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else expected, but the pleasure of the ears | occasion of that tragedy, and fill the mind and eyes, the least diminution of that plea- with a suitable horror; besides that the sure is the highest offence. In acting, witches are a part of the story itself, as we barely to perform the part is not com- find it very particularly related in Hector mendable, but to be the least out is con- Boetius, from whom he seems to have taken temptible. To avoid these difficulties and it. This therefore is a proper machine, delicacies, I am informed, that while I was where the business is dark, horrid, and out of town, the actors have flown into the bloody; but is extremely foreign from the air, and played such pranks, and run such affair of comedy. Subjects of this kind, hazards, that none but the servants of the which are in themselves disagreeable, can fire-office, tilers, and masons, could have at no time become entertaining, but by been able to perform the like. The author passing through an imagination like Shakof the following letter, it seems, has been of speare's to form them; for which reason the audience at one of these entertainments, Mr. Dryden would not allow even Beauand has accordingly complained to me upon mont and Fletcher capable of imitating it; but I think he has been to the utmost him. degree severe against what is exceptionable in the play he mentions, without dwelling so much as he might have done on the author's most excellent talent of humour. The pleasant pictures he has drawn of life should have been more kindly mentioned, at the same time that he banishes his witches, who are too dull devils to be tacked with so much warmth.
'I should not, however, have troubled you with these remarks, if there were not something else in this comedy, which wants to be exorcised more than the witches: I at-mean the freedom of some passages, which I should have overlooked, if I had not observed that those jests can raise the loudest mirth, though they are painful to right sense, and an outrage upon modesty.
"We must attribute such liberties to the taste of that age: but indeed by such representations a poet sacrifices the best part of his audience to the worst; and, as one would think, neglects the boxes, to write to the orange-wenches.
'MR. SPECTATOR,-Upon a report that Moll White had followed you to town, and was to act a part in the Lancashire Witches, I went last week to see that play. It was my fortune to sit next to a country justice of the peace, a neighbour (as he said) of Sir Roger's, who pretended to show her to us in one of the dances. There was witchcraft enough in the entertainment almost to incline me to believe him; Ben Johnson was almost lame; young Bullock† narrowly saved his neck; the audience was astonished, and an old acquaintance of mine, a person of worth, whom I would have bowed to in the pit, at two yards' distance did not know me.
If you were what the country-people reported you, a white witch, I could have wished you had been there to have exorcised that rabble of broomsticks, with which we were haunted for above three hours. I could have allowed them to set Clod in the tree, to have scared the sportsmen, plagued the justice, and employed honest Teague with his holy water. This was the proper use of them in comedy, if the author had stopped here; but I cannot conceive what relation the sacrifice of the black lamb, and the ceremonies of their worship to the devil, have to the business of mirth and humour.
"But Shakspeare's magic could not copied be: Within that circle none durst walk but he."
*Alluding to Shadwell's comedy of the Lancashire Witches, which being considered a party play, had a good run at this time. It was advertised for the very night in which this Number is dated.
The names of two actors then upon the stage. Different incidents in the play of the Lancashire Witches.
'I must not conclude till I have taken notice of the moral with which this comedy ends. The two young ladies having given a notable example of out-witting those who had a right in the disposal of them, and marrying without consent of parents, one of the injured parties, who is easily reconciled, winds up all with this remark,
'This no doubt is a full reparation, and dismisses the audience with very edifying impressions.
The gentleman who writ this play, and has drawn some characters in it very justly, appears to have been misled in his witch-have partly pursued already, and therefore These things fall under a province you craft by an unwary following the inimitable demands your animadversion, for the reguShakspeare. The incantations in Macbeth have a solemnity admirably adapted to the lating so noble an entertainment as that of the stage. It were to be wished, that all genius by the ambition of pleasing people who write for it hereafter would raise their of the best understanding; and leave others, who show nothing of the human species but
§ The concluding distich of Shadwell's play.
risibility, to seek their diversion at the bear-garden, or some other privileged place, where reason and good manners have no right to disturb them.
August 8, 1711.
No. 142.] Monday, August 13, 1711.
Irrupta tenet copula Hor. Lib. 1. Od. xiii, 33.
is all my attention broken! my books are blank paper, and my friends intruders. I have no hope of quiet but from your pity. To grant it would make more for your triumph. To give pain is the tyranny, to make happy the true empire of beauty. If you would consider aright, you would find an agreeable change in dismissing the attendance of a slave, to receive the complaisance of a companion. I bear the former in hopes of the latter condition. As I live in chains without murmuring at the power which inflicts them, so I could enjoy freedom without forgetting the mercy that gave
I am, Madam, your most devoted, most obedient servant. 99*
THE following letters being genuine, and the images of a worthy passion, I am will-it. ing to give the old lady's admonition to myself, and the representation of her own happiness, a place in my writings.
"August 7, 1671. "MADAM,-If my vigilance, and ten thousand wishes for your welfare and repose, could have any force, you last night slept in security, and had every good angel in your attendance. To have my thoughts ever fixed on you, to live in constant fear of every accident to which human life is liable, and to send up my hourly prayers to avert them from you: I say, madam, thus to think, and thus to suffer, is what I do for her who is in pain at my approach, and calls all my tender sorrow impertinence. You are now before my eyes, my eyes that are ready to flow with tenderness, but cannot give relief to my gushing heart, that dictates what I am now saying, and yearns to tell you all its achings. How art thou, oh my soul, stolen from thyself! how
'Though I made him no declarations in his favour, you see he had hopes of me when he writ this in the month following. "September 3, 1671. "MADAM,-Before the light this morning dawned upon the earth, I awaked, and lay in expectation of its return, not that it could give any new sense of joy to me, but as I hoped it would bless you with its cheerful face, after a quiet which I wished you last night. If my prayers are heard, the day appeared with all the influence of a merciful Creator upon your person and actions. Let others, my lovely charmer, talk of a blind being that disposes their hearts, I contemn I have not a their low images of love. thought which relates to you, that I cannot with confidence beseech the All-seeing Power to bless me in. May he direct you in all your steps, and reward your innocence, your sanctity of manners, your prudent youth, and becoming piety, with the continuance of his grace and protection. This is an unusual language to ladies; but you have a mind elevated above the giddy notions of a sex insnared by flattery and misled by a false and short adoration into a solid and long contempt. Beauty, my fairest creature, palls in the possession, but I love also your mind: your soul is as dear to me as my own; and if the advantages of a liberal education, some knowledge, and as much contempt of the world, joined with the endeavours towards a life of strict virtue and religion, can qualify me to raise new ideas in a breast so well disposed as your's is, our days will pass away with joy; and old age, instead of introducing melancholy prospects of decay, give us hope of eternal youth in a better life. I have but few minutes from the duty of my employment to write in, and without time to read over what I have writ, therefore beseech you to pardon the first hints of my mind, which I have expressed in so little order. I am, dearest creature, your most obedient most devoted servant.
August 9, 1711. 'MR. SPECTATOR,-I am now in the sixty-seventh year of my age, and read you with approbation; but methinks you do not strike at the root of the greatest evil in life, which is the false notion of gallantry in love. It is, and has long been, upon a very ill foot; but I who have been a wife forty years, and was bred up in a way that has made me ever since very happy, see through the folly of it. In a word, sir, when I was a young woman, all who avoided the vices of the age were very carefully educated, and all fantastical objects were turned out of our sight. The tapestry-hangings, with the great and venerable simplicity of the scripture stories, had better effects than now the loves of Venus and Adonis, or Bacchus and Ariadne, in your fine present prints. The gentleman I am married to, made love to me in rapture, but it was the rapture of a Christian and a man of honour, not a romantic hero or a whining coxcomb. This put our life upon a right basis. To give you an idea of our regard one to another, I enclose to you several of his letters writ forty years ago, when my lover; and one writ the other day, after so many years cohabitation. ANDROMACHE,'
*This and the following letters in this Number are to Miss Scurlock, afterwards Lady Steele.--See Steele's all genuine, having been written by Sir Richard Steele, Letters, Vol. II.
The two next were written after the at this time, but if you saw the poor withday of our marriage was fixed.
September 25, 1671. "MADAM,-It is the hardest thing in the world to be in love, and yet attend business. As for me, all that speak to me find me out, and I must lock myself up, or other people will do it for me. A gentleman asked me this morning, What news from Holland,' and I answered, She is exquisitely handsome.' Another desired to know when I had been last at Windsor. I replied, She designs to go with me.' Pr'ythee, allow me at least to kiss your hand before the appointed day, that my mind may be in some composure. Methinks I could write a volume to you, but all the language on earth would fail in saying how much, and with what disinterested passion, I am ever your's."
ered hand which sends you these minutes,
"Sept. 30, 1671, 7 in the morning. "DEAR CREATURE,-Next to the influence of heaven, I'am to thank you that I see the returning day with pleasure. To pass my evenings in so sweet a conversa- No. 143.] Tuesday, August 14, 1711. tion, and have the esteem of a woman of your merit, has in it a peculiarity of happiness no more to be expressed than returned. But I am, my lovely creature contented to be on the obliged side, and to employ all my days in new endeavours to convince you and all the world of the sense I have of your condescension in choosing, Madam, your most faithful, most obedient humble
'He was, when he writ the following letter, as agreeable and pleasant a man as any in England.
"June 23, 1711. "MADAM,—I heartily beg your pardon for my omission to write yesterday. It was no failure of my tender regard for you; but having been very much perplexed in my thoughts on the subject of my last, made me determine to suspend speaking of it until I came myself. But my lovely creature, know it is not in the power of age, or misfortune, or any other accident which hangs over human life, to take from me the pleasing esteem I have for you, or the memory of the bright figure you appeared in, when your gave your hand and heart to, obedient servant. Madam, your most grateful husband, and T.
Non est vivere, sed valere, vita.
Martial, Epig. lxx. 6. For life is only life, when blest with health. IT is an unreasonable thing some men expect of their acquaintance. They are ever complaining that they are out of order, or displeased, or they know not how, and are so far from letting that be a reason for retiring to their own homes, that they company. What has any body to do with make it their argument for coming into accounts of a man's being indisposed but his physician? If a man laments in company, where the rest are in humour enough to enjoy themselves, he should not take it ill if a servant is ordered to present him with a porringer of caudle or posset-drink, by way of admonition that he go home to bed. That part of life which we ordinarily understand by the word conversation, is an indulgence to the sociable part of our make; and should incline us to bring our proportion of good-will or good-humour among the friends we meet with, and not to trouble them with relations which must of necessity oblige them to a real or feigned affliction. Cares, distresses, diseases, uneasinesses, and dislikes of our own, are by no means to be obtruded upon our friends. If we would consider how little of this vicissitude of motion and rest, which we call life, is spent with satisfaction, we should be more tender of our friends, than to bring them little sorrows which do not belong to them. There is no real life but cheerful life; therefore valetudinarians should be sworn, before they enter into company, not to say a word of themselves until the meeting breaks up. It is not here pretended, that we should be always sitting with chaplets of flowers round our heads, or be
'I will not trouble you with more letters crowned with roses in order to make our
"October 20, 1671. "MADAM,-I beg pardon that my paper is not finer, but I am forced to write from a coffee-house where I am attending about business. There is a dirty crowd of busy faces all around me talking of money, while all my ambition, all my wealth, is love; love, which animates my heart, sweetens my humour, enlarges my soul, and affects every action of my life. It is to my lovely charmer, I owe that many noble ideas are continually affixed to my words and actions: it is the natural effect of that generous passion to create in the admirers some similitude of the object admired; thus my dear am I every day to improve from so sweet a companion. Look up, my fair one, to that heaven which made thee such, and join with me to implore its influence on our tender innocent hours, and beseech the author of love to bless the rites he has ordained, and mingle with our happiness a just sense of our transient condition, and a resignation to his will, which only can regulate our minds to a steady endeavour to please him and each other. I am, for ever, your
moment is not of half the duration as is his ordinary sleep. Thus is his being one uniform and consistent series of cheerful diversions and moderate cares, without fear or hope of futurity. Health to him is more than pleasure to another man, and sickness less affecting to him than indisposition is to others.
entertainment agreeable to us; but if (as it is usually observed) they who resolve to be merry, seldom are so, it will be much more unlikely for us to be well-pleased, if they are admitted who are always complaining they are sad. Whatever we do, we should keep up the cheerfulness of our spirits, and never let them sink below an inclination at least to be well-pleased. The way of this, is to keep our bodies in exercise, our minds at ease. That insipid state wherein neither are in vigour, is not to be accounted any part of our portion of being. When we are in the satisfaction of some innocent pleasure, or pursuit of some laudable design, we are in the possession of life, of human life. Fortune will give us disappointments enough, and nature is attended with infirmities enough, without our adding to the unhappy side of our account by our spleen or illhumour. Poor Cottilus, among so many real evils, a chronical distemper and a narrow fortune, is never heard to complain. That equal spirit of his, which any man may have, that like him will conquer pride, vanity, and affectation, and follow nature, is not to be broken, because it has no points to contend for. To be anxious for nothing but what nature demands as necessary, if it is not the way to an estate, is the way to what men aim at by getting an estate. This temper will preserve health in the body, as well as tranquillity in the mind. Cottilus sees the world in a hurry, with the same scorn that a sober person sees a man drunk. Had he been contented with what he ought to have been, how could, says he, such a one have met with such a disappointment? If another had valued his mistress for what he ought to have loved her, he had not been in her power. If her virtue had had a part of his passion, her levity had been his cure; she could not then have been false and amiable at the same time.
I must confess, if one does not regard life after this manner, none but idiots can pass it away with any tolerable patience. Take a fine lady who is of a delicate frame, and you may observe, from the hour she rises, a certain weariness of all that passes about her. I know more than one who is much too nice to be quite alive. They are sick of such strange frightful people that they meet; one is so awkward, and another so disagreeable, that it looks like a penance to breathe the same air with them. You see this is so very true, that a great part of ceremony and good-breeding among the ladies turns upon their uneasiness; and I will undertake, if the howd'ye-servants of our women were to make a weekly bill of sickness, as the parish clerks do of mortality, you would not find, in an account of seven days, one in thirty that was not downright sick or indisposed, or but a very little better than she was, and so forth.
It is certain that to enjoy life and health as a constant feast, we should not think pleasure necessary, but if possible, to arrive at an equality of mind. It is as mean to be overjoyed upon occasions of good fortune, as to be dejected in circumstances of distress. Laughter in one condition is as unmanly as weeping in the other. We should not form our minds to expect transport on every occasion, but know how to make it enjoyment to be out of pain, Ambition, envy, vagrant desire, or impertinent mirth, will take up our minds, without we can possess ourselves in that sobriety of heart which is above all pleasures, and can be felt much better than described. But the ready way, I believe, to the right enjoyment of life, is, by a prospect towards another, to have but a very mean opinion of it. A great author of our time has set this in an excellent light, when, with a philosophic pity of human life, he spoke of it in his Theory of the Earth in the following manner:
Since we cannot promise ourselves constant health, let us endeavour at such a temper as may be our best support in the decay of it. Uranius has arrived at that composure of soul, and wrought himself up to such a neglect of every thing with which the generality of mankind is enchanted, that nothing but acute pains can give him disturbance, and against those too he will tell his intimate friends he has a secret which gives him present ease. Uranius is so thoroughly persuaded of another life, and endeavours so sincerely to secure an interest in it, that he looks upon pain but as a quickening of his pace to a home where he shall be better provided for than in his present apartment. Instead of the melancholy views which others, are apt to give themselves, he will tell you that he has forgot he is mortal, nor will he think of himself as such. He thinks at the time of his birth he entered into an eternal being; and the short article of death he will not * Dr. Thomas Burnet, Master of the Charter-house. allow an interruption of life; since that author of "Telluris sacra Theoria."
For what is this life but a circulation of little mean actions? We lie down and rise again, dress and undress, feed and wax hungry, work or play, and are weary, and then we lie down again, and the circle returns. We spend the day in trifles, and when the night comes we throw ourselves into the bed of folly, amongst dreams, and broken thoughts, and wild imaginations. Our reason lies asleep by us, and we are for the time as arrant brutes as those that
sleep in the stalls, or in the field. Are not the capacities of man higher than these? And ought not his ambition and expectations to be greater? Let us be adventurers for another world. It is at least a fair and noble chance; and there is nothing in this worth our thoughts or our passions. If we should be disappointed, we are still no worse than the rest of our fellow mortals; and if we succeed in our expectations, we are eternally happy.'
She has not lost the native simplicity of her aspect, to substitute that patience of being stared at, which is the usual triumph and distinction of a town lady. In public assemblies you meet her careless eye diverting itself with the objects around her, insensible that she herself is one of the brightest in the place.
almost a beauty by nature, but more than Dulcissa is of quite another make, she is one by art. If it were possible for her to let her fan or any limb about her rest, she would do some part of the execution she
Wednesday, August 15, 1711. meditates; but though she designs herself a prey, she will not stay to be taken. No painter can give you words for the different aspects of Dulcissa in half a moment, wherever she appears: so little does she accomplish what she takes so much pains for, to be gay and careless.
Merab is attended with all the charms of woman and accomplishments of man. It is not to be doubted but she has a great deal of wit, if she were not such a beauty; and she would have more beauty had she not so much wit. Affectation prevents her excellences from walking together. If she has a mind to speak such a thing, it must be done with such an air of her body; and if she has an inclination to look very careless, there is such a smart thing to be said at the same time, that the design of being admired destroys itself. Thus the unhappy Merab, though a wit and a beauty, is allowed to be neither, because she will always be both.
-Noris quam elegans formarum Spectator siem.
BEAUTY has been the delight and torment of the world ever since it began. The philosophers have felt its influence so sensibly, that almost every one of them has left us some saying or other, which intimated that he too well knew the power of it. One* has told us, that a graceful person is a more powerful recommendation than the best letter that can be written in our favour. Another desires the possessor of it to consider it as a mere gift of nature, and not any perfection of his own. A thirdt calls it a short-lived tyranny; a fourth sa 'silent fraud,' because it imposes upon us without the help of language; but I think Carneades spoke as much like a philosopher as any of them, though more like a lover, when he calls it royalty without force. It is not indeed to be denied, but there is something irresistible in a beauteous form; the most severe will not pretend, that they do not feel an immediate prepossession in favour of the handsome. No one denies them the privilege of being first heard, and being regarded before others in matters of ordinary consideration. At the same time the handsome should consider that it is a possession, as it were, foreign to them. No one can give it himself or preserve it when they have it. Yet so it is, that people can bear any quality in the world better than beauty. It is the consolation of all who are naturally too much affected with the force of it, that a little attention, if a man can attend with judgment, will cure them. Handsome people Eudosia adds to the height of her stature usually are so fantastically pleased with a nobility of spirit which still distinguishes themselves, that if they do not kill at first her above the rest of her sex. Beauty in sight, as the phrase is, a second interview others is lovely, in others agreeable, in disarms them of all their power. But I others attractive, but in Eudosia it is comshall make this paper rather a warning-manding. Love towards Eudosia is a senpiece to give notice where the danger is, timent like the love of glory. The lovers than to propose instructions how to avoid of other women are softened into fondness, it when you have fallen in the way of the admirers of Eudosia exalted into amit. Handsome men shall be the subject of another chapter, the women shall take up the present discourse. Amaryllis, who has been in town but one winter, is extremely improved with the arts of good-breeding, without leaving nature.
Albacinda has the skill as well as power of pleasing. Her form is majestic, but her aspect humble. All good men should beware of the destroyer. She will speak to you like your sister, until she has you sure; but is the most vexatious of tyrants when you are so. Her familiarity of behaviour, her indifferent questions, and general conversation, make the silly part of her votaries full of hopes, while the wise fly from her power. She well knows she is too beautiful and too witty to be indifferent to any who converse with her, and therefore knows she does not lessen herself by familiarity, but gains occasions of admiration by seeming ignorance of her perfections.
* Aristotle. ↑ Plato. Socrates. §Theophrastus.
tion with a more kindly pleasure, and as Eucratia presents herself to the imaginashe is woman, her praise is wholly feminine. If we were to form an image of dignity in a man, we should give him wisdom and valour, as being essential to the chaIracter of manhood. In like manner, if you