« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
he is a discreet, p n; I wish she Modish; you vor
her, she would ever you we
ch as if you never madam, is se his agreeable.com oy many scher out, and mytes his own thoug
I be lasting
'I am, MADAX most humble e
n the world, a ou say that
n answer to t
be at the pl mance, I cat ul young cre
To I have bee t would utter Omary sch Das a
othing to be
has ever se
am mach ravagant,
to these, and the like great actions, would only in-f the notice of the world, or receive any disadvan-
that Providence, in the very frame of his soul, Besides, this very desire of fame is looked on as
And among those who are the most richly en-
is Sallust's remark upon Cato, that the less he In the next place, fame is easily lost, and as dif-
No 256. MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1711.
Men take an ill-natured pleasure in crossing our inclinations, and disappointing us in what our hearts are most set upon. When therefore they have discovered the passionate desire of fame in the ambitious man, (as no temper of mind is more apt to show itself) they become sparing and reserved in their commendations, they envy him the satisfaction of an applause, and look on their praises rather as a kindness done to his person, than as a tribute paid to his merit. Others who are free from this natural perverseness of temper, grow wary in their praises of one who sets too great a value on them, lest they should raise him THERE are many passions and tempers of mind too high in his own imagination, and by conse- which naturally dispose us to depress and vilify the quence remove him to a greater distance from merit of one rising in the esteem of mankind. All themselves. those who made their entrance into the world with
Φήμη γαρ τε κακη πέλεται κόρη μεν αειραι
Desire of fame by various ways is cross'd,
But further, this desire of fame naturally be. the same advantages, and were once looked on as
*De Bel. Catil. c. 49.
sideration often stirs up the envy of such as were character; or because it is impossible for a man once his superiors, who think it a detraction from at the same time to be attentive to the more imtheir merit to see another get ground upon them, portant part of his life, and to keep a watchful and overtake them in the pursuits of glory; and eye over all the inconsiderable circumstances of will therefore endeavour to sink his reputation, his behaviour and conversation; or because, as we that they may the better preserve their own. have before observed, the same temper of mind Those who were once his equals envy and defame which inclines us to a desire of fame, naturally be. him, because they now see him their superior; and trays us into such slips and unwariness, as are not those who were once his superiors, because they incident to men of a contrary disposition. look upon him as their equal. After all it must be confessed, that a noble and But further, a man whose extraordinary reputa- triumphant merit often breaks through and dis tion thus lifts him up to the notice and observation pates these little spots and sullies in its reputation; of mankind, draws a multitude of eyes upon him, but if by a mistaken pursuit after fame, or through that will narrowly inspect every part of him, con-human infirmity, any false step be made in the sider him nicely in all views, and not be a little more momentous concerns of life, the whole scheme pleased, when they have taken him in the worst of ambitious designs is broken and disappointed. and most disadvantageous light. There are many The smaller stains and blemishes may die away and who find a pleasure in contradicting the common disappear, amidst the brightness that surrounds reports of fame, and in spreading abroad the them; but a blot of a deeper nature casts a shade weaknesses of an exalted character. They publish on all the other beauties, and darkens the whole their ill-natured discoveries with a secret pride, character. How difficult therefore is it to preserve aud applaud themselves for the singularity of their a great name, when he that has acquired it is 50 judgment, which has searched deeper than others, obnoxious to such little weaknesses and infirmities detected what the rest of the world have over as are no small diminution to it when discovered; looked, and found a flaw in what the generality of especially when they are so industriously pro mankind admires. Others there are who proclaim claimed, and aggravated by such as were once his the errors and infirmities of a great man with an superiors, or equals; by such as would set to show inward satisfaction and complacency, if they dis- their judgment, or their wit, and by such as are cover none of the like errors and infirmities in guilty, or innocent, of the same slips or miscon themselves; for while they are exposing another's ducts in their own behaviour. weaknesses, they are tacitly aiming at their own But were there none of these dispositions in commendations, who are not subject to the like others to censure a famous man, nor any such mis infirmities, and are apt to be transported with a carriages in himself, yet would he meet with no secret kind of vanity, to see themselves superior in small trouble in keeping up his reputation, in all some respects to one of a sublime and celebrated its height and splendour. There must be always reputation. Nay, it very often happens, that none a noble train of actions to preserve his fame in life are more industrious in publishing the blemishes of and motion. For when it is once at a stand, it an extraordinary reputation, than such as lie open naturally flags and languages. Admiration is a to the same censures in their own characters, as very short-lived passion, that immediately decays either hoping to excuse their own defects, by upon growing familiar with its object, unless it be the authority of so high an example, or raise an still fed with fresh discoveries, and kept alive by imaginary applause to themselves for resem- a new perpetual succession of miracles rising up bling a person of an exalted reputation, though to its view. And even the greatest actions of a in the blameable parts of his character. If all celebrated person labour under this disadvantage, these secret springs of detraction fail, yet very that, however surprising and extraordinary they often a vain ostentation of wit sets a man on at-may be, they are no more than what are expected tacking an established name, and sacrificing it to from him; but, on the contrary, if they fall any the mirth and laughter of those about him. A sa-thing below the opinion that is conceived of him, tire or a libel on one of the common stamp, never though they might raise the reputation of another, meets with that reception and approbation among (they are a diminution to his. its readers, as what is aimed at a person whose One would think there should be something won merit places him upon an eminence, and gives him derfully pleasing in the possession of fame, that, a more conspicuous figure among men. Whether notwithstanding all these mortifying considera it be that we think it shows greater art to expose tions, can engage a man in so desperate a and turn to ridicule a man whose character seems and yet, if we consider the little happiness that so improper a subject for it, or that we are pleased attends a great character, and the multitude of by some implicit kind of revenge to see him taken disquietudes to which the desire of it subjects an down and humbled in his reputation, and in some ambitious mind, one would be still the more sur measure reduced to our own rank, who had so far prised to see so many restless candidates for glory. raised himself above us in the reports and opinions Ambition raises a secret tumult in the soul, inflames the mind, and puts it into a violent hurry Thus we see how many dark and intricate mo- of thought. It is still reaching after an empty, tives there are to detraction and defamation, and imaginary good, that has not in it the power to how many malicious spies are searching into the abate or satisfy it. Most other things we long for actions of a great man, who is not, always, the best can allay the cravings of their proper sense, and prepared for so narrow an inspection. For we for a while set the appetite at rest; but fame is & may generally observe, that our admiration of a good so wholly foreign to our natures, that we famous man lessens upon our nearer acquaintance have no faculty in the soul adapted to it, nor any with him; and that we seldom hear the descrip-organ in the body to relish it; an object of desire. tion of a celebrated person, without a catalogue placed out of the possibility of fruition. It may of some notorious weaknesses and infirmities. The indeed fill the mind for a while with a giddy kind reason may be, because any little slip is more con- of pleasure, but it is such a pleasure as makes spicuous and observable in his conduct than in an- man restless and uneasy under it; and which does other's, as it is not of a piece with the rest of his not so much satisfy the present thirst, as it excites
is imposible fr ttentive to the and to keep lerable din sation: orbecue
e same temp ire of fame, and
id unwariness az
fessed, that a
eaks through sullies in
it after fat,
step be mar
ken and dis
htness the and darke
er nature c
fresh desires, and sets the soul on new enterprises.
N° 257. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 1711.
Ουχ' εύδει Διος
Οφθαλμος είγυς δ' εςι και παρων πόνω.
No slumber seals the eye of Providence,
versation, That he was satisfied with his share of life and fame.' Se satis vel ad naturam vel ad THAT I might not lose myself upon a subject of so gloriam virisse. Many indeed have given over great extent as that of fame, I have treated it in their pursuits after fame, but that has proceeded a particular order and method. I have first of all either from the disappointments they have met in considered the reasons why Providence may have of life, the wait, or from their experience of the little pleasure implanted in our minds such a principle of action.* which attends it, or from the better informations I have in the next place shown from many consior natural coldness of old age; but seldom from a derations, first, that fame is a thing difficult to be full satisfaction and acquiescence in their present obtained, and easily lost; secondly, that it brings enjoyments of it. the ambitious man very little happiness, but subNor is fame only unsatisfying in itself, but the jects him to much uneasiness and dissatisfaction.† desire of it lays us open to many accidental trou- I shall in the last place show, that it hinders us bles, which those are free from who have no such from obtaining an end which we have abilities to a tender regard for it. How often is the ambitious acquire, and which is accompanied with fulness man cast down and disappointed, if he receives no of satisfaction. I need not tell my reader, that I praise where he expected it? Nay, how often is mean by this end, that happiness which is reserved he mortified with the very praises he receives, if for us in another world, which every one has abilithey do not rise so high as he thinks they ought; ties to procure, and which will bring along with it, which they seldom do, unless increased by flattery, fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.' since few men have so good an opinion of us as we How the pursuit after fame may hinder us in have of ourselves? But if the ambitious man can the attainment of this great end, I shall leave the these debe so much grieved even with praise itself, how reader to collect from the three following consiwill he be able to bear up under scandal and de-derations:
erefore is has knesses and it when so industres
such as ver
t, and by same sp
famation? for the same temper of mind which First, Because the strong desire of fame breeds makes him desire fame, makes him hate reproach. several vicious habits in the mind.
If he can be transported with the extraordinary Secondly, Because many of those actions, which praises of men, he will be as much dejected by are apt to procure fame, are not in their nature once their censures. How little therefore is the happi-conducive to this our ultimate happiness. Alness of an ambitious man, who gives every one a Thirdly, Because if we should allow the same imnes dominion over it, who thus subjects himself to the actions to be the proper instruments, both of acobject good or ill speeches of others, and puts it in the quiring fame, and of procuring this happiness, they power of every malicious tongue to throw him into would nevertheless fail in the attainment of this mirada fit of melancholy, and destroy his natural rest last end, if they proceeded from a desire of the repose of mind? especially when we consider first.
s, and ke
this that the world is more apt to censure than applaud, These three propositions are self-evident to those estand himself fuller of imperfections than virtues. who are versed in speculations of morality. For
We may further observe, that such a man will which reason I shall not enlarge upon them, but more grieved for the loss of fame, than he could proceed to a point of the same nature, which may Cont have been pleased with the enjoyment of it. For open to us a more uncommon field of speculation. though the presence of this imaginary good cannot From what has been already observed, I think make us happy, the absence of it may make us we may have a natural conclusion, that it is the miserable: because in the enjoyment of an object greatest folly to seek the praise or approbation of We only find that share of pleasure which it is capable of giving us; but in the loss of it we do not proportion our grief to the real value it bears, but to the value our fancies and imaginations set upon it.
any being, besides the Supreme; and that for these two reasons; because no other being can make a right judgment of us, and esteem us according to our merits; and because we can procure no considerable benefit or advantage from the esteem and approbation of any other being,
So inconsiderable is the satisfaction that fame brings along with it, and so great the disquietudes In the first place, no other being can make a to which it makes us liable. The desire of it stirs right judgment of us, and esteem us according to up very uneasy motions in the mind, and is rather our merits. Created beings see nothing but our named than satisfied by the presence of the thing outside, and can therefore only frame a judgment desired. The enjoyment of it brings but very little of us from our exterior actions and behaviour; pleasure, though the loss or want of it be very sen-how unfit these are to give us a right notion of sible and afflicting; and even this little happiness each other's perfections, may appear from several 30 very precarious, that it wholly depends upon considerations. There are many virtues, which in the will of others. We are not only tortured by their own nature are incapable of any outward the reproaches which are offered us, but are dis- representation; many silent perfections in the soul ppointed by the silence of men when it is unex-of a good man, which are great ornaments to hupected, and humbled even by their praises.
man nature, but not able to discover themselves to
express the entire purity of thought which refines ward actions; which can never give them a just and sanctifies a virtuous man? That secret rest estimate of us, since there are many perfections and contentedness of mind, which gives him a per- of a man which are not capable of appearing in fect enjoyment of his present condition? That in- actions; many which, allowing no natural inca ward pleasure and complacency which he feels in pacity of showing themselves, want an opportunity doing good? That delight and satisfaction which of doing it; or should they all meet with an oppor he takes in the prosperity and happiness of another?tunity of appearing by actions, yet those actions These and the like virtues are the hidden beauties may be misinterpreted, and applied to wrong prin of a soul, the secret graces which cannot be disco-ciples: or though they plainly discovered the prin vered by a mortal eye, but make the soul lovely ciples from whence they proceeded, they could and precious in His sight, from whom no secrets never show the degree, strength, and perfection of are concealed. Again, there are many virtues those principles.
shall proclaim his worth before men and angels. and pronounce to him in the presence of the whole creation that best and most significant of applauses, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into thy Master's joy.'
which want an opportunity of exerting and show- And as the Supreme Being is the only proper ing themselves in actions. Every virtue requires judge of our perfections, so is he the only fit re time and place, a proper object and a fit conjunc- warder of them. This is a consideration that comes ture of circumstances, for the due exercise of it. home to our interest, as the other adapts itself to A state of poverty obscures all the virtues of libe- our ambition. And what could the most aspiring, rality and munificence. The patience and forti- or the most selfish man desire more, were he to tude of a martyr or confessor lie concealed in the form the notion of a Being to whom he would re flourishing times of Christianity. Some virtues are commend himself, than such a knowledge as can only seen in affliction, and some in prosperity; discover the least appearance of perfection in some in a private, and others in a public capacity. him, and such a goodness as will proportion a reBut the great Sovereign of the world beholds every ward to it? perfection in its obscurity, and not only sees what Let the ambitious man therefore turn all his de we do, but what we would do. He views our be- sire of fame this way; and that he may propose to haviour in every concurrence of affairs, and sees himself a fame worthy of his ambition, let him us engaged in all the possibilities of action. He consider, that if he employs his abilities to the best discovers the martyr and confessor without the advantage, the time will come when the Supreme trial of flames and tortures, and will hereafter en- Governor of the world, the great Judge of man title many to the reward of actions, which they kind, who sees every degree of perfection in others, had never the opportunity of performing. Another and possesses all possible perfection in himself, reason why men cannot form a right judgment of us is, because the same actions may be aimed at different ends, and arise from quite contrary principles. Actions are of so mixed a nature, and so full of circumstances, that as men pry into them more or less, or observe some parts more than others, they take different hints, and put contrary interpretations on them; so that the same actions may represent a man as hypocritical and designing to one, which make him appear a saint or hero to N° 258. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26, 1711. another. He therefore who looks upon the soul through its outward actions, often sees it through a deceitful medium, which is apt to discolour and pervert the object: so that on this account also, He is the only proper judge of our perfections, PLEASURE and recreation of one kind or other are who does not guess at the sincerity of our inten- absolutely necessary to relieve our minds and bo tions from the goodness of our actions, but weighs dies from too constant attention and labour: where the goodness of our actions by the sincerity of our therefore public diversions are tolerated, it behoves persons of distinction, with their power and exam But further, it is impossible for outward actions ple, to preside over them in such a manner, as to to represent the perfections of the soul, because check any thing that tends to the corruption of they can never show the strength of those princi- manners, or which is too mean or trivial for the ples from whence they proceed. They are not entertainment of reasonable creatures. As to the adequate expressions of our virtues, and can only diversions of this kind in this town, we owe them show us what habits are in the soul, without dis to the arts of poetry and music. My own private vering the degree and perfections of such ha bit. opinion, with relation to such recreations, I have They are at best but weak resemblances of our heretofore given with all the frankness imaginable intentions, faint and imperfect copies, that may what concerns those arts at present the reader shall acquaint us with the general design, but can never have from my correspondents. The first of the express the beauty and life of the original. But letters with which I acquit myself for this day, is the great Judge of all the earth knows every dif- written by one who proposes to improve our e ferent state and degree of human improvement, tertainments of dramatic poetry, and the other from those weak stirrings and tendencies of the comes from three persons, who as soon as named, will which have not yet formed themselves into will be thought capable of advancing the present regular purposes and designs, to the last entire state of music.
finishing and consummation of a good habit. He
beholds the first imperfect rudiments of a virtue in 'MR. SPECTATOR,
Divide et impera.
bee soul, and keeps a watchful eye over it in all its I AM considerably obliged to you for your speedy progress, till it has received every grace it is ca-publication of my last in yours of the 18th instan pable of, and appears in its full beauty and per- and am in no small hopes of being settled in the fection. Thus we see, that none but the Supreme post of Comptroller of the Cries. Of all the Being can esteem us according to our proper me-jections I have hearkened after in public coffee rits, since all others must judge of us from our out-houses, there is but one that seems to carry and j
Can never get
There are many per
allowing no mitt selves, wit
hey all meet vie
actions, get the and applied te ver plainly discove ey proceeded
Being is the s, so is be the
the other ad
t could the a
ng to when such a krov
that he ma of his amb
s his able
weight with it, viz. that such a post would come too near the nature of a monopoly. Now, sir, because I would have all sorts of people made easy, and be- WE, whose names are subscribed, think you the t capable of spring willing to have more strings than one to my properest person to signify what we have to offer bow; in case that of comptroller should fail me, 1 the town in behalf of ourselves, and the art which have since formed another project, which being we profess, music. We conceive hopes of your grounded on the dividing a present monopoly, I favour from the speculations on the mistakes which hope will give the public an equivalent to their full the town run into with regard to their pleasure of content. You know, sir, it is allowed, that the this kind; and believing your method of judging business of the stage is, as the Latin has it, jucunda is, that you consider music only valuable, as it is et idonea dicere vite. Now there being but one agreeable to, and heightens the purpose of poetry, dramatic theatre licensed for the delight and profit we consent that it is not only the true way of relishof this extensive metropolis, I do humbly propose, ing that pleasure, but also that without it a comfor the convenience of such of its inhabitants as posure of music is the same thing as a poem, where are too distant from Covent-garden, that another all the rules of poetical numbers are observed, theatre of ease may be erected in some spacious though the words have no sense or meaning; to part of the city; and that the direction thereof say it shorter, mere musical sounds in our art are may be made a franchise in fee to me and my heirs no other than nonsense verses are in poetry. Music for ever. And that the town may have no jealousy therefore is to aggravate what is intended by poeof my ever coming into an union with the set of try; it must always have some passion or sentiment actors now in being, I do further propose to con- to express, or else violins, voices, or any other orstitute for my deputy, my near kinsman and ad- gans of sound, afford an entertainment very little as will paventurer, Kit Crotchet, whose long experience and above the rattles of children. It was from this improvements in those affairs need no recommenda- opinion of the matter, that when Mr. Clayton had tion. It was obvious to every Spectator, what a finished his studies in Italy, and brought over the quite different foot the stage was upon during his opera of Arsinoe, that Mr. Haym and Mr. Dieugovernment; and had he not been bolted out of part, who had the honour to be well known and his trap-doors, his garrison might have held out for received among the nobility and gentry, were zeaever; he having by long pains and perseverance, lously inclined to assist by their solicitations, in arrived at the art of making his army fight without introducing so elegant an entertainment as the Itaof perfect pay or provisions. I must confess it, with a me- lian music grafted upon English poetry. For this lancholy amazement, I see so wonderful a genius end Mr. Dieupart and Mr. Haym, according to laid aside, and the late slaves of the stage now be- their several opportunities, promoted the introduce presenc come its masters, dunces that will be sure to sup-tion of Arsinoe, and did it to the best advantage so signifesta press all theatrical entertainments and activities great a novelty would allow. It is not proper to faithful that they are not able themselves to shine in! trouble you with particulars of the just complaints Every man that goes to a play, is not obliged we all of us have to make; but so it is, that withto have either wit or understanding; and I insist out regard to our obliging pains, we are all equally upon it, that all who go there should see something set aside in the present opera. Our application which may improve them in a way of which they therefore to you is only to insert this letter in your are capable. In short, sir, I would have something paper, that the town may know we have all three done, as well as said, on the stage. A man may joined together to make entertainments of music have an active body, though he has not a quick for the future at Mr. Clayton's house, in Yorkconception; for the imitation therefore of such as buildings. What we promise ourselves is, to make are, as I may so speak, corporeal wits, or nimble a subscription of two guineas, for eight times; fellows, I would fain ask any of the present mis- and that the entertainment, with the names of the one in managers, why should not rope-dancers, vaulters, authors of the poetry, may be printed, to be sold tumblers, ladder-walkers, and posture-masters ap. in the house, with an account of the several authors on and pear again on our stage? After such a representa- of the vocal as well as the instrumental music for toleration, a five-bar gate would be leaped with a better each night; the money to be paid at the receipt of eir prace next time any of the audience went a hunt. the tickets, at Mr. Charles Lillie's. It will, we chang Sir, these things cry aloud for reformation, hope, sir, be easily allowed, that we are capable to the and fall properly under the province of Spectator- of undertaking to exhibit, by our joint force and General; but how indeed should it be otherwise, different qualifications, all that can be done in while fellows (that for twenty years together were music; but lest you should think so dry a thing as never paid but as their master was in the humour) an account of our proposal should be a matter presume to pay others more than ever they unworthy of your paper, which generally contains had in their lives; and, in contempt of the practice something of public use, give us leave to say, that of persons of condition, have the insolence to owe favouring our design is no less than reviving an no tradesman a farthing at the end of the week art, which runs to ruin by the utmost barbarism Sir, all I propose is the public good; for no one under an affectation of knowledge. We aim at
e our s
can imagine I shall ever get a private shilling by establishing some settled notion of what is music, it: therefore I hope you will recommend this mat- at recovering from neglect and want very many ter in one of your this week's papers, and desire families who depend upon it, at making all fo when my house opens, you will accept the liberty reigners who pretend to succeed in England to of it for the trouble you have received from,
'Your humble servant,
⚫ RALPH CROTCHET.'
learn the language of it as we ourselves have done,
P. S. I have assurances that the trunk-ence and humility, we hope to behave ourselves in makert will declare for us.'
this undertaking, in such a manner, that all Eng-