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and that they would not persuade themselves al because he is observed to be louder than ordinar man is really and truly a free-thinker, in any tole-every time the ghost of Hamlet appears. Other rable sense, merely by virtue of his being an athe- have reported, that it is a dumb man, who ha ist, or an infidel of any other distinction. It may be chosen this way of uttering himself when he doubted with good reason, whether there ever transported with any thing he sees or hears. Other was in nature a more abject, slavish, and bigotted will have it to be the playhouse thunderer, that generation, than the tribe of beaux esprits at pre-exerts himself after this manner in the upper-gal sent so prevailing in this island. Their pretension|lery, when he has nothing to do upon the roof. to be free-thinkers, is no other than rakes have to But having made it my business to get the best be free-livers, and savages to be free-men; that is, information I could in a matter of this moment, they can think whatever they have a mind to, and I find that the trunk-maker, as he is commonly give themselves up to whatever conceit the extra-called, is a large black man, whom nobody knows vagancy of their inclination, or their fancy, shall He generally leans forward on a huge oaken plant suggest; they can think as wildly as they talk and with great attention to every thing that passes act, and will not endure that their wit should be upon the stage. He is never seen to smile; but controlled by such formal things as decency and upon hearing any thing that pleases him, he takes common sense. Deduction, coherence, consis-up his staff with both hands, and lays it upon the tency, and all the rules of reason they accordingly next piece of timber that stands in his way with disdain, as too precise and mechanical for men of exceeding vehemence: after which he composes a liberal education. himself in his former posture, till such time as
This, as far as I could ever learn from their something new sets him again at work. writings, or my own observation, is a true account It has been observed, his blow is so well timed, of the British free-thinker. Our visitant here, who that the most judicious critic could never except gave occasion to this paper, has brought with him against it. As soon as any shining thought is ex a new system of common sense, the particulars of pressed in the poet, or any uncommon grace ap which I am not yet acquainted with, but will lose pears in the actor, he smites the bench or wai no opportunity of informing myself whether it scot. If the audience does not concur with him, contain any thing worth Mr. Spectator's notice. he smites a second time, and if the audience is not In the mean time, sir, I cannot but think it would yet awakened, looks round him with great wrath, be for the good of mankind, if you would take and repeats the blow a third time, which never this subject into your consideration, and convince fails to produce the clap. He sometimes lets the the hopeful youth of our nation, that licentiousness audience begin the clap of themselves, and at the is not freedom; or, if such a paradox will not be conclusion of their applause ratifies it with a single understood, that a prejudice towards atheism is thwack. not impartiality. 'I am, SIR,
Your most humble servant,
He is of so great use to the playhouse, that it is said a former director of it, upon his not being able to pay his attendance by reason of sickness, kept one in pay to officiate for him until such time as he recovered; but the person so employed, though he laid about him with incredible violence.
N° 235. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1711. did it in such wrong places, that the audience soor
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 81.
found out that it was not their old friend the trunk maker.
It has been remarked, that he has not yet ex erted himself with vigour this season. He some times plies at the opera; and upon Nicolini's first appearance, was said to have demolished three benches in the fury of his applause. He has broken THERE is nothing which lies more within the pro- half a dozen oaken plants upon Dogget, and sel vince of a Spectator than public shows and diver- dom goes away from a tragedy of Shakspeare, with sions; and as among these there are none which out leaving the wainscot extremely shattered. can pretend to vie with those elegant entertain- The players do not only connive at his obstrepe ments that are exhibited in our theatres, I think it rous approbation, but very cheerfully repair a particularly incumbent on me to take notice of their own cost whatever damages he makes. They every thing that is remarkable in such numerous had once a thought of erecting a kind of wooden anvil for his use, that should be made of a very
and refined assemblies.
