Imágenes de páginas

they should not fill the rhetoric chairs with weather, and in every part of the room. she professors.

She has false quarrels and feigned obligaIt has been said in the praise of some tions to all the men of her acquaintance; men that they could talk whole hours to- sighs when she is not sad, and laughs when

owned to the honour of the other sex, that ticular a great mistress of that part of orathere are many among them who can talk tory which is called action, and indeed whole hours together upon nothing. I have seems to speak for no other purpose, but as known a woman branch out into a long ex- it gives her an opportunity of stirring a tempore dissertation upon the edging of a limb, or varying a feature, of glancing her petticoat, and chide her servant for break- eyes, or playing with her fan.

Were women permitted to plead in courts story-tellers, with other characters of that of judicature, I am persuaded they would nature which give birth to loquacity, they carry the eloquence of the bar to greater are as commonly found among the men as heights than it has yet arrived at. If any the women; for which reason I shall pass one doubts this, let him but be present at them over in silence. those debates which frequently arise among I have often been puzzled to assign a the ladies of the British fishery

cause why women should have this talent The first kind therefore of female orators of a ready utterance in so much greater which I shall take notice of, are those who perfection than men. I have sometimes fanare employed in stirring up the passions; a cied that they have not a retentive power, or part of rhetoric in which Socrates his wife the faculty of suppressing their thoughts, had perhaps made a greater proficiency as men have, but that they are necessitated than his above-mentioned teacher.

to speak every thing they think; and if so, The second kind of female orators are it would perhaps furnish a very strong arthose who deal in invectives, and who are gument to the Cartesians for the supportcommonly known by the name of the cen- ing of their doctrine that the soul always sorious. The imagination and elocution of thinks. But as several are of opinion that this set of rhetoricians is wonderful. With the fair sex are not altogether strangers to what a fluency of invention, and copiousness the art of dissembling and concealing their of expression, will they enlarge upon every thoughts, I have been forced to relinquish little slip in the behaviour of another? With that opinion, and have therefore endeahow many different circumstances, and voured to seek after some better reason. with what variety of phrases, will they tell In order to it, a friend of mine, who is an over the same story?" I have known an old excellent anatomist, has promised me by lady make an unhappy marriage the sub- the first opportunity to dissect a woman's ject of a month's conversation. She blamed tongue, and to examine whether there may the bride in one place; pitied her in an- not be in it certain juices which render it so other; vaughed at her in a third; wondered wonderfully voluble or flippant, or whether at her in a fourth; was angry with her in a the fibres of it may not be made up of a fifth; and, in short, wore out a pair of finer or more pliant thread; or whether coach-horses in expressing her concern for there are not in it some particular muscles her. At length, after having quite exhaust- which dart it up and down by such sudden ed the subject on this side, she made a visit glances and vibrations; or whether, in the to the new-married pair, praised the wife last place, there may not be certain undisfor the prudent choice she had made, told covered channels running from the head her the unreasonable reflections which and the heart to this little instrument of some malicious people had cast upon her, loquacity, and conveying into it a perpetual and desired that they might be better ac- affluency of animal spirits. Nor must ] quainted. The censure and approbation of omit the reason which Hudibras has given, this kind of women are therefore only to be why those who can talk on trifles speak considered as helps to discourse.

with the greatest fluency; namely, that the A third kind of female orators may be tongue is like a race-horse, which runs the comprehended under the word gossips. faster the lesser weight it carri: . Mrs. Fiddle-Faddle is perfectly accom- Which of these reasons soever may be plished in this sort of eloquence; she looked upon as the most probable, I think launches out into descriptions of christen- the Irishman's thought was very natural, ings, runs divisions upon a head-dress, who, after some hours conversation with a knows every dish of meat that is served up female orator, told her, that he believed in her neighbourhood, and entertains her her tongue was very glad when she was company a whole afternoon together with asleep, for that it had not a moment's rest the wit of her little boy, before he is able to all the while she was awake.

That excellent old ballad of The WanThe coquette may be looked upon as a ton Wife of Bath, has the following remarkfourth kind of female orator. To give her- able lines: self the larger field for discourse, she hates I think, quoth Thomas, women's tongues and loves in the same breath, talks to her Of aspon leaves are made.' ap-dog or parrot, is uneasy in all kinds of ! And (vid, though in the description of a


very barbarous circumstance, tells us, that to do things worthy, but heroic. The great when the tongue of a beautiful female was cut foundation of civil virtue is self-denial; and out, and thrown upon the ground, it could there is no one above the necessities of life, not forbear muttering even in that posture: but has opportunities of exercising that

| noble quality, and doing as much as his cirComprensam forcipe linguam Abstulit ense fero: radix micat ultima linguæ.

cumstances will bear for the ease and conIpsa jacet, terræque tremens immurmurat atræ ; venience of other men; and he who does Utque salire solet mutilatæ cauda colubræ

more than ordinary men practise upon such Palpitat

Met. Lib. vi. 556.

occasions as occur in his life, deserves the The blade had cut

value of his friends, as if he had done enHer tongue sheer off, close to the trembling root: The mangled part still quiver'd on the ground,

terprises which are usually attended with Murmuring with a faint imperfect sound;

the highest glory. Men of public spirit And, as a serpent writhes his wounded train, differ rather in their circumstances than Uneasy, panting, and possess'd with pain.-Croxall.

their virtue; and the man who does all he If a tongue would be talking without a can, in a low station, is more a hero than he mouth, what could it have done when it had who omits any worthy action he is able to all its organs of speech, and accomplices of accomplish in a great one. It is not many sound about it? I might here mention the years ago since Lapirius, in wrong of his story of the Pippin Woman, had I not some elder brother, came to a great estate by reason to look upon it as fabulous. *

gift of his father, by reason of the dissolute I must confess I am so wonderfully behaviour of the first-born. Shame and charmed with the music of this little instru- contrition reformed the life of the disinment, that I would by no means discourage herited youth, and he became as remarkit. All that I aim at by this dissertation is, able for his good qualities as formerly for to cure it of several disagreeable notes, and his errors. Lapirius, who observed his in particular of those little jarrings and brother's amendment, sent him on a newdissonances which arise from anger, cen-year's day in the morning, the following soriousness, gossipping, and coquetry. In letter: short, I would always have it tuned by HONOURED BROTHER. I enclose to you good-nature, truth, discretion, and sincerity. the deeds whereby my father gave me this

house and land. Had he lived till now, he would not have bestowed it in that manner;

he took it from the man you were, and I No. 248.] Friday, December 14, 1711.

restore it to the man you are. I am, sir, Hoc maxime officii est, ut quisque maxime opis indi- your affectionate brother, and humble sergeat, ita ei potissimum opitulari. Tull. Of. 1. 16. vant,

P, T.' It is a principal point of duty, to assist another mostA s great and exalted spirits undertake when he stands most in need of assistance.

. | the pursuit of hazardous actions for the THERE are none who deserve superiority good of others, at the same time gratifying over others in the esteem of mankind, who their passion for glory: so do worthy minds do not make it their endeavour to be bene- ( in the domestic way of life deny themselves ficial to society; and who upon all occasions many advantages, to satisfy a generous bewhich their circumstances of life can ad-nevolence, which they bear to their friends minister, do not take a certain unfeigned oppressed with distresses and calamities. pleasure in conferring benefits of one kind Such natures one may call stores of Provior other. Those whose great talents and dence, which are actuated by a secret cehigh birth have placed them in conspicuous lestial influence to undervalue the ordinary stations of life are indispensably obliged to gratifications of wealth, to give comfort to exert some noble inclinations for the ser- a heart loaded with affliction, to save a vice of the world, or else such advantages falling family, to preserve a branch of trade become misfortunes, and shade and privacy in their neighbourhood, to give work to the are a more eligible portion. Where oppor- industrious, preserve the portion of the tunities and inclinations are given to the helpless infant, and raise the head of the same person, we sometimes see sublime in- mourning father, People whose hearts are stances of virtue, which so dazzle our ima- wholly bent towards pleasure, or intent ginations, that we look with scorn on all upon gain, never hear of the noble occurwhich in lower scenes of life we may our- rences among men of industry and huselves be able to practice. But this is a manity. It would look like a city romance, vicious way of thinking; and it bears some to tell them of the generous merchant, who spice of romantic madness, for a man to the other day sent this billet to an eminent imagine that he must grow ambitious, or trader under difficulties to support himself, seek adventures, to be able to do great ac- in whose fall many hundreds besides himself tions. It is in every man's power in the had perished: but because I think there is world who is above mere poverty, not only more spirit and true gallantry in it than in

any letter I have ever read from Strephon * The crackling crystal yields, she sinks, she dies;

to Phillis, I shall insert it even in the mer Her head chopp'd off, from her lost shoulders flies; cantile honest style in which it was sent: Pippins she cried, but death her voice confounds, And pip-pip-pip along the ice resounds

I "SIR, I have heard of the casualties

which have involved you in extreme dis- | together my reflections on it without any tress at this time, and knowing you to be a order or method, so that they may appear man of great good-nature, industry, and rather in the looseness and freedom of an probity, have resolved to stand by you. Be essay, than in the regularity of a set disof good cheer; the bearer brings with him course. It is after this manner that I shall five thousand pounds, and has my order to consider laughter and ridicule in my preanswer your drawing as much more on my sent paper. account. I did this in haste, for fear Il Man is the merriest species of the creashould come too late for your relief; but tion, all above and below him are serious. you may value yourself with me to the sum He sees things in a different light from of fifty thousand pounds; for I can very other beings, and finds his mirth arising cheerfully run the hazard of being so much from objects that perhaps cause something less rich than I am now, to save an honest like pity or displeasure in higher natures. man whom I love.* Your friend and ser- Laughter is indeed a very good countervant,

poise to the spleen; and it seems but reaI think there is somewhere in Montaigne

sonable that we should be capable of mention made of a family-book, wherein

receiving joy from what is no real good to all the occurrences that happened from one

us, since we can receive grief from what is generation of that house to another were"

no real evil.

' recorded. Were there such a method in

I have in my forty-seventh paper raised the families which are concerned in this

a speculation on the notion of a modern

philosopher, I who describes the first mogenerosity, it would be a hard task for the greatest in Europe to give in their own an

| tive of laughter to be a secret comparison instance of a benefit better placed, or con

which we make between ourselves and the ferred with a more graceful air. It has

1 persons we laugh at; or in other words, been heretofore urged how barbarous and

that satisfaction which we receive from the inhuman is any unjust step made to the

opinion of some pre-eminence in ourselves, disadvantage of a trader; and by how much

when we see the absurdities of another, or such an act towards him is detestable, by

when we reflect on any past absurdities of

our own. This seems to hold in most cases, so much an act of kindness towards him is laudable. I remember to have heard a

and we may observe that the vainest part bencher of the Temple tell a story of a tra

of mankind are the most addicted to this

passion. dition in their house, where they had for

I have read a sermon of a conventual in merly a custom of choosing kings for such a season, and allowing him his expenses at

the church of Rome, on those words of the the charge of the society. One of our

| wise man, “I said of Laughter, it is mad; kings, f said my friend, carried his royal

and of Mirth, what does it?' Upon which inclination a little too far, and there was a

The laid it down as a point of doctrine, that committee ordered to look into the manager

| laughter was the effect of original sin, and

that Adam could not laugh before the fall. ment of his treasury. Among other things

38 | Laughter while it lasts, slackens and it appeared, that his majesty walking incog. in the cloister, had overheard a poor

unbraces the mind, weakens the faculties, man say to another, Such a small sum

and causes a kind of remissness and dissoluwould make me the happiest man in the

tion in all the powers of the soul; and thus world.' The king out of his royal compas

far it may be looked upon as a weakness in sion, privately inquired into his character,

the composition of human nature. But if and finding him a proper object of charity,

we consider the frequent reliefs we receive sent him the money. When the committee

Vi from it, and how often it breaks the gloom read the report, the house passed his ac- 1.

which is apt to depress the mind and counts with a plaudite without farther ex

damp our spirits, with transient unexpected amination, upon the recital of this article

gleams of joy, one would take care not te in them;

grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life. For making a man happy........l 10 0 0

The talent of turning men into ridicule, and exposing to laughter those one con

verses with, is the qualification of little un. No. 249.] Saturday, December 15, 1711.

generous tempers. A young man with this

cast of mind cuts himself off from all manΓελως ακαιρος εν βρoτοις δεινον κακον.

ner of improvement. Every one has his Frag. Vet. Poet.

flaws and weaknesses; nay, the greatest Mirth out of season is a grievous ill.

| blemishes are often found in the most shinWHEN I make choice of a subject that ing characters; but what an absurd thing has not been treated on by others, I throw is it to pass over all the valuable parts of a

| man, and fix our attention on his infirmi * The merchant involved in distress by casualties

ties? to observe his imperfections more was one Mr. Moreton, a linen-draper; and the generous

than his virtues? and to make use of him merchant, here so justly celebrated, was Sir William Scawen.

† This king, it is said, was beau Nash, master of the he was much given to gambling, he was very liberal, ceremonies at Bath. . In king William's time he was a and numerous instances are recorded of his benevolence student in the Temple His biographer says, though I HQ.)bes.

for the sport of others, rather than for our ter with observing, that the metaphor of own improvement?

laughing applied to the fields and meadows We therefore very often find that per-when they are in flower, or to trees when sons the most accomplished in ridicule are they are in blossom, runs through all lanthose who are very shrewd at hitting a blot, guages; which I have not observed of any without exerting any thing masterly in other metaphor, excepting that of fire and themselves. As there are many eminent burning when they are applied to love. critics who never writ a good line, there This shows that we naturally regard laughare many admirable buffoons that animad- ter, as what is in itself both amiable and vert upon every single defect in another, beautiful. For this reason likewise Venus without ever discovering the least beauty has gained the title of propeod us, the laughof their own. By this means, these unlucky ter-loving dame,' as Waller has translated little wits often 'gain reputation in the it, and is represented by Horace as the godesteem of vulgar minds, and raise them- dess who delights in laughter. Milton, in selves above persons of much more laud- a joyous assembly of imaginary persons, has able characters.

given us a very poetical figure of laughter. If the talent of ridicule were employed His whole band of mirth is so finely deto laugh men out of vice and folly, it might scribed, that I shall set down the passage be of some use to the world; but instead of at length. this, we find that it is generally made use

But come thou goddess, fair and free, of to laugh men out of virtue and good sense, In heaven ycleped Euphrosyne, by attacking every thing that is solemn and And by men, heart-easing Mirth, serious, decent and praiseworthy in human

Whom lovely Venus at a birth,

With two sisters Graces more, life.

To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore. We may observe, that in the first ages Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee of the world, when the great souls and

Jest and youthful jollity,

Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles, mașter-pieces of human nature were pro Nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles, duced, men shined by a noble simplicity Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, of behaviour, and were strangers to those

And love to live in dimple sleek;

Sport that wrinkled Care derides, little embellishments which are so fashion

And Laughter holding both his sides. able in our present conversation. And it Come and trip it as you go, is very remarkable, that notwithstanding

On the light fantastic toe:

And in thy right hand lead with thee we fall short at present of the ancients in

The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty; poetry, painting, oratory, history, archi And if I give the honour due, tecture, and all the noble arts and sciences

Mirth, admit me of thy crew,

To live with her, and live with thee, which depend more upon genius than ex

In unreproved pleasures, free. perience, we exceed them as much in dog

L'Allegro, v. 11. &c. grel humour, burlesque, and all the trivial arts of ridicute. We meet with inore raillery among the moderns, but more good

No. 250.] Monday, December 17, 1711. sense among the ancients.

The two great branches of ridicule in Disce docendus adhuc, quæ censet amiculus, ut si writing are comedy and burlesque. The

Cæcus iter monstrare velit; tamen agpice si quid

Et nos, quod cures proprium fecisse, loquamur. .. first ridicules persons by drawing them

Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. xvii. 3. in their proper characters, the other by

Yet hear what an unskilful friend can say: drawing them quite unlike themselves. As if a blind man should direct your way; Burlesque is therefore of two kinds; the first

So I myself though wanting to be taught, represents mean persons in the accoutre

May yet impart a hint that's worth your thought. ments of heroes; the other describes great 'MR. SPECTATOR, ---You see the nature persons acting and speaking like the basest of my request by the Latin motto which I among the people. Don Quixote is an in- address to you. I am very sensible I ought stance of the first, and Lucian's gods of the not to use many words to you, who are one second. It is a dispute among the critics, of but few; but the following piece, as it whether burlesque poetry runs best in he- relates to speculation in propriety of speech, roic verse, like that of the Dispensary; or being a curiosity in its kind, begs your pain doggrel, like that of Hudibras. I think tience. It was found in a poetical virtuoso's where the low character is to be raised, closet among his rarities; and since the the heroic is the proper measure; but when several treatises of thumbs, ears, and noses, a hero is to be pulled down and degraded, have obliged the world, this of eyes is at it is best done in doggrel.

your service. .. If Hudibras had been set out with as “The first eye of consequence (under the much wit and humour in heroic verse as he invisible Author of all) is the visible lumiis in doggrel he would have made a much nary of the universe. This glorious Spectamore agreeable figure than he does; though tor is said never to open his eyes at his the generality of his readers are so wonder- rising in a morning, without having a whole fully pleased with the double rhymes, that kingdom of adorers in Persian silk waiting I do not expect many will be of my opinion at his levee. Millions of creatures derive in this particular.

their sight from this original, who, besides I shall conclude this essay upon laugh- his being the great director of optics, is the surest test whether eyes be of the same as much the receptacle and seat of our passpecies with that of an eagle, or that of an sions, appetites, and inclinations as the mind owl. The one he emboldens with a manly itself; and at least it is the outward portal assurance to look, speak, act, or plead be- to introduce them to the house within, or fore the faces of a numerous assembly; the rather the common thoroughfare to let our other he dazzles out of countenance into a affections pass in and out. Love, anger, sheepish dejectedness. The sun-proof eye pride and avarice, all visibly move in those Jares lead up a dance in a full court, and little orbs. I know a young lady that canwithout blinking at the lustre of beauty, can not see a certain gentleman pass by without distribute an eye of proper complaisance to showing a secret desire of seeing him again à room crowded with company, each of by a dance in her eye-balls; nay, she cannot which deserves particular regard: while for the heart of her, help looking half a the other sneaks from conversation, like a street's length after any man in a gay dress. fearful debtor, who never dares to look out, You cannot behold a covetous spirit walk but when he can see nobody, and nobody by a goldsmith's shop without casting a him.

wishful eye at the heaps upon the counter. “ The next instance of optics is the fam- Does not à haughty person show the temper ous Argus, who, (to speak the language of of his soul in the supercilious roll of his eye; Cambridge) was one of a hundred; and and how frequently in the height of passion being used as a spy in the affairs of jeal- does that moving picture in our head start ousy, was obliged to have all his eyes about and stare, gather a redness and quick flashes him. We have no account of the particular of lightning, and make all its humours colours, casts, and turns of this body of eyes; sparkle with fire, as Virgil finely describes it, but as he was pimp for his mistress Juno, it

-Ardentis ab ore is probable he used all the modern leers,

Scintillæ absistunt: oculis micat acribus ignis. sly glances, and other ocular activities to

An. xii. 101. serve his purpose, Some look upon him as

From his wide nostrils flies the then king at arms to the heathenish | A fiery stream, and sparkles from his eyes. deities; and make no more of his eyes than

Dryden. of so many spangles of his herald's coat. “ As for the various turns of the eye

- The next upon the optic list is old sight, such as the voluntary or involuntary, Janus, who stood in a double-sighted capa- the half or the whole leer, I shall not enter city, like a person placed betwixt two op- into a very particular account of them; but posite looking-glasses, and so took a sort of let me observe, that oblique vision, when retrospective cast at one view. Copies of natural, was anciently the mark of bethis double-faced way are not yet out of witchery and magical fascination, and to fashion with many professions, and the inge- this day it is a malignant ill look; but when nious artists pretend to keep up this species it is forced and affected, it carries a wanton by double-headed canes and spoons; but design, and in playhouses, and other public there is no mark of this faculty, except in places, this ocular intimation is often an the emblematical way, of a wise general assignation for bad practices. But this ir

pious man taking a review and prospect of enormities as tipping the wink, the circumhis past and future state at the same time, spective roll, the side-peep through a thin

"I must own, that the names, colours, hood or fan, must be put in the class of qualities and turns of eyes vary almost in heteroptics, as all wrong notions of religion every head; for, not to mention the common are ranked under the general name of appellations of the black, the blue, the heterodox. All the pernicious applications white, the grey, and the like; the most re- of sight are more immediately under the markable are those that borrow their titles direction of a Spectator, and I hope you from animals, by virtue of some particular will arm your readers against the mischiefs quality of resemblance they bear to the which are daily done by killing eyes, in eyes of the respective creatures; as that of which you will highly oblige your wounded a greedy rapacious aspect takes its name unknown friend,

T. B.' from the cat, that of a sharp piercing nature from the hawk, those of an amorous roguish 'MR. SPECTATOR,

MR, SPECTATOR,You professed in look derive their title even from the sheep, several papers your particular endeavours and we say such a one has a sheep's eve. in the province of Spectator, to correct the not so much to denote the innocence as the offences committed by Starers, who disturb simple slyness of the cast, Nor is this meta- whole assemblies without any regard to phorical inoculation a modern invention, for time, place, or modesty. You complained we find Homer taking the freedom to place also, that a starer is not usually a person to the eye of an ox, bull, or cow in one of his be convinced by the reason of the thing, nox principal goddesses, by that frequent ex- so easily rebuked as to amend by admonipression of

tions, I thought therefore fit to acquaint Bownis WOTYOU 'Hpn.

you with a convenient mechanical way, The ox-ey'd venerable Juno.

which may easily prevent or correct star“Now as to the peculiar qualities of the ing, by an optical contrivance of new perbye, that fine part of our constitution seems spective-glasses, short and commodious like

« AnteriorContinuar »