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tion, at the inmost thoughts and reflections perhaps raised in me uncommon reflecof all whom I behold. It is from hence tions; but this effect I cannot communicate that good or ill fortune has no manner of but by my writings. As my pleasures are force towards affecting my judgment. I almost wholly confined to those of the sight, see men flourishing in courts and languish- I take it for a peculiar happiness that I ing in jails, without being prejudiced, from have always had air easy and familiar adtheir circumstances, to their favour or dis- mittance to the fair sex. If I never praised advantage; but from their inward manner or flattered, I never belied or contradicted of bearing their condition, often pity the them. As these compose half the world, prosperous, and admire the unhappy. and are, by the just complacence and gala * Those who converse with the dumb, lantry of our nation, the more powerful know from the turn of their eyes, and the part of our people, I shall dedicate a cona changes of their countenance, their senti- siderable share of these my speculations to ments of the objects before them. I have their service, and shall lead the young indulged my silence to such an extrava- through all the becoming duties of virgigance, that the few who are intimate with nity, marriage, and widowhood. When it -me, answer my smiles with concurrent sen is a woman's day, in my works, I shall entences, and argue to the very point I shaked deavour at a style and air suitable to their my head at, without my speaking, Will understanding. When I say this, I must Honeycomb was very entertaining the other be understood to mean, that I shall not night at a play, to a gentleman who sat on lower, but exalt the subjects I treat upon, his right hand, while I was at his left. The Discourse for their entertainment is not to gentleman believed Will was talking to be debased but refined. A man may aphimself, when upon my looking with great pear learned without talking sentences, as approbation at a young thing in a box be- in his ordinary gesture he discovers he can fore us, he said, “I am quite of another dance, though he does not cut capers. In opinion. She has, I will allow, a very a word, I shall take it for the greatest glory pleasing aspect, but, methinks that sim- of my work, if among reasonable women plicity in her countenance is rather child- this paper may furnish tea-table talk. In ish than innocent.' When I observed her order to it, I shall treat on matters which a second time, he said, 'I grant her dress relate to females, as they are concerned to is very becoming, but perhaps the merit of approach or fly from the other sex, or as that choice is owing to her mother; for they are tied to them by blood, interest or though,' continued he, I allow a beauty to affection. Upon this cccasion I think it is be as much commended for the elegance but reasonable to declare, that whatever of her dress, as a wit for that of his lan-skill I may have in speculation, I shall guage; yet if she has stolen the colour of never betray what the eyes of lovers say to her ribands from another, or had advice each other in my presence. At the same about her trimmings, I shall not allow her time I shall not think myself obliged, by this the praise of dress, any more than I would promise, to conceal any false protestations call a plagiary an author.' When I threw which I observe made by glances in public my eye towards the next woman to her, assemblies; but endeavour to make both Will spoke what I looked, according to his sexes appear in their conduct what they romantic imagination, in the following man-are in their hearts. By this means, love, aer:
during the time of my speculations, shall Behold, you who dare, that charming be carried on with the same sincerity as virgin; behold the beauty of her person any other affair of less consideration. As chastised by the innocence of her thoughts. this is the greatest concern, men shall be Chastity, good-nature, and affability, are from henceforth liable to the greatest rethe graces that play in her countenance; proach for misbehaviour in it. Falsehood she knows she is handsome, but she knows in love shall hereafter bear a blacker asshe is good. Conscious beauty adorned with pect than infidelity in friendship, or villany conscious virtue! What a spirit is there in in business. For this great and good end, those eyes! What a bloom in that person! all breaches against that noble passion, the How is the whole woman expressed in her cement of society, shall be severely examappearance! Her air has the beauty of ined. But this, and other matters loosely motion, and her look the force of language.' hinted at now, and in my former papers,
It was prudence to turn away my eyes shall have their proper place in my followfron this object, and therefore I turned ing discourses. The present writing is only them to the thoughtless creatures who to admonish the world, that they shall not make up the lump of that sex, and move a find me an idle but a busy Spectator, R. knowing eye no more than the portraiture of insignificant people by ordinary painters, which are but pictures of pictures.
No. 5.] Tuesday, March 6, 1710-11, Thus the working of my own mind is the Spectatum admissi risum teneatis ? general entertainment of my life; I never
. Hor. Ars Poet. ver. 5. enter into the commerce of discourse with
Admitted to the sight, would you not laugh? any but my particular friends, and not in An opera may be allowed to be extravapublic even with them. Such a habit has gantly lavish in its decorations, as its only
design is to gratify the senses, and keep up | horse, and that there was actually a proan indolent attention in the audience, Com-ject of bringing the New-river into the mon sense, however, requires, that there house, to be employed in jetteaus and washould be nothing in the scenes and ma-ter-works. † This project, as I have since chines, which may appear childish and 'heard, is postponed till the summer season, absurd. How would the wits of King when it is thought the coolness that proCharles's time have laughed to have seen ceeds from fountains and cascades will be Nicolini exposed to a tempest in robes of more acceptable and refreshing to the peoermine, and sailing in an open boat upon ple of quality. In the mean time, to find a sea of pasteboard? What a field of rail-out a more agreeable entertainment for the lery would they have been let into, had winter season, the opera of Rinaldot is fillthey been entertained with painted dra- ed with thunder and lightning, illumina gons spitting wildfire, enchanted chariots tions and fire-works; which the audience drawn by Flanders' mares, and real cas- may look upon without catching cold, cades in artificial landscapes? A little skill and indeed without much danger of being in criticism would inform us, that shadows burnt; for there are several engines filled and realities ought not to be mixed together with water, and ready to play at a minute's in the same piece; and that the scenes warning, in case any such accident should which are designed as the representations happen. However, as I have a very great of nature, should be filled with resem- friendship for the owner of this theatre, I blances, and not with the things them- hope that he has been wise enough to inselves. If one would represent a wide sure his house before he would let this champaign country filled with herds and opera be acted in it. flocks, it would be ridiculous to draw the It is no wonder that those scenes should country only upon the scenes, and to crowd be very surprising, which were contrived several parts of the stage with sheep and by two poets of different nations, and oxen. This is joining together inconsist- raised by two magicians of different sexes. encies, and making the decoration partly Armida (as we are told in the argument) real, and partly imaginary. I would re- was an Amazonian enchantress, and poor commend what I have said here to the di- Signior Cassani (as we learn from the perrectors, as well as to the admirers of our sons represented) a Christian conjuror modern opera,
(Mago Christiano.) I must confess I am As I was walking in the streets about a very much puzzled to find out how an fortnight ago, I saw an ordinary fellow car- Amazon should be versed in the black art, rying a cage full of little birds upon his or how a good Christian, for such is the shoulder; and as I was wondering with part of the magician, should deal with the myself what use he would put them to, he devil. was met very luckily by an acquaintance To consider the poet after the conjurors. who had the same curiosity, Upon his I shall give you a taste of the Italian from asking what he had upon his shoulder, he the first lines of the preface: Eccoti, betold him that he had been buying sparrows' nigno lettore, un parto di poche sere, che se for the opera. «Sparrows for the opera,' ben nato di notte, non e pero aborto di tesays his friend, licking his lips, what, are nebre, ma si fara conoscere figlio d'Apollo they to be roasted ?" No, no,' says the con qualche raggio di Parnasso.'--- Beother, they are to enter towards the end hold, gentle reader, the birth of a few of the first act, and to fly about the stage,' evenings, which, though it be the offspring
This strange dialogue awakened my cu- of the night, is not the abortive of darkness, riosity so far, that I immediately bought but will make itself known to be the son of the opera, by which means I perceived Apollo, with a certain ray of Parnassus." that the sparrows were to act the part of He afterwards proceeds to call Mynheer singing birds in a delightful grove; though Handel the Orpheus of our age, and to ac upon a nearer inquiry I found the sparrows quaint us, in the same sublimity of style, put the same trick upon the audience, that that he composed this opera in a fortnight. Šir Martin Mar-all* practised upon his Such are the wits to whose tastes we so mistress: for though they flew in sight, ambitiously conform ourselves. The truth the music proceeded from a concert of fla- of it is, the finest writers among the mogelets and bird-calls, which were planted behind the scenes. At the same time Il. † At the time this paper was written, it could have
been little expected that what is here so happily ridi
culed, would ever really take place; but, in our en course of the actors, that there were great
| lightened days, we have seen the New-river acting as no inconsiderable auxiliary, not only in a suburban theatre, but in Covent-garden itself: and if the ma.
| nagers of our classical theatres have not been able to down a part of the wall, and to surprise bring an hundred horses on the stage, it certainly was the audience with a party of an hundred not from a want of inclination, but because the stage
would not hold them.
| Rinaldo, an opera, 1711. The plan was laid by Sir Martin Mar-all, or The Feigned Innocence;' a Aaron Hill, his outline filled up with Italian words comedy, by Dryden, made up of pieces borrowed from hy Sig. G. Rossi, and the music composed by Handel. Quinault's Amant Indiscret,' the 'Etourdi' of Mo. The story is taken from Tasso, and the scene laid in and liere, and M. du Parc's 'Francion.'
dern Italians express themselves in such a No. 6.] Wednesday, March 7, 1710-11. floric form of words, and such tedious cir- |
Credebant hoc grande nefas, et morte piandum, cumlocutions, as are used by none but pe- Si juvenis vetulo non assurrexeratdants in our own country; and at the same
Juv. Sat. xiii. 54.
L- | 'Twas impious then (so much was age rever'd) ginations and conceits, as our youths are For youth to keep their seats when an old man appear'd. ashamed of before they have been two! I KNOW no evil under the sun so great as years at the university, Some may be apt the to think that it is the difference of genius there is no one vice more common. apt the abuse of the understanding, and yet
It has which produces the difference in the works dif
diffused itself through both sexes, and all of the two nations; but to show that there
qualities of mankind; and there is hardly is nothing in this, if we look into the writ-1
that person to be found, who is not more ings of the old Italians, such as Cicero and Virgil, we shall find that the English
concerned for the reputation of wit and
ish sense, than of honesty and virtue. But writers, in their way of thinking and ex
ma ex- this unhappy affectation of being wise rapressing themselves, resemble those au
ther than honest, witty than good-natured, thors much more than the modern Italians :
Is is the source of most of the ill habits of life. pretend to do. And as for the poet him- Such false impressions are owing to the self, from whom the dreams of this opera abandoned writings of men of wit, and the are taken, I must entirely agree with Mon
- awkward imitation of the rest of mankind. sieur Boileau, that one verse in Virgil is worth all the clinquant or tinsel of Tasso. night. that he was of opinion none but men
| For this reason Sir Roger was saying last But to return to the sparrows: there have
1 of fine parts deserve to be hanged. The been so many flights of them let loose in
reflections of such men are so delicate upon this opera, that it is feared the house will
all occurrences which they are concerned never get rid of them; and that in other in that therr
er in, that they should be exposed to more plays they may make their entrance in than ordina
than ordinary infamy and punishment, for very wrong and improper scenes, so as to offending,
offending against such quick admonitions as be seen flying in a lady's bed-chamber,
Is their own souls give them, and blunting the or perching upon a king's throne; besides fine
tes fine edge of their minds in such a manner, the inconveniences which the heads of the
ne that they are no more shocked at vice and audience may sometimes suffer from them. I am credibly informed, that there was
m. folly than men of slower capacities. There
is no greater monster in being, than a very once a design of casting into an opera the
ill man of great parts. He lives like a man story of Whittington and his cat, and that
in a palsy, with one side of him dead. While in order to it, there had been got together
perhaps he enjoys the satisfaction of luxury, a great quantity of mice; but Mr. Rich, the
of wealth, of ambition, he has lost the taste proprietor of the play-house, very pru
of good-will, of friendship, of innocence. dently considered that it would be impos
Scarecrow, the beggar, in Lincoln's-innsible for the cat to kill them all, and that
fields, who disabled himself in his right leg, consequently the princes of the stage might
and asks alms all day to get himself a warm be as much infested with mice, as the
supper and a trull at night, is not half so prince of the island was before the cat's
despicable a wretch, as such a man of arrival upon it; for which reason he would
sense. The beggar has no relish above not permit it to be acted in his house. And
sensations; he finds rest more agreeable indeed I cannot blame him; for, as he said
than motion; and while he has a warm fire very well upon that occasion, I do not hear
and his doxy, never reflects that he dethat any of the performers in our opera pre
serves to be whipped. Every man who tend to equal the famous pied piper, * who
terminates his satisfactions and enjoyments made all the mice of a great town in Ger
within the supply of his own necessities and many follow his music, and by that means passic
passions, is, says Sir Roger, in my eye, as cleared the place of those little noxious
poor a rogue as Scarecrow. But,' conanimals.
tinued he, "for the loss of public and priBefore I dismiss this paper, I must in
h vate virtue, we are beholden to your men form my reader, that I hear there is a
of fine parts forsooth; it is with them no treaty on foot between London and Wiset
eT matter what is done, so it be done with an (who will be appointed gardeners of the Main
air. But to me, who am so whimsical
But play-house) to furnish the opera of Rinaldo and Armida with an orange-grove: and
in a corrupt age as to act according to na
ture and reason, a selfish man, in the most that the next time it is acted, the singingbirds will be personated by tom-tits, the
shining circumstance and equipage, ap.
pears in the same condition with the fellow undertakers being resolved to spare neither above mentioned, but more contemptible pains nor money for the gratification of the in
of the in proportion to what more he robs the audience.
public of, and enjoys above him. I lay it * June 26, 1284, the rats and mice by which Hame. en was infested, were allured, it is said, by a piper, to contiguous river in which they were all drowned.
of any importance, is to have a prospect of † London and Wise were the Queen's gardeners at This time.
public good: and that the general tendency
of our indifferent actions ought to be agree-/ any thing more common, than that we run able to the dictates of reason, of religion, in perfect contradiction to them? All which of good-breeding; without this, a man as I is supported by no other pretension, than have before hinted, is hopping instead of that it is done with what we call a good walking, he is not in his entire and proper grace. motion."
Nothing ought to be held laudable or While the honest knight was thus bewil- becoming, but what nature itself should dering hiinself in good starts, I looked at-prompt us to think so. Respect to all kinds tentively upon him, which made him, I of superiors is 'founded, I think, upon in thought, collect his mind a little. "What stinct; and yet what is so ridiculous as age? I aim at,' says he, is to represent that I | I make this abrupt transition to the menum of opinion, to polish our understandings, tion of this vice, more than any other, in and neglect our manners, is of all things the order to introduce a little story, which I most inexcusable. Reason should govern think a pretty instance that the most polite passion, but instead of that, you see, it is age is in danger of being the most vicious. often subservient to it; and, as unaccountable 'It happened at Athens, during a public as one would think it, a wise man is not al- representation of some play exhibited in way; it good man.' This degeneracy is not honour of the commonwealth, that an old only the guilt of particular persons, but also, gentleman came too late for a place suitable at some times, of a whole people: and per- to his age and quality. Many of the young haps it may appear upon examination, that gentlemen, who observed the difficulty and the most polite ages are the least virtuous. confusion he was in, made signs to him that This may be attributed to the folly of ad- they would accommodate him if he came mitting wit and learning as merit in them- where they sat. The good man bustled selves, without considering the application through the crowd accordingly; but when of them. By this means it becomes a rule, he came to the seats to which he was innot so much to regard what we do, as how vited, the jest was to sit close and expose we do it. But this false beauty will not pass him, as he stood, out of countenance, to the upon men of honest minds and true taste. whole audience. The frolic went round Sir Richard Blackmore says, with as much the Athenian benches. But on those occagood sense as virtue, “It is a mighty shame sions there were also particular places asand dishonour to employ excellent faculties signed for foreigners. When the good man and abundance of wit, to humour and please skulked towards the boxes appointed for men in their vices and follies. The great the Lacedæmonians, that honest people, enemy of mankind, notwithstanding his wit more virtuous than polite, rose up all to a and angelic faculties, is the most odious man, and with the greatest respect received being in the whole creation.' He goes on him among them. The Athenians being soon after to say, very generously, that he suddenly touched with a sense of the Sparundertook the writing of his poem “to res tan virtue and their own degeneracy, gave cue the Muses out of the hands of ravishers, a thunder of applause; and the old man to restore them to their sweet and chaste cried out, " The Athenians understand mansions, and to engage them in an em- what is good, but the Lacedæmonians pracployment suitable to their dignity.' This | tise it.” certainly ought to be the purpose of every man who appears in public, and whoever does not proceed upon that foundation, in- | jures his country as fast as he succeeds in his
No. 7.] Thursday, March 8, 1710-11, studies. When modesty ceases to be the Somnia, terrores magicos, miracula, sagas, chief ornament of one sex; and integrity of Nocturnos lemures, portentaque Thessala rides? the other, society is upon a wrong basis, and
Hor. Lib. 2. Ep. ii. 208. we shall be ever after without rules to guide Visions, and magic spells, can you despise, jur judgment in what is really becoming
And laugh 2t witches, ghosts, and prodigies? And ornamental. Nature and reason direct | GOING yesterday to dine with an old ac one thing, passion and humour another. To quaintance, I had the misfortune to find the follow the dictates of these two latter, is whole family very much dejected. Upon going into a road that is both endless and asking him the occasion of it, he told me intricate; when we pursue the other, our that his wife had dreamt a strange dream passage is delightful, and what we aim at the night before, which they were afraid easily attainable.
portended some misfortune to themselves I do not doubt but England is at present or to their children. At her coming into as polite a nation as any in the world; but the room, I observed a settled melancholy any man who thinks, can easily see, that in her countenance, which I should have the affectation of being gay and in fashion, been troubled for, had I not heard from has very near eaten up our good sense and whence it proceeded. We were no sooner our religion. Is there any thing so just as sat down, but after having looked upon me that mode and gailantry should be built a little while, My dear,' says she, turning upon exerting ourselves in what is pro- to her husband, you may now see the per and agreeable to the institutions of jus- stranger that was in the candle last night.' Fice and piety among us? And yet is there. Soon after this, as they began to talk of
family affairs, a little boy at the lower end as from real evils. I have known the shoot of the table told her, that he was to go into | ing of a star spoil a night's rest; and have join-hand on Thursday. “Thursday!' says seen, a man in love grow pale, and lose his she, "No, child, if it please God, you shall appetite, upon the plucking of a merrynot begin upon Childermas-day; tell your thought. A screech-owl at midnight has writing-master that Friday will be soon alarmed a family more than a band of robo enough.' I was reflecting with myself on bers; nay, the voice of a cricket hath struck the oddness of her fancy, and wondering more terror than the roaring of a lion. that any body would establish it as a rule, There is nothing so inconsiderable, which to lose a day in every week. In the midst may not appear dreadful to an imagination of these my musings, she desired me to that is filled with omens and prognostics. reach her a little salt upon the point of my A rusty nail, or a crooked pin, shoot up into knife, which I did in such a trepidation and prodigies. hurry of obedience, that I let it drop by the I remember I was once in a mixt assem
way; at which she immediately startled, bly, that was full of noise and mirth, when : and said it fell towards her. Upon this I on a sudden an old woman unluckily ob
looked very blank; and, observing the con- served there were thirteen of us in compacern of the whole table, began to consider ny. The remark struck a panic terror'into myself, with some confusion, as a person several who were present, insomuch that that had brought a disaster upon the fami- one or two of the ladies were going to leave ly. The lady, however, recovering herself the room; but a friend of mine taking notice after a little space, said to her husband, that one of our female companions was big with a sigh, 'My dear, misfortunes never with child, affirmed there were fourteen in come single.' My friend, I found, acted the room, and that instead of portending one but an under part at his table, and being a of the company should die, it plainly foreman of more good-nature than understand- told one of them should be born. Had not my ing, thinks himself obliged to fall in with friend found this expedient to break the all the passions and humours of his yoke- omen, I question not but half the women in fellow. Do not you remember, child,' the company would have fallen sick that says she, that the pigeon-house fell the very night. very afternoon that our careless wench spilt An old maid, that is troubled with the the salt upon the table?' 'Yes,' says he, vapours, produces infinite disturbances of
my dear, and the next post brought us an this kind among her friends and neighbours. account of the battle of Almanza.' The I know a maiden aunt, of a great family, reader may guess at the figure I made, who is one of these antiquated Sybils, that after having done all this mischief. I de- forebodes and prophesies from one end of spatched my dinner as scon as I could, with the year to the other. She is always seeing my usual taciturnity; when, to my utter apparitions and hearing death-watches; and confusion, the lady seeing me quitting my was the other day almost frighted out of knife and fork, and laying them across one her wits by the great house-dog, that howled another upon my plate, desired me that I in the stable at the time when she lay ill would humour her so far as to take them of the tooth-ache. Such an extravagant out of that figure, and place them side by cast of mind engages multitudes of people, side. What the absurdity was which I had not only in impertinent terrors, but in sucommitted I did not know, but I suppose pernumerary duties of life; and arises from there was some traditionary superstition in that fear and ignorance which are natural it; and therefore, in obedience to the lady to the soul of man. The horror, with which of the house, I disposed of my knife and we entertain the thoughts of death, (or infork in two parallel lines, which is the deed of any future evil) and the uncertainty figure I shall always lay them in for the of its approach, fill a melancholy mind with future, though I do not know any reason innumerable apprehensions and suspicions, for it,
and consequently dispose it to the observaIt is not difficult for a man to see that a tion of such groundless prodigies and preperson has conceived an aversion to him. dictions. For as it is the chief concern of For my own part, I quickly found by the wise men to retrench the evils of life by the lady's looks, that she regarded me as a reasonings of philosophy; it is the employvery odd kind of fellow, with an unfortu- ment of fools to multiply them by the senti nate aspect. For which reason I took my ments of superstition. leave immediately after dinner and withi-! For my own part, I should be very much drew to my old lodgings. Upon my return troubled were I endowed with this divining home, I fell into a profound contemplation quality, though it should inform me truly on the evils that attend these superstitious of every thing that can befal me. I would follies of mankind; how they subject us to not anticipate the relish of any happiness, imaginary afflictions, and additional sor- nor feel the weight of any misery, before it rows, tliat do not properly come within actually arrives. our lot. As if the natural calamities of life I know but one way of fortifying my soul were not sufficient for it, we turn the most against these gloomy presages and terrors indifferent circumstances into misfortunes, of mind, and that is, by securing to myself and suffer as much from trilling accidents, the friendship and protection of that Being