Imágenes de páginas

had possessed himself of the Roman em-1 No. 225.] Saturday, November 17, 1711 pire, his desires turned upon catching flies.

1. Nullum numen abest si sit prudentia Active and masculine spirits in the vigour

Juv. Sat. X. 365. of youth neither can nor ought to remain at Prudence supplies the want of every good. rest. If they debar themselves from aiming I HAVE often thought if the minds of men at a noble object, their desires will move were laid open, we should see but little downwards, and they will feel themselves difference between that of the wise man actuated by some low and abject passion. and that of the fool. There are infinite Thus, if you cut off the top branches of a reveries, numberless extravagances, and a tree, and will not suffer it to grow any perpetual train of vanities which pass higher, it will not therefore cease to grow, through both. The great difference is, that but will quickly shoot out at the bottom. I the first knows how to pick and cull his The man indeed who goes into the world thoughts for conversation, by suppressing only with the narrow views of self-interest, some and communicating others; whereas who catches at the applause of an idle mul- the other lets them all indifferently fly out titude, as he can find no solid contentment in words. This sort of discretion, howat the end of his journey, so he deserves to ever, has no place in private conversation meet with disappointments in his way: but between intimate friends. On such occahe who is actuated by a nobler principle; sions the wisest men very often talk like whose mind is so far enlarged as to take in the weakest: for indeed the talking with a the prospect of his country's good; who is friend is nothing else but thinking aloud. enamoured with that praise which is one Tully has therefore very justly exposed of the fair attendants of virtue, and values a precept delivered by some ancient wrinot those acclamations which are not se-ters, that a man should live with his enemy conded by the impartial testimony of his in such a manner, as might leave him room own mind; who repines not at the low sta- to become his friend; and with his friend in tion which Providence has at present allot such a manner, that if he became his eneted him, but yet would willingly advance himself by justifiable means to a more rising him. The first part of this rule, which and advantageous ground; such a man is regards our behaviour towards an enemy warmed with a generous emulation; it is al is indeed very reasonable, as well as very virtuous movement in him to wish and to prudential; but the latter part of it, which endeavour that his power of doing good may regards our behaviour towards a friend, be equal to his will.

savours more of cunning than of discretion, The man who is fitted out by nature, and and would cut a man off from the greatest sent into the world with great abilities, is pleasures of life, which are the freedoms of capable of doing great good or mischief in conversation with a bosom friend. Besides it. It ought therefore to be the care of that, when a friend is turned into an enemy, education to infuse into the untainted youth and, as the son of Sirach calls him, a early notices of justice and honour, that so bewrayer of secrets, ** the world is just the possible advantages of good parts may enough to accuse the perfidiousness of the not take an evil turn, nor be perverted to friend rather than the indiscretion of the base and unworthy purposes. It is the person who confided in him. business of religion and philosophy not so 'Discretion does not only show itself in much to extinguish our passions as to words, but in all the circumstances of acregulate and direct them to valuable well- tion, and is like an under-agent of Provichosen objects. When these have pointed dence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary out to us which course we may lawfully concerns of life, steer, it is no harm to set out all our sail;! There are many more shining qualities if the storms and tempests of adversity in the mind of man, but there is none so should rise upon us, and not suffer us to useful as discretion; it is this indeed which make the haven where we would be, it gives a value to all the rest, which sets will however prove no small consolation to them at work in their proper times and us in these circumstances, that we have i places, and turns them to the advantage of neither mistaken our course, nor fallen into the person who is possessed of them. Withcalamities of our own procuring.

out it, learning is pedantry, and wit imperReligion therefore were we to consider tinence; virtue itself looks like weakness; it no farther than as it interposes in the the best parts only qualify a man to be affairs of this life) is highly valuable, and more sprightly in errors, and active to his worthy of great veneration; as it settles the own prejudice. various pretensions, and otherwise interfer- Nor does discretion only make a man the ing interests of mortal men, and thereby master of his own parts, but of other men's. consults the harmony and order of the great The discreet man finds out the talents of community; as it gives a man room to play those he converses with, and knows how to his part, and exert his abilities; as it ani

ities; as it ani- apply them to proper uses. Accordingly, mates to actions truly laudable in them- if we look into particular communities and selves, in their effects beneficial to society; divisions of men, we may observe, that it is as it inspires rational ambition, correct love, and elegant desire,

* Eccles. vi. 9. zzvii. 17.

the discreet man, not the witty, nor the his thoughts to the end of every action, and learned, nor the brave, who guides the con- considers the most distant as well as the versation, and gives measures to the so- most immediate effects of it. He super, ciety, A man with great talents, but void sedes every little prospect of gain and adof discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fa- vantage which offers itself here, if he does ble, strong and blind, endued with an irre- not find it consistent with his views of an sistible force, which for want of sight is of hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full no use to him.

of immortality, his schemes are large and Though a man has all other perfections, glorious, and his conduct suitable to one and wants discretion, he will be of no great who knows his true interest, and how to consequence in the world; but if he has pursue it by proper methods. this single talent in perfection, and but a I have in this essay upon discretion, concommon share of others, he may do what sidered it both as an accomplishment and he plcases in his particular station of life, as a virtue, and have therefore described

At the same time that I think discretion it in its full extent; not only as it is converthe most useful talent a man can be master sant about worldly affairs, but as it regards of, I look upon cunning to be the accom- our whole existence; not only as it is the plishment of little, mean, ungenerous minds, guide of a mortal creature, but as it is in Discretion points out the noblest ënds to us, general the director of a reasonable being. and pursues the most proper and laudable | It is in this light that discretion is repremethods of attaining themCunning has sented by the wise man, who sometimes only private selfish aims, and sticks at mentions it under the name of discretion, nothing which may make them succeed, and sometimes under that of wisdom. It Discretion has large and extended views, is indeed (as described in the latter part of and like a well-formed eye, commands a this paper) the greatest wisdom, but at the whole horizon, Cunning is a kind of short- same time in the power of every one to sightedness, that discovers the minutest attain. Its advantages are infinite, but its objects which are near at hand, but is not acquisition easy; or to speak of her in the able to discern things at a distance, Dis- words of the apocryphal writer, whom I cretion, the more it is discovered, gives a quoted in my last Saturday's paper, * "Wisgreater authority to the person who pos- dom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet sesses it. Cunning, when it is once de- she is easily seen of them that love her, tected, loses its force, and makes a man in- and found of such as seek her. She precapable of bringing about even those events venteth them that desire her, in making which he might have done, had he passed herself first known unto them. He that only for a plain man. Discretion is the seeketh her early, shall have no great traperfection of reason, and a guide to us in vel: for he shall find her sitting at his all the duties of life: cunning is a kind doors. To think therefore upon her is the of instinct, that only looks out after our perfection of wisdom, and whoso watcheth immediate interest and welfare. Discre- for her shall quickly be without care. For tion is only found in men of strong sense she goeth about seeking such as are worthy and good understandings: cunning is often of her, showeth herself favourably unto to be met with in brutes themselves, and them in the ways, and meeteth them in in persons who are but the fewest removes every thought.' from them. In short, cunning is only the mimic of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same mannner as viva

No. 226.] Monday, November 19, 1711, city is often mistaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.

- Mutum est pictura poema. The cast of mind which is natural to a

A picture is a poem without words. discreet man, makes him look forward into

† I HAVE very often lamented and hinted Iuturity, and consider what will be nis conmy sorrow in several speculations, that the dition millions of ages hence, as well as what it is at present. He knows that the

art of painting is made so little use of to the misery or happiness which are reserved

improvement of our manners. When we for him in another world, lose nothing of

consider that it places the action of the their reality by being placed at so great a

person represented in the most agreeable distance from him. The objects do not

| aspect imaginable, that it does not only exappear little to him because they are re-|

press the passion or concern as it sits upon mote. He considers that those pleasures

| him who is drawn, but has under those feaand pains which lie hid in eternity, ap

tures the height of the painter's imagi

nation, what strong images of virtue and proach nearer to him every moment, and will be present with him in their full

humanity might we not expect would be weight and measure, as much as those

* Wisdom of Solomon, chap. vi. ver. 12-16. pains and pleasures which he feels at this

† This paper was written for the purpose of promoting

a subscription to Nicholas Dorigny's set of the Cartoons, to secure to himself that which is the which he had got the queen's permission to engrave. proper happiness of his nature, and the

The king was so much pleased with the abilities of the

artist, that he conferred the honour of knighthood on ultimate design of his being. He carries him.

instilled into the mind from the labours of | aspect. The figures of the eleven apostles the pencil? This is a poetry which would are all in the same passion of admiration, be understood with much less capacity, but discover it differently according to their and less expense of time, than what is character. Peter receives his master's taught by writings; but the use of it is gene- orders on his knees, with an admiration rally perverted, and that admirable skill mixed with a more particular attention: prostituted to the basest and most unwor- the two next with a more open ecstasy, Thy ends. Who is the better man for be- though still constrained by an awe of the holding the most beautiful Venus, the best divine presence. The beloved disciple, wrought Bacchanal, the images of sleeping whom I take to be the right of the two first Cupids, languishing nymphs, or any of the figures, has in his countenance wonder representations of gods, goddesses, demi-drowned in love; and the last personage, gods, satyrs, Polyphemes, sphynxes, or whose back is towards the spectators, fawns? But if the virtues and vices, which and his side towards the presence, one are sometimes pretended to be represented would fancy to be St. Thomas as abashed under such draughts, were given us by the by the conscience of his former diffidence; painter in the characters of real life, and which perplexed concern it is possible the persons of men and women whose Raphael thought too hard a task to draw, actions have rendered them laudable or but by this acknowledgment of the diffiinfamous, we should not see a good history- culty to describe it... piece without receiving an instructive lec- The whole work is an exercise of the ture. There needs no other proof of this highest piety in the painter; and all the truth, than the testimony of every reason- touches of a religious mind are expressed able creature who has seen the cartoons in in a manner much more forcible than can her majesty's gallery at Hampton-court. possibly be performed by the most moving These are representations of no less actions eloquence. These invaluable pieces are than those of our Blessed Saviour and his | very justly in the hands of the greatest and apostles. As I now sit and recollect the most pious sovereign in the world, and canwarm images which the admirable Raphael not be the frequent object of every one at has raised, it is impossible even from the their own leisure: but as an engraver is to faint traces in one's memory of what one has the painter what a printer is to the author, not seen these two years, to be unmoved at it is worthy her majesty's name that she the horror and reverence which appear in has encouraged that noble artist Monsieur the whole assembly when the mercenary Dorigny, to publish these works of Raphael. man fell down dead; at the amazement of We have of this gentleman a piece of the the man born blind, when he first receives Transfiguration, which, I think, is held a sight; or at the graceless indignation of the work second to none in the world. sorcerer, when he is struck blind. The Methinks it would be ridiculous in our lame when they first find strength in their people of condition, after their large bounfeet, stand doubtful of their new vigour, ties to foreigners of no name or merit, The heavenly apostles appear acting these should they overlook this occasion of havgreat things with a deep sense of the in- ing for a trifing subscription, a work which firmities which they relieve, but no value it is impossible for a man of sense to beof themselves whó administer to their hoid, without being warmed with the noblest weakness. They know themselves to be sentiments that can be inspired by love, but instruments; and the generous distress admiration, compassion, contempt of this they are painted in when divine honours world, and expectation of a better. are offered to them, is a representation in It is certainly the greatest honour we can the most exquisite degree of the beauty of do our country, to distinguish strangers of holiness. When St. Paul is preaching to merit who apply to us with modesty and the Athenians, with what wonderful art diffidence which generally accompanies meare almost all the different tempers of man- rit. No opportunity of this kind ought to kind represented in that elegant audience? beneglected; and a modest behaviourshould You see one credulous of all that is said; alarm us to examine whether we do not lose another wrapt up in deep suspense; another something excellent underthat disadyantage saying, there is some reason in what he in the possessor of that quality. My skill says; another angry that the apostle de- in paintings, where one is not directed by stroys a favourite opinion whish he is the passion of the pictures, is so inconsiderun willing to give up; another wholly con- able, that I am in very great perplexity vinced, and holding out his hands in rapture; when I offer to speak of any performances while the generality attend, and wait for of painters of landscapes, buildings, cr sinthe opinion of those who are of leading gle figures. This makes me at a loss how characters in the assembly, I will not pre- to mention the pieces which Mr. Boul extend so much as to mention that chart on poses to sale by auction on Wednesday next which is drawn the appearance of our in Chandos Street: but having heard him blessed Lord after his resurrection. Pre-commended by those who have bought of sent authority, late sufferings, humility and him heretofore, for great integrity in his majesty, despotic command, and divine dealing, and overheard him himself (though love, are at once seated in his celestial la laudable painter) say, nothing of his own



was fit to come into the room with those he “Mr. SPECTATOR, -The lover's leap which had to sell, I feared I should lose an occasion you mention in your 223d paper, was genof serving a man of worth, in omitting to erally, I believe, a very effectual cure for speak of his auction.

| love, and not only for love, but for all other evils. In short, sir, I am afraid it was such

a leap as that which Hero took to get rid No. 227.] Tuesday, November 20, 1711. of her passion for Leander. A man is in

2 MOL SY0, si wabo; qi odurroo$; ou UA UXOUETS; no danger of breaking his heart, who breaks Ταν βαετα αποδυς τις κυματα τηνα αλευμαι

his neck to prevent it. I know very well Οσες τως θυννως σκοπιαζεται Ολπις ο γριπευς.

the wonders which ancient author's reΚηκα μη σοθανω, το γε μαν τεον αδυτετυκται.

Theocr. Idyl. iii. 2. late concerning this leap ; and in particu

lar, that very many persons who tried it, Wretch that I am! ah, whither shall I go?

escaped not only with their lives, but their Will you not hear me, nor regard my woe? I'll strip, and throw me from yon rock so high,

limbs. If by this means they got rid of Where Olpis sits to watch the scaly fry.

their love, though it may in part be asShould I be drown!d, or 'scape with life away,

cribed to the reasons you give for it; why If cur'd of love, you, tyrant, would be gay.--P.

may we not suppose that the cold bath, In my last Thursday's paper, I made men-into which they plunged themselves, had tion of a place called the lover's Leap, which also some share in their cure? A leap into I find has raised a great curiosity among the sea, or into any creek of salt waters, very several of my correspondents. I there told often gives a new motion to the spirits, and them that this leap was used to be taken a new turn to the blood: for which reason from a promontory of Leucas. This Leucas we prescribe it in distempers which no was formerly a part of Acarnania, being join- other medicine will reach. I could proed to it by a narrow neck of land, which the duce a quotation out of a very venerable sea has by length of time overflowed and author, in which the frenzy produced by washed away; so that at present Leucas is love is compared to that which is produced divided from the continent, and is a little by the biting of a mad dog. But as this island in the Ionian Sea. The promontory comparison is a little too coarse for your of this island, from whence the lover took paper, and might look as if it were cited to his leap, was formerly called Leucate. If ridicule the author who has made use of it; the reader has a mind to know both the isl. I shall only hint at it, and desire you to conand and the promontory by their modern sider whether, if the frenzy produced by titles, he will find in his map the ancient these two different causes be of the same island of Leucas under the name of St. nature, it may not very properly be cured Mauro, and the ancient promontory of by the same means. I am, sir, your most Leucate under the name of the Cape of St. humble servant, and well-wisher, Mauro.

• ÆSCULAPIUS. Since I am engaged thus far in antiquity, I must observe that Theocritus in the motto

'MR. SPECTATOR,—I am a young woman prefixed to my paper, describes one of his crossed in love. My story is very long and despairing shepherds addressing himself to

melancholy. To give you the heads of it, his mistress after the following manner: a young gentleman, after having made his . 'Alas! what will become of me? Wretch |

ohl applications to me for three years together, that I am! Will you not hear me? I'll

2. Tul and filled my head with a thousand dreams throw off my clothes and take a leap into

to of happiness, some few days since married that part of the sea which is so much fre- |

in fpe another. Pray tell me in what part of the quented by Olpis the fisherman. And though

world your promontory lies, which you call I should escape with my life, I know you

the Lover's Leap, and whether one may go will be pleased with it. I shall leave it to it by. Jand! But, alas! I am afraid it with the critics to determine whether the has lost its virtue, and that a woman of our place, which this shepherd so particularly

pticularly times would find no more relief in taking points out. was not the above-mentioned such a leap, than in singing a hymn to VeLeucate, or at least some other lover's leap,

Lover's lean nus. So that I must cry out with Dido, in which was supposed to have had the same ef- | Dryden's Virgil: fect. I cannot believe, as all the interpreters Ah! cruel heav'n, that made no cure for love! do, that the shepherd means nothing farther

‘Your disconsolate servant, here than that he would drown himself, since

ATHENAIS. he represents the issue of his leap as doubtful, by adding, that if he should escape with “MISTER SPICTATUR,--My heart is so full his life, he knows his mistress would be of lofes and passions for Mrs. Gwinifrid, pleased with it: which is, according to our and she is so pettish and overrun with interpretation, that she would rejoice any cholers against me, that if I had the good way to get rid of a lover who was so trouble- happiness to have my dwelling (which is some to her.

placed by my crete-cranfather upon the After this short preface, I shall present my pottom of an hill) no farther distance but reader with some letters which I have receiv- Twenty mile from the Lofer's Leap, I would ed upon this subject. The first is sent me by indeed endeafour to preak my neck upon a physician.

lit on purpose. Now, good Mr. Spictatur of Crete Pritain, you must know it, there tances. Of this make is that man who 19 is in Caernarvonshire a very pig mountain, very inquisitive. You may often observe, the clory of all Wales, which is named Pen- that though he speaks as good sense as any mainmaure, and you must also know, it is man upon any thing with which he is well no crete journey on foot from me; but the acquainted, he cannot trust to the range of road is stony and bad for shooes. Now, his own fancy to entertain himself upon that there is upon the forehead of this mountain foundation, but goes on still to new inquia very high rock, (like a parish steeple) ries. Thus, though you know he is fit for that cometh a huge deal over the sea; so the most polite conversation, you shall see when I am in my melancholies, and I do him very well contented to sit by a jockey, throw myself from it, I do tesire my fery giving an account of the many revolutions good friend to tell me in his Spictatur, if I in his horse's health, what potion he made shall be cure of my griefous lofes; for there him take, how that agreed with him, how is the sea clear as class, and as creen as the afterwards he came to his stomach and his leek. Then likewise if I be drown and exercise, or any the like impertinence; and preak my neck, if Mrs. Gwinifrid will not be as well pleased as if you talked to him lofe me afterwards. Pray be speedy in on the most important truths. This humour your answers, for I am in crete haste, and is far from making a man unhappy, though it is my tesires to do my business without it may subject him to raillery; for he geneloss of time. I remain with cordial affec- rally falls in with a person who seems to be tions, your ever lofing friend,

born for him, which is your talkative felDAVYTH AP SHENKYN. low. It is so ordered, that there is a secret P. S. My law-suits have prought me tol bent, as natural as the meeting of different London, put I have lost my causes; and so sexes, in these two characters, to supply have made my resolutions to go down and each other's wants. I had the honour the leap before the frosts begin; for I am apt to

+ to other day to sit in a public room, and saw take colds.'

an inquisitive man look with an air of satis

faction upon the approach of one of these Ridicule, perhaps, is a better expedient talkers. The man of ready utterance sat against love than sober advice, and I am of down by him, and rubbing his head, leaning opinion, that Hudibras and Don Quixote on his arm, and making an uneasy countemay be as effectual to cure the extrava-nance, he began: "There is no manner of gances of this passion, as any of the old phi- l news to-day. I cannot tell what is the matlosophers. I shall therefore publish very ter with me, but I slept very ill last night: speedily the translation of a little Greek whether I caught cold or no, I know not, manuscript, which is sent me by a learned but I fancy I do not wear shoes thick friend. It appears to have been a piece of enough for the weather, and I have coughed those records which were kept in the tem-1 all this week. It must be so, for the custom ple of Apollo, that stood upon the promon- of washing my head winter and summer tory of Leucate. The reader will find it to with cold water, prevents any injury from be a summary account of several persons the season entering that way: so it must who tried the lover's leap, and of the suc- come in at my feet; but I take no notice of cess they found in it. As there seem to be

|it: as it comes so it goes. Most of our evils in it some anachronisms, and deviations proceed from too much tenderness; and our from the ancient orthography, I am not faces are naturally as little able to resist the wholly satisfied myself that it is authentic, cold as other parts. The Indian answered and not rather the production of one of those very well to an European, who asked him Grecian sophisters, who have imposed upon how he could go naked, “I am all face." the world several spurious works of this I observed this discourse

I observed this discourse was as welcome nature. I speak this by way of precaution, to my general inquirer as any other of more because I know there are several writers of conséquence could have been; but somebody uncommon erudition, who would not fail to calling our talker to another part of the room, expose my ignorance, if they caught me the inquirer told the next man who sat by tripping in a matter of so great inoment.

him, that Mr. Such-a-one, who was just gone from him, used to wash his head in

cold water every morning; and so repeated No. 228.] Wednesday, November 21, 1711.

almost verbatim all that had been said to

him, The truth is, the inquisitive are the Percunctatorum fugito, nam garrulus idem est.

funnels of conversation: they do not take in Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. xviii. 69. any thing for their own use, but merely to Th'inquisitive will blab; from such refrain;

pass it to another. They are the channels Their leaky ears no secret can retain.-Shard. through which all the good and evil that is

THERE is a creature who has all the or- spoken in town are conveyed. Such as are gans of speech, a tolerable good capacity offended at them, or think they suffer by for conceiving what is said to it, together their behaviour, may themselves mend that with a pretty proper behaviour in all the inconvenience; for they are not a malicious occurrences of common life; but naturally people, and if you will supply them, you very vacant of thought in itself, and there may contradict any thing they have said fore forcell to apply itself to foreign assis- | before by their own mouths. A farther ac

« AnteriorContinuar »