Изображения страниц

cerning my dancing; which, unluckily, came too late for as I said, I would not leave off capering until I had your opinion of the matter. I was at our famous assembly the day before I received your papers, and there was observed by an old gentleman, who was informed I had a respect for his daughter. He told me I was an insignificant little fellow, and said, that for the future he would take care of his child; so that he did not doubt but to cross my amorous inclinations. The lady is confined to her chamber, and for my part, I am ready to hang myself with the thoughts that I have danced myself out of favour with her father. I hope you will pardon the trouble I give; but shall take it for a mighty favour, if you will give me a little more of your advice to put me in a right way to cheat the old dragon and obtain my mistress. I am once more,


York, Feb. 23, Your obliged humble servant,


'Let me desire you to make what alterations you please, and insert this as soon as possible. Pardon mistakes by haste.'

I NEVER do pardon mistakes by haste.

Feb. 27, 1711-12.

'PRAY be so kind as to let me know what you esteem to be the chief qualifications of a good poet, especially of one who writes plays; and you will very much oblige, SIr,

" SIR,

Your very humble servant,

N. B.'

[ocr errors]

To be a very well-bred man.



You are to know that I am naturally brave, and love fighting as well as any man in England. This gallant temper of mine makes me extremely delighted with battles on the stage. I give you this trouble to complain to you, that Nicolini refused to gratify me in that part of the opera for which I have most taste. I observe it is become a custom, that whenever any gentlemen are particularly pleased with a song, at their crying out "Encore," or "Altro Volto," the performer is so obliging as to sing it over again. I was at the opera the last time Hydaspes was performed. At that part of it where the hero engages with the lion, the graceful manner with which he put that terrible monster to death gave me so great a pleasure, and at the same time so just a sense of that gentleman's intrepidity and conduct, that I could not forbear desiring a repetition of it, by crying out "Altro Volto," in a very audible voice; and my friends flatter me that I pronounced those words with a tolerable good accent, considering that was but the third opera I had ever seen in my life. Yet, notwithstanding all this, there was so little regard had to me, that the lion was carried off, and went to bed, without being killed any more that night. Now, sir, pray consider that I did not understand a word of what Mr. Nicolini said to this cruel creature; besides, I have no ear for music; so that, during the long dispute between them, the whole entertainment I had was from my eyes. Why then have not I as much right to have a graceful action repeated as another has a pleasing sound, since he only hears

as I only see, and we neither of us know that there is any reasonable thing a-doing? Pray sir, settle the business of this claim in the audience, and let us know when we may cry "Altro Volto," Anglicé, "Again, Again," for the future. I am an Englishman, and expect some reason or other to be given me, and perhaps an ordinary one may serve; but I expect your answer.

I am, SIR,

Your most humble servant,

Nov. 29.


You must give me leave, amongst the rest of your female correspondents, to address you about an affair which has already given you many a speculation; and which, I know, I need not tell you has had a very happy influence over the adult part of our sex; but as many of us are either too old to learn, or too obstinate in the pursuit of the vanities which have been bred up with us from our infancy, and all of us quitting the stage whilst you are prompting us to act our part well; you ought, methinks, rather to turn your instructions for the benefit of that part of our sex who are yet in their native innocence, and ignorant of the vices and that variety of unhappiness that reign amongst us.

'I must tell you, Mr. Spectator, that it is as much a part of your office to oversee the education of the female part of the nation, as well as of the male and to convince the world you are not partial, pray proceed to detect the mal-administration of governesses as successfully as you have exposed that of pedagogues: and rescue our sex from the prejudice and tyranny of education as well as that of your own, who, without your sea

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

sonable interposition, are like to improve upon the vices that are now in vogue.

'I who know the dignity of your post as Spectator, and the authority a skilful eye ought to bear in the female world, could not forbear consulting you, and beg your advice in so critical a point, as is that of the education of young gentlewomen. Having already provided myself with a very convenient house in a good air, I am not without hope but that you will promote this generous design. I must farther tell you, sir, that all who shall be committed to my conduct, besides the usual accomplishments of the needle, dancing, and the French tongue, shall not fail to be your constant readers. It is therefore my humble petition, that you will entertain the town on this important subject, and so far oblige a stranger, as to raise a curiosity and inquiry in my behalf, by publishing the following advertisement.

I am, SIR,

Your constant admirer,
M. W.


The Boarding-School for young Gentlewomen which was formerly kept on Mile-End-Green being laid down, there is now one set up almost opposite to it, at the two Golden Balls, and much more convenient in every respect; where, besides the common instructions given to young gentlewomen, they will be taught the whole art of pastry and preserving, with whatever may render them accomplished. Those who please to make trial, of the vigilance and ability of the persons concerned, may inquire at the two Golden Balls on



Mile-End-Green, near Stepney, where they will receive further satisfaction.

This is to give notice, that the Spectator has taken upon him to be visitant of all boardingschools where young women are educated; and designs to proceed in the said office after the same manner that visitants of colleges do in the two famous universities of this land.

All lovers who write to the Spectator, are desired to forbear one expression which is in most of the letters to him, either out of laziness or want of invention, and is true of not above two thousand women in the whole world: viz. 'She has in her all that is valuable in woman.'


No. 315. SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 1711-12.

Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 191.

Never presume to make a god appear,
But for a business worthy of a god.


HORACE advises a poet to consider thoroughly the nature and force of his genius. Milton seems to have known perfectly well wherein his strength lay, and has therefore chosen a subject entirely conformable to those talents of which he was master. As his genius was wonderfully turned to the sublime, his subject is the noblest that could have entered into the thoughts of man. Every thing that is truly great and astonishing has a place in it. The whole system of the intellectual

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »