« AnteriorContinuar »
I thought I had somewhere heard before. he transgresses payment, so much as that Coming near to the gate, the prisoner call-demand comes to, in his debtor's honour, ed me by my name, and desired I would liberty, and fortune. One would think he throw something into the box: I was out of did not know that his creditor can say the countenance for him, and did as he bid me, worst thing imaginable of him, to wit, by putting in half a crown. I went away, That he is unjust,' without defamation; reflecting upon the strange constitution of and can seize his person without being some men, and how meanly they behave guilty of an assault. *Yet such is the loose themselves in all sorts of conditions. The and abandoned turn of some men's minds, person who begged of me is now, as I take that they can live under these constant ap it, fifty: I was well acquainted with him till prehensions, and still go on to increase the about the age of twenty-five; at which cause of them. Can there be a more low time, a good estate fell to him by the death and servile condition, than to be ashamed or of a relation. Upon coming to this unex- afraid to see any one man breathing? Yet pected good fortune, he ran into all the ex- he that is much in debt, is in that condition travagances imaginable; was frequently in with relation to twenty different people, drunken fits, broke drawers' heads, talked | There are indeed circumstances wherein and swore loud, was unmannerly to those men of honest natures may become liable above him, and insolent to those below him. to debts, by some unadvised behaviour in I could not but remark, that it was the any great point of their life, or mortgaging
his behaviour in both fortunes: the same another, and the like: but these instances little mind was insolent in riches, and are so particular and circumstantiated, that shameless in poverty. This accident made they cannot come within general considera me muse upon the circumstance of being tions. For one such case as one of these, in debt in general, and solve in my mind there are ten, where a man, to keep up a what tempers were most apt to fall into farce of retinue and grandeur within his this error of life, as well as the misfortune own house, shall shrink at the expectation it must needs be to languish under such of surly demands at his doors. The debtor pressures. As for myself, my natural aver- is the creditor's criminal, and all the offision to that sort of conversation which cers of power and state, whom we behold makes a figure with the generality of man- make so great a figure, are no other than kind, exempts me from any temptations to so many persons in authority to make good expense; and all my business lies within a his charge against him. Human society very narrow compass, which is only to give depends upon his having the vengeance an honest man who takes care of my estate, law allots him; and the debtor owes his proper vouchers for his quarterly pay- liberty to his neighbour, as much as the ments to me, and observe what linen my murderer does his life to his prince. laundress brings and takes away with her Our gentry are, generally speaking, in once a week. My steward brings his re- debt: and many families have put it into a ceipt ready for my signing; and I have kind of method of being so from generation a pretty implement with the respective to generation. The father mortgages when names of shirts, cravats, handkerchiefs and his son is very young: and the boy is to stockings, with proper numbers, to know | marry, as soon as he is at age, to redeem it how to reckon with my laundress. This and find portions for his sisters. This, forbeing almost all the business I have in the sooth, is no great inconvenience to him; for world for the care of my own affairs, I am he may wench, keep a public table, or feed at full leisure to observe upon what others dogs, like a worthy English gentleman, till do, with relation to 'their equipage and he has out-run half his estate, and leave economy.
the same incumbrance upon his first-born, When I walk the street, and observe the and so on, till one man of more vigour than hurry about me in this town,
ordinary, goes quite through the estate, or "Where, with like haste, thro' several ways they run;
some man of sense comes into it, and scorns Some to undo, and some to be undone ;**
to have an estate in partnership, that is to I say, when I behold this vast variety of say, liable to the demand or insult of any persons and humours, with the pains they man living. There is my friend Sir Anboth take for the accomplishment of the drew, though for many years a great and ends mentioned in the above verses of Den-general trader, was never the defendant in ham, I cannot much wonder at the endea-a law-suit, in all the perplexity of business, vour after gain, but am extremely asto- and the iniquity of mankind at present; no nished that men can be so insensible of the one had any colour for the least complaint danger of running into debt. One would against his dealings with him. This is certhink it impossible that a man who is given tainly as uncommon, and in its proportion to contract debts should not know, that his as laudable in a citizen, as it is in a general creditor has, from that moment in which never to have suffered a disadvantage in
fight. How different from this gentleman for such debtors as were freemen of the city of London:
is Jack Truepenny, who has been an old it was taken down in the year 1762.
acquaintance of Sir Andrew and myself . Cooper's Hill, v. 31.
from boys, but could never learn our cau
tion, Jack has a whorish unresisting good-(as the first sketch and outlines of a vision, nature, which makes him incapable of than as a finished piece. having a property in any thing. His for- I dreamt that I was admitted into a long tune, his reputation, his time, and his ca- spacious gallery, which had one side copacity, are at any man's service that comes vered with pieces of all the famous painters first. When he was at school, he was who are now living, and the other with whipped thrice a week for faults he took the works of the greatest masters that are upon him to excuse others; since he came dead. into the business of the world, he has been On the side of the living, I saw several arrested twice or thrice a year for debts persons busy in drawing, colouring, and de he had nothing to do with, but as surety signing. On the side of the dead painters, for others; and I remember when a friend I could not discover more than one perof his had suffered in the vice of the town, son at work, who was exceedingly slow in all the physic his friend took was conveyed his motions, and wonderfully nice in his to him by Jack, and inscribed . A bolus, or touches an electuary for Mr. Truepenny,' Jack I was resolved to examine the several had a good estate left him which came to artists that stood before me, and accordnothing; because he believed all who pre- ingly applied myself to the side of the five tended to deminds upon it. This easiness ing. The first I observed at work in this and credulity destroy all the other merit part of the gallery was Vanity, with his hair he has; and he has all his life been a sacrifice tied behind him in a riband, and dressed to others, without ever receiving thanks, or like a Frenchman. All the faces he drew doing one good action.
were very remarkable for their smiles, and I will end this discourse with a speech a certain smirking air which he bestowed which I heard Jack make to one of his indifferently on every age and degree of creditors (of whom he deserved gentler either sex. The toujours gai appeared usage) after lying a whole night in custody even in his judges, bishops, and privy counat his suit. .
sellors. In a word, all his men were petits "Sir, your ingratitude for the many kind- maitres, and all his women coquettes. The nesses I have done you, shall not make me drapery of his figures was extremely well unthankful for the good you have done me, suited to his faces, and was made up of all in letting me see there is such a man as the glaring colours that could be mixt toyou in the world. I am obliged to you for gether; every part of the dress was in a the dimdence I shall have all the rest of flutter, and endeavoured to distinguish itself my life: I shall hereafter trust no man so above the rest. far as to be in his debt.'
R. On the left hand of Vanity stood a labo
rious workman, who I found was his hum
ble admirer, and copied after him. He was No. 83.] Tuesday, June 5, 1711.
dressed like a German, and had a very
hard name, that sounded something like --Animum pictura pascit inani. _
Virg. Æn. i. 468. | The third artist that I looked over was And with the shadowy picture feeds his mind. Fantasque dressed like a Venitian scara WHEN the weather hinders me from mouch. He had an excellent hand at chitaking my diversions without doors, I fre- mera, and dealt very much in distortions quently make a little party with two or and grimaces. He would sometimes afthree select friends, to visit any thing cu- fright himself with the phantoms that flops rious that may be seen under covert. My led from his pencil. In short, the most principal entertainments of this nature are elaborate of his pieces was at best but a pictures, insomuch, that when I have found terrifying dream; and one could say nothing the weather set in to be very bad, I have more of his finest figures, than that they taken a whole day's journey to see a gallery | were agreeable monsters. that is furnished by the hands of great mas- The fourth person I examined was very ters. By this means, when the heavens are remarkable for his hasty hand, which left filled with clouds, when the earth swims in his pictures so unfinished, that the beauty rain, and all nature wears a lowering coun- in the picture (which was designed to contenance, I withdraw myself from these un- tinue as a monument of it to posterity) faded comfortable scenes into the visionary worlds sooner than in the person after whom it was of art; where I meet with shining land-drawn. He made so much haste to desscapes, gilded triumphs, beautiful faces, patch his business, that he neither gave and all those other objects that fill the himself time to clean his pencils, nor mix mind with gay ideas, and disperse that his colours. The name of this expeditious gloominess which is apt to hang upon it in workman was Avarice. those dark disconsolate seasons.
Not far from this artist I saw another of I was some weeks ago in a course of these a quite different nature, who was dressed in diversions; which had taken such an entire the habit of a Dutchman, and known by possession of my imagination, that they the name of Industry. His figures were formed in it a short morning's dream, which wonderfully laboured. If he drew the porI shall communicate to my reader, rather traiture of a man, he did not omit a single
hair in his face; if the figure of a ship, there hair upon his forehead, discovered him to was not a rope among the tackle that es- be Time. caped him. He had likewise hung a great Whetherit were because the thread of my part of the wall with night-pieces, that dream was at an end I cannot tell, but upoii seemed to show themselves by the candles my taking a survey of this imaginary old which were lighted up in several parts of | man, my sleep left me.
C. them; and were so inflamed by the sunshine which accidentally fell upon them, that at first sight I could scarce forbear
Dear No. 84.] Wednesday, June 6, 1711. crying out 'Fire.' The five foregoing artists were the most
Quis talia fando considerable on this side the gallery; there
Myrmidonum, Dolopumye, aut duri miles Ulyssei,
Vje g. Æn. ii. v. 6. were indeed several others whom I had not time to look into. One of them, however,
Who can such woes relate without a tear, I could not forbear observing, who was
As stern Ulysses must have wept to hear?. very busy in retouching the finest pieces, I LOOKING Over the old manuscript wherethough he produced no originals of his own in the private actions of Pharamond are set His pencil aggravated every feature that down by way of table-book, I found many was before overcharged, loaded every de- things which gave me great delight, and fect, and poisoned every colour it touched. as human life turns upon the same princiThough this workman did so much mis- ples and passions in all ages, I thought it chief on the side of the living, he never very proper to take minutes of what passed turned his eye towards that of the dead. in that age for the instruction of this. The His name was Envy.
antiquary who lent me these papers, gave Having taken a cursory view of one side me a character of Eucrate the favourite of of the gallery, I turned myself to that which Pharamond, extracted from an author who was filled by the works of those great mas- lived in that court. The account he gives ters that were dead; when immediately I both of the prince and this his faithful fancied myself standing before a multitude friend, will not be improper to insert here, of spectators, and thousands of eyes looking because I may have occasion to mention upon me at once: for all before me appeared many of their conversations, into which so like men and women, that I almost for these memorials of them may give light. got they were pictures. Raphael's figures Pharamond, when he had a mind to re. stood in one row, Titian's in another, Guido tire for an hour or two from the hurry of Rheni's in a third. One part of the wall business and fatigue of ceremony, made a was peopled by Hannibal Carrache, an- signal to Eucrate, by putting his hand to other by Corregio, and another by Rubens, his face, placing his arm negligently on a To be short, there was not a great master window, or some such action as appeared among the dead who had not contributed indifferent to all the rest of the company, to the embellishment of this side of the gal-Upon such notice, unobserved by others lery. The persons that owed their being (for their entire intimacy was always a seto these several masters, appeared all of cret) Eucrate repaired to his own apartthem to be real and alive, and differed ment to receive the king. There was a among one another only in the variety of secret access to this part of the court, at their shapes, complexions, and clothes; so which Eucrate used to admit many whose that they looked like different nations of mean appearance in the eyes of the ordithe same species.
nary waiters and door-keepers, made them Observing an old man (who was the same be repulsed from other parts of the palace. person I before mentioned, as the only artist Such as these were let in here by order of that was at work on this side of the gallery) Eucrate, and had audiences of Pharamond. creeping up and down from one picture to This entrance Pharamond called - The another, and retouching all the fine pieces gate of the unhappy," and the tears of the that stood before me, I could not but be afflicted who came before him, he would very attentive to all his motions. I found say, were bribes received by Eucrate; for his pencil was so very light, that it worked Eucrate had the most compassionate spirit imperceptibly, and after a thousand touches, of all men living, except his generous masscarce produced any visible effect in the ter, who was always kindled at the least picture on which he was employed. How- affliction which was communicated to him. ever, as he busied himself incessantly, and In regard for the miserable, Eucrate took repeated touch after touch without rest or particular care that the common forms of intermission, he wore off insensibly every distress, and the idle pretenders to sorrow, little disagreeable gloss that hung upon a about courts, who wanted only supplies to figure. He also added such a beautiful luxury, should never obtain favour by his brown to the shades, and mellowness to the means: but the distresses which arise from colours, that he made every picture appear the many inexplicable occurrences that more perfect than when it came fresh from happen among men, the unaccountable the master's pencil. I could not forbear alienation of parents from their children, looking upon the face of this ancient work-cruelty of husbands to wives, poverty ocman, and iminediately, by the long lock of casioned from shipwreck or fire, the falling
out of friends, or such other terrible disas- | hearing the voice of it; I am sure Phara ters, to which the life of man is exposed; mond is not. Know, then, that I have this in cases of this nature, Eucrate was the morning unfortunately killed in a duel, the patron; and enjoyed this part of the royal man whom of all men living I most loved. favour so much without being envied, that I command myself too much in your royal it was never inquired into, by whose means presence, to say, Pharamond gave me mv what no one else cared for doing, was brought friend! Pharamond has taken him from about.
me! I will not say, Shall the merciful PhaOne evening when Pharamond came ramond destroy his own subjects? Will the into the apartment of Eucrate, he found father of his country murder his people. him extremely dejected; upon which he But the merciful Pharamond does destroy asked, (with a smile that was natural to his subjects, the father of his country does him,) "What, is there any one too misera- murder his people. Fortune is so much the ble to be relieved by Pharamond, that Eu- pursuit of mankind, that all glory and how crate is melancholy?” “I fear there is,” nour is in the power of a prince, because he answered the favourite: “A person with- has the distribution of their fortunes. It is out, of a good air, well dressed, and though therefore the inadvertency, negligence, or a man in the strength of his life, seems to guilt of princes to let any thing grow into faint under some inconsolable calamity. All custom which is against their laws. A his features seem suffused with agony of court can make fashion and duty walk tomind; but I can observe in him, that it is gether; it can never without the guilt of a more inclined to break away in tears, than court, happen, that it shall not be unfashionrage. I asked him what he would have. able to do what is unlawful. But, alas! in He said he would speak to Pharamond. I the dominions of Pharamond, by the force desired his business. He could hardly say of a tyrant custom, which is misnamed å to me, 'Eucrate, carry me to the king, my point of honour, the duellist kills his friend story is not to be told twice; I fear I shall whom he loves; and the judge condemns not be able to speak it at all.' Pharamond the duellist while he approves his behavicommanded Eucrate to let him enter; he our. Shame is the greatest of all evils; did so, and the gentleman approached the what avail laws, when death only attends king with an air which spoke him under the breach of them, and shame obedience the greatest concern in what manner to de- to them. As for me, oh Pharamond, were mean himself. The king, who had a quick it possible to describe the nameless kinds discerning, relieved him from the oppres- of compunctions and tenderness I feel, when sion he was under: and with the most beau- I reflect upon the little accidents in our fortiful complacency, said to him, “Sir, do mer familiarity, my mind swells into sorrow not add to that load of sorrow I see in your which cannot be resisted enough to be silent countenance the awe of my presence. Think in the presence of Pharamond. (With that you are speaking to your friend. If the he fell into a flood of tears, and wept aloud.) circumstances of your distress will admit of Why should not Pharamond hear the anit, you shall find me so." To whom the guish he only can relieve others from in stranger: “Oh,excellent Pharamond, name time to come? Let him hear from me, not a friend to the unfortunate Spinamont. * what they feel who have given death by I had one, but he is dead by my own hand; the false mercy of his administration, and but, oh Pharamond, though it was by the form to himself the vengeance called for hand of Spinamont, it was by the guilt of by those who have perished by his negliPharamond. I come not, oh excellent gence.”
R. prince, to implore your pardon; I come to relate my sorrow, 'a sorrow too great for human life to support; from henceforth No. 85.7 Thursday, June ry. 1711. shall all occurrences appear dreams, or short intervals of amusement, for this one Interdum speciosa locis, morataque recte affliction which has seized my very being.
Fabula, nullius veneris, sine pondere et arte,
Valdius oblectat populum, meliusque moratur, Pardon me, oh Pharamond, if my griefs
Quam versus inopes rerum, nugæque canoræ. give me leave, that I lay before you in the
Hors. Ars Poct. ver. 319. anguish of a wounded mind, that you, good
--When the sentiments and manners please, as you are, are guilty of the generous blood And all the characters are wrought with ease, spilt this day by this unhappy hand. Oh
Your Tale, though void of beauty, force, and art,
More strongly shall delight, and warm the heart; that it had perished before that instant!” |
Than where a lifeless pomp of verse appears, Here the stranger paused, and recollecting And with sonorous trifles charms our ears. his mind, after some little meditation, he
Francis, went on in a calmer tone and gesture as It is the custom of the Mahometans, if follows:
they see any printed or written paper upon “There is an authority due to distress, the ground, to take it up and lay it aside and as none of human race is above the carefully, as not knowing but it may conreach of sorrow, none should be above the tain some piece of their Alcoran. I must
confess I have so much of the Mussulman * Mr. Thornhill, the gentleman here alluded to, under the translated name of Spinamont, killed sir C. Deering
her in me, that I cannot forbear looking into of Kent, Bart. in a duel, May 9, 1711.
Tevery printed paper which comes in my
Me fabulosae Vulture in Appulo.
stances it may appear; for as no mortal | subject, and are such as are the most pro. author, in the ordinary fate and vicissitude per to excite pity; for which reason the of things, knows to what use his works whole narration has something in it very may some time or other be applied, a man moving, notwithstanding the author of it may often meet with very celebrated (whoever he was) has delivered it in such names in a paper of tobacco. I have light- an abject phrase and poorness of expresed my pipe more than once with the writ- sion, that the quoting any part of it would ings of a prelate; and know a friend of look like a design of turning it into ridicule. mine, who, for these several years, has But though the language is mean, the converted the essays of a man of quality thcughts, as I have before said, from one into a kind of fringe for his candlesticks. end to the other, are natural, and therefore I remember, in particular, after having cannot fail to please those who are not read over a poem of an eminent author on judges of language, or those who, notwitha victory, I met with several fragments of standing they are judges of language, have it upon the next rejoicing day, which had a true and unprejudiced taste of nature. been employed in squibs and crackers, and The condition, speech, and behaviour of by that means celebrated its subject in a the dying parents, with the age, innocence, double capacity. I once met with a page and distress of the children, are set forth of Mr. Baxter, under a Christmas pie. in such tender circumstances, that it is im. Whether or no the pastry-cook had made possible for a reader of common humanity use of it through chance or waggery, for not to be affected with them. As for the the defence of that superstitious viande, I circumstance of the robin-red-breast, it is know not; but upon the perusal of it, I con- indeed a little poetical ornament; and to ceived so good an idea of the author's piety, show the genius of the author amidst all that I bought the whole book. I have often his simplicity, it is just the same kind of profited by these accidental readings, and fiction which one of the greatest of the have sometimes found very curious pieces Latin poets has made use of upon a paralthat are either out of print, or not to be lel occasion; I mean that passage in Homet with in the shops of our London book- race, where he describes himself when he sellers. For this reason, when my friends was a child, fallen asleep in a desert wood, take a survey of my library, they are very and covered with leaves by the turtles that much surprised to find upon the shelf of took pity on him. folios, two long band-boxes standing upright among my books; till I let them see
Altricis extra limen Apuliæ, that they are both of them lined with deep
Ludo fatigatumque somno erudition and abstruse literature. I might
Od. iv. Lib. 3.9 likewise mention a paper-kite, from which I have received great improvement; and a
Me when a child, as tir'd with play,
Upon th' Apulian hills I lay hat case, which I would not exchange for
In careless slumbers bound, all the beavers in Great Britain. This
The gentle doves protecting found, my inquisitive temper, or rather imperti
And cover'd me with myrtle leaves.' nent humour, of prying into all sorts of I have heard that the late Lord Dorset, writing, with my natural aversion to lo- who had the greatest wit tempered with quacity, give me a good deal of employ- the greatest candour, and was one of the ment when I enter any house in the country;| finest critics as well as the best poets of his for I cannot for my heart leave a room, be- age, had a numerous collection of old Eng fore I have thoroughly studied the walls lish ballads, and took a particular pleasure of it, and examined the several printed in the reading of them. I can affirm the papers which are usually pasted upon same of Mr. Dryden, and know several of them. The last piece that I met with upon the most refined writers of our present age this occasion gave me most exquisite plea- who are of the same humour. sure. My reader will think I am not se- I might likewise refer my readers to rious, when I acquaint him that the piece Moliere's thoughts on this subject, as he has I am going to speak of, was the old ballad expressed them in the character of the of the Two Children in the Wood, which Misanthrope; but those only who are enis one of the darling songs of the common dowed with a true greatness of soul and people, and has been the delight of most | genius; can divest themselves of the images Englishmen in some part of their age. of ridicule, and admire nature in her sim
This song is a plain simple copy of na- plicity and nakedness. As for the little ture, destitute of the helps and ornaments conceited wits of the age, who can only of art. The tale of it is a pretty tragical show their judgment by finding fault, they story, and pleases for no other reason but cannot be supposed to admire these pro · because it is a copy of nature. There is ductions which have nothing to recomeven a despicable simplicity in the verse; mend them but the beauties of nature, and yet because the sentiments appear when they do not kno v how to relish even genuine and unaffected, they are able to those compositions that with all the beaumove the mind of the most polite reader ties of nature, have also the additional ad. with inward meltings of humanity and vantages of art.
Fronde nova puerum palumbes