It is observed, that of late years there has been sounding plank, in order to render his strokes more a certain person in the upper-gallery of the play-deep and mellow; but as this might not have bee house, who when he is pleased with any thing that distinguished from the music of a kettle-drum, the is acted upon the stage, expresses his approbation project was laid aside.
by a loud knock upon the benches or the wainscot, In the meanwhile, I cannot but take notice of which may be heard over the whole theatre. The the great use it is to an audience, that a person person is commonly known by the name of the should thus preside over their heads like the di Trunk-maker in the Upper-gallery.' Whether it rector of a concert, in order to awaken their at be that the blow he gives on these occasions re- tention, and beat time to their applauses; sembles that which is often heard in the shops of raise my simile, I have sometimes fancied the such artisans, or that he was supposed to have been trunk-maker in the upper-gallery to be like Vir a real trunk-maker, who after the finishing of his gil's ruler of the winds, seated upon the top of day's work used to unbend his mind at these pub-mountain, who when he struck his sceptre upon the lic diversions with his hammer in his hand, I can
not certainly tell. There are some, I know, who *An admirable comic actor, many years joint-manager of the have been foolish enough to imagine it is a spirit play-house with Wilkes and Cibber; and known to the prese which haunts the upper-gallery, and from time to day, by the annual coat and badge, which he bequeathed time makes those strange noises; and the rather, prize to be rowed for by young watermen of the river Thames.
on the first of August.
is a dumb car
to be louder time side of it, roused an hurricane, and set the whole conjugal friendship); but no one, I believe, is by Hamlet appean cavern in an uproar.* his own natural complexion prompted to tease and It is certain, the trunk-maker has saved many a torment another for no reason but being nearly ering himself vier good play, and brought many a graceful actor into allied to him. And can there be any thing more gbe seserien a reputation, who would not otherwise have been base, or serve to sink a man so much below his layhouse thunder taken notice of. It is very visible, as the audience own distinguishing characteristic (I mean reason), manner in the is not a little abashed, if they find themselves be- than returning evil for good in so open a manner, g to do uportrayed into a clap, when their friend in the upper- as that of treating an helpless creature with uny business toge gallery does not come into it; so the actors do not kindness, who has had so good an opinion of him matter of the value themselves upon the clap, but regard it as a as to believe what he said relating to one of the aker, as he is mere brutum fulmen, or empty noise, when it has greatest concerns of life, by delivering her happian, whom monot the sound of the oaken plant in it. I know it ness in this world to his care and protection? Must rd on a bage has been given out by those who are enemies to the not that man be abandoned even to all manner of every thing trunk-maker, that he has sometimes been bribed to humanity, who can deceive a woman with appearnever seen to be in the interest of a bad poet, or a vicious ances of affection and kindness, for no other end at pleases a player; but this is a surmise which has no founda- but to torment her with more ease and authority? nds, and lation: his strokes are always just, and his admoni- Is any thing more unlike a gentleman, than when stands in lations seasonable: he does not deal about his blows his honour is engaged for the performing his profter which heat random, but always hits the right nail upon the mises, because nothing but that can oblige him to sture, till head. The inexpressible force wherewith he lays it, to become afterwards false to his word, and be gain at work them on, sufficiently shows the evidence and alone the occasion of misery to one whose happis blow is are: strength of his conviction. His zeal for a good ness he but lately pretended was dearer to him author is indeed outrageous, and breaks down than his own? Ought such a one to be trusted in every fence and partition, every board and plank, his common affairs? or treated but as one whose that stands within the expression of his applause. honesty consisted only in his incapacity of being As I do not care for terminating my thoughts in otherwise? barren speculations, or in reports of pure matter
itic could shining the y uncomme tes the best
not concu d if the suda
rd time, vic
There is one cause of this usage no less absurd
of fact, without drawing something from them for than common, which takes place among the more him with the advantage of my countrymen, I shall take the unthinking men; and that is, the desire to appear liberty to make an humble proposal, that whenever to their friends free and at liberty, and without He sometince the trunk-maker shall depart this life, or whenever those trammels they have so much ridiculed. themselves be shall have lost the spring of his arm by sickness, avoid this they fly into the other extreme, and grow ratifies it old age, infirmity, or the like, some able-bodied tyrants that they may seem masters. Because an
critic should be advanced to this post, and have a uncontrollable command of their own actions is a e playhouse competent salary settled on him for life, to be fur-certain sign of entire dominion, they won't so much upon nished with bamboos for operas, crab-tree cudgels as recede from the government even in one muscle by reason for comedies, and oaken plants for tragedy, at of their faces. A kind look they believe would him as the public expense. And to the end that this place be fawning, and a civil answer yielding the supepersons should be always disposed of according to merit, riority. To this must we attribute an austerity incredis I would have none preferred to it, who has not they betray in every action. What but this can hat the given convincing proofs both of a sound judgment, put a man out of humour in his wife's company, and a strong arm, and who could not, upon occa- though he is so distinguishingly pleasant every sion, either knock down an ox, or write a com- where else? The bitterness of his replies, and the he lastment upon Horace's Art of Poetry. In short, I severity of his frowns, to the tenderest of wives, SeaWould have him a due composition of Hercules and clearly demonstrate, that an ill-grounded fear of Apollo, and so rightly qualified for this important being thought to submissive, is at the bottom of demo office, that the trunk-maker may not be missed by this, as I am willing to call it, affected moroseour posterity. ness; but if it be such, only put on to convince his acquaintance of his entire dominion, let him take care of the consequence, which will be certain, and worse than the present evil; his seeming indifference will by degrees grow into real contempt, and if it doth not wholly alienate the affections of his wife for ever from him, make both him and her more miserable than if it really did so.
No 236. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1711.
Dare jura maritis.
HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 398.
With laws connubial tyrants to restrain.
'However inconsistent it may appear, to be thought a well-bred person has no small share in this clownish behaviour. A discourse therefore relating to good-breeding towards a loving and a You have not spoken in so direct a manner upon tender wife, would be of great use to this sort of the subject of marriage, as that important case de- gentlemen. Could you but once convince them, serves. It would not be improper to observe upon that to be civil at least is not beneath the character the peculiarity in the youth of Great Britain, of of a gentleman, nor even tender affection towards railing and laughing at that institution; and when one who would make it reciprocal, betrays any they fall into it, from a profligate habit of mind, softness or effeminacy that the most masculine disbeing insensible of the satisfaction in that way of position need be ashamed of; could you satisfy life, and treating their wives with the most barba-them of the generosity of voluntary civility, and rous disrespect.
'Particular circumstances, and cast of temper, must teach a man the probability of mighty uneasinesses in that state (for unquestionably some there are whose very dispositions are strangely averse to
* Æneid, book i.
the greatness of soul that is conspicuous in benevolence without immediate obligations; could you recommend to people's practice the saying of the gentleman quoted in one of your speculations, That he thought it incumbent upon him to make the inclinations of a woman of merit go along with her duty:" could you, I say, persuade these men
N° 237. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1711.
Visu carentem magna pars veri latet.
SENECA in Edip.
of the beauty and reasonableness of this sort of behaviour, I have so much charity, for some of them at least, to believe you would convince them of a thing they are only ashamed to allow. Besides, you would recommend that state in its truest, and consequently its most agreeable colours; and the gentlemen, who have for any time been such professed enemies to it, when occasion should serve, Truth is in a great measure concealed from the blind, would return you their thanks for assisting their interest in prevailing over their prejudices. Mar- IT is very reasonable to believe, that part of the riage in general would by this means be a more pleasure which happy minds shall enjoy in a future easy and comfortable condition; the husband would state, will arise from an enlarged contemplation of be no where so well satisfied as in his own parlour, the divine wisdom in the government of the world. nor the wife so pleasant as in the company of her and a discovery of the secret and amazing steps of husband. A desire of being agreeable in the lover Providence, from the beginning to the end of time. would be increased in the husband, and the mistress Nothing seems to be an entertainment more adapted be more amiable by becoming the wife. Besides to the nature of man, if we consider that curiosity all which, I am apt to believe we should find the is one of the strongest and most lasting appetites race of men grow wiser as their progenitors grew implanted in us, and that admiration is one of our kinder, and the affection of their parents would most pleasing passions; and what a perpetual suc be conspicuous in the wisdom of their children; cession of enjoyments will be afforded by both in short, men would in general be much better hu- these, in a scene so large and various as shall then moured than they are, did not they so frequently be laid open to our view in the society of superior exercise the worst turns of their temper where spirits, who perhaps will join with us in so delight. they ought to exert the best.' ful a prospect!
It is not impossible, on the contrary, that part of the punishment of such as are excluded from bliss, 'I Am a woman who left the admiration of this may consist not only in their being denied this pr whole town to throw myself (for love of wealth) vilege, but in having their appetites at the same into the arms of a fool. When I married him, 1 time vastly increased without any satisfaction af could have had any one of several men of sense forded to them. In these, the vain pursuit of know who languished for me; but my case is just. I be- ledge shall, perhaps, add to their infelicity, and lieved my superior understanding would form him bewilder them into labyrinths of error, darkness, into a tractable creature. But, alas! my spouse distraction, and uncertainty of every thing but their has cunning and suspicion, the inseparable compa- own evil state. Milton has thus represented the nions of little minds; and every attempt I make fallen angels reasoning together in a kind of re to divert, by putting on an agreeable air, a sudden spite from their torments, and creating to them. cheerfulness, or kind behaviour, he looks upon as selves a new disquiet amidst their very amuse the first act towards an insurrection against his ments; he could not properly have described the undeserved dominion over me. Let every one sports of condemned spirits, without that cast of who is still to choose, and hopes to govern a fool, horror and melancholy he has so judiciously mingled
St. Martin's, Nov. 25.
⚫ Others apart sat on a hill retired,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high
THIS is to complain of an evil practice which I think very well deserves a redress, though you have! not as yet taken any notice of it: if you mention In our present condition, which is a middle state, it in your paper, it may perhaps have a very good our minds are, as it were, chequered with truth and effect. What I mean is, the disturbance some falsehood; and as our faculties are narrow, and our people give to others at church, by their repetition views imperfect, it is impossible but our curiosity of the prayers after the minister; and that not only must meet with many repulses. The business of in the prayers, but also the absolution; and the mankind, in this life, being rather to act than to commandments fare no better, which are in a know, their portion of knowledge is dealt to them particular manner the priest's office: this I have accordingly.
known done in so audible a manner, that some- From hence it is, that the reason of the inquisi times their voices have been as loud as his. As tive has so long been exercised with difficulties, in little as you would think it, this is frequently accounting for the promiscuous distribution of good done by people seemingly devout. This irreligious and evil to the virtuous and the wicked in this inadvertency is a thing extremely offensive: but I world. From hence come all those pathetic com. do not recommend it as a thing I give you liberty plaints of so many tragical events, which happen to ridicule, but hope it may be amended by the to the wise and the good; and of such surprising bare mention.
prosperity, which is often the reward of the guilty and the foolish; that reason is sometimes puzzled, and at a loss what to pronounce upon so mysterious a dispensation.
Plato expresses his abhorrence of some fables of the poets, which seem to reflect on the gods as the authors of injustice; and lays it down as a prin ciple, that whatever is permitted to befall a just man, whether poverty, sickness, or any of those things which seem to be evil, shall either in life or
Paradise Lost, b. ii.
Concealed from the bi
rtainment consider tha most lasting Imiration is
1 what a perpe be afforded
id various to the society
: contrary, e excluded being de
ppettes £2 it any sa
s of ener
every t hus represe
ther in a d creating their v
have des Without
death conduce to his good. My reader will ob- man, who affirms he had not seen it, and appeals
N° 238. MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1711.
Nequicquam populo bibulas donaveris aures ;
PERSIUS, Sat. iv. ver. 50,
Please not thyself the flatt'ring crowd to hear;
So softens and disarms the mind,
This thought will appear yet more reasonable, if we consider human life as a state of probation, and adversity as the post of honour in it, assigned often AMONG all the diseases of the mind, there is not to the best and most select spirits. one more epidemical or more pernicious than the But what I would chiefly insist on here is, that love of flattery. For as where the juices of the we are not at present in a proper situation to judge body are prepared to receive a malignant influof the councils by which Providence acts; since ence, there the disease rages with the most violence; but little arrives at our knowledge, and even that so in this distemper of the mind, where there is little we discern imperfectly; or according to the ever a propensity and inclination to suck in the elegant figure in holy writ, We see but in part, poison, it cannot be but that the whole order of and as in a glass darkly." It is to be considered, reasonable action must be overturned; for, like that Providence in its economy regards the whole music, it system of time and things together, so that we cannot discover the beautiful connection between incidents which lie widely separate in time; and by losing so many links of the chain, our reasonings First we flatter ourselves, and then the flattery become broken and imperfect. Thus those parts of others is sure of success. It awakens our selfof the moral world which have not an absolute, love within, a party which is ever ready to revolt may yet have a relative beauty, in respect of some from our better judgment, and join the enemy other parts concealed from us, but open to His eye without. Hence it is, that the profusion of favours before whom' past,' 'present,' and' to come,' are we so often see poured upon the parasite, are set together in one point of view: and those events, represented to us by our self-love, as justice done the permission of which seems now to accuse his to the man who so agreeably reconciles us to ourgoodness, may in the consummation of things both selves. When we are overcome by such soft insimagnify his goodness, and exalt his wisdom. And nuations and insnaring compliances, we gladly this is enough to check our presumption, since it is recompense the artifices that are made use of to in vain to apply our measures of regularity to blind our reason, and which triumph over the matters of which we know neither the antecedents weakness of our temper and inclinations. nor the consequents, the beginning nor the end. But were every man persuaded from how mean I shall relieve my readers from this abstracted and low a principle this passion is derived there thought, by relating here a Jewish tradition con- can be no doubt but the person who should attempt cerning Moses, which seems to be a kind of pa- to gratify it, would then be as contemptible as he rable, illustrating what I have last mentioned. is now successful. It is the desire of some quality That great prophet, it is said, was called up by a we are not possessed of, or inclination to be somevoice from heaven to the top of a mountain; where, thing we are not, which are the causes of our giving in a conference with the Supreme Being, he was ourselves up to that man, who bestows upon us the permitted to propose to him some questions con- characters and qualities of others; which perhaps cerning his administration of the universe. In the suit us as ill, and were as little designed for our midst of this divine colloquy he was commanded to wearing, as their clothes. Instead of going out of look down on the plain below. At the foot of the our own complexional nature into that of others, mountain there issued out a clear spring of water, it were a better and more laudable industry to imat which a soldier alighted from his horse to drink. prove our own, and instead of a miserable copy He was no sooner gone than a little boy came to become a good original; for there is no temper, the same place, and finding a purse of gold which no disposition, so rude and untractable, but may the soldier had dropped, took it up and went away in its own peculiar cast and turn be brought to with it. Immediately after this came an infirm old some agreeable use in conversation, or in the man, weary with age and travelling, and having affairs of life. A person of a rougher deportment, quenched his thirst, sat down to rest himself by the and less tied up to the usual ceremonies of behaside of the spring. The soldier missing his purse viour, will, like Manly in the play, please by the returns to search for it, and demands it of the old grace which nature gives to every action wherein
⚫ 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
The Plain Dealer, by Wy herley,
she is complied with; the brisk and lively will not want their admirers, and even a more reserved] and melancholy temper may at some times be agreeable.
THE translations which you have lately given us from the Greek, in some of your last papers, have When there is not vanity enough awake in a been the occasion of my looking into some of those man to undo him, the flatterer stirs up that dor-authors; among whom I chanced on a collection of mant weakness, and inspires him with merit enough letters which pass under the name of Aristænetus. to be a coxcomb. But if flattery be the most sordid Of all the remains of antiquity, I believe there act that can be complied with, the art of praising can be nothing produced of an air so gallant and justly is as commendable: for it is laudable to polite; each letter contains a little novel or adven praise well; as poets at one and the same time ture, which is told with all the beauties of language, give immortality, and receive it themselves for a and heightened with a luxuriance of wit. There reward. Both are pleased; the one whilst he re- are several of them translated: but with such wide ceives the recompense of merit, the other whilst deviations from the original, and in a style so far he shows he knows how to discern it; but above differing from the author's, that the translator all, that man is happy in this art, who, like a skil-seems rather to have taken hints for the expressing ful painter, retains the features and complexion, his own sense and thoughts, than to have endea but still softens the picture into the most agreeable voured to render those of Aristanetus. In the fol. likeness.
lowing translation, I have kept as near the meaning of the Greek as I could, and have only added few words to make the sentences in English sit together a little better than they would otherwise have done. The story seems to be taken from that of Pygmalion and the statue in Ovid: some of the thoughts are of the same turn, and the whole is written in a kind of poetical prose.'
PHILOPINAX TO CHROMATION.
There can hardly, I believe, be imagined a more desirable pleasure, than that of praise unmixed with any possibility of flattery. Such was that which Germanicus enjoyed, when, the night before a battle, desirous of some sincere mark of the esteem of his legions for him, he is described by Tacitus listening in a disguise to the discourse of a soldier, and wrapt up in the fruition of his glory, whilst with an undesigned sincerity they praised his noble and majestic mien, his affability, his valour, conduct, and success in war. How must a "NEVER was a man more overcome with so fanman have his heart full-blown with joy in such an tastical a passion as mine. I have painted a article of glory as this? What a spur and encou- beautiful woman, and am despairing, dying for the ragement still to proceed in those steps which had picture. My own skill has undone me; it is not already brought him to so pure a taste of the great-the dart of Venus, but my own pencil has thus est of mortal enjoyments? wounded me. Ab, me! with what anxiety am I It sometimes happens, that even enemies and en- necessitated to adore my own idol? How misera. vious persons bestow the sincerest marks of esteem ble am I, whilst every one must as much pity the when they least design it. Such afford a greater painter as he praises the picture, and own my torpleasure, as extorted by merit, and freed from all ment more than equal to my art. But why do I suspicion of favour or flattery. Thus it is with thus complain? Have there not been more unhappy Malvolio; he has wit, learning, and discernment, and unnatural passions than mine? Yes, I have seen but tempered with an allay of envy, self-love, and the representations of Phædra, Narcissus, and Pa detraction. Malvolio turns pale at the mirth and siphae. Phædra was unhappy in her love; that good-humour of the company, if it centre not in of Pasiphae was monstrous; and whilst the other his person; he grows jealous and displeased when caught at his beloved likeness, he destroyed the he ceases to be the only person admired, and looks watery image, which ever eluded his embraces. upon the commendations paid to another as a de- The fountain represented Narcissus to himself, and traction from his merit, and an attempt to lessen the picture both that and him, thirsting after his the superiority he affects; but by this very method, adored image. But I am yet less unhappy, I enjoy he bestows such praise as can never be suspected her presence continually, and if I touch her, I deof flattery. His uneasiness and distastes are so many stroy not the beauteous form, but she looks pleas sure and certain signs of another's title to that glory ed, and a sweet smile sits in the charming space he desires, and has the mortification to find himself which divides her lips. One would swear that not possessed of. voice and speech were issuing out, and that one's A good name is fitly compared to precious ears felt the melodious sound. How often have I, ointment; and when we are praised with skill deceived by a lover's credulity, hearkened if she and decency, it is indeed the most agreeable per- had not something to whisper me? and when frus fume; but if too strongly admitted into a brain of trated of my hopes, how often have I taken my a less vigorous and happy texture, it will, like too venge in kisses from her cheeks and eyes, and strong an odour, overcome the senses, and prove softly wooed her to my embrace, whilst she (as to pernicious to the nerves it was intended to refresh. me it seemed) only withheld her tongue the more to A generous mind is of all others the most sensible inflame me. But, madman that I am, shall I be thus of praise and dispraise; and a noble spirit is as taken with the representation only of a beauteous much invigorated with its due proportion of ho- face, and flowing hair, and thus waste myself and nour and applause, as it is depressed by neglect melt to tears for a shadow? Ah! sure it is someand contempt. But it is only persons far above thing more, it is a reality! for see her beauties the common level who are thus affected with either shine out with new lustre, and she seems to upof these extremes; as in a thermometer, it is only braid me with unkind reproaches. Oh may I have the purest and most sublimated spirit that is either a living mistress of this form, that when I shall contracted or dilated by the benignity or incle- compare the work of nature with that of art, I mency of the season. may be still at a loss which to choose, and be long perplexed with the pleasing uncertainty."
Ecclesiastes vii. 1.