of the subject hurries the poet into descriptions and sentiments, seemingly unpremeditated, by a sort of inspiration, it is usual for him to recollect himself, and fall back gracefully into the natural style of a letter.

I might here mention an epistolary poem, just published by Mr. Eusden, on the king's accession to the throne; wherein, among many other noble and beautiful strokes of poetry, his reader may see this rule very happily observed.

No. 619.] Friday, November 12, 1714.


Exerce imperia, et ramos compesce fluentes.
Virg. Georg. ii. 369.
-Exert a rigorous sway,

And lop the two luxuriant boughs away.

I HAVE often thought that if the several letters which are written to me under the character of Spectator, and which I have not made use of, were published in a volume, they would not be an unentertaining collection. The variety of the subjects,

* A letter to Mr. Addison on the king's accession to the throne.

make a bookseller an alderman by the copy. I shall therefore carefully preserve the original papers in a room set apart for that purpose, to the end that they may be of service to posterity; but shall at present content myself with owning the receipt of several letters, lately come to my hands, the authors whereof are impatient for an answer.

Charissa, whose letter is dated from Cornhill, desires to be eased in some scruples relating to the skill of astrologers.-Referred to the dumb man for an answer.

J. C. who proposes a love case, as he calls it, to the love casuist, is hereby desired to speak of it to the minister of the parish; it being a case of conscience.

The poor young lady, whose letter is dated October 26, who complains of a harsh guardian and an unkind brother, can only have my good wishes, unless she pleases to be more particular.

The petition of a certain gentleman, whose name I have forgot, famous for renewing the curls of decayed periwigs, is referred to the censor of small wares.

The remonstrance of T. C. against the profanation of the sabbath by barbers, shoecleaners, &c. had better be offered to the society of reformers.

A learned and laborious treatise upon the art of fencing, returned to the author.

To the gentleman of Oxford, who desires me to insert a copy of Latin verses, which were denied a place in the university books. Answer: Nonum prematur in annum.

To my learned correspondent, who writes against master's gowns, and poke sleeves, with a word in defence of large scarfs. Answer: I resolve not to raise animosities amongst the clergy.

To the lady who writes with rage against one of her own sex, upon the account of party warmth. Answer: Is not the lady she writes against reckoned handsome?

I desire Tom Truelove (who sends me a sonnet upon his mistress, with a desire to print it immediately,) to consider, that it is long since I was in love

I shall answer a very profound letter from my old friend the upholsterer, who is still inquisitive whether the king of Sweden be living or dead, by whispering him in the ear, that I believe he is alive.

Let Mr. Dapperwit consider, What is that long story of the cuckoldom to me?

At the earnest desire of Monimia's lover, who declares himself very penitent, he is recorded in my paper by the name of the faithful Castalio.

The petition of Charles Cocksure, which †They were published in 1725, by Charles Lillie, in the petitioner styles 'very reasonable,'

2 vols. 8vo.


The memorial of Philander, which he desires may be despatched out of hand, postponed.

I desire S. R. not to repeat the expression under the sun,' so often in his next letter.

The letter of P. S. who desires either to have it printed entire, or committed to the flames. Not to be printed entire,

No. 620.] Monday, November 15, 1714. Hic vir, hic est, tibi quem promitti sæpius audis. Virg. En. vi. 791. Behold the promis'd chief!

HAVING lately presented my reader with a copy of verses full of the false sublime, I shall here communicate to him an excellent specimen of the true: though it hath not been yet published, the judicious reader will readily discern it to be the work of a master; and if he hath read that noble poem on the prospect of peace, he will not be at a loss to guess at the author.


'When Brunswick first appear'd, each honest heart,
Intent on verse, disdain'd the rules of art;
For him the songsters, in unmeasur'd odes,
Debas'd Alcides, and dethron'd the gods;
In golden chains the kings of India led,
Or rent the turban from the sultan's head.
One, in old fables, and the pagan strain,

With nymphs and tritons, wafts him o'er the main;
Another draws fierce Lucifer in arms,
And fills th' infernal region with alarms:
A third awakes some druid, to foretell
Each future triumph from his dreary cell.
Exploded fancies! that in vain deceive,

While the mind nauseates what she can't believe.
My muse th' expected hero shall pursue
From clime to clime, and keep him still in view:
His shining march describe in faithful lays,
Content to paint him, nor presume to praise :
Their charms, if charms they have, the truth supplies,
And from the theme unlabour'd beauties rise.

'By longing nations for the throne design'd,
And call'd to guard the rights of human-kind;
With secret grief his godlike soul repines,
And Britain's crown with joyless lustre shines,
While pray'rs and tears his destin'd progress stay,
And crowds of mourners choak their sovereign's way.
Not so he march'd when hostile squadrons stood
In scenes of death, and fir'd his generous blood;
When his hot courser paw'd th' Hungarian plain,
And adverse legions stood the shock in vain.
His frontiers past, the Belgian bounds he views,
And cross the level fields his march pursues.
Here pleas'd the land of freedom to survey,
He greatly scorns the thirst of boundless sway.
O'er the thin soil, with silent joy, he spies
Transplanted woods and borrow'd verdure rise;
Where ev'ry meadow, won with toil and blood
From haughty tyrants and the raging flood,
With fruits and flowers the careful hind supplies,
And clothes the marshes in a rich disguise.
Such wealth for frugal hands doth Heaven decree,
And such thy gifts, celestial Liberty!

"Through stately towns, and many a fertile plain,
The pomp advances to the neighbouring main.
Whole nations crowd around with joyful cries,
And view the hero with insatiate eyes.

'In Haga's towers he waits till eastern gales
Propitious rise to swell the British sails.
Hither the fame of England's monarch brings
The vows and friendships of the neighb'ring kings;
Mature in wisdom, his extensive mind
Takes in the blended interests of mankind,
The world's great patriot. Calm thy anxious breast,
Secure in him, O Europe, take thy rest;

[blocks in formation]

The Alps their new-made monarch shall restrain, Nor shall thy hills, Pyrene, rise in vain.

'But see, to Britain's isle the squadron stand, And leave the sinking towers and less'ning land. The royal bark bounds o'er the floating plain, Breaks through the billows, and divides the main. O'er the vast deep, great monarch, dart thine eyes, A wat'ry prospect hounded by the skies; Ten thousand vessels, from ten thousand shores, Bring gums and gold, and either India's stores, Behold the tributes hast'ning to thy throne, And see the wide horizon all thy own.

'Still is it thine; though now the cheerful crew Hail Albion's cliffs just whitening to the view, Before the wind with swelling sails they ride, Till Thames receives them in his opening tide.. The monarch hears the thund'ring peals around From trembling woods and echoing hills rebound. Nor misses yet, amid the deaf'ning train, The roarings of the hoarse resounding main. He views his kingdom in its rural pride; A various scene the wide-spread landscape yields, O'er rich inclosures and luxuriant fields: A lowing herd each fertile pasture fills, Fair Greenwich hid in woods, with new delight, And distant flocks stray o'er a thousand hills. (Shade above shade) now rises to the sight; His woods ordain'd to visit every shore, And guard the island which they grac'd before. 'The sun now rolling down the western way, A blaze of fires, renews the fading day; Unnumber'd barks the regal barge enfold. Bright'ning the twilight with its beamy gold; Less thick the finny shoals, a countless fry, Before the whale or kingly dolphin fly; In one vast shout he seeks the crowded strand, And in a peal of thunder gains the land.

'As in the flood he sails, from either side

'Welcome, great stranger! to our longing eyes, Oh! king desir'd, adopted Albion cries." For thee the East breath'd out a prosp'rous breeze, Bright were the suns, and gently swell'd the seas. Thy presence did each doubtful heart compose, And factions wonder'd that they once were foes; That joyful day they lost each hostile name, The same their aspect, and their voice the same.

'So two fair twins, whose features were design'd At one soft moment in the mother's mind, Show each the other with reflected grace, And the same beauties bloom in either face; The puzzled strangers which is which inquire; Delusion grateful to the smiling sire.

'From that fair hill, where hoary sages boast
To name the stars, and count the heavenly host,
By the next dawn doth great Augusta rise,
Proud town! the noblest scene beneath the skies.
O'er Thames her thousand spires their lustre shed,
And a vast navy hides his ample bed-

A floating forest! From the distant strand
A line of golden cars strikes o'er the land;
Britannia's peers in pomp and rich array,
Before their king, triumphant, led the way.
Far as the eye can reach, the gaudy train,
A bright procession, shines along the plain.

'So haply thro' the heav'n's wide pathless ways
A comet draws a long-extended blaze;
From east to west burns through th' ethereal frame,
And half heav'n's convex glitters with the flame.
'Now to the regal towers securely brought,
He plans Britannia's glories in his thought,
Resumes the delegated power be gave,
Rewards the faithful, and restores the brave.
Whom shall the Muse from out the shining throng
Select, to heighten and adorn her song?
Thee, Halifax! To thy capacious mind,

O man approv'd, is Britain's wealth consign'd.
Her coin (while Nassau fought) debas'd and rude,
By thee in beauty and in truth renew'd,
An arduous work! again thy charge we see,
And thy own care once more returns to thee.
O! form'd in every scene to awe and please,
Mix wit with pomp, and dignity with ease:

*Flamstead House.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

look with contempt on the toys and trifles which our hearts have hitherto been set upon. When we advance to manhood, we are held wise, in proportion to our shame and regret for the rashness and extravagance of youth. Old age fills us with mortifying reflections upon a life mis-spent in the pursuit of anxious wealth, or uncertain honour. Agreeable to this gradation of thought in this life, it may be reasonably supposed that, in a future state, the wisdom, the experience, and the maxims of old age, will be looked upon by a separate

No. 621.] Wednesday, November 17, 1714. spirit in much the same light as an ancient

-Postquam se lumine puro

Implevit, stellasque vagas miratur, et astra

Fixa polis, vidit quanta sub nocte jaceret
Nostra dies, risitque sui ludibria-

Lucan. Lib. 9. 11.

Now to the blest abode, with wonder fill'd,
The sun and moving planets he beheld;
Then, looking down on the sun's feeble ray,
Survey'd our dusky, faint, imperfect day,
And under what a cloud of night we lay.-Rowe.

THE following letter having in it some observations out of the common road, I shall make it the entertainment of this day.

man now sees the little follies and toyings of infants. The pomps, the honours, the policies, and arts of mortal men, will be thought as trifling as hobby-horses, mockbattles, or any other sports that now employ all the cunning and strength, and ambition of rational beings, from four years old to nine or ten.

"If the notion of a gradual rise in beings, from the meanest to the Most High, be not a vain imagination, it is not improbable that an angel looks down upon a man as a man doth upon a creature which apMR. SPECTATOR,-The common topics proaches nearest to the rational nature. against the pride of man, which are labour- By the same rule, if I may indulge my ed by florid and declamatory writers, are fancy in this particular, a superior brute taken from the baseness of his original, the looks with a kind of pride on one of an inimperfections of his nature, or the short ferior species. If they could reflect, we duration of those goods in which he makes might imagine, from the gestures of some his boast. Though it be true that we can of them, that they think themselves the have nothing in us that ought to raise our sovereigns of the world, and that all things vanity, yet a consciousness of our own merit were made for them. Such a thought may be sometimes laudable. The folly would not be more absurd in brute creatherefore lies here: we are apt to pride tures than one which men are apt to enterourselves in worthless, or, perhaps, shame-tain, namely, that all the stars in the firmaful things; and on the other hand count that disgraceful which is our truest glory.

Hence it is, that the lovers of praise take wrong measures to attain it. Would a vain man consult his own heart, he would find that if others knew his weakness as well as he himself doth, he could not have the impudence to expect the public esteem. Pride therefore flows from want of reflection, and ignorance of ourselves. Knowledge and humility come upon us together.

ment were created only to please their eyes
and amuse their imaginations. Mr. Dry-
den, in his fable of the Cock and the Fox,
makes a speech for his hero the cock,
which is a pretty instance for this purpose.

"Then turning, said to Partlet, 'See, my dear,
How lavish nature hath adorn'd the year;
How the pale primrose and the violets spring,
And birds essay their throats, disus'd to sing:
All these are ours, and I with pleasure see
Man strutting on two legs, and aping me."

The proper way to make an estimate 'What I would observe from the whole of ourselves is to consider seriously what it is this, that we ought to value ourselves is we value or despise in others. A man upon those things only which superior bewho boasts of the goods of fortune, a gayings think valuable, since that is the only dress, or a new title, is generally the mark way for us not to sink in our own esteem of ridicule. We ought therefore not to ad- hereafter.'

mire in ourselves what we are so ready to laugh at in other men.

Much less can we with reason pride ourselves in those things, which at some time of our life we shall certainly despise. And yet, if we will give ourselves the trouble of looking backward and forward on the several changes which we have already undergone, and hereafter must try, we shall find that the greater degrees of our knowledge and wisdom serve only to show us our own imperfections.

As we rise from childhood to youth, we VOL. II.


No. 622.] Friday, November 19, 1714.

-Fallentis semita vita-Hor. Ep. xviii. Lib. 1. 103. -A safe private quiet, which betrays Itself to ease, and cheats away the days.-Pooley. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-In a former speculation you have observed that true greatness doth not consist in that pomp and noise wherein the generality of mankind are apt to place it. You have there taken notice that virtue in obscurity often appears more

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »