Изображения страниц

no opportunity, till the larum ceased of itself, which it did not till he had repeated and murdered the celebrated story of the Ephesian matron.

tle readers, who have so much time on their hands, will not grudge throwing away a quarter of an hour in a day on this paper, since they may do it without any hindrance to business. Arietta seemed to regard this piece of I know several of my friends and well-raillery as an outrage done to her sex; as wishers are in great pain for me, lest Indeed I have always observed that woshould not be able to keep up the spirit of a men, whether out of a nicer regard to their paper which I oblige myself to furnish every honour, or what other reason, I cannot day; but to make them easy in this parti- tell, are more sensibly touched with those cular, I will promise them faithfully to give general aspersions which are cast upon it over as soon as I grow dull. This I know their sex, than men are by what is said of will be a matter of great raillery to the theirs. small wits, who will frequently put me in mind of my promise, desire me to keep my word, assure me that it is high time to give over, with many other little pleasantries of the like nature, which men of a lit-all you have said on this subject is, and that tle smart genius cannot forbear throwing out against their best friends, when they have such a handle given them of being witty. But let them remember, that I do hereby enter my caveat against this piece of raillery. C.

No. 11.] Tuesday, March 13, 1710-11.
Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.
Juv. Sat. ii. 63
The doves are censur'd, while the crows are spar'd.
ARIETTA is visited by all persons of both
sexes, who have any pretence to wit and
gallantry. She is in that time of life which
is neither affected with the follies of youth,
or infirmities of age; and her conversa-
tion is so mixed with gaiety and prudence,
that she is agreeable both to the old and
the young. Her behaviour is very frank,
without being in the least blameable; and
as she is out of the track of any amorous or
ambitious pursuits of her own, her visitors
entertain her with accounts of themselves
very freely, whether they concern their
passions or their interests. I made her a
visit this afternoon, having been formerly
introduced to the honour of her acquaint-
ance by my friend Will Honeycomb, who
has prevailed upon her to admit me some-
times into her assembly, as a civil inoffen-
sive man. I found her accompanied with
one person only, a common-place talker,
who, upon my entrance, arose, and after a
very slight civility sat down again; then,
turning to Arietta, pursued his discourse,
which I found was upon the old topic of
constancy in love. He went on with great
facility in repeating what he talks every
day of his life; and with the ornaments of
insignificant laughs and gestures, enforced
his arguments by quotations out of plays
and songs, which allude to the perjuries of
the fair, and the general levity of women.
Methought he strove to shine more than
ordinarily in his talkative way, that he
might insult my silence, and distinguish
himself before a woman of Arietta's taste
and understanding. She had often an in-
clination to interrupt him, but could find

When she had a little recovered herself from the serious anger she was in, she replied in the following manner.

Sir, when I consider how perfectly new

the story you have given us is not quite two thousand years old, I cannot but think it a piece of presumption to dispute it with you: but your quotations put me in mind of the fable of the lion and the man. The man walking with that noble animal, showed him, in the ostentation of human superiority, a sign of a man killing a lion. Upon which, the lion said, very justly, "We lions are none of us painters, else we could show a hundred men killed by lions, for one lion killed by a man." You men are writers, and can represent us women as unbecoming as you please in your works, while we are unable to return the injury. You have twice or thrice observed in your discourse, that hypocrisy is the very foundation of our education; and that an ability to dissemble our affections is a professed part of our breeding. These, and such other reflections, are sprinkled up and down the writings of all ages, by authors, who leave behind them memorials of their resentment against the scorn of particular women, in invectives against the whole sex. Such a writer, I doubt not, was the celebrated Petronius, who invented the pleasant aggravations of the frailty of the Ephesian lady; but when we consider this question between the sexes, which has been either a point of dispute or raillery ever since there were men and women, let us take facts from plain people, and from such as have not either ambition or capacity to embellish their narrations with any beauties of imagination. I was the other day amusing myself with Lignon's Account of Barbadoes; and in answer to your wellwrought tale, I will give you (as it dwells upon my memory) cut of that honest traveller, in his fifty-fifth page, the history of Inkle and Yarico.

'Mr. Thomas Inkle, of London, aged twenty years, embarked in the Downs, in the good ship called the Achilles, bound for the West Indies, on the 16th of June, 1647, in order to improve his fortune by trade and merchandise. Our adventurer was the third son of an eminent citizen, who had taken particular care to instil into his mind an early love of gain, by making


clothed in such silks as his waistcoat was made of, and be carried in houses drawn by horses, without being exposed to wind or weather. All this he promised her the enjoyment of, without such fears and alarms as they were there tormented with. In this tender correspondence these lovers lived for several months, when Yarico, instructed by her lover, discovered a vessel on the coast, to which she made signals; and in the night, with the utmost joy and satisfaction, accompanied him to a ship's crew of his countrymen, bound for Barbadoes. When a vessel from the main arrives in that island, it seems the planters come down to the shore, where there is an immediate market of the Indians and other slaves, as with us of horses and oxen.

him a perfect master of numbers, and consequently giving him a quick view of loss and advantage, and preventing the natural impulses of his passion, by prepossession towards his interests. With a mind thus turned, young Inkle had a person every way agreeable, a ruddy vigour in his countenance, strength in his limbs, with ringlets of fair hair loosely flowing on his shoulders. It happened in the course of the voyage, that the Achilles, in some distress, put into a creek on the main of America, in search of provisions. The youth who is the hero of my story, among others, went on shore on this occasion. From their first landing they were observed by a party of Indians, who hid themselves in the woods for that purpose. The English unadvisedly marched a great distance from the shore To be short, Mr. Thomas Inkle now into the country, and were intercepted by coming into English territories, began sethe natives, who slew the greatest number riously to reflect upon his loss of time, and of them. Our adventurer escaped among to weigh with himself how many days' inothers, by flying into a forest. Upon his terest of his money he had lost during his coming into a remote and pathless part of stay with Yarico. This thought made the the wood, he threw himself, tired and young man pensive, and careful what acbreathless, on a little hillock, when an In-count he should be able to give his friends dian maid rushed from a thicket behind him. After the first surprise they appeared mutually agreeable to each other. If the European was highly charmed with the limbs, features, and wild graces of the naked American; the American was no less taken with the dress, complexion and shape of an European, covered from head to foot. The Indian grew immediately enamoured of him, and consequently solicitous for his preservation. She therefore conveyed him to a cave, where she gave him a delicious repast of fruits, and led him to a stream to slake his thirst. In the midst of these good offices, she would some-I could make her. times play with his hair, and delight in the opposition of its colour to that of her

of his voyage. Upon which consideration, the prudent and frugal young man sold Yarico to a Barbadian merchant; notwithstanding the poor girl, to incline him to commiserate her condition, told him that she was with child by him: but he only made use of that information, to rise in his demands upon the purchaser.'

I was so touched with this story (which I think should be always a counterpart to the Ephesian matron) that I left the room with tears in my eyes, which a woman of Arietta's good sense did, I am sure, take for greater applause than any compliments

fingers: then open his bosom, then laugh No. 12.] Wednesday, March 14, 1710-11.

at him for covering it. She was, it seems, a person of distinction, for she every day came to him in a different dress, of the most beautiful shells, bugles, and beads.

Veteres avias tibi de pulmone revello.

Pers. Sat. v. 92.

I root th' old woman from thy trembling heart.

She likewise brought him a great many AT my coming to London, it was some spoils which her other lovers had present-time before I could settle myself in a house ed to her, so that his cave was richly to my liking. I was forced to quit my first adorned with all the spotted skins of beasts, and most party-coloured feathers of fowls, which that world afforded. To make his confinement more tolerable, she would carry him in the dusk of the evening, or by the favour of moonlight, to unfrequented groves and solitudes, and show him where to lie down in safety, and sleep amidst the falls of waters and melody of nightingales. Her part was to watch and hold him awake in her arms, for fear of her countrymen, and wake him on occasions to consult his safety. In this manner did the lovers pass away their time till they had learned a language of their own, in which the voyager communicated to his mistress how happy he should be to have her in his country, where she should be

lodgings by reason of an officious landlady, that would be asking me every morning how I had slept. I then fell into an honest family, and lived very happily for above a week; when my landlord, who was a jolly, good-natured man, took it into his head that I wanted company, and therefore would frequently come into my chamber, to keep me from being alone. This I bore for two or three days; but telling me one day that he was afraid I was melancholy, I thought it was high time for me to be gone, and accordingly took new lodgings that very night. About a week after, I found my jolly landlord, who, as I said before, was an honest, hearty man, had put me into an advertisement in the Daily Courant, in the following words: 'Where

company closed their ranks, and crowded about the fire. I took notice in particular of a little boy, who was so attentive to every story, that I am mistaken if he ventures to go to bed by himself this twelvemonth. Indeed they talked so long, that the imaginations of the whole assembly were manifestly crazed, and, I am sure, will be the worse for it as long as they live. I heard one of the girls, that had looked upon me over her shoulder, asking the company how long I had been in the room, and whether I did not look paler than I used to do. This put me under some apprehensions that I should be forced to explain myself, if I did not retire; for which reason I took the candle into my hand, and went up into my chamber, not without wondering at this unaccountable weakness in reasonable creatures, that they should love to astonish and terrify one another. Were I a father, I should take a particular care to preserve my children from these little horrors of imagination, which they are apt to contract when they are young, and are not able to shake off when they are in years. I have known a soldier that has entered a breach, affrighted at his own shadow, and look pale upon a little scratching at his door, who the day before had marched up against a battery of

as a melancholy man left his lodgings on Thursday last, in the afternoon, and was afterwards seen going towards Islington: if any one can give notice of him to R. B. fishmonger in the Strand, he shall be very well rewarded for his pains. As I am the best man in the world to keep my own counsel, and my landlord, the fishmonger, not knowing my name, this accident of my, life was never discovered to this very day. I am now settled with a widow woman, who has a great many children, and complies with my humour in every thing. I do not remember that we have exchanged a word together these five years; my coffee comes into my chamber every morning without asking for it: if I want fire, I point to my chimney, if water to my basin, upon which my landlady nods, as much as to say she takes my meaning, and immediately obeys my signals. She has likewise modelled her family so well, that when her little boy offers to pull me by the coat, or prattle in my face, his eldest sister immediately calls him off, and bids him not disturb the gentleman. At my first entering into the family, I was troubled with the civility of their rising up to me every time I came into the room; but my landlady observing that upon these occasions I always cried Pish, and went cut again, has forbid-cannon. There are instances of persons, den any such ceremony to be used in the house; so that at present I walk into the kitchen or parlour, without being taken notice of, or giving any interruption to the business or discourse of the family. The maid will ask her mistress (though I am by) whether the gentleman is ready to go to dinner, as the mistress (who is indeed an excellent housewife) scolds at the servants as heartily before my face, as behind my back. In short, I move up and down the house, and enter into all companies with the same liberty as a cat, or any other domestic animal, and am as little suspected of telling any thing that I hear or see.

who have been terrified even to distraction at the figure of a tree, or the shaking of a bulrush. The truth of it is, I look upon a scund imagination as the greatest blessing of life, next to a clear judgment, and a good conscience. In the mean time, since there are very few whose minds are not more or less subject to these dreadful thoughts and apprehensions, we ought to arm ourselves against them by the dictates of reason and religion, to pull the old woman out of our hearts,' (as Persius expresses it in the motto of my paper,) and extinguish those impertinent nctions which we imbibed at a time that we were not able to judge of their abI remember last winter there were seve- surdity. Or, if we believe, as many wise ral young girls of the neighbourhood sitting and good men have done, that there are about the fire with my landlady's daugh- such phantoms and apparitions as those I ters, and telling stories of spirits and appa- have been speaking of, let us endeavour to ritions. Upon my opening the door the establish to ourselves an interest in Him, young women broke off their discourse, but who holds the reins of the whole creation my landlady's daughters telling them that in his hands, and moderates them after it was nobody but the gentleman (for that such a manner, that it is impossible for one is the name which I go by in the neighbour-being to break loose upon another without hood, as well as in the family) they went on without minding me. I seated myself by For my own part, I am apt to join in the the candle that stood on a table at one end opinion with these who believe that all the of the room; and pretending to read a book regions of nature swarm with spirits; and that I took out of my pocket, heard several that we have multitudes of spectators on all dreadful stories of ghosts, as pale as ashes, our actions, when we think ourselves most that had stood at the feet of a bed, or walked alone; but instead of terrifying myself with over a church-yard by moon-light; and of such a notion, I am wonderfully pleased to others that had been conjured into the Red- think that I am always engaged with such sea, for disturbing people's rest, and draw-an innumerable society in searching out the ing their curtains at midnight, with many other old women's fables of the like nature. As one spirit raised another, I observed, that at the end of every story the whole

his knowledge and permission.

wonders of the creation, and joining in the same concert of praise and adoration.

Milton has finely described this mixed communion of men and spirits in paradise;

[ocr errors]

and had doubtless his eye upon a verse in was thinking on something else, I acciold Hesiod, which is almost word for word dentally justled against a monstrous animal the same with his third line in the follow-that extremely startled me, and upon my ing passage:

-Nor think, though men were none,

nearer survey of it, appeared to be a lion rampant. The lion seeing me very much surprised, told me, in a gentle voice, that

That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise: I might come by him, if I pleased: For,

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep;
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night. How often from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands,
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonie number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heav'n.

Paradise Lost.

No. 13.] Thursday, March 15, 1710-11.
Dic mihi, si fueris tu leo, qualis eris?
Were you a lion, how would you behave?


first lion, that he reared himself so high upon his hinder paws, and walked in so erect a posture, that he looked more like an old man than a lion.

says he, I do not intend to hurt any body.' I thanked him very kindly, and passed by him: and in a little time after saw him leap upon the stage, and act his part with very great applause. It has been observed by several that the lion has changed his manner of acting twice or thrice since his first appearance; which will not seem strange, when I acquaint my reader that the lion has been changed upon the audience three several times. The first lion was a candle snuffer, who being a fellow of a testy choleric temper, overdid his part, and would not suffer himself to be killed so easily as he ought to have done; besides, it was observed of him, that he grew more surly every time that he came out of the lion; and having dropt some words in ordinary THERE is nothing that of late years has conversation, as if he had not fought his afforded matter of greater amusement to best, and that he suffered himself to be the town than Signior Nicolini's combat thrown upon his back in the scuffle, and with a lion in the Haymarket, which has that he would wrestle with Mr. Nicolini been very often exhibited to the general for what he pleased, out of his lion's skin, satisfaction of most of the nobility and gen-it was thought proper to discard him: and try in the kingdom of Great Britain. Upon it is verily believed, to this day, that had the first rumour of this intended combat it he been brought upon the stage another was confidently affirmed, and is still be-time, he would certainly have done mislieved, by many in both galleries, that there chief. Besides, it was objected against the would be a tame lion sent from the tower, every opera night, in order to be killed by Hydaspes; this report, though altogether groundless, so universally prevailed in the upper regions of the playhouse, that some The second lion was a tailor by trade, of the most refined politicians in those parts who belonged to the playhouse, and had of the audience, gave it out in whisper, that the character of a mild and peaceable man the lion was a cousin-german of the tiger in his profession. If the former was too who made his appearance in King Wil-furious, this was too sheepish for his part; liam's days, and that the stage would be insomuch, that after a short modest walk supplied with lions at the public expense, during the whole session. Many likewise were the conjectures of the treatment which this lion was to meet with from the hands of Signior Nicolini; some supposed that he was to subdue him in recitativo, as Orpheus used to serve the wild beasts in his time, and afterwards to knock him on the head; some fancied that the lion would not pretend to lay his paws upon the hero, by reason of the received opinion, that a lion will The acting lion at present is, as I am innot hurt a virgin. Several, who pretended formed, a country gentleman, who does it to have seen the opera in Italy, had in-for his diversion, but desires his name may formed their friends, that the lion was to be concealed. He says, very handsomely, act a part in high Dutch, and roar twice in his own excuse, that he does not act for or thrice to a thorough bass, before he fell gain, that he indulges an innocent pleasure at the feet of Hydaspes. To clear up a in it; and that it is better to pass away an matter that was so variously reported, I evening in this manner, than in gaming and have made it my business to examine whe- drinking: but at the same time says, with ther this pretended lion is really the savage a very agreeable raillery upon himself, that he appears to be, or only a counterfeit. if his name should be known, the ill-naBut before I communicate my discoveries, tured world might call him, The ass in I must acquaint the reader, that upon my the lion's skin. This gentleman's temper walking behind the scenes last winter, as is made out of such a happy mixture of the


upon the stage, he would fall at the first touch of Hydaspes, without grappling with him, and giving him an opportunity of showing his variety of Italian trips. It is said, indeed, that he once gave him a rip in his flesh-colour doublet: but this was only to make work for himself, in his private character of a tailor. I must not omit, that it was this second lion who treated me with so much humanity behind the scenes.

mild and the choleric, that he outdoes both his predecessors, and has drawn together greater audiences than have been known in the memory of man.

present time; and lamented to myself, that though in those days they neglected their morality, they kept up their good sense; but that the beau monde, at present, is only

From my den in the Haymarket,
March 15.

I must not conclude my narrative, with-grown more childish, not more innocent out taking notice of a groundless report that than the former. While I was in this train has been raised to a gentleman's disadvan- of thought, an odd fellow, whose face I tage, of whom I must declare myself an ad- have often seen at the playhouse, gave me mirer; namely, that Signior Nicolini and the following letter with these words: 'Sir, the lion have been sitting peaceably by one the Lion presents his humble service to another, and smoking a pipe together be-you, and desired me to give this into your hind the scenes; by which their common own hands.' enemies would insinuate, that it is but a sham combat which they represent upon the stage: but upon inquiry I find, that if any such correspondence has passed between them, it was not till the combat was over, when the lion was to be looked upon as dead, according to the received rules of the drama. Besides, this is what is prac-more friendly than is consistent with the tised every day in Westminster-hall, where nothing is more usual than to see a couple of lawyers, who have been tearing each other to pieces in the court, embracing one another as soon as they are out of it.

I would not be thought in any part of this relation, to reflect upon Signior Nicolini, who in acting this part only complies with the wretched taste of his audience; he knows very well, that the lion has many more admirers than himself; as they say of the famous equestrian statue on the Pont Neuf at Paris, that more people go to see the horse, than the king who sits upon it. On the contrary, it gives me a just indignation to see a person whose action gives new majesty to kings, resolution to heroes, and softness to lovers, thus sinking from the greatness of his behaviour, and degraded into the character of the London Prentice. I have often wished, that our tragedians would copy after this great master of action. Could they make the same use of their arms and legs, and inform their faces with as significant looks and passions, how glorious would an English tragedy appear with that action, which is capable of giving dignity to the forced thoughts, cold conceits, and unnatural expressions of an Italian opera! In the mean time, I have related this combat of the lion, to show what are at present the reigning entertainments of the politer part of Great Britain.

Audiences have often been reproached by writers for the coarseness of their taste: but our present grievance does not seem to be the want of a good taste, but of common C.


No. 14.] Friday, March 16, 1710-11.
-Teque his, infelix, exue monstris.
Orid, Met. iv. 590.
Wretch that thou art! put off this monstrous shape.
I was reflecting this morning upon the
spirit and humour of the public diversions
five-and-twenty years ago, and those of the

SIR, 'I have read all your papers, and have stifled my resentment against your reflections upon operas, until that of this day, wherein you plainly insinuate, that Signior Nicolini and myself have a correspondence

valour of his character, or the fierceness of mine. I desire you would, for your own sake, forbear such intimations for the future; and must say it is a great piece of ill nature in you, to show so great an esteem for a foreigner, and to discourage a Lion that is your own countryman.

man, but am so equally concerned in the 'I take notice of your fable of the lion and matter, that I shall not be offended to which soever of the animals the superiority is given. You have misrepresented me, in saying that I am a country gentleman, who act only for my diversion; whereas, had I still the same woods to range in which I once had when I was a fox-hunter, I should not resign my manhood for a maintenance; and assure you, as low as my circumstances are at present, I am so much a man of honour, that I would scorn to be any beast for bread, but a lion.

'Yours, &c.'

my landlady's children brought me in seveI had no sooner ended this, than one of ral others, with some of which I shall make up my present paper, they all having a tendency to the same subject, viz. the elegance of our present diversions.


Covent-Garden, March 13. 'I have been for twenty years under-sexton of this parish of St. Paul's Coventgarden, and have not missed tolling in to prayers six times in all those years; which office I have performed to my great satisfaction, until this fortnight last past, during which time I find my congregation take the warning of my bell, morning and evening, to go to a puppet-show set forth by one Powell under the piazzas. By this means I have not only lost my two customers, whom I used to place for sixpence a piece over against Mrs. Rachel Eyebright, but Mrs. Rachel herself is gone thither also. There now appear among us none but a few ordinary people, who come to church only to say their prayers, so that I have no work worth speaking of but on Sundays. I have placed my son at the piazzas, to acquaint

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »