« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
p in dunga
hes for the
ich tries ring her; and by the advantages of a good person account to his intended son-in-law, who had all ashes, and a pleasing conversation, made such an impres- along regarded this alliance rather as a marriage of sion in her heart as it was impossible for time to convenience than of love. Constantia had now efface. He was himself no less smitten with Con- no relief but in her devotions and exercises of restantia. A long acquaintance made them still dis-ligion, to which her afflictions had so entirely subcover new beauties in each other, and by degrees jected her mind, that after some years had abated raised in them that mutual passion which had an the violence of her sorrows, and settled her influence on their following lives. It unfortu- thoughts in a kind of tranquillity, she resolved to sons innately happened, that in the midst of this inter- pass the remainder of her days in a convent. Her, in ship course of love and friendship between Theodosius father was not displeased with a resolution which and Constantia, there broke out an irreparable would save money in his family, and readily com. quarrel between their parents, the one valuing him-plied with his daughter's intentions. Accordingly self too much upon his birth, and the other upon in the twenty-fifth year of her age, while her beauty his possessions. The father of Constantia was so was yet in all its height and bloom, he carried her incensed at the father of Theodosius, that he con- to a neighbouring city, in order to look out a sistertracted an unreasonable aversion towards his son, hood of nuns among whom to place his daughter. insomuch that he forbade him his house, and charged There was in this place a father of a convent who his daughter upon her duty never to see him more. was very much renowned for his piety and exemIn the mean time, to break off all communication plary life: and as it is usual in the Romish church between the two lovers, who he knew entertained for those who are under any great affliction, or secret hopes of some favourable opportunity that trouble of mind, to apply themselves to the most should bring them together, he found out a young eminent confessors for pardon and consolation, our gentleman of a good fortune and an agreeable per- beautiful votary took the opportunity of confessing son, whom he pitched upon as a husband for his herself to this celebrated father.
e like dres
are so z
what she e, is not
pes and 159
daughter. He soon concerted this affair so well, We must now return to Theodosius, who the that he told Constantia it was his design to marry very morning that the above-mentioned inquiries her to such a gentleman, and that her wedding had been made after him, arrived at a religious should be celebrated on such a day. Constantia, house in the city where now Constantia resided; who was overawed with the authority of her fa- and desiring that secrecy and concealment of the ther, and unable to object any thing against so ad- fathers of the convent, which is very usual upon vantageous a match, received the proposal with a any extraordinary occasion, he made himself one profound silence, which her father commended in of the order, with a private vow never to inquire her, as the most decent manner of a virgin's giving after Constantia; whom he looked upon as given her consent to an overture of that kind. The noise away to his rival upon the day on which, according theof this intended marriage soon reached Theodo- to common fame, their marriage was to have been sins, who, after a long tumult of passions, which solemnized. Having in his youth made a good naturally rise in a lover's heart on such an occa- progress in learning, that he might dedicate himsion, writ the following letter to Constantia : self more entirely to religion, he entered into holy orders, and in a few years became renowned for Tur thought of my Constantia, which for some his sanctity of life, and those pious sentiments which years has been my only happiness, is now become he inspired into all who conversed with him. It a greater torment to me than I am able to bear. was this holy man to whom Constantia had deMust I then live to see you another's? The streams, termined to apply herself in confession, though the fields, and meadows, where we have so often neither she nor any other, besides the prior of the talked together, grow painful to me; life itself is convent, knew any thing of his name or family. become a burden. May you long be happy in the The gay, the amiable Theodosius, had now taken world, but forget that there was ever such a man upon him the name of Father Francis, and was
in it as
so far concealed in a long beard, a shaven head,
This letter was conveyed to Constantia that ventual.
contrition to acquaint him with that vow of virgi-particular. After having wept with tears of joy, nity in which she was going to engage herself as It is enough says she, Theodosius is still in bethe proper atonement for her sins, and the only ing: I shall live with comfort, and die in peace.' sacrifice she could make to the memory of Theo- The letters which the father sent her afterwards dosius. The father, who by this time had pretty are yet extant in the nunnery where she resided: well composed himself, burst out again in tears and are often read to the young religious, in order upon hearing that name to which he had been so to inspire them with good resolutions and sentilong disused, and upon receiving this instance of ments of virtue. It so happened, that after Conan unparalleled fidelity from one who he thought stantia had lived about ten years in her cloister, had several years since given herself up to the pos-a violent fever broke out in the place, which swept session of another. Amidst the interruptions of his away great multitudes, and among others Theosorrow, seeing his penitent overwhelmed with grief, dosius. Upon his death-bed he sent his benediction he was only able to bid her from time to time be in a very moving manner to Constantia, who at comforted-to tell her that her sins were forgiven that time was herself so far gone in the same fatal her-that her guilt was not so great as she appre-distemper, that she lay delirious. Upon the interhended that she should not suffer herself to be val which generally precedes death in sicknesses of afflicted above measure. After which he reco- this nature, the abbess, finding that the physicians vered himself enough to give her the absolution in had given her over, told her that Theodosius was form; directing her at the same time to repair to just gone before her, and that he had sent her his him again the next day, that he might encourage benediction in his last moments. Constantia reher in the pious resolutions she had taken, and give ceived it with pleasure. And now,' says she, if her suitable exhortations for her behaviour in it. I do not ask any thing improper, let me be buried Constantia retired, and the next morning renewed by Theodosius. My vow reaches no further than her applications. Theodosius, having manned his the grave. What I ask is, I hope, no violation of soul with proper thoughts and reflections, ex-it.' She died soon after, and was interred ac erted himself on this occasion in the best manner cording to her request.
he could to animate his penitent in the course of Their tombs are still to be seen, with a short life she was entering upon, and wear out of her Latin inscription over them to the following pur mind those groundless fears and apprehensions pose:
which had taken possession of it; concluding with 'Here lie the bodies of Father Francis and Sisa promise to her, that he would from time to time ter Constance. They were lovely in their lives, continue his admonitions when she should have and in their deaths they were not divided.' taken upon her the holy veil. The rules of our respective orders,' says he, will not permit that I should see you, but you may assure yourself not only of having a place in my prayers, but of receiving such frequent instructions as I can convey No 165. to you by letters. Go on cheerfully in the glorious course you have undertaken, and you will quickly find such a peace and satisfaction in your mind, which it is not in the power of the world to give.'
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1711.
Si forte necesse est,
If you would unheard-of things express,
Constantia's heart was so elevated with the discourse of father Francis, that the very next day she entered upon her vow. As soon as the solemnities of her reception were over, she retired, as it is usual, with the abbess into her own apart-I HAVE often wished, that as in our constitution
there are several persons whose business is to watch over our laws, our liberties, and commerce, certain men might be set apart as superintendants of our language, to hinder any words of a foreign coin from passing among us; and in particular to prohibit any French phrases from becoming As the first fruits of those joys and consolations current in this kingdom, when those of our own which you may expect from the life you are now stamp are altogether as valuable. The present engaged in, I must acquaint you that Theodosius, war has so adulterated our tongue with strange whose death sits so heavy upon your thoughts, is words, that it would be impossible for one of our still alive; and that the father, to whom you have great grandfathers to know what his posterity confessed yourself, was once that Theodosius whom have been doing, were he to read their exploits in you so much lament. The love which we have had a modern newspaper. Our warriors are very in for one another will make us more happy in its dustrious in propagating the French language, at disappointment than it could have done in its suc- the same time that they are so gloriously successful cess. Providence has disposed of us for our ad- in beating down their power. Old soldiers are vantage, though not according to our wishes. men of strong heads for action, and perform such Consider your Theodosius still as dead, but assure feats as they are not able to express. They want yourself of one who will not cease to pray for you words in their own tongue to tell us what it is they
The abbess had been informed the night before of all that had passed between her noviciate and father Francis: from whom she now delivered to her the following letter:
achieve, and therefore send us over accounts of 'FRANCIS.' their performances in a jargon of phrases, which they learn among their conquered enemies. They with the contents of the letter, and upon reflect- and assisted by our foreign ministers, to tell their Constantia saw that the hand-writing agreed ought however to be provided with secretaries, ing on the voice of the person, the behaviour, and story for them in plain English, and to let us know above all the extreme sorrow of the father during in our mother-tongue what it is our brave cou her confession, she discovered Theodosius in every trymen are about. The French would indeed be
Ith tears of i us is stil
re she resta
19 os and
in her case
in the right to publish the news of the present war they thought impracticable. Our general the next in English phrases, and make their campaigns day sent a party of horse to "reconnoitre" them die in pecunintelligible. Their people might flatter them- from a little" hauteur," at about a quarter of an her after selves that things are not so bad as they really hour's distance from the army, who returned again are, were they thus palliated with foreign terms, to the camp unobserved through several "defiles," and thrown into shades and obscurity; but the in one of which they met with a party of French English cannot be too clear in their narrative of that had been " marauding," and made them all those actions, which have raised their country to a prisoners at discretion. The day after a Drum higher pitch of glory than it ever yet arrived at, arrived at our camp, with a message which he and which will be still the more admired the better would communicate to none but the general; he they are explained. was followed by a Trumpet, who they say behaved For my part, by that time a siege is carried on himself very saucily, with a message from the Duke two or three days, I am altogether lost and be- of Bavaria. The next morning our army being swildered in it, and meet with so many inexplicable divided into two "corps," made a movement todifficulties, that I scarce know what side has the wards the enemy. You will hear in the public better of it, until I am informed by the Tower prints how we treated them, with the other cirthat the place has surrendered. I do indeed [cumstances of that glorious day. I had the good make some allowances for this part of the war, fortune to be in that regiment that pushed the adsen fortifications having been foreign inventions, and "gens d'armes." Several French battalions, who that account abounding in foreign terms some say were a "corps de reserve," made a show But when we have won battles which may be de- of resistance; but it only proved a "gasconade," escribed in our own language, why are our papers for upon our preparing to fill up a little "fosse," filled with so many unintelligible exploits, and the in order to attack them, they beat the "chamade,” French obliged to lend us a part of their tongue and sent us "carte blanche." Their "commandant," before we can know how they are conquered? with a great many other general officers, and troops They must be made accessary to their own dis- without number, are made prisoners of war, and will grace, as the Britons were formerly so artificially I believe give you a visit in England, the "cartel" wrought in the curtain of the Roman theatre, that not being yet settled. Not questioning but these parthey seemed to draw it up in order to give the ticulars will be very welcome to you, I congratulate spectators an opportunity of seeing their own de- you upon them, and am your most dutiful son, &c." in the feat celebrated upon the stage: for so Mr. Dryden has translated that verse in Virgil:
t the play
Purpurea intexti tollunt aulæa Britanni.
Georg. iii, 25.
'Which interwoven Britons seem to raise,
The father of the young gentleman upon the perusal of the letter found it contained great news, but could not guess what it was. He immediately communicated it to the curate of the parish, who upon the reading of it, being vexed to see any thing he could not understand, fell into a kind of The histories of all our former wars are transmitted a passion, and told him, that his son had sent him a to us in our vernacular idiom, to use the phrase of letter that was neither fish, flesh, nor good redgreat modern critic. I do not find in any of herring. I wish,' says he, the captain may be our chronicles that Edward the Third ever recon- compos mentis,' he talks of a saucy Trumpet, noitred the enemy, though he often discovered the and a Drum that carries messages; then who is this posture of the French, and as often vanquished "carte blanche?" He must either banter us, or he them in battle. The Black Prince passed many a is out of his senses.' The father, who always river without the help of pontoons, and filled a looked upon the curate as a learned man, beditch with faggots as successfully as the generals gan to fret inwardly at his son's usage, and proof our times do it with fascines. Our commanders ducing a letter which he had written to him about lose half their praise, and our people half their three posts before, You see here,' says he, when joy, by means of those hard words and dark ex. he writes for money he knows how to speak intelpressions in which our newspapers do so much ligibly enough; there is no man in England can abound. I have seen many a prudent citizen, after express himself clearer, when he wants a new furhaving read every article, inquire of his next niture for his horse." In short, the old man was so neighbour what news the mail had brought? puzzled upon the point, that it might have fared I remember, in that remarkable year when our ill with his son, had he not seen all the prints about country was delivered from the greatest fears and three days after filled with the same terms of art, apprehensions, and raised to the greatest height of and that Charles only writ like other men. gladness it had ever felt since it was a nation, I thean the year of Blenheim,† I had the copy of a letter sent me out of the country, which was writen from a young gentleman in the army to his father, a man of good estate and plain sense. the letter was very modishly chequered with this odern military eloquence, I shall present my reader with a copy of it.
Uros the junction of the French and Bavarian
The Rev. Dr. Richard Bentley.
Quod nec Jovis ira, nec ignis,
armies they took post behind a great morass which ARISTOTLE tells us, that the world is a copy or transcript of those ideas which are in the mind of The battle of Hochstet, or Blenheim, fought August 2, 1704, the first Being, and that those ideas which are in the of Meen the Confederates, under Prince Eugene aug the Duke mind of man, are a transcript of the world. To borough, and the French and Bavarians, under the Elec- this we may add, that words are the transcript of men, Bavaria and Marshal Tallard. The Marshal, with 13,000 those ideas which are in the mind of man, and that Ben, were made prisoners, and near 20,000 killed, wounded, or drowned in the Danube. The Allies lost 15,000 men. writing or printing are the transcript of words.
As the Supreme Being has expressed, and as it | vicious author,' say they,' sins after death; and so were printed his ideas in the creation, men ex-long as he continues to sin, so long must he expect press their ideas in books, which by this great in- to be punished.' Though the Roman catholic novention of these latter ages may last as long as the tion of purgatory be indeed very ridiculous, one sun and moon, and perish only in the general cannot but think that if the soul after death has wreck of nature. Thus Cowley in his poem on the Resurrection, mentioning the destruction of the universe, has those admirable lines:
"Now all the wide-extended sky,
any knowledge of what passes in this world, that of an immoral writer would receive much more regret from the sense of corrupting, than satisfaction from the thought of pleasing the surviving admirers.
To take off from the severity of this speculation, I shall conclude this paper with a story of an There is no other method of fixing those thoughts atheistical author; who at a time when he lay which arise and disappear in the mind of man, dangerously sick, and had desired the assistance of and transmitting them to the last periods of time; a neighbouring curate, confessed to him with great no other method of giving a permanency to our contrition, that nothing sat more heavy at his heart ideas, and preserving the knowledge of any par- than the sense of his having seduced the age by his ticular person, when his body is mixed with the writings, and that their evil influence was likely common mass of matter, and his soul retired into to continue even after his death. The curate the world of spirits. Books are the legacies that upon further examination finding the penitent in a great genius leaves to mankind, which are deli- the utmost agonies of despair, and being himself vered down from generation to generation, as a man of learning, told him, that he hoped his presents to the posterity of those who are yet case was not so desperate as he apprehended, unborn. since he found that he was so very sensible of his
All other arts of perpetuating our ideas conti- fault, and so sincerely repented of it. The peninue but a short time. Statues can last but a few tent still urged the evil tendency of his book to thousands of years, edifices fewer, and colours subvert all religion, and the little ground of hope still fewer than edifices. Michael Angelo, Fon- there could be for one whose writings would con tana, and Raphael, will hereafter be what Phi- tinue to do mischief when his body was laid in dias, Vitruvius, and Apelles are at present; the ashes. The curate, finding no other way to comnames of great statuaries, architects, and pain-fort him, told him that he did well in being af ters, whose works are lost. The several arts are flicted for the evil design with which he published expressed in mouldering materials. Nature sinks his book; but that he ought to be very thankful under them, and is not able to support the ideas that there was no danger of its doing any hurt: which are impressed upon it. that his cause was so very bad, and his arguments
The circumstance which gives authors an ad- so weak, that he did not apprehend any ill effects vantage above all these great masters, is this, that of it: in short, that he might rest satisfied his book they can multiply their originals; or rather can could do no more mischief after his death, than it make copies of their works, to what number they had done whilst he was living. To which he added, please, which shall be as valuable as the originals for his further satisfaction, that he did not believe themselves. This gives a great author something any besides his particular friends and acquaintance like a prospect of eternity, but at the same time had ever been at the pains of reading it, or that any deprives him of those other advantages which body after his death would ever inquire after it. artists meet with. The artist finds greater returns The dying man had still so much the frailty of an ip profit, as the author in fame. What an inesti-author in him, as to be cut to the heart with these mable price would a Virgil or a Homer, a Cicero consolations; and without answering the good man, or an Aristotle bear, were their works, like a asked his friends about him (with a peevishness statue, a building, or a picture, to be confined only that is natural to a sick person) where they had in one place, and made the property of a single picked up such a blockhead? And whether they thought him a proper person to attend one in his If writings are thus durable, and may pass from condition? The curate finding that the author did age to age throughout the whole course of time, not expect to be dealt with as a real and sincere how careful should an author be of committing penitent, but as a penitent of importance, after a any thing to print that may corrupt posterity, and short admonition withdrew; not questioning but poisons the minds of men with vice and error! he should be again sent for if the sickness grew Writers of great talents, who employ their parts desperate. The author however recovered, and in propagating immorality, and seasoning vicious has since written two or three other tracts with the sentiments with wit and humour, are to be looked same spirit, and, very luckily for his poor soul, upon as the pests of society, and the enemies of with the same success. mankind. They leave books behind them (as it is said of those who die in distempers which breed an ill-will towards their own species) to scatter in
Supposed to be Mr. John Toland, a man of uncommon abili fection, and destroy their posterity. They act the ties, and perhaps the most learned of all the infidel writers.
counterparts of a Confucius or a Socrates: and seem to have been sent into the world to deprave human nature, and sink it into the condition of brutality.
I have seen some Roman-catholic authors, who tell us that vicious writers continue in purgatory so long as the influence of their writings continues upon posterity: for purgatory,' say they, is nothing else but a cleansing us of our sins, which cannot be said to be done away, so long as they continue to operate, and corrupt mankind. The
er death; and
must be en nan catho ridiculous after death a
this world ive much r
than sw the su
of this spe
ith a story e when b
the assis him with
1 the ag nce was 1. The c
of his b
Jenough to deserve a place in your paper. I am unhappily far gone in building, and am one of
No 167. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1711. that species of men who are properly denominated
-Fuit haud ignobilis Argis,
Qui se credebat miros audire tragados,
Posset qui rupem et puteum vitare patentem.
HOR. 2 Ep. ii. ver. 128.
There liv'd in Primo Georgii (they record)
Who, though the house was up, delighted sate,
Fond of his friend, and civil to his wife;
Him the damn'd doctor and his friends immur'd;
"My friends!" he cry'd: 'Pox take ye for your care!
Have bled and purg'd me to a simple vote.'
castle-builders, who scorn to be beholden to the earth for a foundation, or dig in the bowels of it for materials; but erect their structures in the most unstable of elements, the air; fancy alone laying the line, marking the extent, and shaping the model. It would be difficult to enumerate what august palaces and stately porticos have grown under my forming imagination, or what verdant meadows and shady groves have started into being by the powerful feat of a warm fancy. A castle-builder is even just what he pleases, and as such I have grasped imaginary sceptres, and delivered uncontrollable edicts, from a throne to which conquered nations yielded obeisance. I have made I know not how many inroads into France, and ravaged the very heart of that kingdom; I have dined in the Louvre, and drank champaign at Versailles; and I would have you take notice, I am not only able to vanquish a people already "cowed" and accustomed to flight, but I could, Almanzor-like, drive the British general from the field, were I less a protestant, or had ever been affronted by the Confederates. There is no art or profession, whose most celebrated masters I have not eclipsed. Wherever I have afforded my salutary presence, fevers have THE unhappy force of an imagination unguided ceased to burn, and agues to shake the human abby the check of reason and judgment, was the sub-fabric. When an eloquent fit has been upon me, ject of a former speculation.* My reader may an apt gesture and proper cadence has animated remember that he has seen in one of my papers a each sentence, and gazing crowds have found complaint of an unfortunate gentleman, who was their passions worked up into rage, or soothed into unable to contain himself (when any ordinary a calm. I am short, and not very well made; yet matter was laid before him) from adding a few circumstances to enliven plain narrative. That upon sight of a fine woman, I have stretched into proper stature, and killed with a good air and death correspondent was a person of too warm a com- mien. These are the gay phantoms that dance beplexion to be satisfied with things merely as they fore my waking eyes, and compose my day-dreams. stood in nature, and therefore formed incidents I should be the most contented, happy man alive, which should have happened to have pleased him were the chimerical happiness which springs from in the story. The same ungoverned fancy which the paintings of fancy less fleeting and transitory. pushed that correspondent on, in spite of himself, But alas! it is with grief of mind I tell you, the to relate public and notorious falsehoods, makes least breath of wind has often demolished my magthe author of the following letter do the same in nificent edifices, swept away my groves, and left private; one is a prating, the other a silent liar. no more trace of them than if they had never been. There is little pursued in the errors of either of My exchequer has sunk and vanished by a rap on these worthies, but mere present amusement; but my door, the salutation of a friend has cost me a the folly of him who lets his fancy place him in whole continent, and in the same moment I have distant scenes untroubled and uninterrupted, is been pulled by the sleeve, my crown has fallen very much preferable to that of him who is ever from my head. The ill consequence of these reveforcing a belief, and defending his untruths with ries is inconceivably great, seeing the loss of imanew inventions. But I shall hasten to let this liar ginary possessions makes impressions of real woe. in soliloquy, who calls himself a castle-builder, Besides, bad economy is visible and apparent in describe himself with the same unreservedness as builders of invisible mansions. My tenants' adverformerly appeared in my correspondent above-tisements of ruins and dilapidations often cast a mentioned. If a man were to be serious on this damp on my spirits, even in the instant when the subject, he might give very grave admonitions to sun, in all his splendour, gilds my eastern palaces. those who are following any thing in this life, on Add to this the pensive drudgery in building, and which they think to place their hearts, and tell constant grasping aerial trowels, distracts and them that they are really castle-builders. Fame, shatters the mind, and the fond builder of Babels glory, wealth, honour, have in the prospect pleas-is often cursed with an incoherent diversity and ing illusions; but they who come to possess any of confusion of thoughts. I do not know to whom I them will find they are ingredients towards hap-can more properly apply myself for relief from piness, to be regarded only in the second place; this fantastical evil than to yourself; whom I and that when they are valued in the first degree, earnestly implore to accommodate me with a methey are as disappointing as any of the phantoms thod how to settle my head, and cool my brainin the following letter: